Daniel Roy Greenfeld

Daniel Roy Greenfeld

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My 2023 Fitness Journey

Losing my fitness

As the pandemic went on I struggled with fitness and weight gain issues. I had injured both knees right before we went into quarantine. I'm also much more consistent working out in groups or with a partner than by myself. So I lost muscle mass as I gained weight.

This caused complications that made my life less pleasant. Walking hurt and going up and down stairs was a laborious chore. Most of my clothes no longer fit. Old injuries like my left shoulder flared up. Cartwheels had become impossible.

Ending 2022

2022 ended with me being at the heaviest I can remember. Most of my clothes didn't fit.

On the other hand, I had been doing regular exercise for months, Beat Saber online with co-workers for months. And thanks to the vaccination of me and my family, a couple of months of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).

My knees were getting better slowly, but they ached all the time. My weight made the healing of my knees slow and tedious.

2023 New Year's Resolutions #2 and #7

Resolution #2 was to restart my old fitness path, and #7 was to be a better father. The weight and the knee pain meant I couldn't play with my daughter at the intensity I wanted.

So to fulfill those resolutions I put together a plan.

The Plan

The plan was as simple as possible.

  1. Exercise more
  2. Eat better

1: Exercise more

I try to get in a serious workout every weekday, with Saturday and Sunday for rest.

My preferred workout method is BJJ. To avoid re-injuring my knees or left shoulder I refuse to do certain techniques, and in sparring tap sooner rather than later. I do the martial art for sport and fitness and fun, not to prove I'm a "tough guy".

On the days I am too tired or busy to do BJJ, I lift weights with my wife. Or put on the headset for Beat Saber or other VR exercise games. I want to get more into indoor rock climbing as it is fun and is a nice corollary for BJJ.

We've been in London since early March without an automobile so I get in a good amount of walking and a fair bit of cycling. Speaking of London, weekends are spent exploring the city or chasing after my daughter Uma at playgrounds. So my rest days do include at least light exertion.

Where do I train BJJ?

Having hunted around in both Los Angeles and London, these are the places I would recommend for the instruction and safety of students:

2. Eat better

My diet looked like this:

  • No more soda
  • No snacks between meals
  • No desserts
  • Eat proteins
  • Don't worry about fats
  • Avoid simple carbs like bread and cereals
  • Eat less

Predictability I was hungry all the time, making it hard to sleep or focus. Irritation and fatigue plagued me. Of course, my workouts suffered.

2a. Eating better improved

As suggested by one of my BJJ coaches, I added an enormous amount of leafy green vegetables to my diet. That's how I would ingest carbohydrates to provide the energy

I got used to eating bowls of baby kale, baby spinach, broccoli, and other things for breakfast. Every meal I ate green veggies as a side. Cooked or raw. If I got really hungry at night I could snack on more leafy greens. My energy levels shot up and the constant hunger faded.

My current diet is:

  • No more soda
  • No snacks between meals
  • No desserts
  • Eat proteins
  • Don't worry about fats
  • Eat tons of leafy greens
  • Cheat now and then for a bite or two with a dessert or starchy side


I've lost about 25 pounds or 11.3 kilograms while putting on muscle mass. The result is I can wear stuff in my wardrobe I haven't been able to wear in years. My shoulder and knees are improving, the harsh pain replaced by dull aches that is slowly improving.

I can do cartwheels again, but am sticking to gentler Capoeira movements like Rolê, Aú Fechado, and Aú Aberto.

What's next?

Get more into rock climbing as it also really helps me with acrophobia.

I am on the road to losing another 10 pounds, or about 3 kilograms. I plan to maintain that final weight while building strength and recovering further from injury.

Tags: fitness bjj martial arts
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