sled push

sled push

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Is Sugar Addiction for REAL?

This is a topic that I have discussed before but I feel I need to revisit it, as much for me as for you.
Is Sugar Addiction for Real?
In a word...YES!

As I have mentioned before, I am addicted to sugar and this is a battle that I have struggled with for a year.
Why only a year? Well, because it was only a year ago that I discovered this addiction.
I mean, how can you know your addicted to something if you have never been without it?

Before I go into this subject any further, let me first say that I am not throwing this word "addiction" around lightly. After discussing this with my husband and getting his encouragement, I am going to get a little personal here and give a little more information about me (and my family) because I really want you to understand where I am coming from.

So here it is, my husband is a recovering alcoholic (going on 2 1/2 years sober). I have been with my husband for 23 years and have known him since I was 14 years old and he was 15 years old. The point? I KNOW my husband. What I didn't know was that he was an alcoholic. How is that possible?
Because I didn't understand what addiction really meant.

When we were in college, we both partied with the best of them and he could drink anyone under a table and still appear "Sober". It seemed like a talent. People admired him for it. Then one day during his Freshman year, he woke up very, very sick from a night of heavy drinking, realized he had a problem and decided at the moment to stop drinking. Yep! Just like that...right?

This lasted a small period of time and gradually he began to drink again on occasion or socially but he never seemed to become drunk, so I never worried. Here is the thing though, alcohol didn't have control over me, so how could I possibly know what he was going through? In fact, if you had asked me then, I would have told you that he was a "cured" alcoholic.

I can tell you today, there is NO SUCH THING as a "cured alcoholic".

Here is what I didn't know. He was still an alcoholic and he was only able to "control" it because he managed to have a little bit of alcohol at least 3 times a week.

It all came to a head about 4 years ago when my mother-in-law suddenly passed away. It was awful and tragic and that night my husband and I cried and mourned for her over a 6-pack of beer for him and a pack of Jack Daniels Lynchburg Lemonade for me. It wasn't until about a week later when I came out of that sad "fog" that I realized my husband was still drinking a 6 pack every day.

It had begun. The seesaw had been tipped.

I will not get into what we went through that horrible year, because it is over and it's a place I do not want to revisit. I do, however, want to share with you what I learned and what he taught me during his recovery.
I learned that for 20 years (since he "quit" drinking in college) he had to make a conscious decision to NOT drink EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

I remember talking with the AA counselor one day and saying, "I don't get it. I drank just as much as he did in college. If I don't want another drink, I stop. I know when enough is enough. Why can I stop and he can't? Why would he continue to drink knowing that it was harming himself and tearing his family apart?"

Answer:-because he is addicted and I am not. PERIOD.

As a non-addict, this was very hard to wrap my head around. I just didn't understand.

So what does this have to do with Sugar Addiction? Stay with me.

A few weeks ago, Melissa Hartwig of Whole9 posted a blog regarding her own addiction in her blog, "Coming Clean". It was such an honest and open account of what she went through many years ago and how she is now using that experience in a positive way to help others with their food addictions. Particularly sugar and carbs.
This part really jumped out at me.

