fitness and nutrition

Grinding Out the Meters (and Dancing)

You wake up on Saturday, and see a workout like this:

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500+ meter run

25 alternating dumbbell snatch (so 50, really…)

25 calorie row

2,500 meter bike

30 alternating dumbbell snatch (yup, 60…)

30 calorie row

3,000 meter bike

35 alternating dumbbell snatch (you guessed it, 70…sigh…)

35 calorie row

3,500 meter bike

10 heavy ball over shoulder

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What do you do?  Some people get up and do it anyway.  Some people just stay home.

There are definitely days when I don’t feel like doing it, but I do it anyway and find my groove as I go along.  I am off my game if I don’t get there.

I will say, though, that I didn’t dread this workout too too much. Most of it is bike, and bike is my jam. I’m better at sprints than long distance, but I can still push through long meters pretty well.  It is not a slog, as it is for many.  Just like there are people who fly through burpees or running, when I am just trying to keep moving, slow as I am. Ever since I met the bike, we get along (most days).

This Saturday we added some classic tunes, and next thing you know I am dancing from the waist up as my screaming quads continued to grind it out. One of the amazing people at our box snapped a pic and some video. (Check out and follow our instagram feed for the video, posting soon!)

I debated on posting this picture.  It maybe isn’t the most flattering look, since it shows what I call my “flotation device” (stubborn belly flab).  My negative inner voice even wondered why I still look like a before picture when I’ve been working on health, fitness, and nutrition for years now.

But then I thought, this shows me being healthy, silly, and energetic.  And considering I was in a room with about 40 people I am still getting to know, I’m glad I felt that free, both with all of them and within myself.  That’s progress. Sharing it with you, flab and all, is even more so.

So, I ask you, in the middle of the grind, what makes you dance?  What makes you strong?  What makes you move? What makes you push yourself?

What makes you free?

Embrace the path you’re riding down, and the people you choose to share it with.

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.

dare to be different, hustle

Shouldn’t you be sleeping in?

We were out of school one day this week.

Naturally, I arrived at the gym at 6:30am.

A friend greeted me: “You’re off today.  Shouldn’t you be sleeping in?”

Maybe.  And many people would be snuggled up on a frigid January morning (and were!) But, for someone like me, a day off of work is a chance to start my day at the gym.  Although I was #team530am for nearly a year, my current schedule of work / life responsibilities doesn’t allow for crack-of-dawn workouts very often.  I miss that morning jolt of energy! There’s nothing like conquering a workout before the sun comes up. The time will come again.  Life just has its seasons.  #team430pm will have to do for now, as often as I can get there.

So, while others were relishing a few extra minutes of sleep, I was working on my burpee box jump overs, thrusters, and assault bike. Might not sound like fun to some, but it carried me on a wave of confidence and accomplishment for the rest of the day. Yes, it was challenging.  Yes, it asked a lot of me. But, as the corner of one of the signs in our box says, surround yourself with those on the same mission as you.  Getting to the box does just that, for one part of my life’s mission: to be healthy, strong, confident. All the friends who scraped themselves out of bed to workout are on their own version of that mission with me. This is also why online communities like the Stronger U group and many others are so helpful.

What mission are you on?  Do you surround yourself with others who are on that journey, to encourage each other and show up even when it is hard?

author moments

Well, Poop.

Behind these 2 Chicks is a funny poop story.

Well, sort of.  Poop has been one of those running topics (ahem) that never fails to start a spirited discussion between the Chicks.  For example, Chick 2 will think the nasty poop discussion has ended, and the next day Chick 1 starts a new story with poop as a main event or character. Poop stories always find a new beginning.

