I’m just Bulking

 Last night:

Accidentally dressing alike is my favorite! How cute is he?!?!

Food prep this week was ON POINT.

Grilled things, butternut squash soup, steamed broccoli all full of volume and fiber! Yes, yes and yes!!!!

Plus we did this while prepping:
Beats ordering a pizza! It’s a little bit hot outside for outdoor dining. And by “hot” I mean the temperature and the humidity are both in the 90’s. “Feels like 114”???

I may have let a whole lot of bread and wine into my life last weekend… 
And I didn’t get enough pictures, but we made some homemade strawberry cobbler in our cast iron skillet on the grill. Grilling everything really makes a lot of sense in the summer because ovens turn regular houses into sweat boxes.  But yeah, this cobbler has all the sugar and gluten… but it’s kind of worth it. If you’re feeling saucy, then here is the recipe.

 

I sure do make a lot of stupid food choices.

I keep writing really long “woe is me–I want to happily eat food and lift heavy, but be less fluffy” rants and deleting them because they are ridiculous. Life is about balance. And I really hope I will eventually find it.

I like flexible dieting, but I am often “too flexible” and also I am sick and tired of tracking. I have tracked weekday food religiously on the myfitnesspal app for about 8 months in an attempt to “cut” and have nothing to show for it (no weight loss, no substantial strength gains, no body recomposition).

Hating your body is pretty lame. Especially if you work out every day and prep food every week.

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I made this my Wodify picture. I literally made it. He is a chunky prairie dog <3

Happy Friday!

 

Food Lately!

I’ve been wanting to create some sort of time capsule of all the awesome food I’ve been eating this summer so I can look back later and be inspired to do awesome things like create balsamic reductions or grill fruit. So here we go:

Grilling some peaches! Paeshes.

And serve them with ice cream. Obviously. Have you hear blue bell brand ice cream is going back into production soon? You didn’t even know it was recalled??? I feel sad for you, you poor mysterious ice-cream deprived blog reader.

Breyers is good to. OH and this lovely grilled dessert was prefaced by this genius bacon-wrapped corn that Brad made.

I need to make sure that boy doesn’t ever leave me for some less-food-appreciative lady.

He also is the one responsible for creating this blueberry balsamic reduction that’s on the tomato avocado salad below:

Or maybe it was a joint effort. I’m the one who found the recipe for the stuffed pepper! So get this: it’s stuffed like a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich! It’s got roast beef, onion, mushrooms and it’s topped with provolone cheese that was melted on top under the broiler. <3 OMG it’s so good and it’s only like ~375 calories for the whole thing.

Here it is again with green peppers and a side of brussels sprouts cooked in the best way: with bacon fat and ranch powder! 

 

And here are brussels sprouts again with another macro-friendly recipe. Buffalo chicken meatballs! So easy. Ground chicken + 1 egg + 1/4 c bread crumbs + 1/4 c buffalo sauce + feta cheese.

One more grilled fruit desire to show off:

Mmmm, pineapple.

Here is a typical weekday breakfast:

Plus vitamins: magnesium, D, C, and B. It comes out to:   461 calories – 28 protein, 49 carbs, 16 fat. (There’s some egg whites plus one whole egg)

Have you heard about this new fad thing going on? Everyone seems to be worrying about their adrenal health. So I happened upon this “Adrenal Cocktail“.  I’ve only made it twice, but it’s not bad… I can’t tell if it’s doing anything or not.


It’s funny how these fads pop up that sound like the be-all, end-all solution to all your problems..

“Are you tired in the morning?”

“Do  you crave all the sugar/salty/fatty foods?”

“Do you wish you were kicking more ass at the gym?”

“Do you get sore after you work out?”

“Does your weight fluctuate?”

“Do you forget things sometimes?”

OMG ME, ME, ME! These are all me!–please take my money and fix all my woes in life!!! lol so ridiculous.

Just take your vitamins and get some sleep….?

 

A strongman comp! 

I did a strongman competition. I wouldn’t have thought I was capable of doing a comp like this. I know that strength is one of my strong suits in crossfit, but I never thought I could actually complete a competition like this!

