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.
Slimmer and stronger: A Henry County man’s journey of success
I mentioned yesterday that the paper here ran a story about my journey to a healthy life. The article is online and I am re-posting it here for those interested in reading it.
Those that have followed me are no strangers to this story. Many others have done what I have done, some far more than me. What has really touched me are a few stories that I really had not heard about until recently. A guy I met at dinner one night with friends told me about a mutual friend we shared who started running recently. He said “Man, you lit a fire under that guy. He’s dropped 40 pounds in the process.” I got a text from another friend who said she had hit the 50 pound weight loss mark. A co-worker has dropped a total of 52 pounds so far. Another co-worker said that her daughter read my article and said “Mommy, I want to do that, too.”
I will always give credit to my wife for making the first move in helping me save my own life. This really has been such a fun journey. Equally as touching is the impact it has had on those around me. That means so much more than I could ever adequately explain here. Getting a text from someone that I inspired saying they have lost weight, or hearing a friend who thought a 5K was impossible tell me he ran 12.5 miles the other day, it overwhelms me.
Anyway, for those wanting to read the article, it is below the jump…
In before and after pictures, Jason Morrison shows the changes in his appearance. The Henry County resident fought a winning battle over weight and fitness.
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.
The projection, released Monday, warns that 42% of Americans may end up obese by 2030 (up from 36% in 2010), and 11% could be severely obese, roughly 100 or more pounds over a healthy weight (vs. 6% in 2010).
I mean, seriously, how could I not reblog this awesomeness?
Gotta love school pictures!
From left to right: March 2010, March 2011 (had lost about 20 lbs), March 2012 (down 114 lbs from weight in Feb 2011)
It is incredible to hear people (colleagues) say that they do not remember me looking like the first or second me. Boy, do I remember what it felt like, though. My goal is to not forget, as to not return.
Look around you, inspiration is everywhere
Isn’t that an awesome photo? Isn’t that a beautiful and strong woman? Amanda has put in a lot of work and it shows. She has dropped over 100 pounds and become a new, better, stronger, faster version of her old self.
I am fortunate to know her personally and to have seen her transformation. Through a close friend of hers, she made the decision to change, setting in motion a chain of events that has not stopped to this day. Rather than try and recap it all and fumble over my words, I encourage you to read her story for yourself in detail on the Punch Life in the Face blog.
Portion Control = Effective
I wrote over the weekend about wrangling in the diet once again. Amazing how you can eat healthy stuff but still be out of whack. I was eating good food, and often enough throughout the day, but some things were killing me. Specifically:
- I was eating far too much when I ate. My breakfast was probably appropriately sized, but the snacks were out of control. I would just eat and eat and justify it with the amount of exercise I was doing.
- I was eating too late. After dinner, and before bed, I would eat. Nothing crazy mind you, but those habits need to be stopped before they get out of hand. Dinner should be it for me.
I can see how people fall back into old habits. You lose weight, exercise, eat right, and then it slowly creeps back on you with little stuff like this. Let me tell you, folks. I ain’t havin’ it. I didn’t come all this way to turn around and go back. I refuse to let myself become the guy that lost all the weight and then put it back on.
I realize it has only been a little over a day since I started putting portions back in check but I already feel better. Having taken the time to sit down and write up the meals and snacks has made the food thing volumes easier. I have been stuck in a plateau for a while and I think it is time to break out of that.
Lock it down, son.
I have been fortunate in that eating healthy hasn’t been an issue for me. Neither has been eating often enough. Yet, despite my exercise regiment, I have not been seeing progress like I want. I still would like to drop 25 more pounds.
The hard truth is that my portion control has slipped. So I’m fixing it. Sat down this morning and wrote out our meals and snacks for the coming week. This evening I’ll hit the store and when Monday rolls around I will be much more prepared.
I feel really good about this and can’t wait to see where this will take me. I plan on getting rid of the rest of my gut this year.
“There goes our sport.”
Reading through some Facebook posts the other night, I saw this pop up via Progenex:
The Biggest Loser begins tonight, and according to Bob Harper the entire season will be all CrossFit. Will this be good or bad for the sport?
Sadly, one of the first comments I read was this:
There goes our sport.
