Day 43, or thereabouts, marks the half way point of the Dadbod2Boxer journey. So I thought it would be good to reflect on the last week or two and the journey as a whole so far. By far the most interesting week has been this week, and by interesting, I mean bloody challenging.
Overall, the journey has been rewarding, eye-opening, fun, stressful, painful & frustrating. It's been eye-opening in terms of what it takes to get your body back into shape. It's not complicated, but what I have learnt is that you need 3 main things.
I have learnt that eating well is where it all starts. And it's really true. My challenge aside, if you were looking to leading a healthier lifestyle, you cant do much wrong by fixing up not only what you eat, but how much you eat and when you eat it. It doesn't have to be overly complicated. Simply steer clear of sugar, too much bad fats (butter, cream), trans fats and add more veggies and greens with each meal, at least for lunch and dinner. Marry that up with protein, be it chicken, beef, veal, fish, etc. The portions are all important as well. Whilst they say you can overeat a little if you are eating the right things, if you want to see faster results, tone down the size of your servings to half of what you would usually have. In my case I probably have portions the size of 1/3 of what I would have had in the past. All this goes a long way to losing weight and losing it fast and that's before you've stepped inside a gym.
Combining the above with solid and intense workouts really helps reset your body's metabolism to burn the fuel you put into your body faster, which obviously helps you drop your weight even quicker. So for maximum effect, eat right & train hard.
But don't do it for a week and think your job's done. It's taken years of not eating correctly and not exercising anywhere near enough to get my body to a ripe pear like shape (no, it's not the shape you want to have) and only months of hard work will get it back to the leaner, fitter state you desire. I was consistent in doing the wrong things and it delivered my body to what it was and this is where being consistent with the food and the training is the only way to get my body back into shape.
If you wanted to get technical and in detail with your food and/or training, I encourage you to, as I've done with the trainers at FightFit and through my diet minders at Primal Food. But as I mentioned before, there's a lot you can do without it needing to be so complicated.
Over the last several weeks, with my training now up to 4 days a week, the toll is being taken on my body. I now see my physio every fortnight and my remedial massage therapist every week. Some of this is to acutely treat my aches, pains and strains. Some of it is a preventative measure to make sure my body is holding up to the task and to avoid injury in the first place. My massage therapist struggles dealing with my "Subscapularis" and I struggle dealing with the pain inflicted by him trying to get that part of my body in order. My shoulder's continue to flare up and get aggravated, but I can finally see at this point it's because my boxing technique is still on the sucky side. And my hands, especially my right because quite frankly, my left hand hits softer than a wet sponge (but I'm working on that). Speaking of wet sponges, this is one of the methods I've tried to use to protect my right hand which has copped most of the brunt, by jamming a rolled up sponge down inside my glove, thanks YouTube!. My middle and index knuckle are a bit bone bruised and I have various cuts and bruises popping up and gave the inside of my index finger a good tweak that went a tad on the purple side. So managing my hands and my shoulders seem to be the biggest challenge (and pain in the butt) to date. While there's no broken bones or torn rotator cuffs, I guess we're good to keep rolling along!
Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth - Mike Tyson
This I think so far has been the hardest part. It's all about staying consistent and having the presence of mind to see a job through. Plenty of times I've thought the training was too hard, I can't do this, or the food wasn't satisfying me, I can't do this. But I liken the "can't do this" thoughts to be that little "bad" voice on your shoulder that is trying to convince you that however negative it's path maybe, it's the easiest and you should therefore take it. Ignoring that voice was hard at the start mostly, but then got easier, that was until this week arrived.
I was a bit under the weather on the eve of Week 6, which was a Friday, but felt OK again on the Saturday for my morning training session with trainer Dave. But for the next week, I was physically & mentally drained and have been the closest to giving up that I have been since the start. I couldn't put my finger on it. It's been a punishing month of training and restructuring diet from cold turkey.
I reached out to Stu at Primal Food for potential answers. I was feeling a little flat about how my measurements weren't continuing to drop off at the rate that it had been, yet I was still eating well and training hard, if not harder. He just reminded me that this sort of process never follows a linear curve and that it would continue to get better. I also had to admit to trainer Dave that I was born a perfectionist. I've always picked up all types of sports easily in life. By now I was expecting to be laying down the Mike Tyson on a regular basis! I think Dave picked up on this anyway as from time to time I can be pretty hard on myself during training.
So by the Thursday I started to pick up again and think I was doing pretty well in both my Thursday and Friday sessions with Dave, who was nice to remind me of when I started with him that I could hardly do a sit up or get through 30 cycle crunches without blowing out an ab or a back muscle. I would have also laughed if you said I could knock out 100 burpees for instance. But here I am, getting all that done and more and with plenty of room for improvement too. And that's now what it's all about, how much room I have for improvement, it's almost like I am now at a base I am happy with, and now the real intensity starts. So I felt pretty good just post my Friday training session, but then it hit me.
By 6pm Friday night, that's the Friday just gone, I felt like I suddenly contracted the Flu. Every single muscle in my body ached. I felt weak and severely lethargic. I knew if I was taking myself to bed at 8:30pm, things mustn't be good. I had one of the worst sleeps ever, yet I was so tired and felt that I was hit by a truck. Night sweats were terrible. There weren't any warning signs with this, it just hit me. Cutting a long story short, my body basically shut down for the next 24-38 hours. I started to feel better by Sunday morning and I missed my Saturday training session with trainer Paul, but I was never going to be able to make that.
This week, I think a combination of mental stress and over-training probably got the better of me and it's something I need make sure I keep a check on. Make sure I'm hydrated enough as well, as I feel this may have been a contributing factor also. On Friday I didn't hydrate as much as I usually would, which was the main difference between any other training day.
So with the last week by far being the most trying, I'm now super pumped about what the next 6 weeks will bring. I know that dadbod2boxer will wind down, but I now know that my training and diet wont, so that's a success story there. Knowing that my lifestyle has now changed for the better. And I have met some great people along the way. My goal from this week is to pick up the intensity now, focus on my technique and try and get that as close to spot on as possible and build it up to the next level. I want to get more accurate with my body positioning and up the tempo of my striking so it's a bit more snappy. This will allow me to explore more with Dave in terms of what we do during training on the bag and with the pads, any maybe even in the ring!
From here, I think it's appropriate to quote the great Michael Gerard Tyson: "Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth."....
Wait, sorry, I meant this one from Iron Mike: "Discipline, doing what you hate to do, but do it like you love it."
Anyway, I think you get the idea. Thanks for reading, more updates to come during the week. Till then, Box on!