Imagination

Planning is everything, they say. All of us who wear these belts are in a social group together, via the proprietary app. Yesterday morning the class trainer took part in the 45 minute version, managing to pull up an impressive 30 minutes in red. Seeing this was hugely helpful: it meant there was potential to run well. I also fuelled with some intent, meeting protein goal at lunchtime, in one hit.

We’ve spoken about aerobic threshold before, last night was all about managing the anaerobic threshold: normally 85% of heart-rate or 75% oxygen intake. Going too far into yellow is tricky for me, because exhaustion has pretty much followed whenever it’s happened. However, stamina training which the last few weeks represents gave me an interesting plateau to run in, and I didn’t stop to ‘recover’ between transitions.

I was exercising before each new round of exercise was supposed to start, so heart-rate did not drop. This ended up not as a HIIT class, but an exercise in endurance. However, form dropped significantly, especially at the end, and if I tried to duplicate this as a run I severely doubt 42 minutes would be doable. What it does show however is that with the right conditions, I’m in a new place.

Question is, can I prove this to confirm that is in fact the case…?

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Not gonna lie, I’m tired this morning, in a way that means a nap will be scheduled later in the day. This is a new and interesting World I find myself within, and potential is not going to be squandered. Day 15’s cross on the back of my shirt for RED January will not just signify almost halfway in my journey, but will serve as the testament to not only hard work, but sticking to a healthy diet.

All this shit really does work when you put it together.

Down Down

Undoubtedly, exercising every day is a contributing factor to this change. However, it is not the only way I am losing weight. There is some quite diligent calorie counting going on, which is making a real difference not only to my mood, but also to energy levels. It’s taken since October however to get to this stage. Three months. If you are lucky enough to be able to shift a pound a week, I salute you. 

We need to talk about calories for a bit.

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Double tap if you LOVE to feel good without the stress 🔥 . Calorie counting can be a useful on a few occasions, like if your diet is full of confusing calorically-dense processed foods, if you genuinely don't have a sense of the energy content of food and are trying to educate yourself, or you're counting to push past a weight loss plateau and have stalled. . One problem is that calorie counts on labels can be misleading. Some of those calories are not fully digested (1), while the energy estimation itself can be off. Legally, labels can have a high margin of error—up to 20 percent—for the stated value versus actual value. That means a 100-calorie snack could contain up to 120 calories, and your attempt at a 1500 calorie day could actually mean 1800 calories! . I propose a better alternative. Real food. Intuition. 😍 . On the right, I have a satiating meal of cauliflower, sweet potato, eggs, and cucumbers, which is not only going to be less calorie dense, but more satiating due to the higher amounts of fiber, water, and protein found within, as compared to the bagel with cream cheese on the right. I don't add a lot of extra oils and fats, save for a nice splash of EVOO for both flavor and health. 🤤 . The amount of calories on each side is actually nearly identical, but notice how much more volume is in the meal on the right side! . Hall et al. recently showed that when we stick to unprocessed foods, we are more inclined to eat to our maintenance calorie intake naturally, or even encourage a deficit (holla, weight loss!), whereas ultra-processed foods are highly palatable and naturally promote weight gain. (2) . Refs: 1: https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/138/9/1741S/4750849 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22760558 2: https://osf.io/preprints/nutrixiv/w3zh2 . Happy Thursday. ❤️ Max • • • • • #iifym #flexibledieting #nutrition #macros #protein #calories #caloriecounting #cleaneating #gains #weightloss #mincir #fitfood #perdredupoids #myfitnesspal #mfp #instafit #healthyfood #physique #healthyeating #shredded #maigrir #pertedepoids #wellness #instaregime #reequilibragealimentaire #iifymgirls #plantbased #muscle #abs #healthylifestyle

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I appreciate the sentiments in this Instagram post. It is all basic education: ultra processed foods are bad, eating simply beats just about everything. However, certainly for someone like me, eating nothing but ‘real’ food is the number one, sure fire way of me ending up bingeing. In simplest terms, I need some processed stuff from time to time. The bigger trick is how that’s balanced, and this is why calorific value needs to matter.

I count myself in the ‘weight loss has stalled’ category because it did. Past tense. Now that issue is being addressed, switching to what might be considered ‘real’ food in this definition has potential to send me right back to where I started. The discipline of having to work to a specific target is, like it or not, really quite beneficial to keep everything on the straight and narrow. Also, smart people don’t need a calculator to do calories.

We have apps for that.

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Protein shakes have been hugely helpful to maintain strength gains and restrict calorific intake. There are more vegetables and fruit, lean meat, more experimentation with what is enjoyable, but undoubtedly there are days when all I mentally can handle is picking up a packet from a shelf and sticking it in an oven. Then life becomes an Instagram post where I’d shove the real food on the left and a ready meal on the right with the caption ‘You can still be healthy without being righteous.’

