Photos taken approx. one year apart in the same shorts. Here's what Ian has to say about his journey:
My introduction to Crossfit happened at Dogtown Crossfit on June 4, 2010 with an intro class taught by Liz Arnold. I left thinking that I would never do this again. Thankfully I caught my breath 30 minutes after I left and realized that this was what I needed to regain control of my health.
I have always been athletic, but as I have aged, the way I have always exercised and eaten was not keeping me lean and fit any longer. An increase in fat and a decrease in physical abilities ensued.
For the past year I have been working out at Dogtown and participating in the Paleo Challenges. From the beginning I was experiencing positive results. That is to say I was losing fat and gaining improvements in our workouts. Somewhere in the past I read that fitness and health is a journey and not a destination. That is exactly how I have felt through this process. The first 8 months were definitely a time of learning for me. Around the 8th month, I started to "get it." I went from workouts and diets, to a change in my lifestyle. That is when I started having some real results.
On January 17 of this year I weighed in at 209 pounds, 18% body fat percentage. Today, June 12 I weigh in at 184 pounds and I will be measuring my body fat percentage the next time the Hydrostatic testing clinic comes to Dogtown.
The way I was able to change my lifestyle to lose 25 pounds, was largely due to paleo eating beyond just the 40 day challenges that we do. I eat paleo all of the time now. I have been able to incorporate it full time through organization and planning. On the weekend, I plan my menu for the week. It is actually written down. 4 meals a day for the next 7 days. After I write my menu, I create my shopping list. By having everything written down and the food already purchased for the week , it keeps me from getting hungry and binging during the week. Since I work the typical 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday, I can't leave my meals to chance.
This was not the first time that I tried doing this, just the most successful. Something that really helped me was reading Rob Wolf's book The Paleo Solution. In his book he provides a 30 day menu with 4 meals a day. I can cook well, so every other time I tried eating Paleo, I would get bored and abandon it after the challenge. By using his menu I was able to learn a lot of recipes that helped me keep it interesting. Using it also taught me how to take regular recipes and make substitutions to make them paleo.
As far as cheat days, I do not have cheat days. Most of the 27 meals a week I am eating are eaten alone throughout the workday or just non-social meals. When a social gathering comes up like a happy hour or an invitation to eat with other people, I just eat how everyone is eating. I figure if I choose a day to be a cheat day and nothing is going on, then I am just binging and if there is something happening on a non cheat day, I want to participate. If I have 2-3 non paleo food consumption activities a week, it is no big deal because the other 24 or 25 are paleo.
My goals for workout frequency is 3 days on 1 day off. The reality is that sometimes appointments and work schedule does not allow for that to happen consistently every week. I believe that rest is just as important as the workouts so I never workout out more than 3 days in a row. Even if I know that I can not get back to them gym the day after the rest day, I still take my rest. The first several months that I was at Dogtown, I was not as deligent with taking rest days. I believe my increased attention to my rest days was a major factor in getting my results.
Much like Adam blogged about doing crossfit, not just for WOD scores but to be able to go on some intense snowboarding trips, I too remember that my fitness accomplishments are about enhancing my life. I am into snowboarding as well, but also surfing and hiking. Whenever I have an opportunity to do those activities, I do not hesitate to consider a day of those real life activities as one of my workouts for the week.
My keys to success are
1) Have my meals planned and ready, or set up to prepare as soon as I get home from work.
2) Learn paleo recipes of different dishes to keep myself interested.
3) No guilt for the occasional non paleo activity.
4) No more than 3 days of workouts in a row.
My before and after pictures were taken 1 year a part from each other and I am wearing the same board shorts in both pictures. Having these results has really made the fitness game fun. I can't wait to see what my second year gains will be.