100 days challenge: week 3

in the previous post i have described the very first two weeks of my 100 days experiment. however time flies, it is sunday again and it is time to describe the third week, i.e. days 15-21 now.

psychology

i have heard that it is enough to change one’s behaviour for 21 days in a row in order to obtain a new or abandon some old habit. at that time i thought it was a nonsense and the required amount of time is much longer. however while participating in the self prepared experiment i saw that exactly this period (15-21) days was the time when all my brain cravings for comfort reduced significantly. i am not saying that they are completely gone but they became less frequent than before. it feels like everything has turned upside down – everything that my brain used to crave for has received some kind of a negative label on it.

during this period i cannot remember a moment when i wanted a portion of junk food or when i wanted to binge on some chocolate. now all this stuff appears to be somehow harmful to me and completely out of my long term sight of goal achievement. not in a way that i tell this to myself on purpose, but naturally. i started to show some respect to my body and all the effort i put in. i stopped giving all kinds of low quality foods to it. i ask a lot from my body. therefore i am trying to provide it with all necessary foods the quality of which are as good as possible.

the beginning was hard. however i started experiencing some amazing things.

during the third week there was no thoughts about staying in bed for a little bit more in the morning or about skipping a jog. nothing similar to that. during this week it rained two times when i had to run. i knew that the whole summer will not be sunny and providing great conditions in my early jogs. during that first rainy morning i was standing next to the window and thinking for approximately 10 minutes. it was a moment of doubt. i was not sure if i really have to do this.

but come on. look, it is raining.

i thought i will get wet, i might look strange, it will be uncomfortable and so on. however after this intense thinking session i decided to cut off the stream of thoughts in my comfort asking brain and just go. and this was what i experienced that morning:

this did not kill me.

yes, exactly. this was not as bad as if it looked before. it was just a usual jog being a little bit less comfortable. the falling water and puddles caused my feet to get wet very quickly. at the beginning it was not a great pleasure. however after a few hundred steps i adapted and just moved forward. the next morning when according to my plan i had to jog it was raining even heavier. this time i did not spend another 10 minutes of thinking by the window. i just put my running shoes on and went outside. automatically. 

i observed one interesting pattern: the worse my surrounding conditions are, the more happy and proud i feel. this is because i continue doing what i have planned and refuse to give up when it becomes a little bit harder than expected.

to conclude i can state that everyday discipline once obtained starts lowering the volume of all the cravings that my brain produce. it looks like the mind knows that there is no way of success and just stops sending me these crazy thoughts of how it needs something to make it feel comfortable.

sports

during the third week i went to the gym three times. as i have mentioned before, i always do quite intense exercises with (relatively) high weights. i embrace all the compound movements: squats, deadlifts, lunges, bench press and so on. they constitute the core of all my workouts.

i covered more kilometers outside than during the first or the second week. this week i jogged 88 kilometers in total. i went for a run 4 times. three of them were 5 am runs and one started at 6 am. it looks like i started increasing my performance here because i started running a little bit faster while keeping the same heart rate. i rarely check my pace when i jog. the most important characteristic for me is the heart rate. i only try to keep up some pace when i run during my long run days or when i have breakfast before the run. then i let myself jog a little bit faster and a little bit longer.

for now everything is going to the right direction. i do not feel any symptoms of overtraining. therefore it is very interesting what will happen in the future. i have mentioned before that i am neither a power lifer nor i am a bodybuilder, fitness or running athlete. i have my own goals that occupy a field consisting of several different sport areas. the goal of my experiment is not to grow my bicep as big as possible nor it is to run a sub 3 hour marathon. therefore i can let myself experiment with everything: the type, volume, intensity and other aspects of physical activity. this is another goal. i tend to think with my own head instead of doing endless research about which bananas are healthier to eat and which foods will make me fat and which will not. i know basics of nutrition, exercising and rest and i am trying to apply them as good as i can in order to achieve my goals. i am not saying that all the knowledge from more experienced people must be ignored. i just do not let myself sticking to a unique truth and strategy of planning the activity and nutrition. i enjoy thinking and applying instead of just reading some forum of broscience and blindly copying the strategy of some person stating that his way of doing things is the only one that works.

