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Skedge 12/4/17 (How To Hack Thanksgiving…)

By CEEJ | In St. Louis Fitness Bootcamp | on December 3, 2017

December is in the house [fname]!


First and foremost…

A most sincere farewell to our St. Peters brethren! 

It feels a little surreal to be closing this chapter.  And I know how impactful Derek and Bootcamp have been for so many of you.

Believe me when I tell you, I’ve cherished every story.  Every time you had a mental success.  Every time you shared a new outlook on food.  Every time you told tales of Derek’s antics.  Every time you replied to one of my emails about something I wrote.  And every time Derek told me stories about your individual and group victories.  It all left an impact.  It all touched my heart.  And while St. Louis Fitness Bootcamp may no longer be the place you go to workout, it’s my sincerest hope that we can keep the dialogue going.  And I trust that you’ll all be resilient and resolute in finding a new means of making your morning workout a non-negotiable part of your life.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your patronage, for your friendship, and for all the love you’ve sent my way.  Please reach out to me any time.  And I’ll continue to check in with you on Sundays.  😉

Thank you and God bless!


Upcoming event!…

Bootcamp Christmas Party!!

Workout hard… play hard…

When:  December 16, 2017 (Saturday) 7pm-??

Where:  Helen Fitzgerald’s (3650 S. Lindbergh, St Louis, MO 63127)

Let’s grab some holiday ‘spirits’ together and make a night of it!

Hope you can make it!  Mark your calendar!  Friends, spouses, and significant others all welcome!  Can’t wait to see you and get our party on Bootcamp style!


How To hack Thanksgiving…

How was your Thanksgiving, [fname]?

Mine was pretty epic.

Now to provide some context, in years past, the only thing epic about my Thanksgivings was my gluttony.  Some of you already know that my brothers and I once held a tradition that consisted of pre-dinner and post-dinner weigh-ins.  The brother to feast the most and thus accumulate the most weight in one sitting, was deemed the winner.

But if you’ve ever been so full that gravy is seeping out of your pours… you recognize that it doesn’t feel anything like winning.  It’s more like the scene in Alien where a foreign creature is ripping through your intestines trying to make its way out of your belly.


But that’s what Americans DO on Thanksgiving.

Once upon a time… Pilgrims and Indians shared a meal together… ergo…  in honor of their ability to eat food, we cram as much pie into our pie-holes as humanly possible.

You’re welcome Squanto!

But I’ve since adapted some of my Thanksgiving Day traditions.

When one of your most closely held values is personal growth (not waist circumference growth) you have to challenge your old paradigm.

So here’s how I hacked this Thanksgiving for a maximum win.

1)      Cold shower

I’ve spoken about the cold shower before.  I know… most people think I’m crazy.  Frankly, even I think I’m crazy right before I get in.  But I always feel amazing afterwards.  ALWAYS!!

There are a laundry list of benefits to adding cold showers to your regimen, but I came across a bonus benefit just recently.

According to my boy, Ben Greenfield, taking a cold shower before a race gets your body geared up and ready to run.  Since you’ve chilled down your core temp and your extremities, the body responds by being all geeked up to run at maximum effort in an attempt to warm you back up.

It felt like a gamble to start off my day with cold exposure on a morning when the temp was already a chilly 26 degrees.  But as I prepared for takeoff at the starting line, I felt totally ready for my…

2)      5k Run

The past couple years, with some gentle nudging from Bootcamper, Jennie Miller, I’ve started my Turkey Day with a Turkey Trot.

Frankly, I don’t like running that much.  I do my interval sprints each week (while wearing my training mask) because I know there’s some cardiovascular benefit to it…  But I don’t have to like it. 😉

When it comes to a 5k, in my head, I’m only allowed to go one speed… FAST!  So, the next twenty minutes or so are going to be brutal.

I recognize the importance of pushing myself past my comfort zone, so I like to keep some of these events in my yearly repertoire.

And beyond that, it gives me the opportunity to…

3)      Test new knowledge

A lot of people ask what I do when I get home from Bootcamp with the rest of the day in front of me.

