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Rest Day

Joey gets down with Front Squats

  • The Paleo Potluck is tomorrow at 7pm! There will be food, drinks, fun and a Bouncy castle for the kids!
  • If you register for the CrossFit Open, you can pick your affiliate AND team as CrossFit South Brooklyn. I will be approving all CFSBK members. Don't worry, even the lowest person's score can't "hurt" the team.
  • Tomorrow at 2:30pm the CRASH-Bers will be testing their 2K row! We'll be projecting the boats on the big screen, come on and give these guys and gals your support!

There Is No Wagon: Thoughts on Binge Eating and Dieting

By Chris Fox

You can not fall off the wagon. You can not get back on it. There is in fact, no wagon. You are self propelled, and you make your way down your own path.

I’ve heard it countless times and had said it myself for years…”I’ve got to get back on the wagon”. This language seems to allow for some other power, in this case The Wagon, to make or break us. We make a big change in our lifestyle that seems like it will make everything better. That if we can stick to it we will once and for all be happy. We decide to get on The Wagon. We choose a date, prepare for it, and then go full steam ahead. At first it’s great, this is when you’re riding the momentum created by the hope of change, or of something changing you. Then some of the reality settles in and you stray a bit from The Wagon. You “mess up” and feel guilty. Maybe you even “mess up” a little more because of the guilt. So what do you do now? This is the point where you can move further off your path (have a second or third beer, order dessert after pizza, have a crappy dinner since you “messed up” at lunch, etc…) or turn back toward it (make your next decision one that lines up with your values and priorities). You can eat like crap all day and it’s still only one day. Health and fitness is not made or broken in one day alone. Be nice to yourself, don’t beat yourself up about it. And importantly, don’t wait for some wagon to come along and pick you up.

If you find yourself in a cycle like this then consider a few things. First, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or a failure. It means you’re just like everyone else. Fit people don’t magically not crave “bad” foods or never have trouble abstaining from unhealthy treats, and it’s hard for them to get to the gym sometimes, too. They even kick back and have a few drinks and french fries every now and then. What they do is consistently make more good decisions than poor ones. They live more in line with long term values and less with instant gratification. Try this: Think about what you value, then think of a few small actions you can take right now to live in line with those values. It’s important to realize that we are constantly making small decisions about how we will live and who we’ll be. This means that you can make a choice to have an all weekend bender or give in to a craving for the office donuts. That’s ok. It also means that you can make your next choice one that you are ok with, that makes you happy, and that is in line with your values. Be nice to yourself and put one foot in front of the other. Don’t wait for The Wagon to come around again and pick you up.
Top 12 Reasons this 47 year old Hates CrossFit

Reader Comments (22)

6am with Nick and McDowell

Clean and Jerk: worked up to 1 complex at 175
Front squats: worked up to 205x3

Felt sluggish this morning, took an unusually long time to wake up. Clean and jerk felt as if I had just crawled out if bed and picked up 175 lb barbell. This is my third day in the gym in a row, so that might have something to do with it. Front squats were ugly but moved. Didn't push things this morning.

Tried a few times to get a muscle up after class and failed, but felt close.

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlex C

#s 4, 5, 7, 10 really, really speak to this almost 47-year old.

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

" By comparison, I’m like a six-foot-five-inch sack of dog food repeatedly crashing to the ground and struggling to re-animate itself back into an awkward standing position, topped off with a pitiful hop that wouldn’t clear an earthworm. Young people suck. I hate them."


January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFox

"If the punishment for crime was five years of 135-pound thrusters, I guarantee you, prisons would be unnecessary. There would be no crime."

That link made me snort a few times. I'll be thinking of a few of these tomorrow.

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFox

HA!! number 11 had me laughing!! love it!! and number 7 reminds me of Willie!!

I left a blue rogue jump rope with black handles by the platforms can someone please hold it maybe at the front desk I will pick it up tomorrow thanks!

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

Fox, I thought that post/essay was really good. I'd add that one should be especially nice to him or herself when not living up to one's goals perfectly, because scientifically we're facing an uphill and can only make good choices by being nice to ourselves.

Exerting willpower over our choices is a finite resource in the short term, akin to gasoline and not akin to a muscle. We can get more efficient at using it in the long term, but exerting willpower reduces our ability to continue to exert willpower. It's called ego depletion. Even worse! is that glucose is the fuel that helps us exert willpower, and it is the thing that is depleted, so when we're trying to cut down on our glucose intake while greatly trying to expand our willpower exertion, we're totally screwed.

