As a Leadership Coach, I have to lead myself first, lead by example, make the changes I support my clients through and basically live the ethos of my coaching. And now feels like a great time to demonstrate that and take you with me on that journey. It is important to me that you get to see me in action, living and breathing my Coaching. Especially since, my life is not all sunshine and roses, no-one’s is. It’s just not possible to have it any other way. And I can’t lie, the last few of years have been pretty difficult for me in many ways, not least because my health has caused some hiccups in a few areas with no resolution or answers forthcoming from my GP. So I decided to embark on this journey to become the fittest and healthiest I have ever been, by the time I turn 40.
Primarily though, the purpose of this is that I am turning 40 in February 2020, (I am also a leap year baby so I’m also turning 10 – double figures at last), and I want to be the healthiest I have ever been, but also the fittest I have ever been, which means training to get back to where I was at Tough Mudder in 2013 and then getting even leaner than I was then. I have a big thing playing on my mind and that is my father died of cardiac arrest when I was just 7, he was 53 – that is far too young but he lived a sedentary lifestyle filled with bad food choices and cola. My step-dad died when he was 51 from cancer, likely caused by smoking and in 2017, I lost my beloved Uncle to cancer aged 74. These people were all too young to have left us so soon and left massive, cavernous holes in my life and the more I’ve reflected on this over the years, I realise I am not ready for that to be me, I have at 60% of the planet to see yet.
So there begins the journey. I continue to struggle with getting any answers from my GP and the battle continues. I am trying anything I can to get the results in a healthy, sensible way, Nothing drastic, nothing silly.
A big concern for me is that the NHS GPs answer to everything these days appears to be anti-depressants. I went to see my GP with a suspected underactive thyroid (symptoms: inability to regulate body temperature, bad sleeping patterns, joint pain, migraines, memory fog, inability to concentrate, new and fast acting intolerances and allergies, hair loss, extreme tiredness not relieved by sleep and very low heart rate – my resting heart rate averages out at 46, which makes losing weight extremely difficult) he said my bloods were “within normal range” but then refused to share them with me. Instead he said, “why don’t you try some anti-depressants?” One might think he were on commission or something. I asked him how that would help my inability to warm up, he didn’t have an answer and instead gave me a prescription and said, “take these, if they don’t work, double the dose”. WTF? Anyway, I took the tablets, I felt worse and everything started to go backwards so I doubled the dose as instructed – I FELT AWFUL! I am not an anxious person, but I felt anxious, felt like everyone was out to get me and worst of all, I couldn’t see a point to anything in my life. So, I binned them. Yes, without medical instruction and without lowering my dose and I have no regrets. Apparently though, you should not do this as it can cause crazy (no pun intended) side effects so don’t do it. But I felt better immediately, this is no exaggeration, I felt optimistic about life as I had before taking the tablets and I was able to focus and get back to normal life. Those tablets are the worst medical experience I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a liver biopsy so let’s just say, I know what I’m talking about. I’m laser focused now and the gauntlet has been laid.
I am working on my personalised Macronutrient diet, which is also known as Macros (you may hear people talking about “If It Fits Your Macros” which is a brand name), macronutrients are the big three – Protein, Carbohydrates (these feed your brain and are NOT bad for you) and fats (also not bad for you). It is actually very straightforward if you pay attention but does require a lot of effort. IIFYM is also easiest for people with no dietary requirements or preferences. IIFYM also means, I can eat anything I like basically, so long as I stick to my calories (I am not allowed to be under) and up my protein, but I mostly am being careful and tracking everything.
We (my Trainer and I) initially calculated the calories, protein, carbohydrates and fats based on the results of the bioimpedance machine, but it wasn’t correct. There have been some miscalculations in my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) based on an incorrect calibration of the bioimpedance machine, not that I fully trust them anyway given that I have plenty of surgical hardware on board which has been shown to impact the results even if just marginally. I can feel the machine pulsing through my ankle so that can’t be great.
Having recalculated TDEE etc, I will be on:
- A 20% caloric deficit
- Leaving 2041 calories per day broken down into:
- 42% Protein -> 212g
- 33% Carbohydrates -> 170g with 25g as dietary fibre
- 25% Fat – > 57g
- 3 litres of water per day upping this to 4 litres
- Supplementing with 90% isolate whey protein, a strong Multi, Vitamin D3 and Omega 3s.
- Maximum 3 hour gap between meals except after dinner which is a 12 hour fast until breakfast, with protein, carbs and fat in every meal. I feel like I am eating all day.
- Fats and protein are interchangeable but protein is not.
- Minimum 10,000 steps per day but I’m already on 15,000 so I’m smashing that.
- As I increase my training, I will increase my calories but that is sometime off yet.
- Alcohol is 7 Calories per millilitre which is a whole lot harder to work out than it sounds, for example say a cider is 330ml and 5.5% alcohol – the calories therein are 148 – see what I’m saying? So the decision is fit this into my macros or leave it out altogether. Cider is a poor choice anyway as most are so full of sugar that they increase your risk of Type 2 Diabetes (this applies to all high sugar content drinks like rum and cola or brandy and cola etc).
This project gives me just over 5 months (or 22 weeks) to kick my butt, which is the easy part as I always deliver on time, on budget and above expectations. Now every project needs a catchy title but Leanest by 40 just sounds crap, so we are going with Fittest by Forty, which is both catchy and specific, even if a slight deviation from the actual goal.
I imagine some things will be harder than others, I remember quite a few people were not very happy when I stopped drinking for 3 months back in 2017, but taking the road where you do what everyone else wants you to do is actually the hard road, because you have to repeatedly look back and see all the opportunities to change your life that you missed and then have to live with knowing you did not take those chances and opportunities.
This time I will be taking the easy road, listening only to myself and the two experts who I trust implicitly – my Personal Trainers (more on them next time). My doctor will either be replaced or be in the loop, but I am about to shut out all the noise and stop listening to all the “you should try…” and “you’re doing this wrong…” and “what makes you think…” noise that I have let in far too much, particularly in my younger years. This time, I am doing this for myself and I am doing it to achieve total autonomous power in my life and to test myself and the power of my mind. But I know I am powerful beyond measure and already a champion.
Game face at the ready, let’s do this. You’ve got 21 more weeks of reading to do.
MyFitnessPal username: Vixipixi
And if you’d like to know more about my coaching, contact me by phone or email!