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Posts posted by Vintage

  1. Our last class of the night clears out the fastest. People are hungry, spouses and kids are waiting for them at home, and people are conscientious that the coach can't leave till they do. But it's common for the people in that class to come in early, too. 


    In general, I've found that each class time has it's own character and patterns. It's kind of fun to experience different times and groups. 



    There are good and bad crossfits, I think everyone gets that by now.


    I think everyone should get it, but a lot don't seem to. In fact, that's usually my cue to tune out what someone is ranting about regarding crossfit - if they write/speak about it as if it's a single thing. The Pukie the Clown or Uncle Rhabdo thing is a good example of this... you'll read articles and facebook posts about how they're the "unofficial mascots of crossfit" but the reality is I don't think I'm alone among crossfitters in having only heard of these things through articles and posts talking about how reckless crossfit is. I had a relative post one of those on my fb wall recently (I guess in an attempt to warn me?) and my reaction was "Oh wow, I just had a realization after reading that article describing crossfit... apparantly I've never done crossfit! Because that sounds nothing like what I've experienced and seen."


    On the certs, I'm not terribly concerned about them. Our box only requires a level 1 cert... before prospective coaches start a 3-4 month, 80 hour internship process that ends in written and practical tests, formal observation, a vote among current coaches and a review by current members. After becoming coaches they then have to keep doing a certain amount of continuing education to stay employed, and even more if they want to reach full coach status. This isn't terribly unusual among quality boxes as far as I know. There's an upside to having so little regulation from CF HQ; boxes can innovate, improve and increase quality without restriction.

  3. I work (and work out) at a CrossFit box. We're the kind of box with very well-thought out programming that runs in micro,meso and macro-cycles. Our head coach, who does the programming for the whole box, does my programming individually. Sometimes it's largely based around the class programming with a few modifications or supplementations, and sometimes I'm off doing my own programming for weeks at a time. He sees me work out regularly so he knows how I move, we communicate through my training log (which is extremely detailed, includes way more than just the reps, times and weights I complete) and cell phone/email/text, I video things when necessary, and we reassess at regular intervals (and unscheduled ones when the unpredictable happens). 


    My major reasoning:

    -He programs what I need, not what I want. Would I ever make myself run or do burpees? No. But he does.

    -Having a plan laid out for me psychologically gives me something to follow and stay accountable to, which helps me follow through and stay on schedule. Can I drop reps or decrease weight or half-ass it through my rowing intervals? Yes. But I have to write it down and explain it to someone else, so I better have a good reason. 

    -He knows more than I do. 

    -I have rheumatoid arthritis - it's progressive but goes in waves - so there are some modifications that often have to be made to generic programming.

    -I stayed on our class programming for over a year, through my newbie gains. In the very beginning, almost anything gets results, so the extra money isn't worth it. 

  4. You most likely hit it. I'm constantly covered in bruises, and often don't know specifically when I got them. Or I'll figure out how they might have come about but at the time I never felt like anything was being hit hard enough to bruise.


    I have noticed that I seem to bruise more easily during workouts than at other times in my day. I figure it's related to increased blood flow and blood pressure and/or endorpins and my focus on the task at hand that make me notice bumps/feel pain a lot less at the time. 

  5. You've gotten great advice here.


    I had some of the same concerns - I have that stocky body-type too, and I'm only a little taller (I'm an ex-gymnast and look like it). I have a roommate who's 5'6" and has always been very very thin - we lift together on similar programming, have similar lift numbers, but carry our muscle and fat differently. At some point I realized that I was simply never going to have a long, willowy build that she has... so I'd rather be muscular, toned, and short than squishy, round, and short. A calorie deficit plus heavy weights and conditioning has done that. Strangers - men and women  - stop to ask me how to get legs like mine, in all their short stumpy glory. Also, when I get upset at being stocky or not being able to find shorts that don't strangle my quads, I can go be a badass in the gym or just stand in front of the mirror and flex/poke at my muscles to remind myself that my body can do awesome things now. 


