Saturday, September 19, 2015

Into the Zone

So the last time I posted, I wrote briefly about starting the Zone diet.  I'm still doing it and it's worked pretty well for me - after a few hiccoughs here and there.  I've been on it for just about 7 weeks and it's worked really well for me.  So far I've lost a total of 8 pounds and 6 total inches off my waist and hips.  It took some getting used to, and since I've stopped logging these past two weeks I've been more apt to fall off the wagon, but it's getting easier to get back on it.  If you're thinking of trying it, or have just started, here are a few tips that have worked for me, as well as a few things I've learned along the way. 
1. Give yourself options.  I've only got 10 blocks to eat every day, and I figured I'd be hungry all the time.  So I planned for bulky carbs and proteins.  This was a huge mistake.  There were some days where I just wasn't that hungry but I'd still have to get all this food in.  So even if you think you'll be hungry all the time because x-amount of block is just not near enough, trust me.  There will be times you're just not that hungry and having a date with an ounce of cheese and a couple nuts is about all you can fathom eating. 
2. EAT ALL YOUR BLOCKS.  During the first 4 weeks I lost almost a pound of muscle.  The Zone is meant to maintain lean body mass - as long as you stick to what you're supposed to do.  I struggled a lot during the first couple weeks and my meals weren't exactly balanced.  I'd be off in my calculations and be missing a few carbs or have too much protein or forget the fat all together.  And while I did lose 5 pounds in the first 4 weeks, one of those pounds was muscle.  And I work too damn hard in the box to be losing muscle.
3. Start slow.  Eat the same thing for breakfast every day and the same thing for lunch every day.  It'll make prepping easier and shopping.  Pick a couple things to have for dinner and alternate.  When you get the hang of that add some variety to dinner or lunch or breakfast, but not all at the same time.  You'll get overwhelmed with trying to prep everything and making sure you have all the block covered.
4. Focus on one thing a week you'd like to change or make better.  For me the first week was just getting used to the zone and figuring out what worked for me.  The second week was planning better and the third I focused on prepping.  I've gotten away from focusing on things, so this coming week I'm going to focus on getting stricter with myself.  I no longer have to reach out to my accountability partner daily, and I no longer have the pressure of public logging to keep my focused. 
5. Quest bars will save your life.  You can plan your meals down to the minute, but something will come up where you're not going to be able to eat what you've planned for some reason.  Or maybe you walked out the door and spaced on grabbing your cooler.  When you go shopping every week make sure you grab a couple to keep in the car or your purse for emergencies.  Because trust me, staring at a salad bar and trying to figure out how to block out 3 blocks is intimidating and people look at you strange if you freak out because you just cannot remember how many cups of lettuce is in a block and what the hell does three cups of lettuce look like?!
6. Find some way to make planning and prepping fun.  Prepping can take over an hour.  I've put on some music and just jammed out while cooking.  I've also brought my tablet into the kitchen and caught up on some Netflix. 
7.  You don't have to go crazy prepping.  I spend a few minutes a week prepping because I usually eat the same things every day.  And I'm not much of a meat eater so most of my protein comes from cheese.  It doesn't take long to cut a block of cheese into one ounce servings.  And trust me, one ounce of cheese is a lot more than you think it is.  Ricotta is another good protein, two ounces is one block and you can add some peppers and other veggies with some Italian herbs and a splash of balsamic vinegar for a savory option, or add some berries for carbs and plain cream cheese for fat and you've got a sweet breakfast of desert.  Once you know what a block of apples or broccoli or really anything looks like, it's easy and quick to throw stuff together. 
8.  You don't always have to get it right.  The pressure of being perfect or getting it perfectly right all the time can cause you to just not do it anymore.  Forgive yourself.  Expect mistakes.  Reach out when you've made a mistake and you'll find 10 people reaching back telling you they've done the same thing and how they overcame it.  When you trip do you lay down on the ground for the rest of your life and say fuck it?  I fell and I'm done forever and ever?  No, you get up and you keep moving.  This is just like that.  Accept that at some point you're going to be tired and overwhelmed with everything going on in your life and reaching for a frozen pizza is about all the energy you have to spare.  Get up the next day and get back on it.  You're human and you're going to mess up.  When you understand that it'll be easier to get back on it when you make a mistake.
9.  Be the treat meal Nazi.  Trust me.  When you've been looking forward to this meal ALL FUCKING WEEK and something happens and you end up at a gross Chinese food buffet where they bring you your wine in a fucking coffee cup all because someone messed up and didn't do the research into the restaurant  they heard was good but was filled with old people and you're there with your two little kids.  You're going to be pissed and it's going to make the next week all that much longer because you've had a crappy treat meal and you're not getting another one for another 7 long days.  Take total control of your treat meal.  Even if you leave your husband at home and go to Cheesecake Factory by your own damn self.  Although, I'm pretty sure there will be about 7 other ZoneThugs willing to make that trip with you!
So do what you will with these ideas.  They're just some things that I've learned along the way.  This journey will be yours and what works for me may not work for you.  The best piece of advice I can give you is to figure out what works for YOU.  It's the only way you're going to stick with it. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015


