Fitness Miscellaneous Ramblings

Making the Transition to Minimalist Shoes

So, probably like a lot of you, I was pretty skeptical about the whole minimalist shoes thing. Apparently a lot of people think Vibram Five Fingers are “gross”, “disgusting”, or “give me the skeevies when I see people wearing those!” I don’t get that at all, but I’ve heard it a number of times. Not in regards to my own shoes – I don’t have a pair. I kinda wish I did but I doubt they’d fit my wide feet right and, even if they did, I’m a ‘one pair of primary shoes’ guy – I like to have one pair that I put on in the morning and don’t take off all day, which includes work, exercise, play, hanging out, etc. I typically work from home or out of the local Starbucks, but most days I do go into the company’s office to attend an in-person meeting or two. And walking in there with Vibram Five Fingers would probably not be a good idea. It’s a fairly progressive culture (though seemingly quickly regressing lately…), but not that progressive. I’d quickly become “that goofball with the toe shoes.”

The Compromise

About six weeks ago, after wanting something Vibram-like for quite some time, I was determined to just get a pair. I looked online but with my wide feet, typically requiring a 2E width, choices are slim and trying them on wouldn’t be an option. I narrowed the choices down to:

1. Merrell Men’s Trail Glove Barefoot Running Shoes

 2. New Balance MR10 Running Shoe

I wound up purchasing the New Balance ones because they were in stock at my local mall’s New Balance shop, and they were on sale. As is usually the case, they didn’t have my size. Why is it so hard to find size 10.5 or 11 2E? I wound up going with the 11.5 size they did have. They are too long, but fit pretty darn good.

The Transition

I have to admit…the first couple of weeks these shoes weren’t all that comfortable. I would put them on in the morning, just to walk around and wear them during the work day (my work day does not include doing anything physically demanding aside from sitting in a chair and typing on a laptop). By the end of the day my feet would ache a bit and, if I left them on all day I found that my feet felt ‘sprained’ for lack of a better description. Not good. Not horrible though – not so much that I wanted to ditch them. But not as comfy as the Brooks running shoes I was wearing for the last year or two, which are as anti-minimalist as you can get, with a big ass heel height. They’re like stilettos for runners.

I’d been thinking it was time to ditch the shoes and just admit that minimalist shoes weren’t for me, when I had to run to a CrossFit session and forgot to change to my Brooks before leaving the house. I wasn’t concerned because that day’s WOD was the bench press so I figured not much on my feet. I was wrong – the warm-up started with an 800m jog. Fortunately for me, it truly was a jog – the rest of the athletes didn’t bust out and sprint it like they usually do and, in fact, for the first half I led the pace which was cool. And halfway through it hit me – I’m running easier and more comfortable than I ever have. It felt good. My feet felt great. Must be the shoes! : )

Truth be told, I did notice that my feet were getting used to the minimalist design the week of that workout, and since then my feet have been feeling stronger, and the shoes are now downright comfy. I’m not going to bother putting on the Brooks anymore and will continue to use these.

Would I buy them again? No. As much as I really am starting to love the feel of minimalist shoes, I don’t particularly like the looks of these New Balance ones. The heel is abnormally fat in the center, which is in keeping with the minimalist design but looks a little like those goofy ass Skechers ‘Shape Ups’. I will however definitely stick with minimalist shoes going forward. So I’m going to keep going with these for another month and then, if all continues to go well, order some new ones with an even thinner heel. Who knows, by then I may throw caution to the wind and go with the Vibram Five Fingers!

I have NOT run long distances with these shoes yet. I plan on trying that within the next few days, but I am a horrible runner and 800m is actually a pretty far distance for me without stopping, so I am confident that these shoes will work for longer distances without causing any issues.

If you are new to the minimalist shoe hype, then here’s some more for you – check out the commercial video below. It’s a bit on the cheesy side but it’s worth a watch. As I said in the beginning of this post – I was kind of skeptical about the minimalist shoe hype, but I’m quickly becoming a fan.

Fitness Miscellaneous Ramblings

Glad I Ditched My Gym Membership

This post is a jumbled mess, stream-of-consciousness thing. With so many new subscribers and emails from folks (even a guy at work stopped me today and said he’d heard the podcast!), I feel obligated to write today so here it is….

