Friday, December 28, 2012

Form Play

A lot of my workouts before I found crossfit had one and only one goal in mind...hurry and get it over with.  However, with crossfit I have so many goals that I could dedicate an entire blog entry on them. I admit, there is a level of competition in crossfit at times, especially when you really don't want to be the last to finish. I know this because for months, I was nearly always the last to finish.  Sometimes finishing 20 minutes after everyone else with that awkward "they are watching me." feeling.  Don't worry about all that.  Your true competition is yourself.  

  • Think you can't finish, prove to yourself you can. Your body is a machine.
  • Want to stop simply because everyone else is done, tune the world out and finish at your own pace.  
  • Rushing through it to try and keep up, stop and reset your mind to ensure your form is good.  
  • Not sure of your form, ask a crossfit instructor to watch you.  
  • Thinking about cutting a few reps out because you "just want to finish", you deserve the best workout possible (don't cheat yourself my friend).  

The best part of the WOD...finishing everything with good form.  I am still working on my form. When I get fatigued, that is where I have to concentrate the most.  If I get sloppy just because I want to hurry and finish, I am likely to hit an injury.  I have already accomplished this with deadlifts by lifting like I was the hunchback of Notre Dame.  Bad deadlifts = bad back.  When I first started, my squats were also all ballerina toes.  Bad squats = bad knees.  I have had to face these injuries because I rushed and got sloppy.  But now, not only do I listen to the instructor go over form...I practice it.  It isn't as cool with a PVC pipe, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  I have also found that it helps to know which muscle I should be feeling during my workout.  For instance, I now know if I don't feel my butt and hamstrings during a deadlift...I am doing something wrong.  Just remember that the WOD is for you, to help you, to improve you overall...and good form is a huge part of that.  Hitting the muscle groups meant to be hit and avoiding injury, it all pays off in the end even if your time is a bit slower at first.  My time has gotten a lot better thanks to good form and less breaks.  Even now when I run, I am not totally gasping for air like I was in the beginning.  It is a great feeling!

Unable to go 4 days without crossfit, I decided to get a pass at a local gym and redo the 12 days of barbell Christmas on Monday morning.  (My favorite WOD to date!)  My brother wanted to try it with me, so off we went to face off with the local gym.  No disrespect to local gyms, but the equipment felt, well, limited.  I guess after going to a crossfit gym where the barbells are plenty, pull-up bars as far as the eye can see, medicine balls for all to use, GHD sit-up bars everywhere, kettle bells ringing, and so on, I was expecting the local gym to have the same type of equipment. But alas, most of everything was machine driven and even their barbells were tied to specific machines/benches.  Working with what I had, I weaved a barbell free from the machine it was tied to and we were off!

Right away, I went over how important form is with my brother.  I would show him, in detail, what to do and he would execute it with me as his guide.  I used all of the "Anna, get your elbows up.", "Anna, use your heels.", "Anna, keep your chest high.", and so on to ensure what I learned was passed onto him.  I was so proud as he did really well and even finished the WOD with really good form.  He is a natural crossfitter!  Sorry for the picture quality.  The iPhone doesn't really take good pictures when someone is in mid-movement.

Alas, I am excited to start my 60-day Paleo challenge next week!  Today's weigh in was 200.9 lbs, which is actually not too bad if I say so myself with all the Christmas food temptations around last week.  It is a very tiny loss (.1 lbs) from last week.  This weekend I plan on getting my paleo grocery list written, menu's typed up and everything purchased before the challenge begins so all I need to do is cook.  Oh, and I also found a local ATL restaurant that serves grass fed beef!!!  Paleo baby!

Happy crossfitting into the New Year my friends!
Anna Dubya

Friday, December 21, 2012

New Year Paleo Style!

I am so excited!  A new year paleo challenge has been announced at knockout crossfit today and I eagerly signed up for the 60 day challenge.  I know a lot of people are probably asking, "what is paleo?"  To put it in the simplest terms, you eat like a caveman.  I know what you are thinking...that doesn't sound very appetizing.  Trust me my friends, it is super yummy, easy and very filling.  You just gotta find the right recipes.  As we approach the New Year, I will share more links and recipes on paleo.  First tip, save the bones from your turkeys or chicken holiday dinners!  That way you can make a really yummy bone broth for a hearty soup.

Taking a trip down memory lane, I did a similar challenge back in August for 8 weeks and it truly made a big difference.  The reason I did Paleo was because my body was shutting down after just a few weeks of crossfit.  I was trying to do my usual diet of low calorie/fat intake and eating clean, but it wasn't giving me the nutrition my body desperately needed to do crossfit.  That is when I found paleo, which apparently is the preferred diet for crossfitters.   I gave it a shot and absolutely loved it.  One day a week I would buy all the foods, cook my meals and freeze them.  I even found some amazing crockpot meals that took maybe 10 minutes to prep and I come home after work....bam....dinner is ready!

With all diets, there are small sacrifices.   Paleo means no grains, dairy or sugar.  Everything else is up for grabs.  Now I am a huge food addict so I was even more surprised during the diet that I didn't crave any of those 3 items.  Why would I?  I could still have bread, made from almond/coconut flour.  I had my sweet tooth through MIO drinks, which has no sugar. Dairy, I love my milk but honestly, I had so many amazing meals during paleo that milk was far from my mind.

I can't wait to see how many people join the challenge.  The best part will be motivating one another, sharing ideas, sharing recipes and seeing progress!  I hope you all join the challenge as there is a 30 day or 60 day challenge. Personally, I recommend a 60 day challenge to allow your body time to adjust to the change and respond to it.

My workouts this week have been amazing.  I guess I say that high on endorphins.  Haha!  I was even complimented on my form this week and how happy I look.  I am truly happy and a big thanks goes to crossfit.  I have so many plans and ideas for 2013...motivation high baby!

While my weight benchmarks are increasing, even though I have been dropping weights during the WODs, I was super proud of my Over Head Squats.  My form was good and I was able to go heavy.  Honestly, when I started crossfit, the first month I could only do the PVC pipe.  Now, I am able to do 3 OHS at 75 lbs.  I say that because it took 3 times to try and get a good picture. Haha! Here I am, getting low but good lord I hate the way my shirt falls and my legs look massive.  I need better fitting workout clothes.  ;)

Here I am smiling as I straighten out.  Kinda blurry but you get the point and at least my legs don't look like steroid enhanced turkey legs.  Or do they...