As I've mentioned before, I started crossfit in March and it has changed a lot for me, and in ways I never expected.  This month I'm starting the Zone diet through the box I go to.  Our coach has started a program for a group of us and last night was the intro class.  She figured out the blocks for each of us, and we went over what a block is and how to be successful during the 4 week program.  One of the first things our coach brought up was the "WHY".  Why are we doing this?  Getting thinner and fitter are whats.  We needed to figure out what our personal why was.  And to be honest that one stumped me for a while.  So I slept on it and it hit me this morning what my why was.  And it ties into a lot of things for me.  A lot of which I have talked about on this blog.  But I'm going to explain it here.  And this might be uncomfortable for some people, but it's my why and my truth.  And it's something I'm tired of hiding.
From the age of 11 to the age of 13 I WAS the victim of sexual abuse by a man we thought of as family.  I won't go into the details because they're not needed.  And that emphatic "was" is going to be important in a little bit, so remember it. I remained a victim long after the abuse ended.  I exhibited a lot of typical victim behaviors.  Most of which I worked through and left behind years ago.  But there was a small detail that has stayed with me for years.  I hated my body.  I HATED it.  I could not let that go.  I've tried for years to be healthy and take care of myself, but nothing stuck for long for the simple fact that I hated my body.  How can you take care of something you hate?  I didn't want to hate it.  I wanted to be comfortable in it.  And that is the reason I tried for years to take care of it.  In the hopes that by transforming it I would learn to love it.  But that's not how it works.  I figured that out through crossfit.  I can wax poetic on the ways that crossfit has impacted my life.  But I'll keep it simple and say that through crossfit I'm learning to love my body.
I posted a picture on facebook last night that says "I am obsessed with becoming a woman comfortable in her skin".  That is my why.
I started this blog years ago with the goal of one day talking about this.  Talking about why I am unhappy with my body.  It went deeper than being unhappy with the way I look.  It stems from that one sentence: I WAS a victim.  But I refuse to be a victim for one moment longer.  I'm a fucking survivor.  I survived years self-hatred and years of being ambivalent about living or dying because I was his victim.  But I'm not a weak fucking victim any more.
And I'm tired of keeping his secret.  And make no mistake, it was HIS secret I kept.  Because I didn't do anything wrong.  HE did.  I'm not keeping his secret one moment longer.  I survived two years of sexual abuse.
I realize this is a difficult topic for a lot of people.  And some may feel that it is a topic to be kept private.  And while that may work for some people, it does not work for me.  I refuse to feel ashamed and keep a dirty secret that is not mine to keep.  Silencing victims makes them internalize and take on blame that belongs to someone else.  If you are a victim or a survivor, find a way to speak out.  It's not your secret to keep and the abuser doesn't deserve your silence.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I am Wonder Woman, hear me roar!