There have been times when I have been ashamed of some of the people that opt to represent CrossFit, and reading that comment was surely one of those times.
CrossFit is not something designed solely for the super elite. If you read ANY box website or talk to a trainer, they will tell you to come in regardless of your fitness level. They want you to come in, workout, improve, grow, get stronger, and get faster. I have yet to hear one of our trainers say “Well, you are just too fat. Sorry, we can’t help you.” How about the main site? Does it say “CrossFit is for athletes who are not obese?” In fact, it says something quite the contrary:
The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience.
When I read that, I see that any of these workouts can be scaled to meet the needs of the participant while at the same time presenting a unique physical challenge to them, helping them grow as an athlete.
Just because Bob Harper is doing CrossFit, doesn’t mean that on day 2 of the ranch he is going to have a 400 pound guy do Fran. I mean, let’s get serious here. I think Bob Harper understands the benefits of high intensity, functional movements and is planning on applying those concepts to The Biggest Loser participants’ workout routines.
Perhaps there will be an influx of participants at CrossFit boxes all over. Maybe people that do not typically fit the “athlete” mold will join. Maybe people that need to lose weight instead of improve their Grace time will join. Maybe CrossFit will become an even more household name.
And if that happens, why is that bad for CrossFit?
Why does that mean the sport goes to hell in a hand basket? Aren’t we all about making people better versions of themselves? If I saw a largely overweight person walk into our box, I would love nothing more than to shake their hand and tell them that they got tons of guts for stepping foot in the door and that if I could help to just holler. I would hope I would be the kind of person that would cheer them on during their workouts, or even finish an extra set of reps or a run with them to let them know they are not in the fight alone.
Let’s let people experience all of the benefits of CrossFit. Not just weight loss, but strength, speed, and most importantly confidence. The last thing I would do would be to claim this sport as my own, something a selfish, shallow, and insecure person would do.
What’s it like to lose 170 pounds?
Wonder what it would be like to lose 170 pounds? How about asking someone who has done it?
I think the first time I met Ben was at the Do Life Atlanta 5K. I had not known him prior to that so when someone told me how much weight he had lost it just floored me. I knew I had done a decent job at dropping some poundage, but this guy… Just a whole different level.
There is a lot I admire about this dude. He is a man of his word. If he says he is coming to CrossFit, he will be there. And he doesn’t complain or whine. I have yet to hear him say “That is too tough”. He just does it, regardless of how hard it is. To drop 170 pounds takes a dedication that I doubt I have. To keep going requires even more. This week marks one year for my new lifestyle, and I know first hand how hard it can be to keep going. To do all of that, not complain, and find new ways to stay motivated and push, to inspire others along the way, is just beyond my realm of comprehension.
All I know is that I am thankful I know the guy and wish there were more people like him around. Just like me, he will be the first to tell you that the battle is hard and the road is long, but when you look back at how far you have come it was worth every second. He will tell you that starting out it seems an impossible obstacle to overcome, but it isn’t. He will tell you that you will fall, stumble, and want to quit more times than you care to admit. But he will also tell you that you can do it. You are more than capable. You have the fight within you to win. The best part is that he can tell you all this without words, but through his example.
Just recently, the Huffington Post ran a story on him, and deservedly so, because this kind of inspiration needs to be seen all over the place. If you haven’t read the article, check it out, and then give Ben a follow here on Tumblr.
“Deck of Cards”
While not my first team WOD, this was one of the most memorable ones from when I first started CrossFit. I remember feeling like I was the slowest person on our team, not able to keep up at all. I was winded and with every exercise I looked up and it was as if the entire team was waiting on me to flip that next card.
Today was different.
I still cringe a little inside when I see the cards out as we walk in, and even with a sore shoulder, I just felt better about this. 66 reps total for each exercise. I wanted it. I wanted to attack it. I wanted it to suck. I wanted it to kick my rear end. And I wanted to kick it back. Amazing how keeping at something can turn a previously bad experience into a good one. I didn’t get really gassed until we had about 6 cards left. Big accomplishment for me. That and the first time I did this I was on the bands for the pull-ups and this time I am not. A win for me personally this morning.
Time was 21:54 (subbed 53# goblet squats for air squats).