I still walk about 4 miles 3-4 times a week. I tried walking last night but got skeered because the wind was blowing so hard that I could hear the trees in my neighborhood crack.  So I reduced it to 1 mile and hurried my butt home.  I walk at night, but no worries...I am not alone.  In honor of my pup Lexi who passed away after Thanksgiving, I am proud to announce I rescued another furbaby from the local shelter who was on the kill list.  He is so gentle, loving and a great walking companion.  I introduce to you, Bear...

Today I weighed in at 201 exactly.  I swear that scale hates me.  I am really hoping the paleo challenge STOPS the yo-yo numbers that I have been seeing on the scale.  My pants are still looser then ever, but granted I have cheated a little bit.  I know I said I would reduce the weights during my WODs and for the most part, I have.  But some days I can't resist and I go for heavy weights, like today.  Then I have also been staying after class to do barbell work and find out what my max weight is.  I just wanted to find out before the new year started.  :)

A big shout out to my fellow crossfitters today who continue to amaze me and motivate me to go further then I ever thought possible!  Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope your holiday is filled with laughter, love, warmth and happiness!
Anna Dubya

Friday, December 7, 2012

Endorph me up scotty!

Good morning my friends.  Ever get that super happy feeling where you can't stop smiling and the world just seems wonderful?  I once had that feeling, years ago when I was working out heavily and finally received my first surge of endorphin's.  Boy, I have missed that feeling of unconditional happiness.  So I am super happy that it is finally back.  I knew if I kept working my butt off at crossfit that eventually I would get that awesome rush of endorphin's and after my workout today, I received just that.  YAY!!!

Weigh in today is at 200.1 lbs.  Last week was 203.7, so that is a 3.6 lbs lost which is always great to see.  I am still keeping up with trying to complete my WODs faster but with less weights.  I am also walking or jogging 2-4 miles at least 3 times per week and eating lots and lots of salads, which I love.  I know salad sounds boring, but it doesn't have to be boring and bland.  There are tons of ways to spice up a salad to leave you wanting more and more.  Fruit, eggs, nuts, fish, chicken (baked or rotisserie), etc.

What I miss most is lifting heavy weights.  I love lifting heavy!  Today's WOD was awesome and a treat because it was a max weight day.  So I "had" to lift heavy and I was more than happy to do so.  I was even more pleased to discover my max back squat has increased by 20 lbs, now at 165 lbs instead of 145 lbs.  I love, love, love, lifting heavy.  I love it so much that me and a close friend created a new "hello handshake".  It is basically a few unique high-fives, a leap into my arms and a rock a bye-bye baby hello.  Sounds dorky, I know, but people who have witnessed it have asked to participate.  Always makes for a good laugh!

Don't believe me?  See for yourself...

Ah, good times!  Haha! If I see you, don't be shy. Give me an A-Dubs Crossfit "high-five" hello.  :)

Have a great weekend my friends!
Anna Dubya

Friday, November 30, 2012

Progress of the heart...

Welcome back!!  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We packed up the car and went north to visit family for Thanksgiving.  I found once I got there, I couldn't sit still.  If I wasn't exercising, I was cooking and cleaning.  It would appear crossfit has given me more energy then I know what to do with, or it could have been the 10 hour drive that made me so restless. Hmmmmm.

I love Thanksgiving; food, laughs, hugs, stories, family, friends, etc.  I enjoyed the food for sure, but I made sure I didn't go overboard.  But let's be honest, it is near impossible to not gain a little after such a food coma induced holiday such as Thanksgiving.  I wanted to enjoy my time with family, so I put all diet and weight struggles aside and did just that.

My holiday was wonderful, but I could have never predicted how it would end.  I always want to keep this blog positive and inspirational.  To give back what crossfit has given to me.  Yet, life has a way of throwing curve balls sometimes and I want to share mine with you, as hard as that is for me.

Soon after the holiday, we arrived home safe and sound.  My mastiff, Lexi, joined us on our trip because I couldn't bare to not have her around.  I rescued Lexi from a kill shelter when I stumbled on her profile that she was to be destroyed.  I drove 2 hours to rescue her and found more than just a fur baby, I found a big part of my heart.  After curing her many ailments, the vet also found she had a very strong heart murmur.  Xrays and an echo cardiograph later, we found she had holes in her heart.  But as amazing as she was, never showed signs of having a sick heart. Unable to afford heart surgery, we gave her lots of love instead and hoped and prayed she would prove the vet wrong.

The night after we arrived home from our trip, I noticed she wasn't herself. That could have easily been due to the tons of people food my family fed her, so I just gave her canned food and helped her on the couch to relax and watch a movie with me while her head rested on my lap.  After the movie, we all went to bed.  At 6am I went to the bathroom and came back to bed to give her my usual morning hugs and kisses, but as soon as I touched her I knew what had happened.  I tried shaking her awake, screaming "no!", but it was too late....she was stiff and I was on my knees at the bedside collapsed in tears.  She looked like she was just sleeping comfortably in bed, so I knew her heart just stopped beating somewhere during the night.

After she passed, I had the hardest time doing anything related to my normal daily routine.  For the first time, the thought of going to crossfit made me physically sick.  Something I love so dearly, it just didn't make sense.  Yet, I still went because I knew I needed to.  Then one day, I opened up to my crossfit family about my current experience after our WOD and they helped enlighten me as to why I was getting so physically sick. The routine was I go to crossfit and come home after, finding Lexi wagging, jumping and waiting for me to feed and play with her before having to go to work.  It was that daily routine that was making me sick because a huge piece of that was now missing. My Lexi.