What it means to be a strong mom
This video right here gets me right in the feels.  So many feels when I watch it.
I have mentioned some of this before, but I'm going to repeat it for the sake of this post.  To make it make more sense.
I am 35 years old, and I have spent most of my life hating my body.  I've hated the belly rolls and the thunder thighs and the flappy arms.  So many people have tried to help by saying "you look fine" and "you're not that big" and my favorite (not) "your body gave birth to two kids".  None of that did anything for me.  As much as I wanted to believe that, and would just smile and nod, inside my head I was scoffing at them like an MF'er.  When you're not happy with your body there is not anything in the world that anyone can say to change that.  That has to come from within.  That had to come from me, and me alone.  It had to become my truth.  And slowly, this video has become my truth.
A lot of that change came from when I joined Crossfit Outspoken in April.  It's been just over three months, but those three months have changed so much for me.  I'm still not happy with the way I look, but I'm getting better about it.  You know what?  I may not be a size 6 but I lifted one hundred and eighteen motherfucking pounds today in a sumo deadlift.  I may not be able to rock a bikini like I did when I was 17 but I did 9 rounds of burpees and deadlifts.  I may not have a six pack but yesterday I PR'd on my split jerk.  I'm getting better and better at keeping my form correct for these movements.  THIS is the legacy I will leave to my children.  Giving up is easy, oh so easy.  It's easy to give in to that voice in your head that says "slow down you can't breathe.  No one is going to know that you didn't really give it your all" while I'm in the middle of box jumps and slam balls, or running and doing burpees.  But I'll know.  And I can't expect anything to change if I keep doing what I've always done.  So I push hard and end the WOD gasping for air like a fish out of water, but I finished it and I worked HARD.  And now I chose to focus on the positive like that and ignore the insidious voice in my head that says "give up".  I may never get the body I've always wanted, but the body I've got is capable of so much more than I ever gave it credit for.  And that is what I want my kids to see.  They'll never hear me say anything negative about my body because I don't want them to inherit my insecurities.  I want them to inherit the strength I'm learning that I have.  The perseverance to push through and finish when I'm gasping for breath and dripping sweat.  The stubbornness that won't allow me to quit.  And that is pretty damn amazing. I know my kids see this and they are learning this.  My daughter will imitate the things she sees me doing in crossfit.  My son will just randomly get up and do a few burpees.

Friday, June 26, 2015


When I woke up this morning I saw that SCOTUS has ruled that marriage should now be legal in all 50 states for ALL Americans regardless of sexual orientation.
*Side note: I've always kind of disliked the term Gay Marriage because to me that infers some sort of different type of marriage when all the LGTBQ community was fighting for was the chance to have the same right to marriage that all hetero's enjoy.*
As I've gone about my day, I thought I should document all the ways that my life as a hetero married woman with 2 kids under 10 has been impacted in the 6 hours since I heard of the decision.  So here they are:
Would you look at that?  My life has not been impacted in any way shape or form.  I'm still free to practice any religion I chose as long as it does not impinge on any other's rights, or cause physical harm to any.  My husband is a retired soldier and as such I am still insured under his medical insurance.  I am still recognized as a dependent (as a grown woman in a grown-ass relationship I DETEST that word) on his VA pension and for his education benefits.  When he goes to the hospital I am allowed in the room with him.  When we file taxes this year we will still be able to enjoy that married deduction that all married couples enjoy.  We will not have to pay our taxes at the same rate a single person pays.  If we were to separate there are legal protections in place that ensure I am not left destitute.  Those of us who are married know that there is an extra layer of security in knowing that your partner has tied their life to yours in numerous ways that doesn't happen when you just cohabit.  As the spouse of retired soldiers I get to enjoy many of the benefits that my husband does, such as tax free shopping on base and access to (almost free) flights anywhere in the world.  My husband is still listed as a parent on my childrens' birth certificates.  If we were to separate there are laws that protect my right as a parent to those children - that will never be taken away from either one of us.  When my husband dies I can be there to hold his hand and make sure he knows how much I love him.
But those rights and benefits I listed above were denied to millions of Americans.  Millions, people - MILLIONS.  How many same-sex partners were turned away at the hospital door because they weren't a relative?  How many lost children when relationships ended because they are not legally recognized as parents?  Children they had raised and loved for years?  How many have lost their homes when relationships ended because there was nothing there to legally protect their investments?  How many have been in long-term stable relationships for decades but have not been recognized as such because they weren't "legally" married?  How many have paid hundreds and thousands more in taxes because they weren't "legally" married?  How many partners of service members have had to deny their relationship out of fear for their partners' careers?  How many of those same people have been shut out of being a part of their partners lives because since they weren't "legally" married they weren't considered dependents and therefore could not go with their partners when their partners were stationed overseas?
Now put yourself in their shoes.  And try to imagine how your life would be impacted simply because you fell in love with someone who was the same sex you are.
I will never understand discrimination.  I will always fight against it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I ain't no fortunate one

