Weight Loss, workouts

60 Day Fat Loss Results

Back at the end of May the company I was working for suggested the idea of a 60 Day Fat Loss Challenge. Of course I was totally on board. The stakes were pretty high with lots of money and prizes on the line. We were all in. It was this challenge that influenced our decision to start CrossFit, clean up our diet to be more Paleo friendly, and really focus in on our goals. The first week looked promising… I lost about 5lbs. Seems like it always happens that way… I’ll lose a bunch at first and then it just stalls. I’d like to blame a lot of that on my Hashimoto’s, but I really don’t know what it is. Anyway, Let’s take a look at the results by the number and then I’ll share my lessons learned


The Results

Starting DXA Weight: 214
Starting Body Fat %: 48.2
Starting Weight: 210 (on home scale)

Week 1: 205.4
Week 2: 205
Week 3: 204.2
Week 4: 204.8
Week 5: 201.8
Week 6: 201.6
Week 7: 200.2

Final DXA Weight: 197.6
Final Body Fat %: 45.4

Total Weight Lost: 16.4lbs (thats 7.6% of my starting weight!)
Total Body Fat Lost: 2.8%

Weight Loss Before and After

The way the challenge was set up was to be a fat loss challenge. Had it been a weight loss challenge I would have come in second place. However, with as much body fat as I started out with I knew I had a lot more to lose than most of the people I was competing against. I was up for the challenge. I am super proud of how far i’ve come. These before and after pictures speak volumes.

With that being said– seeing these results were hard for me. I feel like the effort I put in deserves more than the 2.8% change these results showed. I expected more. I guess we always do, but I was disappointed. That feeling was compounded by the fact that I came in last place for percentage of fat lost by a pretty decent margin. I had a pity party for a quick minute… but then I realized I couldn’t stay in that place for long.

I have to prove to myself and others that I can better than that.

I learned so much over these past 60 days. I’m going to try to condense them here.

1) Having support and community is essential.  My husband has always been supportive of my weight loss goals, regardless of the cost. Having him do this with me meant even more than that. Check out his awesome results here. He inspired me, challenged me, and kept me accountable. He is my partner and best friend and I couldn’t have gotten this far without him. Getting involved in the CrossFit community has been a huge help as well. Not to mention my FitFluential and SweatPink family as well! Thanks to everyone for your support and encouragement.

2) Progress is marked by more than just the scale. Measuring inches and Body Fat are other ways to track progress, but I really love being able to celebrate NSVs or Non-Scale Victories. I celebrate when my clothes are loser, when I see a new muscle, hit a new PR on a lift or WOD, or run a little faster. Noticing these victories create an excitement and momentum that make it easier to make healthy choices. One of these NSVs recently has been hitting a box jump!

3) It is a lifestyle, not a diet. While this challenge was just 60 days, it has become more than that. This has changed the whole dynamic of our family. Our fridge and pantry are unrecognizable. We found a form of exercise we both love and can incorporate into our lives long term. We aren’t going to go out and binge just because this is over. We still have goals we want to reach.

goals dreams deadlines

4) I am stronger than I realize. This can be taken literally and figuratively. I can actually lift way more weight than I thought I could when I started. I just have to get past my mental block. I also have more resolve and focus than I thought. There is so much mental junk clogging up my mind from allowing my body to do more than I think it can do. Still a work in progress.

5) Humility is important. I went into this challenge thinking it would be no big deal. Sure it would be hard work, but I know how to work hard. The fact of the matter is there are no short cuts when it comes to healthy living. The idea is simple – eat clean and work hard. With the variables involved it becomes so much more complicated. The science of weight loss can be tricky. All we can do is put in the work and hope for the best.

There ya have it.

What are your thoughts/tips on weight loss, progress, or inspiration?

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Vlog, Weight Loss

Coffee Date: Believe

Who is ready for some coffee? After running errands on lunch the husband treated me to this lovely Trenta Cool Lime Refresher:

It took me forever to find 5 minutes to get away to record this vlog, so I hope you appreciate it.

Recap: Met a huge weight loss goal! Learning to believe in myself. I am more than just a before picture. Also, I have Jury duty next month… What are your craziest Jury Duty stories? Leave them in the comments below. Best story chosen by myself and my husband will win a $10 Starbucks Gift Card! How was your week? Any exciting weekend plans?

