Month 2 alcohol-free started last week and I still feel no change. The scales have stayed stationary but my clothes continue to grow looser so I am getting smaller and that for me is a win! But in the interest of individual science, self-experimentation and information sharing, I will begin to weigh myself daily to illustrate the fluctuations. I will also hunt down that tape measure and illustrate the centimetres lost. I even watched rugby and went to a concert with people who were drinking and it didn’t bother me one bit.
Another alcohol-free win is that it has created a huge topic of conversation as I am consistently asked how I do it, why I do it and more specifically if I don’t get hangovers anyway and I don’t feel any differently why do I continue? The answer is very simple and straightforward – commitment. I made a commitment to myself and one of my greatest values in life is to keep my word. This often sees me doing things I don’t want to do because I gave my word. However, in the case of giving up alcohol (for at least 3 months), I have honoured my commitment to myself and I have taken self-care into consideration and that is how you show love to yourself. You show your subconscious brain that you care as much about yourself as you do others and that the opinions of others do not matter as much as your opinion of yourself. Contentious I know, since when I was growing up “she loves herself” was used as an insult. Imagine how much more insulting and harmful it must be to your subconscious to show it behaviours that do not illustrate your love for self.
Slow Progress is still Progress
The blood test results came back from the doctor with no concerns or all clear, which is a surprise given that I continue to feel dizzy, lightheaded, have headaches and suffer total fatigue at around 14:30. I am so grateful I don’t have to be in an office as I don’t know what that would look like at 15:00 when I can no longer keep my eyes open. So the tests will need to continue. Since he didn’t actually tell me what he tested for, I don’t know where to start the enquiries. Unsurprisingly, I feel a little like a turtle out of water this week. Perhaps I need to put the turtle back in the water, I haven’t been swimming since I finished my Aspire Channel Swim in January.
I decided to wait until month 2 to make changes to my diet because I think too much change at once is counterproductive and leads simply to failure. Bear in mind that I am already pretty strict with my eating, I don’t drink sodas, I eat (I LOVE) vegetables especially of the green leafy variety, I actually prefer wholemeal or brown grains and I tend towards healthier fats and always choose Fairtrade, organic, ethically farmed produce. I do not take any gym supplements and I supplement my Iron, Vitamin B-complex, Vitamin C, Magnesium & Calcium, Vitamin D and additionally take ZMAs at bedtime. I have changed one sausage (of two) in a meal to Linda McCartney’s Vegan variety (Red Onion and Rosemary – it is delicious even if it does look quite suspect). There isn’t that much to change so I do struggle with doctors who provide blanket advice of “change your diet” – “uh ok genius, but you don’t even know what I eat”.
To date, my training has been about full recovery and rebuilding lost strength and potential inconsistencies in balance and ratios. Kam and I are now moving into deeper conditioning and speed. All of which is needed for injury free martial arts. Training for conditioning and speed sits within the range of 67-85% of your maximum single lift ability, so I expect a lot of really hard work ahead but I am very excited to see the results. Please be warned, I have been weight training under supervision for 6 years, so some of these exercises are considered to be on the advanced to extremely advanced side. I have also suffered sufficient injuries to have a Rehab Specialist, Osteopath, Sports Massage Therapist, Chiropractor and Orthopaedic Surgeon on my speed dial, please always take weightlifting seriously.
My Heavy Weights Sessions this week were:
Ascending Half Pyramid with Forced Reps – Reverse Lunges (Hamstrings and Glutes) Pattern: 12 reps, 30 seconds rest; 10 reps, 45 seconds rest; 8 reps, 60 seconds rest; 6 reps, 1 minute 40 seconds rest; 4 reps 1 minute 40 seconds rest; 2 reps 2 minutes rest; 1 Rep) Pace: 3/ 1/ 1 (Extend, Hold, Retract or Eccentric/ Isometric/ Concentric) (NOT recommended for beginners)
10 x Unilateral Row with Barbell Lever straight (left then right) straight into
10 x Unilateral Barbell Lever Shoulder Thrust with Squat Rest: 1 minute 30 seconds, repeat 5 times
Stretch Lats, Legs and Plantar Fascia on PowerPlate.
Ascending Half Pyramid – warm-up Starting Load max reps, next set increase load and decrease reps. Rest. Continue until fatigue. Purpose: Strength and endurance
Forced Reps – taking exercise to failure, then receiving just enough assistance from Spotter to allow completion of two to four more reps. Purpose: Strength (Do not use if you are a beginner or training alone)
Join me next week as I share my experiences of Conditioning training, provided of course my spleen hasn’t fallen out. Feel free to like, comment and share, just use the buttons below.