My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

Motivational Monday

It’s Monday.  The start of a new week and a new chance to kick butt.  Sometimes seeing the positive in Monday is hard.  The weekend is over and it’s back to work and the hectic life we all seem to lead.  I know on Monday I can often use a little motivation to get the week off on the right foot, so I’m starting a Motivational Monday post to help us all put our best foot forward as we head into the week.

motivational monday

This morning while I was eating breakfast at my desk and catching up on my blog reading, I came across this awesome list of 10 tips for body acceptance from Run This Mom.  I’ve been following Krysty’s blog for a while…back when she was a “little runner girl”.  Now she’s a new mom and trying to get back into shape after giving birth.  Her post today was something that all moms can relate to and she had a great list of how to accept the body you have now.

Even though I’m not a new mom, I still have issues with body acceptance.  There are parts of my body that I wish I could just flip a switch and boom, the fat would be gone and things would be toned and muscular.  Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that…and so I go to CrossFit, try to eat well, and do the work to get the change I want.  Still, sometimes I need a reminder that even though my body isn’t perfect, I should still love it and accept it for all that it can do. 

So, without further ado…here are 10 tips to motivate you to love yourself the way you are.

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What’s the nice thing you are going to do for yourself today?  I”m going to go spend an hour at my happy place tonight…CrossFit class at 8:30…can’t wait! 

Happy Monday!

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Weekend Roundup

It’s Sunday evening and that means the weekend is almost over Sad smile  I had a great weekend, so it’s time for a little….
weekend roundup

FRIDAY: Friday was a good day.  Got a few things done at work in the morning and then ran some errands in the afternoon before picking my son up at school.  I hit CrossFit for the 5:30pm class where we worked on handstand push-ups and hollow rocks before a metcon of 3 rounds 500m row with a 3 min rest between rows.  I’ve got handstand push-ups on my goals for the year.  I used 2 abmats and was able to do 11-9-7-6-6 for the 5 sets of max effort.  I was happy with that, but I think I’m a long way from being able to get rid of one abmat, let alone 2, to be able to do a full HSPU.  I’ve still got 8 months to work on it! 

Rowing is not my favourite CrossFit activity.  I’ve got short legs and I just don’t get as much out of each stroke as some of my fellow CrossFitters with longer limbs.  Still, I gave it my best and managed 2:03, 2:04 and 2:07 for the 3 rounds.  I’m not sure if that was my fast 500m, but all three times were faster than last time we did this WOD back on Sept 24, 2013 when I rowed 2:08, 2:12 and 2:12.  So my slowest 500m this time was better than my fastest 500m last time…so that’s all good! 
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SATURDAYI started my Saturday, with a 9:30am CrossFit class.  The strength workout was deadlifts.  Ever since Open 14.3 my back has been a little tweaky during deadlifts, so I kept it light and just worked on form.  Coach Andrew, who is a competitive Power Lifter and can deadlift a ridiculous amount of weight for his size, gave me a few tips on setup position and what to think about when lifting and it made a huge difference in how my deadlifts felt.  Thinking about pushing down on the ground, rather then pulling up, totally took my back out of the equation and it didn’t bother me at all. 

After the deadlift strength work, the metcon was a killer: 
wod april 26

Coach said he wanted the first round of dumbbell lunges to be unbroken, and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to do that with the 20# RX weight, so I used 15# for the WOD instead.  Probably a good move since this WOD kicked my ass!  Wall balls are not my friend.  They suck the life right out of me.  I don’t know if it’s that whole short leg thing again, but they are so hard for me.  I did do them RX, but they were tough!  In the end I suffered through it in 16:50. 

Saturday afternoon Jacko started his first season of lacrosse.  I’m not sure I’m going to like it.  We went early to watch the game before and see what this whole lacrosse thing is about.  The kids crosscheck like crazy and hit each other with their sticks constantly.  Some of the hits look like they are completely unnecessary and the kids are just hitting each other for the sake of hitting and not trying to get the ball off of them at all. 

