USAA vs State Farm + CrossFit

I have some really fantastic news. This is going to be totally boring for all of you, but I had switched my car insurance and homeowner’s insurance over to USAA so Jon and I could be on the same policy. Come to find out (which I should have known but somehow missed in my 3 hour long conversation with my insurance companies), when I went from State Farm to USAA, my homeowner’s doubled. I decided, clearly, to switch back to State Farm. In switching back, my homeowner’s insurance amount stayed the same, but somehow my car insurance decreased by $75-100 every 6 months! And if Jon comes over to State Farm, our total payment for both cars for six months will be $729. Holy. smokes. guys. That is INSANE. I just canceled my coverage with State Farm in February and was paying around $550 so to have two cars for $729?! Absolutely!!!! (By the way, USAA was $1029 for both cars with the multi-line “discount.”) And for all you other insured people out there, that’s for 100/300/50 with a $250 deductible for both of our cars. So, despite all my anger that Jon has had to endure after wasting 3 hours on the phone with the insurance companies to double my homeowner’s insurance, it was totally worth it. And besides, that was all my fault in the first place anyway.

Alrighty, so now that we have the boring adult stuff out of the way… I woke up feeling super energized today, which was surprising since I got home fairly late from having sushi with Crista last night and then Jon and I stayed up until close to two, which is super late for this grandma.

photo (3)

I woke up and started cleaning right away and handling insurance bi’ness. I made it to the noon CrossFit class for 8 minutes of power cleans and a 1 mile run. The 1 mile run felt great. It surprised me since I usually struggle through the first mile but I guess the beautiful weather helped. I used 63# for power cleans (it was supposed to be 90% of your 1 rep max- which was 95# today and I could have gone heavier, but opted not to- my real 1RM of power cleans is 105#) because I’m still really paranoid about re-injuring my thumb. In 8 minutes, I did 60 reps. The mile was untimed.

After that, I came home and did a quick arm workout and then went to The Fresh Market. I thanked my cashier so many times and she didn’t acknowledge me at all. How irritating. Anyway, now I’m getting to some blogs and about to start working on my study guide for my biology lab final tomorrow. I was supposed to be off all day tomorrow, but I’m covering from 7a-11a for somebody and am totally wishing that I wasn’t. But I was only scheduled for 24 hours this week, so I guess I should be glad to up that number by 4. I wish Jon had time to go sit on a patio and have dinner with me, but I think he may have some homework to do. Can’t keep up with him now that it’s finals time!

Everybody have a good evening!

What women “should” look like

“You’re supposed to have curves. You’re supposed to have an a**. You’re supposed to look like a woman. Being a woman does NOT mean you are automatically weak. It doesn’t mean you can’t be physically capable.” – from Lean Bodies Consulting

I read this excerpt from an article today. The article had an overall good message- it’s about loving yourself and accepting yourself for how you are. However, I have a problem with all these “love yourself” articles and photos. Why is this article telling women what we’re supposed to have? So I’m supposed to have curves and I’m supposed to have an ass? And you include this information about what I should have in the article about loving yourself?! Well, I don’t have an ass and I don’t have curves and I’m still a woman! I hate this type of “validation” on what your body should look like as much as I hate the media out there that tells you that you should be strong or you should be thin or you should be something or other!

What you should be is healthy

strong

I like feeling strong, don’t get me wrong, but what if somebody is skinny?! What if that is their natural body type (which it is for me- I’m naturally about 95lbs- I can get up to 105 max if I’m lifting heavy and lifting very often)? So these images are spread all over the internet telling people who are naturally thin that now they need to be strong because it isn’t sexy anymore to be skinny, basically. And I know the message intended is to actually tell people that they should be strong and fit and not strive to just be thin. There is more to life than just losing weight (because I do know that that actually is the main focus for a lot of women out there- which I think is just as crazy as focusing on the numbers on the scale- muscle weighs more than fat, guys). However, as a thin women with absolutely no hips and curves, I am so tired of reading how I shouldn’t be skinny anymore and I should be fit and how women are supposed to have curves!

