It’s not always what it seems

As this is mental health awareness week #MHAW17 I thought I would share a story with you.

Last July I had a small mental health crisis – a kind of a breakdown. I now see it as the breakthrough I needed to move forward but at the time it was scary and I wasn’t sure how my future looked.

To the outside world everything looked normal; I was functioning as a member of society, still attending meetings and going to the gym, but inside I was in turmoil. One of the biggest challenges of suffering from poor mental health is that you look perfectly normal.

Over the previous few months before this episode, I had felt like I was ready to break; having run my own business for five or so years the pressure and stress of it all was starting to get to me. This is mainly the pressure I put on myself rather than other people’s influence, but pressure nonetheless.

One of the main things was that I felt I was being dishonest and anyone who knows me knows I’m a very honest person. This basically boils down to the assumptions other people were making about me – these were all good things such as running a successful business, exuding self-confidence and belief and so on. However, I didn’t feel any of these things were true!

Ever since I can remember I’ve been very good at putting on my ‘mask’ or ‘game-face’ and portray a very positive and together image of myself and my business even when I haven’t been feeling it. What I do as a business means that it is expected for me to be positive – my strapline for my business is sparking business energy and you can’t do that if you glum!

This lead to be having some very dark thoughts, which is something I’ve never experienced before. Yes, there were times when I felt down but this was magnified by thousands; basically I didn’t want to be here anymore and I thought the world would be better without me.

Having never felt like this before I wasn’t sure what to do but I was brave enough to reach out a few people (who I will forever be indebted to) to help me get through this crisis before I did something stupid. Over the week it happened, I spent a lot of time at home in bed; it was the only place I felt safe and knew I couldn’t do myself any harm. During one of the chats I had it was suggested that I read the book The Dip by Seth Godin which is all about quitting. It’s a small, easy to read book even for someone with dyslexia like myself. By the time I finished it I knew I had to quit thinking the way I was thinking about my life and the business.

I am a very driven person – once I set my sights on something I go all out to get it, but this had lead me to become very blinkered to the world around me.

The business sector I work in is Workplace Health & Wellbeing; this is a real passion project for me as it fulfils all the things I like to do and fits very nicely with the skills I’ve amassed since leaving school. However, it’s an area of my business that had yet to deliver any kind of business return and this was getting to me.

I’d spent a lot of time presenting and educating people about what I do and when I’m in the room I’d get a very positive response from my audience. I’d follow up as best I could (something I know I’m not great at) and I’d get tumbleweed/deadly silence in return. People would say I was great at what I do yet I still couldn’t seem to make it work; I really was at my wits end. I kept asking myself “What am I doing so wrong!!”
Well the answer was nothing.

I’d just become so fixated on something that I was blind to all the other opportunities that were being thrown my way and because they didn’t fit into my narrow tunnel vision, I simply didn’t see them.

Once I realised this with a bit of outside help, the black cloud lifted enough to see that life is worth living, well not just living but celebrating.

Since my breakthrough as I like to call it (which happened to be my word for 2016), things have changed; mainly the thoughts in my head but this shift has lead me to several new business opportunities, meeting new people and a renewed zest for life.

No one knows what the futures holds; all I know is that when life challenges us it because we need to learn something and without challenge you don’t get change.

None of us know when we might suffer from a mental health issue so let’s keep talking about it. And to anyone who is going through a tough time right now, my door is always open for you to talk to me; I might not be able to fix your issues but I can certainly lend you my ear and time.

Much Love, Rachel xx

Healthy Pack-ups

Having to make your child’s lunch in advance five days a week can be a challenge sometimes especially if you want to make it healthy as it’s easy to send them to school with a sandwich, crisps & a chocolate bar or piece of fruit!! And when you get the lunch box back at the end of the day to find the fruit is still in there, a bit more bruised but still un-eaten.

adult-lunch-ideas-with-family-fresh-meals

The key to coming up with healthy pack lunches is variety, so the child doesn’t get bored but also helps them to try new foods. Also theme lunches are a great way to get your child interested in food so it could be themed around countries of the world, calendar events, colours; the only limitation is imagination.

