Why my experience with the Whole 30 has been less than awesome

This has been my first attempt at doing a Whole 30, and while I believe that I have lived up to the guidelines I don’t know that I’m in the spirit of the experiment.  You see just before starting this I came down with something.  I didn’t know what it was but I didn’t feel the greatest.  Going into the 30 days I hoped that my 30 days would see my food intake helping me to conquer the feelings that I was having.  That has not been the case.  So while others have talked about sleeping better, and having more energy, I’ve struggled with feeling like crap and tossing and turning all night.  While others have discussed feeling full more and looking forward to meals I have struggled to eat sometimes and really just wished that there was some comfort foods that I could have.  Doing a Whole 30 while sick has been no fun but I know that I’ve learned some things.   First off I’ve learned that I’m not indestructable, I have limits that will show themselves often and that while the way I eat helps me to stay healthy, it is not impossible for me to get sick.  I’m also learning that I’m an old man and that I don’t bounce back as quick as I used to.  This flu that I’ve had is pretty nasty this year, and I’m still pushing on, but everyday I can tell that I’m not where I should be.  I have also learned that there’s a lot more mental toughness to this game than I gave myself credit for.  Even sick this month I have not been taking extra days off, I’m still walking into CrossFit DNA everyday and doing my best to take on the WODs.  They have been rough, and my body does not respond the way that it did when I was healthy but I’ve been scaling more and just pushing myself to do the best that I can.  I feel like I’ve been learning a lot about myself this month, that I’m learning about my limits and learning how my body works better.  I have also had to depend on the mental side of the game more and more because I don’t have the physical power that I used to.  I’m also learning more about delaying my gratification in some areas.  I have wanted certain foods this month like crazy, but I’ have held strong and at the end of the challenge I can’t wait to dive into some foods.  It’s been a rough month, but overall I have pushed through and that’s really what it’s about.  Being sick this month has changed the way that I would have felt during the challenge emotionally.  I think that had I been healthy this might have been a pretty easy month, but then again it’s not about being easy is it?  When you take on these kind of challenges you have to take whatever comes you way, sometimes you get lucky and it’s pretty easy.   Other times you get the flu and feel like death for a month.  Guess that I will just hope for the next time I do a Whole 30 I don’t get sick right before I start.


Prepping to Compete

Tomorrow I’m headed down to Springfield for the first competition of 2013, and my first team competition ever.  Tony and I will be in the Intermediate division of the Icebreather Classic at Capital City CrossFit.  First event has already been announced and based on it I’m hopeful of our chances to do well.  Tony and I are pretty similar so in terms of strategy in team making we didn’t really think it through.  If WOD 2 has burpees or a long run we are done for, but for now I’m a good rower, and I’m pretty good at the other movements.

WOD 1:

For Time: 
  • 50 Calorie Row
  • 40 Standing Broad Jumps (6’/4′)¹
  • 30 Toes to Bar²
  • 20 Hang Snatches (95/63)³
The 50 Calorie Row may be broken up in any manner the team wishes, this can include 1 teammate rowing the whole 50 Calories
¹Standing Broad Jumps are to be broken up in any increment the team desires, with each person performing at least 1 rep
²Toes to Bar are to be completed in any increment the team desires, with each person performing at least 1 rep. While one person is performing the reps, the other person must be hanging from the bar
³Hang Snatches are to be completed in any increment the team desires, with each person completing at least one rep. While one partner is performing snatches, the other partner must be in a chin-over-the-bar hold. Their chin may not contact the bar at any time.

 Time will tell how things play out during the day but I’m really excited to get back into town and put some work in with my boy Big T.  I’m also crashing at his place with his pretty awesome lady and two dogs, so it’s going to be a fun time all around.  After the way that I’ve been feeling lately this is just what I need.  Not to get too negative but when on the job hunt and things seem pretty bleak it’s hard to keep yourself motivated sometimes and pushing yourself in other areas of life.  I wonder if the Whole 30 has helped or hurt in that area.  I’m going to venture to guess that it’s a bit of both.  It has kept me from going crazy on “paleo treats” and such and made sure that I’m watching what I’m eating.  But at the same time there’s some comfort that comes from some of that so it’s been hard.  At the same time I’m over the hump with it so I’m not feeling like I’m missing a lot.  Although I will admit to secretly dreaming of a meal consisting of a pound of bacon on day 31.  I don’t care if anything else appears in that meal I just want bacon.  Actually I take that back, I want Coffee, Bacon, and Chocolate.  Even though I have had a little bit of 100% Cocoa, there’s still nothing like a quality dark chocolate bar.  And I’ll be dominating some pumpkin stuff too that first week.  I don’t know what but it will be big.  So this weekend there will be lots of pictures, laughs with friends, and a few dirty words as I lift heavy stuff, work my hardest and try to bring one home for the team.  I’m looking forward to it, and then who knows, maybe I’ll come home to find one of my many applications have brought some fruit to this job hunt.

