Progress Update and Goals

Since it’s my 1st post in the new year, I thought I’d share yet another progress update report as well as some goal for the upcoming year. I don’t do resolutions because I don’t believe in them, but goals, I can do!

What has the past 2 1/2 years of my life have looked like? Well, in numbers, it has looked like this:

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Not much change in size and weight since my 1st Whole30, but the fact that I have maintained the progress for the past 6 months is something new for me. I have felt myself slip up from my healthy eating habits and have reeled myself back into them by doing a second round of Whole30 back in November-December and it has paid off.

In terms of what I look like now vs then, well, here it is:

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My biceps have finally made an appearance and I can see a faint shadow of upper abs starting to shoe as well. The most dramatic changes remain my back and my butt and I have to say, I love all the ripples created by new muscles on my back. I may have lost “only” 11 lbs, but I know I’ve lost more fat that I have replaced with muscles and I’m very happy with where I’m at today!

In terms of goals, I have a few that I have rolled over from year to year, but the list is getting smaller now and I will focus on these 2 for a bit:

  • Consistently managing at least 20 DUs in a row
  • 10 TTB without getting off the rig

The Open is coming fast upon us and it’s made me realize that 2 1/2 year into my crazy fitness adventure, I shouldn’t be struggling with my DUs anymore. So I’m working on them and doing drills to prepare for the open. TTB are a consistent part of my warm-ups and my max so far is 3. Much better than 0 last year for the Open, if I do say so myself! 😉

This morning was back to school for the little ones and back to work for Ben, which meant back to the crazy morning rush of getting everybody ready and out the door in time, cleaning up the house and getting myself to Class for 0930. I was pretty excited because I saw this on the WOD website last night:

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I sure love me some deadlifts! Lol! I don’t know if I like deadlifting or squatting more, but those are definitely my favourite top two lifts! It shows too! I have added 80# to my back squat (from 65# to 145# last week) and 75# to my deadlift (from 85# to 160#) and 70# to my front squat (from 45# to 115#). This BabyMama’s got booty and apparently, I know how to use it!

Here’s what I did today:

Skill: Deadlift 5×5 E90s

I started at 120 and increased by 5# for every round, finishing up at 140#. Not too bad considering my 1RM deadlift is 160# (back in August 2014). I’d be curious to re-test this as I have a feeling I could maybe get heavier. 5 x 140# felt good today and it felt like I could have gone heavier on those as well.

WOD: Gritty

I was excited to see it was mostly bodyweight stuff for today, but I knew it would be a lot of work. I managed to do RX, but some people who were doing the Comp Prep still managed to beat my time. It’s all good though as I was cautious on the BJ and I managed to do all of them RX! I didn’t do any step ups. I also managed to do most of the burpees RX as well, with maybe 5-6 granny-style to catch my breath. I finished in 7:50 and I was pretty happy with that, even though that still puts me way after everyone else. After those heavy DL, my legs got sore fast and my plan of attack went out the window very quickly once I started the WOD. I really wanted to do all exercises with only a break in the middle point, but I had to take way more breaks than anticipated. It’s ok though, I’m ok with that.

I then talked to Coach Caileigh about the Open and what to do about registration. I know for a fact that I will have to miss one of the WODs because we have a planned vacation in a remote area for March break and I’m just not willing to drive for 3.5hrs in order to kill myself compete and drive back afterwards. So unless an affiliate miraculously opens up in that neck of the woods between now and February, I will score a big fat “0” for 16.4 and that is ok with me. It’s not like I’m going anywhere fast, but it’s always nice to keep track of progress!

Motivation

Some days, I feel super motivated to keep going in my journey towards being healthy. I’ve managed to keep on track with the Whole30 for the past week (my second round at it) and having 8 days off from work means I can get my workouts in easily. Not having to deal with sciatic pain is a lovely added bonus and still a welcome novelty to me.

