Four Years Later

When I decided to revive this poor, neglected log, I had no idea that it has been almost four years exactly since my last post.  A quick glance reveals that my life-change at that time was my almost all-consuming task of regaining my health and fitness. I wasn’t dying. I was morbidly obese.

That’s still tough to write, but it is true. Both of those words, morbidly and obese, are quite disconcerting.

So it’s been four years.  That’s a long time, and sometimes I get quite discouraged, but I must remember that I didn’t put on all of that extra weight over night so it’s not coming off over night either. Having a strong commitment to changing my life to one with healthy eating habits and a strong sense of nurturing and strengthening my God-given body has been a slow, deliberate, and often gut-wrenching journey.

This has all been more mentally challenging than I could have imagined.  There has been so much to consider, wrestle with, and rethink. Even writing the phrase above, “nurturing and strengthening my God-given body,” took some extra pause.  I had so compartmentalized my life that I was convinced that the body was just something there, needful, of course, but not particularly to be bothered with. My mind was important, and deserved great attention. My soul was important, without a doubt, and claimed all I could give.  But in my own mind, I had so separated the body, the body which I knew God gave me, that I was convinced that it just really didn’t matter.

Should a Christian really care about the body?  I would have assented to caring about basic health. That matters.  But what about carefully considering how we nourish and strengthen the body throughout our life, in our various callings?  I was fine with making arguments for the nourishment of the mind and soul.  Even when I titled this blog, the nourishment of the body was simply great food. 

But my thoughts have deepened.

A Peek at a Day in the Paleo-Zone

In addition to doing CrossFit, I have been part of the CF gym’s paleo challenge over the summer.  Eating paleo means we eat meat, vegetables, fruit, and some seeds and nuts.  We eat no dairy, grains, or sugar.  It is of course 100 % gluten-free!  Being able to make this change with so many other supportive people and the guidance of the trainers has made this a rather painless switch. 

Last week I decided to try the paleo-zone plan, primarily because I have been feeling so great on paleo that I wanted to try balancing out my foods with the goal of more energy and less snacking (a better hormonal response.)  Eating paleo-zone means your daily food is of both a high quality and a high quantity.

Here is a day in my eating life…

Breakfast

Breakfast

 

Lunch

Lunch

 

Dinner Salad

Dinner Salad

 

Dinner's Main Dish

Dinner's Main Dish

 

Dessert

Dessert

 

Another look at my new favorite-mixed berries with pecans and a drizzle of coconut milk

Another look at my new favorite-mixed berries with pecans and a drizzle of coconut milk

Montana Family Vacation, pt. 2

Our Montana Cabin

Our Montana Cabin

I know you all thought this would never come, but there are in fact more wonderful pictures from our vacation.  Those who know me can imagine that I was a bit unsure of this whole venture when we pulled up to this cabin.  It is TINY and simple, and as much as I want to be content with simple things when that is what I am given, in the moment that we arrived at the cabin, I faced the fact that I still need to adjust my expectations and responses. 

I admit that the sight of this cabin left me a bit worried. But there was no need to even think twice about it!  The cabin was absolutely perfect for our week of rest and relaxation.  It was small, simple and just barely held all of us and our rather small load of stuff, but it was just what we needed.

There is no question that one of the best things about the cabin was our view of the lake.

DSC03014

DSC03017

Jumping back into Crossfit

This week marked my return to the CF box (gym) after almost 2 weeks off.  I was excited to get back to it, but would have gladly missed it had an injury, any injury presented itself.  My first day back wasn’t too bad, but then today…ooohh…this was a toughie all around. 

It all started with the warm-up which included all kinds of fun exercises to throw off my balance.  Then we worked on handstand push-ups for our first skill exercise.  Yep, handstand push-ups, as in you stand on your hands and lower your head almost to the floor, push-up and then repeat as many times as possible.  So how many was I able to do???

Of course, none!  I’m not even ready to try a handstand!  :)  So I did scaled handstand push-ups, with my feet on a box, my rear up and my head as close to vertical as I could possibly get it.  I am sure it was a comical sight, and this was one of those moments that I thank the CF powers that be who are anti-gym mirrors.

