Day 4. Why I Do This.

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Winning at moustaches.

Tomorrow we’ll be back to our usual snark and witticisms, but I needed to mark today. I hope you all don’t mind.

Four years ago, September 19th fell on a Friday night. I had just arrived in NYC to spend the weekend reuniting with my best friends from college. It was 10 or 11pm, we were getting ready to go out, the drinks were poured, the music was blasting. My phone began to vibrate – it was my mom calling.

When I look back on the moment I saw her name on my caller ID, my mind goes to some weird places. I have NO idea why I decided to pick up the phone when she called. It was Friday night, I was getting a little drunk with friends, we were on our way out the door. But I answered, and she was crying. “Daddy’s sick, they took him to the hospital,” she said. “Can you come home?” My head started spinning and my hands began to shake. I remember opening up the computer to see that there were no more Amtrak trains running that night.

Then it happened. I could hear my mom start to cry on the phone. When I heard the words “he died,” I remember that I collapsed onto the floor. I remember that my friends fell too, holding me. The rest of the night and the rest of the week was a blur. My friends got a cab to New Jersey so we could pick up someone’s car and drive back to Philadelphia, then I got in a Zipcar and drove to Hershey. I arrived at something like 3 or 4am. My sister was there. The organ donor people called our house at 4:30 in the morning. We planned a funeral mass. We bought weird stuff like urns and prayer cards. The doctors at the hospital told us that he’d had a thoracic aneurysm. People came to the wake and wrote us notes and said the most amazing things. Some people said weird stuff like “I had a heart attack last year, but I survived.” HOW NICE FOR YOU SIR. But that was the exception. Our family rallied around us.

When you experience tragedy, I don’t think there’s a specific time when it “gets easier.” Even last week, four years after my dad’s death, I got teary when Steppenwolf came on the radio because I remember riding in the car with him and how he would drum on the steering wheel to Magic Carpet Ride. I felt his presence over Memorial Day weekend when we were hanging out around a fire at my uncle’s lakehouse. I always get a lump in my throat when I realize how very alike he and my husband are, and how they’ll never know each other the way they could have and should have, and how my nephew would have had so much fun with his grandpa and how my kids will never have that, either.

So, my dad died of a dissecting thoracic aneurysm, which essentially means that he developed a small tear in the wall of an artery right near his heart. A dissecting thoracic aneurysm doesn’t make you drop dead suddenly the way a brain aneurysm does, but it’s not something they automatically test for when you go into the hospital complaining about severe stomach pain, nausea and chest pain. By the time they realized it wasn’t food poisoning or a heart attack, it was too late.

My dad was 54 years old when he died. My parents had just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. My sister’s son was six months old. I was 23. He saw me graduate college. He was a great dad to my sister and me and a wonderful husband to my mom. But there’s so much he hasn’t been there to see.

I’m blessed that once he received painkillers for his symptoms that night, he didn’t suffer. I’m blessed that he thought until the end that he’d be going home the next day. I’m blessed that his last words to my mom were “I love you, see you soon” before she stepped out of the room so they could help him use the bathroom. I’m blessed that she didn’t have to see him code and watch his heart stop. I’m blessed with the knowledge that a lot of people were helped by the fact that we choice to donate his organs and tissues*. I’m blessed that I have 23 years worth of wonderful memories of an amazing man.

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I know this is an incredibly personal story to share on a public forum, but it forms the cornerstone of why I’m so passionate about what I do. I don’t rant about chemicals in food because I like to be on a soapbox (although, yeah, I like arguing with people, I’ll admit it!). I do it because I’ve seen firsthand how precious and delicate our bodies really are. And we ask so much of them just going through the motions of our everyday life. I’ve seen what can happen to someone that goes their entire lives struggling to follow the conventional wisdom about losing weight and being healthy. My dad spent most of his life behind the wheel of a car or sitting at a desk, yo-yo dieting, being starving every day when all he was “allowed” to eat was bran flakes and fat-free milk for breakfast, a turkey sandwich and salad for lunch, and some whole grain pasta for dinner (inevitably resulting in wanting to  - and often – eating an entire batch of cinnamon rolls in a night). And he was TRYING. Trying to keep his fat intake low. Trying to keep his calories down. Trying really, really hard to be “healthy.”

