Beliefs

I have been working on a post about pain vs. injury and was hoping to finish it up this morning.  That is SO not happening today!

Instead I will provide this little tidbit:

“You feel the way you think; you think the way you believe.  Beliefs are the primary source of your attitudes, reactions, feelings and behavior…your beliefs often determine the score of your life. You have no beliefs in your heart that you did not put there, either of your own volition or by inheritance from your family or by absorbing them from your culture.” Dr. Gary Smalley

What do you believe? How do these beliefs impact your life?

Fight or Flight

Think about your strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified?  How did you respond?  Could you have responded differently?

Fight or flight mode is a term used to describe our body and brain’s innate response to “dangerous” situations.  When acute stressors occurs our body releases hormones that stimulate our adrenal glands, which is how we get an “adrenaline rush”.  Typical symptoms include heart rate increases, changes in blood pressure and increased breathing. All of these physical responses and many others you might experience are intended to help you survive a dangerous situation by preparing you to either run for your life or fight for your life. It is a primal response that can allow for an opportunity to do things that we may not be able to do otherwise. This is why you may hear a story of a woman being able to move a car or something crazy when her child is in harms way…all thanks to the limbic system.

If for some reason you feel that your body is jumping into a fight or flight response unnecessarily then you may want to ask yourself a few questions like the following: What is going on with me?  What about this situation makes me feel uncomfortable?  What evidence is there to support such a strong response?  What do I need to do to take care of this uncomfortable emotion?

Simple Problem Solving

Identify a problem that you would like to change or address.

Write down your goal (this could require multiple steps).

Set a time to begin.

Identify problems that could interfere with meeting your goal.

Develop strategies for coping with the problems if they should arise.

Keep track of your progress in a journal.

Over-Training

Many may criticize inadequate or inappropriate training, but it is easy to gloss over over-training like it is just part of the process when it comes to fitness.  If you are not giving your body enough time to rest, you are not going to be much stronger or faster.  You may see a blip on the radar, or even a PR and then the inevitable crash will occur.  Our bodies can only handle so much and each person’s body is different.

For most people the 2 days on 1 day off or 3 days on 1 day off model works tremendously.  This allows your body to work at maximal capacities, then recover and do it all over again.  We have been told since grade school that you should exercise at least 30 minutes a day, every day and so the connotation of a rest day becomes under-training.  The beauty of CrossFit is that you can get in more work, at a great intensity, over the spread of less days, than someone who just runs a couple of miles everyday.  Intensity is important in training, but for most trainees, working out 6 days a week, for an hour, at a high intensity could lead to diminishing capacities versus actual gains.  I feel like so many people look at the Rich Fronings out there and say “he never takes a rest day, so I should workout every day.” Let me be clear about a few of things: 1. Rich Froning’s job is to workout. 2. He did not just wake up one morning and decide to train all day every day—he worked up to the load he currently sustains. 3. You need to consider your fitness goals–if you are trying to make it to the Games, then you may have to put in extra work, but the average athlete should see adequate gains and improvements working out 5 days a week.

A good gym (like the one I go to) will have “deload weeks” programmed in, so the members are given adequate time to recover.  Being able to trust the programming at your CrossFit box is incredibly important, but it is equally important to not sabotage the scientific programming laid out for you by adding too much extra work into your routine.  Talk to your coaches about extra work to ensure you are getting the most out of your time.

Listening to your body is important, but some of us do a terrible job of listening.  We think we “feel” fine and then crash hard the next day because we have done too much in a short amount of time.  It could take your body a little extra time to “feel” the work you have put in…and by then you may be on day 4 in a row.  Be smart about your training, be smart about your rest. Your body will thank you and you will see gains!

Good Reads:
Things that Impair Workouts
Listening to your Body
Recovery Time

Cover Story

If you were on the front of a magazine, which one would it be?? What would be the headline?? What colors and words would be emphasized on the cover?? Would you allow them to airbrush your photo??

What about your story; what would a columnist write about you?? Would there be a specific topic they would cover or would they interview you with random questions?? Would you have a newsworthy story to tell?? Would you be completely honest or would you use a filter to answer candid questions? Would you use the opportunity as a platform to support a cause?? What would be the key elements of your story??

And that would be my pondering for the day! Enjoy the weekend!

Holiday Survival

The holidays are approaching at Lightning McQueen speed, which means most people are incredibly busy, attending parties, family get-togethersw and consuming A LOT of food.  One of the most challenging things that an individual can face during the holiday season is trying to maintain healthy habits when life is anything but routine.  When life is crazy, routine could be the one thing that keeps the wheels turning or it could be as lost as a needle in a haystack.  You may be thinking this is a bit preemptive, but if they are already selling Christmas decorations I figure it’s time to write a blog post on the holiday season!

