Women Who Lift: Meet Lydia

Welcome to my weekly feature: Women Who Lift. If you are interested in being interviewed for the series, please email me at jennifer@metamorfit.org  I would love to spotlight you. You don't have to have a blog, you just have to be a woman who lifts!

Today I am spotlighting Lydia. I have had the pleasure of knowing Lydia since November, 2012. Lydia was actually the first person I ever met in real life who did CrossFit. We met at a Pretty Muddy blogger event, and she had to leave the event early to attend her WOD. I was so confused. She spoke about CrossFit with such passion and as someone who had NO idea what CrossFit was, I did not understand. I do now. Tongue Out I am proud to call Lydia my friend and over the past year we've had the opportunity to socialize and get to know each other better, though we communicate most frequently thought Facebook chat Smile Here we are at a VIP event in August, 2013.

 I'm continually impressed by Lydia's dedication to the sport, and yesterday she competed in Battle for the Boobs, and I bet she did great.

Meet Lydia

Name: Lydia W.
Age: 34
Occupation: legal assistant
Location:  Land O Lakes, FL
Favorite WOD: Anything with kettlebell swings
Favorite Lift: The deadlift or the Clean
Deadlift Max: 235
Back squat Max: 145
Overhead Max: Which lift? C&J for 135
Favorite Girl? Grace or Isabel
Got Muscle-ups? Nope
1 mile run: 8:30

How long have you been CrossFitting? Two years

What keeps you coming back/motivated? I love Crossfit for so many reasons and one of them is that I see results and I feel the best doing it.  I’ve done a lot of things over the years and Crossfit is the perfect fit for my body and the way I like to push and be pushed.  Another thing that keeps me coming back is the community.  Being at the box, struggling, challenging, encouraging and suffering with likeminded people keeps me coming back for more.  The people at my box are like my “tribe” as one of my coaches calls it.

How did you find CrossFit? A friend of mine from high school had been doing it for a couple years with her husband and kept telling me I needed to try it.  I did once at another box (by myself) and didn’t have a great experience and kind of wrote it off.  Then, that same friend and her husband opened their own box and asked me to give it a try one more time.  I was hooked after the first WOD with them. 

What is your athletic background (If applicable)? As a little kid I played soccer and then all through high school I played volleyball, basketball and softball.  Although I tried out and made the team for community college volleyball, I ultimately decided not to play. Since high school I have stayed active with running, weight training and even a handful of triathlons – and of course Crossfit.

How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness? Wow, in so many ways.  When I first started Crossfit, I was still running a ton and training with my triathlon group.  I could tell a huge difference in my running because of the Crossfit.  Last year, while training for the NYC Marathon, I kept up the Crossfit during training and could tell my run was stronger because of it. I truly feel I am in the best shape I have ever been in and definitely the strongest I have ever been.  I am more confident in myself and my abilities.  I have developed a better understanding of fueling my body properly and with clean, real foods.  And I truly feel it has made me a better, happier person.

What is the one thing you have done at CrossFit that you never thought you could do? (muscle up, double unders, heavy deadlift, run a mile, etc.) Double Unders!!! They hate me.  I can do them now but still struggle.  I also would have never thought I could do a rope climb either!

What motivates/inspires you? I’m motivated and inspired by others around me.  Seeing their success and hard work pushes me to always give everything I have.  We only get one shot in life with the body we were given.  I’m motivated by that knowledge.  I want my body to be strong and healthy and I want to fuel it with clean, real food.  The rest is out of my hands.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?  Probably my first Crossfit competition. I didn’t do anything I had never done before or set any PR’s, but the fact that I showed up, competed well and had a great time was a huge achievement for me.

Name one goal/personal achievement you would like to achieve through CrossFit? Good question – I don’t know? I have so many things I am still working on.  I guess to name just one I would say I want to get a full, strict handstand push up.

