Sunday, 17 September 2017

Speedbumps

The last month has been extremely busy.  I certainly felt that time had slipped away from me - another month has passed!

It certainly has tested my last two areas of concern - lifestyle and focus. It certainly feels tiring when you feel the hurdles come crashing at you.  The issues which needs to be dealt with so feel that one feels lacking time.  Or the illness or sickness that sets one back when trying to get back on track.  Last month was exactly that which initially felt that I was on a path of setbacks and plateaus.  Getting ill during a period when I was busy really compounded things and as much I as I wanted to push myself in terms of the gym, I knew it was not going to be in the longer term interest - so I rested.  I also kept my diet going and tried to eat cleanly as possible.  Reduced alcohol and no beer.  Somehow Even though I only managed a few trips to the gym, I kept on going on my goal.  I definitely lost some strength, but kept losing some more weight and more importantly visceral fat and overall body fat.  I didn't think that was possible and I was thinking of the plateau I had reached and to be honest, I had moments of frustration.  Interestingly, I have felt better on the basketball court even though I have not shot a ball for some time.  I definitely fit my clothes better and strangely enough, one of my friends even commented that I lost weight.  "I thought you were letting yourself go there before - don't do it; don't be the first among our friends to do it!" he exclaimed.  Though he had never mentioned to me before, he said he didn't know how to say it to me.  Great.....
To some degree, I do think that men have issues around weight, health and body.  Perhaps to some degree, our friends don't want to judge and so will never really bring that up and I really am not sure how one would take it.  The only reason why he brought it up, was because I mentioned the new scales and that I am trying to change my diet.  Think we have established that he may not speak his mind, but at least he is encouraging....oh wait - hang on a minute there!

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Focus

Sometimes one feel so worn thin.  So stretched.  Tired.

When the goals just feel that little bit out of reach.  Like looking in a mirror, but without a reverse a reversed caveat - "object may be further than they appear".

I remember when I used to be able to run a few kilometres and really had no troubles and my mind could just push through the pain and make it through.  Over the years, perhaps my mind has gotten weaker and just gives up in those situations.  "Just walk now," my unfit tells myself.  "Just relax," that soothing inner voice says, directing my gaze to a nice park bench.
I wonder what happened.  What happened to the competitive person who used to play nonstop and who could run forever?  Was it seeing the young fellas just catch up and be better overall?  Am I past the peak?  Damn.

But self doubt aside, perhaps over the years I have grown weaker or less confident and need to mentally rebuild my confidence.  My recent determination has certainly allowed me to rebuild some of that and putting in the effort and subsequently seeing results continues to make me drive forward.   Often times, it is frustrating when one sees a disproportionate amount of effort to eventual outcomes and pushing hard for long periods at a time can be mentally challenging.

Playing video games has also been frustrating as it does require a lot more patience to get through.  Finding it much harder to stay up to play games these days!


Setting smaller goals and moving forward.  Step by step.  (heart to heart....thanks Martika!).

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Lifestyle 1.0

Following on from my realisation on fitness, I proceeded to do what most people would do.  Yep, I did nothing.  My shirt buttons kept popping open and I was still feeling bloated after most meals, but especially after dinner.  My belly was getting fat but kept encouraging me to have another beer.  
I had my gym membership and I was going to do various exercises now and again, but it barely made any inroads.

When my set of old scales gave my the ghost, it was time to buy a new one.  I settled on an Omron HBF 214.  My previous set had an electronic display, which I thought was already an upgrade!  This particular model also looks to measure body fat, visceral fat and body age.  Excitedly, like a child with a new toy, I jumped on to take these new body measurements.  'Most of my weight gain was just muscle', I reassured myself.  'It's just the belly fat'.  After taking down the results, it was time to interpret them.  BMI - over.  Body Fat - outside of normal range.  Visceral Fat - High.  Body age - 7 years older than I am.  Deflated, like a child who doesn't know how to play with a new toy, I measured again just to be sure.  Same results. After other people jumped on it and it was confirmed to be working correctly....I was surprised and shocked.  

I thought I was eating healthy already?  I already cut out sugary drinks and sugar in my tea/coffee.  What more do I need to do?  What is visceral fat anyway?  

After a load of questions I was somewhat ready to tackle the issue.  There is no change, if there is no change.  I am still a newbie when it comes to fitness and health.  Speaking with older friends, they had previously lamented the fact that their bodies have changed with age and that they getting fatter, or have problems recovering.  I never really had that problem, so I had dismissed that somewhat.
So now it was time to pay more attention as the fight was on my doorstep!

My doctor had previously told me that diet was around 70% (assuming one is not a professional athlete).  I had previously downloaded an app - myfitnesspal.  It had been a while, so after updating it, I started to count the calories I was eating to see if there was anything there.  I started going cold turkey so at the beginning of the month, I decided to have salad for lunch.  I stopped snacking on biscuits/chocolates on my trips to the kitchen - eating pieces of fruit instead.  I felt hungry after lunch as I was eating earlier in order to avoid crowds.  Early afternoon was a struggle, as my body was calling out for me to eat more.  The fruit tied me over for a while.  

I started to go to the gym four times a week and lifting weights.  It had been a while since I had gone to the gym.  Work commitments always made me tired and unmotivated.  'Maybe tomorrow', I would tell myself.  'It's raining today', I would think as I looked out the window.  I certainly was getting up early enough to be able to make it to the gym, but the will was not there - until those results from the scales slapped me in the face!  I tried to go after work (realising that my gym closes at midnight).  It was packed.  My lack of exercise meant I was starting off with light weights in comparison to all the all the deep V tank top wearing people around me.  'I have to just start and not worry about other people,' I sighed.  

This was a few weeks ago.  On the food front, after about 10 days, my afternoon hunger pangs have reduced as my body has adjusted to the reduced intake.  During that time, I had two of my previous "normal" lunches - a chicken curry rice, and a BBQ pork rice with veggies.  The calorie count on were much higher than my salad lunch and I actually felt bloated after eating.  I have not tried it again.  My dinner diet at home has also changed - adding more vegetables and a smaller portion of meat. Not half bad tasting, but at least it is much healthier than when I was eating out 95% of the time, which had a large proportion of carbs.
I have already shed a few kilos of weight and my pants and shirts suddenly are not bursting at the seams.  Interestingly, my posture has improved and I don't feel tired in the seated position any more - strange I know, but I don't think I worked my back muscles as much as I did before!  After most meals, I felt bloated and lethargic and really don't feel that way so much any more.

Obviously early days still, so hopefully I can look forward to getting fitter, better shape and healthier!  At least I don't need to buy a new wardrobe!