Inevitably Agile

somethings are just inevitable …

Category Archives: diet

Its all gone to hell…

Lying in the bath I pondered what I was going to write here – whether to even bother updating after the last blog post. But this is my blog on my wins and losses – and maybe it will help someone out there…

For the last 8 weeks I have been practising my exercise and diet routine really well. Even when travelling. But in the last week it went to hell. I ate takeout almost every day, have done NO exercise for 7 days. We were losing weight every week. We were loving exercising and making it easily for 4 days and occasionally 5 days a week. And then BANG. Actually there was no bang, nothing catastrophic. No big news. No flu or colds.

So lying in the bath I wondered “What the hell happened?”

Our big race is in 1 weeks time. We were on track to run it. So the short term goal post hadn’t shifted. Every Saturday we have our review. Thats still happening – but not as in depth as it was in the first 5. We were doing a fitness test and weighing in and measuring … the last 3 have just been weigh ins. Our Sprint Planning, which happens on Sundays, still happened but had become more of a “same as last week” than a conscientious planning session. So things like training & being away from home were not thought through enough and caused minor issues.

But in my bath time root cause thinking, it boiled down to one thing. We stopped retrospecting. We had 2 retrospectives and then never again. Not enough time. No immediate added benefit. Seemed like overkill. I know this stuff. blah blah blah.

And that is why we ground to a halt.

Retrospective are like vitamins. You don’t see a need right now, but they prevent flu from knocking you out. If we had been retrospecting we would have noticed the signs sooner. We would have mixed up our routine. Made more time to do activities with friends. Possibly rested more. We would have noticed how not planning properly was derailing us. Instead we noticed the small changes but didnt notice them piling up like dead weight and slowly dragging us to the bottom of the lake. We stopped inspecting and adapting. We didn’t notice the things we were doing well so that we could keep doing them. We didn’t take on small actions to improve over time.

I realised 2 important things tonight.

  • The value of retrospectives in preventing complacency.
  • The value of taking time to get to the root cause of a problem.

Now I need to get my butt back into gear!

(oh – and the value of having a scrum master not in the team, to keep you honest and doing the above! )

 

 

4 Hour Body Challenge

Friends of mine were reading this book and taking up the challenge so I thought, why not?
fourhourbody book
Tim Ferris doesn’t claim to have all the answers he is simply telling  his story and providing his results. If one of his “experiments” seemed to work then he would try it with a few other people. Most “experiments” in this book are accompanied by lots of scientific data and facts if that interests you :)
The book is structured in an interesting way, you pick the areas you want to experiment in and try for a week, then inspect and adapt.
I decided to do the diet part – which is a slow-carb diet and the exercise part.
I will commit to four weeks and then see how it working out for me ;) 

4 Hour Body Diet
There are a handful of rules – which are super duper easy. And really seem impossible at first. But google some recipes and you can totally make this work for you :)
This diet involves a lot of cooking and preparation. So be ready for that. However many of the meals can be made in advance (to a point) and frozen.
Saturday cheat days are awesome … I look forward to them ALOT.
More details on basics of diet here:
http://fourhourbody.typepad.com/four-hour-body/2010/11/the-4-slow-carb-commandments.html#more

Foods allowed/not allowed: http://4hourpeople.com/question/369/slow-carb-foods-allowed-not-allowedHere are some of the recipes that I’ve tried:

  • BEATs – awesome breakfast, can be mostly made night before, just heat bacon in morning.
  • Omelet Muffins – can be made night before. Makes 6 – I have 3 for a meal ‘portion’.
  • Omelet Loaf – an adaptation of the muffins and by far my favourite!
  • Shepard Pie – mince mix can be made in advance and frozen, 20min in oven with topping and its ready.http://www.4hourrecipes.com/recipe/4-hour-body-shepherds-pie/
  • Lamb Potjie (Stew)
  • Oxtail Stew
  • Nutty Mash – awesome with most meals to replace “starch”- brown color with nutty flavour.http://www.4hourrecipes.com/recipe/sweet-fauxtatoes/
  • Mash – as above but only use cauliflower & a can of butter beans – very white and fluffy looking.
  • Italian meatballs – can be made in advance and frozen (5 squash ball size per meal)
  • Chicken with beans & steamed veg
  • Med-Rare steak pieces with salad
  • Pork Stirfry
  • Protein Shake – quick and easy for gym mornings
  • Chicken,Brocoli & Almond Frittata – this seems a bit bland to me , is nice with 2 slices of ham added afterwards per slice. Maybe should cook it with ham and chicken.http://www.4hourrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-broccoli-almond-frittata/
  • Bolognaise Sauce – I only make the sauce in this recipe (and i switch sausage for bacon bits)http://www.4hourbodyzone.com/slow-carb-spaghetti-bolognese/
4 Hour Body Exercises
kettlebell
For week 1 and 2 I just did the basics 3 times a week:

Week 3 I upped this a bit – still 3 times a week:

Week 4 I upped this a bit – still 3 times a week:

Insights and Results so far…

  • I’m glad I’m doing this in winter … the bean meals are nice and filling and warm

    ;)