I know that we can’t live in a giant bubble padded with kale. But what I also know is that we owe it to our bodies to be kind to ourselves – to stop eating a certain way because we are told we should by a giant corporation trying to sell us Hot-Fudge-Double-Cheesy-O’s or a government conglomerate that promised the agricultural and pharmaceutical industries a few favors.  And each of YOU owe it to your families and loved ones and YOURSELVES to know that no, you don’t have to wake up feeling achy and congested every day. You don’t have to have acid reflux after every meal (and it’s just *not* okay to have to take a pill every single day just so you can eat food without pain). You can actually eat well, without guilt, and enjoy real, whole food, and deadlift several hundred pounds and swing a heavy kettlebell until you’re old. You can sleep through the night and wake up without an alarm or coffee. You can soak up the sun. You don’t have to die at 54. Your body is your own beautiful machine.

Fuel it well.

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*PS: I don’t talk about this much at all, but I really encourage everyone who hasn’t to register as an organ donor. I registered myself when I got my license,but it’s not something you really think about until you HAVE to. It’s a stressful and difficult conversation to have on the worst night of your life.

I never knew that it was more than just hearts and lungs that could be donated. I know that the concept is scary or gruesome to a lot of people and I sincerely understand why that can be. I have to say though, I have so much peace with the thought that my dad lives on all around me in the lives that were bettered and saved by the fact that his corneas helped someone to see, his tissues helped burn victims to heal, fragments of bone went to help someone mend after an accident, and so many more that I’m not even aware of. I know it’s morbid to talk about, but it is one of the most beautiful things to come out of this tragedy. It’s a cause that’s very close to my heart, and I hope it’s something you all think about.

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PPS: Today I drank my cup of coffee with pastured butter, rowed 750/500/250 at 8am, went to the chiropractor, ate tuna salad with EVOO and whipped sweet potatoes for lunch, and I’m about to dive into lamb chops and kale for dinner. And despite the fact that my day was hectic, I’m so happy. Happy that you guys are just as excited about this as I am, and really and truly happy to see so many of you working really hard to be good to yourselves today and every day.

How’d day 4 go for everyone? Keep the food logging and comments coming! I’m trying really hard to respond to everyone as often as I can!

Comments
34 Responses to “Day 4. Why I Do This.”
  1. Leila says:

    Meg,

    This was incredibly moving. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your father sounds like a great man and I think living your life with a purpose to help others live better is a wonderful tribute.

  2. Angie says:

    Agreed Leila….thanks for sharing this Meg….

  3. Melanie says:

    I third the sentiment. Thanks Meg. It was extremely moving.

    • crossfitcentercity says:

      Leila, Samm, Angie, Melanie,

      Thank you all. I’m glad it meant so much to you guys. It was tough to write but very cathartic.

      xox,
      Meg

  4. Luke L says:

    Wow, what a beautiful tribute to your dad…that literally made me cry and brings a couple of thoughts to my mind. 1) Your dad had an amazing mustache. 2) Organ donation is super cool and such an awesome gift. One of the things I desperately want to participate in before I finish medical school is the organ donation process. I’ve heard some incredible stories about the human impact that it has and I would second your encouragement to others to register and then talk to others in your family to let your wishes be known. 3) Thank you for guiding us through this process. It really is making a huge difference!

    Now for my daily log:
    So I woke up this morning craving Doritos. I’ve been known to plow through a large bag in a sitting before, so I was a little worried about what this might mean for the day, so I decided to eat a little more fruit today than I had previously been to satiate that craving. Then at lunch, one of my co-workers was working his way through a bag of potato chips as well, and I was really craving a bag of chips, but then I thought of the accountability of posting that on the blog and avoided running to Wawa to grab a bag.

    Breakfast – 3 eggs, an orange, whole milk, black coffee

    Lunch – Salad from Gia Pronto with mixed greens, cucumbers, carrots, celery, tomatoes, broccoli, black beans, onions, and chicken.