The actual work-out of the day was a dozy too- 3 rounds of 50 m shuttle, 3 clean and jerks, 50 m dumb-bell lunges, 100 m farmer’s walk, 10 dumb-bell thrusters, and 10 box jumps.

I know I will feel it tomorrow!

Family Vacation, part 1

We just returned from a wonderfully relaxing and full road trip up to the northern woods of Montana.  Here is a peek at the trip up there.

One of the great things about driving through N. CA is the varying views of this awesome mountain.

One of the great things about driving through N. CA is the varying views of this awesome mountain.

 

The mouth of a lava tube.

The mouth of a lava tube.

The family exploring the depths of the lava tube.

The family exploring the depths of the lava tube.

 

The vast impact of a volcano.

The vast impact of a volcano.

Gluten Free Dining Santa Cruz: Crow’s Nest

I discovered that the Crow’s Nest at the wharf offers a rather detailed gluten free menu.  This provides the gluten free diner hope for an informed kitchen, and my server was very gracious and helpful as I pieced together my dinner (taking part of the evening’s special and part of the standard menu.)

The Crow’s Nest receives very high marks for location and view, and that view will bring me back again, particularly because I don’t have to agonize over the ingredients in the menu.

The Crow’s Nest doesn’t usually receive very high marks for the food.  It is good, but not excellent.  Nothing to write home about, save for the fact that I can eat it without anxiety, and I can see the sailboats while I eat it.

Forest of Nisene Marks 5k

“Runner” 594, that was me. 

I wasn’t really a runner, more of a walker, trying to be a fast walker with a little bit of running thrown in for good measure, but I did complete my first 5k this month.  Thanks to the kind and persistant work of my sister Anna (who ran, really ran, the 1/2 marathon, finishing 1st in her category and 33rd over all) and the kind and persistent nudging of my friend Sara, I decided to go for it.  

Can you imagine how nervous I was?  How silly to be nervous, but I was.  I was nervous about finishing last, I was nervous about feeling totally out of place among all the runners, I was nervous, nervous, nervous.  But having set my first personal record at Crossfit earlier that week (213# on the deadlift), I had finally wrapped my head around what everyone around me was trying to tell me-I just needed to do it, take that step, and set a time to beat next time.

All of my nervousness was for not-I didn’t finish last, I didn’t get lost (on that very long, convoluted 5k trail with miles markers and orange cones :) ), I drank a ton of water and still didn’t have to stop during the 5k like the lady in front of me to visit the bathroom, and no one asked me what I thought I was doing at a race.

Actually so many people were nice, helpful and encouraging.  It was fun and almost other-worldly to be greeted at the finish line by people with huge grins and hearty congratulations, it was a treat to have a free massage because I was a racer, and I now have my first race shirt, a rather hideous, day glow yellow shirt. And now I will have to work up a whole new level of determination to actually wear that thing in public…

Crossfit

Although I proudly blog without obligation, even I must admit that this has been a disappointing dry spell.  It is certainly time to re-enter the blog world, and I have absolutely no reason for the long absence. :)

No excuses, but I do have something new.  I have entered the crazy world of Crossfit, and Crossfit and I have a very complicated love/hate relationship.  Crossfit is a fitness program that has been pushing me to my physical limits, bringing sore muscles, nausea after a workout, and the feeling that I might not be able to even go one more step.  It also brings strength, endurance, a sense of accomplishment, and the knowledge that I am taking giant steps toward better health and fitness. 

You can go here to see a picture of me and some of my fellow CFers.  I will warn you that a few minutes of browsing the CF West Santa Cruz site with the thought that I go there will probably bring your jaw to the floor.  It is truly shocking, I know. 

I will try to not become a tedious CF workout of the day poster here on my blog, but I just might pop out with something now and then.  I have even discovered that Crossfit is the classical fitness program.  Stay tuned for that fascinating connection! :)

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