My First Week of Counting Macros

I mentioned a week ago how I’m starting a nutritional program where I’m counting macros and basically eat ALL of the food. I’ve made it seven whole days! It’s been great! I’m eating SO MUCH food, it’s ridiculous. My poor co-workers have to hear me complain every afternoon when it’s time to eat again. It’s a far cry from being hungry most of the day which was becoming normal.

My weight is finally dropping again after a year of it staying the same. I was pretty skeptical at first when I noticed I was eating

The pizza and Diet Coke I enjoyed during Saturday's Notre Dame season opener.

The pizza and Diet Coke I enjoyed during Saturday’s Notre Dame season opener.

2200 calories/day. I haven’t given myself that many calories since I started losing weight four years ago. I even fit three pieces of pizza into my plan for Saturday so I could watch college football and eat pizza. It was so weird not to feel guilty about eating pizza.  I mean, sure I had to email my WAG coach and get confirmation from her that it was okay to eat pizza, but she assured me it was fine. This Working Against Gravity plan is blowing my mind.

There is one small part of this that I’ve found to be irritating. Planning every single bite of food that goes into my mouth has been a huge pain in my ass. I recently planned out the next week of food and it took HOURS. Then I had to prep all of this food so I can just grab my food for work and that took hours too. I’m sure this will get easier as I adjust to this new way of life.

This morning I will be sending my first completed spreadsheet to my WAG coach that lists all of my macros for the week, my weight each day, my training schedule, how I felt each day and more pictures. I’m excited to see what changes (if any) she’s going to make to my plan.

Needless to say, I’m pretty excited to start week #2 today. The fact that this is a holiday weekend isn’t even phasing my diet. It’s like this has rejuvenated my fitness journey. I haven’t been this excited since I started CrossFit two years ago. It’s a good feeling. 🙂

That's a lot of chicken and brussel sprouts.

That’s a lot of chicken and brussel sprouts.

Holy Macros!

Tomorrow I’m beginning a new chapter of my weight loss journey. It’s going to be the most difficult, time consuming and hopefully rewarding program I’ve ever done. After a lot of research, stalking people on Instagram and talking it over with a good friend, I decided to become a member of Working Against Gravity. I AM SO EXCITED.

So what does this mean? Working Against Gravity (or WAG) is a completely customized nutrition program that includes having my very own nutrition coach who’s available to me 24/7. Basically, I’ve told her my ENTIRE life and she came up with a program for me to follow. The nutrition part of it is all about counting macro-nutrients (or Macros). The philosophy here is you can eat what you want as long as it fits your macros. With that being said, obviously I want to make good food decisions and not try to fill my day with Taco Bell. But let’s say I DO want to eat a Loaded Potato Griller (omg, have you guys had those?). I would calculate my macros so it fits into my day. This eliminates cheat meals that could turn into an entire cheat day that can turn into a week of wrecking my diet life. It’s also known as flexible eating.

I found a good explanation on
Can you get lean eating cheeseburgers? The IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) diet says order up. Well, sort of…
While many diets are meticulous about which foods you can and can’t eat, how much you can have, and even when you consume it, for some people, the excessive restrictions can be a recipe for failure.
Instead, the IIFYM diet aims to get away from that — focusing on the three most important energy sources needed for our bodies to function properly. We’re talking about protein, carbohydrates and fat (aka macronutrients, or macros). How it works: Calculate your daily caloric needs, then split those calories into 40 percent carbohydrates, 40 percent protein and 20 percent fat, the ratio that IIFYM proponents say is the most effective for muscle growth, fat burning and consistent energy levels.

As incredible as this sounds, it is A LOT of work. I’ve probably spent a good 4 hours this weekend creating spreadsheets, logging different food combinations, prepping food, etc.

I shared this photo on Instagram yesterday. Even my cat was helping with the planning. 🙂


I think one of the best parts is having a coach available to me whenever I have a question. She’s already answered a few of my initial questions and figured out my macros for me. I think they’re a bit high right now, but she’ll adjust them for me as we go along. I feel like I’ll be eating A LOT of food this week. That’ll be different from Paleo and the other diet plans I’ve tried in the past four years. My macros are: 170 Protein – 230 Carbs – 75 Fats. That’s soooo much food. Is this real life?

