30 Days of Paleo & Crossfit Elements Completed!

I want to take a side step for a moment to state how incredibly proud I am of myself that I have officially completed 30 days of Paleo and a full 2-week introduction to Crossfit (aka on-ramp / elements)!!!

Where it all began…

I began my journey in the beginning of February after being extremely sick for 2 weeks straight.  At one point, I was so sick that I thought I was having a heart attack, but it was just severe heartburn.  I had GI problems like no other (my gastroenterologist told me I was “too young” to be in his office) and constant headaches and migraines (I had almost convinced myself to get a head CT or MRI to make sure I didn’t have a tumor!).  I was extremely lethargic and I hadn’t done any physical activity besides yoga in a long time!  My parents have been telling me for years how unhealthy my lifestyle is, but of course I never listened.  However, hitting my low in the beginning of 2012 and realizing I was turning 30 really put things into perspective.  I realized I needed a change and the only one who could do that was ME.

All my friends thought I was crazy to start eating Paleo and doing Crossfit because they thought I would either lose too much weight or become manly looking!  To paint the picture this is me 1-week before I started everything (amidst being sick I managed to bust out a smile):

I was in no way shape or form doing this because I wanted to lose weight (I was only 105 lbs and 5’4″)!  Instead, I wanted to get rid of all the toxins in my body causing GI problems and to convert my fat into muscle in order to gain weight.  I was looking for more of a long term solution rather than a quick detox (because personally, I think those weird lemon juice and honey detox plans are horrible for your body).  Strong is the new skinny right?

The Journey…

Week One didn’t seem too bad (minus the coffee withdrawals and attending one of my bride’s tastings that included lobster corn dogs and truffle mac n cheese!).  I stayed strong.  It was so exciting and new that it didn’t seem real yet.  My grocery bill, however, was a little steep (thank you TJs, Sprouts and WF) and I think I went overboard with cleaning out the kitchen pantry and buying new appliances & cooking ingredients, but at least I was prepared!  No temptations allowed!

Also, for those who know me, I don’t cook, but I love to bake.  It’s not that I don’t know how to cook, I just prefer going out to new restaurants or ordering take-out over sitting in the kitchen for an hour.  So, this whole “cooking” for every meal was a whole new experience in itself!  Good thing we bought a slow cooker… that thing has saved my life!

Week Two I was already feeling 100% better as the headaches had subsided and I hadn’t had gas every minute (yes, overshare, but GI problems suck!); however, it was Valentine’s Day and I had to work an event.  Good thing the boyfriend and I were both on Paleo so we stayed strong and resisted all the Funfetti cupcakes and an amazing dessert bar (sigh).

Week Three I started Crossfit.  In my entire life I don’t think I have ever touched a barbell.  Scared, nervous and nauseous were only mild understatements on my first day of class.  I literally tried not to throw up during the last 350m run… good thing I had an awesome coach (Jenny at Crossfit South Bay) who never judged me for my ridiculously girly attempt at Crossfit.  She definitely had to put up with a lot of complaining and whining!  By session 3 I already felt stronger… but maybe too strong that after a couple gin on the rocks and demonstrating wall balls on the dance floor, I ended up ripping a hole in my favorite skinny jeans (whoops)!  This week I also discovered Coconut Bliss “ice cream”… delicious!

Week Four I spent too much money at Lululemon (j/k… well sort of).  Working out 4-5 times a week requires a whole new wardrobe!  Anyway, by last week the diet was a no brainer although I still haven’t fully figured out how to eat out at restaurants.  I’ve become “anti-social” apparently.  Not only did I have to attend a wedding event in which mini sliders and lots of non-Paleo things were tempting me, but it was also my mom’s birthday and we went out for traditional Japanese food.  Sadly, I could only get sashimi while watching them devour tempura and soba noodles :(  Then my friends decided to re-live college and have an “Edward 40-hands” night in which I drank water and a glass of red wine.

{if you couldn’t tell I love Instagram}

 

Where I am 30 days later…

Besides being done with 30 days of Paleo, I just finished my 2-weeks of Crossfit “introduction” training so it’s now time to join the big kids in class!

I have decided to continue eating Paleo, but I will allow myself a cheat here and there for In n Out (they have gluten-free & dairy-free options), Yogurtland, and sushi (with rice).  During the 30 days I tried to be super strict, but I did make exceptions on occasion for some red wine, a little gin, 73% dark chocolate (but with no milk, sugar or bad ingredients) and gluten-free soy sauce (aka Tamari).

