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Advice vs. Advice

Advice is not created equal, and often advice bumps me out.

I will be more specific, generalized advice bumps me out. And it has done so only since quite recently.

There’s something about advice, and especially generalized advice that just seems very counter productive. Thanks to my countless self experiments with advice I’ve read on blogs, I can only come to this conclusion.

Let’s go with health for a moment, as it’s the most striking example of this. Pick 10 random health blogs, or websites, or magazine, or anything, you now have 10 pieces of completely different advice on your hand. You decide to follow advice 1, but you don’t get the results you want. So you think, maybe it’s advice 2. And so on and so forth, till you figure none of the advises completely work as advertised. You go to other sources, find different advice again, and so on.

It’s simple, generalized advice isn’t going to get you anywhere, unless you’re an average person fitting whatever withheld criteria is necessary for the advice to apply.

The same goes with what to do with your life and a giant wave of other topics. Most advice isn’t an exact match, or won’t work for you and your situation at all.

That’s not to say you can’t learn from advice, but rather that following it blindly will get you nowhere.

The only thing you really can do is gather up some basic knowledge and then start to experiment and see how your body, mentally and physically react. Take notes, collect data, draw your conclusions on that. Then instead of going to the next, completely different, thing, simply adjust. Look at your notes and data, see what keeps you from being successful and adjust for it.
After all, you now have extensive knowledge about yourself, so use it to create your own path in life!

There’s also specific advice, by which I mean advice given to you specifically. And I don’t mean some one on one coaching where the coach explains his program to you and how it will fit you.
I mean sitting down with someone who gets to know you and your situation, and who then offers advice from scratch, based on that information.
Someone you can go to and say “thanks, I’ve tried your advice, but this, this and this didn’t work out for me, because a, b and c.” Someone who will then help you adjust.

Advice only goes so far. The idea is to experiment and see what makes you feel happy, healthy and successful!
After all, success is subjective! Don’t let anyone tell you what success is supposed to be, define it for yourself!

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Posted by on July 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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How the “perfect” diet destroyed more than it helped.

I return from my very extended hiatus. A lot has happened and today I’d like to talk about losing weight and dieting. Not to say I found the next best diet, but to tell you that I will never touch another diet again.

I’m not here to relay cold hard facts and evidence, I’m merely here to relay my experience.

My weight loss journey started on August 1st 2011. At my first weight in I was 86 kilo. My goal would be 75 kilo. I started this journey together with my mom and together we agreed that our reward for reaching our goal weight would be to go to Disney.

I didn’t go on a diet that someone “invented”. Already back then I didn’t really believe in get slim fast diets, and most other diets sounded weird, or didn’t make sense to me. Instead what I did was in little steps make healthier choice. Don’t eat three slices of bread with sugar bombs on top at lunch. Instead put chicken on them. And so on. Also I started to exercise.

Little changes, and the weight came off slowly and steadily. I ate all the delicious holiday season items, but not too much of them. I still lost weight over the holiday season.

I hit the weight of 78 and got stuck there. I was eating quite healthy, I was eating normally. I would still eat that candy bar if I wanted to.
Exercising was down in the dumps a little though.

After being frustrated and angry, and having my mom tell me to exercise and snack less so I will lose the weight, I accepted my fate. I shrugged it off, maybe I’ll never reach my goal weight, maybe this is as low as I can get.

I’m not sure what set the following events in motion, but I found myself on a site called Nerd Fitness one day in June 2012. After reading some really enjoyable articles (hey, I’m a nerd!) I decided to join the forums. I was welcomed there by a group of immensely supportive people!

Through Nerd Fitness I found out about the paleo diet. Which wasn’t a diet at all (or so it claimed). It was a way to eat, forever. For those unfamiliar it’s about eating whole unprocessed foods. (meat, vegetables, nuts, fruit, oils and tubers)
The ideas and science made sense to me. Grains were evil. Slowly I started to eat less of them.

On August 6th I started doing the Whole30, as I’ve mentioned on this blog. 100% paleo for 30 days. No cheating, full compliance.

25 days later I was on an airplane to London (for a really great trip!). We got served bread with cheese. I was looking at walking an entire day. I had packed nuts and dried fruit in preparation. However would it be enough? I was kind of hungry. I decided screw this Whole30, I want to eat!

What followed was a troubling period. I didn’t just stop with the Whole30, I stopped with everything. I was just eating whatever the hell I wanted. And thanks to the Whole30 I wanted all the chocolate and cake and whatever you can imagine that’s not in line with the Whole30.

I weighted myself before starting the Whole30: 76.5 kg

I weighted myself 1 week into the Whole30: 74.5 kg

I reached my goal and mom and I booked the trip to Disney.

I weighted myself after falling way out of “line”: 75 something kg.

Shocker, eating all the bad food didn’t instantly make me fat. I wasn’t back at the 86 kg at which I started.
Still I needed to get back to a happy place. A place where I wouldn’t be obsessed with food. (as my mom and aunt pointed out I was, thanks!)

