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Diary of a Fat CrossFitter – Somewhat less crabby today

Yesterday, Jasmine threw a temper tantrum in the parking lot, and I picked her up and carried her all the way to the car, along with the groceries, and I wasn’t even winded.

Today, Jasmine and I did yoga together when I got home from CrossFit. And then I stopped and just took pictures because ADORABLE.

A couple of weekends ago, I had the first workout at my CrossFit gym box where I didn’t feel like I was lagging behind everyone else. And lo and behold, when my partner and I finished, our score was in the middle of the pack. And not just because my partner did most of the work, which often happens to me too.

The last couple of weeks have been encouraging in terms of running too. Yeah. Running. WOW. Seriously? I ran for 25 minutes straight the other day. That is out of this fucking world, considering that in May, I couldn’t run two hundred meters without stopping to walk. Here’s the thing, though–I’m still a fat novice runner, a fat novice lifter, and a fat novice CrossFitter, and the learning curve has been very steep (and it’s not been helped by my crabbiness over the last couple of weeks).

I’ve been lucky to have access to excellent coaches, a box close to my house, and a spouse who’s 100% supportive of me getting in shape. I’ve seen crazypants progress over the last several months; however, I’m starting to feel like now that I have an idea of what to do, I need to narrow down what I want. “Get better at CrossFit” and “get fitter” are excellent goals in the short term, but they’re not going to carry me through several months of leave and international moves. Instead, I think I need to set some new specific short and long-term goals.

Some of you may remember a post from several months ago, where I spoke about my steadfast refusal to make any resolutions for fitness. Establishing the habit was more important to me than anything else. In doing that, I’ve discovered that some things are more important to me than others. I love running. I love lifting. I hate burpees (doesn’t everyone?). I really don’t care about getting good at CrossFit for CrossFit’s sake. And there are a few things that I really really really want to do.

Hmmmmm. Time to make a plan.

Diary of a Fat CrossFitter – Crabby McCrabbyPants

If you’re hollering out encouragement to EVERY runner who passes you during the workout, that’s awesome. If you’re only hollering encouragement to the fat chick who’s struggling, well, fuck you, buddy.

Here’s the thing that I think a lot of people forget about fat people in the gym, ANY GYM, not just Crossfit:

  1. Fat is not and should not be a moral judgement (so don’t fucking lie to me and tell me I’m not fat).
  2. Fat does not equal a lack of confidence about my non-fitness achievements. Seriously. I am fucking awesome, and I don’t ever forget it. Neither should you.

Listen, I totally get that I’m the slowest person in the entire membership. And no matter how many new members arrive, I’m still the slowest. But it does means when I’m running slowly, it’s because I’m slow, not because I’m not giving max effort on a workout. If I take a short break between burpees, it’s because I’m likely not going to be able to get back up after the next one if I don’t.  Certainly, I am not scaling box jumps and pushups because I want to.

I occasionally feel like I have to prove that I’m working hard. And I do eventually prove it. To everyone. Because I am working my ass off.

But dammit. I wish I didn’t have to.

Several unrelated thoughts

  1. My CrossFit gym box hods a nutritional coaching program a few times a year, and I am participating in the current round. I will not be blogging it here in detail here because t’s a pretty restrictive program (although designed to become less restrictive when you finish), and I’m still trying to figure out where the fine line between “trying to get healthy” and “orthorexic” is.  It’s a Whole30 writ large, and it’s important to me to get through the eight weeks of the program. If you’re interested in my food choices, holler at me and I’ll send you the link to the tumblr I’ll be using to record Every.  Single.  Meal.  UGH.
  2. Speaking of Jerusalem, the countdown has begun!  We’ve begun the long process of pre-departure planning, arranging pack-outs, and getting ready to leave the U.S. for two years.  I am super excited, but also super stressed.
  3. Grace is walking.  This is amazing and frightening, all at the same time.
  4. My spouse and I have decided to eschew the orgy of pre-departure purchases in favor of purchasing just about everything locally in Jerusalem.  It’s kind of freaking me out, but I’m really pleased that we’re not going to spend a fortune on consumables over the next two months.

I passed my Arabic test

There have been a couple of excellent retrospectives on language training over the last couple of months. Now that I’m finished with Arabic, I have a only one thing to add: it’s very easy to forget that, while individual teachers employed by FSI may care about me as an individual, FSI-the-institution does not.

This goes double for EFMs.

The good news is that I am done language training! Hurray! I’ve been getting emails from ConGen talk about how intense the class is, but you know what? It can’t be worse than the unbelievable amount of time I had to put into studying Arabic. I passed my test, and by better than the hair of my chinny-chin-chin, and I am relieved.

The countdown to Jerusalem has begun!

