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