Monday, September 8, 2014


I'm back!

USA! USA! USA! It's so wonderful to be back.

I have so much to catch you up on!

1) I flew from Kuwait to London to Seattle to Oregon on Friday. It was maybe the longest flight of my life. I was up for over 28 hours ... Didn't sleep a wink on the plane. I was too busy conversing with a bottle of Johnny Waker. *wink wink*

2) I was reunited with my love bug. And he hasn't left my side since. 

3) I made a large purchase. Meet Isabel the Impreza.

4) I miss my athletes and coaches at CrossFit Arifjan terribly. They spoiled me with an AMAZING going-away WOD, t-shirt, cards, cake, and I was even given a certificate of appreciation and coins from the 108th Sergeant Major. How awesome are my people?!

 Everyone came out to bid me farewell and throw down one last time.

I haven't been in the gym for the last 3 days. I'm dying. My sleep has been all ass backwards trying to adjust. I can't sleep more than 2 hours without waking up. I'm just trying to acclimate myself back to the States, take care of some paperwork, insurance, my car, living out of a suitcase ...

Oregon is not my final destination. I'm just here for a few weeks visiting with family, Isabel and I will be hitting the road soon for a road trip of a lifetime. 

This weekend I signed up for the CrossFit Kettlebell Seminar in Portland. So excited! Next weekend I signed up for the USAW Seminar. Which I'll be flying out to the East Coast to attend. 

Do I have any readers that live on the East Coast? Connecticut, to be exact? :)

I promise I'm working on my Advocare 24 Day Challenge write up. My Macbook air took a crap on me, so it's been a process blogging. 

Sorry to be short and sweet, but I have to run. Isabel has an appointment at the mechanic. 

Happy Monday!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

27 by 27

I was born on August 20, 1987. 

Yesterday I turned 27. 

26 was an incredible and memorable year for me. It was a year of self discovery. A year of struggle and of triumph. I leapt, and built my wings on the way down.

I ended my marriage. I moved half way around the world. I competed in my first CrossFit Open. I made it to Regionals. I traveled everywhere from Dubai to Seoul, Korea. I made new friends. I let old ones go. I closed doors behind me and walked through new ones. I forgave myself. I learned to stand on my own two feet. I soul searched. I discovered my passions. And most importantly ...

I fell in love with the person I've become.

Feeling introspective, I came up with a list ....

27 Things I've Learned by 27

1. Never apologize for who you are. Not everyone will like you. And why would you want everyone to? Be proud of who you are, what you stand for, and what you believe in. 

2. Start every day with a grateful heart. The first five thoughts you have in the morning will shape the course of your day. 

3. Don't sweat the small stuff. And it's all small stuff. 

4. Money does not = happiness. But it does = independence.

5. LAUGH. As much as you can, as often as you can. Nothing is that serious.

6. Fall in love with as many things as possible. 

7. Fake it until you make it. You have to believe in yourself first and foremost!

8. You'll become like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Choose very wisely. Elevate yourself. 

9. Follow your heart. Figure out the logistics later. I can't stress this enough. You don't have to have a perfect plan. But you need to believe in what you're doing enough that you'll fight like hell to make it happen. THAT will lead you to success. 

10. You can't plan life. Sometimes shit just happens. Your perspective will determine whether it's a lesson or a blessing - usually ends up being both.

11. Learn to bend. Don't break. Be adaptable to change.

12. The bedroom is for two things. Making love and sleeping.  Get the TV, the phones, the computers, the drama, out of the bedroom. That is your sanctuary.

13. Sleep more. Sleep is so damn important! Be selfish about it!

14. Stop watching TV and stop reading magazines. Living in Kuwait, I don't have very many channels and rarely watch TV. The only magazine I read is Box Life. I've discovered how freeing it is getting away from what society deems as "beautiful." Your hair is already shiny enough. Stop worrying about your "fine lines and wrinkles." No, you don't need another pair of shoes. No, you don't need to lose 5 more pounds. I didn't realize how BOMBARDED I was with images of "beauty" in magazines and in commercials, ideals that I DO NOT fit into ... all of these things I "needed" and/or I was "lacking." The comparison trap is brutal. Get away from it. 

15. YOU ARE ENOUGH. You are so enough. 

16. Everyone needs to be taking fish oil and a probiotic. These are natural inflammatory fighters.

17. Just because they are family, doesn't mean they need to be in your life. 

18. Set goals. Daily goals. Monthly Goals. Quarterly Goals. Annual Goals. Re-evaluate your wants and needs based on achieving them. Put them somewhere you can see them. 

19. Wake up with determination, go to bed with satisfaction. You have to have a purpose. Discover it. Live it. Relish it. Let it become your life blood. 

20. Be selfish. You have to take care of you before you can take care of anyone else. Be able to create your own happiness, and not depend on someone else for that. Know what your limitations are. Your needs. Put them first. This really isn't being selfish, it's called self-respect, and no nearly enough people have it. 

21. Never stop learning. Sign up for classes. Sign up for seminars. Try something different. Get your of your comfort zone. 

