The Journal #1

I’m not going to lie. I feel like sh*t. My body hurts and I haven’t even been working out. I get awful tension headaches that get so bad sometimes, that they put me out for a whole day, sometimes more. I know the cause of them too. My stress over the past year has been extremely somatic. This means my stress manifests its ugly head physically. My muscles are extremely knotted and tight. So much so, that I couldn’t do any overhead bar work right now, even if I wanted to.   I did do a little 45-minute yoga practice the other day, and it felt great. I could feel all the tension in my muscles. With each pose and stretch, I could feel the tightness, and then the muscles letting go of their death grip on the rest of me. There were muscles that were pulling in protest in my lower back and shoulders. My hamstrings were so not having it, but I showed them whose boss! I couldn’t even touch my toes. That’s new for me. I’ve at least always been able to do that.   As far as my eating goes, I’m a little all over the place. Sometimes I eat breakfast; sometimes I only have coffee in the morning. I have been waking up at different times in the morning. I have no set schedule.   I’m still working on the lunch and breakfast things. I have Greek yogurt and fruit that are great for the morning, and enough leafy greens in my fridge to make salads for weeks. The thing is I get board easily with food. Some things I could eat over and over again, but I like variety as well. I’m going to brainstorm on the Pinterest page.   So, looking back at all of this, I’ve decided my first step is going to be to make a schedule for myself. I’m going to wake up and go to bed at the same times every day. Planning my days out is also something I am going to start doing. I’m in between job at the moment, which is very boring at home, so a schedule will help me to a) feel normal, and b) get ish done! This would be a necessary step, even if I was working.   I’m a pen and paper kind of gal, so I have my little schedule written down in an agenda. I have my blog tasks written out and daily chores, as well as work out time scheduled in. Having a little to do list to check off is motivating for me. I’m a list person. I’m also a forgetful person, so that’s another reason lists are great for me. You know the person that goes to the store for one thing, and leaves the store with a bunch of stuff, minus what they went into the store for? That is also me.   As mentioned in my last post (you can look back at it here), I’m going back to my first love. Yoga. I’m a little tight for money right now, so as much as I really want to find a new studio (also moved recently, not sure if that’s been in any of my posts), I’m not really in a spot to be paying for classes. There are a lot of yoga studios that have “yoga by donation” classes where you can give what you can for a class, but I haven’t found any of those near me. It’s just going to be me, my mat, and YouTube yoga for a while.   So that is my plan for this week. Baby steps. First make the schedule, and then follow the schedule. Oh, and eat breakfast!   See you next week for more in the journal!
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I Have Fallen Off the Proverbial Wagon…but I’m Getting Up Stronger!

As you may have noticed, I have been MIA for quite a few months, almost a year (let’s be real). The best time to start a blog was probably not during the last year of my masters but heyyyy I’m graduated now and can pick up where I left off. barbell-top-pinterest That will be easier said than done. This is because I’m not really picking up where I left off.  

I have fallen off the proverbial wagon big time.

  I went from eating clean with some cheats here and there, to completely unregulated eating. I went from working out 4-6 days a week, to working out none.   I let the stress of life and school take over my health and make me throw away my passion.   But, doesn’t this sound familiar? I think it does. A lot of us go through this when life gives us curve balls, or puts more on our plate than we can handle.   So what can we do when this happens, because, let’s be real, it’s bound to happen again. Life keeps happening and going on no matter what we do.  

Want to know what I am going to do?

  I am going to chase that wagon down and try to hop back on. My mistake does not define me. I have been pretty hard on myself for this, not gonna lie. I was reading through my first blog posts and had to remind myself of all the things I said in this little gem.   The best thing we can do when we face our criticism of ourselves for slip ups, is to let go of that criticism and keep chasing the wagon.   So, for now I’m going to re-correct some bad habits, and get back in a yoga flow.   Yoga was my first fitness love, so I’m going to go back to my mat to find not only some zen, but so love and passion as well.   I’m going to start a journal series on here as well. This is going to be where I post my raw, unfiltered thoughts as I go along and rediscover my passion for fitness and getting back in shape. It’ll read kind of like a, you guessed it, journal entry. Maybe you will be able to relate to it. Let me know!
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Ringing in the New Year

Happy New Year! 2015 went by like a blur didn’t it? Now it’s time to set our intentions for the upcoming 12 months, and do our best to stick to it. A lot of people make fitness resolutions for the new year, and a lot of people fail those intentions.   So, for the month of January all my blog posts are going to include things you can do to actually stick to those resolutions and start heading down your path to a fitter you!   For today, I am going to share my resolutions for the new year, so here goes! Ringing in the New Year!
  1. Keep a Fitness Journal
  I have never actually kept a fitness journal. I track my Crossfit progress with wodify through my box, and keep absolutely no track of my yoga progress (sad but true). For me to feel like I am getting to that next step, I need to start tracking my food and workouts.   I recently purchased Cassey Ho’s 2016 fit planner. Holy guacamole this thing is gorgeous! Give it a look here (this is not an affiliate link so there is nothing in it for me if you click it). It just landed on my doorstep and I can’t get over how beautiful it is. Fitness tracking doesn’t have to be bland or boring. Have fun with it!   So, that’s what I plan to do. I am going to take a before picture to print out and put in the before and after slot, and try my damnedest to log what I eat and what my workout is.  
  1. Drink More Water
  I have toted on this before in blog posts, and now I’m going to take it to the next level. I have a half gallon water bottle that I purchased recently on Amazon, and I intend to work up to drinking two of those a day.   Notice I said working up to. I firmly believe in baby steps especially when it comes to new years resolutions and goals. If you try to make too many changes too quickly, it’s too much to deal with and will discourage you quickly.  

