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How the unfit ‘fit’: Be Better

If you adopt one mantra for 2017… “be better”.   If you select one resolution to stick to… “be better”.  It’s that time of year when friends and family will talk diets, weight-loss, work out programs.  No matter the newest or latest trend there is one core reason we all chose to engage in these activities and that is to ‘be better’.  Today I ‘m going to talk about resolutions and keeping it simple by focusing on ‘being better’.

Each and every day we make choices on what we do.  Within that we have the power ‘be better’.  First if you are trying to lose weight, you are looking for a lifestyle change not a diet.  You are also looking for a system and approach that will work with who you are.  How you get there will depend on motivation,  passion, and grit.

Something needs to trigger you to get started.  This can range from dis-satisfaction, health risk, or a desire to look more sexy.  You have to need it for yourself not just want for it.  When you need something, you make it happen.  Next is passion. You’ve got to find something you enjoy.  There is such a variety of activities available to you, and finding something that you are passionate about will keep you there.  If you find yourself fighting to show-up it may be time to switch it up a bit.  .   Finally grit.  There will be times, phases, or plateaus that frustrate or even anger you.  Showing some grit to break through will be key for long term success.

So how do these three characteristics motivation, passion, and grit work with ‘being better’.  That boils down to daily choices.  Before you turn on the TV for your favorite show get in 10-15 min of walking, running, push-ups, sit-ups or other activity.  If being active in some way is your goal then every choice you make during the day will work towards or against that goal.  Keep it simple and start small. Park far away from the grocery store. Build in those extra steps.

If eating habits are your goal. Fill your plate with everything you are suppose to have before indulging in the things you would like to have.  You’ll find you eat less of the bad foods in volume and stick to your goals while sufficing some cravings.    There are many iterations you will go through when taking on cleaning up your diet.  No one gets it right the first time.  Take steps to move in the right direction. Eliminate sugar. Eliminate processed foods. Maybe not all at once, but little by little change over what your daily consumption looks like and adopt new permanent changes you can sustain.

Overtime, you will find that long term success was built or a series of small choices you make.   And that those choices will change the course of life you were previously on.  Most importantly it will lead to success in what you are working towards.  Remind yourself to ‘be better’ by committing to make small choices that support your larger goal.  Make a choice today, you would not have made yesterday.  Little by little you will see that you are becoming that better you, you wanted.  It’s almost 2017… my hope for you is that you find a way to ‘be better’!

How the unfit ‘fit’: Food Jail, a lifestyle change

Hi everyone.  Sorry it’s been a few weeks since my last post.   Am I still in food jail?  YES.   Is it still working?  YES!  Like many of you life just got busy and so a few things had be tabled for a bit.  Now I’m back to catch you up.

What has it been like?  Now that I am in weeks 4-8 I’m finding its getting a lot easier!   All of the things that I’ve been practicing are now becoming more and more a part of my life.   How frequently to eat.  What is the proper portion size for me.  And what is the right mix of foods that fuel my body in a good way.  It’s become much more easy to stick on the plan, even through holiday’s and major events.   Below are a few tricks that have worked for me.

Dealing with either the holiday’s or special events is a challenge.   And let’s face it, life is short we should find the times to splurge. Here are  few things I’ve been doing to keep on track or not completely fall off the wagon.   My first trick has been to eat what’s right first.  For Thanksgiving this meant eating my portiens and veggies first,  then adding small portions of those things I enjoy most but don’t fit my regular plan.   This way I still get a small taste to satisfy me, while not making a huge impact on my plan.  Did i eat some pie? You bet I did:)   Mostly because my goal is lose weight, not become a figure competitor.  The choices you make still need to align with the goals you have set for yourself.  And I know splurging on a piece is not going to break the bank on my plan.  I just need to know how to deal with it.   This comes in a few ways.  Either I don’t lose as much that week, or I pick up an extra activity to shed that splurge off.

