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Our November Member of the Month is Jason Mielcarek! He is a loyal member of the 5 or 6pm classes and loves the 20+ minute WODs. Let’s learn a little more about Jason!
1) What are your hobbies/interest/talents outside of CrossFit?
I enjoy anything where I am working with my hands and moving around. Especially working on my house and yard or hiking and biking with the kids.
2) Share with us one thing that most people do NOT know about you?
I talk non-stop all day at work. When I leave the office I like to be quiet and just listen.
3) How long have you been with us at CFR?
I have been at Relentless for 1 year now.
4) Take us back to your first week here. How did you feel? Remember the workout?
My first work-out was a real eye-opener over the Thanksgiving holiday. I figured “how hard could it be”, it was a holiday. It was a deck of cards with each suit assigned a movement. I believe it was sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks and burpees. The whole class had to complete each movement before we moved on to the next. I remember this starting my dislike for burpees and that I had no chance of keeping up with anyone in the class. It pushed me to want to be better.
5) What moment/achievement are you most proud of at CFR?
My proudest moment was my first handstand push-up. I could do them when I was in high school and it was a goal of mine as an adult. I tried for about 6 months before I got my first one. I like working hard and seeing it pay off.
6) Design your perfect workout?
I like the endurance work-outs and anything that pushes you mentally. It would probably involve rowing, pull-ups and push-ups in an AMRAP format.
7) What is your least favorite movement?
I dislike the rope climbs. I am too big to be that far off the ground. Burpees suck too.
8) Summarize your lifestyle in 5 words or less.
Work hard to get results.
9) Have you experienced any changes in your lifestyle now that you have been a CrossFit athlete?
Definitely changed my lifestyle. I realized that if I want to stay healthy and mobile, exercise alone was not going to cut it. I am not strict, but I do try to follow a Paleo diet. Giving up beer was the toughest part. Thankfully they make something called Vodka that subs in pretty well.
10) What advice do you have for anyone who is thinking about joining or who has recently joined?
Take your time in the beginning. Learn the proper techniques, skills and ask questions. Once you have mastered the movements then start to push yourself. Keep track of your workouts as well. It is an awesome feeling to see yourself improving with each workout. Your only there a couple of hours a week, make it count. It was a real life changer for me.
Good afternoon CrossFit Relentless! We are pleased to announce that our October “Member of the Month” is Marri Day Fairbanks! She is a loyal member of the 8:45 class and is a stud at “Toes to Bar!” Read below to find out about her favorite style of workouts, plus read her advice to new members! Thank you Marri!
What are your hobbies/interest/talents outside of CrossFit?
Outside of CrossFit I love spend time outdoors. Gardening, hiking (just did a 10 mile stretch on the Metacomet Trail with some CFR members), cooking, traveling and spending time with my family and friends makes me happy.
Share with us one thing that most people do NOT know about you?
One of my first jobs was working on a cruise ship. I was a waitress, bartender and chambermaid.
How long have you been with us at CFR?
Oh my gosh, I have been here for just over 7 years and I have loved every minute of it! There is always room for improvement and the opportunity to learn a new skill.
Take us back to your first week here. How did you feel? Remember the workout?
It was so long ago that I do not remember the workout but I DO remember the warm-ups. We were running (not my favorite) 400 meters and everyone in the class was chatting, laughing, etc. and I could barely breathe, let alone talk. Then we went inside for a dynamic warm-up and I thought “this is nuts, these people are crazy”. The warm-ups along with the workouts that week were really hard for me and boy was I sore. Very sore. I can’t walk down the stairs when I’m sore.
What moment/achievement are you most proud of at CFR?
I’m proud of my toes to bar, weighted pull-ups, bench press and clean. Before starting CrossFit I did not know what any of these things were except for the pull-ups.
Design your perfect workout?
My favorite workouts are team workouts and EMOM’s. Teams of 4. Running, box jumps, thrusters, sit-ups. Of course this would be preceded by a lift such as bench press or squat.
What is your least favorite movement?
Wall balls! Rowing is a close second
Summarize your lifestyle in 5 words or less.
Just keep moving and learning.
Have you experienced any changes in your lifestyle since you started CrossFit?
I feel like I have become a CrossFit ambassador for lack of a better word. When people see a t-shirt I’m wearing and make a comment or ask a question about CrossFit I launch into explaining what it is, how it works and how it is for everyone. Young, old, fit, not fit and even for people with nagging injuries or limitations. There is always a way to scale a workout to make it work for all. When I travel I find a CrossFit to drop into so I don’t become a vacation slug.
