Monthly Archives: June 2013

Learning to fly.

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Watching TV led to a profound discovery this week. Those are words I never thought I’d write in a blog on paleo and crossfit! My family and I are currently addicted to the TV series “Smallville”. We are watching it from the start and up to about season 3 (of 10 that have been made). For those of you unfamiliar, it is the story of Clark Kent as an adolescent, growing up and learning about life on the way to becoming a superhero. Yesterday, while watching, I realised something totally amazing….Clark has no idea he can fly. He has no idea that he will not only fly, but become famous for that very ability. He has no concept, not the faintest glimmer of belief or even a dream that he will be able to this amazing thing as easy as breathing one day in the future. It’s unimaginable. Why is this so profound I hear you ask and what the hell does it have to do with crossfit!? I can’t believe in my wildest dreams I will ever do a muscle up. I cant even do a pullup without a band. When I started crossfit I couldn’t ever imagine doing a handstand let alone a handstand push-up. Now, not only can I do a handstand, I did my first negatives this morning; one step closer to the unimaginable. It got me thinking. I am just like superman! No I can’t fly, but I can’t even begin to realise what I am capable of in the future. I will be doing things I never dreamed I could do. What an exciting concept that its! The power of positive thinking and not limiting our amazing capabilities with flawed self beliefs. Watch this space, for amazing things are going to happen! One day, may even see me flying (crossfit style) on the muscle up rings!

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The power of self belief and Β how it can lead us to achieving the unimaginable was never more evident to me than yesterday. My training buddy and I went to watch a local crossfit competition and support some of our training buddies who were competing. There were some amazing athletic performances, but these weren’t the most inspiring things for me. There were two incredible moments of heart bursting pride that stood out to me. The first was watching an unknown male competitor fail repeatedly whilst trying to do pistols. He failed and failed and failed again, and every time, despite his failure, he got up and tried again. His tenacity and determination were simply inspiring. There’s something in that for all of us. The second was seeing 2 training buddies, who had confessed some serious concerns with clean and jerk weights in one of their workouts, lift way beyond their self thought capabilities, not once, but multiple times. The sheer exhiliration they exhibited at their fabulous success and the pride we felt for them was simply joyful. We can all be superheroes, we just need to believe that we can, one small, ecstatic step at a time!

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Cold winter morning.

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My favourite thing about working out on a cold winters morning is the way you can see the steam rising off everyone at the end of the WOD. There is something both ethereal and tough about it, reminiscent of an epic movie scene where warriors have fought and won against an undefeatable foe. That feeling of oneness and community the warriors feel after passing through an insurmountable challenge by each others sides isΒ not unlike the feeling of comraderie and mutual bonding that comes when working out with the others in our box. There is an emotional bond formed when we push to our limits side by side. I have experienced this and seen it in others, the way being brought to your physical limits makes us vulnerable, brings out our inner self, our self beliefs, our fears. We share something personal and intimate with the people we train with when we expose our soft underbelly. When this happens and we find encouragement it can result in an amazing sense of acceptance and a remoulding of our inner negativity to a more positive place. It may not happen in one workout, but over time we are slowly reconditioned to believe we are good enough, we do deserve this, we are worthy. I believe this to underpin the very heart of crossfit and the way it can be empowering and uplifting, despite being at times seemingly insurmountable. It is one of the reasons I truly love it more than anything I’ve ever done.

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There are other things I love about the winter mornings. I love the quiet of the early morning, dark, peaceful, solitude. Alone with my thoughts as I have my short black, put on my training garb and head out to the box before the sun has risen. No fighting with traffic on the road, it’s a relaxed drive in. Huddled crossfitters, rubbing their hands together, some with their hoods up, quietly chatting together at the start of the day, waiting to see what the WOD has in store for us that day. Nothing makes me feel more alive than my heart pounding in my chest and my lungs bursting for their next breath. After a morning WOD I feel warm, energised and ready to face the day. Yes, there are some mornings I battle with the early start, but knowing how fabulous I’ll feel after gets me out of bed every time. At the end of the day after work I can come home and relax with my family without feeling like I have missed out on my personal time or family time. Feeling energised, positive and balanced, I thank myself for getting out of bed before the crack of dawn and I thank my fabulous crossfit Adelaide morning crew for making it such a fabulous part of my life. πŸ™‚

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Some of the usual culprits. Those of you missing (including me!!) are there in spirit. πŸ™‚

The secret life of us.

