Another Prescribed FRAN and a Win For Danimal

I did my second prescibed FRAN today.  The first time saw me record a time of 9:20.  A reminder that FRAN is 95lbs thrusters and pullups.  3 rounds with decreasing reps. 21-15-9.  Today I finished it in 7:29!  a new PR for me.  I know I can do better but I’m happpy with this victory over her (FRAN).  I had to break up my middle round thrusters which I didn’t do the first time.  The improvement comes from my pullups.  I can do more at a time with less rest in between.  To all those who completed FRAN today great work.  For those who have never tried it, it’s a love/hate thing people at Crossfit have.  FRAN is a benchmark workout to see how you’re progressing.  The goal is always to beat your previous time, NOT the other people doing it along side you.



Back To The Paleo Lifestyle And All Is Well Again

Right off the top I want to thank you all for following my journey towards better health and fitness.  My blog stats show over 1,000 visits in the first month it has been up and running.  Another thanks to those who registered their emails to get the updates emailed to them and a tip of the hat to those who leave comments, all of this helps get me to the next level.  Knowing I am not alone on this journey makes it much easier.

Last week I came back from Daytona Beach FLA and put on 7lbs in 10 days.  As of Monday last week I was right back to being the modern day caveman you all have come to know me as.  I fasted all day Tuesday and drank 7 litres of water to try and clean out all crap from my holidays.  Tyler told me not to do such long fasts and stick to intermittent fasts.  Translation means next time don’t do 36 hours you just need to do 16-18.  The rest of the week was regular caveman food and on Saturday I had an early supper (4pm) then went out to Bojangles for the UFC fights with the guys (and Debi).  I decided I was not drinking so I polished off 2.5 pitchers of water.  I was peeing more than the drinkers and was up all night going to the bathroom! BUT…Sunday I slept in and did not eat breakfast/lunch until noon.  So I did an intermittent fast without even trying so I got a bonus (19 hours).

The moment of truth came today when I hopped back on the scale to see how much of the Daytona 500 (7lbs) I had been able to shake the first week back…..drum roll………5lbs!  The scale teetered between 278 and 279 and I always round up so in one week I almost shed all my vacation weight. 

Say it with me….THE POWER OF PALEO!!!!!!

I had great willpower on Wednesday night after my wife had me bring home Pillsbury cookie dough for the kids and was able to resist out of the oven warm cookies, even half or even a bite!  In different circumstances I may have had one cookie but after my week in Daytona it was not the right time to treat myself.

I did have a treat yesterday though.  I usually buy the odd 85% cocoa chocolate bar and have two squares now and then to satisfy my sweet tooth for a change from honey.  I bought an 85% bar and a 70% bar.  Note: these bars are not Paleo, they are treats I allow myself now and then.  I had 2 pieces of the 70% bar along with a banana on the way home from the grocery store, a couple more later on, a couple more a few hours later and polished off the rest right before leaving for hockey.  OOPS!  My wife was like”you’re not supposed to finish the entire thing in one day!”.  I know but it was good.  So I did dodge a bullet there.  

I have never set a target weight for myself through all of this.  I see what I want to look like in my head and that’s what I’m working for.  Now that I see me at 279lbs, as of today, I think 250 is my next goal to get to and figure out how much more weight beyond that it will take to get me to the true DANIMAL inside.  Once I hit the 250 mark I will take another Daytona style pic and compare to the March pic.

To summarize, I lost 5bls of the 7lbs I gained on my Daytona getaway putting me at 279lbs.  Total pounds lost is 66.

Until next week, BE GREAT!


I Was Fat…It Was My Fault

An article that appeared in the local daily yesterday was titled “Your Fat, Your Fault” and was filled with facts about why people become obese and aside from those with medical or psychological conditions it IS OUR FAULT.  That message is a bitter pill to swallow for most of us.  Many people (myself included) can make up a million excuses as to why they’ve gained 5 to 30 pounds without ultimately pointing the finger at themselves.  Nobody forces you to eat a donut or muffin with your morning cappuccino or your double double, or have a quarter pounder with cheese combo for lunch followed by ice cream after supper and maybe more than a handful of chips in front of the TV before bed.  Heck, I was guilty of that on an almost daily basis for years.  I blamed my work schedule, my infant kids taking up a lot of time, yada, yada, yada.  Truth be told I was lying to myself and healthy eating was never that difficult with the right knowledge and a little effort.  It’s not easy making a lifestyle change but if you are obese, fat, overweight, plump, chubby, pick a term that doesn’t offend you…its time to take control of your life.  Nobody plans to die of a heart attack in the their 40’s or develop some kind of disease related to bad diet.  I found that motivation after my son drew a stick figure picture of the family in December 2007 which had my wife comment “Maman is not pregnant”, his reply was “That’s not you it’s papa”.  Talk about getting kicked in the cahonies by the most honest person, my then 5 year old boy.  It was easy enough to get into the exercise routine but the new eating habits were much tougher to come by.  My message is this:

Do a food log for one week and you’ll see right away what can and should be cut out.  For those like me who consider themselves “overweight” think back even further to how you’ve been eating.  I went as far back as college and just thinking about what meals I prepared myself then almost gave me a heart attack!  Try eating carb and sugar free for 1 full week or more, then cut out dairy and other processed foods and see how much more energy you have or how lean you’ll become.

