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HEY, I’M OVER HERE NOW!

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Come visit me on my new hotness website: 50peach.com!

It’s where the cool kids hang out. 🙂

Foodwars

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I had a sad all last week and didn’t feel like writing. Not all of, but some of my sad had to do with my relationship with food and my body image. I told my friend NotMary yesterday that I’ve gotten fat.

Let me explain.

The CrossFit world heavily emphasizes eating Paleo, so when I joined in June 2012 I did my research and made healthy proteins, tons of veggies, healthy fats, fruits and nuts my new way of life. Along with the food changes, I worked out crazy hard. Muscles developed quickly on my scrawny arms and I felt great about how I looked for a month or two. Then I started dating a fellow CrossFitter who, plainly put, was obsessed. He was fanatical about CrossFit and Paleo and with very rudely judging anyone who wasn’t Paleo/CrossFit and with talking about himself and admiring his own six-pack.  Yeah, we broke up if you couldn’t tell by the snark, but I kept working and getting stronger. I was guzzling the Paleo Kool-Aid.

Then it felt like all of a sudden none of my clothes fit. I had a minor body image meltdown, but eventually came around to accepting that this was the deal – I work out, I get stronger, my body is going to change. The number on the scale shouldn’t matter. So I bought bigger/stretchy jeans that actually fit my newly larger (and quite righteous) ass. And I thought I was over this whole weight/body insecurity. After all, Pinterest is filled with these bad boys:

version

dumbbells

A few months later, I’m realizing that I’m not over it. I have a work trip coming up next week and it struck me that shit, I bet none of my dress pants fit now. (I work from home, so I haven’t had a need to wear them in a year!) I tried them on. They don’t fit. Like, not even a little bit. And there I was, back in the throes of mini-meltdown because the reflection in the mirror shows stretched fabric and buttons that won’t fasten by a long shot, which leads to thinking, oh holy shit my coworkers haven’t seen me in a year and I’m going to go there and they’re all going to say that I GOT FAT WHEN I MOVED TO ATLANTA OMG I AM HIDEOUS WHY CAN’T I JUST WEAR YOGA PANTS. Welcome to my brain. And maybe my hormones.

yogapants

Ryan understands me.

*Luckily I have two dresses that look great on me. Work attire crisis averted.

Yes, some of my freakout was me being slightly ridiculous – I am aware that I can no longer compare my body NOW to the clothes that fit THEN. But if I’m honest? I still hate the creep of the number on the scale. I understand that I shouldn’t care what it says because I’ve come so far from the nearly anorexic, chain-smoking, completely out of shape woman that I was. I get that a great deal of my fear of being overweight/borderline body dysmorphic is that 1. I used to be heavy and 2. I’m genetically predisposed to a slow metabolism and refuse to succumb to it. But I know what I see, and I know how I feel. I don’t feel like I’m the best version of me. What I feel is heavy. And it’s all about how I’m eating.scale

I’ll be great with Paleo for awhile and then I’ll crash again, and then I’ll go strict Paleo again… and the cycle repeats. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of stepping on the scale in the morning and cursing it. I’m tired of looking at myself in the mirror and taking a mental baseball bat to my own confidence. I’m tired of not loving myself in my new body.

This diet thing is driving me bonkers. Number 1, it shouldn’t BE a diet. It should be a lifestyle. And for me? I don’t think Paleo is a sustainable one. I don’t think I should fall prey to a guilt-and-shame-spiral if I want to eat oatmeal. Or greek yogurt. Or *gasp* ICE CREAM. Deprivation from things I like is not working for me. I love food. But I feel that trying to be strict Paleo is morphing my relationship with food into an unhealthy mindset. Screw that nonsense.

So, I’m done with Paleo for a while. I’ve had some conversations with a veteran CrossFitter friend we’ll call Bertie and I was floored to find that she does not entirely eat Paleo. Courtney did a great post about her philosophy, which inspired me to write all this out. It’s time to listen to how my body feels and try to figure out what works best for me.

The new and improved Peach plan:

  • Clean eating. Stick with the basics of eating good, healthy proteins and lots of veggies.
  • Add back in healthy carbs and small amounts of dairy. (THANK GOD, because I miss my greek yogurt!)
  • Treats – in moderation!
  • Smaller portions, more often.
  • Keep exercising. Duh. I typically do CrossFit 2-3x times a week, 1-2 runs, and yoga 1x a week.
  • Lose the extra Paleo/almond butter flubtub.
  • Lean back out.
  • Keep getting stronger.
  • Feel and look amazing by my birthday in April.

