It’s Your Choice… But Why Wouldn’t You Want To Be Healthy?

Being healthy requires a lot of hard work but what’s the alternative? I know the physical and emotional impact of being obese and unhealthy. I’m sick and tired both physically and mentally and I will become healthier. I will take massive action each day to ensure I become healthier than I was yesterday.

 

Are you healthier than you were yesterday?

 

I know what I have to do and I’m going to do it. I may be making socially unacceptable choices, not drinking or binging on junk foods. I’m not going to eat cereal for my breakfast; I’m not going to settle for a sandwich for lunch because it’s convenient. I’m going to eat the right foods which make me healthier.

 

Why do we eat cereal for breakfast anyway?

If people don’t like that, tough, I don’t want to hear it. If you have a problem, either do something about it or shut up. I’ve let people control my decisions in the past but no more. All I have control of is my choices and I will make the best or healthiest choices I can.

 

I have procrastinated for years about my health. I’ve read a ton of books and I now appreciate what modern processed foods do to the body. I don’t know everything and I probably never will but I know enough to move in the right direction.

 

My journey is simple but will not be easy. Why? I’m an addict!

 

I’m addicted to highly processed calorie laden foods which give me instant gratification followed by a lifetime of guilt about eating them, not to mention the physiological effects they create. I’m obese and I hate being obese. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone but society doesn’t appear to care.

 

I wish that if people were to choose to lose weight and become healthier that they could get access to the right information. Conventional nutrition advice is nothing more than a token gesture, there to show that someone is trying but we can see it’s just not working.  It’s making things worse. Unfortunately no-one seems ready to acknowledge they were wrong.

 

We are being instructed on what to eat by the companies that produce the foods that are making us unhealthy. People like Zoe Harcombe, John Biffa ,Jessie and many more are challenging the powers that be and as an individual we can make a difference.

 

We have the power to choose.

 

True health is a niche at the moment, there is a small group that see past the fads and work towards self awareness and self expression through health. I recommend you watch the Garage Warrior Podcast with Erwan Le Corre, thought provoking and inspiring.

 

We appear happy to judge everyone to a standard that no one can meet while allowing our health to deteriorate and complaining about it. The healthcare system doesn’t make you healthy, it manages sickness. Want surgery or medication, seek “healthcare”, if you really want to be healthy you need to do the work. Seek help from the right people and take massive action each day to improve your mind and body.

 

As a society we’re aware of our rights but not of our responsibilities. Health is your own responsibility. If you put your health in someone else hands, you’ll get what they give you, not what you want. It’s your life, and it’s the work you do that defines it.

 

What to do about it?

 

Eat more foods from nature. Wheat is processed to hell before it reaches your plate and is not natural. Not convinced, read “Wheat Belly

 

Move more, move better.

 

Make the healthier choices. Rather than watching TV all night, get more shuteye before midnight. The reality of TV is that it deprives us of quality sleep. I’m not saying we need to start tossing flat screens out the window, just that there is a time and place for TV and there is a time and place for sleep.

 

The earlier you switch off from Technology at night the more high quality sleep you can get.

 

Do you choose to be healthy or are you a modern day zombie?

 

Are you healthier than yesterday?

On To The Next One!

Sunday was Day 7 of cycle 1, carb depletion. I got up and weighed myself, 14 lbs lost in effectively six days. While I know that weight loss should not be used as a definitive progress measurement, I wanted to see what was possible after Shaun had stated in his program that you could lose anywhere from 5-16 lbs in the first week.

 

For the first week of a new diet, it went really well. I had good energy days and poor energy days but I seemed very happy while progressing through the program. I was satisfied because I was following the program to the letter, relieved that I was not constantly second guessing myself and the program. I finally managed to stop overanalysing and just do the work required, the results speak for themselves.

 

I’ve noticed a visible looseness in my close compared to this time last week. I feel like a have a huge amount of energy compared to one week ago. I feel like I have got a lot of energy to burn.

