Feel Good, Look Good

How many of you ladies feel better about yourself and exude more confidence when you wear those skinny jeans or apply a new blush? Perhaps its that new power red lipstick that puts a little bounce in your step. Sometimes looking good can help you feel good.

As rough and dirty as Crossfit can be, I still want to look good when I go in for a WOD. My uncle’s baggy old surf shirts and soffee shorts don’t cut it and don’t make me feel good for the body I’ve worked so hard for.

When I found this amazing Crossfit style blog, I went bananas! I’ve been shopping and making lists of all the new cute workout clothes I must have! Tracie’s blog features complete outfits that help inspire your own style.

Visit Tracie’s blog: AMRAP Style: The 11th Crossfit Skill to see the cuteness for yourself.

Here are some of my picks:

1. High socks. If you’ve seen my twitter feed lately, you know how banged up my shins get from box hops. I fall almost every single time.

Under Armour Repeat OTC Socks : $8.99

Fashletics Knee High Socks : $15.00

2. Shorts and Pants. I love compression pants and spandex because the fabric is super comfortable and it doesn’t get in the way of my movements. Plus, it doesn’t fall off my bum during box hops or double unders, which is always a plus!

Nike Slim Poly Shorts: $35.99

WODLOVE Retro Lounge Shorts: $23.99

UnderArmour Escape 18″ Compression Capri Pant: $33.99

3. Tops

Live Love Lift Tank: $24.00

Nice Rack! Tee : $22.99

I Heart Jerks Tank $27.00

I love the way Tracie puts together every outfit! Especially this one:

What do you wear to the gym that makes you feel good? What is your must have item? Please share in the comments below!

*Disclosure: I fully believe in ALL forms of beauty and I acknowledge the scrutiny women are held to regarding physical appearance. It’s important that my readers know this post isn’t about living up to the extreme standards to always look “pretty” and “perfect”. This post is about feeling good – whatever that means to you. Going to the gym in clothes that I feel make me look good, make me more confident and also proud of my body.

8 Reasons Why Women Should Crossfit

Just found this post written by Steph on her blog, Athletic Therapy .

My favorite reason in “8 Reasons Why Women Should Crossfit,” is that Crossfit builds your confidence in and OUT of the gym.

I’ve done things at Crossfit I never thought I’d be able to do, like pull-ups. The confidence I’ve built in the gym makes it easier to go after other things in my life and feel good about it.

Now go read Steph’s post!!

Midweek Pep Talk

 

 

It’s a Wednesday. For me, Wednesdays are the hardest days to get through. I’m usually at the height of my stress and the weekend only gets busier. We all go through days, or even weeks when it seems we can’t get it together. Every now and again, I need that little extra motivation to remind me why I have chosen the life I have.

I chose to better my education because I wanted more than my parents had. With a college education comes lots of homework, exams and tough teachers. I chose to have a part-time job through college so I could buy my own things and be responsible for myself financially. I don’t want to work, do homework, or study, but those are things I have to do to get to where I want to be.

I also chose to go to Crossfit because I want be healthy. Believe me, there are plenty of days I would much rather sleep in, but I go because I know I’ll have a better day and I know that if I want to lead a healthy lifestyle, I have to exercise.

You don’t get the things you want in life without hard work. There are a million things in our life that seem to put hurdles in our path to our own success and we all have things in our life we just don’t want to do, but we have to do. Life isn’t always about what we want to do, but rather what we have to do.

It’s a Wednesday and sometimes, Wednesdays need a little reminder to keep working hard – there is a light to every tunnel and hard work pays off.

What pep talk do you give yourself to get through hard days? Please share, we all need some motivation in our lives!

 

 

*All images were taken from Pinterest. Click on the Pinterest logo on the right hand side to follow my boards!

 

 

The Kipping Pull-Up

Ahh the pull-up. I remember when I first started Crossfit, I had to use a thick green band attached to the bar to help me do a pull-up. It wasn’t until six months later, I chucked the band and became a pull-up machine! 20 pull-ups? I got it. 100 pull-ups? I’ll get there…

Well for all of you who are still working towards no-band pull-ups or need more direction, I found a great video on YouTube that teaches you how to “kip” your pull-up.

This video breaks down each step of the kipping pull-up and also teaches you how to modify the kipping pull-up if you’re still using a band.

Josh makes a great point as to why the kipping pull-up is more functional than a strict pull-up. Crossfit is about efficient movements that actually target more muscles with just one movement.

Working through something you’re weak at takes time. Don’t get discouraged if you’re still using a band! The more you practice, the stronger you’ll get. Keep working hard, I promise you will be so proud of yourself the day you chuck that band.

