Tag Archives: New Year Resolution

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

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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

Knowing when full is actually full

20140104-085345.jpgThe reason for this post, is a sort of typed personal arse kick. You see I am the first person to get another bowl of cereal or grabanother sandwich when at a meeting buffet. However since quitting wheat (all of 3 days a go – evidently no right to preach), I have been reading more about the human ability to just keep on eating.

Apparently there is a 7 minute delay between the stomach and the brain. Did not know that. Therefore if one could distract ones self after a seemingly small meal one might then feel full.Some nutritionalists believe that distraction is actually the cause and not the cure. There is a theory that if you read, blog, surf the web or watch TV while eating, this 7 minute delay is almost negated. Your body just carries on eating until the stomach can literally take no more. Completely full. Where all your body actually needs is a fraction of the amount you just rammed into your body.

There are loads of books out there documenting this.

So for the next 7 days I am going to put a little experiment on top of my January goals / experiment. From what I have read these are the 7 rules that are going to apply to everything I put in my mouth.

1. Mastication – I must fully chew every mouthful. To start with I am going to go with 20 chews. This sounds a lot and I am going to look very funny when out with my buddies. I like to add a bit humour to the evening. Seriously though it slows you down and increases the surface area of your food, making it easier to digest and meaning you get all the nutrients.

2. Put sandwich down – OK so in Jan I am not eating wheat, but my point is that, I am going to put my food down every time I have a mouthful. This includes cultery. The food is not going to run away, I do not need to pre load my fork with the next massive load, or hold the sandwich/bagel/apple/snack near my mouth or even in my hand. Put the food DOWN between every mouthful. The upside for Mrs. FatCycles is that I am not going to be inhaling my food off the plate.

3. Concentrate on every mouthful – no more TV dinners – OK well only for a week. But if it works maybe longer. Basically concentration on what I am eating. No books, no iPad – nothing. The food is my enjoyment, I will concentrate on that is my entertainment.

4. No standing room – I must sit down while eating anything. Main meals must be at a table and not my desk.

5. Am I full – by doing all of the above, I should theoretically slowed down my eating enough to know when I am full. I have to listen to my body. And when I am full STOP EATING.

6. Drink before every meal – most of the time one feels hungry, apparently it is just thirst. The body confuses thirst with hunger. So I am going to have a pint of water before allow anything to go in my mouth.

7. Am I really hungry – Last rule of the experiment. If I feel truly hungry – not bored or thirsty – then I can eat. Theoretically if 6 has not worked I must be hungry.

OK time to get into some lycra and get wet on the bike.  Pictures to follow later.

FC

Danny to the rescue – A bit of New Years Inspiration

Not only do I think this video from Danny MacAskill is just pure cycling awesomeness  but the music, cinematography and general vibe, always makes me want to get on my bike.  Even though I will never be able to pull any of these moves it makes me want to ride.  Enjoy.

 

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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