Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Shocking the system...

Today was the first day I've trained since last Thursday. That's 4 days of no training. It was also the first day since Thursday I didn't have a beer.

It was just what the doctor ordered. I just didn't know it until it was over.

Let me explain.

February 22 was a bit of a turning point for me. I was 207 lbs and I decided it was the day I was going to get back on the straight and narrow, drop some weight and get back into shape.

From February 22 up until April 16th that's what I did. Other than a one night, one day punch of some fun going to the "Three Dog Night" concert last week of March I've been toeing the line and it got results. I dropped about 14 lbs and trained near every day.

It wasn't easy.

To do it I listened to hypnosis near every day and it basically became a ground hog day of sorts and the only non ground hog day was 6 days of straight juicing which was a challenge until itself.

It was basically 8 weeks of clean eating and healthy living.

Those 8 weeks were a very interesting time. The first 30 days I found to be easier than the next 30 days. It seemed like I dropped the first 10 lbs in the first month and then things slowed down. Things really started to become a bit of a grind and the routine was getting to me. All I was wishing for was to lose the next 10 lbs and get down to 185 lbs and then I could enjoy some beers.

I'm not sure what happened on Thursday and it could have went either way. Stay the course or have a beer.

It all started with an afternoon drive down to Niagara Falls to pick up my replacement fridge for my Kegerator. The compressor broke and it's easier to just replace the fridge portion than try to fix a compressor. I was actually told they don't fix compressors.

I wanted to get the kegerator fixed for summer. I want to enjoy some cool beers at my new low weight and enjoy the summer. Picking it up was getting me ready.

As we got close to home and after much debating in my mind back and forth we ended up grabbing something to eat along with some beers.

Other than our road trip in March this would be the first time we were going out for something to eat and drinks. We went to Jack Astors. I ordered a beer and that is where the journey began.

I have two personality traits that never leave me, I'm a passionate all in type and I follow my gut. My gut told me this was the right thing to do. My all in type went for it.

We had a couple beers and some food at Jacks before heading back home to the Pig & Whistle to watch the Winnipeg Jets playoff game. Their first since Winnipeg getting a team back. On the way home we picked up some beers.

It has been a long time since I had beers and it didn't take much for me to feel it. Next thing I know is Alice and I are laughing, having a great time and I forgot to lock the computer up. Like I said it's been about 8 weeks without beers.

For some reason I like to have beers and do social media. Which I did. From years of experience I have my accounts set up that if I do have this "fun" it's only to a select group of close friends.

The reality is it's been so long I forgot to lock up the laptop. For such occasions I even bought a safe for the computer and I don't have the combination lock to it, only Alice does. No joke. I have her lock up electronics and I have to wait until morning when she can open them.

There is two reasons I like to do this. The first is that when you are hanging out with 'real' people, it's kind of crappy to be inter acting with "virtual" people. It's got that rude factor and removes you from being present.

The second is that sometimes what seems like the right thing to do at the time when you are having some cocktails is not something you would think is the right thing to do when you are not having cocktails.

It was a really fun night. Alice and I had some great laughs. Of course I decided to send some fun Instagram video which got a lot of laughs and of course those laughs egged me on to do more. Which I did. Which of course I removed the following day. I totally now get why Snap Chat was invented.

The next day I didn't feel too bad. I woke up. Had a number of meetings and by mid-afternoon decided to shut it down early. It was 22 C outside and the first day we could actually sit outside and have a meal and beers.

Now at this point I remembered, turn off all electronics. Primary reason, be present with the person you are with...i.e. Alice. Before we left for lunch I had her lock up my laptop and after sending some emails from the restaurant patio, into Alice's purse went my cell phone.

So here we are. It's two days in a row and we are at a restaurant having beers. After eating at home, good home cooked and fresh meals for the last 60 days and listening to hypnosis about eating your food slowly and savoring it, I really started to realize how crappy the food is that we had ordered both the day before at Jack Astors and Friday afternoon at Shoeless Joes.

I'm not joking. It tasted dead. Jack Astors actually surprised me. It's gone down hill. It used to be good. Shoeless Joes was awful. I had a starter salad and it was warm and wilted. I've had so many great salads that Alice has made that I noticed the differences right away. I felt like I was wasting my money. It was kind of heart breaking when you get a bill and you pay it knowing you could have done so much better staying at home to eat.

I will say, both of those places we will not be going back to again.

It was such a great day and when we got back home our neighbours, Jeff and Rebbecca where hanging at their Tiki Bar. They put it up late last year and had not yet broken it in. Great weather, great beer, great neighbours and that equals a night at Jeff's Tiki bar until 2 am.

Jeff made some steaks and salad. Awesome food. Steaks were perfect and the salad was super flavorful. I used to eat salad because I thought I should and would force myself to eat it. Over these last 60 days I've learned to love eating salad. I genuinely look forward to eating salad.

Basically Thursday night was a lot of talking. Friday night was a lot of talking and it continued the exact same way into Saturday and Sunday.

We kept the party going on Saturday and went out for a couple of beers and headed home to the Pig & Whistle and on Sunday we had a family dinner to celebrate Alyssa's finishing and graduating from University. She's the first in our immediate family who got a University degree.

