I just tweeted this:



Never did I think I would once again find “love” in exercising….until #Crossfit came in 2 my life 11 months ago. #addictedtoagoodthing

And then I got to thinking…….when I ended the Paleo challenge back in August, I decided to take a break from Paleo, which also led to a break in blogging.  That may have proven itself to be a mistake because I have had a very hard time getting back on Paleo since then.  It’s amazing how eating clean had such a positive impact on me, yet I so easily let it go.  The great news here, however, is that eating clean also proved something to me……when you lose weight the right way; it is more difficult to pack it back on.  Because of this, although I have been off of Paleo for several months, I am happy to say that I have not truly gained weight.  I do “yo-yo” over the weekends because of the increased salt intake from Fridays – Sundays 😦 but I always end up balancing back out.  Yet, I also know that this is not good for me.  So, today, I did something that I have not done since the end of August……….I woke up inspired to do this again, so I cooked my breakfast for the week and I am defrosting enough meat for the week.

Back when I was on the Paleo challenge I noticed that what truly worked for me was preparing my meals on Sundays.  This helped me not use the excuse that I was too tired to cook when I would get home from work, or when I would stop working on the days that I work from home.  I tried for months to convince myself that it is just as easy to cook on the same day, but I knew I was lying to myself.

What’s worse is that now the holidays are upon us and if I don’t jump back on the Paleo bandwagon now, I know I will be in trouble.  I personally think holiday foods need to be banned – hahaha.  Actually, what I need to do is stay away from them or if I must have a taste, have just that, a taste.  So I figure, what better time to jump back on Paleo than now?  The challenge will be staying away from my ever-so-damn-delicious Coquito.  It’s basically Puerto Rican eggnog and this year I am making a whole bunch of it because I am selling it.  Imagine the sin……..it’s made with rum, egg yolks, condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream of coconut, and the only truly healthy thing in it…..cinnamon.

I think back to when I was 20 pounds heavier.  When I started all of this and truly sat to understand why I was doing this, why I was going to dedicate myself to a healthier life, I recall thinking of my kids.  What better reason, other than doing it for myself, should I have to want to be healthy?  MY KIDS……I want them to look and me and at their dad, my husband, and know that exercising and eating right is important.  They are not the best of eaters but if I can continue to lead by example, then as they get older, they will understand.  So far I have gotten them to eat chicken, without it being breaded, and thankfully they love broccoli.  My daughter loves skirt steak, but hates bacon, yet my on loves bacon, and hates steak.  Go figure.

The great news is that I have continued Crossfit.  It has truly become part of my daily routine on weekdays and when I cannot go to the box I miss it.  A lot of haters say that it’s a cult.  In my eyes, it’s not a cult, its addictive ways are truly just a result of all the good it has done to so many.  For ten years I struggled trying to find myself again.  I had lost the energy and the passion I had for exercise after I had my kids.  Spinning could not take me back, Boot Camp couldn’t either, Step Aerobics bored me, P90X lasted only so long, but Crossfit did.  It’s different, yet definitely not for everyone.  To be almost 37 years old and see myself accomplishing fitness goals that I never thought I would even try is so rewarding.  To know that I am now stronger than I ever have been….rewarding.  To know that I wake up at 6:15 every morning during the week, excited to go work out….rewarding.  To see that every day I am closer to being able to do things that I may not be able to do now, such as pull ups….rewarding.  To see how close my toes are getting to the bar when doing “Toe to Bar”….rewarding.  To see that I am barely “worming” when I do push ups (unless we have like a million to do- lol)….rewarding.  To see and understand how happy I am with myself again….rewarding and forever grateful!


So if you recall, to join the Crossfit box’s Paleo Challenge on May 1, I needed to have a body scan done that would include a weigh-in, BMI results, and a reading of my total body fat %.  Then three months later, at the end of the challenge, I needed to have the very same test done.  The winners will be chosen by most body fat % lost.

I went into the diagnostic center yesterday to close out my challenge.  I was worried.  I know I have worked hard, but the challenge was not easy, and although I was very strict for the first 6 to 7 weeks, I have cheated here and there.  Making a drastic change to a healthier lifestyle so suddenly was overwhelming, but I must say that seeing my body change and being able to wear clothes that have been sitting in my closet for years, has been amazing.

As I was called into the scan room, I kept telling myself  “You have this……it’s not about winning the challenge….it’s about having made a permanent and positive change in your life.”  So, there I went, it was time. Ten minutes later, the results were in. 

In three months, as a result of Paleo and Crossfit, I have lost:




I was so happy!  I cannot truly describe the feeling that came over me.  Three months of eating better (with cheats in between now and then) and sticking to my Crossfit routine, have made such an impactful difference in me!


