I never did like roller coasters

In 27 days I will walk across the stage as a first time NPC bikini competitor. At times, the days seem to drag and other times I can’t believe that I’m almost there. And, at times, I am beyond excited about the entire experience and at other times I am 100% miserable.

Quite honestly I can’t wait for it to be over. It has become something that has consumed my entire being. I am no longer who I was back in January. Am I better off? Of that I’m not sure. At 18 pounds lost to date, I am a shell of the person I was, not only physically but mentally as well.

If I could relate it to anything, I would imagine that it’s kind of like being brain washed at my own free will. I’ve become obsessed with food, on a totally different level. I’ve become obsessed with my body, on a totally different level. I’ve become obsessed with perfection, on a totally different level. And in the past week I’ve noticed that my hands shake. I’m pretty sure it’s due to nerves and being overly anxious.

My dad, who is my very best friend and tells me like it is, has handed me my ass on a plate when I discussed this with him. He reminded me that I started this journey to have fun and that if I’m no longer having fun, I either shouldn’t do it or change my prospective. He reminded me that no one is perfect and that this is not my job, so taking it too seriously is unnecessary. To quote him, “If eating a hamburger is going to stop you from being emotional, then go eat a hamburger!”

I’m an emotional eater and because I can’t eat my emotions right now, I am forced to feel them. It is causing me to burn bridges with people. It is causing me to have frequent break downs and mood swings. It’s as though I am no longer in control of myself.

I can stand in front of my mirror at home and think “Holy cow! I’m lean!” and then 30 minutes later, I can be at the gym with my peers and think I’m the fattest girl in the room. I can put on a pair of pants when getting ready for work and stand there shocked that they are literally falling off of me, and then at the same time feel bloated.

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What good has this done? What good is being “skinny” or “fit” or “pretty” when your mind is so screwed up that no one wants to be around you? Sure, I’ll look good in a bikini, but I’ll be standing alone.

As far as I can tell, the things that I’ve lost are not worth the things I’ve gained. I may have a different thought on April 25th, but today I feel like I am none the better for doing this.

My dad told me that, as a little girl, I was pretty level-headed. So why, as an adult, can I not get it together? I’m pretty embarrassed and ashamed. At 39 years old, I should have myself figured out…shouldn’t I?

At the same time, I have numerous people telling me that I’m too hard on myself. That I don’t give myself credit for my accomplishments. This is true. Oh, so very true.

Where is the middle ground?

You sure do cry a lot

Lately I’ve been learning a lot about myself…some good, some great, and some down right embarrassing stuff…but I’m using these as opportunities to better myself instead of remaining at a stand still.

One thing that has stood out is that I cry a lot. I mean, I kinda already knew this, but it’s become less about the emotions that others have brought out in me and more so to do with the pressure I put on myself to meet my expectations and the determination to overcome my past.

Case in point…this weekend I celebrated my 39th birthday. I woke up early the morning of my birthday and walked to the beach and watched the sun rise. It was spectacular.

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I stood there watching this amazing sight and I cried. I cried because I’m finally beginning to feel happy in my life. I cried because I had felt so much pain in my past. I cried because I was grateful for my parents who gave me life. I cried because I felt blessed enough to witness mother nature at it’s best.

I then cried when my dad, the best dad in the whole world in my opinion, called me at 10:10 a.m; as he does each year because that’s what time I was born. 

Later, after posing practice with a group of girls in their mid-twenties who appeared muuuuuuch leaner than me, I cried because I felt old and because I was feeling unsure about whether or not I’d be ready for the April 25th show.

I cried again when a sweet, sweet friend gave me a birthday present.

I cried yet again later that night when I tried to fall asleep. No explanation. I just did.

When I woke up the next day, I cried because, again, I felt old. 39 is almost 40. How did I become almost 40? I have nothing to show for all this time on Earth. No children. No husband. No home. What a failure…at least that’s how I felt for a few moments.

I cried later that morning when I went beast mode on my workout…it was SO very, very hard and the tears welled up in my eyes as I fought to hold them back.  I made myself proud of my hard work. The feeling of proving to myself that I was strong and determined was awesome.

Yep, I sure do cry a lot. That’s a ton for just one weekend, and I don’t even have PMS. I could make an excuse for myself and blame the new lower carb diet my coach put me on, but truth be told, I cheated quite a bit this weekend.

I’m not sure how long it will take to overcome this little idiosyncrasy or if it will ever change. I suppose the important part is that I’ve become aware of this and I don’t deny that it’s part of my personality. I don’t want to consider myself an emotional wreak, nor do I want to appear to be a basket case, but maybe I am. And maybe that’s ok. I’d rather feel than to be cold-hearted. It’s who I am, and I should embrace it.

