Tuesdays with Ktowners

Tuesdays with Ktowners

In his natural Paleo habitat.

Warm-up: CFWU, 10 Pass-Throughs on Parallettes, 10 Max Attempts at Double-Unders

Max Weight Pull-Up: 1RM

Press: 5RM

MetCon – Isotarded:
L-Sit on Parallettes
Bottom of Air Squat
90° Angle Pull-Up Lock-Off
Top of Superman

How is Paleo going for everyone? I haven’t seen a journal in a while. Don’t forget to bring those in! If you don’t, you won’t be eligible to win even if you lose the most weight! If you have fallen off the wagon then hitch up your pants and get back on. Today’s guest blog post is by our last Paleo challenge male winner: Travis McCroskey.

Also, I want to remind everyone that tomorrow is our last full day of the week and Thursday is just morning classes. Friday and Saturday we are closed due to the CrossFit Games Regional competition.

Wish someone from the gym luck, after all, they are representing KTOWN,
<3 Coach Miss J

My name is Travis McCroskey for anyone who might not know me and I recently had my one year anniversary with Crossfit Ktown. I was fortunate enough to be a part of Ktown’s first Paleo Challenge which took place at the beginning of this year.  I know we’re in the midst of another one now and since I was lucky enough to not only survive, but win the first challenge, I hope my Paleo story will help everyone competing now and anyone who is thinking about going Paleo in the future.

I had two huge motivating factors when I began the challenge in January.  First, I wanted to improve my overall fitness.  I’m a student at UT law school and because of all the stress and law school’s uncanny ability to rob you of your free time (and soul), it encourages unhealthy eating.  Also, I’ve always been a little self conscious about how I look (I was husky as a child) and I’m getting married this Friday (editors note: this was LAST Friday), so Paleo also provided the perfect opportunity to get in shape for the wedding pictures.

Well going Paleo helped me accomplish my first goal.  I began the challenge weighing in at 186lbs and ended at a slim and sleek 165lbs.  Twenty one pounds sounds like a lot to lose and it is.  Sometimes I’ll find a twenty pound dumbbell in the gym and imagine what pull-ups would be like if it was still attached to me.

The second motivator I had entering the challenge is a personal one.  I have a family history of early deaths related to heart disease.  My doctor has told me for several years now that I would probably have to start on cholesterol medication if I could not lower it on my own.  With this in mind I embarked on my 10 week Odyssey of red meat and ranch dressing, with nearly everyone (outside of the gym) who heard about what I was doing calling me crazy.

A week after the challenge ended I had my blood tested again, and instead of putting me on the heart transplant list the doctor told me my numbers had actually improved.  While my overall blood cholesterol was still fairly high, both my good cholesterol (HDL) and blood fat levels (triglycerides) improved significantly.  I say all that to make the point that Paleo is more than some fad diet or quick way to lose weight; it’s a viable, healthy lifestyle.

Now, for everyone who is still in the middle of the newest Paleo challenge, I wanted to think of a way to encourage you guys to stick with it, so I thought I would share some of my experiences and thoughts from doing the Paleo Challenge with you.  Here are some excerpts from my food/thought journal which I kept along the way.  As a warning I tend to be a little melodramatic when I’m writing things to myself.

Day 1

Breakfast: 3 hard boiled eggs, cashews, almonds, strawberries

Lunch: Salad w/ranch, hamburger sans buns

Dinner: Turkey, baby carrots, mixed nuts, spinach

Mood/Comments: Defiance.  I’m out to prove everyone wrong who said I wouldn’t be able to do this thing.

Day 9

Breakfast: 3 eggs, 3 pieces of sausage

Lunch: Paleo taco salad

Dinner: Triple Baconator with no bread or cheese, side salad

Mood/Comments: Despair.  My numbers have dropped and I’m basically hungry all the time.  If someone offers me a diet coke to rob a bank I don’t know what I’ll do.

Day 18

Breakfast: 2 Italian sausages

Lunch: Oven Roasted Chicken Sub without the bread

Dinner: Paleo Pot Roast

Comments: I feel like I’ve broken through a wall and I can be on this thing for the long run.  Also starting to see serious weight loss results.

Day 33

Breakfast: 3 Pieces Sausage, 3 Eggs

Lunch: Homemade Paleo Tuna Salad, almonds

Dinner: Paleo Tacos, berries with almond butter

Comments: Things are easier every day. People at the law school have started talking about how weird it is that I eat half a pound of hamburger for lunch every day, and yet still lose weight.

From the halfway point on things were easier and it started to become less of a chore to eat Paleo and more of a habit.  I enjoyed going to the store and planning my meals in advance, and instead of being jealous of the chubby kids in Kroger sitting in shopping carts filled with diet coke and pop tarts I felt sorry for them.  My semi-elitist attitude didn’t end at the grocery store, almost everyone I know has tried to lose weight at some point in their lives and I found the way to do it and it doesn’t involve starving yourself or counting calories.

Paleo is simple, but it’s not easy.  You’re breaking an addiction (carbs and sugar) which you’ve had for your entire life.  I honestly believe if you can do this you can do anything.  I don’t want to sound like I believe that my own willpower and fortitude was the reason I did so well with Paleo, it wasn’t.  What helped me succeed was knowing I was going through it with my gymmates.  Seeing Scott, James, Ben, Doug and everyone else who suffered through it with me motivated me to stick with it and I’m glad I did.  Now that the challenge is done for me I’ll have what I learned with me from now on.  I’m in the best shape of my life, I know how to be fit, and I’m going to look very impressive in the wedding pictures.

Your Fellow Carnivore,

Travis McCroskey

By | 2017-04-25T14:39:44+00:00 May 25th, 2010|CrossFit Ktown Knoxville, Uncategorized|3 Comments


  1. James May 26, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Great post T-Money, its like you took pages straight out of my paleo food journal.

  2. Ben May 26, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Great post Trav. Especially the line about having a semi-elitist attitude in the grocery store. I too would stare into peoples carts and see the mountains of sugar in its many forms and then fight the urge to tell them “That’s why your jeans have elastic!” I am so proud of my self for sticking to something for 10 weeks (especially giving up the beer). Good luck to everyone, and remember you have a whole family of support if you need it. Stick to it and I promise win or lose you will be glad you participated.


  3. crossfitktown May 31, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Travis, I never had a chance to comment on this last week because I was running around like a crazy person b4 regionals. Let me say, though, this was an excellent post and I’m so proud of you. I don’t think you’ll ever know how much of an inspiration your Paleo pictures are to everyone who walks in the door at Ktown. GREAT JOB!

    -Miss J

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