Who is at work on a Saturday during the Holiday season??

really mugWho is at work on a Saturday?? Meeeeee.

—Because. I have an active family, personal and fitness goals and work deadlines. It all has to balance at some point (and this girl’s gotta earn a paycheck!!).

— Because. My primary goal for the next few weeks is to be able to go to London without a laptop. Mike and I have planned accordingly with our coworkers so we don’t have to work during vacation … and for me it means that I need to have the month closed.

—Because. My coworker and one of my closest and best friends is battling cancer and I was the one who said “she needs to be at home fighting and I will work weekends until she gets through chemo.”

—Because. When it comes to scheduling – this is one area of my life that I do not wing. I HATE being late. And I cringe when I have to tell someone “I don’t have time” (because I MAKE time for what matters). I am so blessed because my husband and kids are 10000% on board. We sit down weekly, go over calendars, plan meals and then prepare accordingly. This simple hour we spend planning has been a catalyst for a better life. I have so much less stress because I know (often weeks in advance) how much “free” time we have for family fun, training, date nights, and playing with friends. Or the opposite – when we have to be very stingy with anything “extra” because of prior obligations (like right now my daughter’s soccer season is starting but we are still in swim season!!). Of course things sometimes pop up … and some weeks there just doesn’t seem to be enough time, but in slowing down to plan, we’ve been able to see holes in the calendar and plug them in … we’ve been able to see when we need to enlist help (like paying for housekeeping when it’s necessary) or communicate to our coaches that we need a condensed program due to time restrictions. And sometimes it means working extra on the weekend and leaving earlier on a weekday.

—Because. If you’ve been stressed or think you need help with this area of your life, it requires evaluation. How far ahead do you make goals and plan how you will achieve them? Do you do a quick evaluation and re-adjust weekly? Is your family involved? Ask me for help if you need it💕

 

PS: buy yourself this mug! The updated version is here:

Really quick shameless plug for the seasonal RX bars

If you have not tried the seasonal RX bars yet …. you MUST.

We eat RX bars because our nutritionist asked us to switch to them (I used to eat quest bars and Mike ate whatever was on sale at the grocery store).

Critics say that these bars are too high in carbs … so true, they are a bit higher in carbs than we used to eat, however, they are very simple, limited ingredients, and when we typically eat them, it’s in the afternoon on the way to the gym. The ingredients in the RX bars are readily available to us by the time we WOD … super clean.

  • RXBARs are whole food protein bars with just 6 to 8 whole food ingredients
  • No added sugar, no gluten, no soy, no dairy, no GMO, no B.S.
  • 12g of egg white protein, 4g of fiber, 200 calories. Paleo-Friendly and Whole30 Compliant

Try them: https://amzn.to/2zyq0uP

How I Got Started = Move Part 1

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If you’ve read my “Journey” page – you will see this is what I have written about how I got started with exercise. Please realize, this is only PART of how I got started, but I am going to write a blog post about each arm that lead to success  (Mindset, Menu, Move, My Tribe).

I made a commitment to start to move my body.  Exercise seemed so out of reach for me, because my previous successful experience with exercise had only been through a $500 a month gym/personal trainer combination. But I decided to try. My sister sent me the DVD’s to do the 21-day fix through Beachbody and Autumn motivated me every morning to just hold on for 30 minutes. Then, I started walking my dogs. Even when it was raining (BTWs – pugs in raincoats are SUPER cute).  Then Lizzy, who was then 13 years old, said she was going to take over as my personal trainer. We did our first race together. Then our second. And more. And my BFF Shae signed us up for our first Ashley Horner Transform You Challenge, and we started lifting weights in my garage. Which morphed into becoming a transformation challenge winner and an Ashley Horner ambassador, earning me 1,000s of Ashlete Sisters and friends from across the globe.

Move:

The very first step for me was in my living room with a dvd player and borrowed DVDs (which I have since lent out and they have come back and been lent out again multiple times).  The DVDs were from the 21 day fix program, filled with positive motivation, compound whole body exercises using small dumbbell weights with focus on getting through the workout one minute at a time.

I will be very honest about this part of the process. 

IMG_9037It was NOT pretty.

I struggled.

It HURT to get up and down off of the floor. 

I felt BAD about myself.

I got MAD that I had let myself go. I used to be an athlete.

And I beat myself up on an almost daily basis in the very beginning.

BUT – in order to start – all I had to do was wake up 30 minutes earlier than normal. My sister kept bugging me. It was only 30 minutes. I had excuses and she had answers.

I had to convince myself that I had time.

I already took a shower before work. I already had the morning rush. So … if all I had to do to workout was get up 30 minutes earlier, go down some stairs and push a power button, I had to keep reminding myself, I had no excuse.

No more excuses

They say it takes 21 days to build a habit.

