“Pulling Up” Mental Discouragement

November 2010 I started CrossFit at CrossFit Sac in Sacramento. Coach Dave opened my eyes to a whole new world/concept that most of us now know as CrossFit… or, “the crazy heavy weight lifting stuff.”

[Dave giving me a high 5 as I assume the “recovery position” (dead on the floor).]

In the beginning of my CrossFit adventure, I often felt and looked like this… tired, out of breath and defeated.

I still do.

Pull ups were always a goal and challenge for me. I dreamed of doing consecutive pull ups and mastering that skill. I first started with a green band. Over the next few months I moved up to smaller bands.

And then one day, I didn’t need the band anymore! I remember the first day that I got an unassisted pull up… I screamed. Out of sheer excitement. And then I did them every time I came to the box.  I was so proud of myself for finally getting a pull up. I overcame many obstacles that day. But primarily, I proved… once again, that with hard work — I could get what I wanted.

And that “girl” hands weren’t for me.

In December, I was the strongest and fittest I had ever been.

I was doing CrossFit 5+ times a week, running, yoga… truly over training. But was having a blast.

And then I left for Arizona.

CrossFit was no longer a part of my life. I tried my best to do body weight work outs, use the pull up bars, run, etc… it just wasn’t the same.

When I got home, pull ups were gone. I was using the band again. As much as I hated admitting it, I was really upset about this. I would say, “It’s the journey, right? Not the destination?” But I still felt sad that I had lost strength. That I had missed out on 5 months of CrossFit. And that I couldn’t do a fricken pull up anymore!

A few weeks ago, I found my pull ups.

And a new job.

By losing and then finding my pull up again, I realized something: I am in control of my happiness. I can make changes in myself and ultimately have what I want. If I don’t like a job, I can work hard and change that. If I don’t like that I can’t do a pull up, I can change that. My new CrossFit coach, Courtney, told me the other day, “Life is to short to spend it unhappy.”

I don’t like to spend too much time on the CrossFit bandwagon, but for me… it’s so much more than a workout. It makes me a better person in all areas of my life: Relationships, career, sleep, motivation, and so on. A simple concept such as a pull up has spoken volumes to me about what kind of person I am. I’m competitive, type A and persistent. I work hard for what I have. And at the end of the day, what I have is family and friends who love me.

Oh, and a pull up. Thank you very much.

Today, it’s about overcoming mental discouragement. Taking little bites at a time. Planning and working towards goals.

God + CrossFit

XO

Paisley

 

Quickie Din-din!

The other night Justin and I had big plans of going out to eat.. But then life happened and going out seemed like a bigger ordeal than it was worth.

So instead… It was Mexican-night-in!

And whoever says that cooking takes too much time…? You’re all kinds of wrong! This meal took about 5 minutes and it cost as much as 1 meal at a restaurant.

I was so happy with the outcome, I knew I had to share with all of you, so here ya go!

Ingredients:

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1. Bottle of red

2. Pre-cooked chicken

3. Tortillas

4. Trader Joe’s guacamole kit

5. Chips

6. Frozen bell pepper mix

All this for only…$26.97!!

Cooking:

Dump bag of peppers/onions into pan on stove. Heat with some olive oil and seasonings. I did garlic, onion flakes and pepper.

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While that’s cooking, mash 2 avocados and throw in some chopped tomatoes and onions + sea salt, garlic and lime juice. Snack on guacamole and chips while you wait for your guest. Or boyfriend.

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Then warm up the chicken and viola!! Dinner is served!

I had my fajitas with just chicken and veggies. Justin did the real deal with tortillas. It was a quick, cheap and delicious meal!

Who says you can’t have gourmet on a budget and a time crunch? Not this girl!

And on the even brighter side… We got to enjoy an entire bottle — not just 1 glass!!

Happy Saturday!

