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Posts tagged ‘crossfit’

Work in progress

I have so much I want to write about that I don’t even know where to begin… a friend who was researching MS for her thesis a few years ago told me that many people with MS have a difficult time putting thoughts in “order”. Probably not the only thing that can cause this, but definitely something I’ve struggled with. But this post isn’t about that… this one is about food and health mostly and things that relate. I’ll try to keep on track 😉

Finally got in to see the new doctor on Friday.  Finally a doctor who was very thorough and ordered all the tests needed to figure out what’s going on.  Vainity plays a part for sure, but I also question WHY things are the way they are out of interest.  WHY when I exercise regularly and eat very clean am I still struggling with my weight? WHY with the same exercise routine and healthier eating than previously have I GAINED 45lbs in the last 5 years? “It’s probably muscle!” Is the lamest excuse I’ve heard over and over. Yes, I’ve definitely put on some muscle when going from a ball hockey 3x a week runner who lifted moderate weights from time to time to a crossfit junkie, but that really doesn’t explain the body fat %!! Wii Fit would tell me I’m obese again and get itself tossed off the balcony.

So the new doctor order so much blood work that the ladies at the clinic didn’t know what to do with themselves.  Best part was he went through it ALL with me and explained all the red highlights on my results.  My iron, vitamin D, B12, testosterone and cortisol are lower than he’d like to see.  My thyroid is fucky and my adrenals are waving the white flag. I take 5000IU of vitamin D religiously every day!  Increase it he said.  Also gave other recommendations to add/increase other vitamins/minerals and gave me prescriptions for T3 and DHEA.

Next he looked at the sample day of my diet that I sent him.  There was a bunch of red highlights here too! 😮 “You say you follow a ketogenic diet? There’s a LOT of sugar here” he said.  What?!? In fairness to myself, the sample day I sent him was two months ago and a lot has changed since then, but I was still shocked to hear that!! I could be causing my weight because I eat a little tomato sauce, some snap peas and a few baby carrots once or twice a week, and onions.  Not the onions!!!  The rest could go but the onions stay.  Besides, I’ve decided I’m going to try the supplements and the prescriptions before altering my diet any further.  If I change everything all at once, how do I know what works?  (Still fuming a bit… I sit beside my girl as she munches on a bag of chocolate things each night but I’m overweight cause I put onions in the BBQ veggie mix. Pffft)

I mentioned that a lot has changed since I sent my sample day to the doc.  I March of this year Amanda and I gave the exogenous ketones a try and were disappointed with our lack of success. We decided to give them another go and things have been better this time around. For me I think it all started when Jen addded me to the 60 hour fast group on Facebook.  I had tried the fast before but didn’t make it all the way through. This time I wasn’t entirely into it from the start either! Made it 20 hours and ate a little something which I initially saw as throwing in the towel, but actually shifted my mindset somehow! After that I completed the 60 hours and have since followed the intermittent fasting which a ketogenic diet is intended to accompany. I wake up, drink coffee with MTC oil, drink my ketones (slowly), and LOTS of water. When I’m hungry, I eat. During the week when I work all day and head to the box shortly after, there are days I don’t chew anything until 7:30-8pm.  Others I eat lunch and dinner.  I still don’t know what is the right method for ME, but it’s all a work in progress really… and in the first 10 days I lost 10lb! I haven’t been able to shed ANYTHING in forever, so it feels like something is going right.

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Just coast

Where do I begin… it’s been an interesting nearly 2 weeks of learning stuff. I’ve found the effects of nutrition and exercise fascinating for a long time, but I’m kinda diving into a whole different level that I didn’t even know existed. When I was still at CFD Coach Sharon used to tell me all the time that I was overtraining. I figured if that was he case, my body would let me know. Days where I was really sore or overly fatigued I’d take a rest day then jump right back into routine again. It seemed to work for me, so I carried on, but was that the start of the weight issues? I mean, I knew I was gaining weight then, but had no idea why. Could my restricted diet and excessive exercise be the reason? WTF!?!? Seriously!?!? I used to look at the badasses in the box like Coach Dave who trained pretty much non-stop and really didn’t think of my exercise routine as excessive, but I know now you have to take into account your own situation and listen to your body on a deeper level. It’s more than just sore muscles that suggest it’s time to assess things! A super clean eater who works out a lot should NOT be gaining body fat! That can be a sign that your body is in panic mode and fighting for survival.