 

Hold the salt, please

After the frustration I experienced with my monster PMS and the terrible cold, I was more than a tad concerned that I may have gotten off track. My coach assured me that I would be fine and still able to do the April 25th show. Yet I still had doubt…and then I took some progress pictures.

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I am shocked and amazed at what my body is capable of doing. I have never seen myself look this way before and it’s a relief that my hard work is paying off.

Truth be told, I’ve had my fair share of cheats and treats. I’ve stuck to my diet 90% of the time, but I have indulged more than a few times. I’m now seven weeks out and have promised myself that there will be no more cheats (except for my birthday this week).

I know that eating like this won’t be forever and that, if I choose, I can go “back to normal” on April 26th. However I have a feeling that I will want to continue competing. I’m loving all of what I’m learning and experiencing. It’s empowering to know that I can do this despite the fact that depression still looms in the dark corners of my mind, waiting for a weak moment to attack and settle in close to me, preventing me from having the drive to carry on.

I have proven to myself that I have strength beyond physical abilities. And, right now, mental strength is harder to obtain than the physical.

On another note…I had dinner with my family the other night. I didn’t want to order from the restaurant because I haven’t “eaten out” since I started prepping. I talked myself into it and ordered something very simple…beef, raw spinach, and avocado. As I was eating it, I knew it tasted too good to be plainly prepared. The flavor was just too good!

When I woke up the next morning I knew that the sodium content was off the charts because I looked like this

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 I’ve been lucky enough to have this happen to me before and I know that salt is the cause. Not a pretty sight! Not only were my eyes almost swollen shut, but my abs were also extremely puffy. The puffiness around my eyes has gone down, but I’m still feeling bloated. Yikes! No more restaurant food for a while! Hold the salt, please!

Give credit where credit is due

It is said that we can be our biggest critics and that it is much easier to see the flaws and faults than it is to see what, perhaps, others see. I have always been critical of myself and have, for most of my life, made the choice to sit back and observe other’s successes rather than fail trying to create my own.

If I did try and didn’t live up to my expectations, I would make an excuse as to why I failed. I would think that others were judging me or that I, somehow, let them down by not being better than I was. I would think that I was going to be disliked and not part of the “in-crowd”.

I’ve struggled with this for as long as I can remember and in the past it has prevented me from trying new things or going after what I wanted. I mention this today because this morning I woke up knowing that I was going over to my Crossfit gym to do 15.1. And the anxiety I had was unbearable. I didn’t have anxiety about working out, or having my reps counted by a judge, or the pressure of competing with the Crossfit community…I had anxiety over the fact that I was going to have to do the scaled version.

I fretted and paced and visited the bathroom several times before even heading to the gym. Thoughts raced through my mind of not being good enough, not being strong enough. I kept thinking that everyone was going to judge me as weak and less than.

In reality, I felt comfortable with everything except for the Snatches. The RX weight being 75# and the scaled weight being 55#. So, there I was fretting over 20 pounds. Was this really taking over my mind and body? Why yes, it was. I felt sick. I wanted to do RX so bad because I didn’t want the others to think I was weak.

How totally ridiculous!

In the end I did the scaled WOD and, apparently, I killed it. I was able to complete 4 rounds and 22 reps in the 9 minute allotted time. If I would have attempted to do RX, I probably would have failed at my first round of Snatches and frustrated the hell out of myself… and flat out quit.

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As for the second part of the workout, I had 6 minutes to complete a one rep max Clean and Jerk. I knew that in the past I was able to do 95#, so, although I was not mentally sure I could do it today, that was my goal.

My plates kept getting stuck on the bar when I was trying to switch them out and my loud scream of “FUUUUUUUCK” could probably be heard for miles. And when time was called I leaned up against the wall, cradled my head in my arms and tears of anger filled my eyes. I was only able to do 85#.

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And as I reread that, the word “only” sticks out to me. Here in lies the problem…am I really criticizing the fact that today I could “only” pick up 85 pounds off the ground and throw it over my head? I compared myself to my peers who were lifting over 100 pounds and I got down on myself thinking I was so weak.

I want to turn this around and make it more of motivation to keep trying than a deterrent. At times I want to slap myself across the face to make myself wake up. There are people who can’t even get out of bed or walk out the door to do a workout even remotely close to what I did today. Hell, I was one of those people during the months of October through December of 2014.

Give credit where credit is due.

Sure, I have a long way to go, but I need to stop worrying about not being the best, and just try my best. And when my peers cheer me on and say that I “killed it”, I need to, and want to, believe that I actually did.

We need to break-up

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I have a very serious, unhealthy relationship in my life. I knew it all along, but this week it became painfully obvious. I need to find a way to break-up…with food.

I’m obsessed with it. It’s all I think about. It’s the only thing that is standing in the way of 100% success in my prep. I need to get a handle on it, or I will not be able to do my best on April 25.