Jacko is so excited about playing and couldn’t wait to get onto the floor.  His team actually doesn’t have a coach yet, but thankfully one of the refs put them through a few drills before the game and explained a few of the rules to them.  A few of the dads volunteered to open the doors so they weren’t on their own on the bench. 

The pictures aren’t very good, but here are a few shots of the dude in his glory.
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Jack had a blast, and his team won the game, but one of his teammates was crosschecked so hard into the boards that he had to leave the game and the kid who hit him from behind was kicked out of the rest of the game and apparently was suspended for a game.  This didn’t do much for my concern about the game.  Hopefully next week is a cleaner game. 

SUNDAYToday was a rest day, so no workout for me!  The weather was pretty good, not quite warm enough for my liking, but okay, so we did some work outside.  Hubs finished raking the yard and put down some fertilizer.  I trimmed the shrubs and bushes and we put some mulch in the garden.  It looks pretty good.  I do not have a green thumb at all, so everything we have is pretty low maintenance. 

After the yard work, I got to menu planning. 
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We’ve got some good eats lined up for the week…including a new item found and requested by my 14 year old, Nick.  Nick likes bacon and spicy things and the dish he found has both of these!  Bacon Wrapped Sriracha Onion Rings.  These were quick and easy to prepare and baked in the over for an hour or so…and holy deliciousness! 
photo 2 (4)photo 1 (5)photo 2 (5)

These were a tasty part of our dinner tonight:  Steak, grilled asparagus and the onion rings…Total YUMMO! 
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I’ve got a busy week ahead of me.  CrossFit Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  I’m doing a mobility class on Thursday – I’m loving these classes!  Tuesday I’ve got a massage scheduled…I can’t wait!  Although my body doesn’t feel as achy as usual since I’ve started the mobility classes. And next Saturday, the summer round of the Whole Life Challenge starts.  I’m looking forward to it for the most part.  I’ve got a few weekend events that will fall in the challenge window, but I’m not too worried about it.  I’m going to eat and drink what I want during those events and do my best the rest of the time. 

Now, I’m going to publish this post and watch the new John Oliver show Last Week Tonight on HBO.  I liked him when he was on The Daily Show.  I’m looking forward to seeing what he does on his own show.

How was your weekend?  Do anything exciting?
Try any new recipes?

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Totally Random Tuesday

Hey peeps.  Happy Tuesday!  Nothing much happening today, so I’ll just go with another Totally Random Tuesday and catch you up on life.
totally random Tuesday

1.  Today is a rest day for me.  I’m enjoying sitting on the couch and watching an episode of two of House of Cards.  Love that show!
Kevin-Spacey-in-House-of-Cards

2.  My friend Suzanne sent me this in a text this morning. I love it!  It was good to start the day with a laugh.IMG_4438
3.  I am quite achy today.  Yesterday at CrossFit we did “Tabata This” as the WOD.  It seems so harmless on paper…8 rounds 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest of 5 different moves: Row, Air Squats, Pull-Ups, Push-Ups, Sit-Ups.  Today it hurts to laugh, and I feel every stair I climb up or step down.  God, I love CrossFit!going back for more

I’m back to the gym tomorrow.  Not sure what the WOD is yet, but I’m sure it will kick my ass.  I can’t wait.

Hope your Tuesday was totally random!

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Happy Easter!

The Easter Bunny must have missed my post the other day about how much crap I am eating.  Look what he left for me this morning:
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My plan is to eat them all today and just get them out of my life! 

Tonight we are going to my sister’s for a casual Easter dinner.  My other sister and her kids are coming to town to visit with cousins for the day, so we are all having dinner together.  I’m not sure what’s on the menu for dinner, but I picked up a giant apple pie from the grocery store yesterday that will serve as a yummy dessert. 
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I just need to find some vanilla ice cream to round out the deliciousness!

