Seven Months of CrossFit

Friday, 30 June 2017

I honestly can't believe it's only been half a year since I decided to take the leap and try a whole new way of training. I still remember having weeks of internal conversion that goes: "Should I, or shouldn't I?" but thankfully it all worked out the way it's supposed to and I found the best facility for me to be my best.

What surprised me the most about CrossFit was the community that makes it all possible and the people from my box that make you feel welcome every day. From day one I knew I had found my squad (do people still say that?) and our coach cares a lot about our progress. I wouldn't have hit so many PRs or even finished workouts without them. There's people at a similar fitness level to me, as well as some strong AF athletes that inspire me to lift heavier every single day. It's a dream of mine to become as strong as them. A year ago I would have said "No, absolutely not" at the suggestion of doing group classes, but after only one lesson (and a couple weeks of anxiety) I haven't looked back.

I used to spend hours at the gym trying to banish areas of my body that I hated and work them until I was sore and satisfied. I still enjoyed the movements, but it can take it's toll on you emotionally. Jump forward nearly eight months and I'm really bloody proud of my body. It's gotten faster, proved itself capable of things I never thought possible (hand-stand push-ups yo), and I both feel and look strong. CrossFit makes me feel like a superhero, like I've achieved something great. It was the challenge I so badly craved and nothing my old gym could ever give me.

Last weekend, my box hosted an in-house competition. This was the test to see how far I had come this year and to prove to myself that all my hard work would pay off. Of the two halves of CF (strength and metcon) I've always been more confident in the latter. I still love learning weight-lifting and I get better with each class, but it's something that's going to take a while to get confident with. Going into the competition I felt good and ready to take on whatever my coach threw at us. We did sprints, sandbag carries, sit-ups, and heavy clean lifts. I managed to place third out of the ten girls competing (and that was after my judge stuffed up my chances of doing well in the final.)

Despite a few hiccups, I couldn't have been more proud of myself and how I performed on the day. This was a whole new environment for me with doing workouts in front of an audience. But I stayed focused and it really payed off! It's the best feeling knowing that you did your best and I chase that in every class I go to.

Crossfit is a lifestyle. It keeps you inspired, fit, strong, and you can take the confidence you gain into every other aspect of your life. I know people tend to pre-judge CrossFit, but it has become a passion that I have no intention of giving up. We all need hobbies that make us happy and keep us fit, right?

I hope you're enjoying this part of my fitness journey! I would love to talk more about it and share my goals for the future.

Tell me what you've been loving lately!
Steph x.

365 Days of Happiness: May

Monday, 5 June 2017

Oh May, what a month you were!
So many ups and downs these past few weeks. I'm still adjusting to working full time and juggling everything else in life (drinking enough water, keeping my room clean, and being in bed by 10pm.)  But I enjoy working hard because I know that I'm doing everything to achieve my goals.

I'm very happy with where my training has been going lately too. My skills are definitely improving and my knee doesn't hold me back anymore (not even box jumps!) I have also entered an in-house competition at the end of June, so it'll be fun putting my hard work to the test!

1. Baked healthy oat & blueberry muffins (recipe here!) I also came first in the CrossFit workout today, that never happens! 

2. Achieved a day of healthy eating, which is no small feat. 

3. There was a lot of front squats in the workout today and I'm really proud of how well I did, I was not letting go of that bar! I also got my first 10 unbroken toes-to-bar. 

4. Bought myself a cute set of measuring cups today, can't wait until I'm baking with them in my own kitchen. 

5. Our new gym merch arrived today and everyone loved my blue hoodie! They're doing a special order so more people can get one. I think I started a trend. 

6. Felt great running the hills today, I also bought Mum the stuff she wanted from Lush for Mothers Day. We actually went out to two events tonight, it felt nice getting dressed up. 

7. Bought some more house items today, at bargain prices too. Went out to a Thai restaurant for Steven's Mum's birthday. 

8. Conquered a tough workout with the alpha class today!
1 mile run
50 front squats 
300 skips
100 sit ups
50 sumo high bar deadlifts
100 box jump overs

9. First night sleeping in our new winter flannelette sheets and they're so soft!

10. Spent the night in watching the new Big Bang Theory episode with Mum.

11. Got a PR on my Clean lift this morning of 50kg! Cleans are one of my favorite lifts now. 

12. It was deadlift day at CrossFit and I'm getting closer to the 100kg club (97.5kg PR!) I'm happy because I'm finally back to what I was lifting before me knee injury.

13. Had a Dominoes feast with Steve after work. I must have been hungry because I finished my entire pizza in about twenty minutes!

14. Started Mother's Day with a Fun Run where the whole family came along. Then we had a delicious lunch at her favorite cafe.

15. Steve got a great deal on a new 55" TV is it's so big! We celebrated with CrossFit, eating New York cheesecake and watching Transformers.

