Eat more, not less.
Really. Also a fitness test to assess where you're at, and a picture of my lunch because it was delicious, even though it didn't look it.
Hi pals, how’s tricks?
I thought I’d give it a bit of time before I started writing to you about my do over of nutrition and fitness. And I’m glad I did, because my excellent friend Tara from Allergic to Sugar gave me my first tip.
“Go and inhale everything James Clear who wrote that book Atomic Habits has to say”
She didn’t really use those exact words, but that was the gist, more or less. I have James Clear’s book, and I’ve sort of read it, but also, having ADHD means I chase the dopamine. And unfortunately, even though James’ book is excellent, it’s not enough of a dopamine hit for me and it seems like hard work. So.
I said this to her (more or less) and she said back (more or less) “NO Lou, go and have a look at his free 30 day habit course. It’s an email a day and he tells you exactly what to do - it’s good!”
So I did that, and holy smokes pals, so far, what I’ve read, is really good! James breaks things down in a way that is just a bit more accessible for people who just can’t seem to get started or who fail after a while.
That might be you? It’s definitely me. And I’ll tell you right now, dear pals, that if someone with fitness and nutrition qualifications can lose the way and have to get back up on the old horse a bit, then it’s quite alright and normal for it to happen to people without that training or insight. So give yourself a break, and just do what you can. Tiny steps. Read James Clear. You’ll be grand with just a tiny bit of effort or a mammoth amount on the days you can.
On with the show.
Today I want to talk about food and eating because honestly, after lockdown I have been eating appallingly for my own standard, and I need to get back to eating properly again.
Not a diet, not any kind of restriction - that’s just not how I roll. But I know I’ve been eating a lot of nutritionally loose food over lockdown and before that, so it’s time to tighten it all up and get back on track.
Why do I want this? I know I feel good when I eat properly. I know I have a better energy source when I eat properly, and I know that lollies and other quick fixes make me feel awful most of the time, so that’s my driver.
Most of us don’t eat enough food. When we consider trying to eat better, our natural default is to eat less and move more.
Moving more is always a good idea - I am firmly in that camp. But we need to knock eating less on the head, because it is silly and it doesn’t work.
You know who it works for?
People who have other people to cook their nutritionally balanced meals, people who have help at home to look after kids, pets, clean the house, yada yada. Probably other people, but not me.
At one point the powers of the nutrition board wanted to make 5+ a day into 8+ a day and back then when that was all on the table, I thought smugly to myself. Easy. Bring it on. Why stop at 8. Let’s do 10.
What a smug prick I was.
I laugh at that, because today my pals, was the first day of eating a pile of veggies for lunch. And I can’t remember the last time I did it. I’m not sure that I ate veggies more than a few times throughout all of lockdown. For me that is appalling.
And so now I’m rectifying it and this here is my lunch from today. It’s a cottage pie with a kumara salad on top. It’s nutritionally dense across micro and macros, and a decent serving size so that I won’t have a perceived need to eat snack food loose on nutrients that actually do me no favours. And while it does look a little suspish because my plating skills sit at approximately zero, it was so good.
It’s weird when we think about eating healthier or better or whatever, most of the time our first thought to achieve that is to eat less. So we do that, and maybe we last a day or two of eating less. But soon enough hunger kicks in, and we don’t want to go and eat a second meal, do we? Even though we probably could because starrrrving. So we just go and get a square of chocolate. Or a slice of something, or a go of the lolly jar, or something that looks small and insignificant that hopefully will distract us from the hunger. Something to take the edge off. But it doesn’t work, and before we know it we’ve had far more than we intended to, and feel sick or yuck or a mix of the two.
We shoulda just had two meals. That would have worked.
This is not an attack on snacks. Not an attack on sugar either.
It is an attack on not eating properly in the first place because we’ve read somewhere or been conditioned to think that eating healthy means eating less.
Eat more, nutritionally dense food to feel satisfied, but more importantly, to be nourished.
Nourished = good health.
Is this the start of an intuitive eating bent I’m going on?
I think it is. And that’s good. When we listen to our intuition on a whole raft of other things, it usually pans out in a positive way. Usually.
Give it a try? The worst that can happen is that you’re not hungry.
Sounds good to me!
Laugh. Out. Loud.
Aside from taking the dog for a walk, and to be fair, my husband does that mostly because I don’t feel that safe being pulled around the neighbourhood when it’s dark out, aside from all of that, my exercise has not gone so well.
LA LA LA LEVEL TWO AT THE GYM IS IMPOSSIBLE.
Sing that however you like.
There’s just 50 spaces in our gym during a 90 minute session. You gotta book. The spots go within seconds of becoming available. But also, there are PT’s working at the gym who rely on being able to get their clients a spot so they can earn a living. And having worked at our local gym as a PT, I know most of them, most are mates, and I will not take up a spot to exercise that a PT client could be taking.
The gym is enjoyable exercise for me, but until level 1, it’s not going to be my hangout.
And it’s fine. Nothing disastrous is going to happen because I shoved my gym habit out a week or two.
I wanted to do a fitness test on myself anyway. Just to see where my new starting point would be.
Do you want to do that, too? Cool. I’ll post my results next email. Read on for a test to try at home.
Fitness test to try at home
Thankfully not a beep test. This is an AMRAP - As many rounds as possible. Set a timer on your phone for 1 minute and write down how many of the following exercises you can do in 1 minute. Each exercise is a round and you can do all of them or pick ones you’re able to do. Or you know, choose your own exercises. You’re free, there. And then, in a few weeks - I quite like six weeks as a start, do the test again and see if you can do more.
Get down on the floor, lie prone on your tummy, and then get back up again
Wall sit (measure how many seconds you can sit for)
Lunges (static, forward, backward, whatever you like)
The point of a fitness test is so you have a benchmark to measure success from. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether your fitness is improving because you don’t often notice it. This way, you can know for sure of any improvements and better yet, celebrate them.
Have an enjoyable week, pals. I’ll see you next time!
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