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Fitness and Geek-ness; Not Mutually Exclusive

24 Apr

I’m a geek. I sometimes hate to admit it, but it is, unfortunately, the case. When I was younger, it was painfully obvious. I was tall and ridiculously skinny with a pimply face and bad hair. I played in the marching band and did math league. I mean, seriously, I don’t think it gets any more geek than that. Sports were not even a consideration. My mom will tell you I “played” soccer in like second grade and I wandered around the field staring at the sky. The only part of being fit that I worried about was being “fit into my own locker” by someone much larger than me. I finished high school in the top 10 percent of my class and went off to RIT on a partial academic scholarship, where I failed to apply myself and eventually left for a variety of reasons after a couple years. At some point between graduating from high school and leaving college, I filled out a bit. Meaning, I got bigger and broader shouldered but not really fatter. At 21 I started working at the ambulance and I had a partner who was a few years older and was getting chunkier by the day. I loved to bust Scott’s stones and remind him how fat he was. He told me to wait until I was 25 – everything changes when you hit 25. Now mind you, at this point in my life, I don’t exercise, I eat whatever I want and I never gain an ounce. Life was good. At 24 I got hired as a firefighter. I knew I would need to be fit in better shape for the academy, so I came as close as I have ever come to a fitness “routine” and by the time I finished the academy I was 6’2″, 216 pounds and probably as fit as I had ever been in terms of endurance and strength. Now mind you – this should not impress you – but it makes the point of where I was in life. 3 years later, I went for my physical for work and I was 27 years old and 246 pounds. 30 pounds in 3 years – so that’s what Scott was talking about. Everything waxed and waned from there. Up and down in weight, fitter, fatter, diets, eating binges, but one thing remained consistent – I was horribly inconsistent.

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The Cube Steak Journey

4 Apr

One of my fondest memories of my childhood is my Mom’s cube steaks. Her recipe went something like this:

  1. Place cube steaks in electric frying pan with onion soup mix and some water.
  2. Cook forever or until the texture is similar to that of shoe leather.
  3. Serve weekly to children.

Now, I love my Mom, and although if I needed help with my math homework growing up I found Dad, her cooking didn’t generally fail us. She taught me how to cook and how to bake, and I am a better man for that. Side note – for all the people that I pissed off because you think those last 2 sentences were sexist – that’s not what I am getting at. She just sucked at math, and we have always enjoyed reminding her about it. No, seriously, I could write a whole blog post about how long to cook a 9 pound ham.

The point is this: I’ve spent the better part of my adult life avoiding ever having to eat another cube steak. And until today – I was successful. Continue reading

The Cashout

30 Mar

Well folks, the big day is here. We won’t find out who won until Melissa tallies all the numbers, but our final measurements and the WOD were this morning. So, here it is:

The Before Measurements

Weight: 256 lbs
Body fat %: 30.2

The After Measurements

Weight: 237 lbs
Body fat %: 19.8

The Workout Results

Strength: Max effort pull-ups
Results Before: 8 kipping pull-ups, Rx
Results After 18 kipping pull-ups, Rx

MetCon: For time, 12-9-6 reps each of

  • 70# KB swings
  • 115# clusters
  • Burpee Box Jumps 24″

With a 12 minute time cap
Results Before: 11:01 Rx
Results After: 8:59 Rx

So, to recap my goals I set before:

Goals for the end: 12+ pull-ups, metcon time under 10 mins, weight under 240, body fat under 28% as a minimum, but hopefully at/under 25%.

To say the least, I’m pretty freakin’ happy overall. I exceeded every goal. I also lost 4 inches off my belly. All in 6 weeks.

Moving Forward:

This challenge has certainly delivered some amazing results. So the question becomes, where to go from here. There’s no question that there are certain parts that really sort of made me miserable, but overall I can’t argue with the outcome and I definitely don’t want to undo what I’ve accomplished. So, I think to start I’m going to add a few things back in to my diet and really make an effort to stay the course as much as possible. I’ll watch closely and see what happens, and maybe I will even keep posting here.

All that said, I’m totally crushing some buffalo chicken mac and cheese tomorrow.

Where have I been for 23 days?

26 Mar

Wow, it doesn’t seem like its been 3 weeks since I posted last.

I’ll be honest – I’ve been really busy with a project for work, and every time I thought about writing, I was too lazy. I was also kinda miserable about this food thing. You know how I said it wasn’t that hard. Well it wasn’t, but I really wasn’t enjoying life for a couple weeks there. Don’t get me wrong, I was still eating Paleo most of the time (except for my stomach bug days – there’s nothing paleo that makes your gut feel better witha stomach bug), but I was pretty grumpy. See, I love food. No really, I LOVE to eat. All kinds of things. I try to live by the 90% rule – Good food choices, 90% of the time. So, by weeks three and four, I was really missing that 10%. Like Sean’s blue cheese augratin potatoes, and greek yogurt, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every now and then. Continue reading

Don’t you DARE put that bar down…

3 Mar

Wow!  This week has been crazy. I just realized I haven’t written anything here in a week. All my loyal readers are going to be disappointed. So, I appologize to both of them.

So, I started this blog as an outlet, expecting to need a place to vent about my struggles. The truth is (and I know those of you struggling to “stay on the wagon” don’t want to hear this) the first couple weeks haven’t been too bad. I ate pretty well before, and I think that helped. Don’t get me wrong, I still ate a fair amount of crap, but I tried to do so in moderation. Point being, the stuff I can eat that’s paleo was the core of many of my meals before. So, it’s just been a matter of cutting out the extra crappy food.

So, today I had to take a point off for the first time. I’m tired, and Sean was making Sunday sauce for dinner. I didn’t have the energy to fix something else. He uses a little sugar in the sauce, and he uses italian sausage that has sugar in it as well. So – I took the hit on the sugar point and had my sunday sauce (over spaghetti squash). I also had to forgo the meatballs – because that would have been 2 more points (grain for the breadcrumbs and dairy for the cheese he put in them). The upside would have been that I could have eaten a half a loaf of garlic bread like I wanted to. Oh, and I so wanted to today. But, I resisted. Here’s what I did instead. I found a lone chocolate candy floating around. Who knows where it has been. It was sitting on the file cabinets in my office at work. It’s gone now – if I’m gonna lose the point over sugar in the sauce, I might as well make it worth while. I do think its probably a good thing that there wasn’t a whole bag of those chocolates here.

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The Bacon

24 Feb

I really need to stop with the bacon. Seriously, I have had bacon every day this week in something. I’m not going to lose any weight eating bacon. Let me go weigh myself, hold on, I’ll be back… Continue reading

Just Try It

23 Feb

Tonight was open gym and our first paleo potluck. I tried some awesome food, too many to list them all here, but my favorites were Meg Bell’s curry beef and eggplant and Holly’s banana pumpkin cookies. I don’t usually like curry, but i gave it a try and i was glad i did – I even went back for more. Awesome work by everyone though, I didn’t find anything that wasn’t tasty. My dish was seafood gumbo and it was, if I do say so myself, fantastic. I surprised myself with how well it turned out, I had never made gumbo before, but I figured I’d give it a shot. I’ll post the recipe tomorrow in case you want to try it.

This week has been funny. Most of the people I know are aware in some form of my relatively newfound enjoyment of CrossFit and of this little paleo challenge. Some are very supportive, especially friends and family. It gets discussed, and I try not to be that guy that talks about it all the time, but sometimes you feel like you have to give a reason why your declining that cookie or donut someone is offering you. What interesting is that I don’t judge others for what they do ( or more often, don’t do) about their health and fitness, but yet the same is not always true in reverse. Continue reading