Sticking with the traditional sandwich well sort of try experimenting with:

Different types of bread – Sundried tomato, herb & garlic, olive, wholegrain, multigrain, seeded, rye, sour dough, ciabatta, pitta

Wraps/tortillas – You can easily make these yourself but if time is short, there are many varieties available at all the major supermarkets

Scone based sandwich – I remember mum sending me to school with a three cheese scone & some cherry tomatoes & it was delicious

English muffin type bread – any these can be homemade or bought, the cheese ones are especially lovely

Savoury muffins – cheese & bacon, sundried tomato

So that’s the bread sorted what about fillings:

It doesn’t matter what you fill the sandwich with but the one principle I’d stick to is to ensure there is some protein within the filling – protein helps you stay fuller for longer & and releases energy slower (so you’re less likely to get a sugar high).

Pulled meats are easy as can be made in advance or are leftovers from a meal

Homous or other bean based dips make a great alternative to butter or spread, if you’re child isn’t keen on them, try adding red pesto to it to make it slightly sweeter.

Cheese – a good protein source but high in saturated fat, so try grating it up and mixing with grated vegetables such as carrot.

Mini meatballs with a tomato sauce – you could get your children to help you make these, cook the night before & then slice in half, add to sandwich with a little sauce for flavour. These work really well as a pasta salad too.

Use lamb mince to make mini kofta balls and make a minted yogurt dip to go with it.

Marinate chopped chicken in a barbeque sauce, cook as you would for a barbeque and then serve with a yogurt and tomato dip and salad.

pack-up

Animal source – Meat, fish, poultry, diary, egg

Vegetable source – Beans, pulses, nuts, seeds, tofu, quorn

Alternatives to sandwiches:

Rice/pasta/couscous/bulgar wheat salad: A handy tip to add more flavour to these without the need to add mayo or other sauces is to cook in a light stock (Chicken or vegetable).

Anything goes here really with flavours, chopped up or grated vegetables and of course some protein!!

Greek – feta, olives, cucumber & minted yogurt

Rainbow – Red, yellow, orange & green pepper, grated cheese

Italian – Tomato, basil & mozzarella (use pesto to flavour it)

Vegetable sticks & dip or pate is another idea to add variety:

Vegetables that can be eaten raw:

  • Peppers
  • Carrot
  • Courgette
  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Mange Tout
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Radishes
  • Peas

Roasting vegetables can be used to add interest to sandwiches or salads:

Onions, tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, aubergines

Root vegetables are also lovely roasted & can be used in a salad:

Carrot, butternut squash, sweet potato, mini potatoes.

Sweet stuff

Most children like yogurts especially fruit ones but most shop bought fruit yogurts are quite high in sugar, I would personally recommend that you buy natural yogurt and then add your own flavours to it, this will be cheaper too and more adaptable!!

Here are some ideas for fruit compotes which can be used in a variety of ways but make a great homemade fruit yogurt:

Mixed berry – mixed frozen berries, stewed in a little water and something to sweeten it, I use agave nectar but honey or sugar is fine, just don’t make it too sweet or you could use apple juice to do the job of the water & sugar.

Rhubarb on its own or with a little ginger if you’re children like it – same as above but using fresh rhubarb when in season

Apple & berry – use the mixed frozen berries with some chopped apple and again the same method is used as above

Apple & raisin

Pear & dried friut

Spiced apple – chopped apple, mixed spice and then use the same method as before

Peach & apricot

Tropical – Use the tropical fruit mix and stew gentle like above, you probably don’t need to add any sugar to this one though

Either mix them before you put in the lunch box or let your child make their own (A bit like a branded two part corner yogurt)

Homemade flapjacks or granola can be used to add texture to yogurt and another snack for children to munch on.

My food and nutrition philosophy

Food and nutrition are my life, a day doesn’t go by that I don’t read an article about the latest nutrition research or about a new ingredient/restaurant or food trend!! It what makes me tick (literally!!).

Over the years it’s been interesting to observe the way that food and nutrition has become such a massive talking point in the media, it probably always has been but recent it feels that we are now bombarded by it, cookery and food tv programmes pull in huge audiences week in, week out and nutrition & health stories fill our social media feeds too.

