The day before the Burpee Mile

Just over 2 hours and just under 800 burpees for this individual to complete the burpee mile.

This has been a good month for me and my health. It started off with me joining in on the largest Whole 30 ever, continued with me learning more about functional fitness and ends this weekend with me doing a mile of burpees and burpees have been deemed the one exercise you should do to get in shape (link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4 and I could go on and on).

This wasn’t a New Year’s Resolution, those are stupid. What makes January 1st such a good day to change your life? Why not do it on your birthday? Why not do something during lent? Lent would be much better because you have a start and end date and if you want to kick a habit (hello diet soda?) then using lent to break that habit is a better idea then January 1st. And, really, if you are motivated do anything then start it NOW! Don’t wait until next January, your birthday, the first of the next month or the upcoming Monday – start NOW!

No, this month has just been a normal month for myself anymore. Some months might involve multiple 5k runs, maybe a stair climb or simply watching what I eat and getting a workout of some sort five or six days a week. This month just happened to have a couple big initiatives all in the same month.

And I was equally excited for them all. Including the burpee mile tomorrow. Continue reading

I ate McDonald’s…

Quite a while ago I decided I wouldn’t ever eat anywhere which I could order my food and get my food without leaving my car. It’s just not a good idea. But sometimes circumstances dictate where we eat and we cannot eat where we would like to. Or eat what we would like to.

At home everything is easy. I can always plan ahead and know the “safe” restaurants that I can eat at. In my attempt to eat Paleo it has been a challenge, but has definitely gotten easier.

This week I knew I was going to be drinking beer, I made the choice and am fine with any consequences experienced due to my choices so I am having gluten…and lots of it. Otherwise I have tried my darndest to stay on track. I also knew that grass fed, pasture raised, cage free and other ideal meat options were not going to be options. Sure we will come across the occasional place that might offer these but for the sake of saving money and convenience (and keeping two small children happy on the road) the likelihood of finding them is rare.

For breakfast in the mornings at most hotels we had a free breakfast included. The first three days, spanning two hotels, I ate lots of scrambled eggs and quite a few hard boiled eggs they had available. I can safely assume that the scrambled eggs weren’t cage free and might not have even been real eggs. They could have been made from that liquid egg beater substitute crap or something similar. I am OK with that. A family of four cannot hunt down cage free eggs all the time or have the means to even cook those eggs if found. Along with the eggs I ate quite a bit of sausage and some fruit. Veggies weren’t available, but at least I didn’t eat the waffles, muffins, toast, pancakes and donuts that were also available. I also stayed clear of the yogurt. Continue reading

Should Thanksgiving be a bummer?

Was your turkey raised like this? Happy and free of fake hormones?

I started eating strict Paleo just about 35 days ago when I started my Whole 30 program. That was completed about a week ago and since I have had four beers (I had to attend happy hour after my Whole 30 was completed) and frozen yogurt, but stayed pretty darn strict Paleo otherwise.

Most of my family knows that I have been on this Whole 30 program because I have been spamming the ever living beejeesus out of Facebook with pictures of food and while I only lost about seven pounds during my month I think I do look different. Thinner. They don’t totally understand it and that is totally understandable. I had no idea what I was getting into even after reading It Starts with Food but after a month of reading packages, searching for acceptable recipes and, honestly, trying to find any loophole to feel like you are cheating without cheating sort of makes you a pseudo-expert on the subject. I know I have infinitely more to learn (I was still trying to find out of peanuts were Paleo-OK just this past weekend and was disappointed to find the answer…).

