Friday, November 21, 2014

Whole30 and My Health Journey

What You Eat on Whole30
Did you catch Dr. Oz on Thursday?

I don’t watch him often, but I set the DVR because of the segment on Whole30. I’ve done two Whole30s in the past six months and the results have been pretty awesome.

So awesome that I’ve started getting a lot of questions about my health journey.

I’ve hit the point where I’ve lost enough weight that people aren’t afraid to ask me about it. 

They don’t say, “Have you lost weight?” That’s what you ask when you think someone might have lost weight. 

The people who are asking want specifics.
They want to know how much. And they want to know how.
So I’m going to answer that question here. 

In some ways, the answer is B-O-R-I-N-G. In others, it’s A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

I’m eating clean and training hard.

I’ve lost 30 pounds by eating paleo (and occasionally kicking it up a notch with a Whole30) and doing CrossFit. I’ve written a few blog posts about CrossFit, but I haven’t written much about how I eat. 

Partly because I don’t have any interest in writing a food blog. Partly because I don’t want to bore people.

Mostly because I know that once you start writing about something—fitness, food, faith, fiction—anything you SAY you are passionate about, there comes with that a sense of accountability. 

It’s kind of like the stickers on the back of my car. The ones that tell people in my community where I worship and where I workout…the kind of stickers that make me think twice before giving in to road rage or pulling through the Krispy Kreme drive thru. 

Despite my fear of being busted with a half-eaten sleeve of Thin Mints, I’ve decided to start writing about how I eat and how I exercise because they have become big components of how I do life. 

I’ll still be writing about faith and fiction, but I’ll be adding in posts on food and fitness from time to time. 

While I make no apology for my faith or the fact that I would love to see everyone come to know Jesus as their personal Savior, that’s not how I feel about the way I eat or exercise. I promise I’m not going to try to convert you to paleo or beg you to join a CrossFit—although if you want to, I’ll be happy to help!

I’m not an expert and can only write from my own personal experience. I have a long way to go, but I am convinced that taking care of my body matters for the Kingdom. God has good works for me to do, and if I’m lethargic and exhausted all the time because I’m filling my body and clouding my brain with junk food, then I can’t do what I was put here to do.

There are any number of ways to eliminate junk from your diet. You can count calories, cut out sugar, only eat vegetables, only eat organic. I have friends who’ve gone those routes and have had great success. What’s worked for me is eating paleo, so in general the recipes and tips I’ll be sharing will fit with a paleo lifestyle. 

So what is paleo?

The term “paleo” is shorthand for paleolithic nutrition and gets its basis in the idea that man did not evolve to eat the way modern man eats and that we need to eliminate foods that were unavailable to prehistoric man including grains, dairy, sugar, and chemicals.

Please don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater here. Just because the idea of “eating paleo” is based in evolutionary biology doesn’t mean it’s a crock of dino dung.

For the record, I am a creationist. 

I cannot fathom how anyone can appreciate the intricacy of the world around them and honestly believe all of that came about by chance.

But you don’t have to believe in evolution to know that most of us consume way too much. Too much sugar, too many chemicals, too many calories. Too much stuff that God never intended to go into our bodies.

For me, paleo is the framework for eliminating the junk and cleaning up my diet. It’s worked great! When I eat this way, I’m not hungry. I have a ton of energy. And my body composition is slowly but surely changing.

I’m doing another Whole30 in January, so over the next few weeks I’ll be posting some tips and tricks that I’ve learned from my previous Whole30 experiences, as well as sharing some of my favorite recipes. I’m looking forward to sharing this part of my story with all of you!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Six Things To Do BEFORE You Sign Your First Book Contract

Today's post is for the writer's out there...

You’ve been writing for a while now. 

You’ve got a book or two written. You’ve entered a few contests, pitched to a few agents, even attended a few conferences. 

You’ve been doing this writing thing long enough to know you want to keep doing it. You know you want to see your name on a book. But what do you do while you’re waiting for that first sale?

Here are my suggestions.

Six Things You Should Do BEFORE You Sign Your First Book Contract


I'm guest posting today over at The Write Conversation. Pop on over to read The Six Things You Should Do BEFORE You Sign Your First Book Contract!

Grace and peace,

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Coming In Last

Coming in last.

I hate it.
Really hate it.

Maybe you do, too?

Have you ever thought about why you hate it?
I have and I’ve boiled it down to a simple statement.

I’m afraid.


It’s safer to say that we hate to come in last. It doesn’t sound quite as pitiful as admitting that we’re all grown up and we’re still shaking in our boots.

Afraid we will fail. 
Afraid people will think less of us. 
Afraid we’ll make an idiot out of ourselves. 
Afraid we’ll blow it so badly that others will be able to see our weakness.

For the past year, I’ve faced this fear every single time I walk into Five Forks CrossFit

For the first three months, I was so nervous that my stomach would do somersaults from the time I woke up until the WOD was over. In my mind, I had no business joining a CrossFit. I was out of shape, overweight, and not in possession of any particular athletic prowess. 

Truth be told, in the first few weeks, there were multiple events that tempted me to turn tail and run.
  • My first week, I fell off a box and messed up my wrist. I came in last.
  • For the first month, if the WOD (workout of the day) included burpees, my coach automatically cut the number in half for me. I still came in last.
  • As new people joined our box, I watched as they went from not having a clue to killing the WODs. All while I continued to come in last.
  • Particularly frustrating were the women, the pregnant and/or brand new moms with 6-week-old babies at home, who lifted more, ran faster, jumped higher, and finished way before me. The girl who finishes last.

Guess what? It’s been a year and I'M STILL COMING IN LAST! Not every time, but a lot of the time. 

But guess what else?