90 Day Challenge…Week 3 complete…Torture Techniques!

So, week 3…I’m glad to see the back of you! It was by far the worst week I have had on this plan! I was demotivated and grumpy all week and generally struggled to keep myself on track. I didn’t break the cycle, I kept going but it took all my strength to not say “Screw this! I’m going to the takeaway and binning off the gym tonight”. I’m glad that I’m writing this blog to show my success!

As you will all be aware by now about how this cycle works…eat low carbohydrate meals twice a day, go and do some High Intensity Interval Training and eat one carbohydrate meal. It becomes a boring and repetitive routine of eating the same things day in day out. It gets boring, this exercise however, doesn’t!

The exercises that I have been doing are; evening treadmill sprints and rowing circuits on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings whilst doing online HIIT circuits on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Saturdays and Sundays are my days off training but I still have to eat low carbohydrate meals (no fun meals) for every meal on a weekend…contrary to what one of my colleagues seems to think, there is no day off! This blog should set the record straight…discipline is getting up every morning and defeating the challenges the world throws at you whilst maintaining a strong mindset to go again tomorrow and the next day!

So, why was week 3 so bad? Firstly, Sleep deprivation. It is common knowledge that sleep deprivation is a torture technique and my god it works. It sends you nuts and one bad night takes a week to sort out! This started on the Sunday night for me, I couldn’t get to sleep and when I did, I woke every 2 hours or so. This is not good when the plan is to work all day and train at night! I got to the gym and I was actively looking for excuses not to perform…I think we’ve all been there; I didn’t have any energy and when someone spoke to me at the gym, I continued talking in the hope that the exercise and blow out would disappear, it doesn’t. I did my treadmill HIIT and was absolutely hanging! I felt awful…I felt good that it was done but my mind set fast-forwarded to the thought of the Tuesday morning, this made me feel really down…to top it off…after walking round the changing room looking like a dickhead I thought that the steam room would perk me back up…the steam room had been on previous to my arrival and had gone cold and wouldn’t warm up properly again. This, in a tired, grumpy persons mind was the end of the world and it mean’t that the drive back home was full of swearing at everyone on the road. Monday was the worst day for me on this cycle…I couldn’t concentrate properly, I was in a bad mood…

Tuesday Morning, time to put yesterdays bad mood to one side, park it and move forward. I got up and was met by my cheerful dog at 5:20am…odd because he is the laziest dog normally, who I have to drag out of bed to go to his doggy daycare! As I bent over to give him a morning cuddle, the back of my legs felt ridiculously tight! I remembered at that moment that in my bad mood the night before, I hadn’t stretched off properly and this morning was going to be painful! I did an intermediate HIIT circuit in order to prevent injury with a decent warm up, but the first exercise was high knees…a wonder on your ass and abs but when you’re stiff, its painful! I spent the cool down using a foam roller in the hope that it would ease out the stressed legs and it did to an extent. I’m quite lucky in my job at the moment that when I have sore legs, I can get up and move around. Most of the people I need to liaise with on a daily basis are located within a 5 minute walk which is really handy to keep myself limber! The worst part of my Tuesday was a meeting held over lunch time. The chair of the meeting had ordered lunch in and by 12pm I was starving! I literally had to sit there and watch everyone else stuff their faces with lots of nice looking food; spring rolls, sandwiches, crisps, chocolate brownies etc etc, it was torture! I went and grabbed myself a nice bottle of cold water and sipped it whilst they ate, dreaming of my beef and sausage low carb casserole upstairs! The meeting went on until 1:30 and by the time I got to my food I was literally starving! When I got home, I was shattered and a bit defeatist, all I wanted to do was chill out and eat pizza…I didn’t, I ate my turkey stuffed peppers and fantasised about my honey and camomile tea before bed. Its odd, when you’re on a diet you actively look forward to sleep because you don’t think about food for a whole 8 hours, but when you get up that’s all you think about for the rest of the day! Week 3 is going to be known as “The shit week” from now on.

