The Shipyard Strength & Conditioning

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Meet Jason. He's a 37 year old who has decided it's time to change his life.  Beginning on May 6th, 2013 he has started his journey from the ground up. Share in his successes, his set backs, and watch him transform....

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Hello, my name is Jason Tidrick and I am a 37 year old married college student.  I have been struggling with weight all my life.  I have tried just about every crazy fad diet or magic diet pill out there, exercise for a bit but then get tired of doing it or get discouraged and give up.  I would give myself a cheat day then that day would turn into 2 days than a week then back to my old habits.  I would see some results but it would never really make me feel better, in some cases the pills made me feel worse than when I was just eating badly and in other cases I would not get the results fast enough.  Even though I played sports in high school  I never really knew what I was doing in the gym and would get embarrassed that I couldn’t lift as much weight as the body builders or look cool doing it.  I always came up with an excuse “Oh I’m tired”, “I don’t have time.”  And my favorite “The gym is too busy!” 

 I loooove food!!  The greasier and more deep fried yumminess, the better.  Cookies, candies, and double bacon cheese burgers,  I love it all! I also really like soda. I almost want to write a list of foods that I love but that would just take way too long.  I get excited over the commercials for the new types chips and candy and can’t wait to try them.  

So you’re asking “Jason why change now?” Well for the last few years I have not been happy with myself.  I have been trying to figure out what I can do to feel better. I started with just trying to be nicer to people, working on quitting smoking cigarettes (by the way I have been smoking for almost 20 years) and it’s not cool any more. I started Judo and I am on my way but I still have the weight issue and it has been really holding me back mentally. I’ve been getting in to a gym more over the last few months but not shedding the weight.  I know that eating better and getting in shape is what I need to become a mentally stronger and all around better person.  However I do not know how to do it on my own.

Starting May 6th I will start working out at The Shipyard and eating the paleo diet.  I got this opportunity to get in shape plus nutrition help from Jen Thomas at The Shipyard and during my journey I will be writing about my trials and tribulations.

So it’s the night before I completely change my eating habits, I’m excited but also I’m going to miss all the food that is bad for me.  Spent the weekend shopping and preparing foods with my wife to get ready.  I hope it does not take me too long to kick the cravings of the old foods!

The next thing is getting ready to start training and overcoming the anxiety of exercising harder than I ever have!  This is going to be an experience!!

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Just finished the first week of The Shipyard OnRamp and Paleo eating, changing my eating habits this week has been pretty hard. I made it through the first few days pretty good but about late Wednesday night I started feeling it and by Thursday it had gotten really bad. I had some of the worst junk food withdrawals ever.  Thank you Mother Nature for your sweet, sweet oranges; they saved me this week!!

Monday was the very first Shipyard work out and was probably one of the hardest things I have done in years, physically.  I discovered that I positively hate running!!  I left the box so grouchy almost angry, not at anything or anyone but just because I had not done anything like that ever.  The following day I was in a much better mood because I didn’t die in my sleep like I thought I was going too.  The only thing was I could not lift my arms above my head and could not walk up the stairs.  I was not sure how I was going to work out on Wednesday.

 I showed up on Wednesday not as sore as I was the day before but still pretty sore.  Once we got warmed up, to my surprise, I was able to move pretty well.  We did deadlifts, overhead press, and knees to chest (kind of a crunch type movement).  I have never lifted weights like this before and by the time I was done I dropped to the floor and just laid there for a bit not sure I would ever walk again…but I did.  And again, the next day I was very sore.

Then it was Friday, last work out of the week.  We did lunges, jumping pull ups, and a whole lot of running.  I was not too happy to see that on the white board, but I did it. I did not like it but I did it. 

I have to say that if I was doing this on my own I would not have had the drive to push myself as hard as I did this week.  My fellow Shipyard beginners plus Christina and Jen (The Trainers) really gave a ton of encouragement.  All week when I didn’t think I had anything left to run that last lap or do the last few reps of whatever it was we did, they were there to cheer me on.  Honestly, it felt pretty amazing. 