I have a ton of CrossFit friends so my Facebook newsfeed is obviously full of other CrossFitters. They like to post a lot of articles about CrossFit. A lot. Especially people who are new into it and feel like it’s omg the coolest thing eeeever. I’m so tired of seeing articles about how CrossFit is good for you and all these benefits of it with pictures of clearly jacked men and women. Yeah, there are a lot of people in CrossFit who are jacked. There are also a ton who are overweight or who are thin or are really just average. Include those pictures in the articles about CrossFit!

I’ll consider it a success when all the focus really does shift to being healthy and when the images of the healthy women actually vary. It is true that no matter how “healthy” you are, added weight does increase the risk of other medical problems. Your body isn’t meant to operate with all that added weight. However, you can have a few extra pounds, be in great cardiovascular shape, strong, and eat healthy and not lose all the weight! Who cares?! You’re healthy! Who cares if you never have curves? You can still be healthy without an ass or curves just as you can be healthy with them!

Rant over.

I did make it to CrossFit today for the noon class. We did 2x2x1x1 front squats. I maxed at 113#, which is really good for not squatting much in 7 months. I have no idea what my 1RM is… I think it was 135# for front squats. Maybe one day. Maybe not. Then we did a 7 min EMOM (every minute on the minute) of rope climbs and 8 kettle bell swings (I did 35#). I love rope climbs but didn’t think I’d be able to keep up with 7 after being out of the gym for so long. I was wrong. I finished each round in 30-32 seconds. So I was glad that I made it! Definitely felt good to climb some ropes again! Then I grocery shopped and now it’s time to study and cook until it’s time to go wedding dress shopping tonight! I’d love to run today because it’s so nice out, but I don’t think I have time! The only reason I sat down to write this blog was because my accent chair was being delivered and I knew I couldn’t concentrate on studying with random people in the house!

Everybody have a good day!

Skipping the gym and starting school

I had a really lofty goal today: going to the gym after work. I don’t think I have ever gone to the gym after getting off work at 7pm. I don’t like going to LA Fitness when it’s busy and I also just want to get home at the end of the day! But I only worked from 11-7 today so figured it’d be a perfect day to just get in at least 45 minutes at the gym!

Nope. After being busy at work for the whole 8 hours and not eating till 5:45pm, I lost all motivation. I was so tired for the last 45 minutes of my shift. I was even invited to go ice skating tonight with my friends which I would love to do and I said no. I seriously just wanted to come sit on the couch and do nothing.

Oh well! I’m off at 3 tomorrow, so I’ll either go straight to the gym after or go to CrossFit! I think I’ll do a few shoulder exercises tonight with the weights I have at home and then spend some time stretching before Parenthood comes on tonight! I really need to dedicate more time to getting flexible. And if my couch is within eyesight, it’s kind of like coming home and sitting on the couch. Right?

I’m feeling a whole lot of dread about next Tuesday when my biology class starts! Even though I have been super busy over the last month, I can’t tell you how nice it has been not to be in school! Despite being slightly stressed about how much housework there is to do, there is never studying looming over my head! And it has been so nice to be able to spend time with Jon without worrying about all of his studying too! I’m also dreading it because class is from 7-9:45 on Tuesday and Thursday nights and I’ll be sitting in at least an hour of traffic to get to that campus (the night professor at the campus one mile from my house is supposed to be an absolutely horrendous professor so all of us full time working people from my last semester night class are going to the other campus to take the second biology)! And then getting home around 10:15, just to wake up at 5am the following day for work. Womp womp. But I’ll finally have my bachelor’s degree in May. At 28. About time.

Well, now that this exciting post about my lack of exercise and dread of the upcoming semester is over, I’m going to go start working out these shoulders for a few.

Weight related to health

I’ve never been one to really read a ton of healthy living blogs or running blogs before, but I’ve started reading them since I’ve started wanting to run more. Reading other people’s blogs has really reinforced something I’ve noticed before, which I think is really disappointing, especially when you read other active people feeding into these beliefs…

I’m a small person. I’m probably less than 100lbs right now (I weigh less when I lift less) and I’m 5′ tall. I have a small frame, but I don’t think I’m super thin. I think if you looked at a picture of me, I’d look like a fairly normal sized person.