Since I already have a CrossFit coach who gives me personalized training, my WAG coach only added some HIIT training for me to do on top of my usual CrossFit. Right now we’re focusing on the following goals:

– Decreasing body fat
– Get weight down to 165 (I need to lose 30 pounds to get there)
– Maintain and improve strength
– Learn how to eat to perform

I haven’t been this excited about my weight loss/fitness journey in a long time! I’m really looking forward to sharing it here in my blog too.

P.S. I hit my two rep max for box squats earlier today. 🙂 I can’t wait to see this improve in the next twelve weeks!!


My First CrossFit Competition

Last weekend, I competed in my first CrossFit Competition. This was huge for me. I think we can all remember how I used to write about how terrified I was of joining a real CrossFit gym a little over a year ago, but look at me now.

No, really look at me. I almost died. Just kidding. Although the caution tape really makes it look like some kind of emergency.


I decided six weeks prior to the competition that I was going to do it. I was a little nervous because one of the movements included a 65 pound front squat. With all of the knee problems I’ve had, squatting is the most difficult part of CrossFit. My CrossFit coach started some special training with me to prep for the competition. I really, really put in some hard work in the six weeks leading to it. I was even doing some two-a-days.

When competition day came, I was pretty confident. I’d run through all of the WODs many, many times so there was nothing too scary about that day. I mean besides surviving. The first event involved a 1000 meter row, so I knew if I didn’t pace myself, I’d be toast. In true Christy fashion, I totally didn’t pace myself and finished my row in my best time ever. That didn’t really help me get through the next movement, but I survived it. After the first event I seriously died on the floor for what seemed like hours. My heart was beating so hard and my legs were complete jello. All I could think was “Holy crow, how am I going to get through two more events.” After a couple pep talks and a lot of protein, I was fine.

I finished the next two events pretty strong and finished the day somewhere in the middle of the 100-ish athletes competing that day. I improved on every single part of the workouts except for jump roping. I am so happy with the results. Check out my scorecard. You can see my best practice times in blue.

Now that it’s over and I’ve had time to reflect on the day. I’m totally impressed with myself. If someone went back in time and told 280 pound Christy that she’d drop a ton of weight and participate in a CrossFit Competition, she would have laughed (and then eaten a whole pizza or something). I never knew I had it in me. In fact, the confidence CrossFit has given me in and outside of the gym has really, really taken me places. What an amazing journey. I can’t wait to see what happens next.


Jumping Through Fear

A box jump is a pretty basic movement in the world of CrossFit, but I’ve been scared to try one for well over a year. I’m not sure what part was so terrifying. Whenever the workout calls for box jumps, I happily do step-ups instead. Sometimes I think I let the “I’m still overweight, I can’t do that movement” mindset get in my way. Plus I’ve seen people’s shins from missing the box and I didn’t want that to happen to me. (Because ouch.)

I was at the gym on Saturday and the coach was having another guy work on box jumps. They were doing crazy 47 inch box jumps and it was totally impressive. After I got done with my workout, I decided I was going to try a box jump. I found a smaller 14 inch box instead of the standard 20 inch box to start with. I asked my coach if he thought I could do this. He said “Of course you can. Just do it.” So you know what happened? I did it. I jumped up there like it was nothing or like I’ve been doing it for years. Honestly, I probably could have done this a long time ago if I would have believed in myself.

To me, I wasn’t just jumping on a box. I was jumping through a year of fear. By landing on top of that box, I squashed all of the doubts I had about myself. This is exactly why I love CrossFit. I’m doing all sorts of things I never thought my body could do. Breaking through those “I can’t” barriers is making me a stronger person in and out of the gym. Victories in the gym make me feel like I can take on the world. It’s incredible.

In true CrossFit fashion, we had to get one on video:

A video posted by Christy Phend (@christyphend) on Mar 21, 2015 at 5:15am PDT

I challenge all of you to take on something new this week so you can feel this good. And I’ll try tackling a 20 inch box jump. 🙂

I Haven’t Weighed Myself in 16 Days

I seriously haven’t weighed myself since February 28th. My scale didn’t break or anything. I CHOSE to do this. Now that I’m fifteen days scale free, I may never weigh myself again. (Well… for a while at least.) It’s been so freeing to not hop on the scale every morning. I would often beat myself up about it all day when the number on the scale went up. I’m not about that life. My quality of life has improved quite a bit. Like I think it’s noticeable to even those around me.

