Week 4

I’m calling for a do-over on Week 4. It was my midterms week and that completely destroyed me. I only made it to the gym once, slept a total of 9 hours in the span of 4 days and then this weekend I celebrated my survival with a tad too much wine and gluten free sugar bombs. On the up side, I did manage to maintain the quality of food for most of the week – my existing strategies of having only good food in house and cooking in large quantities really paid off for me. However, I’m pretty sure that I did eat my bodyweight in almond butter (so easy!), so I need to lay off of that for awhile.


So, do-over begins today.


Post Whole30 re-introduction phase

Post Whole30 Day 1: Ghee! Yes, I know that technically it’s allowed on the Whole30, but one of the major goals of the last 30 days was to test my reaction to dairy. So I figured I would start at the bottom. So today, ghee went on EVERYTHING! And it seems to be absolutely fine. Tomorrow: BUTTER! And if that goes well, sharp cheddar! (pleaseohpleaseohplease)

Post Whole30 Day 2: Butter. It seems to be ok. No overt abdominal distress. I did feel really flushed/hot after I ate a bunch of broccoli slathered in butter earlier, but there could be several other reasonable factors at play. I think that I’ll try butter again on lunch tomorrow and see if I get the same response. And then, cheese!

Post Whole30 Day 3: Butter redux. Same test as yesterday, perhaps there is a slight response. Not enough to say one way or the other. Cheese test tonight or tomorrow.

Post Whole30 Day 4: Recovery from last night’s reintroduction: gluten free vodka. That went well.

Post Whole30 Day 5:  Finally tried some cheese. Just a little bit on a taco salad type deal. I think that the flushed cheeks thing is definitely a reaction to the dairy. But so far there has been no other reaction (dinner was about an hour ago). If feeling hot for a little bit is my only reaction, I think I am happy to deal with occasional doses. Yay!


Week 3 Workout Log

Had a good week, felt strong. Got tired toward the end of the week – skipped one of my metcons, so that sort of evens out the gains that I had made over previous weeks. Only added in one skill day, I’d like to get that up to 3x a week.

Right now I’m just trying to remember stuff until I get back to the locker room when I scribble it down (usually) – definitely need to start taking better notes. I guess I might have to start carrying a pen with me. Also acquiring an interval timer so that I can do tabata workouts.

Day 1:

Strength: BS 3×5: PL 105, Press 3×5: 2×5@50, 1×4@55, Jerk 5×2: PL 85

Metcon: AMRAP 6m: 5 box jumps (I don’t know the height – it’s just below my knee), 5 box dips, 10 squats: 5rds+7 sq (this is approximate, I accidentally hit the stop button on my wrist stopwatch in the middle of the workout).

Day 2:

Strength: OHS 3×5: SA 65, PP 3×5: SA 55

Metcon: AMRAP 6m: 10 pushups, 10 db thrusters: No idea, I forgot to write it down.

Day 3:

Strength: BS 3×5: SA 90, HPC 5×2: SA 80

No metcon

Day 4:

Strength: FS 3×5: SA 80, PC 5×2: SA 85, DL 3×5: SA 135

No metcon

Skill Day 1:

Push: 2, 3, 2, 2, 4 (modified)

Pull: MRx5: 6, 5, 5, 5, 5 (max bands)



I know I’ve said this before, but here I am again. Back on the healthy living bandwagon, and once again thinking about trying to use this blog as an opportunity to record some of the craziness that is now my new life.