We all have issues with our own bodies. If you say you don’t, your pants are on fire. Whatever cards we were dealt, we all have to learn to accept what we don’t have control over. But that doesn’t mean we can’t work hard to improve upon what we are able. Big picture? I am A-OK. I am blessed to have the life I’m living. It’s been 8 months since I began this journey towards getting healthy and I’m so proud of how far I’ve come. Everything I’m going through right now is a part of learning what works best for me. But it makes no sense to continue the self-bashing on a system that so obviously does not work for me. Instead, I am making a pact with myself to take a different approach with food and to love myself more.

So here I go, still on the same journey towards being the best version of myself. This time, on my terms.

Day 25: Thankful Pictures

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When I visit my parents, this is my spot – to think, to drink cups of coffee, to just enjoy the outside and the utter peace and quiet. This hulking contraption traveled with them from Texas – hence the Lone Star – to their current location, and I’m glad it did.  When I took the plunge to move away from New Jersey and settle in Atlanta, I took a detour to Mom and Dad’s. I spent a week with them to decompress from my 6-year adventure up North. And in that week, God knows how many of my tears fell on that splintering wood. I just know that now, every time I come back home, I have to spend at least a little time in my spot. I feel good there.

my happy place

The first morning we were all together last week, my brother was futzing on his iPad at the kitchen table. Thanks to him, we were introduced to Foodonmydog.com – because what better way to bond with family over breakfast than a website dedicated to pictures of placing food on a dog? Duh. And hilarious.  My favorites were: Peeps, corn on the cob, pancakes, and the baguette.

Next up, dammit, you know my mom had to pull out the baby pictures. Of course she did. No, I’m not posting any of me. Shaddup. But in the same gallon Ziploc of stray pictures we were sifting through, we found these vintage 45s: Elvis: You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me and Patch it Up. Kenny Rogers (And the First Edition): Tell it all Brother. The Doors: Hello, I Love You. And Bob Dylan: Lay Lady Lay. Holy hell, my parents had good taste!

cost of Elvis 45: $0.64.

While everyone else had carb-y goodness breakfast items every day, I stuck to my Paleo guns and cooked up a shit-ton of pork (and some egg whites… kinda like a Diet Coke with a jumbo theater buttered popcorn. Totally balances out, yes?). Anyway. There was leftover ham and almost a pound of bacon hanging out in the fridge. They were lonely. They needed each other. Much porky goodness was consumed. But really? I needed some comfort, people. This was my first Thanksgiving without ANY of the following: mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, mac and cheese, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, apple pie, cool whip or ice cream. What I did have: ham, turkey and my spaghetti squash bake. (Recipe here.)  It was weird. But I’m proud I held strong. Oof.

My tweet about what you see below:  “First thought: these still exist?!? Second thought: Oooh. ‘Exotic condom’… http://instagr.am/p/SY1KMEMRpa/”  Truly, why are these still around? Even if they are in bathrooms of a gas station in the middle of nowhere, you mean to tell me this is still a sound business choice from a revenue standpoint? I can see maaaaaaybe in the men’s room. But the ladies room? C’MON. Somehow I don’t think any homegirl truly concerned with her man’s climax control problems would be purchasing items of this caliber to alleviate the issue. Who knows, maybe the exotic condoms are fun… and what exactly would declare a condom ‘exotic’? I bet it smells like a coconut and a pineapple had a tryst with some spermicide. Isn’t that lovely imagery? Way to go, Peach. Keepin’ it classy.

Oh hell, I can’t leave this post with the taste of coco-pine-a-spermicide in your mouths.

Fine.

Here’s a Peach baby picture.

it’s the original Instagram!

You’re welcome.

Day 6: Why am I so quiet?

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Politics. Normally, I choose to keep my mouth shut.  Except for today.

Yes, it’s an important day. Yes, everyone has their own opinion about the candidates, about their views, about their lives, preferences, ears, names, religions, and practically everything else down to the most agonizingly minute detail. But the maddening oxymoron of November 6 is that we all run around naked, screaming about our god-given voting rights as American citizens, praising the military fallen or deployed or retired, shoving our governmental opinions down one another’s throats whilst loudly condemning anyone else that dares do the same TO US. It’s a damn mess. So I made the conscious choice to stay the fuck out of it.

Whoa, the snark came out.  See, this is why I NEVER TALK ABOUT IT. It pisses me off.

