The Zone Diet

April 20, 2018


The CrossFit Open ended four weeks ago and my last post was three weeks ago.  I can’t believe how fast time goes, these past three weeks have been a whirlwind.

Darlene and I spent last week in Palm Springs.  We have been traveling to Palm Springs for about the last 10 years and it is by far our favorite get away, and once again it didn’t disappoint.

I have continued to be diligent about exercise but my diet has suffered.  Because of this my weight has bumped back above 200 lbs. to 203.3.  I’ve decided it is time to take control of this before it becomes and issue.

CrossFit requires its coach’s to be re-certified every five years.  My daughter-in-law Destiny and I recently attended classes in Portland and were then re-tested.  Thankfully we both passed.  One of the lecture topics was nutrition, with a focus on the Zone Diet.

The Zone diet restricts calories while encouraging you to change the balance of the foods you eat in order to lose weight.  On the Zone diet you will get 30 percent of your calories from protein, 40 percent from carbohydrates, and 30 percent from fat.

The Zone diet also gives you guidelines on portion control, which is based on your size and sex.  Lastly CrossFit, among others, recommend that Sugar be limited or optimally be eliminated from your diet.

At Veneta CrossFit almost 20 members have committed to following the Zone diet, with a start date of yesterday April 19th and ending six weeks later on May 31st.  If anyone would like to join us in this commitment let me know so that I can provide you with a little support and maybe even accountability…….smile

Speaking of accountability I wasn’t sure when or if I would post again but because I feel that I’m much more successful when I publically commit to something I thought it important for me to share this diet plan.  I hope to give a couple updates over the next six weeks about my progress and hopefully with some success stories from other members at Veneta CrossFit.

I’m excited to see how these next six weeks go.

Thanks for following.

The 2018 CrossFit Open

March 30, 2018

The 2018 CrossFit Open finished up on Monday March 26th.  As I have mentioned a few times my results were not as good as I was hoping for but I did see a lot of improvement in all areas of Fitness.  I finished right at 1,000th place in the world for my age division, this result put my in the 88th percentile.  I didn’t meet my goal but I’m choosing to focus on the positives from this experience.

I’m stronger, I can lift more weight, and I can lift it faster.

I have more stamina, I’m able to work for longer amounts of time.

I improved my flexibility.  A good example of this is that now I’m able to do pistols, which are one legged squats.

I improved in body weight movements.  This was the area that I saw the biggest improvement, but, I still have a long way to go.  I’m now able to do, pull-ups, toes-to-bar, chest-to-bar, and handstand push-ups.  I still need to improve the number I can do of each of these movements and the speed that I can do each movement, but I’m excited that I can at least do the movements.

I still can’t do Ring or Bar Muscle-ups.  Being able to do these two movements would not have magically let me hit my goal this year of being in the Top 200, but it is safe to say that I will never reach this goal if I’m unable to do these two movements.

I also was able to reduce my weight to below 200 pounds.  I would like to continue to lose a few more pounds and try and maintain a weight of about 190.

This brings me to the question of what will my goals be for the rest of this year?

The short answer is that I haven’t decided yet.  I will continue to exercise and attempt to eat right but for the next four to six weeks I think I will be bringing the intensity down a notch or two.  Instead of five or six workouts a week it will be three or four, and I may not be able to ignore the random cookie that I come across……smile.

I’m also going to take a break from my weekly posts.  I’m really glad that I made my goal of posting at least once per week for the last 34 weeks.  If for no better reason then I have a journal of things I’ve tried and things I’ve accomplished during the last eight months.

My hope is that I will get back on some type of schedule of posting to this web-site…..I’ll let you know.

It has really been a lot of fun for me.  I appreciate everyone that has read even one of my posts, and to those of you that have reached out with a kind word, or encouragement for what I was trying to do, thank-you, it really helped motivate me to keep going.

Thanks for following me on my Journey.

God is good……all the time.


18.4, 18.5, and Kendra

March 23, 2018

Thanks for joining me in my Follow Dave Journey, we are in week 33.  This journey chronicles my attempt to be one of the Top 200 Fittest 50 – 54 year old males as measured by the CrossFit Open.