Some days weeks, however, it is harder to find the motivation. I get stuck in a funk at times and I wonder why I put myself through all of this. What is the benefit of all this torture fitness known as Crossfit. Why did I keep waking up at 0500 for 2 whole years, paying good, hard-earned money to subject myself to workouts that are so demanding, I sometimes end up crying on the mat at the end. Nowadays, the 0500 wake-up call have been replaced by rushing through the morning routine for school for the girls, WOD at 0930, then rushing to get ready to pick up Béa from preschool, or groceries or cooking. Some days, I sit down for the first time at 5pm and I’m exhausted. Why do I suck up all of the precious energy I have and go “waste” it all on a workout? Why, you say? I’ll tell you why.

I’m tired. ALL.THE.TIME. It doesn’t matter that I get to sleep in one day a month or not. I’m the wife of a husband who travels a lot for work which means I’m “single-married” (married, but alone at home with the kids for extended periods of time) a lot.

I’m a NICU nurse and I work shift-work and have been doing so for the past 10 years. 10 years of switching between nights and days on a dime. It takes its toll on a body. More recently, I have gone into a Charge Nurse position. I love the challenges it has brought upon me, but it can be added stress at times. That also doesn’t help making me feel less tired.

I’m a mom to 2 lovely, cuddly, active little girls. They like to be on the go and we try to accommodate that as much as possible. Some days, I crave 5 mins to myself. Even if we don’t do something big, they constantly want us to be involved in their little play, which means I can’t focus on anything I’d like to be doing for myself. That’s ok though, if I have a little bit of energy left in the evening after they’ve gone to bed is when I usually try to focus on myself. If the energy is AWOL, I usually just sit and watch TV and find some other time to do MY things.

When you put all those realities of my life together, it’s only normal that I need an outlet to REALLY focus on myself: my physical, emotional and mental well-being. THAT’S why I do Crossfit. When I am there, it’s usually 1hr of my life where I only need to make minimal decisions: Will I use 55lbs or 65lbs for the WOD? Do I need my wrist wraps or not?, etc. Nobody’s life hangs in my hands and I can let out of all the emotions that have been bottled up inside my short little body. Am I exhausted at the end of a WOD? For sure! Then again, I’m always exhausted and at least, I’ve done something for myself to get in better health!

Lately, I have struggled to find the motivation to get going. Whether it’s because the PRs don’t come as easily as they used to or because I have struggled with my sciatica, I’m not sure. I was talking to Kathleen about that a few weeks ago and I was debating taking a break. It is a scary thought. I feel like I would probably get lost if I didn’t do Crossfit. Either that, or I’m afraid I would never go back and all the hard work (and money) invested in myself for the past 2 years would be a total waste. Because of those fears, I have kept going, pushed through the struggles and injury and keep telling myself things will look brighter again soon (hopefully). When I really struggle with my motivation, I like to “check-in” with myself. I did one of those “check-in” 2 days ago and it has lit up a small fire of determination to keep going:

Top is on my 1st day of Crossfit, bottom is a few days ago. 28 months in between pictures

Top is on my 1st day of Crossfit, bottom is a few days ago. 28 months in between pictures

Sure the progress could be a lot better, but like I said, I’m a wife, a mom and a nurse. My diet isn’t always the best and I workout 1-3x/week at best. Progress is progress and seeing it helps re-focus my drive.

This morning was my first day back at the Box for Oly lifting in over a month. I was debating going at all as I feel like I have to re-learn everything about my snatch and C&J as well. I decided to go in anyway with the philosophy that everyone has to start somewhere. I don’t want to make the coaches feel like they are wasting their time with me, but I also would like to move past my injury and finally get proficient at those Olympic lifts. Coach Caleb wasn’t there this morning and we had the lovely Coach Val to guide us through our session. Karen and I struggle with dropping into the squat in the snatch and Coach Val has given us some pointers to fire up our hips and drop quickly.

