kirkor

2017 Whole9 WholeYear (3rd Annual)

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I've been doing a meditation course on anxiety (on Headspace) and I'm going to continue with that, as it's helpful. All of my stress is internal - my job is not taxing at all, I love living in South Africa, and I have a ready made group of friends. But I get all up in my own head about things - Overthinking 101! I do like the idea of writing things done to either make a plan or acknowledge that they're non-issues.

I also had a slump in motivation and didn't go to the gym for a few weeks and haven't been eating all that well, but fresh slate today and feel much better already.

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So how's the stress stuff going for eveyone? Mine is much better now that tax stuff is behind me. Weather has been wonderful for getting outside and checking a few things off my list. Currently doing another roind of whole30. After reintros in Feb., felt I really needed another round, possibly a 45 or 60. Started out in March then some thongs happened that derailed me. I ended up just doing a tracker to monitor my compliant days and hit about 60% for the month. My goal is to get a grip on the emotional eating issues I have and hitting an 80-90% whole me. I've really learned alot this year so far and am noticing some mental changes for the good!

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April is the most stressful month of the year for me since it's the run-up to end of semester performances and finals, and I'm in charge of most of that. I have some things taking the stress off of me, and next week will be the last week I'm working such long hours, so that's good. It's not an overnight change, but rather a big set of life changes that will take me about two years - I'm eight months in, and just starting to see results. But the stress level is really much better than I would expect considering what I'm dealing with at work, and I'm looking ahead to things being much better - so that's all good.

 

I'm still Whole30ing, every month with a one-day break. I'm also doing something I haven't done ever before, which is to come up with alternatives for The Things I Want To Eat instead Of Whole30ing. I really do immeasurably better, health-wise, when I eat according to Whole30 rules almost all of the time (and I mean 99% of the time - if I drop that down to 90% it starts to slip). I don't believe that's true for everyone, or even most people, but for me, I realize the Whole30 rules are extremely helpful for my ongoing health issues. So, for instance, I'm trying to find a way to completely replace my beloved decaf mochas. The sugar in those things is brutal on me these days. I learned to make cold brew coffee and added some almond milk, and it's a good regular substitute, plus it's really rich so I'm not inclined to drink a large amount or drink it daily. (I also can't stand almond milk on its own, so I'm not tempted to overindulge on the stuff). That's one substitution down, and if I drink one of those per week it scratches that mocha itch, then I can probably withstand one actual mocha per half-year or so.

This is where my thought process is taking me. All about reducing stress in one way or another, but no immediate solution for long-standing issues - just a gradual life change. It's all going better than I had imagined it might, though.

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April isn't going to bad for me. I had a few days away with my kids which we spent out doors, all day, every day, until the sun went down & then we ate together, and talked together until we were all done & then & ONLY then were the screens allowed to make an appearance.

Work wise I knuckled down and cleared a back log of work before we closed for the Easter break, which means I'll only be dealing with the current stuff when I start back on Monday, plus some lingering EOY stuff - but with everything else up to date I won't be feeling the same pressure at leaving anything else aside.

Food-wise I'm not stressed at all. I don't really recall the last time I felt stressed about food. What I eat is of my choosing and I feel no guilt surrounding any of those choices because they are based on knowledge of the consequences. No guilt = no stress.

I'm also feeling less stressed about training - and I am CERTAIN this is because of the new gym. I don;t have to invest ANY time, thought or energy in to figuring out what I'm going to do on any given day. I turn up, do what I'm told, sweat A LOT, huff, puff & complain with the rest of them occasionally, and go home. There has not been a single session where I haven't felt it (in a good way) the next day and since I'm seeing results - improvements in strength & flexibility for starters - it completes removes any residue stress I might have about whether or not I'm doing 'enough' - and on the days were I'm not at the gym I am walking, and loving it. Walking is my time to think, or my time to switch off depending on my mood - and it LIFTS my  mood - so it's all good.

One other less thing I have to stress about - I FINALLY got around to sitting my final exam for my certification as a Nutritionist and passed with a distinction!! I was doing a crazy amount of stressing about missing scheduled study sessions when a social event came up, or being late with assignments when life happened, or just generally losing my momentum; but now it's done, and I'm relieved & thankful & excited all at once. So to replace that stress, having already done the foundation level in Sports Nutrition I've enrolled for a certification in that too. That said, whilst I think the certification will be good to have it's not really the direction I'd like to go - I'm thinking more of specializing in holistic nutrition and treating deficiencies & auto-immune disease, eating & mental disorders, and type 2 diabetes with food - but I need to source an accredited provider for that type of thing.

So, when is personal growth month again? :lol:

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Everyone seems to be rocking the stress reduction this month!

Personally, my anxiety seems to be pretty good right now - which I attribute not to anything I have done, but just to things in general going well. I do need to be consistent with the Headspace meditation, that's one thing I'm letting myself down over. 

Had a long weekend away with friends in the most beautiful part of SA (the Drakensberg is amazing, if you ever get the chance to visit), where we chilled and hiked and drank wine.