DSCN1248

There I am over the summer. Pretty much a whole body shot. Now, when I’m at work, I have people ask me all the time why I work out “because you’re already small.” I hate this almost as much as when my patients ask me how old I am (how inappropriate to ask your nurse how old she is!!!!). It disgusts me that America is to the point where people ask why a person who is small works out! Because it’s healthy! Because to stay this size for the rest of my life, I do need to work out. And I don’t even think about my size, especially not in terms of gaining weight, honestly. I work out because I feel better. I work out because I like feeling capable and feeling strong. I work out because it’s fun! I work out so that when I’m 70, I can still get around. I don’t want osteoporosis (petite white women are at the highest risk of osteoporosis)! How do you prevent that? Calcium. Weight bearing exercises. I don’t want to have clogged arteries. I don’t want to get tired walking up hills. Also, I’m not ungodly skinny. I don’t look unhealthy (or I don’t think I do). So when I say I lift weights and run, why do people assume that I shouldn’t be working out? I have muscle. I don’t look anorexic, therefore I really don’t think anybody should be concerned about me working out “when I’m already small.”

When I was in Iraq, I was the only female medic that worked at night. We had to load and unload patients off of helicopters on a regular basis. I also worked out heavily while I was there. I happened to go on leave and then as soon as I came back, I went off to Baghdad for a month. When I was in Baghdad, I never loaded or unloaded patients from the helicopters and I also never worked out because I wasn’t comfortable in my surroundings there, and the only girl I knew in Baghdad didn’t work out. When I went back to Tikrit, we had to load a patient into the helicopter again. I remember almost not getting my side up on the stretcher to get that guy back into the bird because I hadn’t been working out. It was amazing how much strength I lost. I felt incapable because I didn’t know if I’d be strong enough to do my job! I still lift people and pull them up in bed and even though some of these 300lb people can be difficult, I can still help pull people up in bed.

After reading all of these blogs, I keep noticing such a focus on weight. Weights are included in titles. Failure comes from gaining a pound. Success comes from losing a pound. I guess I don’t get it. Maybe I don’t get it because I’ve always been small (although, there are other features I don’t love about myself, but they’re things I can’t change by working out so I’ve decided just to learn to not mind those features). I feel like success should be measured by feeling good. When you feel like you’ve improved on your goals, you succeed. When you go to the gym, who cares if you don’t do your cardio? You still made it to the gym! Success! As long as your weight isn’t putting you at risk for diabetes or heart disease or the plethora of other health problems, why be so concerned? Besides, muscle weighs more than fat. Obsessing over one pound if pointless. What if you lost 3lbs of fat and gained 5lbs of muscle? Why feel like a failure? If you eat an unhealthy meal, is that really a failure? I don’t like eating “bad” food because I feel bad. It makes me feel sick. But then again, I am able to enjoy eating “bad” food in moderation because overall, I’m healthy. If it kills me to enjoy a piece of cake or a donut, or to enjoy sweet cream creamer in my coffee, then I’m going to just accept that and move on. When you put a label on food, that it’s “bad” or that it’s a “cheat meal,” then it punishes you for enjoying it. And while it’s better to consume real food regularly, obsessing over those “bad” foods probably isn’t worth it. Move on. I think people need to just stop worrying so much about their body and how it looks and focus more on how they feel and what it feels like to be healthy.

I think Americans in general (and people in other countries, however, I do notice this more in the North American population) have just lost sight of the importance of their health. I guess it’s easy to do in a generation of GMOs and fast food and prepackaged “foods,” but it’s really just going to kill the nation in healthcare costs and people are going to be miserable in their unhealthy bodies (be it fat unhealthy bodies or skinny unhealthy bodies) while paying a ton of money in taxes to pay for all the rest of the unhealthy people. And that’s another reason I work out. So people won’t be paying for my broken hips because of my osteoporosis when I’m 70.

I think this post is all over the place. Whatever. I really feel passionate about health, especially with where the US is headed. And I think there is so much that goes into health so I can’t just focus on one thing (and I can’t focus on one thing anyway- look who’s writing this!!!).

The longest run of my LIFE

I’ve been doing CrossFit now for the last 4 years, but hurt my thumb back in November. I noticed it the day after doing light clean and jerks and ignored it until it continued to get worse. I wore a thumb splint at work but would have to take it off regularly to start IVs. I got tired of the pain and got a steroid injection, which helped for the next three months. Then the pain returned and I found out  (via MRI) that I partially tore two ligaments in my thumb and I’ve been splinted for close to three months now.

