fitness and nutrition

Another digit down

A while ago, I posted about a personal milestone…one that probably no one else has and, until that post, no one else knew about.  (Aren’t you all lucky?!)

This week I reached another milestone, one that is more widely shared among those who are watching their weight…this week I reached “one-derland.”  I dipped below 200 pounds for the first time in about 15 years.  I was newly married the last time there was a 1 at the beginning of my weight. Wow.

This is just another leg of a long long journey.  I’m still trying to figure out my health, my body, and how to get everything working at optimal levels.

Some would say that health is an everyday decision.  Ironically, one thing that has worked for me is trying to minimize the number of daily decisions I have to make.  How does that work, you ask?

Life can get complicated. Sometimes the level of decisions can be dizzying.  That’s why I make the same thing for all of my lunches and all of my breakfasts (see the pic for this week’s example). I make it all on Sunday, bring it to work Monday, and it’s done. Boring?  Maybe for some. But it just keeps it simple.  For me, these days, sometimes it is helpful not to have to think about every little decision. (And, then there’s fewer opportunities for me to make bad decisions, too!)

Should I go to the gym or not? Those decisions are also made on Sunday, when I map out my week.  If the answer can be yes, it will always be yes.  This one isn’t quite as easy to carry out anymore, though. My old routine of every day at 5:30 am was shifted this year.  It is a struggle to get to the gym in the afternoons after work.  There is interruption after change after unexpected wrinkle.  It is a fight.  I have to make it a priority, which means saying no to other things. But, I get there at least 5 days a week, if not six.  If I can possibly go,  I go. Even if I hate the workout.  Even if I don’t know if anyone else will be there.  I go.

Even with many of my decisions made, there are a lot of things that can still come up. I’ve had to learn how to deal with weekends, and how to try to plan for the unexpected.  I’ve had mixed success.  Bowls of tortilla chips are hard for me to resist.  So, I try to avoid Mexican restaurants completely if possible (sadly, since tacos are my favorite).  But, this past weekend I didn’t see the deliciously fresh fried pickles coming and let’s just say I didn’t deal with that decision well.  I am still learning.

So, I’ll celebrate this milestone then keep moving on to the next. I’ll keep figuring out how to make all this work, and try to make the most of the decisions I make, both in advance and in the moment.  Every good decision gets me closer to my goals.

fitness and nutrition

KT’s Week 11: Protein Power

Yes, I get it. OMG I really do get it!

Protein is power. Protein helps rebuild your muscles after a hard workout and protein is needed to lose weight. Duh! My coach has been telling me this all along with the protein factor she has put in my weekly numbers.  But, for whatever reason, I found some excuse not to hit my protein numbers time and time again. It only took me like six months to register this. This doesn’t actually surprise me since it took me almost nine months to buy in to macro counting after a friend shared her successes.

It seems so simple but yet it is really a hard task to consume a mountain of protein when you really want everything carb-related. What an irony, but your body actually feels better and not so sluggish when you have the right balance. I guess this is why I have a nutrition coach. Her job is to remind me what I already know and motivate me when I find a reason to not follow directions. In reflection, it’s the same reason I go to CrossFit to have a coach. One who pushes me outside my comfort zone. I think some forget those benefits when they face healthy living alone.

This week’s post is dedicated to protein and its power to fuel and rebuild my my body and muscles.

Chicken: eat more chicken! Chick-fil-A got it right and guess what? Their chicken nuggets fit nicely in my macros so I am a huge fan of chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A. I even get the fried ones since that fat evens out my numbers on the protein side. This chicken is just as much of a treat as a candy bar to me.

Shrimp: I like mine spicy. Not too spicy, just spicy enough and I can’t have it too much during the week or I will burn out so balance is key.

Tuna: I’m a pouch kind of tuna girl. Albacore white in water. But yeah, nothing great to say about this. It’s TUNA. And if you can stand the smell (or your breath after you eat it) then it’s helpful to your macros, but once every other week is enough for this chick.

Chicken: I’m back to chicken because you can eat it a million different ways and it’s different each time. But for this week I’ll talk about kabobs. Peppers, onions, zucchini and lots of chicken marinated in Italian dressing. Big yummo to me!

Hello, chicken again: rotisserie chicken flavored Boar’s Head deli meat. Yup, I said it. Sandwich meat. Not the processed nasty stuff that comes prepackaged. I’m talking about the freshly sliced deli meat, sliced thin so you can feel like you are eating more. If you haven’t tried it, it’s a good protein to eat. See my scale pic for this yummo. And I can add this to the end a day to top off my protein numbers.