Before we head to my sister’s place, we are heading to the driving range.  I can’t wait to hit a few balls and see if CrossFit has added any distance to my shots.  Fingers crossed.

Hope you are enjoying your Easter Sunday.

Did the Easter Bunny leave you anything sinfully delicious today?

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Stop Snacking on CRAP!

I have been busting my ass at CrossFit, going to class 4 times a week, and adding in a mobility session each week.  I am finally getting used to my extra class each week.  The first few weeks of 4 classes a week my body was achy and tired.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still sore and tired, but it’s all good!

My main meals have been pretty good lately…especially this week. 100% clean and mostly paleo…and totally delicious.  So, that’s good too.

But…I can’t seem to stop snacking this week.  A giant bag of chocolate covered almonds showed up in the office kitchen and I have eaten WAY too many of them.  I nibbled on cheese bread while making dinner last night and tonight.  I’ve had more than one Nutella wrap when I walk in the door after work.  And I practically ate a whole bag of sweet potato chips while watching Grey’s tonight.

I need to stop snacking…or at least stop snacking on CRAP.  I’m working so hard in the gym, and then ruining all my hard work by eating too much crap.  This has to stop!

abs-made-in-kitchen-not-gym

5 best ab exercises

Hopefully I find some will-power soon.

Have you got any tips for how to control bad snacking?

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CrossFit in VOGUE Magazine!

As I was browsing through Facebook this morning, while enjoying my usual office breakfast of bacon, eggs and grapefruit, I came across a link to an article about Annie Thorisdottir from Vogue Magazine. 

Strong, fit, beautiful…and totally awesome!

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Image Source:  www.vogue.com

Check out the full article here:

http://www.vogue.com/magazine/article/annie-thorisdottir-fittest-woman-crossfit-champion/#

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Totally Random Tuesday

totally random Tuesday

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  Life had been busy and I just don’t seem to have time, or the energy, to post all that regularly.  Hopefully I will get you all caught up on what’s been going on with my in another instalment of Totally Random Tuesday.

1.  I have bumped my CrossFit up to 4 times a week.  This started when I got back from March Break.  I’m loving the extra class, but my body sure felt it for the first few weeks. To help my body cope, I am trying to attend a Mobility Class each week.  My hockey for the season has finished, which means I can go to CrossFit on Thursdays and there is a mobility class that I will try to regularly attend.  I went for the first time last week and it felt good.  Tomorrow I am going to do a WOD at 7pm and then hit mobility at 8.  It should be a good stretch and I’m hoping it helps me make it through 4 days in a row at the Box.  This week I will be going Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. so a good stretch might be just what I need to help me survive! 
stretch its good for you

2.  The Corona Crushers went to Brockville this past weekend for our annual tournament adventure.  This is our 4th year going to this tournament.  We always have a good time, and this year was no exception.  Our game times were pretty good (10pm Friday night, 3pm Saturday afternoon, 9am Sunday and then finals 12:15 Sunday afternoon if we made it).  We got smoked by a very good, young team on Friday night, but we didn’t let that bother out post game celebrations.  We headed back to the hotel and did what the Crushers do best…we partied…hard!  We finally went to bed at 5:30 or so Saturday morning!  Good thing we didn’t play until 3!  Despite the late night, we were up around 10:30 and hit a local diner for a great “morning after the night before” breakfast:
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We did a bit of shopping and then we were back on the ice at 3.  We won that game pretty easily and then got right back into party mode.  We went out for dinner and then back to the room for more drinks, laughs and fun.  Saturday was an earlier night, since we played at 9 and needed to win to make the finals.  Sunday’s 9am game was another strong game for us and we did win, which meant we were in the finals at 12;15.

