Crossfit + (mostly) Paleo making 40 the new… 20?

Tale of the tape on my now 9 month adventure in regular fitness and eating differently:40 something fitness alexandria crossfit

  • Lost 35 lbs, bodyfat in the mid-teens, waist 38 –> to 34
  • Can bench press more than my weight
  • Never felt better (seriously, the 40 me could thrash the 20 me)
How?  I certainly get tons of questions about it. And it’s been very cool to see my experience spur other folks into getting off their duffs on fitness or nutrition or both.  Now that I’m back at the keyboard here on lokalgood (typical excuses… time, technical issues, work, tending to my glass figurine collection, you know, the typical stuff….blah, blah), would be fun to gin up a series of posts to share what’s worked for me, and perhaps I shall, but for now here’s a quick hitter on the main bits:

But first an aside, speaking of duffs and getting off them, is it just me or is there some larger wave rolling here?  Probably a factor of being 40 and around lots of 40-somethings staring into the maw of middle age, but the number of people I come across these days who are getting into better shape or changing their eating habits is crazy!  Good thing if true, and perhaps my radar is just tuned to pick up these conversations better now, but I’ll be damned if we’re not in the midst of some sort of shift.  Burpees, gluten grains and fish oil just were not in the party gab mix a few years ago.  Now people are practically bringing their grocery list for peer review over cocktails.  It’s nuts. Anyhow, back to the recipe I’ve found some luck with:

  • Trident Crossfit – As I’ve scribbled about before, place is awesome.  I’m a 4x a week player there on Rt 1 and it’s become a priority that I plan around.  Love the coaches, the variety (still don’t think I’ve had the same day twice there) and the community.  Movie star comparisons not so much, one fellow Tridenter (Pete, who else?) calls me Phil, after Modern Family’s Phil Dunfy.  Love the guy but Peter Krause is so clearly more me.
  • Paleoish Eating – Did a Paleo challenge as a lark in January.  Then it stuck, or at least something like Paleo stuck.  I’m not really into the orthodoxy bit of it you sometimes hear about, but happily have found that doesn’t matter.  You can make it your own and adapt really easily.  I follow sort of a Paleo and Primal Blueprint love child. At it’s most basic… plenty of meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts, eggs, limited dairy (whole cream in my coffee, whole milk yoghurt with my fruit for breakfast, etc.).  Big emphasis on high quality in all cases.  Best, shortest (1 page) bit of content I’ve found on getting started simply – Archevore blog.  Best local resource for tasty prepared Paleo that let’s you try it out with no time commitment – Power Supply.
  • Both Are Portable – One of the cool things about Crossfit is how easy it is to stay at it when you’re on the road for work, for play, etc. Two reasons.  First there are a ton of travel workouts you can knock out with no equipment, and another ton you can do with limited hotel gym gear.  Second is the broader national Crossfit community (the network and the ethos) which means you can often find Crossfit gyms in other cities and they are typically very welcoming to folks dropping in for a workout.  I’ve done it in Vegas and San Francisco (Crossfit San Francisco, awesome spot right on the Bay).   Easy as pie both times and fun on the variety/try new things front.  I’ve found the eating road-adaptable too.  With the staple items noted above, eating out is typically a breeze.  And when I’m at someone’s house, I either pick and choose if it’s easy/inconspicuous or happily eat what my host has put in front of me (manners over orthodoxy, you’re a guest, it ain’t about you).  What’s funny is that now folks who know I eat a little differently sometimes take it up as a challenge and brew up some awesome Paleo-inspired dishes when they’re hosting…. and so it spreads (insert Vincent Price evil laugh here).

One final thought on a practical thread… literally.  Cool thing happens when you get a good roll going on fitness and nutrition at the same time.  All your threads become too big, quickly.  I knew it was time for some shopping when I got “dude, that shirt’s a little blousey” for the fifth time.  So be prepared to shell out some dough on a wardrobe upgrade.  Small (not really) price to pay for that whole 40’s the new 20 thing.

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Categories: Fitness/sports, Good eats/food

2 Comments on “Crossfit + (mostly) Paleo making 40 the new… 20?”

  1. Patty
    November 2, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    Fabulous piece. I, too, am in the “get 40/get fit” club. Been doing low-carb (started as Atkins, gradual shifting toward Paleo/Primal) since May and have lost 25 lbs and 1.5 clothing sizes. I’m waiting to lose that other .5 size before buying anything new, so I’m wearing mostly baggy stuff these days too. It’s nice to hear about someone else in the ‘hood doing Paleo. Like you, I also notice a new emphasis with a lot of my friends about taking fitness more seriously–maybe also because my social circle consists of 40-somethings. Me, lifelong weight issues and non-exerciser who never did well on low-fat/low-calorie regimens. Feels great to finally find something that works for me! I still have a ways to go before I am “fit,” but it seems doable for the first time in my life. Thanks for writing this and congratulations on your success–may you have more to come.

  2. November 1, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    Great stuff Robert, despite the resources, it’s really YOU who has created all of this positive change in your life. You’re truly an inspiration to the 40 somethings who “can’t make time” for fitness!

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