 

Honestly I still suffered from some of the traditional symptoms of a calorie restricted diet. Typically whenever is began a calorie restricted diet before, initially I would be low on energy, hungry all the time and constantly thinking about food. This made for a grumpy bear that would be increasingly frustrated and at times take it out on others.

 

Glad to say that after thee strategic re-feed last night I feel fantastic. I’m raring to go today. The morning workouts were crushed and I’ve had my post workout starchy meal.

 

Cycle 2 is the macro patterning™ phase of the program and includes a mixture of Carb Up, Baseline and Carb down days. After the re-feed last night, I’m on a card down day today.

 

I’ll let Shaun Hadsall Explain.

 

“The main aspect that makes Macro- Patterning™ so different from other dreadful diets (like Cycle 1 that you just finished ;-) is that it’s a practical and healthy way to maximize fat burning while still being able to indulge in all your favorite foods.”

 

“Macro-Patterning™ will show you exactly how to obtain all the metabolic – muscle-enhancing benefits from eating your favorite carbs, while simultaneously manipulating your body to burn more fat. Truth be told, carbs can be both good and bad depending on the “type” of carbohydrates you choose, how you time them, and how you combine them.”

 

Simply put, carbs are beneficial to health providing they the right carbs, consumed at the right times (always with protein) in the right portion sizes. We get fat because we don’t do this, we fill up our glycogen stores and when the carbs keep coming, and our body has no option but to store fat.

 

I’m looking forward to this week, I hope you are too!

I’m Not Perfect And That’s Okay

There is no such thing as perfection. Perfection is an ideal created by your Ego to prevent you from achieving your goals. Your Ego demands we be perfect, flawless however our biggest fault is that we can be driven by our ego, how hypocritical.

 

I have spent a lot of time looking for perfection, in all aspects of my life. I haven’t found it yet. The result of this search is I fail to start. Is the pursuit of perfection just another form of procrastination?

 

We get the notion in our head that we can’t do it if it isn’t right, if all the pieces don’t fall into place. What if there is no ideal time or situation? It may be a risk starting something when you don’t have all the information, but is that any reason not to start at all?

 

How can we be perfect? Taking a workout as an example, how would a workout be flawless? We’d need to have a workout plan which is perfectly created and unique to your training goals. All the equipment would need to be ready and available. You would have to be in the perfect frame of mind and would need to execute the workout perfectly.

 

There are a many things out with our control which can put us in a less than ideal situation. We only have control over our thoughts. That damned internal resistance we all feel doesn’t like to take risks and projects the inherent imperfections in the outside world as our stumbling blocks to try and stop us from acting.

 

We need to accept that perfection is a myth, a false truth created in our minds. We are not perfect, the outside world is never perfect, in fact its life’s imperfections which make it unique and beautiful. We all look differently, act differently and think differently and that’s what makes the world so wonderful.

 

We can’t be perfect, but we can choose to get better. If we want to improve our lives, in whatever area we need to consistently make better choices. We’ll make incremental improvements each day which will compound and we’ll transform over time.

 

We can get caught up with perfection and comparing ourselves to others. Our life journey is unique to us. We’ll each react differently to each situation that life presents to us. Some will appear to progress quicker than others, however as long as you are progressing you are heading in the right direction.

 

“Strive for consistency not perfection.”

Shaun Hadsall

 

Have faith that your hard work will make you better than the you of yesterday. Instead of looking at how far you have to go, look at how far you have come. Rather than linking our happiness to some future ideal, focus on being grateful for how far you have come.

 

Your life is a blessing, your unique journey; you are one of a kind. You are getting better with each day. All we can do is work hard and be grateful for the life we have. It’s not a matter of whether the glass is half full or half empty, we have be grateful for having the glass.

 

“Go confidently in the direction of you dreams. Live the life you imagine!”

Henry David Thoreau

 

Life gives us a window of opportunity. We can choose to work hard in pursuit of our true passions in life. Whatever your passions may be, do the work to create the life you imagine.