In true Crusher fashion, we enjoyed a few bevvies between games…we may have broken a few rules in doing so!
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In the finals, we played the same team we played Friday night.  They are a very strong team, and were much better than we were, and once again, they beat us quite handily…but we played a fantastic game.  We played much better than we did Friday night, and even though we lost, we were pretty happy with our performance.  We are already looking forward to next year’s tourney!  Maybe next year we will do a better job lining up for the team photo! 
crushers brockville 2014

3.  I’m back to CrossFit tomorrow…after 4 days off.  I’m a little nervous about how I will feel after being away from the Box for 4 days in a row.  I did play 4 games of hockey during that time off, but it’s not the same as CrossFit!  Tomorrow’s WOD looks like this:
wod apriil 8

For the last few weeks, the WODs have been different than we’ve been used to.  There are now advanced, intermediate and beginner levels to the strength and usually the met con as well. This is following an Optimum Performance Training theory of programming.  I’m not exactly sure what it’s all about or how it is better than what we did before, but I will trust my coaches that they know what they are doing and are programming so we can all make gains. I will either do intermediate or beginner tomorrow. I will decide after the coach gives her pre-WOD talk.  So far, they’ve recommended we go one level below what we think we are until we get a feel for the new programming.  If that is still the case, I will probably do Beginner.  I’m sure it will still be a killer workout!

For the MetCon, I’m pretty sure I will row, since the driveway at the gym is a complete disaster after this brutal winter.  There are giant potholes, heaves and dips all over the place.  I don’t need to roll and ankle or wipe out during the run, so I think I will keep it safe and hit the rower.  Can’t wait to get back at it.

4.  Here’s a funny for anyone who has a cat:  It’s funny, because it’s true!  This has happened more than once at our house!

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5.  I have fallen off on my reading lately. I was going great guns until the last week of March and I haven’t read much at all since I finished my last book March 24. I just can’t seem to find anything that seems like something I want to read. I have no shortage of books available, as hubs got a jump drive with about 5000 books on it from someone at work. I just need to take some time to go through them all and find something that looks good.

Any suggestions on what I should read next? 

Hope your Tuesday was Totally Random!

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I’m A Machine?

So, a while back I celebrated my first year of CrossFit.  My coaches sent me an email to commemorate the occasion:

“Congratulations, Cathy, you have officially completed one year of training at CrossFit Newmarket Central!

Your very first day with us was January 30, 2013.  Did you imagine on that day that you would be where you are today?  Every year on your anniversary, we suggest you take a moment to look over your training journal to see where you’ve been and what you’ve accomplished — you might just surprise yourself!  In any event, the year mark is significant — congratulations on your persistence and consistency.  Keep up the great work and we look forward to seeing you in many more classes to come!
Good work and happy anniversary!

Ryan, Michelle & all the staff at CrossFit Newmarket Central”

I thought it was funny that they suggested I go back through my WOD book and see how far I had come during this first year of CrossFit, since I had done exactly that just a couple of weeks before when I had finished my first WOD journal.  I wanted to let Ryan and Michelle know how much I enjoyed my year, and share a few of my highlights, so I replied back to their email.  They liked my reply so much, they asked if they could share it with the other members of CFNC.  I said sure, and didn’t think much about it.  Ryan took a pic of me before class one night so he could include it with my reply.

Well, last week (on March 26) he posted my reply to the CrossFit Newmarket Central Facebook page and I was floored by the response!  Here’s the post from the CFNC Facebook page. I’ve added in links to my original posts where I talk about each one of these highlights.

Cathy is a machine!!

“Thanks Ryan and Michelle.
This has been the best year! I am so much fitter, stronger, happier, and healthier than I was last year at this time…and a HUGE part of that is thanks to CrossFit and the amazing coaches.

I absolutely LOVE everything about CrossFit! CrossFit class is truly one of the best parts of my day. The WODs are tough, challenging, at times killer, but they work…the changes I see in my body prove it! I leave (almost) every class with a smile on my face and the satisfaction of knowing I am doing good things for my body and my life. The classes that I don’t leave smiling – take Nov 18 Barbara WOD as an example here…58 minutes and 26 seconds of pure, fucking hell – I leave knowing I survived and even though things may be tough, they are making me stronger.

