Five weeks ago I decided to suck it up and join CrossFit Delaware Valley’s SOS Challenge. The timing was perfect; I was LONG overdue to get my house in order. I’m currently halfway through ten weeks of “Straightening Out Shit” by changing my lifestyle habits. So far my habits are eating real food, exercising, losing body fat (limiting carbs and sugar), and supplementing with fish oil and vitamin D3. I have more habits I’ll follow up on in future blog posts. Two hours a week I get to “cheat” and go off the plan, eating and drinking wise. Sunday completes my fifth week and I thought I’d check in with my progress.
So many good things have happened in the last five weeks. First and most important, I’ve stuck with the Challenge and kept a consistent workout schedule. My workouts pre-challenge consisted of one, maybe two CrossFit sessions a week (depending on the workout—nothing outside my comfort zone, of course), MAYBE a tortuous jog around the track if I felt too guilty about the number on the scale staring back at me . Now I’m at “The Box” four times a week, and as I’ve mentioned before, I’m a CrossFit convert. My Ego, and all the baggage, a.k.a. fear, which came with it, has left the building. This couldn’t have happened without letting go of my pride and accepting the fact that I couldn’t rest on my laurels from fitness achievements of years past. They were LONG gone and I had to start all the way at SQUARE ONE. I had to be OK with that, or nothing would really change. I’m so glad I took that leap! I went from “It’s ok, you showed up--just finish the workout and get out of here,” to “Let’s see how much better I can do.” My desire to push myself has returned with a vengeance! I fully realized that when I was running 400m repeats, trying to get my fastest times ever. Me? Pushing myself? RUNNING??? I hate running!!! I’m slow, even when I’m fast! I can honestly say I haven’t wanted to push myself like this (on a consistent basis) in many, many years since I trained in Krav Maga and was a complete Krav junkie.
The switch to paleo-style eating has had its benefits also. I don’t get low blood sugar “crashes” or brain fogginess anymore, I just get hungry. I can go longer between meals and don’t have junk food cravings at 3AM on my nightwork shift. I think my progress at the gym can be attributed to better eating also. I’m giving my body what it needs to perform. I feel more clear and alert. I’m not sure if this is from the food or the exercise, or both. Whatever it is, I’ll take it.
Oh, and did I mention I can now fit into jeans which were too small on me prior to the challenge? I don’t even have to do that “jump and pull” move—you all know what I mean. Although the scale isn’t moving like I thought it would, my clothes are fitting better and I feel more “solid”. The thing is, looking better and fitting into my old clothes again is the main reason I started this challenge; now it’s not as important. Now I want to get stronger, faster, and better physically.
I really don’t have anything “bad” to say about my challenge experience, except it HAS been a challenge. I’ve had to make it a priority. My alarm didn’t go off one morning and I took an hour off work to get a workout in before nightwork, a definite first for me. I’ve never planned so much in my life. Plan what clothes to pack for work to include workout clothes, plan when to do my workouts, plan trips to the grocery store, and plan time to make meals. I’ve spent hours a day getting food ready—making enough food for three sixteen hour shifts in one weekend takes some time. I went to a Penn State football game and took my own food and abstained from beer drinking so I could stick to the challenge. Who does THAT???? I know...I could have planned less and hoped for the best, but that’s not learning new habits. That’s doing the same old shit. You know, the shit that wasn’t working.
The up side is, things ARE getting easier, I’m learning a ton along the way, and having fun doing it. I just had some growing pains to deal with. No biggie, we deal with much worse on a daily basis. Making a change is like being in Law Enforcement—if it were easy, everyone would do it. Change is hard at first then the next thing you know, something in your head clicks and it’s as if you’ve been doing it all your life; it becomes a habit. Amazing.
I can think of only one “ugly” to talk about, and that ugly is me. I’m not talking about those “before” pictures I snapped at the beginning of the challenge (oh yes, they DO exist—under more security than Fort Knox). The “ugly” is I can be obsessive when I’m into something new, and right now I’m into this full bore. I’m devouring all things CrossFit and Paleo related on the web. I want to scream about it from the rooftops. I'm BLOGGING, for Pete's sake! My poor husband hasn’t had a complex carb in the house in weeks, and he’s probably wondering where the rest of my wardrobe has gone since it seems I’m always in Vibram FiveFingers, workout pants and t-shirts. Not the sexiest of looks, especially the FiveFingers, believe me.
I’m constantly talking about CrossFit this, Paleo that. Hubby hasn’t complained, thank goodness, plus he has seen some of his own benefits by being Paleo-by-association. I’ve got to keep myself in check as not to get evangelical about this when I’m around him, or anyone else for that matter. Robb Wolf’s website just did a blog post on this exact subject. Perfect timing. I need to make sure I keep things in perspective and realize not everyone wants to eat tons of meat and lift heavy things, although at this point I’m not sure why they wouldn’t. Maybe it’s the same reason why people don’t want to shoot guns and hit things, but I still haven’t figured why everyone doesn't want to do those things either.
So there you have it, the good, some bad, and a bit of ugly. Five down, five to go! Our team is currently in fourth place, and the race is pretty tight, another reason to stay on track and see this thing until the end. Go Team Skinny Bitches!!!
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