We went to Marciano's Pasta Bar. Her favorite and very good food.

I'm so proud of her. She worked so hard and had such amazing grades, winning many awards. Of course she says she could have done better. She, like myself, like Alice and like Reid are a family of 4 that none believe they have done well enough. Myself personally have only within the last 5 years have learned to be able to thank someone for a compliment.

Monday was back to work and most of my day was spent reviewing agreements and paperwork. Lots of signing of stuff and Alice and I drove out to Waterloo to drop off signatures at the lawyer. Of course we stopped for something to eat and some beers. We stopped at a place called Ethel's Lounge.

Interesting place. Really great food. Interesting atmosphere and just by chance we showed up on a Monday late afternoon and they were hosting a wake. Interesting atmosphere and some interesting characters.

Woke up this morning and I felt like I hadn't trained in weeks. Over these last 4 days I've been weighing myself and waiting to see this incredible gain. I've been lucky. It maxed out this morning at 195.2 lbs. Not bad all things considered. On Monday, my Weight Watchers weigh in day it was 194.6 lbs. I was down .2lb.

I've been looking at myself in the mirror each day, reluctantly. Actually on Friday morning after being dehydrated from Thursday night I looked pretty damn good. Even weighted in at 193 lbs.

So this morning I wake up. Have a number of things to do for work and today became the moment of truth. Am I going to get back to training and eating healthy? Or I'm I going to continue to slide and reverse all of my losses and start gaining weight and get out of shape?

It was the moment of truth.

Something came over me to go out for a run at 9 am and work stopped me. A couple of impromptu meetings and next thing I knew it was 12 noon and I was still in my running clothes and not really wanting to get out to run but something inside me took over and I decided to run.

Now this is were things get weird. It was the best run in at least a year, maybe longer. Speed wise that it. I threw heart rate out the window from the beginning because it was high from the last 4 days of not training and indulging.

But the run felt somewhat effortless. I started off running and it was a 5:15 pace. A 5:15 per km pace is very respectable. I got to the 5 km turnaround at it was 5:08 per km average and I ended up finishing at at 5:02 km average. Negative splits to boot.

I was amazed. I'm not going to sugar coat it. There is no doubt and has never been any doubt that beer is to me what spinach is to Popeye. It is just the best recovery drink I've ever had. My best runs and races I have carbo'd up on beer before hand.

Frankly I didn't think I had a 5:15 or less in me ever again period. To think that only 6 weeks ago I was running at a 7:22 per km average pace.

That run was the run that told my world that our little party is over and we are back on track. It did it with an exclamation mark and to think about it had I not decided to do it I would never have guessed that it would have been an awesome run.

Back to work and then at the end of the day I decided to listen to a hypnosis session. It's a new one. I listened to it last week and pretty much fell asleep and didn't know what it was saying. Today I was trying to stay awake so I could hear what she was suggesting. I managed to stay awake about 50% of the time this time which is really weird, my other program I don't fall asleep too.

When I woke up it was 5 pm and something came over me that I wanted to do a swim and not just a swim, I knew I wanted to do a 3.2 km swim.

Next thing I know I was in the pool doing laps and feeling STRONG and pounded out 3200 meters and owned it. I had not anticipated that I was going to feel so good and strong in the pool. The time also flew by.

After the swim I sat in the hot tub for near 30 minutes and went into a trance like state and reflected on the last 4.5 days on two levels. The first was from a physically level and the other was from a personal insight level.

On the training level I realized that those 4 days of non training and shocking my system with food and drink actually greatly improved my performance. I didn't even think about training over those last 4 days because my calfs were so sore from dehydration and from experience know that if you train with dehydrated calfs you will be injured and not be able to run for 4 - 6 weeks.

I shocked my system

As I was sitting in my hot tub trance I realized that break troughs never happen in a linear fashion. Think about it. In the universe at every level new levels are reached through "a big bang". Something out of the norm happens and in an instant catapults things into a different level.

Physically body builders do it and prove it time and time again. You don't get big muscles from linear workouts. You need to shock your muscles and body every once and a while to launch it into the next level.

In life, same thing. You never grow emotionally in a linear fashion. There is usually a seismic event that causes you to have to deal or cope with something that makes you stronger.

Shocking the system is taking what ever system that is out of it's comfort zone and changing the chemistry on all levels.

Aside from the physical shocking of the system that I put my body through. It's been a long time since I've had beers with Alice and talked about stuff. I find that some of my most creative ideas and insights have come when Alice and I sit around the bar at the Pig & Whistle and talk. Every problem I can remember that I've ever had that I couldn't figure out sober, I could figure out at the Pig & Whistle.

Beer shocks up the body AND mind.

I'm not going to go into the personal insight that I got over the last 4 days but I will say that it was transforming. I guess that's why in a way I figured I'd been out of my routine for 4 weeks not 4 days.

I can truthfully say that on a personal level the dial has moved dramatically. I gained insights that I never had before. It was like the "big bang" within my mind.

I shocked my system. These past 4.5 days of reflection have had a profound change on me personally.

So now I'm back, physically stronger and a vision of things to come.

Run - 50:24 / 10.04 km
Swim - 1:08 / 3.2 km
195.2 lbs

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