Thoughts I’ve had While Doing CrossFit

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Image via scrubbing.in

I recently started attending a beginner CrossFit bootcamp. I’m now able to understand what all the hype is about. The best part of walking into a CrossFit class is that you don’t have to think about a workout, you just walk in and get your ass handed to you, it I walk into every class with excitement and a little fear. Despite how tough a workout may be, and how much I may hate in the moment, I can’t wait to do it again as soon as the workout is over. I’ve made a list of my most common thoughts (sometimes I say them out loud) during a WOD.

1. “AMRAP 8 min, so easy” – By minute 4 *wheezing* “Is it over yet!!?”

2. “I hope this makes my butt bigger” – every exercise.

3. “F*ck burpees”

4. “Maybe I’ll just play dead during this WOD”

5. “I love wall balls”

6. “F*ck wall balls”

7. “Why do I pay to be tortured like this?”

8. “Where’s my inhaler?”

9. ” I wonder if Beyoncé does Crossfit”

10. “I hope I have abs after this”

 

 

Why I Stopped the Whole 30

I mentioned in a previous post that I was starting my second round of Whole 30. I was extremely excited to start it up again, I had developed a strange rash/eczema outbreak and I was hoping the Whole 30 would get rid of it. In between my two whole 30s I was also experiencing painful stomach burning and pressure, it would happen at any time and it would leave me unable to leave the couch. I went to the hospital one night because the pain was unbearable. The doctor thought it was just a bad case of acid reflux and I went home with a powerful prescription of antacids. Fast forward a week and I was still having pains, I was annoyed and frustrated because I was eating the cleanest I’ve ever eaten. I was hoping that a second round of Whole 30 would eliminate both these issues.

A couple of days in to my second round, my rash was starting to get worse. I started to think that it was something I was eating, I had already eliminated eggs because they made my stomach feel awful, so next, I eliminated potatoes (it was hard). Eliminating potatoes didn’t seem to help either so I eliminated tuna because I had been eating more tuna than usual. I was eating a very limited Whole 30, it wasn’t hard but I missed potatoes.

Yesterday, I went to get a second opinion about my stomach pains and rash, because I was getting more and more frustrated every day. The sparks note version of yesterday is that my Gallbladder isn’t functioning properly and my rash may be caused by my digestive system being out of whack. The gallbladder helps the body digest fat, and my gallbladder isn’t able to digest fat at a normal rate. I was eating all healthy fats (avocado, olive & coconut oil) so it’s shocking to me that my body is rebelling like this. I’ve learned that the best way to heal my body is with whole grains, fruits, little or no fats, super lean meats and certain vegetables. I was feeling super down yesterday about everything but I realized that if I wanted my body to heal I would need to step back from the whole 30 for now. I wouldn’t be completing a true whole 30 without the healthy fats. I still believe that the whole 30 is an extremely effective plan and lifestyle but my body isn’t accepting it at this point in time.

I came home yesterday and I was trying to do some research on my own about foods and recipes and I came to realize that there is a lack of information on this particular subject. I’m determined to find recipes that are going to heal my body and taste delicious.

I am by no means a nutritionist but I like to research and share my findings so here is what I’ve found so far:

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My findings are pretty basic, but it gives me a good guideline. For me personally I can’t eat gluten (I wish I could but that is another thing my body hates) so for whole grains I’ll be sticking to oats, quinoa and rice. I’m going to attempt to make some shrimp pesto without oil today so hopefully it turns out well. I guess this experience just means I have to get a bit more creative in the kitchen.

The Burpee

I avoid burpees like the plague. I am a naturally uncoordinated person so burpees have always been a challenge for me. When I was at my heaviest weight, burpees were extremely awful, I hated the feeling of my body jiggling and my boobs flailing around (even while wearing two sports bras). I know burpees are a fantastic full body exercise and should be incorporated in someone’s workout plan, but I was scarred and embarrassed by my lack of skill with the burpee that I avoided them and avoided making my clients do them.

The other night after avoiding burpees since the beginning of my fitness journey, I was faced with them, 36 of them to be exact. The workout was as follows:

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Thrusters are awful, burpees are awful but I loved every minute of the workout. To my surprise my burpees have improved a lot, I could actually jump my feet to my hands. This may seem small but to me this is a huge accomplishment, in my previous attempts at burpees I could never jump my feet up, I always had to do one foot at a time. My boobs were still flailing and my body jiggled but I was ok with it, we all jiggle and flail when we workout, it’s normal. Safe to say that I am going to be adding burpees into my routine and you should too, especially if you hate them. The things we aren’t good at or the the things we dislike are the things that help us improve the most, this applies to anything but is especially true in a fitness journey.

