Week 4 has been even better than the previous one, and I feel really positive that as the weeks go on I’m going to tweak and perfect my nutrition and exercise so that by week 12 it’s going to be pretty damn near spot on. I had a busy week this week and a few after work commitments that kept me away from the gym but I wasn’t too worried about it because this low carb business has just naturally meant my calories are lower, and I always get a lot of walking in regardless of how busy my day is, so it’s rarely completely sedentary.
Monday was a public holiday, and I went hiking. It was great – 18km with plenty of steep little climbs which I love because of the feeling of satisfaction when my muscles engage and I get to the top without being really out of breath. Trust me – it wasn’t that long ago that I would have looked up at a climb such as I did on Monday with fear clutching at my heart. As I trudged up those hills on Monday I was reflecting to myself, what is it that we get so afraid of? Even at your most unfit and/or overweight, I think the fear of the discomfort is worse than the discomfort itself. So we get tired, out of breath, and our muscles burn – so what? Why are we so afraid of being uncomfortable? I don’t have an answer to this but it was interesting to think about.
Tuesday night I went to see a Naturopath, for the first time since I was a kid and my Mum took me along to get advice about my eczema. Anyone who’s seen a Naturopath will know they’re pretty thorough – there were a LOT of questions to go through. There were two main issues I wanted to discuss with her: why I get every cold/flu going around, and why even after two years of pretty consistently working out, I still pull up incredibly sore and occasionally injured after nearly every training session. She came to the conclusion after going through every detail of my medical history, my diet, my lifestyle, etc, that while my diet is pretty good, my digestion isn’t doing the job properly, and apparently 70% of the factor in having a good immune system and preventing inflammation is our digestion. So I have a plan going forward that includes:
- a variety of supplements including magnesium (for sore muscles and joints), chromium (which I was already taking), liver function support, a general immunity support, and a zinc/echinacea/vitamin blend to help prevent cold and flu.
- I need to continue with low carb eating (phew), but cut out wheat completely (shouldn’t be too hard), and cut down the dairy (that will be harder). Apparently my diet is quite acidic because of all the dairy and protein, so we need to ‘akalise’ it a bit by swapping whey protein for vegan protein sources and incorporating seeds back into my diet. I went through a phase of adding seeds to meals and not sure why I stopped.
- I need to try and limit red meat to twice a week, and cut coffee down to one a day (ouch – I think two a day is more realistic for me) because it stresses my liver. I’ve had a persistent crack in the right corner of my mouth for awhile and apparently if it’s on the right it’s always liver, and on the left it’s always gall bladder. Did you know that?
- Finally she wants me to snack less and go for three bigger meals instead and only snack if I absolutely have to. Of all the advice, this will be the hardest to follow. I’m just SO used to snacking, because of my blood sugar and more specifically the fear of a hypoglycaemic attack. Plus I bought into the school of thought that snacking, or at least eating more than three smaller meals a day is better for weight loss.
So that’s the plan. I’m feeling pretty positive about it. By Thursday night I was already feeling heaps better and really slim and lean too, even though I only got one gym workout in this week on Wednesday night.
Thursday night I had an appointment with the Osteopath who has been treating me for my dodgy hip and he was pleased with the progress. It’s a dozen times better than it was. Provided I keep doing what I have been doing (my homework, like a good girl) it’s on track to heal up nicely. He also said I looked slimmer than the last time he saw me so that was a nice bonus compliment 😉
Friday night was a colleague’s going away party and I ate and drank far too much, and am really paying for it today – writing this through the fog of a hangover. I’m still not sure whether it’s a good or bad outcome that the better I get with my eating and general wellbeing, the more I suffer when I DO stray from that path. Regardless of the answer to that question I’m giving myself lots of lectures today about not cutting that loose again, it’s just not worth feeling SO crap the next day.
This weekend I have the kitchen to myself (a rarity), so I’m keen to experiment with a few paleo recipes and design the perfect week for myself. Given that most days I’m out the door at 7.30 and not home until about the same time at night, I can’t be spending hours labouring in the kitchen or making every meal different and interesting. So I will be eating virtually the same meals for lunch and dinner each day this week. The trick is to make those meals both nutritious AND tasty. Bearing in mind the Naturopath’s advice about bigger meals instead of snacks, my week is going to look something like the following:
Breakfast: the usual egg, fetta and spinach scramble
Lunch: on Monday it will be left over Roasted Pork Fajita salad with Coconut Dressing and Cauliflower Rice that I’m planning to make for Sunday night’s dinner. Each other day of the week it will be Japanese Chicken Curry with steamed vegetables, that I will put in the slow cooker on Monday and also have for dinner Monday night.
Dinner: Monday night will be the Japanese Chicken Curry and Tuesday and Wednesday I’ll have Beef Bolognaise with Zucchini Spaghetti. Thursday night I’m catching up with friends for dinner and a movie, and will just make sure that whatever I have is low carb. Friday night is an unknown quantity, as usual, but it WON’T be a repeat of last Friday.
My ‘pre-gym’ snack at about 4pm each day will be a protein shake of the egg white vanilla protein powder I need to use up, my new favourite almond/coconut milk blend and I’ll mix something else through for a bit of substance – flaxseed or peanut butter perhaps.
That’s it! It will be very interesting to see how this goes. Each day should still come in under 1500 cals which leaves me plenty spare for some almonds or a piece of cheese before bed, if I think I need it. As usual the carbs will be about 15% with the rest half/half fat and protein.
Monday night I have a PT session as we’re switching to Monday nights instead of Saturdays from this week on. I’m looking forward to that.
Tuesday and Wednesday nights I’ll be at the gym doing a leg workout one night and a combined chest/back the next night.
Thursday I’m busy so I might get up early and go for a run, or I may not if sleep feels like the bigger priority. Friday morning I would again like to go for a run, but again we’ll see.
This week also marks my ⅓ of the way through weigh and measure. I’m excited to see what the results are! After having such a boozy weekend I think I might do the weigh and measure on Tuesday morning instead of Monday to get a more realistic picture of the progress. I’ll post the results of course 🙂
Other 12 Week Challenge posts: