Two months since I have found time to blog. I was trying to do it as much as possible but, work and family became hectic.
What has happened in the 2 months since my last post?
I am down to 95KG which is a total of 9KG lost since January. I have bought a mountain bike (Kona Hei Hei – for the tech heads), have let my weekly total drop to 20 miles a week (meaning I have only totalled 700 miles this year), competed in a 12 hour relay mountain bike race and have tried to get mileage back up again in the last couple of weeks.
These last two months have been crazy with work. I have been struggling to get the motivation to cycle while giving work my all. It has been an unusual 8 weeks, so I am hoping to get things back to normal.
I have come on holiday with the family this week to reset the mind and body. It has been great, I have managed to get 10 miles in a day and around Falmouth that is just up and down. The roads all start with sharp steep climbs with equally steep downhills. In 10 miles I have been averaging 1400 feet of ascent.
Last weekend, I went on a great friends stag weekend. It must have been one of the best stag weekends of all time. No forced drinking and stupid night clubs where you spend tonnes of money. Instead we did a 12 hour mountain bike race at Erlstoke. Guess what? We even podiumed. We came 2nd out of the whole field. I got a new set of Truvative bars for the Hei Hei as a the prize.
In terms of diet, I have kept up the 5/7 diet and added in natural green juices for breakfast every day. Which is a an elixir for life. Great to give your body all the natural vitamins and nutrients one requires. It has also helped to get me more into shape.
The holiday may have set me back slightly on goal, as it has been indulgence fest. I figure that everyone needs to release at least once a year. However, I have been cycling 10 miles a day.
Time to cycle, juice, work and have fun like never before.
Goal for June – kick it to 93KG (keeping the weight slow, so it remains off) and cycle at least 10 miles a day with a couple of 40+ days chucked in for fun too.
The last month has seen a bit of a reduction in my motivation towards my yearly goals. I feel that this has been the theme of the majority of my last couple of posts. This has lead partly to the guilt I am feeling.
Though after contemplation I think the bulk of my guilt at the moment is spread between several areas. At the moment I am going through an exciting period in our business where we are taking on growth capital. This in itself is a full on experience, of extremely long hours, changing a company culture, lack of time to dedicate to the family, client dinners and a feeling uncertainty until the ink is on the paper. The combination of this tends to lead to stress and general lack energy.
I tend to be very good at persuading my brain that lack of energy tends to be just in the mind and one can overcome this. So I try not to whinge and put on a positive face even when feeling like crap. Positive outlook is one of my life learning missions. If there is one thing I can truly share is that this does work. Using positive language to say you are feeling great and not wining has a hug effect on ones outlook. You really can trick your brain to think actually the world is not that shitty today. My caveat on this is that I am only pupil and not a master. It takes a lifetime of strong will to wake up each morning and see the world as beautiful when the sky is grey and you have been run through the proverbial mill.
So what is this all about, this blog, today I mean. Well, as I said I am pupil, and the last three weeks have seen a downfall in my outlook.
I have got a poor amount of miles in on my bike. Cycling tends to give me more energy even when I feel ruined. However, it is a vicious circle once in the couch potato spiral sets in. One lacks energy so you skip a ride or do a much shorter one. The next day is the same. Before you know it is 2 weeks, you feel lethargic and the motivation to go out and smash 10 miles is a distant memory.
I have eaten absolute rubbish for the last two weeks. Knock on effect, weight has gone up, energy spikes just after eating the chocolate then you feel worse…..so, one tends to eat more. Another crappy spiral.
Sleep time has been down.
I have been drinking way to much. Mainly to get my mind off the deal in the evening.
This was all compounded last night with an almighty binge and playstation session. Which has not helped the man boobs get smaller!!
As I was about to ram in a choco bar this morning and feeling waves of guilt from the night before, I though, NO, you have to get hold of this. You are better than this and the previous 2 months proved that. What the reasons I wanted to change in the first place? Get back on your blog and read what you wrote in January.