What goals have you achieved in CrossFit? It continues to amaze me when I achieve something I never thought I could do and yet I still always have a laundry list of things I have yet to achieve.  But to name a few goals that I have achieved: deadlift 235 lbs.; bench press over 110 lbs.; double unders; strict press over 100 lbs.

Hobbies/Interests outside of CrossFit? I love to read, be on the water and take the boat to the island, to cycle – when I have time.  I LOVE animals.

Do you follow a special diet? Paleo? Whole30? I’ve been doing Paleo 80/20, but I admittedly cheat.  But basically just want to stick to eating real, clean foods.

What is your favorite meal?  Paleo: grilled steak with mushrooms & onions, bacon wrapped asparagus and roasted white sweet potato.  Non-Paleo (don’t laugh): pizza or mac-n-cheese.

Any advice for new members? Give it a REAL shot.  Don’t go to two classes and then quit.  Every single thing we do can be scaled.  Do not get discouraged if you have to scale something. I have been doing Crossfit for 2 years and still have to scale things.  Go in with an open mind, give it your dedication and trust your body.  And always remember “don’t compare your beginning to someone’s middle”.  You are there to compete with yourself and you are only responsible for you.

Don't compare your beginning to someone's middle. How true is that?? I'm a beginner to my sport and it would be so easy to get wrapped up in the "why can't I?"  Great advice, Lydia

You can connect with Lydia through her social media channels:

Blog: www.runningwilder.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RunningWilder

Twitter: @Wildlyd

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/RunningWilder

Instagram: @Wildlyd

Yelp: runningwilder.yelp.com


Grain Brain Challenge #GBChallenge

Disclaimer: I am participating in the #GBChallenge as part of a campaign sponsored by Fit Fluential. The challenge includes eating gluten and sugar free, exercising, sleeping more and taking certain supplements. All opinions are my own.


The Grain Brain Challenge

Dr. Perlmutter’s plan is broken down into four weeks.

  • Week 1 – Food: Shifting your body way from relying on carbs for fuel and adding brain health supplements. These supplements include resVida – enhances blood vessel dilation and supports healthy blood flow, Omega-3 Fish Oil – helps maintain heart, vascular health, and brain health, and DHA – a polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid the body needs and important for brain health. 
  • Week 2 – Incorporating a fitness routine
  • Week 3 – Getting restful, routine sleep seven days a week
  • Week 4 – Establishing a new rhythm to maintain these healthy habits

I was super excited to read the book and try the challenge, not only for me, but for my kids. Two of my three kids have severe ADHD and one of those two also has autism. I had read Dr. Perlmutter’s book Raise a Smarter Child by Kindergarten when my oldest child was in preschool. I started giving all three of my kids fish oil, and they would line up like baby birds and I would squirt it in to their mouth and they would just lap it up. But something happened. I don't know what, but I stopped giving them the fish oil, and for the most part I stopped taking it too. Same with Resveratrol. I used to take it daily, but I stopped. And I don't know why.

Of all the weeks of the challenge, Weeks, 1, 3, and 4 will be the most challenging. The challenge with week 1 (which I started 4 days ago) will be KEEPING UP WITH THE SUPPLEMENTS!! We started on Monday and haven't missed a day yet. I'm taking all 3 supplements and the kids are only taking the fish oil. I am seeing a MARKED IMPROVEMENT in all our behavior and energy levels. Morning time I am usually a cranky mess. But I've been so much calmer. Ronin and Ella are taking their fish oil with no issues. The pill is too big for them to swallow, so I've been putting it directly in their mouth. Ronin loves it, Ella chases it with a shot of OJ. Haley also takes hers as a liquid, but in baby tastes.

I'm already gluten free so that part is not a big deal and I don't eat soy, processed carbs, etc.. For the 4 week challenge here are the foods you should and shouldn't eat:

Foods Not Allowed:

  • Gluten including whole-grain and whole-wheat forms of bread, noodles, pasta, pastries, baked goods, and cereals
  • Processed carbs, sugars, and starch – corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, chips, crackers, pastries, muffins, pizza dough, cakes, doughnuts, ice cream, jelly, processes cheese spreads, juices, honey, sugar, corn syrup
  • Packaged food labeled “fat free” or “low fat” except for things like water, mustard, balsamic vinegar
  • Margarine, vegetable shortening, cooking oil
  • Soy – soy burgers, soy nuggets, soy hot dogs, etc.

