My wife @geenuhmae putting in work at @crossfitpulse and getting stronger every day. Seeing the physical change is awesome, but watching her gain strength and confidence is even better. She saved my life over 2 years ago when she put our family on a path to a healthier life and continues to inspire me to be better. #crossfit #crossfitchick #crossfitgirls #igfitness #inspiration #fitspiration #hurtlocker #hurtlockerapparel #health #fitness
Weekly Training Log - 02/11/13
This week is going to look a little different than previous ones. This past Saturday evening, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Seriously. I have not been in that much pain after a workout. That same soreness continued through Sunday and Monday morning, despite foam rolling and mobility. I felt sluggish, tired, and just beat down.
My wife told me that I have never really taken a break since I got started with CrossFit. That was 2 years ago. At the urging of her and some close friends, I opted to take it easy this week.
MONDAY - 2/11/13
TUESDAY - 2/12/13
Pool (Lunch): Slow paced freestyle 800m (16:31); 4x25 breast stroke.
WEDNESDAY - 2/13/13
Pool (Lunch): 10x100m freestyle
THURSDAY - 2/14/13
WOD - “Grace”: 30 clean & jerks for time. New PR with time of 2:30 (Previous time was 2:43). Guess the rest paid off. Felt so refreshed going in to this that it actually felt strange.
Cash-Out: Rack pull deads - 3x315, 3x315, 3x275, 3x315, 3x315; 5x10 pull-ups.
FRIDAY - 2/15/13
SATURDAY - 2/16/13
Rest. (Out of town working the Garage Games One)
SUNDAY - 2/17/13
Rest. (Out of town working the Garage Games One)
Weekly Training Log - 2/4/13
MONDAY - 2/4/13
Pool (Lunch): 10x100m w/1 min. ri. 28:43.
TUESDAY - 2/5/13
Warm-up: Don’t normally log these but thought this was good. 1500m row (4:43) followed by 6-5-4-3-2-1 of stretching mountain climbers, wall balls, and situps.
WOD - EMOTM for 12 minutes: 3 burpees, 3 push jerks (155lbs; bring weight from the floor), 3 burpees. When you fail to make it through the round, rest 1 minute, then cut the reps and finish. After this weekend, I just didn’t want to do another freaking burpee. I believe that I have narrowed down my knee pain to this movement, so I focused on bringing my feet out wide as I come off the floor and it really seemed to help a lot. I got into round 8 and just wiped out. No gas and no desire to take it to that dark place required to keep pushing.
Cash-Out: Wanted to keep working on pull-ups so I skipped the GHDs and did 5x10 pull-ups.
WEDNESDAY - 2/6/13
Strength - Overhead Squats: 3x135, 3x135, 3x155, 3x175, 3x185 (PR), 1x200 (PR)
WOD: 15-12-9-6-3 of overhead squats (scaled to 115lbs) and T2B. Time was 9:08 and not as bad as I thought it would be, but took it’s toll on me. Got some help on the kipping/rhythym of the T2B after the WOD which really helped.
Pool (Lunch): 20x50m w/30 sec ri.
THURSDAY - 2/7/13
Pool: Active recovery? 50m freesyle, 4x25m breast stroke, 50m freestyle, 4x25m breast stoke, 50m freestyle. Untimed; Just to keep moving.
FRIDAY - 2/8/13
WOD - “Wittman”: 7 rounds of 15 KB swings (53lbs), 15 power cleans (95lbs), 15 box jumps (24”). Perhaps my friends are right and I am overtrained right now. All I know is that in round 4 I found myself standing there unable to do a box jump. I just stared at everyone and felt guilty for not moving, for not pushing through. I snapped out of it and finished the WOD, but this was absolutely horrible. I did all of the swings unbroken, which was good for me, but smoked my forearms for the cleans. On the cleans I did 10/5 the first round, 5/5/5 each additional round, and then singles in the last round. For box jumps, I tried to keep going. I was 29 minutes and some change. Absolutely horrible. This thing wiped me out for the rest of the day.
SATURDAY - 2/9/13
Strength: In pursuit of 5 bills on my deadlift, I worked the rack pulls which is the weakest part of my lift. After Friday, I wanted to work on things but also wanted to do something that I wanted to do to help get some confidence back. I thought it was amazing that I couldn’t pull 500 from the ground and lock it out but could bang out reps of 505 off the rack. 5x315, 5x375, 5x415, 3x475, 3x505, 3x505, 3x505, 3x505.
Conditioning: Untimed (but not resting) I did 5 rounds of GHD situps and 10 pull-ups. After the 5th round I did an extra set of pull-ups. All pull-ups unbroken. Started to really feel it on rep 8 and the last 2 were hard, but this was a major thing for me to be able to do.