I used to think dipping tangerines in french vanilla yogurt was healthy, not 1 or 2 more like 4 or 5 with 500ml or more sugar laced yogurt. I would pick up fast food and get myself an extra burger and eat it on the way home, throw out the wrapper before getting into the house thinking “if no one saw me eat it, it doesn’t count”.  These are just a few examples of how I was thinking.  It’s time to stop the excuses and make time to exercise, make time to plan your meals and buy the right groceries to make meal and snack prep easier, be a good example to your kids and family/friends.  The more people adopt a healthy lifestyle the easier it will be to stick to it if more people are in the same frame of mind.  I have great support at home and in the Cornwall Crossfit community.  Together we are stronger and the support from everyone makes this journey a bit easier. It does “suck” sometimes but the gains far outweigh the pains to get there.  Make the change and you will definitely see the world in much rosier glasses.

Here is something from the article I referenced that we all should read (the last one is my favorite):

Fit and fat people think differently, says mental toughness coach Steve Siebold.

¦ Fat people eat for pleasure; fit people eat for health.

¦ Fat people believe diets are fads; fit people believe diets are strategies.

¦ Fat people eat emotionally; fit people eat strategically.

¦ Fat people believe there’s a secret to getting fit; fit people know there is no secret.

¦ Fat people expect weight loss without pain; fit people know everything has a price.

¦ Fat people see diets as short term; fit people see diets as long term.

¦ Fat people choose pleasure over discipline; fit people choose discipline over pleasure.

¦ Fat people associate with fat people; fit people associate with fit people.

¦ Fat people never have time to exercise; fit people make time to exercise.

 ¦ Fat people believe 99% compliance is good; fit people believe 99% compliance is terrible.

¦ Fat people are obsessed with food; fit people are obsessed with success.

¦ Fat people lie to themselves; fit people are brutally honest.

¦ Fat people feel powerless to change; fit people believe they can do anything.

¦ Fat people negotiate the price of success; fit people just pay the price.

¦ Fat people don’t connect fitness with sexual energy; fit people know sexual energy increases through fitness.

The Daytona 500

First let me congratulate all Cornwall Crossfitters who competed and/or represented us at the sectionals this weekend.  Another great example of why I love being part of this community, we’re strong, good technically, we are a team and we can be serious and have fun at the same time, well done everyone!  We are taking over the fitness industry one WOD at a time (evil laugh).

Now I enter the confessional…my trip to Daytona Beach.  I truly enjoyed my time away with the family and wish there was another week to be together, family trips always bring us closer.  I called this entry the Daytona 500 because that’s how many pounds I felt like I put on during the drive home on Saturday and Sunday. 

I went off Paleo for real indulging in LOTS of beer and burgers and wings and you get the picture.  I was enjoying my time off and did do a few WODs on the beach to try to balance things out a bit.  The looks I got doing burpees and hollow rocks on the beach were priceless.  Some people even stopped and asked what I was doing (lol). 

So I got on the scale today and the first time I stepped on it said I gained 6 pounds then the second time it said 7…let’s go with 7.  My weight now stands at 284.  I’m cool with it since I still feel great and I am back to eating regularly(Paleo) so I know by Thursday I will be back on top of the world.  I find it usually takes 4 full days to clean out the junk from the system after being off the wagon for a while.  I didn’t fall off the wagon I did a cannonball right into my holidays.  I am cool with what I did and now it is back to business. 

I finished today’s WOD (10 ; 95lbs Overhead Squats and 10 burpees – 3 rounds in 4:16).  Not bad for a guy full of pizza and beer eh?

I read the Paleo Diet by Dr. Loren Cordain while I was away and realized I was doing well but could tighten up a few things so I am making some adjustment over what was working for me before I left which will hopefully get me back on track even faster than before.  A big thing is reducing me weekly egg intake to 6-8 from 20.  Changing my main nut from cashews and pistachios to walnuts and almonds.  I am also going to eat more meat for breakfast since my eggs are coming down in number.  This morning I had some wild sockeye salmon and a banana.  Salmon at 7am ain’t all that bad but the kids told me the kitchen stank…lol.  The book also re-enforced why I have chosen this lifestyle not just for weight loss but to help with muscle gain, fight disease and keep my energy levels high at all times.  Some of the stories in the book are amazing like a man who was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes.  He went on the Paleo diet and in 30 days lost 25 pounds and the diabetes was gone!  There are many other like stories but you can read them for yourself if it interests you.  I am open to lending out the book so don’t be shy to ask. 

