Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Quick look...

Just to give you a quick peek of what I looked like 6 weeks ago.  I am getting super excited because the obvious weight loss seems to be kicking up a notch in weeks 6 and 7.  I plan on giving you a better "after week 7" picture at the end of this week so you can see where I am currently.  

Anna - 6 weeks ago:

Sigh, I truly hate that picture.  Those usually get immediately deleted, but I post it just for you!  :-)

~Anna Dubya


Skill work! (Building the goal list)

Let me first apologize for not blogging since last Thursday.  I normally do crossfit 4 days a week (M-Th).  I do other activities during my "time off", such as hiking, yard work, push-up poker, but I figured this is truly a crossfit blog so have been reserving it for the days I attack a WOD.  

The theme this week appears to be "skill work", perhaps in honor of the Olympics.  One of my favorite sports to watch during the Olympics is gymnastics.  So guess what appeared in our WOD this week?  The Hanging Rings.  Remember Vince Vaughn in Old School, on the rings while smoking a cigarette?  Ya, those rings, minus the cigarette and special effects.
Rings to our side, elbows locked, feet off the ground, slowly dip your body weight down. We did other things of course (Curtis P's and laps), but those rings are stuck in my head.  I was hoping I could at least lock my elbows and hold my body weight on the rings, but sadly I was unable to do that much.  What amazes me is how I feel as a result.  I don't feel disappointment or shame.  Instead, I feel enlightened.  "Aha!  There you are weak muscle!"  

I tried a few times, but realized where my weak link is....shoulders.  Not to worry, the crossfit team is always equipped with a challenging alternative.  Two bars about waist high, grip and dip.  Shaking and making the most frightening faces, I was determined to build those weak links!  I find the more I do crossfit, the more goals I create.  Goals so far:

1. 3 unassisted pull-ups, chin above bar.
2. Run a 5K, not power walk, run.
3. 5 ring dips.

That reminds me, I should mention an important goal....lose weight.  I most definitely have been losing weight!  I haven't weighed myself recently because I am also building muscle and the scale would bold face lie to me.  Yet, pants are looser, lumpy sides smoothing out, stomach shrinking, double chin fading away.  Pictures and more updates coming soon!  

Please remember that although the rings strike a "say what now" reaction, just try it.  Never say never.  Doesn't hurt to try it once and if you can't knock it out, go to the next best alternative until you find what works for you and where you are fitness wise.  

Working towards mad skills,
Anna Dubya


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Partner up!

Remember back in school how you were told to partner up or find a group?  Well, I don't know about you, but for me...I hated those classes.  I moved a lot so I was always the new kid.  (Military brat)  Everyone was already friends and here I was, hoping and praying I wouldn't get left alone like a newbie loser.  

This week at crossfit has been those "partner up" sessions.  Thinking I would have to relive those childhood fears once again, I almost didn't go.  Especially when I saw the mega workout of the day (WOD), I couldn't help but fear I would hold my partner up.  Shoving those negative thoughts out of my head, I stepped up and showed up.

Well let me tell ya...not once did I relive the "left alone like a loser" feelings.  I walked in, stared at the WOD board for a little while, and was quickly asked "wanna be my partner?"  Each day, a new partner asking me to join them in their WOD journey.  Typically I am not shy, but because of my fitness level, that shyness overwhelms me due to my shame over my weight.  So I was truly thankful that someone immediately asked me to partner up, of which I eagerly accepted.  Of course, apologizing if I held them up but they each would smile and remind me "You are going to do great!".  

I found that my partners methods of motivation are much different then I have ever experienced before.  Per my previous workout experiences, I was used to people yelling and forcing me to do more.  That just made me hate what I was doing and never want to go back.  Kinda like a kid throwing a tantrum, "Don't tell me what to do."   Gratefully, each of my crossfit partners this week did the exact opposite.  Instead, they encouraged me to do more!  If I started to slow down, I was cheered on "2 more Anna!!", "You can do this girl!!",  "You are doing amazing!!".  If I had to stop for a breather, they would stop with me, smile and just keep reminding me that I was nearly there.  Not once did I feel like I was holding them back.  Even the instructors would chime in with "Great job Anna!!", making me proud that they approved of my form and effort.  

Learning from their tactics, I applied the same level of encouragement.  The workouts were tough, but the partnership and encouragement provided to one another helped us both through it each time.  Even finishing a workout today in less than 30 mins while using the prescribed weight!!!!  First time I was ever able to do prescribed weight!

Every time I think I have limits where I almost let the negative thoughts derail me, I find the exact opposite.  Don't let your brain convince you otherwise, because trust me, you will prove it wrong time and time again!

Happy to be your crossfit partner any day,
Anna Dubya

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Never give up...

The hardest thing about diet and/or exercise for me is follow through.  As you saw in my first blog, when it comes to exercise, been there...done that...joyless.  Inspiration and enjoyment are so vital for me in keeping up with a new lifestyle that involves exercise.  Heck, that is why I love food so much because it gives me so much joy!  Nachos?!  Yes please!!!  But that is a love/hate relationship that we will cover in another blog.

