8 Week Challenge, #6 : Honor your work


Good things about this week:

  • Did CrossFit every day since 10/7, in preparation for upcoming vacay.  Highlights include: bench pressed 75lbs 12 times, began attempting handstand pushups…notice I said ATTEMPT…, worked on my pullups, and did an agonizing amount of planks.
  • Running a 5K was one of our CF workouts this week, and I set a personal record!  My April 5K time was 38min+. This week, I ran it in 27:30. My class that day had some very strong runners in it, so they amped my competitive nature and I tried to keep up with them. When I realized they were shooting for 22-23min times UM.NO., I changed my goal to not be last. I wasn’t. And I smashed my April time. :)

Bad things about this week:

  • weight gain + mental block
  • eating my feelings

Many of you participating in the 8 Week Challenge are trying to lose weight.  I’m gaining weight, mostly on purpose. But my scale did a mindfuck on me this morning. It told me I weighed 140lbs instead of the +/-150 I’ve been hovering around for a few weeks.  It’s obviously gone nutso.  Ain’t no way.

When I started CrossFit in June, I weighed 140.

After three months of CrossFit, I now weigh 152.6.

Truth?  I saw that number and my brain asploded. I don’t like that number. Before anyone yells at me, let me be clear. I understand I have gained muscle.  I have biceps, triceps and shoulder definition.  I have 4 pairs of jeans that do not fit, thanks to my now-muscular (and quite-fabulous-I’ve-been-told) booty.  I have core strength for the first time in my life.  I am stronger and healthier than ever. This is good!!! I do not think I am ‘fat’.

However… the mental fuckery I’ve got going on over the number 152.6 is really annoying me.  Some gain is acceptable from this much hard work.  But how much is too much?  Is it even possible to gain TWELVE + pounds of muscle in three months?  Am I really gaining ONLY muscle?  I don’t feel like I am.  Secondly, I feel like I’m stuck in a backward mentality of, “oh, I’m doing CrossFit 5-6 days a week, so ice cream can be my diet cheat.”  And if I do manage to avoid the ice cream, I still shove everything else known to man in my face. Kinda like in Mayor Gia’s Willpower post. Go read and laugh your ass off. Her drawing of “I didn’t have ANY wine tonight.” is me, except wine=ice cream and I’m surrounded by dirty spoons and empty jars of almond butter and coconut butter. :/

Here’s what I think the risk is with Paleo: I am not an expert, but I think that you still have to moderate what you eat within the Paleo guidelines. You can’t go around eating cupfuls of almond butter and stuffing bananas in your face and not gain weight. Note to self: DUH, PEACH. And it’s portion control, too. Meats and veggies first. Supplement with fruit and nuts (but not too much!!!)  If you don’t moderate AND you cheat with ice cream, froyo, booze, cake, whatever… you’ll gain unneeded fat. Which I am. I’ve worked so hard in the gym. But I’ve not been honoring that work with my food choices. Nor do I feel that gaining any more weight is acceptable… not as my diet stands right now. I am putting my foot down, dammit.

This isn’t rocket science. I can do this. Keep working hard. Eat better.

I also need to get over a mental block I have about Paleo, but I need help.  I’ve read that you shouldn’t count calories when you follow Paleo.  Yet I can’t seem to quit using the MyFitnessPal app to track my food and exercise amounts! I started tracking calories/exercise in April, because I was routinely under-fueling in proportion to what I was burning.  I’ve kept with it ever since to make sure I’m not slipping.  Here, let me show you.

The NUMBER climb.

All over the place, aren’t I?

There it is – the steady weight gain.  And there is also the inconsistency in my diet (numbers do account for exercise).  I have very bad days on the high-calorie end. What the hell did I eat on 9/19?? Oh yeah. I took a friend out to a splurge-worthy dinner with mucho wine, and then polished off some Haagen Dazs Coconut Macaroon. Fuck you, Haagen Dazs. I have very bad days on the LOW-calorie end too, where I overcompensate for previous sins and barely net 1000 calories for the day. Neither is great.  Why is the 1800-2000 calorie/day mark such a tricky bitch to hit?!? :(

So I’m torn.  Let’s take a vote.  Should I :

A: Stop using/obsessing over MyFitnessPal and stick with the Paleo guidelines and see what happens? 

