You’d think with all that’s been going on in my life related to health and fitness, I’d be busting at the seams with stuff to write about. And I am, I just haven’t been DOING it lately. Too busy? Maybe, I don’t know. Every once in a while — if you’ve ever followed any of my other blogs you know this already — I just dip out for a bit. I get bored with myself, sick of hearing my internal voice read back my words day after day and decide to just shut up for a while and experience life without documenting or trying to make blog-worthy every last piece of it.
I think I’m ready to start coming back to blogging about the whole health and fitness journey again. But so much has changed in my lifestyle during my hiatus that I need to do a quick catch-up before I can hit cruise-control again…
The Personal Trainer Thing:
In my time away, I spent 6 weeks in classes working to become certified as a personal fitness trainer. Health has become my obsession, and I think I’ve found a really good means of reaching and maintaining physical fitness and health, and I want to share that with as many people as possible. Losing fat, gaining muscle and flexibility, finding good nutrition and gaining such quality of life over the past couple of years has made me an immensely happier person, and if I can contribute even a little bit to somebody else getting the same satisfaction out of their life that I’m enjoying, I think I’ll find even more value in life.
I’ve taken my classes, taken my written and practical exams, and now am awaiting my results from the certifying body. If I find that I passed (I felt like I did), I’ll then need to become CPR/AED certified and complete a 30-hour internship which I already have lined up through my CrossFit coach at the Y. CrossFit? Oh yeah, I think that requires a new header.
It’s magical. If you are my friend on facebook, you’ve probably seen about a thousand statuses with me reveling in the agony of CrossFit. I started Crossfitting in February, so I’ve been doing it pretty regularly for about 4 months. It’s the most intense physical activity I’ve ever voluntarily engaged in. I go Monday/Wednesday/Friday mornings at 6am to work out with a group where we do everything from sprints to olympic barbell lifts to kettlebell workouts to gymnastics. I also go some Saturdays.
I plan to become a CrossFit Level 1 certified trainer within the year, so I can confidently employ their methods into my own workout structure as it evolves. But that’s another blog.
The founder of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, defines the basics in 100 words: “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.”
This lifestyle has gotten me into the best cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and flexibility of my life. But as you can see from the very first words of Glassman’s synopsis up there, food is the cornerstone, if not the entire foundation and then some. Which leads me to the next header…
Primal/Paleo life is here to stay:
I did some writing on this before I checked out. I started eating primally, following the guidance I got from a book called “The Primal Blueprint,” by Mark Sisson. I read his blog daily, and have become nothing short of obsessed with primal/paleo nutrition. I think the reason behind that obsession is that since it’s so starkly contrary in some respects to what popular nutrition guidelines spout as absolution, I feel like I NEED to know every last bit of the thought process and research behind this stuff in order to A) defend it when people inevitably try to argue it’s validity, B) follow it safely and properly while maintaining a good balance and ensuring that it’s making me look, feel and perform my best, and C) recommend it to friends and potential clients as my basic nutritional guidelines for anyone from the casually active person trying to lean up a bit to elite athletes with specific performance goals.
I’ve been scouring the internet and taking in every bit of information I can to become as self-educated as possible in what many in the paleo research circles jokingly refer to as “pseudo-science” in reference to the way mainstream nutrition views the paleo lifestyle.
I’ve also migrated slightly away from Sisson’s sort of loose version of paleo, which he calls “primal,” and lean a little more toward a tighter version. In the tighter version of paleo, I love my menu, and I love the evolution of how I look, feel and perform. Tighter than primal to me basically means no dairy and less emphasis on fruit and nuts.
Though right now — side note — I’m on a kick to burn body fat, so even though I allow myself the occasional cheese either by choice or circumstance, I’m not indulging in dairy, fruit or nuts. My food is 95% in the realm of meat, eggs and veggies. I’m not being a nazi about it though. If something comes up and it’s kinda unavoidable, or if I’m on vacation or something, I’ll break and not kick myself for it. But for the most part, very tight paleo currently.
I’ll add nuts and seeds back to the mix, along with light amounts of fruit when I reach the leanness I’m looking for. I think dairy is gone as a staple for good though. But again, if it comes up and it’s hard to dodge, I don’t dodge.
Aaaaaaaanyway. That’s a rough wrap-up. I’m on my way to being a trainer, busting my ass in CrossFit, sorting out paleo nutrition.
I’m enjoying this souped-up fleshy vehicle my soul drives more and more every day.
And I hope to be back to tell you more, very soon.