Aannsha’s Blog #131 – So what did I do?

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.

Broken bone in my foot and ligament damage

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.

Let's turn this health ship around

Intermittent Fasting

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).

Oh how I would crave starchy food ...

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:

  1. I was feeling less lethargic in the morning.

  2. 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.

Carb manager