my FIRST (and LAST) Crossfit Competition

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Wow I cannot believe I neglected my blog for a little over a year. I am excited to announce I had found a new “home gym” and have blasted through some mega PR’s in the past year. I lost about 10lbs and really found my inner strength! I have moved on from Crossfit and found a new love and hobby in Olympic Weightlifting. During the days I don’t lift I do Jim Jones type workouts-which are similar to crossfit workouts, high intensity, lower weight, body weight movements. Anywho lets get to the fun stuff, my FIRST (and last) Crossfit competition.

Last June I entered into my first unsanctioned Crossfit competition with Ventura Crossfit/West Coast Strength and Conditioning, and honestly, that is where my love for Crossfit died. I entered myself in the beginner category, I had trained for this for about 3 months prior. If you have ever done one of these competitions you know that they don’t even release the workout, floater or weightlifting movement until a week before the competition. My agenda for the day was as follows: Thrusters to 1RM, then the WOD was “Helen” modified ; which is: 3 rounds of 400m run, 21 KB swings (at 20lb), 12 (jumping) pull ups. I had never done “Helen” and i DESPISE running! Boy was I nervous, there wasn’t enough pre-workout in the world to get me going for this, my adrenaline was pumping I was so nervous I thought at one point I was going to pass out just waiting for our group to be called!

I started my thruster ladder (EW!) at about 9am, the judge I had was awful, it was someones friend of a friend who had no idea what they were doing, or what to look for in a proper lift-I won’t get into this area but if you do a competition make sure its sanctioned or regulated by an association. Anyway I maxed out at 85# (awww cute!). I had more in me but ran out of time-looking at me typing this weight knowing what I can lift now really puts things into perspective. Some of these girls I was up against were strong, like really strong! ANYWHO, next was Helen, as I lined up to start our first 400m run, I look at the line up of “beginners” and I notice most of these girls are ripped, 3 of them not wearing a shirt-just a sports bra and booty shorts-typical! And all I could think was “HOW are these girls qualified for beginner category?! Why aren’t they in intermediate??” which brings me to my next point…this was an unregulated competition there was no standard to what class you register for, thus creating “sandbaggers” which really hurts the whole idea of a true competition for first timers like myself.

I have never pushed so hard in my life for anything up until that day. That is the day I found what was pushed way down in me, my strength & courage to fight for something I really wanted. I finished 2nd to last with a time of 11:04, to me that was AWESOME, I thought it would take me 20 minutes to do. But again, my time is a reflection of the “sandbaggers” I was up against. The best part of that day was the completely random people yelling and cheering me on to finish, what an awesome feeling, there really is nothing like it-to have the support of people who want to see you succeed. The last thing I had was a floater which was a 1,000m row I did in 5 minutes. My overall score was not good, I came in 47th place out of about 60 women. It wasn’t all bad though, I learned so much from that day, about me, about what I was capable of and the sport of Crossfit and what it is turning into. I had learned that day that I didn’t have any desire to be a Crossfit athlete and I wouldn’t enter another unsanctioned competition. Which brings me to what I am doing now, as I am a competitive person and I love the support the community of Crossfit provides.

I now focus mostly on Olympic weightlifting, my coach who is also my friend, and I have been through the journey of Crossfit together, he was my crossfit coach and is now my weightlifting coach. He and 2 of his best friends run a barbell club in Pasadena, CA and they are also personal trainers, with extensive backgrounds in fitness and health professions. in May of last year I went to watch my first weightlifting meet to support my coach and his team and I thought to myself now THAT looks like fun. (If you are unfamiliar with USAW competitions there are many regulations to make sure the competition is fair.) We now focus on conditioning & cycling before having a “PR Day”. All my workouts leading up to that PR are meant to get me the strength I need for the lift. I. LOVE. IT. I am now pushing 120+lbs over head multiple times for clean and jerk, my deadlift is over 205 etc. I can’t wait for the day that all my lifts are higher than my body weight!!

I am so glad I was pushed into entering that competition. I wear my shirt that I received from the competition with pride, because that is the day I found out how strong this girl is. How mentally and physically strong I am, especially when I want something bad enough, nothing will stand in my way from getting it. I hope the few of you who read this that do Crossfit and are thinking about entering a competition, do it. You never know what good will come out of it, I guarantee some good will. Plus they have fun things to do while you’re waiting like lifting an empty keg over head for Over Head Squats AMRAP, seems easy-it was very awkward!! For most of the day I was the only girl who actually got it over head! Though my experience isn’t like most, I still wouldn’t have traded it for anything because it got me to where I am today!!

