We all have off days, slow days, even bad days. But I rarely have a Bad Day of Epic Proportion. The BDoEP feels far, far different than just a plain old bad day. It feels like I have one of the Jolie-Pitt kids clinging to a leg (probably Maddox), Andrei Arlovsky trying to pin me in a cross slide and my Dad standing next to me huffing Pall Mall non-filters. All while I’m trying to do thrusters.
Yesterday was one of those Days.
The last time this happened, I wrote it off to a lack of recent structured training. But I can’t blame that for yesterday, as my training has been solid as of late. So what’s the common factor here? After going back through my notes, it finally came to me – the common factor in both instances. Carbs. An overindulgence of sugary, grain-y, flour-y, processed carbs.
We had no power for almost two days this weekend, and therefore no easy way to prepare healthy, Paleo food at home. Which I took as a license to eat as if I were a character in The Road, on the run and scrounging for whatever energy rations I could find in a desperate attempt to literally save my own life. This weekend, those rations included espresso martinis, lobster mac and cheese, numerous delicious deli sandwiches, peanut M&Ms and an assortment of bread-related products.
It feels good while you’re eating them. Since I kept hoovering processed carbs and sugars, I never really crashed… or maybe I did, which accounts for the several happy naps I took over the weekend. Regardless, come Monday morning, I was back to my Paleo no sugar/no grain/no dairy/no processed food normal diet. And I did fine on Monday – I didn’t miss the carbs at all, wasn’t having any cravings. But come Tuesday morning, it all caught up with me.
This episode finally allowed me to determine a PATTERN… eat tons of crap for more than one day in a row, feel like even worse crap for even longer. The BDoEP is the result of me literally detoxing from sugars, grains and processed junk. You think I’m exaggerating? I mean, it’s just BREAD, it’s not heroin, right? I promise you, I am not. It’s like a smoker who doesn’t realize how terrible he feels until he STOPS smoking. I’ve been eating a pretty strict, clean diet for such a long time that when I do go on these multi-day binges, it literally kicks my ass. There is something to be said for comparing sugars, processed foods, etc. to hard drug, a la Nicole Carroll’s “Getting Off the Crack” CFJ article.
Still not convinced? Try it. Take two weeks and go sugar free, grain free, processed food free. Eat tons of vegetables, don’t go crazy with the fruit, eat lots of good fat. At the end of two weeks, take a day and eat whatever you want – cake, bagels, pasta, lobster mac and cheese. Then send me an email and tell me how you feel on Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. I’m guessing your note will include words like “nauseous”, “exhausted”, “weak” and “headache-y”. In fact, I can almost guarantee it. So try it for yourself. You’ll thank me for it. Or curse me for it. Either way, I’m on a mission to push the red pill.
- TGU/windmill warm-up drill, 3L/3R (12K)
DL, 3×3 + Pull-ups, 3×5
- DL warm-up at 95#, 135#, 155#
- DL x 3 @ 165#
- PU x 5
- DL x 3 @ 165#
- PU x 5
- DL x 3 @ 165#
- PU x 5
Meh. Not Bad, but still feeling pretty “off”.
- Get-up sit-ups, 10L/10R (12K)
P.S. My “strength” posts are featured on CrossFit NYC today. That’s totally awesome.
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Brandon P. Petersen says
Dam, i think you DL more than me :-)
Get together SOOOOOON!
Nice work M.
Such a great post. On a variety of levels. First off, isn’t the Road just one of the best books. I am getting for my Dad to read for Christmas.
Secondly, this is so true. I unfortunately have not been very strict for the last few months, due to life. It seems like its been 4 days of perfect eating and 3 days of so so. I am recommitting to a perfect diet as of the new year. And am also joining a Meat CSA!!
BTW thanks for the KB help!!
Bob Guere says
I’m right there with you Byers. I’ve been eating really bad lately with the onset of the holiday crack-pushing that everyone does. Yesterday was the pinnacle for me so far, had a piece of carrot cake and a sub-sandwich “section”, then went home and ordered pizza! This was preceded with a few days of gentle grazing on cookies, buckeyes (evil), and little stuff that crossed my field of view. Head-achey is a good way to describe my symptoms the last two days, and my workout suffered bad last night. No motivation, no strength, I just wanted OUT of the gym. Back on the wagon today, I can’t stand it anymore.
Evelyn Rodas says
A posting after my own heart. You have my total empathy. I’ve come to the conclusion that sugar is a drug; bread is just sugar in disguise. I LOVE carbs…but my body does not.
It’s amazing how just a little bit of junk throws the body way off… I’m at the point where if I have dessert or enjoy a night of moderate-drinking I’ll be flirting with Pukie for the next few days on my workouts and screaming profanity-laced oaths to never eat junk again…
BTW – your strength posts deserve a spot on the CF NYC… they were really excellent…
Alix C says
Like you said, carbs just feel so good when you’re eating them and it’s so easy to think “it’s bread, it’s not THAT bad” but I always feel awful afterwards – mentally as well as physically. Maybe one day I’ll learn! Glad to hear I’m not alone though. Paleo def the way to go for me (plus a little bit of cheese on my omelettes). Great post.
Jason Struck , RKC says
buckeyes ain’t evil.
i am thinking of writing a hypertrophy program; ‘squats and buckeyes’
Bob Guere says
You’re right Jason, buckeyes are not evil… they’re delicious. We seriously considered making them this year with natural PB and Splenda… but then snapped out of it and made them RIGHT!
Peyton Knippel says
Jason, you will forever be my hero if you do that. I just made some buckeyes this last weekend. They’re a magical holiday treat. When I was pouring the 4 cups of confectioners sugar into the mix this weekend I couldn’t help but feel a bit guilty lol. I only had a few and then gave the rest away or my dog ate them. I had some friends who had never had them….couldn’t believe something so simple could be so uhhhmazing.
Oh, and damn you carb’s, why are you so delicious? I’ve been craving some sheppards pie but I know I’ll feel terrible with each delicious bite.
Richard Vanmeerbeek says
Christin Street says
Buckeyes are the bomb! Love them. Making them tomorrow.
I wish I got sick like you describe when I eat sugar, grains etc. I don’t do it often but when I do, it doesn’t bother me much! I wish it DID.
Jen's Gym and Potomac Crossfit says
Yes right on the mark! The carbs pull me down for sure
Yeah, Im another one who isnt all that affected by it… In fact, the worse I eat, the better my lifting is. Of course my metcons suck, but who needs those, right?
Oh boy do I know this post like the back of my hand. Or better.
I’ve been doing well on paleo/primal, but not SUPER clean. I keep ‘waiting’ (not sure for what) to pull out ALL grains and dairy from my diet, and have yet to. I think you just inspired me to get off my ass and try it. Thank you- yet again!
I feel your pain. Xmas eating at the in-laws has essentially destroyed me.
Looking forward to feeling human again soon.