"2020 - NOT-DONE-YET"
PHASE 2 / WEEK 2
If you think about it, you're exactly halfway through the program.
(3 Phases, each lasting 4 weeks...)
Last week, we spoke extensively about the differences between phase 1 and phase 2. While this program is presented to you over a period of 3 months, I sometimes worry that people will consider the journey "done" when they get to the end of the 3rd month.
I would far prefer for you to see this as a LIFESTYLE SYSTEM. Sure, to adapt to the new lifestyle will take you about 3 months, but once there, you should carry on with your good habits. Life is a marathon, and not a sprint.
Last year, a lot of my followers were amazed by the quick results they got from practicing what was advocated. They literally shed a combined boatload of lard.
But then Santa arrived, bringing with him the holidays and long tables, filled with delicious foods and much of the progress that they had made, was lost.
Since this is a lifestyle system, all you would have to do after Christmas is get back onto the horse. - but this is where the rub comes in... They saw it as a finite course and as such, had closed the door on stepping out of their comfort zone again. The end of the course negated getting back into it.
I can relate, because I have experienced the same with my relationship with tobacco. I'm strong willed and can be disciplined to the max. So, when I decided to stop smoking, I got hold of the Allan Carr book, read it and was able to kick the habit. - easy enough. - But that's where the problem emerged. To me, kicking the habit had been relatively easy. - This meant that after a while, when I was presented with a cigarette at a party, I thought... "OK- maybe I'll have just one...- After all, what's the worst that can happen?! - I'll just stop again." I rode this roller coaster for a few years, stopping and starting. The problem is, - when taking a step back, I was actually an intermittent smoker, - sliding in and out of my own bad habits. Each time I stopped, I went through the initial withdrawals, stopped for a while, and then I was back at a party or social occasion making those exceptions, and in no time, I was back in the bad habit.
To draw the parallel, - it's the same with your relationship to food. You've worked hard to set yourself on the path of better health. Your clothes fit better. You're getting stronger and your energy increases. Your friends and family have applauded your success in turning things around. - But now the applause has died down. There's less cheering from the peanut gallery and you find yourself returning to old bad habits, - after all, you can just get back on the wagon.
Theoretically, this is true, but practically your backsliding is just another habit that places you into the category of people who try a thing and then abandon it, and while you experienced some success initially, (you finished the program) but you're already having to count through more belt holes whilst getting dressed.
I'm going to challenge you now... Stay the course. This is not a program that you start and end. This is a way of living. The first three months will afford a complete turnaround. - I will set you up in a way that you can continue to live within a routine which will ensure that you keep getting better and making progress.
Imagine you could continue making strength and health gains for the next 10 plus years. Maybe they won't be as dramatic as the first 3 months, but given the increments over let's say 5 years...
I've been practicing what I'm preaching for 5 years, and can say that at the age of 52, I'm in the best shape of my life and hope to be making improvements for another 10 years...
If you were my buddy (and I hope you are) and we were having a drink at a bar (and I hope we will), I'd slap you on the back, and implore you to stay the course, STICK WITH WHAT YOU'VE STARTED and order you a drink, in celebration of how far you've come...
Incidentally, I've taken my own advice, and am a CONFIRMED NON SMOKER.
Let's talk about the week ahead...
Diet and Food
How did your CHEAT DAY work out for you? Did you have some fun, eating those delicious "MOST WANTED" foods? I can tell you that brunch at my place was a deliciously decadent affair. We ate, munched and chomped our way through ALL the bacon, eggs, avo, cheese, croissants and were so full that by dinner time, all we had space for, was a tub of ice-cream... Yeah, decadent to the MAX.
Today is a day of, erm... NADA!!
I chatted to a friend who is following the program and he says that he struggles with the idea of total abstinence on a Monday. To this, I would like to suggest a middle ground. (remember, this is a lifestyle program, so go easy on yourself)
Why not give yourself the comfort of knowing that you can actually enjoy an evening meal. Eat nothing during the day! By dinner time, your tummy will be empty and will be talking to you. Have something. Make sure it's healthy, nutrient dense, and not too much.
Next Sunday, when you want to lean into the CHEAT DAY, knowing that this is how you roll, just start your CHEAT DAY a bit later. - Around 5'ish.
For instructions/suggestions about your calories etc, please refer to last week's post. Just make sure that you keep tracking your overall Calories IN vs calories OUT.
You have a training program and suggested workout days. (see the table)
Stay that course. If you prefer to work out in your preferred discipline, be it pilates, cycling, hiking... That's all great! Do that then. - but remember to push yourself towards the training density which I advocate. You want to get out of your comfort zone. You should aim for some soreness. The lactic acid that you feel from working out is what ads to your GH (growth hormone) levels, which in turn push your Testosterone levels up.
Personally, (and because I've been doing this for some time now), I am doing a gym workout, but have added the full-body circuit at the end of my weights regime; In this way, I attain the benefits of post workout muscle repair. It's like cranking up your metabolism long after your workout is over. Your body goes to work, "repairing" the damage you've done to it. This process demands energy and burns calories.
I've been struggling with sleep lately. We should be aiming for a minimum of 6 hours. I'm clocking 5 hours on average. I've started a mindfulness practice, which seem to be helping. I've started using Breathwork, Bi-Neural beats, and Meditation and the "time asleep" results are beginning to creep closer to 6 hours again.
As part of the weekly content, I will address the above, explaining How they work, and where to find them.
Wishing you an awesome week ahead!