Weight Loss, workouts

The Power of Community

First of all, let me say thank you to everyone who was so supportive about yesterday’s exciting announcement. If you haven’t checked it out, what are you waiting for? Pre-orders are happening fast, make sure you order yours before the sizes/styles you want sell out! (tip: follow @WODink on twitter for discount codes and giveaways!)

That really leads into what is really on my mind today: the power of community.

It is really a spectacular thing. The idea isn’t anything new to me. It’s something I’ve known for awhile, but if I’m totally honest, finding community has been hard for me.

5 years ago when we eloped I left everything I knew and moved across the country. My community became my husband. Slowly I began to acclimate into his group of friends, but I’d be lying if I said it was easy. After a few years I started to feel like I found community in our church. One thing led to another and we ended up leaving the church, and with it a lot of our close relationships. We found another church and poured ourselves into it and when the church ended up closing its doors, a lot of people left the area. Once again we were left without community. Don’t get me wrong- we have a handful of friends that have stayed in our close inner circle, and I am so grateful for them (although I did tweet today about how none of them are female… and sometimes I get tired of their man talk… I mean, you can only listen to them argue about if Maggie Gyllenhaal or Jennifer Goodwin is hotter for so long! For the record, I think Jennifer Goodwin wins)

Anyway… One of the reasons I started this blog is for the community. I’ve been blogging for over 2.5 years now and I’m just starting to scratch the surface of the community. In the past few months I have connected with Healthy Living Blog Communities like FitFluential, Healthy Living Blogs and FitApproach. The amount of encouragement and support I’ve received from them has been astounding. I have been reading blogs religiously for the past 2 years and just in the last few months have I begun to actually comment and interact with other bloggers. That makes all the difference! It is like being a spectator vs playing in a game.

Even though it has only been 6 weeks since my first CrossFit experience, I can’t tell you enough good things about the culture of the community. Not only are the people at my CrossFit Box (CrossFit O’Fallon!) awesome… but the community as a whole is fantastic. The CrossFit games really confirmed that for me. These elite athletes were competing against each other, but at the end of every workout those who finished first would catch their breath and then go encourage and coach those who were still working! Having found myself being one of the last few to finish a workout, I am thankful for those who encourage me to push myself further than I thought I could go.

Pic Source: Ashley from AshleyNCline.com wrote an awesome post about this

I thought I couldn’t be any more in love with the culture and community of CrossFit, but I was wrong. I emailed Meg from the Facebook page Women of CrossFit = Strong with a 6 week update picture and a little bit of my story. She posted it on her page and 520 likes, 71 comments and a handful of emails later and my heart is so full from the encouragement and support poured out. If you are one of the awesome people visiting from that link, Welcome and thanks for stopping by! I was going to wait until my next fat loss check in to post this, but after today I have to share.

before and after, crossfit results

This is a loss of about 12ish pounds and definite gains in muscle, strength and confidence. I love CrossFit because when you go in and complete the WOD (workout of the day), even if you have to scale it down to fit your fitness level, you get a huge sense of accomplishment. It really makes me feel like I can tackle so much more in the world outside of CrossFit.

I know this is a long post, but it really means a lot to me. To those who have inspired me, thank you. To those who are inspired by me, I’m humbled. This is a journey, i’m certainly not where I want to be but I’m proud of where I’ve come from.

Where do you find your community?

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Health, Weight Loss

Stayin’ Alive

It never fails…. I write a post about making it work and all my good intentions… and then I fall off the bandwagon.

The first week we were in Texas I was on the ball with my workouts. I even ran a 5k. But truth of the matter is that 5k was my last workout. With the late sunrises and evenings filled with family visits and Hunger Games premieres, I just didn’t make time to work out.

The weekend was a whirlwind. We ended up leaving Texas to drive home Sunday morning. We stopped at that random over the interstate McDonald’s in Oklahoma. When leaving we both were holding one of Payt’s hands and carried her playfully down the stairs while she lifted her feet. All seemed well until we went to put her in the car and she started crying and saying her arm hurt. We thought it was just a sprain or rug burn or something. She didn’t use her arm the rest of the trip. We made it home around 9pm only to realize Payton was more hurt than we first thought, so we walked right back out the door and to the ER.

She was in good spirits, telling her newly learned knock knock jokes. Turns out she had Nursemaid’s Elbow, which is a dislocated elbow. They popped it back into place. She seemed to be better just minutes after, thank goodness.