 

 

9 Reasons Why Women Should Lift Weights

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The weight section of the gym can be intimidating and that’s exactly why you should go in and make that section your bitch. You can’t build killer curves without lifting weights, cardio isn’t going to give you a head turning booty. I can’t say this enough but lifting weights will NOT make you bulky, I have not met or trained a woman who became bulky from lifting weights. The women who lift weights do add muscle tone to their bodies but they do not turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger. Here are 10 reasons why women should lift weights:

  1. Tone & Tighten – this is usually an obvious point, lifting weights will perk up those buns, tighten the stomach and get rid of those bingo arms.
  2. Burn More Calories – Doing cardio also burns calories but as soon as you stop your body stops burning those cals, when you weightlift your body continues to burn extra calories for several hours after.
  3. Feel Like a Complete Badass – Mastering a new lift or reaching a new PR is the best feeling in the world. You also feel like a bad ass when you can lift better than a dude. Weightlifting is such an empowering experience, you’ll understand it as soon as you try it.
  4. Burn Belly Fat – Studies have shown that the women who lift weights have tighter stomach areas than the women who just do cardio.
  5. Reduce Stress – Feeling stressed? Go to the gym and lift some heavy shit. Working out in general has been proven to reduce stress, weight lifting in particular is extremely good at reducing stress and sending a huge spike in your endorphins.
  6. Strengthen Bones – Lifting weights can reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis. As you lift weights your bones create more bone cells, which helps increase the density of your bones.
  7. Curves – In today’s society it’s all about the hourglass figure and big badonkadonk. Muscle is what helps women appear curvy, lifting weights helps you keep muscle while losing weight. With weights you can get the Kardashian curves without the surgeries and those stupid effing waist trainers.
  8. Energy – Having energy is so overrated. False. Having energy throughout the day puts you in a better mood and increases your productivity. Personally I feel a greater spike in my energy levels after lifting weights, cardio just doesn’t do it for me.
  9. Beyoncé Lifts – Although I have yet to see photographic evidence of Beyoncé working out, you can bet your ass that she busts her ass in the gym. She might also just be a superhuman who never works out. Slay Queen, slay.

Go lift some weights and then once you’re comfortable lift heavier. Pick up a barbell today, it will change your life.

The Pursuit of Abs

I’ve wanted a six pack for as long as I can remember, I won’t say it’s my main goal in life (increasing my booty size is number 1 #dreambig) but it’s ranked pretty high on my list of goals. How cool would it be to just whip off your shirt wherever, whenever and your abs would look like someone could do their laundry on them right then and there. Having abs year round would be the definition of awesome, no need to prepare for bathing suit weather when your body is permanently ready for it. However, a huge enthusiast of “if you have a body, then you have a bikini body” meaning that anyone can and should be able to wear a bikini, free of judgement. I have goals for myself and most of those goals are fitness related because that’s what I’m passionate about. I’m not quite sure what it takes to get abs because well, I’ve never had them but I’m excited to find out. My goal is to have visual ab definition by August and then maintain them through the winter months. I know the main component of maintaining abs is nutrition and I plan to eat the cleanest I’ve ever eaten.

Here’s my game plan to get abs:

  • Cardio – I’ve mentioned my hate for it previously but cardio is effective in fat loss. I’m going to be adding cardio in 3x a week in the morning.
  • Whole 30 – My next whole 30 starts Today, then after I’m finished I’m going to England for 10 days. I’m planning to stay on track with my goals while in England. When I get back from the land of royalty and corgi’s I’m going to do another full blown Whole 30 and then move towards food freedom, keeping to the whole 30 principles with a few exceptions.

  • Crossfit- I’ve been absolutely loving Crossfit so far and I’m hoping to continue it at least 2x per week.
  • Workout 5-6 days a week consistently – I’ve been consistent at the gym for a while now, but now I’m making it mandatory. The trickiest part for me has been making a program for myself the days I’m not at crossfit, I just don’t want to be too sore for the workouts there because well those workouts have been BRUTAL, good but brutal.
  • Do more core – Some people avoid leg day, I avoid core day. 

I’ll keep updating on whether or not my abs have come in. Also do you just wake up with abs one day or like how does that work? I guess I’ll find out. 

