LEANing Challenge Complete

I wrote about it a while ago, and the LEANing Challenge is now complete. Seven weeks of eating paleo. As far as I know, I did not ingest any gluten at all for 7 weeks. I didn’t eat any dairy at all for the first 5 weeks, and have only had cheese 4 times. I wanted to have a little bit of dairy to see how I reacted after not having it for so long. Dairy doesn’t seem to be a problem for me, so yay!

During the challenge:

I started running during the challenge  bring my distance from 0 miles up to 8 miles. Unfortunately  I’ve been sideline for a few days with a sore ankle, but I plan to get back to running this week. I’ve got about 6 weeks until I run the Seattle Rock n Roll half marathon at the end of June. Working hard, training hard.

I passed the level 1 skills test at Level 4 CrossFit. Lots of hard work went into this goal.

I lost exactly 20 pounds. Dropping my weight from 203.8 to 183.8. (Monday to Monday, 7 weeks). Of course there’s fluctuations  I’ve been as low as 181 recently, but I’ll stick with my Monday morning weigh-ins for reporting purposes. I know that’s great, but was short of my goal. I want to get the scale showing me numbers in the 170s.

I lots 3 inches off my waist. Dropping from a size 36 to 33, and the 33 already feels a little too loose.

I’m ending with several injuries – runners toe on my left foot, what I can only classify as a sprained right ankle, pain in my right knee and a bad muscle pull in my right shoulder.  These are due to over training, and I’ve been doing more rest than work in the past week to compensate.

All and all, good stuff.

I’m not sure how I will continue to eat going forward, other than to say it will be healthier. Do I think I will cut out gluten, dairy and all processed foods from now on? No, probably not. This coming Friday there is a pot-luck at the gym and the winner will be selected. I don’t expect to win, but I’d kind of like a top 5 finish 🙂

First… I would really like a latte.

Level 2!

I’ve been going to Level 4 CrossFit Seattle for over a year now. Last week, I pass the level 1 test. When given the option, I’ve been doing level 2 workouts for the last few months, but it feels good to officially pass the test. Here are the test requirements.

The second time I took the test, I only missed 3 of the pull-ups. I completed the work capacity section in 4:44. This time around, I hit all of the strength and body weight movements without any struggle and completed the work capacity section in 4:06. I didn’t even expect that much of an improvement. If I hadn’t been rushing so fast and gotten a few no-reps on the box jumps, I would have been under 4 minutes 🙂

As for the level 2 test, I’ve got years of work ahead of me. Back to work.


Tulip Festival

If you’ve never heard of the Skagit Value Tulip Festival, you should. If you live in the Seattle area, you should go even. The amazing amount of flowers is only overshadowed by the natural beauty of the flowers themselves. Row upon row of tulips in full bloom. Nature is cool.

Elliott had a good time too 🙂 We let him run loose. And of course, he found a mud puddle. I’m sure that we’ve got many years of cleaning mud off of his shows/clothes ahead of us.

View full album

I was running…

My half marathon training officially started yesterday. I’m doing a 9 week training program, also run out of Level 4. Nine weeks is a short training cycle, but we were asked to have a baseline of 6 miles. Due to a cold, I wasn’t able to get my planned 6 mile run in, but I’ll be ok.

So, why? I’ve ever been a huge fan of running. In my triathlon days (2004), running was always my weakest sport.  I thought a solid training program would help me get on track.

This training program has me working 6 days a week, with one long run and one medium run a week. The other days are mostly CrossFit. With our “active recovery day,” I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Maybe yoga, maybe an extra CrossFit. We’ll see.

So far so go. I did a 7:45 mile in my mile test on Tuesday night. Today, 4 miles, no problem.

Beginner Glass 1

About 7 weeks ago now, I started taking glassblowing classes at Seattle Glassblowing Studio. I’ve never been much of an art person, but I do enjoy it quite a bit.

