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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Finding Clarity and Creating New Habits

So many new things and so many reasons to create new habits.  While I really feel overwhelmed right now because of work-related things, I'm also rejoicing in the fact that I'm trying to create new habits to help me move forward, embrace change, be a more fit individual, and contribute to that 2015 goal of Becoming My Best Self.

First of all, Charles and I have a new friend.  Her name is Phoebe and Charles met her doing an Uber fare one night.  Turns out that she lives on our street!  I finally got to meet her in April over margaritas and have decided that she is just wonderful!  Since the margarita night, we've had a few dinners together and other visits.  She taught me the Tim Tam Slam and introduced me to Intermittent Fasting (more on that later).  Phoebe is a super person and I'm so glad that we have her in our life.  I think she will be a good person for us because she's fit, she's a foodie, and she's pretty social (she also loves Duke, our Prince, and he clearly loves her, too!)

Now - Intermittent Fasting!  Phoebe told me a little about this and shared a few podcasts with me - i listened to all of them, and THEN some.  In fact, I've scaled back on my obsession with the Rich Roll Podcast (a little, LOL) and have tuned in to a TON of podcasts featuring information about Intermittent Fasting.  One of the BIG advocates is a fella named James Clear - I've referenced him in my blog before, and will talk more about him later.  Below you'll see Dr. Sara Solomon and Chalene...The Chalene Show was the FIRST podcast I listened to on this!  Look at Sara's abs!  Is that even possible?????

In any case, I have officially started Intermittent Fasting and have been doing it for about two weeks now.  I stop eating at 8pm and I fast until noon the next day.  It's an 8 hour eating window and a 16 hour fasting window.  I take 10g of BCAA powder in my water before working out in the morning and another 10g after.  Working out and training in a fasted state is really supposed to increase fat burning potential and while I haven't weighed myself yet, I'm assuming that I'm dropping weight, too.  Part of this little experiment needs to include my measurements as well.  So maybe when the Gala is over, I can work on this.  

Positive things I'm noticing - I have a HUGE amount of clarity in the morning during my workouts as well as energy and happiness.  Even running in a fasted state has proven to be successful - no "bonking".  The BCAA's help a little...and I load up on a lot of water in the morning.  

Having said that, I find that I'm starving by 11am and practically counting the minutes until I can eat!  The water helps with this a bit...but I'm in the bathroom constantly.  Coffee kind of helps, too - and I'm thinking of introducing the concept of Bulletproof coffee into my morning, but I really have to watch the calories here, otherwise it will break the fast.  

I also find that I tend to eat a really big lunch when I think about it.  It totally depends on the occasion - so, for example, yesterday I went to lunch with a colleague and ate at The Veggie Grill.  I ordered the Bombay Bowl and a side of Mac and Cheese.  It was a high calorie meal and helped me feel full.  But on Monday all I ate was fruit in the office and never really felt like I could get enough calories in me.  It's SO true that when you only eat for 8 hours you have to be very conscious on how you get all your calories in.  

NOW - i talked earlier about James Clear - he's not a doctor or a nutritionist, but he does appear to be an "expert" on Intermittent Fasting.

I happened to listen to his guest spot on Healthynomics, and he shared his Three R's of Habit Change:

The 3 R’s of Habit Change
Every habit you have — good or bad — follows the same 3–step pattern.
  1. Reminder (the trigger that initiates the behavior)
  2. Routine (the behavior itself; the action you take)
  3. Reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behavior)
So - how can i make this work for me with my fitness goals and my 2015 Become My Best Self Goals?
For starters, the fitness piece is kinda easy:
1.  Reminder:  the alarm on my phone that tells me, "Exercise, Bitch!"  I've started to use songs as alarms rather than the standard iPhone tones.  Right now I'm waking to THE DAYS by Avicii.  It USED TO be JUMP by Kriss Kross, but the hubby nixed that quickly, LOL.
2.  Routine:  run, bike, swim, cross train.  This week, all of this is a little sticky because of the Gala, but next week it will be much easier to do ALL my workouts in the morning.  THANK GOODNESS!!!
3.  Reward:  how awesome I will feel going into work having just burned a bunch of calories and sticking to my plan!!  I always feel like I have a better day when I start with exercise or training!
And once this gala is over, remember....I HAVE to kick triathlon training into SUPER FUCKING HIGH GEAR!!

Now - how does this apply to intermittent fasting?  Let's see....
1.  Reminder:  there's an app on my phone with a "clock" that tells me when to start eating.  In the beginning, this was 12pm.  Now I think I'm gonna move it to 1pm.  Ouch.  Today is the first day for that, I'll let you know how that goes!
2.  Routine:  once the notification goes out, I get to eat!!!  YES!!  What a relief!!  
3.  Reward:  feeling sated....full...having food in me...getting to enjoy said food...what else can i say?  Oh, probably some energy coming from that, too - the food I eat between 1pm and 9pm is what fuels my workouts - and burns fat - the next morning!!

Okay, now let's apply this to the PLANNING for my 8 hour window....okay:
1.  Reminder:  so, what if at 9pm I put my food together for the next day?  Or at the very least, check my calendar to see what the work day dictates.  Do I have a work-related meal to attend?  And event?  If nothing like that appears, I need to put together the stuff that I can eat when 1pm arrives!
2.  Routine:  so, yes, i'm going to be bringing food to work, but don't eat it all at once for crying out loud!  Actually, this needs to be taken more seriously.  The things I'm learning about IF state that you can get three meals in during your window or just two meals in.  Having said that, WHAT goes into those meals to insure that I'm getting enough calories?  Can I just eat fruit at 1pm until it's time to go home?  When do I eat "dinner" with the hubby?  And should I be taking a snack around 8:30 to get my through the night?  All good questions, all needing to be considered!!  So this - the ROUTINE - is something to work on!!
3.  Reward:  the reward here is knowing that I'm eating enough food and not too much food!  and in the long run, the reward will be a lighter, fitter, flatter-tummy ME!!

Finally - for Becoming My Best Self....that's a little tougher.  James says, "The best way I know to discover a good reminder for your new habit is to write down two lists. In the first list, write down the things that you do each day without fail.  In the second list, write down the things that happen to you each day without fail."  Ouch.  This is kinda complicated.  How do I create a HABIT for Becoming My Best Self?  
Even as I'm writing this, I'm referring back to James Clear's post...and I see something else he shared from Seth Godin:

Your Life Goals are Not Your Habits

Your audacious life goals are fabulous. We’re proud of you for having them. But it’s possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that’s really frightening you—the shift in daily habits that would mean a re–invention of how you see yourself.

So, maybe that helps sums things up.  As I shift my daily habits, and focus on fitness and feeding for a little while, this can lead to that re-invention of how I see myself.  And if I choose to see myself as a fitter, healthier, flatter-tummy Version of My Best Self, then what's to be frightened about?  NOTHING, right?  

So there you have it.  That's the focus for this and next week.  THANKS for reading :) 

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