This post has been a long time in the making.  But here goes.
A little bit of background first.  I met my husband in late October of 2005..  Two months later I peed on a stick and we found out we were going to be parents.  After that things moved very fast, and we had some issues, but we worked through them for the most part and were married in March of 2007, when our son was 7 months old.  A few days after marrying, my husband lost his job and we made the decision for him to go active duty in the Army.  Prior to that he had served in the National Guard for 6 years.  We met two weeks after he returned home from deployment.
We didn't spend much time together during our first year of marriage due to Hubby's responsibilities with the Guard and then when his contract was transferred to Active Duty he was sent to Germany.  Our son and I followed 3 months later.  Even when we were there he was working 14-15 hours a day, so we didn't spend much time together. And then a few days after our first wedding anniversary my husband deployed again, this time for 15 months.  He came home on my birthday in 2009.  And that is where our story really starts.
During the entire deployment all I heard from the FRG and similar groups was to not expect my husband to come home the same as when he left.  I wasn't stupid - I didn't expect him to come home the same as when he left.  He went to war for God's sake.  I don't think anyone comes home unchanged from that.  But I was unprepared for how much he had changed.  I didn't notice it right away, but it quickly became more and more apparent just how much he had changed. I first noticed it a couple weeks after he came home.  I had made an appointment to get my hair cut, then spent some time wandering around the PX by myself.  I took my time because I didn't think I had to rush home and I hadn't really had any time to myself for almost 2 years.  My son was with his father, and when Tommy was born Hector and I worked different shifts so he'd be home by himself with Tommy for up to 10 hours a day.  With no problems.  That day I was gone for less than 4 hours.  And came home to a furious husband and a sobbing toddler.  Hector blew up on me about being gone for so long.
 Before that last deployment the man I had married was outgoing and gregarious - someone everyone wanted to be around.  He was the guy you went to when you needed help because you knew he was going to know what to do.  He was the life of the party and had patience for days.  He very rarely got mad, and you had to really push him to get him mad.  The man who came home was sullen and withdrawn.  He was hesitant to spend any kind of time with anyone except me, or really go anywhere.  He was angry - a lot.  And for silly little things.  He'd get really angry really easily.  And then he'd shut down.  Just sit at his computer for hours and days at a time and would get upset if he was interrupted.
And then I found out that he had a TBI from an explosion downrange.  The convoy he was in was hit by explosives.  And then I learned about the PTSD.  Those seven letters have become the third person in our marriage.  We have spent the last 6 years struggling to figure out how we worked.  I've had to take control of every aspect of our lives.  Not because I want to be a control freak, but because there are things my husband can no longer do.
We've dug ourselves out of hell so many times I lost count.  There have been so many times where I just don't think I can do this anymore.  I can't be his enemy anymore.  Because how do you fight against monsters in your own head?  I honestly think that sometimes I become the physical manifestations of his demons.  I've had to learn patience like I've never had before.  My skin at times is a mile thick.  I'm a referee between him and the kids.  I'm his buffer against the outside world.  And that can be so overwhelming at times.
We've come a long way in the past 6 years, but it will never be what it was.  We've gone through too much, and had to change so much.  We work every day on making our marriage work, and it is a daily challenge.  Some days are easier than others.  On those days I can almost see past TBI and PTSD.  Other days that's all I can see.  I never know from one day to the next what will happen.  I have no idea what our future looks like.  But I hope and I'm determined that it will be a future we share.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Points to ponder