When we were writing our first book, The End, Chick 1 wanted to put a poop page in the book.  And not just any regular poop, no! It had to be a BIG old dinosaur poop!  Chick 2, a self-proclaimed “Fahn Suh-thun Lay-dee” would NEV-AH pah-take in a discussion of somethin’ soooo….well, so vahl.  (Translation: she wasn’t a fan of talking about poop, much less putting it in a book! Southern ladies do not discuss such things.) *Fans self.*

If you’ve read our book, you know (and spoiler alert if you haven’t), Chick 1 won this debate. Dinosaur poop made the cut for The End. The illustration is awesome (as you can see above!)  Kids LOVE it.  LOVE IT!  And at our author events, Chick 1 always has to read that part! (Chick 2 still gets a little embarrassed and flushed – ha! – when that page appears.) Coincidentally, that is Chick 1’s favorite page, so it all works out in the end.

Still, poop happens.  Everybody poops.  Poop appeared again in Book 3, where our readers get to be the authors.  Recently, we donated some books to a local classroom.  We got an amazing response, especially to the poop page.  You can take a peek so see what the kids did.  The teacher was caught off guard at first, but how can you resist seeing kids so tickled to imagine and write?!

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Poop still rears (?!) its smelly head throughout the 2 Chicks’ lives. Did you poop today? Did you read the poop book on the back of John’s toilet the other night? Do you ever struggle to poop? Did you see my poop emoji shirt? Why, oh why, do we have to write about poop? Well it’s just a topic that is interesting that provokes conversation.  It stimulates the mind in a strange way but doesn’t seem to get old because everyone poops. And if one is struggling to poop on a regular basis it’s still a conversation piece. From gag-gift books in their circle of friends, to making models from brownie batter bars, it’s just a part of life.

Let’s all embrace poop. Encouraging kids to talk about, giggle about, and read and write about it is just another way the Chicks are a bit different than most.

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!

fitness and nutrition

All that ASS!

Ass, buttocks, gluteus maximus, rear end, booty, butt and so on. We all have one or some version of one. The title seemed fitting as we will hear about my big ass and how my ass story has evolved over the past several years. Now that I think about it, I could have titled this blog differently but maybe you wouldn’t have been drawn to read it. Is the suspense killing you yet?

My ass used to be a bookshelf or so I called it. It seemed to have a ledge of some sort. (I will spare you a pic of this). One that could hold up a book if I leaned the proper way. I may be exaggerating a little but not much. My kids used to sing “baby’s got back” in the car and openly called it my jam. The lines of emphasis were her butt is just so big I can’t believe it’s so round it’s like out there…

I also coach lacrosse and parents sometimes catch my backside in photos when coaching their kids (again, I’ll spare you the pic). OMG that back side a few years back was like the side of a barn…again, maybe a slight exaggeration but one my loving and adoring family would point out. Was it out of love or other motivation? I don’t know but it’s in the past. It is just part of my story. I should have a new jam to symbolize my strength and new curvy backside! An anthem of sorts.

As my story unfolds, I can now say I’m a health freak, a workout-crazed woman, a food-weighing lunatic, a macro-mastering Mom, but guess what? It’s what I’m doing so others, including my family, will just have to deal with it. The new year is here and it’s time for new goals, new challenges and new dreams. I am ready for it all!

Each day we start over and reset. We each have the ability to have a good or bad day. We have the ability to eat healthy or not. We can choose to exercise or not. We each make those choices each day. As I found my inner spirit and what makes me launch forward each day with positivity, I celebrate each and every day and laugh with those I surround myself with. I make a conscious effort to remove negative influences from my life whether it be a friend who sucks the life out of me (not really a friend) or a food that just makes me sleepy (like cakes filled with carbs) or toxic work environments. When one can find the life balance that excludes or keeps these nuisances at bay, progress is easier to attain.

What changes can you make in 2019 to realign your quality of life?

Fast forward to now, today and I’m rocking the booty in my mind. Heck if I compare to my past buttocks size it’s definitely factual to state I’m rocking the booty, but others may have their own opinion. I have had my ass spanked more than once, in public, yes, by others who check its firmness jokingly, lovingly, or in a humorous way. That is cool, I guess or it doesn’t bother me. (I am flattered by the attention, I suppose) but for the purposes of this blog, we are going to see my ass through my eyes as it represents progress with my coach and my fit journey thus far.