Speaking of activity level mine currently ranges between 0 and .5%  Meaning I’m doing to much to be active at the moment.   Why is that?   Well life for me.  Work is a little demanding and coupled with a leg injury working out is simply the first thing to go for me.  For some this may be a stress reliever.  For me the couch and binging on a good tv show is the stress reliever that works best. Am I still losing weight?   Not as much as I could with working out,  but YES it’s still coming off because I am being honest with my coach and we adjust the plan.  This is not a long term answer for me,  not being active.  But as of this moment it is what my life requires of me.   I’ll get back to it and see even more results.

Have you thought about joining food jail?  Have you already joined?  There is no better time to get started!  I know, I know Christmas is just around the corner.  It’s ok.  If you are looking for a change, this is one to consider.  It makes a difference.  I’ve seen the results in so many of my friends.  And I’m excited to continue seeing the results in myself!   If you are looking for results, get your journey started!

How the unfit ‘fit’: Food Jail Week 2 recap

Week two of food jail is now complete.   Life had a lot to throw at me this week.  At first I felt it could be an easy excuse.  And in times past, there is no question I would have thrown in the hat.  But I didn’t.

What has helped me stay on track? There are a few phrases I’ve found to repeat to myself What I’ve previously done has not worked.  Give it shot, let it work, and give it time to do what it’s suppose to.   Also announcing to others that I am in food jail, everyone is really supportive which is awesome.  Sharing my journey is helping to stay accountable and on track.  Two examples were a pizza party I left because it was my favorite local pizza and quite frankly I wanted it but didn’t need it.  The second was a friend who was recently in food jail helping me make some menu decisions and substitutions to be as close to plan as possible. Both having the support and eagerness to help me through these situations was a huge win this week.

I also started reading a book titled ‘GRIT’.  In the first chapter the author talks about the experience of making it at West Point.  Further it goes on to talk about all the applied science to analyze a recruit’s ability to make it or not.  Despite best efforts, this often is difficult even impossible to predict. So it got me thinking… what causes or drives a person to make it through anything in life?  What causes or drives a person to make it through change?  What is going to help me make it through this weight loss goal I have put out there?

I’m not sure I have all the answers.  But I am starting with my own dissatisfaction in how I look.  And spending a few extra moments in the mirror in the morning to simply accept what I am. This is part of what I am doing to remind myself of why.  Taking a few moments to reflect on the numbers showing on the scale each week, and diving deeper into am I happy with my ability to move or participate. Do I have energy during the week.  These deeper dives I am doing by keeping a personal journal.  You may think I am trying to beat myself up or guilt myself.  I am by no means trying to beat myself up.  I am however, trying to ground myself in reality and have a clear picture of where I am right now.  Thus allowing myself to analyze further where I want to be.  Being present.  Being in the now, and using this to be my guide on where I want to go.

I think what I have done for so long is convince myself that I am better than what is real.  I still believe I am beautiful; I just have things I want to change.  I believe I am good enough, but there are things I want to be different.  It takes significant focus and effort to live in the now and embrace what is.  It takes a lot of courage to accept this and make choices each moment that contribute to the change I am seeking.

What I’m learning is that it is a really fine line to walk… living in the present.  As easy as it is to explain away, or give excuse it is equally as easy to dream up things are different.  It is easy to beat yourself up and feel bad about where we are.  To fall victim, to feel loss of control in what has happened or what has gotten us here.  Embracing what is now, and accepting where I want to be is a constant reminder of why staying in food jail is important.  It’s hard.  It’s hard to face the reality of what I am.  Mostly because what I am is not what I want to be.  Therefor what I do now is not going to get the results.  Still I would recommend food jail to anyone who is ready.  Still I would recommend the painful journey you will emotionally and mentally face to see it through and succeed.

At this point, I’m still not confident I will be fully successful this time around as I tackle this challenge of weight.  But it has certainly been a little different.  I’m embracing it a little different.  And I’m digging in a little deeper than I ever have.  Hopefully there is a little something in this blog post to help you see your truth, to see your path, and gives some encouragement to find a way!  Plus the scale is moving the right direction for me so far, and thats a WIN!