Julie was doing it (she was a division 1 collegiate thrower) and she urged me to join her, so I did.   I figured i’d be brave and try something new with her. We wanted to enter the “novice” division, but after we arranged to meet Syard (NWA Strongman “president” and coordinator of the even), she told us both that we needed to compete in the open division instead–because you can qualify for nationals if you compete in that category.

Since there were only a few female competitors, they combined the mid-weight women with the heavyweight women. Too bad for me because I was the only mid-weight woman.

So there were 5 events. And each event is only 60 seconds long! It made the day go by super duper fast.

The first event was an axel bar clean and press, log clean and press, followed by as many one-arm DB presses as you can get in the remainder of the minute. I hated the axel bar because it didn’t “spin” the way a barbell does.

The log is freaking awkward.

I got zero dumbbell presses. I had managed to get one a few days before, but my forearm has a huge swollen bruise from resting the sharp-edged weight on it.

Next was Yoke squats at 325lbs. I wouldn’t call the squats so much as I would call them “yoke ups”. The range of motion will take your hips nowhere NEAR parallel. Very, very different from crossfit standards!

This was probably my favorite event. It was cool to move so much weight so quickly.

Next was an axel bar deadlift at 265 for 60 seconds. It was pretty awful! I only got 12 reps. No pics, that goodness, because my deadlift face is pretty bad.

Event 4 was a carry medley! 300lbs farmers carry (150 in each hand!) for 50 meters, then turn around and bring 150 lbs sandbag back 50 meters. I was pretty slow on this one, but I got it done. I was really nervous on whether I’d be able to pick up the farmers carry, but i did. And once it was up it just became all about having quick feet and a good grip.

Last but not least….

We had this ridiculous 165b stone over-bar thing. This was my first time touching an atlas stone. And possible my last. I didn’t ever get the damn this over the bar.

 

I made some pretty interesting food-choices that day.

I came in last in my three-person comp with two super strong heavyweight ladies. Which means I GOT THIRD! lol! $5 gift card to YTFS :)

I actually ended up getting invited to nationals, but I am not so sure that I want to go. I would get my ass handed to me!

But I do feel accomplished that I got out there and faced some fears! And everyone involved with the event was SUPER nice and helpful. I would consider doing this even again to support it and help keep it alive and strong ;)

Stitch Fix #4!

Oh man. I’m really bad at blogging again, but whatever. It’s my blog and I’ll be totally random and post two Stich Fix entires in a  row if I want to :)

I did Stitch Fix again!!! Read my previous post for all the information about what Sitch Fix is :)

First of all, I got new hair. (I got a dark gloss and some new and improved bangs!) The style didn’t last too long, though, because it was insanely humid and I sweat a lot. I think some people are just a lot better at sweating than others. I am a champion sweater. And champion eater too… It is what it is.

And without further ado, here are my pieces from this Fix!

Loveappella kit v-neck top:
This one is INSANELY soft and comfortable. It’s not the most flattering, and I feel a little overwhelmed with stripes (Probably because they are all over my Pinterest style board). But The side panels and neck and sleeve details broke up the stripes nicely.

Verdict: Keep!

Next is a dress! I didn’t know what to think when I saw this one but i put it on and was amazed!!!

It works for my long torso–the hips are in the right spots and the style is both date AND work-friendly. And it is STRETCHY!

And also in my fix was this adorable statement necklace. Look how great this little pop of color is with this dress: 

 

Verdict: Keep!

And the statement necklace, too.

Verdict: Keep!

Next is a really pretty colored shirt. I liked the sleeve length a lot and the color is so pretty. The only negative is that it’s pretty tight in my armpits because I have huge football-player shoulders and traps.

Here you can see the armpit snugness, but I think I will wear it anyways. It’s actually a really cute design :)

And since i’m loving everything else in my box so much, you get a 25% discount if you keep it all, and I can definitely get some use out of this shirt. 

Verdict: Keep!

And last but not least–here is a really nice cardigan.

It’s amazingly soft and has really cute details! Look! It has elbow patches! I’ve never owned anything with those, so that is really fun.

 

The stylist mentioned that she saw something really similar on my pinterest board  and I just went to see if i could find it and here it is!