Knowing "why" everything, not just crossfit, was making me physically sick helped me recover faster and ease my heart.  Crossfit continues to surprise me.  While I wanted to use it as a tool to improve my health and get back in shape, it has given me so much more.  It has given me the strength to want to know more about me.  Why I do what I do, why I feel what I feel and how to improve all of that.  I now understand more of why I have been derailed so much in the past with getting into shape.  My loss created a deep depression for me, which I compensate with laziness and food.  But my crossfit family helped me make a big realization that has put me back on track and I am forever thankful for that.  I miss Lexi with all of my heart, but I am trying more than ever to flip and see the positive.  Not the loss but rather the gain.  She gave me so much happiness, love and laughs...for which I am eternally grateful to have had her as part of my life. I miss you sweet girl!  Here she is...

Ok, must change subject to stop from crying.  Today I was measured, which I must say has the oddest results.  Some small gains in areas but also losses in others that I wasn't able to lose before.  Here are the results:
Date Chest Waist Hips Right Thigh Right Arm Weight
July 20, 2012 47.5 46.5 51.5 29.5 13.5 223.2
August 31, 2012 46 42.75 50 29.3 14 209.3
Total Loss in 6 weeks 1.5 in 3.75 in 1.5 in 0.2 in -0.5 in 13.9 lbs
October 19, 2012 45.5 39 49 29 14 197.5
Total Loss in 3 months 2 in 7.5 in 2.5 in .5 in -0.5 in 25.7 lbs
November 30, 2012 45 39.5 49 27.2 13.2 203.7
Total Loss to date 2.5 in 7 in 2.5 in 2.3 in 0.3 in 19.5 lbs

Finally a loss in my arm and legs, and a pretty darn good loss in just 6 weeks!  I went from gaining 1/2 an inch in my arm to losing that gain and an additional .3 inches! Isn't it amazing that although my weight looks to have increased, my measurements say otherwise?  This is why I say that although a scale helps give you an idea, get measured!!!  I have also changed my WOD approach last week, thanks to some great advice from the crossfit family.  I gain muscle easily and honestly I needed to improve my cardio levels.  So, now I use much lighter weights and go as fast as possible. Even taking up jogging.  I plan on keeping that up for a couple of months and will let you know where it leads me.

I dedicate this blog entry to my fur baby Lexi.  Thank you for giving me so much love, making me laugh and being my cuddle buddy.  You are greatly missed and loved by all!

Anna Dubya

Friday, November 16, 2012

Hero WODs in honor of Veterans Day

In honor of Veterans Day, this week was dedicated to our fallen hero's; Wittman, Moore, Murph, DT and Michael.  It was a true honor to be able to complete a WOD dedicated to a fallen hero of this nation during a week that is meant to remember and honor them.  Their WODs were no walk in the park either.  In fact, they all pretty much kicked my butt, deflated my ego and reminded me how hard our armed forces work everyday to stay in shape and conquer unimaginable challenges in order to keep this nation safe.  I salute you all!

Sadly I didn't get to exercise the Wittman WOD this week due to work but I know we will meet again.  However, I completed the other 4 WODs this week.  Yet, for some reason, my eyes are on Murph.  Murph challenges more than my body, he challenges my mind.  Well, I retract that statement because 2 days later I can barely walk, brush my teeth or put on pants.  Body is definitely challenged right now in a "ride the wal-mart electric shopping cart" kind of way.  I keed, I keed.  Stretch, stretch, warm shower, stretch, stretch, work it out.  That is my current motto.  

My weigh in today was 196.3, that is .5 lbs in 1 week.  That isn't much of a loss in a week and it seems lately my weight loss, at least scale wise, has slowed down.  It is very frustrating when you know what you put in your body and what you put into your workout, yet the weight loss is moving at a snails pace. Even so, my clothes are looser, my weights have increased (possibly building more muscle) and my WOD times are improving.  I try to remind myself all that because honestly that scale frustrates me.  It doesn't discourage me at all, but it certainly frustrates me.  Even so, here is a comparison picture to give you all a visual of where I was and where I am.  

All in all, it has been a great week once again!  Even more so that this week was dedicated to honoring Veteran's Day....crossfit style.  Looking forward to the next WOD.

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." John F. Kennedy

Anna Dubya

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Murph...we meet again

On August 8, 2012 I was first introduced to "Murph", finishing in 68 minutes.  Click here to take a trip back to memory lane.  Today, I seriously finished right at 60 minutes!  Shaving 8 minutes off my original time in just 3 months...but there is way more to this story.  The differences 3 months have made:

  1. My mile time has gone from 14+ mins down to 11 mins 30 seconds, I also ran the entire time this go around.  It also helps when you can breathe, which I can now do thanks to crossfit for giving me the desire to quit smoking.  Nearly 5 months smoke free and going strong!  Oh, I also signed a petition with work to not smoke in 2013.
  2. I completed all 100 pull-ups using the blue band.  Last time I had to stop at 70 and finish with an alternative jump move.  This time I also had my chin above the bar the whole time instead of last time where I could barely get my nose close enough to smell the bar. Skadoosh!
  3. Push-ups (200) and Squats (300) completed without having to split them apart like I did last time.  So I finished all push-ups (on my knees still) and then completed all of my squats.  Next time my goal is no knees! My squat time is also better, 25 a set then break and at one point, I did 50 before taking a break.  Much better then the sets of 10 three months ago.

I could have gotten under 60 minutes today, but I had a bit of a blow out.  Literally.  The night before I tried cutting the calluses off my hands, but was unsuccessful. I do this because the more they build, the more they can tear apart.  I have big calluses now because I don't wear gloves, except on rare occasions.  Truth is, you should wear good gloves, grips or wrap your hands to protect them so the result of today is completely my fault.  

I could feel the calluses aggravate my hands during my pull-ups, but I didn't want to stop to get my gloves.  Well, with only 16 left to go, I had a blow out where my callus decided it wasn't gonna hang around anymore.  So I had to stop for a few minutes to wrap my hand, but you know what....after my hand was wrapped I still finished my 16 pull-ups baby!  If it wasn't for the blow out, I could have finished under 60 but a lesson was learned today.  Here is my battle wound...which oddly enough...I'm extremely proud of. 

Today, I was given the advice to shave the calluses and not cut them.  So I am going to give that a try, oh, and also wear gloves or wrap my hands now.  Haha!

Until we meet again Murph!  
Anna Dubya

Friday, November 9, 2012

Lift ALL the weights!