XO

Paisley

Days Off

After working 7 consecutive days, I was VERY ready for a few days off. I tossed around the idea of going home to Sacramento… and decided to just go for it. I was in desperate need of seeing these faces…

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Nadine, my G.I. Jane.

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And J-man… the boyfriend.

We met up for Taco Tuesday. Guess what I ate? Tacos! Guess what we drank? Beer!

It’s been great living in San Jose… learning a new job and gaining new experiences. But sometimes it’s really tough being away from my favorite people.

The next morning I grabbed Starbucks and met with my favorite MommaG!

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We had sushi, it was delicious!

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I then took full advantage of Ann Taylor’s sale and got a new dress for my final interview (yes, this girl is job hopping).

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I also paid a trip to Jared’s to get my ring re-sized. I have big hands, what can I say!

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At 3:30pm I met Nadine at Rocklin CrossFit. They moved to a new location! It’s HUGE!!

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It’s not quite done, but I’m so happy for them. Love the high ceilings and all the extra space.

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And it was a blast being there with this girl!!

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The workout:

800 meter run

Then…

3 Rounds:

15 plyo push ups

10 dead lift

Then…

800 meter run

I pretty much died. Of heat and weakness. It is so freaking hot here, made me very grateful for bay area weather. Yes I miss the people of Sacramento… but NOT the heat.

Nadine and I grabbed Jamba afterwards… I was stoked to see Jamba coconut water!! YES!

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Later Jay and I got Thai food and sat on the patio. Look at all these frogs!

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They get close to the light because that’s where all the bugs hang out… dinner time!

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Today I worked on a business plan and met Justing for lunch. We couldn’t wait to dive into the sweet potato fries!

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Can’t say that Jack’s Urban Eats does the best with the SP fries — but they did the job.

Tonight I’ll be meeting my dad for a belated father’s day dinner and then heading back to the bay. It was a great few days, and now it’s back to work! Hope you all had a fantastic week — tomorrow is YOUR Friday!!

XO

Paisley

Writing, Planning, Running

Hey guys!! How was your weekend?? Mine was great! To help start your weekend with a ‘feel good’ story, read about Jenna’s book signing.

I dream of one day writing a book. I was borderline tears reading through her post. It’s exciting to read about other’s success.

On to another kind of success… I’ve been planning for marathon training! It quickly snuck up on me… Nike Women’s Marathon is October 14th!! So exciting! Today I bought a whiteboard calendar in order to help me map out all my runs. I used Tina’s marathon training guide. I’m trying something different than I used to use for my half marathons. We’ll see how it goes. But I like that it’s less running which will allow for more CrossFit.

When I first start planning a training program, I have to physically write it all down in my paper planner.
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After that I add it to my google calendar. That way the reminders will pop up on my phone. For this training, I asked Justin to join me on his bike for the longer runs. I think it will help to have a buddy… Besides carrying my water and Gu for me. 😉

With all this planning and training, I’m starting to clean up my eats!

Last Night:

I did a fridge/pantry sweep and chopped up the rest of the sweet potatoes and threw them in the oven.

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With some Coconut Oil, garlic and pepper. Oh how I’ve MISSED coconut oil!!!

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I also used the can of Mole that I had bought back in Arizona — and made a pot of Chicken Mole. Holy-Mole-YUM.

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The Mole remained un-used because I could never get the darn top off!! I got too frustrated and just stabbed it. A little aggressive… but hey, it worked, right??

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After my “Run 5 Miles” calendar alarm went off… I decided to put it in gear. And I ran the full 5. I think I might just be getting over this non-running rut I’ve been in.

And then the green smoothie was born….

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Frozen banana, frozen kale, coconut milk, ground flax seed and protein powder.

I spent the rest of the evening enjoying a few episodes of Grey’s anatomy, laundry, foam rolling and a glass of Riesling.

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What races do you have planned this summer?

I’m doing the NWM, but thinking of adding another 1/2 Marathon into the mix.