I’ve been a qualified nutritional therapist for over 9 years now and had the honour of studying at the world renowned Institute of Optimum Nutrition founded by Patrick Holford. (www.ion.ac.uk)

Our health is priceless and something most people take for granted until they lose it, we have one body which we need to see us through from birth to death but yet we abuse it until breakdown, get frustrated when it doesn’t work how we want it to or stops us from living the life we want.

So here’s my philosophy you about health, nutrition and food!!

ALL food can be GOOD for you and ALL food can be BAD for you!! Even the healthiest of foods can be bad for you if you eat them in excess!! So I aim to eat as many different foods as possible which means that I physically can’t eat too much of anything.

The old sayings “A little of what you fancy does you no harm” and “everything in moderation” are really true here.

I’m a realist when it comes to food and nutrition and there are times when I eat cake, chocolate and other foods which aren’t the best for you and guess what I NEVER feel guilty about this either, eliminating or restricting certain from your diet will only make you want them more!!

Food guilty quote

I believe food should be seen as the wonderful positive life giver that it is and enjoyed for that reason!! Food gives the energy we need to live our lives; certain foods will make you feel different so it’s about learning to listen to your body and recognise the foods that might not suit you.

On a physiological level we are all the same, the same organs and the way we process food but we are also unique in the way that the body responds to the food we eat. For example, I know that I’m quite sensitive to certain stimulants such as coffee and liquorice, I don’t avoid them completely as I like both of them but I do make sure that I don’t eat/drink either after a certain time of the day so that it doesn’t impact on my sleep patterns.

We are very lucky in this country (UK) to have such a vast selection to choose from and should use this choice to eat a variety of foods; this also helps to stop the boredom of eating the same foods all the time.

Nourish quote

I just try to eat food as close to nature as nature intended (Some call it eating clean) and to eat in season so that I can support local producers!!

Life is for living, food is for eating!! ENJOY

Why oh why?

Why

I’m no stranger to being asked a question that starts with why as I’ve been asked why this and why that many times in my lifetime, this range from why are you training to be a personal trainer when you’ve got a good career in the food industry? Why are you moving to Lincolnshire? Why have you got tattoos? And the list goes on!! Most of the time I tend to answer with WHY NOT?? And the most recent question is why are you running a marathon and yes the answer I gave was why not!! (Keep a look out for a post later this year which ponders the why questions some more!!)

But there is more to it than that, every since my early adulthood I’ve struggle with low self-belief, this might be surprising to some as I know I probably come across as being quite confident (I’m very good at putting on my “game face”) but i’m not!! Outwardly I might seem confident but inside I’m riddled with self doubt and question whether I’m capable of doing what I set out to do and constantly telling myself that I’m failing, I never feel like I reach that bar I’ve set for myself!!

I’m constantly setting myself challenges to try to prove to myself that I am capable of achieving things and probably many people will think that I’ve already achieved some amazing things in life but to me I’m still don’t have that inner belief that I can achieve success!!

I’m closer to this point than I’ve ever been as over the last six months I’ve been working with a couple of people to help me understand why I think and behave the way I do and how I can change/adapt my thoughts and behaviors to allow myself to believe and achieve the successes that I want to.

One of these is running a marathon, it’s something that has always been in the back of my mind ever since I worked for Unilever who at the time sponsored the London Marathon with Flora but never had the courage to apply!! So when I saw a twitter post saying they were entering the ballot for the London Marathon this year, I thought well I could do that too!!

Unfortunately I didn’t get a place at London but was offered a place at Edinburgh instead and it only took a nanosecond for me to decide to take up this place. Edinburgh is my favourite city in the UK and I loved walking around it when I did the Moonwalk there 5 years ago so it was time I returned and this time run around it.

EMF

I was lucky in some respects as I wasn’t starting from scratch with my training as since spring 2014 I’ve been running regularly around my estate (not long distances, an hour at most) and also doing short sprint runs as part of CrossFit and interval training. I am the fittest/healthiest I’ve ever been in my life so it’s now or never and as my 40th year approaches it’s a good thing to tick the bucket list.