My next goal is to master the butterfly kip! Check out this badass chick who rocks 100 pull-ups. Notice how at one point she switches from the butterfly kip to the regular kip? Kinda cool!

What weakness are you working on at your box? Got any tips to share with the Crossfit community? Leave a post for all of my readers!

“Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable”

Found this great article online this morning from CompeteEveryDay blog.

It’s all about getting over your insecurities and realizing that life will put you in uncomfortable situations – it’s how you deal with them that can help push you in directions you never thought possible.

When I first started Crossfit, it was so intimidating. I have zero athletic ability and the thought of pull-ups was enough to make me want to hide away in my shell. I didn’t want to embarrass myself. But, I went for it anyways. One thing I’ve learned about the Crossfit community is that people are so accepting and people don’t judge you. They are some of the most supportive people I’ve ever met.

Putting yourself in an uncomfortable position will only help you get over that hurdle and then you won’t be uncomfortable anymore.

Just read the article – it’s still to early for me to induce an inspiration, Jake does a much better job.

General Mills pulls ad promoting “bad food behavior”

I’ll get to General Mills… but here’s my little shpeal first.

No, Im not gonna get on my powerful feminism horse and shake my fingers at the computer screen for the thousands of images I see weekly that portray women as emancipated 12-year-olds. Featuring a skinnier version (yes, that’s possible) of Alessandro Ambrosio in a Nike ad doesn’t bother me because I know from my background in public relations and marketing, that most women (deny it all you want) are more likely to buy the product the model is wearing if they look good. While we all have our own opinions on what we think looks good, the majority consensus describes a hot women to be tall, tan and skinny. Really skinny.

However, some women admire these women who have been through the Photoshop ringer and go to extreme lengths to attain the “perfect” body. An interesting study I found on Women’s Health called “The Elastic Body Image: The Effect of Television Advertising and Programming on Body Image Distortions in Young Women,” came to the resolution that a mere 30 minutes worth of television programming can alter a women’s perception of the shape of her body.

Diets also play a huge role in how women view their bodies. According to healthyplace.com, over 80 percent of 10-year-old girls have dieted and currently 50 percent of women are currently dieting in America. What ever happened to eating REAL food. Advertisements spend just as much time sensationalizing skinny as they do dieting.

General Mills avoided a huge PR blunder when they decided to pull a TV advertisement featuring a very thin women standing in front of a refrigerator deciding whether to eat the GM brand Yoplait yogurt or cheesecake. The ad promotes behavior like calorie counting and placing foods in “good” categories and “bad” categories which can lead to serious eating disorders. After GM received concerns about their controversial ad, they pulled the ad before it could cause any more damage.  As an educated PR enthusiast, that was the best move they could have made besides not running the ad in the first place.

I would love for women to realize that skinny doesn’t mean you’re healthy or that limiting yourself to a strict diet that doesn’t contain much nutritional value might make you skinny, but pretty flabby at that. STRONG is the new skinny! Don’t be afraid to weight train (see previous post!) – it helps fight aging, boost your mood and help you burn fat (that’s what you want isn’t it?!)

So for goodness sakes, go eat that burger (grass-fed, of course) and get out there and show them boys how you ROCK that over-head squat.  Be health, be strong and be YOU.

One more thing… these advertisements are the ones I admire. Real women. Thanks Nike, that’s what’s up.

fit women

Whatever You’re Thinking About XFit, You’re Wrong

Every now and again I get into conversations with women about how I work out and why I do Crossfit. I always encourage them to try a class but their first reaction is, “Well… I don’t want to bulk up.”

Hold. It. Sister. There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding Crossfit, of course all from people who don’t Crossfit. So here’s what you think you know and why you are wrong (Sometime, I just like being right ;) )

1. You CAN do Crossfit, even if you’ve NEVER worked out before.

Why yes… yes, it is true! Every WOD (workout of the day) can be scaled for your level of fitness. Can’t do pull-ups? That’s fine! You’ll use a band in the workouts to help you get the full range of motion until you’ve built up enough strength to do them on your own.

2. You won’t get “bulky”.

Unless you’re taking steroids, you are not going to get bulky. Yes, your body will grow differently but that’s expected, especially if you’ve never done more than ten squats at a time. So the answer is no, you will not look like this chick:

However, your muscles will grow and the number on the scale will probably increase. Muscle weighs more than fat, simple as that. For every 1 pound of fat you burn, it is replaced by 3 pounds of muscle. So do yourself a favor and just get rid of the scale. Weighing yourself obsessively and counting calories doesn’t matter in the goal of fitness.