Cheese: I eat a cheese stick almost daily. It hits my fat and my protein so it’s a double whammy. Warning: don’t eat too much cheese or you can get backed up. Yes backed up on the backend. Hope that gives you a giggle.

Yogurt has plenty of options and the Greek varieties are essential in planning a good day. Protein and a small amount of carbs and little or no fat. I stretched this week and bought some yogurt drinks in case I’m on the road again.

New week, same numbers. If it’s not broke don’t fix it! just need to keep nailing my protein digits. Scale is moving on down!

This week’s crisis came when MyFitnessPal crashed at dinner time. I had to take out pen and paper and do math to calculate my macros before my meal time. This is when preplanning your day comes in handy but for me I always wiggle some until the end of the day. This day was one of those days so yeah, I had a mild panic attack as did many others who couldn’t access their app. Epic tech fail Under Armour! I guess my premium service doesn’t get 100% uptime.

I rolled out of crisis mode one day and moved onto a big scale victory the next day. A milestone of some sort. No need to advertise the magic # but a mini celebration was had internally. Now it’s time to reset and realign. New goals to aim for as original goals are nearing and the bar must rise to stay chasing the the finish line.

In closing, I should not forget to post about this fun Friday fact: I opted to indulge in the Red Cup Friday offer at Starbucks this year. I got a holiday drink but not just any holiday drink. I got the Grande Carmel Brûlée Latte. All 400-plus calories loaded with about 70 carbs, 13 fat and 11 protein. What was the justification? The free red cup that I can use the rest of the season and put another skinny coffee in and imagine I am drinking the calorie and carb-loaded caramel brûlée. Don’t get me wrong, it was amazing. But, I suffered the rest of the day to stay within my macros so in the end it wasn’t worth it because I can have a skinny option of another drink to fuel my Starbucks addiction. This drink was to me what ice cream is to others. We all have moments of weakness we just need to find a healthy balance. For me this time around I opted for this holiday treat to reward myself for nothing particular. I sometimes do that to myself. But in reality thank goodness for Alex the macro barista who posts all the healthy ways to order your Starbucks coffee. He is a gem if you don’t follow him.

I guess self-pampering is a thing and as I reflect I think I am pretty good at it. #retailtherapy #hairandnails #shoesfordays #girlproblems #massages #girlstrips

Oh how I laugh out loud typing this! I commit to myself. I am accountable for myself and my progress or my demise. Just me! Don’t wait for someone to push you over the finish line. You have to do it for YOU.

I also did not touch, smell, unwrap or eat even one piece of Halloween candy this year so I won that holiday battle just a few days earlier. This blog captures the ups, the downs and everything in between on my journey to fab at fifty. Hope you embrace the knowledge, laugh at the hidden humor and celebrate with me virtually.

Until next time Turkeys! Happy November to my online peeps.

fitness and nutrition

Baby Steps and Big Jumps for Chick 2

Is there such a thing as a “traditional” or stereotypical CrossFitter? Maybe there’s an image in your head of what a CrossFit athlete looks like.  Muscular, slender, radiant (or rugged), ripped, youthful. (Hobbling, maybe).  You can tell who they are because they are always Talking About CrossFit.

If there is a stereotypical CrossFitter, I am NOT that.  I am heavier, older, basically an uncoordinated mess on most days. I do talk about CrossFit a lot, but that’s where the resemblance to that image stops.

I have a long road. Everyone starts somewhere, but many of the people at my box have some sort of sport or physical activity in their background. Swimming, gymnastics, dance, and so on. Not me. So I’m not getting back on the horse or the bike or whatever, but riding it for the first time. I’ve described CrossFit as finally getting to know my body after living in it for 45 years.

Between my lack of athletic background and various injuries, my workouts look different than most of the people I am in class with. I have been doing CrossFit regularly for 15 months and still do many / most workouts with some kind of scale and / or adaptation.  Thankfully we have great coaches who know me and help me continue to improve.

Here are some recent milestones that might be unimpressive for some, but were big deals for me.

A couple of weeks ago we had 1000 jump ropes in a single WOD. Five rounds, 200 in each round. Jump ropes are a struggle for me, both in coordination and breath control.  Lifting 200+ pounds off the ground that many times is a lot of physical and mental lifting. I was already preparing myself for failure, asking my coach what to do if I just couldn’t get the rope to cooperate. I had to complete it in in sets of 30 or 40, sometimes even 20.  But, I made it through it. I’ve never done that many in a single workout before! Celebration!