We are now at the end of the first week.  I know I’m supposed to stay away from the weight scale but I couldn’t. I have lost 10 pounds this first week which has really amped me up.  I don’t really feel different physically yet, pants and t-shirts are not fitting loose yet but I know it’s right around the corner. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

This is has been my second week at The Shipyard and eating Paleo. I have been able to stay off the scale but it has been hard.  I have seen a small amount of progress in my shrinking belly some of my shirts are fitting a little better and I have gone down in a belt size but not a drastic change.  Logically I know that it is going to take some time but I really want this belly to fall off faster. 

     The workouts this week have been just as hard as it was last week.  I still hate running!  Got my abs destroyed this week (that was nice); I had to roll in and out of bed for a few days after. Just a kind reminder that I don’t think that I have ever done a real sit up in my life. It has been interesting learning proper forms for different lifts and exercises and really working the core.  I’m use to just working extremities when I lift weights.  I also have noticed that with proper form, I can increase the amount of weight without issue when the time comes.

     One big thing that I have noticed is that everything I have been doing outside of the gym has been just a little bit easier.  Walking to class, walking up and down stairs, and my favorite thing is I have been able to make it through Judo warm-ups! Even when they turned it up a notch, I was able to keep up without a problem.  I’ll tell you what, that is a great feeling! 

     Eating Paleo has been as big a challenge as I thought it would be.  I have finally gotten over the junk food and bread withdrawals, but I still crave them a bit.  I have actually had some very vivid dreams about giant delicious bacon cheese burgers… pretty weird stuff.   I’m a person that tends to stay up pretty late whether it is doing homework or just up late watching TV and that is when the cravings really kick in.  Luckily I got rid of any non-Paleo foods in my house so I can’t be bad.  Still the hard part is shopping; having to go in to the stores when there is fresh bread baking or they have the damned discounted candy at the front of the store taunting me it feels like.  I have broken the grip that soda had on me and that was easier then I thought it would be.  (I drank a ridiculous amount of soda. I do miss the bubbles from it though.)

     Thank you everyone for the great support that I have been receiving.  I have been getting so much support from friends, family, and The Shipyard community.  What surprises me the most is the complete strangers that just so happen to have seen my Shipyard photos on Facebook and asked me “How’s it going with that exercise thing you’re doing?”  “Hey, great job!” Things like that!  It really keeps me encouraged and motivated to keep going. 

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

      It has been a couple of weeks since my last update I have been doing pretty good with eating Paleo although, I have to admit, I did have a slip up over the weekend of May 25th.  I was out of town at a Judo tournament and was unprepared for eating.  My Judo sense bought  us pizza and I ate it.  I do have to say is that I did not gorge myself on it like I would have just a short month ago, so there’s that.  I found out that the body is a very quick adapting thing, shortly after eating the pizza I got kind of sick.  Not throw up sick, but my stomach was up set for quite a while.  On top of that I was upset with myself that I ate the pizza after being so good for 3 weeks.  Of course I jumped right back on the wagon when I got back home.  The foods that I used to eat and find so delicious aren’t worth the progress that I have gained from eating good.   I have lots of energy and no longer over eat.  It’s kind of weird.  It seems that by eating healthy food my body is able to tell that I’ve had enough and I don’t have that uncontrollable need to keep eating till I can’t move. That’s a good feeling! 

     So now that I’ve finished my first full month of eating Paleo and training at The Shipyard, I don’t have big, nagging cravings any more. I still have little ones but nothing that makes me scavenge the cupboards for food that isn’t there in hopes that I missed something.  Although my dreams still have been kind of weird;  I have noticed that it went from dreaming about a specific type of foods like a bacon cheese burger with the bun to having dreams about being tempted by a loved one in to eating a table full of all the foods that I miss like ice cream, burgers, and donuts, and I spend the dream resisting the lovely table.