So I quickly got up to double figures and this is when it started to really get hard for me, having only ever done short runs I wasn’t really sure how to fuel myself for these longer runs and also finding places to run!! Running around my estate was fine but eventually I knew I had to take the plunge and run down the A15; a major trunk road into Lincoln city with lorries barreling past you at 50mph!! Not a pleasant experience especially knowing that to get home I’d have to run back up it!! But the reward for doing so was to be able to run around the bail area of Lincoln, which is undeniably a beautiful place to run around (I know I’m biased), I’ve seen a different side to Lincoln in doing these training runs and found pretty little streets that I didn’t know existed before now. I also got to experience beautiful views like the one below on one very unexpectedly snowy April morning!!Snowy run

After a few disastrous runs between 14-18 mile mark I really didn’t believe I could actually do a marathon, by the end of these runs I could barely walk, in tears and not really knowing what I was doing so wrong…

So I decided like I do with most things in life to do it my own way, many people had told me carb load before my long training runs to build up my glycogen stores in my muscles to stop me hitting the wall but that was exactly what was happening, for the last 18 months I’ve exercised on an empty stomach and had easily been doing 2 hour runs on little more than some pre-workout and then fuelling when I finished so I guessed my body was used to using my fat stores as fuel rather than glycogen stores from carb loading so I stopped doing this straight away, I also decided to run to the gym as my finishing point too which meant that I didn’t have the dreaded 3 mile A15 to run at the end of a long run, it also meant I had some friendly faces to look forward to seeing when I got there.

Brain in cogs

But marathon training is not just about the physical stuff, it’s more about what’s going on in your head!! I know from doing CrossFit for a couple of years now that if your head said you can do it then you’re body will deliver, but if you have any doubt about a lift for example you’re about to do that it’s likely you will fail that lift, I also learnt from attending “Unleash the power within” Anthony Robin’s amazing weekend event in March 2015 that you can change your physiology just with your thoughts so some how I needed to get my head in a different place and tell myself a different story, the way I did this was just to focus on finishing the marathon rather than racing it, telling myself it was ok to walk a few steps every so often (mainly because I can’t run and drink at the same time!!) and that the training is the hardest part of the experience and if I could get the training done then I could do the real thing.

I’m doing this marathon for purely selfish reason, to prove to myself that I AM capable of achieving anything I put my mind too!! I’ve paid for my place outright so I don’t have any pressure to raise a certain amount of money but I’ve decided to raise some money for three very deserving organisations:

BHF Mind T2S

The British Heart Foundation (https://www.bhf.org.uk): This is for Kendo Hau, who left this world too soon on 19th Nov 2013, one of the most genuine kind hearted person I’ve ever met and is missed everyday (think he’s even been with me on my training runs as titanium has played every time I’ve trained)!! The BHF’s vision is a world in which people do not die prematurely or suffer from heart disease.

Mind – The mental health charity (http://www.mind.org.uk): There are many people I know who have suffered, are suffering or lost their battle with mental health illnesses so a cause close to my heart. We live in a wired stressful world and any one of us could suffer from mental ill health at sometime in our lives so this is a cause that needs support. My thoughts will be with Matt B who lost the battle just a few months ago.

Think2Speak (http://www.think2speak.com/): A community interest company set up by two friends Lizzie and Naomi to help young people deal with challenging issues they might face as they grow up, their vision is to enable education settings, and organisations working with young people, to feel fully equipped to handle a range of issues young people may have, Think2Speak will enable young people to feel empowered to make life decisions confidently, We will also help parents to feel confident in supporting their young people.

So it’s time for a few thank you to friends who have offered advice and support!!

Helen W and Nicky B for helping me understand how to do my training, fueling and tapering and for the supportive words too xxx

Nicola C who ran with me on an awful 16 miler where I’d gone out to fast and was unable to do much more than shuffle for the last few miles, she kindly gave me a lift home after I recovered movement in my legs, you’re a star xxx

Lana C for standing on a towpath in cold wet weather waiting for me to appear along it to do the last few miles with me so I wasn’t running on my own, for making my porridge at the gym when I was completely spent and dropping me at home too!! You’ve been an angel xx

And all the friends on Instagram and Facebook who have send me supportive words of encouragement when I’ve posted my training runs and pictures.

