Thursday, September 8, 2016

A Year Old. None The Wiser.

Today is my birthday.

I am 37 years old.

I wish I could say that this day finds me not just older, but also wiser...but  it doesn't.  It's been a rough month for me.  Maybe a rough couple of months.  And I wish today wasn't my birthday...because I love my birthday...and my heart just isn't in it.

But it is, so in order to have the smile everyone will expect I have two goals today.  1.  Not to cry.  and 2. To focus on all that I have.

What I am thankful for, in no certain order:

-A body that is healthier than it has ever been
-A wife that loves me
-My fur babies.  I love them.
-My friends that love me and are there for me.
-My muscles.
-My family.
-Tacos and all types of cheese.
-A roof over my head and food in my belly (see above bullet point)
-My health

September 8, 2016.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Workout Panties, Thrusters, Snatches and Other Things That Sound Delicious

In my last post I rambled on about WHY I decided to try Crossfit...and by the time I finished that lengthy explanation, I was tiring of my own I decided to carry over the Crossfit experience into a second post.


So let us start with some psychological tidbits regarding Amy's brain.  I would consider myself relatively fit.  I would also think it's same to say that I am physically stronger than the average 36 year old woman.  I could be delusional, but I believe I have a body that says: She works out...but she really loves tacos.  You know what I am saying?  I am confident in my physique.  Confident riiiiiight up until I think about placing myself in a situation where I believe there are REALLY fit people.  Then I am a chubby unicorn that has an over inflated sense of self.  So it was with trepidation that I went to my first cross-fit class.

Prior to rolling into the parking lot at 4:40 AM (it started at 5:00am and I apparently grossly underestimated the time required to travel to Crossfit during prime sleeping hours for the normal human beings that inhabit Pensacola), I had stalked the Facebook page, I had looked at their website.  I tried to watch any videos.  Photo stalked people who were in their posts...

I did my research.

I even sent messages to a couple of my friends that I knew went to this facility.  I prepped myself.

Then I almost pooped myself.

Well not really....although we know I do have a history...but I had that nervous stomach one gets before embarking on something that could potentially kill them.

But I went anyways.

I waited for the big garage door to roll open.

And out of my car I did go...into...

The "box".

Imagine a big metal structure, I'm not sure "warehouse" is the correct term...but gigantic garage might work.  There are racks and rigs, there are ropes to the ceiling, sleds for pushing, medicine balls, kettle bells...and absolutely no air conditioning.  I met Joe, the owner.  He looks...normal.  Well, thin and healthy.  He is training for a triathlon so he isn't even doing Crossfit right now.  So he looks more like a "runner" than a "crossfitter".  Very laid back.  Very friendly.

As the other people arrived I kept waiting for someone to show up in what I call "workout panties".
Here is a good example of workout panties...This is Dani Sidell...another one of my Instagram girl crushes.

But as I waited for people to arrive...everyone looked...normal.  There were some girls in college, there were some dudes that may have been around during Jack Lalanne was just a boy...
There were guys in their 40's, women that looked like "ladies that play tennis and shop then go eat salads and shop at Target".  There was a range of ages and body types.  And everyone was SUPER encouraging and welcoming.  And just like I find in many situations in my things are never as scary as I make them out to be in my head.

I can't even tell you what the WOD was that day (workout of the day), and I don't know how it is at other crossfit facilities, but the WOD reminds me a lot of a bootcamp style class.  Everyone is doing the same things, although at different weights or intensities, and you are doing it as a big group.  There is a warm-up, then maybe a section A, B, and C.  We usually start with something to get our heart rate up, a mix of high rep movements like box jumps, burpees, wall ball squats, and then something cardio like rowing or jump roping.  If you can't do any of those modify.  The middle section is usually the olympic lifting.  You aren't going fast, you are concentrating on form, technique, and weight.  Then the last section is the "section of death" as I like to call it.  I can last anywhere from 3-27 minutes and sometimes I think I am going to die.  Usually it is for time and you are doing AMRAP (as many rounds as possible in a certain amount of time) or you are doing a set number of rounds and reps and recording how long it takes you.

What's great about being at the brink of death is you can't really compare yourself to other people for the sweat in your eyes and the beating of your heart in your ears.

I jest.

If you don't want to push yourself you can take it my friend Higgie will tell you.  Sometimes I look over at her as I try to recover in my fetal position and she hasn't even broke a sweat and is staring off in space.

You do you boo.

But because I want to record my time (and perhaps...PERHAPS I like beating people), I usually go all out.

