hustle

31 Days

31 days have come and gone in January 2019. I already feel like it was 365 days. Crazy I know.

January just seems like the longest month ever. Add the cold and that equates to another whole level of awful. Or maybe January just seems so long because I am always waiting for February to arrive. Once February comes and goes it’s time to think warm weather, sunshine and vacations on the horizon.

As a memory tracker I decided to write down 31 significant or interesting things that transpired in my life in January. Here is my 31-day reflection to start this month with a bang.

1. I survived a high speed car crash.
2. I completed my first weighted CrossFit workout.
3. I got a tattoo.
4. I drove 4 different rental cars within 5 days for stupid and annoying reasons.
5. I drove from Boston to Atlanta in under 19 hours as a solo driver.
6. I had a career change.
7. I gained weighed and lost weight.
8. I tracked my food journal every day.
9. I did manual labor work a few days.
10. I ate chowda while traveling.
11. I went ice skating.
12. I started a push-up challenge for 30 days.
13. I joined a coed spring softball team.
14. I signed up for the CrossFit open 2019.
15. I took an Olympic lifting class during the month.
16. I used “WTF” notes for various events in which WTF applied.
17. I shoveled snow.
18. I spent time with family and friends.
19. I flew on a plane.
20. I made new friends.
21. I tried new foods.
22. I cheered my daughter on during basketball games.
23. I ate out with all my boys this month despite everyone’s crazy schedules.
24. I dealt with drama full days.
25. I got a hair cut.
26. I got a massage.
27. I went to the doctor.
28. I didn’t have any alcohol.
29. I blogged.
30. I got some new shoes.
31. I completed tax checklist items.

As I look back on the month, I can safely say it was busy. In addition the time had many ups downs and everything in between.

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.

Don’t ever let one negative take away all your positive mojo. We are each capable of defining our own path to success. We decide for ourselves. We put the work in to reap the benefits.

Keep on keeping on and take a moment to reflect on your January. Did you make the most of it? If you had a “do over” button, what would be different? If you had only one day left on earth what would you do with your day?

Spend some time thinking about what you can do or can’t do. Remember all can change in the blink of an eye so savor every moment and don’t wait for life to pass you by. No adventures happen while you are sitting still.

Happy February all. It’s my birth month and I accept gifts and celebrate all month long. Every day. All day. Happy b-day month to me!!!

I cant wait to see what my 47th birthday month has in store for me. Counting my blessings and anticipating life challenges along the way. No day is perfect but I’m going to tackle each day with enthusiasm.

fitness and nutrition

Strengthening My Patience Muscles

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I’ve had a setback.  An injury.  My lower back flared up on Sunday. I was just sitting in a chair and turned the wrong way, I suppose.

It is the same area where I’ve had pain before.  I dropped everything and laid down.  Heat, cold, Advil, rest, rest, repeat.

I know tons of people think CrossFit is dangerous.  But, in case you are tempted to comment with an “I told you so,” I’ll just point out that it is much more dangerous to be sedentary.  My form could always be better, no matter how hard my coaches work to improve me.  Perhaps I’ve gotten overconfident while trying to increase my weights.  I still stay away from barbells for the most part, but I have been pushing myself on dumbbells.  Who knows.  I am still learning.

If you speak to even the fittest people at my gym, many have injury stories.  That may be just athletes in general.  It’s part of the process.  Of having a body.

So, I’m back to basics.  Just walking.  Trying to move.  I made it to the gym once to get on the air runner (to walk) and rode some meters on the bike erg.  It was good to see people even though I couldn’t do the workout. But for the most part I am just walking at the park, solo. I have to say, it’s pretty boring and hard to find motivation to cover any serious distance.  I miss the box. Some of the joy is in the camaraderie. It’s hard to believe I used to do this kind of solo walk / running every day.  I can’t imagine that now, although a fair amount of solo exercise is in my near future.

It is very hard to be patient. My patience muscles are some of my weakest. It’s especially challenging to wait on an injury you can’t see. No timeline. No visible progress. Just waiting.

I’ll be core strengthening and stretching more, too.  Again, weak muscles. A different kind of discipline.

So, for now, I’m bundling up. Putting one foot in front of the other. Up a hill and down then up again.

anonymous letters, perspective

People Watching

I have always been a people watcher. People are fascinating to me in many ways.

How we communicate: body language, facial expressions, tones of voice and so much more. They all strike my fancy.

If I am on a stationary bike at the gym, I am silently observing, thinking: what does this person do for work? Do they have a family? How many days do they train to have abs of steel? The list goes on and on.

Now change the scenery to Walmart. There are not enough words to describe the diversity in Walmart. From the staff to the clientele. There is always such a broad range. Why would she wear that in public? Does anyone smell my gym sweat and wonder why I am out in public smelling so bad? My, how you see parents who get controlled or swindled by their kids in the toy department. Then there are the attention-seeking kids who frazzle their parents last nerve until they blow a gasket. It’s all entertainment if you soak it all up.