A mere two months after my last post I found myself stuffing my Dodge Neon to the roof (and above!) with my most valuable possessions (books, art/arch supplies and camping gear) and hit the road for a 4,000 mile cross country roadtrip. Destination: grad school – four months earlier than I thought I would have to be there. It was a stressful time, for sure. I’m now a month into the second term of my 3 and 1/2 year adventure here in Eugene, Oregon. I haven’t smoked a cigarette since the day I drove away from Philly and today is the last day of my most recent Whole30. I primarily bike everywhere and I’ve written out a 12 week strength and metcon program. I can’t afford to crossfit anymore so I am having to get creative at the university gym facilites, which aren’t that terrible, except of course the no chalk and no dropping weights bullshit. At least there’s almost always a squat rack open. I am aiming for 4 strength workouts and 3 metcons a week, but am trying to be realistic and not beat myself up about the fact that I’ve only gotten in 3x these first couple of weeks. I refuse to let it be a reason for me to quit altogether (which is one of those self defeating attitudes I might have employed in the past). I based the program on the Gant Grimes/Catalyst Athletics approach while de-emphasizing the oly work. I’ve found that I’m not enjoying the oly lifts working out on my own – not having someone around to check form and technique just wasn’t working for me. Plus, I just like powerlifting more. So I’m doing the power moves and occasional light/med weight full cleans/snatches. I am also doing some skill work that are separate from the strength and metcon – focusing on developing pullups, mastering pushups and the plank progression as outlined by Mark Sisson. Here’s what I tracked the first two weeks. I’m also going to start tracking my skill work starting this week.

Week 1:

Day 1: BS 3×5 PL 100, HPC 5-8×2 PL 75. Metcon: row 1000m, 4:26

Day 2: OHS 3X5: PL 70, PP 3X5: PL 65. Metcon: 3 rds: 150m row, 10 sq, 10 situps 25#: 7ish mins (no timer)

Day 3: FS 3×5 PL 80, PC 5-8×2 90, DL 3×5 PL 155. No metcon.

Week 2:

Day 1: BS 3×5 SA 85, HPC 5-8×2 SA 70. Metcon: EMOTM 6m: 3 db thrusters 20#, 5 pu, max rep situp and press 20#. 30.

Day2: OHS 3×5 SA 60 (last set 10), PP 3×5 SA 50. Metcon: 4 rds: 8 OH walking lunges 25#, 8 jumping squats, 8 pu. No timer, I just went as fast as possible.

Day 3: FS 3×5 SA 65, PC 5-8×2 SA 75, DL 3×5 SA 135. No metcon.

As far as cleaning up my diet, I thought I was being really good all summer. Having complete control of your kitchen and pantry combined with not having much money for going out does wonders. However, eventually I realized that I had fallen back into that “hey, it’s gluten free and delicious! I can have as much as I want!” which of course wasn’t really working out (there are SO MANY gluten free options out here, it’s hard to control myself). So, after my second cross country road trip, (this time in a stylin’ soccer mom van crammed with the rest of my belongings and my best friend) I just jumped into a Whole30 to get control – and also to finally test my reaction to dairy. Tomorrow, there will be ghee on EVERYTHING. The day after that, butter goes on EVERYTHING. Then, maybe some really nice cheddar. Here’s to hoping for the best! (but not likely, sadly).

But yeah, so that’s where I’m at right now. Add in me trying to shoot pool every couple of days (social outlet, I’d like to start to play competively in the next couple of months) and, oh yeah, that whole graduate school for my Masters of Architecture thing, I’m pretty busy. As a matter of fact, I really should be sleeping. So, goodnight and I will update again after Week 3 concludes.


Starting anew, starting a new ___.

Wow. It’s been almost a year since I last posted. It’s been one hell of a ride. Lately, several friends around me have made tremendously bold commitments to improving their health and fitness — and are following through with them. Seeing as how I’ve let mine backslide terribly the last six months, I am both inspired and ashamed.


The good news: The endless hours of studying, working, being hunched over a computer for 14 hours a day, writing essays, and insane levels of stress have paid off: I’m going to grad school. Such joy and fear and excitement and terror thinking about the fact that at the end of this summer my life will begin a drastically new chapter. Hell, it’s not even a new chapter, it’s a whole damn new book. I’m going to be moving 3,000 miles away from everyone I know and love and starting graduate school in Eugene, Oregon. I don’t know how I’m going to afford it or if I’m in any way prepared mentally or emotionally, but it’s going to happen. There’s been late night stress eating, no time for the gym, well-there-may-be-time-now-but-jeezus-I’m-tired days, sugar binges, some alcohol to unwind and sleep, thinking well screw it, as long as I’m not going to the gym or eating right, I might as well have a smoke too, fights caused by too much stress and alcohol which leads to more stress and alcohol, then finally celebration with alcohol and some sort of gluten free sugar bomb.