I always thought of exercise programs as a form of torture and didn't quite grasp anyone's love for it.  "It will help you sleep better."  "It will give you more energy."  "It will make you feel better."  While I knew that could be true, my distaste for exercise programs was so extreme that I refused to see where people were coming from.  Even the availability of a TV wasn't enough to distract me from the torturous process I was enduring at the gym.  Well, at least for me it was torture often preceded with a temper tantrum.  

Crossfit opened up that closed part of myself to where I started to feel the addictive nature of working out.  I was actually enjoying it!  GASP!  Not just enjoying it, but looking forward to it!  DOUBLE GASP!  It was shocking but relieving to finally find something that would not only help me be a healthier me but something I actually enjoyed.  

Now admittedly, I still have days where I try to find an excuse not to go.  Not from lack of desire or motivation but because I have built a bad routine for years and it takes a long time to remove those bad habits and demons. Yet as soon as I make the first move to go, the motivation to do crossfit quickly takes over my negative thoughts and excuses.  I must also admit, guilt also keeps me going.  If I don't go because of some lame excuse, I will feel guilty the rest of the week because I know I wanted and could go, but I just "gave up" that day.  Ever hear the Linkin Park song "Given Up"?  Speaks volumes for how I felt about myself and where I was before crossfit.  Sure, it is depressing but it also keeps me motivated to never go back to that negative state of mind.

If you can conquer your own demon and make it to crossfit, you will see what I mean.  Everytime I go, I feel incredible, proud, elated and wanting more!  Imagine that!  I never thought in a million years I would feel that way, but even though my body says "done!", my mind says "more, more, more!". 

I spoke to two very inspiring women today at crossfit...proof that I am not alone.

  • A mom starting out at 250 lbs, barely able to lift a bar but now able to do the prescribed weights.  Dropping 50 lbs and still going strong!  
  • My workout partner this morning afflicted with weight, arthritis and previous injuries who not only pushed herself but pushed me to the very end.

Both women, so enthusiastic about crossfit; the people, the support, the challenges, the feeling they get when they are able to say "I am getting stronger."  "My pants are looser."  "I didn't care that I was the last to finish, I still finished."  These ladies struggle with their own brains the same way I do, but they still go, finish the workout and leave soaked in sweat, a huge smile and a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.  It is those feelings that act as a
 reminder, "Never give up. Never give in."

I won't,
Anna Dubya


Monday, July 23, 2012

Overweight and searching for motivation...

My name is Anna, 31 years old, 223 pounds, 5'3 and desperate to find something that I want to do to get me back into shape.  In my search, I came across a groupon for 20 crossfit sessions.  I was hesitant as my impression of crossfit was for the best of the best athletes and a rolly polly like myself wouldn't fit in.  Literally.  After calling and confirming that someone in as bad of shape as I am can do crossfit, I signed up for the groupon.  My journey began...

Day 1 - I arrived at crossfit for a 6am class...heaviest, most out of shape, scared, ashamed and intimidated.  Seeing everyone else, I immediately thought "I need to get in shape just to come here to get in shape".  But the instructors immediately caught my name, showed me the routine, encouraged me, helped me with my form and even the members who finished their workout, continued to inspire me; "great job", "you can do this", etc. I was instantly hooked!

I am currently on week 6 and should have started a blog much sooner as I have so much to say.  Yes,  I am still overweight as the years of damage I have done to my body won't be fixed overnight.  But, the best part....I found my motivation...

My hunt for an inspiring workout - I have done P90X, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Aerobics, Spin Class, Swimming, Anaerobic workouts, Yoga, Zumba, and the list goes on.  I must admit, I hate taking fitness "classes".  I find myself staring at the clock, praying for the 60 minute mark to arrive.  What feels like 45 minutes turns out to be only 10 minutes and I think "Dear lord, I have another 50 minutes of this torture?"  Worst part, I am constantly trying to stay in sync with the rest of the class who seem to know the routine as if there was some handout I missed at the door.  Frustration + Time Trickery = Fuhgettaboutit.  

Why crossfit - So many reasons but for purpose of keeping this blog short, I am listing my 2 favorites:  1) The people! Instructors and fellow memberwork to inspire not only themselves but everyone working out with them.  It's like having 10 personal trainers, pushing you, helping you, correcting your form, MOTIVATING you.  Not judging you, which is what walking into any gym feels like for an overweight girl like myself.  I would have never imagined going into crossfit that it would be the people that support me even more than I support myself.  2) I am on my own schedule.  The workout of the day (WOD) is outlined to you on a board and it is up to you how quickly you finish it.  Instructors go over the routine, making sure your form is good and you go forth and conquer.  They usually take me 30-45 minutes to complete. 

This is just a short and sweet intro into what crossfit means to me.  I finally found something that doesn't feel like a chore to complete, but rather something that has me excited and addicted!  I really look forward to sharing my journey with you and can only hope what inspires me also inspires you.  Putting aside the stories, video's, or assumptions, crossfit is truly for anyone; overweight, underweight, athlete, mom, dad, etc. No matter who you are, what may seem impossible is actually Crossfit Possible!

Motivation found,