Peach + Politics + Social Media? No, thank you. I have stayed away from posting anything political on Facebook or Twitter AT ALL.  Like, ever.  I hold my political beliefs close to my chest, like a woobie. They are mine and no one else can tell me they are awful or stupid or wrong.  Instead, I would rather stand back and laugh my ass off and/or scratch my butt in the direction of those that try to force-feed their opinions to the masses.  The more they throw their uninformed tantrums, the worse they make themselves look.  If someone behaves badly enough, I unfollow or hide them from my feed.  Today is the only exception to my self-imposed closed-mouth rule, and all I said publicly was that I voted and everyone should do the same, because it matters.  And to not fuck it up.

Peach + Politics + Family? DISASTER!!!!  My father served in the military for 26 years. He was deployed in everything from Vietnam to Desert Storm, and his serving his country has left him with staunch beliefs that cannot be swayed by anyone or any valid, fact-checked statement.  He will not budge from his loyalty. Not after spending from the age of 18 to 44 giving his life to his beliefs.  And I respect that.

Many years ago, after Dad retired and my brother and I were college-educated and solidly rooted in our own beliefs, what started as a mild political discussion amongst us all turned into a heated argument. Parents vs. brother vs. me. It got ugly. After the tempers were calmed and the feathers were smoothed back down, we made a unanimous agreement that politics were best left out of our family discussion topics.  We’ve held true to that, other than the occasional crack from my brother calling me a liberal weiner and me calling him a right wing nutjob.  (remember this JibJab video???) It’s just better this way. No one dies.

Peach + Politics + Friends? Sometimes. I have a few select friends with whom I feel comfortable discussing politics. If the person I am speaking with demonstrates a willingness to listen to someone else’s viewpoint without a. automatically going on the defensive b. going into attack mode or c. both a and b, we’re good.  If you show signs of doing any or all of those in a discussion with me, I will leave the conversation immediately. Ignorance does not receive my attention or emotion. Bullying me will quickly earn you a vehement and flashy double-bird. Adult conversations involving mutual courtesy, intelligent stances and lively debate? I’m all for it.

Peach + Politics + Dating? Kinda. If I do touch on the topic of politics in dating, it’s only on the surface to see if the guy is anywhere close to my way of thinking. Political party stance is not a dealbreaker, but I think there is something to the belief that having similar viewpoints on the “big” issues DOES matter in a relationship. I tweeted a question this morning to married folks, asking if they discuss their voting choices with their spouse or choose to keep it private. And you know what? Everyone who replied said that they talk with their person about it! Most said that they and their persons usually agree on the voting choice, but sometimes disagree on certain issues. The feedback showed that they enjoy being educated and challenged by one another, but all enforced the importance of solid communication.  There was however, one tweet saying that she and her husband of 18 years have once again canceled out each other’s vote. To that , I say more power to ya, and bravo!

So there you go. I’ve broken my silence about why I (mostly) keep my damn mouth shut about politics. It’s an important topic and I do understand and respect that not everyone takes my gentler approach on the matter. If you shout your beliefs loud and proud today, good for you!  Just be sure you do so with respect to your fellow humans. I mean it. Be nice, y’all.

Because not everyone is as kind as me when dealing with asshats.

___________________________

8 Week Challenge, #6 : Honor your work

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Good things about this week:

  • Did CrossFit every day since 10/7, in preparation for upcoming vacay.  Highlights include: bench pressed 75lbs 12 times, began attempting handstand pushups…notice I said ATTEMPT…, worked on my pullups, and did an agonizing amount of planks.
  • Running a 5K was one of our CF workouts this week, and I set a personal record!  My April 5K time was 38min+. This week, I ran it in 27:30. My class that day had some very strong runners in it, so they amped my competitive nature and I tried to keep up with them. When I realized they were shooting for 22-23min times UM.NO., I changed my goal to not be last. I wasn’t. And I smashed my April time. 🙂

Bad things about this week:

  • weight gain + mental block
  • eating my feelings

Many of you participating in the 8 Week Challenge are trying to lose weight.  I’m gaining weight, mostly on purpose. But my scale did a mindfuck on me this morning. It told me I weighed 140lbs instead of the +/-150 I’ve been hovering around for a few weeks.  It’s obviously gone nutso.  Ain’t no way.

When I started CrossFit in June, I weighed 140.

After three months of CrossFit, I now weigh 152.6.

