A semi century of wild wisdom. Here’s a cheeky outlook and journey through the second half of a century. Over 50, taking it on and loving it! A challenge to all to fight off a stagnant or indifferent demeanor, the moment you are in right now is a gift. Embrace it. Treasure it. Live it.

formats

Sunset

Yes, I have totally neglected this website and neglected to post any updates.  It is a good thing that I am not published writer under contract.  I would be released of my duties.  It is more fun to write when it is all about successes. I am currently dealing with several obstacles in regards to my fitness. Physically, a lot is the same since my last post. I am still experiencing pain in my shoulder and cannot lift weights until this is corrected.  An MRI is in the near future.  For insurance reasons I have put it off till this new year.  I am also still in the throes of menopause, oh joy.  I will spare you the details of rehashing the struggles of hot flashes and gradual weight gain.

Speaking of weight gain, let’s add the extra obstacle of being diagnosed with hypothyroidism.  Basically my thyroid, which regulates metabolism, is dysfunctional. One of the causes of hypothyroidism is years of chronic “dieting”. Though there are other causes, I am convinced that “dieting” is what has damaged my thyroid.  Which, if you have read my post I had done a lot of “dieting” through the years.  I was especially guilty of extreme dieting those early years of competitive gymnastics and dance.  There is a huge difference between “dieting” and developing a healthy lifestyle.  I have had an unhealthy relationship with food for years.  Honestly, I confess that it is still a struggle to not fall back into familiar bad habits of restricting calories.  So, I am putting this out as warning.  Dieting has done more damage to my mental and physical health than anything else.  It has been a challenge to make sure my body is getting all the healthy fuel it needs.  For me it has been more of a struggle to keep fueled than it was to restrict.  This has become even more of a struggle since my body decided to be fat happy.  But I win, because that is what we do on Team Always Wyns.

The plan: Giving up is not an option

With my physician’s care we are continually monitoring my blood work and hormone levels. I am currently taking Synthroid to address the hypothyroidism.  The dose is still being tweaked with lab results.  So far, I am not noticing a big difference other than some increased energy, but this is still fairly new and being adjusted.

My nutritional goals stay the same. I continue to eat primal/paleo plates but since I am introducing more cardio, I have adjusted to more carbohydrates than previously.  I still limit processed carbs and sugars.  The majority of my fuel is real and basic. I try to avoid empty calories and make sure the food I am eating has nutritional substance.   I have also set a rule to never eat less than my calculated BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate).

My fitness and exercise goals had to be changed.  The point for me is to always have goals, keep challenged, and move forward. With the shoulder injury it is too painful to lift weights.  I tried to modify the lifting and workouts, but so many movements in crossfit involve the shoulder.  Missing my crossfit workout and crossfit family is an understatement, but I have to listen to my body and take a break. Plus, it was too discouraging to know I have the ability to do pull ups, handstand pushups, snatch, clean, jerk…but my body will not let me.  I am a product of over achieving, so if I can’t do it better or stronger than last time, it sucks. No, it was literally depressing and I was in tears after many workouts. Not because of the shoulder pain, though it was significant. It was the fact that I had to work with an empty bar and couldn’t play hard like the other kids. Yeah, I got issues.  It’s just how I’m wired.  So for now, I have set some new goals.  I am chasing breaking 30 minutes on 5k again. I have only run a 5k in under 30 one time, with my PR @ 29:18.  My son Ben who is a running specialist for the Jacksonville Running Company has written some awesome race plans. He personally customized a plan for my 5k races and also for my upcoming 8k race at the Music Marathon weekend in Melbourne. I am very excited and looking forward to this weekend! It will be Tori and Daniel’s first half marathon, and Ben will be running the full marathon hopefully with a qualifying time for Boston.

 

In other news, life is to be lived well and full. Every Thanksgiving it is a family tradition for us to run the Turkey Trot 5k together.  This year I not only got to have all my kids home for Thanksgiving day they were all able to stay for the whole weekend!  Always, when everyone is home, we have all our adopted kids join in, friends that they all grew up with.  I love when my house is crazy and alive with all of them there. We had bocce ball tournaments, movies and had a blast creating our Christmas card photo.

Turkey Trot

Turkey Trot 5k

 

Family Christmas Card

ChristmasCard

 

After the holidays Michael and I had an adventure of camping on the beach.  In spite of the cold weather and rain we made the most of our time had some great laughs.  Being away together is always welcome and never dull.  We survived the rain and the cold weather, but when a wind storm came in and threatened to blow our tent out to sea, we had to pack up and head home.  There, we hid in our jammies the rest of the weekend.

