Category Archives: fitness

Today is Day 1

For those who don’t  know, Whole 30 is a 30-day plan of cutting out all junk from your diet. The details are at For 30 days eat no wheat, dairy, alcohol, or added sweeteners of any kind. Eat real food. That means meat, eggs, vegetables, good fats, and some fruit.

I have a few friends who are doing this or who recently finished it. You can read about their experiences at Reepicheeps’ Coracle and 3 Ring Binder.  I have a few reasons of my own for wanting do do something like this. I realized about 2 months ago that I have gained about 20 lb. over the summer, and I wanted to get rid of it. About that time I also came down with a case of bronchitis that has taken almost 2 months to clear up. I was diagnosed with milk allergies at the age of 11, and feels like the allergy is coming back to haunt me.

A longer-term reason is the fact that I have gained about 60 pounds in the 20+ years since graduating from college. Most of that came in the past 10 years, when I no longer had to meet Navy weight standards. Even discovering Crossfit 3 years ago, and learning about the benefits of healthy fats and less junk in my diet, has not led to losing weight. I snack too much and I’m willing to have “cheat” meals far too often.

I sort of followed Whole 30 last week from  Monday through Friday, but I wasn’t really being committed to it. I cheated this weekend with wine and cheese on Friday, and a few beers last night. So I’m starting over today.

This is not something I want to do for 30 days then forget about it. It’s important to me to make a lifetime commitment to being healthier. Doing this stricter diet for a few weeks is a good start, but it’s only the start. Even if I allow myself a few drinks now and then, or some honey as a sweetener, for the most part I want to keep myself a lot cleaner then I have been doing. Long term I’d like to stick with something like Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint, and if I could come close to looking like Mark does, I would be satisfied with my health and fitness.

So this is where I am right now. Breakfast today was coffee, a Waffle House Fiesta Omelet with no cheese and no toast, and some sausage. I have some plans to make a steak salad tonight, and maybe some fried sweet potato chunks. (Sweet potato is allowed under Whole 30, but not white potato.) At some time today I will get out for some exercise, maybe rowing intervals or even some running. I’m pretty much out of shape after 2 months of bronchitis so I will have to see how well that goes.

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Something I’ve noticed about myself

I have noticed that a good up-to-the-minute barometer of my diet is my heart rate. For example, this morning I counted my pulse and it was 52 beats/minute. Just now, after eating a Zone-friendly lunch of jerky, a Powerbar, and some nuts, it’s at 60. If I binge on anything, especially candy or other junk food, my heart rate will soar up to around 80. Add caffeine and it goes even higher.

I don’t know if this is universal, or something about how my body processes food. But it is something I can use as a self-monitor. I might even do some experimenting by eating measured amounts of candy and checking my heart rate every few minutes. All in the interest of science, of course!

OK, that’s a rationalization because I have a sweet tooth. But I can also keep my long-term values in mind, and if I remember that my long-term health and happiness is more important than short-term pleasure, I’m less likely to grab a handful of candy from my boss’s office.

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My latest Crossfit Total

Today’s Crossfit workout was to do a CFT – that’s Crossfit Total. For this workout, I made three attempts each at squat, shoulder press, and deadlift, taking the best lift of each and adding the weight up. My total this time was 920 lb, setting personal records in all 3 lifts.

Squat: 345 lb

Press: 170 lb

Deadlift: 405 lb

I feel especially proud of the deadlift, as it’s my first ever deadlift over 400 lb. Looking back at December, my score was 755. I have improved about 22% since then

I’m also getting some friends interested in the Crossfit workouts. If you want to learn more, take a look at Crossfit. Don’t be intimidated by the people in the pictures and videos – many of them are elite military or athletes. I don’t manage nearly the performance levels they get, but I’m still getting a lot out of this program.

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I have blogged in the past about fitness, and my pride in improving my fitness and appearance. But there’s also a dark side to this: Injuries!
I have been dealing with a few knee problems lately. Nothing serious, I hope! My left knee was a little sore for a while, and it was painful to do squats. That cleared up with a couple days of rest and careful, light exercise. Then on Monday afternoon, my right knee did the same thing. It was slightly painful to walk – about a 1 or 2 on a scale of 1 to 10. But it was enough that I decided to spend the afternoon at home with an ice pack on it.

I hope this isn’t a sign of aging. I guess I’ll know in a few months if I start having more injuries! Today is a rest day and if my knee isn’t 100% tomorrow, I will stay away from anything that will put heavy loads or stress on my knees and ankles.

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The pain… the pain…

So once again I have learned a new way to kick my own arse. Today’s Crossfit workout of the day had me doing pullups, jumping onto a bench, situps, back extensions, running, dumbbell swings, and something called “hang power cleans.” Follow the link if you want to see what I mean.

Why do I torture myself like this? Because it feels good when I stop! Seriously, I like the level of fitness I’m building here. You’ve got to do something you like or you won’t stick with it, and I was getting bored with every other routine I tried.
The Crossfit tagline is “forging elite fitness” and I believe it.

And after workout like that, I don’t feel guilty for drinking one of these!

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