  • I think a slow cooker would be a good investment
  • I’m no longer tired at work in the afternoon
  • I’m enjoying the time spent cooking and eating
  • Red wine is lovely when enjoyed with a nice meal
  • Its really difficult to eat within 30min of waking up … I like to laze/snooze in bed (but i generally eat within 40min now)
  • The first week I lost 3kg and many cm’s. Thereafter I gained 1 kg and my weight stayed consistent for 3 weeks. I was still losing cm’s though, and my clothes were looser.
  • Drink 2L of water a day – this I only achieved on the first week – then I got lazy

    :(

Week 5 – the downfall :) 
I committed to doing this “diet” for 4 weeks. And I did. I saw results. I enjoyed the meals.
But this week – week 5 – I am taking off. I am eating what ever I want, and suprisingly that is not as much “cheating” as I thought it would be.

Week 6 – back on diet & exercise plan from week 4.
The last week of eating anything and lots of take aways was fun but definitely overrated. It was awesome to get back onto the diet. I am a little less strict now, so birthdays etc I share a slice of cake, but otherwise I am 100% back on the diet.

I will do another update with some measurements in about a month :)

Recipe – Omelet Loaf

Note: makes enough for 6 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 eggs
  • 250g cooked bacon bits
  • 1 cup diced vegetables (courgettes, carrots, red pepper, spring onion)
  • some salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp red pesto sauce (or any other spicy sauce for flavour)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 160C. Lightly grease silicon loaf tray (I use macadamia oil).
  2. In a bowl, beat the eggs. Add meat, vegetables, salt, ground pepper, and any other ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. Bake for around 30-40 minutes until a knife inserted into the center of loaf comes out almost clean.
  4. I usually cool, cut into 6 slices, then wrap in foil and leave in the fridge for easy munching in the morning.

Feedback on diet change

A little bit of feedback 🙂

The lunch time “bigger” meal is working out brilliantly for me. I’m a little sad that I only started trying this out so late in my life! I don’t feel sluggish in the afternoon at all – quite the opposite in fact, where I used to have a sugar dip around 3pm and find some chocolates or crisps – I’m now awake, alert and full :). I have a snack at night – which is great as its generally quick and easy to prepare – so no temptation to order take-aways. Also my shopping is way easier and MUCH cheaper as I don’t have to worry about big meals! Ok the saved money goes into paying for lunch but its definitely worth it. I am keeping a food diary on google docs and making notes about how i feel at certain times. It is helping in highlighting “problem” times – like how when I skip a fruit ‘meal’ I usually end up having a chocolate an hour later…

I haven’t really had any alcohol for just over a month now (I know there was a Savannah in there somewhere). I thought it would be more difficult not drinking with friends – but it isn’t. I don’t feel like having a drink at all – a bit odd really, but not complaining. I like not wanting to have a drink in my hand, and not needing to have a drink to enjoy a social situation. I also find I’m drinking much more water – but I think this is more due to the fact that my new workplace has water coolers dotted around 🙂

I haven’t lost any weight (yet!) but as I cancelled 2 personal training sessions this week that is not surprising. I’m letting my leg rest so that the ITB thingy can get better. I don’t want anything to affect my running 🙂 I am going to the first running session this afternoon though, but then will ice and rest the leg again all weekend.

The ongoing struggle with food

I love food. I love the taste, the smell, the cheery happy feeling I get before, during and after. And I’m not all that fussy – I like almost everything (ok – not tripe, and I’m not a huge sushi fan). Since I hit the 30 mark food has become a big problem … the weight is just piling on. Hence the exercise and motivation to become fit and healthy. I don’t want to become a salad rabbit person – I want to eat what I want (and hence need to exercise ALOT). And here is the problem … I figured going from no exercise to twice a week was a lot (that was 2 years ago) – it might have been a lot but it wasn’t enough. So then I moved to exercise 3 times a week … its enough to maintain my current weight but not too lose any. From next week it will be 6 exercise sessions a week!! I don’t care what you say – that is A LOT – and it had better translate to weight being lost 🙂

I’ve also decided to swop around my main meal time and see how this affects my energy levels during the day. I will try this out until next Friday at least 🙂 My new office has a canteen, so at lunch time I will have my previously known as supper meal, and before and after I will have small snacks. I struggled with this today – it feels weird having a big meal at lunch time.

So the plan is:

  • around 530am: coffee before workout (if I have nothing I feel asleep, if I eat I feel like throwing up)
  • around 8am: snack (usually muesli with fat free yogurt)
  • around 10am: snack (fruit – cherries/apple/peach/banana?)
  • around 1230am: lunch at canteen (depends what is on the menu?)
  • around 3pm: snack (fruit – cherries/apple/peach/banana?)
  • around 730pm: snack after workout (fruit?)

I’m sure this isn’t 100% perfect and will need some adjusting depending on how tough the exercise sessions are. And of course weekends will be very different, though usually the bigger meal is a late lunch then (mmm never thought of that before).

This is my blog for me to learn from what I do and be able to retrospect back on how I did things – so I’ve made a new sub-category of fitness called diet for this type of post 🙂