I was trying with an empty 35#-bar this morning and Coach Val suggested I get a training bar (10#) and put some plates on it so that I would get the proper feel of the bar. That meant I started my snatch work at a very low weight, but I was at peace with that. I got my Dynamax ball for my butt depth into the squat and got working on things.

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Snatch 6×2 E2M: Here were my reps for this one:

30#-35#-40#-45#-50#-50#

I stayed at 50# for my last 2 rounds and had to drop the bar in-between all my reps in order to reset my form, but I managed to get it done and somewhat drop into the squat. I was happy with that. Not quite at the 90% target of my 1RM (50# was 77% of my “fake 1RM of 65# and 83% of my real 1RM of 60#), but not too bad considering I’m re-learning to move safely for my sciatic. I was glad I managed to get up that high as I was expecting to stay at 45# and just work on form.

Death by Power Cleans: It was my 1st time doing this one and since I don’t even have a 1RM at 92.5# for my C&J, I was definitely going to scale down for this one. After discussing with Coach Val, I decided on 65# and warmed up to that. Coach Val told us to aim for 10 rounds and I felt like I would probably bail out before then, but I went it anyway. I managed to go unbroken for rounds 1-7 and then things started to slow down a little after that. I had to drop the bar a few times during my round of 8, then started introducing singles into the round of 9. I was pretty pumped to complete the round of 10 and still have 15s to catch my breath before diving into the round of 11! 😉  I had to do them all as singles and there were a few reps that I caught really high in my neck, but I pushed through and squeezed in my last rep with 1s left in the round. Technically, I could have started right away on the round of 12, but I had nothing left in the tank. My for was getting wonky, my neck was catching the bar more and more and my left wrist was getting slow in the catch so I chose to stop there.

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What do you get at a 5am lifting class? Bruised neck and dark circles, that’s what you get!

I came back home and jumped right back into the realities of motherhood. Béa had tried to go pee by herself. She managed to get her pants off, hoist herself onto the toilet and couldn’t figure out the toilet paper, so she called out for help. I’m just thankful she didn’t put that pile of paper in the bowl as that would have been a nice plug! 😉

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See? Finding balance and purpose is what keeps me motivated! 😉

Where I’m At

Something weird happened this morning:

My alarm woke me up!

My alarm woke me up!

I got dressed, ate my snack and made my way to the Box. As I got there, I realized that in 5 days, I will celebrate my 2 years of doing Crossfit! I will do my recap post below because I have time to do so today, but for now, here’s what we did at the Box:

WOD: Pull Popper

I had done this WOD before, back in March and I knew what to expect. I teamed up with Lara and Telsey and they suggested we use 55#!!! I told them to do a few reps with an empty bar to get the feel of it and I wasn’t going any higher than 45# (I had done 40# back in March). My teammates chose to stay at 35# and it was a smart decision! I started us off on the erg and my 1st two rounds were so strong! I kept my pace anywhere between 1:50-1:59/500m and I even saw 1:49 at one point! It scared me a little because I didn’t want to gas out. The snatches were hard and I had to break them into sets of 5 and even did some 3-2 sets thrown in there. Because we didn’t have the big bumper plates on our bars, we had to do erghop burpees. I did all mine Rx, except for one rep in my third round. That 3rd round almost did me in. I was slower on my 1st row, I wanted to quit on the snatches as well as on the burpees and the last row was slow in comparison (2:06-2:10/500m). I used my rest time to reset my mindset and switch it around. Even though I was slower on the last round, I was giving it my all and once I was done, I stepped outside in the cooler air, dropped to my hands and knees, liked that the concrete felt so cool and decided to just belly flop onto it in order to catch my breath and cool off. I was breathing so heavy, my throat still hurts. It literally took me close to an hour after I was done before the nausea subsided. I came close to Pukie the clown a few times, but managed to keep everything down. We finished in 42:49 and although it took us longer than on my previous attempt, I know that my partners gave it their all! Telsey was so freakin’ strong on the erg and Lara made the snatches look easy and flawless.