The actual class I too was 6 week, 4 hours a week. Now that sounds like a lot, but you really can’t have enough practice. Also, you work in teams. There were 3 students in the class, and 1 instructor. Sometimes there might be all 4 of us working together to complete a piece.

Week 1, started with some basics, pulling glass out shaping, cooling, heating. And I ended up with a paperweight. The second week, we still worked in solids, I moved on to a pineapple (paperweight, with leaves on top and spots on the side).

After that, we started actually using blow pipes to make bubbles. From there, you can make all kinds of things. We did ornaments, floats, bowls, cups, and my favorite, plates. (Image on the right).

Plates are complicated. After some practice, I can make one in about 30 minutes now. It turns out that speed is on your side, making it fast is a good thing. The basic process is this. I’m leaving out lots of heating steps, those are in there.

  1. Gather glass
  2. Color – For the yellow plate, I did 4 or 5 coats of yellow frit
  3. start the bubble – lesson learned – hot glass is your friend
  4. Gather on top of the bubble
  5. Continue to expand and shape the bubble, cooling the top and flattening it a bit (it becomes the bottom)
  6. Use an optimic mold to get the waves in the plate
  7. Add the foot onto the bottom of the plate, optionally make it mountable
  8. Transfer the plate to puntie
  9. This is where it gets fun. Open the hole on the opposite end a little more now (the end previously connected to the blow pipe)
  10. Add the lip wrap (the orange in this case). Someone else has been preparing and coloring this for about 2-3 minutes – teamwork and timing
  11. Open the hole a little more, so that this starts to look like a cup/funky bowl
  12. And the really fun part – keep the plate in the glory hole, and spin. The spinning opens up the bowl into a flat-ish plate
  13. Remove from the heat, but continue to spin the plate, this allows you to shape it further in to a flat or more bowl like structure
  14. Very very very very carefully break it off and transfer the anealer  We made 4 plates, only 1 survived with zero cracks. I know some tricks now though.

So, kind of a new hobby. Something you can’t really do at home. For now, I’ve signed up for the next class, and will be taking 4 more classes starting next month.

Here is a better selection of pictures I took during the class.

Full Album on Google+

LEANing Challenge

Dated, stuffed with walnuts, wrapped in bacon + some asparagus.

Dated, stuffed with walnuts, wrapped in bacon + some asparagus.

It has been way too long since I’ve written. The last time I did a series of posts, I was doing a cleansing diet, and logging it to make sure I followed. Well, my 14 day cleanse ended on day 10 when I just completely lost my appetite. Sure, I lost some weight, but it gradually came back. Lots of other things happened, like 2 promotions at work, that shifted my schedule (even more than having an infant, now toddler).

But, I stuck with the gym. I’ve been going to Level4 Crossfit in Seattle for over a year now. I’m hitting about 4 classes a week, and hope to be doing less traveling here in the coming weeks.

So, now I’m on another food thing, It’s more than just a food thing though. I’m participating in the LEANing Challenge at the gym. We’re 2 weeks in (out of 7), and things are going well. The picture on this post is what I made for dinner tonight. The dates were a bit of a splurge, but I love dates, and I love bacon. This works for me, I’m able to find plenty to eat, steering clear of gluten and dairy, and just cooking real food at home.

I don’t want to talk about results yet, yes the scale is lower than it was two weeks ago, but there is a long way to go. 2 and a half times as far as I’ve come already, that’s how long we have to go.

I’m still on break

I just realized that I never actually announced this on here. In August I decided to take a break from teaching Yoga. It has turned into an extended break, and right now I’m just enjoying life the way it is. Maximizing family time is my top priority right now. Teaching Yoga may creep back in, sometime in the futre. For now, I’m happy with the balance of things in my life.

Something to give thanks for – Happy Thanksgiving.