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 10.52.12 AMCuuuuuute! I won’t be wearing this one any time soon, though, because it’s 99 degrees with 80% humidity. No joke. My workouts are really suck right now.

Anyways yes, so I KEPT IT ALL!!!! YAYYY! I am really happy with this fix :) Especially that dress–I never would have tried that on if I had seen it in a store, but I think it’s my favorite piece from the whole fix.

Try if your yourself!!! and please my referral link: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3245408

When you get your first fix, I get $25 credit–and I had $50 to use towards that last fix so that was really awesome.

 

Stick Fix #3!

So…. I signed up for my third Fix at Stich Fix!!! I’m so excited! I never ever shop.  Seriously. And when I try to shop, I always leave practically in tears because nothing fits me.  My body type is a difficult one to dress, so I left a note to the stylist that I prefer things with stretch.

If you Ddn’t know what Stich Fix is, it’s this incredibly convenient online shopping experience. You fill out a profile on their site and they send you a “Fix” which consists of 6 items.. I think. I’ve always gotten 6 in my fixes. The stylist who creates your Fix will try to tailor the items to your profile. Also you can write them notes per fix and share a Pinterest board with them. I totally share mine and I think that’s why i end up with stripes in my fixes a lot. I don’t really love stripes on me, but I love them on other people. Models. Everything looks good on models.

 

So anyways, I got my box last night when I got home from the gym. I was so excited, I apologize for the sub-part photos, but i was super excited and didn’t care about the crappy lighting.

Here’s the note from my box:

And now for the goodies:  

First item:

STREET LEVEL #7382-044

Juno Small Folded Clutch

$38.00

  

I never use clutches, but I really like this one. I am honestly extremely torn about keeping it or not… but I will decide by the end of the day today so that I can take all the no-keepers to the post office.

I forgot to mention–if you keep everything then you get 25% off! Unfortunately, not everything fit me so that’s not an option for me with this Fix, but it’s a pretty cool bonus. But also, since I know I won’t keep it all, I have no incentive to keep “most” either. Which makes me  feel less likely to keep the clutch since I can probably find something similar for the same price later in the future when I actually need it.

I also forgot to say that it costs $20 for the “styling fee” but then you get to use that $20 towards keeping anything from your Fix. And shipping both ways is free, so it totally is worth it even if you don’t keep anything, IMO.

Next up:

PAPERMOON #6711-357

Anna Mixed Material Knit Top

$38.00

This top is really cool. and unlike anything I already have. I have nothing with this type of print and nothing that is mixed materials like this. I think it’s really cool. It’s looser/flowier than what I am used to, but I am keeping it for sure. Excited to be adding something new and different to my style :)

I almost wish the whole thing were solid colors, but here’s to being a little more exciting.

 

And here come here come the stripes :)

LOVEAPPELLA #7460-224

Canon Button Detail Striped Knit Top

$48.00  

I love the button details on the sleeves! And the length of the sleeves. This top is an absolute keeper because it works perfect for any season. And it’s knit so it stretches to fit my insane shoulders.  I would love to have it in a solid color as well if that exists.

I specifically asked for a pair of pants to try in this Fix. And I got these:

MARGARET M #7098-754

Emer Bootcut Pant

$98.00

 They are so stretchy! And I think it’s cool that they don’t have a zipper or button fly of any kind, they are just a super easy pull-on pant and really stretchy. Which is exactly what I asked for :)

Unfortunately, if I bend at all then they slide down like crazy! Exhibit A:   

That will drive nuts at work, so I knew I had to pass on these. Very unfortunate. #bigbootyproblems?

Next up is a SKIRT!

PIXLEY #7790-924

Hanneli Polka Dot Swing Skirt

$54.00 

It’s actually a little bit longer than most of my skirts, but I think I really like it. It will be great for work this summer while it’s so dang hot. I was on the fence for a while, but I think I should keep it.

The color may be a little tricky to match with. It’s navy with white polka dots.  The stylist mentioned to pair it with the striped top, but I held them up together and felt very strongly that it wasn’t a good look for me. lol

  Also here is the clutch again. I just can’t decide! Gah!