    Second piece of anecdotal evidence: When I was 18 I relapsed hard into old eating-disorder stuff from my gymnast days.. at my lowest I was about 130 (high for ED standards, but very sick) and a size 8. I recovered, but in the process gained about 75 lbs over 4 years, going up to a size 18. Then over the past two years I've been eating at a deficit, lifting heavy and conditioning hard. I'm a little over 135 (5+ lbs heavier than I was at that last bottom point), a size 4, and look and feel way healthier. 

  6. Makes sense. Knees back is a useful cue for me because thinking about keeping them back helps me keep my weight back on my heels, my torso up and the bar path straight... but that's what it is, a cue - a phrase my coach says to get a desired outcome out of me (which is weight back on my heels, torso up, and bar path straight). If I do all that and my knees are past my toes (which only happens when I'm truly A2G at the bottom of an oly-style squat)? My coaches and I are satisfied. 

  7. That all sounds good. I've been a member of a box that I love for almost 2 years, and now I work for them (not coaching), so I've got a mixed perspective. A couple notes:


    1. A 3 session elements/on ramp is probably always going to feel a bit rushed. Ours is 6 private sessions or 8 group... this gives us plenty of time to slow down, but doubles the cost as well as the time it takes to get someone into classes. It's a balancing act. This might be part of the back-to-back session thing as well - we try to leave no more than a day between 1st and second sessions b/c moving helps ease soreness and it keeps people from psyching themselves out or feeling like it's taking forever to get to the fun stuff/real crossfit

    2. I loath banded pull ups (though strict is preferable). Get off them when you can. Do ring rows, negatives and partner-assisted ones instead. 

    3. Y'all have a bathroom? Lucky ducks. We change in the storage closet or my office and have a port-a-potty out back.

    4. the when to correct form and when to let it go is a tough balancing act. Our trainers are taught to try to have the person focusing on only a few cues at a time (at most) during instruction - people really just can't take in and utilize more than that at once. So the form issues are always prioritized in order of threat of injury (most immediate first), and then purely technique issues (you won't get hurt, but you're not going to move as much weight, etc.) after that. Similar concepts apply during a metcon for experienced athletes - immediate threats of injury get halted immediately. Stuff that's going to cause wear and tear get told firmly and a few times, but athlete uses judgement (then usually coaches follow up afterwards or during rest periods), and purely technique stuff gets said once and then left for later - it's tough to learn something new in the middle of a metcon. 

  8. I think you've gotten some great advice here. TyrantLizard is right - I had a lot of success setting goals based on the question "If I achieved this goal but my weight stayed the same, would it still feel like a positive accomplishment?" I came from a very very similar start point as you (though I was actually a little heavier at the end of my post-ED "recovery"), and that kept me focused on the things that were really important long term. In the beginning, I never weighed, didn't count calories and didn't set weight-loss goals. By the time I started doing some of those things, I had lost 40 lbs, built a solid habit of exercising for the right reasons, and developed a good understanding of what it felt like to be health and performance-focused in my eating and workouts. 


    As far as the count calories v. don't count calories, weigh vs. don't weigh... the answer to this question can be very different when a person has a history of disordered eating, especially if you don't have a good concept of what healthy is yet. Shortgorilla is right that daily weighing can be super helpful, as can calorie tracking, but it can also lend itself to obsession for some people. Do what feels right for you. If stepping on the scale feels like anything more than data gathering or if you're changing your behaviors just to see a lower number and sacrificing other goals for it, or if it still feels like shaky ground for you, then ditch it for the time being. 

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  9. Above has some great advice.


    One thing that helps me (and can be particularly useful if you've got a history of disordered eating) is to focus more on getting the right stuff into your diet (and your body), and a little less on taking stuff out. So for me, I think and put effort into getting a wide variety of vegetables into all of my meals, and on getting plenty of protein and a reasonable amount of carbs around my workouts. Part of this is mental - I'm thinking about the things I can have and focusing on putting stuff in my body to make it healthier, not on taking stuff out. But there's also some practical benefits. Once I'm filling up my plate and tummy with vegetables and protein, there's less room for the other stuff. This won't fix everything, but it helps. 