Now for the photo comparison.  I am pleased with the progress and feel this year’s Danimal is in far better shape than last year’s model.  No that much smaller but a heck of a lot leaner with one sawed off shotgun (See left bicep tear). 

I will try to post more pics in the future to illustrate some of the gains now that I have a few done.  They will not all look like the Mr.Daytona poses show here today.

Be Great!


Great MacLeans Article About the Paleo “Lifestyle”

This Journey Is Worth It And It’s Paying Off

Daytona Beach 2009

Hi all,

So after last week staying put at 283lbs I was anxious to see what the scale would tell me this week…BUT…even before I got on the scale today I had a good feeling since I was shopping Sunday with my family and tried on a pair of 38 jeans and they fit like a glove no doubt about it!  I even had brought in a 40 just in case.  My energy is at an all time high and the guy looking back at me in the mirror is almost the one I picture in my head as “Goal Danimal”.  So I get on the scale and it doesn’t go past the 280 mark…WHAT!!!! so I step off and on again, and off and on again, still under 280.  I called over a fellow Crossfitter to confirm the number below to make sure I got it right and the verdict is 277lbs.  All together now…BOOYACHAKA!  Great timing since a huge speed bump is fast approaching…I leave for Daytona Beach in 4 days!  I will be as good as expected on holidays but the saving grace is I am staying at my parents’ condo while I am there and eating Paleo 80% of the time is more than reasonable.  Plus, I will be doing sprints and mini WODs on the beach…can’t wait.  So there you have it folks, the Paleo routine is here to stay and my total weight loss since joining Cornwall Crossfit just over 2 years ago is 69lbs…that is more than my 7 year old son weighs!  I will be snapping some shots on the beach to compare to last year.  Check them out and see the difference a year makes.  If only I had gone all out Paleo before January, oh well no sense in looking back…  I even did a cheat on Friday I had 3 cookies at the Ramada in the afternoon around 4pm and then that night I polished off close to 2 bottles of red wine with a friend of mine, did the Saturday WOD (Deadlifts and Handstand Pushups) with a red wine hangover at 9:30AM and made it…took me 11:09 though, couple of “try not to puke” breaks after being upside down for a bit slowed me down but I prevailed and nobody had to see a mess.  Also a big kudos to Tyler and Kyle for their tireless technique rants and do overs to get things right.  I hated the box squats and today did a 1 rep 315lbs.  I used to max out at 275!  It’s all technique so don’t rush things and refine that technique and you will lift more.  Keep up the iron clad technique drilling guys, it pays off for all of us.  I will try to post on my blog from FLA so stay tuned and thanks for all the support.

Be Great!


Unassisted Pullups

I started this quest in January of 2007.  In the early days I weighed 345lbs and needed 5-6 huge rubber bands to help me get over the bar…or as Jer said a few of the boys to hoist me over that thing…lol.  As things progressed I needed fewer and fewer bands.  I was extremely close in September 2009 when I tore a tendon in my bicep right off the bone and was out of comission for 2 full weeks with a number more in rehab mode.  The good news was no surgery was required.  It frustrated me to no end for a bit but we need to work at the things we want to achieve and sometimes there are bumps in the road, you just have to deal with them.  As things started to heal and I was doing more and more with the arm again the bands started to reduce in number and thickness again.  I had hoped to do get an unassisted pullup in the fall but no go.  Let me explain my obsession with the pullup…it is one of the main reasons for the longest time I was not able to get a “P” (prescribed) workout at Crossfit and it drove me nuts since I was doing the proper weight and reps.  Fast forward to December 31, 2009 and a loosey goosey workout before the big party to ring in 2010.  Just before leaving the gym I walk up to the pullup bar not wanting to leave 2009 without having done at least 1 friggin unassisted pullup!  Here goes nothing and……………..BAM…….I GOT OVER THE BAR!!!!!!! 

Unassisted Pullup in action from Sunday Feb.28/10

Thank god there were two withnesses and then I proceeded to do two in a row and a few more singles.  Since then I never use bands and feel an extreme sense of pride everytime I do them.  For all those who want it bad like I did…it’s a matter of determination, practice and proper nutrition.  Add all of those together and off you go into the land of pullups and believe me, the grass is greener on this side.  You’ll notice in the picture I am wearing a neoprene brace on my left elbow, that is a result of the injury which sometimes can still bother me during or following a WOD (workout of the day).  I have about 90-95% strength back but it will never be the same as before.  So there you have the reason for my pullup obsession and why it was so important to me to get it done. Good luck to all still striving to get there and to those who got there before me…thanks for the motivation!