Tag Archives: Alcohol

Its the end of the……..month as we know it

…..and I feel fine …..great

31 days of no wheat, no alcohol and on the 5:2 fasting diet.  What is the result?

I have lost 5kg (11.02lbs)!

My body is definitely less bloated.

I have way more energy!!

I have cycled 230 miles in 2 continents.

The bonus is I have not had a hangover for 30 mornings (obviously discounting new years day).

But what have I learnt?

That I can go for a whole day on 2 apples plus an evening salad and not even notice.  This is something a month a go that I thought would be impossible.  I also thought that on the 5:2 fasting diet I would pig out the day after each fast.  Looking back, at the beginning I did at least for the first two fasts (first week), but after that, my body felt so good the next morning I did not want to fill it up and feel lethargic.  In fact the fasting diet has made me control portion size and only eat when I am actually hungry.  Incredibly I am doing this with out even thinking about it.  This is a real positive change for me.  I feel I am getting to know my body for the first time and I am sure in a couple of months this will be even more apparent.

However the plan to masticate and not eating in front of the TV has not gone so well.

I am constructing a plan for February and masticating / TV dinners are going to be the focus.

Heres to completing the first month of 2014.

FC

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Making Business Trips Work

Cruising to the back straight.
Cruising to the back straight.

I am not sure that this is always possible, however I like to try and find the hotel gym or similar when staying away.

To be honest, I usually find the hotel gym, acknowledge that it is there and feel that I have worked out.

But not this trip.  I am currently in Abu Dhabi.  In my new state of I am going to crack this being fat thing.  I thought I would plan ahead and sort an activity that I would really enjoy and that would work my body.

When the research started little did I know that I could link to of my favourite things together….cycling and F1.

On Tuesday night the F1 track is opened to cyclists for free (if you have your own bike) or 100 AED for 2 hours to rent a bike, you can then race round the F1 circuit (at 10% of the speed of the drivers).

I am feeling on top of the world, incredible day of meetings, then rather than drinking at the bar to celebrate , I pumped out 38 miles on the most glorious smooth asphalt I have ever ridden on.

Smooooth Asphalt
Smooooth Asphalt

I have started planning February more to follow.  It is going to be more painful.

FC

3rd weekend the downfall of New Year Resolutions

Did you know that the 3rd weekend in January is when most people give up their New Years resolutions.

Although I have said that my experiment is not a New Years Resolution, the fact that I started it on January 1st is not helping.

However, I am staying strong. After a dinner party last night and a wedding today, I have still not drunk a drop of alcohol and I have not knowingly let any wheat into my body.

My thoughts to people who are thinking the hell with it or are about to quit what ever they are trying to achieve in 2014 as a ‘new you’ are as follows:

1. It is half way through the month, you have made it this far. What is one drink or whatever you have given up going to achieve in the grand scheme of things. Whatever the reason, I will guarantee that in the back of your mind you will feel you have let yourself down. Keep going for only a bit longer.

2. Think back to why you are doing this anyway. I am sure you had some fairly good reasons. Really try to picture those reasons. Maybe write them down. What ever it takes to re-focus your mind.

3. Life is full of little challenges. If you have set yourself a challenge for January and you complete it, think, how you will be able to tackle the rest of the challenges that crop up over the next 11 months or even your life.

Even writing this has made me even more determined. Good luck.

One last thought. Surround yourself with people who will support you. The longer you go on the easier it will get. But at the beginning of doing anything ‘different’, for some reason some people (even so called friends), will try to talk you out of what ever you are doing. For example not drinking. Why is it such an issue? Some people just cannot help themselves from trying to persuade to have “just one drink” or “this is a special night, how many weddings/birthdays/team building nights are there this year…….”. Why?  because they feel guilty that you are about to do something to better yourself. If what you are doing makes you happy keep going. I have surrounded myself with some of the best people I know for January. Two of which are new to my life, but little do they know they have made a huge impact. No malice and supportive of whatever others are trying to do. I am sure it is to do with their labradoodle…….

Life feels great. We have one life. Lets make the most of it and enjoy every second.

FC

On the 11th day things are looking up

On top of the world with a cracking sunset.
On top of the world with a cracking sunset.  Click on the pic for a better view.

What a great day.  So much energy.

Today, I went for a ride with my eldest son, Jago.  He easily managed 5.2 miles on rural roads.  See instagram feed on the right hand column.

I then felled 3 trees, cross cut the wood and split it for my in laws.  They think something is very wrong with me.

After a lunch of Chicken and avocado I proceeded out on what was to be a leisurely hour ride.  But what happened was unexpected.  I climbed over 2,400 ft, rode for 30 miles and got 4 personal bests on Strava.

After the first climb (which was created by the devil himself for fat guys to cry at the top of), I cycled over to my other least favourite climb 10m miles away and climbed that too!!