Here is my OOTD for work today!

I think my arrowhead necklace added a fun touch that went along with the indian print theme. Woohoo, I’m trying harder to be more stylish! It’s really fun, but not something that comes naturally to me.

Have you ever tried Stitch Fix? Do you wanna try it? Would you keep the clutch?

If you think you wanna give it a try, I’d love it if you used my referral link. I get $25 credit when you schedule a fix!

https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3245408

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

Big Cedar Birthday Celebration!

Mom was celebrating her birthday at Big Cedar, but then we decided to make it a joint birthday dinner extravaganza :) So I went there with her on Saturday and did the Paint & Pour class and spent the night.

The weather was perfect.  This photo was accused of being The Shire–lol!

Anything you oder at Devil’s Pool will be delicious.

Here is my BBQ chicken sandwich with sweet tater chips:

And my bloody mary:  

The Shire again, haha!  

At Paint & Pour, we did a mod-podge with paper pattern swatches on the deer antlers!  It was actually really hard! Trying to measure and cut all the swatches into the shapes I wanted in a timely manner was completely impossible. (Try doing that in 20 minutes! lol!) We did a lot of tearing and guessing and going “meh…. good enough!”

I had never done one of those group painting classes before. It was super fun and i would definitely do it again!

Dinner that night was a white sangria with a bacon-wrapped pork chop.  

  

And a lovely sunset.

The next day Dad and Brad joined us for lunch and a super fun golf cart cave tour.

      

Yes! We went into a cave!!! And there was a bar and we got “Bat’s Blood” which was a blackberry jalapeño bloody mary that I could drink every single day–SO good!!!    

Up next: We are going to Dallas to hang out with Marlea and Trip and watch the South CrossFit Regional competition! Woohoo!!!

Accepting the muscle!

This post in totally inspired by THIS post by Jennifer @ Wine To Weightlifting. Especially the part about seeing change in your body. I recently made this photo comparison pic-stitch of a picture from 2011 on the left and a recent photo on the right.
IMG_1960It’s hard to fit either body type into clothes, but the body on the right is much harder to dress! I enjoy being strong, and I am much happier than I was in the photo on the left. But even now, seeing them side by side makes me wonder if i’d trade all of those PR’s to be smaller.

I was sad during that time, though. I was single. I wasn’t getting a lot of happiness from my job. I felt super lonely. And I was eating stupid crap like lean cuisines. Gross.

I was teaching group fitness, but it was wearing me down. I would get up and teach a 5:15AM body pump class, then I’d work all day and then teach an hour-long spin class at 7:00. Then I’d train long-run marathon training runs on the weekend. Never picked up anything over about 60lbs ever.

Running was the main focus of my training. I wanted to be an endurance athlete. I wanted to force my large, strong frame to be light and fast.

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It’s not like I wasn’t successful. I ran a marathon in under 4 hours and ran several half marathons around 1:50.

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Running at 8-9 minute mile pace was comfortable to me.

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Then I found crossfit!

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And more muscle.10577203_763660320357862_6794942679422256789_n

and MORE muscle.10377634_812954045428489_2788008836895878930_n

It just kept building on as I kept doing the workouts. I focused on competing and trying to be stronger. That was the fun part to me, so that was my focus. The changes in my body were just something that came along as a side effect.

I recently decided that maybe I have accidentally been “bulking” for the past couple of years, so I have been attempting to “cut”. Attempting. For about 6 months now. And all I’ve managed to do is lose about 5 lbs. And lose that same 5 lbs about 4 times.

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I’m not even competing right now, so what is the point? I have skills now. I can finally do all of the basic crossfit movements because I got my muscle up this year. What I really want to do now is get comfortable in my own skin.

I’ve been following Juli Bauer’s blog at PaleOMG for a long time and I’ve watched her transform from a competitive regional crossfit athlete into a lean thigh-gap sporting fashionista who goes a lot lighter on the weights during her workouts.  At first I was so angry that she would let her injuries take her away from her talents. Maybe I’ve had too much of the crossfit kool aid. But now I am finally starting to see that you can step away and look at the bigger picture. People won’t like you any less if you’re bad at muscle ups and have a weak motor (me). It doesn’t matter if everyone else beats me at workouts. I just want to be strong and happy and healthy. And not feel all self-conscous in a swimsuit.