Diary of a Fat CrossFitter – Four months in, it could be worse

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My running buddy and I, that is, my adult running buddy and I, hit the second spot on our DC running bucket list last weekend. I’ve walked around the tidal basin, but not in years, and I’ve certainly never run around it.

My toddler running buddy came too.

We had a good run. Camille was kind enough to let me stick to my C25K running plan (yeah, I’m a few weeks behind), and the weather was absolutely amazing. Warm enough that we didn’t need extra layers, but cool enough that we weren’t dying from the humidity like last week. Again, what a difference decent shoes and running clothes make. And a couple of months of exercise.

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Post-run selfie. Because if it’s not on Facebook, it didn’t happen.

Today, I had a lot of fun at CrossFit. Which is actually unusual. I enjoy CrossFit, in the same way that I enjoyed being pregnant. Being pregnant was pretty much the stupidest worstest thing I ever did to my body. But the end result was totally worth it. Usually, CrossFit is pretty miserable, but when I’m done, not only do I feel like a million bucks, I can say, “Well damn. I just dead lifted half my body weight.” (Note: half of my body weight is a LOT OF WEIGHT.)

Today, I was appalled to find myself kind of … having fun. I’m starting to get good enough at things that I can focus on details. I can hold the bar and move some weight, so now I can focus on why I’m getting stuck in the hole (hint: I’m lazy and let my core relax). I know how to do most of the warm-up movements, so I can focus on actually warming up, rather than desperately trying to figure out how to move. And now I know enough to know how to ask for help, which the coaches have been great about providing.

Also, I love squat days. So there’s that too.

As my four month CrossFit mark approaches (four months is important b/c it’s my CFSA contract renewal date), I’m sitting back and taking stock at what a difference regular exercise has made in my life.

  • I am less crazypants (Bertrand may disagree).
  • I am less stressed (hahahaha, language test in two weeks WHO AM I KIDDING I AM STRESSED TO THE MAX).
  • I am more likely to chase Jasmine around outside, instead of dreading taking her to the playground (OK, just kidding, I still hate playgrounds because OMG WHERE DID ALL OF THESE CHILDREN COME FROM).
  • I do not huff and puff when I have to run across a wide intersection because the traffic light is changing (although I am still likely to lollygag because I’m an asshole like that).
  • I can carry a hell of a lot more groceries in one load.
  • I’ve got another conversational topic to chat with strangers about (and this socially awkward diplomat needs all of the conversational help she can get). Basically, anyone who reads this blog knows I CrossFit, and anyone who’s into exercise has an opinion on CrossFit, so bring on the haterade, because at least it’s something to talk about when we run out of things to say about the weather.

Basically, CrossFit and running are awesome, and I should have started a long time ago. So it goes.

Air & Space Museum – Out with the Sondjos and Carpenters

Family = <3.  My brother and his family drove down to DC this weekend so that we could visit museums together with the kids.  When we arrived at the Air & Space Museum, we were surprised and pleased to discover that there were a ton of special activities going on to celebrate women in flight, and to encourage girls and young women to pursue careers in aviation. Awesome.

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Here we all are, building planes with and for our toddlers.

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It took a short while to convince Jasmine that it would be fun to build her own plane, but once we did, we had a blast.  I did the majority of the building and piecing the plane together, but she was thrilled to be able to test it!  The plane was pink and purple and covered in glitter.  “A princess plane!” said Jasmine.  And she loved it.

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I always forget how terrible the food is at the Air & Space Museum because every other museum in DC has great food.  Our choices were McDonald’s or pizza.  Ugh.  The kids were so worked up, it was hard getting enough food in them without suffering through junk food.  So it goes.  Jasmine ate all of her apples and three bites of her sandwich in return for an ice cream cone.  And then I had to get one for her cousin too.  FINE.  FINE.  Whatever it takes to keep the kids one step ahead of a breakdown while we’re out and about.

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Turns out, Grace loves ice cream too.

Visiting a museum with young kids means lots of herding, lots of chasing, and not much actually getting to see the exhibits ourselves.  After we’d seen everything we thought the kids would love (planes, yes, space, yes, history of flight, no), we realized that we were completely and utterly exhausted.

Every time I go out with another family of toddlers, I’m all like, “Yeah!  This’ll be so fun!  The kids are going to love it!”  And they do!  The problem is that I’m also like, “We’re going to be able to show the kids SO MUCH STUFF!”

Hahahaha.

I gotta remember the “three things” rule that served us so well with Jasmine.  Three things in a day.  And for us, it was 1) Michael and his family visiting, 2) taking the metro, and 3) the museum.  Getting lunch at the food court was actually #4, and we should have known that we were pushing our luck.

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We bought umbrellas on our way to the metro to escape the downpour.  Jasmine insisted on carrying her own.  No fools in the Sondjo family–we let her do it.