Beach Treasure

Sun rising on a New Year

Sunrise

 

 
formats

That’s right, I’m Fifty! Well….52 now.

I love this!  It is funny every time I watch it. My son sent this video to me on my fiftieth birthday. Having been a dancer just made it all that much more hilarious.  That’s me, at 52 my attitude thinks I can keep up with the younger crowd I work out with, but my body has been in rebellion.  If this post comes off a little pissy, well I am in a frustrated and pissy season.  I have injured my rotator cuff. Grrrrrr! I finally got RX handstand pushups, was progressively adding more weights and setting PRs. I was also feeling ready to try some local CrossFit competitions.  Then about two months ago I woke up with a shoulder ache.  Which is sometimes normal, you push your body it will let you know if you pushed too hard. Nothing hurt during a workout. There was no snap, pop or pull.  So I did what I what I always do, rest, ice, nsaid and avoided any movements, especially overhead that caused pain.  Couple of weeks of resting it, it still hurt.   I was really discouraged and started skipping workouts. It was hard seeing everyone posting PRs, conquering new skills and I couldn’t even work with an empty bar. Poor me.  After my short lived pity party, I had a cortisone injection (wasn’t much help) and worked in some physical therapy.  Ever so slowly I have moved from pain to discomfort. At this point I am hoping that it is because my body is older, it is taking longer to recover.  I am so thankful for great coaches who have been helping me modify the workouts so I can stay in the game.  Just this week I have been able to add very light weight back in. I am taking this time to focus and fine tune my technique. I am trying to keep my attitude positive.  Maybe by the time I can start loading weight again the technique improvement will help me pass my previous accomplishments. That’s my plan anyway.

Men beware; this next topic will be girl talk and more whining. So, if you are squeamish about female issues, run away now before I say MENOPAUSE.  Stay if you dare, but be warned my actions are highly unpredictable and scary without warning. My husband has changed the combination on the gun safe and will not reveal it for fear of his own safety.  Just kidding… I think? I may have to check on that.  Since December I have been on the post side of menopause. My nights go something like this, hot flash, night sweat, strip completely, kick off covers, then fifteen minutes later get chilled by the ceiling fan, cover up, hot flash, night sweat, kick off covers, chilled…repeat several more times till 5:30am alarm. I also get “Man, you’re hot!”  At 3am it is not exactly a “you’re hot!” compliment when followed by “Move over”.  It hasn’t helped that my summer hours are four ten hour days and off on Fridays.  Up at 5:30, work 7am till 6pm, can only make the 7pm crossfit class, then I am not home til 8:30pm. Not worth the Friday off. I can be a real grouchy pants by Friday.   All this has been somewhat manageable and not what bothers me most.  What has had me in panic mode is the gradual increase of stored body fat and weight gain since December. Not muscle weight either, the belly fat and muffin top kind. I wouldn’t care what I weighed if it was muscle weight and positive progress. (See Divorcing the Scale)  From what I have read, estrogen is stored in body fat. It is actually healthy for me at this stage in my life to have a little extra body fat percentage.  Nonetheless, it has gone way past my comfort zone and even hindering my workouts.  For those of you who know me and have followed along, know that fit and healthy is my ambition not a destined number or size.  Anyway, I had not changed my nutrition plan or my workouts. I have stayed very consistent with primal/paleo and gradually gaining body fat anyway. Even though this is the plan I had so much success with, success is not what’s going on. Come on! I’m being disciplined and consistent. I had everything dialed in and working right, so what’s going wrong?  This is what I did when I hit panic mode.  I returned to old destructive eating behavior.  This was my logic. What if I continue strict disciplined primal/paleo and also start restricting calorie intake?  Brilliant right? What happened was, not only was I not losing the body fat I was weakening my workouts by being underfed.  In turn, this could have played a part with my shoulder injury.

Ok, so let’s take a look at the recipe all these circumstances and poor decisions created.  We’ll start with some stressing out along with the long work days.  Now we can add some sleepless nights and working out later evening, oh and let’s not forget I was skipping dinner after killer workouts. I was too tired and just not hungry. Dinner at 8:30pm? Not happening.  I thought this worked out great that I wasn’t hungry. No dinner, but maybe a glass of wine or two or three for the sleep I craved. I know, I know, I am smarter than that. Didn’t I already learn this? It was so easy to fall back into familiar bad eating behavior, especially since I depended on it working for so many years. Then it caught up on me.  (See my original Success Story for my background) In fact, it was so easy to return to this behavior that I really wasn’t conscious of how little I was eating.  That familiar behavior just took over so easy and natural. It is amazing how the familiarity of bad habits can sneak in like an old friend, snake around , then settle in with a false comfort.