SUNDAY - 2/10/13
Did a little informal #crossfit competition today. I don’t recall when I have pushed my body that hard. Above any performance goals, it was awesome for my girls to cheer me on. It means a lot to be on this path of health, but its even more to be an example to these two. I will fight now so they won’t have to go through the same battles. #crossfit #fitness #family #health @goldsgymhenrycounty
The Real Biggest Losers?
I saw this pop up as I scrolled through my dash this morning and for some reason, it just struck a nerve. If you want to read my ramblings, fine. If not, I am OK with that as well since this is being written more to get it out of my system than anything else. I will put it behind the jump to save your dashboard.
Yesterday around 10am I sent my wife a text that said:
This time 2 years ago you were buying the Biggest Loser book while I was sitting on the couch.
Two years ago today we started that book (The Biggest Loser 30 Day Jump Start) and neither of us imagined where it would take us. I look back on my first post here and am flooded with a range of emotions. Over that time so much has happened that I do not believe I could ever explain it all in one post so I won’t even try.
Two things stand out for me today. The first being in all of my previous attempts to lose weight, nothing ever stuck. The longest I made it was 6 months before caving again. Getting beyond that was huge for me. Looking back over 2 years seems surreal and at times I honestly cannot believe I am where I am.
The second thing that stands out, and easily the most important, is that I am not alone in my journey. My amazing wife is here, too. Through all the good and all the bad, she has been there. A constant source of encouragement and the reason that I am able to write this post today. When others doubted, friends bailed, and when others wished failure upon me, or made fun of our dedication to getting healthy, she was there. When I wanted to stop, got tired, became frustrated, or lost focus on the process, she was there. Without a doubt in my mind, I am the man I am right now because of her.
And while we both have been on this roller coaster ride, she has gone through changes as well, fighting her own battles. And as she was my rock I tried my best to provide the same support for her. I saw her go from struggling with weight to lifting weight. From worrying about how many pounds were on the scale to worrying about how many pounds were on the bar. I watched her take on a drastic new eating style that has changed how our family does things. I watched her become more beautiful before my eyes, not just physically but mentally. Ladies, it is a damn sexy trait to be more confident.
So on this 2 year anniversary of our decision to get healthy, it is awesome to look back and see how my wife not only saved my life, but hers as well.
One of the best tips I ever received was with regards to food prep. I shop once a week and usually make a batch of burgers. More times than not, they are turkey burgers and I have a few different recipes I like. This makes a huge difference during the week when making lunch, etc. Having the meat prepared saves so much time.
There are days when I am running late getting my food together for the day. A burger and greens makes an easy salad. Toss in a bit of salsa and I can skip dressing, eat clean, and be full. When my wife is at the gym and I am cooking for the girls, I can toss in a batch of sweet potato fries in the oven and the meat is already prepared. I have even cut up sweet potatoes the night before to save some time the next day.
Thinking ahead just that little bit makes such an amazing difference throughout the week.
Is this still a weight loss blog?
I would have to say no.
Back in December 2010 when this thing first got started, all I really wanted was to lose about 40lbs. I thought that would address all of my issues and life in general would be rainbows and unicorns. I never thought I would be in the position that I am in today.
Fast forward a bit to this year. After I hurt my feet I used that as an excuse to stop cardio and focus on lifting heavy things. I hate cardio. Still do. Lost just about all passion I had for running. But I continue to do it. I enjoy lifting weights. I feel like my body type is better suited for that. Maybe that is an excuse to do it.
My eating, whether I wanted to admit it or not, had gotten out of control. I was still chowing down healthy meals, but the in between stuff was killing me. I justified it all by the amount of working out I was doing. All the while wondering why I was not seeing the improvements that I wanted to see.
On August 25th, 2012 we did the CrossFit Total WOD (1RM on deadlift, back squat, and strict press) and I hit the number I wanted and then some extra. I felt like a champion. Then I looked at my photos from the day and was immediately depressed. You ever get that way? Make progress and then see a photo and feel like you are back at square one? In the photos, I did not see the weight I was lifting, I only saw my weight. It really bothered me. I was also seeing changes in my clothes. I had 2 belts where I had to punch a new hole in. In both of those belts I was back up a notch. Again, I justified it by saying that I was still in the right size belt, just not in the extra hole I punched.
So I talked to a buddy of mine about it and he helped me get back on track. The exercise thing is down pat. I no longer have to make myself get up and do something. It is just a part of me now. If anything, I am now on the opposite end of the spectrum where I am forcing rest days into the schedule. But my nutrition was off. I had tried strict paleo before but hated it. It just felt too restrictive and stupid. To this day I still believe that if a caveman walked into a pizza place he would end up in the best carb coma to have ever happened. But I opted to give it another shot.
