Tuesday, November 06, 2018

I Hurt My Back


October was not a great month for my fitness.

On Monday the 8th I was doing a very light pushing exercise when my entire lower back locked up on me. It was the worst back pain I have ever experienced. I ended up spending the entire next day home from work laying on the floor essentially unable to move. The pain was so bad I needed to army crawl around my house, pulling myself with my arms and dragging my body on the floor behind me. Standing up to use the bathroom was excruciating.

This led to me visiting the chiropractor for the first time in around fifteen years. Not surprisingly the muscles in my back are all messed up. Another big thing I learned is that my hips are out of alignment. The chiropractor is working to try and balance me out and get my hips squared back up. It is a process.

Over the next couple weeks the back pain got a little better but I developed a pinched sciatica nerve. I've heard that can be a real problem for pregnant women but I'd never experienced it before. The pain started in my left butt cheek and went all the down my left leg. I could barely get in and out of the car and couldn't put any pressure on my leg when I walked. The people in my office enjoyed giving me a hard time as I limped around dragging my left leg behind me. "The CrossFit guy can't even walk."

Three weeks out from the initial back injury the nerve pain has subsided but I still have a pretty bad cramp in my left calf muscle. I think this came from not walking normally for so long. I've been able to workout a little again but I still have a bit of a limp, especially in the morning after I wake up.

Being hurt has not been fun at all. I missed working out and spending time with my friends from CrossFit Skopos. One thing that I didn't anticipate was how my enthusiasm for living a healthy lifestyle would decline when I couldn't work out. It seemed like the more workouts I missed, the easier it was to make terrible eating and sleeping decisions. There is definitely a connection, and when that major cog was removed the rest of the healthy lifestyle machinery lost power.

I'm looking forward to fully recovering and ramping things back up again in November.

*People have asked if I got hurt at CrossFit. The truth is that yes the injury occurred during a CrossFit workout. But I want to stress - I did not get hurt because of CrossFit. I got hurt because I was using my body and my body brokedown.  That simple. I could have gotten hurt carrying a box or walking up stairs of moving furniture around my home. My CrossFit box has the best coaches and they take every precaution to keep people safe and injury free. This was simply a freak thing and as soon as I can I will be back 100% to Skopos chasing my fitness goals.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Facing Fear



Fear.

We all deal with it at some level. We have fears about our jobs, fears about loved ones, fear about our health and our future.

When I was a kid I used to be afraid of the dark. Specifically the dark shadows behind my Dad’s workshop. Many times, when the winter season took the sunlight away early in the afternoon, I had to walk the bag of trash from inside the house to the can behind the workshop. I was terrified during that task.

Fear can be paralyzing. It gets in your head and instead of facing the fear and overcoming it, you dwell on, stuck in the quicksand of your mind, until you suffocate on your feelings. Fear can have that kind of control on a person. It can prevent you from moving forward. It holds you hostage.

The thing about fear though is that the only power it has is the power you give it. Fear is an internal force, not an external one.  We give fear control when we allow it in our minds. That is why it is so important to take our feelings in our hands and have mastery over them.

Last night, at around six pm, my IPhone alerted me of an incoming severe storm with the possibility of a tornado. My 12 year old son immediately let his mind switch into fear mode, which escalated to panic mode very quickly. The storm wasn’t expected for fifty minutes, and he spent all fifty of them worried, dwelling on what could happen and being afraid.

The initial feeling of fear we have isn’t a bad thing. It is instinctual, alerting our body to possible danger. It can have the positive effect of preparing us for action. The key thing is to harness that initial response, inspect if for what steps we should take, and then put those steps into practice. If you fear a lion coming to eat you, you better allow that fear to start you running from that lion. What isn’t helpful is allowing the fear to handcuff you to the point of inaction.

After the storm passed I talked to my son about his fear. I explained that he doesn’t need to be afraid of “what ifs.” We talked about the importance of moving past our fear feelings and developing an attitude of strength and courage. I want him to grow up knowing he doesn’t need to be controlled by fear, and that instead he can leverage his fears to do great things in response to what frightens him. The worst thing we be missing out on the beauty beyond the dark horizon because his feet at stuck on the fear sand.