3. YES YOU CAN!

Yup, you can do 100 pull-ups. Why yes, you CAN over head squat your body weight. You have to believe you can do it. You are a STRONG woman. If you have a goal of being at the highest fitness level possible and are willing to push yourself then it will happen. Work on the holes and work everyday on getting better. Remember, strong is the new sexy.

What can you expect from Crossfit?

A hot ass. Torn hands. Bruises from box jumps. Confidence. Attitude. So, go get get ‘em tiger.

Women of Crossfit

How many times have you said to yourself… “Tomorrow is the day I start a new workout plan and I’m gonna stick with it for life and be so skinny!” Uhm, how is that going, by the way? I have never stuck with sometime so long as I have with Crossfit. When I first started my freshman year at Kent State, I’d make the effort to get to the rec a few times a week. I’d do some time on the elliptical and call it a day. I saw results (not sure how) but eventually the rec got too packed and we all know how Ohio winter tricks you into staying in bed a lot more often.

But once I started Crossfit, I couldn’t stay away. It was the first thing I thought I had potential with (athletically) and the results I was seeing became addictive. Every WOD I was amazed at what I had accomplished and I wanted to see how far I could push myself! But the biggest part of Crossfit is also the strong women at my gym and others around the world who are such great role models and have really succeeded in Crossfit.

The first and well-known Crossfit athlete is  Annie Thorisdottir. She is a beast, a woman like no other. She is the 2011 CrossFit Games champion, crowned as “The Fittest Women on Earth.”

And guess what? She’s only 21. Annie and all the women who competed in the CrossFit Games are some of the strongest women, mentally and physically. Striving to follow in these women’s footsteps is a great mental reminder when Fran is kicking your butt!

The most important woman to me in Crossfit is my trainer, Lisa. She is has the best attitude of anyone I know she is a great support system when my mental state overcomes my body in the middle of my workout. She truly amazes me and I’m proud that she’s my trainer.

Lisa (green shirt) at CrossFit Games 2011

Lisa (middle) with Annie Thorisdottir at the CrossFit Games 2011

Eat Clean, Train Hard

Hello! Happy Monday to all of you strong women. If you read Friday’s post, you’ve seen the WOD for that day and that I started some pretty big changes in my lifestyle. Not only did I promise myself to FINALLY go Paleo, but I also started the Burpee Challenge.

Let me tell you…… Friday’s WOD, left me absolutely immobile this weekend. Not only was I throwing myself on the couch because I couldn’t sit down like a normal person, but I definitely was not getting back up. My legs felt like cement. But the pain feels so good!

This morning’s WOD was no different…

Skill: Heavy Deadlift 8,6,4,2

5 Rounds:

5 Deadlifts (Heavy, I did 141 for my workout)

10 burpees

I finished in about 5 minutes. It was a fun workout for a Monday, starts the week off good.

But the REAL reason I’m writing this post is to share some Paleo recipes I made over the weekend. I went to the grocery store and spent about $100 getting started with paleo. I found this really helpful “Paleo Staples” chart from Paleo Plan that breaks down all the necessary staples to have in your kitchen to make just about any paleo recipe. To view the plan you must be a member of their website but I’ll share a few items that I’ve really enjoyed using this weekend.

BULK FOODS:

  • Almond flour – I’ve found this is used in A TON of recipes.

CANNED GOODS

  • Unsweetened coconut milk

DRY GOODS

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Raw honey
  • Vanilla extract
  • Lemon and lime juice
  • Baking soda
  • Hot sauce
  • Almond or some variety of nut butter

NUTS

  • Sliced almonds
  • Chopped walnuts

SPICES

  • Sea salt
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic

The list is a tad more extensive, but these goods should get you started. I also purchased a big bag of cod fillets packed individually and a package of organic chicken breasts. If you would like more information about the Paleo Diet, visit the Paleo tab at the top of the page.

Since I work a lot and I’m always on the go and I don’t have the space at work to store anything that needs refrigerated, I thought these muffins from Frisky Lemon Nutrition would make a really nice treat between meals. I also want to try this smoothie from Paleo Plan to take to work with me since I don’t get much chance to eat.

Remember, whatever workout plan you’re on, diet accounts for about 70% of your results. Your stomach is not a trash can, so stop treating it like one!!

Here’s some inspiration that might make you think twice about that cheeseburger today!

If you have any Paleo recipes, you’d like to share, please post them in the comment section. I’m always looking for new meal ideas!