We didn’t get home until after midnight and still had to eat, unload the car and finally went to bed. Today hasn’t been any less busy. I went grocery shopping, which sometimes feels like it should be an Olympic event… Especially with a 2 year old in tow. Chris and I are trying to stay on a healthy eating plan, especially after our 2 1/2 week Texas Eating trip. Here are a few quick tips to help you with your grocery shopping/healthy eating:

  • Take the time to make a meal plan.
  • Make a list, put it in categories to help you find things around your local store.
  • Bring a snack for your 2 year old who will, without fail, ask for every snack you put in the cart to buy.
  • Prep any fruits/veggies right when you get home (example: cut up celery/carrots for snacking)

And tomorrow the workout routine begins, gotta get a long run in for my half-marathon training plan!

How do you plan your grocery trips? Any tips to help make it easier?

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Hashimoto, Health, Weight Loss

My Hashimoto’s Story

Since I’ve been taking you on my health and fitness journey I thought it would be a good idea to talk to you about my struggle with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (this could turn out to be a long post, so bear with me). It started back in 2009…

The hubs and I had talked about starting a family for a little while. We had been married for close to 2 years and I caught baby fever big time. I had always dreamed of being a mom. We decided that I would stop taking my birth control. I figured I would get pregnant right away… with the way “unintended” teenage pregnancies happened and how so many of my friends were getting pregnant without any problems. So, when the next month passed I was devastated to find out that I wasn’t pregnant. The hubs reminded me that after taking birth control for so long it would probably be a few months before my system was running normal. I was still overly emotional about it though. I had crazy mood swings, uncontrollable crying for no reason and I was ALWAYS tired. I fell asleep on the couch around 8pm every night. I thought maybe it was because I was overweight. I joined weight watchers and followed the program to the T… I couldn’t lose more than 5 pounds! This cycle continued for several months… 6 months to be exact. I remember hearing from friends and reading that you should give yourself 6 solid months of trying to conceive before talking to your doctor, so when month 6 came and went with no baby I called my doctor. I explained all my symptoms to her, telling her I thought I might have insulin resistance or PCOS. She did a whole round of blood work checking all my levels of everything. I just wanted an answer. I wanted to stop feeling like I was crazy.

She called the next day… she said that I had a condition called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.


Man, that didn’t sound very good. Turns out it is a pretty common diagnosis of women who are trying to conceive. It is also the leading cause of Hypothyroidism. Basically… Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease that effects the thyroid. According to Womenshealth.gov: “With Hashimoto’s disease, the immune system makes antibodies that damage thyroid cells and interfere with their ability to make thyroid hormone. Over time, thyroid damage can cause thyroid hormone levels to be too low. This is called an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism. An underactive thyroid causes every function of the body to slow down, such as heart rate, brain function, and the rate your body turns food into energy.”

As I read the symptoms I felt like it all started to make sense….

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Pale, puffy face
  • Feeling cold
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Constipation
  • Dry, thinning hair
  • Heavy menstrual flow or irregular periods
  • Depression
  • A slowed heart rate
  • Problems getting pregnant

Uhhhh…. Helllllo!!!! Did you see that last one?! It also accounts for my constant fatigue, weight gain/problems losing weight, and it turns out I had a few other symptoms I didn’t even connect (I thought I was always cold because I grew up in Florida!)

My doctor called in a small dose of synthyroid to help regulate the Thyroid Hormone in my body. I started taking it early May of 2009 (right around the time of my period)… and the next month I found out I was pregnant!!

I had to have my levels monitored regularly throughout my pregnancy and they did change several times causing changes in dosage. I didn’t really have enough time before getting pregnant to see how the dosage affected me, so we were very careful in watching it.

After having Payton in February 2010 I went back to get my levels checked again and had them adjusted. I always feel great for about 6-8 weeks after starting a new dose of medicine, but then feel like some of the symptoms come back. I found a new doctor at the end of last year and have been working with her to figure out other ways to try to keep my Hashimoto’s in check. She mentioned that the hormones in the regular meat that I consume could affect my hormone levels, which can cause the symptoms to fluctuate. That made me wonder if there were links to other eating habits that could make my symptoms better/worse. Turns out that Hashimoto’s is often linked to gluten intolerance and that if you have one autoimmune disease your chances of having another, like Celiac Disease, are higher. Many people are recommending a Paleo diet to help with Hashimoto’s but I’m not sure about that yet… I’ve still got some more research to do!