B: Keep counting calories with MyFitnessPal, trying to consistently hit the 1800-2000 mark every day within Paleo guidelines?

C: Say screw it – ditch the app, eat right with my own common sense, and chuck my scale out the window?

What do you all think? I’m driving myself crazy, here…

Either way, it’s time to buckle down.***  For the rest of this challenge,

  1. No more ice cream or froyo.  The frozen temptations are gone from my freezer. I ate them all. But I didn’t buy any more, either.
  2. No more overloading on fruits, almond butter, almonds or coconut butter. In fact, I may try to eliminate them altogether.
  3. Meat and veggies are the focus!

***I have a few days of vacation coming up, during which I will relax the Paleo/CrossFit mentality and enjoy myself. But I know me, too, and I know I’ll still *try* to be relatively good. But no promises. Where I’m going, I plan to indulge. :)

Pish Posh asked what we’ve all learned from ourselves and others this week:

I learned this week that back to basics is key, especially when life/personal shit derails you. Re-visit your dietary and exercise goals. Re-evaluate.  Adjust to improve your weaknesses.  And be kind to yourself.

Can’t wait to read the rest of the challenge posts for the week! This is week #6.  Only two left to go! We’ve got this.

8 Week Challenge, #6 : Honor your work

17 Responses

  1. First rule of Paleo, ditch the fucking scale!! I have ALWAYS been a numbers watcher, pee, get on scale, first two things I did every morning. I have ALWAYS had 20 lbs to get rid of. As soon as I switched to Paleo, I have not gotten on the scale, nor have I used any apps to track and I have gone down a pant size. Yes muscle counts, but you are stressing over nothing.

    My opinion, you are not following Paleo. Ice Cream, booze, foyo, cake, these are all counter acting your efforts to be Paleo. Do a Whole30 when you get back.

    I wish I was able to do Crossfit as much as you! I love it, but cannot work it into my budget and the free classes don’t fit my schedule… sucks!

    Good luck and enjoy your vacation!

    My Moms a Whack Job (@mymomsawhackjob) October 10, 2012 at 6:46 pm #
    • Hey, have you been spying on me? Pee, get on scale is my morning routine too. Hmmm. 😉

      Okay, you got my attention! You’re absolutely right that I’m not legit Paleo. My occasional ‘special’ cheats have spiraled into becoming habits, which needs to be fixed asap. I appreciate the feedback and you sharing how you follow this lifestyle!

      I’m going to finish this week out strong, enjoy my time off, then regroup when I get back… including ditching the fucking scale and signing off of the app for the last time!!! Whole30 is on my radar, but need to do my research/prep before diving in. Have you done one? Any advice?

      50peach October 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm #
  2. Holy Hell! Hand stand push-ups! That’s pretty damned inspirational. You know, I think I’d be happy if i stayed the same weight but had less man-boobs being there. Well, maybe a few pounds less?

    You seem to be so focused, I don’t think you would have any trouble at all if you ditched the scale and the app and just did this on what you feel is right. I’d pick C if I was you. :)

    Ken October 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm #
    • Thanks for your vote! I’m picking C, too. Okay… I did weigh myself this morning. But, I have NOT used the app today. I’m listening to my body and eating when it tells me to. Not when I’m bored or sad or pissed off. It’s a tough change, but I feel better already.

      50peach October 11, 2012 at 2:22 pm #
  3. Wow – impressed! Yes. I am. I don’t know whether I want to go for a run (not) or take a nap. You’re amazing! I do get on the scale here and there to check, but it’s mainly all about the jeans and how I look naked.

    Angela Shelton (@angelashelton) October 11, 2012 at 2:16 pm #
    • Wise words. Jeans and naked are way better methods to measure against. :)

      50peach October 11, 2012 at 2:23 pm #
  4. Well, you KNOW our buddy Melisa would say: When in doubt, choose C. I have a problem with nuts/nutbutter too. Really hard to portion control!! You can do it!