I just finished my first WOD book a couple of weeks ago and I did go back and look at everything I have accomplished this past year. I may not be the strongest, or the fastest, or the leanest person at CFNC, but I am certainly stronger, faster and leaner than I was last year at this time. A few of the highlights for me this year:

1. May 3: Finishing the WOD – 200m walking lunges with 5 thrusters every 10 lunges. This WOD made me want to cry. It was so hard. I remember being so far behind the group and thinking I am not going to be able to finish. I wanted to stop and cry, and then Ryan came around the corner and started talking me through the last 50 metres or so. I honestly believe that if he hadn’t come around that corner and started to encourage me, I may still be standing there holding those fucking dumbbells – since I didn’t realize I could put them down along the way! I remember telling Ryan I wanted to cry. He told me I could cry when I crossed the finish line (and I think I did). I remember turning the final corner and heading towards the garage door at the old gym. I was so slow that my whole class had finished and the next class already outside finishing their warm up. That just meant there were 20+ people there cheering me on. I was on the verge of tears…from the pain, but also from seeing everyone there encouraging me to keep going. That was the day I truly understood the “family” that is CrossFit.

2. Aug 16: Getting unassisted kipping pull-ups. Seriously, this made me ridiculously happy and the fact that Ryan captured it on video was awesome. I still go back and watch the video every once in a while and can’t help but smile.

3. Nov 11: Finishing the Filthy Fifty in 37:33. The first time I did it (May 13) I only made it through 6.5 stations in the 35 minute time cap, so finishing the whole thing in only a couple minutes more proved to me that I was getting better. (There was a 30 min time cap that I didn’t finish under, but I just kept going because I was determined to finish the WOD)

4. Nov 25: Clean & Jerk 100lbs. I finally got 100lbs over my head! I didn’t make a big deal about it when it happened. Just had a huge smile and gave myself a little round of applause, but inside I was so proud of myself.

There are plenty more highlights from my first year of CrossFit, but these are 4 that really stand out for me. They show me that I can do so much more than I thought possible. I still have a mini panic attack every once in a while before class as I watch the class before me finish the WOD. But once I get out there on the gym floor the panic goes away and I know I will get through it.

Thank you to you and all the other amazing coaches for all your help this year. I’ve come a long way this past year and I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish in the next year.
See you in the gym!”
Cathy

— with Ryan Abush and 8 others at CrossFit Newmarket Central.

 

crossfit pic with post

The comments that people made on the post just further went to show me why I love CrossFit and the members of CFNC.  They are so supportive and encouraging.  If you want to see what I mean, just click on the link to the CFNC Facebook page and read the original post…the comments are below it.

I”m not sure I would call myself a machine, but I don’t think I’m a broken down wreck at the side of the road anymore!

I can’t wait to see what my second year of CrossFit has in store!

Lift happy, my friends!
peace love and crossfit

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14.5 Recap

This post is a bit late…but I had a busy weekend and I ran out of time yesterday too.  Anyways, better late than never…here is my recap of 14.5.

So, I was dreading this bad boy pretty much from the second it was announced.  Not that it was a great surprise. Everyone knew it would be Thrusters and Burpees…Even Dave Castro teased us pre-14.5 with a little video on the CrossFit Games Instagram feed (click image to be taken to the video):
castro 14.5

“Everybody know what we’re gonna be feeding them tonight…but nobody has a clue to how we’re gonna serve it.”

I was playing hockey when 14.5 was announced and actually forgot to check the announcement for a while after I got home.  I was not too impressed to see this: 
14.5 wod

You can read about my pre-WOD nervousness here, but what I wrote on Friday afternoon, was nothing compared to the nerves I had when I got to the Box. 