This time it was different for me. I enjoyed it. My wife was picking out recipes for us to try. I had fun grocery shopping and cooking. It felt good to be in control of my body for a change. I did not take any before or after measurements. I have long since put the scale up. But I noticed I was back down into that new hole I had to punch. Clothes fit a lot better and looser. On November 10, 2012 we did the CrossFit Total WOD again and I dug out the old photos to compare just to see if I could notice a difference.
I was worried that I would lose strength, but that did not happen. In fact, my previous deadlift PR was 475lbs, which I hit twice on November 10th. I was much more pleased with what I saw in the photos this time around. And the coolest part was that it really did not take as much of an adjustment as I thought it would. But I learned the hard way that I cannot out train a bad diet and I am anxious to see what is in store by keeping this up.
Love every bit of this. It is NOT about weight loss. It is about health. It is about confidence. It is about strength. It is about life. Major props to Mandy.
Early 2011 – Weighed 105lbs, ate roughly 500 calories a day (mostly veggies covered in mustard), instantly gained weight if I splurged, spent HOURS on the elliptical every night, was sick/had zero energy/slept all the time & was generally obsessed with all things food/body weight related.
Today – Weigh 127lbs, eat roughly 2,000+ calories a day (90% paleo), have a cheat day where I basically eat anything I want & look/feel no different, crossfit/weight lift a couple times a week, have all the energy in the world & am 100% content with most everything in my life.
Up 22lbs from a year & a half ago, do I look stick thin like I used to, most definitely not. Am I happy, completely. Do I consider myself recovered from that crazy 10 year whirl with an eating disorder, just about. Best part is most of my old clothes still fit, maybe even better than before (except my ass won’t fit in any of my old jeans, but I will gladly thank all the squats for that happy dilemma.) MUSCLES > bones. Now if only I could cut out fruit & get that 6 pack ;]
Some good news
All along, one of my main goals was to get off blood pressure medicine. As such, I routinely have blood work drawn and tested. While I have come off of a stronger dose of BP meds, I still take them. My doctor has told me not to get discouraged and that I am doing what I should be doing, it is just my body might need help from medicine.
Regardless, I got my latest lab work results back. I love my new office for many reasons, but this is one of the best. My last doctor always said “no news is good news”. This office mails the results to you no matter what.
Triglycerides: 81 (Good is less than 150)
Cholesterol: 167 (Good is less than 200)
HDL: 60 (Good is greater than 40)
LDL: 81 (Good is less than 130)
Glucose: 82 (Good is 65-99)
Liver Enzymes: Good
About a year ago, I wrote something similar after getting lab work results back. Compare the numbers above with my results from June 2010, where my cholesterol was 240, triglycerides were 227, and LDL was 153. Except last year, I also had to have an ultrasound as they suspected I had a fatty liver. No worries about that as everything with the liver came back normal.
Also, a while back, someone on Twitter told me that these numbers wouldn’t be this way if I stuck with a paleo diet. Not sure what they have to say now. Granted, I am not 100% following that plan, but I follow it pretty darn close. I eat clean and exercise and don’t stress about it. I try to keep it fun and really enjoy what I am doing right now. It is nice to have the numbers to back it up.
Since the wifey is doing the Whole Life Challenge, it means she is really looking at the ingredients of what she eats. I am very impressed with how well she is doing so far. I am not being as strict as she is but doing all I can to support whatever meal decisions she needs to make to stick to the plan.
Recently, I have been trying to stop using salad dressing. One of those things where I am too tempted to pour too much on my salad than I should. If I can eliminate it all together, that’s good right? I have been using organic salsa instead of dressing and dig the flavor. After looking at the ingredients, the wifey said she has to nix the salsa. The only option was to make it ourselves, so we did. Gotta say, our homemade batch is far better than anything in the store. It tastes even better on my salad (mixed greens, red onions, baked chicken).
I have been feeling so much better in my clothes. I still refuse to get on the scale. This morning, I put on my belt and noticed I was in the last notch. Can’t lie, I wanted to jump around the bedroom. Before I locked the eating down, my pants were getting tight. I was in the last hole in the belt, but the last one that came with the belt. At one point a while back I had to punch a new hole in the belt but had to stop using it. To get back to the hole I punched is a big thing for me. It means I am going in the right direction.
Chalk one up for clean eating.
I feel some type of connection with the message in this video. For those who have not followed my blog since the start, my initial weight loss was accomplished a lot through following the Biggest Loser 30 Day Jump Start. It did what it said it would do, and gave me the jump start I needed.
So much of what is said in this video speaks directly to me, where I have come from, and where I am going. Initially, I too was caught up in the calories in and calories out concept, focused only on cardio with no strength training, and worrying day in and day out about what number might appear on the scale.