I came home, went straight to bed and cuddled next to my husband. the thought of washing my hair made me want to scream (arms over head? I don’t think so) and the calluses in my hands were burning so bad. I still can’t do a hyper-extension of my fingers as it pulls too much on the calluses. I can just walk around with claw hands for today, I’m cool with that!

True story!

True story!

OK! Back to serious business: My 2-year anniversary at Crossfit! I can’t believe I have kept this up for so long! For the first time in my life, I have been consistently physically active. Not only that, I now plan my life around the times I can squeeze in a workout. Working out has become a priority in my life (Who am I? Really???) and it is now second nature to wake up before any other creature does in order to go sweat my little(r) butt out! (Who am I kidding, I don’t have a little butt, I squat for goodness’ sake!)

In order to keep the tradition alive, here’s is my comparison in numbers and pictures:

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As you can see, I haven’t lost much weight. Really, some people lose that amount of weight just thinking about it (Ahem, my husband!). 11.4lbs is nothing. I know some other people would probably have way more dramatic results, but this is me on MY journey. I have to say, I am so freakin’ proud of where I am today: I work full-time (shift work), have two young daughters, a husband whom I adore and still manage to keep up with this madness that I’ve come to love! Plus, a total of 12.5″ of fat loss isn’t anything to spit at either! Wanna see what those numbers look like in pictures?

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Here it is!

I don’t really like to look at my Day 1 pictures. Not because of my physical appearance, but look at my facial expression. You can tell that I really struggled through those pics. I was not in a good place mentally (never mind physically) and I’m pretty sure depression wasn’t too far off my radar. I’m so, so glad I walked into Crossfit VicCity on the day that I did. I may not be at my best physically, but man am I stronger mentally and emotionally. I honestly cannot see the day when I won’t want to wake up at 0500 in order to go shed some blood, sweat and tears with my second family. I’m so happy with where I’m at because even though I’m still pudgy in some areas, I am comfortable in who I am because I know what my pudgy body can accomplish. And for that reason, I will strut my stuff in my bikini in a few weeks on the Cuban beaches!

Like I said, I am stronger mentally and walk taller too. I know I can carry both my kids up the stairs at the same time and that gives me confidence that I am doing the right thing in order to be the best mom and wife I can be. Realizing that, I know I have ticked the biggest goal on my Crossfit Goal list!

What will the next 2 years will have in store for me? Stick around! I know I’m excited to find out!

Winning All Around

But really, I’ve also been losing all around. Proof in number and in pictures below:

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In 31 days, I’ve lost 3.4lbs and lost 4.5″ overall. I’ve also lost some cellulite, some bloating and some sluggishness.

In 31 days, I’ve gained 2 guns (I’ve been waiting 2 years to see my biceps bulge and today, they’re very visible and I couldn’t be happier!), there’s a faint sighting of abs beginning to show, my back fat has decreased a lot, my shoulders are more defined and my butt has also lifted (soon, it’ll be right by my neck!)

Whole30 has done some wonderful things for me: I sleep better, I don’t crave processed foods (most days), I’ve dropped under 2:00/500m on the erg (huge for me) and I’ve created bonds with Kathleen, Telsey and Tracey who have joined and supported me through this crazy idea of doing the Whole30. Other than the 1st week, it’s been awesome and I plan on keeping it strict until July 15. That was our little group’s official end date (I started early) and I will stick by my girls through the end. Afterwards, I plan on maybe adding 1-2 cheat meals/week, but no more than that. It will be hard as I’ll be vacationing in Cuba, but I’ll try to make healthy and smart decisions about my food choices.

For the first time in years (we’re talking almost a decade here) I feel comfortable in my body. I know some parts are sagging and not as toned as they could be, but I’ve also had 2 humans take over my body for 18.5 months and I’m pretty stoked with how I look today. I have this newfound confidence and I feel like nothing can stop me. It’s onwards and upwards from here!