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Everyone has a story of the journey in their lives that got them to this point in time. We often make alot of assumptions about those around us, judging a book by its cover, so to speak. I train with a lot of lean, amazing looking chicks. I have often thought how easy it is for them, with their inbuilt love of healthy clean eating, Not having to fight the daily battles with food like I do. There might be one or two others that battle their food demons and understand, but the others would never get it. Then I had a conversation with one of these girls after we had struggled through a particularly difficult WOD together. She is beautiful with a to die for figure and beautiful personality to boot. I’ll admit to you (here in confidence) I’ve often envied her shape and wished I could look as amazing. Much to my surprise, she told me she used to weigh 30 kg more than she does now. It really made me think, I had just assumed she was naturally buff and that it required little effort. I had just assumed she would never understand how hard it can be for someone like me. Hell, how wrong was I making all these assumptions! She might not look like me on the outside, but she understands what it’s like to be in my shoes. She still carries many of the doubts of the big girl she used to be. She has worked hard and still works hard to have her amazing body and glow of health.

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What we look like on the outside is one thing, but more important is how we look on the inside. Some days, I am an elite crossfitter. It’s true! In my mind, I am buff, strong and unstoppable. On those days watch me roar! On some days I think I am an overweight, weak, unfit, give up before I start type of girl. On those days watch me fail. It is all about my self belief. It is all about having faith. I really learnt this doing the crossfit open workouts this year. I entered the open feeling immense doubt about whether I was good enough, intensely worried I would be humiliating myself 5 weeks consecutively. I was so anxious before the first workout you would think I was trying to qualify for the regionals! Well, I managed to lift weights I had never done before, push myself harder than I ever thought I could go, and surpass all sorts of self imposed limits I had placed on myself. I impressed even myself and I’m the hardest person of all to impress. Even on the last 2 workouts which contained movements I couldn’t do, I spent several minutes, futilely attempting said movements, supported by my training crew so positively, that it could be nothing but a positive experience.

And in the end, isn’t that what it’s all about? A positive experience? Feeling better about yourself? Feeling happier in your life?

And that has been one of my greatest discoveries in this life…Positive thinking, that’s the secret source of power of all superheroes. (Let’s face it, it takes a lot of self confidence and inner positivity to fight crime dressed like this on a regular basis!) πŸ™‚

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I am the competition.

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I am really have a tough time of it at training at the moment. My body has not yet adjusted to this new approach to eating and I am still trying to work it all out. I feel as if I’ve gone from finally making some progress, to way back to where I started. It is pretty demoralising. 😦

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This morning we did a monthly milestone workout. It was that delightful 13.5 open workout of 15 thrusters, 15 chest to bar pull-ups repeat by 3, scale as required. In my case that’s 25kg thrusters and pull-ups on the band, but even scaled it was disaster! I kept stopping, felt it was all too hard, had a panic attack (seriously not kidding) and nearly started bawling before the final lot of pull-ups! The only saving grace was the mantra in my head “I will NOT cry at crossfit!” At the end I finished miles behind my training buddies and felt the pits. I have finished last plenty of times and felt proud that I had made it through a tough work out, so why was today different? I really felt like I gave up in that workout this morning and did not give my best. Sure it was hard, sure I am not at my peak energy levels, but it was ultimately a problem in my thinking that undid my physical performance. I had given up before I’d even started. I feel shame for my effort not pride.

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So what is the moral to this sad tale of woe I write for you? It is not how I compete against anyone else that really matters. In the end my feelings of pride come from giving my best, knowing in my core that I gave it all, kept on pushing, didn’t give up. Even if I finish last, if I’ve left nothing in the tank, who can ask for more!image

Beating the blues sans chocolate binge.