16. I got to have the morning off work, so I made dinner for the whole family. It gave my Mum some well-deserved time off.

17. Went a mid-day CrossFit class, which was tough but so fun! I killed it on the clean lifts and squats.

18. Finally found the right cutlery set for our future flat. Feels great to be building stuff up.


19. Steve got me a burger and onion rings from Carl's Jr after I had an anxiety attack. Safe to say that it helped a lot.

20. Saturday got to be what I wanted to do so, we ate nachos (with A LOT of sour cream on top) and played UNO. I totally won!

21. Got to have a cozy sleep-in and watch the CrossFit Regionals. It's so fun cheering for my favorite athletes and seeing them in action.

22. We did one of my favorite hero workouts today:
Nate (20min AMRAP)
2 burpee pull-ups
4 handstand push-ups
8 Kettlebell swings
I pushed through and got 19 rounds!!

23. The amount of support for Manchester is so inspiring. It renews my faith in humanity.

24. Steve and I may have a flat to move into in October! We couldn't be more excited.

25. Had a little wander through Kmart and scoped out my new home-ware purchases. We also treated ourselves to some dessert: the new chocolate pie from McDonald's!

26. Had a very tough day today but I had a nice early night in bed watching more CrossFit Regional events.

27. I participated in a rowathon for charity today and even though it was the toughest thing I have ever had to do physically, I was really proud of our team. We seriously rowed our hardest! My reward was fish and chips for dinner then ice cream for dessert.

28. Cozy Sunday, exactly the way it should be: pancakes in bed, blog work, and watching more regional action!

29. Had a fun strength class practicing our over-head squats. They're feeling a lot smoother now, and hopefully they will help my snatch lifts get better.

30. Made myself proud when I tackled a tough workout today. I came home and my arms were pumped! And they should be after 100 pull-ups and 100 push-ups.

31. Steven surprised me with Indian for dinner. After a long day it's just what I need.

That beautiful face! Saying goodbye to him, knowing he would never sleep next to me at night broke my heart. You could never find a dog with a bigger personality or the fact that he would have a conversation with you in doggy talk. Buddy was one of a kind. Thank you for all the laughs and love you gave me over the 12 years you were in my life. You were always meant to come live with us and I couldn't be more grateful that you did.

Here's to a great June!
Steph x. 

Changing Up My Look Optically!*

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Wearing glasses is a big part of my personal style and I don't feel like myself without them.
It's so much so that it's a big reason I don't wear contacts.

I have always enjoyed the process of picking out my new frames and I love being a little brave with it. I've had red frames before, as well as purple ones. And I have been rocking my "Superman" frames that have a pop of blue on the inside for nearly two year now.

As someone who has VERY poor eyesight, it's important to me that I have glasses I really enjoy wearing. They're pretty much stuck to my face from the second I get out of bed, to when I hop back in at night.

The only thing that usually holds me back from a trip to the optometrist for new frames is the price tag that comes with it. It can be hard to justify $500 when that holiday in the sun is on top of your priority list. But thankfully there is a solution!

When the awesome people from Optically contacted me, I got really excited.
After browsing their glasses online, I fell in love with so many gorgeous pairs. And with 3000 pairs to look through, it's no wonder why! I couldn't help but buy a pair called "Rouge" that I had my eyes on from the start (see what I did there?)
They're not what I would usually be brave enough to try, but at such a good price ($35 including prescription and shipping!!) I decided to just go for it. They also add in free scratch resistant coating, which is really reassuring for someone as clumsy as me.

They arrived only three working days later, which is super-quick in my experience with prescription glasses. It was such an awesome surprise! It's so fun getting your new glasses and this time was no different. There's always that first glance in the mirror after you try them on. I wasn't disappointed and loved showing my family these beautiful frames. The prescription was spot on too, top quality.

I've been really impressed with Optically, especially with their range of frames available. There's so many styles to choose from, and with designer glasses like Gucci and Marc Jacobs at way lower prices than I see in stores, you can afford to try any style. They even make prescription sunglasses, which is something I will be investing in before summer comes around. I always see some many cute pairs when I'm out and about, but they're useless to blind old me! But now I can try aviators or these gorgeous Fendi ones. I'm gonna have a lot of fun picking one (or two, or three) new shades soon.

It's going to be really great to change up my frames everyday to suit my mood and what I'm wearing. My glasses can be my best accessory and I'm happy that I've found an easy/affordable website to get them from. Never underestimate how great you feel while rocking great glasses! I'm gonna be changing up my look a lot more regularly now.

Make sure you check out their website, especially if you're from New Zealand or Australia, to check out their great deals and selection. Or even just to find some ideas of what frames you might like to try. They really do have something to suit everyone.

Do you wear glasses? How do you have fun with it?
Steph x.

*This post was sponsored by Optically. All opinions and images are my own.