Monday, July 27, 2015

All You Need is Love - and a Compliment

I'm two weeks in and I've noticed a little bit of weight loss, or so I feel in my pajama pants, but I haven't seen the scale move. It actually went up. I'm closer to 200 pounds than before I started my paleo, crazy workout schedule two weeks ago. What the fuck, right? You go backwards, not forwards, with dieting.

I text my trainer and she says the same thing as my other mentors - water weight, muscle gain, bloat, all of the above. But I'm a girl and I want results NOW.

Then yesterday I'm sitting at a client's restaurant for a work event and the owner, who I haven't seen in about a month, walks in and of course we say hello. Then randomly he blurts, "Have you lost weight?"

That was all I needed. Fuck the scale, fuck the pajama pants, fuck it all. I had someone say to me that I looked skinnier. Now those three days a week of running, Crossfit and barre seemed so worth it, and I don't miss pasta or pizza or sweets.

So sometimes when you're down and out - all you need is a little compliment to get you back on your feet, and keep those feet away from the scale.

Friday, July 17, 2015

But why hasn't the scale moved?

Anyone who knows me knows that I am quite possibly the most impatient person in the world. I cannot stay calm and wait for something to happen, at least not something that's incredibly important to me. Like waiting for a potential new client to respond to my proposal, or waiting for football season to return (man I hate baseball) or especially waiting for results from working out.

I've been paleo for four days, been on three runs this week and by the end of today I'll have been to barre three times and been to Crossfit twice. Yet nothing moved on the scales. I didn't drink any alcohol, I didn't even eat meat at dinner last night. So what gives?

Many will tell you there's a variety of reasons the scale hasn't moved yet. Water weight, gained muscle, bloat and many more. In my experience of various diets including paleo and Weight Watchers, I've always had this same issue. Nothing happens in the first few weeks. Highly frustrating when you're working your ass off and nothing is coming from it. How do you stay motivated?

For now I just need to stay focused thinking I'm succeeding on goals of working out and eating right, not weight goals or pants size goals. Just staying patient, staying at it, and not letting any big catastrophic fuck up undo all of the hard work I put in. In case anyone is wondering, I'd kill for a beer and a burger with cheese fries.

Also, I keep remembering a motivational phrase I saw once that was all about the time is going to pass anyway. Three weeks from now is going to be here whether I like it or not, and it's going to go by a lot faster than I think it will too. So what better way than to just stay focused and hopefully when those three weeks get here, I'll actually have some results to show.

I really want to fit into some clothes that I bought and never fit right. Or get back into some clothes that used to fit and now don't. Or be able to buy something that doesn't have L on it. Or wear a non-maxi dress because I'm not embarrassed of my thighs anymore.

Hopefully I can stay patient enough without going crazy.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Girl Who Cried Workout

It's been awhile since I last put my thoughts down on a keyboard, and a lot has changed since I did. I got another job in PR, was fired from said job in PR, only to start my own PR company which is about to celebrate its one-year anniversary. I somehow became the American dream, and currently have my LLC and operate my own company. How 'bout them apples?

Professional successes aside (I mean, without sounding completely full of myself, I can ramble on about that for days...), I found that I'm still struggling in multiple personal arenas. I think the top one would be my commitment to fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Not that I haven't been still working out and eating as best I can, but there's way more binge eating and drinking days than days spent Paleo feasting. As a result of these bad habits, plus a sloth energy level at times, multiple hangovers and just sheer laziness, I am back to if not bigger than my old, fattest self. A self I vowed to never, ever be again...

Clothes that once fit me at my "normal" size don't fit over my hips, zippers fail and heaven forbid I even try to put some pants on. There's no hyperbole in the weight gain and size difference unfortunately. As an Allen, most of my fat goes directly to my thighs and ass. Not a bad place when you're a size 8, but as a 14 it's not a pretty picture.

Well enough with the body shaming because that's not going to do any good. The point behind resurrecting the blog years after it was last abandoned is that today, July 13, is two months away from my 30th birthday. Though I can say I've made some serious strides in my quest toward maturity and adulthood, I think being single and overweight and unhappy with my appearance have a dark loom over my happy self. And they will haunt my birthday if I don't do something to stop it.