I shared the news with my husband as soon as I got out of the scan, and of course, he was ecstatic 🙂  For so long, he hoped that I would once again find the dedication and the desire that I once had for health and fitness.  It makes me smile seeing him excited that I am finally happy with myself again.

And you know what, I finally worked up the nerve to try on shorts again.  Today, I took my kids to Zoo Miami and I did not want to wear jeans as I typically would have 7 months ago before starting Crossfit.  Knowing that my legs have made a big change as the muscle that I once had is finally becoming more and more visible, I attacked my smaller clothes, and became OVERJOYED when my shorts fit and I looked good in  them again.  I never thought I would see this day again.

One thing that I do know, is that THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING OF A LIFELONG COMMITMENT.  I am not going back to my old ways.  I think eating clean is here to stay.  Although, no longer being on the Paleo Challenge, I may have a margarita or martini more often and may have a cheat meal per week, without the feeling of guilt.  But first, it is time to celebrate.  I will not wait to see if I win.  There is no need.  This was not about wanting to win that challenge.  It was about winning myself back. 


I can’t close this entry out without A HUGE thank you to those that helped me get through the last 3 months:

*  My husband and my kids for their never-ending support and their patience with me.  I have woken up early as you all slept every morning, not being there to see you all wake up.  But you all know how important this is to me.  You have never given up on me and I love each of you for that.

*  My Crossfit Coaches, Karen, Danny, and Karla, for pushing me and always believing in me.  It is because you guys know me so well that I have been able to accomplish so many of my Crossfit goals.

*  My 7:30 a.m. crossfit family:

Alysha – you are the absolute best wod partner ever!  Thank you for always pushing me and reminding me that age is just a number.   You never give up on me, even when I slow you down – LOL

Adrien – although you abandoned our 7:30 a.m. class (lol) you have always pushed me, especially with my running.  Thank you for reminding me that I can do this.

Alexis and Kelly – having only joined our class a couple of months ago, you quickly acclimated to us.  You know very well what my goals are and you push me every step of the way, especially when you see me dying out.  Thank you for always pushing me.

Laz – you make the pain of Crossfit wods fun.  I think I speak for all of the group when I say that your humor helps us get through every wod.

Patrick – you have motivated me every step of the way.  Thank you for pushing me every time that you knew I was exhausted or lacking energy.  My running skills have improved in part because of you and Danny knowing that I can do this.  I mean, what better way to learn how to run and improve my endurance than from a former professional athlete? jejejeje

Tony & Karo – you are both an inspiration to me.  Knowing what you have accomplished and how you have made such amazing changes in your lives is in part what always reminded me that there is no such thing as giving up!


I still have a long way to go to reach my fitness and health goals.  This is just the beginning, but the end of a very exciting 3 months.

I woke up ready to fight this morning…….FIGHT GONE BAD!  I think I forgot how much this wod sucks but in the long run I did improve my performance on this wod as well.


3 Rounds

1 Minute at each movement

Wall Balls M20 W14

SDHP M75 W45

Box Jumps

Push Press M75 W45

Row for calories

Rest one minute between rounds.


3 months ago

162 total reps


Thursday, 8/4/11

178 reps


Observations:  No matter how often I do this wod, I think I will always forget how excruciatingly tiring it is.  What I did realize today was that although I would have loved to reach 200 reps, three months ago I was unable to jump on an 18 inch box, nor was I able to complete wall balls at 14lbs for an entire round.  However, today I hit an additional 16 reps using the 14 pound wall ball and only using the 20 inch and 18 inch boxes.

GRACE!  I absolutely love this wod.  Three months ago was the very first time I completed this wod.  And now here I was again, ready to hit 30 Clean and Jerks for time. 


3o Power Clean and jerks

Although I am still not able to RX this wod at 95 pounds,  I did increase my overall strength. 


3 months ago

65 lbs clean and jerks – Completed in 4 minutes and 27 seconds


Wednesday, 8/3/11

75 lbs clean and jerks – Completed in 4 minutes and 52 seconds

On Tuesday, we worked on the Kelly wod.  Before the wod, I went back to my blog and read my entry from May 3, when I did the Kelly wod last.  I knew that going into this I wanted to be able to do better with an overall goal of better endurance and going past the end of the 4th round.  Although I was still not able to finish the wod, I noticed that I indeed had more endurance completing it and I improved my overall performance.  Here are the results:


5 Rounds

400M Run

30 Wall Balls M20 W15

30 Box Jumps

Time limit:  35 minutes


3 months ago

Only 4 rounds completed

Box Jumps on 12 inch box

One round of wall balls at 15 pounds, 3 rounds at 10 pounds


Tuesday, 8/2/11

4 rounds and 250 meters completed

Box Jumps on 20 inch box for two rounds, 18 inch box for 1 round, 12 inch box for one round

All wall balls completed at 15 pounds


Overall I am very happy with my results being as I was able to complete all wall balls with 15 pounds and used the 18 and 20 inch boxes for most of the wod.  In reality, the main reason for not being able to stick to the 20 inch box was that my legs were in so much pain from the 500 squats on Monday.