When I first started crossfit and saw the prescribed weight, there were two thoughts that ran through my head "Oh heck no" or "Pshh, that's easy. Liiiiiiiift, ok, maybe not so easy."  (Depending on what the move was.)  Since those early days, I am surprising myself with every workout by rockin the prescribed status consecutively.  Even shooting for simple moves like guy push ups, less band on pull-ups and one day I WILL climb that frickin rope!  Last week, 4 WODs of prescribed weights.  This week, 3 WODs with prescribed weights.

There was one point in a WOD, which included 10 rounds, where I was up to round 4 thinking "I gotta drop weight!"  By round 6, that feeling intensified and I had no idea how I would finish with prescribed weight.  But I sucked it up and finished all 10 rounds prescribed.  Honestly, by round 7, I was getting really mad at myself for thinking of dropping weight when I have come all that way with prescribed. I was gonna finish prescribed, no matter what....and I did!  Boom!  (That was the sound of my weights crashing to the floor when I finished.)

Here is my bicep.  Do you see it?!  I see it!!  A little shadow is forming, proving I have a bicep.  Here, let me point it out for ya.  Oh, ya, the last arrow at the bottom....ignore that.  That is, um, part of my bicep that I am toning up.

For my weigh in today, I came in at 196.8 lbs.  That is .6 lbs less than last week.  I know, I know, not much difference, but I am getting more and more "you are looking skinnier" compliments lately.  I think I am gaining more muscle mass, which is also going to help me lose more weight, even when I am sleeping.  Looking forward to that!  

Lifting all the weights,
Anna Dubya

Friday, November 2, 2012

A week prescribed...

Weigh in today showed my weight at 197.4 lbs which brings me to a total loss of 25.8 lbs overall.  Whoot whoot! Very proud that I am still under 200 lbs, but even more proud that I was able to complete 4 out of 5 WODs this week with prescribed weight.  What is prescribed weight?  It is the amount of weight you are encouraged to use during your workout for movements involving weights.  Even if that means your own body weight, such as doing pull-ups (my kryptonite).

It took months before I could complete a WOD using prescribed weight.  This week.  4 WODs.  Prescribed  weight.  Done and done.  I won't lie, my soreness level was equivalent to week 2 of starting crossfit for the first time.  Woddling from room to room, dreading having to sit on a toilet, falling into bed instead of gently laying down, wishing I had an electric chair to take me up and down my stairs, etc.  So last night stretches, stretches and more stretches. I definitely need to stretch more after my workouts so I don't get this sore.  

How I normally stretch (as you see below) isn't exactly helpful:

My stretches last night (real stretches) really helped my workout this morning which was tough.  It was one of those workouts where you go, go, go, rest, go, go, go, rest, and so on.  The instructor tells you when to go and when to stop so we are all working out together and it is up to you to do as many reps as you can.  Hearing "GO!" was like the devilish sounds of a drill instructor but hearing "STOP!" was the sounds of the sweetest angel from the heavens above.  Ok, maybe that was just my take on it.  All in all, great and challenging workout as always.  Love it!

I wish you all the best weekend!  I am sure we all will, thanks to left over Halloween candy! Mwahahaha! ;-)

Anna Dubya

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friends in crossfit places...

All the way from California, I would like to introduce you to Kim.  A mom of 2, soccer player of 35 years and a fitness fanatic. Visiting our humble city for 2 weeks on business, I asked her to join me at crossfit.  She has listened to me brag about it for months, so she was definitely down to experience it for herself.  Needless to say, even for a girl who plays 3-4 soccer games a week, first day of crossfit wasn't exactly a walk in the park.  Her body is trained for soccer so her muscle memory made it so she could play in her sleep, no problem.  However, the introduction to crossfit was taking that muscle memory and turning it into an etch-a-sketch.

It was hard not to laugh when she pointed out where she was sore and to what extent, because I have been there.  Truth be told, months later I am still there. For instance, at the end of day 1 at work, she looked at me and plopped her arm on the desk then announced "My arm is dead". Day 2, a much needed glass of wine was self prescribed which quickly revived the "dead arm".  Day 3, feeling good after a night of stretches.  Day 4, walking proved to be a challenge as she somehow walked at an angle off the sidewalk and onto the pavement, laughing while she was trying to regain control over her buckling legs.  However, at the end of the WOD on day 5, the soreness was lifted leaving just a subtle hint of the workout but otherwise returning her to almost normal.  I promise, doing 5 days a week will lift that soreness that slows down the simplest tasks like sitting on a toilet. Even with all that, week 2, she was still bout it bout it.  I was so proud of her for keeping it up, even completing 10 WODs in 2 weeks!

Although she leaves for California today, she has purchased a groupon to continue her crossfit lifestyle back at home!  You go girl!  When I asked what she thought of crossfit, she responded "I like that it changes and is challenging.  And even if you are active and you think you are in shape, it still challenges you. It kicks your butt."  Well said my friend!

Here we are after her 5th WOD...

Even Sunday, we refused to rest and instead attacked a zipline course.  Climbing, suspending, balancing, etc.   It was a lot of fun and I have to admit that if I didn't have the training I received from crossfit, there was no way I would have been able to finish 3 courses.  It took a lot of arm strength, especially for someone with an extreme fear of heights like myself who did a constant full squat as I moved from one obstacle to the next.  

All in all, it has been a GREAT 2 weeks.  Weigh in today showed 199.2 lbs (still under 200 hundred....booya!).  That is a 1.7 gain since last week, but I realize that no matter what my weight will fluctuate like a roller coaster.  Try not to beat yourself and disect everything you did to try and isolate why you gained weight even though diet and exercise was on point.  The important factor is to NOT allow it to distract you from your goals.  

"Don't stop believin"
Anna Dubya

Friday, October 19, 2012

3 month progress report!