Planes, bikes and beautiful views what more could FC want.
Planes, bikes and beautiful views what more could FC want.

What is up is with me?

I think there might be something in this but I do not want to jinx it just yet.

The question is, do I jump on the scales to find out if it is working?  I feel slimmer and Mrs. FatCycles is saying that I look slimmer, but she is very kind and slightly biased.

Well I am going to treat myself with some Green and Blacks Chocolate and revisit the ride by staring at my stats on Strava.

Oh and one last thing.  If you are crazy enough to give up alcohol for a month like me.  I have discovered a great trick for dinner parties.  I have been putting a bottle of Shloer – fizzy grape fruit juice – in the fridge.  When topping up guests with wine, I re-fill my wine glass with Shloer.  No one questions it and thinks that I am drinking wine.  This is great because for some reason when you are not drinking everyone feels the need to encourage to drink with them. This negates that.  Added bonus of no hangover and loads of energy for the nippers.

FC

Of Strava Challenges and Noro Viruses

3rd of Jan – Location Home Office – Why? Noro Virus

The UK NHS give this description:

“Norovirus, sometimes known as the winter vomiting bug, is the most common stomach bug in the UK, affecting people of all ages.

The virus, which is highly contagious, causes vomiting and diarrhoea. As there is no specific cure, you have to let it run its course, but it should not last more than a couple of days.”

As you might imagine I have not hit the trails or roads.  But I have managed to stick to the eating plan – mainly as I cannot stomach anything so the temptation of the evening beer has not been felt.

On another note, to keep myself inspired Strava have launched their January – Prove it Challenge.  With the added bonus that if you cycle 600KM (375 Miles) in a month you can apply to get an exclusive Strava Prove It T-Shirt.  Now being a complete muppet for this type of challenge and exclusive merchandise, I am already working out how to make the miles up for missing the yesterday and todays cycling.

Strava_Prove_It

I guess what ever motivates you does the trick.  And this is working for me.  Apart from my stats don’t look great at the moment.

FC

Of broken hips and more reasons to get in shape

When I was 17 I had what is called a slipped epiphysis. This basically is where the ball of the upper femur slips backwards out of the hip. The result is a deformed or fractured femur with limited movement that needs to be pinned back in place.

Now this is not a sob story, as so far my life has been exceptional as far as adventure and experiences go. But if the extra tyre around my gut, the double chin and last night one of my buddies girlfriends turning round to me and telling me, my tits were better than hers – and she has got a good pair – was not enough of wake up call, my doctor told me that if I do not start losing weight, I will have to get a hip replacement as I am putting too much pressure on my pinned hip.

So as I sit here with my last hangover for a month, I am slightly nervous and apprehensive. I know I can complete the first month. There are going to be some difficulties. For example, I completely forgot I am snowboarding with a whole group of friends in the last week of January – typically a beer fuelled week of fun. I am going to be needing some advice of how to tell friends I am not boring and how to convince myself that beer is not an essential ingredient for a great snowboarding trip.

For now I am breaking it all into bite size pieces. The first of which was a New Year’s Day breakfast without any bread or wheaty stodge.

So one meal done, 92 to go. Time to get the bike out and give it a welcome to 2014 in the horizontal rain and gale force winds.

HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Everything Ready?

My experiment begins tomorrow.

As part of the 5/2 (Fasting Diet), it is recommended that you allocate two days to only have 600 calories.  I have chosen Monday and Wednesday.

My gut feeling and my ‘guts feeling’ is that it will be better to start the fasting diet on the first Monday of the month.

From the 1st Jan 2014 I am going to stick to my other diet goals of no Alcohol and no Wheat, but start the 5/2 diet on Monday 6th Jan.

There are several reasons for doing the first Monday of the month for the fasting diet, which are as follows:

1.  January is the end of a massive glutenous period (well for me anyway) and with the return to work I do not want to feel too flat on the first couple of days and then fail by eating comfort food.  From what I have read about New Year resolutions (which this is not….but it does fall into that category as far as Mrs. FatCycles is concerned), once one falls off the rails it is human nature to react by saying well “f*** it I have failed now, so I might as well give up” and that as much as we love our loved ones and friends some of the for some pervious reason want us to fail to make them selves feel better.

2.  Starting at the begging of the week is easier psychologically.

3.  If I am giving up drinking for a month, then knowing myself I will probably try and make up for it with my favourite ale, Summer Lighting, so starving ones self with a New Years day hangover is a recipe for disaster.

summerlightning2011

So for me it is all about baby steps that are exciting rather than daunting.

New Years day for me will be without Alcohol and Wheat.  Which I think will be hard enough.  Wow that makes me sound like an Alcoholic, but lets face it the quiet glass of wine on the eve of a new working year is always quite soothing, but not this year.  Mr. FatCycles will be tucking into a hot fresh mint tea and packing my salad and fruit for what will be the most exciting January ever.