What fears are you facing? Are they holding you down, suffocating you? Or are you taking steps forward despite your initial feelings?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Injury Update: Hernia Surgery Successful

One week ago, on Tuesday June 5, I underwent laparoscopic right inguinal hernia surgery.


I was scheduled to be at the hospital at 6:30am to prepare for the surgery. Knowing that it would be weeks of recovery until I could CrossFit again, I went to the 5:30am Skopos class to get in one final workout before the surgery. It was a great WOD (workout of the day) and seeing all my morning crew friends put me in a good pre-surgery frame of mind.


When I got to the hospital one of the first faces I saw was Kim's. She is a surgery nurse there and she goes to Skopos with me. It was great to see her! I got all checked in and began surgery prep. I had a really nice nurse who made sure I was ready to roll. While waiting for the surgeon I saw another surgeon I knew walking outside my room. Dr. Clint is another Skopos friend! He came in my room to say hi and make sure I was feeling ok about the upcoming procedure.


Surgery was scheduled for 7:30am and I think they wheeled me in about 7:45. All I remember is talking with a nurse about my tattoos while they wrapped my arms and legs, then telling the anesthesiologist that I had 3 kids and what their ages and sex were. Next thing I knew I was awake back in my original room. I think it was just after 9am. The surgeon came by a little while later and let me know everything went great.


My surgeon was Dr. Fulco. He did my previous hernia repair (August 2012) and I really like him. He has a kind spirit and good approach with me as a patient. After some more recovery and observation I was wheeled out the door and pick up by Pastor Jeff W at 10:45am.

My first week of recovery has gone really well. I honestly haven't had a lot of pain to deal with. Most people are surprised to see me doing so well. Tuesday and Wednesday were the worst, but by the weekend I felt like I was moving pretty good. I even made it by the CrossFit box Thursday, Friday and Sunday to say hello to people. Sitting at home all day Tuesday and Wednesday got pretty boring so I needed to get out.

At home last week I basically just iced and binged on Netflix and Red Sox baseball games.

Netflix watched while resting...
'Shooter' all 8 episodes of season 2
'The Place Beyond the Pines'
'Icarus'
'4 Minute Mile'
'In Defense of Food'
'Dexter' season 6, episodes 1-7
'Thor: Ragnarok'
'Doctor Strange'

Even though I'm back to work now, I'm doing my very best to resist the urge to "push it." It is hard to just sit and relax, or to depend on other people to do things. Because I haven't had much pain I've been able to move around quite a bit, but I don't want to mistake that freedom to mean that everything is healed. I want to push and carry and move things but I can't yet. I'm going to try and take it easy another week and see how things feel then before I pick up the activity pace too much. Better to go slow now than have a setback later.

Plus, everything is better when friends bring you Culver's Snickers concrete mixers.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Injury Update: Hernia Surgery Scheduled


I've been dealing with an inguinal hernia since March 10. Not so much fun constantly having to push your intestines back inside where they belong. It happened during the second week of the CrossFit Open. I wanted to finish all five weeks, plus I had the Sabertooth CrossFit Lifto De Mayo competition in May that I wanted to compete in, so I delayed saying anything to anyone. I finally saw a doctor the week before the competition and he confirmed the hernia. The following week I saw the surgeon and planned the surgery for June 5th. I wanted to wait until after Memorial Day so that I could do the Hero WOD "Murph" with the rest of my CrossFit Skopos family. The surgeon said there wasn't a high risk of further injury so he was ok waiting.

I'm thankful that the hernia hasn't completely hampered my ability to workout but I'm looking forward to having it repaired and being able to go 100% again. Even though I can still do most of the movements in my workouts, having an injury in the back of my mind has limited my ability to do everything I want to do. Plus it's annoying having to push the hernia back into place multiple times per day.

