The Incredible Shrinking Krista

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm not a quitter, or a failure? What else have I been lying to myself about?

In the last 37 years I have continually set limits for myself, and as time progresses, I am beginning to realize that in doing so, I have repeatedly set myself up to fail.  The perfect example is this week.  I was walking through my back yard on Sunday, and sure enough, found a hole, stepped in it, twisted and badly sprained my left ankle.  I've talked before about an ankle injury, of course, this is the other ankle, not the one I've had trouble with since I was a kid.  My immediate reaction was, "Well, that's just great.  I've just started working out consistently, and now I can't work out because of my ankle."  Thankfully, the folks at my CrossFit box are AMAZING and took the time to message me and say that they'd scale and modify the workout to something that I could do and not hurt my ankle further.  Tonight, I decided to take them up on that offer, and go to work out, wondering if I would even feel like I worked out....

So, tonight's 1st warm-up was one of stretching with a foam roller.  I've heard people mention foam rollers before and sing their praises, now I know why....they are AMAZING, in a slightly uncomfortable way.  That is the best massage/stretch I've gotten without paying someone.

2nd warm-up was to work on "hanging squats" or at least I think that's what they were called.  We paired up and traded off doing these for 12 minutes.

Now, to the WODs, there were 2, and within our pairs, we still traded off:

WOD #1, for me was this 8 minute AMRAP:
8 abmat sit-ups
10 push press with 20# bar
10 barbell rows

I completed 5 full rounds, and all but 6 rows in the 6th set (I finished the set because to me, not finishing those last 6 would be like ending a song on a V chord, rather than resolving it....)

WOD #2, also an 8 minute AMRAP:
10 seated over-head press w/a 14# medicine ball
20 ab/leg cycles (I don't remember what they actually called them)
10 kettle bell swings (I used a 15# Kettle Bell)

I completed 4 full rounds, and the overhead presses for the 5th rep.

My ankle doesn't feel any worse than it did when I started.
There was no reason for me to miss a work-out.
There was no reason to tell myself I had to.
The coach that was working with us kept telling me I had good form

I am left with this:
I need to stop depending on my own mind to tell me what my limits are, the fact of the matter is this, I don't really know what my limits are.  Prior to this situation, I would say I didn't make excuses, but clearly I did.  I would never have gone to work out 2 days after spraining my ankle any time before this (trust me, I've sprained my ankle a lot of times, and never worked out 2 days later).  I need to start pushing my body to the absolute limits to find what they are, because my brain wants to convince me that I am far more limited than I actually am.  maybe it's a defense mechanism, I don't know.  I don't want to believe that I've been letting myself down in the past, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's usually a duck.

Next work-out, Thursday morning at 6 am....I swear it, I'm going to make it to the box by 5:50 to warm up before the WOD.....

Saturday, July 28, 2012

3rd workout in a week

WOD #3 complete, and this is what it looked like as prescribed:

100 jump ropes, or 50 double-unders  (Scaled to 50 for me)
20 walking, lunges w/Medicine Ball (I just had my hands above my head)
15 Kettle bell swings (Mine was 12lb I think)
10 Push Presses (I was using 40#)
10 toe to bars (I did regular sit-ups)
10 mountain-climbers with 2 hand release push-ups, 2 rounds (I did knees to elbows, then the hand release push-ups)

We did this WOD 3 times, the first was as many rounds/reps as possible in 6 minutes, second was 8 minutes AMRAP, and the 3rd was for time.

I just finished it 1x in the first round, 2nd round I got done 1x, plus the jump ropes and squats, and I finished my scaled/modified WOD in 6:45 the 3rd time.  By the time I was done, I was literally dripping in sweat, shaking, and wondering if I would feel better if I got sick.  Anyone who knows me that I have a personal policy against vomiting--so that should tell you how worn out I was.

I've also started to make some changes to my diet, a little bit at a time.  I'm basically trying to make goal-based decisions, rather than, "I want this not that" decisions.  I started to drink sweet tea out of habit.  I poured half of it down the sink and re-filled my cup with water.  I have had nothing but water and that little bit of tea yesterday, and water only today.  In the past, I have always jumped in whole-hog from the get-go, which made me feel miserable and sent my cravings into over-drive.  I'm going to take a bit more of a conservative approach for this time.  I am going to make a change at a time, and as I become more and more comfortable with 1 change, I'll add another.

Can't wait for Monday morning at 6:00 to get my big ass handed to me again...I can't believe how excited I am about these workouts and how they make me feel.  I feel such a huge sense of accomplishment by completing the workout, even though I require scaling and modifications right now.  I will get to the point that I don't require these changes, and I am so looking forward to that day...that and the day I feel comfortable working out in a sports bra only, because dear lord, is it hot!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

WOD #2, In honor of Corporal Ryan McGhee

Holy Sweat, Batman!