Teaching My Body Where The Fat Is

How do you get your body to burn fat? Old school calorie deficits haven’t worked and a lifetime of yoyo dieting has left my metabolism broken. I was looking for a way to heal my metabolism and become healthier and I believe I’ve found it.

 

I have been arrogant for much of my adult life. I thought I could do everything myself. Buy the books, develop my own plans but the evidence of the last 10-15 years suggests that I have been wrong.

 

I understand that being healthy takes a lot of hard work and consistency. I feel like I have been constantly working on my dieting, by my efforts have been applied in the wrong areas. I’ve spent too much time thinking and developing knowledge instead of doing the work.

 

Each time I’ve failed, I beat myself up a little more. It is truly exhausting being angry with myself all the time. My Ego is keen to prevent me from starting again, after all each time I fail I compound the misery. The only way to break this cycle is to effect a massive change.

 

Yanik Silver’s 20th Maverick Rule is:

 

“Focus most of your time on your core strengths and less time working in areas you suck at”

 

I have invested far too much time focussing on areas I am weak in, namely nutrition. I’ve spent years reading books to get me healthier. However without doing the work, all I’ve achieved is a large list of books on my kindle reader. If only you could get healthier just by reading.

 

I need a program to follow. A straight forward program which will tell me what foods to eat when and by simply following the plan I will get healthier. In the same way that I need a personal trainer to develop programs for me, I need help with my diet.

 

Is started getting emails about the 4 cycle solution and it appeared to be exactly what I wanted at exactly the right time. The program looked amazing and after reading the emails which came to over the week I bought the program, downloaded the contents and started reading.

 

Have I done this before? Yes, I have an impressive collection of different training and nutrition programs which I’ve purchased and, in some cases, not even started. This time was different, this time I was going to follow the plan to the letter. I had to turn off the perfectionist part of me and simply apply what contained in the manuals.

 

In the audio file that comes with the package, Fat Loss Motivation & Time Management, Shaun talks about delegating tasks you do not want to or do not have time to do. I’ll let him provide the plan and I’ll follow it, no more analysis paralysis. I won’t spend time trying to piece together nutrition plans from contradicting sources. Following the 6-3-2 methodology he discusses, I’ll do one thing at a time, do it right and finish it.

 

The audio file alone is worth much more than I paid for the entire package.

 

I started the 1st cycle, carb depletion. 7 days to repair your metabolism and prepare your body for the Macro Patterning™ cycle 2. I’m on day 4 now and appear to be cruising.

 

I’ve went low carb before, so I was expecting to feel a little poorly in the beginning. I’m at day 4 just now and feel great. I’m sleeping better, have plenty of energy and can already feel my clothes are looser than they were on Monday.

 

I didn’t notice any difference in Day 1; I put that down to the novelty factor of the dietary change. Day 2 I crashed pretty hard, I was really low on energy and struggled to make it through the day. Day 3 was better than Day 2 but I still felt a bit sluggish. Last night I skipped the final meal and went to bed a little earlier.

 

I woke up this morning feeling great, got my workout and meditation done, had breakfast and got ready for work.  It’s been a great start to the day, mentally I feel a lot better because my body is responding to the 4 cycle system.

 

I’m looking ahead to the weekend; I’ll have my cheat meal on Sunday and then start the 2nd cycle on Monday. As I’ll be going food shopping tomorrow, I’ll be reviewing the new cycle’s material to build my shopping list. I’ve kept it fairly simple this week to comply with the carb depletion guidelines and I’ll look for suitable recipes for the following cycles.

 

You’re either moving forward or you’re not. Are getting closer to your goals?

Failed Attempts

I failed. At the weekend I caved in and went off Paleo. I feel terrible, mentally and physically. I won’t get 100 days of Paleo in before year end but I will focus on making the healthiest choices I can one day at a time.

 

My goal wasn’t overly ambitious, I gave in. I took the easy route and had rationalised it all away in my head. I’m feeling rather guilty and disappointed now.