I had a hernia repaired about five years ago. It was also an inguinal hernia but it was on the other side. I'm not worried about the surgery. The thing that makes me the most nervous is the recovery time and how I will mentally manage not being able to workout. It will be 3-4 weeks before I can do much, and probably not until August until I'll be fully recovered to workout hard again. This is a very long time for someone who does CrossFit 5-6 times per week. I've worked really hard to get to where I am in terms of strength, endurance and body composition and I'm nervous about the potential setbacks in all those areas.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Lifto de Mayo - CrossFit Competition Recap

Last weekend I competed at the CrossFit Sabertooth Lifto de Mayo event in Minneapolis. I competed in the scaled division with Sean, a friend and coach from CrossFit Skopos.


Lifto de Mayo was a two day event, with one unannounced event on Friday and 3 events + an unannounced final on Saturday. The weather could not have been more perfect for both days of competition.I thought it was really fun to have a couple of the events take place outside in the sun.

When the Friday night was announced my first thought was "this could not have been more perfect for me." My coach had to remind me to chill out because I was so hyper and I still had a couple hours before my heat would start. I love long cardio events and this was definitely one of those.

Here's a run down of Event #1 - Legs and Lungs.
2 rounds for time, with a 16 minute cap:
1 round was.... 
30 Partner Log Thrusters (40# log)
Pr #1 runs 250m
Pr #2 15 log over burpees 
then... 
Pr #1 completes the burpees
Pr #2 completes the run 
then...
Pr #1 runs 250m again
Pr #2 30 log lunges 
then...
Pr #1 completes the lunges
Pr #2 completes the run
Sean and I crushed this one in 9:09. We finished #2 out of twenty teams, only 5 seconds out of first place. I went home excited about our start and anticipating a great Saturday.














Our first event on Saturday was also outside. The ladies scaled teams were doing Event #2 inside so we started the day with event three. It was another cardio-biased WOD that consisted of rowing, jump roping and sandbag cleans. Here's the breakdown.

Event #3 -Bag Blitz.
For time, with a 14 minute cap:
Row 2,000m
then....
2 rounds of:
150 single unders
16 sandbag cleans 100#
Sean and I had practiced this one and we had a solid plan going in. We modified the plan slightly and did more individual sandbag cleans before tagging out. We ended up breaking up each round by doing 8 unbroken cleans each. This seemed to be a good strategy because we took second place in this event also, finishing in 10:26, only :26 seconds behind the leaders.


Our next event took place inside the building. Even though we had tested this workout a few weeks before Lifo de Mayo I had some fear over it. The workout was a lot of snatches and clusters and after watching some of the other teams I wasn't sure how well I would do.

Event #2 - Snatch Attack 2.0 / Clusterfun
For time, with a 7 minute cap: 
21 Snatches 95
15 pull ups
15 snatches 105
12 pull ups
9 Snatches 115
9 pull ups
When the 7 minute cap hits, there will be a one minute rest, after which all teams will proceed to the next workout. 
For time, with a 6 minute cap 
5-10-15 Clusters, each team mate
Ascending weight: 115/105/95
A highlight of this workout for me was looking at the crowd during my first set of snatches and seeing my brother Jeff and his family there watching. I didn't expect them to come and it was a really cool surprise. Another highlight was having another team come over to Sean and I inbetween snatches and clusters checking our time because they were trying so hard to beat us.

Things went better than I thought they would. Sean and I finished in 3:40 and took second place in the snatches portion of the event (by only 1 second), and we took third in the clusters (04:52).



This left us sitting in first place heading into the final event. Our legs were pretty tired and we got a little concerned when they started setting up Air Assault Bikes on the competition floor. Not too long after the announced the final event (top 4 teams competing for the championship).

Event #5 - Final

1 round, per partner, for time... 
30 cal Bike
10 bar over burpees
10 Deadlifts (205#)
3 lengths sandbag carry 100#

I had an idea that we'd do pretty well at this, but I had no idea how incredible we'd do. We decided that Sean would go first. It ended up being a great decision because Sean absolutely crushed it! He was done with 30 bike cals before anyone else even reached 15! I had such a large lead the only thing stopping us from winning was me falling down and breaking something. I couldn't believe what a job Sean did, almost single handedly guaranteeing us the title.


