Well, now what?

So I got married last week. It was pretty awesome.

I bet I could write a whole post about it. But for now…let’s talk about the GIANT EXPANSE OF TIME I now have that is not taken up by writing an implementation plan, chasing down the correct spelling of Bil’s friends’ wives’ names, checking in with vendors, etc.

I’ve got some ideas about what I want to do. Note that it’s also prime hibernation season in Minneapolis (winter is coming), so there’s more hibernating and less “let’s try bike camping!” on this list.

1) Cake Decorating
I got a little cake decorating starter kit a year or two ago. And although I don’t (well…shouldn’t) eat cake (or cupcakes), I love the idea of decorating them for other people to eat. Luckily I have coworkers, family members, and a church I marginally go to that has festivals and fundraisers and whatnots where I’m sure pretty cupcakes would be appreciated. At Bil’s request, I’ll do cookies too.

2) Knitting
Good ol’ knitting. I have so much yarn and half finished projects – it’s disgusting. Well, for one I lost my hat and one of my best mittens last year, so I need to knit new ones. And then I think I’ll just make it a mission to plow through my yarn stash. The kitten is really good at finding the yarn. And then this happens.

3) Reading
I used to read a lot. Like, a borderline unhealthy amount. It took my years of hard work in my 20s to figure out how to get around the city I grew up in, because I always had my nose in a book whenever we drove ANYWHERE. I read War and Peace when I was 11. I obviously didn’t understand it or appreciate it. Shit, I didn’t really appreciate 1984 until I reread it a couple years ago. That shit is scary, yo. Anyway. I want to read more. There’s a lot of great stuff out there.

3.5) Book Club (?)
I kinda want to start a book club! Isn’t that what you do in your 30s if you aren’t dating and you need An Excuse for your friends to hire babysitters to come over and drink wine? Of course, this could go in a bajillion directions. (What kind of books? Who should we invite? How big should it be? Should we eat? What should we eat? Who should make it? Where will we meet?) I’m going to go out on a limb though and say there will probably be thematically decorated cupcakes.

4) Yelping aka Pontificating
I have opinions. Good ones. And I think I owe it to other people to share those opinions. Did you know that you can be an “elite” yelper, and get invited to parties and shit? I didn’t. I’m not saying I want to make that big of a commitment to yelping, but I think it would be pretty cool to go to a sexy party and get a swag bag. Also, it makes for a great excuse to go out to eat more/at different places. But not just food! I have a bunch of wedding vendor reviews to write. And like, auto shops, etc. I have a LOT of opinions.

5) Workout/Eat Clean
I still am doing/want to do this. I’ve made a ton of progress mentally and emotionally on body image and my ideas about food. I want to continue to get healthier and help others if possible.

6) Try new other stuff
I have never seen the MN RollerGirls. Can you believe that? I also want to try rock climbing. Not like, seriously you could actually die rock climbing, more like Vertical Endeavors. I think we should go cross country skiing at least once this winter, like good nordic people. There’s a lot of stuff to try.

So. Get ready for hearing about that stuff.

I have no idea how to rebrand this blog.

Updates and Announcement!

Announcement first: I think I’m going to slack off on my topic-focused blogness. Which means (maybe) more posting, since sometimes I want to talk about things other than food and gym. Get ready for some legit randomness. And potential rebranding.

In that vein, here’s what’s up!

Good things at work. I’m kind of totally loving my job, and if I say so myself, kicking ass at it. It does mean more hours and effort…but in a good way. But I like to keep work and online life separate so…that’s enough of that.

Minnesota has gone from butt cheek chaffing freezing to afro inducing heat and humidity. I make it a point to never complain about winter. Honestly, it’s not uncommon at all for it to snow in April or even May…and yet, Minnesotans complain every year about how ridiculous it is, and why do we live here again? Because it’s gorgeous, one of the least crazy states, has many landscapes and all four seasons, has a decent cost of living, and the best parks in the nation. (tangent.) I don’t complain about winter, so that I can reserve the right to complain about summer. What the shit summer, get off spring’s grill! Damn. I would feel better about summer if I had central air. It does mean the return of camping, which I’ve already done once this year. Yay camping!