Writing this out today, is a hope that, I can break the cycle by being honest and analytical with myself.
This evening I leave on a flight (again) for 4 days away of long client meetings, no bike, no family and the temptation of shit food and drink.
Can I focus my mind to pull myself out of this self pitying negative spiral. Time will tell and I hope, that will be by the next time I post.
If you are reading this and you have the opportunity get out on your bike, tell your family you love them and take a second to think how amazing it is that we have a choice.
Amazingly it worked…….that is, posting blogs focuses my mind completely to cracking on.
I had two pieces of unexpected inspiration. 1. From my cycling buddy, who happens to be one of the most chilled and thoughtful people I know, who took the time to say “hey I liked your post” and 2. an inspirational comment from http://www.heartattackwaitingtohappen.com/ aka Paul Squire that I wanted to share it with you:
” I’ve found that doing the “good things” over an extended period have resulted in quite a different impact than over a shorter period (a month, say). This probably sounds obvious, but I hadn’t realised how much time some things take (to start to lose “love handles”, for example).
My fitness kick was prompted by a Heart Attack, so I had some built in urgency. Your year-long challenge has the potential to result in some big, sustainable differences. Stick with it!”
What a great comment and it definitely helped me get on my bike when my body was saying noooooooo.
It is so true that doing the “good things” as Paul says is the right thing to do over an extended length of time.
We all know it. We all know what we should be doing. So we do we need something like a life altering wake up call to stop us eating comfort food in front of the TV.
My belief is that it is all down to programming. Society has been programmed by adverts that are compounded by your peers buying into them, that eating junk food or snacking is the way to relax.
I think once in a while absolutely. But are bodies were not designed to get self gratification from living others lives through TV and chomping down on fatty salt filled snacks.
I know this, you know this, so why does it A. feel so good at the time and B. taste so good that it is basically addictive.
The right thing is hard. But in the long term far more rewarding for ones soul or out look on life and ones health.
So I must keep up the meditation and re-program my mind to realise that if I am watching TV then the delicious taste of fruit or better yet, nothing is as fulfilling.
On top of that I am going to ask myself – could I being doing anything else right now that would allow me to get more out of life from using my body, even if it is tinkering with my bike, or spending time to prepare a fresh tasty meal from fresh ingredients. The best ones for me obviously involve Mrs. Fatcycles or second to that my bike.
Side NB. Celebrating holding up my fasting day yesterday while on a business trip to Vienna.
More to follow.
Very much like I was writing in January, people tend to be all fired up in he first month of any challenge. Only to find it dwindles and the flame goes out by the third month.
First month was a great success. Second month things fell to the way side somewhat. I and numerous trips abroad which were all client facing and lead to meals out, typically on fasting day. By the Third month things have almost fallen off the wagon completely. As this is a year long challenge to get myself back to health, I decided last night that I need to re-motivate myself. I needed to look at the full spectrum of what I have read, what I have achieved so far and how that build towards my end goal.
1. Recapping the goals – 88kg end year weight – why? Healthier for children, less pressure on my hips and carrying less weight up the hills on the bike. The rest of my goals really are aimed at that.
2. Writing this blog – amazingly writing a blog, that is possibly read by a bunch of strangers, is incredibly motivating. When you put out a goal and how you are doing on a blog, it reinforces your resolve to get it done. However, it is all to easy to stop writing and lose that discipline. I have found when I stopped writing, my focus dropped.
3. Meditate to 88 KG goal weight by the end of the year – now the more the year goes on the more the goal is harder to achieve. It is pretty obvious- when I started out with the goal in month 1, 12 months was ages away. I needed to lose 1.3KG (2.8lbs) each month. Achievable right? Sustainable right? We are now in month 3, I have 10KG to go (on a good day) which still sounds achievable. But some how my mind is saying, that is way to much to go you are never going to do that, the end of the year is racing up. You have too many business trips. You can’t cycle enough. Etc etc. So I need to find a way to refocus. I need to take the time to meditate on my goals. It is so powerful even 5 minutes a day.