    Snack – apple and almonds

    In between Oly and Session class – Orange. I anticipated needing a little boost in between workouts, so I planned ahead and brought something.

    Dinner (post workout) – I was famished after working out today and can’t explain how excited I was to come home and have some protein and sweet potatoes. Finished off the leftover roast, sweet potato with butter, grilled asparagus, carrots, and whole milk.

    Workout: Intro to Oly (6 PM) and Session (7:30 PM)

    Oly – PR’d my snatch today from 70 to 72 Kg. I think I definitely had more in me but on the attempts where I had big lifts, I wasn’t ready to catch the bar and then on a couple of other lifts I did some funky technique stuff (stripper butt, etc). Nonetheless, good to PR on a day where I perhaps wasn’t at my best.

    Session

    SELF-MYOFASCIAL RELEASE: Foam Roll, 3 minutes. Lax Ball, 3 minutes.

    DYNAMIC WARM-UP: Roughly 30 seconds of each: Cat Camel, Heel Pressdowns, Spiderman Steps, Adductor Mobs, Squat to Stands, Leg Swings.

    ACTIVATION: Broad Jumps, 5 attempts – record your best. NEW PR! 118 inches (previous was 117)

    STRENGTH: Conventional Deadlift, up to a peak of 1. If you can, try to record your jumps so that you can be ready for the CrossFit Total (you’ll take similar jumps on this day, or, if these jumps don’t end up making sense, you’ll take slightly different ones!) NEW PR!!! Jumps as follows 185 x 3, 225 x 2, 275 x 1, 315 x 1, 345 x 1, 375 x 1, 395 x 1, 405 x 1 (Previous PR was 375).

    METABOLIC CONDITIONING: Time Trial, Row 1k. This was the first time I’ve ever done this, and I rowed 3:12…..and was COMPLETELY WRECKED. For reals, I don’t know why it still amazes me, but you can be legs shaking, can’t catch your breath, lay in the fetal position exhausted in a couple of minutes. Since it was my first time, that means a NEW PR!

    Overall: I was pretty pleased to avoid getting a bag of chips today. This was the first day that I really had to fight off cravings for something and frankly without the accountability of BCCC, I totally would have binged. The workouts were awesome today (4 PR’s!!!). My goal all day was to dead lift 400 lbs, so I was super stoked to do that. It was also pretty neat to see literally almost everyone PR the dead lift today. Tomorrow I’ll be really interested to see how I recover, because I was spent after the workout today…like had to wait 15 minutes for my legs to start working again so I could walk home spent.

    • crossfitcentercity says:

      Luke, you get ALL the gold stars for today. You had a craving and dealt with it mentally and made a better choice. You PLANNED AHEAD for a situation you knew would be difficult. You got excited about real delicious dinner food. You PR’d all the things! And you almost died on the rower, but that’s neither here nor there. Hooray for time trials. That 1K is a bitch!

      -Meg

  5. Heather says:

    Meg, I’m so sorry for you loss, that was a very moving tribute to your father. And makes me happy to be an organ donor!

    Last night was a little challenging. I was craving something sweet. Really craving. And my super sweet boyfriend tried to sabotage me by leaving a small bag of chocolate at my house. I picked it up, looked at the ingredients, and dumped it into my garbage disposal. Good bye temptation!! How does everyone else deal with certain cravings? Also are there any alternatives besides fruit to satisfy my cravings of everything sweet?

    For breakfast I had 2 eggs scrambled, 2 slices of bacon, and some roasted spiced butternut squash. Hit the noon session and PR’d my deadlift (200lbs!!). Had 2 more eggs when I came home and some grilled balsalmic chicken later in the afternoon. Last night I threw some beef, butternut squash, peppers, onions, and diced tomatoes in the crockpot so this morning I woke up to some delicious chili/stew dish that I had for dinner tonight with a small cup of cantaloupe.

    Planning ahead for this meal helped a lot so I didn’t feel like I was in the kitchen cooking all day. Think I might start using my crockpot a lot more in the future! I love easy meals!

