Here we go again…

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Hi folks,

Do you remember back in March when I did a Paleo Challenge with my gym?  Well, I’m doing a new one with my new gym.  Because I’m stupid like that.  Also, they made it all official-like, with pre- and post-challenge measurements and benchmarks.  What can I say?  I’m a sucker for that measurable data.

Also, I really needed something to get me to eat better.  As usual, it’s not that my diet was inherently bad (I wasn’t living off Whataburger and Dunkin Doughnuts or anything), but that I was just being sloppy.  The admin at work had a giant jar of peanut butter filled pretzels, and hey, what’s four or five of those 6 or 7 times a day?  Probably around 500 calories.  When it comes to limiting snacks like that, my ability to refuse is very much all or nothing.  Either I’m going to eat as much of that crap as I want, or I’m not going to eat any of it.  But it’s really more fun to eat ALL the bad things.

I also figured that as long as I’m going to do this challenge, I might as well take advantage of it and get as much data as I can.  So I went and got a BodPod reading to measure my body composition.  I started the challenge at 221.3 lbs and 19.7% body fat. And for the benchmark WOD (see below), I got 2 rounds + 15 push-ups.

Paper Street Crossfit Paleo Challenge Benchmark WOD
20 minute AMRAP
400 m run
40 air squats
30 ab-mat sit-ups
20 push-ups
10 pull-ups

Got to love the air-squat/running combination.  Also, let me take this time to re-iterate how much I hate push-ups.

This challenge has been set up pretty thoroughly, with points earned for healthy eating, sleep, water consumed, supplements (provided by PurePharma), daily WOD plus a few extras.  For example, there is a weekly “Skill WOD” which can earn you an extra point.  Last week it was 50 burpees in less than 5 minutes (barf) and this week it was 2000 m row in less than 9 minutes (+2 if under 8).

Out of all of these, the sleep has been the hardest.  We go to the 5 am class, so we get up around 4:35, meaning that we have an 8:35 pm bedtime.  It’s really fun explaining that to your friends.  On the other hand, it’s been awesome actually getting enough sleep.  I don’t feel nearly as desperate on the weekend to log a few extra hours.

I look forward to seeing the results, and hopefully I will post a few good workouts or recipes here before it’s over.  Until next time.

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Don’t you just hate it when virtue has its rewards?

Howdy folks,

Back after another long break.  I’m really not very good at this whole blogging thing.  It’s been pretty rough with everything that’s been going on.  But since my project at work is now largely behind me, I should hopefully be able to spend a bit more time here.

As you might have read in the last post, I took part in a Paleo Food Challenge along with a bunch of people from Village Crossfit.  As I predicted, it wasn’t fun a lot of the time, but I have to say, I was pretty surprised at the results.

I’ll be honest, during that period, I was not very good about making working out a priority.  I was traveling a lot, and I didn’t get my act together to sign up again at Crossfit Mobile (partially because I started working a midnight-noon shift that didn’t jive real well with their class schedule).  Regardless, I should have done more.  However, I was pretty good about sticking to the diet rules.

I think I should probably take this opportunity to share my personal philosophy on paleo.  I figure I follow it about 90%.  I skip the processed food, the cereals, the grains, the dairy, etcetera.  However, I will still use a condiment like ketchup or mustard, and I don’t insist on organic, free range meat.  While I’d believe that eating grass-fed beef is probably better for you, I also would like to spend some of my free time NOT at the grocery store.  Also, when I would go out to eat (as I did a fair amount while working out-of-state), I just could not bring myself to be the guy asking the waitress if the salad dressing contained any canola oil.

Anyway, at the end of this challenge, despite the reduced gym schedule and less healthy food, I still lost 10 pounds.  I couldn’t believe it when I stepped on the scale.  And while I was happy to see that result, I was also a little disappointed.  I guess I was hoping that all this healthy eating was a load of hooey, and that it wouldn’t really make a difference.  Wrong.  Also, when I went on a little binge afterwards (burger, shake, queso, mmmm), my body let me know that it didn’t appreciate the sudden change.

paleo tree

Bonus poster my wife saw at her doctor’s office.  Intense!

So I think that from here on out, I’m going to try to maintain the paleo lifestyle 5-6 days a week.  I may have a beer after a rough Wednesday at work, and I might go to a Thursday happy hour, but I am going to try to maintain the gains I’ve realized.  And to keep me honest, I went and got a body composition test so I can check in a month or two to see if I can still improve.  I’m a huge nerd, so having numbers that I can through into a spreadsheet and create graphs is a huge bonus for me.  Oh, and I’ve also signed up for 5 days a week at the gym for the month of May.  I’m sure it’s gonna hurt, but let’s see where I end up June 1st.

Cheers!

 

This is not gonna be fun…

Today marks day one of a forty day paleo challenge.  I cannot express how excited I am.  Because I’m not.  My favorite food is pizza, and based on the prohibition of flour and cheese imposed by paleo, I can have a pile of pizza sauce with veggies.  Woohoo.

To be clear, while I plan on following the spirit of paleo, I am not going to follow it to the letter.  My meat will not be organic, grass-fed creatures who were hunted down with sharpened sticks.  Nor am I going to seek out condiments (think ketchup, mustard, etc) that contain nothing but organic veggies and the sweat of angels.  But I am going to avoid grains, dairy, sugar and as much processed food as possible.

I am doing this because while I am pretty good about staying active, my diet is lacking in discipline.  I love pasta, rice, cookies, cheese, pizza, milkshakes, fried food, etc…  Done well, it’s delicious (and let’s face it, mediocre pizza is still pretty good).  But I’ve wondered if I could get better gains if I paired working out (currently a mix of running and Crossfit) with a seriously planned diet.  There’s a certain amount of vanity here, I’ll admit.  I think of the statements “bodies are built in the kitchen, not the gym” and that “gains are 80% diet based” and the like, and while I don’t quite believe it, what’s the harm in looking into it.

A bunch of the other people at Village Crossfit have also bought into this challenge, so hopefully the group as a whole will help keep me honest.  Also, there’s the 1 mile run + 50 burpee penalty for cheating.  So here’s hoping I’ll see some results in April.