Glad I Quit My Old-Fashioned Gym

So a few months ago I was in a weird place in terms of fitness. I wasn’t doing anything consistently to stay fit. With my primary goal being to get fit this year, I was not actively making progress towards that goal and was bummed. I had a gym membership with a good gym, but it was a little on the pricey side (as far as your typical GloBo gyms go). So I switched to another that was much cheaper, but after a few visits I realized I just didn’t want to workout in a traditional gym anymore. Knowing that I would gain more benefit from something like Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint Fitness approach, I ditched my membership and decided to do playground workouts, etc. It was a great decision, as I don’t miss my gym membership at all. In fact, once I canceled my membership was when I stopped being passive about reaching my fitness goals and became actionable.

The Usual Suspects on the Treadmill

I knew I needed to seek out a real program and commit myself to it, versus doing what the majority of GloBo gym members do: show up and get on a cardio machine for 30 to 45 minutes and maybe do some weights using those goofy machines. That wasn’t working for me. It can for some (not the cardio though, as evidenced by 99.99% of the ‘skinny fat’ people on those machines everyday). So I quit the gym and joined a new one – the free one right outside my front door…

Playgrounds, High School Tracks, and My Backyard

I started with the basics of air squats, push-ups, situps, planks, walking, and some strength training. I was proud of myself for leaving the confines of the gym and trying to ‘program’ my own workouts instead of simply following the chronic cardio crew. And that’s when I quickly realized that I just did not have the motivation to push myself consistently to the point I needed to, or the knowledge of HOW to work out effectively. I knew WHAT to do. That’s all available for free on the internet. But doing compound lifts such as back squat, or bent-over barbell rows, by watching a youtube video didn’t work for me because I am extremely inflexible (physically!).

That’s when I knew I needed something more structured, some personal training. I flirted with the idea of doing a one month kettlebell training class. Kettlebells are awesome and someday I’d like to focus on them. Now just wasn’t the time. I also considered doing yoga, as I loved the Saturday morning yoga classes that my now old gym used to offer (even though I was usually the only guy in the class, which was kind of awkward). After thinking about it for a week I realized that I needed to go all in and try CrossFit. I’d been wanting to do it for a while but didn’t have the balls. It takes balls, too. I give anyone who walks into a CrossFit box immediate props for just having the balls to show up. Most people don’t/wouldn’t ever try it. Last week I noticed an overweight married (I assume) couple show up for the free intro session. They looked to be in their late-forties/early-fifties. They looked a bit nervous and I could empathize with them. But I also was quietly rooting them on and hope they stick around. And not just because I’m tired of being the weakest and slowest in the box : )

So far, so good. While my previous posts have outlined the difficulty of sustaining even a measly two CrossFit workouts per week, a lot of that has to do with me pushing myself during non-CrossFit days. My latest enjoyment is going to my local high school running track and doing a combo of walking and sprinting. I quickly find out that wasn’t a good idea when the next day’s WOD is 30 front squats at 85% of my max. It also doesn’t help that I have been helping a relative with a major kitchen/dining room remodel, which included tearing up tile and hardwood floors and then laying down a boat load of laminate flooring. Those bullshit ads that claim anyone can install a laminate floor are bullshit. I must have done 1000 air squats yesterday while installing that floor. My calves were burning by 1pm and, after going another 6 hours straight, my thighs were even worse.

It hit me today that, with the summer months in full swing, I am really glad I ditched my gym membership. For two reasons:

  1. I would have never joined CrossFit. No way I could afford both.
  2. I prefer doing constantly varied movements, and CrossFit, in just a few weeks, has taught me what real workout intensity is. And I could do all of it outdoors, at the local playground, at the local high school track, my yard, etc. It’s all there and free. I would lose the great benefits of being a CrossFit box member, which include personal coaching and the group atmosphere, which I assure you is 100000x better than what you might find at any other gym/fitness center.

If I’m not still doing CrossFit come winter and the cold season, then I’ll certainly be enrolled in some sort of short-term training like kettlebells or yoga, or possibly just buy some winter athletic wear and embrace the cold and go it alone. Either way, I urge everyone to consider ditching the gym and trying something new. Commit to a baseline program such as Primal Blueprint Fitness, and supplement with short-term courses such as Kettlebells, Yoga, MovNat, etc. Or, if you truly don’t need personalized coaching/programming, then go it alone but do it outside. Cus let’s face it, odds are your local neighborhood is an even better ‘gym’. And it’s free.