How the un-fit ‘fit’: Food Jail D6,D7,D8

It was my first weekend in food jail.  I travelled.  I had a messy schedule.  It was an adventure, and there is some room for improvement.

During the week at work, it seems easier to stay on a schedule for me.  My work is fairly flexible to allow for eating as needed.  It’s accommodating with microwaves, refrigerators, and spare silverware as needed.  This has made M-F fairly easy.   The weekend though, this threw me for a little loop.

My schedule was not maintained like during the week.  I was traveling on the road while single parenting a toddler.  Having to improvise is what happened.  Originally, I planned my meals and even had food prepped.  But due to not caring for it, it went bad.  There is was, a weekends worth of meals down the drain.  So what did I do?  Went to Mr. Hero of course.  But it’s not what you think.

My meal plan consists of 4 ounces of protein (chicken) and 1 cup veggies.   The Mr. Hero chicken philly triple veggies, no bun, no cheese, no toppings.  This was as close as I was getting in a pinch.   Now mind you, there is always a grocery store somewhere. The work I was doing at the time and the need to feed others in my party led us to a fast food option.  It was at that time I was faced with a challenge, fail or succeed in failing?  I chose the latter and made the best of the situation.  My subsequent failures were all out missing meals or snacks.  But I made a best effort to get back to plan as soon as possible.

Food jail is no joke.  It takes effort to stay on task.  I’m still learning what it will take to make sure I succeed in eating plans.  What I do know and can see, is just how bad my habits have been to date.  Paying attention to my food at all times weekend or weekday will be key until I have new habits that have replaced the old.

Here is to the beginning of week two in food jail!   Oh and by the way,  that scale thing told me yesterday my efforts were worth it.  All things are moving in the right direction.

How the un-fit ‘fit’: Food Jail D5

It’s about your army and your support system.  It’s also about selecting the right coach for you.  Ever wonder why there are a million personal trainers out there?  Ever spend a lot of money on something or a program and it did not work?

Something different drives each of us.  For me it’s about being connected with people.  Period.  This is the heart of what drives me.  If someone is depending on me, it happens.  If someone needs something, it happens.  If someone wants something, I’m there.  Being connected to others is my way of operating in this world.  It is core to what motivates me.

For almost all my life no one needed me to be anything else.  Except when I was part of a team.  Luckily I played sports most of my life, and my teammates needed me to be healthy to be at my best performance.  So I did.  When that went away, my health fell to the wayside.  So now, selecting the RIGHT coach for ME, has been key to me making it through.  Someone I trust.  Someone who is willing to understand where I am.  Someone who is willing to connect with my journey.  I’m sharing this with you today, because finding a coach to help you through your journey may be a key element that helps you make it.

Your coach can be a friend, a partner, a professional, it can be anyone.  So let me tell you more about my coach.  I’ve partnered with Heather on this part of my journey for a few reasons.  She is like me,  in a way that she has been there and done that. See more about her story below.  I trust her.  She knows when to push me and when to be an ear and listen.  And she is encouraging in a way that I need to make sure I get through this process.  Find the right coach for you!   One way to get started is to reach out and start a dialogue.  Interview your coach like you would someone you bring in to work on your house.  This someone you are bringing in to do work on your body.  They’ve got to understand your journey and be willing to roll up their sleeves as will you to make the process successful!

About Heather…

I played volleyball, basketball, and softball in high school. After graduation, I moved to Chicago to pursue my passion of acting and working with kids. While in college, I gained a lot of weight and found myself standing on the scale at 265#. It took many years to get my eating and health under control, and about 10 years into gaining weight, I decided to reclaim my life. I have lost 125 pounds and found my inner athlete again. I joined a gym (as many do) and attended classes, hired a trainer, and saw the weight come off. I since then, found CrossFit, opened a gym with my business partner, and want to now help people in all aspects of being the best athlete and person possible. 