CrossFit Open workout 18.4 was the worst workout for me when compared to other 50 – 54 year old males.  This wasn’t a surprise to me, I’ve been concerned since the very beginning of this journey that Handstand Push-ups would be a big downfall for me.  Whereas I have been around the 90th percentile on the first three weeks of workouts I dropped to the 68th percentile on last weeks workout.  Overall I continue to be in the top 87% so hopefully I can get back above 90% in the last week.

Even though the results weren’t what I wanted I received a lot of satisfaction from this workout.  I completed six Handstand Push-ups, not very many but six more than I could do a few months ago.  I was overwhelmed by the support I received during the workout from my friends at Veneta CrossFit.

I must sound like a broken record but working out with friends is really the way to do it.


Workout 18.5 is the last workout of the CrossFit Open.  It consists of 100 lb Thrusters and Chest to Bar pull-ups.  I’m pretty good at Thrusters so I will just try and do as many Chest to Bar pull-ups as possible.

I’ve been very open about Body Weight Movements (Muscle-ups, Pull-ups, Handstand Push-ups, Toes to Bar) being my weakest area in CrossFit.  As luck would have it this year there was a Body Weight Movement in all five weeks of the Open.  For my goal of being in the Top 200 this was unfortunate.

This last week is obviously no exception, as Chest to Bar Pull-ups are about as Body Weight sensitive as any other movement.  I’ve had my pity party about this and now I’m ready to give it my best shot.  It’s going to be a hard workout but I’m still looking forward to it.


My daughter Kendra would have turned 34 today.  She had a smile that could absolutely light up a room.  Her loss has left a hole in my heart that will never be filled…..I really miss her.

When I started writing this blog my intention was to keep most of my personal life out of it.  I realize now that this was a ridiculous thought.  I’m a pretty emotional person, so not sharing things in my life that are the most important is not realistic.

Kendra, Hunter, and KayLynn are always in our thoughts, and even though these thoughts can bring pain, they also bring joy.  Many of the best memories in my life include these three, so I choose to talk about them, share about them, and cry about them, and refuse to forget them.

God is good…..all the time.

Thanks for following me on my journey.



18.4 and my sister Dana

March 16, 2017

Thanks for joining me in my Follow Dave Journey, we are in week 32.  This journey chronicles my attempt to be one of the Top 200 Fittest 50 – 54 year old males as measured by the CrossFit Open.

Alright, I’m home from Vegas and I’m ready to do the last two weeks of the CrossFit Open.  I would say that my results so far have been lackluster considering what my goal is, but just looking at a comparison to last year my results have improved dramatically.

Last year I ended up placed 1,681 out of 6,544, or in the 75th percentile.

After week 3 of the Open I sat in 823rd place.  Because there are over 8,300 50 – 54 year old men competing this year, my results put me in the top 10% in the world, so I sit in the 90th percentile.  I like looking at it this way because it sounds much more impressive…

I’m not discouraged by how I have done but I continue to be impressed by how fit the men in my age category have become.


Last night the workout for the 4th week of the Open was announced.  Earlier in one of my posts I mentioned CrossFit Benchmark workouts.  These are workouts that every CrossFit gym in the world will do and track how their members progress over time.  This week’s Open Workout begins with the Benchmark workout titled Diane.

Diane is a couplet meaning that it includes two movements.  The first movement is the Deadlift, for men the deadlift is done at the weight of 225 lbs.  The second movement is the Handstand Push-up.  The workout has 3 rounds, with the first round being 21 reps of each movement, the second being 15 of each movement, and the third being 9 of each movement.  The workout has a time cap of 9 minutes.

As I have mentioned numerous times the handstand push-up is a hole in my fitness.  I can now do a few of these in a workout but to get through the first round in nine minutes would be heroic.

My Sister Dana

I heard on the radio earlier this week that a study was done in Sweden on Women who had a moderate level of Fitness during their “mid-life”.  These women that were fit during their mid-life had a 90% less chance of having Alzheimer’s or Dementia when they became older.

I don’t normally put much stock in these haphazard mentions on the radio but this one struck me because it hit very close to home on two levels.

I’m obviously very interested in fitness, but also my sister Dana, who I mentioned last week as having a birthday on Friday March 9th, has early onset Alzheimer’s and by most accounts is in the later stage of this disease.  Dana turned 56.

