May 31, 2011

Get Up and Move!

I just started reading Art De Vany's new book, The New Evolution Diet. Good stuff so far. After reading Taubes' book, Good Calories, Bad Calories, it's a bit refreshing to read a paleo book that reads more like s novel than a text book. Don't get me wrong, I love the amazing amount of scientific references in Taubes' book, but it's refreshing to have a relaxing read and not want to strangle the USDA for all the lies they've been telling everyone about "healthy" eating.

I want to share a favorite quote from page 7. It's a quote about exercise. It's something that resonates with me since through this healing process I've learned that being "fit" does wonders for the recovery process and is vital to staying healthy once the healing is well underway and you're ready to start challenging your body again, in a non-surgical/injury sort of way.

"You exercise because the length and quality of your life depend on it."

To those of you who are running yourself into the ground, over training and under resting... Ask yourself, what are the reason(s) for your actions? Are you chasing a goal? Trying to escape your thoughts? Comparing yourself to someone else? To those who train and play hard, but find time to enjoy watching the sunset or to read a book. Nice work. To those of you who don't carve out a little time for exercise because it's (fill in the blank) too tough or you don't have enough time, or don't think it needs to be a priority... Buck up and stop with the excuses. Do it for yourself. Do it for your partner, kids, or grandkids. Just get up and move, love and enjoy your body.

Good luck and no more excuses because you deserve to live healthy.

May 16, 2011

Choose your obsession

I'd like to take a moment to comment on an article that was posted on the CrossFit Games site. This article is where I pulled these lovely pictures from. These women are beautiful, strong, and determined. The article discusses one woman's experience with turning an unhealthy obsession with food and eating to a functional relationship with food thanks to CrossFit.

Over coming an unhealthy obsession for a healthy one is no easy task. However, I can't help but pose the "healthy" obsession question. Is there truly a healthy obsession? Seriously? Be honest. I really don't know if I can say there is. Yes, of course, there are less or more "healthy" obsessions but the root of the issue is still present unless you've dealt with the obsessive tendencies. An obsession is something that occupies one's thoughts and is all consuming, a shade away from addition. The article also talks about addiction and addictive personalities. Now trading in needles for kettle bells is a healthy decision. I'd say kettle bells are a hell of lot healthier than pumping drugs into your vein, but lets be honest, exercise addiction is not healthy either and can have detrimental affects as well.

I'm ecstatic that an article on disorder eating managed to find it's way to the CrossFit Games site. I can empathize with the obsessive thoughts and difficulties of just feeding one's self, so I'm beyond proud and excited when someone makes the scary leap to turn the ED voice down and takes ownership of their thoughts and body again. It is inspiring.

The thing that kind of makes me a little uneasy, a little sick to my stomach is all the ridiculous banter I see on so many CrossFit Affiliate sites when it comes to food. So everyone in the CrossFit community goes through some sort of 30 day challenge or eats Zone or Paleo. And, I'm one of them! I began with the Paleo challenge and I felt so damn good I decided to incorporate into my life. Hell, I would say it's one of the many reasons I've bounced back from surgery so quickly. Basically, you're reading the opinions of a meat eating, vegetable loving lady and I'm totally okay with that. With that being said, I can't believe how many people out there think the 30 days is a nightmare. Did I actually hear someone say "30 days of suck!"? And the whole "cheat" foods/meals just baffles me. I really don't get it. You're fueling your body. Priming it for living, playing, and training. It's amazing to me how many people out there try to find "work arounds" even when it comes to CrossFit, the Zone, or Paleo. "Is this paleo?" "How many blocks is that?" "OMG, my cheat meal is _______!" How odd.

For those of you that have traded one obsession for another, do you feel stronger, better off, more in control than you did with the other? Are you happy with where you are or are you still anxiously trying to get someone better (fitter, stronger, or leaner)? I ask myself these questions as well. The real CrossFit community (whether you attend an affiliate gym, work out of your garage, or hurf weights in a fire station) are determined, obsessive freaks. Yes, freaks and I love everyone of us. We're already primed with the push it until you break mentality. Maybe the real strength we should start focusing on is how to be measured. Learn how to put the weights down at the end of a WOD and be done for the day. To talk about something other than CrossFit, PRs, or Paleo/Zone... Just a thought...