Helpful Tips
Self-Care – First things first. When things get crazy, stress tends to creep up better than a ninja in a dark room and we can easily find ourselves getting off track.  Be intentional with your self-care.  If you know certain weeks are going to be super busy or stressful, block off down time.  Literally put it on the calendar if you have to!
Exercise – Anytime we are busy it is easy to say, there just isn’t enough time to exercise…the holidays are no different.  Get moving! Make exercise a priority.  It doesn’t have to be your typical gym routine, go for a bike ride with your kids, get creative, but don’t become a holiday couch (sweet) potato!
Sleep – When we are exhausted we tend to make poorer choices….just think about it….when you are really tired do you slave in the kitchen over dinner or does the drive-thru down the street tend to win the battle??? Get adequate sleep.  It will help you stay well, foster better decision making and keep you sane!
Food – If you know that you are going to a party where the food is going to be more in the “I can’t eat that” category than the “this is clean” category, bring your own grub.  If that would be rude (obviously this would not be appropriate in every social situation, please use your brain) then eat right before you go and have an “emergency” snack in your bag or purse that you can discretely consume if the temptation of your grandfather’s pecan pie becomes more than you can bare (or is that just me??).
Plan – Always have a plan.  Make some rules or set a few goals.  Limiting your sweets, alcohol or just knowing the “okays vs the no ways” can be helpful.
Quantity – The other QC (quantity control)….you can eat as much meat and veggies as you want (quality is important..however I will save that topic for a later post). But if you cheat, watch those portions….in other words don’t let that one piece of pecan pie turn into 10 (what?? I really do like pecan pie! It is a little piece of heaven…)
Listen – If your body is having aversive reactions to food that you usually don’t eat, listen up! Let your body guide the process.  Believe me; you will be grateful you did later…especially if you have to detox!
NO – You can always politely decline.  Practice in the mirror if you must, but be prepared to say “no thank you.”
Alcohol – Party, party, party…and at many parties there is alcohol…I would personally use the rule of “don’t drink anymore than normal.” —if that rule won’t work for you, then give yourself a limit and don’t let a late night celebration turn into a regretful morning!
Enjoy – Last, but certainly not least, enjoy your time! Don’t be so stringent that you feel like a Scrooge….make a plan that works, one that you can feel good about and will allow you to enjoy the season!

How do you survive the holidays? Share your tips and Merry Thursday!

Rich

Most like you are reading this because you have some piece of advanced technology sitting in front of you, a phone, computer, tablet or something of that nature.  This alone might put you in the category of “rich”. One could argue that there are varying definitions of the word rich, but I am not talking about Tom Cruise rich, rather you are rich when considering the standard that most live in across the world. According to research done by the World Bank if you make over $10,000 a year, by the world’s standard you live rich among the top 15% of the world. We rarely think about where our food came from or how water came to our faucet. We live in a vacuum. We are constantly striving for more. Sometimes we need a little perspective.  Sometimes we need to remember that there really are starving children in Africa.  Finding a non-profit to support is one way you can help those who are less privileged. We should all be doing more to give back. This is an organization that I support, that does so much to be a part of the solution: EMPOWER SUDAN. They are awesome and do amazing work.  I am not saying you need to stop and send them money right now, but you should check them out! Be grateful, be giving, be generous. You are rich.

Water, Hydration and Dehydration

Just thought I would give you the 411 on H2O today. So here it is!

FACTS:

  • 780 million people lack access to an improved water source; approximately one in nine people. (WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation 2012).
  • 3% of the Earth’s water is fresh.
  • A gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds.
  • Only 1% of the Earth’s water is available for drinking.
  • In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year walking for water.
  • We lose a pint or more of water each day by simply breathing (according to a study done in the northeast)…and I bet that is not all you have done today, which means you should be drinking a whole lot of water!!

 

SIGNS OF DEHYDRATION (according to WebMD):

  • Dry mouth
  • The eyes stop making tears
  • Sweating may stop
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Lightheadedness (especially when standing)
  • Weakness
  • Decreased urine output

 

A FEW GOOD READS:
Hydration Myths
Healthy Living Facts
Charity Water

Simple Meals

I know I have used the phrase before, keep it simple stupid….but I am going to use it again! When it comes to your everyday meal planning, simple is key!  Not many people have the energy or time to make an elaborate meal with a bazillion ingredients after a long day at work or in between their evening activities. Don’t set yourself up for failure by over-complicating your weekly meal plan!

Here are some of my favorite go-to meals that take minimal time to prep and cook.
Sausage and Brussel Sprouts
Baked Chicken and Spinach
Paleo Spaghetti
Breakfast
Chicken Stir Fry (hold the soy….that’s not Paleo!)

When I am trying to keep things simple I usually think in terms of the following:
Veggie prep and cook time
Meat prep and cook time

Broccoli, spinach and asparagus can be sauteed/boiled in no time (about 10 minutes of prep and cook time combined).

Baked chicken takes about 30 minutes but once it is in the oven you are free to hang out with your family, get some laundry done, read a little…or whatever tickles your fancy.

Grass-fed ground beef takes about 10-15 minutes to brown and with just a few seasonings and spices can be delicious with about anything.

Usually I ask myself what kind of meat do I want to do tonight and which veggie will be easiest to do with it.  Then get it done and enjoy!

What are some of your favorite quick pairings?? What seasonings or spices are your go-to? So remember keep it simple, not need to make life more complicated!

Competition Nutrition

Game day food is absolutely essential to a great performance. Making sure you are getting all the usual macronutrients are important as well as adding some fat and carbs catered to your energy output. Huh?? In other words, your body will need more fat and carbs to get the job done than on a regular trsining day; for example sweet potatoes and avocado (two of my personal favorites).

On top of this asking yourself the question, “what can I always make myself eat,” is crucial. With nerves, adrenaline and exhaustion, the last thing you may want to do on comp day is stuff your face. So having some go-to snacks can make the differ ex between a podium finish and burning out in a final WOD because you’ve got nothing left to give.

Let us not forget about hydration! Getting enough water is an absolute must!! Usually H2O and coconut water can be found in my ice chest!

A list of my goods for tomorrow’s comp:

coconut water

water

coffee

coconut milk

tuna salad

strawberries

bananas

turkey meat

almonds

pomegranate

larabars

beet chips

scotch eggs

sweet potato