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.

View this post on Instagram

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

A post shared by Max Lugavere (@maxlugavere) on

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.

thatsbait

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.

dumbledoreshadenoughofyourshit

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.

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.

embarassing

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.

youknowwhen

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.

You Never Know

The thing is, it could be anyone.

On Thursday, it was the person least expected who had the meltdown. It wasn’t massive, or indeed obvious, but as someone who’s now being taught to read the signs and understand what to look for… it was easy to spot. This is the scheduled reminder that one in three people will suffer from a Mental health issue at some point in their lives. Paying attention is incredibly important.

Sometimes the signs are there from an awfully long way away, and you don’t really grasp the significance of something until it is far too late. Then it becomes apparent that maybe it’s time to start watching things a little more carefully than you did before. Obsession’s a life-destroying experience, but once you work out why, so much becomes easier: knowing what is dangerous, and how you deal with it, is the key to enlightenment.

This week, self-awareness has led to some quite significant revelations.

I’m up early on a Sunday not just to write, but to reorganise some parts of my life. Yesterday was tough, despite being hugely positive: Impostor Syndrome’s a pig sometimes, and it can be easy to allow yourself to be consumed by negativity created by your own brain’s inability to grasp that yes, you can do all of this. What changed the situation around last night was something minor, but brilliant.

There was a moment just before bed when brain stopped being consumed by the worry: there is nothing you can do about other people. If they don’t like what you’re doing, that’s their problem. More significantly, if those people are attempting to derail you or make circumstances about them? It’s the same thing. It’s Narcissism, and these people are just totally and utterly not worth your time. Ignore them, and move on.

There are risks associated with a great many things in life: if you want to succeed, it’s very simple. Take the chance, move forward, overcome the danger. Do not let fear consume you. Obsessing over things that do not matter and can never be altered is a waste of everybody’s time and energy. Once you eliminate the bad shit, it really is easier for everybody moving forward.

Who knew all this psychology gubbins was worthwhile, eh?

Material Girl

This PC is many MANY years old and finally I have realised it needs replacing. As my ethical standpoint has issue with buying such things new, I’ve got a reconditioned, older machine waiting for the weekend so that things can be swapped over with the minimum of fuss. It means watching videos on my machine will become viable again, which I miss greatly. A tablet is fine, but bigger screen = WIN.

Whilst we’re waiting for the weekend to turn up, a lot of stuff seems to be causing outrage of late. Gaming companies, police forces, football crowds, awards for books… all of these have caused Outrage Culture to enter my timeline. Once it would have been easy to be Outraged, because there was a right answer and a wrong answer and never the twain would meet.

Life these days however is not so simple.

are you joking.gif

It’s never been simple, of course, and seeing the world in grey-scale is, apart from being aesthetically far more pleasing, simplest means by which everything is rationalised. However, in the last few days, something important has altered in my brain. In it’s simplest form, the process works like this:

  1. Read contentious opinion on Twitter
  2. Allow myself to knee-jerk a reaction IN PRIVATE
  3. After doing so, DO SOMETHING ELSE not related to thing that was totally engrossing my mind at Step 2
  4. Completely forget about the contentious thing whilst doing summat I enjoy/gain personal satisfaction from or is useful for someone else’s benefit AND STOP THINKING ABOUT STEP TWO COMPLETELY
  5. Return to Twitter where contention continues, apparently unabated
  6. Give a reasonable opinion based on having had time to allow personal contention a chance to dissipate

stewartdoublefingers

What’s changed since last week? Step 4 didn’t exist. I knew I was getting sad last week, that pressure from the last couple of months was not being properly dealt with. The answer normally would be to throw myself into some pettiness online, or get obsessed with the current Outrage du Jour but not any more. I’m done with allowing others the opportunity to sour my mood. This girl finally got a clue, has other was to fill her days.

It will also provide some important content for my writing blog, which is really what matters more going forward. Before that however I have to work out how to get my D Drive out of this machine and into the new one, whilst ensuring nothing important is lost during transit. I know there are tools for this, but that process always concerns me slightly until everything is working smoothly again…

I’ll appeal for luck when the time comes.