Kathleen was gracious enough to invite me to her garage gym (aka Jim’s Gym) for a WOD in order to get extra fitness in. I was nice to be able to have the girls play alongside us while we were working out in the sun. Here’s what we did:

Here's what Kath had planned for us!

Here’s what Kath had planned for us!

 

This WOD was hard for me and I used a 25# plate for it. I now know another weakness of mine is lunges with added weight. My quads and glutes were burning after this one! I finished in 9:12 and Kath was done way before me!

Following the WOD, we took some rest (I needed it!) and then did some work on the erg. Gotta work on those weaknesses!

We did 3x200m on the erg with rest of 1:30 in-between. It was closer to 2:30 rest since we were alternating between the two of us on the erg. You can see I kept my splits all below 2:00/500m for all 3 attempts, so yesterday wasn’t just a fluke! Apparently, I really have improved my fitness! Kathleen destroyed this, just like she did the WOD before. That woman is seriously fit and an inspiration, I tell you! Once we were done, Rina hopped on the erg and was trying to row so hard. She had pretty decent technique for a 4-year-old. She was complaining that she “wasn’t making any wind”. Already has a competitive side to her… I wonder where she gets this from?!?

Mandatory selfie and Kathleen and I with Jim's Gym sign in the background!

Mandatory post-WOD’s sweaty selfie of Kathleen and I with Jim’s Gym sign in the background!

So happy to have made new friends with whom I can share a passion with and the friendships are not drama-related! Tomorrow, Telsey and I have planned to get together so the kiddos can have a play-date while we mamas can hang out! Very thankful for having all those new people in my life! Couldn’t ask for a better day to have it, really!

Progress Update!

As promised earlier this week, here’s another progress update in all its gore and glory!

First of, my stats:

Numbers speak for themselves!

Numbers speak for themselves!

The “Difference” column only reflects the changes since December (just before I started the FMD) and I’m pretty happy with the results! A total loss of 7.25″ of fat all over my body in just a little over 2 months, I’ll take it! If you want the numbers since I first started my Crossfit journey, here they are: a total weight loss of  11.6 lbs and 14.75″ loss overall! I am pretty happy with those!

Now, to see all this progress in pictures:

The day before I started FMD

The day before I started FMD

From Day 1 to 2.5 months into FMD

From Day 1 to 2.5 months into FMD

I am so happy with who I have become in the past 2 years. It hasn’t always been easy or pleasant and I probably could have done better at times, but overall, I’m very happy with my journey so far. I’m in a much better place mentally and physically and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me. Will I ever be a top Crossfit athlete? Nope. But you can bet your little heart out that it won’t be for lack of giving it my all!

I had to take a picture of where I stand after 15.2.

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That puts me at 60% worldwide. It will probably be my best standing ever and I want to celebrate it! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a P2 breakfast of champion to go wolf down!

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Year End Accountability: Progress Update

It’s been a while since my last Progress Update post and I wanted to do one for the end of the year. I’ve been doing Crossfit now for 17 months and although my body shape hasn’t changed all that much, my body has become so much stronger in all facets of my fitness. I lift heavier than I ever have in my life, I can now run short intervals (800m during WODs) without taking any walking breaks, I do my box jumps regularly from a 20″ box (and occasionally from a 24″) I can now do pull-ups from the red and purple bands (I used to need the black one). I have achieved  and even surpassed a goal this year: deadlifting my body weight (155#, I have since done 160#).

I still have many goals to achieve, but I feel like it will come in due time. I try to keep my eating habits as clean as possible and monitor my food intake as much as I can, but I know that working night shifts is playing a very disturbing trick on my hormonal system and that’s probably why I haven’t been able to lose as much fat as I’d like. Proof was, not too long ago, I was off work for 14 days and managed to lose albs without making any changes in my lifestyle. Again, all in due time and if it doesn’t happen, I will just be content with what my body can do in the meantime. I have learned to accept that I may never have the body shape I’d like to have, but I will celebrate every little success in the meantime! Focus on the positive, let go of the negative!