Sometimes I’m writing posts like this one.  Sometimes recording videos.

Sometimes writing new amazing workouts.  (You’re welcome!)  And often times getting lost in a book or down a rabbit hole about some new health tactic that’s just hit my radar.

Recently, one such rabbit hole took me to a one hour tutorial on proper running form.  It discussed proper head position to improve your gait, stretches to turn on specific muscles and activate your power, feet position, toe spread, and so on and so forth.

I got to test it all during the run.

Book learning is cool.  But application of learned lessons is always more rewarding and helps to deepen my understanding so I can pass it on to others.

I was pretty pleased with the results.

4)      Post-Race Jubilation

The endorphins are flowing.  The sense of accomplishment is amazing.  But I’m quickly saddened, like Squanto shedding a single tear at the sight of…

5)      Post Race “Nutrition”


[Single serving Cream of Wheat cups]

[Your choice of 2% or chocolate, ultra-pasteurized death… AHEM!.. I mean “milk”.]

[No processed pancake bar is complete without industrial-sized pump jugs of syrup.]

It never fails… There’s always absurd quantities of junk food at the end of these supposedly healthy racing events.  It’s one of my biggest pet peeves!

Usually there’s a piece of fruit hidden somewhere in the mix.  But not at this turkey trot… Pancakes, syrup, sausage, chocolate milk and some nasty Cream of Wheat concoction that I wanted nothing to do with.

“Congratulations on getting your holiday off to a healthy start… Now let’s pump you full of sugar and processed gruel as some kind of ironic, ill-conceived reward.”

It seems impossible, but I think the line for the pancakes was longer than the line for the actual race itself!

As I internally contemplate how I’m going to single-handedly heal America, I realize it’s time to get on to my next event…

6)      Water Aerobics

I let Bootcamper, Jeanine Bermel, kick my butt for a change.  She teaches a number of different classes at Wellbridge including water aerobics.  I thought it would be a good way to loosen up and relax following the race.  But Jeanine put me to work with some awesome resistance moves in the water.

Jeanine runs a great class if you ever want to check it out and keeps it fun while she keeps you moving for the full hour.

After the cool down I decided it was time get warm again in the…

7)      Sauna

I spent the next half hour sweating, detoxing, breathing, and reflecting on my jam-packed but fully rewarding start to my day.

Post sauna session it was time to meet up with the family and continue my 24 hours of…

8)      Fasting

Super active day thus far, but no food found its way to my belly until our 5pm Thanksgiving dinner time.

Fasting is not that much of an anomaly for me.  I’m a practitioner of regular intermittent fasting (4-6 hour eating window each day).  For those interested, you can start by confining your eating window each day to 10 hours and then work your way down if you choose.  I like to toss in the occasional 24 hour fast as well.  Fasting pays off dividends in terms of energy, clarity, time, metabolism, fat loss, and longevity.

If you’re still eating 6 meals per day… you may want to consider re-thinking your approach towards nutrition.

While dinner time couldn’t come soon enough, I was able to take some time for…

9)  Stretching

This time last year, I didn’t know what an ‘anterior tibialis’ was… but this year having my NASM certification under my belt and a libarary of gymnastic stretching moves added to my repertoire, I was able to hone in on the tightness eminating from the front side of my ankles and apply the appropriate gymnastic stretch to relieve it.

As we approached dinner it was time for a…

10) Family Photo

When your brother is a photographer and your family is quasi-crazy… you can get some pretty cool shots:

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing, shoes, grass, outdoor and nature

At then, after much anticipation, at long last it was time for…

11) The Healthiest Dang Thanksgiving Dinner You’ve Ever Seen

  • Turkey (Organic, pasture raised from Bolyard’s Butcher in Maplewood)
  • “Pears on Fire” Spinach & Pecan Salad
  • Cauliflower Stuffing made entirely from veggies! (This is a super tasty recipe you could keep in the rotation year round!) Click Here for Recipe
  • Cranberry Relish (made from actual cranberries and orange zest)
  • Mandarin Orange Salad
  • Mashed Potatoes (just potatoes and butter… can substitute cauliflower too)
  • Green Beans (made from organic green beans)
  • Sweet Potato Casserole (sweet potatoes, apples, raisins)
  • Pumpkin Pie (made from real pumpkin, not the canned stuff) (you can even do this with a sweet potato crust… Bootcamper Sherry Johnson makes an amazing one!)

