A Little Reflection

I learned two things at Crossfit yesterday:

1. Always eat something before going to class.
2. I need to quit being so damn hard on myself.

I’ve been trying to exercise the whole “only eat when you’re hungry” logic. So when I woke up yesterday, I had a coffee and went about my morning before hitting the Crossfit box at noon. I didn’t really think about eating until I was there, because I just wasn’t hungry. I planned on having a protein shake after the WOD and didn’t think much about it.

Of only I had known that the coach had intended on kicking our asses.

Besides a bunch of mobility exercises, this was our WOD:

8 – Wall Walks

5 Rounds of:
15 Burpee Box Jumps
15 Kettlebell Swings (25 lbs)

Then:
8 more Wall Walks

Now, I modified the hell out of this workout. Because I’m not superhuman. And I didn’t want to die.

A little after the 20 minute mark I was on the fifth round of the burpee box jumps when I thought I might pass out and had a hard time catching my breath. One big thing that Crossfit trains it’s athletes on is knowing when to stop. To know when you’ve hit your wall, and I smacked into mine. Though I didn’t get through the entire thing, I was happy with how far I did get… because that was one of the hardest WODs I’ve ever done.

I was speaking with the coach after class and she asked me about the scar on my leg from my car accident back in 1998. On a rainy night in October, driving entirely too fast, I hydroplaned hitting a car and then a pick-up truck hit me head on. I have some crazy scars on my leg… I like to refer to them as battle wounds. After dragging my fractured leg out of the car, I developed a severe staph infection. After 6 surgeries they were lucky enough to get all the staph out, which saved my leg from being amputated. Surprisingly, I have very few issues with it… even after the doctors said I would probably have a limp for the rest of my life. Which I don’t, thanks to some great physical therapists. And a lot of hard work.

After telling her my story, I could tell she was quite surprised and taken aback.

“You’re so lucky to be alive! And okay! And you Crossfit!”

I went out to my car and cried for a while. It’s an emotional story for me and I tend to forget that things could be much worse. And that I AM lucky to have made it out of that wreck alive.

I need to cut myself a little slack. As much as I beat myself up over what I eat, and what I weigh, it’s good for me to reflect on how far I’ve come in the past 16 years.

Because I’m alive.

And I Crossfit.

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Why I Crossfit

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I almost didn’t go to Crossfit last night.

When my box posted the WOD on their Facebook page, I literally groaned out loud at work. The wonderful thing about social media is that I can see the WOD ahead of time.

The bad thing about social media is I can see the WOD ahead of time.

But I sucked it up and went.

During the first part of the WOD I was able to achieve a new one rep max on my back squat, a 30 pound gain from my previous one rep max. As I struggled to stand up tall with 205 pounds on my shoulders, everyone in the gym was yelling, clapping and cheering me on. Hitting that squat, with the support of everyone behind me, is a feeling I can’t quite describe to other people. It’s magical.

205 pounds like a boss.

205 pounds like a boss.

The second part of the WOD was an 800 meter sprint. Between a bad leg, asthma, and my fitness level, I can barely run… let alone sprint. I hate to run. I’ve tried to make myself like it with programs like the Couch to 5K and I just can’t do it. It’s torture.

I knew I would be the last one to finish, and I had come to terms with it. I don’t really stress out about it, because I try to compete only with myself, not all the ripped men next to me. It would really be an unfair competition if I did.

To say it was a struggle would be an understatement. Half of the guys were finished with the full 800 meters as I was finishing my first 400. Towards the end I had to stop running and walk a few steps when I heard my name. I looked up to see Matt had walked 100 meters out to cheer me to the finish. This guy I didn’t know, that I’d barely spoken to since I joined this box, was there to help me push through the pain. He had walked out to cheer me in and run with me to the finish.

So I ran. With tears in my eyes.

As I got closer to the finish, I saw everyone outside, cheering me on. All of them had stayed to give me a high five as I ran across the finish.

That overwhelming feeling of support… that is why I Crossfit.

It’s the community that makes Crossfit the amazing program that it is. The people who were strangers on your first day at the box that quickly become your biggest cheerleaders.

I Crossfit because of the second family I’ve found there.

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It’s Time.

I had an “a-ha” moment last week. You know, one of those times where the light bulb pops up above your head.

Only, instead of a light bulb, it was a heavy medicine ball smacking me in the face while doing wall balls at Crossfit.

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I have been going about this all wrong.

I struggled to get through that class and was so frustrated that these WODs were getting harder to complete instead of easier.

I have been busting my ass in Crossfit classes on and off for YEARS, paying a lot of money every month to train like a beast. And I’ve been squandering all this hard work with the foods I’ve been eating.

Crossfit is no joke. It’s the type of fitness program that many military, firefighters and police use to get into shape. And while I have to modify and scale most exercises to fit my fitness level, it is still extremely challenging.

But I love it. I love every sweaty, muscle aching minute of it.

I love lifting heavy weight. I love pushing my body past what I thought it could not do.

I see other members losing lots of weight, while toning their muscles, and I’m in awe of their transformations. And extremely jealous. But I know what they’re doing to get there.

