Challenger: Men’s weight-loss category, Sleekgeek “12 Week Comeback Kid challenge” (1 Feb – 25 April 2012)
- Key measures
- What was your plan?
- Biggest lessons/tips?
- Keep things simple. Get 1 cardio exercise that you like (change up until you find it, but fall in love with one). Get a body workout that works for you – This should be kept interesting – so change up the exercise, but knowing beforehand what you want to do – or getting a trainer to help out – is very handy. Draw hard lines on your food intake. Decide what you’re going to cut out and then stick to it. The great thing with Paleo/Atkins (high protein, low carb) is that there isn’t any calorie weigh-ins or restrictions on amount. Fiddly diets are a pain. Knowing not to eat anything with sugar in – or wheat and to stay away from potatoes, but steak, eggs, bacon, etc is a-ok is a hang of a lot simpler.
- Make decisions before you need to (plan ahead). This is one of the things that have really served me well. I have always been one to not plan lunch, and always prefferred ‘fresh’ food from a restaurant, or salad or – McDs over taking a sandwhich or last nights dinner for lunch. But I’ve started deciding – and preparing – what I’ll have for lunch and breakfast early now. Also I’ve made the habit of packing in ‘good snacks’ (like Elan, biltong and nuts are my snack of choice) – so that when you’re feeling peckish you have something good to hit the spot, instead of being driven to get whatever’s closest/easiest, or ‘feels’ the most satisfying – which generally ends up being the chocolate or muffin from the cafe/vending machine around the corner. This applies to exercising as well – knowing that M/W/F are running days and T/Th are gym – and then planning around them really helps actually getting to do it on the day. Having a trainer/running/gym partner/ training with you doesn’t hurt either- and really helps for those days you ‘don’t feel like it’. Planning ahead also really helps to take the power out of those pesky cravings.
- Cheat irregularly and cheat small. I’ve found that the less I cheat the easier it is to stick to my eating plan. It’s when I start cheating often that cheating is easier – and becomes more the way of life than the healthy way. So putting off cheating as long as possible – and then when you do cheat, to do it with something small – is best. As an example – Vida does this great rockyroad brownie thing – which I kept seeing, but would put off having – and kept this up for a good month+ – but one day I decided to cheat with it. Then I cheated again, and again. And now I struggle to go to vida without getting one. So, I’m trying to buy my coffee elsewhere now..
- Tell someone. This one’s tricky, because people can get irritated when you keep-going-on-and-on-about-
eating-right. Especially if they’re feeling a little fat-guilty themselves (and who isn’t these days…). But from a personal growth point of view, getting people involved with your health path really helps to keep at it. Tracking my run, and then sharing how I’ve felt and how it went and knowing that this run was faster/further or both than previous runs really makes a difference – and getting people cheering you on (go Nike+GPS) and the conversations/interactions that it’s sparked has really kept me motivated. When I started, I blogged often as well (almost daily at one point), tracking how things were going, my weigh-ins and how the workouts and eating was going. I only really lasted until end of Feb, but really wish I’d stuck to it. One of the things was that I felt it was boring for people – it really was more for me – but with the sleekgeek community growing, and friends of mine getting into the running or other healthy areas, I think it could be worthwhile starting up again. And this brings me to the SleekGeek thing – I’ve found the community, the challenge and all the surrounding activities and cool spinoffs (X-mansa, Lion’s Head walks) to be really helpful. I’ve found an active group of people walking the same road as me,and sharing their tips along the way – so SleekGeek really has been a key ingredient in the personal success that I’ve seen this year so far!
- Next goals
7. Your twitter handle (if you have one)