I don’t say this lightly nor am I looking for sympathy but I have had some very rough days over the last five years.  Last Friday was nearly as rough as any day I have experienced.  I think this will be the last birthday Dana spends on earth.  Even though I believe that Dana will go to a much better place, I can’t help but miss the incredible person I grew up with.

I’m not always sure why I write this blog but this week I am really confident in what I want to tell you.

If you are not doing something about your fitness, and I don’t care how old you are, you need to start……today.

The results are in, how we fight chronic diseases, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and now even Alzheimer’s, is through Fitness.  Then after spending time getting Fit you will decide to try eating better which will only make you more resilient to disease.

As great as life is it can still be really hard.  I encourage you to take the steps so that chronic disease becomes less of a possibility in your life.

Thanks for following me on my Journey.


18.2 Recap and 18.3

March 9, 2017

Thanks for joining me in my Follow Dave Journey, we are in week 31.  This journey chronicles my attempt to be one of the Top 200 Fittest 50 – 54 year old males as measured by the CrossFit Open.

Today is my sister Dana’s 56th birthday.  Dana  has always been an inspiration to me.  We were always close and I grew up idolizing her, inspired by her zest and joy for life.  Happy Birthday Sis.

After two weeks in the CrossFit Open I stand in 899th place.  Short of my goal but in the top 10% of the world.  I don’t say this boastfully but humbly, I know how hard I’ve worked and I’m in awe of how much more fit I need to be to reach the top 200.

Workout 18.2 had two parts to it with 18.2 being a cardio blaster followed by 18.2a being a one rep Max lift.

I once again did the workout twice but this week I was glad I did.  I improved significantly in both parts of the workout and ended up with my best results ever in an Open workout.

Workout 18.3 was announced last night.  I mentioned a few weeks back that I didn’t think Ring Muscle Ups would be in the Open and that I had made the decision not to work on these.  I was wrong, they are a major part of this workout……oh boy

I have never done a Ring Muscle Up, but I’m going to go with the attitude that there is no time like the present to reach a new milestone.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

The workout also includes Double Under’s and Overhead squats, two movements that I’m pretty good at, so at least I will be able to post a score.

I’m still having fun.

I’m writing this post from sunny Las Vegas.  I’m here for the PAC 12 Basketball tournament.  This is my fourth year in a row for this event.  Currently my Oregon Ducks are still alive in the tournament, although I am not sure how…

Thanks for following me on my journey.

Workout 18.2 and a Recap of 18.1

March 2, 2018

Thanks for joining me in my Follow Dave Journey, we are in week 30. This journey chronicles my attempt to be one of the Top 200 Fittest 50 – 54 year old males as measured by the CrossFit Open.

Recap of 18.1

The first workout of the 2018 CrossFit Open was announced last Thursday with the workout being:

20 Minute AMRAP (As Many Reps as Possible)

8 Toes to Bar

10 Dumbbell Hang Clean and Jerks, 50lb Dumbbell

14 Calorie Row

Last week I wrote that if I kept a good pace I should be able to complete eight rounds. I was successful at finding a nice steady pace which allowed me to keep moving for the entire 20 minute workout.

I completed eight full rounds plus an additional eight Toes to Bar and six Dumbbell Clean and Jerks, which gave me a total of 270 reps. After the workout I felt satisfied that I had done about as good as I could and that my score would place me somewhere in the vicinity of the Top 400 in my age group.

Wow did I misjudge. My placing for the first workout ended up being about 1,000th place in the world. It seems that I have underestimated how much more fit the rest of the world has gotten. Because of this I decided to complete the workout a second time to try and improve my score. This was a mistake, I improved by a measly 2 reps. My two rep improvement on the redo in no way justified the pain completing the workout a second time caused…..hopefully I’ve learned my lesson.

In all honesty I’ve had a couple of days of discouragement after these results. I’ve had to keep reminding myself and encourage myself that because of trying to meet this goal my fitness has improved and the way I feel is dramatically better……..Happy Thoughts

Workout 18.2

Sometimes the workouts can become a bit complicated and are difficult to explain succinctly. Workout 18.2 is one of these workouts. Here is my best attempt:

12 Minute Time Cap – 2 parts to the workout.

The first part of the workout includes Dumbbell Front Squats using two 50 lb dumbbells, and a movement called Bar facing Burpee’s. In the Bar facing Burpee’s you do a burpee on one side of a barbell and then jump over the barbell, this is one rep.