So, I set off for 21 days being my goal. Day after day, I would get up, do the DVD and then get ready for work. I followed what my sister (an avid beachbody coach at the time) encouraged me to … so, I downloaded a few fun graphic apps for my iPhone, worked on motivational sayings and took photos. I used the graphic apps, shared on Instagram and Facebook. I logged my progress. I posted a zillion positive affirmations to my social media. I reminded myself over and over that I could do this. I did not give up.

Slowly, I stopped beating myself up, and I started being proud.

img_9029.pngFirst, I was proud when I could complete a set.

Then, I became more proud when I could use … then increase … the weight I was lifting.

Then even more proud when I saw comparison photos.

Supplementary to these 30 minute exercise DVDs was simply going outside for a walk.

I had two fat pugs and I decided for their health, and mine, we would walk.

At first, all my knees would handle would be around the block (maybe 400 meters?). But by this point … I wouldn’t let knee pain stop me (stubborn much?!?).

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Then, I slowly built to a half mile, then a mile, then three. I would walk NO MATTER WHAT after dinner at night. Rain (put on a rain coat and go – and we even got the pugs raincoats). Darkness (put on a headlamp and a taser in your pocket). Exhausted (it’s only a few minutes out of your day and you owe it to yourself to do this before bed). Busy (when are you not busy?). Mom duties (Really? There’s a track where they practice soccer.  You can walk round and round and round the soccer field the whole 90 minutes she’s at soccer listening to podcasts about science so that you’re ready for your next exam).

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The walks turned into jogs. Then my daughter Lizzy decided that it was her time to be in charge of my “training” and that we were going to do a race.  So, we signed up for a 10k. And we trained for it. And we finished it.

The next phase: thanks to one of my BFFs, I discovered Ashley Horner and started my home gym.

To be continued …

 

 

How sweet do you REALLY need it?

Over the weekend, I decided to FOCUS on my goal of not eating like an asshole.

I realize that when I discuss a goal that I should be more positive in my framework of that goal .. but in all seriousness, I have been stressed and eating my emotions (not normal since I have been healthy) = eating things like pumpkin scones or cinnamon rolls or chocolate chip cookies and mochas as a daily (sometimes twice daily) “treat” (not once a week as agreed upon with my nutritionist … more like five times a week).

I have been eating like an asshole!!!

Also, over the past 3 weeks, while I have logged into myfitnesspal on the daily, I have not logged all of my foods so my poor nutritionist is probably at a loss of how to guide me towards positive change based on the past few weeks … other than what I imagine him saying along the lines of  “hey, I kinda need your data if I’m going to be able to do my job.”

I know that a majority of success in finding my focus on my nutritional goals lies in planning. On Saturday, Mike and I sat down and looked at our family calendar, work schedules and kids / sports calendars .. and then started menu planning.  At this point, I went to town, trying to figure out when we would need to make which meals (no beef or pork on nights Lizzy is eating with us … no cooking on riding lesson night if we want to eat before 10 PM … lunches come from dinner the night before so if we will be eating out, need to make enough meat 2 nights before that, etc.)…. and then on calculating macros – seeing how meals could be manipulated in order to fit both Mike’s macro plan and mine (he gets about double the carbs I do and I think about 50% more protein than I do).

Honestly, that is the easy part. For me. the harder part is figuring out “why” and “how”.  Why do I emotionally eat? And why have I lacked willpower to walk away from the candy and snacks in the break room at work recently? How do I create a situation in which I can control this a little more?  Can I make something that I can substitute as a “treat” without it wrecking my macros for the day? 

Part of the answers to the why:

  • One thing I do know is that my stress due to our fiscal year close at work and my friend’s cancer treatment and my crazy mom’s taxi schedule will not be going away this week.
  • I am aware that EVEN IF I have ALL of our meals planned … it does not mean that I will be able to walk away from donuts in the break room or keep away from the Starbucks drive through. That part comes from willpower.  Lately, I’ve given in to the donuts. The yogurt covered raisins. The trail mix (those m&ms are yummy). Or to waffles. Or the home baked “healthy” muffins. It’s all sweet shit that destroys my willpower….
  • I know that when I have my period, I am SUPER HUNGRY and want to eat all of the sweets around … so that’s a truth right now.

So after reflection, I decided to work on controlling what I could and googled banana and pumpkin bread and muffin recipes.

Know this one thing about me.  I am NOT a very good cook. I am NOT confident in the kitchen nor do I have patience to weigh/measure/bake on a typical day.

HOWEVER … I AM determined to get lighter and stronger … and I’m trying to work with my cravings, health and goals and decided this could be good for all of the above.

I scratched a recipe on the backside of a WZA scorecard and then set to work modifying it.  I read a few googled articles on how to sub out certain ingredients for others.

