Thursday, January 05, 2012

Adventure #1: The Whole 30

By Trey Peden

I wanted to say that joining CrossFit at Go Fitness in Nashville was my first adventure, but since I've done CrossFit in the past I don't think it qualifies under my 2012 definition of adventure which requires that the activity in question be something I haven't done before.

But in the spirit of not being such a circus sideshow fat lady, I am going to attempt to do The Whole 30 v5.0 and I have to say: I am daunted.

The Whole 30 is apparently something crazy people thought up. There's no sense in trying to figure out why they thought it up because they're crazy people and no matter what they say it won't make any sense. But ostensively sane people have also bought into it whilst murmuring this and that about being healthy and sexy and stuff.

So, I'll bite. I'm going to try it out.

The Whole 30 is basically like the ten commandments, except there are seven of them, but they maintain the theme of saying "DON'T" to everything that is fun like coveting thy neighbor's ass/husband/husband's ass as one's needs may suit.

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial.
  • Do not eat processed foods.
  • Do not consume alcohol, in any form.
  • Do not eat grains.
  • Do not eat legumes.
  • Do not eat dairy.
  • Do not eat white potatoes.
Notice how they say "in any form" after "no alcohol." That is to prevent you from turning to wood alcohol and either striking yourself blind so you have an excuse to eat things on the "don't" list or dying just to be out of your misery.

In all seriousness, I think this even with only partial success, plus getting back to CrossFit will make a marked difference in my general health and well-being. And that's a good way to start the year! (It will be kind of like that year I went on my No Spending Money Challenge.) In reading over the site, I think I will have to be a bit less strict than they are because I'm not going to pay for their $40 "success guide," and I'm also kind of ignorant about all the nutritional things they care about, AND while I will make an effort to buy organic, free-range, fresh caught, lead chip-free, dolphin-free, open air, grass fed, hare krishna-safe stuff I cannot guarantee that I will find it and my patience for using multiple grocery stores is VERY low. But I'll read a bit and do my best! My goal is not to deliberately eat something that is bad for me.

It shouldn't be toooo bad. I don't usually eat legumes, grains, potatoes of any color, or processed foods. The challenge is really about being more consistent with that and giving up dairy and alcohol.

As we observed throughout 2011, I have a problem with discipline. I prefer to say that I am disposed to a life of luxury, but I won't quibble over semantics right now. Nevertheless, I need to put into place some kind of safeguard to ensure that I stick with it. Diana proposed something that I think -- with some modifications -- is an interesting approach that will work for me.

Now, my goal isn't really to lose weight, although I expect that to be one of the more immediate results, so money for gaining weight doesn't jive with me. But I do want to work out consistently and I really do want to attempt a very constrained diet for the month of January.

So, here's what I'll do: I will donate $20 for each week that I don't work out AND I will donate $20 for each week that I don't stick with The Whole 30. So, it's possible that I could end up donating $40 in a week. I'll donate it to Diana's Philosophy in Action webcast. This also supports another personal goal of mine which is to give more monetary support to Objectivism this year.

I may modify this a little to establish some clearer incentives against my planned schedule and whatnot, but I will keep y'all posted on how things go.

UPDATE: In Which I Modify the Deal Right Away

OK. After thinking about it a bit more, I want to modify the deal for donating dollars to Philosophy in Action based on how well I stick to my diet and exercise plan.
  • I will donate $20 to PiA for every week in January that I do not work out at least 3 times.
  • I will donate $20 to PiA for every meal in January in which I deliberately break The Whole 30 rules.
I'm changing it because I think the previous arrangement was a bit too generous in leaving room for "error." Like, if I ate a piece of candy today, I don't want to find myself rationalizing into eating ice-cream for the rest of the week. And working out once a week is for the fat lady I am, not the fat lady I want to be; my goal is 3x a week at a minimum and so that's why that's the goal.

So, with these changes, it actually could end up that I owe Diana a zillion dollars at the end of a given week. I'm pretty sure I have enough self-control to avoid that, but in the event that I don't, I will also change my name to "Congress."

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