On Yoga and Crossfit & Cleanse Day 9

Double workouts today. Crossfit in the morning and Yoga in the evening. How do these workouts go together? It’s complicated. It’s like this, crossfit is helping me build strength and giving me cardio workouts in ways that I haven’t seen with Yoga. Last week, I got up from my desk, ran a mile and wasn’t winded at all. I don’t remember the last time I could do that (10-15 years ago?). Crossfit is tough, and it isn’t for everyone. You really have to be sure to give your self time off and take care of yourself. For me, that involves getting a massage every 2 to 3 weeks and acupuncture every 2 to 3 weeks. Yoga is healing for me. In a good yoga practice I am able to stretch, relax, and clear my mind. A normal week for me is 4 crossfit classes and one yoga class. I’ve arrived at this schedule because of my work and family schedule. That’s what I can get to, so that is where I go. From a physical standpoint, crossfit has changed my yoga practice, and my yoga practice informs my crossfit (body awareness and control).

Ok – on to the cleanse update. 9 days complete. Smoothie for breakfast, and soups for lunch and dinner. I have to say, I’m kind of looking forward to granola for breakfast tomorrow 🙂 That’s 9 days eating no meat, no wheat, and no dairy, and no caffeine (eek!). I find that I’m reducing my portion size more and more every day. I’m not exactly sure why I’m eating less, but I do have plenty of energy and I’m not going through the day hungry.


  • Weight: 199.0 (-8.2)
  • Exercise: crossfit and yoga
  • Steps: ~5000, but I got plenty of exercise today

Cleanse Day 7 and 8

Let’s start with Sunday. I woke up feeling really good, had a smoothie for breakfast and made it to crossfit. When I got back, I saw something I hadn’t seen in about a year, a number less than 200 on the scale 🙂 That was a pretty good feeling. The lightest I’ve been in my adult life is 189, and I’d be happy to get back there again.

For lunch, we headed to Panera. I was scheduled to have a salad, so a simple salad I had, along with a fruit cup. Part of the reason that I went to Panera, was because I had to go to the mall… to buy running shoes. What? That’s right, running shoes. I got a pair of New Balance minimus. I wanted something that could be used for running, but also provided a flat platform for weightlifting. I wore them today, seemed pretty good.

I ended the day with a good dinner and lots of family time.

Monday! My morning routine is falling into place. Make smoothie, go to gym. That’s what I did today. Good test run on the new shoes. I made my lunch salad… a left it at home. Oh well. I was able to make a very similar salad at work.

For dinner, I did a menu swap. Sub out the veggie curry, sub a veggie stir fry.

Now, something that is amazing to me: I’m eating much smaller portions that I’m used to. I’ve got plenty of energy, sleeping well, but just eating less food overall. That’s good, because I used to eat too much before. That is something that I hope sticks with me.

And one last clarification. On day 6 I said I was planning on cutting this a little short, but I said the wrong number. I’m going to do 11 days, so 3 days to go.

And, the stats!

  • Weight: Sunday 199.2 (-8.0 from start), Monday 199.4 (-7.8 from start)
  • Exercise: crossfit on Sunday and Monday
  • Steps: 10160 on Sunday, and 9711 on Monday (+ whatever I get before bet, should be 10,000 total easily)

Cleanse Day 6

6 days down. Started the day off with a yummy smoothie and a great yoga practice. I finally got my quads stretched out, so I think I’ll be ready to hit the gym again soon, maybe tomorrow. Soup for lunch and stir fry for dinner. I modified the lunch recipe by not sending the soup through the blender, I think it worked better for me. Dinner was a complicated recipe! But got it all cooked and served. I did wait too long to eat dinner, and feeling kind of meh until after eating. Snacks were a little more difficult today, since I couldn’t just walk down the hall and grab a piece of fruit.

Cleanse-wise, I’m thinking of knocking this back to 9 days from 14. While I’m doing well, I think that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew (sometimes literally).

Lots of quality family time today, including family swim.

Some stats!

  • Weight: 200.4 (-6.8)
  • Exercise: yoga
  • Steps: 2479 (looking for some rest today as well)