3. The Fasting Diet or 5:2 diet – Ok probably the easiest diet in the world to follow. So why do I keep finding excuses to skip fasting days? Simple I am not focused enough. Back to the meditating on goals.
4. Cycling – one of my favourite things in the whole world. It lets you focus on whats important, get somewhere relatively quickly for human body power, resets your internal dialogue, gives you more energy and burns calories.
5. No Alcohol – This was great for January. I lost a load of weight and I felt brilliant. But for some reason the society I choose to be in sees it as a good tool to get along with one another in business and socially. I need to think this one through. I am an all or nothing kind of guy. I either have a drink on Fridays and see my friends or I don’t. I don’t want to be billy no mates, but I am not sure what this poison is actually doing for me. hmmmm more to follow on that one.
Ok after all that it is time to get on the bike for a quick 20 miler and get back in the zone.
I have had an interesting February so far.
Oxford University is incredible and one of the most inspiring learning experiences I have ever entered into. It has definitely added a bit to the already packed timetable for the next 12 months.
Due to this and more trips to the UAE I have only racked up a dismal 54 miles for February.
My weight has maintained the same and I have discovered that wheat really does not agree with me. While being rather low on self discipline during last weeks lectures and trying to balance the office while absent, I broke rather spectacularly. I was low on energy and the only food available was pasties. So I had 2 Danish pasties. My stomach then told me how stupid I had been, I ended up with stomach cramps and less ability to focus. The positive is that, it is a great lesson learnt.
So next week, I have decided to do my ‘week of pain’. As discussed in January, I wanted to try different diets and lifestyles. I have always been interested in trying to juice for a week. The ‘benefits’ seem numerous, however it is essentially a starvation diet. While doing this I am also going to see if I can cycle for 25 miles a day and complete 175 miles in 7 days.
I will update during the process. I have a trip to London which will be interesting as I am not sure how I will get the miles in on that day but we will see. The whole point of trying these things out is seeing how hard or easy it is to fit in with regular life.
Will I end up with no energy??? Or will I find an amazing inner strength and calm while my body cleanses itself??
Sitting on a flight back home from the UAE for the second time in less than a month. And February was supposed to be my ‘month of pain’ which at the moment is fast becoming the month of ‘lack of cycling’.
The F1 track was closed to cyclists as they had Le Mans 24 hour testing. That in self was pretty cool but did not add to my goals.
I also have missed a fasting day and have eaten like a stuffed pig.
So all in all not the start that I had hoped for.
However I do have to look at the positives. I recently read two articles in the Harvard Business Review that I think are particularly relevant here are two small extracts:
1. Take on your challenges one at a time.
How long was your New Year’s resolution list? How many items have you ignored. If you want to shake a particular habit (or build a good one), you should focus on one major change at a time. Start, for instance, with your resolution to check Facebook or Twitter only twice a day; then, once you’re free of that habit, move on to your new diet and exercise plan. In short term, the amount of will power you have is fixed, and overloading yourself with new tasks that require it may diminish your ability to accomplish any goal.
2. Tame your frenzy.
Frenzy is an emotional state, a feeling of being a little (or a lot) out of control. it is often underpinned by anxiety, sadness, anger, and related emotions. Emotions are processed by the amygdala, a small-almond shaped brain structure. It responds powerfully to negative emotions, which are regarded as signals of threat. Brain studies has shown that activation of amygdala by negative emotions interferes with the brain’s ability to solve or other cognitive work. Positive emotions and thoughts do the opposite – they improve the brain’s executive function.
In other words small steps to big goals and one at time. Focusing on positive thoughts will allow your brain to help you reach your goals.
As for me my positives are………
1. I have been excepted into Oxford University for an Exec Diploma, which I never thought in a million years I would get onto. It starts next week.
2. I have not gained weight.
3. My new bike is ready on Monday…….
I am planning to get some serious miles in and learn allot.
Focus on the positive the rest will follow.