Week 1 recap

2013-01-13 17.13.06

Sunday night and it’s almost midnight but I have to get this post in to keep myself going on this.  Whole 30 week 1 is in the books and I’ve learned a few things.  First my body is starting to normalize itself and I have way more even energy throughout the day now that my coffee consumption is lower.  I think it’s time that I switch to decaf when this thing is over if I’m going to have any coffee after lunch.  I still love the taste of a good cup of coffee but I’m also learning to appreciate herbal teas so I may have found my substitute there.  Also I’m snacking much less and finding myself to have a better level of fullness throughout the day, I kind of expected this.  So that’s good to see it happen, for a while I felt like I was eating like a horse and it was good to see that I could go to smaller meals but still feel full and not need to snack.  I’m also trying to stay with as little fruit as possible and so far I’ve only had one Larabar this week and one thing of applesauce.  So I’m doing well there, I’ve been having more sweet potatoes, and today I made mashed pumpkin which actually was kind of an experiment that turned out really well.  I’m also getting more variety into my intake by introducing different things and I’m enjoying that as well.  Sunday is a rest day for me so no workout to talk about, and I have to say that I am loving the chance to just chill out for a while and let myself recover.  On Saturday I have my first team competition so I’ll be back in Springfield, can’t wait to get back down there and see how I do in this one.  Also looking forward to taking on another week at DNA and getting into the swing of things now that my body seems to have straightened itself out for the most part.

Friday Fun

Today I was sore, really sore, the kind you only experience when your rest day turns into practice your clean and jerk for two hours.  But after a slow start to the day I made it into the gym.  Once again I was flying solo for the 4pm class so I worked by myself and eventually the 5pm group came in early and cheered me on.  New 2rm for Dead-lift today – 425, failed a 435 attempt.  Going in I had put the over/under at 450 I really wanted that number but I was just too sore to get it.  Workout today was Hang clean thrusters, burpee over box jumps, and kettlebell swings.  Again Burpees show me that I’m not back to 100% as I struggled hard during them each round.   Finished off the night with a trip to the grocery store and came home with some Lamb chops that were on sale.  Excited to have these in the next couple days, also bought a Veal steak to try since I’ve never had it before.  With that out of the way let me rant for a second.


And yes you can read that screaming.  I haven’t had one since I went paleo in July of 2011, that’s right almost two years with none.  No I haven’t made a Paleo version, I really just have not missed them or wanted them at all.  But yesterday at the gym they were mentioned and ever since I’ve been craving them ridiculously   I think about them, in the grocery store they seemed to be everywhere.  I smell the sweetness of the glaze on them and I just want to eat a whole dozen.  No idea why, but I really want them badly.  And it’s not as though I could just say if I crave them this much I’ll have one, I’ve got three more weeks of Whole 30 before I can even think about a cheat.  What is wrong with me, guess I’ll add one to my eat a pound of bacon because you haven’t had it for a month meal when this thing is over.  I don’t know if this is what they were intending when the program was put together.  But this is ridiculous.  Now excuse me while I think thoughts of sugary glazed goodness and drool a little.  Just like Homer would.

Day 4 – Active recovery, or spend about 3 hours at the box doing stuff

Day four and I feel like for the most part I’m over the hump getting into the grove of this Whole 30.  I had three good meals, a small snack of Almonds and capped the day off with a little bakers Chocolate.  I love that i can eat 100% it means that for this month I don’t have to exclude it completely from my diet. During the day today I spent some time at my buddy Space’s house, a few weeks ago I hung a bunch of drywall at his new place so it was good to see it finished and him moved in.  We hung a couple shelves for his Star Wars collection and then ran around town a bit.  Time to put some work in at the gym.  It is my active recovery/skill day so into Crossfit DNA I went for about an hour or mobility followed by a skill class working on the clean, and finishing up with more practice on the clean and jerk.  Walking out at 7:30 I was surprised that I had spent 2 1/2 hours there and was pretty starving.  I’ve been meaning to make the Salmon Cakes from Practical Paleo for a while so I gave them a go tonight.  They are pretty good, and I have three more saved for breakfast tomorrow.  In terms of a broader look at my life, I’m still on the  job hunt and trying to stay positive.  There’s a few leads for long term subs here in Chicago, and I’m hoping that I get into the classroom that way soon.  Then I’m looking at finding a classroom to call my own somewhere in the fall and hoping that I’ll land somewhere close so that I can stay near the family.  Pretty good day overall and I’m mostly back to normal from the cold that I came down with post NYC.  Now to take on prep for the next competition on January 19.  I’m excited again playing double duty as a judge for the ladies division and competitor.  Also I’ll be repping the supplement Blonyx that I’m working with and passing out some Kill Cliff that I was sent as well.  Pretty sweet deal overall.  Can’t wait for the next competition of 2013.