 

 

Diaries of a Past Chubby Child: Easter

Squares Are For Squares

For most people Christmas is the worst time of year for eating junk and hating yourself. For me that holiday is Easter, the holiday literally revolves around chocolate (well it actually revolves around Jesus but that’s a discussion for another time). Easter used to be the time of year that everyone stocked up on mini eggs for the year and rationed them until the next time mini eggs would come out of hibernation and wreak havoc on our waistlines. Mini eggs are just so delicious and adorably cute and I just want 500 of them. Back when I was in College Easter coincided with final exams, I’m a stress eater so having a plethora of chocolate available around at an extremely stressful time was a recipe for disaster. Looking back now I am shocked at my lack of self control, I would eat anything and everything. My body pretty much ran on sugar in college and especially during exams and I would crash hard if I didn’t have any.

I grew up in a town that is famous for it’s chocolate and it’s theatre but chocolate is what matters most to me because I will always be a chubby kid at heart. I was never given chalky wal mart Easter bunnies. If you live in Stratford you most likely were given premium chocolate hand crafted Easter bunnies. You haven’t truly eaten chocolate until you’ve had some from Rheo Thompsons or Chocolate Barr’s. When I was a child I probably consumed 20 times the recommended amount of sugar Easter morning. My parent’s would always try and get us to ration out our chocolate but I would eat pretty much all of it in one sitting because even at the age of 8, I had no self control when it came to food.

I am a firm believer in the “treat yo self” motto, I don’t do it everyday because I would be back up to 250lbs but I do believe that if you truly want something and it’s been on your mind for a while, you should have it.  It’s challenging to eat a junk food in moderation, as a person who struggled with weight my whole life, I sometimes find it challenging to not slip back into old habits. The key to not slipping back into old and harmful habits is to constantly be thinking about what your goals are and how you’re going to get there. Not going to lie, I’ll be consuming some chocolate this weekend but I’m going to get right back on track after. Life is about balance, not about being perfect. One thing I learned during my fitness journey is that beating yourself up after eating something “bad” won’t get you anywhere, stay positive, stay calm, and get back to crushing your goals.

Make good Choices!

-B

10 Reasons Why Cardio is Awkward and Weird

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Cardio is like the weird uncle you avoid at holidays because it’s weird and makes you feel uncomfortable. I’d rather put a pin in my eye then do cardio. When I first started working out I was a cardio bunny, I would spend hours cycling, walking, elipticalling (I know that’s not a word). Like most girls, I was afraid of the weight rack, I was afraid of my muscles getting huge and hulking out of all of my clothing. I was so young and naïve then, the weight section of the gym is now where I feel most at home. As much as I hate doing steady state cardio, I still do it. Yes I do cardio, I don’t do it everyday but I work it in to my workout plans because I know I’ll be better for doing it. I don’t spend hours doing cardio, 10 -30 minutes is usually the max for me. I find that doing 10 min of steady state at the end of a workout is really beneficial for fat loss. I truthfully hate every minute of doing it but in order to improve your fitness you have to do the things that make you uncomfortable.

To be honest I find any and all forms of cardio awkward and weird, maybe it’s because I’m uncoordinated or maybe it’s because I have asthma and breathing is hard. Here are my top 10 reasons why cardio is awkward and weird:

  1. Running Hurts – Your lungs burn, your legs burn and if you have bigger boobs there is a legit fear of giving yourself a black eye.
  2. WTF is the Elliptical – I know the elliptical is better for your joints, but what exactly is it training you for? To be a gazelle? I need answers.
  3. The Stairmaster – The Stairmaster is the tallest machine in the gym, it’s like standing on a stage where literally everyone can so you sweating your ass off and trying not to die.
  4. Cycling – If you have ever attended a spin class you’ll understand the pain of sitting on those skinny, hard bike seats and not being able to walk properly for 24 hours. People start talking and things get weird.
  5. Doing Cardio with a Partner – You’re both weirdly out of breath and trying to hold a conversation.
  6.  Rowing – Everything is cramping and when you stand you leave a huge booty sweat mark on the seat. Also if you have a big booty, it spills out awkwardly over the sides of the seat.
  7. Jumping Movements – Everything is jiggling and flopping and you can’t control it. Box jumping and falling on your face in front of everyone at the gym, enough said.
  8. Farting – I’m usually not one to talk about these things, but it happens to the best of us. It’s hard to hold one in when you’re running or jumping, sometimes it happens and catches you by surprise. Here’s to hoping no one heard it.
  9. Cardio Machines in General – You’re using a lot of energy and going nowhere, it’s actually kind of sad.
  10. The Finish – If it was an intense cardio session you probably just want to lay on the floor in a puddle of your own sweat but it’s usually frowned upon.