So, there is my story this far… and I’ll keep you updated as I search for new ways to try to control my Hashimoto’s.

Have you struggled with a health problem? Have you used dietary changes to control it? Any advice on the Paleo diet? I want to hear from you!

Continue reading “My Hashimoto’s Story”

Weight Loss

a little at a time

so when i started this blog over a year ago i began with the idea to track my weight loss progress. i’ve been relatively successful. i’ve lost all of my pregnancy pounds plus an additional 10. you can obviously see a difference, and i honestly feel different. looking at my fridge and pantry you see a stark difference in what we keep on hand from what it was a year ago. yes, i still have ice cream in the freezer. but i also have kale, wheat germ, produce galore. of course, i’m not nutritionist or personal trainer, but i’ve made small life changes that add up. one thing i noticed is that i wasn’t eating enough vegetables. so, i started looking for creative ways to incorporate more into our diet. I started to use spinach in just about everything. I use it for salads, smoothies and for dinner last night I even put it in our spaghetti sauce. It doesn’t affect the taste, and if you process it up small enough it is barely detectable. It adds funky colors to your smoothies which kids love, and adds a power punch of vitamins and minerals. Spinach is such a nutrient dense food (for more on that click here) It’s not just for popeye anymore!  I know it sounds weird to put it in things like smoothies and spaghetti sauce, but it works.

i use my food processor to process the spinach to nearly undetectable specks, except for that one rebellious leaf....
Payton has become quite the cook herself... sock soup, i think?
this was too cute not to post. her little diaper bum coming out of her pants, talking to her baby and cooking at the same time. shes a mini me! cept my bum is all bum and no diaper.
and this is a perfect snap shot of most of my day.... love this girl.

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Weight Loss

celebrate the victories

I am encouraged today. Weight is something I have always struggled with, at least as long as I can remember. In the last year or so I have really been motivated to do something about it, but it was different this time. Every other time I tried to diet it was in vain. I just wanted to look thinner to get the guy or fit in the dress. This time it has really been motivated by my desire to be healthy above all else. Sure, I still want to look good. Yet, somehow that’s not my main focus. Sometimes it’s hard to realize how far you’ve come. The change comes slowly. Too slow for you to see it all at once. Or the fact that I didn’t meet my year end goal can be discouraging. Today, I am celebrating the victories, however big or small they may be. Let’s go through a few!

1) I am a runner. If you would have told the high school Courtney that one day I would be a runner I would have laughed at you. When I was an intern I completed a 10k (it was mandatory, or else it would have never happened, ha!) When I first started running I couldn’t run for very long and my mile time was upwards of 18 minutes. Now my mile personal record is around 13 minutes (I might feel like dying afterwards, but I made it). This week alone I have run nearly 10 miles. I feel so accomplished when I run. I love beating my own goals. ((and i’ll confess, even the spaghetti noodle legs the next day make me feel good))

2) i fit in my smallest pre-pregnancy jeans. WHAT?! thats right. this morning I was brave enough to pull them out and try them on. They fit, and they fit well. i remember nearly crying the first time i tried on my pre-pregnancy jeans after having Payton. When they say “you’re eating for two” they don’t tell you the weight that you gain doing that doesn’t fall off when you deliver the baby. but its encouraging to know that i’ve made it this far. now on to the weight that was there before the baby!

3) i’ve learned how to cook and use healthier foods. putting spinach in smoothies or other sauces (like spaghetti sauce). using whole wheat flour as opposed to all purpose in certain recipes. occasionally using lean turkey instead of ground beef. trying new recipes like spaghetti squash lasagna. its all about trial and error.

4) i’ve lost 3 inches in my waist since the last time i’ve measured. yes, 3 inches! its been a few months, but today i pulled out the measuring tape and realized i’ve lost 3 inches in my waist and another 2 inches in my hips! that was SO encouraging. While the scale might not show huge drops in numbers, the measuring tape doesn’t lie. i felt like a million bucks!

so, here are to the small victories, hip hip hooray!!

what are some small victories you can celebrate in your life?

