Today is going to be a challenging Whole Life Challenge day.

It was quite overcast this morning and the hourly weather report said rain, rain, and more rain for most of the day. I went on a bike ride because it is a recovery day and that seemed like a good plan. I got to where I usually turn around, but it wasn’t raining yet and I hadn’t showered anyway. The worst that could happen would be that I got wet. I’ve been wet before. I didn’t melt.

So I kept going and then went a bit more when the chance offered itself. I noticed that my legs have gotten much stronger in the last year and that where I used to slow down or work hard to get my one-speed bike up a slight hill was no longer a problem. I remained at speed and just moved through it without a bit of trouble. Apparently all those squats did something.

The other thing I noticed was that my arms and chest really hurt. Every bump and every dip and every time the bike jarred at all, I knew that I did 100 pushups yesterday. It wasn’t awful, but it was obvious that I had been using my pecs and triceps for too many reps which I suppose is a good thing because I think I’m supposed to be using those muscles. Unless I’m supposed to hurt somewhere else and then I guess it is bad.

I parked the bike and immediately spent twenty minutes on the problem areas with a nice friendly lacrosse ball and worked out some of the tightness. I did some stretches that are supposed to open up my chest and tried to relax into them. After I was done, I felt marginally better. I will probably have to do that another time or two today and tomorrow.

I’ve been out to eat a couple times since I started the WLC but it has been to restaurants where I had total control over the food that would appear in front of me.

Tonight, we are going to a party where I know I have to use a bonus point for the entrée being served. I’m fine with this. It is just that I don’t know how many other points I’m going to lose and it is scaring the living daylights out of me. The most I can lose is five points and I actually have five bonus points so it really doesn’t matter at all.

Except it does. To me. It matters. I don’t want to let myself just splurge or gorge or waste my hard earned points on something as stupid and unappealing as a bit of sour cream. My choice is to try my best to stay away from foods that I’m not supposed to be eating.

Because I live in America where wheat, dairy, and sugar are all over the place, this is going to be tough. I know it is. I chose the beginner level and so I have been working at making food I know I can have and hope that will give me enough snacks. Mostly, I’m worried about dessert. I love dessert.

So I have honeydew melon, strawberries, grapes, dried pineapple without sugar, dried mango without sugar, lemon dip made with lemon juice, plain yogurt, and Stevia and strawberry dip made with some strawberries, plain yogurt, and Stevia. I will add some flaked coconut (I can’t have this) and take some sprinkle cinnamon as well. I have bananas and some orange juice to put them in, if my plate doesn’t look full enough. I can’t have the orange juice, but I have to keep the bananas from turning brown after they are sliced. This isn’t a definite yet.

I know that my friends already find it odd that I do CrossFit and think I’m pretty much of an idiot for even trying. This new twist is liable to send them for a loop. One of the women has consistently worried about my eating habits before the WLC, and I’m a bit worried about the amount of snark I’m going to have to take tonight. She worries that I’m not eating enough even when I’m eating everything. But maybe, instead, tonight will just be seen as another oddity.

I know how much healthier I am than I was a year ago. I know how much more I can do now than I could then. I know how much more balance and yes, even stamina, I have now. I have more core strength and it helps with everything I do every day.

I also know that I’m leaner than I was even six weeks ago. I have lost the last five pounds that I wanted to lose since starting CrossFit a year ago. This means I’ve lost 18 -20 pounds in a year (I can’t remember exactly how much I weighed back then, but it was most I had ever weighed in my entire life including nine-months pregnant), but more than that, I’ve actually got muscles where I used to have fat or flab. There is some muscle definition in my arms and legs and quite frankly, my ass looks better after the squats and more squats. I’ve dropped two dress sizes mostly because I won’t buy a size 2 even though I could fit into it. It just seems ridiculous. The 4s are amazing enough. And I have some wiggle room in case (when?) I gain some weight back.

I’m happy with my body again. It is strong and does what I ask of it. I can easily bring the groceries into the house and lug the laundry around. I can climb steps without getting winded. Even though we don’t really work with this, my proprioception is better now but probably not as good as in my old OR days when it was crucial.

I like where all my hard work has brought me. I hope I can remember that when facing tables full of food that are not the healthiest choices, but taste really, really good.

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