I attribute the torn ligaments to overuse. I was lifting heavy on a regular basis and doing two a days at times. 2012 was my big CrossFit year. I hit a PR (personal record) on every lift and will probably never PR again. My deadlift when I started CrossFit was 105#. At the end, it was 200# (I’m 103lbs). I cleaned 100#. I was doing push jerks with 85# in WODs… After injuring myself, I was never even close to those numbers even when I did make it to the gym…

Obviously, I’ve decided to quit CrossFit temporarily since I’ve had the split on. I hadn’t been doing it much anyway because of the pain, but it’s been since the end of May since I’ve done any WODs (workout of the day).

I recently started to feel lazy since I wasn’t doing anything at all exercise wise, so I joined LA Fitness and decided to at least do some cardio. Last week I went to the gym with my good friend, Kassie, and we decided that we should run a half marathon! I really needed to set some sort of fitness goals for myself since that’s how I work, but can’t do anything with weights (in terms of record setting here).

Let me just state one thing: I have never ever ever ever liked to run. Ever. I’ve had to run 2 miles for my PT tests in the Army for 6 years, and that was plenty. Whenever people I work with tell me about running, I’m all like, “Yeaaah, I lift weights. I don’t run.” As a matter of fact, we had to run a mile at CrossFit a few months back and I wanted to die. Literally. Wanted to die. I think it was maybe my second or third time running all year.

Jon temporarily got really into running and I ran an insanely hilly, cold, miserable 5k with him. I think my time was right at 30 minutes, but I was also doing some CrossFit still. Then I did a Braves Country 4 miler with him and my time was 42 something. I also wanted to die, and I walked 1/2 mile somewhere in the middle cause my feet hurt. So those are my two big runs of the year, with probably not even a handful of smaller runs.

That’s another thing… I do CrossFit. I lift weights. I wear FiveFingers. I happened to buy New Balance Minimus shoes a few months ago but hated them. I learned how to POSE run (toe to heel) by running barefoot last year and then running back in my FiveFingers. I don’t want to run in anything else, but have no idea if I can withstand running in minimus shoes because I’m so flat footed. But I’ll find out.

 The date is yet to be set for the 1/2 marathon, but I’m actually really excited. Because I learned that you cannot run in minimus shoes on a treadmill, I resorted to the elliptical at the gym, which still really made me want to die. It just hadn’t been right to run outside over the last week (and I live in a newer area where I don’t feel comfortable just running anywhere).

But today!!!! Today I got out of my ACLS recert at 3pm and it was in the low 70s and cloudy! It was perfect! So I went to a park near my house and ran! I had just done 40 minutes on the elliptical the other day, so I decided my goal was to run 20 minutes out and then turn around.

I got into the run and decided I felt like I had gone at least 15 minutes and checked the time. 10 minutes. Really?! How disappointing! So I kept on running and running. The trail ran out (I didn’t think it would) and I just kept on going. My phone screen went so dark that I couldn’t see anything on it, but I heard the lady on MapMyRun telling me something about splits. I don’t even know what a split is, but I was glad at least my phone was still tracking it! I managed to make out the clock just enough to see that I had gone for 20 minutes and turned around.

At the end of the run, I stopped under a tree and managed to end my run on my app. I saw that I went 4.45miles in 40:18 and literally about shit myself. I had not a clue how fast I was going, but was so ecstatic that after running less than 10 times this year that I had just gone the farthest I have ever run in my entire life with a pace of 9:10!

I have no clue how I’m going to train for the 1/2. I need to figure out when I’m running it. I don’t want to get hurt in the process and my ankles were hurting today, so I need to take it slow. I’m not that concerned with the pace, and for the most part, I think I’m just going to set times that I want to run. Today I wanted to go for 40 minutes. Maybe next time I’ll go for 45 minutes.

Anyway, just to liven up this lengthy blog (eventually they’ll get shorter, but I’m giving a lot of background lately!), I’ll add some pictures.

   882644_10200769562951111_1820963552_o 906118_10200769547950736_74508634_o 891894_10200769547510725_1443972570_o 901729_10200769561511075_1444118397_o 885095_10200769550110790_2077124840_o

These were taken in 2013 (can’t remember when) after already taking quite some time off from working out.

295205_402485529806457_209290204_n

And that picture was back in 2012, not long before hurting my thumb, probably at my peak strength. Man, I sure miss that back…