 

Today is a new day and I can only do the best I can today. I will be stronger than me from yesterday and strive to become stronger and healthier each day.

 

I need to accept the limits of my power. I have control over my choices and reactions only; will they be positive of negative?

 

The body I’ve woken up with this morning is the body I will have for the rest of today. It may not be in the image I ultimately dream of but it is what I have today. I will make the best possible choices to nourish my body and mind and leave it in a better place for tomorrow.

Perfectionism or Procrastination?

I’m a problem solver, there’s always something to be fixed, tweaked or improved. I can always get better and there’s always more knowledge to be obtained to make things more perfect. Is being a perfectionist really a good thing? What if you quest for perfect prevents you from starting at all.

 

With any lifestyle change we have the Why, the How and the What.

 

Why should we do this?

How do we do this?

What do we need to do?

 

Why

 

This is where I get caught up. Why are we doing this? The simple answer is to improve our health, but that doesn’t appear to be good enough for me. I get lost in books like the Paleo Solution, Practical Paleo, Wheat Belly, Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It, drilling down to microscopic details about why I should be using this method to become healthier.

 

“You do not need to know “why” to be able to “do”.” Robb Wolf – The Paleo Solution

 

Reading and researching won’t make me healthier. Yes, I’ll gain a deeper appreciation of why I am getting healthier but when developing knowledge obstructs getting things done ultimately it’s preventing me becoming healthier. We need to do the work.

 

“In fact, it might even be better if we scrubbed the word knowledge from the dictionary and replaced it with the word, “do-ledge” so that people understood once and for all that they need to DO SOMETHING with the things they learn.”

 

Dax Moy – The Magic Hundred

 

How

 

We get a framework for how to achieve our goal, this can at times be vague or generalised. The lack of specifics at times can prompt me to turn to the books again. This is where I can fall down again. I may have a less than complete understanding of the concept and decide to read more rather than starting and making adjustments as I go.

 

The how really is to just get started.

 

What

 

This is the simple part. The Why and How have been distilled down to What needs to be done. We simply follow the procedure and that will make us healthier. It’s that simple.

Most Paleo literature advises to try for at least 30 days to see how you feel. You don’t need to know the why to do this, you just need to know what to do.

 

You could buy the Paleo solution or Practical Paleo and jump straight to the meal plans and guidelines. Later if you want to you can read the knowledge section. Reading about Paleo won’t make you healthier, living Paleo will make you healthier.

 

You don’t even have to purchase any books, you can get all you need from the Whole9 site to complete your first Whole 30. They also have a great forum which you can log progress, get advice from other Whole 30 participants and discover that you’re not alone in your journey.

 

Knowledge is wonderful if applied but not necessary for you to do the work. Until you’ve completed your first 30 days, you wont know how much healthier you can become. You results will be unique to you, something which you won’t find in a book, unless you go and write it yourself.

Day 20 – Strict Paleo or Paleofied Comfort Food

Should we change the foods we eat totally or should we adapt modern popular foods to meet our nutritional values? I’m honestly not sure where I stand on this one, food is engrained in our society and it seems that the online community has many different points of view.

 

Should we eat a strict Paleo diet, avoiding paleoised junk food? Will we become healthier if we eat the same old junk but as long as it’s made with Paleo friendly ingredients?

 

Look online for Paleo recipes and you’ll inevitably come across paleofied desserts, banana breads and a multitude of other Paleo versions of common foods. You’ll also find some people condemning these recipes demanding a stricter approach. What is the right way? Is there such a thing?

 

“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”

 

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

I really will depend on your specific situation, what you hope to achieve and how you define your personal nutritional values.

 

If you are trying to lose fat, each pond you lose is more difficult than the last one. Many people dream of the six pack abs, however getting to a single digit body fat percentage will take time and a lot of sacrifice, is the amount of effort you require to do so justified to you? That’s a question only you can answer.

