Toeing a line between excuse and reality

It’s been exactly one week since I started BFF’s plan. Well…I guess almost a week. Last Friday, I was super pumped up with some music I found on Spotify that I got home and decided to go for a run. Not the best run in the world, but a run nonetheless. And then Saturday was when the real ass-kicking began.

I have vigilantly weighed, measured, and tracked what has gone in my mouth, while continuing to exercise (and not increasing calories by whatever FitBit/MyFitnessPal told me I burned). Then my schedule was thus:

Saturday – 2-mile run with BFF

Sunday – 4(ish)-mile run with BFF

Monday – Couldn’t move, so rest day

Tuesday – Short morning strength session

Wednesday – Short morning strength session + evening Vinyasa (super challenging)

Thursday – Short morning strength session

Friday (today) – rest day + cheat meal

Friday is also my traditional weigh-in day. After all the effort put in this week, I was anxious to hop on the scale. I woke up, emptied out (ahem), and hopped on. And…


Up 0.6#.

I was both shocked and not at all surprised. I mean, what has been my pattern recently, anyway? Exert effort, body works doubletime to shut it off. What it FEELS like is that I’ve just messed around so long with diet and exercise that now just everything is out of whack and nothing wants to work. The level of frustration just exploded.

And then I had what is most likely my final WW coaching call (I ended up canceling/nonrenewing, effective next week). And while Coach LG was very nice and helpful, her reaction to the weight gain was more of “What could be happening?” than going for “What did you do wrong?”

Which is fine. Which is what they’re supposed to do. But I also feel like the “What could be happening?” question just kind of gives you something to blame the gain on that is not yourself.

For example, last week, I had a tough week and was up 1.5#. I was/am super constipated (TMI, sorry). Coach LG’s suggestion? Well, it’s clearly the constipation, and just keep doing what you’re doing.


This week?

Well, you have been exercising a lot more than your body is used to. Your muscles are probably holding on to a lot of water right now. And it’s nearing that time of the month. And you’re still constipated. Keep doing what you’re doing, and I’m sure this is a fluke.


But I gotta wonder…does this method totally take all responsibility off me? This week, I tend to agree. I’ve been sore beyond belief and I’ve been drinking a ton of water. And my PMS is in full swing (sorry, The Boy). But if you gain and gain and gain…it can’t always be water weight or PMS.

Really, this method toes the line between reality and excuse.

What is reality?


  • Even double doses of magnesium isn’t helping my….daily rhythm.
  • My period’s due to start in about 4 days.
  • I have worked out hard 3/7 days, and done strength circuits 3/7 days.
  • I have craved salt.
  • I have tracked food, and stayed within budget, but of course can always measure more carefully.
  • This is the first week since March that I have eaten dinner every night.
  • I had four meals out this week: 2 dinners (Saturday + Sunday) and 2 lunches (Tuesday and Wednesday), plus some soft serve on Saturday, though tracked to the best of my ability.
  • I have not slept well on most nights.

And that’s the god-honest truth. What’s most important right now is being honest with myself. I have even sent nutrition screenshots to BFF to keep me on track.

I hope these are not excuses, and I hope that I AM being honest with myself. But who knows…maybe my muscles ARE being shocked and holding on to a crapton of water. We shall see.

In the mean time, I’m trying not to get wrapped up in fads. Facebook is hard. A few years ago everyone was preaching the virtues of intermittent fasting. And now–surprise, surprise–those same people are preaching the virtues of flexible dieting (i.e., If It Fits Your Macros). These sorts of people and philosophies make me SUPER uncomfortable and self-conscious. Like I’m doing something EXTREMELY wrong, and THIS IS THE ANSWER. I really don’t want to fall down that rabbit hole; while macros are important, I’m not interested in obsessively hitting each goal exactly.

The goal here is to live life, be healthy, look hot, and not obsess/encourage further eating disorders.

Triggers, man.


PS, have a great and healthy weekend, all!❤


Jenny does some continental clean and jerks.
Jenny does some continental clean and jerks.

