I had a friend that convinced me I would like this whole “CrossFit Wilmington” (CFW) deal and how come bruises, scrapes, and some soreness were all fun things, I thought he was off his rocker but, man he was spot on. I remember my first few intro classes with Caleb and going through the activities to find out that for the last 10 minutes I was going to do a “work-out” and thinking he somehow missed the previous 45 minutes of me dying with a piece of PVC pipe. I made it through the intros and I had decided to make this lifestyle change and I committed myself to a year with CFW. I decided that I couldn’t be as focused as I am on being the best in my career and with my family yet decide to not care about my own health and wellbeing and especially not the kind of father I wanted to be to my son (4yrs now) Logan.
I started out doing 3 days of week and continued on at that pace for the first couple of months trying to get into the swing of things. I had a lot of fun learning all of the different movements and finding out just how terrible my range of motion had become. As I made progress I also started convincing other co-workers to come in and try it out as well, apparently Shawn and I put together can be very convincing or just very relentless. For my first couple of months I scaled back what I was eating and cut out sodas, grains and pasta as I had known from a previous weight loss that those would help me get rid of some pounds. I decided in March though that I wanted to learn more about the Paleo lifestyle that a lot of the other people were doing. I really enjoyed the class and got a lot of really useful things out of it that I have implemented into my life now. I won’t claim to be “strict” on Paleo but, I will claim to be about 80% on what I do on a weekly basis.
If we fast forward through all the fun of the summer and the beach wods and me ramping up from 3 days a week to my current 5 days and now I can tell you that some improvements have been made. I started out not being able to jog a full 400 meters and now I have put down a 6:15 mile and a 23:00 5K. I am benching 275 and deadlifting 385 from 185 and 325 respectively. Oh yeah, and that ripe 271 I was in January dropped down to 195 at the end of August (9 months and 76 pounds). I am a much more active person than I have been in a long time as well. I am helping coach my son’s U4 soccer team and have participated in a lot of the fund raising events that CFW has held.
My changes have also been noticed by friends and co-workers alike and I have influenced/inspired a lot of people to make lifestyle changes. I think I can count about 10 people that have joined a CrossFit because of some prodding by me and even more than that have heard about my “crazy lifestyle of eating” as well. I have given out links, books, and blogs to countless people to show them the light of how we should be eating and living to be healthier. Try not to be too big of a zealot on the whole eating thing but, as Tony has said “if you want to see how to get in shape and be healthy, look at the people at CFW”.
One of the most rewarding parts of all to me is that my wife and son couldn’t be prouder of me. I couldn’t have made the lifestyle changes I have made without their support and willingness to let me go and I am grateful for that. During Fight Gone Bad my son was telling everyone that was his daddy out there working out. Because of the changes I have made he now has a role model of someone trying to be healthy and fit and not sedentary and fat. A big thanks to CFW for kicking the CrossFit Kids program back off as well because my little dude couldn’t be more excited than to go to the gym with his dad!
Being around CFW has been a great experience for me and I have enjoyed my times bouncing around the classes, seminars, and events that have happened. I am excited about continuing to grow stronger, leaner, and faster so that I can maybe give some of you all a run for your money one day. A big thank you to all the instructors and members that have been willing to give me advice and push me to work harder over the last 10 months, you all are awesome individuals and I am a better person and influence on others because of you all.
For anyone that is reading this and thinking they can’t do it themselves then my only personal advice is that I am just one in the bucket that have come to CFW and committed myself to make the change. CFW has provided me as well as others the knowledge, instruction and facilities to make our changes possible and at the same time a very enjoyable experience.
To close, I leave you with some anecdotal proof of the changes I have had, here are my before and after pictures and measurements! Now get out there and get after it and remember that the most important thing is to just keep moving and one day you will look back and be able to move a hell of lot more stuff a lot faster.
Giving up my comfort foods of pizza and ice cream.
What advice (if any) would you give to someone interested in trying a carbohydrate-restricted or paleo diet? Were there any obstacles that you overcame that could help future dieters?
Don't over think it. Just take it back to the basics. Meat, Vegetables, Fish, Nuts and Berries. If it doesn't expire in a relatively quick time then it isn't real food. Once you make it through the first week or two of no more breads, pasta, grains, etc. that you will no longer think about them.
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