It doesn’t take much, nor does it need to. Sometimes, just the knowledge or evidence that forward momentum is happening can sustain you. The merest glimpse that things are changing is enough to instill confidence. The past few weeks have been really challenging. I have found it difficult to keep my eyes fixed on my goal. It seems every distraction and disappointment wore me down further; it was taking a great toll on me than I knew. But in these past few days a light has broken through. More like a glimmer, I can now see some way forward. I seem to be living more in the moment, focusing on what I can control now and not worrying about what may happen tomorrow, next week or next year. And it’s having a positive effect on me mentally. My plan is simple. Encourage myself through each hour and build momentum again.
Good news. I got through my first Crossfit session in over a week this morning unscathed. There is still some tightness beneath my shoulder blades, but not enough to stay away from training. I did drop the weight on the barbell below what I would normally have lifted, but that was a small price to pay for being back in the game. Psychologically, training is huge for me. I need it to keep my mind free of stress. Additionally, it lets me know that I am back in the game. For the second day running my food intake and quality is better. I ate less today and yet I was not undernourished. Recording food in my electronic diary has been helpful. For now it’s just about getting through the next hour and the one after that.
It doesn’t seem fair. When I stopped eating grains and sugar and ate more good fats, I thought everything would magically change. Don’t get me wrong. Since January 1 I have experienced a lot of positive change from eating the primal/paleo diet. I am healthier for sure. The problem for me is that I have so much fat to lose its not going to happen overnight. After ten weeks, the biggest problem I have is not breaking from the plan overall, but staying focused every day on what I want to achieve from this plan. If I look at the changes I have made I am pretty satisfied. Looking through the larger lens some good things are happening. But when I look at how far I have to go, the seemingly slow progress, I start having thoughts that maybe it will never happen for me. I made a decision a week or so ago that I would not give in to despair, but I would continue to keep the end in mind and do what had to be done to reach the goal. Its working, but I need to remind myself that rather than this being an every day pursuit, its an every hour pursuit. The decisions I make now affect what will happen later in the day, which affects what happens tomorrow and the next day.
Its been a good day. I am keeping a record of every thing I eat as well as encouraging myself to focus on the longterm goals and not the present struggle. The plan I am working through is working, I know how my mind works and how my body responds. Different times of the day are harder than others. This afternoon is much harder than was the morning. But overall I like effect that persevering has on my psyche. Getting through today and fighting well through the struggle builds resilience that I carry into tomorrow. I need to build many of these days in succession to really benefit.
They may only be small increments, but my sleep quantity is improving. I still woke early this morning despite going to bed quite late. I wake at the same time every day despite the hour I turn in. That’s a frustrating aspect of my sleeping. I was up for three hours today before anyone in the house arose; and we all went to bed at the same time. I have done this for years, but the literature suggests that I will never be able to lose body fat consistently if my sleep quality does not improve. The increased levels of cortisol in my bloodstream from lack of sleep raises my insulins levels meaning significant fat loss is practically impossible. Going to bed at midnight and waking at 5am (like I did today) will only hinder my long term goals.
Each Saturday I want to record the important statistics that will be like signposts along the way gauging how effectively I am moving forward. I want to measure my caloric and nutrient breakdown of my food intake. I hope this statistics will provide data showing where I need to make adjustments along the way.
Average Daily Calorie Intake: 2197
Percentage Breakdown of Nutrients
I’ve reached ten weeks today. Just under one fifth of the journey is completed and while not everything has gone to plan the most significant achievement is that I am still doing it and recording the details here. It’s a cool milestone to reach and I was thinking today that even making it this far is a good thing. Because of a couple of niggling injuries I am unable to do much exercise training. I missed out again today because of my shoulder and knee problems, but it gave me a chance to focus upon what I am eating.
Every week I want to highlight what I have done to build strength and fitness. A strong and healthy body is a vital part of the primal lifestyle. My chosen strength and fitness regime is CrossFit.
Its been a lean week on the CrossFit front. Having injured my knee clowning around two weeks ago, I have foregone any workouts that add pressure to my knees. Normally I would do three CrossFit workouts per week, but I have been reduced to just one this week – but it was a good one. On Thursday evening I took seven reps to reach a 1Rep Max Shoulder Press I was able to lift my personal best 1RM by 5 kilos (11 lb) from 50kg (110lb) to 55kg (121lb). It’s not a massive lift by any stretch, but it is an improvement on the last time I did the movement (August last year).
The weather seems to be cooling down which makes me happier as soon I will be able to walk in the botanical gardens at lunchtime without returning to work drenched in sweat. I love walking in the gardens, its so relaxing and de-stressing. Its a great time to reflect on what is important to me. I was reflecting on my primal journey so far – my failings, my successes, and I realised that if December 31 this year is my destination then I still have plenty of time to make significant changes to my life. This doesn’t mean I can just kick back and do nothing for the next month or two. Quite the opposite. It will take diligence through all the 297 days left in the year to reach a my goal. Sitting here knowing that there is still time to affect great change is cool. But I wouldn’t want to be here at the start of September realising that I had done nothing to make those changes happen.
Either I am successful at this venture or I am not. There is no middle ground. It’s a fight all the way. Just over two months in and I know how hard it is to resist the howls of discontent that scream from within. It’s a fight; a fight to end, I can never given an inch. And yet I do, often. So what am I to do? I can – like so many times before, simply give in. Or, I can admit to myself that it is too hard to change myself and be free from the ravages of a poor diet. However, there is another choice to be made. I can resist. Resistance means action, forward motion. Sometimes in the act of moving forward I may fall, trip over or willingly give in. But I must always get up again. Passivity is my great enemy. I have all the tools, the best eating plan, a superb exercise regimen, and yet it could all just collapse if I dont keeping getting up when I fall down.
Another good day in the fight. Progress is slow but steady. Ground is taken inch by inch. Over the past few days it has all been forward progress, there have been no slippage. But I know myself well enough to understand that a bad day is ahead of me, its just a matter of time. Today, I had several excuses for letting my guard down. None of them was a decent excuse, but that has not stopped me before. Resistance and persistence have served me well recently and I don’t want to lose what I have learned. Its one of the reasons I write this stuff down. It was never meant for general consumption. It was always to help me keep moving forward. Thankfully, I am.
Each week I will enter how much weight I have lost (or gained) and share something about what changes I have made that may have had an impact on the result.
Weight Loss/Gain: Past Week: -0.5kg(-1.1lb) – Overall: -6.5kg (-14.3lb)
Continuing with the new plan. The weight loss over the past few weeks has not been what I hoped for, but at least it’s going down. I am still learning so many things about my relationship with food and a lot of it is not good. I think I deserve to splurge like its my right. It’s crazy but I am drawn to it like a drug and yet I know that food abuse could kill me. The madness is, in that moment, nothing matters but satisfying the urge. Thankfully, over the past week I have learned that I don’t need to give in.