Truth?  I saw that number and my brain asploded. I don’t like that number. Before anyone yells at me, let me be clear. I understand I have gained muscle.  I have biceps, triceps and shoulder definition.  I have 4 pairs of jeans that do not fit, thanks to my now-muscular (and quite-fabulous-I’ve-been-told) booty.  I have core strength for the first time in my life.  I am stronger and healthier than ever. This is good!!! I do not think I am ‘fat’.

However… the mental fuckery I’ve got going on over the number 152.6 is really annoying me.  Some gain is acceptable from this much hard work.  But how much is too much?  Is it even possible to gain TWELVE + pounds of muscle in three months?  Am I really gaining ONLY muscle?  I don’t feel like I am.  Secondly, I feel like I’m stuck in a backward mentality of, “oh, I’m doing CrossFit 5-6 days a week, so ice cream can be my diet cheat.”  And if I do manage to avoid the ice cream, I still shove everything else known to man in my face. Kinda like in Mayor Gia’s Willpower post. Go read and laugh your ass off. Her drawing of “I didn’t have ANY wine tonight.” is me, except wine=ice cream and I’m surrounded by dirty spoons and empty jars of almond butter and coconut butter. :/

Here’s what I think the risk is with Paleo: I am not an expert, but I think that you still have to moderate what you eat within the Paleo guidelines. You can’t go around eating cupfuls of almond butter and stuffing bananas in your face and not gain weight. Note to self: DUH, PEACH. And it’s portion control, too. Meats and veggies first. Supplement with fruit and nuts (but not too much!!!)  If you don’t moderate AND you cheat with ice cream, froyo, booze, cake, whatever… you’ll gain unneeded fat. Which I am. I’ve worked so hard in the gym. But I’ve not been honoring that work with my food choices. Nor do I feel that gaining any more weight is acceptable… not as my diet stands right now. I am putting my foot down, dammit.

This isn’t rocket science. I can do this. Keep working hard. Eat better.

I also need to get over a mental block I have about Paleo, but I need help.  I’ve read that you shouldn’t count calories when you follow Paleo.  Yet I can’t seem to quit using the MyFitnessPal app to track my food and exercise amounts! I started tracking calories/exercise in April, because I was routinely under-fueling in proportion to what I was burning.  I’ve kept with it ever since to make sure I’m not slipping.  Here, let me show you.

The NUMBER climb.

All over the place, aren’t I?

There it is – the steady weight gain.  And there is also the inconsistency in my diet (numbers do account for exercise).  I have very bad days on the high-calorie end. What the hell did I eat on 9/19?? Oh yeah. I took a friend out to a splurge-worthy dinner with mucho wine, and then polished off some Haagen Dazs Coconut Macaroon. Fuck you, Haagen Dazs. I have very bad days on the LOW-calorie end too, where I overcompensate for previous sins and barely net 1000 calories for the day. Neither is great.  Why is the 1800-2000 calorie/day mark such a tricky bitch to hit?!? 😦

So I’m torn.  Let’s take a vote.  Should I :

A: Stop using/obsessing over MyFitnessPal and stick with the Paleo guidelines and see what happens? 

B: Keep counting calories with MyFitnessPal, trying to consistently hit the 1800-2000 mark every day within Paleo guidelines?

C: Say screw it – ditch the app, eat right with my own common sense, and chuck my scale out the window?

What do you all think? I’m driving myself crazy, here…

Either way, it’s time to buckle down.***  For the rest of this challenge,

  1. No more ice cream or froyo.  The frozen temptations are gone from my freezer. I ate them all. But I didn’t buy any more, either.
  2. No more overloading on fruits, almond butter, almonds or coconut butter. In fact, I may try to eliminate them altogether.
  3. Meat and veggies are the focus!

***I have a few days of vacation coming up, during which I will relax the Paleo/CrossFit mentality and enjoy myself. But I know me, too, and I know I’ll still *try* to be relatively good. But no promises. Where I’m going, I plan to indulge. 🙂

Pish Posh asked what we’ve all learned from ourselves and others this week:

I learned this week that back to basics is key, especially when life/personal shit derails you. Re-visit your dietary and exercise goals. Re-evaluate.  Adjust to improve your weaknesses.  And be kind to yourself.

Can’t wait to read the rest of the challenge posts for the week! This is week #6.  Only two left to go! We’ve got this.

8 Week Challenge #5:

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Good things about this week:

  • Worked my butt off in the gym! 😀

Bad things about this week:

  • Entirely too much, “F this. Pass the wine/booze.”
  • Entirely too much, “F this. Pass the Haagen Dazs.”
  • Personal shit is to blame for all of the above. But that’s a different post, entirely. If you care to read the wreckage, stop by in a day or two.