Making instant, drastic life changes when it comes to your health is a set up for failure, trust me, I know.

  Staying hydrated has been an issue for me lately, so I plan to change that.  
  1. Be Consistent
  This resolution is mostly spawning from my holiday slump. It really surprised me to see how easy it was for me, despite all my hard work for over a year, to just skip days (multiple days) and eat junk. What the hell happened!?!?   But you know what. It’s all good, because we all fall, we all falter, but we have to remember to always get back up. So, that is what I am going to do.   With my handy dandy new planner I just bought, I am going to keep a weekly schedule for working out. I am going to plan out which days are for yoga and which are for Crossfit, and after I get into the swing of things, I’ll add in two-a-days (doing two-a-days has been a goal of mine for a while).   It’ important to stay consistent even if you falter or get sick, because if you plan for consistency, it’s easier to get back up and into your routine than if you just wing it. That’s where I went wrong this holiday season.  
  1. Run One 5K a Month
  So, this is my last resolution, and I actually got this idea from a good friend of mine who is now training for marathons. She did this during 2014 and I ran a few 5Ks with her then and one or two last year.   I usually look for races on and they have a huge list! You can search by state, by county, by city, and even narrow it down further by the type of race you want. It’s great!   I want to do this mostly because I LOATH running. It is one of the best activities for your health, but I just hate it. I can’t pick a speed, my breathing gets uneven, and I feel like I am going to die. But, it’s time to put on my big girl running shoes and reap the benefits of this torturous activity.   Running is about mind over matter. It’s like doing planks. In your mind you want to quit, it hurts, and you want to drop your knees or slow to a walk. In reality your body can keep going and with some concentration and determination you can make it!     So, what are your 2016 new years resolutions? Let me know in the comment box. We can do this together!
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Pills and Powders and Supplements OH MY!

One of the things that overwhelmed me the most when I started working out regularly, especially lifting heavier at Crossfit, was what supplements should or shouldn’t I take? IMG_5245   If any of you follow #fitspo people on social media, these products may be getting shoved down your throat. I see ads for all sorts of supplements all the time. I can’t open my Instagram without seeing them.   So, how do you know what’s good, and what’s not so good?   I start with the ingredients label. If it’s chock full of artificial sweeteners and things I can’t pronounce, I put it down. If it advertises tingling sensations or anything else that sounds ludicrous to me during a work out, I put it down. I try (keyword is try here) to keep what I put into my body as clean as I can. Artificial stuff is a no go for me, well most of the time. It’s hard to avoid these days, am I right?   Another thing I do is ask. Never be afraid to ask!   My Crossfit coach, Tony, is a great resource for me. He is super honest, and wouldn’t recommend anything he wouldn’t put into his own body. Tony is a little intense, because he is shooting for the Crossfit Games, but someone that dedicated and informed is a good resource. I don’t have the time to sort through articles and reviews and stuff to figure out the best products (and quite frankly it makes my head spin). Tony does, and so do your coaches!   I have a feeling I know what you are going to ask next. So, Sara, what do you use for your workouts?   Well, funny you should ask! As of right now, I only use protein powder. I use a whey isolate, chocolate flavor (of course) powder that I mix with almond milk. The brand I use is Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard. The only criticism I have of this powder is the sweetener. They do use an artificial sweetener, but that is a problem you will run into with most protein powders. Here’s a link if you want to give it a try (this is not an affiliate link, so I don’t get any money for you clicking on it).   I drink my protein shake right after a WOD and even after yoga. Most people look at me funny when I say I drink protein after yoga, but that’s how I roll. I may not have picked up anything heavy or run a mile, but I still worked those muscles, and I want to feed them. I drink 1 scoop with about 8 ounces of almond milk. Water is fine as well, but I like my shakes thicker in consistency. It’s a preference thing.   If wanting to know more about protein is something you’re interested in, leave a comment below and I will add it to my ever-growing list of things to talk to you about!   I have asked Tony recently what he recommends as a supplement. He told me the one thing he would recommend to anyone is beta alanine. What does it do? So, the way it has been explained to me, and in my other research, is that it balances the pH level in your muscles. What does that mean? It means your muscles wont get as tired as fast, and recovery from intense workouts is quicker. Tony recommended to me 1 scoop of this stuff daily.   I have some of the beta alanine waiting for me at my box that I need to pick up. I’ll try it out, and let you guys know what I think. That may become a regular thing. I try products and practices, and let you know what my experience has been with it.   I am also getting back to taking a multivitamin. I am so bad at taking vitamins you guys! Recently, my health hasn’t been that great though, so I am trying to get that back under control. Being proactive by taking a vitamin is a good place to start.   I picked a women’s vitamin that has a B complex in it. B complex is known for giving more energy, which I need, because after internship naps have become a regular occurrence.   I also take zinc and magnesium (not the most consistent with it if I’m being honest) because I have had some muscle tension issues lately. I have been told this is stress related (yay to my last year of graduate school!). These two are a good combo for muscular health, but aren’t really necessary unless you are having some problems like I do at the moment. My boyfriend, who is also a Crossfitter and knows a thing or two about supplements, recommended I add these in for the time being. I don’t intend for this to be a permanent addition to my supplement regime. With a good diet and a good multivitamin, you shouldn’t need these either.   When it comes down to it, knowing what sort of results you want to see, and how you want to feel before, during, and after a work out is going to determine what supplements you choose. Personally, I don’t like to take a lot of extra stuff (even though I am right now). You can get most of what you need from a balanced diet.   I am also going to say that if you have health issues, consult your doctor before adding any sort of supplements to your daily routine. I am not a nutritionist or dietitian, I am just speaking from my experience.   Leave some love below if you enjoyed the article! I love to hear from you! This won’t be the last on this topic and I look forward to updating you when I try the new stuff!
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