So I'm committing to myself that when the clock strikes midnight onto my 30th birthday, I will proud of what I look like, wearing some bad ass, hot ass outfit and looking toward my 30s as "my time."

Obviously this won't be an overnight success and I don't have the money for lipo. So it calls for some good old fashioned hard work. (Queue Iggy Azalea's "Work" on the Spotify)

This work will include focusing on the following, as my goals:
- First complete 30 days of paleo
- Second complete the final 30 days of paleo
(Why two sets of 30 days? Well, 60 days is terrifying and hella daunting, but breaking into nice little chippers is just easier to swallow)
- Crossfit three times a week with a strength cycle included because Lord knows my skills are way gone
- Barre three times a week to tone and build
- Running at least five times a week. That'll be the biggest thing after clean eating to keep me on track.

That's a lot of shit. That's a lot of hard shit. One of those things is a commitment in itself to being healthier. Why all of them? Well, I kinda have to. Dipping my toe in the water and half-assing one thing really wasn't getting me anywhere. We all know diet is the key to all successes. So I have to start there, and STAY there. As a restaurant publicist, this is going to be near impossible. I'll have to be on the offensive all the time, packing healthy Paleo-friendly snacks, resisting the cheese dip and mac and cheese and fries, and going instead for the meaty options (Thank God most of my clients are burger concepts anyway so that'll be okay...)

A long time ago I saw a commercial for I think a yogurt company. It had a split view of the girl on the left chose a yogurt for breakfast, and it carried through the day of healthy choices. She got a salad for lunch, opted for water instead of soda, healthy snack and then went to the gym. Same girl on the right failed to eat breakfast, then ate a donut at the office, followed by fast food for lunch, grabbed a soda from the vending machine and sofa-time at night. The old cliches is true - make a smart decision first thing, and you'll want to continue for the rest of the day. Why bother binge eating and counteracting all the good you did?

So it'll all start with the morning run, followed by the Paleo breakfast. Then the snacks-on-the-ready, pre-made lunches and a continued valiant effort at staying clean.

Oh and the whole not drinking thing is going to suck the worst. I love me some booze. Night time wine, ice cold beer at the bar, margaritas... I mean, without sounding like a 12-step reject, I do love drinking like any Irish-American. So I'll just need to avoid temptation. Which is fine - I need to cut down on social time anyway so I can focus on being at the gym, eating healthy, resisting the impulse to chug all booze in sight like Karen Walker.

I have an amazing support system to help me with this as well. Kaitlyn at my Crossfit gym is like the Mary Poppins and Richard Simmons of positive reinforcement and support. Her phone will be blowing up from texts by me to compliment my own progress and resistance - more than any psycho ex has ever blown up her phone. Then Miller texts me in the mornings to wake my ass up and make sure I'm up for my run. I admittedly hit that snooze button... a lot... so now I'll need to hide my phone in the bathroom so I at least have to get up and walk 10 feet to turn the alarm off. Here's hoping that helps. The key is to just fight through three weeks - 21 days to make a habit, right?

So I'm off... on a crazy ass goal to change in 60 days. I've done it before, and it was awesome. I know I can do it again. I just need to be a fucking adult and take care of myself and just do it.

I'm doing it for Future Tori.

Monday, January 21, 2013

I'm Baaaack

Almost two full years off of blogging I'm ready to say I'm back! What's the motivation? Mostly to keep myself on track with my fitness and the fact I've received more than 3,400+ page views on an idle blog. Nothing is more motivating than knowing you're virtually popular, but doing nothing about it.

So here I am. Ready to entertain you.

Where am I now, for any of my potentially handful of readers? Well, I lived my life in hospitality PR and worked for a highly successful PR firm in Atlanta and learned all of the ins-and-outs of restaurant PR. I stood in four-inch heels at restaurant openings, I oversaw a photo shoot with Maxim magazine, I ate and ate and ate. It was the life. That life is over now as I move forward in my career and became Social Media Manager at an automotive marketing firm. Now I play on social media platforms all day, staring at beautiful cars, and get paid for it. Not the worst thing to happen to a girl like me...