Cross Fit has some named WOD's called Hero WODs.  The WODs are named for fallen heros, and today's workout was called McGhee, in honor of Corporal Ryan McGhee.  You can read more about him here:  CrossFit WOD McGhee.  Corporal McGhee was killed in Iraq, at the age of 21, on May 13, 2009.

So, for my non-crossfitting friends, this WOD went like this:

Warm Up:
Foam Roller to stretch and help warm up all the muscles
25 meters out, jogging, 25 meters back, back-pedaling X 4 (I did it 2x)

WOD: 30 minutes, AMRAP (as many rounds/reps as possible)
5 Dead lifts (I lifted 50 pounds) in honor of the month of May--RX is 275 lbs.
13 push-ups (I did 5 girlie push ups) in honor of the 13th day of May
9 box jumps (I did 9 step-ups onto an old-school step from aerobics class) In honor of 2009--RX is a 24" box

Now, for those of you not familiar with CrossFit, or if you just happened upon the  link while checking out the home page for CrossFit Apex, every single WOD can be scaled back to fit your current fitness level.  There is no way on this Earth I could possible do McGhee as prescribed.  This WOD is no joke, and not to be taken lightly.  The nice thing is, the members of CrossFit Apex and the coaches are insanely supportive.  I have had multiple folks interrupt their workouts to encourage me, and support me.  Andrea encouraged me to do the AMRAP for 10 minutes so I didn't hurt myself.  I did 5 rounds in 10 minutes without stopping, then took a break because the nausea was setting in and I was about to lose it.  I got some water, took a break, and came back at 15 minutes, did 3 more rounds, until 22 minutes, took another break, then finished 2 more rounds after that.  I made it a total of 10 rounds in 30 minutes which would normally be nothing to write home about in my opinion, but then again, this was only my 2nd WOD and I'm doing these workouts at 2x my healthy weight, so I say, Mission accomplished!

If there is any thought in your head for a second that you might want to try out CrossFit, I absolutely encourage you to.  CrossFit is an awesome, empowering workout, and one that will let you know just what you are made of.

I listed in parenthesis above what I did for my workout to adjust McGhee to fit my current fitness level.  every work out can be adjusted.  I want to give a shout out to Jeff who took the time to talk to me tonight after the work-out.  As a person who has always been afraid that the people at the gym/workout are really thinking, "hey, wait a minute, who let the fat girl in here?"  It was awesome to chat with you tonight.  I appreciate your support and encouragement!

Till next time, which will be Saturday morning at 8:30....

Saturday, July 21, 2012

the aftermath...

Holy cats, that was NO JOKE!  So, my first WOD went something like this:

Warm up: for 6 minutes, AMRAP at 80%: (I finished 5 sets, but was at more than 80% for sure)
8 burpees
8 push/presses with a plate (mine was 10#)
8 air squats

WOD: 30 minute time limit
Use a bar w/weight (mine was 40#) do 50 m out and back walking lunges at full-depth with bar racked on your shoulders/back.  Anyone stopping has to do 3 shoulder presses.

Out & back with a plate overhead, walking lunges at full depth
1600 m carrying a Kettle bell (mine was 12.3#), after every 400 m, do 45 kettle bell swings.

As with all Cross Fit WODs they can be scaled back based upon your ability level.  I was only able to complete 600 meters, total and 135 Kettle Bell swings.

I couldn't decide for a few minutes if I was going to pass out or throw up.  If you know me at all, vomiting is not something I do.  I didn't do it when I was pregnant.  I don't believe in it.  I was waiting for it to happen and trying to figure out the best place to do it while I was doing my Kettle Bell swings.  On my second 200 out and back, I detoured to the car for my inhaler; definitely required for a muggy gross day like today.  There I was, Kettle Bell in hand, reaching into the car for my inhaler.  I'm going to start writing down my food and working with Andrea toward a Paleo diet.  She suggested we work on 1 meal at a time, once I get breakfast good and comfortable, start switching lunch over, then dinner.  THat seems really obvious, but I'd never though about doing it that way.

Last thing I want to say is that I've always heard about the "Cross Fit Community".  I really got that feeling today, that I was part of a community of people there to work together and meet their fitness/health goals.  I was being encouraged and applauded for my efforts, so much so that I was on the verge of tears.  It is such a difficult task to undertake, and encouragement means EVERYTHING!

I am so excited for what the future holds for me, and to see how this changes both me and my body.


CrossFit Day 1

In the interest of full disclosure, it is only fair to let everyone who is just starting to follow my blog know where I am starting, where I have come from, and where I am heading.  I am so blessed to get the opportunity to begin working with Andrea Logan and Pete Koch of CrossFit Apex.  The short-term goal is to see a number that begins with 1 on that scale before I run the Princess Half Marathon on February 24, 2013 at Walt Disney World.  My plan to get there includes 3 days a week of CrossFit, 3 days a week of Half Marathon training and switching my eating lifestyle to primarily Paleo or Primal.  

