celebrations, family, Uncategorized

Isolated but Lucky

I’ve been in isolation for a while like most around the world. I get out for fresh air when it’s not raining. I’ve taken a bike ride with a friend with the 6-foot rule. I’ve spent some time with my family. I’ve adapted to my at home workouts. I’ve eaten more carbs than I probably should and so on.

There have been moments of annoyance but nothing that hasn’t been manageable. I’ve been able to celebrate my aging mom as she stays with me for some time during the pandemic. For this reason alone I can say I made epic memories during the pandemic. It may seem weird to some but I wouldn’t have had the time or opportunity to spend one-on-one time to this extent with my aging mom had the pandemic not surfaced. I’m sure that statement is offensive to some but it’s just my way of finding the sunshine in a shitty situation.

Whatever the reasons are that led to the timing, I am thankful. Many memories were made and I just got some quality time with her that I can be selfishly happy about. She may have preferred to be my dad’s side but he can’t have visitors currently so her being with family is the next best option. I got to celebrate three generations of baby girls:

As I mentioned previously my photo reel is real. It’s real important to me. It captures moments in time that will never be repeated. One day I won’t have that opportunity but today I do. 

That’s my daughter’s hair on my mom’s head as we facetime my mom’s great-grandchild to make her laugh. Taking advantage of time, technology and saving the memory.

Duck faces for relatives far away. My mom doesn’t even know how to operate a smart phone but she is willing to pose not knowing what I will do with the photos. I’m sure she gave me warnings but I probably didn’t heed the warnings.

As the world around us seems dark and dreary, find your sunshine. I’m sure it is around you. Maybe you need to look a little harder but I’m sure it is there.

Next week may bring different challenges as more and more shelter in place orders come down the pipe but for today we celebrate the moment as the world seems to change hourly these days.

Take the time to write a note to a friend or loved one. Pick up the phone and make that call. Color a picture for somebody in a local hospital. Use your idle time to benefit others in need.

Stay safe. Stay humble. Be kind.

 

balance, celebrations, Uncategorized

31 Days 2020 Style

Last year I blogged about my 31 days in January as it was the first month of my #1095days project. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary when I made the post, however I thought about how I needed to repeat this task each year to see how my life changed, if it changed at all. I made the calendar reminder and here we are with a post update. Here goes…

January just seems like the longest month ever generally speaking. During the month it may feel like a year has passed, but it is actually just one month. One single month of 31 days. Each day representing a day to make a difference in the world some way, somehow. Master planning for the year or recapping the previous year? Each year may be different based on environmental conditions and life in general, but the year always starts with 31 days in the month of January.

Over the past year my home environment changed. My workspace changed. I added a puppy to the mix which is close to resembling having a newborn in diapers. I adjusted to loved ones having health issues. I traveled to new places. I lived life, basically. I had no regrets.

Add the cold and chilling January weather, rain, rain and more rain and that equates to another whole level of awful. Sprinkle on a busy schedule and those 31 days were gone before you know it. Or maybe the 31 days go fast because I am always waiting for February to arrive. February is my birth month. I am always looking forward to February. Once February comes and goes it’s time to think warm weather, sunshine and vacations on the horizon or maybe it is just because the chill in the air is starting to depart.

Just as I did last year, this is a memory tracker where I write down 31 significant or interesting things that transpired in my life in January. May be boring to some but it’s part of my story. 10 years from now, I may not be around. If for some reason I am not around, my loved ones can see how my life view was in this snapshot of time. That is a pretty cool time capsule, if you ask me. Here is my 31-day reflection to start this month with a bang.

1. I attended a vision board party. This was a blast and I recommend it every January.
2. I completed a weighted CrossFit workout with my friend again. We now have an annual event!
3. I got tattooed. I didn’t even realize it was an annual thing until I did this exercise!
4. I booked travel to seven different states, all for different reasons.
5. I toured an assisted living facility. This was an experience in itself.