    • morgan voz says:

      heather, great job with the garbage disposal!

    • crossfitcentercity says:

      Hey Heather –

      I’m going to talk about cravings and stuff a little bit tonight if you’ll be there but basically – I think it’s best to actually deviate from fruit entirely (in response to cravings that is). Not that I have a problem with fruit, fruit is nutritious AND delicious, but it is still sweet at its essence, and you’re kind of capitulating to your brain’s demands by giving it fruit. It’s kind of like a little kid throwing a temper tantrum at the toy store over wanting say, a new bike. Would you put up with a temper tantrum and be like “well you can’t have a bike, but you can have this other toy instead?” I think most people would say no, because it’s kind of rewarding bad behavior, right?

      So, when you’re trying to actively squelch the sugar demon, I’d go for something that’s protein and fat based. OR you can have some very dark chocolate at first (Lindt 85% is my favorite), unless you find it difficult to stop at just a few squares (I say this because I do in fact find it tough to slow my roll when it comes to chocolate). Really, it’s up to you to experiment with this and see what makes the cravings worse and what shuts them up. Sometimes it just comes down to it being a gut check. This is the point where you post on FB or the blog in despair or text a friend. Or know that I’ll be here WATCHING and HOLDING YOU ACCOUNTABLE. :)

      -Meg

  6. Melanie says:

    I was so moved by Meg’s post I neglected to actually include my log, which is pretty simple: After a hungry day on Tuesday, I had an extremely un-hungry day yesterday. I had black coffee in the morning followed by some kombucha. For lunch and dinner I had a big bowl of my beef curry with some spinach thrown in.

  7. Jeff B. says:

    Meg,

    I am sorry for you loss and strongly echo your thoughts about organ donation. As part of my job, I play a part in the chain of events that gets organs to recipients, and it is amazing how many lives get touched in the process — not only for the patients, but their families.

    PROTEIN: 219 FAT: 108 CARBS: 117 CALORIES: 2299

    Breakfast: coffee, 3 strips bacon, kimchi, 2 hardboiled eggs, Greens supplement, 4g fish oil, 1000mg vitC, 5000 IU vitD3
    Session, then: sweet potato, 10g BCAAs
    Snack: sardines
    Lunch: 3 chicken thighs, green beans
    Snack: 2 KIND fruit & nut bars
    Dinner: 4 chicken thighs, roasted squash
    Snack: 1/2 cup almonds

    Here’s my stretching routine, for now, for anyone that’s interested (it’s one of my goals other than diet). It’s a combo of stuff I’ve learned from Tim’s Croga and reading Greg Everett in order to attain the necessary basic flexibility for Oly. I take a hot shower beforehand and do this while watching Erin Burnett’s “Outfront” on CNN — to stretch my mind as well, and also because she’s amazing.

    HIP FLEXORS & QUADS
    - QUAD & HIP FLEXOR STRETCH: BACK FOOT UP ON CHAIR WITH KNEE FLEXED, FRONT LEG IN LUNGE, EXTEND HIP SIMULTANEOUSLY

    HIP EXTENSORS & ADDUCTORS
    - STRAIGHT-KNEE HAMSTRING STRETCH (USE PNF, MAINTAIN LUMBAR CURVE, USE BAND), THEN PULL ACROSS BODY FOR ITB STRETCH
    - BENT-KNEE HAMSTRING STRETCH (SAME AS ABOVE, BUT WITH KNEE BENT, USE BAND, USE PNF)
    - SPIDERMANS (TRY TO LOWER CHEST TO FLOOR INSIDE FRONT KNEE)
    - RUSSIAN BABY MAKER (HANDS ON TOP OF FEET, WEDGE ELBOWS INSIDE THIGH AS DEEP AS POSSIBLE, TRY TO SPREAD LEGS APART AT THE PROXIMAL ENDS)

    POSTERIOR/LATERAL HIP & LATERAL LEG
    - LATERAL HIP STRETCH (ONE LEG OUT STRAIGHT, OTHER LEG BENT WITH FOOT PLACED OUTSIDE STRAIGHT LEG, OPPOSITE ARM HOOKED AROUND BENT LEG AND PULL TOWARD THAT SHOULDER)
    - VARIATION: FRONT LEG BENT IN FRONT ON FLOOR, OTHER LEG STRAIGHT BACKWARD, LEAN FORWARD AND DOWN OVER FRONT LEG KEEPING THIGH FLAT ON FLOOR. PUSH HIPS FORWARD AND STRAIGHT DOWN OVER FRONT LEG.

