Yes, I’m Still Alive!

First off, I apologize for not posting in a while. This blog now gets an average of 130 unique visitors per day, and based on some of the emails I’ve gotten recently asking me if I’m still alive, I wanted to get the word out about how things are going.

I’m Alive and Thriving! : )

I actually had a post outlined and half-written about a recent business trip to attend a conference. Mainly the post is about the types of food offered during the included breakfast/lunches and then dinner while on the road. I’ll get it posted soon. In the meantime, an update:

My Weight

Today I broke a milestone that I was beginning to think I would never hit and really wasn’t bothering if I didn’t, but it sure is great to have achieved it: I got on the scale this morning and weighed in at 189.8 pounds. I got under the 190 mark! That is the first I’ve seen that on the scale since I was 18 and in the Navy. I’m 5’10” and have big thighs, so while I haven’t been ‘fat’ in many months (aside from being able to pinch a half an inch of visceral belly fat), being in the 180’s is probably ideal for my body type. A month ago I was weighing in around 197. Earlier posts reflect that I was hanging out in the 191 to 192 range for months and then, as soon as I started CrossFit (see below), I quickly tacked on about 7 pounds and stayed there. I attribute the weight gain to muscle increase but possibly also because I was eating more to compensate for the increased workload, even though I likely didn’t need to.

Then, at the start of this month, my CrossFit box started a September “Zone Challenge” – basically a large number of folks, including myself, got weighed and then calipered by the coach, and then given a body fat percentage. I was utterly dismayed to receive a 24% body fat number. While it’s better than the ~40% I was at less than 2 years ago, it’s still disappointing. I attended a seminar at the box about The Zone diet. I’d of course heard about Zone before – it’s one of the few diets that has maintained a loyal following for a long time. Based on my knowledge of nutrition in relation to weight loss, it looks like a fairly effective plan, but I had two concerns that steered me clear of it:

1. I lost and have maintained 70 pounds on a low-carb Paleo approach. No way will I change things up and wind up jeopardizing that.

2. The Zone appears to me to be a big pain in the ass. Everything gets measured. Everything.

I’m sure Zone is great, but I decided to stick with what my low-carb Paleo approach but do a Whole30. As with the last time I tried a Whole30, I failed. But, I did get to about 2 weeks before failing : ) How did I fail? Alcohol (while out of town at a work conference), and dairy. I find it impossible to avoid dairy completely. BUT…I’ve successfully avoided the blatant sugar bomb ‘treats’ that I was indulging in 2 to 3 times per week: an ice cream, or a banana-laden smoothie, etc. I cut that out for this month.

But I wasn’t losing any weight at all the first week and then, the past 2 weeks, I suddenly started dropping weight again. Why? I attribute it to one thing: I’ve purposefully de-stressed.

Cutting Back the CrossFit for Now

I’ve been *very* stressed from work the past 4 or 5 months. I can’t go into the reasons why here obviously. Regardless, things have chilled a bit. I know this sounds like whiny bullshit and goes counter to conventional wisdom, but I honestly think that 3x per week CrossFit was also not doing me good. I was physically just not able to do CrossFit 3 times per week *properly*, so I switched back to twice per week. Now, when I go those two times per week, I’m truly performing at my best and at the right intensity, whereas before I was killing myself both physically and mentally and still not giving it my all. More on that in another post, but let’s just say that a few weeks ago I was seriously considering quitting CrossFit but now I’m starting to really see and feel the benefits and have broken through the ‘mental wall’ that I had built up for myself in regards to pride/competition.

I still maintain a 3x per week membership, but I’ll only go that third time if I am feeling great and motivated. Otherwise, my goal is to keep building muscle and aerobic capacity and, eventually, start incorporating in that third WOD per week.

That’s it for now.

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