XO

Paisley

Cover

Sunday’s at work are very laid back. I like them because I get to kind of relax and think about the upcoming week. Today I solidified a fairly new love of mine.

I love cover bands. I love covers.

Hence my extensive library of Boyce Avenue albums.

Here are a few of my favorites:

I want to hug this little girl. Can I have her, please??

And this one makes me cry:

This one never gets old, also makes me think of happy memories with Nadine:

XO

Paisley

What are your favorite cover bands? Any songs in particular?

For me it’s Boyce Avenue, Fast Car. I love it because it’s a new version of an old favorite. The song makes me think of my parents and happy memories of being at home with my family.

Saturday Surprise

Yesterday I woke up to a case of the “I don’t wanna go to work”‘s … You know. The no-make up, casual clothes wearing kind of day. And so that’s what I did.

Lunch:

I got lucky because the kitchen at work had just been stocked when I got there. Spoiled, I know.

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And a Sub… Turkey/bacon/avocado. Omg, yes. Oh and those are definitely TOMS… told ya it was a casual day.

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While at work I was surprised by the news… J said he’d come hang out for the night!! I already had plans with my Aunt to go to Dancing on the Avenue in Willow Glen — So we all went!

This is Justin staring at cooking meat. Grilling, smoking, BBQing meat. We’re so soul mates.

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Walk away from the food…

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Dancing on the Avenue was a blast. It was pretty much a bunch of people eating, drinking and dancing. I don’t know about you guys, but that’s a perfect Saturday afternoon in my book. As time goes by, I’m becoming more and more in love with my new city. I love that there always seems to be something fun like this to do. I learned that they have music in the park every Thursday night. My aunt said you can bring your own food and wine… I’m so in.

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Speaking of wine…

I often try and buy new-to-me, inexpensive wines. I’ll buy a few at a time and then it’s like a wine tasting at home! I’ve found some really great, affordable wines this way. My mom calls us “label girls” because the cutest label wins!!

A few weeks ago I snagged a bottle of Liberte Cab. I opened it the other night when Jacqueline and I were decorating the apartment. We were both surprisingly pleased with it. It was a very smooth red. A little fruity, yet dark…. Just the way I like em’. hehe You can read a full review of it here.

Hope you all have an amazing Sunday. Snag a bottle of Liberte from Trader Joe’s — you won’t be disappointed!

XO

Paisley

Good Stuff

I love writing the Things I Love posts… but some of these things aren’t products. It’s just GOOD stuff. Stuff that happens in my life that doesn’t always find a spot in the blog. But definitely deserves one.

– Baby ducks. I spotted these guys on my way to breakfast the other day. So stinkin’ cute.

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– Mexican ceaser salad. Never knew it existed…

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– Copious amounts of honey dew. And I mean copious. This time I added some fro-yo to the top. I love that my work gives free food — which includes frozen yogurt.

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– Chocolate mint water. I waited a very long time before I tried this stuff. But oh em geeee!!! It’s so amazing. It’s literally like drinking chocolate. I usually drink 3 every day I work. Chocolate wasted, anyone? ha…Oh and those shoes in the background. I finally got them fixed at the shoe repair store (there’s one right by my house)… and I’m probably going to wear them every day for a week. I’ve missed them. It’s like getting a new pair of shoes!

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– Sitting outside at work on sunny days. The weather is so perfect. And I work in such a beautiful area. I’m a lucky girl.

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– My new phone. And looking at that picture every time I use my phone. (Check out the weather… jealous??) hehe

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– This guy. Many of you know me personally. With that, many of you know the history of Jay and I. Here’s the skinny… Girl meets boy at age 15. Girl and boy fall in love. Girl and boy fight like the Notebook. Girl and boy can’t stop loving each other. Girl and boy give up fighting. 7 years later… Girl and boy are happy.

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XO

Paisley

What are you loving these days? 

Giant Dipper

On Monday night, Justin arrived at my apartment. We quickly headed to Trader Joe’s for all the ingredients for these: Cherry Mojito’s.