I had a great time at Lfto de Mayo. Once again the Skopos community came out in support! There were three other Skopos teams competing and everyone did a fantastic job. Our coaches at Skopos prepared us really well and I was comfortable handing all the Lifto event movements thanks to their preparation.

I was also impressed with the CrossFit Sabertooth facility and volunteers. The event ran really smooth, the box was laid out perfectly for what we did, and everything flowed from start to finish. Great word Sabertooth and thanks for hosting this competition.




Friday, March 30, 2018

Up North: Spring Break 2018

Many Minnesotan families plan their spring break trips somewhere south where they can enjoy the sun and warmer weather. This year, however, the kids and I took a trip north and spent two days enjoying time with my parents in Emily, MN and a few days in Duluth, MN. The weather turned out to be beautiful and we had a great time making memories together.

Saturday
We left Saturday afternoon. To break up the trip and grab a few supplies we stopped at the Walmart in Elk River. I needed a couple tail lights and decided at the last second to get a couple new windshield wipers as well. This turned out to be a very good decision. We of course stopped at the McDonald's in Garrison for a snack and snapped a picture of the giant deer in Deerwood. As we drove we saw a few real deer eating along the road. Traffic was no problem and we arrived at the cabin in time for dinner. The rest of the evening included relaxing by playing games, watching the MN Wild game and Andrew saying over and over again, "Papa look at this..." Isabelle and Andrew both really enjoy the cabin and Andrew in particular loves being around his Papa.


Sunday
We attended my parents' church Emily Wesleyan Church. My mom plays the piano during the service. She has played my entire life and it is nice to see her serving the Lord with his gifts. After church Andrew and I spent some time shooting his BB gun at a target outside. Then after lunch we drove down to Crosby and went bowling. Jake bet me my $10 v his 2 months of trash and recycling duty that he could beat me. I am looking forward to not handling recycling until June. My dad ended up bowling at the last minute and he beat me twice. I wasn't expecting that! After bowling we went to Zorbaz on the Lake in Cross Lake for dinner. The kids were all requesting this on the way up to the cabin. The nachos and pizza were worth the drive. The day concluded with a few epic games of Uno and some TV. Izzy and Nana baked some yummy chocolate chip cookies.

Other weekend activities including playing Stratego, snow shoeing, some card stamping and a game of Mexican Train dominoes.


Monday
There was quite a bit of snow falling in Emily as we left after breakfast. Not far away from the cabin I tried to snap some ice of the wiper blades and the blade broke. Thank the Lord I had new wipers in the trunk. I installed them on the side of the room as was extremely grateful for much improved visibility as we drove the next hour and a half in snowy/icy conditions. We grabbed Subway for lunch in Hermantown and stopped top watch a movie. Isabelle and Andrew wanted to watch Sherlock Gnomes, but Jake and I wanted to watch Black Panther. Black Panther is was and I really liked it. Not my favorite Marvel movie but it was good. The split over the movie choice was consistent with how it went with the kids all weekend. Seemed like there was always at least one dissenter from the group choice.

Before checking into the hotel we went into Duluth to Adventure Zone. We all had a lot of fun playing arcade games, laser tag and mini golf. Jake found a claw machine game and won 3 mini basketballs. Andrew didn't like the laser tag but the two bigs and I had a great times running around pretending to shoot each other with lasers. Mini golf went as smoothly as it ever has with my kids. Dad took home the 'green jacket' on the nine holes we putted through.




We made it to the Edgewater Resort around 6:30. I asked at the front desk if there was any free room upgrades available and they gave us a room in the main building not far from the pool. The kids were happy about having a large room with two TVs so they could watch different programs. We ate and headed down to the pool about 7:30 and swam until around 9. The water park is nice but my kids are all starting to get a little too old for this sort of thing. They didn't go down the waterslide much and mostly just cruised around the lazy river trying to slip each other out of the tubes. After swimming I used my two-for-one drink token and before I could drink the other one Jake spilled it all over the floor trying to wrestle with me on the bed.

Tuesday
Woke up excited about the Tiki Tom breakfast buffet but none of us were very impressed with the quality or variety of the food. Andrew and I decided to swim a little more before checking out of the hotel. Our next activity was touring the Glensheen Mansion. Andrew was very excited for this and I let him use my phone to take pictures as we did the tour. All the kids did great listening to out tour guide and we had a good time exploring the mansion and mansion grounds.