So what led to this? During February, I was working my butt off at the gym and the scale wasn’t moving. I could feel my pants fitting better so I know good things were happening, but then I’d get on the scale and forget all of the positive. I went dress shopping a couple weeks ago and bought a dress that’s one size down from where I’ve been. Further proof that I’m getting more lean even if the scale doesn’t agree.

Not one of my new dresses, but still.

Not one of my new dresses, but still.

How often are you weighing yourself? Have you ever taken a hiatus from the scale? Feel free to join me with my scale boycott. 🙂

Balsamic Roasted Baby Carrots (Paleo)

One day at the grocery store, baby carrots were on sale for 69¢ per package. I bought three bags even though I don’t like baby carrots and there’s no way my husband would eat three entire bags of them. I searched Pinterest for some ideas on what to do with them. I couldn’t let my $2.07 go to waste. I mean, that’s almost my morning coffee at Dunkin Donuts!

After trying a few different recipes and not being thrilled about ANY of them, I finally found one I enjoy. Although, after eating these balsamic roasted baby carrots every single day for a week, I’m ready to not look at carrots for a while. Side note. Did you know Marilyn Monroe ate baby carrots everyday?

All carrots everything.

All carrots everything.

Here’s the recipe:

2 bags of baby carrots
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
Dried parsley (Just enough to sprinkle on top)
A dash of black pepper.

Spray a cookie sheet with coconut oil.
Dump the bags of carrots in the cookie sheet and spread them out so they’re not on top of each other.
Combine the balsamic vinegar and coconut oil in a bowl. Whisk the heck out of it.
Pour the mixture over your carrots.
Sprinkle parsley and black pepper on top.
Bake on 400 degrees for 40 minutes. If they’re not tender after 40 minutes, cook a little longer.

Let me know what you think. And if you have any other recipes for carrots let me know. You never know when I’m going to impulsively buy them because they’re on sale. #ThriftyProblems

Paleo Breakfast Meatballs

Plate full of goodness.

Plate full of goodness.

Breakfast food is my favorite type of food in the history of the world. I mean, I’ve said that about pizza too. Who am I kidding. I just really like food. I’ve been making these Paleo breakfast meatballs for a long time. Back before I really understood Paleo. They’re soooo good and great way to start the day especially after a 5:30 a.m. workout. Plus they’re easy to make during my food prep Sundays and I can eat them all week. The less I have to think about making food during the week, the better.

Here’s the recipe:

1 pound of pork sausage
1 sweet potato (medium-ish)
5 whole mushrooms
1 garlic clove
1/2 of an onion
6 pieces of turkey bacon (or regular bacon)
2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup (Don’t be trying to use Mrs. Butterworth’s)

1. Use a food processor or a mini chopper to dice up the sweet potato, onion, mushrooms and garlic.
2. Cook your bacon until crispy and brown. Chop the bacon into tiny pieces.
3. In a bowl, combine the diced up mixture of sweet potato, onion, mushroom and garlic with the uncooked sausage and bacon pieces.
4. Add in the maple syrup.
5. Mix well. Use your hands and pretend you’re making a meatloaf.
6. Roll mixture into balls and place in a pan.
7. Bake for 35 minutes on 350 degrees.

I love to pair these up with Paleo Blueberry Pancakes for Sunday brunch. (I’ll post and link the recipe later.) Depending on the size of the meatballs you make, you will have plenty to eat every morning as a quick breakfast.

A perfect breakfast marriage. Paleo Breakfast Meatballs and Paleo Pancakes

A perfect breakfast marriage. Paleo Breakfast Meatballs and Paleo Pancakes

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Who Knew I Could Deadlift 155 Pounds?