Mystery Fett

Mystery Fett

Day 3, starting to make more progress

Whole 30 day 3 and I have to say that I’m feeling pretty good.  Other than having some headaches from the lower coffee consumption it has been pretty good.  Even took on a pretty rough WOD and did pretty well.  Today’s intake good with some good home cooked food and a snack of some pumpkin seeds.  I love those things and they are a great snack when you need a little something.  On the job front my hunt continues, current ranger applications are in for a position in Kentucky doing Educational groups, and in California in a year round seasonal position.  Where the job would be permanent every year but would be limited to at least 26 weeks but no more than 48.  I’m trying to keep my head up and the longer that this thing goes on the more that I’m just trying to find other areas to focus my energy on to that I don’t get discouraged.  The Whole 30 is helping that some by giving me a chance to try new recipes and to work on thinking about my day and what I’m doing.  I only hope that sometime soon I’ll get a phone call about a job and that I can find some direction on the future.  

Today’s WOD


Every 30 sec for 5 min – 1 Power Snatch, then Every 30 sec for 5 min – 1 Power Clean


15 min AMRAP

5 Double KB Clean and Jerk

2 lengths Walking Lunges with 45# sandbag

10 Pull Ups

20 Squats with 45# sandbag

Not a bad way to spend a Wednesday especially after the flat yesterday and having to drop $610 on new tires.Image





Does it really help that I know it’s stress making me want all this Bacon?

Day two of the Whole 30 began as a pretty good day.  After yesterday’s issues with not wanting to eat all day I got up and was actually hungry.  After eating some food and spending some time hanging out with a friend it was time to head into the gym, and this is where my day took a turn.  Part of doing this Whole 30 is understanding motivations for why I eat what I do and why I’m hungry when I am.  At certain points I question if I’m actually hungry or if there’s some other motivation pushing me to eat.  This afternoon I wanted a pot of coffee and a pound of bacon, it was 3:30 and I had just pulled over to the side of the road with a flat tire.  Now I didn’t actually want them that very minute, but I knew that is what I wanted to eat after I figured out how to get myself back moving and got done in the gym.  So that’s to the Whole 30 I understood that it was the stress of now having to come up with $700 for tires for my truck that was pushing me towards that amazing combo of Coffee and Bacon.  It’s my favorite meal, actually there are often weeks where if you rotate a few other players in it shows up five times in my meal planning.  But I resisted, I have limited myself to two cups of coffee before 2pm for this 30 days, and already it’s trying my patience, also I had no approved Bacon in the house to make so I skipped that also.  I instead got my tire changed and went into the gym, suffered for the better part of an hour doing double unders, burpees, and toes to bar and then went home.  Settling on a salad with chicken and some veggies.  I had no coffee with dinner, and my one little nod to the less than fun nature of the afternoon was having a little applesauce with dinner.  I tried to get my mind off of the trip to the tire place tomorrow by working on doing stuff around the house and it did help for a while.  So Whole 30 was it good that I knew it was the stress of finding a lot of money while unemployed that was pushing me towards certain food choices, I guess so.  There’s still a part of me that dislikes you for keeping me from fulfilling that desire.  Overall lesson learned, when you know that you need tires, don’t put off getting them for months, instead get a plan together and go buy them, I own the car, sometimes such things have to be done.  