"Because theoretically, food addiction isn’t that different from drug addiction.
I’m not saying it’s the same, because technically, it’s not.  According to the The American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-IV, addiction is classified by three factors:
  1. Desire, even in the face of negative consequences
  2. Tolerance to the effect of the substance
  3. Withdrawal symptoms when use is reduced or stopped
Food – particularly sugar – clearly satisfies the first two conditions.  The jury is still out as to the third, and I’m simply not comfortable putting sugar or bread in the same category as heroin.
But the term is also applied to behaviors that are not substance-related, such as shopping, gambling or overeating. In this common usage, “addiction” describes a recurring compulsion to engage in some specific activity, despite harmful consequences (as deemed by the user themselves) to their individual health, mental state, or social life."
Ok, so let's be honest. Sugar addiction will not rip a family apart. Sugar addiction will not cause you to go bankrupt or break someone's heart or steal. You don't get a DUI/DWI for having too many milkshakes. People won't really take you serious if you tell them your are addicted to sugar, and why not? What's the big deal anyway? Sugar can't hurt you...right?
Umm, have you heard of diabetes? How about this? "Refined sugar is notorious for causing increased inflammation in the body. Regular consumption of refined sugar can lead to chronic inflammation which can disrupt immune system functioning. Chronic inflammation is implicated in arthritis, some forms of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease among many other illnesses. Chronic inflammation has also been linked to a higher risk of depression and schizophrenia. Psychologists who have become aware of the recent research on sugar and mental illness have begun recommending sugar free diets to patients." Learn more:
I know all of these things. I even discuss with my athletes about how much better they will feel if they just eliminate the sugar out of their diets. I know because I have done the Whole30 twice in the past year. The last time I went 40 days and I felt amazing!! But then, I allow myself a cheat day, and then a cheat weekend and then, before I know it I have managed to explain to myself why I "deserve" to enjoy the bliss of sugar for the entire week.
Next thing I know, I am standing in front of a candy drawer hoping my husband doesn't come in and catch me sneaking a mini snickers.
I just didn't know what addiction really was and it took my husband who has been through his own program to point out to me what was going on. I will be honest. I was PISSED! I mean, how could he possibly compare my desire for chocolate to alcohol? And yet, here I was on the phone telling him to get twizzlers for our family movie night. "I thought you said no more sugar?," he asks. "Oh! I will start that next week. (enter excuse here). 
You see, I had no idea I was addicted to sugar. Do you know why? Because until I did the Whole30 I had never gone ONE day in my life without consuming some type of sugar. NOT ONE! Have you? Think about it. Yes, I may have gone a whole week without cookies, or cake, but how about ketchup? Sweetend tea? Salad Dressing? jelly? Soda?
If you have never gone without, how do you know what it is doing to you or how it makes you feel? 
So what is my point? I have a problem...sugar. And the conclusion is this. I have to take this not just "day by day" but "meal by meal". As a coach, it is a very hard thing to admit that you are owned by sugar and it makes me angry. By posting this, I hope that I am able to encourage you to tackle your addiction head on, whether it is sugar, over eating, shopping, ect. It may not be as serious as alcohol or heroine, but if it has control over you then it is something that you personally have to deal with every day. You deserve to be free from that.
I know this is something that I must conquer...and I will! 
As Melissa told me,  "You have to work your own program, and take it one day, one meal, one minute at a time." 
That is exactly what I intend to do.
This week's WOD
4 Rounds
20 Box (20") Step Ups holding 20lb dumbbells
30 sit ups
Run 400 meters

AMRAP 9 minutes
10 Romanian Dead lifts (65lbs)
10 Hand Release Push ups
Score: 11+3 (Holy Hamstrings!!!)

Strength Day
Climbing Squats (each set go up in weight)
Overhead Squats- 95lbs, 105lbs, 115lbs, 125lbs, 135lbs (NEW PR!!!)
Front Squats-140lbs, 145lbs, 150lbs, 150F, 150F (Suck at these! WHY?!?)
Back Squats- 155lbs, 165lbs, 175F, 175lbs, 185lbs

Tabata Box Jumps (7)
rest 1 minute
Tabata Situps (10)
rest 1 minute
Tabata KBS, 50lbs (7)

Skill Day
Run 1 mile for time-7 minutes
Max height Box jump- 35 1/4"
Clean & Jerk 5-5-5 (95lbs, 115lbs, 125lbs) New PR for 5rep max