Alright, so I've been doing crossfit for almost 2 months now and I LOVE it!!!  I love that it pushes me outside my comfort zone and gets me to do things I'd never do on my own.  I love that the athletes I work out with are so encouraging and really work to inspire each other.  It really is a family atmosphere and I'm probably addicted.  I talked my husband into too.  And while he's not as gung ho about it as I am (not yet anyway!) he still really likes it.  Just seems like the past couple weeks have been one thing after another keeping him from going, from building a fence to a broken toe.  But he was there yesterday when we did the Murph WOD together.  It was awesome to be able to do that together and cheer each other on.  There are few hobbies that we have in common and I'm excited that this will become one.  I'm happy that we're working on our fitness and health together.
Now the part I'm frustrated about.  I haven't lost any weight since starting.  I'm not sure what's going on, but it can be discouraging at times.  I'm working on revamping how I think of things.  Like I said before, I'm not really concerned so much with the number on the scale as I am about the number on the pants tags.  Well, that and I'm starting to really want to life the heavier weights.  I know I need to work on my diet.  I've spent so much time worrying about the calories that I haven't paid much attention to the quality of those calories.  I'm try to keep my carbs and fat down while increasing my protein.  My doctor suggested that in order for me to lose weight that I'd need to decrease my calories to 800 to 1000 daily.  That to me just seems to drastic and likely to put my body into starvation mode which will cause it to hold on to everything.  And since I'm doing crossfit 6 days a week, that number seems really too low.  I'm sure once I really start to build the muscle the fat will decrease and clothes will start to fit better.  So now I remind myself that while I may not be seeing big changes right away, I'm making myself better and making my health better by working on my fitness.  I need to stop focusing on losing weight and start focusing on getting fitter.  I'm going to stop focusing on what's not going right and start focusing on what is.  And what is going right is that I'm out that door almost every morning to work out instead of sitting my ass chugging coffee.  I'm watching the athletes at the box and instead of thinking "damn, I can't do that" I'm thinking "I'm GOING to be able to do that someday".
The first step is I'm not stepping on the scale any more.  All that number does is just fuck up my thinking for the rest of the day.  I'm going to start enjoying my food.  I'm going to buckle down and really try to get rid of the processed food.  I've done a good job on starting that.  Just need to stick with it.  I'm going to pay attention to why I'm eating, am I really hungry or just bored.  And if I'm really hungry than an apple will be just as appealing as a bag of potato chips (at least I'm hoping because I REALLY love potato chips...and cookies.  I could eat cookies all day long).  I also need to increase my water intake.  Other than 2 cups of coffee daily, water is the only thing I drink, but I think I need to drink just a little bit more of it.  Especially when I'm hungry because sometimes thirst feels like hunger.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


I've been thinking of writing another post for a while now.  Pretty much since I finished the last one.  But, well, life happens.  And I'm kind of indecisive at times.  There's so much I want to write about that I just do not know where to start.  I've made some changes, and had a lot of things change for me.  Some of the things I want to write about impact others in my life, and I need to make sure I protect their privacy while still being authentic to my desire to have a conversation with everyone.  And there are some things that once are out there, I can never take back.  Some stuff I'm just not sure I want to be out there forever and always.  Part of the way I deal with things is to talk about it, out loud and with others.  But some of it is just stuff I've held onto for a long time and kept intensely private.  I'm getting close to starting that conversation, but not yet.  I need to figure out for myself what level of disclosure I'm comfortable with.
Here's something I am comfortable talking about: my health.  I've recently been diagnosed as having hypothyroidism.  It honestly seems like such a small thing, but you would be amazed at all ways having an under active thyroid can affect your life.  I was diagnosed in August and started on medication right away.  This is one of those things that you just cannot treat with diet or lifestyle changes.  But believe you me, things need to change.  I pay closer attention to how I'm feeling and can now let go of the guilt and shame I felt for so long about somethings.  The fatigue that comes along with this is no joke.  There are days where I struggle to get up and just empty the dishwasher.  I also struggle with keeping my anger in check and now know that is from my thyroid issue.  Instead of feeling bad for how irritable I feel - which believe you me just makes you feel more irritable - I can acknowledge that feeling and deal with it without exploding.
This also affects my metabolism.  All last summer I went to the gym 4 to 5 times every week and watched my diet.  I did not lose an ounce.  Once I was diagnosed I kind of stopped going and relaxed about what I ate.  As a result I gained about 30 pounds in just over 3 months.  So now I've started crossfit.  And I LOVE it!!!  I'm just about finished with the first two weeks and next week I start doing the regular WOD.  And I've gotten back to watching my diet and I've lost a couple pounds so far.  My endocrinologist suggested I try Paleo.  But I have not been doing that.  I'm mostly working on low-carb and that seems to work for me.  So if anyone has any low-carb recipes and tips & tricks let me know!
And that's it for now <3