For weeks I struggled, but I couldn’t get past the “eat everything” phase. I would have 4 donuts as my dinner. Slowly the weight came back. For some reason I couldn’t get back to where I once was, and I definitely didn’t want to have anything to do with the Whole30 again. (no matter the benefits I did have, even beyond weight loss)

I’m not really sure (again) how I rolled into it, but I found a website that has helped me big time!
The Fat Nutritionist!
My eyes opened. Diets don’t work (which I already believed), and the paleo diet, is a diet. It restricts what I’m allowed to eat.
The Fat Nutritionist author Michelle focuses on how to eat and not what to eat. This was very refreshing. No judgement on what I would eat, just teaching me a better way to eat.

So starting my next 6 week challenge at Nerd Fitness one of my goals I set was having a healthy relationship with food. The challenge started September 24th and we’re now in week 5.
Did my relationship improve? Hell yes it did!
Michelle has a couple of posts, 7 in fact, with lessons on eating normal. I read all of them and took notes. I set up rules for myself, rules on HOW to eat. Most importantly I set the rule that I’m allowed to eat and that I eat with attention, consciously.

Eating with attention has been the key to getting back on track. I’m still learning, but my overeating is mostly gone. I don’t crave sweets/chocolate anymore. I’m happy eating a salad for lunch one day and eating bread and fried snacks another day.
I noticed that some days my body asks for more food than other days. So having always x amount of food with me will some days be too little and some days too much.
I’m still searching for how much to take with me “just in case”.

To take my mind off food I have a schedule. And to take my mind off the clock (which happened when I tried to keep to the schedule) I have set reminders.
It comes down to eating about every 3 hours.

Diets don’t work, they actually work the wrong way in my case. No matter how much “science” backs them up.

I’ve been at a somewhat steady weight of 77 kg. Secretly I wonder if that cardio surgeon still demands I lose weight. After all he recommended that when I told him I was 178 cm and 80 kg. (comes down to slightly overweight according to BMI)

My body may not be perfect, and that’s ok.
I may not be 75 kg and I’ll probably never be, and that’s ok.

Slowly I’m finding peace. Now I just need to convince my mom of this logic.
“You need to exercise, so your figure will improve”, maybe my figure is fine the way it is!
Or one I remember so clearly.
“Mom, do you have something to eat, I’m hungry.”
“No, you’re not. You just had dinner.”
So what? I’m hungry, I eat. Very primitive instinct really. So I ate, but not without my mom commenting about going back to the weight I was.

No I don’t want to be miserable. But what made me miserable wasn’t that I was overweight. What made me miserable was certain people in my life and the fact I felt I couldn’t DO anything. My unfitness made me miserable.

The people are gone and my unfitness is getting dealt with. So really, who cares about weight after that?!
I want to feel fit and on top of the world, not skinny.
Unfortunately fell out a tree (trying to save my cat) and landed incorrectly on my feet. Meaning my ankle is injured. I’m at a stage now where I’m practicing walking up and down stairs.

Miss couch-potato (that would be me), has felt really miserable about not being able to move. I think that says something about how much I want to sit on my ass and do nothing, right?

And the cat? Yeah he fell out the tree as well, but landed on all four paws without injury. He’s staying inside now.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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And now for something completely different.

I’ve been talking about finding my passion and jobs and all that. Today I’ll be talking about the challenge I’m taking.

I read a post on courage to create about following the flow and doing what moves you at the moment. It had me thinking, that maybe instead of finding my passion, I should just do “whatever I feel like doing”.

So for the coming month, when I’m done with obligations, I’ll be doing what I feel like at the moment. Of course I’ll be sharing my progress and any lessons I pick up along the way.

That’s the easy part. I’ll be doing another challenge as well. This one is about health.

My secret passion is doing parkour, and to do that, I need to get fit! So my diet and exercising isn’t centered on weight loss (like everyone and their mother seem to do these days), but on getting fit and strong.

Here’s what typically happens.
I will say I’m on a diet and exercising and people immediately jump me with “but you’re not fat”, “but you don’t need to lose weight”, or whatever language they may so choose.
I either simply shrug it off, or explain that isn’t why I do it. Also explaining I’m not on a diet for x time, I’m on a diet for life.

So what diet am I on anyway? At this point I’m still experimenting. The coming month I will be doing the Whole30 challenge. I just adapted it for my first try. I’ll allow dairy. You may call me out on cheating, but I need to start somewhere and I find it a waste to throw out all expensive organic dairy products. I will probably limit them and if they’re gone see if I can manage without them.

So after this month I will rate this Whole30 idea and see if that’s what’s really fitting my body. I will try to eat the things I’m skipping again and see how my body reacts. From there I will be making my conclusions and make a plan for myself.

As for exercising, I’ll be going with a 3 day cardio and 3 day strength training a week schedule. mon cardio, tue strength, wed cardio, thu strength, fri cardio, sat strength, sun rest.

Wish me luck during the coming 30 days! (starting today) I will keep you posted on progress!

This being an “extra” post, you can still expect me to write a new post by Sunday.

Hope you have a great week!

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Breaking down

I never really wrote much about this part of my life. Except for maybe a few private tweets or whatever. So let me try, now a year later to talk about these weeks. What went on, what I experienced.
The events in this posts are the trigger/catalyst for starting my journey to find my true passion.

