Mind and Body
This is possibly one of the most difficult posts to write after a few weeks of no action on the blog. I didn’t want to feel pressured to write just because it’s something that has to be done and compromise on quality of the content. I want blogging to continue to be a very fulfilling experience, so the mini break really helped to step back and contemplate.
Often when I get overwhelmed with all the information out there on diet, fitness and overall well being, I reflect and think about what is it that really makes sense for my body. We came to this world with a body and mind, the mind truly rules the body. This holds true for everyone but every body is unique and needs to be looked after differently. I can just talk about what worked or is working for me but that doesn’t necessarily mean its the same for all. The best way I think is to observe, listen and love your body.
I was never physically active, pretty much sucked at school sports. Brisk walks are what originally helped me loose weight (back when I was a teenager). I did join the gym but knew absolutely nothing about fitness and even got myself a personal trainer for a bit but those sessions can get quite expensive. The gym never did it for me and made me feel like I was trapped in prison with all the equipment most of which I didn’t know how to use. It was time to bring about a change and I had no idea what that was going to be. A friend highly recommended CrossFit, honestly I was intimated by the whole idea of high intensity movements. I also felt like I would be judged by everyone around me who were probably way more experienced. I ignored the idea for a while but then one fine day I caved in, I stopped thinking about all the negatives and decided to give it a shot.
This was probably the best decision I had ever made, CrossFit helped not only with the physical aspect but also raised the self-confidence bar. There were times of personal hell in the last year or so but somehow I found peace amidst the insane workouts. It’s my way to meditate, let lose, feel free, confident, energetic, and at peace with myself and my body.
The breaking of routine workouts is what I like the most about CrossFit, not only does it surprise the body everyday but also makes working out so much more fun.
Some of my favorite WOD’s are:
This one is my absolute favorite, its a brutal combination of some of the best body movements in one workout.
50 Box Jumps
50 Jumping Pull-ups
50 Kettlebell Swings
50 Walking Lunges
50 Knees to Elbows
50 Push Press
50 Back Extensions
50 Wall Ball Shots
50 Double Unders
Murph is a great Hero WOD, I did it for the first time on Memorial Day this year with small modifications and I’m so glad to even get through this one.
1 mile run
1 mile run
I have mentally learned to set small goals and then work towards achieving them without stressing out or going crazy to look a certain way. It took sometime to achieve this level of comfort and I now want to give myself the space to reach newer goals without looking for any sort of instant results.
Becoming a morning person
I was never a morning person and it took way too much discipline to make this happen. I would literally drag myself to the box at 8 pm after work and have simply no motivation for an intense workout. It took months of procrastinating and experimenting with different sleep patterns to make this happen. Not only did this help set a tone for the day but also freed up the evening for other activities. Now, I can’t imagine working out at any other hour except for early mornings.
Food and CrossFit
This combination works like magic! I was most energetic at CrossFit during the Whole30 phase, I could go 6 days in a row without feeling fatigued. The Paleo way of eating makes my body feel less bloated and way more prepared for high intensity workouts. Of course there are days when I sneak in carbs like rice and sometimes oatmeal but overall maintaining a good balance is the key. I often get asked, why Paleo? – Firstly, its not a ‘diet’ I follow. I think over a period of few years I tried more and less of different kinds of foods and observed how I felt physically and mentally. The 80% Paleo lifestyle worked for me, of course this doesn’t mean its going to work for all. I eat about 5-6 times a day but the meals are typically small and this helps fuel the body through the day.
Eating Paleo also introduced me to a variety of foods which I would never eat earlier. Taro being one of them, it helps provide energy after long and strenuous workouts. Taro root, has been an important part of global cuisines and diets for a long time. Its high in starch and fiber, improves digestion, aids the immune system and supports muscle health.
This is by far my favorite way to consume Taro, I boil and peel it just like potatoes and cut them in halves.
Then roast them on a pan with some grapeseed oil, while flattening the pieces after they are half way cooked.
Top them with spices – coriander powder, paprika, cumin, dried mango powder and salt.
And this is the best snack or side ever! I could literally eat this everyday.
Following a Routine
As boring as it sounds, none of this works without some sort of a routine. Routine is no fun and I don’t think I have the discipline or perseverance to follow one but I do have the will power to make it happen. What helps break the routine and make it more fun is the changing CrossFit WOD’s (workouts). Waking up at the same time, eating healthy food pretty much through the day can get boring but a different WOD each day helps to change things up and give the body the shock that it needs to make a difference.