And besides….those people that get their workouts by simply hanging from the monkey bars at those NYC playgrounds are just badass.


Have you been working out on your own? If so, what do you do, and where do you do it? Leave a comment below!

Primal/Paleo Recipes

The Paleo Margarita Recipe: Low Carb Awesomeness In a Glass

The title says it all.

Let’s get this out up-front: this recipe is a once in a while thing. I’m not advocating that everyone go making this often, but if you’re a drunken fool then this is better than 99% of the alternatives. So, if you’re going to drink alcohol, aside from red wine I suppose (which I personally haven’t the taste for), then this is the ticket.

This Drink Rocks…Truly

I know, I know…you have tried lots of recipes off of the internet and it’s always a disappointment, kinda like my attempt at making Almond Flour Pancakes. They were okay I guess, but not something I’d bother trying to make again.

But this time, my friends, I’ve stumbled upon a recipe that absolutely kicks ass and will be made probably more often than it should be, because I won’t be able to help myself. Introducing the Paleo Margarita!

It’s so simple it’s silly. And surprisingly tasty. Honestly, I expected it to taste like a too strong or too watery weak imitation of those margaritas we’re all used to, you know, the ones with the pre-mix full of sugar, or the shit the vegans have been going Lady GaGa over lately – agave nectar, which is actually worse for you than table sugar.

Zing Zang? Really?

Paleo Margarita Recipe

This margarita recipe is absolutely perfect and so simple.


  • 3 parts Tequila
  • 2 parts Triple Sec
  • 1 part lime juice
  • Lime for garnish (if you care)
  • Sea Salt


Pretty obvious but heck, I’m Captain Obvious so I’ll blog about it anyway:

  1. Put the tequila, triple sec, and lime juice into a shaker (or pint glass) full of ice and mix it/shake it up well.
  2. Rub slice of lime around the rim of the the glass you intend to drink from. Coat it with sea salt. If you’re not an alcoholic and don’t have one of those rim salter contraptions, then do it barrio-style like I did and just place the sea salt onto a paper towel and rotated the glass around it (holding the glass sideways of course). If you put enough lime on the rim then it will stick well enough.
  3. Pour the margarita into the freshly salted glass, add your lime slice for garnish.
  4. Take a sip, delight in how amazing it tastes, and then leave a comment below exclaiming how it is better than those shitty margaritas you’ve been paying $7 apiece for at Friday’s or Applebees or your local Mexican non-authentic place of choice.

You’ll notice that it isn’t that fake slime green color you’re used to. It’s more like a cloud color.

I don’t always drink margaritas, but when I do, I only drink the Paleo Margarita. Stay Thirsty My Friends! (now I gotta go shave)

Time for Some Props

Now for some proper attribution. This recipe apparently is the original margarita recipe and has been around since the first margarita. I’ve heard that some authentic Mexican restaurants still make their margaritas this way, but most now use pre-made mixes full of sugar, or they add simple syrup or other crap to the mix. Once you’ve had one of these you will never want that other stuff again. Last weekend my wife and I went to an overpriced Mexican restaurant that had two great things that made up for the real meal: the margaritas and the tableside guacamole. This margarita recipe tastes just like it. Except it costs a lot less than the $9 apiece we were paying.

If you love it or hate it, leave a comment and let me know!


First Month Beginning CrossFit And My Primary Weaknesses So Far Are…

In CrossFit, you’re technically not supposed to prepare for a specific workout. It’s probably even ‘cheating’ to some extent even looking at what the WOD is going to be in advance. I always look at what the WOD is going to be before I go, but I’ve been good at not cherry-picking. I promised myself I would never do that and I haven’t yet.

My Primary Weaknesses So Far

In the title above I say “Primary” because, to be honest, I’m weak at everything. I lift less weight (MUCH less), my technique sucks at all skills, I am a slower runner, etc. Now that I think about it though, I CAN do a handful of strict pullups unassisted. Apparently not everyone can when they start. And my rowing is okay for a beginner. Aside from that, I’m screwed.

