balancing act

I am super pumped because Saturday marked the start of week 3 on mine and Josh’s RP cut and week 3 of our CF Ripcord Nutrition Challenge! Josh and I had been on maintenance for a little over 3 months (from April to July) and I was more than ready to get back on a “normal” eating schedule. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed being a little more lenient over maintenance and eating some really great food on vacation, but there’s just something about eating healthy on a regular basis. I really just feel better, sleep better, work out better, everything’s just better! When we realized it was time to start another cut, we thought why not get the whole gym involved in a nutrition challenge with us? Josh and I have had some great success adjusting our eating habits and I wanna share the wealth! The nutrition challenge at the gym will last 3 months, from the beginning of July to the end of September (this is how long a cut with RP is as well). We wanted it to be a length of time that really got people in the habit of eating healthier long-term and not just a quick fix, 30 day thing that likely wouldn’t last past those 30 days. As part of  the nutrition challenge, we came up with a challenge workout that was done at the start and will be repeated again at the end. We also have weekly mini challenges throughout the twelve weeks to help keep people involved and interested- little things such as drinking eight 8-oz glasses of water each day or completing 100 double unders throughout the week. It’s so great doing this as a gym because it helps us all stay on track and hold each other accountable. If anyone is having a rough day, there’s always someone on the Facebook group willing to offer encouragement or good tips to get through the day. I’m really hoping this challenge will help people make healthier choices. Switch the Mountain Dew for some tea or water. Snack on some cucumbers instead of a Milky Way. These are all seemingly small changes that really add up over time and make a world of difference. They have for me anyways. Through RP, I have really come to appreciate my body and what I put into it, while still being able to enjoy life. It’s been such a learning experience and balancing act. I’ve learned that I’m going to sometimes eat foods that aren’t considered healthy. I’ve learned that it’s ok and I don’t need to punish or starve myself when I do eat something unhealthy- just get right back at it for the next meal. I’ve learned that I feel so much better when I eat healthy and that helps me stay on track. I’ve learned that sometimes I’m not really hungry-sometimes I’m bored or tired or stressed and instead of stuffing my face, I should sip on some tea or get up and move around.    

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Saturday was packed full- we spent our morning at the gym lifting, getting in some mobility, and doing a partner hero workout with LOTS of burpees and barbell movements. It was the most amazing weather (sunny and mid-70s) and I tried to soak it all in. After the gym was the usual Saturday afternoon adulting- mowing, laundry, and all the meal prepping. My sister-in-law, Kena, has been sharing some zucchini from her neighbor with us and I love it! There is nothing better than fresh garden vegetables, store bought just doesn’t even compare! This week she spoiled us and brought over 5 of the biggest zucchini ever- I was able to sauté some, use a bunch in our veggie chili, and still had so much left that I had to use 3 whole baking sheets to roast the remainder in the oven.

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With the cut and the gym nutrition challenge going on, Josh and I have been really good about staying on track with our nutrition and not eating out. We purchased the newest RP cookbook “The Renaissance Feast” and have been loving it. Every week during the cut, we have decided to choose one recipe out of the cookbook and make it together for Saturday night date night. This week’s choice was orange beef- steak and broccoli covered in a delicious orange sauce on white rice. The best part is all the recipes can be altered so that we can hit the protein, fat, and carbs we need at each meal. It was very yummy and I can’t wait to try out another recipe from the cookbook!  

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After dinner, we searched through Netflix to find a movie to watch. Josh found a movie named “Butter” which neither of us had ever heard of, but Netflix was recommending. We decided to give it a try. I’m glad we did. There is a great cast- Jennifer Garner, Hugh Jackman, Ty Burrell, Olivia Wilde, and several others. The movie is about a butter carving competition at the local county fair in a small town in Iowa. It was not what I expected, but it was so great. I never knew butter carving could be so impressive!

Sunday morning I met up with Kalee and Des for breakfast at Cracker Barrel for some much needed sis time. I have genuinely missed these girls- our schedules are all so different and crazy, we hardly get to see each other as much as we would all like. They both do RP too, so I didn’t feel guilty about meeting up with them while on my cut because I knew they would make healthy choices and help me stay on track as well. It’s seriously the best! We all ordered the Good Morning Breakfast which came with scrambled egg whites, turkey sausage, sliced tomatoes, a small fruit cup, and cheese grits. Not bad for eating out! I loved being able to catch up and laugh so much at their stories.

After breakfast, Josh and I finished the newest Netflix series “Friends from College”. There were only eight episodes, so it took us no time at all to finish the season. And you can’t not watch a show that features Cobie Smulders, Fred Savage, and Keegan-Michael Key as main characters. Rocko just wanted to go to Mamaw’s for ham!

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For lunch, we headed to Josh’s Mamaw and Papaw’s house to celebrate Josh/his cousin/his uncle’s birthdays. Rocko absolutely loves riding in the car (I promise, he was very safe and not at any risk of falling out of our car)- seriously how cute is he?!