 

Back to Basics 

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Recently I’ve been looking for something to change up my normal routine, so I decided to give CrossFit a try. Last night was my first night as a crossfitter (I probably shouldn’t call myself that yet). The class I’m taking is for beginners, in last nights class they taught the basics of squats, push ups and rows. Although I know how to do these movements I learned a very easy way to teach someone how to do these movements, which I will definitely be using in my own practice.

The class started with some warm up exercises one of which was the inch worm. Last night was the night I learned that I hate inch worms. The inch worm looks easy and I think that’s why I hate it so much. My coordination has improved immensely since I started taking working out seriously, I used to fall down the stairs at least once a week and trip over air daily (I always landed gracefully though). The inch worm was a serious test of coordination for me, a test that I failed. Hopefully by week 6 I’ll have this basic movement down pat.

The majority of the first class was spent learning the movements, the last 20 minutes was the official workout. The workout last night looked and sounded easy.

WOD :

200m row

3 rounds (no break), 12 reps of:

Squats

Push Ups

Rows

The workout was very deceiving, by the end of the workout my lungs were burning and my legs were shaking like actual Jell-O. Saying my body is sore today would be an understatement. The workout last night is proof that even the most basic of movements can destroy a person. CrossFit gives you the kind of workout that you hate while you do it, but can’t wait to do again when you finish.

I’m actually really looking forward to all the battle wounds that are coming my way in the next 6 weeks. I’m also hoping I put some more inches on my butt, I’ll keep you all updated on my booty progress.

Meal Prep Like a Pro

I consider Sunday to be the international day of meal prep. Sunday just feels like the perfect day to get shit done, it also feels like the perfect day to stay in bed and watch Netflix so I often spend my Sunday’s having an inner debate with myself. Meal prepping is important to stay on track with your goals, if you already have food cooked up it becomes a lot harder to cheat and a lot easier to stay on track. Preparing food in advance also saves you money and who doesn’t love saving money?!

I learned early on in my fitness journey that I don’t enjoy eating the same meal everyday (unless it’s eggs & or bacon). When I first started meal prepping I would spend a good chunk of the day cooking and then cleaning up my mess, now I have meal prep down to a science. I usually only spend a maximum of two hours on meal prep (and that includes clean up!) so I can spend the rest of the day binge watching Shameless on Netflix. My meal prep consist of cooking up two kinds of protein, cutting up veggies, cooking some veggies and of course cooking up potatoes. Throughout my weight loss journey I’ve learned the art of mix & match meal prep.  I like to mix and match my meals throughout the week, some meals I’ll have a salad, some meals I’ll have a stir-fry or zucchini noodles, and sometimes I’ll eat my protein with a side of raw veggies, variety is key to not getting bored. When I first started losing weight I ate so much ground turkey that even thinking about eating it makes me gag, this is how I learned a very valuable lesson about variety.

Here are some of my tips for a successful meal prep:

  • Try to cook as many things as you can in the same pan or dish. Quickly wash the pan in between cooking, it makes the clean up so much easier.
  • Buy easy to grab spring mix for salads or my new found favourite product Mann’s Broccoli Slaw, it’s amazing. I like to cook it up with some garlic and coconut aminos, it’s ready to go in under 10 min! You can also just eat it as a salad or add it to your salads for some extra crunch. I found it at Wal Mart for like $2, best money I’ve spent.
  • Plan ahead. Pinterest is my go to for quick, healthy, delicious recipes. I spend most Saturday’s on Pinterest dreaming about what I’m going to cook on Sunday.
  • Make a Grocery List – Spend some time thinking about what you want to make for the week. Going to the grocery store without a list is very dangerous and not recommended. Whenever I go to the grocery store without a list I come home with a lot of bacon and not much else.
  • Mix & Match Meal Prep – seriously try it, it’s a life saver and a time saver.
  • Make your Crock Pot your bitch – make a big batch of chili or drumsticks or meat balls or pot roast or basically anything because Crock Pot’s are God’s gift to humans.
  • Crank some Beyoncé and have a dance party while you cook just don’t burn yourself or the food.
  • Invest in glass containers – there’s something seriously wrong with heating up plastic containers. You can buy a full set of glass containers for around $30 and they last a lot longer then plastic, unless you drop them.
  • Cook the complicated or time consuming foods first – I like to get my potatoes cooking first, while they’re in the oven I can cook up a few other things.

Meal prepping doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. Find a method of meal prep that works for you, if you’re the type of person that can eat the same meal all the time and you like it then do it that way. You don’t always have to meal prep on Sunday, sometimes I meal prep on a Tuesday night, make time in your schedule for it and get it done. Here’s to a successful week of crushing goals!

Make good choices everyone!

-B