 

Destructive Food Habits

 

I’m an emotional binge eater. I enjoy food too much, in the past I have been reliant on it for emotional comfort much more than nutritional nourishment. Many of my comfort foods have little or no nutritional value. The frustrating thing is that I would binge eat because I was unhappy that I was so overweight. In essence I was making my situation worse in the long run to feel better, somewhat briefly, in the present.

 

I was using pastries, sweets and high carbohydrate foods as an emotional crutch. I have developed a destructive habit deriving instant gratification from nutritionally void foods which compound my problems.

 

Similar to how some people drink to forget about their problems, when the hangover clears the problems are still there. Our Ego steps in and reminds us yet again how we are worthless and still haven’t dealt with our situation.

 

To deal with my emotional eating I need to stay away from sweets and treats, to establish healthy habits. I need to recognise that health is a long term process and that I should forego the momentary pleasure of junk foods for a healthier future. I need to practice gratitiude to obtain happiness in the moment, looking at how far I’ve come opposed to how far I need to go.

 

One day at a time.

Making Paleo Attractive To the Masses

 

I believe what attracts many people to the conventional diets programs is the delusion that you can still eat what you want as long as you do a certain task. It may be counting calories, points or syn values. You may fast some days to allow cheat days or simply try to burn off the additional calories you consume on the treadmill.

 

The problem with following the Paleo philosophy is that you would need to remove many foods from your diet which are engrained in our culture. Much of my life I grew up without considering any alternative to cereal for breakfast. The marketing tactics have worked a treat; processed grains have become a huge part of modern life, as much a necessity as air and water to some people.

 

You do have a fight on your hands if you are trying to convince them to ditch the foods they grew up with in favour of a supposed healthier alternative.

 

This can be made more attractive by showing that conventional foods can still be consumed using healthier ingredients. Over the past 30 years, low fat cooking has been the norm with recipe books showing how you can still eat what you want without the high calorie and fat content. Now it’s Paleo’s turn.

 

Food is about much more than nutrition, it’s used to bring people together. All major holidays centre on a large feast and that won’t change with Paleo. If you can provide a bountiful feast which uses nutritious ingredients, go ahead, you can still be part of the family, conforming to traditions and eating healthily. Also you’ll be sneakily providing your friends with nutritious meals.

 

As it should be, you can eat tasty and nutritious foods. That was how is used to be, the sweet or savoury taste of food was a signal to your brain that nutrition was being delivered.  Modern food processing has hacked the process, they have produced foods which are super tasty and hyper addictive, however nutritionally void.

 

There isn’t a right or wrong answer. There is a right answer for you which will be different to others. Whether you decide to indulge in paleofied foods, maintain a strict nutritional discipline or live somewhere in between, the choice is yours and will determine your outcomes.

 

This is your health journey; you choose the route and the destination.

Day 15 – Bloat No More

No it’s not a product (I did a quick Google to check); it’s how I’m feeling this morning. As I said yesterday, I had some pretty severe bloating and decided to drop FODMAPs to see if it improved the bloating. It did and I feel so much better today.

Moving forward, I need to look for some new recipes. Previously garlic and onions had been a cornerstone of many of my meals and now I need to make an adjustment. I turned to Balanced Bites and Practical Paleo for a guide on which foods to avoid.

The FODMAPs are marked with an asterisk on the guide to: paleo foods you can get here.

Balanced Bites Useful Guides

 

FODMAPs (acronym for fermentable oligo di monosaccharides and polyols) are a type of carbohydrate which can be difficult to digest causing IBS like symptoms, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.

Check the left hand tab on each of the recipe pages of Practical Paleo for a quick check which recipes contain FODMAPs.

There are loads of possibilities for FODMAP free Paleo, here are some great resources.

 

Primal Palate

Paleo Parents

Whole9 life

 

In the past I would have seen this as a problem worthy of giving up, not his time. This is just another challenge another tweak I need to make to define my own brand of paleo.

 

Do you have any food sensitivities? How did you approach them?

