Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Whole Two Weeks

Admittedly, I didn't complete the Whole 30.  I was good for the first two weeks, but long runs and a few cravings eventually led me to give in and add milk to my coffee and a dabble or two into the realm of bread.  Nonetheless, I'd say I stayed about 75% committed to the experiment through the end.

So what's the final result?

I dropped 15.8 pounds in 30 days.  Yeah, that's a lot in a relatively short amount of time.

Now, to be fair, it can't all be attributed to the removal of dairy, grains, alcohol, legumes, and sugars.  I definitely ramped up the exercise over the past month, logging over 118 miles on foot, plus cross-training and weights.  But maybe I did so due to an overall increased focus on my health.  I've always been an "all-in" sort of person when it comes to physical fitness.  I mean, let's face it, you don't train for and actually complete a 100-mile run unless you're a bit obsessive.  So by concentrating on eating better, I probably also (subconsciously) upped my emphasis on exercise.

In any event, my clothes are looser, and I feel better.

The next question is: will I stick with it?

Yes and no.  Like I said, I had already worked milk back into my coffee and enjoyed the occasional sandwich, so I'll keep those.  And I will enjoy the occasional beer after a long run.  I'll try to steer clear of sugars, as I really haven't missed them and the few times I've had something sweetened (artificially or with refined sugar), the saccharinity has almost been sickening.  I've found my craving for sweets now tends toward apples, oranges, and bananas.

At the end of the day, it was a rewarding experience.  It takes some effort--mostly in shopping for and planning your meals--but it's not overbearingly difficult.  And you can't argue with the results.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Spring Breakers.

I have a new love and respect for Spring Break, especially when it comes to working out at the TCU Rec Center.  As I arrived for my Monday morning session, I was greeted by the greatest of all sounds ever to emanate from a college gym -- SILENCE.  For the next week, the jocks, coeds, sorority girls, frat boys, emo kids, crossfitters, yoga chicks, and treadmill rats are GONE.  Off to greener pastures, or perhaps South Padre Island (hopefully avoiding the puking fee) for a week of relaxation, debauchery, or both.  No waiting for a bench or a machine or the water fountain.  A sublime workout, indeed. 
Speaking of working out, so far this Whole30 thing seems to be living up to its promise.  A little over a week on the plan, and I am already seeing and feeling the results.  The jury is still out on the final verdict, but I'm optimistic.
Seriously, NO ONE was there.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Wholly Moly.

This was lunch on day one.  Looks pretty, don't she?
A couple weeks ago, my lovely wife boldly declared that she would be venturing down a path toward nutritional utopia.  Thirty days of clean eating--no dairy, no grains, no sugar, no alcohol.  A journey of unadulterated, minimally-processed (if at all) noshing intended to rid the body of psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups.  She asked me to accompany her on her epicurean trek.
I did little conceal my initial reluctance.  We had been down similar roads in the past.  Most recently, I had attempted to join her on a Healthy Lifestyle reboot where we were supposed to eat only red meat, raw green vegetables, eggs, grapefruit, and water.  I made it two days before the headaches and general malaise caused me to cave.
So I was skeptical.
But she showed me excerpts from the book "It Starts With Food" and directed me to the Whole30 website.  Here are some highlights:
  • Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds.
  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial.
  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking.
  • Do not eat grains.
  • Do not eat legumes.
  • Do not eat dairy.
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites.
You are supposed to follow the plan for 30 days.  After that, it's up to you on how and whether or not to continue.  The idea is that you can slowly add foods back to your diet (like cheese or bread) and see how they affect the way you feel.
I was intrigued. 
And I need something to jumpstart a healthier diet.  Despite regular exercise, my waist line has grown over the past several years as we eat out more and more often.  And taking a break from booze is a good idea.
So here we go.  Yesterday was day one of the Whole30.  I'll check back and let you know my thoughts as we progress through the program.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Bipolar weather week.

Last Sunday, Nell and I were sitting on a patio in New Orleans having a drink in perfect, sunny, 75 degree weather.  It was a (somewhat) spur of the moment trip to our favorite city.  Originally planned for two nights, we got an extra 24 hours in the Big Easy when Mother Nature decided to shut down DFW airport with "thundersleet."  We ate, we drank, we slept.  I even managed an 8 mile run along the Mississippi River.  It was marvelous. 
Upon our return to reality, we were greeted with snow and freezing rain.  Last Friday's blast of artic air pretty much shut down the metroplex.  It also led to the cancellation of the Cowtown 5k and 10k races on Saturday, as well as the marathon and ultramarathon on Sunday.  I was scheduled to pace the ultra.  What to do? What to do?  What the heck -- I went out and ran the half-marathon, which was the only race that took place, albeit with an hour later start time.


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