I subbed out 1 cup of vanilla whey isolate low carb protein powder for flour and honey (the protein powder is sweet … do we really need it any sweeter?).  I then used 2 cups of fine almond flour, 3 ripe bananas, 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 3 eggs, 2 tsps cinnamon, 1 each of baking soda, nutmeg and salt (plus a half tsp of ginger (Mike suggested this addition after he taste tested the batter) and baked in the oven 1 hour at 300 degrees.

 

 

 

OMG YUMMY.

And 220 cals / 14C, 13F, 10P for 1/8 of the loaf.

I cannot get over how moist this turned out and without any added sugar it’s sweet enough, too (but you can add 1/4 cup honey as recommended).

Because the dog is an asshole and ate 3/4 of the loaf off of the counter (okay – my fault for leaving it in reach), I also did bake a second loaf and this time included 1/4 cup of honey that I had actually forgotten to include when I made it the first time).  The honey gives it a slight difference in taste and the crust is darker/sweeter … however, really, it’s not necessary (this is coming from a sweet tooth cravings person).

Onwards to the week.

Breakfast meat/sweet potatoes are prepped.  Meals planned. Sweets baked. I am hoping for an improvement and shooting for 90% compliance with my journaling and an appointment over skype or phone with my nutritionist this week to work on my macros and the plan for the next month.  Wish me luck, please … and also … feel free to leave me comments here about what you struggle with and how you handle it!!! *muah*

I needed a push … and a free trip to Wodapalooza was dangled, so I joined a different transformation challenge

My “why”:

I am already a transformer and so proud of my journey. But I joined this challenge because I need the next push. The story from the beginning of my transformation is on my website, www.corinnecan.com. 

One thing that is really important to know is that at this moment, the why behind my transformation is not so much because my kids are watching. My why is more about my overall health and strength goals at CrossFit. #goalweightstrongAF

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Diagnosis = I was born with my knee cap shifted to the wrong place and should have had a lateral release surgery years ago; now have ground down the cartilage and need to keep my knee McConnell taped when I train and will knee a TKR at some point.  Also. Arthritis. Also. Torn meniscus.  


In the fall of 2016, I was having a lot of physical pain in my knee. I sought the help of my doctor, who sent me for an MRI and subsequently to a good sports-knee surgeon. They discovered that I was born with my knee-cap in the wrong spot, and unfortunately, while I was losing weight and complaining about pain, the nurse practitioner I went to simply told me I was heavy and pain was to be expected due to my obesity and sent me on my way to continue to lose weight vs. seeking a proper diagnosis/reason for the pain. In following her instructions, I ground down the cartilage beneath my knee cap. After PT and multiple visits, the knee surgeon and I decided on conservative treatment (he said I will need a total knee replacement by the time I’m 60) which includes doctor’s orders to lose weight.

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CrossFit Goals:
I was lucky enough to be at WZA in January of 2018, the whole time I was watching, I thought about what it would be like to be on the stage competing and I wanted to participate. The reason I want to participate is partially the festival atmosphere that can only be WZA. I met SO MANY people there who have inspired my journey:
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· Ashley Horner actually shouted my name out while I was walking past her in the grandstands
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· I got a selfie with Bill Grundler
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· Hugged the founder and owner of The Chestee and got featured on their IG story.
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· Checked in with Spencer from Xendurance and met the whole crew at Rebellia
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· Alyssa Christian gave me advice.

This drive to participate in this transformation challenge is also simply due to the competitor in me. I want to know if I can do it. Am I capable (I know not of some of the movements, but overall??)? Do I have the capacity, the strength and the endurance?

I paid attention to the athletes and talked to some of them about what it takes to get to WZA and to be competitive. One masters woman didn’t have rope climbs … and I watched so many people struggle with the swim.

I am _this close_ to getting a strict pull-up (I still have to kick at the very last part). I am working towards dips. And while I was able to get my first handstand pushups in the open, I have only been able to get one since them.

I want to crush this 10 week challenge. I am going to use it to jumpstart myself back towards weight loss and in order to be STRONGER. I know that I have it in me.

Nutritionally, I can dial it in.

Physically, we are in strength cycle at CrossFit and I am currently learning how to swim so that I can be successful if I qualify for WZA2019.

I need to do better at running because I did just qualify for the CanWest games at the end of July and that competition begins with a 4.5 mile run and this challenge will drive me to put in the hard work necessary to be successful.

I have the support of my husband, daughters and friends and have stated, if I win, it will be very similar to the Ashley Horner Challenge, when I was able to purchase a rower and a Rogue Rack with the winnings, I want to purchase either an Air Runner or a Ski Erg .

I am looking forward to the competition of the others in the challenge, to making new friends and to learning from RP and the other sponsors.

All the Best,
Corinne Cook – IG: pdxdressagemom