There is too much preaching to the gallery going on right now. There are so many ways to get fit and healthy, and none of them are the ‘right’ way, they’re all part of the same game plan. Telling people you’re way is the only way isn’t just dangerous, it’s damaging because this isn’t about someone just doing what they’re told to be healthier. This is about opening your own mind and accepting the understanding that has to happen.

If you don’t grasp the consequences of not getting healthy, nothing will ever work.

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I got a very useful, inescapable wakeup call late last year. I might look healthy on the outside, but inside that was anything but the truth. When I go back to the Doctors in a fortnight it is with the knowledge that yes, my mentality finally changed. Just exercising is not enough. There needs to be a fundamental understanding not just of the outside of your body, but the inside too. Unless they’re BOTH fit, you are fooling yourself.

If it really matters, calorie counting is a good start. Seeing a doctor and checking your cholesterol levels is also worthwhile. You know that shit they tell you that before starting any new health regime you should do just that? It is. Go talk to someone who knows what’s going on inside you whilst you sort the outside stuff. If there’s one thing to do for yourself this year, it should be that.

Then, you can work out what will be best for YOU to get healthier.

No Time to Die

It has potential, certainly. My daughter has her album on repeat, right now. Knowing how much this young women detests objectification, I look forward to seeing the video…

She would not have been my first choice, however.

Maybe when you reboot it, AGAIN. :D

[Still think it should go to TV…]

Good Enough

You and I both know how this works: the rando who pops up from someone else’s Followers when that pithy Tweet you were quite proud of gets retweeted and HATES YOU. You’re just WRONG and that’s the end of it. Forget reasonable discourse, it’s never happening, and the least you can hope for is to escape without being dogpiled. The answer is simple: block. Don’t discuss it in committee, press the button and admit defeat.

Except, more and more, I block people who unfollow me, so if they want to come back they’ll need to make another account. This might seem a bit severe, but it really isn’t. That whole ‘Twitter appears to have unfollowed you’ bug never existed, but the force-unfollow is one of the oldest tricks in any pro Tweeting arsenal. Some people you keep on the list but mute for a quiet life. We all know the rules.

If you don’t want to listen now, I doubt you’ll ever want to listen at all.

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The block also means that if someone changes their account name, you’re still blocking them regardless, which is really useful for those creepy dudes who just say they’re mates when in reality they’re pretending you’re in a relationship with them. These are the perils of modern living, of course, where at least a working knowledge of basic psychology is required in order to make it through a working day unscathed.

Occasionally, a fight is worth your time, but it is an awful lot to do with knowing who’s potentially receptive or not. I’ve garnered a fair few follows from that kind of initial interaction, but now would certainly never use it as a means to make myself known. There are easier and less stressful ways and means to find friends than to poke them with virtual pointy sticks. The days of liking a good scrap are a memory.

Not distant yet, but certainly getting there.

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There are better things to do with my time now, that much is apparent. A confidence is emerging that doesn’t need me to use social media as much as was previously the case. Sure, it’s still fun to dip in and out of, but I should never be beholden to the faceless. The only way true, lasting progress is made is when I’m able to feel confident that what’s being done is the right path to walk, and right now it so totally is.

Block, and admit defeat.

Relax

And Lo, it was Sunday.

Honestly, this is a very strange headspace right now. Last night’s dreams were full on 100% Guilt Edged Wish Fulfilment Exercises. I cycled for nearly an hour last night, at levels that are now close to where body was fitness wise two years ago. There are undeniable signs of body-wide fat loss. Is it really possible that all of this has come as a result of daily, focussed exercise?

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Yes, it is. No mystical teas, or diets, or ridiculous new age flim flam. Fucking hard slog, every day, so that twelve days feels like about three months, if truth be told. First breakthrough was Thursday, only because it then became apparent my brain had got the memo that sleeping longer because I’m knackered will have unexpected fringe benefits. Last night’s dreams are absolutely the product of a well-fuelled imagination.

This is the point I wanted to be post Mslexicon, if truth be told. However, I wasn’t physically fit enough. Now that’s being addressed, everything else appears to be falling into place. Parts of me are still scared, of course: that’s only to be expected. New things are frightening. However, if you do them long enough, and try and learn about yourself whilst that happens, you have more than enough to help combat inability.

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That means this is quite enough time sitting in front of a computer. I wanna try and run further than has ever been managed. There’s a fairly significant application form to be filled in before bedtime. Then, as washing clothes is no longer a national emergency, I could have some time to archive old work and start on some new things. However, nothing takes place until I move.

Moving is the best thing.

Listen To What The Man Said

Yesterday, I took a misstep. It’s done now, no going back on it. The trick, of course, is not to pick at that spot and make it worse, but simply to leave things as they are for a while. You can always tell when you’ve really fucked up on the Internet, of course. I can remember being convinced once that someone whom I really wanted to meet because they lived reasonably local, moved house to avoid me.