Last Saturday was Albany Crossfit’s first-ever Tri-State Throwdown, a crazy individual competition open to people at affiliates in the tri-state area.

And, perhaps surprising to some, I did not compete. Not to make excuses, but there were two gigantic reasons standing behind that decision, and neither of them was fear (holla!). First, competing is expensive! And frankly, as a hard-working grad student, I need to pick-and-choose which activities I put my money toward. (On that note…you wanna see me compete? Clicky-clicky on that “donate” button at the right!) Secondly, the competition happened to fall less than a month after I returned to Albany from my monthlong holiday free-for-all back in Portland. Historically, it takes me a few weeks (or more) to get back to where I was before I left, strength-wise. A competition would be begging for disaster at that point.

Miwa rocking some double unders.
Miwa rocking some double unders.


But of course, even if I wasn’t competing, I’d definitely need to be there. So I decided to take photos. Which was great, because that meant that I could sneak up extra close to the action.

Margarite getting some "encouragement" from a judge.
Margarite getting some "encouragement" from a judge.

If you weren’t there, that’s too bad; you really missed out. I mean, yes, you avoided a hot, humid, and STINKY gym, but you also didn’t get to see the massive amounts of tears, sweat, and PRs (and junk food in the judges’ “lounge”).

It was truly amazing to watch some of our athletes, and many athletes from outside our box, compete and fearlessly challenge themselves and everyone else.

Here are just a few of my observations:

1. Skill level? Who cares!

Carissa packin' on the weight for some continental C+Js.
Carissa packin' on the weight for some continental C+Js.

What was your excuse for not competing? You already know mine. Were you afraid to compete because you didn’t think you were strong enough? Pish-posh! Yes, you should have acquired some sort of basic Crossfitting skills before competing just to avoid injury, but to say you’re not strong enough is not an excuse.

The competitions that ACF has been hosting recently have all included both Rx and scaled divisions, and this time even included a master’s division. So…if you can’t do Fran at Rx…no big. Regardless of division, the Throwdown was clearly a place to PR and to celebrate those sexy, sexy muscles.

And let me tell you something: Nobody looks down on you for scaling. It’s true. If anything, they’re looking at you, wishing they had the balls to be competing. There was a 72-year-old dude competing on Saturday. Let me just say…not once did I look at him and judge when he suffered through modified pistols. Not once. What a badass!

2. If at once you don’t succeed….

Clark hits some pistols.
Clark hits some pistols.

…try, try again. You know the saying.

Are you afraid that if you compete you’ll fail? I understand and relate to this one. We all fail, and it’s totally terrifying to fail in front of a crowd of people. But you know what? It makes you stronger. I’ve had some pretty nasty failures myself. Like in the Strongman competition. The first event was a press medley. I got all the way to the logs, and I couldn’t get them overhead for the life of me. And that was an individual, one-at-a-time event. It was horrifying…until I saw other people fail, too.

We all fail.

At least in the competition situations, we can fail together, and we know that the WODs that are presented are sometimes impossibly hard. During one of the WODs, our own Clark got stuck on some pistols. He had six minutes to work through the WOD, and about four of those minutes was spent on pistols. After the first five failed attempts, do you think he gave up? Hell no! He worked those g-d pistols until the timer buzzed.

We fail. But we don’t give up.

3. Once an ACF’er, always an ACF’er.

Rogie is SUPER fierce.
Rogie is SUPER fierce.

I’ve talked about community before. Now I’m going to shove it in your face again. Because it’s this aspect that truly does set Crossfit apart from your local, run-of-the-mill globo gym.

When someone leaves ACF or moves away or whatever…their absence is felt.

When they come back…we’re quick to embrace them.

The competitions seem to be a great place for reunions, to see old friends, to cheer for their continued athletic success. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s just my way of saying how much I miss Roger, but can you blame me? The man’s a g-d beast!

Really, though…we’re all one big family. And the competitions tend to bring out the best in us. And that’s what we really want, right?

(Note: Want to see images from the Throwdown? Check out the album on Flickr!)