I do need to make a decision before tomorrow about whether to continue with Spanish classes - we had 2 weeks off for Easter break, and then I missed classes last week. Honestly, the classes make me quite anxious as I'm so terrible at it, but I know I won't improve if I don't go... It's a pickle! I hadn't actually realised how stressed the classes made me until last Thursday when I had seriously elevated heart rate while considering whether to go or not (and it's not like it's a serious class or anything, the teacher is pretty chill).

Food is...fine, actually. Haven't been paying that much attention, to be honest, but with stress levels down, emotional eating is obviously going to be down as well. I could probably stand to clean it up in May though - we have another long weekend coming up where I'll be out and about with friends a lot, as well as going to a concert, and then I'm going to Malawi for a week for work (it's rough, I tell you!), but I might plan a Whole 10 or 14 after that (the boyfriend is going away for a week, so that will be a good opportunity - he doesn't eat terribly, but we do tend to eat out quite a bit and meet up with friends for drinks etc).

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Our focus for May is "Training and Healthy Movement"

Training could be full-on exercise like weight training (good list here: http://whole9life.com/2013/04/the-whole9-five-movements-series-part-1-2/) and elliptical machines.  Could be training for a race.  Could be sport-specific stuff like rock climbing or jiu jitsu.

Healthy movement could be yoga, tai chi, or stretching.  Could be hiking or walking along the beach. Could also be taking the stairs instead of the escalator, or parking further away in a parking lot on purpose.

Anybody use a Fitbit to monitor daily steps or other metrics?

I've started running stairs again, and lifting weights as well.  Been since October when I had the car wreck, and it's crazy how capacity diminishes if you don't maintain it.

 

KkIrNwh.jpg

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Oh good - this is a great focus for me this month! As of May 8 I'm done with my semester, and not a microsecond too soon I assure you.

My training focus will be my voice - it's time to bring it back out of oblivion, where it has sat in mothballs all semester.

My healthy movement focus will be walking every day.

My longer term goal is to really become dancer-style fit, but this will take time, and May is a good time to make a start.

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Training & Healthy Movement...

Well, as I mentioned before I changed gym a few months back, and since it's a small private gym our Coach is quick to get in touch if we haven't been there in a while (and there's no slacking once you get there), but since the fees are considerably higher than my old place I haven't missed a session yet so I'm good there.

I've been making a point of getting out walking every lunch time since I started back to work after Christmas and I've been loving the effect that that has been having on my energy levels & mood throughout  the day - and on my sleep - so I'll be keeping that up.

This month my focus is going to be on hiking. I live so close to so many Mountains that as the weather picks up (it's been fab for the past few days) I'm hoping to get out to hike a few at the weekends. The results of the school placements for my youngest son will be announced at the end of May so the plan is to hike the highest of the Mournes (Slieve Donard) that day, and to stay over in the area that night. Ideally I'd like to have done a few of the lower peaks first though!

My youngest and I both have fitbits. We were gifted them at Christmas and it's been a great little motivator for him to get moving more. I've quite a few friends who also have them, so I've added him onto the Friend's list and we both get invited to take part in various challenges. Being desk bound I have to make a real effort to reach my step goal each day, but I don't stress about it, and I don't use it to track weight/calories burned/sleep or anything else really. Steps & distance - but more so I can encourage him to move too. Now if only I could encourage the eldest to move at least a little, although I think he might need some kind of Pavlok that detects YouTube usage set at high, rather than a fitbit! :lol:

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My training and healthy movement goal for May is threefold:

  1. Attend my 3 crossfit classes per week (I've been all over the shop the past month, usually only attending 2)
  2. Run or hike every weekend - I prefer to hike, but parkrun can be fun too and now that my colleague is back from Australia we'll start doing it regularly together. My boyfriend wants to do a trail run series in June/July - he'll be doing the long course, he's suggested I can do the 5km and just hike it if I want, so I of course have to show him what's what!
  3. Start wearing my watch that has the step counter - I know many days I walk from the car to the office and back and that's it!

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Looking at a weight bench from Craigslist today!  I have a rack but have just been benching from the floor like this:

o69mP6e.jpg

It's ok but it will be nice to have a real bench.

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Did you get the bench, Kirkor? Doesn't benching from the floor really limit the range of motion? 

I've decided to start a Whole 30 today - I've been having almost daily headaches of late, and my PMS this month was off the charts (honestly, if my boobs were any bigger right now it would be a catastrophe!), so a nice little reset is just what is called for, alongside the increased incidental activity. I'm hoping to be able to get through the weekend without having to explain to the boyfriend what's going on - does anyone else feel embarrassed about doing a whole 30, or is it just me? - and then he's away the following weekend, and after that I'll be on the home stretch so much easier to both explain it and stick to it. 

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Passed on the bench -- it was too small; as in, my head hung off the back!  And I'm not tall, so this was just like a little baby bench.
re: floor press & ROM, ya, the ROM is less, but how much less kinda depends on each person's physiology in terms of where their elbows hit the floor relative to the angle of their shoulders.  Also, even with a shorter ROM you're still starting from below the normal "sticking point" of a flat bench press and then getting to go to full lockout.  That, combined with the fact that there's no potential for bouncing off one's chest, or ability to use leg drive to assist, means there's less tradeoff for strength than it might first seem.