I’m going to Edinburgh on my own so my plan is to print all your words of support on my t-shirt so I know you will be with me in spirit, if you are a business you can sponsor a space on my leggings!!

So get donating here: https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/rachel-linstead-1

If not, then just give me a thought and send some positive energy on Sun 29th May when I’ll be lining up with thousands of other runners hoping to complete the 26.2 mile course so that I can get to the finish line and have a well deserved pint!!

And even though I’m writing this before I’ve run the marathon, I will state now that I will never run a marathon again!! But next year I’m planning on doing the Moonwalk’s Three Land Challenge so watch this space…

CrossFit Diaries, Part Seven – Time to take it up a gear

So it’s now 7 months since I’ve been going to CrossFit consistently and I can no longer call myself a newbie or beginner!! I know all the terms and mastered around 75% of the moves!! However there are times at the box that i still feel like a newbie, there are a number of smaller communitites within the main box itself which seem impenetrable so leave you feeling like a spare part if you aren’t part of any of these groups which is where I’m at!! I’m sure over time this may change…

After my wobble in Feburary I feel more determind than ever to just keep working & pushing myself hard to achive my ultimate goal of becoming as fit as humanly possible.

 So where does it all stack up after this concerted drive to get to my end goal?

Well in terms of body shape, I’ve lost 10lb in weight & 12.5 inches off my body, with the biggest loss off my waist of a whole 4.5 inches!! No wonder all my trousers have been feeling so loose recently!! This demonstrates clearly that what you weigh is irrelevant as my body has got smaller yet the weight loss is pretty low (roughly 1.4lb a month). Although I’m on this journey for myself, a couple of people have commented on how slim I’m looking which is a great boost to confidence & motivates me to continue.

So some firsts to mention: 

I took part in my first in-house competition, I was captain of my team with RIchard B, Toots & Wil being the other members, we did really well on all the WODs & ended up coming 3rd out of 10 teams!! Which I was really chuffed about.

I entered the CrossFit Open, for those who don’t know, CrossFit is a global sport. The CrossFit Open allows all CrossFit Athletes to compete against each other, each week for 5 weeks a WOD is released and you had 4 days to complete & submit your score, thankfully this year they introduced a scaled options for the WOD which meant that I was able to post a score for all the WODS, and 15.5 I was able to do the WOD as Rx.   

I was happy with my finishing position seeing as it was my first open!! It has helped me to identify my weaknesses within CrossFit and the moves that I really need to work on.

I’ve also been pushing hard to get some more personal bests on the board for the weight lifting moves, including clean & jerk, front squat & squat clean.

So where do I go from here? Earlier in the post I said that body weight is irrelevant which it really is however like I mentioned last time it does matter when you have to preform exercises/moves that involve you lifting your body weight which is where I’m struggling the most, most of the moves I can’t do are body weight based moves!! So the obvious thing is to create a calorie deficit (consume less calories than you are using) which would mean that your body has to used interal resources to make up the shortfall and therefore you lose weight. Unfortunately it’s not that simple!! The first thing you need to work out is exactly how many calories you are burning just being alive (known as your basal metabolic rate) and this varies based on your body composition as if you are muscly you will burn more calories than someone who isn’t as muscles are very calorie hungry. So knowing my body fat percentage, weight & height I calcaulated that my BMR was roughly 1500 calories a day, then you need to add on the additional calories you burn during the day be this normal workday activity & exercise. I can track roughly how many caloires I burn during exercise as I use a heart rate monitor & then use the info I get from my Jawbone to workout other calories burnt. So this figure can vary from 2000 calories to 2500 calories on any given day.

Then you need to monitor your food intake to track how many calories you are consuming, but again it’s not that simple as if you consume a high percentage of carbohydrates (an easy energy source for your body) then the body will just utilise these more efficiently & not need to use your stored energy (fat & muscle) to make up the shortfall. So you need to reduce your percentage of carbs & replace with fat & protein. Making sure you are also consuming plenty of fruit & vegetables too.

