Paleo Challenge & Nutrition
Being just about half way through the Paleo Challenge is motivating and exciting. A typical 30-day challenge is very beneficial but when they end I always wish they were longer. Right now I feel great and I find that I no longer have cravings for anything. I have freed myself from sugar’s evil grasp! People keep asking me, “What are you going to eat when the challenge is over?” I’m not really planning to go crazy. I might have a celebratory second glass of red wine – maybe a tequila drink – and some super-dark chocolate. But to be honest I have no desire for any of those things. I certainly do not want to kick myself back into a sugar-addicted state which seems to happen to me quite easily. So, my plan after the challenge is to pretty much just keep doing what I have been doing.
The only times I have felt deprived or limited have been when I am out to eat. I went out with my parents to the Blue Moon Evolution in Exeter, NH. This is one of my top 5 restaurants. If you’ve never been you need to go. Make a reservation, especially on the weekends. Everything they serve is local and high quality. Therefore, I eat everything on my plate and fight the urge to lick it clean each time I am there. So my parents and I were out that night and I felt bad because I couldn’t eat my potatoes and I couldn’t eat the goat cheese on the salad. I made my Dad eat everything I couldn’t because I didn’t want to see it go to waste. Another time I was out for my 27th birthday dinner with a bunch of super-cool people at XO on Elm in Manchester, NH. Again, very paleo-friendly menu. I ordered the half duck, but asked them to omit the rice and instead serve me some asparagus. Normally I would have eaten the rice as it doesn’t really affect my belly negatively. So, my solution to feeling limited at restaurants is to limit eating at them until the challenge is over. This is probably good for my bank account as well. Ever notice how much smaller the check is when each person at the table only has one drink instead of 3? Haha.
I am super-proud of everyone competing in this challenge. Nine weeks is kind of a long time when you think about it. There are a lot of newbs (new to CrossFit and/or Paleo) participating as well, which impresses me even more. You will truly be a different person when you finish. If you’re a challenge competitor and you are feeling deprived or limited try making a new recipe. Find a recipe for something you really feel like eating and spend time preparing your ingredients and creating this new meal. The entire process can be very satisfying and take your mind away from feelings of deprivation. Share a Paleo meal with friends and family and relax. This is not supposed to be a stressful process.
I don’t usually monitor my weight during challenges, except for at the beginning and end. Weight can be misleading and becoming a slave to the scale is discouraging, can become obsessive, and lead to destructive behavior. I can tell by how my clothes feel that I have slimmed down a bit. I can also tell when I run and do pull ups. They feel easier! That’s a cool thing. Speaking of running…thanks to everyone who came to The Fort last Monday and threw down for my birthday WOD. It was quite a bit of running. I hope you enjoyed the hang power cleans as much as I did. We’ll see how we all do with that one next October.
I have been obsessed with lifting lately. I just want to get my hands on a barbell all the time. I think more barbell makes everything better. I’ve been back-squatting a lot and I can feel a huge improvement in my all-around strength. Good stuff. you should want to lift more too. It’s the way to go, really. I feel like a lot of times women are afraid of the barbell. I’ve never been afraid of moving weight, but I sometimes lack the confidence that I am capable of doing it. Although it takes legit strength to lift a heavy bar, it also takes the believe that you can actually do it. It’s called self-efficacy; or having the confidence that you will be able to complete a certain task successfully. Last Wednesday night at Weightlifting Wednesday I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to spend time on my clean or if I wanted to back squat heavy. I chose squatting based purely on the fact that I was feeling very strong at the moment and I wanted a new 3-rep max. I was feeling confident that I could do it. The atmosphere was awesome; it was hot and there was chalk and sweaty people everywhere. It was #haught. My lifts felt amazing. I played around with the bar position on my back and my grip width. I found a sweet spot and got a new 3RM! Saaahhhweeeet!
But back to women being afraid of the bar. DON’T BE! I find that the fear generally originates from 1) lack of confidence and/or experience or 2) the notion (myth) that you will somehow morph into the She-Version of the Hulk. The first reason is legitimate and the second reason is dumb. We can work on building a woman’s confidence by having her spend time under the bar paired with sound programming and good coaching. Voila! Problem solved, usually. Dispelling the myth that you will end up big and bulky is challenging and daunts coaches. Lifting adds lean muscle to the body, makes you stronger, helps you to move better, and literally demolishes fat. Lifting actually helps you become slimmer. Word. Now, a caveat. You might experience an increase in the size of your assets. I find this happens only after quite a bit of time under a heavy bar. I like to think of this more like the booty-shaping effect. Something similar might happen with your thighs. If anyone tells you that a CrossFit booty and gams are not smokin’ hot, then that person is not worth having in your life. That’s my humble opinion. Why are we so focused on appearance, anyway? Why can we not just think about how awesome it is to back squat 200 pounds, or clean 135, or bench press 140? I would rather measure my success by the numbers I write on the white board than by the numbers on a scale. It’s taken me a long time to feel this way. Okay, moving on…
I have the best brother…ever. For my birthday he arranged for me to go down to CrossFit New England and spend some time with Mel Ockerby. She is a strong, beautiful athlete, is friendly and encouraging, and has competed on the CFNE team for the past 3 years. Watch her complete “Fran” in 2:38 unbroken at the 2011 Games HERE. CFNE won that year! She is competing as an individual this year so we all need to be cheering her on once the Open arrives. Anyway, we had a great time working on some of my gymnastics skills and making those things better. Lots of work to be done, as always, but it was so nice to have a fresh pair of eyes watch me move. As a coach it felt really nice to “be coached”. These experiences help me to become a better trainer which is awesome. We capped it off by having a shopping spree at Lululemon. Thank goodness I got more spandex. Not too shabby. Twenty-seven (27, really!?) may be one of my best birthdays on record. Thanks, Ky.
Fall has arrived. It’s cold. The leaves are gross and falling from the trees. I have to start my car and let it warm up or else it gets mad at me. It was a great summer (sigh), but it feels nice to move on. A long winter of CrossFitting and other fun things awaits. Like acupuncture. I’m having acupuncture for the first time next week. I’ll let you know how that works out.
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