6. I wrapped up a coaching session with an awesome millennial. She is ready to soar on her own.
7. I gained weighed and lost weight. This surely hasn’t changed year to year.
8. I tracked my nutrition consistently. This may be a reset for many this time of year.
9. I worked on my 2020 goals like a boss. I have some lofty goals this year.
10. I rode my bike 20 miles in one ride to celebrate 2020.
11. I worked out on a Sunday at 5am with crazy friends.
12. I worked on taxes for multiple entities which is so boring, but I am ahead of past years.
13. I organized a large event and it went off without a glitch.
14. I signed up for a mud run and 10k race out of state.
15. I took a jump rope class.
16. I managed a concrete expansion project at a property I own.
17. I got a massage which I guess I did last year. Self-care matters.
18. I spent time with family and friends. This hasn’t changed since last year.
19. I made kale soup for the first time. This was so good.
20. I coached lacrosse. Watching my team grow is amazing but this is my last year coaching!
21. I took on more responsibilities on the work front. I just volunteer too much.
22. I cheered my daughter on during basketball games.
23. I dealt with a tenant full of excuses for this, that and the other.
24. I got to dress shop with my daughter for her first big dance event.
25. I got my hair cut. I did this last year, too.
26. I had a water leak at a property I own. This was not fun. It was expensive though.
27. I shopped on Amazon a little bit, but maybe not as much as last year.
28. I shopped local as well and this is a big goal for me in 2020.
29. I blogged. I blogged a lot more than last year.
30. I solidified a sale of a house. No more expensive storage space.
31. I planned for some upcoming challenges on the horizon. Fingers crossed all goes well.

2020 was the start of a new year, a new beginning mixed with new friends and old friends. It’s funny when you look at who is around your circle, who has passed by, who is excluded and who you are feeling lucky to have welcomed into your circle. I am thankful for opportunities on the horizon and at peace with all that is part of my history aka the past.

Last year I wrote: Even when life tosses you to the wolves, we are still empowered to find our inner sunshine and really just seize the day, the week, the month. I can safely say I feel the exact today as I did a year ago in relation to this statement. Each day is a new page in my story book. It could be a day of adventure or a day of emotional highs and lows. No matter how my day flows, I get back up and start again the next day looking for sunshine. Coincidentally, today I get a message from my friend stating: Love you and all the sunshine you bring to my life…. As you read future posts you will often see why the word sunshine is so meaningful to me. #buddy

In 2019, I wrote: Keep on keeping on and take a moment to reflect on your January. If you had only one day left on earth what would you do with your day? This rings a bell to me since I put out a 2020 challenge to my readers regarding what will you do with an hour a day. Funny how life circles around.

This year I will sign off with, Happy Birth Month to ME. Looking forward to this time next year when I review my 31 days again. I love new traditions. I wonder if I will have another tattoo in January of 2021?

 

 

anonymous letters, Uncategorized

What’s That Stink?

Okay, a little dose of reality for you.

I’m sitting at a basketball game cheering on my kid. The game is being played at the local high school gymnasium. I sit in the bleachers with other parents and general spectators. It’s large, airy, open gym with high ceilings so you don’t have any lingering sweat or feet smells. It’s generally just fresh air circulating. Some attendees I know. Some I don’t.

Then all of a sudden it hits me out of nowhere. It’s a big stink. It lingers. It’s foul. Not like a dirty diaper but a stinky fart smell. I shrug and say to myself somebody is just nasty. A few minutes go by and boom it happens again.

It’s equally foul but may linger a bit longer. Hang time on point for that mystery farter! This time I look to my left and say is that you? The girl says no, is it you? Hell no, it’s not me! We conclude somebody is nasty around us and go back to watching the game.

And then it happens again. This time it’s the stench that makes your eyes water and we immediately and collectively put up our shirt to our mouth and nose to cover the nasty scent that is almost smoldering around us. We look around and mount suspicions.

To our right we notice another lady sitting close to a man covering her face. Was it her or was it the guy? We really don’t know but she leaves abruptly a few minutes later. Was it to check her drawers?

We also question if she ran off because she had to go shit herself in the proper place, the bathroom, or was she escaping from the guy that was sitting by her dropping silent but deadly farts?

We make eye contact with the guy. And he starts laughing. We start laughing and confirm you smell that over there too. Is it him and did he drive her off? It’s such a mystery. Who is the nasty one?

We will never know for sure but who in the heck goes to a kids basketball and repeatedly lets silent-but-ever-so-dangerous farts loose multiple times and stays to watch the game as if nothing is the matter?

In light of the crazy stink in my day, I giggled and reflected on my first book and one page in particular (the poop page) pictured above. Oh how this page makes me giggle about as much as poop, poop sounds in a public bathroom stall, poop stains in a commode and farts in general. Why?

Simply stated, girls don’t normally talk about it. You know poop. Shit. Caca. Dookie. The whole nine yards. It’s not politically correct and it also bothers my co-author. To the point we fought over inclusion of this page in our first book. The irony of which is, it’s one of the most liked pages! Check out The End for yourself and see what all the poop is about.

And while you at it, give this post a like if it made you giggle. I would like to see how
much my readers like a good laugh.

Now back to the story….How about some common decency for the others sharing the common air space in the gym? I obviously lived to tell about this story but I had to immediately change my clothes when I got home just in case the stink was lodged in my clothes. It was really so bad that spraying Lysol or perfume in the general vicinity would not have saved the day.