Outside of my 9-5 I stay busy at my new local Crossfit gym - Crossfit HD.

Oh wait, I should probably tell you I tore my ACL too. Back in September 2011 I was acting a fool after the Buffalo Bills beat the New England Patriots. Since this fete was only comparable to pigs flying, Hell freezing over and the like, I decided I could pick up a guy roughly 6'2" and 180 pounds. I did, I achieved the goal, however my ACL paid the dear price. A night in the emergency room and a set of crutches later, I was informed I no longer had this vital piece of knee padding... Unfortunately my health insurance doesn't cover the surgery and especially the physical therapy, so now I wait until I either land a job with a better plan or marry into it. Time will tell!

Since blowing my knee I joined a new gym where the owner has the same injury as me (different cause though...) He helped me navigate the pain and frustration of a knee injury + Crossfit and today I continue to learn my cans and can'ts. This new gym is a much better fit for me and I've achieved more goals in the 12 months there than my previous gym. I guess blowing my knee out was a happy coincidence?

Well long story short... I'm  back, and ready to post some more. Victory stories, struggles, paleo recipes, you name it. I'll keep it updated.

Until then... go pick up something heavy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Spartan vs Warrior

On April 30 I endured through the Spartan Race in Conyers, GA, and
when I say endured I mean I barely made it out alive. There were
moments of weakness, pain, exhaustion and several times when I thought
to myself, "I just cannot do this." But somehow I pulled my leg over
the wall, I dragged my body through the mud and I ran up and down the
hills through the woods.

After becoming a Spartan I thought I would challenge myself to the
"Craziest Frickin' Day of Your Life" and enter the Warrior Dash. The
obstacles were available for preview online and I had several friends
who had "dashed" the year before, all saying it was "a joke" of a
course, so I wasn't too scared. Any race that involves mud and hills
is going to be difficult no matter what your physical capability is,
it was just a matter of how hard in comparison to Spartan Race would
it be? Would I end up in the hospital like I did at the Spartan Race?
Would I still be covered in bruises and scratches two weeks after the
race? I wondered if my body could physically handle both of these
races in less than 15 days. Could I be a Spartan and a Warrior? Which
title did I have to work harder for?

On May 14 I got my answer: Spartans are way more bad ass than Warriors.

Yes, both Warrior Dash and Spartan Race involved hills, and mud, and
wading through water, and cargo nets and climbing over walls. However,
there was something about the two courses that differed so drastically
in physical and mental toughness that made Warriors look like pussies
and Spartans look like Gods.

First of all, there's no way Warrior Dash was "3.1 miles" because
people finished in under 25 minutes. Either they are sprinters and
avoided all of the obstacles, or the race was really only a couple of
miles long. I have a feeling Spartan Race was more at 4 miles than 3
miles as well because it took me more than 1:30 to get through the
race and I ran a majority of the course (don't judge me for walking,
those hills sucked). Also, the hills and trails were covered in mud to
a degree that you were completely unable to run on a majority of the
terrain. It wasn't just a little bit wet or a little bit muddy, it was
completely "lose your shoe in the mud" thick and at times I slipped
just walking along the edge. What was the point? I thought this was a
DASH, not a "take your time" kind of race.

I guess the true "First of All" would be the race came to a standstill
in the first 100 feet when all of the racers had to squeeze on to a
sidewalk to begin the course. People yelled in mockery, "Yay I did
it!" or "Wow that was so hard!" after running a few seconds before
coming to a standstill and waiting their turn to walk. If the racer in
front of you decided to start walking, you were subsequently forced to
start walking until the opportunity arose that you could pass them.
Back-ups occurred frequently during the course and at certain

I'll give Warrior Dash the water element: you had to swim across a
lake to get to your next obstacle. During Spartan Race you were maybe
50 percent wet during the hose-off, the mud crawl (if you chose the
wet side) and wading through the water. During Warrior Dash you had no
other choice than to get your whole body soaked as you doggy-paddled
across. Why doggy-paddle? There are people all around you so you can't
necessarily butterfly or breaststroke your way across the lake.