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Before you ask-no, we did not stay on track with our eating. Before starting the cut, we had already decided this would be one of three “off track” meals. This is where the balancing act comes in- I understand that I can’t eat cake every single day, but during a special occasion there is no reason to deprive myself from enjoying something worth it like Mamaw’s home cooked meal and Kena’s homemade cake. Mamaw served us a delicious meal of meatloaf, ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, broccoli salad, a veggie tray, and rolls with apple butter and sorghum. I had never tasted sorghum before…I’m a fan. If you like thick, sugary syrup, sorghum is where it’s at! For dessert, Kena made her best cake yet- a vanilla cake with white chocolate chips filled with raspberry icing and topped with white chocolate frosting. She even brought fresh raspberries and made a raspberry compote to put on top. All homemade. *drool*          

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After cards and presents were opened, it was game time. While half of his family played a card game, Kaylie, Josh, and I played Settlers of Catan. Even though I’m pretty terrible at this game, I really enjoy playing it. Especially now that we finally read the rules and know how to play it correctly (it’s only been 7 months since we started playing hahaha). Kaylie won…probably cheated lol jk…and Josh and I called it a tie for the loss.

We capped off our evening at home watching “Shameless” (we’re on season 4 now!) until Game of Thrones time. Finally! Having to wait 3 extra months for the premiere was no fun. Game of Thrones is probably one of my favorite shows of all time- I know this because it’s the only show I’m willing to stay up an hour past my bedtime to watch live. I can’t lie, part of the reason we stay up to watch it live is because I don’t want it ruined by people on Facebook and other social media. Seriously, people, not everybody gets to watch it as it airs. Keep the spoilers to yourself!

Someone was all tuckered out from a late night watching GoT.

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when a moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore

OMG, I don’t know why I waited so long to start watching “Younger”! I am obsessed with this show! I started watching season 1 on Tuesday and I’ve binge watched up to season 3 episode 9 in the past 4 days…I can’t stop. The show follows Liza, a 40-year old divorced mother who can’t find work anywhere, so she decides to reinvent herself as a hot, single 26-year old and lands a job in a NY publishing house. The show is hilarious and has the most unexpected, ridiculous twists. I only have 3 more episodes until I’m all caught up. Season 4 doesn’t start until the end of June and I don’t know how I’ll ever handle waiting to watch them week by week as they air. OK, enough about my current TV obsession.

I love Saturdays so much. We get to “sleep in” until 6 before heading up to the gym for our lifting. We can take our time and just enjoy being at the gym, chatting between lifts, watching funny YouTube videos, and just having a good time. Even when it’s a bad day of lifting or I have no motivation, I love that I can count on my friends at the gym to be there for me. Saturday was definitely one of those days for me. Mobility and class were fine, but I had no motivation whatsoever to push myself like I normally would. The workout turned into more of an active recovery for me, which is just what I needed without even realizing it. You know the drill- after class, it was home to meal prep and do laundry, while Josh mowed the grass. Predictable, yes maybe, but we’ve got this adulting stuff down and the whole rest of the weekend to do whatever we want. #winning

CF Regionals this weekend covered the Meridian, Atlantic, and West regions. And it was another crazy couple of events and even more guys injured their pecs…ugh, I hate it for them. They put in so much time and hard work and with one rep, it all goes away. I know it’s just part of the risk any athlete takes, especially at the higher levels, but it still sucks for them. We decided to have a stay at home date night.

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For dinner, Josh made his homemade deep dish pizza. Let me just tell you about this amazing pizza…it’s better than any pizza you can get at a restaurant. Josh makes the crust from scratch which takes 2-3 hours of prep. It’s a lot of work, but so worth it. It is the most buttery, flaky, crunchy crust in the world after it’s baked. We topped the pizza with a layer of fresh mozzarella, homemade pizza sauce, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and a ton of Asiago cheese that we grated ourselves. Perfect combination of gooey, melted cheese and crunchy veggies with that extra flaky, buttery crust. Makes me hungry again just thinking about it! For dessert, Josh made an oh so scrumptious, gooey chocolate chip skillet cookie topped with homemade Jeni’s vanilla bean ice cream (from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home cookbook) and chocolate peanut butter sauce. Hands down my favorite dessert we make. Really, is there anything better than a hot gooey cookie covered in melted ice cream?? Don’t bother thinking about it, there isn’t!       

    

We couldn’t leave Rocko out of the dessert fun, so he got his very own Frosty Paws pup cup (they’re made by Purina and can be found at Walmart). Love doesn’t begin to describe how he felt about his pup cup. He started off eating it in the kitchen, then the rotten pup picked it up in his mouth and carried it all the way back to our bedroom to finish eating it on the bed. His face was so cute all covered in “ice cream”.

After dinner, we found “Doctor Strange” on Netflix. I knew nothing about the movie going in and I was pleasantly surprised. Benedict Cumberbatch was wonderful in the movie, just enough snark and humor and seriousness to keep me interested. And I’ve always been a super huge fan of Rachel McAdams, so I loved her character. There were some amazing special effects and some really trippy scenes, almost like Inception on a lot of crazy drugs. I enjoyed it a lot and can’t wait to see how it ties in with other Marvel movies.