So what’s the answer? That I’m not sure yet. I know I need to test out a month or more of lower intensity to see if this theory is right, but I haven’t gotten myself to the mental preparedness for that yet. Crossfit is my therapy and I’m scared to let it go.

10 steps back, but crawling forward again

Recap for the week.  Last weekend I was ready to throw in the towel on the Wahls Protocol diet.  Amanda and I had been following since may 1 and were/are frustrated that we’ve been GAINING weight! This diet is supposed to help reverse my MS symptoms, which is my #1 reason for giving it my all, but it’s also supposed to help you lose some body fat! If the weight loss didn’t happen, but the symptoms eased off, I’d be ok with that. But to GAIN weight just doesn’t fly with me! Already 10-15lbs heavier than I’d like to be! I commented in a Wahls protocol group on facebook that I’m giving up and explained myself.  A Wahls support person told me Don’t give up! You just need to play around with the diet a little till you find what works for you! Track your macros and make sure you aren’t getting more carbs in places you don’t realize.  Use the ketone test strips daily to make sure your body is in ketosis for now until you get the hang of it.  Ok, done.  What I learned (and actually Amanda got me on the scent of first) was that the giant salads we were eating every day could have been a factor.  The tighter my clothes felt, the more I relied on salad to slim me down.  But the salad dressing was the killer! Not even the expected store bought crap, but a homemade mixture of olive oil, garlic and balsamic vinegar.  WTF!? Anyways, we decided to cut that out and see what happens.  That was 7 days ago and within 4 days my pants didn’t feel as tight.  Ok, progress.  My ketone tests are also bringing a stronger indication that I’m on the right track.  I was sad to think salad wasn’t really an option, so last night I had one with a little squirt of lemon on it which wasn’t delicious but doable, and this morning’s test strip looked great 🙂  baby steps, but in the right direction I think 😀

Tues. June 6:

Scaled this one to 85lbs and cut the double unders in half, but kinda liked it otherwise 🙂 Monday we took a rest day, so I was ready to go by Tuesday night!

Wed. June 7:

A morning appointment with my dad (still trying to figure out the job change!) meant I was at the box for the 7am WOD.  When I got there at 6:50 and the 6am class wasn’t close to finishing I knew I wasn’t going to get to complete this one! The buy in was great 🙂 went with 145lbs, which isn’t 75-80% of my 1RM but felt heavy enough!! Beyond the 15/15/100m was another 2 rounds that I didn’t make it too 😦 but still got a good workout in!

Thurs. June 8 @ 6:30am:

This was actually mondays workout that I missed, but it sounded good enough to drag me back to the box early Thursday morning!  Wasn’t sure I’d make it to an evening WOD so it seemed the best option.  LOVED the buy in (obviously) with 195lbs.  Then I was excited to pull the 2 45lb plates off for the WOD.  I underestimated the wallballs lol, and failed my first attempt to clean the bar for the back squats, but otherwise this one was awesome 🙂

Thurs. June 8 @ 5pm:

125lb front squats = 125lb clean.  In my second WOD of the day? LMAO!! Went with 105lbs with more success than the morning.  The 15 Reps at 85lbs were a lot harder than I expected, but I was determined to not drop the bar anywhere in this workout so I sucked it up.  After all Friday was planned as a rest day…

Re-Inspired

This is one of those posts I was torn on which blog to write it under… it follows the crossfit/nutrition path I often follow with this one, but will have a large amount of MS content as well.  Anyways, it’s happening after quite some time bouncing around in my head.

2017 seems to be a year of “Full Circle” with me.  What I originally saw as full circle in terms of going from working at Sport Chek in Milton in 2005 to Henry’s and right back to Sport Chek in Milton in 2016 wasn’t even the whole picture.  Before Chek I was a professional photographer, and now I’m getting back into that scene as well 🙂  Not the same format however, but once again shooting something I’m passionate about.  It’s a whole different game now though, but exciting none the less!

