Friday, August 3, 2018

My experience with intermittent fasting so far

Early this year, I had some bad episodes of hyperacidity and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). So I did what anyone would do -- I turned to good ole Dr. Google. One of the things I read about was intermittent fasting, or IF. It seemed too hard for me to do, loving breakfast food as much as I do, but I was desperate and willing to try anything.

I started the first week of May, if I'm not mistaken. I remember because my son and I watched Infinity War and I remember taking out my food in the cinema as soon as my app (Zero, if you want to know what it's called) notified me that I'd completed my fast.

Anyway, I started with 16 hours. Since I finish work late, my last meal is also usually consumed late -- around 9pm. So I'd have my first meal at around 1pm the next day. What I found was, I'm more productive when I fast because (duh) there's nothing else to do but work. Here's how a typical work day would look like for me:

10am - work out
12:30pm - arrive at the office
1pm - eat first meal
1:30pm - work
8pm - eat last meal
9pm - start fast

I allowed myself to eat anything I wanted, but found that my body seemed to crave healthy stuff (gasp!). Of course, I still ate a little bit of junk like cookies and chips, but I found that I couldn't stuff my stomach as much as I used to. And maybe that's why my hyperacidity is almost gone -- because my stomach doesn't have to work as hard as it used to when I was eating all the time.

Nowadays, I do 18-20 hour fasts. I usually stop eating by 8pm and then have my first meal at 2 or 4pm the next day. Since weekends are more challenging for me, I'm usually able to complete 16 hours on Saturday and Sunday, but when Monday rolls around I try to do a 24-hour fast. This means I stop eating at 6pm on Sunday and then have my first meal at 6pm on Monday.

So here are the good things that IF has done for me:

  1. Much fewer episodes of hyperacidity - I think I've had only one since I started fasting, and it was because I'd eaten too much cake on my birthday weekend.
  2. No after-lunch drowsiness - My energy level tends to stay stable the whole day.
  3. Inch-loss - I don't weigh myself but my clothes have gotten looser especially in the waist area. Also, my tummy is flatter and there's even a ghost of some abs.
  4. Savings - Since I don't eat much during the day, I've saved money on food and groceries. Now, I only buy groceries for my son and I buy food outside the office when it's time for me to eat.
For me, these have been key: I only drink water, green/chamomile/turmeric tea, or black coffee during my fasting window. Gone are the days when I'd take XCT oil and collagen peptides with my coffee before having my first meal. Also, as much as possible, I don't binge and I eat healthy food during my eating window.

This has been the best thing I've tried for my health, truly. I always want to learn more about it so I watch videos by Dr. Jason Fung and Dr. Eric Berg, and I also listen to the IF Podcast by Melanie Avalon and Gin Stephens. What I love most about it is the idea of autophagy -- it's when your cells look for dead cells and "eat" them and use them for energy or to make new cell parts. Look it up and be amazed!

I'll probably (and hopefully) have an update on my IF journey in a few months.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Video of my favorite 17.3 moment

How amazing must this have felt for Cole Sager?

Friday, March 10, 2017

Favorite Open 17.3 moment

So 17.3 has been announced. No dumbells this time. Instead, it's a couplet of chest to bar pull ups and squat snatches. The head-to-head-to-head between Sager, Fraser, and Panchik was fun to watch. Early on, though, Panchik and Fraser started pulling away and leaving Sager behind. They both finished the workout within the 24 minute cap.

But for me, the best moment of the workout was in the last 30 seconds of Sager's 24 minutes. He kept failing 265# and in the last few minutes you can hear the huge crowd cheering him on. Goosebumps. Finally, it was the last 15 seconds or so and he had only one more chance to make the lift. And he did!

Screen cap from the YouTube video
Looking at the image, you can almost hear the crowd explode. Sager went on to get in I think a couple CTB pull ups or so after this. Amazing. I guess this is why he's called "The Comeback Kid." And this moment reminded me of that clean speed ladder event in the 2014 Games when Lauren Brooks was able to save her clean even though she'd gone on one knee. And also that time at the Games last year when Josh Bridges went on to complete the squat clean ladder.

So even if I'm not as obsessed about CF as I used to be, it's moments like these that remind me how proud I am to be part of such a community.

It's that time of the year

In the CrossFit world, Christmas comes three times a year: in March when the Open starts, in May when the Regionals take place, and in August when the Games is held.

Already, we're done with 17.2. It's been a fun two weeks. The workouts aren't, of course, but it's the anticipation and excitement of waiting with bated breath for Dave Castro's announcement that make participating worthwhile. By participating, I mean just doing the Open WODs with boxmates and not actually signing up at the Games website.

Tomorrow at 9 AM Philippine time, I get to watch the 17.3 throwdown between Cole Sager, Mat Fraser, and Scott Panchik. Gunna be gooood!

