Eat More. Be More.

6 Months In: Has It Been Worth It?

It’s hard to believe time flies like it does. In some ways it feels like I’ve been working out longer than 6 months. But when I think back, it seems like just yesterday that I couldn’t finish a lap around the building. One day at a time really adds up before you know it. This journey has been a lot of hard work, and it hasn’t exactly been smooth. But has it been worth all the effort?

About 6 weeks into my workout routine. Still round.

Taken during the Open about 6 weeks into my workout routine. Still round as a medicine ball at this point.

On January 6th I weighed 277lbs (according to the scale at my office which is where I officially weigh once per week). So even though Sunday was 6 months, yesterday was the weigh in. I figure 48 hours probably doesn’t mean much in the course of 6 months.

I am currently at 227 pounds. That’s a NET loss of 50 pounds, which is just over 18% of my total body weight. I say net, because even though that’s what the scale says, it’s not accounting for the muscle that I’ve added. My scale at home is one of those that also measures body fat, though I question the accuracy. Even though it may be off, it should be consistent with itself. Based on those numbers, I’ve added a little over 7.5lbs of muscle during the last 6 months. That would result in a total fat loss of 57.5lbs.

I’ll have a better idea later this month of what my goal weight will be because I am having my body fat percentage measured in a couple of weeks. Once I know my lean mass, I can better estimate my target.

Thrusters at 95 lbs during Open 14.5

Thrusters at 95 lbs during Open 14.5. I think my coach is deciding if he needs to dial 911

It’s Not Just About The Weight

Fat loss is great, but it’s only part of the story. The other part is how I feel on a daily basis. True, I went from usually having aches and pains to usually having aches and pains, but now it’s sore muscles from hard work, not joint paint from carrying too much weight and having no core or stabilizer muscles.

One thing I have learned is how to manage the soreness with mobility exercises and myofascial release. This is a core component of Crossfit. Strength can improve your flexibility, and flexibility can improve strength as you expand your range of motion, but you have to work at it.

Saturday morning my shoulder was tight and sore which would affect my ability to do overhead squats and squat snatches. Seven minutes with a foam roller and a lacrosse ball and I was able to set a 40lb personal record on my overhead squat.

This is what Crossfit teaches you.

In The End, It’s About Your Health

It’s great to wear clothes that are considerably smaller and to look in the mirror and feel better about yourself. Feeling good on the inside is better.

A handful of times each year I find myself working as an exhibitor at a convention. This means a lot of standing and walking over the course of a few days. When I was in London, it was more than a mile from the parking lot to our booth carrying a heavy shoulder bag. It took me twice as long to get there as it did my coworkers. After 4 months I could keep up without any problem.

It’s amazing how much easier daily activities become when you aren’t carrying around that extra weight. And the sleep. Oh, the sleep. If you want a good night’s rest, hit the gym hard. You hope your kids play all day so they’ll sleep good and working out does the same thing for us adult types.

Make Your Doctor Happy

My poor doctor thought a mistake had been made in my chart the last time I was in. It had only been a 4 weeks since he had seen me but my chart said I had lost 15lbs. He thought the nurse made an error. We had a nice conversation about diet changes and Crossfit so that he would understand what I had been doing and that I was losing weight in a healthy way.

There is no greater feeling when you’ve been fat all your life than to walk into a doctor’s office and have him tell you you’re doing everything right and to keep it up.

I’ll be going back to the doctor at the end of next month for a routine follow up, but as of last month every single one of my numbers on my blood panel have improved. I have empirical proof of the improvements in my body that I can’t see or feel, but can be the most dangerous down the road. My cholesterol is better, my triglycerides have improved, and my blood pressure is lower to name a few of the dozens of things he monitors.

The most important goal here is to protect and invest in long term health. Avoiding chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes are what matters to me more than any other. The numbers show this goal is being met as well.

How About Some Photos?

I didn’t anticipate posting this type of picture unil I had been at it for a year. I’m still hesitant because I’m not satisfied with where I am. My original goal was to see if I could lose 70 lbs. Now that I’ve lost 50, I see how much more I still need to lose.

At the same time, I know I should be proud of how far I’ve come. Others have posted their progress pictures and I’m always amazed at their transformations. Even while I’m not happy where I’m at, I am glad I’m not where I was. So here are some pictures to give you a better idea of what has gone down over the last 6 months:

The Beginning: January 6th, 2014

January 6th, 2014

January 6th, 2014

6 Months: July 6th, 2014

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I'm really not as angry as I look. Must be the beard.

I’m really not as angry as I look. Must be the beard.

I've never seen ridges before

I’ve never seen ridges before and no more back boobs.

20140704_6mos_002

It Wasn’t A Serious Question

So yeah, I’d say the results are MORE than worth the effort I’ve put in over the last 6 months. I wish I looked thinner than I do, and had lost even more weight, but the results are there. The weekly numbers back up the research that say you should aim for 2lbs per week. Working out and eating right has put me right on target for that number. I just keep reminding myself that translates into 100lbs in a year (even if I don’t have quite that much to lose).

A Team Effort

The most I’ve ever been able to lose is 12 lbs. And that lasted two weeks. But this time, I’m not doing it on my own. I have an amazing team behind me that has made this all possible.

I have to mention Rich Hamsher for designing the workouts, Aimee Hamsher for texting me encouragement and keeping me positive, and both of them for coaching me past hurdles I would have tripped over before. There is nothing more valuable than great coaches. On that note, I also have to say thank you to Cameron Parker for his coaching and help with my mobility. I discovered yesterday I can put my palm flat between my shoulder blades where I used to struggle to scratch the back of my head!

In addition to that, I have dozens of coaches who have helped push me, encourage me, and keep me from quitting when I thought I couldn’t do any more. My new family at East 80 Crossfit are all amazing coaches and inspirations. Every one of them is an athlete/coach. I felt completely out of place when I started working out, but they welcomed me, taught me, and walked me through the beginning months.

Most importantly, I have to thank my wife. She is the one who gives me the most encouragement. This is a journey we are on together, and it is amazing to have the support of your best friend. She does all of our meal prep, menu planning, shopping, and cooking (okay, I do run the grill occasionally). She asks about my workouts, gets me to the gym when I don’t want to go, and constantly reminds me of how proud she is. This would never be possible without her.

People say Crossfit is expensive. Yeah, it’s more than a traditional gym, but the value doesn’t even compare. I’ve paid thousands of dollars to globo gyms over the last 15 years and what did I get? Fat. To have several personal trainers for multiple hours per week monitoring me, coaching me, and writing all of my workouts, this membership is the deal of the century.

Now Go Do It

If you’ve been thinking about starting a weight loss plan for any reason, now is the time. It’s not easy, and it will require changes, but I can tell you and now SHOW you that it can be done. Set your goals, find your motivation, and enlist help. The one thing you never have to do is go at it alone. I’m not an expert in anything diet or fitness related, but if you have a question, send me an email, leave a message on the Facebook page, or comment below.

And be sure to sign up for email updates at the bottom of this post or in the top of the sidebar so you’ll receive regularly updated content. There is a lot in store here for you this month, so don’t miss out!

What is your motivation for getting in shape?

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