I’m starting to really get in to this stuff! I have started to develop muscles that I have not seen in a long time or muscles that I have never seen. It’s feeling pretty great.  I have a couple of great milestones to report at the end of my forth week.   At the beginning of the OnRamp class (which for those that don’t know is the month long introduction class) our first workout was a 400m run then 25 – 15 – 9 reps of air squats, push-ups, and ring rows as fast as we can.  My first time was 15:43 but on the last day, we repeated the workout and I did it in 10:93!  Also, at the beginning of the year I had bought a shirt that I thought would fit but didn’t (it actually looked like it was painted on me it was so tight) but as of Friday- It fits!

There is not enough thanks that I can give for the opportunity to workout here and be educated on the Paleo diet.  I have not felt this good about myself in a long time and I really enjoy sharing my experience with whoever wants to read it.  I was told over the last month “You don’t have to be the best in the room, you just have to do your best!”

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

Just finished my first real week!  Our coach, Jason, fully kicked the training wheels off.  I thought OnRamp was hard but WOW; it’s like comparing a 12 pound house cat to a 900 pound jungle cat.  I knew it would be more difficult but holy smokes!  On a positive note I did not die (although it was a little touch and go on Monday and Tuesday…).  It’s amazing how hard I have been able to push myself with the support of the other people in the room.  Before starting this journey, I really underestimated the value of working out with a group of great people doing the same exercises, feeling the same pain in the same places, and sweating just as hard as I am.  Just when I thought there is no way I can do these last 10 damned burpees and do 10 Turkish get-ups…these lovely people (Angels if you will) gather around shout encouraging words. A few of them even proceed to do the last few reps alongside me even though they just got done doing the exact thing just to help me and encourage me through it. That is some powerful shit!!

Eating Paleo is going great although I have been having some cravings this week. We have been having some great weather in Coos Bay which has brought out the Ice Cream Man pushing those tasty frozen treats. I can hear his enticing song from blocks away taunting me. I have been having some great results though; my shirts are getting bigger on me around the belly and I’m about to go buy a new belt for my pants or start drilling some new belt holes in them.  I just ran in to a guy I would see at the old gym I went to before The Shipyard and he said that he could tell that I’ve lost weight.  That feels pretty good. 

This program is getting me stronger physically and mentally and more importantly it’s showing me how great people can be!

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

             I have realized something. Generally I can think logically and I know the logical answers; however when it comes to some things, I think very illogically.  A couple of these things are weight loss and body image.  I get very frustrated and beat myself up because my weight loss and body shaping is going very slow.  I am a long way from where I want to be.  This past six weeks of being at The Shipyard and eating paleo is definitely the hardest I have ever worked on improving myself physically and with nutrition. Because of this I feel that the results should be unrealistically fast. 

This week I had a great talk with Jen Thomas (Owner and Head coach) she told me “you are being way too hard on yourself, you’re getting smaller and you’re getting stronger, I can tell.”  She went on to say “You can’t measure your progress in the same way that you did before. Look at what you used to do and look what you can do now!” I nodded my head that she was correct since, yes, I could tell that I’m smaller and stronger and, yes, I using the old way of measuring success.  Logically I knew this but it was that illogical self-doubt and insecurities of my weight and body image that has plagued me all my life.  I told my wife about what Jen had said to me and my wife replied “I TOLD YOU!” I again nodded my head then sat down and watched TV with her while thought about it for a while.  It is not that I need to hear people tell me that they can see a difference in what I look like (although that always feels good), but it was more like I needed to give myself permission to feel good about my progress and figure out that new measurement.   

I feel good about what what’s happening to me.  For the first time in my life I don’t dread working out.  I’m still not happy about running or doing burpees, but it’s that new measurement of success I was talking about.  I’m not like “OH MAN, when is this going to be over!” but instead I’m like “When I finish this I am going to be stronger and next time I will do it faster!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

    Finishing week seven and feeling pretty good about myself now that I have set new parameters of measurement in viewing my body shaping weight loss success.  In anticipation of my body fat and weigh in next week I found some body measurements that I did with a measuring tape earlier this year. Chest: gained I inch (but I suspect that is due to muscle growth), Belly: I lost 2 ½ inches, Hips: 2 inches.  I also am proud to say that last week I had to buy a pair of shorts a size smaller and now they are fitting big on me.  As for my new measurement of success I am definitely getting stronger and faster!  Friday we ran 800 meters after doing clean & jerk, Spiderman pushups, pull ups (modified pull ups for me) and Truck tire flips.  I still had to walk a little but the distance I walk is getting shorter and shorter each time!