This past week the two WODs I did (I’m still on a 2x per week membership) were focused on olympic lifts. One was the jerk. The other WOD focused on the front squat. In both of these WODs I found that just getting the technique down has been really challenging. The front squat came together after the first 10 reps or so, once I got my grip position sorted out. My hands/wrists were still aching, but it wasn’t too bad. The jerk never came together for me. And other skills attempted during prior weeks, such as double-unders, are a pipe dream. When I tried those I could barely string together a decent series of single-unders. And struggling with it took the wind out of me, which made it that much harder to do the stuff that’s supposed to be harder, like the handstand pushups (or stinkbugs, which is what I had to scale to) or whatever follows the double-unders in the WOD.

My body isn’t recovering quickly enough to do CrossFit 3x per week. That is my ultimate goal. Mentally I want to do it now, and I’m half-tempted to go for it, but my concern is getting injured. When you hit 40 years of age and you’ve never done any real athletics since your early teens, you can’t get delusional and think you can just jump in there with a ‘no pain, no gain’ attitude. Well, attitude is good but this shit is too damn hard on my body to just push through it more than I already am. It’s tempting, when I walk into the box and look around and everyone is so buff and lifting tons of weight. But some of these dudes are the type that will ride their mountain bikes home from a vasectomy. They’re badasses. I need to work up to that…slowly.

So my solution? I’m going to beat the system! Well, not quite. Looking back over the WODs I’ve completed so far, a few things stick out at me as clear problem areas I need to focus on:

  1. Flexibility
  2. Olympic Lifting Technique
  3. Skills


Today, along with a bunch of other errands I need to get done, I’m going to do what I’ve been meaning to do for a while now: go to Home Depot and buy a section of thin diameter PVC pipe. Same as they have at the box. For me, I think it’s important that I start using it as a stretching tool to get my shoulders opened up more. While I need flexibility work on my arms, hips, legs, etc., and especially my wrists (they are *really* abnormally inflexible), doing shoulder separations (commonly referred to as “Pass-Thru’s”) may help.

I’m not kidding about my wrists. I took an introductory squash lesson about 10 years ago and the instructor kept telling me to cock my wrist while holding the racquet. He grabbed my hand and pushed back and when it wouldn’t go any farther he proclaimed, “You have the most inflexible wrist I’ve ever seen in 20+ years of coaching.”

Here are my hands when stretched ‘back’ as far as possible. Not even close to perpendicular to the arm:

And you thought I was kidding.

Now you try the above with your wrists, pushing back as far as you can, and compare the results.

Ideally I think I’d benefit from yoga, but I can’t afford to do both yoga and CrossFit, and I’m not one to roll a mat out in my family room and follow along to one of those yoga OnDemand tv shows.

Olympic Lifting Technique

Another big problem, particularly with the two very complicated (for me) olympic lifts has been my total inability to just physically memorize the movement, let alone worry about lifting real weight. I really didn’t expect so much technique would be involved in this. The lifts look so simple when others do it, but I’m finding it’s not as easy as it looks. And apparently it is a learned skill. I found this video of the snatch that seems to underscore that it is a learned skill and not simply something where you just need to know how not to injure your back. There’s more to it.

Coach Mike Burgener Teaches the Snatch


Another thing I did this week was to go out and purchase a speed rope like this one:

Click to See Prices on Amazon

It was cheap at my local sporting goods store ($6), and if you have an Amazon Prime account you can get them for as little as $2 on there with free shipping. My local sporting goods store had some $15 ones that looked nicer but I took a chance going cheap and it definitely was the right choice as this rope is plenty sturdy. While I certainly won’t be doing double-unders any time soon, I can practice the single-unders so that I won’t have to worry about expending all of my energy during a WOD fumbling and tripping over a jump rope.


With all that said, the absolute biggest problem is that my cardio is just not up to snuff. After yesterday’s pre-WOD warm-up (200m run, followed by burpees, followed by broad jumps and spidermans), I was sweating like crazy and out of breath while everyone else looked fine. Gotta add aerobic conditioning to the list….

Would love to hear from other CrossFitters, especially those new to the sport. Leave a comment below. Do you work on skills/technique outside of the box?



I’m On Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends!