    SHOULDERS AND CHEST
    - BENT ARM PEC STRETCH AGAINST DOORJAMB (BEND ELBOW & PLACE FOREARM VERTICALLY AGAINST SIDE OF DOORWAY, ELBOW A LITTLE HIGHER THAN SHOULDER, PUSH CHEST FORWARD AND TURN AWAY FROM ARM, KEEPING TORSO UPRIGHT).
    - TRICEP/LAT STRETCH AGAINST DOORJAMB (BEND ELBOW COMPLETELY & LEAN UNDERSIDE OF UPPER ARM NEAR ELBOW AGAINST DOORJAMB)
    - SHOULDER DISLOCATES USING BROOM HANDLE (GET PROGRESSIVELY NARROWER)
    - UPPER THORACIC MOBILITY STRETCH USING FOAM ROLLER UNDER UPPER BACK, GRAB COUCH LEG

    CALVES
    - SOLEUS STRETCH (SQUAT, LEAN ELBOW ONTO ONE KNEE, FLEX ANKLE KEEPING FOOT FLAT ON FLOOR)
    - GASTROCNEMIUS STRETCH (PLACE TOES AGAINST WALL, HEAL ON FLOOR, KEEP KNEE STRAIGHT AND LEAN FORWARD, BEND KNEE FOR PNF)

    WRISTS & SHOULDERS
    - WRIST FLEXOR STRETCH (PALMS DOWN, FINGERS FORWARD, THEN BACKWARD)
    - WRIST EXTENSOR STRETCH (PALMS UP, FINGERS FORWARD, THEN BACKWARD)

  8. Mason says:

    Very inspiring post Meg. For me personally a (much easier) version of this lesson also drove me toward athleticism and being healthy.

    Log for yesterday is on MyFitnessPal (I’ll start posting links as soon as I find that option). Highlights include good calorie count, eggs and turkey bacon for breakfast, veggies and shrimp for lunch, and chicken fajitas for dinner (without the wrap). I also am forced to note that I did break into a bag of swedish fish, which was a 180 calorie digression into sugar. Having said that, I was at the Walnut Street Theater watching A Love Story (which was awesome) and I usually allow myself a snack for these things in order to sit still for 1+hrs. And I made my protein and calorie goals… so….yea…lets hear it for rationalization.

    Did my usual “off day” workout yesterday as well, and woke up this morning to squat cleans and 100 pullups at CFCC. Will post more about that tomorrow along with a list of my attempts to avoid feeling like I got hit by a train later today. We’ll see if I am successful.

    Until next time :-)

    — Mason

    • crossfitcentercity says:

      Mason -

      I say this with love, but I gotta call a little bit of BS on rationalization of anything only three days into the challenge (which is okay, because that’s what I’m here for, to ruin lives!)

      I submit that swedish fish are always available anytime you want them. They’re not special, they’re not a unique situation, it’s not a once in a lifetime opportunity (like ahem, OKTOBERFEST?!)

      I’d recommend keeping them out of your house if they’re that tempting, of course, but it’s important to note that when you’re going to be in a situation that you normally associate with a habit you’re trying to break, you do have to make some preparations to help your willpower get through that. Continuing to feed your sugar demons, regardless of whether or not it comes in at a certain caloric amount, is never, ever ever going to help you get over your cravings.

      You have a very lofty set of goals to accomplish in a month, and you already know you’re going to put a kink in the works with your trip to Germany (a trip which, may I point out, IS once in a lifetime, rare, special occasion). Why set yourself back further with something as commonplace as candy or Clif bars? You’re choosing to commit to some pretty intense results, and something like that does require some intense focus. The whole point of this month is to challenge yourself to “get what you’ve never had by doing what you’ve never done.”