I sent out an email a few weeks ago to my sisters, mother and wife saying I would happily go in halvsies on a turkey if it was free range and grass fed/finished, I didn’t get any response. I wasn’t going to make a big deal of it. I realized that I could just eat the turkey on Thanksgiving that was purchased by whomever and eat it and enjoy it regardless of if it was stuffed with GMO’s or not. It’s Thanksgiving, after all. Just be happy with your family! But then I got a call last night from my dad and my sister not only bought one free range turkey from Whole Foods, but two!! What a great sis!! …but her husband likes to fry them in peanut oil. He started doing so a few years ago and is really starting to get good at it. But we all know that no matter what is put into the turkey doesn’t matter if it is fried in peanut oil or any other grain or soy based oil. Continue reading

201.4. Damnit.

201.4. Damnit. That is basically what I said this morning when I stepped on the scale.

Getting oh so close

I just completed my Whole 30 cycle yesterday which meant I could step on the scale this morning and see if I had lost any weight (during your Whole 30 you are not supposed to step on a scale). Prior to the Whole 30 I weighed 208 and I really had hoped that I could get under 200 pounds by the end of this cycle. I know the book continually stresses that eating this way isn’t about losing weight, but that it is about whole body health, but, c’mon, we all do this stuff to look better in jeans, right? Or in my case: I want to look better with my shirt off so I don’t feel like a slob at the pool with my kids.

Last night I was trying to prep myself; I kept telling myself that I probably wouldn’t be under 200 but I knew deep down in my heart my hopes were high. When I started losing weight, just about 2 years ago now, I weight 282, so being nearly under 200 pounds should be something to celebrate, right? It doesn’t feel that way. I know, not for a fact, but I can estimate, that at my heaviest I am guessing I weighed 330+. I need to scan my drivers license picture as that was taken 10 years ago and my face…my…face…is……..round. And I have a large amount of extra chin under my real chin. Know what I’m sayin’?

So I should be proud. I have accomplished a lot, but I don’t feel like celebrating.

The weekend before I started the Whole 30 I volunteered at the Great American Beef Festival. The volunteers get cookies and brownies and what not and I ate some of it РOK, the final day I had two big cookies Рand of course I had beer. I was still working out and working hard because I knew what sort of caloric intake I was about to partake in, and I expected to gain a few pounds. Prior to that weekend I had weighed about 204, once,  just one time I stepped on the scale and weighed 204. After the weekend of beer and bad food I jumped to 208. I expected to drop those 4 pounds relatively quickly which meant I only needed to lose 4.1 pounds to break that magical number of 200. Continue reading

Inspiration

What inspires you to get better? To get healthier?

For me it started with my son. The desire to be able to run around with him for many years to come was my inspiration. I didn’t want to sit on the sideline and watch because I was too fat to keep up. That has since changed with the addition of my baby girl. Today I am driven to get healthier simply because I have finally shown myself that I can be thin(ner) than I have ever been.

Even though I am self driven now to continue to get healthier I see things from time to time that still inspire me. For some guys that might be a pretty girl. For some it might be a shirt or pair of pants they want to fit in. Some might be inspired by a friend or family member who recently lost weight. Sometimes it is a fleeting image that catches your eye and inspires.

Today at the gym there was a guy who was bigger. I can’t say how much he weighed but I am guessing that at one point in my life I was as big as he is. He was working with a trainer at 24 Hour Fitness and the trainer had him doing some sort of power clean – more like a ground to shoulders as form wasn’t really discussed – with a fairly light weight. The guy was repping them out pretty good and any of us who has tried to complete consecutive rounds of power cleans knows how tiring rep after rep of taking that weight from the floor to your shoulders can be.

I will never hate on anyone who is at the gym trying to get better. I wish I could have taken a video of him doing the work because while he wasn’t performing the best example of form he was still working. I cannot hate on anyone at the gym working up a sweat. It is those lazy people (not always visibly fat – one can be fat on the inside) that sit around on equipment waiting two, three or four minutes between sets. They never get their heart rate up and you can tell that the last rep they performed was just as easy as the first. What a waste of time. They probably tell their friends they went to the gym and “worked out” even though no work was being performed. They probably also use their gym time as an excuse to eat that donut at work even though they could have burned about as many calories sitting in front of the TV as they did “working out”.

Anyway, sorry for the rant, it happens. Continue reading