What am I talking about? I want to be one of the best athletes! And I want to make it to regionals on a team one day.

I’m so torn!!! Can I care about both??? I want to be competitive AND look good.

And how is it that I can put this much focus on diet and exercise and still feel like I look like shit?!?

Uh. I feel like this whole post lost it’s purpose.

My birthday was Tuesday. I should blog about that instead. lol

I guess my conclusion is that I need to lose that 5 lbs again and then keep going! I need to figure out how to navigate my way through social events and special occasions without completely derailing. I have the tools to do it… just trying to find the discipline.11188368_10152845937481417_4712798849742653991_n

 

Macro-tastic Birthday Cake Cookies

Flexible dieting is cool. But it’s still dieting! So you’re still in a calorie deficit if you’re trying to lose weight. Cutting, cutting, cutting. cutting. I’m always cutting. I really wonder if a day will ever come that I’m like “Naw, I’m good. I’ll switch to maintenance macros now.”

Because I certainly doubt it. I think I’m actually eating for maintenance now because I cut all week and then basically binge all weekend. It’s not helping in my quest to feel confident in a bikini this summer. Gosh that is so shallow when I actually type it out. But seriously last year I just ate whatever I felt like was healthy and ended up spending all of my lake time covering m myself up with t-shirts and lifejackets as much as possible. And that’s no fun :(

Enough about my pity party. Check out this recipe! So the kid who write this website is only 16. Blows my mind! He’s a genius. And so is whoever takes all of his photography.

So naturally I got curious about chickpeas and sprinkles together in one recipe and decided to make these macro-friendly things STAT!

  
  

I had to make them closer to 12 minutes because they were super wet still when I took them out of the oven.

 

I don’t usually bake with stevia so that was a first for me. I thought it was kinda weird. They ended up tasting pretty artificial. But it didn’t help that I used the Cellucor Cor-Fetti whey protein powder that I am not a very big fan of. I think it tastes like plastic sugar. If that’s a thing.

So yeah these are wet sticky plastic sugar cookies. I tried to store them in the fridge but it seemed to make them even wetter. The bottoms of the cookies were cake textured though.

OH! And i did al the processing with my vitamix blender because my food processor died. So maybe that had something to do with the super gooey/goopy texture.

Speaking of flexible dieting.. this:  

It’s twice the calories of the regular arctic zero but its WORTH it. Trust me.

Oh rainbow sprinkles. What do you do to me??? 

New car!!!!

I’m officially a grown up, I guess. Because I bought a CAR!!!

I wanted something fuel efficient that could get me to work (60 miles round trip per day) without costing me an arm and a leg. The way it is now, I’ll probably be really good at making the payment with the money I save on gas! lol

I am a happy camper. I never really saw myself in a small car like this, but man it’s so incredible to have a new car I can’t even believe it!

It’s a 2013 Ford Fiesta!

Brad and I rented a Ford Focus by random chance when we needed a car to drive to Omaha last year. We both really really loved the car, so coming across this Fiesta for such a great deal was easy to jump on.

AND my sister’s husband Lane was our salesman! How completely amazing is that?! I am beyond elated with this car right now. It has everything that I never thought I would be able to get:

  • leather seats
  •  a sun roof!!!
  • heated seats
  • 40 MPG highway
  • plays CDs, Mp3s, and syncs to phone!
  • Is only 2 years old
  • still smells like a new car
  • doesn’t look like a highwaisted grandma pants car

The only thing that makes a little sad is that I can’t haul my bike with it. but i never ride any more anyways. And I live RIGHT on the community trail system and have access to the best mountain bike trail in Fayetteville.

I’m also a teensy bit sad that I can’t pull a boat with it, but there are always trucks I can borrow this summer for that ;)

Sluggo invited himself to sit in the back seat. He approves.

 

 

And since no post  is complete without some food or some crossfit… here is Sunday’s epic breakfast:

Slightly less epic that usual, perhaps. But summer is coming! Swimsuits and shirtless workouts might be in my near future.  We’ve been pretty good at following flexible dieting since Memphis.  The weekend was a little difficult, and a dozen donuts were purchased in celebration. But they were somewhat carefully eaten throughout a 3-4 day span, so it’s all good.