As I mentioned in my previous entry, 3 months ago I started a Paleo Challenge at the box where I wod.  During the first week of the challenge, our wods consisted of Barbara, Kelley, Grace, Fight Gone Bad, and Helen.  The purpose of having us do them all that week, was for us to log our performance and compare it to thevery same wods 3 months later. 

So here I am……3 months later.  Time to kill these wods.  Barbara was up first:


5 Rounds

20 Pull-Ups

30 Push-Ups

40 Sit-Ups

50 Air Squats

Rest exactly 3 minutes between each round.


3 Months Ago:

completed in 44 minutes and 51 seconds


completed in 41 minutes and 13 seconds


I felt great during the wod.  I was exhausted but it was completely  different from what I felt 3 months ago.  Still a hard wod but it felt awesome to shave off 3 minutes and 8 seconds.  For those who do not Crossfit, consider this:  there are some athletes who will complete one round in less than 3 minutes.

Three months ago I committed myself to making a difference in the way I ate.  I joined a 3 month Paleo challenge at the box where I crossfit not truly seeking the ultimate prize, 3 months of Crossfit for free, but showing myself what a difference Crossfit and eating clean could make.

I will not lie…….it has been hard.  Three months is a long time.  The first 6 weeks I was so strict.  I would order pizza for my family and I would not eat it, instead I would make myself a Paleo friendly meal or smoothie.  It became hard after that 6th week.  My traveling for work made it challenging and my weekends were packed with kid parties and friends coming over for dinner.  However, although I did cheat, I never gave up and always found a way to get back on the bandwagon. 

I have spoken to several people who had signed up for the challenge as well.  None of them made it past week 4, so I consider myself pretty committed to this.  I can tell you that the one thing I learned the most from it is the difference that eating cleaner makes on my performance at the box. 

It probably took a good 2 ½ months after starting to eat clean to notice the major differences in my performance.  Here are my observations:

  • I now ONLY swing and lift the 35 lb kettlebell.  Before I was only at 24 lb and would use the 35 for probably only one round.
  • I can complete Farmer Walks with 55 lbs on each hand.  I could not do this before.
  • I no longer run like Fred Flintstone.  This one is HUGE for me.  I can actually run and I have completed a mile run without stopping and shaved time off of my last run.  I have not run a mile without stopping in over 10 years.
  • I now jump on the 20 inch box when completing box jumps.  During the Paleo challenge I went from 12 inch boxes to 18 inch boxes and am now at 20 inch. 
  • I am beginning to see better times in my end results when completing leader board wods.
  • I have much better endurance.  Not to say that the wods are easy, because they never will be, but I feel better doing them.

The challenge is not picture based – meaning that the winner will not be chosen based on results seen on a picture.  Instead, 3 months ago they had everyone that entered go and have a body scan done.  The body scan basically gave me my BMI, body fat %, and a scan of my body that shows the areas were one has muscle built up.  I have not shared the initial results with anyone because my body fat % was ridiculous.  However, I am very much looking forward to Wednesday to get my new results.  But this will not be the end of Paleo for me.  I think I have a new way of eating, a healthier one, one that makes me feel energized!

I have learned to not pay too much attention to the scale.  Yesterday I had pictures taken of me in a sports bra and workout pants, and compared them to pics of me in the same outfit in January, and in May.  The difference is so motivating.  The way my body is changing and reshaping itself to what it once was is amazing.  I can once again wear jeans with a body fitting shirt!  I love it! 

I never measured myself when I started the challenge.  Big mistake because I have nothing to go by other than compliments for three months now.  But I do know my approximate measures from when I started Crossfit in January.  Based on that, I can say I have lost 3 inches off of my waist and close to 3 inches off of my hips.

There are so many friends that I wish I could convince to do this.  Eating right and crossfitting is the perfect recipe for getting ourselves back to the women we once knew.  I just wish they found the same dedication in themselves that I found in me.  I always feel that where there is a will, there is a way.