The latest episode of Low-Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends is out and yours truly is one of the ‘friends’ along with Dietitian Cassie. Technical glitches aside, which were quite embarrassing for me as I should have known better than to try to Skype via wifi, especially when an ethernet jack was 3 feet away, it was a lot of fun.

All in all, this was an awesome experience. I was very nervous as I don’t feel qualified to be on a show with thousands of subscribers – most of Jimmy’s guests are doctors and/or experts in the field of nutrition, fitness, etc. His Low Carb Conversations podcast is geared more toward the average guy/gal like me that has a story to tell, though often the guests are well known in the Paleo/Low-Carb online community.

I’m about to listen to the episode I was on for the first time myself. I figured I’d better post the link here before I hear how embarrassing I sound, as I may not want to post it later : )


The Best Tasting Dark Chocolate for Us Low Carb Paleo Folks Is….

So I’ve been avoiding most sweets, aside from the occasional ice cream indulgence, for quite some time now. But I don’t avoid dark chocolate, so long as it is 85% or higher. I could probably go down to 70% but I find that’s too sweet. A year ago, 85% tasted like garbage. And some brands still do. But trust me – you have to ‘build up’ to the good stuff, and over time, as with other foods, your taste buds change dramatically. Dark chocolate is no different.


Whole30 Failure

So my brief foray into a Whole30 was a complete fail. Hey – give me a little credit for having the balls to be honest about my failure : )

I just couldn’t avoid dairy. I *could* have avoided dairy, if I had done what any sensible person would do and actually prepare for the Whole30 before just deciding one morning to do it. But this week has been so hectic, with my having to help an in-law remodel his kitchen/dining room, fit work into the equation, and the usual family obligations. But the real reason I gave up?

I was feeling like absolute shit this week. Just not very energetic. I don’t know why. The first couple of days of the Whole30 I hoped it was some sort of reaction to not eating any sugar, but the reality is that I already eat really clean. Mark Sisson talks about the 80/20 approach. I’m truly 95/5. I don’t shoot for that, I just don’t ever plan to be sidetracked. But with 2 young kids and a wife with a carb addiction, and living not 5 minutes from a kick-ass ice cream place, once a week at that place has been an issue once the warm weather hit.

So how exactly have I failed on the Whole30? I’ve eaten some of the Kerrygold butter (though not much), a couple of pieces of 85% dark chocolate*, and tonight I had some greek yogurt with walnuts and some honey in it. I didn’t touch the dark chocolate and yogurt until later today, after I decided I’d had enough of the Whole30 for now. So, not 3 days in, I’m out.

I’ll do it one of these days. But the timing’s just not right. And with my foray into CrossFit still really tentative, as I’m still battling these energy issues that, I think, are due to having trouble sleeping this week along with these CrossFit workouts that are absolutely kicking my ass, I think it’s best to delay the Whole30 for another time.

On a happier note….at some time tomorrow (June 22, 2012), I’m told that the episode of Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends that I am on will be made available on iTunes and the internet. Hopefully I didn’t say too many stupid things during the recording – the technical difficulties made for a nerve-wracking situation and I wasn’t as comfortable speaking as I’d hoped.

Miscellaneous Ramblings Nutrition/Weight Loss Primal/Paleo Whole30

Starting Whole30 Today

Two Big Announcements

I’ve been thinking about trying this famous Paleo program for quite some time, and I figure I need to just jump in and do it instead of simply thinking about it.

Starting today I’m going to do a Whole30. 

I'm doing the Whole30If you don’t know what the Whole30 is, clicking on the image above will give you plenty of info, but the summary is that it is super-strict Paleo. Meats, fish, nuts, seeds, some fruits. Nothing processed at all. No dairy. That’s a killer, especially after buying 2 packages of Kerrygold butter last night : )

I’ll be sure to blog about the experience, particularly about the toughest challenges. I’m certain that to be successful I will need to do a lot more cooking than I currently do. A lot of cooking for the week in advance. Wish me luck.