I signed up on the run sheet and picked lucky #13. This seemed like a good spot for me to choose. It’s my hockey jersey number and it just seemed to be the place for me on the run sheet.  I wasn’t in the first group to start, but would be replacing one of the first people finished their WOD, taking their station on the gym floor.

I started my warm up with a 500m row, did some work with the foam roller and lacrosse ball, and then the usual stretches and warm ups we do. I did some work with the PVC pipe to get my shoulders warm, did some squats, and then a few empty bar thrusters and a couple at 65#.  In regular WODs with thrusters I use 45#, so jumping to 65# was pretty scary.  Those 65# thrusters were tough and once again I started to doubt if I could do 84 of them.

Watching the first group do the WOD didn’t do much for my confidence either.  People looked like they were suffering even on the first round. I started to get even more nervous and really doubted if I would be able to do this WOD. 

When Coach Ryan called my name and told me I was up, I was a giant bundle of nerves.  I really didn’t know if I could do it.  I even got a little teary as I got to my station.  The thought of 84 65# thrusters just got to be too much. A couple of the coaches, Savannah and Katrina, both came over and gave me a hug and told me I could do it.  My judge, Simon – who I had as my judge for 14.4 too, gave me a little pep talk as well.  Then he started the 3-2-1 countdown, I wiped my tears away, and picked up the bar for the first time.  I cleaned it up and then got my focus and did the squat part of the thruster – that’s not the hard part for me…the tough part is the press part, since I couldn’t stop and push press it up…it had to be one fluid movement.  Well, I did the first one and thought how the hell am I going to do 20 more for this first round, let alone 83 more for the whole WOD.  I think I may have done 4 or 5 thrusters and then had to put the bar down.  Simon was great at encouraging me and I picked the bar up and did 3 more thrusters before I had to put it down again.  Then Simon said something like “those three looked good..nice and strong…just keep doing that…3 at a time”.  And that’s exactly what I did…the rest of them were done in sets of 3 for the entire rest of the WOD. 

The burpees were actually my recovery time.  I had watched a video earlier in the afternoon that had someone doing a burpee with jumping out and back and someone stepping out and back beside each other.  The step burpee was a little slower, but not all that much. It’s not like I would be posting one of the top times, so, I decided on step burpees for each round.  I stepped out and back and was able to go unbroken in each set, never needing to stop and rest during the burpees.

The round of 15 was the worst round for me.  I had already done so many thrusters by then and still had so many to go.  But, I had a great cheering section and my thruster strategy and I just kept plugging away 3 at a time. 

Finally, I got to the last round of 3 thrusters…thank God!  They were tough, but I managed. Only 3 burpees and I would be done.  I actually jumped them out and back and they were probably the fastest three burpees I’ve ever done.  I just wanted it to be over.  When I finally hopped over the bar that last time, I let out the biggest yell!  I did it!  Kat and Sav were both there to give me the biggest celebratory hug, and my friend Nikki, who was already finished, gave me a big high five, and I think I may have even hugged Simon!  I was so happy! 

My time was not the fastest posted in our Box that day, nor was it the slowest, and even if it was I’m not sure I would have cared. I finished!  I did 84 65# thrusters!!! 14.5 score 
After I finished, I stayed to cheer on fellow athletes and then watched the coaches do the WOD.  It was so amazing to see them kill this WOD.

As a reward for 14.5, hubby and I were planning to go out for beer and chicken wings. Turns out a few others were planning on doing that too. We met them at the bar and we had a fun night chatting about life and CrossFit and I stuffed myself with chicken wings and enjoyed a few nice, cold Coronas!  I was one happy CrossFitter!

14.5 was one of the hardest things I have done at CrossFit..maybe even the hardest so far.  It took me outside my comfort zone, but also showed me that I need to have more confidence in my abilities.  It wasn’t easy, but I finished…and for that, I am proud!

Did you do 14.5?
How did it go?

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