People who have never truly struggled with their weight will never, ever, be able to fully comprehend why the number on the scale can be such a driving. It is easy for them to just say “get off the scale” or “do it different”. In many ways, it takes 2 critical changes, the first being the change in your eating and exercise and the second being the transition out of the weighing yourself daily, weekly, etc. mindset. I was in that routine and lost who I was, much like Courtney mentioned in this video.
CrossFit has helped me learn things about myself and recover lost confidence. I don’t know the last time I got on my scale. I don’t count calories. Realizing this, given where I have come from, can be somewhat frightening. How can I go a week without weighing? What if I take in 200 more calories than I burned today? Moving away from that has never felt so freeing.
Eat Real Things
I have had this on my mind for a while now but it keeps coming back up for some reason. As any of you out there can attest to, the minute you lose enough weight for people to notice one of the very first questions asked is “How did you lose the weight?” At first I was always really excited to answer that question but as time goes on it gets a little frustrating. The answer is a lifestyle change through a change of how I eat coupled with exercise as well as more active life in general.
But nobody wants to hear that.
Monday night’s dinner was awesome. Baked chicken breasts, mixed green salad (topped with tomatoes and Light Caesar), and sweet potato fries. I think the best part about dinner was that it was a lot of food. I mean, look at that plate!
I have been in plateau mode for a while now. While I am happy with the changes that I have been, and continue to make, with my body, the hard truth is that my weight is not where I want it to be. I have even put on some weight. I am not too bummed out about it because my clothes still fit great and I am gaining strength in the gym. However, my ultimate goal is to be 195 pounds of the leanest monster that I can be.
I have spent a lot of time examining what I am doing it every time it comes back to what I am eating. I have felt for a while now that I am not eating enough but unsure of what to do to correct that.
My wife, in her infinite wisdom, suggested using a calorie tracker. I have never cared for counting calories, but downloaded the app she recommended and quickly fell in love with it. According to her, and I cannot argue entirely, I have borderline OCD so the data and tracking very much appeals to me. But what I found after logging what I was eating just confirmed what I have been feeling all along: I am still not eating right.
On days when I have heavy physical activity, such as a Saturday where I might go to CrossFit in the morning and bike in the afternoon, or Sundays when I do an hour on the bike and an hour of core work, I have not come close to eating what my body needs to sustain the activity. On the flipside, on my rest days, or days with little activity, I am eating too much.
I am not considering this app to be written in stone. I know that things are “off” and that nothing is exact, but this has given me a new guideline to operate under. I was blown away the other day when I logged my exercise. I ended up taking in over 3100 calories to support the activity. And this is with a planned loss of about a pound to pound and a half a week. For me, the trick is putting in good calories, not bad. Just because I can take in that much doesn’t mean it needs to be fast food. I want pure fuel and that is what I am going for.
I feel really good about this and look forward to sharing some results in the near future.
Something cool happened yesterday
It is really great to be in a marriage where you both know each others strengths and weaknesses and not use them against each other, but to support and hold the other up. Last year my wife was the reason I turned my health around. With a single action she put all of this in motion. So last night, when she looked at me and said “I need your help getting back on track with the eating thing” it really made me feel good. Just as she helped me when I needed it, I want to do the same for her.
She joined Gold’s Gym last week and wants to start doing more than just running. She is doing some spin classes, Zumba, and plans to also start swimming. She even said she would be interested in lifting with me at some point. That was like music to my ears. Maybe I am crazy but I think it would be awesome to be in the gym doing power cleans with my wife. I want nothing more than to see her get better, faster, stronger, and leaner. She has not really pushed exercising the way that I have and up until now I have basically had free reign over when I go workout. We sat down last night and looked at our schedules and are moving some things around so that we both can go.
With that said, Sunday evening we went to the grocery store, something that I typically do while she watches our girls, and stocked up on double what I have been making. I have been making my own paleo meals and then cooking something slightly different for my girls. Not wanting to “push” my wife, I have been doing my own thing with my meal plan. I am pretty confident that she would be the first to tell you food is her weakness and that she is picky when it comes to certain things. That makes it hard to prepare certain paleo meals for her. She normally has a mixture of what I make and what the girls eat, unless I make something specific just for her. Yea, dinner time can get crazy with all the food.
This morning we kicked it off and I made probably my most favorite breakfast (my favorite because it is so easy to prepare). We had egg whites with turkey crumbles, topped with salsa, and coffee. I would say that I am 90% paleo 100% of the time, so this morning we also had plain toasted Ezekiel bread. Quick and easy breakfast and got the day started off right. I made our lunches and also got some snacks together while she got the girls ready for school.
This will be our plan moving forward. We will both follow a paleo-ish type plan, minus the red meat, and still have some whole grains, but very limited. I can’t tell you how much easier it is when we are both signing from the same sheet of music.