I had a pretty cool experience at the gym on Saturday. It was only my CrossFit coach and me so it was like getting some good one-on-one time and personal training. When we walked in, there was a bar on the floor loaded with 165 pounds. I walked up to it and tried to deadlift it. I could get it off the ground but that was it. Jason, my coach, told me the hardest part was getting off the ground and I did that so I should be able to deadlift it. He told me to warm up and we’d come back to it. When we revisited the bar, we took some of the weight off to see where I was at. We kept adding weight to it to find my one rep max. Turns out, I can deadlift 155 pounds. How ’bout that! I still need to work on form because my knees always want to go in when I’m lifting. (Which is probably how I hurt my knee last summer.)

Here’s the video of my 155 pound deadlift. Just don’t look at my knees. I’m going to work on it.

I also made it on to the board. I didn’t get too excited about it because there are other girls that will totally knock me off the top when they try it. I’m going to enjoy being #1 at something for at least a few days.

"I-Am-number one No matter if you like it Ready take this sit down and write it."  That's Nelly, BTW.

“I-Am-number one
No matter if you like it
Ready take this sit down and write it.”
That’s Nelly, BTW.

40 Days of Paleo. Here’s How I’m Doing

I’ve made it almost 40 days of eating a strict Paleo diet with only a few tiny slip ups. I mean, I was in Vegas for 5 days during this and that was a bit rough. BUT I DID IT. I’m not done yet either. Paleo is the BEST WAY for me to lose weight. Believe me, I’ve tried everything.

Just me dying at the gym. No big deal.

Just me dying at the gym. No big deal.

In 40 days, I’ve lost around 12 pounds. This almost takes care of my holiday weight. I call it holiday weight, but let’s be honest. I ate a lot of Taco Bell between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I realized something recently about living and dying by the scale. Even though I’m a couple pounds away from my lowest weight, I can tell that I’m smaller in certain parts of my body. My pants fit better. A lot of people have told me I look “skinny” lately too. Maybe I’ve been putting on muscle with how much I’ve been hitting the gym lately. I don’t quite understand it, but it’s definitely making me feel different about the numbers on the scale.

Here’s my advice to you, friends. If you’re struggling with the scale lately, I recommend taking a little break from it. That number doesn’t define you or your journey. Our bodies are very complicated.

So that’s a little update on me. I know I’ve been posting a lot of recipes lately, but I’ve been spending sooooo much time in the kitchen lately. I’m like a 1950’s housewife minus the apron. (I should totally get an apron.) If you have any good Paleo recipes, please share them with me!

P.S. Follow me on Instagram if you’re interested in seeing some of the delicious (and not so delicious) Paleo meals I’ve been making.


Chipotle Paleo Wings

There are few things in this world I love more than eating wings. Well okay.. maybe that’s a bit much, but I really enjoy wings. The spicier the better. My favorite way to eat them is by the truck load breaded with some crazy spicy sauce or an Asian sauce with a TON of blue cheese. BUT Paleo prevents me from eating like this anymore. (Which I’m very thankful for because I’m a weight losing machine right now.)

A few days ago, I was having a conversation with a friend about Super Bowl food and wings were brought up. I thought of nothing else for the rest of the day. Even at CrossFit that night, I thought/talked about wings.  I texted my husband from CrossFit to hint that he should make some wings while I was working out. When I called him afterwards, I realized my hinting skills need some work. He said “When you say you want wings, I really need to know what you expect my involvement to be.” haha. That guy. 🙂

Long story short: If you follow me on Instagram, you know I had some very delicious and very Paleo wings. They were spicy, sweet and everything I hoped they would be. Just look at them! I might even make them again tonight for the Super Bowl.

Paleo Wings

Here’s the recipe.

2 pounds of chicken wings.
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon chipotle pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
a dash of salt. (I mean, if you HAVE to)

1. Set a side the honey for a while. You won’t need it yet.
2. Combine all of the spices listed above.
3. Place your chicken wings on a wire rack on top of a pan to catch all of the drippings. (I didn’t have a wrack so my husband found something in the garage that he swears he’s never used before. I mean, I sanitized it, but I don’t recommend using garage things in the kitchen.)
4. Use a brush and brush the spice mixture on to the chicken wings. If you’ve coated your wings and still have some left over, that’s fine. You can brush more on later if you’d like.
5. Bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees.
6. After 35 minutes, brush on the honey (and remaining spice mixture if you want. It just makes it spicier).
7. Bake another 10-15 minutes.
8. Garnish with celery if you’re fancy.