Week 8: Not over by any means

It’s been 8 weeks since Sam challenged me with a new CATtitude.    I’ve been to IronTribe 22 times in that period, even with a 5 day trip and a week plus of illness.  I started the Transformation Challenge that overlapped this challenge.  I began riding my bike again and went back to the pool.   I have also cooked more at home.   More importantly,  I’ve remained in the game mentally.

All of that is great but I still haven’t been perfect.  I’ve had some bumps along the way.  The biggest one was getting sick due to allergies that lasted about 2 weeks.  I also had some events to attend.   Overall, I did fine with those though.  One thing I have learned on this journey is that most people don’t care at all about what you are eating.  They are more concerned with what they are eating.

Something I have been learning is not to be so hard on myself when I do have a bad day or miss a workout.  I can start again…and again.  Also, while I am trying to lose weight that I have re-gained,  I am not obsessing as much about weight loss.  It will come off if I remain consistent in my healthy choices.

I just finished cooking for the week.  This is one of my key factors for success.  I have to be prepared.   I also need to schedule my workouts because there is a far better chance that I will show up if they are on my calendar.

It’s all a process and a journey though.   Each day is a chance to prove that I can keep going and make a small change that will lead to larger change.  Consistency  – Accountability – Tenacity.

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Week 6-7 : The good, the bad, the ugly

I missed posting last week because I was out of town.  It’ s been a bit of a rough time for the past two weeks.  I woke up Sunday,  Sept. 10 without a voice and feeling awful.  I have finally learned to take it easy when I feel sick so I spent the day between bed and the couch.  I still didn’t shake whatever it was though. On Friday I finally hit on the right kind of allergy medicine but the cough is still lingering.  Needless to say,  I haven’t worked out much the past two weeks.

I also went out of town for five days to a conference.  It was a great conference and I did fairly well with eating.  There were good choices and they provided vegan/vegetarian/GF options for every meal offered at the conference.  Downtown Raleigh has a lot of great options for meals that I didn’t get during the conference.  I had a great kale salad the first night I was there.

During week 6 I did manage to work out a few times and I did the check in for the transformation challenge.  I also taught three yoga classes.

Of course, my yoga mat went with me on my travels.

It wasn’t the best two weeks but it wasn’t the worst.  I’m back home and on track to finish strong this week.

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Week 5 – When in doubt

It was Friday and I was tired.  I was debating what to do.  It was a beautiful 79 degrees outside and I had my bike with me.  I should ride.  But I really didn’t want to for some reason.  Really, I wanted to swim.  It was the first home game weekend so surely the pool would not be crowded.  I debated back and forth with myself for a while but I knew that phrase – when in doubt, swim.  I had not been in the pool for almost two weeks due to my schedule and the weather.  It was time.  I’m glad I chose the pool last Friday afternoon.  I had one of the best swims I have had in a long time.  There were quite a few people in the pool but it really didn’t matter.  Everyone there was sharing lanes. It was a good way to end the week.  

It was kind of a crazy week.  I made it to IronTribe twice.  I also taught yoga twice, which reminds of what I am passionate about all over again.

This week begins the Transformation Challenge at IronTribe.  My 8 weeks overlaps with this challenge, as I have mentioned.  I’m looking forward to the challenge and seeing how much progress I can make this time.


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Week 4 – Some days…

I’m half way through my challenge with Sam.   Week 4 was a little rough.  Between the beginning of the year events and not feeling well, it was not quite the week I hoped for.  It wasn’t awful though.

Week 4 was more about self-care than anything else.  I rarely take a day off but I did last week.  I slept a good bit of the day before a friend stopped by later in the afternoon.   I needed the day.  It’s Labor Day and I have not done much over the weekend.  I had lots of plans but I needed some rest and down time.  Life has been hectic and I have finally learned that it is ok to stop and slow down.

Rain and storms got in my way last week too.  I didn’t get to the pool at all because of my day off one day and a storm the other day I usually swim.  I did get to ride on Friday though.  I also made it to IronTribe.


I tried some new recipes this week and pulled out some old ones.  Cooking works better for me than just having the ingredients.  I just finished up the farro and chickpea soup today.

It wasn’t the best week but it wasn’t the worst week either.  I remained committed to the process even though I slowed down a little.

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Week 3 – Hello new year!

It’s a new year. What, you say?  No, it’s August!  It is for me though, and for many other people.  The academic year began again this week  For me that meant several events to attend.  Some of them conflicted with my normal schedule and some of them had food so I had to make choices.  I did ok but I didn’t make the best choices 100% of the time.  I am not beating myself up for though and that is a big difference from the past.  I know that a meal that isn’t perfect here and there is not the end of the world.  The key (back to the CATtitude), is consistency.

Last weekend I had quite a few stray vegetables left over that needed to be used up so I made up a soup.  It wasn’t bad and it was a good way to use the okra.  Okra gave it some texture and thickness that it would not have had otherwise.  It wasn’t great but it wasn’t awful either.  It helped to have the soup to grab several days this week.   My go to for breakfast is oatmeal or a mixture of steel cut oats, barley, and quinoa that I cook in the crockpot in large batches.  My mistake this week was that I ran out.  That left me scrambling for breakfast two days because I didn’t have time to cook more during the week.  I did discover that I can batch regular oatmeal and freeze it.  I am going to cook some more this weekend and prepare.  This morning I already made a batch of the steel cut oat mixture for the week.