After the tour we drove to Two Harbors. I wanted to stop by Castle Danger Brewery. We bought food and went to the brewery for lunch. It's a cool place and we had fun playing Cranium together and eating there. Then we got back into the car and drove to Gooseberry Falls. This was a highlight for us all from the trip. It was a great time hiking the trails and climbing rocks around the Falls. All three kids enjoyed it even more than I thought they would and we'd all like to come back in the summer when things are drier. It was pretty snowy and slushy and icy. I was worried I was going to run out of gas on the way back to Duluth but we made it with about a 1/2 gallon of gas to spare.


Our hotel for our second night in Duluth was Park Pointe Marina Inn. This was a more basic hotel but it was nice for our needs. Jake was tired after we checked in so he stayed behind while Izzy, Andrew and I walked around Canal Park and did some shopping. Andrew had a ridiculous amount of trouble finding something he wanted but Izzy found a really cute Patagonia hat. We stopped at Hoops Brewing and had a pretzel and beer for a snack. While we hung out there we played a little Jenga and Yahtzee. Super cool brewery with tons of open space and games for people to play.


For dinner we picked up Jake and went to Grandma's Saloon and Grill. Then we went back to the hotel to swim   in the pool and hang out in the sauna. My kids don't like the hot sauna but I was loving it! Then we were going to get a late night snack at the Canal Park Brewery. Their website said 1/2 apps from 9-11pm, but when we got there at 10pm the bartender told me the kitchen was closed. That was a bummer and all we got was some cheese dip, salsa and chips. When we got back to our room our TV didn't work and it took someone from the front desk about  twenty minutes to get it fixed.

Wednesday
We didn't have too much planned for our last day together. I got up early and went for a couple miles jog across the Aerial Lift Bridge and around Canal Park. The cool crisp air off Lake Superior felt very refreshing as I ran. After breakfast we lounged around until our 10:30 checkout time. Then we went back to Canal Park and Jake picked out a Patagonia hat for himself. Andrew was still paralyzed by choice and couldn't decide on anything. We grabbed a treat at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate store and headed to our final activities of the week. Jake found a really cook trampoline park in Duluth called Plan3t Extreme Air Park. The kids had a blast jumping around for an hour and a half. Then we drove home, stopping at Coldstone Creamery in Blaine for our final treat.


I had such a great time with the kids. I saw each of their unique personalities, their smiles, their laughter, their delight. I listened to Izzy and Andrew reading the Action Bible together in the car, we talked about our favorite things, we asked each other questions, we wrestled and tickled, we explored, we tried new things, we sang songs, we found fun in little things. I watched my kids play together and help each and love each other. I felt the loves of my parents and saw their happiness in spending time with me and their grandkids. It was a wonderful fives days toegther.


Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Recap CrossFit Open 18.2 and 18.2a

Now that I've had a few days to recover I can say that I absolutely loved the CrossFit Games Open workouts 18.2 and 18.2a. I heard the live announcement while I was driving to Skopos on Thursday night and I was absolutely pumped! My kids probably thought I was nuts at how excited I was. I'm guessing I walked into Skopos with just a ridiculous smile on my face.

Here is what the WODS were...

18.2
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 reps for time of:
Dumbbell squats (50lb DB)
Bar-facing burpees

18.2a 
1-rep-max clean
Time cap: 12 minutes to complete 18.2 AND 18.2a

The things I was most excited about were the burpees (for time) and the clean. I knew the DB squats would be the hardest part for me. I figured my clean max would be average, so my immediate plan was to attack the burpees hard. This was another WOD were I would be able to utilize my cardio to give me an advantage over most other competitors. I then planned to rest a couple minutes before I started doing cleans.

My goals before the WOD were 7:30 for the squats/burpees and 245lbs for the clean.

I was super happy with how the WOD went. I focused on consistent speed and good depth on my squats to avoid wasting any energy with possible no reps. I never stopped on the burpees and utilized a 90 degree spin on my bar-overs to put me in position to do the next burpee. I beat my squat/burpee goal and finished in 7:06.

