The Incredible Shrinking Krista

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


It's a funny thing, progress.  Progress happens slowly, and all of a sudden at the same time.  I keep saying that I don't see a change in my body, and have even sworn off the scale because I was becoming frustrated at the lack of change on the scale.  I have had folks ask me how much weight I had lost, which was like another dagger in my side when I said, "nothing."  Folks have said they can see a difference, and I thought for sure that they were lying to boost my confidence and make me feel better.

Then, today, I got out of the shower and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  Now, for those that are on the plus side of things, or uncomfortable with their bodies, you know how difficult it can be to face the reflection in the mirror.  I was shocked to notice that for the first time in quite a while, when I looked at myself in the mirror, I could see my belly button.  I didn't have a roll of fat that fell over my belly button, obstructing it from view.  I was completely dumbfounded.  Then I felt just froggy enough about this difference, that I decided to try on a pair of pants I haven't worn since May.  I wore them 1x and they were so tight, restrictive and uncomfortable, I swore them off until I lost some weight.  I went into my closet, grabbed those pants and gave it a my surprise, yet again, they pulled up, and buttoned w/o me even having to "suck it in".  I didn't have the uncomfortable tell-tale creases around my mid-section today, caused by ill-fitting pants, and the button was no longer ready to pop off from being stretched to its limits.

I hadn't noticed any changes in my body until today, ok, maybe I can feel my triceps and biceps a bit, but they are still well-camouflaged by my obesity.  I was so excited, and felt incredibly proud to be able to wear what I did.

I'm not so sure why, or what to attribute it to, but I'm also able to look in the mirror and not fidget, make faces, and be frustrated with my appearance, fully clothed or not.  I'm really starting to have more confidence in myself and my abilities.  Some day it'll all come together, but I'm at least making progress at this point.


Where did last week go?

Well I really can't say where last week went, but I know this, I worked out on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday morning.  My eating habits are still an issue,and one that I will be addressing once I get paid on Friday and can order some food that is good for me. 

I want to say this, on Saturday, for the first time ever, I was contemplating quitting my workout.  I get inside my own head and start to rationalize and make it ok to be a failure.  I don't know why I do this, but I suspect it's not all that uncommon when someone is starting a journey as big as the one that I am on.  Well, Saturday, I got to the box, and the weather was PERFECT.  No humidity in the air, maybe a little on the chilly side, but definitely comfortable for a work out.  There was a breeze blowing, it was comfortable, and I was there, like I said I would be, doing what I said I was going to do. 

The workout started, and while I was able to run 180 of my 200 meters ( a first since starting CrossFit a month ago I couldn't even run 50).  This was a dreaded AMRAP workout for time.  The first time around, I was doing okay, but when it came time to start running AGAIN, I was SHOT!  That's when the doubt started to creep in.  There were quite a few folks hanging out that had completed the 8:30 WOD, doing some extra work.  When you are as insecure as I am, you start telling yourself that they are making fun of you....laughing at your obviously ineffective and laughable efforts to complete the workout.  I kept glancing over, and getting more and more embarrassed.  I don't have a logical explanation for this, because when I looked over, no one was pointing, or laughing, or any thing of the sort....just my twisted "fat girl" brain trying to convince me to stop trying.  I told my "fat girl" brain to shut the F up, out loud, more than once, but she just wouldn't listen and I was on the verge of grabbing my water bottle and heading to the car.  Right about then I heard a voice behind me saying, "Just keep moving, you've got this."  I had no idea who it was, but it wasn't a voice I recognized.  I didn't want to turn around because I was pretty sure I was imagining things, then i realized there was a guy jogging next to me.  He introduced himself, Christian, asked my name and said that it would be easy to remember.  His voice was enough to drown out the "fat girl" brain and keep me pushing.  He told me the faster I moved my arms, the faster my feet would move.  Then I heard Pete Koch yelling about tension being the enemy of speed, and we needed to relax while running.  I finished that 200 meters, walking most of it, then on to dreaded box jumps.  My partner, Karen, was jogging at this point, and encouraging me to keep going every time she finished a hundred...and I encouraged her.  I kept going, and once I was over the hump of that run, had no desire to quit, in fact, I wanted to finish my 2nd round and get through the entire workout 2x before the 20 minutes expired.  I finished with about 5 seconds to spare.  I so appreciate the folks at the box being so encouraging, and being there at times when I don't even ask for help, but apparently, it shows that I need some one the outside and that I am struggling.  You folks ROCK!!!  I love my crossfit family.  I am new at this, but it never ceases to amaze me the help and support that is offered to fellow crossfitters. 

Thanks, again, Christian and Karen.  You guys saved me from my own mind and sabotage on Saturday morning! 


Monday, August 20, 2012

Embracing the journey!