  10. Honestly, your diet doesn't really seem to require calorie counting to make improvements right now. My guess is, you can look at that list and know that you're eating too many calories. If not, then go count up all the calories on everything you ate for the last two days and see what that total is.


    But there are big glaring issues that you can fix right now without counting calories. Start with the fast food. Decrease the frequency. Stop buying french fries with your burgers and drink water instead of soda. Did you eat fast food for 3 meals last week? Next month your goal is 1 day/week. Take the mayo off your sandwich at lunch - mash up the avocado, mix it with some siracha, and spread that on the bread instead. Make the ice cream a once a week treat instead of most nights. If you do those things and aren't losing weight, then you're adding the calories back in another place. 


    Keeping just a plain list of what you ate can be helpful, especially at the stage you're at. Have a little notebook or use the notepad on your phone and write down what you eat and any calories you drink- everything. A day might look like


    No breakfast

    Sandwich: bread, turkey, feta, 2 slices avocado, big glob of mayo, siracha

    Chick-fil-a: 12 count nuggest, medium fry, medium coke

    2 big scoops of ice cream


    That way you can look at your week and say know how often you're eating fast food, ice cream, etc. 

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     I don't get muscled from running. 10 years. Granted not a fast 10 years...but if I was going to get a killer body from running I think it would have shown up by now. 



    This is an important realization. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether your friend gets the body she wants from running, or what a study says is typical. You're not getting the results you're looking for from what you're doing. Add to that the fact that you're enjoying lifting, and you don't need much more reason to change your focus. If your friend keeps arguing with "Running gives you a killer body, but It's not getting me where I want and lifting heavy is something that makes me happy right now" then she's probably not listening. 


    But, the advice above is right. If your goal right now is the marathon, focus on that. Weight train to help with it. November isn't that far away, and you can spend your remaining years strength training so that you become that insanely tough, strong 90 year old lady deadlifting more than the curlbros at the gym. Getting really strong is a long and endless journey - it's going to require patience and a willingness to think long-term - so it's ok if it needs to wait a few months. 

  12. Yep. It's definitely complicated losing weight and making lifestyle changes over the past few years.


    A few things that have helped:

    -Have someone you're comfortable talking to that can and will be honest if you're acting or talking a little crazy. I have two close friends that I've asked to pay attention and tell me straight up when I'm sounding or seeming a little crazy pants. When I start getting anxious or make changes, I run my thinking by them. Therapists do this professionally. 

    -along with the first, know your warning signs and set some boundaries. Some of mine were obvious: no purging, no keeping a scale in my house, etc. Others were more subtle:  trying to hide what I had or hadn't eaten from others, exercising with the purpose of burning off something I'd eaten (or eating stuff and thinking about what I needed to do to burn it off). 

    -I set a variety of performance and health-focused goals. I actually never set a weight or size-loss goal or even weighed myself for about 6 months - by that time I had lost 40 lbs and had built some solid habits surrounding workouts and food. I've worked hard to focus on making myself stronger, faster, more skilled, healthier, and generally more awesome... NOT on getting rid of the parts of me I don't like. 

    - Chill out. After years of ED treatment, reading and support groups, one of the most universal things I've seen people struggle with. 

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  13. Can you give us a better idea of what your meals look like now that leave you ravenous?


    There are two things that help me... one is to increase the amount of bulky, low cal foods. Usually this means lots of extra veggies. This allows for larger portions without increasing calories. The second is to pay attention to fats, carbs and proteins. Being too low in any of the three tends to cause problems for me. What you need to add will depend on what you're eating now.


    Sometimes, though, I know that sort of hunger is just confused signals in my body. Stomach growling, for instance, has little to do with our body needing additional calories. Any time I adjust my caloric intake or meal frequency, it takes my body a while to catch up, and I just kind of have to give it a bit to do that. 