I will not lie, it is hard.  When we base our lives around poor eating habits and seldom to no exercise, making a difference is nearly impossible.  But it can be done and I am a perfect example of that.  I am living in a way that I thought I could never live again, healthy and fit. 

To my friends out there that I know are reading this……Won’t You Join Me???????  I have faith in each of you.  You know who you are.  You can do this.

To end this entry……this week I will be posting daily.  When we started the challenge we focused on completing 5 leader board wods the first week.  The purpose was to take our performance results from 3 months ago and compare them to how we perform this week, three months later.  To those of you that Crossfit, this week I will be completing Barbara, Kelley, Grace, Fight Gone Bad, and Helen.  I will post my results for each daily and will post a comparison to show my improvement.

For the sake of ensuring that I am tracking my improvement, from now on I am going to log my times, reps, and overall performance notes here.

Last week was an awesome week at the box.  Each day they had us pushing ourselves to max out a one time rep for different movements.  We did Deadlifts, Front Squats, Power Cleans, Strict Presses, and a Mile Run.

I must say that I am impressed with some of my results.  Last week also happened to be my last week of the 3 month Paleo Challenge that I was on.  I can say that eating clean (although I cheated at times) has made a big difference in my endurance and performance.  Here is how I performed last week:


205lbs (no diff in last month)

Front Squat

155lbs (up from 85 lbs)

Power Clean

105lbs (no diff in last month)

Strict Press

75lbs (up from 55 lbs)

1 Mile

11:12 (shaved 1:22 from last mile)

This is my obsession…

this is what is getting me back in shape…

this is what has made me lift more weight at the age of 36 than I have ever lifted before…

this is what got me to start running better…

this is what got me to start eating healthier…

This is my obsession…This is Crossfit!

– Joy


I am nearing the end of my 3 month Paleo challenge and I cannot lie, after the first 6 weeks, it has been hard!  I have not been able to stick to it 100% but I know that I am eating better and feeling better.  I know that I have dropped some weight and definitely inches, and I know that I will not go back to poor eating habits and poor food choices in the future.  This is why I did it…..I wanted to make a change in my life, and I have. 

It’s funny how the body reacts to food that it does not need after having been eating Paleo for some time.  I have been feeding my body lean meats, veggies, fruits, and nuts, and when I go outside of that, I can feel it.  I swell up…my fingers get swollen….my weight jumps up by nearly 6 pounds within a day….all because of the salt and all the other unnecessary stuff.  I always heard that eating Paleo was good for you, but I always felt it was like every other diet, people trying to get you to do it and once you would get off it, you would gain it.  I have tested it, and you do not gain it!  I am so happy with the results so far.  A combination of Paleo and Crossfit has been the best thing I have done in a long time.

I have also performed better at the box.  Running still sucks but my endurance has built up and my pace is better.  I have also gotten stronger.  In the time that I have been doing the challenge, I have increased my max in deadlifts (205 lbs), powercleans (105 lbs), hang cleans (85 lbs), squat cleans (105 lbs) and thrusters (105 lbs) and I now use the 35 lb KB without scaling down to a lighter weight and jump on the 20 inch box jump.  I also was challenged to do a wod with farmer’s walk in it RXing the men’s weight at 55lb kb in each arm, and I did it!

It is motivating for me to see myself exercising with girls 10 years younger than me.  It is more motivating to see that I am stronger than most of them.  They might run faster than me, but I will get that down too.  It is just matter of time.  I also need to get my pull ups as I still jump, but I will also get that with time.  I look forward to being the fittest ever at the age of 40, just a bit over 3 years from now.


A year ago I was depressed and did not know if I would ever see my muscles again. 

I was worried that my weight gain would begin to affect my marriage. 

I was concerned that I would continue to gain more weight. 

I was scared because I did not know how to lose so much weight as I had never had to lose more than maybe 10 – 15 lbs (other than after giving birth). 

But TODAY, I know that I have

the will,

the strength,

the power,

and the dedication…

…to be as fit as I once was. 

This blog entry will be simple and straight to the point so that the message is clear.  When you set your heart to something, nothing is impossible.  Nearly 6 months ago I started Crossfit.  These first five months of my journey have been filled with lots of hard work and it has paid off!!!!! 

When I woke up this morning I wanted to go into the box to accomplish some PRs being as we were working on Crossfit Games Regional Workout #6…THRUSTER LADDER.  But my day started out with an amazing surprise:


After I let go of all the excitement from having reached my first goal, I hit the box and proved to myself that there is no stopping me:

  • New Thrusters Personal Record…105 pounds
  • New Power Clean Personal Record…105 pounds
  • New Deadlift Personal Record…205 pounds