Wednesday, I slept really well, I didn’t have circuits in the morning so I got a lie in…06:20am! A whole hour, whoop! Wednesday is half past week and therefore morale gets a boost. Always has, Wednesday to me is almost as good as Friday because you can almost see the light of the weekend…its still a long way to go, but its  a relief to get there! Wednesday evenings circuit hurt, that’s all I can really say about it. My shins were starting to hurt from all the sprints and this got me thinking that I could be getting shin splints…not what I need in the first cycle especially since the next cycle will more than certainly be asking for a lot more from me! The first 8 minutes of sprints was agony, I felt like my legs may go at any point…pain and weakness. I was always told in the Navy that pain was weakness leaving the body…I disagree, pain comes in different forms, whether that is a broken bone or muscles burning…its your body’s protection from your brain pushing through. It is true that your brain deceives you to protect your body, but it is also true that your brain is wrong sometimes. Its the mental attitude that gets people to climb the tallest mountain in the world or an explorer to push themselves to the north or south pole. My brain is fat, that is a fact! It tells me stupid things like “Why are you doing this to yourself when you could just be relaxing at home” and “You’re getting on now, there’s no need to go through all this”. My attitude is different…I have come to the conclusion that I am a bit of a psychopath. I can tell myself things when I’m on my last legs to push that bit harder. It gets so bad at times that I personally offend myself…”Come on you fat f*ck, you started smoking thinking you were big and clever, you drank your twenties away and ate stupid things, this is what you deserve” and “You’re useless, you’re not worthy of achieving your goals, you’re too weak”. All these abusive conscience outbursts make me work harder, they allow me to zone in on the moment…almost like mindfulness but a negative version in order for me to prove myself wrong! Wednesday was an evening filled with abuse at myself…I need to contain it once I stop the exercise, I need to get a handle on it because for the rest of the evening, I genuinely think that I am a disgusting human being and as such stayed in the zone all evening and was very distant from Jenny, and for that I am sorry to her. Its amazing the power of the mind…use it positively and train it for strength.

Thursday…Now this is the first time I have been away for a day on this plan. Network Rail had a ‘Safe Start’ day in Leamington Spa where you go and participate in safety seminars and pick up free stuff. It was a good day with lots of information gained for work, however, it mean’t that I had to get up at 4am because I knew I would be shattered at night and may be too tempted to skip the exercise…not on my watch! Now, 5am circuits are bad enough but 4am circuits are the definition of commitment! I decided to do a low impact HIIT circuit because of my shins and knees the night before. It was awful, it was basically squats and lunges for 20 minutes! My arse was ridiculously tight all day and my legs resembled a 70 year old with chronic arthritis! I was picked up at 6am by one of my colleagues and was in Leamington Spa for about 7:20…the hosts had put on a breakfast. This is amazing, one thing though, I couldn’t have anything. I was smelling bacon and sausage cobs and I wasn’t allowed one…sleep deprivation is one torture technique, smelling bacon and sausage cobs is definitely on par! Lunch was also provided but I had planned ahead. I took myself the homemade Granola and fruit that I had made the week before which just about sufficed but everyone else was eating chicken roast dinners…this is where most of the pain is now coming from; a feeling of being left out and not enjoying the small things, but if I look and feel better, this could be the new me? Not sure if I believe in that completely but I survived the day! I got home at around 6pm and what was I welcomed home to? Jenny with fish and chips…gutted, they smelt so good! Bless her, she apologised and thought that I wouldn’t be in till later and was trying to sneak food in. Luckily for me (I suppose) her car was having a melt down and the cooling fan relay was stuck which drained the battery, I spent the next hour (Starving again I might add) removing the relay, jump starting the car and driving it round to get some juice in to her battery again! I had been so good with prep for the week but for some reason I hadn’t calculated the amount of low carb meals and so spent another hour cooking myself something to eat. There is a recipe known as “Lean muscle mince”, which is a god send, its basically turkey mince, peppers, red thai curry paste and cajun spice which you eat with steamed vegetables, avocado and sour cream…its good and filling…its a life saver!

Thankfully its Friday people, one more physical session and two days of recovery! Can’t wait…just work to get through! I had moved offices this week and apparently the new office has ‘#FishAndChipFridays’…what the hell! Temptation everywhere again whilst I sit there eating the same thing as always. It’s getting slightly easier but its still horrendous. If you remember the Cathedral City advert about cheese on toast…you see it, you want it; this is exactly what its like! I didn’t get home until late after a long discussion with someone on the phone and time was dragging on…Derby were playing Leicester and I wanted to watch that with my Dad…it was becoming too easy for me to not want to do exercise. I decided that it would take too long to go to the gym so I decided to do a circuit in the garage! I smashed it, I felt so good after one, I decided to do another…it was the weekend after this so I had plenty of time to recover. I did both within 40 minutes, had a shower and a turkey burger with sweet potato wedges! Absolutely delicious! I went to my Dads to watch the game with a water…not quite the normal way of watching the football! This plan works because if you are short on time, you can smash the circuit and shower within 45 minutes…ideal for people with a hectic lifestyle!

The weekend, some nice lie ins, dog walks and chilled evenings…this is what I am all about.

Next weeks blog will be interesting I hope… Week 4 and the end of Cycle One! I am going away for two nights in the Lake District with work…£25 evening meal allowance, free breakfasts…lets see how I get on!

Featured Image – My Jack at 4am

Thanks for reading…next update 5th February!

Remember to follow me on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/jamesfletcher4

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