Another full circle journey is my attempt to improve my life with my disease through nutrition and exercise.  I’ll come back to the exercise topic in a minute, but for now lets talk nutrition.  In 2012 I stumbled upon this: Dr. Terry Wahls – Minding Your Mitochondria and I was curious.  In 2012 I wasn’t in a good place with my mind and my health and I needed to try something, so I gave it a shot.  Cut dairy and grains from my diet and figured that was enough and don’t get me wrong, it did make a difference!  I was able to eliminate a drug I was taking just to stay awake as my energy improved and combined with exercise and just being overall fed-up with conventional medicine and the downward spiral it seemed to cause in terms of my quality of life, I eventually eliminated drugs all together.  That’s where I stand now.  A little over a year drug-free, but I still deal with the effects of my disease every day and would like to see if I can take things further to improve that.  I’ve done some of my own research lately and learned that relapsing-remitting MS typically transitions into secondary-progressive over time.  My relapses have certainly tapered off, either through my own influence with diet and exercise or simply as a progression of the disease, but the pain is still something I live with 24/7.  It used to be occasionally almost unbearable in intensity, but now it gets to that point pretty much every week and some days I just sort of crack emotionally.  Not something I’m proud of, but some days I just can’t be strong anymore.  Bright side – I have a massively supportive girlfriend who will be there for me every step of the way.  I came home last week and Dr. Wahls’ book The Wahls Protocol was waiting for me on the counter 🙂  Inspiration take 2!  This book is absolutely awesome!  So many of the things she mentions have me staring wide-eyed like “oh my god!  That’s ME!”  And you know it’s true love when your girl says “I’d try liver if it will help you” ❤  Liver!  GAG!!!  I’m weird about the odd bits you find in a boneless-skinless chicken breast!  But if it helps with the pain, I’ll give it a try.

Another part of my spring re-vamp involves the crossfit routine.  I took Coach Jen’s advice a few months ago and scaled back the WODs while introducing some lifting days back into my world.  Between the Open and helping Amanda prepare for the Festivus comp, the whole WOD portion has been all but abandoned for longer than I would have liked.  I went to a class this week and cardio-struggled (as expected) and ball hockey has been harder than I’d like.  Coach Jay and I crossed paths after the WOD Thursday and he said “how was that?!  Been a LONG time since you’ve gone a class!”  Sad face.  It probably showed!  My legs were NOT happy with the box jumps or the wallballs, but at least the cleans were a piece of cake right?  Festivus is today, so starting Monday I hope to get back into the WOD routine so I can confidently call myself a legit crossfitter again!  Oh, and I’ve added a short run to my morning routine as well.  Hoping it all helps 🙂

The Open

Oh hi! May not even remember me but yes I’m still around. To be honest, not a whole lot has changed which is good and bad at the same time I suppose. It’s Open season and my 4th time through. What a totally different experience doing it with CFC!! First, it’s a way bigger beast than CFD was just in terms of Open competitors. I think we have close to 150 athletes competing and a few with potential to make it to regionals… but everyone is so supportive 🙂  We have an in house little comp happening as well with points for team spirit and costumes, some of which there’s no way I could work out it lol!  First Open for my girl too and she’s KILLING it 😀  Recap time!

Open WOD 17.1

AMRAP 20 minutes:
10 dumbbell snatches 35lb
15 burpee box jump-overs 20″
20 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
30 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
40 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
50 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs

Score – 200 Reps Rx  Tie break time – 16:31

This WOD kicked my butt HARD!! Not a good way to start Open season at ALL.  After the 20 DB snatches I couldn’t feel my legs at all.  Our couldn’t feel the ground under my feet? Maybe that’s a better description… Anyways, every box jump was an exercise in extreme concentration to not EAT IT!  It was hell, but no battle scars 🙂 (a miracle occurred)

Open WOD 17.2

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
2 rounds of:
50-ft. weighted walking lunge
16 toes-to-bars
8 power cleans
Then, 2 rounds of:
50-ft. weighted walking lunge
16 bar muscle-ups
8 power cleans

Score – 78 Reps Rx  Tie break time – 7:09 

Greatest judge for this one!!  Neil tried so hard to coach me to my first bar muscle up and believe me I tried SO hard to get it!  No dice though… added to the list of things to work on 🙂

Open WOD 17.3

Prior to 8:00, complete:
3 rounds of:
  6 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  6 squat snatches, (95 / 65 lb.)
Then, 3 rounds of:
  7 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  5 squat snatches (135 / 95 lb.)
Prior to 12:00, 3 rounds of:
   8 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  4 squat snatches (185 / 135 lb.)
Prior to 16:00, 3 rounds of:
   9 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  3 squat snatches (225 / 155 lb.)
Prior to 20:00, 3 rounds of:
  10 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  2 squat snatches (245 / 175 lb.)
Prior to 24:00, 3 rounds of:
   11 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  1 squat snatch (265 / 185 lb.)