      Any day of the week, you’ll be better off eating 180 calories worth of steak or broccoli or potato. If you’re really feeling hungry during the day, you can eat protein. Always more protein. OR a little bit of fat! And if you’re not really hungry but “Just need (fill in the blank) because you’re at the movies/at a party/finished dinner etc?” Well, there’s always a million ways to rationalize stuff like that, and it’ll leave you always doing what you’ve been doing with the same results you’ve always gotten.

      Down with Swedish Fish. That is all.

      -M

      • Mason says:

        Swedish fish in my house?! I could never do that; they won’t last the night. Not kidding.

        I totally agree with you on the above, though that rationalization bit was pure sarcasm… I guess it is my way of saying I’m incredibly good at the rationalizing but it doesn’t (usually) change the facts.

        Cliff builder bars, on the other hand, we should probably discuss more. I have yet to find a suitable sub for them, and they fall into the category of “food that I think is okay to eat from a macronutrient standpoint but probably isn’t healthy long term.” Given the short term nature of this, I have been eating them pre-workout for a carb/protein combo source that is easy to grab in the morning.

        Will be at the Q+A in an hour so we can talk more :-)

        — Mason

  9. morgan voz says:

    meg, thanks for sharing. nothing like starting my day off with some tears and a little perspective. it sounds like yesterday the “challenge” part of the BCCC really started to creep up on us. the beginning always has a buffer because were so excited, and just went grocery shopping, and we are super inspired with all the recipes floating around- but then the daily routine sinks back in and its hard to wake up earlier just to cook, or be hungry for a little longer until youre surrounded by the right options, OR refuse the lemon-chocolate layered cookies that your bartender INSISTS ARE THE BEST THINGS HES EVER TASTED AND EVERYONE AROUND YOU IS EATING THEM AND SAYING “MMMMM” BECAUSE THEY THINK ITS FUNNY TO TEASE YOU AND THEY WANT TO SEE YOU FAIL BECAUSE THEY DONT HAVE THE WILL-POWER OR KNOWLEDGE TO COMMIT TO A FRACTION OF WHAT WEVE SIGNED OURSELVES UP FOR. anyway, ill continue to resist temptation as long as i know heather is literally grinding chocolate in her garbage disposal.

  10. Khanh says:

    Thank you Meg for sharing that touching story, and that is why I am an organ donor. Also, thank you so much for guiding us through this whole journey, I don’t know how I would have done it without your advices, and insights.

    For my 4th day, it was just as routine as always. It started off with an omelet with sausage, peppers, onion, and tomatoes. And a cup of coffee.

    Went to the noon session and PR’ed my deadlift!!!! Then I had the protein shake, but I’m slowly weening myself off the soymilk and mixed in half soy and half water. Today I will totally take out the soy. Also the peanut butter I used is all natural, and the ingredients are peanut and <1% salt. Lunch was the the left over stuffed pork chops that I made on Tuesday.

    Dinner was a delicious steak chili made by Heather and a grilled chicken breast smothered in Frank's. I've been doing really well with my snacking and eating junk food. I have walked away from cake, banana bread, and cannolis. It really does not help that people at work keep bringing in all these stuff but I would just say no and not go anywhere near it.

    I have some shrimp curry sitting in the crock pot and going to attempt to make some cauliflower rice right now. So hopefully that will turn out delicious and I look forward to seeing everybody else's progress. Also I've been posting on my blog with pics.

    • crossfitcentercity says:

      Khanh –
      Congrats on the deadlift PR!

      Let us know how the curry turns out. Making awesome new recipes can be so key to this being not so bad. Seriously, it’s hard to hate life when you get to eat shrimp curry!

      -M

  11. Anahi says:

    Great post, Meghan! I was trying to listen in on a conference call and read that at the same time, I and I found myself tearing up. I am sorry you had to go through that. It sounds so difficult. But thanks for sharing with us! You are awesome.