     Eating paleo has been very successful I don’t really have any cravings for bread or wheat products anymore but some days I still really crave sweet things mostly ice cream and peanut butter cups have been on my mind too!  Luckily there are some great paleo recipes for cookies and cakes that I have made that keep me away from the processed sugar things. As long as I don’t pig out on them it satisfies the craving and I don’t gain fat or feel like I failed! It was my wife’s birthday this week so I went all out to cook paleo for her I made an eggplant almond flour and flax seed crust pizza with tomatoes, arugula, prosciutto and assorted herbs and spices for dinner and coconut cake with coconut cream cheese frosting for dessert.  I find myself really enjoying baking and cooking since we have been eating paleo. I like finding recipes that seem to look tasty and trying them out. I have had a lot of successes and just a few fails. It’s interesting that I have found out that it can make a difference whether you mix something by hand or use a hand mixer the consistency of the batter or cookie dough will make the difference if you get fluffy or dense finished products.

     With all the successes I have been having it has really pick up my self-confidence can’t wait to see my body fat measurements result!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

     This has been a good week! I had my weigh in and body fat measurements this week and the results are in. I lost 16 pounds in 8 weeks and 14 of that was fat! Also I got my 8 week later picture taken and I can definitely see a difference in belly shrinkage and muscle tone. Not a lot but enough that it gets me excited to see what the next 8 weeks will bring. 

     With the first milestone down, I have been reflecting on my other attempts to lose weight.  Usually on my previous tries to get in shape, at the 8 week mark I would start to get lazy and come up with any excuses to not go and work out (and what I was doing, when compared to what I do now was like lying on the beach!).  I think a big difference between then and now is that before at any gym that I went to there were only a couple of cool people and mostly a tone of ego, flexing, and not cool people. It was like pulling teeth to get any type of question about how to use any of the equipment.  Working out at The Shipyard is an entirely different experience. Everybody is fantastic! There are no big egos running around and you get nothing but support.  If you have any questions about a particular exercise or how to do a movement, the coach is there to answer it. As far as the equipment, it’s not complicated at all. I can honestly say that for the first time in my life I look forward to working out. 

Eating Paleo has been getting easier and easier I get excited to try new recipes. The 4th of July is coming up so I am getting ready to try some new pie and cake recipes. I definitely don’t crave the things like I did before and each day is becoming more and more normal not to eat processed foods! 

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

     So it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged last!  Over the last month I have been getting stronger and faster.  I have had a few bench marks; my first was my deadlift at 375 pounds, which was 175 pounds more than I have done in years. Second were back squats at 275lbs which is 75 more than I have done in the past.  My clean and jerk has hit 145 pounds; I don’t think I had ever done that lift until I started at The Shipyard! Another thing I have done is gone from jumping pull-ups to band assisted pull-ups, and now I am able to run further and longer without walking! However I still have a strong dislike for it! Very strong!

     I have been going to The Shipyard for 3 months now and I have to say I have never worked out this intensely and consistently ever. In the past I would work out regularly for about a month or so and then gradually dwindle back down to nothing. I would come up with every excuse possible not to do it.  But this time I have actually another day to my workout week and because of that, I am really starting to see the results. 

With the nutrition side of things, I had a big stumble.  My wife had made a regular wheat flour cake for a friend and she was asked to do some sculpting with it. When she was done there was plenty of unattended cake trimmings and frosting lying around. So, like any junk food junkie, I ate a little.  Well, I ate more than a little I ate some.  OK, OK, OK, I ate all of it and it was a lot!  It was fun and delicious too… until it hit my belly. Then it was no longer fun.  I paid for it with a serious upset stomach for a few days and have spent a week going through withdrawals because of it.  But I have been clean since then and feeling so much better, like I should! 