I have tried Paleo, Whole30, Atkins, and Zone. They all worked…kinda…but didn’t teach me what I really needed to know. What does my body need to function? It has taken me many months to realize what the body needs to work properly without losing what I have gained. And honestly, I’m not a professional, but I am a clear example- as are many other of my clients- that what I am doing DOES work. Portions-timing-quality of food-eating when you should be, have all been, and ARE key components. I don’t follow Macros, I don’t follow calories. I follow what FUELS the body the RIGHT way for me to have optimal body composition results. 

So what is YOUR goal? Mine was I wanted to be leaner because I was struggling at body weight movements. In order to do that, I looked at my plan and chose foods that I knew would best fuel my body to burn fat all day long. When I saw abs, quad muscles and clothes fitting better, my back squat # wasn’t that important to me- at that moment. So that’s why I ask what is your goal? Many it is weight loss, and my plan is a GREAT tool for meal planning, and taking the thought process off of you-which is difficult for many. 

Ready to take the leap? Email me! Facebook me! Stalk me on Instagram and Facebook!

Email: hsowry@gmail.com

Facebook: Heather Sowry

Instagram: hsowry

How the un-fit ‘fit’: Food Jail D4

Yesterday I had to fight hard, with me.  It was like my inner two year old self was throwing a tantrum and wanted the popsicle I wasn’t allowed to have.  A friend replied to a blog post stating we all have a special relationship with food in some way. This is so true!  I am seeing as part of my food jail journey it’s about understanding what that relationship is, and where it comes from. It’s a very personal journey.

As I’ve reached the midpoint of the first week, I realize my relationship with food is a bit like a two year old throwing a tantrum.  This is a dangerous combination being an adult and rationalizing with “I’m going to do that because its simply what I want”.   Yesterday, I wanted other food.  I wasn’t craving anything.  Well my body was not craving anything, psychologically I was craving something else because me stubborn inner self just ‘wanted to’.   It took a lot of self talk to get through ‘just wanting something because I can’.  This is something everyone in food jail should consider, build a tool kit to tackle those moments.

I’ll admit, it makes me mad right now.  Food posts on social media.  Others eating what they want around me.  Others eating during a window of time I can not.  Reading an article from Barbell Shrugged,  there was some great advice about removing temptations.  This makes me realize the food plan reaches well beyond just food prep, and timing my meals.   I’ve also got to avoid or find ways to cope with the temptations that exist around me.

Friends birthday party, work gathering, happy hour, weekends.  What we chose to do during this time contributes or detracts from our ability to stay the course.   I’ve found that avoidance in my first week of food jail is my best plan.   And finding things to occupy my time as I feel the need to stray from the path is also a good tool.   It seems silly, but yesterday I had to write myself a letter and remind me of why I am doing this.  The greater goal of losing weight, the short term goal of I don’t like me now.  Realizing these two things means habit changes are necessary if I am going be successful.  I’m not trying to change everything.  I’m only committing to food jail.  It’s within my control.

Maybe I sound like a crazy lady.  But as the days go on I’m realizing the need to have a lot of conversations with myself.  At this point convincing myself to stay the course.   Should you bump in to me, and I’m talking with no one around you will know why 🙂

Day 4 here I come! Food Jail!

How the un-fit ‘fit’: Food Jail D3

If I can just make it to my 1/2 an avocado at dinner, all is well in the world.   I’m now in day 3 of food jail.  I’ve been able to stay on track but it appears consistently around 2pm my alter ego, super hungry, other self finds her way in to my brain and taunts me.  What’s saved me?  My 1/2 an avocado.

One would not think an avocado could be so great.  But I simply can not wait to get my hands on it following my daily battle with hunger which haunts me for a few hours around 2pm.   Despite having a snack during that window of time, it does not fill or touch the cravings I have.  I have no explanation for it.  And to be more honest, I’m not really hungry.  My body is physically fine, its a psychological hunger.  What?  Yes, its true.  It’s a psychological hunger.