Good luck everyone and Happy New Year.

The Jan Plan

Before this is read….. it is a good idea to mindful of a couple of things. I already enjoy dressing up in lycra at the weekend and getting a pain in my rear end, while averaging 40 to 50 miles a week. I know I can happily go a month without alcohol (OK happily is an exaggeration, but I do it at least once a year and know I can manage it). The wheat is going to be a sruggle.

What I am trying to say is – if you are one of the few readers of this blog and are trying something similar, all the research I have read suggests that you set manageable goals for yourself. Especially in January as most Jan Plans or New Year resolutions are broken in the first couple of days. Fore warned is fore armed. Therefore I am not doing this as a New Year fad but more as an experiment on myself, it just happens to coincide with January. If you do not cycle at all, start by trying to do one or two 5 mile rides a week and building from there. You will be amazed (or so all the books tell me) what effect this small baby step will have on your metabolism and eventually your weight.

The diet

My personal goal is 5KG loss in the first month or approximately 1.25KG a week.

I hate the word diet, but that is what this is. A change of what I put into my body, aka, ones diet.

5/2 or the Fast Diet – Michael Mosley – Available at Amazon – This diet was in fashion last year and when thinking of doing this experiment, a colleague of mine had recently done this diet and had said it had become a lifestyle.  The principle is that for two days a week (not consecutively) you only consume 600 calories for the 24 hour period.  There was a great article on this in Cycling Weekly’s quarterly magazine Cycling Fitness in the Autumn Edition.
No Wheat or Alcohol – I am doing this bit for two reasons. 1. I fart like you wouldn’t believe. My buddy is a sports nutritionalist for ultra endurance athletes and she told me that this could be due to a slight wheat intolerance. Well there is only one way to find out. Mrs. FatCycles is fed up of the Dutch Ovens. 2. Alcohol from what I have read is just empty calories. My theory is if I can give it up for a month combined with the wheat (struggle as I love bread, pasta and pizza) and I see positive results then maybe I can convince myself to only drink once or twice a month.
Reduced caffeine – I drink too much black coffee. The thing is between me and this blog, it is sort of like my dirty mistress. She is a little bit naughty and leaves your mouth in filthy state that I am scared to kiss Mrs. FatCycles with.

The exercise goals

3000 miles in a 2014 – which equals, 62.5 miles per week, which when broken down is not to much, 4 cycles of 15.6 miles, which, is about 1 hour and 15 minutes for an average cyclist, therefore out of the 168 hours in a week it is only 3% of my total weekly time. When I think of it like this it is I hope easy for me to say ok well I will forgo 2.5 hours of TV during the week so that I can be more active, happier, less likely to have a heart attack, better in bed etc and wake up an hour earlier twice a week. Maybe on a Sunday before the kids get up and prepare the whole family breakfast! I don’t know about anyone else but this will not only make me feel like a legend will earn me seriously big brownie points with Mrs. FatCycles. I have given myself a bit of rude awakening on this anyway which is entering the Etape Du Dales – a UK version of the French classic sportives – basically a stage of the Tour Du France. Which by the way I am no where near fit enough for.

Bar bells once a week – easy one, muscle tissue burns more calories and increases your metabolism. To start with I am going to do 3 sets of 10 of bicep curl, shoulder press and tricep pull.

Meditation – I have really bought into http://www.getsomeheadspace.com by Andy Puddicombe. I saw it on a Virgin Atlantic flight while bored of all the rubbish movies. I am not one for meditation or self help, however this just made sense. I have watch his talks at the Do Lectures online and just thought wow. His course is only 10 minutes for 10 days. Again like the 5 hours of cycling in my 3000 mile challenge this really is not much to ask.

Goal focusing session – This is my last one to keep me on track for January. Each night before bed I am going to go over my goals, imagine what it feel like to have achieved each of them, what I will look like slightly slimmer, how much more energy I will have. I truly believe that we create our own reality. Imagine this for a second, when you wake up in an exceptionally good mood, the whole world seems to be on fire with possibility, your colleagues/friends/partner/parents all seem to get on with you, you come up with great ideas, you are productive, the trees look good, you feel confident, etc. However take the polar opposite, wake up in a bad mood….you do not get on with ayone, you look for a fight, the buildings look like crap, you are less than productive, etc. The reality is that nothing has changed apart from you. The reason that all the bad things happen when you see the world differently is that you are in a negative space and are almost willing for the ‘bad’ to come. The brain is an amazingly powerful thing, that works overtime to make what you focus on happen. Maybe it is as simple as by focusing on your goals you naturally become more receptive to things in your life that will make the goals reality. All I know is that I have done this in business and at home, and so far all I have really focused on has happenned.

Ok I know this sounds like a lot, but you can see how I get on or if I have just set myself up for another epic fail……not this time….enter tiger grrrrr.

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