Week 7 already! I can’t believe how quickly it’s flown. This has been an interesting week. I know I say that each week, but in this week of my 12 Week Challenge I feel like I’ve learned a really valuable lesson, and that is about the importance of CARBS.
Last week you may recall I was in an exceptionally bad mood all week. I had enough physical energy, so I didn’t connect my mood to my low carb intake but I haven’t been sleeping well and have felt so flat I knew something wasn’t quite right. My PT suggested that I should increase my carb intake, which is what I did. On the Monday I made the mistake of thinking that I could add the carbs in in the form of yoghurt and berries mid afternoon, but I was still grumpy all day Monday, and when I saw my PT that night she scolded me for not having taken her advice about adding root veggies into my breakfast and lunch. So for the rest of the week I did just that, and it was great! 50gm of sweet potato with breakfast and lunch, and I felt much much much better. One morning I also had baked beans for breakfast instead of my usual egg scramble and that was fine too although I was wishing I had added some protein to it. What I noticed in particular about increasing the carbs again is that my brain worked so much better! Wednesday night (I think), I got some difficult HTML coding puzzles solved on G.I. Gen and I was SO rapt because it was something I’d been trying to wrap my brain around for weeks, and now I’ve got that particular piece of code nailed, I can do so much more with it.
At 25% – 30% carbs for the day I felt great. I had a good PT session Monday night, although we didn’t push it too hard because my hip has been bothering me again more lately and because I told her that last week I had pulled up with a really sore back after our Monday session. Tuesday night I did chest and tris, Wednesday night HIIT cardio only (no weights – which was fantastic. I realised in focusing more on the weights lately I’d been missing the endorphin rush of a good sweat session). Thursday night I had to stay back late at work to attend a seminar, so didn’t leave there until after 7. I could so easily have just gone home, but I didn’t, I went to the gym and did a quick leg workout. My PT had suggested on account of the hip and last week’s sore back I only use machines on Thursday night, so that’s what I did and I was out of there in 20 minutes and on my way home. Friday and Saturday were rest days, and tomorrow (Sunday) I’m going for a fairly strenuous hike that I’ve done before and am really looking forward to. Tonight in preparation for that I need to spend a lot of time trying to loosen up this hip on the foam roller and massage ball.
Aesthetically, and body fat wise, I don’t feel that I’ve made any progress at all, and that’s discouraging. But each week as I tweak and adjust and learn things, I know I am edging ever so slightly closer to achieving a balance that I can hopefully work with for the rest of my life. I did a lot of other thinking this week about how and why I hold myself to such a high standard and why I am so critical of my body in ways in which no one else ever would be. Why I’m pinning so much of my self worth on achieving these goals. I made a conscious decision on Monday night that this week I was going to workout and eat well because I love my body, not because I loathe it and want to change it. So if I can back that up again this week, I will consider that a win even if there’s no positive movement on the scales or the measuring tape by the time my next ‘progress check’ comes around.
Nutritionally, I’m pretty happy with how last week went. I’ll continue to aim for around 1600 calories a day eating (I should try and lower that since I won’t be going to the gym), with 25% carbs. The menu plan will look approximately as follows.
Breakfast: Egg, fetta and spinch scramble with some sweet potato mixed through.
Lunch: shredded chicken with coleslaw mix, sweet potato, brocolli and avocado oil zapped in the microwave for a couple of minutes – yum!
Snacks: I bought some samples of different flavoured vegan protein powders at the Health Food shop today so I’ll blend these with some almond and coconut milk for mid afternoon, plus I’ll have almonds on hand for throughout the day. I’ve also bought some more of my old favourite licorice tea which I’m going to rely on to get me through that post-lunch sweet cravings.
Dinner: I’ve got some bolognaise made up in the freezer which I want to use up, so I’ll have some with mixed veggies for at least two nights this week. On Wednesday I’m having dinner with my Grandpa so I’ll likely take a frozen meal over there to have with some extra vegetables. The other two nights I’m going to stirfry some lardon (fatty bacon) with brocolli, spinach and leek – this is one of my favourite combinations and I’ll have it either with steak or a piece of fish.
This week I’ve got something exciting planned, and that is – nothing!! After whinging to my PT about how sore and sorry for myself I’ve been, she’s suggested I make this week a rest week. I’ll go hiking tomorrow and have my PT session on Monday night and then do no exercising except my usual 10K+ steps each day from Tuesday – Friday. That is SO exciting. Imagine what I could do with all that extra time! I can cook more exciting meals, perhaps, and I’ll visit my Grandpa mid-week and catch up with friends on a Tuesday, which is almost unheard of because that’s a gym day, and I’m usually really reluctant to break from that routine.
What I’ll do instead of being in the gym is commit to plenty of foam rolling and strengthening exercises to see if I can get this hip in a better state by the end of the week, and also – and this is really important – get more sleep. Most nights I don’t get off the computer until about 10.30 and it takes me at least an hour after that to wind my brain down and fall asleep, and then I wake up at least once during the night before my alarm goes off in the morning and that is just not enough sleep. There is abundant literature out there to show how important getting sufficient sleep is to achieving fat/weight loss goals, and I feel that the way things have been the last couple of weeks, it really doesn’t matter how many workouts I do, and what overall calorie count and macro split I achieve, I’m actively undermining my efforts with this combination of work stress and not enough sleep. So this week I’m going to turn the computer off at 9.30 each night, and listen to some relaxation music I have and just really try to be asleep by 10.30. If I could get 7.5 hours sleep each night I think I’d be a lot closer to being likely to meet my targets and just generally feel better.
On the subject of well-being, I bought some new gym gear today – I was desperate for it. I’d been recommended to Running Bare and sure enough, of all the ones I tried on in the store, they were the most comfortable and flattering. Apparently they wash and wear really well, and they DIDN’T cost the GDP of a small country, which is more than I can say for many brands of workout wear…
Other 12 Week Challenge posts
My 12 Week Fat Loss Challenge!
12 Week Fat Loss Challenge – Week 2 Update
12 Week Fat Loss Challenge – Week 3 Update
12 Week Fat Loss Challenge – Week 4 Update
12 Week Fat Loss Challenge – Week 5 Update
12 Week Fat Loss Challenge – Week 6 Update