This week my adventures took me to the airport. This is another favorite people-watching palace. I get the business folks. They keep to themselves but it’s great to see their fashion and their multitasking with the cell phones and laptops in between flights. You have the vacationers: the young, the old, the groups, the families, and more. They all are recapping memories. Smiling for some, arguing for others. But the various interactions are stimulating for someone like me.

Move on to the plane. What a weird place. You sit on top of perfect strangers on most flights. The air is dry. The smell is varied. The germs are plentiful. On this recent flight I had what I would sum up as a lifetime smoker who picked up a bad cough on his trip sitting behind me. He coughed the whole flight. He had no limit of coughing into his sleeve, causing germs to go airborne, literally. Talk about the eww factor.

Ahh…then the transport to the rental car hub. Most are tired and cranky from travel and patience is limited. Enter long lines to get your car. Oh, how one person’s checkout is like a Jerry Springer episode. People should always treat others they way they want to be treated. Most angry customers forget the clerk at the counter is a low man on the totem pole just doing their job. We should all think about making that workers day not pissing in their Cheerios. Choose kind. You will inevitably get better service!

And I almost forgot the parking lot. The paid parking lot at the airport on a holiday weekend that said “spaces available.” Well, the dude on the bike with a flag checking availability must have been on break because there were no spots. Tick-tock, I am going to miss my flight and so are the other frantic drivers in the lot. A few near-accident misses from other cars darting for the one open space 10 other cars want.

It’s my lucky day! I found a lady going to her car. I stalked her. For real! She pulls out of the tiny spot. Am I going to fit? Uggh. Yes, but by a hair. My passenger must climb through my driver’s side. I take a step back and I have an extra large SUV on each side in what appears to be compact-sized spaces.

I leave a note for the person. Please don’t hit my car! I guess I will find out when I return. Did I mention my note was in the form of a sticky note I had in my car? Well, it wasn’t an ordinary sticky note. It said WTF on the top. The notepad was a gift from a friend a while back….bet they didn’t know how it would be used. The Mary Kay big-wig in her pinkish Escalade who receives the note is going be angry when she gets back to her car. I am hopeful my flight returns before hers.

These are just a glimpse of my recent people-watching adventures. I people watch each day. I learn. I observe. I grow. I meet new people along the way. I embrace other people and their quirkiness.

l love to hear from our readers near and far. Send me a note or comment below on some of your most memorable people watching episodes. I spared you the booger picking and camel toe stories in my past but I love a good story so send me yours.

perspective

Ch-Ch-Changes: Chick 2’s 2018 Recap Post

2018. A year of change.

Here’s a recap of Chick 2’s year…one with much more change than usual.

Since I mentioned working on my weight a while back, here’s the 2018 tally.

Started a challenge on January 15 at 243.2 pounds.

Final weigh in of the year: 193.6 pounds. Total loss for the year (minus the first couple of weeks, which I gorged myself knowing that diets were on the horizon): 49.6 pounds. I did a series of eating plans, including keto, modified paleo, and now I am working with Stronger U Nutrition. Each has their benefits and drawbacks, but right now I am primarily learning to pay close attention to what I eat and portion sizes. All the changes have helped me grow (and shrink!)

Pics above are February to December. Do you see a difference?

My major life change was moving schools. I worked at my previous school for 5 years. It was a great situation with many beloved co-workers. No school is perfect (since there are humans involved and humans are notoriously messy), but I had a lot of freedom and trust.

Still, for several reasons, the time was right to switch. It would be a better opportunity for my daughter and bring on new challenges for me.  The jury is still out on this life change…it’s been a tougher adjustment for both of us than I had anticipated, but I am still hopeful that it will work out.  (And if it doesn’t, or even if it does, lessons!) Pic below is me getting ready to host the governor’s wife in my library this fall.

My older daughter left the nest to live on her own.  It has been a Proud Mom Moment to see her work hard, scrimp, and come to a new appreciation of life’s challenges and earnings.  She puts in a lot of effort to maintain her independence.  She embraces her strength, uses her smarts, and works at her health.

I’d be leaving out a big part of my life this year if I didn’t mention my fitness family.  I spent a lot of my time this year sweating out stress while smiling at CrossFit Pure.  It was time for a change late in the year, so I’m happy to now call CrossFit Faded Glory my gym home. You’ll definitely hear much more about this amazing place in future posts.

I have worked through some setbacks with injuries, but I still stay as consistent as I can.  I know that my diet is the major part of my weight change, but CrossFit has changed my body shape as well as my confidence level.  It’s a journey I hope to continue.  Deepest thanks to all of my coaches and “classmates” (co-sufferers / co-crazies) who keep me going (in mostly the right direction) each day!

Goal post coming soon.  Until then, thanks to 2018 for all the lessons.  Welcome 2019 and more changes for the better!

dare to be different, fitness and nutrition

It’s A Wrap

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Change is in the air for me, Chick 1. As most are looking at wrapping up holiday gifts, I am looking at unwrapping new opportunities just in time for the new year. Meticulous planning, strategically aligning resources and of course, the fostering of key relationships are all part of the process of building a solid foundation as my dreams become reality.