If they’d really hated me I’d have been blocked and ignored. Instead, in time, I ended up with the realisation that their interests and mine would never have actually meshed at all. Perhaps I try too hard at internet friendships, I dunno. When you just wanna be nice to everybody and some people only want the sound of their own voices, or to live in a particular decade or mindset…

It’s tough doing this grown-up stuff, innit.

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Talking of which, I need to update the Just Giving page with my daily workouts. Tonight, I think, will be Zwift, which ought to factor in more daily than it does. Some interesting things are happening with the app, including running tracks, which I ought to investigate with my watch. Can I use the Garmin to virtually run? There’s a Google search for when I’ve sorted myself out.

However, the most exciting thing by far to be happening today is the man coming to replace our washing machine. Then, the most important thing I have to do is to register that with the manufacturer for an extended warranty because when it goes wrong (and it will) I do not want to discover that doofus brain here didn’t do that with the last one meaning it would cost more to get the damn thing fixed than it cost.

Like I said, grown-up stuff is hard.

Think

Following on from Wednesday’s ‘it’s not them, it’s you’ discussion, yesterday’s Twitter flashpoint became frustrating beyond belief, finally resulting in me having to sit on my hands for most of the afternoon. The details, of course, are irrelevant to everybody but the person who, ultimately, decided to make everything about them whilst completely missing the point of the discussion.

We really, REALLY need to have some rules about what is acceptable behaviour when people are critical of something you are involved in. Individual interpretation is unique. It does not represent ‘all experiences’ and when someone is trying to make a larger, more important point, assuming they’ve had a dig at you along the way when that absolutely didn’t happen isn’t just churlish, it’s potentially dangerous.

You’re not brave any more, but ignorant.

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Spending an entire month trying to encourage discussion on mental health has pulled up some very interesting debate: the most important part of which, undoubtedly, being how to react when other people opine. Overcoming shortcomings in your head will end up colouring EVERYTHING that you hear and see: trust me on this. However capable you might feel, it’s incredibly easy to be derailed.

That’s happened two nights in a row for me at Blaze class: on both occasions, there’s been a board of entirely red heart rate monitors, except mine. Being different is okay when nobody can see that difference close up, but once it ends up being splashed across multiple TV screens for an entire room to see? It is really hard to ignore the truth. Then it isn’t about other people being nice to you. It’s you, reality that need to be addressed.

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I know why those red numbers don’t happen. All the really sound, based in science, nothing I can actually fix right now issues sit in my head, clearly defined. I also grasp what needs to take place to make them happen. That’s a task that’s being chipped away at, day at a time. Doing it in public has a useful, constructive consequence. Maybe people will be able to identify with the issue and feel affinity.

The last thing I’d ever do in these situations is engage with people who I feel don’t understand or grasp what I’m going through. It’s really, really easy to make the assumption that people will attack you for being different, and in the modern world it’s almost become a badge of honour. I was brave enough to speak out and then nasty people trolled me. Except, more and more, that’s really not the case.

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Having different ethical ideas to someone else is not an attack. Pointing out your experience will rarely be unique is not abusive either. Using you as an example in a wider issue does not mean that person is trolling you: this is a public platform. I see that Twitter this week will be rolling out tools to allow you to decide who gets to reply to your tweets: soon, if all that matters is saying stuff without being challenged, there’ll be a setting for that.

Of course it’s meant for people who just want to post their news without a bazillion troll accounts hanging onto the tweet for traction. It’ll undoubtedly be used by people who just want to be seen, and never challenged, and this is the bigger problem. Discussion means people are allowed to have an opinion and say it, even if you don’t like it. If you choose to interpret a civil discussion as a personal attack on the state or existence of your backbone?

That’s still your problem to solve and not anyone else’s to care about.

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There are too many fragile egos on Social media… far, FAR too many people who don’t get that to survive long term, you will require mental strength. If you sign up to be famous, it comes now with responsibilities and caveats, and those in turn have important mental health implications. There’s a lot of people doing great work on these, across the wider spheres of the internet. Seek these people out, they will educate you.

I keep seeing other people interpreting ‘speaking out’ over mental health issues as bravery. It isn’t, simply an essential part of the process to help yourself get better. Admitting you have the issue in public means it won’t go away. It also means, inevitably, you will be criticised. There will be backlash. Ignorant people will not understand, but others will want to have a discussion.

The LAST THING you want to do is then decide that nobody gets to talk about your issues. If you are prepared to go public, that means you’re also prepared to deal with the consequences. This is how life works. If there’s not a willingness to stand by the courage of your convictions, then why bother saying it in the first place? If you won’t use these experiences to fuel your own evolution, what really is the point?

These are the consequences of your own actions.