During this Whole 30 bullshit (today is the last day), I’ve discovered I really like spinach in my smoothies. Technically, I’m not supposed to each anything processed, but getting enough substance in my food hole has been a challenge.
Along with hemp protein, avocado, mango, banana and coconut milk, Finn has aptly named it…
wait for it…
Yep…pretty much…going both in… and out.
Really looking forward to a beer tomorrow at my local derby team’s season opener.
Both like and (VERY) unlike last year, I’m doing a bit of a reset diet for the new year. While I mostly eat paleo as it is (let’s say 80-90% normally), things started slipping around my birthday week in California. They only got worse over Thanksgiving and Deathcember.
For the next month, both dbg and I are doing something called a Whole30 (and Finn is doing a reduced sugar thing for the month…by his own choosing…I just need to keep reminding him of his commitment). It is more or less paleo, but with a few more restrictions. I think I’m on about the fifth day. Based on the Tumblr Whole30 tag, I should know EXACTLY what day I’m on because of how excruciating it is (in addition to lots of pics of meat, veg and eggs). I feel like a dick, but it is super hard for me to conjure the least bit of sympathy for people that whine about doing this. Not only is it a privileged to eat this way (economically, access to food, etc.), but they are CHOOSING to do it. As the authors/creators of Whole30 say themselves:
[This] is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You won’t get any coddling, and you won’t get any sympathy for your “struggles”. YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.
Regardless, because we are changing/restricting the types of food we put in our system, our chemistry completely changes as a result. You read a lot about changes in sleep, focus/attention, energy and the like. The one thing you don’t see anyone posting about is how drastically this thing effects your digestive track and bowel movements (hey if Louis C.K. can talk about his leaking asshole, I can talk about poop here people). For me, the Whole30 experience is not dominated by cravings and massive plates of protein and greens, but really it’s all about my shit. I’m usually a pretty regular dude, but this thing has me on a BM roller coaster right now. I know, I know…this is way TMI, but someone needed to just say it. It’s the proverbial elephant in the Whole30 room. Don’t you all feel better now?
Besides the awesome pooper-coaster ride I’m on, you may be asking yourself what’s my end goal here. Unlike most people on this diet, it is not about weight loss for me. I’ve become a big fan of the reset this past year to see how they effect my athletic performance. With the Crossfit Open coming up in the beginning of March, I’m starting to train more intensely and intentionally. I have no delusions about qualifying for regionals, but want to use it as a benchmark for future competitions.
It’s all about the big experiment of life right? Right!
FYI - Finn asked that I take a pic of him and his smoothie this AM.
Sometime before Halloween, I packed a brownie (from my sister’s care package) in Finn’s lunch. Rarely do I pack sweets in his lunch; he eats enough of them as it is (IMHO). I told him that he needed to finish his lunch before he consumed the brownie…and he agreed. Yet when I unpacked his lunch later that day, I found most of his veggies untouched. He told me he forgot and I called bullshit. I told him he needed to figure out what needed to happen in response to a) not following through on what he said he would do b) trying to bullshit me.
He chose to not eat sweets for two weeks. Surprised by it, I reminded him that meant he couldn’t eat any of his Halloween candy for two weeks. Without hesitation, he said he knew. So for the past two weeks he has cut out much of the sugar in his diet, including dessert at night and his breakfasts. Instead of Eggos with ridiculous amounts of VT maple syrup he makes himself a mango/cherry smoothie ever morning. This AM as we were making our respective smoothies (yeah…we make them in mason jars), he told me he thinks he wants to continue doing this low sugar regime. I asked him why and he just said he felt better.
Slowly but surely I’m brainwashing my oh so malleable child to my
pompous righteous evil healthy ways.
But for serious…I’m really not a hard ass or a dick about this stuff. I just find it interesting that he’s thinking about how different foods affect him differently.
Health and Bodies Talk
I will admit, as much as I talk/post about my weight loss, my current eating habits and crossfit, I find myself becoming more and more sheepish about it all. I really try not to overdo it, but most people in my daily life inquiry about it. At my age the questions are more: “Hey, is everything ok? Have you been sick?”
First, I don’t want to sound like too much of a big douche (which is questionable). Yes I’m proud of the achievements I’ve made over the last year and a half, but I fear talking about my process/progress can make others feel uncomfortable (like I’m proselytizing) or even worse, like shit…which I never want to do.
Second - and most importantly- Finn is starting to ask questions about his body and eating habits in relation to mine. Finn is a tall stocky guy. Just like his grandfather, his aunt and his sister, he is filling out before he hits puberty. I’ve told him many times as his body changes that this is how we dbd peeps grow, but I continue to hear the concern in his voice when he talks about his body.
This AM as we were going through our clothes to get rid of (those that he is too big for and those I am two small for) he wanted me to again confirm that his stocky body is normal; for some reason it concerns him that his brother has always been skin and bones and never went through the stocky phase. I told him very strongly that there is a huge difference between being healthy and strong, and being thin. How my body is responding to my food and activity choices is very different than dbg’s, his mom’s (who is training for a Spartan race) and my good friend G that is a marathoner and rock climber. The key is, we are making healthy choices to do the things we want to do in our lives. How are bodies look in response to that, is irrelevant.