This is what humidity does to my hair. It does not do anything to my beam routine. (Tatiana Lysenko)

I’m planning a wedding. I don’t talk about it a ton, because…well, who cares besides me (and a few of my closest friends and family, and even some of them don’t really)? People from work or wherever will ask me “how’s wedding planning going” and I’m always like…do you REALLY want to know? I mean, really? I mean, I can talk about egregious flower proposals and rehearsal dinner venues springing ridiculous surprises on me and seating chart politics…but do you REALLY want to hear about it? I usually just say it’s proceeding to plan and leave it at that. But if I have a good story, I’ll post it here.

I’m testing out a plan that the owner of my gym is putting together. I expect it will get “unveiled” at some point, so I probably shouldn’t steal his thunder and say too much about it. But here are the highlights:

  • I’m eating crazy amounts of fat. It’s basically meat, eggs, bacon, cheese, cream, coconut milk, olives, and peanut butter. And vegetables as long as they are a vehicle for fat. It’s like, literally, the exact opposite that traditional wisdom tells you.
  • Yeah, I said CHEESE and PEANUT BUTTER. I’m sorry, almond butter is NOT the same as peanut butter. It’s good, and works in many situations. But it’s not the same. Nope. And cheese! Last night at dinner, a couple sat next to us with their friend from…a Commonwealth country. Not sure which one. Anyway, he asked his friend why we eat so much cheese. Ha! Because the dairy industry is a big thing here, buddy. Why do the Welsh eat so much mutton? Why do Greeks eat so many olives?
  • I test for ketones by peeing on a little stick. Hahahahaha! Here’s what’s great about that: It’s data gathering. Know what you can do with data? Analyze it. Know what I love? ANALYZING DATA. Also, it’s a measurement that has no emotional attachment, unlike the scale or waist line. I think that’s good for me mentally, while still allowing me to gauge my success and tweak my behaviors as needed.
  • Instead of a concept of “cheat days” there’s a schedule by which I “carb up”. This also seems to be much better psychologically. Know what I ate on my first carb up day? Sweet potato, fried plantain (omg patacones), chicken, muffaletta salad, fro yo, dinner out without worrying too much about what I was eating (salad, steak frites, spinach) and some gelato for desert. Not crazy, not a huge candy binge. And it. felt. awesome.
  • I am running sprints on my non-crossfit days. Hopefully, this will help me suck less at running.

I think that’s all for now.

This might be the real deal

I’m such a deadbeat blogger. Sorry. I could tell you things have changed…that it’s for real this time…but they probably haven’t.

I started another Whole30. I know, right? What else is new? No really. I’m on Day 13. In fact, today’s the day that I had plenty of energy right at 5am, woke up before the alarm, jumped up and did a load of laundry before washing my hair, unloading the dishwasher, making breakfast, and getting ready for work. I love that day in a Whole30. It’s the best.

Here’s why I’m doing another Whole30. In reflecting on my strict eating/unconfuckingtrolled eating pendulum swing, I noted: I loved being on the Whole30. I felt awesome. I had energy. I wasn’t tired (until 9pm which resulted in immediate and sound sleep). I was kicking ass at the gym. My teeth were less sensitive. My skin was radiant. I wasn’t burping or farting. (Really.) Like, just…great. But then I decided I wanted to go to the fair…and eat shit for 3 weeks. Cause that makes sense. Now, many a person will tell you Whole30s are bad because it’s too restrictive, blah blah blah. And I agree, a Whole365 would be far to restrictive. But 30 days? Please. My problem wasn’t doing a Whole30, it was how I exited the Whole30. Ungracefully. Decidedly ungracefully.

So, I’m doing another Whole30. This time, my goals are:
1. Feel great. I want that energy, ass kicking, non-farty feeling. It’s really good.
2. Exit gracefully from the Whole30 to build the behavior of mostly clean eating with appropriate treats (more on this later).
3. Lose some fat.

See? Fat’s all the way down in 3rd. And I’m not bullshitting, I truly want the other two things MORE than I want to lose fat.

This time, Bil is doing it with me. Such a trooper. He went paleo for March, had one day where he drank beer, and then picked up a Whole30 for April. He’s lost like 14 lbs. He’s not a dude who has weight to lose, so I’m not sure where it’s coming from.

I’m also really focussing on keeping Whole30 food I love around. Well Fed 2 Salmon cakes? I think I’ve eaten a year’s supply of omega3s. I’m also obsessed with paleo hoisin sauce and patacones. Holy shit, patacones. Not the intent of this post at all but: Twice Fried Plantains. You guys. They complete me.

More to come! Probably not.