8 hours ago, GoJo09 said:

does anyone else feel embarrassed about doing a whole 30, or is it just me?

Embarrassed how?  I suppose it would depend on what your reasons were for doing one.  I can imagine what you mean in certain contexts -- like, someone could say, c'mon, you need a program from the internet to tell you not to eat a chocolate bar??

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Hmmm, how to describe it, maybe embarrassment isn't the right word... This isn't really anything to do with my boyfriend, I just don't like having to discuss my dietary choices with anyone ever, and it's kind of hard to avoid it with Whole 30 as there are soooo many exclusions. And that just gives people an opening to comment on it. And of course, everyone assumes that you're doing it to lose weight (possibly not so much when you're male?), so they think that gives them leave to comment on your weight (which generally causes me to binge eat)... My reasons are pretty solid, but I still don't want to discuss it.

To be honest, my boyfriend probably won't even notice - we only see each other on weekends and he's not the most observant of fellows - if I just say that we're going to stay in and I'm cooking, and can he please leave the oats out of my green smoothie (which, yes, I know, not ideal, but they're 80% vege and if I cook up some eggs to go with it it's a pretty good meal). 

 

Honestly @kirkor, if you can't get your hips and your head on a bench, it's not really a bench it's a stool!

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Well, I don't need to worry about explaining the Whole 30 to my boyfriend as he dumped me yesterday. As you can imagine, my mood's not good right now, and then I made the mistake of reading the news (from any country, it really doesn't matter, it's all sh!t) and that's just made me think "What is the point of it all?". Debbie Downer over here!

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I'm so sorry,  Gojo! Go easy on yourself.  And don't look at the news. The various political dumpster fires will still be there when you're ready.

Sending all good thoughts your way. 

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7 hours ago, GoJo09 said:

Well, I don't need to worry about explaining the Whole 30 to my boyfriend as he dumped me yesterday. As you can imagine, my mood's not good right now, and then I made the mistake of reading the news (from any country, it really doesn't matter, it's all sh!t) and that's just made me think "What is the point of it all?". Debbie Downer over here!

Aw, I'm so sorry! You (probably) feel poopy right now but please know that you are a worthy, beautiful, strong woman! 

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Thanks, ladies. Yes feeling pretty rubbish over here. I'm very glad I started this Whole 30 before it happened - it's stopped me from drowning my feelings in gin and chocolate and actually feeling them. And also the added benefit that I'll come out the other side without 2kg of chocolate on my thighs! 

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Glad you posted - just know that though I'm half a world away from you and will probably never meet you in person, I've had you in my thoughts. Sending lots of good thoughts your way. And I'll be joining you on a Whole30! I've been doing successive Whole30s with a day or two break between, and I'm starting again tomorrow. Though I haven't gone through a breakup, I've had enough stress and unpleasantness to face in the past months that I, too, find the Whole30's structure helpful in dealing with all of the ick.

One day at a time, eh? :wub:

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On 19/05/2017 at 7:32 AM, GoJo09 said:

boyfriend

Ugh. Crap. Sorry to hear that... But... and I know this is not what you want to hear right now - the fact that you were apprehensive about telling him about your Whole30 makes me think that maybe he wasn't the best person out there for you anyways.... You should be with someone you're totally comfortable with - if life has taught me anything it's that a woman should be two things - WHO and WHAT she wants ;)

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On 5/21/2017 at 9:32 AM, jmcbn said:

Ugh. Crap. Sorry to hear that... But... and I know this is not what you want to hear right now - the fact that you were apprehensive about telling him about your Whole30 makes me think that maybe he wasn't the best person out there for you anyways.... You should be with someone you're totally comfortable with - if life has taught me anything it's that a woman should be two things - WHO and WHAT she wants ;)

Nah, I think the Whole30 thing was just me being me :). Anywho...

I'm trying to get a group of people from Crossfit to sign up for a warrior race in September - I wanted something to train for and focus on - a bunch of my friends back home just did an ultra trail marathon (50km through the mountains!!) and I was toying with that before I remembered that a) I don't have anyone to train with, and b) my body doesn't respond well to that much running (I get really puffy all over), so a 15km obstacle course trail run seemed like a perfect combo of crossfit strength and trail running with a whole bunch of fun thrown in. Here's hoping I can get at least 1 person to do it with me! Anyone done one of these before? I know they're all the rage in Australia the past few years, but I never actually did one.

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Just got in from a 60 minute jog with the ol' Polar chest strap --- kept my heartrate at 135-140 bpm.  This kind of cardio is good for increasing stroke volume without thickening the heart muscle itself.

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4 hours ago, kirkor said:

Just got in from a 60 minute jog with the ol' Polar chest strap --- kept my heartrate at 135-140 bpm.  This kind of cardio is good for increasing stroke volume without thickening the heart muscle itself.

What?! I don't think "stroke" and "heartrate" and consider it positive. I assume I'm missing something. :lol:

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