Stuffed peppers on a Friday night!

  There was a chance of hail on Sunday night, so I got to stuff my new car in my parents’ garage for a while. I just ended up raining super hard instead, but I was still happy to protect my new wheels.

I took this really crazy photo in the back yard during a short burst of sunshine that appeared after the heaviest rain was over.

I want to write in more detail about flexible dieting soon and it’s impact on my workouts.

Soon! HAVE an amazing week :)

I roasted a chicken!

Brad keeps having to travel for work, study for listening exams, teach classes, and be a career badass, so I have been finding myself alone in the kitchen a lot lately.

Well at work this week (I still don’t officially work here, but I’m about to, hopefully) they had a bunch of chickens for doing some photoshoot about “weeping” chickens! How funny is that? When chickens are preserved properly they can “weep” a TON of moisture and it makes them shrink down and lose their juicy awesomeness.

So anyways, everyone got a chicken! You get a chicken, you get a chicken, and I get a chicken too! They were killed on Monday and we had them on Tuesday. How freshly awesome is that?!?!  So I was like “what the heck do I do with this thing?” Something easy, please—roast it!

So on Wednesday night while Brad was teaching  I sprinkled the thing with kerrygold butter, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic, and rosemary, shoved some celery in it and baked itin the oven at about 375 degrees for an hour and 20 minutes or so.

 Do you like my makeshift roasting pan?

  

It came out soon good! it was incredibly juicy and tender and perfectly seasoned. I feel like I got lucky. Roasting a chicken can’t be THIS easy! The only problem was that I didn’t eat it until about 10:00 at night. I was so famished that I hate half a bag of raw celery while I was waiting. I HATE celery. So that’s how hungry I was.

Now let’s go back to the weekend! We went to Memphis!!!

We went there to meet Brad’s dad and his girlfriend. We arrived there on Friday afternoon and after we settled into the hotel we decided to go tour Sun Studios. Which was really cool! I recommend doing that if you ever find yourself tourisming in Memphis but don’t have a whole lot of time.

And if you need to kill time waiting for your tour to start, walk down the street to the Trolley Stop and get a slice or two of pizza! Nomnomnom!

After that we went to Beer street. Wait! Beale street, isn’t it? It smells like beer all over the place. Close enough.

We found this place called wet willies that I was pretty excited about. A place that serves about 30 different kinds of frozen daiquiris from those little spinning machines that are like little washing machines full of slushy goodness. Some of them were super potent. I got a mixture called the hurricane or something.

Obviously I wasn’t counting calories or anything. After that we ate at BB King’s and watched some live blues. They have pretty dang good ribs.

Then we visited the ever-wonderful never disappointing Cheesecake Corner  

Chocolate peanut butter was an excellent choice. It’s actually really hard to choose a flavor when you’re in there. They have so many and none of them look like they’d be less than amazing.

Also–the google says they close at 9:00. It’s a huge lie! We arrived at about 9:30 and they were still open and not closing any time soon. But at least we probably beat the crowd :)

We visited DeSoto CrossFit the next morning hoping to burn off a little bit of the bad ideas we’d had the night before. Pizza, beer, ribs, daiquiris, and cheesecake. It did NOT disappoint. we did a 30-minute partner WOD with running, wallballs, pull-ups and burpees. Blegh.

Then after a healthy breakfast of dunkin donuts, we hit Graceland! It was actually pretty cool. We learned a lot about Elvis. I feel like I could score pretty high on an elvis trivia quiz. We were there for about 6 hours and then we went to a place called Gus’s (World Famous) Fried Chicken.

I obviously stunk at taking photos that day. We ended the day with an accidental encounter with a crawfish festival, and some mexican ice cream. Then to bed early! We were pooped!

That was it for Memphis, but I think we did pretty good with just one weekend.

Since Tuesday we’ve both been rockstar flexible dieters. Summer is coming!!! Ahhh!!

I’m off to find an Elvis trivia quiz…. lol