And before you know it...class is over.  I have learned to bring a beach towel to sit on for the ride home because it's hotter than Satan's wallet in there and I sweat like a beast.  I have to take my shirt off to get into my car.  I could literally ring it out most days.  And...I like it.

NOW, do I love love love Crossfit?  No.  But I really like it.  Some people really like the group "fitness class" idea.  I honestly prefer lifting alone...with just the Ying Yang twins to keep my company.  But there is something to the community idea.  Which is why so many people find Crossfitters annoying because it IS very easy to talk about it all the time.

Do I think Crossfit is for everyone and you have to go sign up right now?  No.  I know you can adapt many things for many levels, I just wonder if someone with say...arthritis or terrible knee pain...would get as much out of the workouts as you should.  Some people like Zumba more than doing clean and jerks.  Some women just like to work out with other women.  

And you know what?  That's okay.

Tomorrow I shall broach the subject of "my workout is better than your workout."

But until then, Happy Monday's my friends!


Friday, August 26, 2016

Amy Does Crossfit

Something has been happening.  It started with...Instagram. As some of you 'Gramers know, you can search for pictures/posts on Instagram using #hashtags.

So, if you wanted to lovingly look at say, TACOS, you could go the search feature and type in #tacos, and your mobile device would be filled with glorious pictures of tacos that other Instagram users had tagged.

Well, one of my favorite hashtags to search by is #girlswholift.  I like to look at the posts for motivation, ideas for workouts, or funny meme's like...
This is kinda true...but we will return to what the most interesting man in the world is saying in due time.

I noticed in all my searching of #girlswholift that there was a theme in the bodies I was attracted to.  And by "attracted to" I don't mean in that "I'd like to picture you naked when I am naked" kind of attraction (well, not USUALLY), but attraction in the sense that I was drawn to a certain body type that I liked the most.

Exhibit A:

Meet Stacie Tovar.  While I don't know her, she IS from Nebraska which IS right above Kansas, which IS where I lived for 26 years of my life.  So we are practically best friends...anyways.  I love her body type.  What we shall call "Body type Crossfit".  Thick, muscular, strong, a little stocky, fit.  And I totally get that the female crossfit body type is not for everyone.  "Too masculine" some might say.  I only caution you in saying that if you are a female because it implies that muscles = man...and women can have muscles too and still be "feminine".  But regardless...I dig it.  And even back in the when the sun first started to rise on my love parade with Heather, she always told me that most likely I was meant to be stocky & muscular...that if I started to lift and started to lift heavy, I would not have the body of say...
Charlize Theron

Which I took as her trying to flirt with me and all I could picture in my mind was a precious 30-something year old lapband patient that transformed into a gymnast/weightlifter/professional dancer.

SO, whew...long story long dude....I noticed that the body type I wanted was often tied to women that did Crossfit.

One problem with that...

Heather and I have been talking shit on Crossfit for years.  YEARS I TELL YOU!  We would say, "Lawd...all crossfitters talk about is crossfit".  Or "It's so dangerous", "It's so bad for your body", or "they aren't even doing REAL pull-ups".

Sigh.  So I viewed the crossfit girls in secret.  

THEN out came a documentary on Netflix called Fittest on Earth 2015.  It was a documentary that followed several of the top female and male athletes competing in the 2015 Crossfit games.  I watched it once by myself. I watched it again by myself.  THEN...I decided to make Heather watch it...after which I informed her that I was going to win the 2017 Crossfit games (I may need to extend that deadline a little after actually DOING some of things required to even qualify).  And being the fabulous wife that I was said to me...

"If you really want to do Crossfit I will support you and pay for it...and I will stop talking shit about it".

Say what?


But it actually took me a couple of weeks to summon up the courage to step into a "box" (they don't call them gym's.  I don't really know why but I think it has to do with the fact that the buildings are usually in warehouse like structures...not what you would picture as a gym these days?).

And while I am saving my experience thus far (finishing my first month) for my next post I will say this:

1.  It's not what I thought.
2.  I've got a lot to learn.
3.  No one is working out in their panties.
4.  98% of the people who go to my "box" look like normal people.
5.  It's challenging and different.

And that last one is important for me.  I have been working out now for almost 8 years.  (I mean regularly and post-lapband).  I started with walking.  I then segued into bootcamp style classes taught by future wife.  Then did circuit style training (a mix of cardio and weight stations) for a couple of years, tried to become a runner, and really got into lifting.  I have been actively trying to put on muscle mass for the last 2 years...and I certainly have become stronger and made gains. But for the last 6-9 months, I've kind of hit a body plateau.  So my real hope with adding crossfit to my normal workout routine is that it will be the change my body needs to start growing again.