Where to go from here?  Time to reevaluate and determine what I am doing right, and what I am doing wrong. Being healthy includes learning to grow, adapt to changes and keep moving forward during and after failures.  From here, first, I am off long summer work days, and that means getting an extra hour sleep and working out earlier evening.  Since I am still nursing the shoulder, some workouts feel like I am not reaching pre injury intensities.  So, I have added some light cardio pre work out to help.  I alternate jumping rope with an easy mile run pre-workout.  After having some conversations with Coach Tom and some needed reprimand in regards to cutting back my calorie intake, I am implementing some changes in my nutritional approach.  I am staying mostly with primal/paleo plan but I have started bumping up the carb intake, more so around workouts. I am also taking in more calories not less, a lot more.  I won’t lie, it is a frightening move. I ballooned the first week and was tempted to immediately hit the road and run excessively.  Coach has assured me it takes time for my body to adjust to the changes, and recover back to healthy metabolizing. I cannot express how difficult it is for me to eat more. I feel awful, bloated and disgustingly plump. However I am determined to stay on course, fuel my body, and work toward resetting my once again broken metabolism. The hard part being, I most likely will feel like a pufferfish till my body catches on and adjust to the changes.  Since talking to coach Tom, I have been researching the concept and benefits of eating more. Resources that I have found helpful online are the forums in Myfitnesspal – Eat More to Weight Less and articles at Eat to Perform.

On another note, I have not considered Hormone Replacement Therapy. Though I have whined and complained about hot flashes and mood swings, the menopausal symptoms have been bearable so far without hormone intervention.

Now you know. This is where I am at in my journey to continued health and fitness. Journey, not easy street.   I emphasize “journey” because there is never a place where we stop wanting to improve. Through all I am still having fun and hitting the gym with some Sally O’Malley  attitude. ” I like to clean! and jerk! and snatch!” I will let you know how it all turns out.

 
formats

 

Sorry that it has been a long time since I have updated and posted anything. I unintentionally took a summer break from the blog. I will try to catch up and share some family updates and summer fun. The season has been very busy and full. Summer flew by!

First and most enjoyable (but not without some stresses) I was busy spending time with my daughter as we were preparing for her wedding day.  It turned out absolutely beautiful. Perfect really.  So much joy, peace and celebration knowing their marriage was ordained.  I believe the wedding video expresses more than I can say with words.  Enjoy. I confess to watching Daniel and Tori’s wedding video too many times to count.

 

Now that we officially have an empty nest, it is time for some adventures.  We purchased some kayaks and I got an awesome over the top beach cruiser.  Her name is Buttercup.

Buttercup

We visited our son Ben in Jacksonville Beach and biked everywhere all weekend for her maiden voyage. I’m hiding, trailing behind in this picture.

Cruising Jacksonville Beach

Cruising Jacksonville Beach

Gatorades at Lemon Bar with Ben

Gatorades at Lemon Bar with Ben

Ben is on the road to Boston, stopping by California for Cali International marathon among other races first.  He has his sites on qualifying for his first Boston Marathon.  I look forward to following and tracking him on his races. The kid has wheels,  not to mention being a freak of nature.  Yes, we were out dancing till the music stopped, he still woke up at 7am to run 10 miles at race pace.

 

It is finally football season. Here’s hoping for a good Miami Dolphin season. Preseason game in Jacksonville.

Go Dolphins

Go Dolphins

Fins & Jags with Ben

Fins & Jags with Ben

 

Last weekend we took the kayaks up the Silver River to the head of Silver Springs.  Just over eleven mile trip up the river and back. The first time we attempted the Silver River our trip was cut short. We got caught in a wicked thunderstorm and had to paddle back in pouring rain and lighting. This last weekend was perfect.  Three and half hours up stream to the head, and two and half hours back. We stopped few times to cool off, swim with the gators and watch monkeys.

Gator

Gator

Silver Springs Monkey

Silver Springs Monkey

Statues under water at Silver Springs

Statues under water at Silver Springs

Cruising downstream

Cruising downstream

 

After a long day on the river, we were more than ready for big meal of steak, ahi tuna and adult beverages.

YUM!

YUM!