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Today I am feeling blue. All of the little stresses in my life seem insurmountable and all of my worries are magnified out of proportion. There is no real rhyme or reason to it, I just have days like this every so often where I wanna curl up on the couch in the fetal position, suck my thumb and eat myself senseless on chocolate and other unhealthy foods. Of course, I would (as a long standing emotional eater), eat until I felt sick and then felt not only blue, but guilty as all hell for my lack of self control and disgusted by what I had done. So today when I woke feeling troubled by many insignificant things my mind had blown into mountain like importance, I thought it was time to try a new approach. So what did I do?

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I made some endorphins. Its Sunday and there is a stretch/recovery class at the box, but no WOD. I went to the stretch class, but felt the need for some more cardio, so as I was up nice and early, I also went for a run. Although the weather has been crap, this morning when I went was a beautiful crisp winter morning. The autumn leaves are still on many of trees, making them look warm and colourful. The peace and quiet with my thoughts and some music from my iPod as I ran through the park was more than a little soothing. The stretch class itself is quiet and relaxed; some time to mend the mind as well as the body.

I stuck to my healthy eating plan. I ate a couple of the sweet potato brownies I made yesterday and that fixed the chocolate craving right there. (Hard to believe and I was there!) I found that if I stuck to eating quality and not worrying about quantity that my intake was self limiting. There seems to be a satiety point reached easily with good fats and protein that just doesn’t exist with my usual sugar laden binge foods.

I spent some time uncluttering my bedroom. According to a number of things I have read this is good for the soul. It did make me feel better!

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I had a long bath.

I spent some quality time with my family and had a few laughs.

And instead of ending this day feeling bloated, sick, guilty and disgusted….I ended it feeling content, calm and reflective. Easy to see the appeal of this new lifestyle I’ve chosen! πŸ™‚

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Oh and even better, I’ve made it through a week of healthy eating! Go me!

The day the cupcake queen went paleo.

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I went to see “The Great Gatsby” with a good friend yesterday. Great film, amazing visual experience and Leonardo’s quite easy on the eyes too. What was the most memorable scene for me, I hear you ask? Well, for those of you who haven’t seen it, there’s this fabulous scene where an afternoon tea is held for a beautiful girl. Beautiful cakes, platters of elegantly arranged, pastel coloured macaroons and of course the cupcakes, we can’t forget those. Pretty, sweet, pleasing to the eye and the palate, cupcakes. In the throes of monumental sugar withdrawal, I was sitting, saucer eyed in the cinema drooling into my lap. I cant even recall what Leonardo was saying to the hot chick during that scene, but i can still vividly describe the cakes on their afternoon tea table!

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These sweet delights have been one of my biggest downfalls over the years when it has come to my attempts at eating well and maintaining a decent weight. There seems to be some psychological button they press in my reward centre in a way other foods don’t. I feel my excitement level rising rapidly just at the mere thought of a cupcake. It would be fascinating to study the basis for this, but I assume its associated with some positive interaction in my childhood that I can no longer remember well. So what’s a girl to do? I have a few friends popping round for afternoon tea today. If I ever needed an excuse to have sweet treats in the house, having visitors has always been well near the top of the list. I can’t deprive them just because I’m on a diet after all. Really? And of course there would be leftovers, which I would then down as soon as said visitors were out the door. A recipe for disaster!

So I am going to make some new “sweet treats”, the kind that taste delicious but will also support my quest to look and feel just as delicious. So today I am off to bake some paleo sweet potato brownies and banana almond muffins. Delicious and retraining my taste buds one day at a time. πŸ™‚

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http://paleomg.com/sweet-potato-brownies/

http://fastpaleo.com/banana-almond-muffins/

postscript:OMG! The brownies are the bomb! Suggest using the food processor on the sweet potato for smoother consistency. Muffins also delicious. I substituted coconut oil for the butter and walnuts for the chopped almonds. Boom! Love it when new recipes are a success!!! πŸ˜€