Exercise highlights for the week:

I’m trying to by nice to myself about the “F this” moments and focus on how much my CrossFit workouts kicked my ass this week. Here are some highlights.

  • Shoulder presses – worked my way up  to 65lbs
  • “Ass and Abs Annie”50, 40, 30, 20, 10 reps of:
    Walking Lunges
    ABMAT Sit-ups
  • “21 minutes”
    7 min per AMRAP (as many reps as possible) on a running clock. As many rounds as possible of:AMRAP#1
    7 Handstand Push-ups
    7 Box Jump (20 in.)s
    AMRAP#2
    7 Thrusters 65 lbs
    7 Box Jump (20 in.)s
    AMRAP#3
    7 Thrusters 65 lbs
    7 Overhead Squats 65 lbs
    Post total rounds.
  • Back Squats – worked my way up to 5 reps of 125lbs
  • 1 mile run after the back squats in 8:50.
  • 100 L Pull-ups – needed the assistance of a huge band, but completed.
  • 100 GHD situps – 100!!! Tthis is the reason I could not laugh, cough, sneeze or breathe for 4 days. Nothing worse than a sneeze that unfolds like this:  You feel the tickle. Big breath in. Prepare yourself for agony. You go, “HAA…OWWWW!”… but the pain trumps the sneeze.  You got a Haaa, but NO Choo!  SO. UNSATISFYING.

  • Bench Presses  – did 4 rounds of 15 reps at 65lbs, then 1 round of 12 at 75lbs.

That is all for now, peeps. Have a great rest of the weekend!

Five Foto Friday #11

Five Foto Friday #11 brings you…. a week in the life of Peach.

1. My good friend Melisa over here asked the question: “What time of day do you prefer to work out?”

I am a 6:00 am’er.  For the record, I despise mornings and am oft known to speak only in grunts before I’ve had at least 2 cups of coffee. The very fact that my iPhone has escaped physical harm when its three alarms go off is a damn miracle.  After catching Jason’s head cold (way to go me, being the sweet new gf and nursing him back to health…), I took 3 days off from CrossFit this week.  And I missed it terribly.  Nothing made me happier than snapping this pic yesterday morning after finishing a 4rounder of 10 burpees, 20 kettlebell swings and 30 reverse lunges w/ 2 min rest in between.

2. While I was schnuffling and snorting my way through the week, this made me feel much, much better.  Go buy it. For real.

3. My parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary this week. I don’t take lightly the fact that I have a set of parents that have been together through it all, weathering ups, downs, curveballs, the stresses of uprooting and moving at the military’s whim, laughing through it, and raising a daughter who never failed to keep things interesting for them. 😉  I told you the story of my plant, Herbie, not too long ago.  As I spoke with Mom and Dad on their happy day, I reminded them just how much that one solitary act…. sending a potted plant to their baby girl when she was going through an awful, awful breakup…. still hits me right in the gut. I am grateful, every day, to have he and my mom as my biggest fans. So I snapped this pic of the very card that came with Herbie, and I sent it to my dad. Because this lives on my refrigerator as a daily reminder of how much they love me.

4. MY EYES ARE NOT HAPPY. (yes, shouty caps.)  I began having super-dry eyes a few months ago and my doc’s tips about rewetting drops and natural tears, plus switching my brand of contacts have not helped one iota. My eyes are habitually *extremely* bloodshot, with red rings around the green of my eyes. Wearing my contacts is painful and it’s not my best look, to show up to social functions looking like I’ve been crying for 3 hrs. Things are blurry, even with my glasses… as if they don’t want to quite focus right, unless I squint a little.  Almost like my prescription suddenly got way worse!  Fed up, I saw him again this week and I have “inflamed corneas and dry eyes”.  I’m now under strict orders to not wear contacts unless absolutely necessary (workouts) for 10 days.  Glasses only, and I have to use an eyedrop called Systane 4x/day. What do I think? I think my eyeballs are pissy about the fact that I spend, no shit, from 7:30am until 5:30pm at my 3-monitor computer setup. When I’m not working, I’m writing/surfing at the same computer, checking my iPhone, on my iPad, watching TV, or looking at some other form of an electronic screen! I need to give them a break from all the damn technology. 😦 So I started taking porch breaks to rest them throughout the day. Follow up is next week to check on improvement. Anyone else been through this? Advice?

5. Jason bought me flowers. For no reason. Can I get an “awwwww”?  🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone. GO DAWGS!