 

We also got to visit Jason and Nichole in Ft. Myers earlier this summer.   Jason’s gym is thriving with new renovations and additions being added. Jason and Nichole both completed Crossfit Level one. They have been killing it with their  lifts!  They are an inspiration to those around them in every way.

Jason joining the 500# club

Jason joining the 500# club

 

Living, loving, laughing....

Living, loving, laughing….

Gotta include the Creasy Bear

Gotta include the Creasy Bear

 

 

Now we are caught up on my family and summer adventures. It is so enjoyable to watch our kids embrace and live life without reservation. It warms my heart to see them so alive and thriving. It’s like a huge sigh and a high five kinda feeling.  Next post I will go in depth with some of the changes I have been through and adjustment I am making with nutrition and fitness. Till then, remember life is too short to not live, love & laugh.

 
formats

When I had observed the changes that Katie has gone through over this last year, I asked if she would consider sharing her journey.  This is truly an inspiring story.  Katie has gone through and carried more than most, yet she has come out the other side more than a conqueror.  This girl is on fire.  She is beautiful, stunning and model of what can happen when you have a tenacity to take charge of your life and health.  Oh, and when I say “model”, I mean just that.  This young women is a model of true beauty and what healthy is all about.

Katie’s Success Story

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMarch 2013 #2

It can be a really hard task to actually sit down and write about a journey as important as creating a healthy environment for your body to live in. But here goes…

I was always the chubby kid. My older brother and I were always confused for being twins (he is two and half years older) because of my size. I have always been really tall … you know … the kid that get stuck in the back row for all the school pictures. Yup, that was me. Every kid has to be picked on for something, right? Four eyes, long arms, being chubby. Well, I was picked on for being a head taller (more than a head in most cases) than everybody … boys my age and a few years older included — and yes, being chubby.

Growing up I always played sports. I never sat at home and watched TV on a Saturday. I did everything from swim team to softball to basketball to yearbook photography. Anything you could possibly think of, I am sure my parents forked out money for me to try. If you can believe it … I even did figure skating. Imagine a tall kid on roller skates. Yup, that’s how you give your mother a heart attack. You have twice as far to fall!

But at the end of the day, I was still chubby. I never did like my body. It was just a thing that people made fun of. No matter how many sports I did, I would always offset it with what I ingested. I would wake up and eat terrible food for breakfast, like Dinosaur Oatmeal loaded with butter, head off to school, eat a horrible school lunch, go to practice, eat a snack and a soda or sports drink loaded with sugar, come home eat dinner followed by dessert … and then probably another snack. Why? Because it was how I coped with being unhappy with my body. Growing up is tough as it is. Being chubby makes it worse. By the time I hit my senior year in high school I weighed in around 270 pounds. If anyone has a BMI calculator they understand why someone who stands at six feet tall and weighs that much has a major problem.

My wedding to Samuel 2007

At the end of my freshman year of college I got married. I made some really bad choices and found myself in Arizona on an Army base 2300 miles away from everything I knew as home. In that same year I was diagnosed with cancer. At this point I had ballooned all the way up to 326 pounds. I had trouble walking up and down a flight of stairs. I had trouble sleeping. I had trouble breathing and sitting in a chair. I barely fit into Lane Bryant clothing. I began treatments in December of 2007. My parents came out to visit in January of 2009. In a one month span I had lost almost 20 pounds just from not being able to keep food down. Not the best diet. However, I saw a change in my body. Something hit me that I had to do things differently. Obviously, no matter how much I ate – that was not going to allow me to lose weight. Through the course of my treatments I lost a total of 110 pounds. This was in a combined effort to also eat better and attempt to work out when my body could physically allow it.

Coming off chemo Sept 09

May 17, 2009 I was re diagnosed as an “In Remission” patient. Since then my weight has yo-yo’ed. October 4, 2009 my life would forever be changed. My husband passed away at 11:09 am. I began to eat again. A lot. In July of 2010 I met Brian. I never thought I would find someone who would love me in only the way that he possibly could. This broken person. Brian has helped me fight through the worst parts of my life and has given me the best parts and whatever is still yet to come.. March of 2012 I gave birth to our son Brian Jr a month early. He was a beautiful 7lbs 15oz and 20 inches long. I was back up to 261 pounds.

A few weeks after I had my son my parents walked into the doors of CrossFit Pinnacle. We were all severely overweight. I started to see changes in my parents that I had never seen before. It wasn’t just physical variations that began appearing … it was mental changes as well. My parents began seeing their bodies as a vessel to a happier and healthier life. They changed so significantly that Brian and I had to give it a try. I remember that first day. We couldn’t sit down. We were so sore!