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Jacqueline accepted a drink as well. It was agreed, we’re definitely cherry-mojito fans.


I also made an easy dinner of sweet potato wedges and GF panini’s.

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Can you tell I love my grill??

After dinner, and a few more Mojito’s… Sean, Jacqueline, Justin and I played a game…

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I honestly can’t remember what it’s called. But here’s the basics: a “fill in the blank” (kind of like MadLibs) is put down. Each player puts a card face down that they think corresponds with the black “fill in the blank” card. The person, or judge then gets to flip over each card and decide which answer they like best. Whoever the card belongs to, they get the black card for that round. The one with the most black cards at the end of the game wins!

I didn’t think I was very funny at first, but soon got the hang of it. At some points I was laughing so hard that I was crying. It was an amazing Monday night. I’d say the first “roomie” night ever!! 🙂

The next morning Jay and I headed to Santa Cruz. We spent a few hours on the beach. We wanted to stay far away from the boardwalk… but couldn’t resist any longer.

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We found ourselves in a long line filled with excited high schoolers. I LOVE the Giant Dipper. I could ride it over and over again. I don’t know if the ride itself is the fun part… but I think it’s a mixture of all the Santa Cruz memories and great times that I’ve had there.

This day was no different.

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And away we went!! WEEEE!

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After the beach we went to CrossFit West Santa Cruz. I’ve been to that gym before, so I was excited to go back. Jay was stoked because it has this huge fake grass strip in the middle. It’s literally the “Disneyland” of CrossFit gyms.

We loved the gym and coaches both so much that we even bought their T-shirts! I’m not biased towards any CrossFit gyms… except for my home CrossFit Envy. But one of my favorite things to do is go and visit other gyms in different cities and states. I think it’s cool that almost every CrossFit gym has the same look and feel. Working out is only a small portion of CrossFit culture.

I’m especially fond of CrossFit West because while I was there on Tuesday, I learned that I didn’t actually lose my pull ups. They had AMAZING pull up bars (aka: the kind for small grip girls like me). I hopped right on and knocked out about 10. I jumped off and turned to Justin, “DID YOU SEE THAT!?!?!”

About a week ago I was really sad with myself because I couldn’t do pull ups at CF Campbell. Being that I took some time off from CrossFit, I immediately attributed this to a loss of strength. Although some of that is true, turns out it was a bar issue. I’m used to a smaller bar!

I’ve found a home at CrossFit Campbell here in San Jose. They don’t have the pull up bars that I’m used to — so my goal is to master pull ups at the big boy bars too. This whole idea proves my point that pull ups are a technique issue, not always a strength thing.

After CrossFit, Justin and I headed back to the apartment to wash off all the sand and sweat. And headed to dinner…

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Wednesday morning it was back to work for the two of us. Bummer. But we had a great few days. I’m really starting to love the bay area. ESPECIALLY this 70 degree weather. I’ll take that all summer, yes please!

XO

Paisley

Stability Ball = Amazeballz

Ever heard of using a stability/yoga ball as a desk chair? Livestrong talks about it here.

They even did some studies at a few schools by replacing chairs with a stability ball.

Well…. IT’S AWESOME!!

The last two days at work I’ve been sitting on a ball instead of a chair. At any point during the day, you can find me bouncing or doing ab crunches on the stability ball. Where did I find it? Aimlessly wandering the conference room at work. Towards the end of the day my lower back started hurting. Turns out you’re supposed to “gradually” ease into this ball/chair shenanigans. Oopsie. I’ll take a break from it tomorrow.

Speaking of… Fitnessista gives a very thorough post on all the different exercises you can do on a stability ball. (Most are not work-appropriate, if you know what I mean…) All are great at the gym or in your house for a quick at-home workout.

