After some consideration I have decided that it is uninteresting to me to document every single bite I take, especially since I eat really similarly from day to day. I will continue to document my foods but instead of a complete overview I will be posting a play-by-play once a week and also noting exciting meals and including recipes! A bunch of ya’ll asked for a Shepard’s pie to-do and I can totally make that happen. It was incredibly simple.
Despite a couple of days of silence I am still challenging myself physically and nutritionally. I have found a couple of foods that I thought would be okay to eat during the Whole Life Challenge are not (my hot sauce has xanthan gum! Fuck!) and that I am capable of pushing through some really fucking uncomfortable moments both physically and emotionally. I have been CrossFitting 4-5 times a week, bike commuting, stretching and foam rolling more often, (still not as often as I would like but I am starting to introduce the habit) and generally working towards keeping a positive fitness attitude.
I think when goals are abstract they are difficult to quantify. When I am in a CrossFit class, for my time there, I am simply aiming to complete the workout. Because I am new to the whole thing every single time I go I am most likely doing something I have never done before and more often then not I have a lot of fear associated with what I am about to take on. A few days ago I did a workout that seemed relatively straightforward (ie I was familiar with what most of the movements were). It incorporated 40 push ups and after struggeling through the first ten I had a really visceral thought: my brain said to me “This is going to be a really difficult few minutes.”
In response I simply had to close my eyes, shut off the part of me that does not want to be uncomfortable, and move forward. It was kind of epic to have an urge to stop and to have to access another part of myself to pull through.
Another time this week I was asked to do 75 Power Snatches, a move I had never done in my life.
Again halfway through the workout, my brain noted how FAR I was from the finish and before I could catch myself I said so out loud. My coach, Melissa, awesome lady that she is responded: “Don’t worry about the number right now! Today you are just trying to get the move”.
Momentarily I felt the relief of a reprieve and then it occured to me- I am not interested in giving up, even if it takes me a long time, even if I cry or throw up in my mouth a little, or get pissed because I feel helpless in the face of my challenge. I ended up finishing a full six minutes after the first finisher, I lifted less weight then others, and my form was not always perfect but you know what? I felt really happy with myself when I completed the task. It is honestly just a few uncomfortable minutes, and I know I have and can endure much more.
Melissa has also said to me that in the Box everyone has their strengths and everyone has their weaknesses. For me, I honestly don’t know what part of CrossFit I shine in physically but what I do know is I have the willingness to keep showing up and the drive to challenge myself as much as possible. It feels good to me to leave a class absolutely worked and it feels good to truly believe that because I am starting out so fresh to all of this, there really is no option but to get faster, better, stronger. Every day that I give my all I leave class feeling really pleased, if not exhausted. The days when I have held back with weight or effort due to fear I have left class disappointed and wondering what exactly keeps me from trying harder. Once I realized this I decided to do myself the favor of guessing that I’m probably a little stronger then I think. Oftentimes if I shoot a tiny bit higher then I think I can manage I leave feeling stoked.
On the nutrition front, I am asking my body to tell me what foods it needs instead of asking my mind what foods it thinks I should eat and doing my best to trust the outcomes. This has made for some stumbling (accidentally overeating, accidentally undereating) and imperfections. I have, at times, felt helpless. If only finishing the day’s workout was my entire goal with this challenge, the whole thing would feel a little more seamless!
Truthfully, I am doing all of this because I want to feel awesome about myself. I want to have pride in my accomplishment, to not worry about calories or my body in general and to have the satisfaction of looking in the mirror and feeling only stoked. This is a tall order right? Not only am I trying to actively change my body’s abilities, I am trying to unlearn a lifetime of female socialization and a good solid five years of thinking that being thinner will mean being happier. In realizing the relative unattainability of constantly feeling fucking excellent I am able to laugh at the situation a little bit and try to remember that whole patience thing I’ve heard so much about.
These days, it probably just makes the most sense to stick with trying to complete the daily work out. I am pretty sure the rest is supposed to fall into place.