This week Baz did all the boat work and all I did was film and edit the video. If you’d like to read about his successes this week – and yes, he did have successes!! – do check out Barry’s Blog #131
So what did I do?
Obviously filming and editing takes out a major chunk of the week. After all it takes two full days to edit and upload a 15 minute YouTube video, and that’s without the filming and footage review to decide what goes and what ends up on the cutting room floor? Well, that’d be the saloon floor in real life.
But in between and around all of that, I like to keep myself occupied. After all, this pandemic has brought home to many of us that life in this body is limited so we’d better make the most of the days that we do have. And hopefully there’ll be lots and lots of days …
To do my best to get lots of days ‘in the bank’, I’m taking a good look at my health and fitness regime. Because, while I thought that a sailing life would be full of exercise, it has turned out to be surprisingly sedentary especially given the amount of time I’m sitting editing.
What health and fitness regime?
Okay, up until recently, I didn’t have one, unless you count swimming three times around the boat daily (when we were in the water, pre-October 2019) and making up for all of that effort by drinking copious amounts of white wine and devouring way too many calories in the food department.
Then I was quite immobile for a few weeks while I let my foot/ankle repair after getting a small fracture in a bone and bad ligament damage on my left foot, just before we arrived at the boatyard here in Limni, on Evia Island in October 2019.
Cold weather set in. So did the munchies – through boredom not from any illegal substances I’ll note here!! And before I knew it, I’d stacked on a fair amount of weight. Okay, all my clothes still fitted, but my muscle tone – wasn’t … and I just felt as if I was approaching old age much too quickly. After all, if we don’t give our bodies what they need to stay fit and healthy, what else are they going to do except go to seed?
So I looked in the mirror one day and decided that I seriously wasn’t ready to march into old age. I was going to turn this health ship around.
After a lot of research into age related disease (compounded by my father’s early decline in his sixties with diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks and death at sixty four years), I made some hard decisions.
Even when my stomach is full of food, I do have a tendency towards binging on starchy, sugary food. That sets up a chemical chain of events in my brain and body that has me (1) feeling starving all the time, (2) reaching for more (starchy) food and/or alcohol, and (3) return to (1).
So how am I addressing this?
For the last eight weeks I’ve been intermittent fasting (IF). I’ve downloaded the BodyFast app which is keeping me on track. Mainly 16:8, or sixteen hours of fasting on water only with a good 8 hour window in which I can eat what I like (but trying to make healthy decisions). After the first few weeks, I found it fairly easy, skipping breakfast, eating from 2pm till 10pm and sleeping for the rest of the fast. I noticed two things:
I was feeling less lethargic in the morning.
I was starting to cheat by drinking later into the evening, then eating salted peanuts, and pushing the fasting time back later and later.
I shook that up a bit by doing the occasional 24 hour and 36 hour fast, which is way easier than I imagined.
I used to be more of an emotional eater and when I was a fit 30 year old and did yoga and meditation regularly, my partner at the time would sometimes announce, “We’re doing a water fast today”. Well, I used to get so bad tempered! I wanted to eat so I’d be annoyed at the ‘rule’. But I wanted to do the fast, but hated feeling hungry and angry – well, fangry!
So fast forward to a few weeks ago, I was very pleasantly surprised that after all of those years, perhaps some of that meditation practice has helped me, so that now I have no resistance to fasting. Or maybe it’s just ‘maturity’.
No it’s not maturity hahaha!
Low carb high fat (LCHF)
Not satisfied with my continuing grabbing of carbs late at night, I did more research. You’ve gotta love YouTube.
Umpteen TedX talks and follow up scouring through speakers’ websites, has me convinced that for my particular body with the cravings, continuous hunger and all that goes with it, it will be better for me – for a while – to lower my carb intake and give my body a rest, hopefully resetting the system.
There’s a lot of research showing that by following a low (very low) carb diet – think cutting out all sugar, processed starch, starchy pulses, most fruits – and by eating a moderate intake of protein with good green vegies (to name some) – and fuelling the system with healthy fats (olive oil for instance), it is possible to end the cravings and come back to balance.
This research also shows that people with diabetes have been treated successfully on this type of eating plan. I was sold. Where do I sign up?
It took a lot of planning as I’d been playing with yummy pulses, quinoa and lots of vegan recipes, so I had to do a bit of a turnaround but for the three weeks I’ve been eating LCHF. I’ve downloaded Carb Manager app which is making the carb counting a lot easier.
Baz has been getting his share of healthy food and eating his own chosen diet so we’re all happy on A B Sea.
Have I noticed any difference?
I’m full more than I’m hungry. I don’t have sugar cravings. I have lost the post-nasal drip that was a mucus problem that I’d noticed was getting worse until I began this way of eating. I wake up energised, rather than feeling as if I’m in a fog.
However, I also noticed that if I drink more than two of my small (100ml) glasses of wine at night, I crave peanuts and sugary stuff and end up drinking more like half a litre or more of wine. Not good.
I also noticed that while I may have lost a couple of centimetres off my waistline, the waist itself is less trim and taught than it is flabby and flowing. Hmm.
Something else needed to be done.
Troubleshooting and targeting the figure
Firstly, when we went shopping today, I decided not to add 1 box of white wine to the shopping list. Unless I have a decent glass of wine with a good meal (such as the steak we’re having tonight – first since Christmas) I’m not going to drink. Let’s see if that makes me grumpy.
Secondly, I’ve begun a dance fitness routine. Don’t get excited, I’m only on day five. But I’ve worked up a sweat each day and the instructor (a Swedish ex-ballroom champion) seems to know what she’s doing.
It’s Fitness 8 and I’m learning lots of Latin American dancing.
And after my darling son Luke sent me some money for (Australian) Mother’s Day last Sunday (along with the most beautiful message that makes me cry each time I read it), I paid for the beginner’s course. It’s quite extensive and I play it on my laptop, while I bounce around like Mr Bean meets Dumbo in the tiny amount of free space in the corner of the saloon next to my Princess Suite. When I become a tad more proficient and less laugh-worthy, I’ll move to the balcony outside the back of where our boatyard studio was and practice there.
So far my knees and misaligned hips (born with the issue) are holding up and I’m shaking my tush like a pro. No comments please.
Mentally buoyed by my actions
I feel great about myself at the moment. I know I’ve got a long way to go before I can say that I’m slim and toned. But I’m doing everything I need for my body, and don’t wake up in the middle of the night panicking because I’m harming myself with food and booze. I sleep soundly. Probably as much due to being shagged out after all of the dancing, but hey, I’m in a good space.
On an astrological note for you star gazers out there, Saturn’s been highlighted (along with a few other planets which is way too complex for me to talk about). But Saturn is about boundaries, structures and limitations.
These can impact negatively or positively. In my case, I feel that I’m placing helpful health structures into place and know that if I follow them every day, while limiting what’s not healthy for me, I’ll soon be looking at feeling fantastic inside and out!
What are you doing these days that supports your health and fitness?
Are you a natural health ‘freak’ or do you struggle with certain things?
I’d love to hear from you.
If you’d like to see the video that accompanies this blog (but is totally not related to it lol), just click here.
Whatever you’re doing, until next week, stay safe and healthy.
Link to Aannsha’s next blog