100 days fitness challenge: week 10 – the new beginning

looks like a few previous weeks (especially the ninth) has not been the best in the entire challenge period. during then all the bad stuff (cravings, thoughts, etc.) has risen like a phoenix.

this week is the time when i grab the fire extinguisher and put the fire out.

step by step.

psychology: decreased tension

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a calm and warm summer evening

a short summary of the ninth week in a few sentences: things have become really hard. cravings and thoughts about things that seemed to be forgotten occurred again and with a huge bang. i was one step away from actions that would break the idea of my challenge.

i cannot say that everything is fine and perfect again. however i can clearly state that during this week it has been improving. no more extremely intense cravings for coffee, smoking or eating tons of junk food. i am getting back on track.

i am trying to see the positive aspect of such phenomenon. instead of punishing myself with tons of cardio or some hard restrictions as people usually do when they fall off the wagon i try to understand what causes such behaviour. after finding the root cause i expect to change behavioural patterns in order to avoid such consequences in the future.

first of all, actually i have not fell off the wagon. i have neither had a portion of junk food or sweets neither i have had a cup of black delicious coffee. however i have lost the structure of the daily regime, nutrition patterns have been interrupted and the amount of food eaten has been significantly increased. good food, but still it was a little bit too much. the result – a plateau in the fat losing process. but that is completely fine for now.

i missed a few workouts during week nine. also stretching activities have been ignored. however, it does not cause the outburst of cortisol to my system. on the contrary – rest is essential and very necessary.

one thing which has frightened a little bit is the following:

how strong mind cravings become during hard moments.

and this sentence is much broader than some guy and a nutrition plan. this is about situations when a person can give up his or hers ideas and ideals just for a second of pleasure. for a moment of making his craving-stuffed brain to feel good and enjoy that released portion of dopamine.

phew, for a minute there i lost myself, i lost myself.

this is a line from a song called karma police by radiohead. it illustrates so well the situation when a person completely loses control over his or her actions. a married man forgets the words (about being faithful until the end of days) he has said to his wife during the wedding ceremony as easy as other woman’s blink of an eye. years of family life is corrupted during one infinitesimally short moment:

the moment when that man decides to act against the favour of his ideas.

the same kind of weakness but aimed towards a different realisation has been living in my head during the week nine. i have been walking on the line of that infinitesimal decision moment. i thought that it is completely fine to let myself relax a bit and grab that cup of steaming coffee or a chocolate bar. just one. and then all of them. 

however, i have not crossed the line. no nutritional violations were observed and as always once i come back to the usual discipline i am surprised by how hardly seduced i have been and how powerful the crave of brain towards the comfort is.

seriously, if you can control the darkest urges of yours, you can control the majority of what is happening in your life. once you sit on your brain as a rider on a saddle of a horse, you are unstoppable. however if it is the other way around, then most likely you are in a deep trouble.

so the tenth week is the time of recovery and getting back on track. everything is improving again and all cravings have returned back to different corners of the mind. they will show up again at some time. unfortunately.

as to answering the question how, it is extremely simple:

just do what you are supposed to do.

yes, the only way leading back to the self-disciplined approach of everyday life is to simply start doing it. it is like a cold shower: you just have to get your ass under the stream of water. you just have to hop out of the bed as soon as the alarm goes out. you simply do not put all that bullshit inside your body.

and that is all it takes.

physiology and sports

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people supping in the river neris, at the centre of vilnius city

during week 10 the weight loss process has been halted. as mentioned before because of the food surplus i have not lost any weight during this week. however i have not gained any additional body mass as well. and this is fine.

currently the body mass is somewhere between 83 and 84 kilograms. the circumference of my stomach has also been constant for a while because of obvious reasons. there is a marathon race in two weeks time waiting for me and therefore i would love to shed a kilogram or two just in order to be as light as possible during the race but without doing any harm to my body.

the gym was visited two times during the tenth week. once i have done some treadmill fast running training session and the other time i hit the weights. after some time it feels like home. i do not know why but these weight training sessions provide me with so much good emotions and feelings. it just feel so right to be there and exercise.

as always the weights workout was approximately one hour length, quite intense and containing heavy compound movements. weighted lunges, deadlifts, military presses, bench press, dips, etc. i always workout with a heart rate monitor and therefore my work-rest periods are completely guided by the number of times the heart beats in one minute. for example when i perform weighted lunges the heart rate might increase above 160. then after the set is done i wait until it gets back to 130-140 range and perform the exercise again. in such case i do not need to look at the clock. usually it takes approximately one minute for the heart to calm down.

running part of my training has also been going well after the short break. during the tenth week the number of jogging sessions is 3 which is by one less than the usual 4 weekly runs. however this decrease has been planned in advance in order to reduce the mileage before the marathon race.

yesterday i have done the half marathon at 4:48 min/km average pace. the average heart rate was 151 which i am really happy about. this means that i am above my target pace (which is 4:58 in order to do under 3h 30min marathon) and there is still some space to increase the heart rate. this gives me some confidence and i believe that i will fulfil my aim after two weeks.

nutrition: the fear of fats and carbohydrates

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pasta with cheese and chicken fillet – a great source of all three macronutrients

the ninth week was a protein bar feast. i ate tons of them back then. however during the tenth week i have gradually reduced the amount step by step and now i am trying to avoid eating them.

the reason why i am trying to stay away from the almighty protein bar is that in my case this non guilty substitute was the reason for the great return of cravings. the brain has forgotten how awesome that chocolate tasted like. it might sound weird but before discovering the protein bar there have not been any similar difficulties with nutrition patterns. however after trying a few i could hardly stop. and this inability to control myself started to widen gradually to other areas of everyday life, not only the nutrition part.

now when everything is getting back to its usual place i would like to discuss another topic:

the great fear of fats and carbohydrates.

i think that many of us who are at least one feet in the fitness world have heard an opinion or a statement that carbohydrates make you fat. as well as fat-rich foods. many of us have seen a person who is going in for sports, trying to lose some weight or get stronger and who is afraid of eating anything that contains carbs.

i am so sorry for all these people because they restrict themselves so much and forbid the majority of greatly delicious foods. this suddenly leads to a nutritional failure. also this leads to exhaustion and poor physical performance sometimes.

what do i offer? i offer not to forbid and completely restrict carbs and fats. for example the only thing which i completely restrict in my diet is the obvious sugar. i mean sweet pastry, sweet cookies, rolls, candies, sweets, chocolates, sodas and so on. all the rest i can eat as much as i want with an attempt to fit my macros.

i enjoy eating carbohydrate & fat rich foods. dumplings with chicken, cheese and mushrooms, shepherd’s pie, pasta with cheese, tortillas, bananas, sandwiches made from bread and other amazing delicious things appear on my plate every day. even fruit before bed.

when doing with some calculations and estimations this kind of nutrition cause absolutely no fat gains. on the contrary, i managed to drop 6 kilograms of my body mass in 8 weeks by maintaining such nutritional pattern.

do not catch and blindly believe these well known but poor performing fitness facts and truths. better think with your own head, estimate, calculate and eat foods that you enjoy eating.

the conclusion

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sun and a trace of an airplane in the sky

one but very important lesson of weeks 9 & 10 is the following:

learn to recognise the simple urges of your mind. try to ignore them or think of how to reduce them as much as possible.

do not be the horse. be the rider on a saddle.

lead the way, use the whip to tame that wild animal which is nothing else but your brain urning for short term comfort by demolishing your long term effort and achievements.

 

have a good sunday,

remigijus
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