Today is the day folks!  I am so proud to share with you all my 3 crossfit month progress report!!!  Let's jump right into it...
Date Chest Waist Hips Right Thigh Right Arm Weight
July 20, 2012 47.5 46.5 51.5 29.5 13.5 223.2
August 31, 2012 46 42.75 50 29.3 14 209.3
Total Loss in 6 weeks 1.5 in 3.75 in 1.5 in 0.2 in -0.5 in 13.9 lbs
October 19, 2012 45.5 39 49 29 14 197.5
Total Loss in 3 months 2 in 7.5 in 2.5 in .5 in -0.5 in 25.7 lbs

I am down 2 pants sizes, back into the jeans that sadly collected so much dust that I had to wash them again before wearing them.  Yup, I am on the forbidden side of the closet where the long lost "skinnier" clothes were hiding.  I quit smoking 3 months ago and no longer crave it, after smoking excessively for 3 years.  My stamina, energy and overall happiness is at an all time high.  This is all thanks to crossfit which has made me want to change my life and actually enjoy those changes. Ok, picture time!!!

I will admit that I am loving my overall progress, but I am soooo excited about my butt!  What was once a flat, scary looking shelf is now becoming a bubble.  My Roseanne is shaping into a nice J-Lo and I couldn't be more excited about it!  

I am also proud to announce that my crossfit pal has stuck it out and completed 5 WODs with me this week which is amazing!!!  In fact, she is going with me next week and I can't wait to share her story with everyone! I have met some amazing new people at crossfit this week.  If you are just starting and you are thinking "I don't know, 5 WODs is a lot.  I am so sore after just 3."  Well, I promise you if you do 5, the soreness will be much shorter and by the end of the 5th day, you will feel even better.  I too started at 3 WODs per week, but now that I am doing 5 I am amazed at how much better I feel.  

I just want to say thank you to ALL of the instructors, my family and friends and my new crossfit family for helping me get this far!  There is no way I would be able to get as far as I am without the advice, encouragement, positive enforcements and laughs.  I live off of laughter and every morning when I am still rubbing the crust out of my eyes, my crossfit family says or does something that instantly makes me laugh and gives me a boost of energy. 

Love you all!  Looking forward to the next 3 months!
Anna Dubya

Monday, October 15, 2012

A week to remember...

As of last Friday I weighed in at 200.7 lbs!  So close to being under 200 lbs!  That is 22.5 lbs in 2 months 3 weeks.  Not bad, especially knowing the fat loss is so much greater.  How do I know that?  Well, I can fit in my old jeans again which are loose and now the "you are looking great!" comments are pouring in.  I am now reaching that level where the fat loss is very obvious.  Before, it was a subtle change in my face and neck.  Now it is obviously melting away and I am so excited about it!

I am also excited that a close friend of mine is joining me for my morning workouts this week.  She has been curious to find what crossfit is about and has a ton of fitness experience; playing soccer for 35 years, yoga (hot yoga too), etc.  So I am can't wait to hear her impressions of crossfit.  I will be sure to share her experiences, because as much as I love using this blog to tell my story I also LOVE to hear other peoples stories.

Her first day crossfitting was a good WOD; 5 rounds of box jumps, deadlifts and pull-ups.  I am sure they will get even better as the week wears on.  Today I was so proud of her as she didn't try to get all crazy with the weights but instead took her time and eased into it.  I always recommend easing into crossfit for first timers because form is so important.  

Crossfit to me is like relearning your body.  Oh, you think you know your body...but there is so much more to it then you realize.  Even today, I still questioned my bodies ability.  For deadlifts, I almost went a lot lighter but finally decided to push myself to 135 lbs.  Surprisingly, I was able to complete the WOD at 135 lbs, but now that I look back I feel I could have done the prescribed weight of 155 lbs so I am a bit disappointed that I didn't go all the way.  Gotta learn how to turn off that "you can't do that" way of thinking sometimes and just give it a shot!  I am still proud of what I completed today and my body is definitely feeling the effects of the workout. Never thought I would love being the slightest bit sore, but I do I do I do.

What a great way to start off the week!  Stay posted this week for my 3 month measurement/weigh-in/pictures progress update!
Anna Dubya

Friday, October 5, 2012

Breaking 20...

I am proud to announce that I have finally broken the 20 lb weight loss mark!  My weigh in today was 202! That is 21 lbs lost in 2 1/2 months.  Whoot whoot!  However, I know for a fact that there is a lot more fat loss then the numbers on the scale are showing me.  For instance, last week it appeared I gained a little more than a pound.  However, the pants that I was finally able to fit into again were loose to the point that I can almost take them off without unbuttoning them.  So I knew my progress was still on track.  

In a few weeks, I will have my final 3 month measurements done.  I am truly excited to see how far I have come in a matter of 3 months.  But even before I see the numbers, I am so proud of where I am today.  I have a new life, a new love of life, more energy and finally a desire to workout.  I completed 4 WODs this week so far, and even after getting 2 stitches in my head today, I totally pitched a fit thinking I might not be able to do my workout tomorrow. Yup, full on flaring my arms, whining "whyyyyyy?", then pouting.  Sometimes the inner child just breaks out without warning.  

Days I am proudest are those where I can do prescribed weights, even if I finish last.  When I get home and prepare for my shower, sometimes I hold up my shirt and think "awwww ya, look at that sweat!"  I am not much of a sweater, so when my shirt is soaked I get all happy because I feel like I really busted it out.  Sometimes even during my workout, I catch my reflection and admire my glistening arms and the muscles I can finally see at work as I lift, pull, press, etc.  It has been a long time since I have seen any type of toning in my body, so I can't help but admire the progress. Haha!

I continue to love my workouts.  Anytime anyone asks me about crossfit, I get super excited to tell them how much I love it and why.  It just means so much to me.  For the next two weeks, I have coworkers flying in for work.  They have expressed their interest in working out with me so I will be sure to share their stories with you all!  

Hitting the 20 lb bench mark and going strong,  
Anna Dubya

PS. I am still planning on working out tomorrow. Mwahahaha!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Never get discouraged...