All in all I feel really good. My clothes are fitting way bigger on me so it’s time to get some new t-shirts and work clothes.  It’s kind of weird how fast my clothes went from being baggy too being sloppy! Also more and more people let me know how much they can tell I’m getting in shape and looking healthy.  It’s funny how all my life I just didn’t want to be the fat kid, guy, man any more too striving to be in shape and healthy! With all the support that I’m getting from my family and friends (old and new) I know I’m going to be successful!

Sunday, November 30th, 2013

It has been a very busy fall and early winter for me and it has been a while since I have written anything. So let get caught up. I started my last year of school this fall and part of this was an internship in the IT department in a local medical center. Between this and my math class, it threw a wrench in my Shipyard schedule. I have kept up with 3 days a week at the gym even though I had to change what time I went. But I got in! On top of school I have been looking for work; trying to get a job in my field of study but without the degree I might have to settle for something else in the meantime. I would say the hardest part of having my schedule change was keeping up with eating paleo. It is so easy to get side tracked and not eat the way that I know I should. I’m still pretty weak when it comes to food and, while interning, they had a couple of pizza days where I “indulged”. I didn’t get carried away like I would have in the past but it did knock me off track. With a full schedule it can be difficult to get meals prepared so I would settle for food that was quick and cheap which usually means it’s not good for you. 

Even though I have become busier this fall, money has been tight so making the better food choices has seemed more difficult also. I am learning how to make better food choices on a lower budget but I can’t go organic veggies or grass fed meats due to the expense. I do what I can by watching sales and shopping at different stores to get the best deals. I figure that at least if I eat my fruits, veggies, and meats and eliminate the grains from my diet that is a good (for now) and when I can, I will get the quality of products up. One thing that I have experienced over the last few months is what you put in to your body does have a direct impact on how your body performs. While eating the right foods gives you energy and the ability to have your body perform to the best potential while eating bad will zap your strength away quick!

So with Thanksgiving just past us and Christmas and New Year’s just around the corner, it is the toughest time to be changing the way you eat. It is definitely very difficult to keep it together eating wise with all my favorite foods all in one place: stuffing, dinner rolls, canned jelly cranberries, cookies, cake, pumpkin pie, apple pie…I could keep going but you get the idea. It’s tough!! I did pretty well considering my track record with Thanksgivings of the past. I did not jam as much of everything as I could in my mouth. Don’t get me wrong, I ate a lot, and I did have some pie but I was able to walk away instead of rolling away.

Now Christmas will be a difficult as my wife and I will be visiting my parents with a lovely assortment of candy and cookies unattended (candy and cookies very tasty and very …. Did I say unattended?) Anyways it will be a great test of will power!

June 13, 2014

Well it’s been one year since I started at The Shipyard and eating paleo! This has been one of the greatest gifts that I could have received, this opportunity to have a place to work out at and nutrition advice all in one place. This last week I have really been doing some reflecting. I have a lot of great people in my life; my wife, my family, and friends. I was happy before The Shipyard but something was missing. Although I projected high self-esteem and would not let anyone verbally or physically abuse me, on the inside I beat myself up more than anyone could. I ate way too much and all of my choices were very unhealthy food. As a result I hated the way I felt which lead to more of the same internal talk. This caused me to lash out at the people that loved me and that I loved the most. At the end of 2012, I realized that I needed to make a change. The problem was I didn’t know how or what to do!

So on January 2nd, 2013 I stepped on a scale. At this point it had been awhile because I did not need it to tell me I was obese…I knew it. I tipped the scale at 286 pounds. I said to myself, “Son of a bitch!” That day I started going to the gym at the school I am attending and I started eating “better” but every couple of weeks I would have a “cheat day”. This went on for about 3 months and I had managed to lose about 10 pounds. Then Eric Thomas (husband of Jen Thomas, Shipyard owner and coach) who I had been taking Judo with told me about The Shipyard. Turns out they were looking for an “every man” to do these workouts and eat paleo to track their progress. He asked, if he could arrange it, would I like to be that guy? Before even thinking I said yes. I knew I needed help and I needed the tools it seemed they had! Eric then suggested that before I commit, I should stop by and see what it is they do and meet Jen before we settled on anything.