 

Day 14 – Bloated and No Appetite

I’m certain I will experience some negative symptoms while transitioning,  however yesterday felt particularly bad. I was severely bloated all day and had no appetite at all in the evening. This combined with the carb flu symptoms; achy, runny nose and headaches all made for a rough day.

 

I got home from work and really couldn’t face food. I had food there ready to prepare and had planned out my meal prep for tomorrow, but at that time I couldn’t face food. I’m unsure if it was associated with the bloating but I did not believe I could stomach food at the time.

 

I decided to delay dinner for the moment and focussed on preparing my meal for tomorrow. I had cooked meat in the fridge; I just needed to roast some vegetables in the oven. I peeled and chopped the veggies and put them in the oven. Thirty minutes later my meal for tomorrow was ready.

 

Bloating

 

I tried to figure out what could be causing the bloating, is this just part of the adjustment to a better diet or is it sensitivity to certain foods? I had felt some bloating over the past few days but nothing as severe as yesterday. What did I eat yesterday which was different from before?

 

I had a cabbage stir fry; eggs, cabbage, bacon, onions, peppers, garlic. Could one of theses be the culprit? I hadn’t been eating much onions peppers or garlic in the previous days. Perhaps this wasn’t a problem unique to me, I checked out the forums to see what others had to say.

 

From Paleo Hacks and the whole 9 forum, bloating after the initial 7-14 day period appears to be a symptom of food sensitivity. FODMAPs appear to be the likely culprit. Many people have also observed sensitivities to nuts and some to coconut oil. The remedy, eliminate the foods you may be sensitive to and see how you feel.

 

As an initial test, I’ll drop the onions and garlic and see how I go today. Luckily for me the meal I prepared for work contains neither.

 

Loss of Appetite

 

I found a great response to a similar question on the Whole9 forum:

 

“When you drop sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes from your diet, your hunger cues change quite a bit.  It’s entirely possible to go an entire day and never have the kind of tummy rumbling that we all associate with hunger.  In fact, what we discover is that what we formerly considered hunger cues were actual sugar crash cues. “

 

This would be a good explanation for what I’m feeling. When I’m eating crap food, I tend to eat on a schedule, not because I’m hungry but because it’s time to eat, or I haven’t had something in a while, or I need to do something to keep my fidgety hands busy.

 

As I’m no longer living on sugar, I do not have the crashes afterwards; my food cravings have lessened their grip on me. Perhaps I don’t really understand what true hunger is. Could it be that I’ve never really experienced true hunger?

 

I guess a way to test this would be to complete a long fast, maybe over 24 hours. I’m pretty certain at that point I would be well beyond any habitual cues or other psychological needs. That experiment could be for another time.

 

I think in my case it’s been a loss of sugar cravings along with a desire not to further any bloating what caused my desire not eat last night. I’ll exclude FODMAPs from my diet for a few days and see how I feel.

 

What symptoms have you had when transitioning into a healthier diet? What did you do and how did you remedy it?

Day 13 – Your Unique Brand Of Paleo

When I first starting reading about Paleo both in books and online, what confused me was there were slight differences in each guideline. Some foods were allowed by some, expressly forbidden by others. I spent a lot of time trying to find the perfect Paleo protocol to follow.

 

There is no such thing. All my efforts achieved were frustration and procrastination. I didn’t start because I didn’t have the definitive diet guideline. Everyone is unique and has their own goals, sense of taste and tolerances to food. The key to success, long term is tweaking your diet to suit you.

 

Nourish your body with the foods available to you. Enjoy your food; take pleasure in what you can enjoy, rather than punishing yourself with dieting. I’ve always found dieting stressful, a key factor in why I have failed many times before.

 

Prolonged suffering due to dieting is no good for the body. We need to make the right choices for us, and accept that others will have their own opinions about what they eat and what we should/ shouldn’t be eating.

 

I have a long way to go in my journey to health, I have a lot of fat to shed, bad habits to break and realise that the best thing for me is to stick to the Paleo basics for the time being. In future, when I have reached my goals I could trial adding foods into my diet. If they work great, if not I leave them out my diet.