And although I knew that food was an issue for me, truth be told, this true realization came during a very unfortunate experience. I had a cheat meal. An entire pizza. It’s not because I ate the pizza that made me realize this, it’s the fact that I ate the whole thing. It was almost like I stopped breathing. Nothing else mattered in the entire world. Just me, that cheese, the sauce, and the crispy crust. I had to have it. All of it. And nothing was going to stand in my way. Five minutes after my last slice, I was in the bathroom. My stomach was ripped apart because I was not used to eating this way anymore. I was miserable for the rest of the night as I made frequent trips to the bathroom. And in-between my tears, I realized that this could be avoided if I regained control of myself and ended this unhealthy obsession.

The most difficult thing is going to be during the three to four days that I have PMS. I turn to food because it tends to be the only thing that can calm me down. I’m lucky enough to be cramp free and pain-free during this time, and I don’t even have my period for very long…two to three days at the most. But the cravings and the emotions that I experience make me feel like a troll living under a bridge waiting for the next Billy Goat to cross over it so I can rip him apart with my teeth.

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I will have PMS two more times before my show. The second time will the week of my show. That will really prove how strong I am.

I’m going to do it.

I have to do it.

9 more weeks…

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We’re not in Kansas anymore…

I’ve reached the point in my prep where there’s no turning back…not only have I seen dramatic results, and told my entire family, but I have also finally picked my show date. April 25, 2015 is the big day!

I was encouraged and motivated when I took my progress photos. And even though I know I have a long way to go, I felt on top of the world knowing that my hard work was paying off. It gave me more confidence and when I stated practicing my posing, I felt sexy and as though I could rock that stage at any moment!

But, then it happened…I caught I cold. However, I pushed threw it and didn’t miss a workout or alter my meals and juuuuusssst as I started to feel better, I caught a stomach virus that lasted for two days. I couldn’t eat right, but pushed through my workouts anyway. Nothing was going to stand in the way of my goal! Well, I realized that I was not the one in charge here…because then, moments after my stomach regained its normal routine, my cold returned. This time worse than before.

This entire week has been a wash. My workouts suffered. My diet has been altered. And with only 8 weeks left to go, I fear that this setback will prevent me from being 100% ready.

So far this experience has been one of the biggest emotional rollercoasters I’ve ever been on. I go from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. And just when I thought I was on the up swing, I get hit with something completely out of my control. I just hope that the rest that I’m forcing myself to take will do the trick and that next week will be better.

A nice audible fart…

Following my run in with the Snickers on Friday, I proceeded to eat two donuts and an entire personal sized pizza. After which I cried my eyes out and fell asleep on my couch shortly after 6:30 p.m.

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When I saw my coach on Saturday morning, he knew something was wrong and after I fumbled my way through my workout, we had a long conversation where I admitted my food defeat and confessed that I didn’t think I was mentally strong enough to do this. Talking to him made me feel much better. It’s going to be a long journey. Not only do I need to get my body looking good enough to go on stage, I also need to get my mind right.

I’ve talked to a close friend who has been on this journey before. She has been a competitor for several years now and has done more than extremely well. She told me that no one mentions the meltdowns, the doubts, and the back tracks. What we hear about is the sweet taste of success once the chicken and broccoli has been consumed and the sweat has been wiped away.

When I think about it, I’ve only really been at it for sixteen days. Sixteen days. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not a long time. Sure, it feels long because I want to eat what I want to eat instead of sticking to my meal plan. And my muscles are sore allllll the time. But, is sixteen days really enough to change my body inside and out? Clearly not. It’s going to take a lot longer so I must be prepared.

On a lighter note, I cried like a little bitch during my workout yesterday. It’s been a long time since that has happened. My mind kept saying that I could keep going but my quads said otherwise.

Oh, and I farted during my ab workout. A nice audible fart. Twice. That was fun.

It was nice of the coach and my training partner to pretend they didn’t hear it.

Guess nobody mentions that either.

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Snickers really satisfies?

I’m eating a Snickers. Right now. This very minute. And as I take bite after bite and hear the crunch of my jaw I feel more and more guilty for doing so. I’m so mad at myself. I have no self-control.

I’ve been soooo very good for 10 days…so why ruin my hard work now? Welllll, becccccause…I’m grumpy. I’m cranky. I’m bloated. I’m tired. I’m stressed. I’m sore. I’m frustrated. I’m hungry. So, of course, the most sensible thing to do is to eat something full of carbs, salt and sugar. Makes complete sense, doesn’t it?

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Ugh. I regret it. If I’m going to cheat, I’d rather order a pizza and go for it. But, now, after eating that Snickers, I’m even more bloated than I was before I started shoving it in my mouth. Seriously, do my pants even fit right now? And, today was going to be my rest day, but now I think I need to go to the gym despite my sore and overly tired body and mind.