If I have learned anything from the years of trying to lose weight and even watching reality weight loss shows, it is that sometimes life happens to get in the way of the journey.  The question becomes, do you have what it takes to get back on the job and continue the journey or do you give up yet again?  Me?  I REFUSE to give up.  I have said it before and I will say it again, I will not quit trying until I am dead.  I have even had family members say to me, "If you were meant to be small, you wouldn't have to work so hard."  I say, screw what I was meant to be, I'm going to be what I WANT to be!

The reality is that after my workout with Mike Clay, I had some difficulty, I fell off the wagon a bit food-wise, and last week was the busiest week of the year in my office.  I worked from 8-7 every day except Monday, and by Friday I was so exhausted I didn't get out of bed from the time I got home Friday till 11am Saturday.  I wandered to the recliner in the living room, and stayed there until 11:00 at night when I took a shower and went back to bed.  Yesterday I was almost human again, which means today is back to the grind.

This morning, before I left the house, I packed my workout clothes, put them in the car, and headed off to work.  At 4:58 I started saving my work and shutting my computer down and I was out the door of my office by 2 or 3 after 5:00.  I headed to the best workout place EVER!  Here's one of the many reasons I LOVE CrossFit.  I have always heard it is a community.  When I came in today for my first workout in a week, I had people ask me where I had been.  I challenge anyone who works out at an open concept gym, to tell me that when they missed a week, people they had never had a conversation with came to them, welcomed them back and said they had been missed.  I have been a member of multiple gyms and have never had anyone miss me.

I got changed, and all of the tentative feelings and nerves I had before my first workout were back.  What if I couldn't do today what I have done in the last few workouts?  What if I've lost all of the stamina I had built up?  What if I couldn't handle the workout?  What if I fell on my face an embarrassed myself?  The answer to all, Who gives a crap.  Suck it up, step it up, and push through this workout.  Get done what needs to get done!

So, We didn't really get through all of the warm-ups, but we started working on some mobility with Pete Koch.  He was spending some time working with myself and another member on flexibility and form.  As frustrating as it is for me, I desperately want to jump ahead and be able to do the workouts as they are prescribed.  I want to be able to feel comfortable working out in shorts and tank tops that are snug for ease of movement, comfort and to stay cool.  I want to see the number on the scale, and the waistband going down.  I want to start seeing some definition in my arms, legs, and dare I say it, my abs. I need to embrace this journey though because it will happen in time, but it is a process.  Mike Clay has now told me twice that it isn't the 1st or the 5th workout that matters, it is the 100th workout and the 200th workout that make a difference.  This many workouts means you have dedicated yourself to the process.

I can't begin to remember the WOD as prescribed, but here is what my workout looked like tonight:
WOD #1: for time
Push Press (Learner bar, 20#) 21-15-9
Single modified burpees (hands on a 12" box) 21-15-9
I completed all 3 rounds in 6 minutes and 20 seconds.

**This is typically when my guilt kicks in.  I feel guilty watching the people who are still working out.  It took some folks almost 20 minutes to finish the prescribed WOD.  I feel bad walking over to get a drink of water while they are still sweating it out, grunting and dropping the bars because they have pushed their bodies to the limits of their capabilities.

WOD#2:  The finisher is what Pete called it, I'd call it "The Punisher"
1 minute each round, as many of the following as you can do
burpees (my hands on the box again)
tricep dips (my hands on the bench)
decline push ups (mine were the flat girlie kind, on my knees)
double-unders (yeah, right, but I did jump rope for a minute each)
full depth walking lunges (I don't have that much flexibility yet, and I was doing them w/a 10# weight overhead)
1 minute rest
Then repeat

The thing is, while I WANT to do everything we are supposed to do, my body is not ready for that yet.  I want to be able to put weight on the bar and lift it, I want to be able to do burpees on the floor (Did I really just type that?)  I want to be able to do my WODs as prescribed, but pushing myself to do it before my body can handle it will result in an injury and delay the process.  I need to get my body back.  I need to get healthy.  I have 6 months to be ready for the Princess Half Marathon.

I will be running 3 days/week, doing CrossFit 3 days/week.  The Princess Half is 6 months from Friday.  In that 6 months, I would like to lose 60 pounds, and be able to finish in under 3 hours, which is about a 13.45 minute/mile pace for the entire 13.1 miles.

I'm going to have doubts, and issues.  I'm going to have speed bumps and life WILL happen, but I WILL continue to embrace the journey, speed bumps and all.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wow, what a week....

It has been an awesome week of workouts and changes.

I made it to the 6 am workout on Monday morning and felt incredibly exhausted afterwards.  I think is was shaky for a couple of hours afterwards.  Tuesday was a long day at work, (8:00 to 7:00) and then yesterday I made it back to Crossfit after work.