It was a Sunday afternoon that I showed up at The Shipyard. Eric was there with their two kids swinging from large ropes hanging from the rafters of what seemed to be a warehouse with 2 large garage doors on either end. As Eric greeted me, I saw this little blond power house performing what I now know to be the snatch with more weight on a bar over her head then I had seen any woman do in real life. She then let the bar drop and made eye contact with me and I saw this intensity that you really only see in action movies from the hero (or rather in this case the heroine)! I knew at that point I was in the right place and that I would do whatever it takes to be part of it. I watched them do some different Olympic lifts and, afterwards, Jen and I spoke about what she expected from me. She wanted me to write a blog on my experiences and feelings on this journey so that people would know that they are not alone and that there is at least one other person with daily struggle and self-doubt about eating and exercising.

As you have read over the last year I have had my ups and downs and I have learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned that I have had an obsessive relationship with food; it’s been my security blanket. I would sneak it even though there would be no reason to (for some reason sneaky food tasted better). Although I still crave foods that aren’t good for me, I have way better self-control. A lot of people ask, “Why eat paleo?” Well I have found over the year that when eating this way, my body performs at a higher level than when I would eat foods with things like GMO’s and grains. For me there is a clear difference in quality of life without them. I follow the rules of paleo and, in my year of experience, I have felt so much better eating this way then not. . I’m no longer sluggish or feel sick after meals, or have that ashamed feeling. And if I have a huge meal and am really full afterwards, my metabolism burns through it in no time. One of the trickiest things about starting paleo was that I had to make every meal. If it’s more than just a single fruit or vegetable (if I want a whole meal) I have to take time to fix it. As a result I have learned to cook! And not just putting a piece of chicken in the oven, I’m talking about making anything from pizza, spaghetti, chicken thai curry, cake (all paleo versions), the list goes on. This of course has made my wife, Tara, very happy! I went from cooking maybe once a year to cooking 4 to 5 times a week.

As I have said, this journey has been something that has aided in making me not only physically stronger but mentally as well. I have done things over the last year that I could never do in my life! For instance, I’ve climbed a 15ft rope to the very top (that is something I have never been able to do going all the way back to elementary school)! It happened one day, after a particularly hard WOD that involved the rope where I did a scaled down version of the rope climb. I was sitting on the floor watching people talk and get ready to leave. I was feeling particularly strong and I thought to myself, “I think I can climb that thing to the top”. So I walked up to it, grabbed it, and the next thing I knew I was at the top. I think I did it 2 or 3 more times. That was one of the greatest feelings I’ve had in a long time!!

I have put in a lot of hard work over the last year, these are the hardest workouts I have done since high school football. But I did not do it by myself. I have had the love and support from not just Jen and the other coaches but from my fellow athletes; these powerful women and men who leave their sweat and blood (yes sometimes blood!) on the floor alongside me every WOD. We all come from different backgrounds: doctors, teachers, moms, students, young and old, but we all have one thing in common when we start the WOD- we give it our all and we support each other. If one of us finishes before the other, we are there cheering each other on. We will get down and do those last reps alongside of you to encourage and help you achieve something that you may think is out of reach but with that support, you make it. Man that feels good! This is what I have been experiencing for the last year. So people ask me how I am doing? “I am Awesome!!”

I have been writing this blog for few reasons. Initially I did it because Jen asked me to share my experience but as I have been doing it, I realized it’s also for accountability. Even more I realized that I was inspiring people. People began to tell me that they started their own journey because of me! Wow, that’s heavy! I never thought that was something that would happen. I have learned that my pre-Shipyard life was not as uncommon as I thought. Now that I have been doing this for a year and have had the massive changes in my physical and mental well being, I will definitely keep this up. I can’t go back to the way I was. I owe all this to the opportunity that Jen Thomas at the Shipyard gave me.

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