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  14. The whole "just focus on the big lifts and they'll work your core sufficiently" is great advice for the true beginner who is clinging to the idea that half of their workouts should be made up of 23 different crunch variations and such. In that case, the goal is to get them to simplify and focus. Plus beginners don't have to worry as much about targeting their weak points because they're nothing but weak points. Over time this stops being true, and many lifters find that they need to do some additional core work just like lifters find that they need to do extra glute work or grip work. 

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  15. If you want to cut, cut. The goals you set are great, but they're still really just arbitrary points. Nothing magical is going to happen when you hit them. And if you're feeling unhappy or insecure about your bodyfat and/or appearance, you run the risk of those feelings dulling your motivation to keep gaining, leaving you stagnant and unhappy. 


    If you really have that much bodyfat, you're unlikely to lose much strength while cutting. They may not go up much, but you can probably hold them steady while reducing your weight (which means your lifts/bw ratio would go up). And cuts are a great opportunity to learn to optimally use the muscle you have by way of spectacular technique, finding cues that work perfectly for you, adding in some extra assistance work to shore up a weakness, and developing more mental grit. That will put you in a better position to use increasing lean mass most effectively once you start bulking again.

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  16. Finding something you enjoy will help. Building in rewards for yourself ("if I stick to my new workout schedule for 2 weeks I'll get a pedicure", and so on) can help. As can having someone to do it with.


    At the end of the day, though, you may well have to let go of expectation that you're going to "feel like" exercising or that it needs to be what you want to do at the time. You really don't. You would never use that excuse for not showing up for work... "sorry boss, but when I started to get dressed for my shift I got super sleepy, and that's why I didn't show." Nope. You show up anyways because you're a grown up with the ability to be motivated by something other than your in-the-moment feelings (in this example, the need to keep your job to have money to pay bills). We do household chores like laundry and dishes not because they feel good at the time but because going out in public in filthy stinky clothes would be embarrassing. 


    Ideally, go find a form of exercise that you enjoy doing. You may not always feel like getting started, but it helps to be able to remind yourself "I'll enjoy it once I get started." There are days I get off work and going home to sit on the couch and veg sounds so much more pleasurable than going to the gym to bust my ass. But I go anyways, and I almost always enjoy it once I get started, and I'm certainly glad I made that choice afterwards. 

  17. My response to most questions like this is essentially "so how's that working for you?" If your answer is that you can't seem to lose weight with your current eating patterns, then it's probably time to change something. If, however, you're seeing the results you want without eating breakfast, then don't worry about it. There's nothing magical about breakfast. It doesn't put your metabolism into hyper-drive, and waiting until 11 to eat won't make you gain weight in and of itself. However, many people do find that eating a solid breakfast helps them to be more active, feel more energetic (and generally function better), and make better food choices later in the day. Personally, I find that eating more of my calories earlier in the day helps because I simply make worse choices (i.e. more ice cream and captain crunch, less lean protein and veggies) as the day wears on. 


    So if you're binging at night and not losing weight (or if you were noticing fatigue or were eating junk mid-day to fight an energy crash), then try shifting some food to the morning hours. Pure carbs (which is what you're getting in the oatmeal and dried fruit) aren't really sufficient for this. Protein and fat need to be in there pretty prominently. But if everything else is how you want it to be and you're just worried about defying conventional wisdom? Don't bother. 

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  18. I intentionally vary caloric intake throughout the week for several reasons. When I was losing weight, I ate at a fairly large deficit during the week and then at maintenance on the weekends. Even when maintaining, I eat at a deficit during the week and then at a slight surplus on the weekends to balance out at maintenance calories. The increase tends to happen naturally on the weekends and the deficit comes a lot easier during the weeks (I'm a full time student with two jobs and long workouts - I preplan and pack all my weekday meals). But when I was losing, this helped to keep me somewhat sane. Even eating at maintenance felt like getting to splurge. Because I had a set schedule for it, though, it didn't turn into a long-term derailment.


    But I had a lot of weight to lose... I went from 205 to 135. It was going to be a long process no matter what, so I had to consider what I was going to be able to maintain for months and months on end. Plus I was coming from some really awful, long term diet patterns. The issue of sustainability (physically but mostly psychologically) was big. On the other hand, now I've had a couple of months at maintenance and I'm ready to work to drop about 10 more lbs of bodyfat, which I plan to do at a fairly fast rate because I don't need to think about whether I can keep the rate up for a whole year. 