I will be sitting alone next week for sure. Until next time, smell ya later!

fitness and nutrition, Uncategorized

19.1 Got Me

 

Well this year the anticipation of 19.1 got me. Anxious, nervous, tummy all wound up in a ball. What are the movements going to be? The texts and chatter started early in the days approaching the launch of the CrossFit OPEN with close box friends. All while most in my life outside the box have no clue what the OPEN is!

Thursday arrives. I actually watch the release in French. It was weird but I watched it before seeing the English version. I thought about it and said, “well I can do those movements RX.” Small celebration that I wouldn’t be stalled at rep one on the first workout. Woo hooo.

Friday morning is here. I have the the nervous jitters. I am not sure why since I am just competing with myself but it’s still a competition within myself so the adrenaline is there for sure. Like I’m ready to start a new job or meet a new client.  Just the pregame jitters, I suppose.

I am such the sweatball at the gym on any given day (tmi). I think I’ve posted multiple times about sweating hearts but generally speaking, I sweat. That makes the decision of shorts or leggings super important on this WOD or I will roast myself in 15 minutes going hard. Shorts win. Booty shorts that show my jiggle rolls and thunder thighs. Oh well, I feel bad for those around me!

I’m at a new box this year so I don’t know what to expect from the OPEN at the box or how Friday Night Lights will work. Early in the morning, girls are in Heat 1, boys in Heat 2. I normally like to watch first but this year I said “here goes nothing” and saddled up.  “Just do what you can,” I told myself. One rep at a time.

214 reps and I was done. Into round 6, 19 wall balls and 5 calories on the row. It was near death at points and my face was definitely five new shades of red! Not too bad on the performance side, but I think I could have done better. The fatigue hits you quickly but the recovery is quick as well. I wasted a few seconds in the latter rounds getting chalk for my sweaty hands. That could have been the difference in a few more reps.

Now the decision is: do I redo 19.1 before Monday? Will I be recovered? Would my redo yield better results? Will I be mad if I fall short the second time around? So many questions, but no real answers. I have until Monday to decide. Tick tock…

I’m so impatient! It’s Sunday and some people are redoing the WOD so I jump in mid-afternoon. No real game plan just gonna do it again, go hard and try to beat my first showing. I have Damien pushing me this time around and he doesn’t let me up for air. He helps me break up my wall balls:  unbroken, 10/9, 7/7/5, 6/6/7, until the end when it was more like 5/4/4/3/2/1.

I desperately wanted to know if my pace was on track to beat my score but my scorer just told me to keep pushing. I ended up beating my score by a decent amount because he kept me at bay. Had I known I hit my goal of 228 in round 2 I would have eased up. I ended up at 257, blowing away my goal with a couple of minutes to spare. I’m pooped but I conquered. I also learned a lesson about pushing until the race is over. Don’t stop when you see the finish line.  Run straight through and catch your breath later.  If you compare the end result of first attempt and second I look equally pitiful (see pics below). #spent #redface  19.1 is in the books for this girl. 4-7 never felt so good. Determined to be a better version of me each day as I compete in life. So glad I pushed on to try a second attempt.  #hwpo

As I was reflecting on my 19.1 blog post, I figured I would write a quick post about my why.  Why do I write about fitness or my health journey or all the time in the gym?  The answer is complex yet simple.  One person reading this can be inspired.  One person could get off the couch and get moving because they feel like they can do it, too.  One person can make a difference.  I know this because my storytelling has impacted others.  If you read this blog and give me an eye roll for another fit story, I challenge you to think about what you did today or this week.  My hard work pays off in dividends throughout the many areas of my life.  My story matters and so does yours.  Start living your story!

Until 19.2 peeps…

Photo creds for my clean, crisp shots go to the one and only Milagros. More to follow as she captures my moments this year in the OPEN.  Follow her (and us!) on Instagram.

fitness and nutrition, Uncategorized

KT’s Week 12: Weekends are Not for the Weak at Heart

This week I was going to talk about booty gains but decided to push that to another week because I just wasn’t feeling the post after I started it.

Why wasn’t I feeling it? Because I had a craptastic weekend. I had worked my ass off all week to hit my numbers and Friday night came. I was in a situation where there was no water available. Sounds so simple and I will learn to keep extra water in my car but yeah I was in an environment that didn’t have water and I was thirsty. Not a good position late in the day when you already planned your day of macros. Juice and soda doesn’t normally fit in my macros. Did I mention who doesn’t offer water at a concession stand? Fail #1.