Live. Love. Lift.

xo, Shila Jane

In search of a new home

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I know I haven’t written in a while, and I apologize. My gym (box) has closed it’s doors and I have been in search of a new “home”. In the mean time I have dropped into a couple local places but nothing has felt just right yet. My girlfriends and I have been doing home WOD’s and A LOT of cardio. I have been going to the Rosebowl 2x a week to do the loop there which is 3mi. Talk about finding out if you’re out of cardio shape! The first day I did it I ran it one time and walked it after. The 2 days after that I could barely walk!! Thus teaching me the importance of cardio, not only for endurance but you use entirely different muscles than you do during a WOD or olympic lifting. I am hoping to join a strength and conditioning gym that my coach is at but it is pretty pricey so I will let you guys know when I get back into the swing of things. I am trying to keep all my gains as best I can, I am also thinking of buying some equipment and building a home gym in my garage. Have any of you done that? Do you find the same motivation working out at home as you did in a gym? I am afraid I wont be as committed because I am not held as accountable since I’m not paying an arm and a leg for it, and I’d be coaching myself…this is so frustrating but everything happens for a reason right? 🙂

until next time….

Love, laugh, lift!

Shila

Gluten Poisoning and Paleo

I went 26 years of my life being poisoned, and had no clue.  Then after an entire week of throwing up after every meal I decided I had enough.

I was the type of kid who came home every day after school to my grandma’s house and she’d make me a bowl of rice with butter and a half a sandwich on white or wheat bread as an afternoon snack. [just typing that made my stomach churn] I remember being made fun of as a kid for having stick arms and stick with this round belly, what is now coined as “wheat belly”. My parents just said, “I hadn’t gone through puberty yet, my baby fat would go away when I mature more”…and in comes my body dysmorphia issue. I was about 10 and was already being teased for being so pale they called me Casper, now I was Porky the Pig-man kids are jerks, but thanks for the thick skin-JERKS! 😉

My parents were right, when I turned 13 I started to develop other places and thinned out a bit but the gut was still there. One day in 8th grade a classmate had suggested that maybe I have ADD because she noticed I couldn’t sit still or pay attention for the life of me and that I acted a lot like her brother. I told my mom this, and it was like a light bulb went off in her mind. I had been in trouble many many times for talking during class and not paying attention and to her this was the reason why! Fast forward: I was diagnosed, and put on Dextroamphetamine at age 14, which is basically, legalized speed. From 14-26 I was on this and was a size 6, weighed an average of 135 lbs and was a “skinny fat girl” who never worked out a day in my life and was capable of eating whatever I wanted, thanks to that drug. At age 26 after my last trip (of several) to the ER I took myself off of that god-awful drug.

I had just came home to my apartment in LA after class in college, and reheated leftovers from the night before that my friend made-chicken alfredo pasta. I sat down on the couch, ate the pasta and immediately afterwards felt off, I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t think straight, I couldn’t sit up, half of my body was numb, I was talking like I was drunk, my head was pounding and I couldn’t stand up-I’d fall over. I had been through this before, all the symptoms of a stroke-yet every ER visit they had found no such thing. I called my mom because I didn’t want to go in an ambulance I just wanted her to take me to the doctor, she was 30 minutes away and freaking out because my speech was so slurred she couldn’t understand me at all, SHE called 911 anyway-ugh!

6 firefighters show up to my apartment, they are running vitals and all seems to be ok, they keep asking if I want to go to the hospital, I keep refusing saying I just want my mom to take me, until he does one last test on me and takes my blood pressure, he looks at me and over at his partner and says you’re going with us now. I get to Cedars Sainai in Los Angeles, I am told that my resting blood pressure was 160/80 when the FF took it. Keep in mind that is RESTING, after eating, and never working out a day in my life. The doctors run every test they possibly can, CAT scan MRI Ultra Sounds-nothing, not one thing comes back as to why this happened. The doctor said I may have had a severe migraine that can mimic a stroke. To me that still doesn’t explain the HPB but whatever I just wanted to go home and sleep I was in the ER for 6 hours, again, with no concrete answers, this is the 3rd time in 1.5 years that this had happened to me.