Food jail… why do it if its’ not how you will eat for all of time?  Well I say that to myself now.  But really there is a lot of how I eat in food jail that will need to continue well beyond food jail.  My habits have to change.  The psychological hunger for things that don’t fuel my body has to go through a transformation.  That’s why food jail is necessary.  It’s like an intervention.   A reset button.   There are things about food jail that I don’t like,  that I am uncertain if I ever will like.  But first, I’ve got to break the link of my old ways in order to establish new habits.

I’ll take it in small chunks, for today I’ll hold out for my 1/2 an avocado waiting for me tonight.

How the un-fit ‘fit’; Food Jail D2

Here we are DAY 2.  Happy to report I did in fact make it through day 1 of food jail.  Over all I’ll admit it was not too bad. Had one moment of extreme hunger in the afternoon, but this morning I am feeling good.  I’m through my snack and waiting on lunch which is just around the corner.

Reflecting on my first day, if I had to write a letter to myself about this journey… it would sound something like this.

Dear Friend,

There will be things in this lifetime you won’t like. It will result in frustration or anger that often is mis-directed.  To change something you don’t like, it first will take you changing.   You see, there are few things within your span of control.  Both realizing and embracing the things you have the power to control will serve you far greater than the anger or frustration you project on others or the world around you.

Weight being an example.  You can be angry that society does not offer enough good options that are readily available.  You can blame friends, family, or others for the habits developed of indulging in poor choices and bad timing of consuming meals.  But it’s simply not true.  Habits are choices, that you allow to be influenced or consciously chose.   Either way, you alone have the power to modify all of these habits.  This will positively or negatively impact your health, your well being, your self image.

It will be hard.  You will have to admit to yourself you’ve done wrong.  You’ll have to admit defeat, that something failed along the way.  Find your failure,  embrace it, and move to the next phase of correcting it.   You will have to face yourself and accept you did this.  You got you here.  But by golly,  you certainly can get yourself out.

Dear Friend… you are not on this journey alone.  In this lifetime you will find things you won’t like.  Seek those things out and make the change.

Kind regards 🙂

Day 2- I’m feeling good.  Going to add a hot beverage of tea or coffee in following the afternoon snack in attempt to curb a little of the hungry feeling.   But today it feels like I can do this. Here is to a great day 2!

How the un-fit ‘fit’: Food Jail

Today marks a new journey for me.  I’ve made the choice to put me in food jail.  This sounds harsh, part of it is me just being mad.   What is food jail?   Why did I choose it? Stick around to find out more.

It’s been the better part of almost 15years now, I’ve been fighting my weight.  I’ve succeeded from time to time.  I have also put it back on from time to time.  Right now I’m in the ‘I’ve found it again’ phase.   Self imposed food jail is the next step for me.  What is it?  I’ve partnered with someone who knows nutrition.  And it’s simple.  They write a plan, I procure the food and follow the plan.   There are specific times to eat with specific amounts and types of food.   What is even better for me, is that I have found someone to make that food for me.

You see, I am a cook.  And I love to eat and be creative in the kitchen.   So food jail is a big deal.  And I am being a bit harsh about this.  Had my first meal this morning and it was not bad at all.   Over time, my habits of what I cook, how I portion, and when I eat are bad.  This contributes to my inability to lose weight.  Making the decision to enter food jail, simply translates to I am consciously choosing to re-learn how to eat well.  How to eat for me.  For me, I grew up a farmer.  Cruised high school and college as an athlete.  Then my activity level drastically changed.  And so did my weight. Mostly because my eating habits failed to change when my activity level did.

My current situation.  I’m on a project at work that demands 15hr days, and sometimes weekend.   I own a business outside of working full time.  I have a 2 year old independent toddler person who relies on me to entertain her while not at the workplace.  And just a few other small things going on in life.  We are all busy.   What I have come to realize though, is that we ALWAYS have  the ability to control our food intake.