And while I may never look like Stacie Tovar (I'm old, I used to weigh 330 pounds, I don't eat like her and I can't dedicate my days to training and fitness), I can at least by her shirts and pretend!

This is her website just in case you want to buy one too!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Do you know your BMR?

After the reports in the news revolving around some studies and people who have lost a great deal of weight (you can read one of those articles here), a fear shock wave was felt by some of us who have long said things like "My metabolism is probably so jacked up that I just look at food and gain weight".

The fear was..."Holy frosted cupcakes, what if my metabolism really DOES suck".

So, just to find out, my sister and I decided to go to my bariatric clinic (you don't have to be a patient or have had WLS, anyone can do the test for $50) to have our basal metabolic rate tested.  Your BMR is the amount of energy you expend while at rest.  For the test we had to fast after midnight and not workout before the test.

My lapband doctor actually recommended I have this done last year, but I have better ways I can spend $50 and also...I didn't really care.  I don't count calories anymore and don't really intend on counting calories in the near future, so it didn't matter to me what my BMR was.  BUT, my sister wanted to go and after the studies in the news...I was a little curious.

The test itself is simple.  You wear a nose plug and breathe into that little machine for 6-10 minutes.  Then, they upload your info in the computer and you get a little report that tells you things.

This is a totally wretched scan of one of my reports:

Basically-based on my reported exercise level, my weight, height, age, sex and my breathing machine report...I can maintain my current weight of 180 by eating a relatively generous 1640 calories a day!  If I want to lose 1 pound a week, without factoring in exercise calorie burn, I can still eat around 1400 calories a day.

In otherwords, my metabolism ain't that shabby!  Which makes me feel a touch of pride...because although there are many factors that can help increase your metabolism...the main one is STRENGTH TRAINING.

The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.  

My sister's report was close to her prediction.  She is doomed.  Okay, not doomed.  But even though she and I are at the same weight, her daily allotment to maintain is around 1100 calories!  And if she wants to lose 2 pounds a week, she has to keep her calories around 999 (without factoring in exercise).  What is she supposed to eat?  ICE CHIPS?  But she is 16 years my senior and although she has been lifting for several years, she is still in the process of building her mass.

Where Heather works, they have a body comp scale.  I have been getting these reports for years, but this report was from the same day as my BMR test.  You can see over at the right, the BMR calculations from that report are pretty close.  If you have never done a body comp scale, I highly recommend it.  It measures your muscle mass, your fat, etc.  You can see that it recommends that I lose 16.3 more pounds of fat.  And it bases that off of your body comp, not a stupid BMI chart.
So there you go!  If you are a calorie counter, than knowing your BMR could be really helpful.  If you are starting a diet or exercise program, body comp scales are wonderful for measuring your progress.  That way, if you think "I'm probably not losing weight because I am building muscles" have a way to really check!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Skinny Dippers DietBet

Hello my lovely love buds. I am starting another DietBet.  It's a $35 "buy-in".  If you aren't familiar with DietBet, this competition will last 4 weeks, your goal is to lose at least 4% of your body weight, and if you DO lose at least 4%, you are guaranteed to win at least your $35 back.  You will split the pot with all other 4% or above losers.

Invite your friends and family.  The bigger the pot, the more we can win.

It starts Monday, June 13th!

Here is the link!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

If Your Pants Don't Fit...

I tried to think of something clever there, ala the OJ Simpson trial, but my brain is not functioning today as I did not get to workout this morning, thus could not drink any pre pre, and am currently off the soda hooch...

But it could have been:

If your Pants don't fit, you gotta quit [eating]


If Your Pants don't fit, you gotta diet a bit


If you pants don't fit, f@ck em.  Pants are stupid anyways.

But about two months ago my pants were on the verge of splitting. You know, your coot coot can barely take your pants off but they leave a sexy indentation where the waist line was squeezing your muffin batter...the are a little high water like because they have had to use the material in them to cover your girth and thus...don't hang as low as they used to.

That kind of pants tight.

So I needed some help and I scheduled an appointment with my primary care doctor.

I was going to have to go in a beg for a round of phentermine.