 

But in June of 2012 we decided to make an official commitment to change our lives. We wanted a permanent solution. However, this isn’t where my story ends. I worked so hard! I changed the way I was eating … but no difference on the scale. I was now months and months out from having my son and I was still in my maternity clothes. I was urged to go to my doctor. I did. They initially told me I had problems with my heart. Oh great. What else could get thrown on my plate? Even with all of this there were some pretty amazing people who gave hugs and support when I needed it most (Josh O.)

Then I met someone at our gym named Paige. She worked at a cardiologist’s office and told me to go and get my thyroid checked. I did. No heart problem. Thyroid problem from pregnancy. Easy fix. With all of that sorted and out of the way … I started seeing changes in my body. I fell in love with the support I received at my box. The members of Pinnacle held my hand for the first five months I was there going through all this nonsense. I began to understand that making changes in your body comes both from within but also from the support you receive from the outside. I was shown that the mental part of changing your lifestyle was just as important if not more so than the physical.

I have come to the ultimate conclusion that God will never give me more than I can handle. God loves me no matter what size I am. I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful support system surrounding me. To anyone who knows me personally and knows my family … knows our family routine at Pinnacle. My parents go at 6 and Brian and I go at 7. We flip flop our baby  ;)   And have dinner together almost every night … full with conversations about CrossFit and Paleo food! I am now down 136 pounds from my heaviest weight and I am down 71 pounds since starting CrossFit. I still have some more weight to go, but I no longer see that as what is important. Making sure my body is happy and healthy doesn’t mean I am a size 2. It means that I can run a mile (row a mile) and deadlift double my body weight. It means I can do box jumps until I want to throw up. It means that I am finally happy being me … stretch marks, scars and all.

To everyone who has been there for me (and my family) at Pinnacle … there are so many I can’t name you all (Nick, Lou Bell, Matt, TK, Diana, Kristen, Michelle (and Ryan), Josh, Lori, Kelly, Nellie, Mom, Dad and everyone else … You have helped me change my life and I could never thank you enough for it.

Yes. This girl is on fire!

Yes. This girl is on fire!

 
formats

To begin, for those who have asked where I have been and why I have not posted, I have been in a funk. I haven’t come up with anything interesting to write about and I am lacking motivation, inspiration, and creativity. It will return eventually I suppose, it usually does.  So, for now I am setting no deadlines for myself to have a post entry every Friday. Instead, I will write when I feel I have something to share and take it from there.

Maybe writing has taken a backseat as I have been concentrating on getting prepared to compete again in the Crossfit Games Open competition.  Last year was the first year that competed in the Master’s age group 50-54 years old.  I was please to finish in the middle of the pack of competitors for my age group.  At the end when all was tallied and calculated, I finished 15th in the Southeast region and 211th worldwide for this Master’s age group. This year I am looking forward to seeing how my performance and skills have improved. Like I mentioned in an earlier post this year, the sport of CrossFit is growing so in numbers that I do not want to put emphasis on beating my placement number, though that would be a welcome bonus.

SOUTHEAST REGION

SE.Region

WORLDWIDE

Worldwide

Below are the weekly WODs from last year with my scores:

Week 1 – 7 minutes to complete maximum number of Burpees

Score = 73

Week 2 – Snatch progression 30 reps

Score = 45# (30 reps)

75# (0 reps)  :(

Week 3 – 15- Jump Box, 12-75# Push Press, 9- Toes to Bar

Score = 127 3.5 Rounds 2 T2B

Week 4 – 12min AMRAP 150 Wall Balls (#15), 90 Double Unders, 10 Muscles Ups

Score = 140 Wall Balls

Week 5 – 7 minute AMRAP, Thruster (#65) Chest to Bar pull-up progression X3

Score = 42 3 Rounds + 6 Thrusters

 

I have no idea what the workouts will consist of this year. This is how the open works; Crossfit Games Head Quarters will post a workout  on Wednesday, beginning March 6th and athletes have to complete, document and have workout validated by the following Sunday.  If you would like to follow my progress you can find my results here. Along with the results for the rest of the Crossfit Pinnacle team.

One of my goals this year is to enter more competitions and events.  My plan is to  start entering these competitions in the summer as available. If you would like to sponsor or support my competition efforts you can do so by donation.   I will gladly wear your business logo or advertisement at each event. Please feel free to contact if you have questions or want to discuss.