  12. Melanie says:

    I just participated in a birthday cake celebration, sans cake, and I was really fine. I think everyone else felt much sorrier for me than I felt for myself. When I feel as great as I do right now, it’s easy to stay strong.

    • crossfitcentercity says:

      ……………….Annnnnd yep! Exactly that. “Everyone feels much sorrier for you than you feel for yourself.” I’m so painting that on my wall. Or something. The same thing happened on my birthday. Everyone was like “BUT THE CAKE? YOU DON”T WANT THE CAKE? THAT SUCKS!” And I”m like…..meh?

  13. Cait says:

    Meg – Thank you so much for sharing. While I can’t say I remotely understand the sadness and pain you’ve gone through stemming from your dad’s passing, I can say that I understand tragedy spurring a desire to commit entirely to a healthy lifestyle. My mom’s recent diagnosis with CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) has opened my eyes to the fragility of life and the importance of a well functioning body. Committing to mental, physical, and emotional health above all else (including income, “fun” that includes too much booze or other risky behaviors, and many other “normal” things) has become the most important thing in my life. It seems the same can be said for you! Thank you for sharing such a deeply personal story and thank you for speaking out on all things you believe in :)

    BCCC Stuff:
    I’ve been going to acupuncture lately and wrote a little bit about it on my tumblr that is also my food log. Check it out if you are so inclined. caitsday.tumblr.com

    Major Highlights:

    – Morning started off with acupuncture! Brilliant. I had a spoon of almond butter before I left because I tend to get a little light headed on the table and wanted to keep that at bay.
    – Breakfast was – kale, one hard boiled egg, two turkey sausage breakfast links from RTM. YUM! Had a cup of herbal tea with this too.
    – Lunch was a salad with leftover turkey sliders on top. A ton of greens and veggies (red pepper, cucumber, carrot, onion, tomatoes) so I felt super satisfied and full.
    – Snack was a clementine – I couldn’t resist – and a small black coffee.
    – Dinner was 8 oz of baked salmon with roasted yukon potatoes and brussel sprouts. Super amazingly delicious! I would up making a rag tag sauce for the salmon using mustard seed and powder, olive oil, onions, and red hot sauce. Worked for me.
    – I drank 5 27 oz. bottles of water today. This is pretty average for me but I would like to up my intake – may help with some of the cravings I get. Does lemon in water really help with that? Experiment time!
    – I think I am still high on the concept of a challenge so no real struggles with cravings.
    – Those goddamn M&Ms are still in my house but Brian is doing a bang up job of eating them so hopefully they will be gone soon!
    – Sleeping like a babyyyy! As I am not running a good control re: diet vs. acupuncture, I don’t know which deserves more credit but I am pretty confident that it is a little bit of both. Plus sleeping with the windows open with a cuddly kitty and an even cuddly-er boyfriends can’t hurt either. :)

    • crossfitcentercity says:

      Cait! Thank you. I’m so sorry about your mom and I hope she is able to fight back and stay well for a long long time. And I can’t wait to read about the acupuncture. I’m very freaked out by needles, so it’s the last bastion of holistic medicine that I’m willing to try.

      Everything’s looking good especially your M&M resistance and SLEEP! We definitely need to discuss how valuable good sleep is and soon.

      Water – so you’re probably fine with what you’re drinking. There are conflicting discussions out there about how much we REALLY need but I think a good rule is half your bodyweight in ounces as a baseline and more if you’re particularly thirsty, but it’s not the end of the world either way. If I’m feeling headachy or lethargic my rule is to see how I feel after a huge glass of water. Lemon in water is good just because it makes it a little tastier/more palatable, but there’s also some evidence that it can help digestion because lemon is alkaline in your body. In this case I’d say if you like lemon or want a change, give it a try. I just started squeezing lemon into my water and it does seem more refreshing to me, but I’m not sure it’s grounded in anything but my taste buds.

      Let me know how it goes!

      -Meg

      • Rach says:

        Wait Meg…are you saying I need to drink more than 50 ounces of water PER DAY?!?!? As a BASELINE?