First, I need to give a shout-out to Mike Clay, the founder of Custom Fit Meals.  Custom Fit Meals are an awesome alternative to fast food, and quickie meals that are incredibly unhealthy.  You can read more about Custom Fit Meals here.  At any rate, Mike has an incredibly inspirational story which can also be read on the  website I referred you to.  As a huge fan of The Biggest Loser, I have often wondered what little pieces of knowledge and inspiration the former contestants who have completed the weight loss process would share if I ever got the opportunity to work out with them.  I think I now have a pretty good idea, because Mike shared some awesome and inspirational thoughts about motivation, how to make this process happen, and what I should be telling myself/remembering.  Working out with Mike last night was like having my own personal cheerleader and a motivator next to me reminding me of my goals, and helping me to modify things appropriately.  I feel honored to have met and worked out with Mike, and I look forward to being able to say that I've lost 100 pounds like he has.

So, last night's work out was INSANE!!  Mike showed me how to do a foam roller warm up for my entire body, and some mobility stuff to do to protect and be sure my joints are ready for the intensity of a CrossFit workout.  The way that Mike explained it to me is that our bodies are sick.  We have pushed our bodies to the limits of reason for functioning, so we have to be very careful about pushing our bodies too far.

Here's what I did for my workout last night.  Trust me, I can't begin to remember what the people who's workouts weren't scaled and modified did, you will see why in just a second.

Started with a 200 meter run (I did run/walk thanks to the bum ankle) RX-400 meter run
5 bronco kicks                                                               RX-20 inverted burpees
10 burpees                                                                     RX-25 burpees (i think)
15 power cleans (65#)                                                   RX-30 power cleans
200 meter run/walk                                                        RX-400 meter run
20 step-ups (onto a 12" box)                                         RX-35 box jumps
30 air squats                                                                  RX-50 of something
100 meter run/walk                                                        RX-200 meter run
30 girlie push ups (hands on the box)                              RX-75 jumping pull-ups, chest to bar
200 meter run/walk                                                        RX-1 mile run

**Whatever time was left after completing the above was to spent doing up to 10 50 meter sprints.

I completed all of this in 26:59 (the goal was under 40)

It took me another 45 minutes to stop shaking and being light-headed from the work-out.  I love the feeling I get from completing these workouts!  It is so awesome to know that as sick as my body is, and as uncomfortable as any one of these can be for me, I am pushing through it.

I can't wait for tomorrow morning at 6:00.  I'm going to go walk on the American Tobacco Trail Saturday morning.  It'll probably be mostly walking, with a little bit of jogging when I can.  I'd like to see if I can do 3.2 (a 5k) preferrably in less than 50 minutes.  I'm also excited to be picking up my first few days of Custom Fit meals on Sunday, which I'm pretty excited about as well.

I'll leave you with my favorite thing that Mike said to me yesterday.  "It's not the first workout, or your 5th even that matters, it's your 100th, and 150th."  That means you have stuck with it and continued workout even when it wasn't comfortable, or convenient.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Where's Krista?!?!

This last week has been one big road-block after another.  I made it to my workout on Tuesday night last week, then the crap hit the fan at work and at home, and I haven't been able to get back to work out again.  If I have learned anything at all, it is that when faced with adversity, I have a choice to either let the circumstances beat me, or to stand up, tell life to kiss my ass, and get back on the horse.  You see, I don't have to start over if I've never quit.  I refuse to quit!  The funny thing about doing CrossFit is that when I started I asked how often I should go per week.  I was going 3x/week, then 1 in a week, but my body is craving it.  My body WANTS me to go work out.

I am craving the sweat, the feeling I get, the endorphin dump, the feeling of accomplishment.  This week I'm going to do my best to make it to 5 work outs.  I know that probably seems like I'm overdoing it, but I need this.  I WANT this.  I need to sweat, to exhaust myself, to push myself, to feel the pain and the accomplishment of completing a workout, whether its scaled and modified or not.

So due to my work schedule, I will be working out at 6 am on Monday and Tuesday, and 5:30 pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and if I'm lucky, and still able to move, I might even try to make the 8:30 am Saturday WOD.

I'd like to see about 5 pounds or so gone by the time I head to Boston at the end of this month.  I know that doesn't seem like too lofty a goal, but my body tends to hold on to weight when I make a big change in my diet or activity levels.  I just see myself on this journey continuing to push and not give up trying until I'm dead.

I have been watching the Olympics this week, and seeing all these really fit women and their insanely fit bodies.  I don't want to be skinny, I just want to be fit.  I want to have a body that I can be proud of.

Now, off to bed so that I can be awake and functional for my workout in the AM!