February 2018

January in Perth is always a slow start to the year; we don’t go back until at least the 7th and then not much occurs until post Australia Day on the 26th. So, January is a tough month for routine so for me February was all about setting a routine.

Ketosis

During my initial conversations with my GP about this change he had explained that the key to the weight loss would be ketosis. So I bought some keto sticks and started peeing on them and dug out the blood meter my wife used when she was pregnant and suffering from pregnancy induced diabetes. This was fine in Principal but remaining in ketosis for me appeared to be bloody hard; I was measuring my blood glucose levels first thing in the morning then peeing on the sticks throughout the day. Markers told me I was in Ketosis when I woke up but by lunch time the stick had gone from burgundy to straw and by the evening was a blank. It had appeared I had fallen out of Ketosis while following the eating plan religiously. I had lost 11 kg’s in four weeks so something was working. I thought being in ketosis was the elixir to living at a healthy weight. So my obsessive disorder took over once again and my internet searches for at least two week centred on ‘blood sugar and ketones’; this is what I learned:

Reducing your carbohydrate intake will help reduce your blood sugars and increase your blood ketone levels. Blood glucose control and improved metabolic health will help to reduce your risk of many of the diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and potentially avoid diabetes.

When our fat cells get full and can’t store any more energy we become ‘insulin resistant’.  Once our bodies are insulin resistant, excess energy is stored in the liver, pancreas, heart, brain, eyes and other organs that are more insulin sensitive.  We also see increased levels of energy in our blood in the form of glucose, ketones and triglycerides. At 121 kg’s I think it was likely this was should not have been an unforeseen outcome for me. I have posted some more of what I found in the additional info tab.

I now understood important keystones to improving my wellbeing; I was starting to feel better in the gym and friends had started no notice my now rapid weight loss. We were at a BBQ, I had volunteered to drive which would limit my wine intake to a couple of glasses and I was enjoying the BBQ meats and green salad. Our hosts, two of the most caring people you are likely to meet were really encouraging with regards to my change in my living state. They are your quintessential active Australians; I find this kind off people the best to be around. There are two Australian bank holidays which are completely different to anything I had experienced in the UK. ANZAC day is my favourite, a day set aside in April to remember the people that have served with and are serving with the Australian and New Zealand armed forced. My daughter and I have been to the dawn service since she was four. The second Australia Day; whilst politically there is a debate about its legitimacy I have seen it as a day of celebration. I have never considered it a celebration of an invasion just a day where most people whatever colour, religion or creed get together and have a good time. I think we were having a conversation about the traditions of Australia day and even though Triple J (An Australian Broadcasting Corporation trendy radio station) no longer play there annual top 100 our friends or at least the husband does part take in an Australian Day Triathlon, there are various length sorter and up to the ‘sprint’ distance. I signed up; to be honest I have always admired endurance athletes, have always harboured an ambition to run a marathon and understood that I would need a motivation and this was it. I didn’t understand at the time how much.  The distances you can complete in the Australia Day triathlon are:

Option 1    Option 2    Option 3

Swim:    200m        400m        750m

Bike:     7kM        14km        21kM

Run:    2.5kM        2.5kM        5kM

On this evening in Mid-February I was probably eyeing option 1. What this did motivate me to do was buy a road bike. I vowed not to be a lycra clad knob but I admit I was soon buying the BMC Team gear to go with the new bike; in for a penny in for a pound. I picked the bike up (a five hour round trip) on the morning I bought my wife home from major surgery. She was alright, I propped her up on the sofa gave her the TV remotes and enough sustenance for a few hours and told her I’ll be back to pick the kids up……. which I did by the skin of my teeth. I often wonder why my wife feels I neglect her at times.  Anyway the bike was a steal, the Lycra was delivered over that weekend and on the Tuesday night I was out for my first ride. All 8.6kM of it; to be fair there were some hills and for half of it I couldn’t work out how to change the gears. I think I might have even stopped to google it. Anyway I was equipped to embark on the training required for the cycling leg of the Australia Day Triathlon.

There was also improvement in the running; I don’t think I could quite yet get round the 3 kM circuit I was doing but I was only stopping once or twice. What I did discover was an app called Strava which when paired to the iWatch gave you a good set of statistics that would at least give me the bench marks I was after.

My KPI’s for January:

Weight: Start: 105 kg’s – End 94.4 kg’s

Run: 3 kM in  about 20 minutes stopping twice

Ride: 8.6kM; AVG Speed 21.2 kM/h

Note: My KPI’s are about what motivates me at a given time. They change and will continue to do so. There are as many or few as I decide but are markers of achievement. When they start to go a way I do not like I hope I can be honest enough to reset them and be accountable in meeting them again. Let’s see!

My diet was:

Breakfast – Optifast Shake (Vanilla)

Lunch – Optifast Bar (Chocolate)

Dinner – Mushrooms, Bok Choi, Asparagus & Broccolini (or any combination) stir fried in coconut oil with any Optifast soup added to make an Asian style broth. Seasoning and herbs added.

No alcohol (or very little); No coffee; Green or Peppermint Tea

When socialising I kept alcohol consumption to a couple of glasses of Wine; stuck with protein (Meat or Fish) and greens.

My exercise routine:

Monday – 45 Min gym session; 18 minutes on the treadmill, 7 minutes on the rower, two weigh machines pressing 15 kgs for 12, 6 repetition circuits.

Tuesday – 3kM plod completed in about 20 mins 

Wednesday – 45 Min gym session; 18 minutes on the treadmill, 7 minutes on the rower, two weigh machines pressing 15 kgs for 12, 6 repetition circuits.

Thursday- Soccer; five a side, 2 twenty-minute halves

Friday – 45 Min gym session; 18 minutes on the treadmill, 7 minutes on the rower, two weigh machines pressing 15 kgs for 12, 6 repetition circuits.

Saturday or Sunday – a ride on the new bike! Well I’d at least done one ride of 8.6 kM.