Climbing over abandoned cars was kind of cool as well, except you also
had the option to crawl across the front seat and not have to climb on
top of anything. Did the Spartan Race offer an "easier" way to do
something? Nope. Unless you count the really hot guy who boosted me up
the 8-foot wall, but that was more embarrassing than "taking the easy
way out."

I don't want to hate all over Warrior Dash just because it is
physically subservient to Spartan Race (even though it really is).
There is one element to Warrior Dash that I admire, and that's making
the course easy and fun so anyone can enjoy racing. I saw old men in
tutus climbing up the cargo net, I saw gaggles of overweight women
maneuvering through the bungee-cord maze and I saw children racing
alongside their parents. Most people were in a jovial mood and weren't
taking the race too seriously. Some people even began the race with a
beer in their hand. Costumes were more plentiful and more elaborate,
including the group of men in bridal gowns... with trains and veils
and everything. For a majority of the racers the event was more about
having fun with your friends than getting your ass handed to you by
Mother Nature. Enjoy the food, the booze, the live music and
everything else involved with the festival instead of being concerned
with your shin splints and bleeding all over your clothes.

In summary: the Spartan Race tests you - mentally and physically. The
course will break you down, scratch you up and spit you out. You're
going to prove to yourself that you can get over that wall no matter
how hard you think you can't and you come out of the race with a smile
on your face and bragging rights in your heart. After the Warrior
Dash? It just gets you ready for your Turkey Leg and a shower.

Will I do Warrior Dash again? Yeah probably. Will I do Spartan Race
again? Abso-f'ing-lutely.Only I hope next time to make Conyers, GA my

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"I'm sorry it took me so long..."

Sorry for the elusive Title for the blog, I've been listening to Taking Back Sunday all day today and their lyrics bring out the best and most random in me.

Have you ever had a day when you're looking back at your life, or at least at the last week of your life, and realized that you're doing pretty damn good, but not good enough? You're not in a bad mood, you're actually content bordering on happy, maybe full of too much caffeine, and excited about what's ahead? That's me today and why this blog is chock-full of hopeful goals.

The gym is having a "spring cleaning" theme this month for everyone to purge themselves of bad habits, whether they're dietary, lazy or just trying to improve themselves. What are my goals? I'm glad you asked!

1.) Eat Paleo/Primal.
2.) Don't drink.
3.) Start going to church again.
4.) WOD in the morning and run at night.
5.) Spend less money!
6.) Start practicing the drums again.
7.) Making Spanish and Italian flash cards.

It's definitely a very random list of things to keep up with and if you've been following the blog it's actually a little redundant from my original goals. Forgive me for falling off the wagon, I have been going through a lot!! But now I feel like good things are on the horizon and I'm ready to take a new step forward.

The biggest step will be getting me back in to my Size 8 Citizen Jeans and Lacoste polos...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I Am Sparta

On Sunday afternoon I was standing at the registration table for a Bert's Big Adventure fundraiser and my co-pilot and I were discussing what we had done that weekend, particularly my race through the woods the day before. We'd only been speaking for five minutes and he goes, "I didn't peg you for an outdoors girl."

A year ago, a week ago or even a day ago, no one would have pegged me for an "outdoors girl" and hell neither would I! I greatly dislike being outdoors, especially when it's hot, sunny, buggy, dirty and anything else that doesn't really translate to indoors or a restaurant patio. Yet here I was at 12:45PM on Saturday April 30 climbing over a wall, splashing in to the mud, being doused with water and looking ahead of me to the entrance of my 3.5-4 mile run through the woods. And by woods, I mean hilly, barely marked trails and being whipped in the face by branches.

