Thursday, January 29, 2009


Today's Weigh-In: 200 lbs.

I finally got a chance to work out today. I attempted to get a run in on Sunday, but I started coughing really bad and had to give up. It was very disheartening. But by yesterday I've been feeling better and I decided that no matter what I was going to wake up early and do the Crossfit workout at my affiliate. I haven't been there since late September, so it's been quite a while. It was really nice to go there and be around people who care more about their fitness than their looks, where dropping weights from overhead is no problem, and where everyone encourages each other. I had forgotten how much I love being there compared to the regular gym (which I loathe).

Today's workout was the following:


All that means is you have 7 rounds of 1 rep and you try to get the maximum amount of weight up. I started at 95 pounds and worked my way up to 155, which was pretty heavy but definitely not my max. I wanted to take it easy on my first day back to avoid the possibility of injury due to muscle atrophy and reduced flexibility. All in all I felt great (except that I got a bit nauseous during the warm-up due to my crappy cardiovascular shape) and I plan to be there again tomorrow morning.

Lately I've been having a really hard time with getting out of bed and having low energy throughout the day, but after I forced myself to go workout this morning I feel amazing, even though I didn't get as much sleep as I normally do. I'm hoping that if I can stay consistent with the workouts I can overcome these issues.

My diet was pretty crap on Monday and Tuesday, but yesterday and today have been much better. I ate less than 2000 calories yesterday, all of which was good stuff, and I'm shooting for 2200 calories today. If I can keep it up through the weekend I might just see some weight loss come Monday. w00t!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Quick update

Hey everybody. Thought I'd pop in and post something. I'm still not 100% better from my flu, but I'm getting there. The only lingering issue is that I'm coughing up a lot of phlegm from my lungs which makes it impossible to exert myself without going into a coughing fit. I'm giving myself a few more days, but I'm itching to get back in the gym. I'm hoping by Friday that I'll be good enough to at least get a light workout in, just to gauge where I'm at cardiovascularly. If that goes okay then on Monday I'll be back doing the Crossfit workouts.

Forgot to weigh-in today, and diet has been so-so. Some days I eat perfectly, while others I just get lazy and eat whatever's available, which is a big no no. It averages out to no weight gain, but I'm not going to be able to lose anything if I don't tighten the diet up a bit.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Today's Weigh-In: 202.8 lbs.

I was supposed to be back in the gym yesterday, but guess what happened: I got sick. It's pretty bad, so I'll be benched for at least the rest of the week. I'm hopped up on a ton of decongestants just so I can sit up straight and try to get my work done. I'll post when I'm feeling better. Adios.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Time for some solid nutrition info

Today's Weigh-in: 198.2 lbs.

Phew! I thought I was going to be over 200 after this past weekend, but I'm still under, which is great. I ate pretty well yesterday, coming in at about 2200 calories. I've pretty much gotten rid of all the junk food that was in my house, so it's not there to tempt me when I get a craving, and I went shopping last night so my fridge is full of the good stuff. Now all I gotta do is not eat too much of it and I'll be dropping pounds in no time.

I know that there are many of you out there who are just starting on this journey, and I wanted to take a moment to share some resources and information that I have found invaluable. Today I'm going to focus on diet, and will elucidate information on exercise in a later post.

When I first started trying to get in shape I believed everything you hear on TV and in the media: fat is bad, grains and starches are fine (or even good). As I progressed and researched I learned that all of these "facts" are untrue. Fat is the body's preferred fuel, and processed carbohydrates are what's keeping us fat. Insulin resistance is what is causing the national (and global, it seems) epidemic of obesity, type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high triglyceride levels (called "the deadly quartet"). Insulin resistance is in turn caused by consumption of high levels of high-GI (glycemic index) carbohydrates (which includes any processed carbohydrates, sugar, and most grain products). This high level of consumption only really started in the 20th century in the Western world. There's a reason these diseases are called "diseases of civilization"; they only happen in "civilized" nations. Primitive and agrarian societies have very low levels of cancer, heart disease, or anything in the top 10 list of causes of death in this country. Myocardial infarction (heart attack) was almost unheard of even in the US until the beginning of the 20th century, even though people ate large amounts of butter, lard, raw whole milk, and meat, all of which are high in the "bad" saturated fats that, we are told, contribute to heart disease.

So what gives? If you really dig into the research that's out there (that isn't funded by special interest groups such as the corn lobby) you find that humans thrive on high fat, high cholesterol diets, provided they refrain from consuming processed carbs. So taking that into account, it seems that the correct diet for the human body is one high in fruits and vegetables (which, although containing carbs, are quite low on the glycemic index, and also contain fiber, vitamins, and phytonutrients that our bodies need), high in animal products (which provide protein and fats), and low in grain-based products and sugars (remember that corn is a grain, not a vegetable). Add to that the healthful benefits of nuts, seeds, and good oils (such as olive, palm, and coconut) and you've got yourself a recipe for health. The secret is keeping the levels of insulin released in your body to a minimum, which allows your body to burn fat instead of store it throughout the day.

Don't believe me? Check out these resources:

Free CrossFit article on Glycemic Index
Weston A. Price Foundation's Fats page
The Zone by Barry Sears (although his prescription of 40% carbs is a bit high for my taste, the book has a ton of good information)
Articles on high-fat, low-carb diets by Vihjalmur Stefansson, one of the first Westerners to live with the Eskimos and eat their traditional diet
Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes

There are numerous other resources, so if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Plans for 2009

I know everyone is doing a new year's blog, so I thought I'd join the party. I do have plans for this year, and now is as good a time as any to lay them out for you all.

I stopped drinking alcohol on January 1st, and I will continue abstaining for at least this month, but possibly longer depending on my results.

Starting on Monday (January 5th) I will be working on resetting my sleep schedule so that I will be waking up at 8:00AM every day. This is actually one of the harder things I will have to do (due to the effects of my medication) but it is absolutely necessary if I want to get back into my Crossfit workouts. I will not be doing any workouts in the mornings next week, but I just want to get my sleeping back on a tight schedule.

I will also be focusing, starting next week, on getting my diet shaped up. I know what to eat to lose weight, but lately I've been succumbing to more and more processed and high-carb foods. This weekend I will go shopping for meats, veggies, and fruits, and get rid of the crackers, chips, candy, and other junk from my cabinets and fridge.

After next week, once I can wake up at 8 without having to drag myself out of bed, I will be back in the gym in the mornings. I haven't really worked out for almost 2 months now, so it will definitely be hard and painful. But it will also be exceptionally rewarding. I miss the feeling of soreness in my muscles, and the rush of endorphins when I would beat a personal record. I miss the discipline it takes to get up and get into the gym every morning, and I miss the energy it would give me throughout the day. So I'm looking forward to getting into it and hitting it hard.

My weight right now is about 200 pounds, and my goal for this month is to finish at 195 pounds. I'm not too sure if that's feasible, but it's something to shoot for.

Happy new year, and good luck to everyone out there.