I missed a couple of workouts during the week because of my schedule but I will be back on track next week.  I did make it to IronTribe three days,  rode my bike twice, and swam once.  I also taught a restorative yoga class and practiced yoga several times this week.

The bike continues to be a work in progress.  It will just take consistent riding to get back to the mileage I was doing a few years ago.  I am riding between 13-17 mph fairly consistently.  The thing is that I am not sure how many miles I want to do.  I rode about 20 miles this week and that felt about right.   The regular route I used to ride a few times a week is 24 miles.  I would like to ride that route again on a regular basis.  I know I can.  I just have to decide where my priorities are right now and where I will spend time.

The Transformation Challenge is coming up at IronTribe.  This is a six week challenge for athletes to measure progress.  It begins before the 8 week commitment is over but it will be a good bridge for me to keep me going, especially with the travel I have coming up for work.

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Week 2 – Another week in the books

The second week is always more difficult than the first week when I recommit.  This week was no exception.  It’s been hard for many reasons and I have been exhausted.  I fought through though and am ready to keep going. 

For the record, I logged:

4 workouts at IronTribe

2 swims

2 bike rides, more or less.

It is more difficult than I expected to get back on the bike.  I went out on a Friday ride last week and did ok.  Sunday was a different story.  It was really hot and I am just not acclimated.  I was also having trouble shifting and getting in the right ring.  Part of that was because I needed a new chain and some adjustments which I took care of this week.  I tried again on Friday but I was exhausted.  I knew it wasn’t a day to ride and I turned out to be right.   I dropped off and spent some time riding around the block getting used to shifting my new chain and then came home.  I’ll try again tomorrow.

I took a different approach to cooking this week and it worked pretty well.  Instead of making X number of recipes and eating the same thing all week,  I prepped vegetables and put them in bags and bowls.  Then I just had to grab ingredients and put together meals.  I mixed things up and didn’t eat the same thing every day.  I had a few work related meetings with lunch that made my eating less than perfect but not awful.  It’s all a process and part of life.

I have been challenging myself in the gym.  I’ve done things that I had not previously, like carrying a weight over my head for 100 yards.  I’m enjoying swimming again more than ever.  The best thing is that I am not pressuring myself with a race.  I can just go swim.  I love racing and may do more but for now, I am just enjoying the process.


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Week 1 – Checking in

Last week I wrote about my meeting with Sam and developing a CATtitude.   What I didn’t mention is that he challenged me to stick with this for 8 weeks.  Here is my week one check-in.


I am a creature of habit.  I like routine.  I have people who give me a really hard time about this but it is true and things work better for me when I have a schedule and when I am prepared.  Last weekend I cooked for the week and I am planning on doing the same thing tonight.  Preparation is a key for me.   If I can just grab containers that are ready to go then I have a far better chance of eating well than if I am trying to figure out what I am going to eat or if I am grabbing something on the go.  This week was pretty successful because I was prepared.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was close.   I strive to eat plant based but I am not always 100% on target with that either.  I have made this choice because I feel better when I eat plant based most of the time and because of all the research I have read about the benefits of a plant based diet (see Forks over Knives or Engine 2 for more information on whole food plant based eating).  The photo shows examples of what I was eating over the past week.

This year I signed up for Snows Bend’s CSA so I receive a box of vegetables every week.  I never know what I am going to get from week to week so it is an adventure in figuring out how to use the various ingredients and an opportunity to try new foods.   I admit I still haven’t figured out what to do with yard long beans though.

Working out

IronTribe has an app that we use to schedule classes.  In July I scheduled and cancelled too often.  This week I scheduled and went.  I admit there were a couple of mornings when the alarm went off and I was tempted to cancel and sleep another hour but I managed to get myself up and get to the gym for 6:15 class.  There were several modifications for my workouts this week but I also made some progress on a few moves.  I still have not mastered pull ups.  I tried though.   I was on the bike this week instead of running.  I may be the only person who likes the bike.

I also swam twice and managed to connect with the Tuscaloosa Cycling Club ride on Friday.  I have been trying to get back on my bike since April or May but had not made it out due to my schedule or weather.  Starting to bike again in July/August in Alabama is a challenge due to the humidity.   Last week I was rained out on the days I hoped to ride but Friday, though there were threats of rain, remained clear enough to ride 16 miles in the afternoon.  I didn’t manage to make it to connect at the start of the route because I was stuck on University Boulevard in move in traffic.   But I connected with the group on Sanders Ferry Road.  It was really good to ride with other people again after a very long time of very few rides.  I am hoping to continue riding a few times a week.

Developing calm

Of course there was also yoga.  I taught a restorative class and I am taking an online class in iRest Yoga Nidra from Dr. Lauren Tober.   This is a deeply restorative practice that I want to learn more about for my own practice and would like to teach at some point.

That’s it for this week.


Posted in cooking, diet, exercise, Iron Tribe, nutrition, passion, progress, Sam | Leave a comment