They’re cutting grains.
They’re cutting sugar.
They’re cutting processed foods.

I am doing myself no favors with the way I’ve been eating. The occasional bag of potato chips or the “just this once” candy bar has become all too common occurrences for me. I am working (and paying) way too much to not reap the benefits of Crossfit. Why in the world am I making the effort to lose weight so much harder than I should? It’s hard enough.

I’ve logged back into My Fitness Pal and I’ve purchased a Fitbit Flex. I was not blessed with a fast metabolism, nor the ability to lose weight easily. It’s the hand I was dealt. So I need to stack the deck in my favor as much as I can. And I truly feel I’m that much closer to my goals now that I’ve had this “come to Jesus” talk with myself.

Because I’m one tough bitch. Now it’s time to prove it.

For those wondering what Crossfit is, this video encompasses it perfectly:

Seeing Beauty in the Mirror

I remember the day I learned to hate my body.

I was in fifth grade and walking around a pet store with my dad. Holding up a cute little hamster I asked him if I could keep it. His response, “if you lose 20 pounds, I’ll buy you a hamster”.

That may have been 25+ years ago (geesh!), but I remember it vividly as the moment I learned to hate my body and the way it looked. At that point I looked at food as my enemy and my best friend, all wrapped into one neat cellophane package. I started binge eating, hiding food under my bed and begging for seconds at dinner. Regardless of how my dad may have viewed my size, I liked the way food made me feel. So, when I was a freshman in high school and he took me to breakfast (irony, perhaps) and told me he’d buy me a car if I lost 50 pounds, I found solace in junk food. It was my comfort. One would think the offer of a free car at 15 would be motivation enough to “get off my ass and do something”, but it had the opposite effect.

This love/hate relationship with food has turned into a love/hate relationship with myself as a whole.

Looking in the mirror can be absolutely brutal for a lot of us, it’s be a direct reflection of what we hate about ourselves. But we must stop looking in the mirror and focusing on what we want to change or fix about ourselves.

Have some weight to lose?
Some scars to hide?
Frizzy hair to tame?

This shit has to stop. We don’t need “fixing”, damn it.

We are so much more than that physical reflection we see in the mirror. There’s strength and beauty behind those extra pounds and battle scars. The beauty is there, we just need to start seeing it.

I recently stumbled across this music video and I’m officially obsessed with it. It was my inspiration for this post, and I hope you take the time to watch it. Not only will it help you see there is beauty in every reflection, but you’ll fall a little more in love with John Legend as well.

The Endo is a No-Go

As many of you know, I was hesitant about seeing an endocrinologist, especially the one my gynecologist referred me to. But I decided I would go through with it, mostly to appease my mother and partly just to see what would happen. The ever optimist. I waited a few days to write this post because I was having a hard time thinking about this appointment without breaking down. I’m finally able to write this without tears.

First thing they did, as always, the nurse weighed me… and I can now say I am officially the heaviest I have ever been. Congrats, me!

I gained 8 pounds in 6 weeks. How does that even happen???

I tried to keep my composure and not lose my shit right then and there, but there were many tears during the appointment. The doctor was cold and dismissive and treated me like a lazy, hypochondriac who ate out of control. I’m going to keep this brief, as this guy doesn’t deserve more of my time than he has already taken. Here’s what he said to me:

– Headaches aren’t a symptom of a thyroid disorder. That must be something else.
– My fatigue isn’t related to my hypothyroidism either, that’s probably sleep apnea. (And let’s do a sleep apnea test study! I can give you a referral!)
– How many calories are you eating? I don’t care if you’re eating gluten-free, processed-free, dairy-free, calories is the most important thing.
– Are you sure you exercise regularly? And you Crossfit? Really?
– Maybe you’re depressed. Have you been diagnosed with depression before?
– I want to take you off Armour thyroid immediately. It’s impossible to know the exact dosage you’re taking.
– All the other issues you’re having regarding your missed period is for your gynecologist, not me.
– Your thyroid levels are normal, your symptoms should be under control.
– I don’t know what to tell you.
– Come back and see me in 3 months.

Puzzled male shrugging wearing lab coat

Seriously, this guy is a medical expert.

So, the struggle and search continues. Just like most thyroid warriors, I will not give up and I will press on. What I plan to do now:

– Keep a food journal. I may think I’m eating the right things… but may be more relaxed than I should be.
– Making sure I get enough water… I’m bad about this and know it’s a huge part of weight loss.
– Research weight loss management at a local hospital. May be worth looking into working with a medical expert that can help me lose weight while keeping my health issues in mind.

Oh, and I will not be going back to see him in 3 months.

If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.

What the Hell is Going On?

Disclaimer: this post will be somewhat detailed regarding some womanly problems I’m having. You have been warned.

Many people in my life wonder why I choose to blog on the world wide webs all of my medical issues. Especially when they’re uber personal issues. The reason is three-fold (and really quite simple):

1. It’s cathartic for me to write about what I’m going through and my journey to find answers.
2. I’m hoping my issues will help someone else that is going through something similar.
3. And yes, I’m hoping someone reading this can relate to what I’m going through and help me in some way.

blogging-for-business2

So, I don’t think all my issues (weight gain, chronic fatigue, crying at a drop of a hat, etc.) is 100% attributed to my hypothyroidism. While I think my thyroid condition is not helping my situation, I think some of this is hormonal.