Finn and I have had many conversations over the last several months that have lead up to this. From food choices and the amount of sugar we eat to which sports/activities he wants to do. Some of those conversations have been hard (we actually fought about team sports this fall…we compromised on gymnastics). As we talk more about this, the conversations are getting more relaxed and thoughtful. While being scared shitless about screwing it up, I’m also excited about where it takes us.
Quiet solo night at home on the deck (first one in many weeks). I just ate 3 times this amount…actually 4 times the chicken (served with a Hendrick’s GnT of course). After 4 days in a row of working out and skating (I jammed my ass off last night in a scrimmage…we have a bout this Saturday in Montreal), I’m looking forward to a rest tomorrow…and not eating like a big pig.
Mostly I’m looking forward to going to pick up Finn early from camp tomorrow and hanging with him at our perfect little town’s 4th of July festivities (on the 3rd…go figure).
When I picked up Finn tonight after work, he was in a great mood. He started talking and pretty much didn’t stop until he fell asleep 3 1/2 hours later.
The most urgent info to convey this evening was his classroom’s assistant teacher’s last day tomorrow; there is a party and we just had to make scones (we kind of have a scone obsession over here). I told him that I needed to make dinner and he would need to make them on his own, but I would help him if necessary. He pretty much did everything on his own besides cut them (I wanted to make sure there was enough for everyone). I am going to be shamelessly proud here: These are fantastic scones…we had a taste test right out of the oven and they just melt into your mouth. Since we didn’t have enough flour, we substituted some of my paleo coconut flour into it and we both agreed it made them better.
While I cannot recall every single twist and turn to the evening’s marathon conversation, we did have this interesting pre-bed time conversation in his room. I told him I wanted to read In the Night Kitchen tonight in honor of Sendak’s death because it has always been our favorite of his. We talked about how Sendak was a different kind of children’s book author and often times very controversial. Finn asked how he was controversial. I told him that, for instance, when In the Night Kitchen first came out, a lot of people were offended that Mickey was naked in parts of the book (which he thought - and I agreed - is a pretty dumb thing to get worked up about). This led into a conversation about how parents protect their kids in different ways. I told him while it was our job as parent’s to project our kids, some parents feel they need to protect what their kids (and other people’s kids) see, hear, experience, etc. I continued that while I did that to a certain extent, I shared a lot of information with him so that he would never fear talking about anything. I said to him this is exactly why we had the sex talk several weeks back.
This led to talking about same sex marriage and how many same sex couples we knew (for the record, the Lazy-Busy Dads were second in that list after his sibling’s moms). I threw out another couple we know through his mom and he looked up from his LEGOs with a confused look: “How are they a same sex couple? A is a girl and D is a boy.” I say a bit too casually, “Oh you are right, I guess not technically, but D is transgender.” Even more confused look. I’m starting to realize what door I’ve opened - assuming it had been opened already because I treat/see him far too much like an adult sometimes. “D used to be a girl when he was growing up and now he’s a man.”
And therein started yet another typical pre-bedtime discoball household conversation. In the end, he thought it was pretty cool and wild that that was an option in life, but felt pretty certain he would always be a boy. I agreed with him, but told him that if it ever changed he would still be my kid, I would still be just as crazy about him and I would still protect him to no end.
I added right before lights out that I thought he would probably make a pretty cute girl too. He just rolled his eyes at me.
Not to be a total asshole about all this…but I’m a geek for infographics…especially one’s that resonant so strongly for me.
Breakfast’s really important to start your day right. Bacon and eggs or a bagel and cream cheese? Both tempting decisions. You opt for the less fattening option of bagel and ream cheese. But guess what? That’s what’s really making you fat.
Here are some references we used:
Click on the image for the full/readable size.
I’m going to be that asshole right now. I’m getting up on my soapbox and going to go off on an arrogant, annoying and somewhat indignant diatribe.
I’ve been away from the Tumblr for a couple days. Somehow my dash is filled with reports on sugar as a toxin, making fat kids diet, and half jokingly wishing they could lose weight by doing nothing. Unfortunately there is so much conflicting data and misinformation out there about food, it’s hard to figure out what is truly healthy anymore.
While the predominate conventional wisdom is eating healthy means low-fat, veggies and healthy grains, there is a different school of thought out there -that almost completely contradicts this 30 year old construct - that is slowly being evaluated and embraced. In short, as the infographic says above: Fat doesn’t make us fat, Carbs do.
And I’ve turned into one of those guys that completely buys into the little to no carb/sugar thing. Why? Because it works for me. I’ve always eaten relatively healthy, but as I’ve gotten older a “building block” diet simply wasn’t working anymore. Over the past 3+ months, I’ve made this transition to not eating carbs. It was not easy; in fact certain parts were really painful - tantamount to detoxing. On the other side, I completely get it. It gives me energy and strength. I don’t sugar crash. I don’t have crazy moods. I sleep better. I don’t snack. I’m more focused. In other words, until you do it, you are just going to think we are just a bunch of ostentatious dickheads…and we totally are.