Day 0 of Whole 30

Tomorrow morning starts my first Whole 30.  I’m spending the evening working on job applications and watching PBS.  I love watching public television, and hopefully my job hunting tonight will be fruitful.  Tonight’s been filled with applications for teaching jobs in the city.  The idea of getting back into the classroom is very exciting, and working with students from diverse backgrounds brings a set of challenges that I am looking forward to taking on.  Also this week I have an interview for an immediate job working for a local health food store.  I’m looking forward to the interview and the possibility of the job that includes a discount on paleo foods is pretty good as well.  As the night carries on I find myself more and more nervous about how my body will change as the month gets underway.  Which to me seems odd considering how long that I’ve been Paleo already.  Cutting out much of my coffee consumption is going to be the biggest challenge.  I make no illusions that I drink anything other than too much of the stuff.  But it’s my one holdover, when not drinking water I have coffee and I’ll drink it all day long.  So for the Whole 30 I’m going to cut down my consumption to two cups before noon.  I will then add in a little bit of tea consumption as well.  This is going to be a month of trying new things, getting rid of some old things and in the end we will see how I respond to yet another challenge to jump out of this rut that I’ve found myself in lately.  I’m sure that this month will find me discussing things in more detail, and tomorrow I’ll be stepping on the scale for the first time in months, in the spring when I broke 130lbs lost I decided that I would not weigh myself anymore.  But it will be interesting to see where I am weight wise now.  So this week look forward to pictures and measurements and also some observations of jumping into the Whole 30 and it’s impact on my body.

2013 Goals

Everyone that has a blog like this does one of these posts for the year, and I decided that I should include myself and put out in public what my goals are for the year.  In crafting these some are carried over from last year because I didn’t accomplish them in 2012, although I came close, and some are new.  I didn’t do a fancy 13 goals for 2013 or anything like that but I did try to make goals for all parts of my life.  So here’s the list:

CrossFit Goals:

-Place in competition

-Run a 5k

-Run a Warrior Dash

-Perform a true Squat Snatch (fix mobility issues)

-Perform a Muscle Up

-Perform a Handstand Push up and Kipping Handstand Push up

Paleo Goals:

-Eat one month completely grass fed/pastured/wild caught with no exceptions

-Source local pastured eggs and eat only those

Life Goals:

-Land a job in my career field

-Volunteer more

-Be an awesome uncle doing something with the nephews each month.

-Go on a real date with someone I met either through a web profile or in person.

Writing goals:

Write everyday for two months.

-Connect with two companies through the blog.

Well that’s my goals for this year, I think it’s a list that I can achieve all of them and really looking forward to the chance to do some fun stuff in the coming year.  On Monday I’m taking on a Whole 30, so daily blog posts will come about that, and I’ll be getting on the scale for the first time in 98 months for my initial weight since it’s a group challenge at CrossFit DNA.  I’m excited for the challenge, I’ve not taken on the program before and I’m really looking forward to seeing how I feel.

Mobility Day!

I love mobility day, there are a few issues every week that I need to address and since taking a better approach to it I’m feeling a lot better, which also means a lot of soreness.  Headed into the gym tonight I knew I’d be working my usual suspects, Hips, Ankles, Shoulders.  I’ve had issues with the Overhead Squat since starting Crossfit and working on these issues has helped me a lot but there’s still a lot to do.  Even on days like this I look forward to the gym all day.  Today was an extra slow day at the park, we had 4 people by the time I took my lunch at 1pm, and ended up with less than 20.  I took the opportunity to power through It Starts With Food.  Great knowledge to add to what I already know about how my body deals with the things that I put into it.  After finishing that I read some more of a novel that I’m going through, finishing two more books and I’ll have done 30 books in five months. Not bad if you ask me.  On the job front I’m still kind of wandering but I keep getting closer and closer to just picking up and burning my savings on a one way ticket to Thailand to hang out with my old roommate Neal.  He would be very excited to hear that if he actually read this.  I’m betting that he won’t so he won’t even know how close he is to succeeding in getting me to relocate after years of peer pressure.  I’ve applied for jobs all over the country, the Park Service is dealing with another big round of cuts and word is that there are 600 fewer ranger jobs across the service for the next fiscal year which starts next month.  So it’s a scramble for everyone to try and secure employment.  I’ve taken the opportunity to apply at some state jobs and other museums.  I really hope I find something, maybe I’ll even go to teaching full time, but they have to let me keep the beard.

Reflections on the day:

-I am over the really slow part of the year, bring on some visitors.

-Somebody needs to give me a job, please.

-I’m enjoying my mobility work more and more.  Thanks MobilityWOD for all the great stuff.

-My body feels much less beat up now that I’m doing this mobility work on a dedicated day every week.

-Today I noticed that my belt is lose, it’s all the way in, this was really exciting.

-I’m going to eat lunch outside more often, it was a great experience, just quiet and beautiful.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.