Update: I had another busy weekend before I posted this blog and to let you know I learned but failed again! I packed my extra water this time when I hit the road and some good snacks and then left it in my car. I guess the take away is practice makes perfect. Two Fridays in a row I struggled with hydration on the move with last minute plans.

Move on to Saturday and the conflict of eating out and having to guess on some numbers at a restaurant. It’s just not the same as home and measurements. This can cause a ton of stress if you are really focused on working your plan. Yes I fall into this category! Missed opportunity #2. #lackofplanning

Update: spontaneous decisions get me all the time! Yup, I went to breakfast and planned and used a good portion of my macros but in a healthy way. Somebody picked up my table’s tab as a random act of kindness. Double yeah on the morning. Then I was off to adventure unexpectedly the rest of the day. Guess what? I left my water in my car again. #epicfailagain but I did have access to a convenience store so crisis was averted. Managed to eat some Chick-fil-a nuggets on the move for some protein and fat. But again, not the same as home. Big takeaway on this post is I still have a ton of work to do on the weekends so I don’t kill all my progress from the week.

Then, fast forward to Sunday and my kid makes breakfast for the family that included cinnamon buns, bacon, toast, eggs, all of which are high in fat. If I would choose one of these as a treat I could, but not all at once, in the same day, in the same meal. Ugh on so many emotions at one meal and how not to hurt anyone’s feelings. And, this type of eating can make you lazy the rest of the day! #realworldchallenges #foodprobs

Update: I am posting this now before I have to admit another failure, bump in the road, struggle or excuse.

As I sigh, this post is about how to eat or choose healthy when your environmental conditions may challenge you or throw you curve balls. This is life and it’s a delicate balance. If I was a weight lifting competitor in training would others understand my need to eat clean? Would my friends think I am less neurotic? I don’t have the answers but I will tell you it’s a struggle. Don’t offer me desserts. Don’t give me chocolate. Don’t tempt me. Support me.

For instance, if somebody offers you a gummy bear that can blow your carb numbers, just say no. If somebody offers you a cocktail, just say no. If you will feel guilty later, it is not a good choice. It’s more likely that you will have to decline a sweet of some kind because I can’t remember the last time somebody said “Hey Karen, do you want 4 ounces of chicken or shrimp?” It’s pretty random and funny when you think about it. Same goes for vegans. How many people don’t get that lifestyle? Ignorance is all around us.

Also, many will say let’s go to McDonald’s, grab a pizza, or grab a coffee or a sugar-infused drink vs. let’s go and drink green smoothies. Just learning to maneuver life’s challenges each day and each week is full of emotions and why many gain weight back after making progress. Hoping that I don’t fall into that same slump and why I have my goals set over time so that if I struggle at any one point I can readjust as needed to conquer my long term goals. Fab at 50 is the master plan and you all have a front row seat in my journey.

Every weekend is more challenging than the weekdays. More time on the go. More family or friend events. More socializing. Just more chances to make bad choices. During the week I am more routine and regimented, making macro mastering so much easier.

In the coming weeks I am rededicating myself to following my plan of nutrition while stepping up my fitness regimen to prepare for the approaching holidays and temptations because I know I am not perfect and will opt for that cheesecake at some point. Kickstarting a burner program post workout and stepping up my macro game is on my agenda. I added #saturdaysprints yesterday but only because the weather was cooperating.

I am also spending time thinking about Thanksgiving. Need to get my workout in that day and need to plan an activity after the food festivities. Thanksgiving is lots of food so it’s important to include healthy options. Time to get cracking on a healthy menu. I will also be focusing on some random acts of kindness around Thanksgiving. I hope this post inspires you to give your time or something to somebody in need.

In closing, when I started this fitness/nutrition blog series I committed to a weekly update, but then extended my nutrition coach time to 6 months instead of the original 12 weeks. I get bored easily so I probably won’t write each week moving forward but I will catch you up on my progress here and there over the next several weeks. Stay tuned on this topic but jump on over to some of the other areas the Chicks write about. You might find a nugget of information you like elsewhere on the blog site. And who knows? Maybe my hitting pause will motivate my co-author Beth to share some more of her amazing stories on here.

Chick 1 and Chick 2 are always cooking stuff up (aka working on writing). Just stay tuned for whatever strikes our fancy to write about as we prepare to release our next book.

Remember to have fun in your day. Smiles are contagious and good for the soul. I hope my silly pics along the way give you some giggles.

Happy holidays to all in advance and remember to plan and prepare for temptations. Can’t wait to see what 2019 brings me.  I may even have a goals blog for 2019, if I dare to be different. Maybe those abs I asked Santa for will let me start the year with a half of two pack, if that is even possible!

Uncategorized

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!