I was a doubter for a long time until I started doing the research. I didn’t think I could (mostly) give up certain things and still be happy (scones, maple syrup, tortilla chips, ice cream, beer, etc). I wasn’t sure once I started if I could keep up with it. I wasn’t even sure what I would eat.
Now I eat well and am very happy with what I eat. I give myself some allowances every once in awhile, mostly in beer form. I still have my favorite things (coffee, chocolate and bacon) in copious quantities. In fact I just eat a lot of food in general…pretty much as much as I want. It’s expensive, but I don’t eat out as much as I used to either. It is undeniably a big pain in the ass sometimes. At the same time, the impact on my health and well being are undeniable…and that is what keeps me motivated.
Preface: This is a total hodgepodge of a post (hence the number of tags). Read at your own risk.
Winter chose a crappy day to finally arrive here in the Northeast. Finn and I had planned to head to NYC today to spend four days relaxing at a fancy pants hotel (at least for us) with a pool and hopscotching around the city as tourists. Last night I decided it wasn’t worth the certain long and stressful - if not dangerous - drive south and pushed our mini-vacation back a day.
Finn has been with his mom much of this school break. Most of the time when he is gone, I am like Louis CK in the episode of Dogpound (As with all Louie episodes, it’s pretty brilliant). I haven’t adopted a dog (yet), but I’ve had my moments of self-indulgent patheticness and shameful losery.
In fact, it was probably a good thing Finn was away. The end of last week was a perfect storm of life blahs: Work, family, friendships/relationships, emotional heath, physical health issues and the like. Luckily I front loaded the break with sitting in my shit (let’s just get that out of the way) and things have been pretty solid since.
I think my physical status was the trigger for becoming such a heap off poo. After several weeks of working out (xfit) again, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that my injury is going to take a long time to heal. Coming to this reality has meant that I am not going to skate (roller derby) this spring and maybe be out for the entire bouting season. As with most things, I’m finding silver linings in all this:
- I’ve (finally) been invited to run some practices with the women’s derby team here. It might lead to coaching, but we are going to see if it’s a good fit first. I’m also going to work with their “fresh meat” rec league a couple times a month (and I get to work with one of my favorite skaters). This opportunity provides me with the ability to deepen my understanding and perspective (strategy) of the game. Ultimately, making me a better skater when I do go back.
- As our new men’s league takes shape, I’m able to focus on org development and helping to create a solid foundation of sound business processes and structures. By having a well run league, we’ll be able to focus much more on being a kick ass team.
- I’m availing myself to work more at bouts so I can network and further my understanding of the competitive game.
Additionally, I’m beginning to work with a new physical therapist next week who is also a crossfitter (and someone I knew from 20 years ago when I first moved to VT). Just in our brief interaction over the weekend (I was judging for the Crossfit Games qualifiers), she gave me several exercises to strengthen my adductors. I also went to Pilates class that was both helpful and hysterical.
One of the hardest parts of this self-involved pity party is that I’m not allowing myself to use food as comfort. Ok…I might have had a bottle off wine one night for dinner, but wine is totally Paleo…right?! Seriously, being a fairly healthy person and having never put limits on my food intake, I never knew how much I rely on food to comfort myself when I feel like a turd. Even with those damn Girl Scout cookies in the house, I (more or less) stayed resolute. I’m not sure why this is so important to me right now. Maybe it is the one way in which I do have control over my physical health, when the fate of my ass is out of my hands.
I was talking with this (wonderful and brilliant) friend last night for a bit. She and I have this very odd connection and parallel life experiences (work, relationships, xfit, broken butts, emotional state(s), etc) that astonish us both. She too is dealing with all of life all at once - simultaneously on every level, trying to keep it all together while parts of it crumble away (which can be an opportunity to rebuild). And she said something in our conversation that resonates for me (paraphrasing): "At some point you have to stop hiding behind bad habits and face everything in real time." Maybe this is what a midlife crisis/opportunity really is. When you face everything in real time you are not allowing bad habits to distract and mitigate the emotions; you are not manipulating the context and changing things up so you don’t have to deal; you are not hiding behind false perceptions of yourself to veil the fear of failure.
I don’t think many of us embrace this challenge. Hence the midlife crisis cliche. This shit is really hard and I have to believe, ultimately is worth it.
Bacon makes every meal fuckable.
Day 6: Dinner
Swim practice/xfit night dinner…it’s a rush job, but we always eat well.
Update: I wanted a different pic where he was smiling, but he liked the bug eyed one.
It’s finally lunch time and I’m famished
However, today I have eaten:
- 2 Eggs over easy
- 4 Sausages
- 2 cups of steamed/sauteed Kale with garlic
- 1 Avocado
- 1 Scotch Egg
- 1 Pint of Greek Yogurt
- 1 Grapefruit (in the Yogurt)
- 1 Apple
- 5 cups of Coffee (with coconut milk)
- 2 quarts of Water
How in the fuck am I still hungry? I’m looking at a trough of food (chicken, pulled pork, collards/ham, sweet potatoes and some cauliflower rice and I question if it’s enough.
Believe it or not…I’m still at 183.