What advice do you have for anyone who is thinking about joining or who has recently joined?
As a 49 year old I can credit CrossFit with making me the fittest I have ever been and keeping me injury free. This is truly a program for everyone as I mentioned above. I would urge anyone thinking about it to try it. And yes you will be sore but it’s a good sore and it reminds you of what you accomplished. Another bonus is all of the great people and especially the coaches at CFR. They are an outstanding group of people.
How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Food
I think it’s a fair assumption that most of us here at CrossFit Relentless are fairly health conscious. We are, after all, members of a CrossFit gym. As health conscious people, we’re also aware that nutrition and eating habits play a very big role in our overall health and fitness (if you weren’t, you are now). However, many of us can take things too far when it comes to nutrition. While anorexia and bulimia are extreme examples, it is possible to develop an unhealthy relationship with food without reaching those levels. These unhealthy relationships can lead to poor nutrition and exercise habits. The goal of this article is to discuss indicators of an unhealthy relationship with food, and strategies for developing a healthier one.
When it comes to nutrition and lifestyle, the most important aspect for getting results and staying healthy is consistency. Eating healthy consistently will yield better results than the occasional 30-day challenge, followed by months of poor habits. Whatever dietary lifestyle you choose needs to be sustainable. Eating 100% clean all year long isn’t sustainable for most of us. It leads to mental burn out, and psychological cravings for a binge. If you’re seriously prepping for a competition, dialing in your nutrition leading up to the competition is imperative. The rest of the year, try to eat healthy 80% of the time.
Eating 80% healthy does not mean that you get a weekly binge day. It means you get to treat yourself occasionally (a couple times a week, not at every meal). This brings us to an important strategy for healthy eating and having a healthy relationship with food – the idea of a treat. With terms like “King Sized” and “Big Gulp” and “Super-Sized”, the idea of a treat has largely been lost in this country. A treat should be a small indulgence that helps to satisfy a craving. It is also important to remove the word “cheat” from your lexicon. A treat has a positive connotation, while a cheat has a negative one. For example, a couple of Oreos is a treat. An entire sleeve is not. Try to save treats for days on which you exercise, and make sure to eat them after getting in your protein and greens.
If you don’t have the willpower to stop after treating yourself, and are worried that you will binge, fear not! You can try to find a buffer food. A buffer food is something with a similar flavor that will give you a taste of what you’re craving, without pushing you over the edge. For example, I love milk chocolate. With Halloween around the corner and candy EVERYWHERE, I know that I’m going to have a hard time stopping with a single fun sized Kit Kat bar. Rather than risk crushing an entire bag of Kit Kats (I’ve done this on numerous occasions), I eat chocolate rice cakes. They have just enough of a chocolate taste to satisfy my craving without the sugar triggering a desire for more. This is huge for me right now because I’m in a weight cut and can’t afford a binge.
After my meet in November, when I no longer need to cut weight, you can be sure that I’m going to binge. For those of you not in competition season, the occasional binge is a good thing (by occasional, I mean monthly at most, not weekly). The emotional and mental benefit from a binge will make sticking to your 80% healthy eating much easier. If you know you’re going to binge, enjoy it and get it out of your system, but don’t make it a weekly habit. Again, your diet should be sustainable. Weekly binges usually lead to weight gain, and this is not sustainable for health. Oscar Wilde said it best, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”
Finally, to have a healthy relationship with food, it is important that you do not beat yourself up over bad decisions. If you don’t make the best choice for a meal, it’s not the end of the world. Nor is it an excuse to throw discipline to the wind and have an unscheduled binge you had a stack of pancakes for breakfast. Similarly, don’t try to punish yourself at the gym to “burn off the _________ “you had with lunch. This mindset leads to the association of exercise with punishment. Exercise is a good thing, not a punishment. If you made a poor nutritional choice, shake it off and make a better decision with the next meal rather than dwelling on it and feeling guilty. Remember that you are always one meal away from getting back on track.
At the end of the day, our goal at CrossFit Relentless is to encourage healthy living. A diet is temporary, a lifestyle is sustainable. To make sure that you have a healthy relationship with food, remember these key strategies:
- Eat healthy 80% of the time all year long rather than doing the occasional challenge or cleanse
- Embrace the term “treat”, and ditch the term “cheat”
- Treat yourself a couple times weekly, binge infrequently
- Use buffer foods if you’re worried about lack of willpower between binges
- Exercise for fun, not for punishment
- Food is a pleasure, so enjoy your binges and stop it with the guilt
- Take it meal by meal, and remember that it only takes 1 meal to get back on track
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