The search for the great white whale

Today I started the wedding prep task I had (sadly) been dreading most: dress shopping. I appreciate the irony. I suspect lots of girls start dress shopping immediately when they should be scouting venues, or looking for DJs, or finding a place to rent chairs. Not me. I waited as long as possible to start shopping for dresses, with the idea that I would lose as much weight as possible before getting into all that white corsetting. I had a lot of nerves going into it (although nothing 3 mimosas couldn’t take care of), in large part because…I have NOT been focused or successful in weight loss over the past few months. And I was very scared that I would find out that I had already completely fucked up my own wedding.

I recently realized that one of my fears was that I would be “fat” at the wedding, and forever have pictures of my “fat” self. I am also afraid that my future (hopefully slimmer) self would look back at the pictures and not remember the day, but just see the fat girl. My therapist pointed out that my future self is kinda mean. I have to agree – I’d never thought of it that way. Who knew I needed to work on being nice to myself?

Anyway. Today, I went to a bridal salon with my BFF Melissa (BFF Lexi was called out of town on family business, but will have plenty of opportunity to experience this in the coming weeks, ha!). I purposefully chose to go to a plus sized salon, not sure if my psyche could handle being too big to try on the available dresses.

I was definitely the smallest girl there – which was a little weird feeling. They put me in about 10 dresses. Here’s the best part: the dresses I vetoed were because I genuinely didn’t like the dresses – not because I felt like I looked fat. I have made so. many. clothing decisions based on how fat or not fat I look. It’s nice that it’s not the

Of course, I headed home to obsessively look at dresses online for the next salon we are going to. And I looked at their size chart, and realized: even if I lose like, 4 inches of belly fat (a tall order, but not completely unreasonable by October) I’d also have to lose 4 inches off my waist to be small enough to go down a size, which…just doesn’t seem possible. I mean sure, there’s something to pinch there. But I’m just not seeing where 4 inches would come from. Which MEANS, the constraint here isn’t my belly fat, it’s my oddly large waist. Must be my abs or lats or something.

Then I had a big breakthrough.

It would be kinda nice to be a few sizes down so that I could easily fit into the “normal” line of sizes. More options, etc. But this is the body I’ve got. And you know what else? This is the body that can squat 215 pounds, deadlift 225 pounds, and clean 120 lbs. This is the body that can still do some flips. This is the body that is getting better at double unders. This is the body that ran an (almost) 10 minute mile the last time I tried, and can row a 2k in 8 mins and 35 seconds. This is the body that, with a little more work, will get pull ups, and might someday even get back handsprings, bars, or vault again.

So, yeah, it was pretty good.

Start, Stop, Start, Stop

My blog presence has been a great parallel for what I’ve been doing food wise over the last few months. Coincidence? Correlation? Causation? Hard to say. Even as I finished ramping up for the CrossFit competition I did in early February, my focus as far as nutrition is concerned is all over the place. I’ve started Whole30s, only to cajole myself into having a paleo treat. I’ve nobly decided that a more balanced approach is correct, and slowly let that unravel too.

Basically, I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.

I started seeing a therapist to try to figure out just what is my relationship with food? Sometimes I have weird thoughts like, “if I don’t eat that cupcake now, I don’t know when I’ll have another opportunity.” (uhh I’m a grown ass woman, I can get a cupcake whenever I want). Or I’ll find myself eating a whole box of cookies, even though I don’t even WANT cookies anymore. Anyway, it’s messed up. So I’m addressing it.

In the interim, I had an all day work meeting at my boss’s boss’s house, which was super awesome. However, what was not awesome was how I dealt with food. First of all, she graciously asked for everyone’s special food needs a week in advance for menu planning. I thought about telling her I couldn’t eat gluten, at the very least. But then I figured, I’m not a celiac, it’ll be fine. It’s not like I’ve been a paleo role model lately anyway. Then, all day, I ate everything that was put in front of me. Muffins. Yogurt. Chocolate Chip Cookies. Candy. Soup with Rice and Beans (which I hadn’t eaten in over a year). BREAD. Corn Chips. More Cookies. By that evening, I wasn’t feeling quite right. I didn’t eat any of my Italian Hot Plate (which is amazing and deserving of it’s own entry) and went to bed. The next day, I was in PAIN. I had to go to work for a few hours, and then I left to sleep and wallow on the couch all day. I didn’t eat until early afternoon, and then all I could handle was some apple slices. Bil went out and got me some gluten free crackers, which I ate for dinner with another apple and some bone broth. This was a very uncomfortable 24 hours, which I NEVER want to repeat. Even after I felt better, my appetite didn’t really return for a few days.