22. Live abroad. This is different than traveling abroad. Immerse yourself in a new culture, force yourself to meet new people, discover new foods, navigate a new country. 

23. Do 1 thing for 5 other people every day. Pay it forward. Buy the guys order behind you at Starbucks. Hold the door open. Say thank you. Compliment a stranger. Or just simply reach out to someone and say good morning. Go out of your way. It is such a good feeling. And karma is so good. 

24. Don't expect anything. Be pleasantly surprised, instead. Come from a place of gratitude, not entitlement. 

25. Get your money under control. Pay off your debt. Grow your savings, 401k, emergency funds, that's important. And makes you feel grown up.

26. Feeling grown up is kind of cool. But, always be a kid at heart. You're never too old for Saturday morning cartoons, fart jokes, or wet willies. 

27. Life is what you make it. You are not a tree. If you don't like where you are, move. 

I want to thank everyone who made my day so memorable. For the birthday wishes, the hugs, the high fives, the phone calls, the snap chats ... The INCREDIBLE birthday WOD! The cake, the cookies, the balloons ... 

I have so many amazing changes on the horizon and so much love in my life. I can't help but believe 27 is going to be even more memorable than 26! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

My 24 Day Challenge, Day 10 Check-In

I am 10 days in to the Advocare 24 Day Challenge!

And I'm feeling pretty dang good.

I was nervous to start the Challenge, I'll be honest. I'm in the middle of a 12-week strength cycle with my coach, and the last thing I wanted is to stop making #gainz. Yes, hastag necessary.

I did NOT need to worry about that. My performance the last 10 days has been stellar. My energy has increased. My sleep is solid. And I'm hitting PR's like whoa. 

140lb snatch, 5lb PR
5:58 "Annie" almost a 30 second PR
12 Rounds, "Mary" Rx, a 2 round PR

I'm feeling strong. I'm feeling motivated. 

Next week we test my new 1 rep maxes on the big 3 lifts, and I am feeling CONFIDENT. 

The beautiful thing about the 24 Day Challenge is that it's not a diet. It doesn't have to be about weight loss, though I'm sure for many people, it's inevitable (though I didn't have a goal to lose ANY weight). It's a variety of supplements for health and wellness. Eating clean and training on top of the 24 Day Challenge will only enhance the results, but they aren't necessary to feel good or feel the change.

It was what I needed to get back on the clean eating and WHOLE eating train. I was struggling with my nutrition - skipping breakfasts, eating unbalanced meals, thinking a protein bar was a fine substitute for dinner or lunch, eating gobs of peanut butter when I couldn't get to a whole source of protein. I was a bad news bear.

Starting the Challenge got me back on track. The timing of the supplements ensures you're eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No skipping out!

Bacon and almond butter, still happening. But in moderation.

For most people through the Cleanse, you want to restrict your processed food intake; like pasta, bread, tortillas, etc. I'm still on a strength cycle though, so I opted for oats most mornings. Again, GAINZ, people, GAINZ.

Most mornings I'd eat 1/3 cup oats with chia, a scoop of lactose free protein, and a heavy tablespoon of almond butter or a 3-egg veggie omelet. I did cut out Quest bars, to ensure I was eating whole meals, and not "cheating" my way out of a meal ...

So let's talk about what I've been doing for the last 10 days.

I've been taking a probiotic supplement & fiber drink as part of a 10 Day Herbal Cleanse, as well as drinking Meal Replacement Shakes (lactose free) and taking Catalyst, an amino acid supplement, before training. 

What did it do for you?

I refuse to step on the scale until the end of the Challenge, because I don't want people to become affixed on a number to think they're getting results. It did "clear" me out so to speak, in the best way possible. I've never had such healthy, happy poop in my life! I used to deal with all kinds of issues with my digestive system. Terrible stomach aches, bad acne, bloating, gas, just foul things.

I cut dairy out when I moved to Kuwait and that helped with A LOT of issues. But, I still battle with acne. It's way better than it used to be, but I still break out and they're still pretty angry.

I haven't BROKEN OUT ONCE in the last 10 days! I am going to attribute that to the probiotic supplement I've been taking. I don't even want to put makeup on I am so damn happy about my clear skin. I hope I'm not jinxing myself here ... because I haven't changed anything else about my eating habits, sleep habit, training, makeup, face wash, etc. I have only added the Probotic Ultra Restore. 

I am tempted to show you a no-makeup selfie, so that you can see for the first time in my life, I am blemish free. I still have tons of acne scars, but whatever, I can live with those. Blemish-free, guys!

The next 14 Days begins the 2nd Phase, the Max Phase. Essentially, it's supplements that support appetite control and energy. No more Peaches and Cream Fiber drink though, boo! I loved that stuff. 

Other supplements I'm LOVING from Advocare:
Nighttime Recovery, an amino acid supplement that saves me from soreness
Muscle Fuel (I attribute this to my 4 PR's in one day)
Slam (this is the BEST pre-workout!) in Strawberry Blast (and so much cheaper than Starbucks!)
and of course, the Probiotic Restore Ultra, my new clear-skin savior

Have a GREAT weekend!