Today was my weigh in, which I do every Friday.  The scale indicated that I gained a little more than a pound since last week. I was really pushing and hoping to be 20 pounds down by now (2 months + 1 week later), but it simply didn't happen.  I now weigh 205.8 which is a 17.4 pound difference in 2+ months.  Yet, the numbers on the scale have not disappointed or discouraged me.  There are many reasons why:

  1. Today we did wall climbs. For a big girl like myself, it seems very scary.  But I still did 7 (5 during the workout and 2 before just to see if I could do it.)  My stamina during burpees has also greatly improved, thanks to some advice from my crossfit family. 
  2. I am finally able to fit in a pair of jeans that I haven't been able to get around my waist for the past 7 months.  
  3. For the past 5 weeks, I have maintained my goal of 5 WODs per week.  Even adding an additional cardio class or 2, boosting me up to 7+ total workouts in a single week.
  4. I quit smoking! 
  5. I haven't had a drink of alcohol in 5 weeks.  (I would drink with friends on the weekends, but I wanted to give it up for a few months to see how much my body changed in doing so.)
My journey reaches a lot further than numbers on a scale.  I am beaming with pride with how far I have come.  I have 3 more weeks left before I am measured again and I don't plan on slowing down or allowing anything to distract me.  I love what I am becoming and I am so proud of where I am now.  Scale or no scale, I feel great!

"Ain't nothing' gonan break my stride
I'm running and I won't touch ground
Oh-no, I got to keep on movin'"

Anna Dubya

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Battle of the bad habits

I love crossfit but there are times where I am just not in the mood.  Well, today was one of those days. Not because I had to do burpees, but there have been days where I just don't feel it.  On those days when my alarm wakes me up for my early AM workout I want to hit snooze and give myself an excuse as to why I shouldn't go.  Back hurts, muscles are sore, got a lot of work to do, too tired, and the list goes on and on.  The challenge for me in those moments is ignoring those excuses and remembering how how incredibly guilty/bad I will feel all day if I don't go.  Not wanting to play that guilty battle today, I got up and hit the AM workout.  On the sweaty drive home, feeling much better, I got to thinking why I struggle so hard some mornings when I love crossfit so much.  

I think I am so focused on where I am going/who I am becoming....that I am forgetting who I was/where I came from.  In a matter of months since I started crossfit, my lifestyle is dramatically different.  Before crossfit, I was fully equipped with a ton of bad habits that took years to perfect; smoking cigarettes, drinking excessively, making excuses not to workout, overeating then going days without eating, and so on.  When I recall where I was in life just a few months ago, it reminds me how I felt; depressed, tired, angry, hungover, unable to breathe and embarrassed.  

Recalling my history in such a brutal way was a big awakening for me.  I will never succeed at changing myself for the better if I don't remember what it was like when I was at my worse.  It is sort of the same theory we overweight folks face when confronted with a mirror.  "If I don't see it, it doesn't exist."  Well, if I am to be successful, I need to face the mirror.  While I will continue to focus on what I am accomplishing, I will also reflect on my past as a reminder to help push me towards my goal.

Even writing this I am amazed to realize that in just a matter of a few months of crossfit, I have already changed so much.  I don't drink, I don't smoke and my diet has much improved to a healthier lifestyle (paleo).  Without crossfit, I don't think I would even be this far. Just something about it finally made me want to change.

Paving a new road, but remember what the old looked like,
Anna Dubya

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Burpees everywhere

I saw the WOD for today and seriously thought, "ok, simple and quick enough."  33 bear complexes and you are finished, but every minute drop and give 3 burpees.  I seriously underestimated the workout, even doing a little math in my head prior to starting.  I thought if I do 5 bear complexes a minute, I could be done in roughly 7 minutes.  Heck, I might even be able to do more each minute.  Sounds easy enough. Yay for a quick and easy WOD on this lovely Wednesday!  Oh how wrong I was.

By minute 2, reality hit me like homey the clown slapping me with a sock full of rocks.  My goal of 5 bear complexes a minute quickly dwindled down to 2 per minute.  At one point I was lucky to get 1 per minute.  But the threat of more burpees was just too frightening to allow my body to stop.  If I had to slow it down to 1 or 2 bear complexes a minute, so be it.  But I knew the consequences of stopping....more burpees.  No matter how much I wanted to stop, the burpee threat pushed me to keep moving.  If you have ever seen or played Silent Hill, you know the tornado siren was the frightening sound that warned you what torture was about to occur.  Well, every minute I heard "3 burpees!" was like hearing that siren.  I guess you can see I have a deep seeded "love" for burpees.  Nope.

33 burpees and 33 bear complexes later, I finished right at 12 minutes.  What were once my strong and weight hungry arms were now dreading the weight of my car keys.  I have learned my lesson and will never underestimate a WOD ever again.  

Seeing burpees everywhere,
Anna Dubya

PS.  After a warm shower, the power in my arms returned but I still feel the effects of the WOD. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

WODda ya know?

Weigh in today baby!  Today the scale displayed 205.3, giving me a total weight loss of 17.9 pounds in 8 weeks.  Giddiup!

Even with work being so nutso lately and me having to skip Wednesday all together, I was still able to do 5 WODs this week on top of trying out the Hardcore class (which was awesome btw!).  How did I accomplish that by Friday on top of skipping a day this week?  Well, Tuesday I did Harcore followed by a WOD and Thursday I did two WODs.  I didn't like that I had to skip Wednesday so I stayed after to make up for lost WOD time.  Basically I did Monday = WOD, Tuesday = Hardcore then WOD, Thursday = 2 days of WODs and Friday = WOD.  (5 WODs + 1 Hardcore class)

I feel great too!  Sure, I have a little "tenderness" in my arms and legs, but not enough to slow my weekend down even slightly.  I know our lives are constantly busy, some weeks more than others, but I remind myself that all I really need is one hour a day for me.  I am so proud of what I accomplished this week.  It beats sitting at home, watching TV, eating fast food and feeling depressed about what I look like.  Instead, I am focusing on something so much better...that feeling of "I did that".  No words to describe how great it feels when you are able to look back and see what you have accomplished instead of wishing what you could accomplish.  

Watching my fellow crossfitters beam with pride when finding out their max back squats says it all.  Finding out I can do more than I ever thought possible fills me with a smile from head to toe.  I was so proud that I was able to hit a 145lb max back squat.  When I first started, I could barely squat with a PVC pipe.  I highly recommend you track your progress because when you look back you will be amazed at how quickly your body changes gears, increases in stamina, weightloss, strength, sense of accomplishment, etc.  I am so grateful to have given crossfit a try, no matter how scary the crossfit games made it look.  Love it!