This process is not new to me. I have been chipping away at my plan while working full time, managing my busy family, and investing in me, each of which can be daunting in itself. Part of my dream includes writing and sharing stories with the world. They may not always be my stories, but as a storyteller I thought it was important to share a piece of me with my blooming audience. I initially set a goal and I worked towards that goal on my own terms and I reworked and adjusted my goals on a frequent basis to align with variables that pop up here and there, basically bending and flexing with what we all call life. This process repeats many times.

As I contemplated when to make the next chess move in my life, environmental challenges gave me an opportunity. This opportunity led me to make a career change at the end of September 2018 that some may say is a mistake or emotional decision. A mistake for some is an opportunity for others and frankly others have opinions and such opinions don’t drive my actions.

For me, my change is 100% about me, my short-term and long-term goals, and objectives. The road I chose is not an easy one and I am well aware of that.  I will have struggles along the way but that won’t dull my shine; rather it will fuel my fire.

Tackling a new challenge at work, at home, or in the gym is something I embrace and commit 100% to all day everyday. I almost love it when somebody says you can’t, you shouldn’t or don’t! In most instances my inner badass will trigger itself and say hmmm…WATCH ME! I write my own stories. I chart my own path. I define my own successes as well as my failures. I don’t wait for a boss to define or quantify my value. I set my own value. Perception vs. reality maybe, but I decide. Each day I look to inspire others along the way in any way I can and I always stay humble. I look to see value in others and share that openly.

This week, I heard my daughter make a statement that will inspire me for years to come. “You are high maintenance,” said one family member to my daughter at Thanksgiving dinner. Her response was not only timely but definitive: “You must be mistaken. I am not high maintenance, I am high quality!” Oh, how I love that girl and her wit. Her ability to respond positively on the spot to comments that could be construed as negative was amazing. Her brilliant mind at work. My prodigy.

Modeling for my daughter is one of my biggest challenges and joys. My risk- taking and leadership style shows her how to be confident and inspiring in her own special way. My strength and perseverance show her how to work hard for what she wants. My individuality teaches her how to be comfortable in her own skin. Watching her grow as a student, an athlete, and friend also fuels my passion to live my journey to success and show others there is no required path that one needs to take to be successful.

As as I have been adjusting to my new normal work/life balance, I have been growing as a person. When one part of your life is going well normally other parts of your life will be influenced and reflect positively. Same goes for surrounding yourself with those who make you work harder and aim higher. As I always say, success breeds success and surrounding yourself with a positive tribe/community is paramount in many ways.

Remember, most won’t accept the challenge of changing their surroundings because of the fear of the unknown. Embracing change takes courage, confidence, and a positive attitude. I know many in my inner circle who struggle with change. I seem to be the exact opposite. I would rather try something new and find I don’t like it rather than not try at all and wonder could I, should I, would I? At some point in one’s life everyone has the opportunity to wake up and smell the roses. But most may miss that opportunity, not me!

The next nail biter took place this week. I changed my gym/box environment. I loved my box, my community, and had great success physically while committing several years to the program. I decided I was ready for a new challenge, a new environment, and a new set of goals. Boom! I moved, just like that. I did a free trial with the intent of moving in January but then it happened. I knew after the first workout this was my new place to grow physically, mentally and potentially emotionally. Without hesitation I made the move. Why put off to January what I could do today? Why wait? If I knew I would progress why delay my start?

In my first few days, I had the courage to conquer new moves that I may have bypassed while in my old gym/comfort zone. How telling is that? I completed not only my first devil press in a WOD, but I did every one of the 80 in that workout. Another day I stretched my ability to complete pistols, multiple times. Finally, I completed a 40-minute grueling workout that tested my ability to push myself and maintain consistency and breath control. Just these few moments solidified my choice to move on. Not to mention I met several new friendly faces, all from different backgrounds and occupations but all living a fit and pure life through CrossFit.

This change also confirmed that the best is yet to come in so many areas of my life. Areas I may not have seen if I didn’t leave my comfortable box. And the box I am referring to is the boundary we set for ourself, not my CrossFit box. We all have a box or set of boundaries of some sort. Some hover at the edge of the box, others find peace dead smack in the middle of the box. Those are not your risk takers.

As I write this blog, I am one week into my new fitness routine and eight weeks into my work/career transition. No day is easy and I am actually juggling more during my transition than I will be come 1/1/19 but I am enjoying the ride I am on. My mind is stimulated and my body is ready for the physical challenge thanks to my daily fitness routine. #ktisonthemove

Stay tuned as I update my change progress in the new year. 2019 is a blank slate for me. What story will I write? What adventures will I tackle? What new friends will I make? #kt2019

Feeling thankful, grateful and positive as I wrap up this Thanksgiving holiday surrounded by friends, family and loved ones.

Thank you for following my blog. I am grateful for all who take the time to comment, like, or message words of encouragement. You are part of my online journey. You are part of my tribe/community. Virtual maybe, but connected nonetheless. When I see my stories reach other countries I just grin ear to ear.

Hugs to all my virtual connections.

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

KT’s Week 8: I Sweat Hearts

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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.