Saturday, July 5, 2014

I Just Want To "Clean"

I think I need to rename my blog to "Whatever Miscellaneous Thing Danielle Feels Like Writing that Day" or "Jesus, Crossfit, and Disney - and everything in between". This isn't really the on topic blog I had intended... all about human dignity, women's rights (read my postings on abortion/contraception for more on that), and my journey of learning about NFP. As it turns out, my journey (I have been having a lot of these lately) towards exploring NFP while learning about the physical and emotional harms of contraception led me down another path... one towards actually and actively striving to take care of my body and health...which led to my discovery of Paleo and Crossfit.

It is no surprise that as a woman getting married in 2 months (*insert super excited smiley emojicon*!!) I have been looking for ways to drop a few extra pounds before the wedding. I tried counting calories with little success and was not eating a sustainable diet. I found out about "Paleo" from my doctor (purely for health reasons -- hormones and healthy gut  *blah blah blah blah blah*) and I poo-pooed it right away. Give up chocolate, sugar, and grains? Impossible. Inconceivable! Those are staples in my diet. I didn't want to do it at first, but I researched a little and found that it could have pretty good health benefits. I found a strict paleo 30 day diet... the "Whole30" and gave it an (honestly) half-hearted try. After it ended I dove into the nearest bowl of chocolate candy I could find because even though I knew I felt physically better, I didn't lose those 10-15 pounds I wanted in a month. Of course the logical answer to that was to find the closest unhealthy food I could. I was being very logical and completely unemotional in that moment...
That was over a month ago. 
When u eating dinner with ur bae and ur Hungarian

Today, I am 4 days into my second Whole30 and going in with a brand new mentality -- an improved me, a healthy me, a fit me. 

I started Crossfit about a month ago, worked my way through Foundations, and I get to join actual classes on Monday (yay!). The biggest thing I noticed was that food and the types of foods I eat directly influence my athletic performance and my future recovery (duh!!!) I re-started Whole30, bought the book for the program ("It Starts With Food") and I have been learning how the food we put in our body influences our psychological response, hormonal balance, immune system, etc. It's kind of scary to think about how certain foods disrupt and "trick" our body's normal regulation system. The book talks about a "skinny-fat" where you look physically thin but your thyroid and hormones are out of whack. I read that and all I thought was "me. me. me." I've been going to the doctor because my hormones are out of whack (which I learned from NFP and charting, then blood tests..) and if the food I eat can either balance them or put them more out of whack maybe I need to be more conscientious about what I am eating.. "It Starts With Food" ... the journey is coming full circle.. See all my topics are inter-related to the original intent of "free, total, faithful, and fruitful love".. The idea of free, total, faithful, and fruitful love (which is what Christ's love is) led to discovering NFP which led to discovering Paleo which led to Crossfit while Disney just has to be interspersed for it to be complete. It comes full circle. So maybe I have really been on topic this whole time. Have you been paying attention? See what I've been doing there?

Anyway back to Crossfit! In one of my foundations classes I had to learn a Crossfit move called the "power clean". As someone who has almost never weight lifted in their life, I was struggling to get the proper form and I just could not get it. I couldn't process the part where I had to get it to my shoulders. I left the box frustrated that day because obviously I should have been able to do that. Frustrated. Was this just something I physically wouldn't be able to do? The next foundations class I learned the power snatch and I rocked. We tried cleans again, and voila the miracle of all miracles happened... I could do it (did I eat better that day??). Every class since I have had to clean the bar up whether it was to do another Crossfit move or just to do more power cleans (or squat cleans!) and after my last foundations class all I wanted to do was more power cleans.

At my last foundations class we reviewed many of the previous technical moves I had learned and we did my final foundations workout... "Fight Gone Bad" It is a 15 minute workout. You do 1 minute of wall balls, 1 minute SDHP ( I forgot what this stands for), 1 minute of box jumps, 1 minute of STOH,  1 minute of rowing for calories, 1 minute of rest and repeat for a total of three rounds. The goal is to get as many reps as you can and all your reps get added up to make up your final score. It was awful. At one point I felt like I couldn't lift the bar over me head anymore, but as soon as I left box and caught my breath all I wanted to do was try it again and get a better score next time. That (below) is how I looked after my "Fight Gone Bad" and my score is the large number in red at the bottom.

That's the strange thing about Crossfit is it gives you something to strive for physically... stronger, fitter, healthier. So it has been a journey and it will continue to be. I have always wanted to be thin, thin, thin but all I want now is to be fit. I want to be able to do an unassisted pull-up, or 10, or 20. I want to be able to do as many overhead squats (my nemesis!) as possible. I want to strive for what my body can do and how I can push it to get there. For the first time I feel like it is actually possible. I am sore and I don't think there has been a part of my body that hasn't been sore since I started Crossfit. It brings me back to my soccer days where I pushed myself and I strove to better myself and my performance. I am doing that again. I will be faster, stronger, and fitter. I will be healthier and every small accomplishment (broccoli rather than chocolate or "one more push up") is going to bring me closer to that goal. So whether it is learning NFP and striving to love like Christ, eating Paleo (sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing), or getting stronger as I push myself to the limits, it is all part of my journey of self-improvement and it is all intertwined. 

Now I know you have been waiting for the Disney reference/relation so I will say that since I can't choose just one song to describe how I feel or what I want to write about, I will provide you with a medley. Life is a medley and how boring would it be if I stayed on topic? 

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