Well, WODda ya know....I DID THAT!  ;)
Anna Dubya

Saturday, September 8, 2012


I promised to do crossfit 5-days a week for the next 8 weeks and I intend to keep that promise.  Well, seeing that Monday was a holiday, that meant a Saturday WOD was in order.  Usually I never post the actual WOD but this was so epic that I had to share it:

Start with 75 wall balls
50 air squats
bear crawl for distance
40 jumping jacks
crab walk for distance
120 count flutter kicks
army crawl for distance
20 burpees
broad jump for distance
120 count mountain climbers
army crawl for distance
40 hollow rocks
crab walk for distance
50 push ups
bear crawl for distance
Finish with 75 wall balls 

When the instructor (who I now proclaim The WODINATOR) went over the WOD for which HE created, I laughed nervously just to keep from crying.  But alas, buzzard rang and we were off.  Lately I have been able to lift all the weights prescribed in each WOD, but my own body weight truly humbled me during this workout.

Did I want to puke, yes...multiple times (but oddly only when I worked out my honey boo boo belly).  Did I sweat, puh-lease, even my eye balls were sweating.  Did it hit at a cardio level, come on now...I was breathing so hard I could have filled 5 king size mattresses.  Did I feel it in my muscles, at this point even lifting a toothbrush would be a challenge.  Did I finish...HECK YA I DID!  

It took me roughly 53 minutes to finish, but you wouldn't believe how proud I am that I finished period.  I admit, the wall ball ending nearly defeated me.  But with 25 left to go, even The WODINATOR picked up a wall ball and finished with me.  It is always humbling and inspiring that someone else is willing to do it with you just to give you that extra push.  Even the hardcore instructor dropped down to finish my crab walk with me.  Sometimes I feel ashamed when they stop to help me because even then I am struggling just to keep up with them.  But there they are, by my side and I incredibly grateful for that.

All in all, incredible workout.  The fact I finished gives me a powerful feeling of absolute victory!

BTW - I was so exhausted when I finished my workout that when the WODINATOR went in to fist bump me, I high-fived his fist.  Awkward on most days, but I was a level 10 honey badger in that moment so I took it to the next level and wrapped my high five around his fist. Not enough purell in the world to reverse that awkward move.  

Have a great weekend my friends!
Anna Dubya 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A 6 Week Progress Report

Last Friday marked the end of 6 full weeks since I have been tracking my progress with crossfit.  I was so excited to get measured and weighed that I could barely sleep the night before.  I must say, I was not disappointed when presented with the results.  

Date Chest Waist Hips Right Thigh Right Arm Weight
July 20, 2012 47.5 46.5 51.5 29.5 13.5 223.2
August 31, 2012 46 42.75 50 29.3 14 209.3
Total Loss in 6 weeks 1.5 in 3.75 in 1.5 in 0.2 in -0.5 in 13.9 lbs

I was actually even more proud that I gained 1/2 inch in my arm.  Muscle definition is starting to show which means I can shake my arms and not look like I have wings flapping around.  Toning is so important for a girl like me because if I were to simply lose the weight, I would have loose skin flapping all over the place.  No one wants to see that, especially me!

Remember the pictures from my humble progress report?  Well, these are nearly a month later.  My pants are even a lot looser now to where I need a belt.  What a great feeling!  I wore the same shirt/pants as last time so you can see how even my shirt is a lot looser instead of hugging every lump, nook and cranny.  Whoot Whoot!

Awe, I am even smiling in these pictures. Haha!  So proud of how far I have come and where I am headed!

Progressively happier and happier everyday,
Anna Dubya

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Welcome back!

Happy to be back in crossfit after a great 3 day labor day weekend!  I admit waking up this morning was a true challenge.  For some reason, after a 3 day weekend I just want to sleep in. Yet during the weekend, I don't want to sleep in.  Go figure.  When the alarm went off this morning, I contemplated turning it off and staying in bed...skipping my morning workout just to get a few more Z's.  But I recalled that feeling I get after my workout which by far trumps the feeling I have about staying in bed and sleeping.  

Sure enough, I was right.  After the WOD today, I was energized, happy and ready to attack the day head on.  If I skipped the WOD to sleep in, I know I would have struggled just to even make it through the day.  It is even more difficult when I am super comfortable in bed and dreams are top notch.  But even then, that level of comfort cannot compare to how great I feel after my workout.  Most of the time for the simple fact that I completed it.  Today, I am proud to say I pushed real hard through my breaks.  As much as I wanted to stop for a long period of time, I kicked it back into gear...keeping those muscles warm.  Felt so good!

Last week I did my 6 week weigh in + measurements.  I plan on posting that information this week, but was holding off so I can take some updated pictures for you all in the new crossfit gear.  Needless to say, I was SUPER proud of where I am 6 weeks later.  Can't wait to share/show you all my progress.  I would love to hear your progress too if you are open to sharing!

Jumping out of bed to WOD it out,
Anna Dubya

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Crossfit is family

I have never achieved or felt the connection with anyone I have worked out with until I came across crossfit. Before crossfit I always kept a distance, did my thing and went home.  Never sticking around to socialize or get to know anyone mainly because I felt self conscious, judged and embarrassed.  So I put a wall up.  From day 1 of crossfit I felt nothing of the sorts.  Instead, I was welcomed with arms wide open.  I know I have hit on this subject before, but I am bringing it up because someone said something today that made even my heart smile.  "Your crossfit family".  

This is the same person who after his workout took time to ask me how many push presses I had left.  20 left to go, he picked up a barbell and offered to do them with me.  I gratefully accepted his offer, picked up my bar bell and we rocked out my remaining 20 push presses with a 45lb bar.  A weight I thought I wouldn't be able to finish with because by round three my arms were feeling a little like jelly.  Yet, I finished strong and felt great!

Have you ever done a workout where the person that finishes before you has stuck around to help you finish by doing it with you?  Well, that never happened to me before.  Sure, friends have stuck around to verbally encourage me but I never had anyone physically encourage me by doing extra just to help me along.  I gotta admit, just that little extra has given me the biggest smile today that not even rising gas prices can take away.