But ultimately, the list of excuses for why I’ve let my health and fitness go onto the backburner, although a long and colorful one, and exactly that: excuses.


I need to get back to my healthy place. I’m somewhere between Preparation and Action in the stages of change model. I need to dig deep and find the strength and willpower to follow through.


Here’s to new beginnings.


my extinction burst

It’s been quite awhile since I last posted. I had another brief slip back into bad habits in April, under a thinly veiled excuse of “it’s my birthday.” After a couple of weeks, that ceases to be a viable excuse, but well, you know me. I can be self defeating. So I’ve been back in the swing of things for a couple of weeks now, and have spent some time reflecting on a number of different topics.

A year and a half ago I found CrossFit South Philly and have been working hard not only in the box, but in my head, trying to reprogram a lot of the negative behaviors I had built up over the years. I would love to say that I have completely turned my life around, but I haven’t quite gotten there yet. I have a kill switch in my head, whenever I’m doing well, whenever I think I’m finally succeeding at what I’m attempting to achieve I slide back into one or more old habits. I binge, I drink a little too much, have a couple smokes, whatever my “fuck it all” attitude might be that day. One step forward, two steps back.  Logically I know I’m not the only person that struggles with these issues, but sometimes it feels like it. I know that I’ve come a long way, but why do I still sabotage myself so much? Why can’t I commit to real and lasting change? These questions have echoed in my head for some time. Now, instead of whining about my life I am trying to look at these subjects as objectively as possible.

I am by nature a researcher. I like to know things. I’ve read reams on habits, psychology, self help, you name it. I’ve recently been reading about the pathology and biology of addictions. I’m currently looking at biochemistry so I can understand this nutrition stuff at its most basic level. Of course I’ve read all the fundamental books and websites on paleo, zone, power lifting, olympic lifting, bodyweight work, kettlebells, programming, etc. I’ve made charts, goalsheets, timelines, you name it, I’ve made an excel sheet about it. I’ve incorporated all of these things into my life a with varying degrees of success.

And I think what it fundamentally comes down to is that I’ve slowly been weaning myself off of one set of addictions, onto another. I’m ok with that though, paleo and crossfit is a much better option than some of the other things I’ve tried! And I’ve been thinking, to expand on the comparison, the last year and a half have been my crossfit binging period. I’d gotten a taste of something, and I wanted it all, right away! (I’ve also struggled with impatience for most of my life, heh) I was unfocused and just jumping from one thing to the next with little regard to follow through. That resulted in some successes, some failures, some injuries and a whole lot of learning.

I think now I’m ready to settle in for the long haul. It was hard for me to give up my previous lifestyle. I’ve always been an all or nothing kind of girl and now, finally(!) I think I’m seeing and understanding the middleground. I’ve been realizing lately that I’m not treating myself as harshly as I used to. I’m seeing potential and possibility where I used to see no way out, no way to change. My brain is recovering from all the negative thoughts I kept trapped in there for so long, and I think I’m ready to see how far it can go in the opposite direction.


some bad pictures of good food

I have spent the last week either working way too much (last week), relaxing for once (the weekend) and now sick (of course now with the decent weather). I’ve got some things kicking around in my head, but until I get them developed and written down, here’s some pictures of food I’ve made recently. I think as of next week I’m going to finally commit to an idea that I’ve had – once a week, make a new, really awesome paleo meal that actually incorporates multiple ingredients, chopping stuff, spices, the whole shebang. I tend to get into food ruts, making the same thing over and over (notice the preponderance of broccoli below) and I’m a lazy cook, so I tend to make a lot of one protein and one veggie and call it a day (and then eat those two things for the next two days). While I like to make things that are more involved than that, it’s just a rare occurrence. So if anyone has some interesting suggestions please feel free to shout em out.

rumble. wod 2. 65# thrusters. ugh.

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