I’m trying to reconstruct this based on memory. I didn’t keep a diary or anything. I try to look at my google calendar for clues really. Just so that’s out-of-the-way, let me start. Let me go back to March 2011.

On Monday March 7th 2011 I reported in ill. I had a headache, was feeling really dizzy and probably more. It seemed a bit like the flu. I slept tons, really tons. At first I thought I might have over-exhausted myself again. I have in the past and after a good day of sleeping I was usually back on my feet.
Nothing like that, I felt weird, I was restless and tired constantly. Since it didn’t get better I slowly started to suspect it wasn’t the flu or exhaustion. There was more going on.

On Thursday March 17th I went to the doctor. His immediate response to my miserable state was, “this is not you.” Then again from the moment I had sat down in the waiting room I felt horrible. My heart wouldn’t calm down, I was shaking. And when I was with the doctor I could barely tell what was going on, I was shaking and crying and still my heart was racing. Objectively, I was a mess.

The doctor quickly concluded I was stressed out and needed to calm the hell down. He said, “over the weekend I want you to relax. Take a walk on the beach or something, just unwind and get away from your day-to-day life.” I had to come back on Tuesday to see how it went.

Instantly things started to happen, mostly because my mom jumps right on something like this and wants it fixed. We had a good discussion. She sat down with me and asked me, if nothing in the world mattered, what do you want? If money, time and all that wasn’t an issue, what do you want?

Yeah, what did I want? I stared back at her. She assured me not to think about it and just blurt out the first thing that comes to my mind.

“I want to lay in bed all day.” Or something similar popped up. I want all my trouble to go away, I want to be me again. You can figure out the answers. It’s a good question, though it relies on knowing your dreams. On daring to have them.

I want to freaking just do what I’m doing without all these people chasing me! Yes it took a long discussion, but in the end I was just overwhelmed with my life. Everything. Not 1 cause was defining for my state.

You hear a lot when someone gets a burn out or something that this or that wasn’t working out for them. For me, everything was just slightly off course. The problem with that is finding a way to fix it.

I walked on the beach and relaxed as ordered. By the time Tuesday rolled in I was doing a lot better. At the doctor he advised me to tackle one problem at a time and start working half days starting the following week. And soon after that continue as I were.

Since by now I was more than two weeks out of the running, I needed to see the company doctor on Thursday. To address the work problem bit of my life, I was also seeing my manager the same day.
Because this world is all about being unclear, the company doctor totally and completely disagreed with my doctor. I was absolutely not going back to work. He heard me out even more than my doctor did. He explained about cortisol and adrenaline. And pretty much put together a schedule for me to get back to work. And he recommended coaching for me. To get my life straight on all levels.

Next up was the meeting with my manager. I was going to clearly explain to him I didn’t have ambitions and I just wanted to do what I’m doing and not grow to places the company seemed to set out for. And that’s exactly what I did. It meant that if this meeting wasn’t going to work out, I would need to find another job. It was pretty much at that point. It’s a company with pressure on growth and ambition. The meeting did go well. Apparently my perspective was not totally correct. I was probably growing just fine. And we made a deal that I could just stay where I was and when I was ready to go somewhere else I’d let him know.
I also talked to him about what the company doctor had said. Apparently my manager also had this idea to get coaching for me.

I was left with two options there, I could go with the in-house coach of the company, or a coach of some other company. I would have a meeting with both and then I could make my choice. Peachy.

At the same time, things in my personal situation where changing. I was living on my own just over a year. It was a bad neighborhood, I wasn’t ready and it was just plain out making me feel horrible and stressed. During that time I had already moved to living on an air-bed at my parents. I was taking a step back in my development and moving back home. I sold my house and thanks to a buy back guarantee I had my money in three months. Unfortunately I also lost a lot of money, since the house was worth less than when I bought it. However the move totally helped me to relax a lot more.

Still for weeks and weeks I kept having a spastic heart, who would leap into overdrive at its own will. I had trouble sleeping mostly, making me exhausted. Luckily my current client (same as back then), is not very stressful work, so I could slowly go back to work without much problems.

During my coaching sessions I realized a lot of things about myself and the situation I was in. Slowly my eyes opened. More things changed and on September 2nd I ended the relationship I was in. It was a manipulative and horrible relationship. My parents didn’t even tell anyone I was in that relationship, my mom was firmly against it actually. I don’t want to go into detail, let’s just say it was bad and I’m glad that it’s over. Ever since then I’m regaining the pieces of myself that I had lost.

Now that it’s all over, now a year later, I haven’t felt better! I recently moved out of my parents home again. And I am so excited about my new place, I absolutely love it! And I’m actually ready for it now!

I’ve met wonderful new people, strengthened bonds with others. Life’s been good. And you know what? I’m happy this all happened when it did. Why? Because I still have my whole life ahead of me! And now my number 1 goal is to figure out what I truly want.

Don’t get me wrong though, I now know I’m sensitive for this. I had times when I felt I was getting stressed out again. When things pile up and all that. However, now I realize the early symptoms (my dear spastic heart) and when to take a step back and relax.

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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