All this stability ball craziness was getting me pumped up for my yoga class last night at Willow Glen Yoga!! I went to the 5:00pm class. After researching local yoga studios, I felt that WGY was one of the best reviewed. Lately I’ve been relying on yelp reviews. I don’t always listen to them, but they’re a huge help when you’re BRAND new to a city (–except for the fact that I was born here, nbd). Sometimes people get on there and just rip a business to shreds. I think it’s their way of getting back at the company over ONE bad experience…  I try and read the positives and see if what that person liked jives with what I’m looking for.

As for WGY, all the positives jived with everything I was looking for in a yoga studio… plus it’s close to my house!

The “Level 2 Vinyassa” class was exactly what I needed. It was lots of leg stretching and tons of flow. I’m definitely a fan.

Before yoga, I swung by TJ’s to grab some ingredients for a few Ella-inspired recipes. I love her blog because she’s always coming up with deliciously-healthy-looking recipes. Her blog has been one of the primary reasons I’ve been missing a fully-stocked kitchen, as well as this blog. Well, up for trial is her PB ella bars.

I’m a huge fan of Larabars, so her ella-bars were a no-brainer. They’ll be great for grab-n-go.

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The bars are currently waiting for me in my refrigerator. But I can tell you right now, the batter was amaaaaaaaazing.

I also made a batch of gluten-free banana muffins. And dinner. It was a cooking kind of night.

Today Justin is coming for a visit. SQUEEE!! We’ll probably do a repeat of the last visit. With some added CrossFit time.

Hope you all have an amazing week!

XO

Paisley

My Monday

Yesterday was a day of firsts for me. I cooked a real meal in my apartment. A REAL MEAL!

There was no microwaving involved, no teeny hotel counters, and no crock pot mess. It was bliss. While I was living in AZ, I longed for a real kitchen. With real cooking utensils and SPACE. I was always balancing bowls of food (and spilling them) while trying to come up with meals that only involved a crock pot or microwave. I finally have that and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Last night after CrossFit I headed to TJ’s. I tried picking a recipe on the way, but decided to wing it once I got there. While cooking I snacked on veggies and hummus. I’m in love with the 3 layer humus dip. Perfect flavor/spice combo.

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I had a tough choice: to top a panini with roasted peppers or sun dried tomatoes. The tomatoes won.

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Adding to yesterday’s firsts… I got to use my new grill! Mom and Dad got it for me as a house warming gift. They knew I’d use it all the time because I used theirs almost every day while I was staying with them. I’m already in love with it. THANKS MOM & DAD!!!

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Hence my delicious dinner. Turkey, GF bread, cheese, green and sun dried tomato panini with a grilled portabello and 1/2 avocado. I love this grill because it comes with a panini ribbed style plates or smooth griddle style. I set the temperature depending on what I’m cooking. I can even cook raw chicken. At my parents, the veggie burger was a popular one for me. Dad likes to buy those things in bulk… Costco.

I bought a box of Chili Chicken burgers from TJ’s as well as some brats… I think Justin will be appreciative when he comes to visit on Monday.

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While I’ve been unpacking, I have been finding long lost goodies… like my iPod shuffle! Although I can’t listen to any internet radio — it’s nice and light to run with. I have been debating selling my iPhone. But now I think I’m just going to go for it… the shuffle is so easy to clip on my clothes.

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Unfortunately due to my work schedule, Friday night is my Monday night. So I took my happy butt to bed early with a glass of Riesling and Grey’s Anatomy. Super crazy, right!?!

This morning, as I was backing out of my garage, my neighbors were still drinking beer on their patio. Nice. They raised their glasses at me and they all laughed. When your neighbors are still partying when you leave for work — you know you work too early. haha. Part of me wished I was them, but a larger part of me was glad that I’m not.

Spinning from a coffee overdose is intense enough without the hang over too.

I know this schedule won’t last forever. And for that I am thankful. But for now… Friday is the new Monday.

So, Happy Tuesday, friends! 🙂

XO

Paisley