It has been about two years since I had my last round of the magical drug that suppresses my appetite. If you don't remember that experience, it was honestly the first time in my life that I didn't think about food non-stop.  That effect only really lasts in it's full glory for about 3-4 weeks, but while it lasts, it's SO helpful to get back on track.

My doctor doesn't like prescribing it though because she believes it is a short fix (truth) and that good old diet and exercise should do the trick (if only it was that easy).

SO our conversation went something like this.

Doc: Why are you here today?

Me: Um.  Well.  Yes.  I would like a refill on my phentermine.  I have gained about 30 pounds and need help getting back on track.

Doc:  Well, it doesn't seem to KEEP you on track does it?

Me: No

Doc: So what WILL keep you on track?

Me:  Hell if I know.  I had weight loss surgery and still struggle.  I think it is something I will have to fight every day for the rest of my life.

Doc: I will give you two months.

So there.  I won.  And she is right.  It is a short fix.  But it does help me and it gives me hope and it motivates me to do better.

So I went to the doctor that day at 197.4 (the doctors 1965 slide scale actually was at 200 but the sweet nurse took some pounds off for my clothing), and I weighed in yesterday at 177.4.

20 pounds down.

So what did I do besides the phentermine?  For the month of April I had two "give ups".  I gave up soda and alcohol.  And slap my butt and call me Besty, I made it.  We went "glamping" at the end of April and that was when I was going to allow myself beer again.
Here's me, sweet Honey Mae, the pups (look closely), Heather whizzing by, and Jon Jon (Rachel's husband), on the back porch of their tent.  

I upped my cardio just a little, I didn't cut back on weights at all, I tried to prepare my meals for lunch, and to have healthy snacks.

During the month of May, I decided to stick with the no soda, but allowed myself to drink in moderation.  I haven't had any fast food these last two months, but I still have had sweets from time to time, a little white bread if the situation called for it (hot dogs are so much better on white bread), and have eaten yummy meals.  I haven't felt like I was missing out.

My ultimate goal was to fit into all my pants again.  Because I had a habit of dieting and losing weight and going to buy new pants at my small weight and only maintaining my small weight for 1.2 milliseconds, there are some pants that may never fit me again.  But  for the most part, I have probably 7-10 pounds left to go until I am fitting fine in my britches.

Yesterday was my last dose of phentermine, so now the training wheels are off and I have to work on staying with healthier habits.  It's funny how it seems like "of course I'm not going back to getting a "snack" at Taco Bell before I go home to Heather and cook us dinner"...but I have said that before.  I don't know what changes in ones mindset to make us go either way...but I'm just going to try and stay the course.  

Keep fighting the good fight.

Love and kisses honey bees!

Friday, February 12, 2016

How to Get Back on Track

So, how do you get back on track when your healthy living passenger train has derailed?  Mine likes to take detours quite often...seemingly more often than it stays on course.  Perhaps I am a magical wizard, perfecting the wizardery required for...

I have no idea where I was going with that...

But, coming back to a point...

When I get off track with eating or drinking, I have a couple things that help me refocus.

One of those things is setting an intention for the week.  I really like making my goals weekly.  During my first year of weight loss, I had a goal to lose 120 pounds in 12 months.  I broke that down to 30 pounds every three months, 10 pounds every month, with a 2-3 pound weekly goal.  It totally worked for me.  There were weeks that I didn't lose of course.  And there were some weeks that I gained.  But they balanced out with the weeks that I lost more than 2-3 pounds.

So, you should have a stretch goal.  Like your master goal.
You should have milestones along the path to that master goal.
And you should have mini-goals...sort of check points on your path.
And 7 days of doing something or focusing on something seems like a do-able amount of time.  I mean's just 7 days right?

So this week I created a visual reminder of why I am choosing healthier foods and why I am not drinking my calories, and why I am working out.  This week I am focusing on loosing some of my fat so I can better see my enormous muscles.  Because let me tell you sumpin...underneath this protective layer is a professional fitness competitor.  SO, I wrote that goal down and taped it to my bathroom mirror.  It really has helped.

Next week I may choose a nutrition focus.  Water, or veggies, or fruits....we will see.

Other things that have helped me in the past is looking/finding pictures of myself at a lower weight that I really liked.  Reminds me of how good I can look.

Writing my target weight goal for the week on piece of paper and taping it to my computer also can help.  So if I weigh in on Monday and I weigh 190, and I want to weigh 188 by NEXT Monday, I will write that 188 on a post-it so I look at it.  That's from the book the Secret.  If you've never read it, you should buy it and have a perusing.

So there you have it!

x's and o's