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  19. I'll second Well Fed and it's sequel as a fantastic resource. I have a similar cooking style to what you describe - I tend to view recipes as inspiration and starting-points, not instructions to follow. I like things I can tweak according to what I have on hand or the mood I'm in or what not. 


    My best general advice: keep it simple. If you know how to cook, you enjoy it and you're willing to experiment, you're off to a great start. Find some simple marinades, sauces and seasoning combos. Cook some protein with one of those (bake it, toss it in a skillet, put it on the grill). Pick a couple of veggies (I usually try to have both leafy-style veggies and heavier, more carb-y  veggies at each meal - think kale and butternut squash or broccoli and carrots). Roast them or toss them in a pan with some garlic and olive oil. That's really all there is to it. 

  20. I think the problems with the switch to maintenance isn't always as much about the actual habits and skills as much as it is the mental aspect. Even people who made very sensible lifestyle changes to lose the weight don't always keep it off. The lack of a goal or the idea that you've completed something - you're done - is a problem for many. It's easy to go the whole time during weight loss deriving your motivation from "I'm halfway there, don't screw it up now," "I'm going to look awesome when I'm X lbs,"  "I love that black dress and want to fit in it again this summer"  or "I really want to succeed at this goal and get to the finish line." And then you get there and you feel relieved and proud that you finished what you started, and then... what? The idea of expending effort to stay in place isn't quite as motivating for many. 

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  21. Lever progressions (both on rings and things like dragon flags), strict toes to bar and skin the cats, weighted carries (suitcase, farmers, and overhead). Hollow holds/rocks and arch holds/rocks are regular parts of my warm ups.  I started noticing major weaknesses in my core that had become the limiting factor in my squats, so I regularly started doing heavy front-rack work. carries, step ups and lunges with kettlebells held in front rack are killer. 

  22. It's extremely common, but the specifics depend on the individual woman. Boobs are made up mostly of a combination of connective tissue, glands and fat, sitting on top of muscle. The fat is the big variable here - and like any other fat stores on our body, we can't control where our body takes it off and puts it on. Genetics takes care of that. Personally, I store a lot of fat there, but it's also one of the last places it's come off (I've still lost a lot there - I went from a 36G at 205 lbs to a 32D at 135). For my roommate, that's the first place weight loss or gain shows. She gained 5 lbs over finals and I swear every bit of it was in her boobs. 


    You very well may need new bras. Go do some trying on or even better, get fitted. A different brand and style make work better now too. It's amazing how much of a difference a well-fitting bra makes in how a woman looks and how clothes fit. If you've worked hard to drop some fat, you might as well optimize the results.

  23. Good job! Just getting in there is really really tough. I remember that well. 3 days/week is good. I'd prioritize consistency over being there more than that.


    Big piece of advice: log everything. Get yourself a comp book, a google doc, or a penzu account (what I use) and write down every work out. Not just what you did, but how it felt, what you learned, what you want to try to do better on next time, etc. I still do this nightly (I record numbers immediately and then go in and flesh everything out before bed, once I have enough distance on it to think clearly). It'll be important to have numbers to reference as you start to repeat things and build, plus it helps to take time to reflect on stuff once your head is clear. And it's good (and sometimes funny) to be able to look back when you need a reminder of the progress you've made. 

  24. Going back to the beginning of this thread...


    The reality is that for the vast majority of people (especially the people that use these articles as justification for not cutting calories to lose weight), this whole debate is largely if not entirely irrelevant. There are very knowledgeable people on both sides of the debate on whether calorie source matters, but I don't know of anyone who I remotely trust that says that the average person doesn't need to create a caloric deficit in some way to lose significant amounts of fat. Going from "a calorie is a calorie and creating a caloric deficit is the only thing that matters aren't quite true" to "so I don't need to bother creating a caloric deficit because calories don't matter" is poor logic and a good sign that someone is looking for excuses. 

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