The next few weeks will be interesting.  There is part of me that is bitter and even mad.  Probably a little because of realizing it’s not something I can do on my own.  Because I like to cook, I feel like something is being taken away.  But more than the anger or bitter parts that like to call this food jail, is the desire in me to be healthier and that means taking off the excess weight.

How did I get started.  It was a little bit of want.  And some pushing from friends and loved ones to make a permanent change in my life.  For that I am thankful.  Although I’m sure at times over the next few weeks I will also be mad at them. I found someone who will write a plan.  I found a way to make the preparation easy.  And most important I have the support needed externally and internally to give this a good go.  Internal support?   Well to start this journey I had to get on the scale.

I try to avoid the scale.  Why? Well a number is real.  It makes everything real.  I can’t explain away a number.  It’s based on some fact.  Measuring yourself to track against is a key internal support factor, I know I don’t want that number to be me or define me.  So it’s something that must change.

This step, is a necessary step for me to move forward in my journey.  Cheers to day 1!

How the un-fit ‘fit’: GOOD

It’s going to be difficult.  My response, GOOD.

The first section of this blog post will both sound and feel harsh, but stick with me until the end and you will see why.

Entering the gym for the first time is going to challenge your courage.  My response, GOOD.  It’s going to be difficult to drop the weight. My response, GOOD.  You are going to struggle and not want to come back sometimes.  To that I say, GOOD.  It is going to hurt.  You are going to experience physical soreness like never before. My response, GOOD. You are going to be mentally and emotionally challenged.  You will have to face things about yourself for a long time you have ignored.  You will not like it.  My response, GOOD.  You are going to have fear consume you. You will at times think “I can’t”.  You will whisper to yourself “I am not worth it”. Self talk will fill your head with “That won’t work for me”.  To all of this I say, GOOD. There will be workouts you believe you can not conquer.  There will be days you feel like not showing up.  My response, GOOD.  You will say to yourself “I don’t like the way I look”.  You will say “I don’t like the way I feel”.  To this I say, GOOD.  There will be times when it feels like all of this is too much to manage.  My response, GOOD.

** Success goes to those who respond to change**

We have mentioned that change is hard.  And on your fitness journey the behaviors and habits of how we eat and workout all must change.  At the root of this is how we think, feel, and respond. This drives how we act.  Do we put in the effort, or do we throw in the towel.  It sounds harsh to hear the response of “good”.  So why is it good?   All of our experiences positive or negative teach us something.  It is what we take from the experience and how we apply it that matters.   Tried losing weight 20 times before, and failed?  Good.  You know more than the person who is trying it for the first time.  You know what hasn’t worked.  You know you are RESILIENT!  Keep trying.  You have a proven track record of COURAGE, STRENGTH, and the RESILIENCE to find the way that works for you.

It’s hard to walk in the gym.  For the first time.  When you have had a bad day.  When you having been staring at the scale and not a pound has moved for several weeks.  When you have a planned PR attempt in your workout.  Why? FEAR.  We fear that what is facing us at that moment is going to result in failure.  Fear keeps you from being your best in the moment.  My response, GOOD. Once I know my fear, I can face my fear. Once I know my challenge I work to meet that challenge. By doing what it is that is facing me I become the best version of me in every moment I am faced with something.

It’s training.  You are training you to be your best you!   When something happens, you need only one word to move forward.  Tell yourself GOOD.  Seconds will become minutes, minutes will become hours,  hours will become days, and days will become years.  As challenging as those first seconds are, looking back you will realize it made all the difference and that you moved mountains by seeing every moment and saying to yourself, GOOD.

GOOD, you found a new way and a new reason to try.

GOOD, you became a better version of yourself, by accomplish what before you thought not possible.

GOOD, you rallied your inner courage and strength to beat it! To beat that one thing that stands in your way.

GOOD, you are on a path to become a new better you.  A better friend.  A better partner.  A better parent.  A better self.

GOOD, you found strength through adversity.

GOOD, you found courage through fear.

GOOD, you found you by doing!

Get out there and face this day.  Find the seconds that matter, and make the decision to dive in and make a change.  You are worth it!