So what can we do in the face of this overwhelming biological b**ch-slap? The literature on ego depletion suggests that positive visualization, views of nature, self-awareness, and optimist can help overcome ego depletion, i.e. being nice to ourselves. Additionally, making our choices more "automatic" and requiring less exertion of ego helps, ii.e. planning our meals so that it's easier to make good choices. Finally, and there are other strategies but finally as to my mini-missive, belief in our autonomy to make good choices helps increase our willpower. Yes, we are subject to a biological uphill battle, but we can also make better choices one step at a time, and do have the ability to change our habits.

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoel W.

Awesome post, Fox. And great comment, Joel. Also everyone should read "The Power of Habit" by former CFSBKer Charles Duhigg which really breaks down how to change behavior in the face of ego-depletion (my favorite phrase for today).

One trick I like that I learned from the long-lost Malcolm Spittler is to say, "next time." I'm in a coffee shop and the croissants are calling my name? "I'll get one next time." I'm at the ice cream place with Linus and struggling not to get an order for myself? "I'll' get one next time." It's so much easier than "I can't have XXXX."

Building in routines that are automatic is hard. I've spent 3 years struggling and failing to create a mobility practice for myself that sticks. I don't watch TV at night so rolling out in front of the tube doesn't work. I can't get up in the morning and move for ten minutes like Stumptuous says to do because hello, Linus. And as I get older a regular mobility practice only gets more and more critical. I feel overwhelmed and bummed out when I do get 10' to work on stuff since there just seems to be so much. It was a very negative feedback loop.

Two weeks ago I changed my life. For realz. I installed an app on my computer called Pauses which automatically programs regular pauses in my work. I have it set for 5 minutes every 50. The screen goes dark and a countdown clock starts and I use the time to do some little mobility thing--get into a paleo squat, or roll out my pecs, or do some RDLs, or whatever. I have a list of a dozen or so options so I just pick one. Over the day it adds up to 15-20 of time spent in good mobility. I have really noticed a difference.

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

If anyone needs to feel inspired on their fitness journey—or life journey, really—I highly recommend this short video of a kid learning to ride his bike. I can't even...

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKate R

10am with McD and Noah

My first over body weight squat happened today.
Clean+split 75, 95, 115, 125, 135, 140F, 140
FSQ: 135x3, 165x3, 180x1, 205x3 dropped the elbows a bit on the last rep but went up.

Great encouragement from the coaches and everyone around me.

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpigeon

everyone - go to powerliftingwatch.com and vote for original dawg SBK'er Gillian Ward for "female lifter of the year."

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermichele

This is too amazing
" Slung over Nick’s back like a bag of garden mulch, his shoulder jammed into my already-upset stomach, I was being rattled to pieces, upside down, out of breath, trying desperately to hang on and not puke all over me and him both. At one pitiful point, Nick scooped me up in his arms like a gasping, gangling, bald-headed, white-bearded, Benjamin Button baby and ran down the busy street, cars passing with aghast faces peering out in shock and people deciding whether or not to call 911. It was one of my crowning moments, let me assure you."

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGracie

Love the wagon read, firstly.
And I numbers 1 through 12 really speak to me except the parts about being 6’5” and 235 lbs.

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris A.

I was 2 minutes late today because I was sitting at home staring at yesterday's WOD on my computer screen trying to get up the nerve to show up. Now that it's done, of course I'm glad I came (I never regret showing up!), but damn, that workout chewed me up.

Surprisingly, the double-unders went pretty well. Thanks, Jess, for the cues to stay calm and not get frustrated. Usually fatigue just takes over, but I was actually able to string the most together in the last round by following the focus cue. Wish I had the conditioning to do these workouts unbroken. One day, I hope! 22:01 scaled to 10lbs to 9 ft. target, 20 double-unders, and jumping C2B pull ups.

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLily

Loved the 12 things.
Some hit very close to home.

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKeith W.


January 17, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermichele

cool. it's working. hi.

i posted this earlier and it didn't appear, hence my test post.


original SBK badass Gillian Ward is up for Female Lifter of the Year on Powerliftingwatch dot com. Go vote for her!

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermichele

Love the post, Fox. Really appropriate for me today as today is the first day of the Challenge that I'm REALLY craving chocolate. I'm trying to work through it and keep chugging my water (and running to the loo) but I like the reminder that I am not a failure if I make the decision to allow myself a piece. Your post also made me think me of something I know Keith Urban (yes, I'm quoting my own talent) has to remind himself: "balance is never achieved; it's just maintained."