There are 10 rounds in the first part of the workout with the first round being one rep of each of the two movements. The second round is two reps of each movement. The third round, three reps of each movement, increasing each round by one, ending with 10 reps of each movement in the 10th round.

While this may not sound like much it is a cardio blaster. Especially because you need to finish the first part of the workout as quickly as possible so you can move on to the second part.

The second part of the workout is very simple, you just need to establish your 1 rep maximum of a movement called the Clean. This is made more difficult because you have just done the first part of the workout as quickly as possible, are unable to breath, and are then trying to lift the heaviest barbell you can muster.

If you are unfamiliar with these movements you can view a video I did in one of my first blog posts here.


I think that I will improve my placing on this workout. I’m fairly proficient on the front squats and I think I can pace out the burpee’s allowing me to have a favorable time. I also think that my one rep max on the Clean is enough to improve my ranking.

No matter what this will be a fun workout. Veneta CrossFit will be rocking as we laugh, scream, and cheer each other on.

Thanks for following me on my journey.

18.1 The First Workout

February 23, 2018

Thanks for joining me in my Follow Dave Journey, we are in week 29. This journey chronicles my attempt to be one of the Top 200 Fittest 50 – 54 year old males as measured by the CrossFit Open, which begins the end of February 2018. You can read more about the CrossFit Open here and here.

We made it. The Open started last night. As I mentioned last week I will be doing the workout today, Friday February 23rd, with the rest of the members of Veneta CrossFit. If anybody is interested in watching what this is all about please feel free to drop in sometime tonight between 5:30 and 7:00. You will see me and a bunch of other great people giving our very best effort.

The First Workout

The workout was announced last night on with a lot of fanfare. After the announcement two of the female competitors completed the workout. This allowed us to get a first look at how the best of the best would do on the workout named 18.1.

Workout 18.1 is:

20 Minute AMRAP (As Many Reps as Possible)
8 Toes to Bar
10 Dumbbell Hang Clean and Jerks, 50lb Dumbbell
14 Calorie Row

While I’m very nervous about tonight, I believe that this is a workout that I can do well on. It includes movements that I can do and at weights that are manageable for me. A few of the members of Veneta CrossFit went ahead and did the whole workout last night and did really well. This helped to give me confidence.

I wrote about Toes to Bar being a hole in my fitness, you can view that post here. While I don’t do this movement well, it is no longer a large hole in my fitness but instead a small, hopefully manageable hole….Smile. I’m fortunate that it is only 8 reps at a time. This means that I only have to do 8 Toes to Bar each round.

Dumbbell Hang Clean and Jerks is a brand new movement for the Open. This movement is a big surprise. Until last night when I played around with the movement I had never performed it. While a 50lb. Dumbbell is heavy, it is manageable for me. This movement will be very taxing on my grip and shoulders, but everyone will be in the same boat. This situation is where being a bigger person will be helpful.

Rowing for Calories is a really strong movement for me. Taller people have an advantage on the rower and I think this being included in the workout is a definite bonus for me.


The Open is very exciting and there is a lot of adrenaline flowing when the workout begins. I really need to attempt to control this and pace myself. 20 Minutes is a long time to be working out continuously and if I go out to fast I will surely blow up.

If I were doing only one round of this workout, and trying to go as fast as possible, it would be reasonable for me to do the round in under two minutes. My strategy for tomorrow will be to try and keep a 2:30 pace for each round.

If I’m successful at keeping this pace I should complete eight rounds.

I’m hopeful that after I’ve completed the workout and posted my score I will write a post on how I think I did. I imagine that I will be doing the workout sometime around 5:45 tonight, if you think about it say a little prayer for me or even better say a big prayer.

Thanks for following me on my journey.

The Journey

February 16, 2018

Thanks for joining me in my Follow Dave Journey, we are in week 28. This journey chronicles my attempt to be one of the Top 200 Fittest 50 – 54 year old males as measured by the CrossFit Open, which begins the end of February 2018. You can read more about the CrossFit Open here and here.

