Well, I can finally mark off the calendar my second week of journeying towards my health and fitness goals. In this short time I have:
- Lost at least 3kg, which is at a nice steady pace and will hopefully avoid my ending up with saggy skin.
- Continuing to have back pain. This I believe is due mostly to telling my body to do the exact opposite of everything it has been used to doing for the past 20+ years. I.e.: Standing for more hours than sitting.
- I’ve learned why my back is hurting, and while the pain won’t immediately go away for good, I now have some stretches and techniques to manage the pain without the need for medication, and I believe in a short while my lower back pain will be a sweet and distant memory.
- I’ve learned more about nutrition in this short time than I ever learned at school, or from my parents, or from documentaries, or even most of the commonly accepted healthy diet books/papers/etc.
- I’ve discovered that the truth about my dietary approach isn’t in the words of any book, website, or recipe. It’s in basic observational “science”, where I’ve changed the conditions and now I’m observing the result that I am getting on a daily basis, such as:
- Better quality of sleep
- More energy
- Weight loss with very little exercise (I’ll explain this in a moment)
- Disinclined to snack before meals
- Severe lessening of cravings for sugary/savoury non-paleo “junk” foods
- A greater feeling of happiness and satisfaction
- I’m getting better at being creative with Paleo Ingredients, yet I’m getting to a point where I don’t really care or mind having the same meal 3 times in a row.
- Made my final and non-refundable payment to begin my Personal Trainer course, which starts on March 11th. I got that out of the way early and now I can’t wait to begin.
- I’m finding it easier each day to make goals and commitments, rather than excuses.
All in all, I feel this little “experiment” is a raging success, and I keep looking forward to each new day just to be able to discover what more I can learn and do.
Finding good quality meat can be hard at the best of times. I can’t imagine how sick the animals must be to have their muscular tissues literally marbled with fat, and it has bothered me for years how minced meat is usually laced with preservative, and how you can’t find grass feed meat very easily. Even in our local supermarkets, the premium meats are simply the best and least fatty cuts, yet often still from grain fed animals. This leaves the modern hunter gather with a choice of either accepting fatty meats and hoping it doesn’t give you a heart attack, or foraging in the “organic” food shops where the only thing bigger than the prices is the smile on the owner’s face for having ripped off another SUCKER!!
Yes, eating Paleo can be quite expensive, or not as healthy as it should be, and yet there is another way to get good lean meats at a reasonable price, but it involves really digging around to find a supplier who will give you the goods without asking you for your first born child, left testicle, or kidney! I was very pleased after spending 20 minutes elbow deep in the Googlz to locate a “nearby” farm that not only grows its cows and lambs the way nature intended them, they also arrange all of the slaughtering, butchering, Cryovac packaging and can deliver for free within a 100 km radius. I can buy a whole cow ready for the freezer, and they’ll even throw in the bones for my dogs for free. Best of all, the price if I buy 150 kg of beef is almost half what the local supermarket monopolies charge. Where do I sign up?!!
Buying in bulk is a great way to get the product I want for a reasonable price, but who has the $1.6k in loose couch change to buy cow, and how could I face a year’s worth of beef without enjoying lots of other proteins in the mean time?!! The answer is hopefully simple. Form a small cooperative and buy the meat as a group, but divide it up sensibly so that everyone gets a bit of everything and I don’t end up with all 32 kg of beef sausages!! To that end, I’ve started by asking family members and friends if they would also be interested in getting premium meat at a huge discount, and hoping that between perhaps 5 or 6 families, we’ll be able to jointly afford to make the purchase and have enough meat per family to spread it out over several months.
Of course, I don’t really need to buy a whole cow. If I find there aren’t enough takers I can always order less meat at a slightly higher price that still makes it both reasonable and affordable. As always, a little lateral thinking will ensure that things can be made to work out for the best, and the best things in life never really come to you without a little effort, do they?! 😉
I mentioned a moment ago that my exercise has been somewhat unimpressive due to its reduced amount. Interestingly I don’t feel the urge to make any excuses. I mean, sure I could say my back is sore and that it affects my exercising, and yet the reality is that I am still getting plenty of exercise, just not as intensive or as hard as I would like it to be. In dealing with my Psoas/back issues, I’ve limited my workouts to twice weekly weight training, with exercises that give me a decent workout while still allowing my back to rest, which basically means I’m focussing entirely on my upper body when I train. So I’ve stuck to doing things like Bench Presses, Seated Curls, Tricep Dips and Extensions, Lying Rows… that sort of thing.
For the rest of my exercise, I’ve been standing for literally 13 hours per day (blogging, reading, researching, chores, being out and about, Etc.), and I’ve been going for hour long walks with my wife and our two dogs.
So even on a very light training schedule, I am still improving my conditioning, resting my injury, and reaping the benefits. It just doesn’t get any better than that, and you’d think that I’d be satisfied and simply take things easy for a while. Yeah… NO!! It seems I’m on a mission and nothing seems to be able to deter either my enthusiasm or my will to reach my goals, so of course this means that if I can’t easily do the things I usually do for training, why don’t I try to take on something new… for me…?
My lovely other half – some would say “better” half – decided that we should try out Bikram Yoga. There is a place locally that offers 10 days access for $19, so on the spur of the moment this afternoon, we decided to get ourselves hydrated, and headed down to the class in the evening. Now I’ve done yoga before, but never in a room kept to 40ºC at 40% humidity. We started with a breathing exercise, and even by the end of that first easy pose, I could feel a torrential downpour of sweat pouring out of me like sweating was about to go out of fashion.
I managed many of the poses, but sadly my balance is woeful and I had to abstain from several movements which triggered some muscle spasm in my back. Even so, for the 90 minutes that I was in that room, my heart rate was much higher than normal when at rest, and when attempting the poses I felt as if I was exercising as hard as if I were running on a treadmill. I would normally drink about 3 Litres of water per day, and due to the yoga today I’ve consumed almost 6!!
Now, I’m not convinced yet that I enjoy doing yoga in a “sauna”, and I suppose that back pain dampened what I believe might have otherwise been a more enjoyable session, however I guess that you can’t really get hooked in a single session, and the first yoga session is always the hardest. I will say that even with the limited number of poses that I was able to try (and I lay down for the last 20 minutes due to both the heat, and the risk of further aggravating my back), I feel seriously drained of energy this evening, even after rehydrating and a really nice meal (Grilled Snapper fillets and veggies… YUM!!). Anyhoo, I’ll keep going and see how it all pans out. If anything it may help me to improve my flexibility, and I’ll get to learn more about Bikram.
- It’s never too late to start yoga! (livingyogawithstella.com)
- Bikram Yoga – The Hot Yoga Trend (positivelygood.net)