    Stacie @ Snaps and Bits October 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm #
    • Haha, Melisa would be all over option C! Nutbutter is like crack… but yesterday was a good first step – I had NONE all day. Had 1T with breakfast this morning (Paleo waffle and a peach) and that’s it for the day. I AM going to do this. :)

      50peach October 12, 2012 at 9:52 am #
      • You go girl!!! I know you can do it. Ha ha – you girls are funny. I would say “C” except there’s no way I could ditch the scale!

        melisalunt October 14, 2012 at 11:16 pm #
  5. What if you didn’t weigh yourself? What if you went one week without weighing yourself and just listened to the compliments, looked at your muscles, and noticed all your strength?

    Also – with the amount of intensity you are doing, your appetite is going to go up IMMENSELY. The way I see it, you’ve been working your butt off, so your appetite compensates. What you need to do is find a balance between working hard and eating moderately. You can’t just eat within a set of food types, calories are calories are calories.

    So next week is about balance, for both of us. For sure.

    And I know ALL about eating and drinking your feelings, believe me. Try to associate ice cream with the bad feelings you feel when you get frustrated, rather than the temporary pleasure.

    And be nicer to yourself. You’re doing awesome. Congrats on your fastest time – focus on the good stuff Peach :)

    Pish Posh October 12, 2012 at 1:42 am #
    • I’m hugging you right now, can you feel it? Thank you. I needed that. I’m getting all bogged down and can’t see the forest for the trees. :/

      Balance is the key, you nailed it!! Today is day two without using the App and it’s pretty freeing. Today is day one without weighing myself (I couldn’t help it…yesterday I HAD TO SEE if that awful 152.6 went away. It did.) And you know what? I looked pretty good in the mirror this morning. :)

      Focusing on the good. Being nice to me. <– Repeating until it gets through my thick skull. Heart you, Pish Posh!

      50peach October 12, 2012 at 9:59 am #
  6. I’m a weak-minded fool! Steak always uses its Jedi mind tricks on me. I’m a carnivore! Meat, I love it! The fattier the better! I can’t and won’t ever give up my tasty, juicy goodness. I am a major fan of my own cooking and it’s just too damn good to give up!

    Besides, my goal for the 8 week challenge is to be mentally fit. In order to achieve physical greatness I must first have the proper mindset to do so!

    I would say option C is your best bet.

    workingdan October 12, 2012 at 7:55 am #
    • Mmmmm, steak. Roast. Ropa Veija. pulled pork. Brisket. Gimme!

      Like your concept. 😉

      50peach October 12, 2012 at 10:01 am #
  7. I don’t know what advice I can give you since…jesus… you even have graphs. Clearly you know the answer – it’s your cheating. I think once you cut out the cheats you will be back on track.

    And I have to say… I am impressed. it’s like reading about an olympian over here. It has inspired me to get back onto my great eating habits. Bam. Going for water and dumping my beer right now!

    dalrie October 14, 2012 at 9:43 pm #
    • Haha, yes, I’m laughing at my own ridiculousness with the graphs. Good grief. Yes, the cheating is the problem for sure. Now that I’m back from vacation, I’m totally ready to buckle down and quit the nonsense. :) We can do this!

      50peach October 17, 2012 at 1:20 pm #
  8. Since you are trying to make a change for life, not just for a quick fix, I would say go with whatever works best for long term. If paleo fits you best, then go for it. If counting calories does, then do that. I don’t think you should blend the two, though. It seems cross-purposes.

    I hope you had a great vacation! This week is going to be a good one for all of us!

    kianwi October 14, 2012 at 9:50 pm #
    • Agree on the no cherry-picking my diet! After this (amazing) vacation, my gut (pun intended) is saying to go back to my old style of eating: healthy foods, portion-controlled, and not Paleo. It works for me, I don’t feel deprived, and it’s sustainable long-term. Starting today! :)

      50peach October 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

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