This Website

This site is now getting over 100 unique visitors per day. Unfortunately, I’ve done a lot of things to botch up its success. I started this blog simply as a way to document my struggles with my weight, and I’ve done lots of whining on it. In fact, the site was originally A fabulous domain that still points here. But a number of the first posts were mainly just me spouting off about my success, looking at them now the tone is in quite a cocky manner. I was so excited about my success in dropping weight via a low carb high fat diet that I decided I wanted to teach the world. So I changed to the current domain name, I quickly learned some hard truths:

  1. There isn’t much to say about this stuff unless you want to geek out on the science, which I really don’t enjoy. How many posts about how fitness is not a way to lose weight, how lowering carbs is how you lose fat, and how eating fat doesn’t make you fat can one write?
  2. Outside of the rough basics (i.e., ditching the fear of dietary fat and lowering the carbs), everyone needs to find their own way through self-experimentation. The best diet books stress this. See The Primal Blueprint for a perfect example.

So, I’ve secured a new domain – – and am considering how to incorporate that without ruining the current traction of the site. If anyone has any ideas, I’m all ears. One of the things I want to do is not only blog about how I get along with Paleo, but offer some sort of public service. Not sure what that looks like right now though. I just want to give to the online community as it has me during this transition.

Why No Comments?

Last thing for today…it has become increasingly clear to me, aside from my domain name issues, that although this blog has gained many subscribers (as show by FeedBurner stats), it hit me yesterday that no one ever leaves a comment. I get emails from people time to time asking questions, commenting on the site, etc. But no one leaves comments. Why? Let me know you exist! : )

Primal/Paleo Recipes

Guacamole Is As Paleo Low Carb Delightful As It Gets

The other night my wife and I went to this Mexican restaurant where they charged ridiculous prices for just okay food that was so tiny in portion size it was laughable. But the margaritas kicked ass. It was fun.

The one dish we had there that was really, really good was the freshly made guacamole. The waiter just made it tableside and I got to watch the process. I know it sounds stupid but I guess I never really thought to make it myself before, even though I love it, and I knew avocados were a superfood.

Tonight, I attended an excellent Paleo 101 seminar at the CrossFit box. It was taught by Laura Pappas, who really knows her stuff. She mentioned avocados a number of times and it got me to thinking that I have, especially since starting CrossFit, been struggling with my energy levels the day (or two) after a hard workout. I’ve been thinking it is the lack of carbs (you’d think I’d kno better) but I’m wondering if that old nemesis – not eating enough fat – is nipping me in the ass again. Not nearly as badly as last Summer, but enough to hold back my energy levels. Towards the end of the seminar I asked about pre/post-workout foods and she recommended sweet potatoes, which I’ll continue to do for really hard metcons. But I’m also going to make a concerted effort to just eat more fat. I haven’t shied away from dietary fat in a long time now, and should know by now that I need to consciously eat more of it, but I need to consciously eat plenty AND THEN SOME. And not just the bacon in the morning.

This stuff kicks ass.

Kerrygold Butter

One of the best tips I got from the seminar – Laura mentioned that some of the folks at the box love Kerrygold butter, a high-quality butter from grass-fed cows. I’d heard of it online but never thought my local Acme would have it so never bothered looking. Between that and the avocado talk making me think back to that Saturday night tableside Guacamole, I headed straight for the grocery store once the seminar was finished. And guess what I found, in plain sight, but had never noticed before? Kerrygold butter! And I must say, it tastes incredibly good. Noticeably better than any other butter. It’s $3.95 for the equivalent of about 3 sticks of regular packaged butter, but I don’t think that’s too high. I also picked up some avocados and other stuff to make the homemade guacamole (recipe below!). It’s probably silly to post a recipe for such a simple thing, but had any of the blogs I subscribe to posted it I likely might have tried it sooner, so here it goes.

Guacamole Recipe


  • 2 Ripe Avocados
  • 1 Tomato
  • 4 Small Cloves of Garlic
  • Sea Salt
  • Lime


  1. Dice the tomato.
  2. Cut up the garlic cloves into small bits (I just sliced them ala Pauly from Goodfellas while in jail)
  3. Cut each avocado lengthwise, separate the two halves, and then pluck out the big ass pit.
  4. Schuck (i.e, scoop out) the avocado (everything except the skin) with a big spoon. If the avocado is ripe then it should pop out pretty easily.
  5. I forgot to buy one but I recall the waiter at the restaurant squeezing a half a lime into the mix. I made mine without it and it was 98% there. The lime was missing, but not crucial.
  6. I don’t remember for sure but I think they put in some salt. I used sea salt.