You know what? I don’t want to feel like shit. I don’t want to feel bloated and nauseous. I don’t want to have inexplicable headaches. I do want to have energy to do something besides watch TV in the evening. I want to get pull ups. And I want to have a positive wedding dress trying on experience, god damn it.

So. Here we go again.

Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle

I went to the bod pod today. Not because I wanted to. Because a friend of mine set up a group session, and I said I’d go. I didn’t want to go because I’ve been eating shit. Like, bad. I don’t know what my deal is, but there is a definite deal. And I’m pretty sure there’s some deep seeded, emotional reason. I don’t know what it is, but I’m working on it. And that’s another entry. But I’ve been eating candy, cookies…all kinds of gluteny, sugary, crap. So, naturally, I was expecting horrible, soul-crushing result.

It wasn’t that bad. It was actually kinda cool.

I bailed on my last whole30 because I was weighing myself (naughty) and wasn’t seeing any progress. Want to know why? Because during that time, we were doing the Smolov Jr progression for three weeks at the gym. This meant doing 30-40 total reps (depending on the day) of both push press and back squat, at a weight of 60-80% of my one rep max of each lift. Since I was (attempting) to whole30 for most of that time, I was eating squeaky clean. My body was demanding more protein (seriously…if this is any kind of pregnancy foreshadowing, we may be in trouble someday), so I started eating steak for breakfast. With my eggs. And greens. Of course.

All of that lead to a – wait for it – 6 pound gain in muscle. Whaaaaat? Now, I’ve been checking in at bod pod for about six months, while I’ve been doing crossfit. I’ve never really gained muscle. In fact, once it showed I lost muscle (although I suspect that must be within the margin of error, because the food/exercise science and math just doesn’t work out). I am now 136 pounds of lean mass (muscle + bones + organs + whatever else is not fat).

For a while leading up to this, I was feeling like I was in a downward spiral. Whole30, which I thought was The Answer, wasn’t working. I ate more crap. I felt like crap. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. This was an excellent, well timed notice that I did not royal screw myself over.

Also, weighing yourself really is the devil. If I hadn’t been doing that, and had just bod podded right after that whole30…I might not have had these weeks of sad cookie/candy/whatever eating. But, Christmas is right around the corner, and from the 26th on will be exactly 45 days until the competition. I’m definitely planning a bod pod after the meet.

Let’s get ready to rumble

In my defense…I’ve been pretty busy with this:



However, since my last update, I have exciting news. I, the Cave Baby, am entered in a Crossfit competition.

In early October, a bunch of people from my gym competed at the Granite Games. When they came back, a bunch of people were registered for another meet coming up in February, called FreezeFest. Teddy (owner and coach of the gym) mentioned this at workout on Monday, and so I emailed the event organizers at around 7:10am to ask what the requirements for the scaled division were. While I was trying to figure out who my partner could be, the last spots filled up. Sad face. They started up a waitlist, but since the whole meet filled up in one weekend, I was not hopeful.

Smash cut to a couple weeks ago: they added more spots and emailed people in waitlist order. I got the email! I registered! I made my partner TBD while I checked to make sure my buddy Matt was game for it! And then I canceled out of edit mode! Or so I thought. I cancelled the whole blessed registration. Some panicked emailing later, those sexy IT geniuses put me back in registered status and I am GOOD TO GO. Woohoo!

Now, what does this mean? First of all, it makes it a lot easier to workout 5 days per week. I have never appreciated rest days so much. It also makes it a lot easier to push myself to use heavier, Rx weights, because even though I’ll be competing in the scaled division, you kinda have to use whatever they tell you in the meet. Speaking of which, here are the requirements for my division:

Female Scaled:
-Deadlift 1rm 165lbs.
-Thrusters 55lbs. (multiple reps)
-Safely complete a snatch and clean
-16” box jumps (multiple reps)
-16kg/35lb. Russian kettlebell swing (eye-level)

Ok. This is extremely doable for me. My deadlift 1RM is 205 lbs (last I checked). I have been snatching and cleaning lots of reps over the last few weeks (more on that later) and am feeling extremely comfortable with them. I know I did thrusters at 55lbs almost a year ago in a Fran, so…check. I normally box jump at 20″, and lately with our competition prep aorkouts, I’ve been swinging a 53 lbs kettlebell. Now, you may be asking yourself, “Hey other self, why is she competing scaled if she’s such a bad ass?” Well, it’s because of this:

At least 1 person on the team should be able to do:
10+ unassisted pull-ups (kipping or strict)
10+ unassisted hand release push-ups at full range of motion.