The Open starts on Thursday February 22nd. It is less than one week to go and I can’t wait. The first workout is announced at 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

At Veneta CrossFit we will watch the announcement show, on Thursday at 5:00, and then spend our workout time that night practicing the movements and strategizing the workout. Then, as a community, we will do the workout on Friday night. The scores or time for the first workout must be posted by the next Monday at 5:00 pm Pacific Time. Veneta CrossFit currently has 11 people signed up to compete in the Open.

My plan for next week’s post is to review the workout that was announced on Thursday night. I will try to give an honest assessment of how I think I will do and how I feel about the workout before doing the workout on Friday evening.

I’m hopeful that after I’ve completed the workout and posted my score I will write a post on how I think I did. We’ll see…….smile.

The Journey

I live a very blessed life. I love my wife Darlene and the relationship and life that we have. My son Casey, his beautiful wife Destiny and our precious Granddaughter Kaylee bring more joy to our lives than I can express. Both Darlene and I have amazing parents that are involved, supportive, and important pieces in our lives. On top of that we both have an incredible network of family/friends that love and support us.

I’ve mentioned many times how enjoyable this journey has been for me. I feel like I’ve stretched myself, attempting and doing things that I had always wanted to try. I think this journey has helped give me confidence to not be afraid to try new things.

I say this because I think the most important thing I’ve learned in this journey is how important living an abundant life is to me. I talked about this a few weeks ago, in a post, and it continues to resonate with me.

I want an abundant life.

I want more in my relationship with God, more in my relationship with Darlene, my kids, family, and friends. I want to be healthier, stronger, and happier. I think this journey these past 28 weeks has helped in making this happen.

Bring on the next five weeks, I’m ready to give it a go.

Thanks for following me on my journey.

Sickness, Injuries and Pistols?

February 9, 2018

Thanks for joining me in my Follow Dave Journey, we are in week 27. This journey chronicles my attempt to be one of the Top 200 Fittest 50 – 54 year old males as measured by the CrossFit Open, which begins the end of February 2018. You can read more about the CrossFit Open here and here.

Exercising through Sickness & Injuries

Exercising during the flu season can be troublesome. At Veneta CrossFit we always want to encourage people to be consistent and exercise regularly, but what about when you are sick?

In a lot of ways I equate this to going to work even when you are sick. For most people their job is a responsibility. Weather it is true or not there is a feeling that if we don’t go to our job the work place will fall apart. Or, on a more fundamental level if we miss a day of work we might get fired and won’t be able to eat (If this is true go find a better job…smile).

The fact is, if you are sick you need to rest. This is true for work and for play. It’s not always easy but the best option when you are sick is to lay low for a few days and get better.

It is a similar thing with injuries. Resting the injured body part seems obvious but I often have a hard time forcing myself to rest. So how do I approach exercising when I am injured?

Before I go further on this subject I often have people tell me that they will never do CrossFit because they “heard” that the risk of injury is greater in CrossFit. I realize that I am a CrossFit enthusiast and have a bias, but there have been many independent studies done that show CrossFit is no more dangerous than other forms of exercise. Here is a link to a random study that I found with a quick google search. This study found that CrossFit has no more risk of injury than other forms of exercise, including running, playing soccer, playing basketball, etc.

The above study is consistent with my personal experience of playing sports and exercising throughout my life.

With that being said injuries do happen. In fact earlier this week during a running workout I felt tightness in my inner thigh. I was near the end of the workout so I decided to cut the workout short. Then on Wednesday night during a workout that included weighted squats I felt the same tightness. Once again I decided to cut the workout short before anything more serious occurred.

But what do I do now…….the Open starts in less than two weeks.

Thankfully, I think this injury is minor. It only hurts when I run or do squats. Although doing these two things are important to my goal of making the Top 200, I think I can work around it.

I have chosen to consider this small injury a blessing. I will now be able (forced) to focus more on the movements that I have the most difficulty with, the holes in my fitness. Pull-ups, Chest to Bar Pull-ups, Toes to Bar, Hand Stand Push-ups, and the dreaded Bar Muscle-ups. These movements will require minimal involvement from my injured area and will allow me to give this area the rest it needs.

So what is the answer to exercising when you are sick or injured? Although similar, I think the answer is slightly different. When sick, rest is the best medicine. When injured, rest is still important but it is also imperative that you find alternative ways to stay active. There are so many ways and forms of exercise, the key is to just keep moving.