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Functional Fitness

In the very early hours of Monday morning 8 tornadoes tore through this state (Alabama). At least 2 were confirmed as F3 tornadoes. Miraculously only a few people lost their lives, but any life lost is a tragedy. This event threw me back to last April 27th and the all the devastation and heartbreak and loss of life that occurred that day. Less than 9 months ago, Alabama was hit with the most violent outbreak of tornadoes and we are still recovering. And yet, just two nights ago, we were all in our safe place hoping not to relive another outbreak of terrifying storms.
While I did not know anyone personally who was affected by these most recent tornadoes or have been involved in the relief efforts this time, I was up close and personal to the event last April. I lost 2 dear friends that day and my husband's grandfather lost everything he owned. After I had some time to collect my thoughts, and  ponder on the positive things that came from this tragic event, I wrote this last year as a way to share my story about how my CrossFit training helped me to help others. I thought I would share it with you.
 This is my testimony on how CrossFit is truly FUNCTIONAL fitness.

On April 27, 2011, one of the nation’s worst natural disasters struck Alabama. Over 38 tornadoes tore through my state, an EF-4 going right through the city where my in-laws lived.
We had no idea how bad it was until the next morning. On Facebook, my cousin was sending out messages “we are okay, but people are trapped here in Pleasant Grove”, “no rescue, no news, nobody knows we’ve been hit!” and “no water, no way out”.
My husband, Mike, and I were worried and desperate to get out there! His 90-year old grandfather, we discovered, had lost his home, but thankfully he and the rest of our family were okay. Now it was time to get them out! Finally, the news started giving reports on Pleasant Grove that no one could enter the city or leave. Because of downed power lines, they were not allowing cars, four-wheelers, or trucks into the town. Despite of what the news was saying, we hit the road. We were getting into that city damn it, and getting water to his family!

From Left to Right: Robby, Granddaddy and my husband Mike
standing in what remains of Granddaddy's Kitchen.

They stopped us at the city limit sign, about 10 miles from Grandaddy’s house. We were stuck in a long line of cars trying to get in, thinking the whole time, “We have to get to Grandaddy, now!” I was on the phone with my father-in-law, explaining the situation and he asked me “What are you going to do? Just walk to his house from there?!”
I was a bit surprised, “Well, yeah! We are pulling over now.”
He asked, “Are you carrying water in, too?”
“Of course!” I said.
It wasn’t until later that it occured to me that walking 10 miles with a cooler of water is not something a lot of people can do. But my husband and I never thought twice. Thankfully, we didn’t have to walk the 10 miles. Once in the city limits, one of the residents gave us and many others a ride into the city and cut our walk in half. We were so ready to get there and help Grandaddy!
Again, we could only ride in so far. Trees, power lines and house debris were everywhere. As we walked down Grandaddy’s street I was honestly amazed to see people alive. It was absolute devastation! Walking over debris, climbing over downed trees, around live downed power lines, glass, detroyed cars, was chaos!
As we walked up to Grandaddy’s house, my husband was convinced it was 3 more houses down. “No”, I said, “there’s your uncle and Grandaddy right there”. Mike had been looking for the house next door to Grandaddy’s as a point of reference, but that house was completely gone...just a slab!
Robbie,  Mike’s uncle, and Grandaddy were just standing there among all the debris, still in shock. It was something I never want to see again. All that was left of his home were two walls, a hallway and a closet. (Yes, the pictures were still hung in the hall!) If Robbie had not gotten Grandaddy at the last minute before the tornado hit, he wouldn’t be standing there in front of us.
After a lot of hugs and tears were shed, Mike and I started getting busy. We needed to help Grandaddy salvage whatever was possible. We had just come with water, no gloves, no tools, just our able bodies.
My immediate goal was to find Grandaddys medicine, but the cabinet that held the medicine and the wall it was connected to, were laying facedown on top of the kitchen counter. It took three of us, but we got that wall up. As I was standing on the countertops lifting that wall, it occured to me, “this is like flipping a heavy tire!”
Here it is, I thought, CrossFit translated into real life!
Over the next days,  everything I did at our box aided me in doing as much as possible to help.  I was able to really see how CrossFit can prepare you for the unknown.
Lowering a tree limb that had been cut down, and holding on to the other end of the rope with Robbie, I thought, “This is like tug of war, with a falling 500 pound log on the other end, but if we lose, somebody could get hurt.”
Grandaddy's home before and after. Photo is taken from the same location.