For the cleans I started at a heavy, but doable 185lbs. Then I did 205 and 225 pretty easily as power cleans. I was thinking 245 next but my coach said to do 235 then rest and take an attempt at 245. It was a good call. I hit the 235 clean and had three tries at 245lbs. Unfortunately I think I was just too fatigued at that point and I wasn't able to get my elbows under it. Still, I ended up with a 10# PR on the 1-re-max-clean. That's awesome.

As always, Friday Night Lights provided a super fun atmosphere. There were so many amazing performances and people hitting PRs all over the box. It is so cool to be part of such a supportive and encouraging community of people. Seeing the looks on people's aces when they lift things they never thought they could, or when they just grind to get back and forth over the bar, never gets old.

I can't wait for 18.3

Let's go.





Monday, February 26, 2018

Recap CrossFit Open 2018 - 18.1

Last year I was 2-3 weeks into CrossFit during the time of the CrossFit Games Open. I had some different travel plans and I knew I would miss two of the Friday Night Lights events at CrossFit Skopos so I didn't officially sign up. I did a few of the workouts during Open Gym times but I was kicking myself afterwards when I saw how exciting it was for everyone who was officially registered at our box. There was no way I was missing out on it this year.

Now that 18.1 is in the books I can say that I couldn't be happier with it as the opening WOD and with my performance. It was super fun to do the WOD alongside all my friends at Skopos. Cheering other people on and seeing our little fitness community take on 18.1 together is what CrossFit is all about. I can't wait for the next four weeks!

Here's a break down of the 18.1 workout...

CrossFit Open 18.1

20 Min AMRAP of
8 toes-to-bars
10 dumbbell hang clean and jerks 50/35 lbs
14 / 12-cal. row


I found the following scoring chart interesting. It comes from a site called WOD Time Calculator.

Good score to beat for 18.1 RX
Good score to beat for
Beginner athlete: 5 rounds and 13reps (Top 80%)
Average athlete: 8 rounds and 4reps (Top 20-50%)
Advanced athlete: 10 rounds and 26reps (Top 5%)
Elite athlete: 13 rounds and 17reps (Top 1%)
Regional athlete: 14 rounds and 20reps (Top 0.01%)
Scale if slower than: 3 rounds and 25 reps

My score: 322 reps (10 rounds and 2 reps)

I was very excited when the WOD was released on Thursday night. So excited, actually, that I woke up at 4:30 AM on Friday morning thinking about it. I knew there was potential for me to do well on such a long workout but I was also worried about how my shoulders would respond to the DB Hang Clean and Jerks. Plus, as much as my TTB have improved, doing 8 of them over and over again was a little daunting.

I told my judge that my plan was to break up the TTB into sets of four. I also planned to keep each round at 2 minutes or less. Well, that plan was blown up in round one. I felt so good on the TTB that I didn't break them until I got a no rep in round 10! As for pacing myself, I came out pretty hot on the rower and ended up doing the first four rounds at around a 1:45 pace. At one point I looked over at my coach and said, "I'm going way too fast!" My rower time eventually came down to a more manageable pace and I just continued to push it through until the end.

I'm really looking forward to the next four weeks of the Open. Not just for the release of the WODs, but even more so, I'm looking forward to watching the other members at Skopos push themselves and accomplish things they didn't think they could. This is the coolest part of the Open - CrossFit communities all around the world coming together to encourage, support, and cheer one another on!

So...

18.2...

bring it on. 

Let's go!

** My 11 year old son Andrew came along to eat the potluck and be my photographer. No idea why these are so grainy, but at least he got some cool photo sequences.


















Tuesday, February 20, 2018

You Got This!

Add caption

You are capable of more than you think.

Do you know that? Do you believe that?

One of things I love about CrossFit is that I have the opportunity to see myself and others do more than we believed we could in almost every workout we do at CrossFit Skopos.

