It has been a very busy week at work, although saying ‘at work, in the current climate, feels rather odd. Perhaps ‘with work’ is a better way of putting it. Even so, other than Saturday, I have managed to maintain my 100+ swings a day with the 20kg kettlebell, using it between meetings to offset the amount of sitting I’m doing.
I was going to do my swings, and my get ups, before the working day by getting up earlier. However, I’ve listened to my body instead that has told me I need that little bit more sleep. As a happy side effect, I have started waking naturally at 6:30 anyway. I think being on the ball with my vitamins has helped massively (I take a very specific blend recommended by my consultant after testing), as has reducing my coffee to one cup a day, along with a sharp reduction in sugars.
My eating has cleaned up in the way of less starches and whole heap less junk. I made the mistake of treating the start of the lockdown as a free for all on crisps, chocolate and all other manner of treats. Free From products, which can cause me to have an allergic reaction, had also crept back into the diet by way of pitta bread, cheese and cake.
Eating healthy in lockdown is actually not that hard, especially if you are able to make the trip to the Supermarket yourself. I have no doubt it’s a little tougher if you’ve had to follow the 12 week isolation ruling. Yes, we are restricted in essential travel only, or at least we still are here in Wales, but a weekly shop does mean that was are able to get fresh produce of our choosing and that does tend to last us the week without perishing. Our main meals are quite healthy, it was the snacking and constant emotional eating, always looking for the quick feel good factor of the sugary snacks instead of taking the opportunity to work on sorting habits out.
So this week we’ve really been mindful of our everyday eating habits. We also chose to retain two snacks in the diet but to be specific with the quantity and timing of these snacks. We also introduced a little fruit back into our diets that had completely gone by the wayside. All free from product have been ditched except for on my Jolly Day (I’ll explain that later) on Fridays.
So an idea on my general eating habits:
Most mornings I have eggs and salmon, without toast and a large coffee. Friday’s I’ll have porridge with almond milk.
Lunches tend to be either chicken with sautéed peppers, red onions, courgette and mushrooms, or tender-stem broccoli and mushrooms, or an omelette or egg muffins made with smoked salmon and a lot of diced veg on Fridays.
Dinners tend to be the same chicken options but sometimes with sweet potato, or steak and the same options, or no pasta bolognese, or mince meant, peas and some white potato if I’m feeling like a little starch.
What is surprising is how quickly your taste buds adapt once you take the sugary crap out of the diet. You really start to register the subtle flavours in veg all the more. For example I’ve ditch regular broccoli, as I prefer the more peppery flavour of the tender-stem.
Snacks have been reduced to the following:
10-20 seedless grapes
40g of raisins and cashews
20g sweet and salted popcorn
¼ pack of Bournville giant buttons
Any combination of these is fine and on the odd day I’ll have everything on that list but so far that’s only happened once. I’m not quite ready to give up the chocolate yet but having significantly reduced it is a real step in the right direction.
So the Jolly Day idea came from a rapid fat loss programme called Hit The Target devised by Master Instructor Fabio Zonin from Strongfirst. It’s not a plan that can be maintained for more than around 8week but it can form the basis of a decent eating programme IF you know what you’re doing and a lower carbohydrate diet sits well with you. So please don’t jump on a diet bandwagon without understanding it, researching it and getting the advice of a professional. The idea of the jolly day in Fabio’s programme is that for every 2lb lost the very next day was to be a jolly day where you relaxed the strictness of your diet a little and enjoyed those things you were omitting. The caveat being that the next day you return to the strict regimen. Naturally jolly days are frequent at the start and become further spaced out as you get further into the eight weeks.
I liked this concept over a ‘cheat meal’ because I have a diet I am not on one. How I eat on a day-to-day basis is how I eat and how I intend to continue eating, albeit with reducing the chocolate and popcorn further. The jolly day is a chance for me to have a few of those treats that I enjoy without going over board. Friday is when I can enjoy my pizza (the only free from item on the shopping list) with a half bottle of wine and not feel rotten or gluttonous for having it while enjoying DnD with a few friends.
In addition to my food, I also ensure I drink 2-4 litres of water a day and have done so for years. I like to ensure I maintain my hydration after years of being absolutely rubbish with drinking enough water. As I am returning to singing, hydration is now very important indeed.
As for the other goals in my list, I have maintained my meditations everyday. Some days it’s simply just standing in the garden breathing slowly and deeply, enjoying the feel of the sun on my face, listening to the birds chirruping away, as well as my meditation before sleep which is really helping me drift off.
I’ve allowed myself a week away from Turbo Fire as I had a lot of house sorting to do, which included building some new furniture for my lifting room, so will be re-introducing this in the next week. And if one more person mentions yoga to me, I think I might scream. I automatically use yoga in my programming as I have done for the last 16 years. Thanks.
All in all this week has been quite breezy. I am aware it won’t always be easy and I am also aware that I have a better understanding of nutrition and movement than the ordinary joe. I am also very body aware and most people aren’t. But I am also far more knowledgeable than I was in 2006 when my journey first started and have access to people far more knowledgeable than me, so it’s not going to be as hard as it was back in 2006.
As you’ve likely noticed, I’ve left my stats to last. This is because they really are not the be all end all. The scale is a great tool for letting me know where I am right now and to ensure that I’m not being too gun ho or going back up to a place that is really unhealthy but ultimately there is no goal weight per say. My weight is going to fluctuate worse than the British weather and that’s ok. The important numbers for me are my body measurements but I will only take those once a month. I’ve lost half of my gaol for this 4 week period, and I know that will slow down, and again that’s OK.
So far I’ve dropped 4.2 lbs and 1.5% body fat. I wasn’t expecting it to go as quickly especially with Pizza and wine on Friday but here we are. And that’s all fine.
I’ve also noticed I have more energy, my skin is looking brighter, the house is absolutely sparkling, and my mood is generally a lot brighter too. Thank goodness as it hit a worrying low for me a couple of weeks ago. I don’t suffer depression but I do get low spells. I am very lucky I recognise it and have built up coping mechanisms to help. I am back to my own brand of brightness, which includes not putting up with people’s shit either.