Hauling debris to the road. Deadlifting and flipping huge tree stumps and rolling them out of the yard. Picking up logs like Atlas Stones and carrying them to the debris pile.
Having Mike’s uncle say, “Dawn, you can’t lift ...WOW!”
This is why I’m a CrossFitter.  So I can be ready for anything life throws at me.
I have always told my athletes the best thing about CrossFit is we perform movements that we perform in real life. Movements that we use everyday.
Today I am more grateful than ever for my training. Why workout 5 days a week if it doesn’t help you when it is most important?

Week's WOD's
21-15-9 Power Cleans (95lbs)
Bar Facing Burpees
Time: 9:21

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps of
Hand Release Pushups
Box Jumps
GHD situps
Time: 12:28

Strength Day!
Back Squat- worked to heavy single of 190lbs (NEW PR!!), then 175lbs (95%) x 2, 160lbs (85%) x 2 x 5
Squat Clean - 83lbs x 5, 88lbs x 4, 103 lbs x 4, 113lbs x 4 x 2
Split Jerk - 85lbs x 5, 85lbs x 5, 115lbs x 3 x 3

4 rounds of 2:30 each
20 pushpresses (65lbs)
in remainder time do max number of pullups
rest 1 minute between each round. Score is total number of pullups completed
Score: 66

No WOD on Friday- home waiting on delivery people :-/

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Got My MoJo Back!

This past weekend I, along with 5 friends (my husband being one of them) from my box, Trinity CrossFit, competed in our very first team competition and oh my Goodness! It was so much fun! We didn't win, but we had the best time!
I have done CrossFit Competitions before, but this was my very first team competition. I can't decide which I like better but it definitely got me pumped up for the Garage Games in February.
Above is a little video I put together of the days events. I know it's a little long but I had so many pictures and video. It was hard not to throw it all in there.
The first WOD was, as a team (3 on a team), complete 12 rope climbs in 3 minutes, then run an unknown distance with a log. Our team finished in 12:51 (30 second penalty for not completing the last rope climb). Yeah, we kind of choked on the rope climbs towards the end. We had improved a lot on those, but our competition was pretty tough!
The second WOD was- Carry 15 logs up a narly hill and back down again. During the WOD, 100 burpees need to be completed. Our team did this in 9:56. We decided the best strategy was for me to carry a log up the hill and then knock out the burpees while Joe and Hunter worked on the logs. I finished in time to help carry down the last few logs (I carried 4 down). We were really happy with our placing on this one.
By the way, 100 burpees on a steep hill is a whole 'nother world!!! WOW! My calves felt like rocks for days.
The last WOD was the tug of war. Oh my gosh! This was, by far, the best event!! Everyone was into it and cheering! It was awesome!
We placed 12 out of 22 teams, so we didn't make the final cut, but we were happy. Our scaled team missed the cutoff by 1 slot and placed 6 out of 13 teams.
If you ever have an opportunity to do something like this, DO IT! There is just no way to describe what it is like to be there. Both as a cheerleader and as a competitor. SO. MUCH. FUN.
Thanks to Brute Fitness for putting together such a great event!
Tonight, my husband and I will be signing up for Garage Games One and I will be doing it as Rxd. I am ready! I have checked out their website and it looks like I need to work on sled pulls and max height box jumps. So, I have now added that on my "to do" list.

Ok, since I am only posting once a week, I will be posting my last weeks WOD's for those of you who are keeping up or doing these on your own.