Score – 43 Reps Rx   Tie break time – 5:02

Yes, I had almost a full 3 minutes to get 1 95lb snatch!  I tried over and over but couldn’t force the confidence to drop under the bar even though i got it to my eyebrows with every attempt.  Kinda frustrating, but…. the next day I GOT it in practice 🙂  I’ll take it.  Plus… I did get through 25 chest to bar pull-ups which was a HUGE improvement over the last time I faced them in the Open.  Double win.

Open WOD 17.4

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:
55 deadlifts 155lbs
55 wall-ball shots 14lbs
55-calorie row
55 handstand push-ups

Score – 172 Reps Rx  Tie break time – 10:28

This WOD was my fave by FAR this year 😀  I mean, deadlifts are pretty much my thing and they weren’t that heavy.  To be honest, I kinda wished they were heavier cause it would have tripped people up even more.  Thankfully it was a WOD I was totally excited about cause Amanda and I got hit with the flu early in the week and I had just started eating again on Thursday and didn’t work out all week.  I actually re-did this WOD after my judge on Friday measured my HSPU line too high and no-repped all of my push-ups.  So frustrating!  I will say I loved it less the second time through cause my body just wasn’t recovered enough to go through that again, but it was totally worth it to get credit for the HSPU!!  (and I added 2 reps 😉 )

Open WOD 17.5

10 rounds for time of:
9- Thrusters 65lbs
35- Double-unders

Time – 28:10 Rx

Yucky.  Pretty much sums it up!  But WHAT?!  This kid actually pulled off 350 double unders! Yes, you read that correctly.  No idea where they came from… Also added to the list!  The funny part of this one, I pushed to get as far as I could and when the clock hit 20:00 I stopped thinking “well, I made it to round 8.  Cool”  My judge looked at me and said “are you ok?” I completely thought I was done!!  “You still have 20 minutes!!” she said and for at least a few seconds my heart totally sank!  Worst news EVER, but I picked up my rope and finished the beast.  Looking back it was probably that mistake which allowed me to finish in the time I did.  There’s always that extra push when you’re near the end of a WOD (or think you are) and I guess I kinda had a double on this time :p

Finding my rhythm 

“So, this week has been different. I figured I’d ease into the transition of WODing less and lifting more,  but when Amanda decided she wanted to try to we sorta jumped in with both feet! The game plan was (and I think still is essentially) lift Monday and Wednesday with a Coach Carson, Tuesday by ourselves, then WOD Friday and Saturday. Except yesterday’s WOD didn’t sound great so we lifted Friday too! The only problem I see that could happen is I never used to cherry pick workouts. The WOD was the only option, so I just sucked it up and did it even when it sounded horrible. Now there’s another option 😳 I mean, we still got a great workout, but I haven’t really sweat yet this week and my Fitbit thinks I’ve maybe died or been kidnapped or something. There’s a huge positive note coming… Tuesday I PR’d my snatch!!! Finally after like 100 years!! 😁 AND my girl PR’d pretty much everything. Snatch, overhead squat, deadlift (200lb club!!), strict press, back squat… it’s been a great week.  Saturday partner WOD was a sweat fest, so nice way to round things off too.

 

img_3974

On the nutrition front, I’m trying to not fall into old habits in terms of mindset. When I change something and don’t see mad results after two weeks I tend to get discouraged… I don’t think my clothes are fitting any different and the number on the scale hasn’t really budged. I know there are other factors that could be affecting that (like being a GIRL), but my negativity still wants to trash talk my efforts. Anyways… I’m sticking to the plan and hoping I’m on the right path. My days are pretty routine for food:

Breakfast – 2 eggs, 1/3 sweet potato

Snack – beef protein shake, 1/4 cup oats+1 tbsp flax+1/2 tbsp chia+6 almonds+1/2 banana

Lunch – BBQ’d chicken breast, BBQ’d veggies

Snack – 1/2 chicken breast, 2 tbsp BBQ sauce, snap peas, carrots

Dinner – BBQ’d chicken breast or salmon, BBQ’d veggies

*sometimes there’s a second protein shake, or double oatmeal depending on the day/WOD. My one guilty pleasure is the BBQ sauce 😦 one days I might get over that but maybe not. Not much variety, but SO tasty and Amanda and I are both cool with it, so whatever. All works out to around 1,400 cals per day with 130-150g protein, 100-125g carbs, 40g fat. I’ve basically cut the fat in half and doubled the carbs. Now my fingers are crossed it’s the right recipe for my stupid body.