Alright! Enough talking. Here are my stats:

My numbers from Day 1 to today.

My numbers from Day 1 to today.

My biceps have gotten bigger, but I’m fairly confident it’s muscle, so I’m not at all upset about that gain. As you can see, my weight is fairly similar and that’s why I don’t focus on that number anymore, but rather, on my accomplishments!

Progress in pictures

Progress in pictures

My waist has shrunk, I finally have muscles in my legs (quads and hamstrings), my bum has lifted and perked up, I’ve lost some belly fat, my shoulders and arms are more defined. I have a little excess loose skin on my back, but there’s not much I can do about it all. If you had seen what I could do 17 months ago at the Box compared to what I can do today, you would know I have been working my little heart out day in and day out. Really, what more could I ask for? I am a work in progress, made of failures and accomplishments. I am happier, more confident and so so much stronger. My daughters talk about Crossfit on a daily basis, I am teaching them about maintaining a healthy lifestyle by example, which, in my book, is positive parenting. I am not where I want to be, but seeing these pictures puts everything in perspective. Once you’ve been heavier, it’s hard not to look in the mirror and still see the old fat self, even though, that person is not as fat as they used to be. Looking at these pictures, I am very proud of where I am today.

These pictures reflect 17 months of waking up at 0500 2-3x/week, working a full-time job of 12-hrs day and night shifts, while being a mom to a 2 and 4-year old and a wife. It could probably be better, but, like I said, I choose to focus on the positive and I’m happy with these results! I never make New Year’s resolution, but I’ll make a wish that I can keep my positive outlook on life and keep the momentum going that I have for the year to come! Here’s to celebrating many more PRs in the new year!

Scary + 14 month Progress Update

I had set up my alarm to go to the 0600 class yesterday morning, but I was still getting over my cold and coughing a lot more than I wanted to so I rolled over and slept until 0640, which was heaven to me!

Both of our smoke alarms (upstairs and downstairs) went off at 0430 this morning and I got up to do a quick survey of the house. Nothing was out of place, nothing was smoking. I even checked outside and nothing. Ben barely woke up and the girls never even budged. That’s is a bit scary to me. What if it had been a real fire? I went back to bed, feeling uneasy and managed to sleep a bit before my alarm went off. I was not feeling it, but I drug myself out of bed and made my way to the box. It had been exactly 7 days since my last WOD and I realized how easy it would be to just stop going altogether, making excuses and falling out of the rhythm. Scary! I’m glad I went and got to do this for a workout:

Skill: I managed a free handstand off the wall for about 3-4secs, unassisted, but I couldn’t repeat that get by doing it off the wall with my spotters. Also, I practiced my DUs during my warm-up and can now do 3-4 with only 1 jump in-between. Almost there! 🙂

WOD: Ariane

We all know how short I am and how much of a struggle it is for me to row. I was paired with Kirsten (who used to row) and Adrian. Kirsten and me rowed at the same time and Adrian was our “partner 2”. He kept all his splits very strong around 1:40 – 1:45. I don’t know what my splits were because I had programmed my rower in a funky way and it added up the rest time as well as Adrian’s time to my splits. I only know my first one was 2:12 which was 7secs faster than my 1st split last time I did this WOD. We finished in 20:12 whereas I had done it in 22:02 last time. I know I have to attribute most of this to Adrian’s fast splits, but I’m sure I must have done better too!

Another scary news:

1st Competition!

1st Competition!

It’s official! I have registered for the Women Novice category for the Vic City Games! Please, come out and cheer us on on October 5th! You am also raising funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and you can donate here.

Alright! Last, but not least, another progress update in numbers and pictures. I have gained weight and inches since my 12 months progress, but strangely, I think I look and feel better in my clothes. Here’s hoping it’s because of muscle gain and not fat!

Progress in numbers

Progress in numbers

Slowly starting to see definition in my abs and my back and shoulders are so much stronger!

Slowly starting to see definition in my abs and my back and shoulders are so much stronger!