Getting the balance is the hardest bit and to that end I’ve decided to sign up to the next Clean Eating Challenge the box is running. I don’t ned to gain knowledge on nutrition & eating right as I already have that but what I do need is the accountability of being monitored on a weekly basis. This starts are the begining of May so have the rest of April to get ready for this!

I’ve also decided to up my running & take part in the interval training on offer on a Saturday morning…

Next time the focus will be on the mental side of CrossFit, what your head says or doesn’t say is half the battle of CrossFit, it’s not always the strongest who wins but the one who uses mental strength to get them through.

Until next time, happy WODing!! xx

Journey of discovery…

For as long as I can remember I’ve suffered from low self-belief/confidence & esteem, you might be surprised at this as I’ve become very good at hiding it and putting on a front/game-face when I’m out and about, be this at a networking event or presenting in front of a room full of people.

At times its crippling especially now that I run my own business and every penny I earn is solely down to me, one of the key strengths I constantly read an entrepreneur needs is self-belief so over-coming this is essential if I want my business/life to succeed.

I kind of know what’s caused it but that doesn’t help you overcome these challenges as it’s in the past & nothing I do now can change history, I have tried every therapy out there to help me deal with it, I’ve read numerous books with little success.

The last 12-18 months have moved me along a bit & I’m in a better place than I was just 2 years ago…I do believe life is a journey & we should enjoy the ride even if sometimes you just want to get off the roller-coaster called life & just observe for a while. During this time of struggle I’ve realised I’m a lot stronger both physically & mentally than I ever thought I was and I’ve got a lot of bouncebackability (or resilience), it doesn’t take much to knock me down given my low self-belief etc but I’m that kind of person who just gets right up again, dust myself off & keep going no matter what, I’m so glad that I have an innate positivity & optimism that drives the fire in my belly to carry on following my dreams no matter how hard it is.

Starting CrossFit has helped me improve these traits too as doing CrossFit has a lot to do with mind & how you handle the WOD not just the strength you have. I love CrossFit & it’s started me on the journey of falling in love with my body which I’ve hated for years which I believe is linked to self-confidence & self-esteem

So when my coach told me that Tony Robins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Robbins) was in the UK at the end of March doing this famous – “Unleash the power within” workshop & suggested I book onto it, I did as I was told & booked it… since booking I’ve spoken to a number of people who’ve been on this workshop & have spoken highly of it.

However, since booking on it, it’s been playing on my mind and now with it being just 3 days away I’m actually getting nervous about it & how it will change me. I’m stressing as it includes the famous “Firewalk” but also some very long days & late nights (my usually bedtime is 9pm) the first day we don’t finish until midnight, how am I going to cope with this?!?

I’m stressing about getting to the venue, finding my accommodation, food/drink during the weekend, in honesty I don’t need to stress about any of this, I’ve been to the venue loads of times before (ExCeL), I’ve got all the details of my accommodation & how to get there, I’ve bought enough snacks & water to keep me going for the whole weekend. My train tickets & event ticket are printed out, my pre-loaded Oyster card arrived a few days ago so really everything is sorted but I’m still checking it everything 2 minutes & worried I have forgotten something!!

If I was going to a conference/workshop for me as Firecracker, I wouldn’t think anything of it as I would be able to put on my Firecracker mask but as its me laid bare so to speak it’s actually quite daunting.

I’m going to remove all distraction for the weekend (Thurs-Mon) by de-activating my email accounts on my phone & deleting social media apps so I can purely focus on being present during all the sessions, so will fill you in when it’s over about what I learnt & how it’s going to change my future.

What have you done to overcome a barrier what stopped you being who you want to be? I’d love to hear your stories.

CrossFit Diaries, Part Six – A reality check!!

January continued to be a good month in terms of getting to the box which was 24 times across the month, i also managed 1 run & 4 lots of intervals which is part of the custom programme I decided to do to help move me forward in areas that I felt I wasn’t progressing as much as I would like, more about that another post.