Let me explain.

I used to get my period like clockwork, especially since I’ve been on the pill since my early 20’s. Starting in September of last year, it stopped, reappeared in February of this year, and has since vanished again.

And no, I’m not pregnant.

I had my yearly gyno appointment a month or so ago and told him about all my issues, thyroid included. He did the yearly routine exam, gave me a referral to an endocrinologist and did a full thyroid panel to check all levels and asked me to come back in a month to discuss the thyroid test results.

I expected to go into his office, hear that my thyroid results were all “normal” and to speak to my endocrinologist about my issues at my appointment in July. It went quite a bit beyond that on a couple different levels:

1st – he asked me if I had a lot of unexplained weight gain. I literally laughed at him. I hope it didn’t come across as rude, I’ve just never had a doctor GET IT and ask me that question. A bit of a shock. A good one though. He thinks my Armour thyroid dosage is too high… he thinks I’ve actually made myself hyperthyroid with my high dosage and is going to bring it down a bit. (You learn something new everyday!)

2nd – my pap showed ovarian cells in my uterus. Now, this could be a weird fluke… or it could be endometriosis. I have to go back for a biopsy in August to rule out endometriosis. Now, I don’t experience extremely painful periods (because they’ve long gone away) that is symptomatic of endometriosis… but I do have other symptoms like fatigue and (extremely) painful sex.

He has taken me off the pill completely (yayayayayayay) and we will talk about birth control options after the biopsy. Need to know what’s going on there first.

So, I guess time will tell. And it’s probably good I decided to book the appointment with the endocrinologist. I’m convinced, more than ever, that something is not right and that it may be something else on top of my hypothyroidism.

The search for answers continues…

More Happies. Lots of ‘Em.

Yes, I know I’m way behind… a week in Mexico will do that to you. 🙂 I’m going to catch up (for the most part) today so I apologize for all the photos… and perhaps write a “real” blog post in the next couple of days. I have a one stewing….

Day 25
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While my mom was in town, we went to this super cute town in Northern Indiana… and there were Amish everywhere. I’ve never seen anything like it… I kept looking for cameras from the TLC Breaking Amish reality show.

Day 26
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One of my favorite humans and my favorite fur baby, on a long walk. Emmy was fed up with the paparazzi.

Day 27
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#TBT – three of my favorite people from college circa 2002-2003. Yikes.

Day 28
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I’m blessed to work in the advertising agency industry. It may not be Mad Men, but it’s pretty damn close. Barbecue for lunch on a beautiful Friday afternoon? Yes, please.

Day 29
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Adam and I participated in the Le Tour de Fort with some of my co-workers. An amazing bike bar crawl fund raiser for the K9 for Warriors. I’m all about sacrificing my liver for a good cause. Especially pups and the military.

Day 30
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I was finally able to replace the (majorly) cracked iPhone for a new one. Emmy approved.

Day 31
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Another day at Crossfit. Or my therapy session. Same thing.

Day 32
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I had to show these off, the daisies in the front of our house. I kill most plants within a 20 foot radius of me, so this is quite amazing.

Day 33
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The day Fran kicked my ass and I loved every minute of it.

Day 34
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My dog is officially the little old lady that spies on the neighbors.

Day 35
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Hey, it was National Donut Day. And it was gluten free. And a party in my mouth.

Day 36
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Viva la Mexico!

Day 37
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His name was Harry and I enjoyed drinking him.

Day 38
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I can’t remember the name of this little restaurant we ate at on Isla Mujeres after snorkeling with the locals (people and fish). But it was very authentic and very yummy in my tummy. Not a shabby dinner view.

Day 39
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There are no words to explain the love I had for this chocolate dessert. I will let the picture speak for itself. (holycrapthiswasamazing)

Have a happy day! And week!

Thryoid Summit – Day 4

Who’s listening? Click here to sign up! Great thyroid presentations for FREE.

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Interested in the sessions you’ve missed? You can download them here.

Thyroid Summit – Day 3

I hope you guys are taking advantage of this free week of thyroid discussions, I’m learning so much from these presenters. Life changing.

Haven’t signed up? Don’t worry, there are still lots of seminars to see! Click here to check out Day 3, you won’t regret it.

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Want to download any that you’ve missed? You can do that here!

Thyroid Summit – Day Two!

I stayed up late last night to watch Day One. Such great information. Some things I learned:

– Iodine is KEY to thyroid function
– Adrenal gland must function properly before your thyroid can function properly

And a bunch of other great stuff.

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Day 2 is bound to be a great as well! Click here to sign-up if you haven’t already, you crazy people! These presentations will be live for 24 hours only, so hurry!

Never worry, if you can’t watch the videos but are interested in watching them at another time, you can purchase them and other great products here!

Did you miss Day 1? Never fret, they have made it live for another 24 hours due to email issues. so sign up now!