Finding Me

Oh, Hey there. Remember me?

Photo on 4-20-15 at 12.59 PM #3

 

I’ve been pretty absent here, but not without reason. If I’m being totally honest I’ve struggled with the whole “healthy living blogger” label lately. When I started blogging about my weight loss journey it was to inspire others and keep myself accountable. My intentions have always been genuine. I never once wanted people to think there was only one way to lose weight, exercise, or eat. I just wanted to share that “hey, this is what I’m trying” – and I’ve tried a lot. I’ve vascilated from super strict paleo/whole 30 to a prescribed meal plan from a nutrition coach, to counting calories and macros… and found myself in a “screw it all” mindset a few times in between. I’ve done my fair share of “preaching” about what is right and what is wrong…. and sharing pictures of every.damn.thing I eat. I’ve watched people I care deeply for follow some of the advice I gave or things I’ve tried and take it to extremes which I, personally, find unhealthy. Again, this is just my point of view. What is right for me isn’t what is right for everyone. I am at a place with my body right now that I truly love it. I don’t care about the scale. I don’t care what size the tag of my clothes are. I know I am healthy and I am happy. I have no desire to restrict what I eat because a blog/article/”expert” said I should. I am confident that I know my body and what is good for it. I make good choices most of the time. I also make choices that make my soul feel good. Like sharing a piece of tiramisu with my husband at dinner.

I spent so long chasing the answer, but I had it all along. Don’t restrict foods you love because someone told you that you should. Carbs don’t make you fat. Fat doesn’t make you fat. Food isn’t scary. Enjoy what you love, but be smart about it. I don’t feel like I need to write more than that about it. If anything, I hope this gives you permission to explore something other than the latest fad that is supposed to be the answer we have been looking for all along… you don’t need that. You know your body and what works and what doesn’t. If what you are doing is working, don’t change it. If it isn’t getting you where you want to go than you need to change it. It doesn’t have to be some super spiritual life changing “join my team” type experience…. Just do what works for you. Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be.

This journey that I’ve been on has been about much more than weight loss. It has really been about finding me.

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In the last month or two I feel like I’ve really started to bloom. I don’t know if turning 28 was like my “turning point” or what. I’ve really done some deep soul searching, explored feelings that I previously avoided, asked and answered some hard questions… And guess what? I can honestly say with 100% confidence that I am the happiest, healthiest, and least stressed that I have ever been. I feel like I’ve realized how short life really is and how much time and energy I put into things that really don’t matter. So I’ve been saying yes to things I find important, and no to things I don’t. I stopped doing things just to do them. I’ve discovered what really makes me feel alive, makes my heart beat louder and my eyes sparkle is helping others become their best selves. If that means listening to them tell me about their life, coaching them through a WOD, or a simple comment of encouragement on social media… that is what I want to do. I want to be my best and by doing so help others do that too. I don’t want to be fake. I don’t want to post just flowery words and food journals. I want to share my raw, unorganized, and sometimes unpopular points of view. Because life is too short to try to be someone you’re not.

What makes you feel alive… makes your eyes light up and your heart beat louder?
Now, Go do that thing.

 

Total Tabata with HumanX Gear

In the last couple years there has been an increased interest in High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in the fitness world. One of the most popular types of HIIT has been Tabata training. Named after it’s creator, Japanese scientist Izumi Tabata, the Tabata style workout is 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest, for a total of 4 minutes. I love Tabata because the built in rest lets me go hard for those 20 seconds, knowing I have a short rest period coming. For this workout we are going to do 4 complete Tabata rounds with 4 different movements!

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The First Movement is: Jump Rope!

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I love the HumanX Gear X4 Speed Rope for jump roping. You can pick your poison on this tabata, either single jump ropes or if you are efficient at Double Unders go ahead and give those a whirl. Remember we are working for 20 seconds and resting for 10 seconds for a total of 8 rounds.

After we get you feeling nice and warmed up with the jump rope we are going to move on to our next tabata: Kettlebell Single Arm Press.

IMG_7537Start by hoisting the Kettlebell up to your shoulder as pictured. You can use the HumanX Gear Kettlebell Arm Guards to protect your forearms from the Kettlebell. From here you are going to tighten your core and press the Kettlebell up to a locked out position.

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Since a full tabata is 8 rounds we are going to alternate arms each round. So you will end up doing 4 rounds on each arm

The third movement we are going to do is a seated row using the HumanX Gear PowerAmp Resistance Band.

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Sitting down and positioning the band on the middle of your foot start with arms parallel to the deck and back nice and straight.

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Keeping that back straight, core tight pull those bands back, focusing on activating those back muscles.

Do this for 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for a total of 8 rounds.

To finish off our Total Body Tabata we are going to plank it out! If you have a yoga mat, or the Eco-Fit Mat, you can use that. You can also use an AbX to cushion your arms on the floor. For this one you want to make sure you keep your core tight and back flat. You don’t want a saggy plank! You also don’t want your butt high up in the air.

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You’re going to hold the plank for 20 seconds and then rest for 10, again for 8 total rounds.

And there you have a Total Body Tabata!

Have you ever done a tabata? Love it or hate it?

 

Twenty-Eight

Yesterday was a special day… my birthday!

My twenty-eighth birthday to be exact.

Birthdays have always been fun to me. They are another day to celebrate and look back on the past year and set goals for the year ahead. I have a blurred memory of lots of my birthdays growing up… the first one I remember was when I was 4. I remember getting this big brown teddy bear that I actually may still have in the basement… There was one that was a surprise party on Easter Sunday, that may have been my 7th I think. I had my easter dress, bonnet, and gloves on and heard the loud SURPRISE as I walked in the door and promptly collapsed to the floor. My sweet 16 was another little surprise party with my youth group friends. On my 18th birthday my parents surprised me by pulling a “Pimp my Ride” style stunt and completely redoing my 96 Pontiac Sunfire turning into what was lovingly dubbed the Smiley-Mobile. Think bright yellow, flashy lights, and a windsheild decal that said Smiley (which was my nickname back then)

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Excuse the quality of these pictures… I’m pretty sure they were taken with a disposable camera. And I had to dig them out of an old photo album, like a physical photo album… not one on a hard drive somewhere.

Anyway, that was my pride and joy for awhile. Until she died. RIP Smiley. As I was thinking about all my past birthdays and this one came up I realized that was TEN years ago. Gosh, at 18 I seemed so… young. And yes, I was wearing a tiara made out of silver pipe cleaners…. Oh life. It seemed so simple back then. I remember vividly imagining where I would be in 10 years. Man, was I wrong. And I’m so thankful too. Garth was right when he said Some of God’s Greatest gifts were unanswered prayers.

As I look back on the past 28 years there are so many life lessons and defining moments. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned, especially in the last 10 years, is to not to live life solely based on expectations. Not just your own expectations, but that of those around you and society. I am no where I expected to be when I pictured 28. I’m actually in a much better place than I could have ever imagined.

#familyselfie at the circus! #moolahshrine

A post shared by Courtney Norman (@courtnorm) on

I have a handsome husband and a beautiful daughter.

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I am in the best shape of my life.

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I have the most amazing CrossFit family. I have a wonderfully supportive online community (you guys are awesome!) and I get a new chance to inspire people every single day.

I truly am blessed. Yesterday everyone made me feel so special. I can’t thank you all enough for that.

Here is to another year full of loving fiercely, laughing loudly, and living large.

What’s one of your most memorable birthdays?