The second big milestone was burpee jumpovers.  Sometimes the workout calls for jumping over a barbell (with plates) or a box.  I always either step over the box or jump over a bar on the flat ground.  But, this time the WOD had dumbbell jump overs.  I was working out by myself and just went over to the little side area of the gym and gave it a try.  Ok, so it’s only like 6 inches off the ground, but it was still another mental and physical challenge.  So tiring! But I did about 50 of them (without falling) which felt like an amazing accomplishment.  (See pic below. Too tired to smile.)

My steps forward may be smaller than most.  There are movements that may take me many years to attempt, much less achieve.  But, I keep showing up and trying to get better each day.  It has given me new confidence. I’m not even afraid of sled pulls anymore! Or embarrassed by doing them in front of people in the parking lot!

I don’t think there’s such a thing as a stereotypical CrossFitter. It can work for anyone, and it’s big for someone like me to say that.  As time goes on, I’ve come to see myself as an athlete after all.

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Thanks, Mason Woodruff!

This post is an open thank you note…a tribute to Mason Woodruff of masonfit Mugs for Muscles / Stronger U Recipe Guru fame.  If you don’t know him and you are interested in fueling your body for performance or weight loss or just healthy deliciousness, you are in for a treat. As I’ve gone week after week through my first session of Stronger U, I’ve become more and more of a Mason Woodruff fan.

At first, even before I signed on to Stronger U, I would look at the recipes on the Stronger U Instagram feed and think they sounded soooooo strange.  Make your own chicken nuggets?  Protein boats?  Proats?  Pumpkin in chili?  Protein powder everywhere you turn, even in cupcakes?   What is all this stuff?  And who would want to make it, never mind eat it?

As I got further into understanding and counting macros (and forever chasing my daily protein goals), I decided to give some of the recipes try.  Now, 10 weeks in, Mason Woodruff is my go-to for macro-friendly recipes.  Since many in the Stronger U community are serving up Mason Woodruff recipes today for #SUFamilyDinner, I thought I’d highlight some of my favorites.

Entrees

First, Mike Nuggets.  An SU classic and staple in my lunches lately.  Simple.  I order the pretzel coating from amazon.  Huge protein boost.

My new favorite is his pepperoni chicken parmesan meatballs.  I have to be careful with these because I am losing carbs each week and these are super poppable.  I can quickly get out of control.  My solution right now is to make a batch of each on Sundays and have a couple of each kind at lunch each day.

The bacon cheeseburger brussels sprouts were tasty.  I love brussels and adore a burger.  But, for the most part I am meal prepping in advance and want something I can reheat throughout the week.  This didn’t hold up very well.  Best when fresh.

Soups

I pretty much love soup in the cold weather months.  Here are a couple I’ve tried so far:

Southwest Chicken Corn Chowder

I made this one in the crock pot.  My husband didn’t even notice the cauliflower and he really liked the soup (he refused to call it a chowder.  He’s a chef.)  It went quickly.

I liked Jalapeno Popper Bean Bacon soup. One of the things that amazed me was the use of fat free cream cheese.  The soup still tasted rich and creamy.  Has a few too many carbs for my numbers right now, but I’d make it again.

Treats

No Bake Fall Balls

Love the chocolate chips and the pumpkin, and they filled me up.  My daughters didn’t care for them.  They said they could taste the protein powder but I couldn’t.

Double Chocolate Pancake Poppers.

I brought these to the recent competition as a snack for the ladies and myself.  10 grams of protein with the help of protein powder and Kodiak Cakes pancake mix.  I liked them but wouldn’t eat them every day.  I did like how they didn’t weigh me down.  I was afraid they would be heavy.  I also need to budget more time to cool them off before dipping.

The Toughest (and maybe Tastiest) One So Far

Finally, a request from my friend KT, the Cheesy High Protein Taco Boats.  (Obviously I am not a food stylist but the taste is amazing.)

I had my eye on these for a while when she sent me the recipe.  It was the nudge I needed to try it.  One of my favorite things about Mason Woodruff’s recipes is the way he uses unexpected ingredients to make things luscious and satisfying.  Who would have thought to use fat free Greek yogurt and cheese powder to add just the right richness to  such a meaty filling?  Or Kodiak Cakes buttermilk pancake mix with (again) fat free Greek yogurt to make the boat?  It’s not really much to look at but with 50 – yes 50 (!?!?!) – grams of protein, this was great.  And, I didn’t get hungry for like 7 hours.  Amazing.  And tacos are my fave so….