Monday WOD
Open WOD 11.2
AMRAP 15 minutes
9 Deadlifts (105lbs)
12 Hand Release Pushups
15 Box Jumps
Score- 8 rounds + 25 reps (beat my old score of 8 rnds + 9 reps)

Tuesday WOD
6 Rounds
10 Dumbbell Thrusters (25lbs)
10 Knees to Elbows
10 Weighted Lunges (25lbs in each hand)
Time-11:43 WOW!! The lunges were the surprise!

Wednesday was a rest day since I had the competition that weekend.

Thursday WOD
Still sore from lunges!
"Runny Annie"
Double Unders
Run 200 meters after each round
Time-14:31- not great. Did the first 3 sets up Double Unders unbroken, got to 10 and I couldn't sting 3 together. WTH?

Friday-another rest day. Going to a competition and being unable to move due to soreness from the previous days WOD is not recommended!

Saturday-Barnyard Throwdown

Sunday, January 8, 2012

January Blues

I read this quote today in my Facebook feed and it was exactly what I needed to hear.

"We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves." ~ Buddha

January Blues. Have you heard of it? I may have invented the term, I'm not sure. For the past 8 years or so, I have experienced the "January Blues".

In the past years, I knew exactly what it was caused by, but it was unavoidable. As you may or may not know, I am also an artist and for 8 years I painted pottery and children's art. The months between September and Christmas were just INSANE for me. I was so crazy busy with all the orders I had, I didn't have time for anything else except painting, painting, painting. I would stay up until 3:00 a.m. many, many nights just trying to make sure everyone was going to get their order by Christmas. My social life was non-existent. My husband stepped up and took over a lot of the house hold work and when he came home from work, I immediately went to my studio and started work. I hardly saw him at all during this time. I suffered anxiety attacks, exhaustion and was just a ball of stress during this time. (Can you guess why I don't do this anymore?)

So, when January comes, guess what? No orders. This seems like a great thing, and I certainly needed the break, but I went from 100mph to zero in less than a week. It was such a sudden shift that I honestly didn't know what to do with my time. Now this was before I was coaching, so I would sit at home while my boys were at school feeling depressed and kind of lost. It would last most of the month of January until I finally got back into the normal swing of things.

Since I found CrossFit and stopped my painting business, my January Blues have not been bad at all. In fact last year, it was non-existent. But this week, I have felt the fingers of it pulling at me. Which has led me to this post.

All week I have just felt "Blah". I am pretty certain I know the cause of this "blah" feeling, but it still doesn't change the fact that I need to snap out of it. Coming back from an amazing cruise with my family, having such a great holiday with my friends and family, and just having an overall fantastic December has made this first week of January, well, boring!

There! I said it. I don't think my "blahness" is really depression, I think maybe I am bored. All the holiday activities and planning and school parties and excitment are over. And now it's...Januray. Blah! And during this "Blahness" it seems I lost my motivation and couldn't seem to find it.

For example, I promised myself that I would post everyday. So then I don't. And then I feel guilty. So I miss another day, and another. And then I feel even more guilty.

Do you care that I don't post everyday? ummm, no!

So who have I let down? Myself.

And that's it! Letting ourselves down can be HUGE in how we feel emotionally and spiritually. Even if it is such a small thing as a blog post.

I mentioned in my last post about discovering that I probably wouldn't be able to dead lift much more than I lift now. Does anyone care other than me? NO. But I was devastated. One of my goals seemed to mock me as I stared at that bar. I was in tears, not from injury, but from pure frustration.

I am still trying to recover from that. And what happened to me mentally is that it rocked my confidence. So, I spent the next few weeks questioning myself and my goals and just beating the crap out of myself.

We all do this. We are our own worst critics. I know I am harder on myself than anyone I know. But at some point, we can be too hard on ourselves and then it just becomes unproductive.

And then I read that quote by Buddha. "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves." Translation-beating yourself up mentally is NOT going to help. Find the positive. Look for the blessings in the day. Make goals you have a chance attaining. "Fake it until you make it!"