Meanwhile, here's some Dan Bailey for everyone.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Trying something not-so-new

I haven't been as motivated and as fired up as I used to be about CrossFit so I'm trying yoga again. I did it years ago on a once-per-week basis in UP. That was pre-CF when I was still "into running" (I can't believe I used to love running) and I was hoping yoga would help me with it. Anyway, I found a place that offers ashtanga vinyasa yoga classes nearby every Saturday morning, which is perfect since that's the only time I can do it. They offer a free trial, and 8 sessions cost P2,000 only -- a steal!

I've tried 2 teachers so far, and they were both good. I was a little worried that we'd be doing the same sequence every session and it would be boring but so far we haven't repeated sequences yet. And I love the slightly sore feeling I get the next day.

I'm not used to looking at the mirror anymore when working out so it was slightly unsettling to see myself in all my sweaty gloriousness. It helped though, because I could see what the teacher meant when she said "square your hips" or "shoulders down" or "don't hyperextend your back." I especially like that the teacher makes micro adjustments to our bodies while we're in a pose. Sweat was pouring down my face like I was doing CF. It's hard to hold still because it burns!

Let's see if I'll continue with yoga after my 8 sessions are done. I'm liking it so far, though.

Monday, August 8, 2016

A silver in the Olympics, finally

This morning I was greeted by the fantastic news that the Philippines's Hidilyn Diaz had gotten a silver medal in the women's 53 kg weightlifting event. As a CrossFitter, I couldn't have been prouder, and I have to say I got teary-eyed when I saw the replay of the awarding ceremony.

Way back when only a handful at the box were proficient at weightlifting (especially the snatch), CFMNL had organized a snatch tutorial with Haidie and her coach one Sunday afternoon. This was in 2012, the year she competed in the London Olympics. Ever since then, I looked forward to reading about her and watching her IG videos. I can only dream of having her snappy overhead position.

I just had to look for the old snatch session pictures on my Facebook.

Teaching the right position

Class pic!
 I sure hope we have Olys on the menu tomorrow!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Open 16.2 snippets

I was excited about this one because Dan Bailey. 'Nuff said.

Screen cap from the live feed
(Screen cap from this source)
No, that's not chalk you see in the air but steam from Bailey's body. The announcement was made in a garage in North Carolina, which apparently had freezing temps at that time.

(Screen cap from this source)
I have to admit that I'd only recently learned about the Damn Daniel vine/meme going around. I came across this post in my Explore feed when I searched for #danbailey. It's just so apt.

Anyway, I did a scaled version of the workout:

25 TTBs/hanging knee raises
50 DUs
15 squat cleans (65#)

And in the first 4-minute round I only made it to the 10 squat cleans, so my score was 85 reps. Weak.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Let's try this blog thing again

Whoa whoa whoa... my last post was last year? Before the CF Games?! And now it's Open season again?!?

So this is my 4th time to experience the Open. That doesn't mean that I signed up (I'm too much of a cheapskate), but I do look forward to the Open workout announcements and occasionally the workouts themselves.

I did 16.1 last week. It was 9 am here when the workout was announced and our 10 am class was the first one in the box to do it. It was hell.


I used the prescribed weight but did kipping pull-ups instead of CTBs since I can't do those yet.

My score: 105 reps, which is 4 full rounds (one round is 26 reps) and a 5-foot lunge (which counts as one rep)

However surprisingly bad 16.1 was, I'm sure 16.2 will be as surprisingly bad. Because Dave always programs the worst Open workouts. But I'm ready to take it on tomorrow!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Three point five years

I've been doing CrossFit now for 3.5 years. There are now just a handful of us who've stayed and have continued to WOD religiously (well, more or less religiously). Most of the ones who've stayed are now coaches, or they follow a dedicated strength or weightlifting program because they compete or want to compete at a high level.

And then there are those like me. Sure, I've joined a throwdown or two and some fun runs. I've been able to do things I never thought I'd ever be able to do when I first started. Getting fit, then getting strong is fun, but lately I've realized that having functional fitness is all I want. I'm not ready to sacrifice family time for training time.

I still can't do ring dips, chest to bar pullups, muscle ups, or heavy snatches (among others). That doesn't mean I won't work on them. It's just that I'm in no rush to do everything all at once. I think that's one of the things I'm learning to do after all the hours I've spent at the box... to savor the process and to learn patience. I'm slowly becoming less reluctant to work out even when the WOD says we're doing accessory or skills work.

The fierce fire inside me has subsided into a slow-burning one, and I like it better.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tracking progress

For the longest time, I've been using this blog to log my WODs and track my progress. But after some nosing around the net, I decided to get the myWOD app and it's sooo useful! All I have to do now after the WOD is open the app, retrieve the WOD feed from the CFMNL site, and enter my score.

I really haven't been working out as often as I used to. There are still a lot of things that I wish were different in the new box, but there's nothing I can do to change those so I just have to work around them and learn to tune out the bad.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 3 WOD: OH lunges


In 15 minutes, work up to a heavy set of:

Snatch pull + Hang snatch + Snatch

B. Metcon

Every 2 minutes on the minute for 5 sets (10 minutes):

16 overhead walking lunges (95/65#)

My score: 55# (snatch complex); 80 reps (45#)