        • crossfitcentercity says:

          Rach -

          NO! That’s a suggestion if you want a number to aim for. And to put it in perspective, that’s like 1 big nalgene, a couple small plastic cups of water during/after a workout, a coconut water, and some coffee and tea throughout the day. Sometimes I get less, sometimes I get more, the point is, I think that if you have a headache or feel lethargic you should consider getting a leeeeetle more hydrated. But it’s definitely not something to stress over if you’re feeling fine with what you’re doing!

  14. Jaclyn H. says:

    I second everyone here, thanks for sharing your story, Meg.

    Day 4 was tough. I have still not figured out the best way to deal with my ridiculous afternoon crash, which has happened every day since I started eating paleo again last Friday. Ryan just reminded me that I felt the same when we started paleo last year (I didn’t remember that) so I’m guessing it’s mostly low carb flu. Over the weekend, I went to CFCC each morning and took a nap after lunch, but I unfortunately can’t do that during the week :/ So far, I have tried black tea (F), a square of dark chocolate (M), and then sushi for lunch (W) because I thought a little white rice would help, but I was still a zombie each day by 3pm.

    Anyway, I somehow made it to 5 and crashed out for a 1h nap on the couch in my office before going to the 6:30 session. I ate a banana before the workout, and it helped a lot but I would like to find a less heavy option. On the plus side, I PR’d my deadlift (183) and improved my 1k row by 50 seconds! So that was great.

    Next up to try: I had an iced coffee with a little full-fat cream at noon today and it seems to be helping. I am tired right now but still functioning. I think I will try a less heavy fruit tomorrow, like an apple and some almond butter. Hopefully this is just temporary and will go away soon.

    Total food yesterday was egg muffin for breakfast, sushi for lunch (1 spicy tuna roll, 1 california roll, and small salad w/out dressing), after-nap banana, and pot roast with cauliflower and onions for dinner.

  15. crossfitcentercity says:

    Jaclyn -

    The crash may very well be the low-carb transition but there are probably some tweaks you can make to ease the pain.

    Off the top of my head I’d say you were on the right track with sushi, but white rice might not be the best option to stave off a crash just because it is a pretty quick acting carbohydrate (so it probably went right through you). If you’re working out at 5:30, adding a dense carb at lunch would be a good idea – but maybe a sweet potato or something a little less refined would be better for you? I think you’ll get through this soon but you may need to tweak a bit to find the right combination.

    Trying to dig to the root of the issue – how much sleep are you getting and when you say “egg muffin” for breakfast, how much are we talking and what do you usually add to it?

    Meg

    • Jaclyn H. says:

      Hi Meg,

      Egg muffin this week has egg, spinach, onion, and sausage. I used 7 eggs for 6 big muffins (I have a giant muffin tin), and split about 2 cups of spinach, a pound of sausage, and half an onion among the 6, if that makes sense.

      Sleep has been kind of all over the place, I always have weird sleep issues. Let’s see if I can remember this…
      Friday: 10h
      Saturday: 2h nap after lunch, then 9h
      Sunday: 1h afternoon nap, then ~5h (couldn’t sleep)
      Monday: 2h nap after work, 11h (stayed home sick Tuesday and slept in)
      Tuesday: 7.5h
      Wednesday: 1h nap after work, 8h

      • crossfitcentercity says:

        Gotcha.

        So, in the long run, i would address the sleep thing since getting regular sleep is obviously key to feeling well and having consistent energy levels. I’m sure actually combining any kind of “low carb flu” with whatever bug you actually had isn’t helping anything.

        However, I’d say that just one of those egg muffins as you described is great as far as quality, but probably isn’t enough as far as quantity. If you think about it, you’re getting only about 1 egg +2-3 ounces of sausage plus vegetables (negligible calories), which isn’t really setting you up to get through til lunch very well.

        What may work better for you is a larger breakfast (2 egg muffins), which may mean that you’re less hungry at lunch or can eat a little later and then not feel so heavy right at that 2-3pm crash time. And experiment for a few days to see how you feel eating some dense carbs with breakfast vs. with lunch. Don’t be afraid to test some different things out and see how it works.

        -Meg
        -M

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