2011 in review…..
This is the end of the first year of my journey from gastric band to fitness. To say it has been a tumultuous year is a bit of an understatement. I have gone from being seriously depressed with no hope to where I am now; optimistic and happy.
I think the true turning point was at Easter when I took 2 weeks off work to complete some of my studies. Unfortunately, I was in such a ‘bad place’ that I couldn’t work on anything, every time I tried to sit and work, I was just so over come with …. grief I guess you could call it! Grief that I was totally unable to lose any weight no matter what I did. I was going to the gym twice a day and really pushing it when I was there. I had reduced my caloric intake to between 400 – 600 per day, often opting not to eat at all. That’s when I searched out Martin MacDonald and Mac-Nutrition. That was the real turning point of the year, actually – my life.
From the first contact with Martin he proved himself to be knowledgeable, understanding and more than that – he BELIEVED ME. That was something that NOBODY else ever has done. Even friends and family did not believe or indeed know the truth of where I was at and how much I was eating or not as the case may be. Having said that I was eating up to 600 kcals a day, I was often ingesting that volume of kcals, but I was also throwing up straight after eating too. I can’t quite say it was bulimic because it was a consequence of having a gastric band and eating solid food. However, it certainly was something that I had started to ‘foster’ and actually looked forward to the ‘after meal times’ rather than looking forward to the food itself. This was one of the deciding factors to have the band removed. I did discuss the removal of the band with Martin, I needed reassurance that if I had it removed, I wouldn’t just put on loads of weight when I started to eat again. I had developed an inherent fear of food. He did convince me that I would actually lose weight if I could eat more – counterintuitive as that was (oh, yeah, that’d be rule 6 then, never eat below your BMR).
I have had some really, really bad times since working with Martin and have on one occasion all but accused him of …. actually, I don’t know what I was accusing him of! It was at a time that I wasn’t losing weight, but the phase we were in was not concentrating on weight loss, it was all about fixing my metabolism, for some stupid reason that I cannot fathom, I really couldn’t get that into my head, no matter how many times Martin told me this. The man has the patience of a saint….
During the 7 months of working with Martin, I initially lost quite a bit of weight whilst on an almost ketogenic diet, to not losing anything whilst trying to get my metabolism working again, to gaining a few kilos in the search of plan that would work. It would seem that I don’t do well with carbohydrate or too much protein, so I’m currently on a new plan that gives me high fat, low protein and very low carbs; this diet seems to be suiting me quite well. I have (according to my scales) lost 2 lbs this week – YES I’VE LOST WEIGHT OVER CHRISTMAS!!! Why would I not be happy with that?
I have had the band removed (22nd of December) – still a tad sore from that and that had a bit of an effect in the gym today. I did have to take a week off from exercise because of the op, but now I’m back….I am only permitted to do cardiovascular exercise at the moment because I have ‘stressed my body’ too much over the last many years, too much exercise (this year only), really ridiculously low/no fat, low kcal diets and way too much coffee. All that has led to an over production of cortisol. Cortisol is implicated in depression and weight gain and is produced when you over stress the body. Another sign of over-production of cortisol is carrying fat predominately around your stomach area, that’s certainly me! When Martin allows me to train properly again rather than just cv, Andy will design me a new program to help fight the fat and get me even fitter than I am now. Actually, whilst on this subject; I was working on a bodybuilding program as dictated by Martin, designed by Andy and agreed with Martin. Part of this was bench press, I originally could only bench 20kg, I worked up to 45kg, which I thought was quite something. I asked Martin if he was impressed and he said ‘No’. When I pressed him on that he said, ‘Well, you have got a bit better, but you were really rubbish to begin with’ !!! So, I’m still rubbish and at this point, I can’t even try to get better 😦 As I alluded to earlier in this paragraph, my op had a bit of an impact on my exercise earlier today. I had decided that 40 minute uphill walk on the treadmill and 40 minute fat burning session the bike was not enough, so today I tried the rowing machine – I lasted a dramatic 1 minute!! Still too early for that then, I’ll have to wait until next week to bring that back into my routine. I saw Andy when I was just getting off the rowing machine and he told me off, I’m supposed to be taking it easy until I’m fully recovered – he is funny…
Things are all looking good now and the next year WILL see me losing more weight, finishing my latest MSc, not starting my PhD as originally planned (I think its time to stop studying), expanding my horizons at work (currently in the process of that) taking a real holiday (yes Martin, I promise) and stressing my body less. I will also write my journal on a weekly basis to let you know on the weight loss (optimistic that this will happen) and what the diet plan is, any changes etc.
So, all that’s left for me to say at the conclusion of 2011 is Thank God that’s Over Then, 2012 is going to be an excellent year for me both mentally and physically.
Happy New Year to you, train hard and keep to your nutrition plans.
Catch up soon eh….