Check out this great post by Primitive Stimulus on the topic of body image. And, thanks to Robb Wolf for today's tweets.

May 6, 2011

Iron Woman!

Go little iron, go!
Unfortunately, I'm not referring to an Iron athlete competition. That's so far from my capabilities right now. Maybe some day... For now, I have to stick to an iron infusion. Along recovering from surgery and taking some time off from training, I'm dealing with fatigue, lack of concentration, irritability (more than usual :) and mood swings. How fun! Based on previous blood tests and reading Robb Wolf's book, Paleo Solution, I got another round of tests to see where I was at. Turns out that my ferritin (iron stores) keeps decreasing, my thyroid is low and white count is low.

For some unknown reason my body doesn't like to store the vital little ferritin. It's been a little over a year since my last infusion, but I was hoping my first would be my last. The idea is to pump the body full of iron in hope that it will kick start production and storing. Well, over the last year my body has slowly been decreasing its stores and now I'm tired, annoyed, and frustrated. It's frustrating being tired and irritable. It's frustrating not knowing why this keeps reoccuring. No one seems to be worried about it, so even though it's not something serious like cancer, I still find it disturbing. It still affects how I feel on a day to day basis, how I heal, I hard I can train, my tolerance for situations and people, etc.

My blood counts have been a bit wacky for several years now. A little over two years ago I did a food intolerance test and it turned out I reacted to many, many things. I eliminated several things from my diet including cow milk and gluten and had to rotate so many other foods. It was tough but I started feeling so damn good it was all worth it. My Naturopathic Dr. at the time suggested I introduce meat into my diet as a way to get vital B vitamins and iron. It was a slooooooooow process of getting me to eat more meat. Seriously, I would just stare at the meat in the grocery store slightly disgusted and completely confused. Fast forward a bit and I warmed up to the idea and tried to buy meat that I could eat in good conscience. Fast forward even more and I've read Robb Wolf's book and get Mark's Daily Apple's e-mails and I'm eating meat 3x a day (at least). I'm hoping that since I have a history of gut irritation and only went grain/legume free about four months ago, I just need more time to heal, more time for my body to catch up after all the years of gluten, rice, and soy. I'm sticking with the 100% paleo lifestyle and going to follow up with another doctor about these issues to see if I can help things along a little quicker. These last few years of iron supplements and injections of iron & B complex, eating meat, and infusion doesn't seem to be getting me completely over the hump. I must be missing something. I mean, I enjoy taking a day off work, but for F*sake, do I really have to waste it going to appointments like these? I'd much rather be playing outside!

May 1, 2011

CrippleFit vs. CrossFit

Several months ago I had to start modifying my CrossFit workouts to try and alleviate any undue strain on my herniated disc. This meant limited squats, definintly no weighted squats of any kind, no overhead weights, limited abdominal work and nothing that would increase any leg/glut/back pain. Yeah, I know! How the hell do you CrossFit without squats, overhead work, or regular sit ups?!?! Believe me, it can be a challenge... but it can also be done! Oh, and one other thing... depending on the day, I might be able toss in pull ups with a band. Some days strick pull ups w/ a band would be awesome and other days just hanging from the bar was sheer agony. Forget any form of kipping. One thing I've learned over the months of healing is to be damn creative with my workouts.

One day I was describing one of my modified CrossFit workouts to my best friend. We were having fun with it and trying to make light of the situation when he turns to me and says, "CrippleFit!" It was the most brilliantly hilarious thing I had heard in a long time. I know there are several heroic people out there that are partially or fully paralyzed or missing limbs that are some of the most extreme CrossFitters out there. Whether these incredible athletes were born with this challenge, a product of war, injured in the line of duty, or injured by some other unfortunate event, I don't take their struggle and sheer strength lightly. These are the people that keep me motivated. However.... I'm not PC and I do take the piss out of a difficult situation to add levity and humor to a situation. It's one of the best ways I know how to deal with stress. I would rather laugh than cry or laugh while crying than just cry from frustration. So, while nursing a back injury and recovering from surgery, I welcome CrippleFit. It makes me laugh and keeps me kicking ass. I love it. To my best friend, thank you for making my abs hurt from laughter when I couldn't make them hurt from GHD sit ups.

One of my CrippleFit WODs:
Not so much for time these days because I want to keep what I have left of my disc in place.

Olympic bar bench presses
Bosu ball squats