What’s Next

I want to try the proats but at this point it works to keep my breakfast very simple.  High protein yogurt, berries, a sprinkle of protein cereal. Mornings are crazy with commuting and work.  But, maybe as a dessert treat.  Speaking of dessert, I also REALLY want to try the healthy banana cake.  Just looks dee-lish.  And then there are the healthy cheeseburger bites…And more. I also need a food processor and an air fryer! Thanks, Mason, and SU, for crave-able, makeable, macro-able meals!

fitness and nutrition

KT’s Week 10 or Weak 10?

It’s been a 10-week roller coaster ride already? Where does the time go?

As I rolled into week 10, I was exhausted from travel yet pumped for my competition. Adreneline won out for sure on Saturday morning but weakness set in by Sunday. Thank goodness for rest days.

Week 10 was a hot mess for me. I ate well and worked out consistently Monday through Wednesday, then I hit the road for a trip and packed and planned for eating healthy when I had access to my hotel stash.

Enter conference food. Breakfast was meh but lunches were high on carbs as far as choices go…well, high for carbs based on my eating plan. Then, flip to dinner and that’s a dine-on-your-own type of deal, but then you have peer pressure to try the local spots in groups. Enter butter, desserts, extra fat, more fat, extra calories that serve no purpose, and so on.

Fast forward to the scale. It is just not my friend today. Well, is it the scale’s fault or my lack of will power? Whatever the reason, the scale is up by week’s end. I am not a happy camper!

So much reflecting to do. Would have, could have. Should have. But yup, that time has come and gone and just as night turns into day I need to reset and move on. New day. New challenges await. New outlook. Reset. Repeat.

I shopped for groceries and everything fell into the clean eating category. Threw down the “no eating out” message to the fam for the week. See, anything is possible if you adjust your mindset.

On the flip side of the scale debacle, we didn’t finish first nor last in the competition. We finished about middle of the road. We didn’t quit and we endured some hard workouts. We pushed through soreness and we ate lots of bacon which always makes me happy.

We appeared to be one of the more vintage looking teams and that made us smile. Our sparkle-N-snatch shirts were a hit. We met some cute puppies looking to get adopted and we met some amazing people in between heats. Overall, it was an amazing experience.

Boom, there it is! Thunder I tell ya. My buddy Jim inked me as part of his #inktober illustration series. What an honor and privilege and it was just what I needed to reset my mind. A vantage point of me from another that I don’t see daily. A portrait of a strong and healthy badass chick. Yup, that’s me folks. Welcome to my world. Enjoy the glimpse into my world that I share in this blog. It’s only one tiny piece of me but one that is important for me to share.

Some may knock my motivational ways but others embrace it. Whatever category you fall into it’s okay with me. It takes all types to make up the world and I know I am an acquired taste. You might not have had enough of a taste of me to see how I sparkle in this world. Thank you, Jimmy. You put a smile on my face and you are incredibly talented. People please check out his art on instagram @jimgleeson. Of course, I am a little biased since he illustrated my first three books!

Midweek moves on to Halloween and how a little fun can improve your mindset. Wednesday Wisdom is don’t forget to have fun. Check out my Halloween pic from the start of this post. I am wearing my 13-year-old’s uniform so big score for Mom right there and boom! my 5am makeup was on point. Hope you all had some fun this week but didn’t eat too much candy. I skipped the Kit Kats, the Rolos, the dark chocolate, etc. I didn’t miss it.

I’m back to the grind of macro management as we approach the holidays and my travel demands increase on the work front. Discipline, dedication and consistency are the name of the game for me.

More trials and tribulations of KT to come. Keep following along and see where I end up next.

Adios for now.

featured, fitness and nutrition

KT’s Week 9: Competition Time

If you have been keeping up with my blog posts, I journal about events, adventures and my fit life chronicles. Boring to some yet entertaining to others.

For those of you who find my entries entertaining, you should note I am super competitive. I am competitive in sports, in business, and just about everything in life. It’s okay for others to win, but I compete to win whatever I set out to do for me. I may play the same game, compete in the same workout, or bid the same job, but I compete for me and that is a differentiator.

My goals may be different than yours. You may win the tennis match but my goal might have been to improve my serve or win a volley. I am still competing and I am still a winner but at my own inner game. I will never tell my goals to most as they are what I battle for internally. The internal game fuels my soul, but others don’t partake in that.

