This has been a week full of learnings! If you’ve read the Week 5 Update, you’ll remember I started the week full of enthusiasm and feeling fantastic. On Tuesday I did my Week 4 weigh and measure, and was really thrilled that I’ve lost 1.5kg overall, 2cm (almost an inch) off my hips and 1.5cm off my waist since the challenge began. (That photo above is me poncing around after getting home from the gym on Tuesday).
By mid-week however, my mood had deteriorated and I was in the blackest frame of mind I’ve been in for a long time. Not just about my weight and fitness, but it coloured everything a darky, murky, stinky brown. My day job has been particularly stressful and I spent Wednesday and Thursday feeling completely overwhelmed by everything I have to do.
I can’t recall if I’ve mentioned this in previous posts, but I’m heading overseas for an extended period of travel in a few months time – it was 4 months from last Friday actually – and the list of things to organise for THAT is significant. My daily routine when it includes work, planning the trip, and planning my meals and workouts so meticulously can get pretty draining.
It’s not atypical for me to feel overwhelmed and put a lot of pressure on myself like this – the perils of a type A personality, however my mood was SO foul, I started to wonder if there was a connection to the strict low carb eating I’ve been doing. On Thursday I emailed my Personal Trainer who is my guru for just about everything and asked her if there is really such a thing as a carb ‘detox’. Her response was basically that the extreme low carbing – 15% of my daily intake coming from carbs, is how bodybuilders eat in the lead up to a competition, and they can rarely sustain this for more than 3 weeks because it makes you feel like shit, basically. My only sources of carbs for the last couple of weeks except for my Friday nights ‘off’ have been the small amount of dairy I’ve been eating and the piles of green veggies.
I really don’t want to compromise the fat loss I’m aiming for, and also generally the low carb thing works for me! I feel lighter, leaner and have more energy than eating the way ‘most’ people eat, which is apparently with approximately 60% of their diet coming from carbs. But I’m stressed, grumpy and not getting enough sleep, so this week I’m going to tweak the plan a bit by increasing the carbs to 20%, with the extra to come from starchy vegetables like sweet potato and carrot. I’ll stay off the wheat, sugar and grains as much as I can. I also want more variety through the week, because even three days in a row of the same dinner is too much and I get easily bored. So this week will be a mish mash of experimenting from one day to the next to keep an eye on what seems to work.
Diet will look as follows:
Breakfast each day will be the same as usual: egg, fetta and spinach scramble, but Tuesday and Thursday I’m going to add a bit of sweet potato to it for the extra carbs. And on Wednesday I’m going to have baked beans for breakfast – an old favourite that served me well during the period I was losing most of my weight, and is a great savoury hit for a winter morning. The other days the carbs will be shifted to later in the day in the interests of experimentation 🙂
Lunch: Each day will be the same – coleslaw with smoked chicken, pumpkin seeds and thousand island dressing.
Snacks: Following the Naturopath’s advice last week and having bigger meals and smaller snacks seemed to work pretty well, so I’ll continue with one latte/flat white coffee and some almonds as a snack. I’ll also factor in a slice of cheese before bed if I think I need it. I do have some food that I need to use up though, including some cottage cheese in the fridge at work, so I’ll have that probably Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon with some carrot sticks. I’ve also been craving yoghurt lately, so Monday afternoon I’ll have a substantial mid-afternoon snack of greek yoghurt with protein powder and berries mixed through.
Dinner: I’ll try and mix it up this week, but need to be mindful of having to share a fridge and kitchen at home, and not getting home until at least 7 most nights after going to the gym , so I can’t be cooking big elaborate meals. And cooking for one means food wastage unless I’m careful about trying to reuse ingredients.
So Monday night I’ll have steak with cauliflower fried rice. A friend of mine on MyFitnessPal posted this recipe last week and I can’t wait to try it! Tuesday and Wednesday night I’ll also have the cauliflower fried rice but with pork mince cooked through for the protein. Thursday night I don’t know yet what I’ll do but perhaps some fish with green veggies.
The workout plan for this week is as follows:
Monday: PT session after work. Last week we did legs and glutes, so this week will be upper body. I expect to hurt for days afterwards, as usual.
Tuesday: Leg day at the gym
Wednesday: Some sort of upper body/core combo (depends on which bits were the least smashed on Monday night) OR If I’m feeling too sore, I’ll give the weights a miss. As long as I get three strength sessions in each week, it doesn’t really matter which days I do them on.
Thursday: I’ll do some sort of cardio, perhaps a spin class or one of the Week 2 of the Couch to 5km program I’m doing. I should be into Week 3 by now but I’ve been…busy, and…stuff.
So that’s the plan! Still feeling good that I’m on track, despite the grumpiness of this week. I’ve snuck a few treats in this week in the form of banoffee pie my friend made for dessert on Thursday night, and pizza at my brother’s house last night, but haven’t realllly enjoyed them – at least not to the point of wanting to back it up again the next day.
A friend who goes to the same gym as me told me they’ve moved the bioimpedance machine out on to the gym floor, so you don’t need to make an appointment now to use it. This is the machine I’ll be using to test my body fat at the end of the Challenge, so I Must. Not. Be. Tempted. to jump on sooner for a sneak peak. I’m hoping measurements and the scales will be enough of an indicator of how I’m going. Depending on what the 8 week progress report shows, I may strip the carbs and dairy back down a bit further for the last 3 weeks as a final ‘cut’. After all I know now that my mood can handle it for 3 weeks before I turn into a feral stabby witch. 🙂
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