How Do You Know You’re Getting More Fit?

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Good morning! Happy Friday!

I’m still working on my post about the Woman’s Day Red Dress Awards, so, hopefully, I’ll have it up later this morning. It was an awesome event, and I have a lot to blog about!


I know I’ve said this a few times about WODs in the past, but “Kelly” was insanely hard! Yowsahs. I don’t think I’m the same after that workout. It was five rounds of 400 meter runs + 30 Box Jumps + 30 Wall Balls, which, as you can imagine, was a killer combination of exercises. 



5 rounds for time of:

400 meter run

30 Box Jumps 24″

30 Wall Balls

Rx: (24”, 20″) (20, 14)

L2: (24″, 20″) (14, 10), 4 rounds

L1: (20″, 12″) (14, 10) 3 rounds

With two days of rest under my belt, I was more than ready for “Kelly.” I finished in 25:04, which was only 20 seconds behind the fastest woman (and 10 seconds faster than Mal) and it was the closest to a prescribed CrossFit workout I’ve ever done. (I used a 10-pound medicine ball instead of the 14-pound prescribed.)

Remember my first Level 2 workout? Well, I’m still bouncing around between Level 1 and Level 2 workouts, and I don’t think prescribed ones are in my future for many more months, but I’m seeing some real progress in my physical abilities. I’m stronger, quicker, and tougher. I could barely do a Level 1 workout when I started CrossFit, and now I’m knocking on the door of prescribed workouts. Booyah. I’m an animal!


The above photo (source: CrossFit781) is actually from a workout I did last week. I’m attempting a Squat Clean and getting frustrated that I can’t do it right. (Hence, the ridiculous face.) I still have trouble with them!


Mal made hamburgers for dinner on Wednesday night when I was in New York City, so I chopped up a leftover one and added it to a big salad with balsamic vinegar and truffle salt.

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Usually, I wolf-down my dinner in minutes, especially after a CrossFit class, but last night I was so exhausted after “Kelly,” it took me nearly 40 minutes to eat it! I kept getting distracted by American Idol and forgetting that my dinner was sitting in front of me, which never happens. Typically, food is my top priority at feeding time!

Right before bed, I got really hungry again, so I ate a container of Chobani with homemade granola mixed in. It was about 10:00 PM, so I never snapped a photo. I just ate it went right to bed.


This morning, I woke up craving oatmeal + peanut butter, so I whipped up a batch of stovetop oats with blackberries, ground flaxseed meal, and cinnamon.

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No iced coffee with breakfast this morning because I’m going to stop by Marylou’s later this morning to try their new Maple Walnut flavor. Mmm!

Question of the Day

How do you know you’re getting more fit?



  1. There’s nothing like a kick butt workout to force you to eat slower! 😉 I’m in awe of your box jumps. Some days it feels like I will never get there but when I do I’ll just pray I don’t miss and faceplant.

    How do I know I’m getting fit? When workouts like Tae Bo and Powerstrike feel like they’re not cutting it anymore and burn about 300 calories less than they used to! *groan*

  2. Ohhhh maple walnut! YUM! I felt that way on Saturday. It was my 6th day at the gym and I was exhausted afterwards. Physically and mentally. I know I’m getting more fit when things are just easier It can be as simple as being able to stretch longer without being uncomfortable or doing a track of body combat more easily.

  3. Wow, congrats on your awesome progress Tina! You’re definitely getting stronger! Every Friday is ‘chin-up day’ for me, because my goal is to be able to do 10 chin ups and 10 pull-ups by the end of the year. I’ve been working on 3-4 sets with 10 reps each of negatives (where I boost myself up then lower as slowly as possible) but today, 4 of the reps in each set were real continuous chin-ups! I was pumped! 🙂

  4. I LOVE crossfit! I started in August 2011 and I haven’t stopped since 🙂 I love that all cross fitters refer to themselves as something… animal, beasts, ninjas.. I mean the list goes on and on! And Kelly is DEFINITELY a bitch 😉 … but I like it because of the running, gives you time to relax a little before starting the jumps and wall shots again {wall shots are terrible by the way!}

    Anyways, congrats on being such a beast as my box would say 🙂

  5. Tough angle, but it looks like you are sitting a little low on your squat clean (I struggle with the same thing). Startwith your hips up higher, this will push your shoulders forward more and get you into a better starting position. Should make getting the triple extension (and the clean) easier.

  6. I’m currently doing the 100-day burpee challenge and I can slowly feel myself getting stronger.

    When I first started, 5 was unbearable, but I did them. Then 10 was unbearable, but I did them. And so on. It’s amazing to literally FEEL yourself getting stronger.

    (p.s. LOOK at your arms! You go girl! 😀 )

  7. I think this is actually a really great question. I know I’m getting more fit when my cardio endurance improves (I can run faster or longer without a ton of effort) or I can lift heavier weights without that much more effort. Both have been happening lately, which I’m taking as a good sign!

  8. I’m actually working on a similar post right now as my one year anniversary of working out with a trainer is quickly approaching. People often want to see pound or clothes size results very quickly, but with things like weights it seems to go through a process before you see any headway. But, once you hit that point the headway occurs almost weekly! I’m so glad you’ve found a love of weights like I have over the past year. But, I must say, your box jumps amaze me. How high is the box?!

  9. That sounds like an awesome workout! I’ve been getting really curious about CrossFit since reading your blog. I am currently training for the Disney Princess Half Marathon next week so my cross training and weight training haven’t been my top priority :/ But once it’s over, (I’m definitely going to keep running!) I’m going to experiment with other workouts! However, with running, I notice I’m getting more fit because it just gets easier! Yesterday I ran 5 miles in 43 minutes (about an 8:30 mile average?) which is insanely fast for me! AND it felt good! Enjoy your yummy sounding coffee 😀

  10. Nice job!! I know I am getting more fit (or fitter as I like to call it, hah), when I can lift more, run faster, and feel better. You just KNOW. The other day I was teaching BodyPUMP and I was doing the back track and I could just feel it being too easy for me (it was 40 lbs), so I KNEW I had to add weight the next time I taught. And I did, and now it feels ‘right.’ Each person is different, so that person has to figure out how it feels to push the limits and not stay in the comfort zone. That’s where the magic happens!

    Have a good day! Can’t wait to read the recap!

  11. That’s actually a problem I have, I can’t usually tell if I’m getting fitter! I can only tell if I pick something specific to work on and can then see my progress, like how many push ups I can do, or something like that. I’m signing up for Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp, so I’m hoping that will be a way I can tell! Plus I’m training for a half marathon and have 12 and 13 mile runs until April 1st, so hopefully I’ll see changes in my time and capability for doing those!

  12. Right now with crossfit I can use the levels and my notebook of recording my strength training to see how I’m getting stronger- its very motivating! And I still am having trouble with those squat and power cleans, they are a ton of muscle memory and mental as much as physical I think.

  13. Hey Tina! Congrats on your amazing results for the Kelly WOD! It really does seem quite (scary) challenging. 😛
    I hope to start Crossfit myself sometime in the future so all this info is so helpful and interesting to read.

    As to getting stronger..I notice that my leg strength is improving and my form is a lot better while doing squats and lunges. I was also able to jog for 35 minutes on the treadmill yesterday!

  14. Good on you!! I did my first Level 1 work out, and then I only missed rx by 10 pounds on a deadlift yesterday. I know I’m getting fitter, because in running my times are getting much faster. I started marathon training doing 7 miles at 8 minutes; now I can do 7 miles at 7:03 no problem. Crossfit is seriously beastly.

  15. This may sound silly, but since I’ve been working out my body doesn’t hate me after a few flights of stairs. That’s how I know I’m getting fitter. Also, I do pilates and you can tell you’re getting fitter with that by how long you can hold a pose or what level you work that. I imagine it would be somewhat similar with crossfit?

  16. I just started a CrossFit On Ramp session this week (its 2 weeks before they let you join) and last night we did “Fight Gone Bad”. I HATE HATE HATE Wall Balls!!! I almost puked in round 2 on the rowing machine.

  17. It’s empowering to know you’re making gains in strength, agility, etc. Have you seen any physical changes as well? Curious!

  18. I don’t do much strength training but I love when running gets easier for me – or when my speed improves!

    I woke up craving oatmeal as well – I was able to set the rice maker and have hot oats ready when I got home from my run.

  19. I don’t necessarily see physical changes right away but I know I’m getting more fit when I feel better, more energized and mentally balanced.

  20. Hey Tina, got a quick crossfit question for you! I have never done it, but there’s a great Groupon for it in my city and I’m really interested in getting started. The only thing that I’m worried about is not having any idea what the moves mean. I’m the kind of person who needs to see an exercise performed in front of me before I’m able to emulate it myself – and that goes for even simple moves. Would it be really difficult for me to jump in to the classes not knowing what the different exercises are? I’m afraid I’d stand there for minutes on end like a creeper, watching other people and trying to figure out what the heck im supposed to be doing.

  21. I love your blog. You are inspiring, keep up the hard work 😉

    I am a freshman in college, any tips for making oatmeal a lot more tastier in the microwave? I have the little packets of original quakers oats, but i am nervous to experiment with it. haha i am trying to like oatmeal more. (yes im a health food fanatic)

  22. hi Tina!
    i have a question about about coffee- when you get flavored coffee at a restaurant/barista place, is it flavored coffee or do they add a flavored syrup?

  23. Is it crazy to think that I think I’m getting more fit because I can go farther or faster than I did before? I track my walks/runs using my Forerunner and I can see that my time is improving as is the amount of time I spend running. That has to mean something, right?

    1. @Liz: I’m an editor, and Tina and Andrea are in the right on this one. But Liz, for future reference, small ‘f’ for ‘fitter’ (unless at the start of a sentence), and you need use only one question mark at a time.

  24. I think you have to gauge fitness improvements within a specific sport. As a runner I can tell I am getting more fit by my race times. But a 5k PR does nothing to help me with fitness goal of unassisted pull ups.

  25. Jealous of your Mary Lou’s trip, that new flavor sounds great! My boyfriend used to live near the one in Quincy but then moved to Needham, and we just can’t justify driving 25 minutes there and then back. But…it’s bound to happen soon. It’s the best coffee ever. 🙂

  26. So great! And that pictures screams intensity! I know I’m getting more fit when my runs last longer because I don’t feel winded, etc. Also, when I can consistently keep a good form during all reps for strength training.

  27. Sometimes it can be discouraging because some fitness gains can take so long! I’ve been tracking my weight lifted though and have definitely gone up in weights this year! Plus look at the triceps in that picture of you from crossfit…rock it!!

  28. You look so tough in your picture. I love it!! I’m curious if you’re finding that your arms are getting bigger. When I’ve incorporated some of these types of exercises in my training, my arms have started getting too big for my shirts. And I hate that. I think I just have a more hereditary tendency for my arms and thighs to bulk up. I’m okay with Jillian-type workouts with dumbbells, but after a few Body Pump classes…. things start getting tight!

  29. Kudos to you on kicking Kelly’s booty!! She and Karen are probably my least favorite workouts.

    I like squat cleans —-hey at least its not a snatch!!


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