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I guess I have to prepare for days like these. I hardly slept last night. Bad dreams and stress about work kept me up. I trained with two other girls yesterday and I felt weaker and older than them and that does a number on my self-confidence. I got so frustrated this morning that I stood in my closet and started to cry because I felt like a giant, fat elephant. I’ve been beat up at work this week. And I’m beginning to wonder if I actually will see enough of a change in my body to actually succeed in this.

I realize that it’s only been 10 days, but I want results now. I want to be as fit as I think I am. But today I don’t feel like I am…and I don’t think I have what it takes to do this.

Changes in Latitudes. Changes in Attitudes.

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Today marks one week since I’ve started serious training and dieting towards my goal to compete in my first bikini competition. Quite honestly, I’m extremely impressed with myself. I have not once cheated, unless of course you count the apple I ate last Wednesday or the scoops of almond butter I had over the weekend. I haven’t had a pretzel in a week. Or pineapple (my faaaaavorite). Or wine. Or cheese. And trust me, I want pizza.

There have been plenty of times that I have wanted to cheat, but I’d only be cheating myself out of the money that I’ve already spent to hire a trainer and I’d be cheating myself out of my commitment. And that is, finally, enough for me to stay focused.

It wasn’t until yesterday that I started to notice a change in my stomach. Not only do I not have a constant bloated feeling, but it’s flatter and I can already see more definition. I suppose that, and my arms, will be the easiest, quickest places to see a change. My backside, however, will take a lot more time and effort. As will my inner and outer thighs.

When I think of how, just twenty days ago, I was a mess. How I was held captive by my emotions. How I was paralyzed by my personal situation. How I had no desire to live. How I felt I had no purpose. It’s amazing and I am relieved that I have found something that I can focus full force on. I have no time to be depressed. I have no one to worry about other than me.

This is taking time. This is taking discipline. This is taking dedication. This is proving to me that I can finally do something for myself. And I love it. My body is sore, everywhere. I’m tired. Oh, so tired. I’m overwhelmed by the food prep. I’m always doing dishes. It’s expensive. I’m hungry more often than I used to be. I have over cooked my rice and burnt my chicken (seriously, it could’ve been mistaken for sawdust when I finally managed to cut it open), but I ate it anyway. The workouts suck and are fun all at the same time. And… I. Am. Happy.

My First Crossfit-iversary!

I would always drive by local Crossfit gyms and marvel at what I saw. Strong, beautiful bodies picking mass amounts of weight. Climbing ropes. Swinging kettle bells. They had their own language. Their own lingo. They wore knee-high socks.

I tried a few different locations and was always intimidated. I didn’t know what it meant when I saw DU on the board. Or HSPU. And, I never felt comfortable enough to ask…paired with the fact that the coaches at these locations never bothered to explain properly or ask if I needed modifications. Plus, my squat form just plain sucked, so instead of embarrass myself, I’d just go back to the “regular” gym with the “regular” equipment that I was familiar and comfortable with.

At the end of 2013 however, I was at a turning point in my life…I could actually feel it at the time, but I didn’t truly realize how much my life was about to change. I was talking to a friend and she mentioned her Crossfit gym. I remember telling her that I wasn’t really interested because other places had given me a “bad taste” in my mouth. She assured me that it would not be the case here and offered me a free one month membership.

How could I pass that up?

A year ago today I walked into Crossfit Navigate and it literally changed every aspect of my life. Not only do I have a spectacular assortment of knee-high socks…I can now honestly say that I am an athlete. A year ago I couldn’t even jump rope. Honest to God. I looked like a Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail and I dorked it up even more by getting the rope caught in my pony tail nine times out of ten. Who does that? Most of my lack of ability came from the fact that I never, ever did anything remotely athletic in my life prior to the age of 25. Scary, I know.

It may not be a lot, but now I can do at least three double unders in a row…and, because I now know the lingo, I can confidently call them dubs. It took me almost a full year to accomplish that, but I did it. Not only that, but there are countless other things that I can do now that I never, ever thought I could do. And that is such an unbelievable feeling.

The past year has brought a ton of blood, sweat and lots of tears (and that’s not a compliant). I have met some of the most unbelievable people I could ever ask for. The support and the patience of the coaches and members are the biggest blessing in my life. When I have wanted to give up, they have lifted me up. When I have doubted, they have believed. When I have improved, they have given me recognition. I can not imagine a life without Crossfit or without the extraordinary friends that I have made there. Life isn’t always perfect or just the way you want it, but when you walk through those doors, the outside world doesn’t matter. It’s only you, your goals, and your dedication to be the best person that you can be.

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