Tag Archives: diet

Cycling in the mud and sun

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.

The Zing Deluxe On Holiday
The Zing Deluxe On Holiday

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.

Stag Getting on His Way
Stag Getting on His Way
A muddy Team Mate
A muddy Team Mate at 2300 hrs
The Red Bull Tent At Prize Giving
The Red Bull Tent At Prize Giving
A Podium Finish For the Stag Team
A Podium Finish For the Stag Team

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.

Sunny Falmouth
Sunny Falmouth

FC

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The Question Of Guilt

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.

FB

Back on it…..like a car bonnet

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.

February – a lack of pedal pushing

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.

FC

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

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

16 days and being excited

I had to share that unbelievably this fasting 5:2 diet, is actually working.

It is probably a combination of the 175 miles on the bike, 5:2, no alcohol and no wheat, but 16 days in and 4KG down. So, frankly right now, I don’t care which one it is, I am just excited.

I am not missing the wheat or alcohol and the headaches have now stopped.

Had the most brilliant ride yesterday. Well done to my cycle buddy who put down an impressive 14 miles in the sideways rain today.

I am waiting to hear back from the Fred Whitton Challenge, fingers crossed.

FC

A small slice of ego deflation please……

Today I had a meeting with some potential business partners.  I use the term partner loosely, as really they are competitors that we are looking on doing a combined tender with.

However, I am digressing.  Todays meeting started with a pretty swift verbal punch.  I was greeted cordially with a “great to see you, well, you’ve put on weight”.

This got me thinking.  The truth is in the last 18 months I have put on weight.  Not a crazy amount, probably 5 to 7KG.  Enough to notice?  Yes probably.  But, my thoughts ran more to, why do humans feel the need to start a conversation with what is essentially a negative comment?

Does it put them in the power seat for the meeting?  Maybe it makes them feel better about themselves.

I am not sure.  But for the first in my life I did not care.  I have yo yo’d with weight and struggled with weight loss my whole life.

This kind of comment, would have floored me a year ago.  I don’t know why I can suddenly deal with it.

What I do know is that in just 15 days of this journey I am feeling great.

30 miles today.  It’s all looking up.

More to follow………

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 ‘Diet’ Drinks

Fat Coke

For a long time I have quite happily drank a can of Diet Coke rather than a ‘full fat’ variety, with the thinking that I was helping my weight loss.

However, and as anyone reading this probably already knows, ‘Diet’ drinks should be called ‘Please can I put more weight on’ drinks.  Why?

Well several reasons:

1.  Unhealthy eating habits – Dr. Mike Russell believes that the usual ‘Diet’ drinkers have far worse eating habits.  This could be due to the fact that consumers believe they are saving on calories so a couple of chips will not matter.

2.  Higher risk of Diabetes– Dr. Mark Hyman, writes about a study of 66,118 women showed that the risk of diabetes was increased by drinking Diet Drinks rather than regular drinks.

3.  Tricking your metabolism – Dr. Hyman, goes on to say that, due to artificial sweeteners being so much sweeter than natural sugar, it tricks your body into thinking a bucket load of sugar is on the way (especially if you are starving your body on a calorie controlled diet).   The result is that your body produces insulin (a fat storage hormone).  When no sugar arrives in your stomach, any fat your body subsequently receives is hoarded by your body.

4.  Craving starchy food – the net result of the above is that ‘Diet’ drinks make you crave starchy, sugary and fatty foods.

So, from now on, if I really want a fizzy drink, it will be regular.

FC