Months ago Becka asked me to volunteer for the Spartan Race, an outdoor obstacle course for the "elite" athletes in the woods of Conyers, GA. I would get $50 for my work and a free race ticket. I was more excited about the money and t-shirt and staring at cute boys all day long, not the free race entry. However, against all odds I decided I would actually participate in the race. I had big ambitions to start training through running and WODing to make sure I could get over that 8-foot wall all by myself. Then life happened, I got this internship, and I haven't run since it was still cold outside and I did less than 10 WOD's in a month. As race day approached I realized I didn't have a chance in Hell to complete this race and would probably end up crying in a creekbed somewhere along the race course.

The day before the volunteers headed out to the horse park to learn more about the course. I only got a glimpse of a few of the obstacles and already I was scared. We were stuck in the back end of the woods with lots of mosquitos and what looked like the scene to a straight-to-DVD horror flick. I made jokes the whole time to cover up how nervous and honestly scared-sh*tless I was.

The next day I woke up and headed back to Conyers. Luckily I woke up an hour late so I didn't have a chance to really think about what I was getting in to on the way down the road; I was more focused on staying above 75mph. My dreams came true and I did spend the morning staring at the studly Spartan men as they attempted to run across the balance beams or had to stick their butts in the air for the modified burpees, much to my delight.

Finally after a three hour work shift we were picked up and taken to the starting line to prepare for our race. It wasn't until I got back to base camp did the horror sink in and I couldn't focus. I lost my race ticket, I lost my meal ticket, I couldn't find anything that I needed, I was a wreck. A group of girls during my heat gathered to discuss the upcoming race and we headed to the starting line. There were only 88 in our wave, the final one for the day and of course the smallest. I made idle chit chat and really went back and forth between the Fight or Flight feelings and sadly Flight was winning the battle. Before I had a chance to actually step away they started announcing it was time for us to begin. Everyone cheered in excitement and anticipation, I tried not to pee my pants.

Finally they released us and we raced through a cloud of smoke...

Our first obstacle approached quickly and wasn't hard at all. Climb over a few 3-foot tall walls. Oh but jump down in to mud pits and be doused with a fire hose. No better way to start a 4-mile jog through the woods than soaking wet and your shoes are already sticky. Terrifico.

The rest is somewhat of a blur, from exhaustion, pain or just mentally checking out. I climbed through a mud pit while dodging barbed wire, I climbed over walls and cargo nets, dragged cinder blocks, did burpees, waded through water and ran a lot. I fell twice: once when climbing an especially muddy hill and slid back down in to the creek. The other I tripped over a tree root and landed awkwardly on my shoulder.

The highlights of the event include being boosted in the air by an attractive man, which sucked because he basically had to push press my 175lb ass in to the air and get me up over the wall. Luckily he ran to the other side and caught me or I would have landed ass-first on to the ground below. I also suffered the bite of an insufferable insect, likely a spider, that caused an emergency doctor's appointment yesterday and a shot in the ass plus a week's worth of steroids and antibiotics. Thanks Mother Nature!

The part I think I will always remember was the last obstacle: the slippery wall. Run as fast as you can about two feet up the wall, grab the rope and pull yourself to the top and scale down the ladder on the other side. It was the last obstacle. I was exhausted. I had just run 4 miles, climbed through the second mud pit that was really horse manure not mud and done 60 burpees because I couldn't throw a spear or traverse a rock wall. I fell during the first attempt and had to try again. I grabbed the rope and pulled myself to the top, and was mentally stuck. I didn't know how to maneuver my body to get over the lip of the wall. If I let go, I'd slide down the rugged black wall and have to try again, and be possibly the only athlete who fell off the stupid thing.

I lay flat on the wall and tried to swing my right leg over to the other side. I got my toes over and could not find the strength to get my knee over the wall. I was as stuck as you could be. Hands on the rope, ass in the air, foot over the rail and the other leg laying idly by, waiting to get its turn over the wall. I screamed for the volunteer to help me and he proved useless and not encouraging. As he stood there and said in a limp attempt, "you can do it" I managed to shimmy my foot over the wall, giving me enough strength and grace to finally get to an upright position and down the ladder. I trudged haphazardly toward the "spartan" guards who tapped me with their American Gladiators jousts and limped across the finish line. I was covered in mud, I was hungry, thirsty, bloody and fucking excited.

In 1:35:52 I became a Spartan.