Now there’s a plan

img_3960

Let us back-track for a moment… 5 years ago I had just moved to Waterloo.  I had been living a pretty crazy life with a long drive to and from work every day and LOTS of ball hockey. Also quite committed to the global gym scene.  I had recently started the whole Paleo routine trying to fix some health crap. Oh! And I was skinny!! Not healthy necessarily despite all my efforts, but shopping for pants mad me happy for the first time in my life. Unfortunately that was the only thing really at time, but it was pretty huge. Life in Waterloo was a real change. I was 6km from my job, with an awesome gym in between. I had so much time on my hands I didn’t really know what to do with it at first, but I figured it out. Reconnected with an old friend from work who had gotten into personal training and started lifting. You probably know that drill… Monday leg day, Tuesday back and biceps, etc.  Pretty boring stuff, but I wanted to gain some muscle. Then one day I found crossfit. It was new for me, but brought the cardio element back to my world which I had been missing (Waterloo doesn’t offer the same ball hockey opportunities Toronto did!!). It was new, and scary, and exciting… and FUN!!  Downside… I slowly started to gain weight. At first I thought, all good its muscle. And in a sense I was right! But every season I was shopping for new clothes cause the old ones didn’t fit anymore. After a while I started to freak out a bit, so I tightened up my diet (which was pretty strictly Paleo already) and worked out more. But the weight kept creeping up. Could I have been going about things all wrong?! Fast forward to today and finally realizing that crossfit and Paleo could be responsible for my weight gain!! WTF!?!? I read this a few days ago which really got the ball rolling in my mind:

paleo-made-fat-pop-tarts-got-shredded/

I felt like this guy completely understood how I’ve felt!! I mean, I have a pretty decent 6-pack that I’ve worked really hard for, but there’s this layer of body fat covering everything.  I did a bit more reading and decided it was time for a change. I had already made the decision to give up nut butters, which at least had me in the right direction, but I’m increasing my carbs as well. After 5 years of quite a low carb intake, it might be just what my body needs? Or I might get fatter. I’m really hoping option A is reality.   There’s a part 2 to this rant. With dropping the fat content, my macros were in line with what Coach Jen had recommended at my nutrition consult, but my calories were still quite low.  So I asked! Explained my frustration and what I was looking for and got another response I hadn’t been expecting!  My focus had been set on adjusting the diet component once again, but Jen’s thoughts were along a different line.  Could crossfit be to blame?  Seriously??  So now it’s a matter of trying to determine wether my super-clean eating or intense workout routine is the reason I can’t shed a few pounds.  Not binge eating, or nights of drinking, or sitting on the couch… a clean diet or exercise.  What. The. FUCK.  Jen is also looking to lean out before a very important event in June, so she is readjusting her workout routine with the same goal in mind.  “We could lift together!  Misery loves company, right?” she said haha!  Anyways, her plan involves just lifting 3 times a week and cutting the WODs to 2 per week MAX.  They are great, but they cause stress on your body (says Jen) Some people handle stress by loosing weight, some bodies go into panic mode and store everything as fat!  So… sitting on the couch might actually be a more effective way to lose weight?  I don’t know… so confused.  What I DO know is crossfit keeps me sane and happy, so I’m making some adjustment to my workout routine for now but focusing more on the nutrition part.  Last night we went to Olympic lifting class instead of the WOD for the first time in ages 🙂  It’s kinda strange how I used to feel like I was ripping myself off from the sweatfest I needed and just went through the motions of the class without much enthusiasm.  Last night was so different!  I loved it 🙂  and Coach Carson is amazing!  The crossfit side of things will benefit SO much from working with him too.  Plus if I can actually lean out a little the gymnastic parts should improve as well.

Anyways… long rant.  I have always had a goal, but now I feel like I have a plan too.  Hopefully that’s the difference this time.  To be continued…

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