People ask me how I feel now and to be honest, FANTASTIC.  For some people (like the boyfriend), a change in diet barely affects the way he operates, but for me it was life-changing.  I feel more energetic, stronger, healthier, and most of all… my tummy doesn’t hurt anymore!!!  And to those who wonder if I lost any weight, I actually gained a couple pounds, but in a good way.  My tummy is flatter, my waist is more defined and my butt is perkier :)

Stay tuned for more personal updates in the upcoming months!

Crossfit vs. Zumba {video}

I apologize in advance if this offends anyone, but it was so funny I just had to share. I was literally crying by the end of the video. I have a best friend who LOVES Zumba and I always give her a hard time about it so when I saw this I just had to share.

{Disclaimer: I have done Zumba in the past and I do think it is fun.  The “best friend” is getting Zumba for XBOX and I promised I would try it out.  I also wear Lululemon from head to toe, on the paleo lifestyle, but I don’t wear vibrams or Chuck Taylors.  Crossfit is not a cult, but this video is still amusing}

THE W’s of CROSSFIT: Who, What, Where, When, Why?

Fitness can be described as being “generally physically prepared” for anything life can offer.  How might this apply to you?

  • Ever face the challenge of lifting something heavy?
  • Ever go swimming, or skiing, or play with your kids only to be exhausted after 5 minutes?
  • God forbid you should be in a car accident or be chased by an attacker.

The work that one puts in ahead of such challenges directly impacts their success or failure under these circumstances.  Fitness, regardless of the method by which it is achieved, should be an essential goal.

Also, there’s always the appeal of “LGN”…looking good naked.

What is Crossfit?

You may have heard about Crossfit from a friend of a friend, but have no idea what it really is and whether it is a fit for you.  Crossfit is defined by its creators as “constantly varied functional movement performed at high intensity.”  Crossfit is a strength and conditioning program designed to produce as broad a physical adaptation response as possible, through combining Olympic lifting, running, basic gymnastic moves and plyometrics into ever-changing workouts of the day (WODs).  The appeal of Crossfit is that the workouts are short, intense, and constantly changing – and in this way the exact opposite of the long, monotonous, and unsatisfying workouts most gym-members are familiar with.

Crossfit is not a specialized fitness “program” but rather a strategic attempt to maximize performance in ten recognized fitness domains:

1.  Endurance – The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen (cardiovascular / respiratory).

2.  Stamina – The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy. (capacity to maintain repetitive muscular movements)

3.  Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.

4.  Flexibility – the ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.

5.  Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.

6.  Speed – The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.

7.  Coordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a single distinct movement.

8.  Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.

9.  Balance – The ability to control the placement of the body’s center of gravity in relation to its support base.

10.  Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

Most importantly, by design Crossfit is completely scalable to match the abilities and goals of its participants.

Why Crossfit?

To many, Crossfit is the most effective and enjoyable way to “forge elite fitness.”  Crossfit offers a social team-like environment, the thrill of competition, and constantly varied programming.  In this type of setting, athletes and those seeking fitness are able to create habits, routines and ultimately a lifestyle of health and fitness.  For many, Crossfit is not the first fitness program they’ve ever tried.  It is merely the first they’ve ever enjoyed enough and therefore done consistently enough to see appreciable results.

Who does Crossfit?

Crossfit is the primary strength and conditioning program for everyone from military special operations teams and elite athletes to hundreds of thousands of kids, soccer-moms/dads and other everyday people worldwide.  The needs of Olympic athletes and grandparents differ by degree not kind.

Where and When to do Crossfit?

While Crossfit can be practiced anywhere, with or without a wide variety of equipment or facilities, an official Crossfit gym is called a “Box” or “Affiliate”; there are thousands of “Affiliates” in the United States and around the world.  The only way to get ready for Crossfit is to DO Crossfit.  Most of these Boxes will allow those curious to try a class for free.  Thereafter, the world of Crossfit has evolved since its early days to maximize the chances of success by creating introductory courses, often called “On Ramp” or “Start Up” which typically range from one to two weeks.  The point of these courses is to educate athletes on the foundational movements and methods of Crossfit as well as prepare them for the intensity and physical demands.  For those who haven’t worked out in some time, coaches will teach how to scale down each workout and skill and manage progression.

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So now you know.  Whether you choose to try Crossfit or another method, we hope you take your health and fitness seriously and begin challenging yourself to maximize your physical performance in life.  Along the way, feel free to enjoy the journey!

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