Foods Allowed:

  • Healthy Fats – extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, organic butter, almond milk, avocados, nuts and nut butters, cheese (except blue cheese) sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds
  • Herbs, seasonings, and condiments
  • Low Sugar Fruits and Vegetables – avocado, bell peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, lemons, limes, leafy greens and lettuce, spinach, broccoli, onions, Brussels sprouts, green beans, celery, garlic, asparagus
  • Protein – whole eggs, wild fish, grass-fed meat, fowl, poultry, pork

Eggs play a big part in this challenge especially because you can buy DHA Omega-3 cage free eggs and in our house we eat a TON of eggs!

Tonight I made a Caramelized Onion, Red Pepper, Mushroom, Black Olive, Tomato and Zucchini Frittata made with Gold Circle Farms Eggs and my produce was from Carlita's Veggie Co-op!


Sleep will be a challenge for me. My mind just keeps going so I get like 6 hours of sleep per night if I'm lucky. But I'll work on it. I really will.

No issues at all with Week 2 and exercise. That's a no-brainer (no pun intended.)

But what excites me the most is the supplements. In fact, I noticed such a difference with these supplements that I went ahead and ordered enough fish oil to last a YEAR. I'm not going to let it slip away from me again!

What do you think about this challenge?? Which week would be the most challenging for you?


Working Woman of the Week

Things have been busy around here! Being a work-at-home-mom is challenging and full of distractions. There is always laundry to do, dishes to clean, homework to help with, science fair experiments to conduct, and of course there is "my work."

Earlier this week I was honored to be chosen as the Working Woman of the Week by Working Women of Florida!

How cool is that??

I've been participating in the Working Mom's Roundtable discussion which meets on the 4th Thursday of every month (not for November or December though because of the Holiday season.) I've enjoyed connecting with other working moms and having the opportunity to hear strategies that work for their families. Today we met. This is what I wore. It's a super cute dress with the prettiest hemline. Of course the photo I took doesn't really show the entire hem. You can only see the top of it. It's a size 8. And the biceps were a bit tighter than the last time I wore it which was last February when I tried it on in the store! Tongue Out Not surprised though. I've been up in the gym just a workin' on my fitness and my biceps are getting bigger!!

My husband works right across the street from where we meet, so we've also been able to meet for lunch once a month. It's very nice. Today he surprised me by saying "I made reservations." What? Reservations?? I can't remember the last time we went out to eat at a place that required reservations!

We went to Mitchell's Fish Market and it was so good! I had an appetizer for my lunch. Ceviche! Shrimp and scallops with mango and lime. And it was a tad bit spicy. But so good! It was nice to have a lunch date with my husband. Last month we went out for seafood too!


The Working Women blurb also mentions how I am the social media manager for a national fitness apparel company. It's true. I am managing the blogger outreach, blog and soon Facebook and Twitter pages for My Race Ragz. I've been doing it for just over a month and I am loving it! I love connecting with other fitness bloggers and offering them the opportunity to order and review a custom made race shirt! In exchange for their honest review, they get the opportunity to offer a giveaway to one of their readers. I love their shirts and will soon be offering a giveaway to my own readers! Wink

 Fall has finally arrived in Florida. It was actually chilly last night, and darn right cold this morning. The kids all needed jackets to head off to school. It's beautiful weather for getting out and taking a nice long evening walk!

Earlier this week (when it was still 90 degrees) I took the kids to a corn maze/fall festival at Sweetfield Farms. We had fun. They each had a cold rootbeer in a glass bottle. A first for them, and they loved it!

We painted pumpkins, and watched a pig race.

It was a good day.


What is your favorite thing about Fall??