I had enough, I decided myself that it had to be that damn pill. I could have sworn I had an irregular heartbeat; I felt it skip a couple times, which landed me in a cardiologist office twice wearing a halter monitor from the age 25-which they found nothing! It was then I decided to stop taking that pill, I didn’t need it, I had been off of it before and did ok in school. After I got off of Dextroamphetamine I gained 40+lbs instantly, I started going to the gym but hated it, I’d go on the elliptical for an hour then go home and feast on crap. So about 3 months of not taking it things seemed better, no ER trips, no weird heart issues, however my anxiety however was through the roof so I turned to food. One week came around in I think it was July of 2011, I had just got home from the OC fair with my bf at the time and was puking everything I had eaten. I thought no big deal it was a bunch of fried stuff. I had corndogs, funnel cake, fried snickers you name it. Well every day that week I threw up after every meal (that had bread in it, I hadn’t realized this yet).  I just figured I had food poisoning until the guy I was dating says casually, “well you’re off that pill so it’s not that, maybe you’re gluten intolerant?” In my mind I’m like “yeah whatever, you’re just a Chiropractor not a nutritional doctor!” until the next time I ate a subway sandwich and no sooner did I finish that last bite I was running for the bathroom to throw it up. I then thought, “well shi*… maybe he’s right.”

I decided to cut out all wheat, bread, grains, everything that had gluten in it and noticed the changes, no more throwing up, no more anxiety, I lost 20 lbs instantly, I slept better, my mood was better, life was better! I yo-yoed with gluten because at the beginning of this gluten free journey I felt better immediately and thought, great I’m cured I can eat it again….WRONG. Then that temptation for that donut in my mind was worth the pain, or what I call a “food hangover”.  Not anymore, the last year or so I have really learned what I can and cant eat, and I can turn the cheek at those cupcakes in the staff room, and walk by the box of donuts, not because I don’t want to get fat, but because I can’t stand the feeling of being poisoned.

I now follow an 80/20 Paleo lifestyle. I have had 0 anxiety attacks since going gluten free. I have had 0 health complications after going gluten free. My life has made a complete 180. I have found Paleo to be a very easy transition from gluten free life, now on my cheat days I enjoy gfree pasta, gfree baked goodies, and occasional beer. I have found an AMAZING supplement; I keep it with me at all times in my purse. It is called GlutenEase. They do NOT endorse me at all I just want to spread the word for my gfree readers! Some say you can take it and eat a piece of bread and it wont bother you-I am NOT that brave to risk it but I believe it. I once ordered gfree pasta at a restaurant, and on the way home realized it was not gfree. I drove to Whole Foods and knew they had to have something natural for this, I was prepared to buy ginger in mass quantities to ease digestion but found this instead. It works instantly when you think you’ve been “glutened”!

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Love, laugh, LIFT

Shila Jane

Olympic Lifting Day and NEW PR’s

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(That’s my Clean+P.Jerk at 95#**NEW PR!)

 

Aaaaand I’m back to making gains. THANK YOU PALEO!! Saturday we had our 2 hour O-Lifting session and I was determined to beat all PR’s this time. I didn’t care how exhausted I was for the rest of the day, or weekend, I was going to do it. We always start with snatching, my arch nemesis, and that day I was going to make her my bitch. I was going to get that bar overhead, PR my weight with awesome form even if that’s all I did for 2 hours.

 

Here’s the rundown of what we did:

Mobilize

Burgener Warm Up

 

Then:

Back squat (x3)(x3)(x3)4 -140# was my heaviest (I can go heavier but I lose form)

Snatch (x3)(x3)(x3)(x3)3 -65# was my last set

Clean+P.Jerk(x3)(x3)(x3)(x3)2 95# **NEW PR** my clean 1RM was 95#

Snatch Dead Lift (x4)5 95#

Push Press(X5)5 55#

 

The last time I did snatching at O-lifting I was only doing 45# I almost started to cry out of sheer frustration. I couldn’t lock out at the top, I’d topple forward, I wasn’t fast enough or aggressive through my hips, you name it, it was happening. So Saturday (1/18) I was determined. The first few were shaky, I started to get mad at the barbell, and then I started to focus on what body part should be engaged through the movements and voila! IT HAPPENED!!! I was elated! My coach was so happy he screamed for me, “YES!!! F*@K YEAH! I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! THAT WAS PERFECT!-Put more weight on!” and my last set was 65# a NEW PR! YAY! I then went on to beat all PR’s.

 

I went to bed Saturday night at like 9:30pm, and I woke up at 11:35am I made myself a huge breakfast/lunch, then went back upstairs to take another 2.5 hour nap…I needed that sleep! The last time I slept like that I think I was 11, and that’s because I used to wake up at 4am to meet with my precision ice skating team to practice for 6 hours (there will be a blog about that later). It felt good to sleep and do nothing, I was exhausted, and am still pretty sore, so today will be a Yoga day.