That’s it. And no, you don’t pair it up with tortilla chips and Dos Equis like this guy. Eat it like a man – with a spoon. Straight.

I always eat guacamole and when I do, I avoid the fattening chips. And you should avoid the cervesa, punk!

Seriously thinking about doing a Whole30. Anyone want to give it a shot with me?

Daily Update

Recap of Beginning CrossFit, and Paleo Low Carb Weight Maintenance

This is more of an update on how I’m doing post, as it’s been a while.

Weight has gone up some since starting CrossFit. I’m around 195, up from 191. I would be concerned about that if it weren’t for the noticeable loss of body fat as well as the addition muscular definition and lean mass. That’s after just a couple of weeks of CrossFit, doing two WODs per week. I’ve surprisingly ‘leaned out’ pretty quickly – noticeably in my belly. My shoulders have toned up as well. I had some folks who haven’t seen me in a while come up to me recently and comment that my overall build has transitioned to more of an athletic one, versus just a ‘not fat anymore’ one.

But it’s not all been positive. I’ve struggled mightily with aches and pains. And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m concerned that during one of these WODs I’m gonna pop a tendon or dislocate a shoulder or something. After not doing anything physically active for the majority of my life to then, over the last year and a half doing the occasional medium-intensity/cardio stuff like orienteering, or running in that 5k, my body just isn’t able to cope yet with the rigors of a hardcore CrossFit routine. I think I’ve been too ambitious with regards to my approach to the WODs and activity outside of the WODs. My body was so sore and I just felt lethargic and shitty in-between WODs. That’s not cool. But the strained hamstrings, starting with just one and then the other, were the final straw. To the point where I had to take this past week off from CrossFit. I didn’t want to, believe me. Admittedly, my brain was telling me to lay off, but my ambition was telling me to push through and go, even though BOTH hamstrings were stinging and obviously strained. Fortunately, the decision was made for me as a relative asked me to help him work on remodeling his kitchen, so I took a couple of days off from work and spent them tearing up a combination tile (including concrete backerboard and old linoleum underneath) and hardwood floor. It was pretty arduous work. Then the family was off to Hershey Park for a couple of days (no, I didn’t eat much of the chocolate). Then back for another day of kitchen remodeling, this time removing 30+ year old wallpaper. Anyone that’s ever done that knows it absolutely sucks. But it wasn’t all that physically demanding compared to the other stuff. There was no way I could fit a WOD in this week even if my hamstrings weren’t yelling at me.

Yesterday I was tempted to go running or do some type of workout, but decided to take one more day to let the hamstrings heal. Plus, honestly, I was burnt out. So today I’m doing absolutely nothing, as evidenced by two blog posts in one day!

Tomorrow I’ll start back up again and do the WOD, and then tomorrow evening there is a nutritional seminar at the box. I’m pretty sure it will likely be an intro to Paleo, which I certainly don’t need, but I am the type that learns something no matter how many times I go to a class, listen to a topic, etc. Plus, I love meeting other people who geek out on this stuff like I do. I will have some questions regarding ‘fueling up’/post-workout recovery strategies, etc. But my guess is that the other participants will be completely new to paleo and thus I’ll step aside and let them ask the, “But don’t you need healthy whole grains for fiber?” and “Don’t you need to eat pasta or oatmeal before a 5k?” type questions.
So that’s where it’s at these days in regards to CrossFit and my weight. This coming week will be pivotal – I am hoping that this week will see a reduction in the time it takes to recover from the WODs. If not, I’ll question whether it is worth it. I am also going to start trying to think through the approach so that I’m not dying one round in anymore. I’m so weak and inflexible (physically!) compared to everyone else at the box that I have been reluctant to scale *too* much but I’m going to take it easier this week as much as is possible given the situation.
Lastly – I’ve secured a new domain name:
It makes sense. With the transition from fat guy to not fat guy to now athletic/CrossFitting guy (hopefully, eventually), I am squarely in the Paleo (really Primal, as I still do some dairy) camp and ultimately I think that’s where everyone should be aiming to be diet-wise. Not to take anything away from the pure low carb approach – it is absolutely essential to losing and maintaining weight loss and overall health. But, for me, food quality is now as important as carb counts.