Thursday, September 26, 2013

Humans don't come with a reboot button - or do we?

Nutrition – it’s my fitness albatross. I love being active, I love working out, I love being stronger. However I have several fitness challenges that I haven’t overcome that can all be attributed to nutrition. For as much as my Love statements above – I have several “don’t love” realities too. I don’t love grocery shopping, I don’t love cooking, and I really don't love messing up my perfectly clean not-cooked-in-kitchen. I have no personality blind-spots here - in general, I’m completely inept at overall “Kitchen Management”.  

So here is where the next phase of my fitness is going to get more challenging than double-unders and burpees for me. I’ve just agreed to participate in C3's Nutritional Reset Challenge starting Monday. What is that? It is 30 day program designed to get you away from the trappings of processed foods, kick bad habits and overall improve performance. So what that means for me - is facing my dreads and shop fresh, whole unprocessed  foods and then turn those things into glorious meals my family will eat. No pressure. 

I believe in the benefits of whole, unprocessed foods. I agree the food industry is bordering on evil – and at best greedy, manipulative and negligent. I completely agree with it all. EXCEPT – I get overwhelmed every time I attempt to implement an unprocessed approach for my family. The Hubs – he’s all in (but he hasn’t seen the upcoming increase to the food budget yet). The Kids – for the most part will be unaware for the first 5 minutes – until they notice that pop tarts, Tyson chicken nuggets, spaghetti-os and almost everything else they are willing to put into their mouths – is no longer in the cabinets. I seriously hope the pros are correct in the "they will eventually eat what you put in front of them" approach. I’ve done this before – but it was just me. And I’ve admittedly never achieved a sustainable healthy balance of moderation when it comes to my relationship with food. Now I’m dragging my family down this road with me. I’m excited and dreading it all at the same time. I’m pre-plotting meals now – and embracing the adventure of cooking again. I can cook – I just don’t love to cook. However, I love the idea of improved and achieved fitness goals more!

So in preparing for this transition to literal “clean living” – I did about the most boneheaded thing a person can do. I went and pigged out on nachos – and piled everything evil I could on top of them. And of course I  have been completely sick to my stomach and sneezy since then. People laugh when I declare that I have a grain allergy – but I can eat a nacho chip (or beer, or bread, or corn) and literally be flush-faced and sneezy/snotty within 15 minutes. Why I do that to myself – is apparently a topic I should likely discuss with a therapist one day. 

C3's Nutritional Challenge arrives at a great time for me. If you know me from work – you know the level of insanity we’ve all just survived with our latest product launch. The traveling, the meetings, the daylong conference calls should be leveling back to a sense of normalcy. The pool is closed for the year, and the boat heads to storage in the next few days. The end-of-summer festivities have wrapped up and with it the accompanying lime-o-ritas (aka mommy candy) and budlight limes have dwindled from the fridge. With this challenge I’m giving myself the gift of a nutritional reset – so that bad habits don’t worsen. 

Feeling Better = Improved Workouts. All of this is perfectly-timed to not be a dietary/fitness hot mess going in to the holiday season. I want Santa to be the only one in our house with a bowl-full-of-jelly belly! With discipline and willpower re-instilled for my fitness approach – the eggnog and sausage balls won’t have such a hold on me. I’ll keep you updated and as always promise to not "sugar" coat it. Now off to purge my pantry. Anyone in to dumpster diving, there will be $1,000 worth of processed evil in my trashcan on Friday morning. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Permission to suck

It’s been a crazy summer filled with adventures and new experiences. One of my decisions to start CrossFit was to improve my functional strength so that I would be able to do more with my family. Mission accomplished – we do more as a family than we used to. Weekends are exhausting! As we do more, we try even more new things to do. And guess what? I suck at most of them. But here’s what I’ve learned – it’s okay to suck. Give yourself permission to suck at something – so that you can explore and discover what you are capable of.

Over Labor Day weekend I was home in Alabama visiting family and I skied for the first time in 13+ years! I attribute the successful effort to a few things. One – great patience on my brother’s part for repeatedly pulling me and encouraging me. Two – coaching by a friend who stayed close by on a wave runner giving me tips and advice. Three – CrossFit – with strong legs and arms – my efforts weren’t stunted by weakness. My effort became about timing and technique. I was even surprised by how little I was sore a few days later. But one of the biggest reasons for the successful attempt at skiing – I believe was my willingness to suck.

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in my treks of the Canyon is to check my pride and just be open to learning. I found myself doing that again. Of course I wanted to look amazing pulling up for the first time. Of course I wanted to spray my family on the dock with a rooster tail. Of course I wanted to look like a rock star. Of course none of that happened! But the reality is even better. My son didn’t see any of that occur. What he did see was his mom determined to do something and not scared to fail. He saw me fall, get back up, fall, get back up, semi-successful stand-up attempt, fall, get back up, make adjustments, listen to those around me trying to teach me, fall, get back up and stay up, still up, still standing, VICTORY – WOOHOOO!!! I’m not going to pretend it was all pretty once I was up. I wobbled, struggled for control – and clearly my brother didn’t prepare me for crossing the wake – but it’s going up on the life scoreboard as a success. I suck at skiing – but I skied!

When I first started my fitness efforts – it was all about trying to recapture the thinness of my youth. Then I learned it was more about strength and nutrition. I still fight the demon that wants to be tiny, but on the days when functional strength shows me what I’m capable of – I choose to celebrate. Go suck at something new today! It’s awesome!