This week I am competing in a partner CrossFit event. In the spotlight of some sort. Seeking attention as some would say. Mid-life crisis to others and those who can’t endure will cast hate. I don’t expect to win my division but I expect to compete and put up my best performance in the assigned movements while being a good partner for my teammate. I will cheer her on when she needs it and I will strategize with her on movements, transitions, and working towards our strengths. I will wipe sweat, fuel my body, and push my limits mentally and physically for the duration of the event.

I will feel the rush of adrenaline. I will smile from ear to ear. I will show others that I can conquer what I set my mind to. I will celebrate my friendship with a friend I met at our box 2 years ago. A friend who is competing with me for the third time. She thinks we are craZy but she will sign up for another soon. I just know it!

And what brings her back for more? It has to be the team name. We are Sparkle and Snatch, the dynamic duo for this event. Last competition, Team Hot Mess. The 40-something chicks with sass and smarts. Full-time day jobs but a hunger to live life full of fitness and fun.

The big obstacle this week for me is physical health. Can I compete? Can I push through mentally and physically? Why the change in tone in my writing? I suffered a random injury this week. A calf pull – not during my tennis match, but after. I celebrated too early or had too much fun and *boom* I pulled my muscle skipping off the court. Who does that? This girl. It was a significant pull. One that left me limping to my car and tapped out for the rest of the tennis tournament.

This injury means rest, ice, recovery, some muscle scraping, taping, and some patience to see if I can bounce back to perform the required movements in the competition. If you think about it, your calf is vital to functions such as walking, running, jumping and so on. And of course the competition calls for those type of movements. #realworldproblems

What a crappy Monday! My coach took away more carbs…sigh. And of course she keeps that protein number up there in the sky where I have difficulty reaching it.

New week new digits:

115 carbs
57 fat
130 protein

Ah, trying new things to get to that dreaded protein number. Bacon? Yes, more bacon please. A side of protein chips compliments of Quest. At least they crunch like a regular chip.

While I focus on stepping up my protein game this week I am also focusing on not being in my feelings about my injury. A minor setback, yet a humbling experience. I’m still working out, just scaling some movements. I particularly made friends with the Ski Erg this week. It allowed me to work my upper body without engaging my calf. And I actually liked it. One of my gym buddies pushed me to do some GHDs and of course there was no excuse not to put in core work.

Nutrition this week is preparing my body for the competition that I am hopeful to attend. That’s all folks. Next update is next week. Don’t eat too many bon bons waiting for the next post.

#Sparkle-N-Snatch October 2018. Praying for the ability to compete. This is my goal at this point: to compete. That is my inner challenge that I don’t normally share. Will I overcome my obstacles?

Next competition is set for December 2018. Squad competition: Team is named All Jacked Up. Can’t wait to share that jacked up story with you and hopefully I won’t be injured. #athleteprobs

fitness and nutrition

KT’s Week 8: I Sweat Hearts

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I love to workout out and it shows in my sweat! Does anyone out there sweat hearts like me?

Not only do I sweat hearts but but I love my Saturday workouts with people I don’t get to see during the week due to busy hectic work schedules. My Crossfit community makes the stress of the week fade like a bad 80s outfit. It’s that simple.

After a nice morning workout I hit the road for a quick weekend trip. I planned ahead and packed my macro-friendly breakfast and healthy snacks for a day at the ball field. I had baggies full of chicken meat, P3 protein packs, microwavable protein-packed meals, sparkling Ice water, gummies, and a few other on the go snacks. I managed to eat out with friends but stay within my macros. I squeezed in a soft serve ice cream cone on my drive through North Carolina for a pick-me-up.

I had a sliver of time to hit up a local mall and *viola* I found my winter bathing suit. Well, it’s one I will use this winter for progress pics that will hopefully not fit when boating season arrives next spring. Making smart choices isn’t that hard if you plan ahead. Working hard isn’t so far fetched if you are working towards a goal. #goalgetter On a side note sitting in the car for a road trip was extra boring!

New week, new numbers to conquer. Just kidding! I have the same numbers.

130 protein
63 fat
120 carbs

This is my second week with these numbers and my body is reacting. Down a few pounds this week who hoo but more importantly I feel great and my stamina and gym performance isn’t faltering even with a calorie deficit.

I may end up liking burpees now. Is that even possible, to like doing burpees?

Heading out for some more travel over the next couple weeks so the big test is if I can manage my healthy lifestyle while bouncing from hotel to hotel and spending extended time in the seat of a car or a plane. Not to mention messing with my daily workout routine.

Until next post, toodles.