I ate like a king, got to enjoy all my favorites, but didn’t have to stray from healthy whole foods to celebrate our pilgrim predecessors.  (Many thanks to my Mom for going to all the trouble of putting this amazing smorgasboard together.)

People often tell me, “If I eat like you, I won’t be able to eat ANYTHING!”

But in truth, you can have almost EVERYTHING when you find new recipes and hack your way around it.

I get it though… We want fast AND easy AND cheap…

And while it can be done, I think your north star should always come back to what’s going to actually nourish you and contribute to your overall health.

Processed pancakes with a pool of syrup and a side of nutritionally void chocolate milk is fast and easy and even free post-race…

But there’s nothing fast about trying to lose 20… 40… 60 pounds.

There’s nothing easy about Alzheimers, osteoperosis, or daily insulin injections.

And there’s nothing cheap about the pharmaceuticals, surgeries, and chemo therapy that come standard with a life of consuming processed foods.

It’s hard to think that long term… It’s hard to believe that stuff could actually happen to you… Other people?… Sure!… But not you…

I’m not advocating perfection.  But I am advocating that we each start to take more responsibility for our health rather than blaming our genes or the government or Ben & Jerry’s for being too damn good to resist.

Keep seeking… A tip here… A recipe there… And all of a sudden, Thanksgiving takes on a whole new meaning.

I’m thankful for all of you and you’re ongoing love and support.

I’m thankful for the deep conversation I got to have with my dad and my youngest brother after the focus was off of the food and on life ambitions, contribution, and the role God plays in our lives.

I’m thankful for the effort and expense that my mom put into not only this meal, but into my mind to get me started on a road that would become my ultimate passion.

I’m thankful that Derek is getting to start a new chapter pursuing his passion in photography and videography.

I’m thankful that I’ve only begun to scratch the potential for what’s possible in my life.

And I thank you for being a part of this journey!

I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving and look forward to our upcoming Bootcamp Christmas Party on December 16th! (details above)

God bless!



Sign Up | The Battlegrounds Mud Run

Mark your calendars for 5/19/2018!!

That’s right!… We’re going back to the Battlegrounds!

Our crew had such a blast in the last one, that there was no hesitation in signing up for the next one.  

You gotta get in on this! 

AND… If you register early, you get a discount!  (Discount code:  LETSBATTLE)

Don’t miss out!

Here’s what to do (step-by-step instructions):

Go here:  http://thebattlegrounds.com/events/

Click Sign Up Now!

Click Sign Up Online Now

Click Register Now

Choose Afternoon Waves 12-3pm

Fill out the form… (CHOOSE Distance:  5k) (CHOOSE Team:  Battle-Tested Bootcampers)

Before you finish checking out, use DISCOUNT CODE:  LETSBATTLE to get $10 OFF!

Hoping to get a big team together for this one, dominate the course, create some new stories, and party like a rockstar at the finish line!

Discount code may only be good through the end of October… so don’t wait… sign up now and schedule your life around this event.  😉

Image may contain: 10 people, people smiling, people standing, sky, outdoor and nature





CJ’s Book of the Week:  “The Confidence Gap” by Russ Harris


“Skedge” for 12/4/17-12/9/17

Manchester (Class Times:  Mon-Fri @ 5:30/7:00/8:30am & Satuday @ 7am)

Monday:  Upper (CJ)

Tuesday:  Core (CJ)
Wednesday:  Lower  (CJ)

Thursday:   Upper (CJ)

Friday:   Core (CJ)

Saturday: Lower  (CJ)


Get Bootcamp Xero HERE: 

Access to 15-minute, real time, eqipment free, follow along workouts…


CJ Thomas

Owner, Operator, & “CeejEO”

St. Louis Fitness Bootcamp

ph:  314-266-9729

email:  CJ@STLFitnessBootcamp.com


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