the long sunday run

on sunday of the third week as usually i had my long jog. this time it was 40 kilometers. i wanted to fit these into 4 hours. and i succeeded. i have been preparing my mind for this activity since the beginning of the week so all i had to do was to put my running shoes on and run. i had my beloved peanut butter oatmeal with a peach for breakfast and started at 5:55 am. the morning was beautiful, it was neither hot nor cold. sun was not that intense. i think this was one of the most comfortable runs in my entire life. i do not know why but from the very first step i knew i was going to make it in 4 hours. there were no moments where i wanted to stop and quit and could not handle the uncomfortable experience. i had enough food with me as well as liquid supplies. however the pace was not very high. it was just a usual long, steady sunday jog. the average heart rate appeared to be 144 beats per minute. this was my day for doing that. i am happy.

usually i do not wear earphones when jogging. this time i thought it would be a good idea to have a pair with me since it might become boring during these 4 hours. on sunday morning the traffic is not intense enough to make me feel unsafe because of the reduced perception of the environment due to sound in my ears. i listened to two amazing podcasts each of which was approximately 2 hours length. the guest in the first podcast was my source of inspiration david goggins and jesse itzler spoke during the second. they both are extremely interesting persons having a lot of things to say and thoughts to share. also they are significantly different yet possessing one common quality. i like that quality and i think that i possess a fraction of it as well. if you know them, you know what i am talking about.

physiology

during the third week my weight have not changed significantly. since i measure my weight daily i tracked a lot of volatility and fluctuations. however the value at monday and at sunday did not differ that much. my body weight is a little bit too high (87 kg) having in mind my height (177 cm) and therefore i am trying to reduce it. i want to decrease my weight by lowering the amount of my body fat which is quite high at the moment (23%) and by maintaining the amount of other kinds of tissue. therefore i do everything slowly and in a consistent manner. another good sign is that the circumference of my stomach has decreased during this week. having this in mind i ignore the fact that the weight has stayed the same. and yes, i do measure this kind of things since they can give me some powerful insights about the quality of my actions and strategies.

actually the weight is a very volatile characteristic of the human body. despite the ideal nutrition plan the difference between one’s weight in the morning and in the evening can reach up to 3 kilograms and more. this depends on food eaten during the day, consumption of liquids, visits to the toilet, activity levels and so on. therefore i stopped worrying about these weight fluctuations a long time ago. i weight myself every morning under identical conditions. this gives me the data that is least distorted and serves well in all the analysis i do.

the perspective

the 100 days experiment became somewhat interesting activity. it is not a tremendous torture. it has never been actually. but recently it has been easier to cope with. as i have mentioned earlier it looks like the mind gave up and does not try to change something anymore. it realises that i will still continue doing my thing and i am not going to be lured on some candy or coffee bait. i started waiting for the next week. and then for the one after that next week. and so on. looks like i have found my own thing. the thing i do with passion, the thing i am driven about and obsessed with. i do not care anymore what other people might say or think. i just do that and share my insights. therefore i am looking forward for the future to come and many other everyday challenges to complete, new data and insights to collect and discover.

the conclusion

i am extremely curious about how far a person can push himself. in my opinion, every person can do a hell of a lot more than he usually does. i will repeat myself:

everybody without an exception is capable of doing a hell of a lot more than he usually does.

i am not talking about the ability to jog or lift weights. i am talking about general things. about setting goals, changing the status someone is in at the moment, disagreeing with the status quo and moving forward. yes, it might be uncomfortable. yes, one might fail 183 times and succeed during the 184 attempt. however i often hear people saying

oh, he is lucky, he has the will. i do not have the will, i could not do this.

and my answer is: oh yes you could and even better. the only thing you need is to take that responsibility and perform true actions. one of my main goals of the 100 days challenge is to push myself towards situations where it starts to look as if i cannot do it anymore. and then convince myself the contrary.

i wish everyone a great upcoming week.

remigijus

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