There is a specific movement, similar to an Air Squat, where you squat only using one leg. This movement is called a Pistol. If you asked me a few months ago if there was a specific movement that I thought I would never be able to do, I would have said Pistols.

I’ve never mentioned Pistols in my posts because I had relegated it to something that was just beyond my capabilities. Because of its difficulty it has never been included in the Open and there is no reason to think it will show up this year.

But……Last week, out of the blue, I was able to complete my first Pistol. I then proceeded to do 60 more Pistols in a workout. It blew my mind.

After the workout I took the above video. My form may not be perfect but I did it and I’m still 51 years old. If I accomplish nothing else on this journey this is a major accomplishment for me. I can do Pistols, thanks for following me on my journey.

Meeting and Setting Goals

February 2, 2018

I woke up Thursday morning this week and told Darlene “The Open starts three weeks from today”. I started this journey in August of last year and we are getting close to the conclusion. I wanted to take a little time to recap how I’ve done in meeting the goals that I outlined in my very first post which you can see here.

Original Goals:

Post an update to the Blog every week.
Train hard for eight months.
Place in the Top 200 for 50 – 54 year old males in the CrossFit Open.

How Have I Done?

My first goal was to update this blog weekly.

I started this blog because what really pushes me is accountability.  My hope is that if I say I’m going to do something, I do it. Writing something new every week is a major time commitment.  I don’t claim to be an accomplished writer but I’m happy to say that so far I’ve accomplished this goal.

My second goal was to train hard for eight months. I’m excited to say that so far I have done this.

I’m excited because these past six months have given me a renewed joy for exercise. I love going to CrossFit. I can’t wait for warmer weather so I can get back on my bike. I look forward to swimming on 90 degree days. I look forward to an active life… great is that?

My last goal of making the Top 200 in my age group of the CrossFit Open has been the driving force of this blog. This goal is the thorn in my side, it is always on my mind, always pushing me. I hate this goal and I love this goal.

I’ve always wanted to be “Super Fit”, but never have been able to define Super Fit. This year I defined Super Fit as placing in the Top 200. I realize that this is completely arbitrary but it is how I have chosen to measure Super Fit.

With three weeks to go before the Open, I can honestly say I have no idea if I will meet this goal. I don’t want to fail, but there is a real possibility that this will happen. I’m glad I still have three weeks before it all starts.

Miscellaneous Thoughts:

I have learned and done so many new things during this journey.

I did a 100 mile bike ride, which was on my bucket list. I can now do Pull-ups, Toes to Bar, and Chest to Bar Pull-ups.

My diet and nutrition are so much better then when I started this journey. I now eat Avocado, Sweet Potatoes, and Fish. I’ve also begun to drink coffee, it makes me feel like I’m all grown up….smile.

I now take a few daily supplements, Fish Oil, Vitamin C, and Creatine.

I sleep better and just generally feel better.

Future Goals:

I haven’t figured this out yet. I know I need to have them. I’ve been a goal setter my whole life, and the benefits I have received from setting goals are life changing for me. If you don’t already do it I highly recommend the process.

Three Quick Thoughts on Goals:

Your goals need to be measurable.
Write your goals down.
Share your goals with someone that will help keep you accountable.

The last two are self-explanatory but the first one might need a little explanation.

You need to avoid goals like, “I need to eat better” and “I want to work out more”. You need to give yourself a way to measure how successful you are in meeting your goal. It would be better to say “I’m going to eat no more than 2,000 calories per day” or “I will go to Veneta CrossFit three times per week”.

Final Thoughts:

In trying to determine my new goals one of them revolves around this blog. It appears that roughly 800 people per week read about my journey. Either that or my always supportive Mom is reading my post 800 times each week.

I really have limited knowledge of who is reading my post. Any feedback I could receive would be awesome.

It will take a little effort on your part because I don’t know how to make the comments section of my web-site work. Believe me this is completely because of my lack of skill and isn’t a reflection on anyone else.

I would like to know who is reading, if you like the posts, if they are helpful, even if you’re just reading because you think what I’m doing is crazy/stupid. Please let me know.

You can DM me on Facebook either through my personal account or through the Veneta Crossfit Facebook account. If you want to e-mail me directly at this will also work.

Once again thanks for joining me on my journey.