Monday, February 25, 2013

Super fuel for super bodies

The other day I joked on Facebook and Twitter that I must have accidentally put my undies on the outside when I got dressed that morning, because I was feeling bulletproof. Amazingly, the feeling has persisted. I feel strong, capable, energetic (well, most of the time), and almost exclusively POSITIVE.  Not that I've was exactly dragging my butt around in a miserable funk prior to this or anything, but there is a noticeable change for the better.

I've been thinking about the reasons why and here's what I've come up with:

  • I'm doing more exercise than I've done for a long while.
  • I'm exercising consistently. None of that "Ouch, my back/shoulder/whatever hurts. Poor me, I'll have to skip training".
  • I haven't had a single glass of wine since the 28th January. I know, sainthood is practically guaranteed, right?
  • I've been monitoring my coffee intake and am sticking to two cups a day, with the odd third cup on a weekend. No "Oops, that was my seventh cup. How did that happen?"
  • My meals have been packed full of veggies and fruit and 99% free of any packaged, processed stuff for about four weeks now.* 
  • My injury treatment has shifted more towards strengthening weak muscles with some Pilates Reformer work than hands-on hurty stuff - and I like it!
There are psychological benefits from all of this, of course; the satisfaction that comes from honouring your commitments to yourself, as well as the ego-stoking pleasure of discovering that you're not the broken-down weakling you thought you were, definitely helps. But I honestly think that most of the effect is physical - my body does not like being flooded with caffeine, alcohol and nasty foods that either have no real value or that I'm intolerant to (yes, flour and sugar, I'm looking at you!). The response to eating nutrient-rich foods and moving my body regularly is almost miraculous.

There's a big bonus from being in such a good place physically: it makes it so much easier to develop some mental strength as well. Every time that voice in my head says "I can't" when faced with an exercise activity, I tell it to shut up and give it a try anyway. Most of the time, it's wrong. I'm sick of listening to that whiney biatch. I'm stomping on the negative thoughts and telling myself something positive instead, yeah!

Yesterday I even stepped into the squat rack for the first time in months. I got through one set of standard barbell squats, but holding the bar in place was really too painful for my shoulders. Not to worry; I just changed to front squats instead. I even did some arm training - my physio has cleared me to train biceps and even triceps, as long as I pick my exercises carefully. Today I'm having some slight difficulty straightening my arms. Happy face ->  :o)

I've always known that the foods we choose to eat have a huge effect on our bodies and minds, but I've never before noticed such a startling result in such a short time. Has anyone else experienced anything similar when cleaning up their nutrition?

*Yes, I fell right off the Gorgeous Skin wagon, but I'm back on it again. Shut up.



Sandra said...

This morning I noticed that for the past 5-6 days I've been hit with a headache the minute I get up...didn't take much to figure out the pattern. Over the past couple of weeks I've been a tad relaxed about my afternoon snack and it has deteriorated to pure white carbs and sugar laden processed crap...Hello!!
Today I have embarked on the clean-up. Will be interesting to see if I have the same benefits you're enjoying.
Great post!

Kek said...

It's interesting stuff, Sandra. I had a withdrawal episode on Friday, and I'm still scratching my head over what the cause was. Persistent headache, lethargy, grumpiness, and just a general "unwellness". Obviously I was eating something disagreeable until a few days prior, but I can't for the life of me figure out what, since I cleaned up my act a couple of weeks before that.

I'll have to go through my food logs and see if I can find the culprit.

Liz N said...

Kekky I reckon the skin on your face will look awesome, as will your butt from those figure hugging Wonderwoman undies. Now there's a blogger photoshoot in the making!

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