So, a little bit about where I'm coming from.  I have always been a more curvy girl than most.  In high school I didn't have enough self confidence to recognize that while I weighed more than my girlfriends, that didn't make me fat, my body is just made differently.  Here's what I looked like as a freshman in HS and a Senior in high school, as both pictures were being taken I can easily remember my feeling that it would be awful, because I was so fat, who would ever want to see them. 

I have been overweight since College, and distinctly remember the doctor's visit in college when I was over 200 pounds for the first time.  I sat there and cried for I don't even know how long.  I swore I was going to lose the weight then, and haven't been below 200 for more than a couple of weeks since then.  It was fine for me to SAY I was going to lose the weight, but I really had no idea how to make that happen.  

I met Andrea a little over a year ago while I was working at the gym.  I remember her coming in the first day and being in awe of her body.  I know that sounds bad, but I have never met a woman in my life that is this fit and amazing.  I would sit in my office and watch her workout, often with my mouth hanging open at what she was able to do.  Not long after I left the gym, so did Andrea, and opened CrossFit APX with Pete Koch.  Andrea has been telling me to come check out their boot camps/Cross Fit since she left the gym, and I haven't done it for 2 reasons, 1st--it's a huge financial commitment, and I couldn't afford it, but if I'm being 100% honest, my bigger issue was fear.  I was scared to death that I would be embarrassed and look stupid.  I couldn't have been any more wrong. 

So, today is day 1 of training, both CrossFit and Half Marathon.  I need to get this weight off, get my health and fitness back, and be the mom and woman I always wanted to be.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

One meal at a time...

In the past, the old Krista would get overwhelmed with the totality of what I needed to do to get where I needed/wanted to be physically.  When someone looks in the mirror and realizes that they need to lose an entire half of who they are to reach their goal, that can be, and was for me, incredibly overwhelming. 

This new Krista I have become is looking at each individual decision as a victory, or opportunity for improvement.  This morning for breakfast, I didn't stop and buy coffe, or the GASP, 2 sweet teas to get me through the day, or the sausage biscuit/preservative filled nasty food that I would usually get.  I did eat 2 granola bars, and drank 32 oz of wather instead...Breakfast today, VICTORY, with room for improvement.

For lunch today, in my typical unplanned fashion decided that I would go get some chinese food.  Noticed on the way in the grocery store next to it, and took a detour.  Instead of MSG and salt-soaked Chinese food, I opted for fresh pineapple and some cottage cheese.  I also picked up some almonds for an afternoon snack, rather than the nasty chips or something sugary I would usually eat. 32 more oz of water to complete lunch, and I'd say it's a victory too. 

When someone has as far to go as I do, every little victory is a huge milestone and every failure is a stumbling block.  In the past I've allowed myself to turn these stumbling blocks into a long path of pavers suitable for a long, run...maybe 13.1 miles?  Well, time to start undoing the damage and facing each decision about food from a healthy standpoint.  2 victories in...and I feel pretty darn good about it.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I'm in love!!!!!

Mark my words, today is going to be the day that changed my life.  July 10, 2012, is the day that the old Krista is dead, and the new one starts to blossom and find her place in the world.  Why is today different than any other day in my life?!?!  I have finally found my niche.  I have finally found something that I LOVE, and I feel strong, powerful and capable at.  What is this new love of mine, you ask?  CrossFit.  Or to be more specific, CrossFit Apex!  (Check out their website:

I went to work out tonight and the foundations class that I had gone to visit was being taught by Pete Koch.  (not to be a name dropper, he is the guy that played "Swede Johanson" in the movie Heartbeak Ridge, like, with Clint Eastwood!!)  The most awesome thing about him, is that he is easily the most knowledgeable, passionate teacher I have ever met.  He teaches everything in-depth, in more than one way. He shows you how to do it, he describes it, he explains why that is the right way and demands that you listen.  His passion, knowledge and teaching style make you feel the passion too.  I can't even begin to describe my excitement as I was doing this workout tonight.

You know what the best part was?  No one told me to do it.  I took the initiative to make this happen.  I took the first step, asked the right questions, and am so glad that I did.  I feel strong and confident.  These are new emotions for me, but all I can say is, "Wow, it feels good to be this proud of myself."  I sweat tonight like I haven't sweat since the days of 12 hour long winter guard practices.  I smell like I used to after a day long practice too, and I was only there for an hour and 15 minutes.

I have finally found a place that I fit in.  A place where the workout can be adjusted to my fitness level.  A place where I can push myself beyond my mental and physical limits, consistently, without having to figure out the logic behind it.  The WOD's being posted daily means that I just have to show up and follow along.  All I have to do is bring my desire to be different.  My desire to be a better and stronger Krista.  I just have to give everything I have in me, then give a little bit more.

I cannot wait for this journey to unfold.  I hope you will be here to enjoy it with me.

Oh, and by the way, I also registered for this little race called the Princess Half Marathon.  I feel confident that I will not only finish this race in 7 months and 14 days, I will kick its' ass!  I will do so dressed as Rapunzel, with or without a running partner, etc.  I will finish what I started last year.  I've so got this!