As well as increasing the amount of times I was getting to the box I really wanted to shake up my diet & food routine, so decided to give up dairy, sugar & alcohol, again more about this later.

I got into a really good routine with 2 visits on a Mon(am & pm), 1 on a Wed(am), 2 on a Fri (am & pm) and then Sat morning too!!

There were times that I didn’t feel like going especially in the evenings, i’m a morning person so doing anything in the evening is a struggle but knew that if I make the effort the reward would be worth it…

And this is where the problem was, half way through the month I had the realisation that I’d into a comfortable routine/zone & that I wasn’t actually pushing myself as much as I could, I was using my injuries as a bit of an excuse not to push hard… I struggled to remember a time when I ached after a WOD, I’m one of those people who quite likes DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) as I know it’s my body telling me it’s changing & adapting and this wasn’t happening so to me I’d got comfortable.

Even with the custom programme I was given I was kind of taking it easy!! I started to question what I was even doing, don’t get my wrong I was loving being at the box & enjoyed the workouts but just felt I wasn’t actually achieving much. When I was pushed I was able to lift more than I thought but this was on the odd occasion and this is reflected in my stats so after 5 months of CrossFit I have made some progress but not as much as I feel I should have, there were again tearful drives home & me feeling extremely old & worn out (I know I’m not old, far from it), if it wasn’t my knee, it was my back and if it wasn’t my back it was my elbow or all three!! I think it’s great that CrossFit reaches across age ranges & that I could be WODing with someone who was 10/15/18 years my junior however for me it just highlighted how far I’ve got to go & yes I do use this as a motivator but if you feel in a vulnerable place it’s hard to swallow, if only CrossFit had been around years ago!!

  • Weight: 13 Stone, 1lb – 4lb loss in total
  • BMI: 30.4 – 0.7 point loss in total
  • Chest: 40 inches – No change
  • Waist: 34.5 inches – 1.5 inch loss in total
  • Hips: 46.5 inches – 1.5 inch loss in total
  • Thigh (R): 26 inches – 1.5 inch loss in total
  • Thigh (L): 25.5 inches – 2 inch loss in total
  • Bicep (R): 13.5 inches – 0.5 gain in total
  • Bicep (L): 14 inches – No change

I know these stats only show half the story as it’s about gains in the box & did achieve a few things, my nemesis double unders was conquered, well I managed to get 3 in a row so is still working in progress but I was buzzed for getting this movement cracked even if I’ve got a long way to go.

I managed to back squat 75kg and clean 50kg & these things I am proud of but, and there is a big but for me it’s not good enough.

Maybe I’m being hard on myself & anyone who knows me well knows that I’m extremely critical of myself & will only see what I need to do better than see how far I’ve come…

I feel I’ve cracked most of the weight movements, overhead squat being the one thing I still can’t do, this is mainly a mobility issue rather than strength issue but the thing that still leaves me utterly frustrated is the bodyweight exercises pullups, toes to bar & burpees!! The main challenge here is my weight, now I don’t want to focus on it as it’s just a number & not what your measured against but I know deep down that I need to shift some if I’m ever going to make significant gains in this area of CrossFit!! Yes I can get strong & I am stronger than I was 5 months ago but my strength to weight ratio will still be out of balance!!

This is where giving up dairy, sugar & alcohol comes in to it, now I would say my diet is pretty good most of the time however I have slipped into bad habits over the years which I wanted to crack, for dairy & sugar I last about 2 weeks!! Alcohol was 6 weeks!! And this is the challenge I love food, don’t we all but it’s more than that for me, it’s my life & my business so I need to find a way where is a happy balance & I gave admit I’ve yet to find this especially with the results I want!!

So as I type this now in the middle of Feb, feeling a little bit lost & not really sure where to turn for help (another thing I’m not good at is asking for help), I’m sure when I’m back at the box in the morning that it will slot into place, fingers crossed it will anyway!!

Sorry less about CrossFit this month but needed to write this stuff down & put it out there!!

Happy CrossFitting, next month will be more about food as I’ve not really touched on it this time!! Xxx