I am not either of  those people. Well, I’m close on the push ups, but I don’t have great form…my middle gets loose. BUT the other day I did get a pull up with only one green band…so I just need to keep plodding along and I’ll whittle them away eventually. Anyway, my poor partner, Matt, will need to pick up the pull up slack. So hopefully I can make up for it in other areas.

The biggest thing is that this competition is pushing me to do is work on skills. I’m putting in extra time on skills like double unders (before/after class, outside if it’s not too cold), pull ups (in the garage), leg raises to get toes to bar (before bed), and mobility work (which is practically necessary with the aforementioned 5 days per week schedule).

Of course…it also gives me something to think about nutrition wise. I’m nowhere near the point of “food for fuel”. But it does give me something to think about other than how much I want all the candy.

So! Competition. I’ve been in training for a few weeks, so more on the specifics later (since there has been a special request for details :)) but for now…dinner, mobility, sleep.

Things I’m Obsessed With

Or, “Things With Which I’m Obsessed.” But I live in Minnesota, people. Dangling prepositions is how we roll.

Fleece lined leggings. Pajamas on the inside, hosiery on the outside. Genius.

Halved hardboiled eggs with homemade olive oil mayo slathered on. Seriously, so good.

Well Fed 2. Well, and basically everything Melissa Joulwan does. Even if you aren’t into the whole paleo deal, check out this cook book. A billion meatball recipes. The best plantain chip resultant recipe ever. Salmon cakes that freeze well that you can eat for breakfast. All of these could be their own bulleted item on this list. But that kinda feels like stacking the deck.

The Biggest Loser is back. I seriously love watching Jillian yell at people. I would love for her to yell at me.

The Hey Eleanor Project. A friend of mine started this blog. Now, Molly is one of the coolest, most awesome people I know…so I find it hard to believe that stuff scares her. But I guess everyone is afraid of something, eh? Dude, she ate a dove heart. and liked it. Girl is not playing.

Sweaty Bands. Literally, the only headband that stays on my head. I’ve tried them all. I want a bajillion of them for Christmas.


I was seeing little to no results on my second Whole30. Not sure why. Maybe it was because I wasn’t as super strict as I should have been (I did have 2 squares of dark chocolate and 20ish grains of white rice), maybe my body has adapted and knew Day 30 was coming right up…who knows. In any case, the current formula wasn’t working, and I needed something new.

At exactly the same time, a lot of people at the gym started asking about competing. That’s not something that’s really been a focus for the gym in the past, but the coaching team is extremely supportive and sprang into action. Before you can say “death by burpees”, they had a training plan, extra competition prep classes, and all kinds of spreadsheets and stuff drafted up to guide those interested in competing through the next 20 weeks. Yeah, 20 weeks – there’s a meet in February a bunch of people are doing, and then as a gym, we all do the Open workouts in March.

You could consider be a competitive person. I grew up in a house where, when coming home to tell my parents about the science fair they were kicking off at school, my dad said “we’re going to WIN THIS.” (we did.) When we had a family outing at mini golf, and my uncle asked if we should keep score, my siblings and I responded with a unison, emphatic, YES. Obviously.

So, duh, I signed up for the competition team.

This means I’m in the gym 5 days a week (up from 3), doing mobility work every night, and eating to recover and fuel up. We kicked it off with a Smolov progression on push press and back squats, which means I’m lifting between 75-90% of my one rep maxes for those lifts 4 times per week. The other time per week…Tuesday…we have a workout composed of basically everyone’s worst weaknesses. It is not fun. But even between weeks 1 and 2, I could detect some improvement!

So far, I’m really enjoying thinking about my goals from this perspective. Instead of being SUPER STRICT or super bingy about food, my goal is to eat like an athlete, and occasionally have other stuff. It’s really, really nice to order at a restaurant and know that I COULD order anything, as opposed to the average one perfect paleo dish on the menu. It’s also nice to have Yogurt Lab once in a while.

So! that’s what’s going on. This current schedule doesn’t leave me with a ton of time for daily updates, but this is interesting (to me) stuff, so I’ll make an effort.