I just feel freakin’ fit!

  • Monday, October 22, 2018
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I have unexpected time. Normally most of my waking hours are allocated, I am busy with the nuts and bolts of work and family life with all the necessary obligation that those things bring. It is unusual to be alone with nothing that needs doing, so unusual that I feel a little disoriented, TS Elliot wrote about "the Still point of the turning world" the urge to be still when everything around you is constantly moving so I find myself staring out the window, into the weak autumn sun still struggling with yesterday’s rain. There is a couple walking up the road, he is darkly bearded and carrying a half finished bottle of cola, he wipes his face several times with his hand and I wonder if he is wiping away tears. The women is dressed in jeans and has a light blue handbag over her shoulder, I watch them until they climb into their car and drive away and find that I am still alone with nothing to do.
The solution to the paradox of stillness in movement is to think which is what I end up doing.
I have been giving a lot of thought to my life over the last three months, realising that I had to make positive changes I began to investigate how that might be achieved.
I have been in a low grade depression for too long, it’s wearied my soul and chipped away at life and when it drags on and on you begin to wonder what it is exactly we are living for. Albert Camus said that there is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is  or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.
My answer to this is that I love my kids beyond measure and I have to be better for them. Furthermore I deserve to live a life of quality, the sand is slipping through the hourglass and I want to live and experience life again.
I mentioned the film Finding Traction recently and in it Nikki Kimball speaks in a heartfelt way about struggling with depression and the value of being active and outdoors. She was so passionate about it that I looked her up and discovered how she had also changed her diet and how she felt it had benefited her emotionally. Nikki eats low carb, high fat and she feels that it has helped change her moods for the better. The idea behind this is to train the body’s metabolism so that it no longer depends on glucose for fuel but burns fat instead. High blood sugar levels in the brain can lead to excessive highs and lows, depression, confusion and anxiety. The theory is that reducing carbs can stabilise these mood swings.
To this end I have removed carbs, grains and cereals from my eating and replaced them with leafy greens, raw, colourful veggies and so called good fats. I’ve ditched alcohol. Fortunately for me protein is important so I can continue to enjoy things like chicken and steak. I have also started making my own Kefir which is fermented milk containing live cultures. It’s absolutely delicious and has possibly become my favourite thing. I was also suffering from bad acid reflux, causing me to sleep badly so I’ve added bitters like strong coffee, ginger and dark chocolate to my diet to further aid digestion.
Thus I can report after eight weeks that:

  •      I am happier, my moods are more stable and I’m feeling more positive.

  •         My thought processes are clearer and my brain sharper.
  •         My energy levels are up.

  •         I’m sleeping like a bomb because, broadly I no longer have heartburn.

  •         My poo is better although I seem to wee more.

  •         It’s not about weight loss for me but I am leaner.

  •         I’m less hungry during the day.

  •         My running has improved and I ache less post run.
  •         I just feel freakin’ fit!
I’ve always been careful not be become too evangelical about things, I don’t want to be a raving lunatic with strident voice, sandwich board and wild eyes shouting that YOU MUST REPENT BECAUSE I HAVE THE ANSWER, because I don’t. I can only share my experiences and let you decide because we are all different and what works for me may not work for you. This eating change of lifestyle seems to be of huge benefit to me but I’m only 8 weeks in and I have to sustain it. Curiously and encouragingly I am finding the pastries and deserts that I loved no longer have any attraction for me and I’m enjoying preparing different food.
Perhaps the most interesting change has been the apparent benefit to my running, I look forward to my run, anticipate it as the day goes on and have a hunger for it. I have greater energy for sure and I find that I’m running at a faster pace without feeling like I’m pushing hard. This will be another thing that I track over time to see if it is maintained.
For interest I include links to three people I came across in my research that I feel are sane, intelligent and balanced, they are all runners:

http://Thenoakesfoundation.org – Tim Noakes I’ve never met but he has popped up in the background of my life since my twenties. Born in Zimbabwe, a doctor, sports scientist, deep thinker and runner. I trust him. He wrote a seminal book called the Lore of Running which is worth a read. He is not afraid to say he got it wrong.
If you want the science and the numbers he is your man.
I’ve bought his Real Food Revolution.

http://www.timothyallenolson.com/   “Everything you buy is like a vote for what they stock for you “ A maverick.

http://www.findingtractionfilm.com – Nikki Kimball. “The problem is, how do you get someone in the middle of a bout of depression to run? My friends come and literally drag me out of bed. I am screaming and swearing until about the third mile, then I start talking and smiling.”
Lunch - Spinach, Lettuce, Bacon, Olives, Greek Feta, Avocado. Sunshine. Yum.

The Tim Noakes book.

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