Blogging everyday is just not going to happen for me. So, I am changing that goal to once a week. I know I can do that, and there will be no reason to be angry at myself for not being able to cross something off my "to do" list. Deadlifting 300lbs is an "unknown" for me. (See I refuse to accept defeat and say it's impossible) New deadlift goal - to work on my deadlifts once a week,even if they don't get heavier, they will at least get better and faster.

So with all of this in mind as I sit here typing this blog, I am thinking of how I WANT to feel. The things I WANT to accomplish this day, this week, this year. And do you know what I am missing? MY LISTS!

One of things that I haven't done is make my lists. I NEED my lists. Without my lists I am a ship without a compass and I will just wander around aimlessly until I finally sit down and tell myself what I need to do that day!

So, here is my list for the the year.
1. Barnyard Thowdown
2. Garage Games One
3. 135lb snatch
4.Gymnastic Cert
5. True, dead hang muscle up
6. Handstand Walk
7. Teach my 12 year old how to kip
8. Row under 2 minutes
9. 200lb Back Squat
10. 185lb Front Squat

And here is my list for the week.
1. 15 second 15foot rope climb, 3 times
2. 2 strength days.
3. 2 days on dead hang pullups
4. Handstand Work

And here is my list for the day.
1. Blog (CHECK!)
2. Clean my house
3. Enjoy the rest of my Sunday by reading my new Stephen King book
4. Stuffed peppers for dinner tonight! Yummy!!!

In my last post I talked about setting goals and how 2012 was going to be an exciting year. It will be! Shed that funk, make that list and start scratching things off!

I can already scratch one thing off my list. :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!!!

Yes, I am back. I have been missing in action during December, but I promise I have been training hard! Well, except for that week I was on a cruise.

It is hard to believe that it is already 2012 but I am very excited at what this year has in store for all of us!

You may be expecting me to talk about my New Year's Resolution, but that is not what this blog will be about. I don't believe in resolutions. What I believe in are setting goals.

For me, goals are critical in all aspects of my life. I am a "list" person and creating goals for myself is just in my nature.

When I was 21, I remember sitting at dinner one night and writing down a list of goals with my husband. Some of them were silly, like "Have a great haircut", but some of them were deep wants of mine like, win an "Addy" (an award) for Graphic Design. Have children. Travel Europe and see the masterpieces of the artists I studied in college. Being healthy.

I found this list not too long ago. It was written on a napkin and I laughed at some of the goals I had written down, but I was also pleasantly surprised to see that I had reached all my goals on the list. I believe this was possible because the goals were all things I deeply wanted to achieve.

When we make New Year's Resolutions, deep down we all know that for the most part it's not taken too seriously. I mean, look at the picture I posted. This was just one of hundreds I found that make jokes about creating New Year's Resolutions for ourselves. So don't do that!
Make a GOAL for yourself. What do you REALLY want?

To lose weight? To eat healthier? To get stronger? Me too! BUT let's make it more specific.

I WILL lose weight by cutting out wheat's and grains.

I WILL eat healthier by making healthier choices.

I WILL get stronger by working out at least 3 times a week.

Give yourself the directions or the steps you need to achieve that goal. And most importantly, give yourself a goal you feel you can achieve.

A great example of this would be my dead lift goal. My goal is only 260lbs, not a lot for some of you, but for me, it may be beyond my ability because of lower back issues I was born with. Will I continue to try? Sure I will! But I have to accept the fact that it may not be physically possible for me. I'll be honest, I spent the past 2 weeks in a funk because of this realization. But I realized that just because my dead lift may not ever be as heavy as I want it to be doesn't mean my other lifts can't be.

So, for me, my very first goal in 2012 is getting a body weight snatch. This is not a goal I will forget within the first week of this month. It is something that I know will take time and a lot of work, but it is something I really want to do. So, I will make a plan to achieve that goal. The first step of that plan is beginning this new year with Whole30.

Make your plan.

Write down your goals.
2012 is going to be an amazing year!