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMare

Did tomorrow's programming today solo since I'll be spectating at the Master's Comp tomorrow.

85, 105, 125, 135, 145, 155fx2
-The rep at 145 felt so great that I though that 155 would be no problem. I'm still having a problem with dropping forward on the dip which puts the bar way out in front. Then of course, there's the fear factor of dropping underneath the bar. Did a few drop sets at 135 to try to get back into the groove but I was already pretty discouraged by then.

165x3, 185x1, 195x1, 205x1, 210x1
-this is a 5#PR for me and glad that I finally broke 205. It was a struggle and my elbows/chest definitely dropped but there wasn't a point that I thought I'd fail.

Also did a few NFT rounds of Cindy with the other coaches and Boz since he's in town. Then delicious bbq lunch at Dino after classes with the crew to unwind and talk shop.

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterlady fox

Great reads on here today.

Last "Max Out Friday" at OG before the meet next weekend:

40x3 50x2 60x1 70x1 77x1 82xF,F,F 70x1,1 75xF,1 82xF

Clean and 2 jerks
60x1 70x1 80x1

Clean and jerk
90x1 95x1 97xC,C,C,1 100xF,F,F 90x1,1,1

Was happy to get to 77 and 95 before any misses today. Thought I'd push for that bodyweight snatch but it wasn't happening. I got under the first one pretty well but my right foot had shot back a little (again) and my knee started to drop so I had to bail it. Every single 97 clean went up so easy it was like there was no weight on the bar. Just took me a while to really drop under it properly for the jerk. Damn jerks.

Handstand work, tabata plank/hollow-hold mash up, and 1k row cashout.

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

Hello, Fox! My name is Mark Johnson and I'm the author of the "12 Reasons…" blog you posted. Your site showed up in my blog analytics because of multiple hits. Just wanted to thank you for posting it. I'm honored and humbled and you guys and, literally, tens of thousands of other Crossfitters across the globe are reading this silly thing I wrote months ago. Stay tuned for more CF content on the horizon. Best of luck to you and your awesome athletes!
Mark J., aka Benjamin Button Baby

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMark Johnson

God I love OG.

C&J (33, 63) 83, 93, 103, 103, 103, 108F
The 103's got progressively better - pressed out the first two. Didn't commit to 108. I had it and then just got loose and lazy.

Then, accessory work:
- 20 strict chin-ups: did an even mix of 2's and 3's instead of just doubles, so I'm pumped about that
- 3 rounds max handstand holds with 2 minutes rest: turns out I count slowly, so it turns out each hold was something like :37, :39, :37 but I counted :22, :25, :22
- Russians 2 rounds of 30 reps with 15# plate
- GHD holds 3 rounds :30 each side -- why is prone so hard? It feels like it will never get easier. I blame David for introducing me to these things :(
- 3 Rounds of 10 pallof presses with pink band

Mark J - so happy you found us and said hello!

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKMo

Forgot to write about Fox's post!!

First of all, I saw it yesterday on the LFPB forum because I am a "crazy lurker" and can't stop reading that thing. I love it.

So here's my personal take that you probably shouldn't read because it really just belongs in my diary, if I kept one... In the hip and hot world of technical accounting, we talk about "rules-based" versus "principles-based" accounting standards. I have learned that, in dieting (accounting is another matter), a more principles-based approach works better for me. When I'm following a strict, rules-based diet, I feel horrible guilt about eating "bad" foods and then even go for extra credit and feel guilty about eating less ideal, but technically compliant foods. It's out of control. So I just, stopped. No challenge for me.* Instead, I'm following a few principles:
- Eat veggies at every meal. Never feel bad about eating veggies. Go to town on the veggies.
- Always be drinking water (not literally, duh)
- Eat protein with every meal
- Get more sleep!
- Practice mindfulness and gratefulness every day

That's where I am right now. And Fox's post just helped re-iterate for me that after 3+ years of experimentation with this "diet" I'm finally starting to see the path to balance (and happiness!) and something that looks like a step off that path is really just an opportunity to learn.

*This is NOT to fault anyone for participating in or enjoying the challenge. The coaches (Fox especially) do an AWESOME job organizing and helping people through it. And I've done them the last 2 years and learned A LOT. I guess I'm just saying, if you're struggling, don't beat yourself up. Just keep learning what works for you.

Goodnight, dear diary.

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKMo

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