Starting off like a community, crossfit has now become a new family for me.  A family that hasn't turned their back on me no matter what.  So folks, it is now day 4 of my new challenge and I am more energized then ever!  I can't wait to see where I am tomorrow as I not only get weighed but measured as well.  Tomorrow will be my "6 weeks later" marker.  Yet, no matter the results, guess where I will be next week? ;-)

Anna Dubya

Monday, August 27, 2012

8 Week Challenge

I have decided to start an 8 week paleo/crossfit challenge.  I made this decision over the weekend after not hitting my weight loss goal on Friday.  Instead, I went the opposite route and gained weight.  I have already been applying the paleo diet the previous 5 weeks, but I have decided to kick it up a notch; reduce portions to 4 oz (5 times a day), no alcohol and no cheat meals.  Now that my cold is gone, I am going to kick crossfit back up to 5 times a week as well as add walking to my evening routine.  

Today is day 1.  Crossfit workout done, on top of the "bonus" WOD that was offered today.  The cool thing about the WOD today was I was able to find out what my max deadlift is....195 lbs.  I was kinda disappointed that I couldn't get over 200 lbs, but now I can't wait to see where my numbers go when it is time to test out the max deadlift again.  

I will make this post short and sweet.  If you want to join me in my 8 week journey, I would be honored.  The more the merrier!  :-)

Anna Dubya

Friday, August 24, 2012

To scale or not to scale...

Normally, I run and hide from the scale but I wanted to share with you all my weight loss struggles, achievements and road blocks.  Reason being, if you google weight loss, you usually see the same thing;  “6 months later”, “1 year later”, “9 months later”.  Yet what actually happens in between those months is where I have failed in the past.  I think it’s where most of us have failed, especially for those of us struggling with weight loss.
Every Friday I weigh in and tell you where I am at.  Well, today didn’t produce the numbers I was hoping to see.  Last week I weighed in at 211, today…..215.  Seeing a 4 lb gain when you know your diet and exercise that week has been butt kicking is like being hit by a truck filled with twinkies…..twinkies I didn’t flippin eat.  This is the “in between” I am talking about.  The set back everyone faces.  The point where I feel so defeated, confused and upset that I might as well just eat what I want and stop working out since I am going to gain weight anyway.  At times, I even took it a bit further and simply starved myself until I reached the weight loss numbers I was hoping to achieve.  Well, no more of that nonsense.

Seeing those numbers, I still couldn't help but to immediately start beating my brain with the million dollar question.  How did this happen?  My diet this week has been clean.  Breakfast, eggs and spinach.  Lunch, can of tuna.  Snacks, raw carrots and almonds.  Dinner, eggs, spinach and beef.  (I even ate grass fed beef.)  Crossfit, worked out 4 days.  (Hitting prescribed weight more than once.)  I am even able to fit in my old jeans now.  So where is this 4 lb gain coming from? 

There could be a ton of reason as to why the scale is saying what it is saying; recovering from bronchitis, muscle gain, change in diet for higher iron intake, being a girl, stars weren’t in line, and so on.  Point is, I know I did right by my body this week.  My diet, clean and healthy.  Workout, 4 days with prescribed weights.  Water intake, one gallon per day. Sounds pretty good, right?

As much as I would like an answer, I know I won't get one.  The question, the numbers, the scale will simply drive me insane.  So this time, I am letting it go.  I'm not ready to give up.  In fact, I am ready for the next WOD.  That is how much I have come to love crossfit.  Never thought I would love any workout, ever, but this is different.  The challenges, the people, the signs of muscle definition, 5 weeks and pants are much looser, old jeans can now be buttoned and the cherry on the cake…showing someone your WOD and saying “I did that!”.   

Regardless of what the scale said today and how deeply it cut me, I will continue to weigh in every Friday and share my numbers with you.  Who knows, I might be a “9 months later” huge weight loss story.  But even so, I really feel the events in between are just as important.  It’s those in between moments where I feel failure is created.  Yet this time I won’t let the scale throw me off track.  No way!   My love for crossfit simply won’t let me.   

Numbers shouldn't drive you, how you feel should inspire you.  
Anna Dubya

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Won't you be my neighbor?

When I first started to crossfit, I found my eyes constantly wondering.  Floor, ceiling, weights, ceiling, floor, neighbor, and so on.  A few WODs in, I found if I stopped and stared at one spot while working out, my form was better and I was able to do more.  I still try to focus on a single spot during my WOD, but lately I find myself watching my crossfit neighbors. Ok, that doesn't sound right.  I'm not staring or approaching creepy girl levels or anything.  I'm just seeing their movements out of the corner of my eye and using that as a pace guide.  I figure now that my form is much improved and my stamina is getting better, increasing my pace will also help me get better and better.  I admit, I take a lot of mini breaks which is a habit I need to start reducing.  So what better way to focus on pace increase by trying keeping up with your crossfit neighbors?  Tactics. It is all about tactics.  

I said it before and I will say it again...the people at crossfit inspire me.  I arrive before even the sun shows up and am greeted with big smiles and someone that always makes me laugh.  I love the WODs, well, except burpees.  I believe burpees were introduced by torture enthusiast.  But even when burpees are a part of the WOD, I am still surprised as to how much I smile after and how excited/happy I feel.  Yet, even without effort, my crossfit neighbors inspire me to keep up the pace.  However, if you are just starting to crossfit I recommend you concentrate on form first. 

You never know...I might be trying to keep up with you.  In fact, if you are my crossfit neighbor during a WOD, the likelihood that I am side viewing your movements and trying to keep up with your pace is highly probable.  So...thanks ahead of time!  :-)

Anna Dubya

PS.  I must say, I feel so much better today then I did yesterday.  Yesterday, I struggled to get through the WOD.  I felt weak, exhausted, overheated and nauseated and that was within the first 7 minutes of my workout.  I pushed through it, but it was so frustrating and confusing feeling that way after doing crossfit for weeks now and feeling the complete opposite.  Needless to say, I had an "off" day.  For some reason, I felt I needed to increase my iron levels dramatically so I googled high iron foods and went to town; spinach, red meat, tuna and eggs.  That seemed to do the trick because today I felt my performance was excellent!  Prescribed weight, finishing in less than 25 minutes, very rare 2-3 second breaks, concentrating and awareness was high and stamina....I actually had stamina again.  Needless to say, diet is vital!