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All those squats going up down, up, down, up, down. You get the song reference right? Lunges for days that make you feel the pain in your glutes the next day. So many reps that getting up from the toilet is a major struggle. Pelvic thrust in the early am when the gym guys think you are practicing sex moves or that’s where their mind goes. Anyway they are all worth it in the end when you put on that new pair of jeans and you can see your hard work via definition in the tight ass that you now proudly prance around with. Yes I said it. Prance, strut, flaunt. If you work for it be proud of your progress and show it. It also helps when you bump into people you haven’t seen in a while and they say “wow, you look amaze.” That does wonders for the motivation bucket! #bootygains

This week’s blog is dedicated to all those working on stepping up their ass game and all those who motivated me during my fit journey this far. Everyone needs a David (yeah, David), Geovanna (best butt in town), Mount (get lower he says), John (keep pushing), Noy (Tabatha who?), Vic, Lexie, Stefan & Kelsey (power couple), Tasha, Sarah, Tommy Morris (Mr. Faded Glory himself), Shane (getting dainty), Nick and so many more I forgot to note here. One squat at a time. One pistol at a time. One lunge at a time. One macro at a time.  You can improve your ass game if you commit to the process.

You don’t need a Brazilian butt lift, ladies or gents, to get results. You just need some sweat, some time, some effort and some motivation. Maybe even a kick in the ass from a workout buddy, coach or dear friend. A new pair of jeans is a great place to start for motivation of course. Don’t wait get that ass moving now.

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As I close out this post I sigh deeply knowing this month marks the 3-year benchmark of my health and fitness journey so far. Midlife crisis to some. Inspiration to others. Peaceful hustle to me. I have accomplished so much yet have so much further to go. Buckle up folks, you are in my story. Fab at 50 here we come!

This is what my last 3 years of fitness looked like:

2016 – 24/7 workout place with a friend 3-5 days a week then we added some fun 5ks. The Foam Glow Run, the Bubble Run and the Color Run. The add-on 5ks were to step out of my comfort zone and no, I didn’t run them all 100%, but I finished.

2017 – I was going to CrossFit after finishing up a bootcamp the previous fall. I competed in my first CrossFit open and that was when I could really see how I did against others in my age group across various strength and stamina workouts. I upgraded my runs to challenge me as well. I completed a Tough Mudder, Terrain Race and ran a 10k. What was amazing about the 10k was I hadn’t done that race since 1997 or 20 years prior. Talk about a milestone and recommitment to fitness.

2018 – This was the year I would stretch even higher. I would visit other CrossFit boxes when I traveled to see if I could fit in outside of my comfort zone. I did my 2nd CrossFit open and worked hard to improve my personal ranking overall in my age group and complete more movements than I could the year before. I ran the same 10k again but focused on trimming my time which I did by over 10 minutes.

My most exciting challenge of 2018 was competing in CrossFit competitions. One at my local box, one as a three girl trio, one as a dynamic duo with my workout buddy and then finished out the year with a squad competition with five fit people from two different boxes that I met over the years. Each team member has been important to my growth and development and this was a time to celebrate progress in a fun and dynamic way. I am so thankful for each of them and stoked I got to create a big memories with my badass squad to finish out 2018.

And finally, I focused on my nutrition and macro counting to get my weight in tune with my fitness. This was definitely a battle but I have learned to love water and learned I don’t need pizza and my chips in my life on the daily. I can be content with a high protein yogurt or chocolate covered nut instead. Life is all about choices and so is nutrition. It takes patience and commitment to stay the course.

2019 will have new goals for me to embrace. I am hopeful you all can get after your goals list and be a goal getter just like me. Next book title was firmed up as this blog post hits the internet. Big news. Big year. Big goals ahead. 2019 here I come!

More scribbles and rants to come from me in 2019. #kt247 #2chx #1095days

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