health

Change Takes Time

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It's a new year, which means, we have many new faces coming into the gym hoping that this year is the year for them to improve their health and fitness, to stick to something and to finally get healthy. 

Last week, we set goals in the box, specific to our performance, and wrote them down on the goal boards for everyone to see. Those goals will not be met overnight, it's going to take a lot of hard work and being consistent each week, even when the goal seems so far away. 

For both the newbie and the current athlete, we want to remind you: Change takes time. 

As coaches, we often get asked and hear, "what do you eat?" "how do you train?" "I wish I could lift as heavy as you." "It looks so easy for you."

Here's the answers: We train like you. We started with a band for pull ups or doing half rep strict pull ups (not knowing these weren't actually pull ups), we started with an empty bar. We struggled along with progressions for HSPU and Muscle Ups (and still may be working on these, years later), Each of us eats a bit differently but we've found, by trial and error, what works for us and what doesn't.  We didn't get this way over the course of a few months or even a year. It's been years in the making. And we're still working just as hard. We are not done. You're never done.

In the 2007 photo above, I was in, what I thought, was the best shape of my life. Every bride's goal is to look good for their wedding because 'the photos last forever'. I weighed 119# in that photo, I ran hours a day and I used 8# dumbbells and couldn't do a single chest to ground push up. 

I started CrossFit in 2011, still running marathons and weighing between 119-121#. I wanted to lose 10# to be a faster runner. Why? That's what all the marathon books told me to do, so I began watching my portions. I lost .2# in 4 months and I also began feeling pain in my hip when I ran. So much that I had to drop out of the 2010 Chicago marathon 16 miles into the race. I had never, in all my years of running, dropped out of a race. I began searching for a solution. The answer was simple: lift weights, get muscles and eat food.

In the 2017 photo, I see nearly 6 years worth of hard work. Every single one of those muscles I worked for. I am strong. I am healthy. You can't fake muscles, you can't fake strength. I don't see what others see, until I look back at photos from before CrossFit. In 2007, my forearm is bigger than my bicep, I wore extra small tops. Today, my biceps (are big) and are proportioned to my forearm, I have traps, and I have wings in the form of lats. I often can't fit into shirts with buttons, I've cut elastic out in dresses because my obliques are bigger and now need a larger size in lulu tops because my shoulders and arms continue to grow.  I can deadlift 265#, back squat 210# and do 25 pull ups unbroken. I weigh 138#. Today, I know I'm in the best shape of my life- for today. It's exciting because if I keep this up, I can continue to say that I am in the best shape of my life each year I get older.

It's an exciting time here in the box, we have so many athletes hitting their 1 year CrossFit mark, they may be a bit discouraged because they "can't do x yet" (fill this in with pull ups, clean 125#, a handstand push up, or double unders).

Keep working! Keep showing up. Your progress and efforts are not meaningless. It's a journey. A long, beautiful journey.  You work for each milestone, you don't get any of them given to you.

To the new athletes just coming into group classes: Every sore muscle, every hard workout, every full effort put into your hour here, it's building a foundation. For some, the foundation takes a long time to build, but it's worth it. Promise.

 

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50 Day Challenge Recap

How'd those 50 days go? The time between Thanksgiving and New Year's is one of the hardest times to maintain a workout routine, eat healthy, get enough sleep and keep alcohol to a minimum. You may have found yourself sleeping in & skipping the WOD because you were out late the night before or it was too cold or you had a sugar hangover. Holiday parties and social events have packed your evenings and weekends and the closest thing to healthy was the celery stick you ate with your buffalo dip. 

For others, committing to 50 days was enough to keep them on track, still able to enjoy treats in moderation but getting the veggies and lean protein in each day while sticking to a 4-5x a week workout schedule.

Julie was one of those people.

Julie dominated her 50 day challenge! Read about how it went for her, it may inspire you to set 2017 goals. Remember, if you are a current member with MO2DT and you want help setting your initial macros, email Jess to set up a time in January for no additional charge.

What did you change from how you were currently eating to now?

I ate what I thought was "clean" before I started this process, but I actually wasn't eating enough of it.  I would also go in waves of healthy/clean eating for a week or so at a time, fall off the wagon and not really watch what I was eating, and then get right back to healthy eating after a few days.  There was so much inconsistency.  I went from eating 4-5 times a day to at least 6 times per day and I have protein with every single "meal." The biggest change has been having to eat more than I've ever eaten before.

Physically, did you see any changes (either in the scale, inches lost, energy, PRs, all of the above).

The scale has gone down a few pounds, but I've lost 8 1/2 inches overall and have gone down between 1-2 sizes.  My jeans are a nightmare right now and I'm glad I kept a few pair that never quite fit or were too tight because they fit now.  I have way more energy than I've had before and can tell a big difference when I don't meet my protein goal for a few days.  I feel stronger too!  I set a huge PR on my 1 rep dead-lift going from 225 to 275. 

What was the hardest part about the 50 days?

The hardest part for me was meeting my protein goal.  Some days were better than others and I got sick of eating some of the same things and had to get creative. 

What was the easiest part about the 50 days?

Meal prep!  I love to cook and spending an hour or two each week making sure I had everything I needed made a world of difference.  There were a few weeks that I didn't meal prep and it threw me completely off track.  

Will you continue following macros?

Yes!  This is working for me.  I've spent years trying to figure out the right "formula" to lose weight and what works for me.  Staying consistent and meeting my macros is working very well.  For the first time, I'm not focusing on the scale moving either, and am focusing more on how I feel and paying attention to what my body needs.  I think not putting that pressure on myself is making a difference too.

How did you make it through 50 days? What were some strategies you used (meal prep, kept it simple with easy recipes, etc.)?

I was far from perfect throughout the 50 days, especially with Thanksgiving and my birthday thrown in the middle.  I figured out how to "make room" for the things I liked and adjusted my macros accordingly.  I kept things simple and ate a lot of chicken, broccoli, turkey, eggs, plain greek yogurt with 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder mixed in (this is amazing), and I was open to trying new things.  I found I really love brussel sprouts and they can be incorporated in a lot of meals.  I am also a snacker and emotional eater.  Paying attention to when I was grazing and just mindlessly eating made a difference too.  I struggle with this the most while I'm making dinner, so I made sure to push my afternoon meal back to 3-3:30pm and have as much of dinner prepped before I got home so it was a quick meal.  I also made sure that my meals were big enough to have leftovers, like roasting a big pan of vegetables that would last 2-3 days and cooking enough chicken for 3-4 meals instead of one meal at a time.  I would also cut up vegetables and fruit and put everything on a tray in the refrigerator to grab and eat while I was cooking.  Being prepared and open to trying new things, and knowing that I had to make a change were all factors that helped me keep going!

 

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