Weight Loss


i love seeing progress. little milestones that encourage me to continue. today when i weighed myself i was down another 2 pounds. that means i have just 6 pounds to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. only 63 pounds to get to my goal weight of 150. hmm, 6 pounds sounds a lot better. i was NOT feeling like going out running today. usually i go after Payton’s first feeding in the morning so i can get it out of the way and not make excuses. today mother nature made excuses for me. it rained most of the morning and by the time the rain stopped i was already well into my day and didn’t feel like stopping everything to go out in the midday heat and jog. dinner time came and this week chris and i are eating salads for dinner every night. i have throughly enjoyed that. i don’t feel horrible after dinner. granted, i still have a sweet tooth, but I combat that with my fresh berries and italian ice popsicles. mmm speaking of fresh berries, i think i’m going to make a recovery smoothie!! mmm mmm good.

where was i before i got distracted by the tantalizing thought of a fresh smoothie? oh yes- i did NOT feel like running. I have about 70 more pages to read for psychology, i need to clean the house, finish the laundry, get ready for my cleanings tomorrow… excuse excuse excuse… so i went looking for motivation. i tried on my pre-pregnancy jeans and i could actually button them. granted there is still a little “overflow” of that baby belly, but i got them all the way on and could breathe. kinda. so i tried on the pair that i remember fitting the loosest. i’m pretty sure they are almost public wearable (with the right top of course). that felt good. so i took off my jeans and replaced them with my running shorts. and i ran. for the first time in almost 2 weeks i ran without the stroller and a baby. and to my surprise, i ran the fastest mile i can ever remember running. like ever. 12:55. and i got to the 2 mile mark before 30 minutes… i think it was 28:33 or thereabouts. thats huge. all my life i’ve struggled with fitness, and some of the most hurtful shameful things i can remember have to do with not being able to run fast enough. like not being able to pass my JROTC physical fitness test. and not being able to go with my HA class to the mountain because I couldn’t run the mile fast enough. i’m determined to overcome this hurdle to my fitness. and its an exciting process to get there.

now i’m going to finish my list of things i used as excuses not to go running… much love!

Weight Loss


well, i’ve got good news to report! after my last frustrated post i’ve been making it a point to go jogging this week… and it has paid off! i’ve lost another 2 pounds, making my total loss since Payton 35 pounds (reminds me, I need to put up some new progress pics!), which is good for a time span of 3 1/2 months (at least I think so!) I gained 43 pounds during my pregnancy which means I still have 8 pounds to go to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight… and i’m hoping to have that done by the end of the month. Then it’s on to that weight I had before the baby, lol. It’s great how much progress can encourage you. I wanted to jump for joy when I realized I’ve lost two pounds… two measly little pounds. But it has inspired me to get back to my calorie tracking. I’m still trying to decide if I like http://www.sparkpeople.com or http://www.myfitnesspal.com better. Either way, I need to watch what I am putting in my mouth! I did a good job of that last night, we didn’t feel like cooking (i felt sick) so chris went to pick us up some food from wendy’s and instead of getting the typical burger, fries and frosty I got a salad and baked potato. I’m also training for a 5k… I have just over a month to get it together. I can jog for a good amount of time, but my problem is my stride is so short I don’t get very far. I’ve been working on it though.

I am really looking forward to next week, as it is going to be “Salad Week” on the cooking blog Chris and I have been doing (www.ilovetocookwithmywife.com). It is so good to know Chris wants to eat better too! I’m looking forward to making some great progress next week.

Hopefully this has encouraged you as well. Let me know how you keep yourself encouraged, I could use some help!

Weight Loss

Look good, feel good.

Most of us women have thought it one time or another…. “oh i’ll buy new clothes when i’m a size ____” or “when i lose a few more pounds i’ll buy that dress i want”…. we are always putting off letting ourselves feel good. but what happens? we always feel blah… and when we don’t feel like we look good we don’t want to work on how we look… its a vicious cycle!!

Payton is now 2 months old, meaning I have been un-pregnant (is that a word?) for 2 months. No, I don’t fit in my pre-pregnancy pants. Sadly, when I gave birth to Payton the 43 pounds I gained didn’t just disappear. While I am well on my way back to the pre-pregnancy size (and smaller!), wearing my “comfy pants” all the time and the maternity jeans with the full panel just didn’t feel very flattering. So, I splurged. By no means did I buy a whole new wardrobe… but I bought a few versatile pieces that make me feel like I look good. When I feel like I look good I want to work harder to look better. It makes working out an easier decision and eating right doesn’t seem like such a chore. It’s important to look good so you feel good. And as an added bonus i’m sure the men in our life (along with the general public) will appreciate us going the extra mile to look good. A man loves a confident woman!

So there ya have it. Spend a little bit on yourself to feel good now, so you can be motivated to look even better in the future!