 

Saturday is just what I needed to remind myself, you are not going to PR every time you walk through that door, you will have good and bad days, you need to eat right to perform right. I was in a state of defeat before Saturday, I felt like I had sort of plateaued, and was about to just accept it until something in me was like NO, you can do better than that and you know it! BOOM it happened! Set your mind to it and you will achieve it, you have to want it more than anything in that moment.

 

Love, laugh, LIFT!

Shila Jane

Cheating never gets you anywhere

cheat mealsHoly moly my legs are sore today which mean tomorrow is going to be worse. Yesterday was Deadlift technique (WOO HOO!) 5x5x5x5x5 I took my time and took it easy and my last set was only 162#. Our WOD however was a different story. 25-20-15-10 Front Squat, KB Swing HR Push Ups. 135/95 I decided to go with 50# because for some reason 65# was ridiculously heavy. I managed to finish in 14:43, which felt like 59:43!

I had taken about 2 weeks off around the holidays due to weak overused knees, which I ended up getting compression sleeves for and am in heaven! Unfortunately I binged during that time off, Christmas parties, all the good meals and the booze that went with it, I love love love food! After yesterday’s WOD I have never felt so run down in my life. I couldn’t understand it, I front squat during a WOD 65#+, I had FINALLY got “boy pushups” before I took time off, but yesterday I couldn’t even do ONE, not ONE! What the heck is going on with me? Was it an off day-again? Was I just tired? Why has every day in the box since January 2nd been a struggle like I had never done Crossfit a day in my life?

I was mad and frustrated with myself at the end of this WOD. I couldn’t understand why I had been PR-ing every day before I took time off, and I’ve had one PR in 2 weeks….that is when I had the epiphany-you literally are what you eat. If you eat/drink crap, your workouts will be crap. I am still paying for those 2 weeks I allowed myself to fall off the wagon and drink coconut milk eggnog and rum, eat g-free peppermint covered pretzels, eat Udi’s gfree bagels and cream cheese Christmas morning (and 4 days after that because I was NOT going to throw those bad boys away-I miss bread the most!), eat burgers protein style with sweet pot fries because I was too lazy and wrapped up in the holidays to cook a decent, clean meal. This may seem like common sense for most people but let me remind you I have never (really) worked out a day in my life before March 2013 when I set foot in that Crossfit gym.

I have never in my life been able to look at food as fuel; I always looked at it as pleasure. I love cooking and being in the kitchen creating new things, or tweaking recipes to my taste; I started working out [partly] because of my love for food. But not anymore. From the gains I have made from eating clean in the past, I will continue to do so. Cheat meals are just that-meals NOT DAYS!

Tonight’s dinner:

Paleo Panang Chicken curry over cauliflower “rice”

Cabbage and bacon slaw

1 scoop of glutamine mixed with Grapefruit flavored La Croix water

1 scoop of Larry & Lunas Pineapple Coconut ice cream

Currently baking in the oven: paleo dinner rolls…I’ll keep ya posted how they turn out!

Deadlifts and Mascara…as simple as that

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This blog is really just for me, but if some of you can get some use out of my experiences, and snippets into my every day life and can relate-well then that would be great! I am a 28 year old born and raised Californian-Los Angeles to be exact, yes, one of the few natives here. I graduated from The Art Institute of California-Hollywood with a BS in Fashion Marketing and Management in 2010. I initially went to college in pursuit of starting my own cosmetic line after a few years of freelancing as a makeup artist, however due to the recession that dream took a back seat. I am currently the marketing coordinator for a company that manufactures ambulances.

I started Crossfit in March of 2013. Deadlifting is one of my favorite techniques in Crossfit, along with squat cleans and rowing (I’m crazy-I know). Lululemon holds a dear place in my wardrobe, despite the CEO’s uncensored remarks about women. My favorite high fashion brands have always been YSL, Chanel, Nanette LePore, Christian Louboutin and Alexander McQueen. If I could bridge the fashion & Crossfit world I would be one happy happy girl! I love to cook and am gluten intolerant so expect a few recipes to pop up here and there. I currently live the paleo/primal/caveman way of eating-don’t get me wrong I dream of donuts, pizza and pasta they just make me really sick now. Those bastards have to be so yummy and literally SO BAD ugh! So I am ever in pursuit to replace them, and have them taste like the real deal without an ingredient list that is 654,872 items long. If you know of one send it my way!

Well now you know a little about me, read more of my posts to find out more

FYI: This blog is and will always be from my honest opinions and personal experiences. I am doing this for fun, I do not get paid for any products I may review.