+ I see the WOD (workout of the day) and think I can never accomplish that...and then I do.
+ I see someone stare at a 30" box and come up with all kinds of reasons to delay trying the jump...and then they land it.
+ I see someone physically beat, hands at their side, 10 reps to go before the time cap...and then they complete it.
+ I see myself try and try to accomplish a skill...and then I do it.
+ I see someone who has not been able to squat for a long time...and then they do it.
+ I see someone jump rope and trip over and over again...and then they double under for the first time.

It is easy to have a negative mindset.
It is easy to think "I can't" rather then "I can."
It is easy to stop short instead of pushing through the pain to the other side.

But that isn't where the self-discovery and the exhilaration are found.

I never thought I would run a marathon, now I've run two. I never thought I would complete the swim portion of a triathlon, now I've done both 1/4 mile and 1/2 swims. I never thought I would do a HSPU (handstand push-up) and now I can do them in multiple sets.

Don't sell yourself short. Don't look for reasons why you can't do it.

Go big!

The CrossFit Games Open starts this Friday. It will be tough. It will be scary. It will be awesome.

I cannot wait to participate with the members of my Skopos fitness family. It will be so fun to see the smiles on people's faces when they accomplish things they never thought they could do.

Believe.

You got this.

Let's go!



Monday, February 19, 2018

Observations After Two Weeks of Clean Eating


I'm starting off week number three of my current diet plan. 

Here are some things I have noticed during the first couple weeks...

I eat, a lot. Way more than I thought I would. One co-worker said to another one, "He basically just eats all day long." That's how I feel sometimes.

When I'm not eating, I am usually peeing. Drinking 120 oz of water a day has me going to the bathroom often. Some people say your body adjusts to it but so far I haven't noticed that. The biggest change with the water intake is that the first week I forced myself to drink that much, now it is much easier. 

Being on an eating routine at work is much easier than at home on the weekends. At work I eat at almost the same time every day. 8am/10am/1pm/3pm. I like this. The busyness and running around that happens on the weekends makes keeping to an eating schedule more difficult.

Using packaging containers has been really helpful. Being able to cook, portion and pack everything a day or two before makes it really easy to eat without having to worry about overeating or eating the wrong things. When it's time you simply eat what you have already planned out.

Weekends are the greatest temptations to eat snacks and other things off the plan. I have to be super careful and disciplined during these times. I miss pizza the most. And beer.

One fun part of this experiment is that I am learning how to cook a more diverse range of healthy foods. I have made egg pancakes, baked buffalo cauliflower and sweet potato pancakes to name a few things. I am also adding more vegetables to my diet, including jicama, brussel sprouts and beets. Not only does this increase my nutrient and vitamin intake but it also helps keep things broken up so I don't get bored eating any one specific food.

The added bonus to all this is that after just two weeks I am losing weight. After week one I went from 213 to 209. Last Friday I weighed myself again and I'm down to 205. That's pretty exciting. Equally exciting is that I have not felt like I am losing and strength or workout capacity. More simply put, my food intake is supporting my exercise level and muscle development/recovery.    

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Meal Planning and Prep is the Plan

I have been working hard to step up my diet for the last few weeks. Despite all my work in the gym and the strength gains I have made, I still have too much belly fat and it's time for it to go away.

A big piece of the process for me right now is meal planning and meal prep. I have been trying to make simple meals packed with protein and vegetables, mixing in some starches, fruits and healthy fats. It's a strategy many people in the CrossFit world follow, advocated by the originator of CrossFit.


Using some nice food storage trays that I found at my office has made the process super simple. And I've found it is actually a lot of fun spending time in the kitchen putting things together.

I like to go to the store multiple times a week, grabbing a few different things each time and prepping a couple days worth of food. This seems to keep the routine fresh, giving me the chance to eat a lot different things, while minimizing the amount of prep time that is necessary each day. It also means the food stays fresher. Thirdly, I can watch for deals on different meat and produce items which helps me to control costs.

One thing that has surprised me is I am eating way more food than I thought, without the guilt of consuming empty calories, carbs and sugars. I've divided things up into 5 meals a day and I love how the eating is more staggered and doesn't send me into long periods of time where I feel hungry and am then tempted to eat something without the nutritional value I want.