The year of health

What/Why

I hate the idea of New Year’s resolutions. There’s something too arbitrary about deciding to make a substantial, meaningful change on the 1st of January. Why couldn’t it have been made months earlier?

I turn 40 in 2019 – it’s a big deal, or everyone tells me it is. So I decided rather than wait till 40 to make a change, I’d get a 12-month head start.

I’m a huge fan of the cortex podcast, and it introduced me to ‘yearly themes’ as a way to add structured focus or improvements over the course of 12-months.

For me, 2018 is all about health, and I decided to focus on five main areas:-

  1. Sleep – Improving the quality and quantity of my sleep, I’ve felt for a while it was poor and negatively impacting me.
  2. Weight/Fat Percentage – I want to continue working to reduce them to a healthy level.
  3. Fitness – Historically, I’ve been pretty unfit, and I suspect this will catch up with me unless I affect some positive change soon.
  4. Diet – I want to make some extensive improvements. Reducing or eliminating gluten, sugar, caffeine and my carb intake.
  5. Stress – I’ve suffered from anxiety for as long as I can remember, not legitimate – the annoying type that has no reason or logic.

It’s April, any Progress?

Sleep

I’ve made some significant progress on this one. At the start of the year, I was averaging about five hours of sleep a night. I was getting into bed at about 10.30 pm, waking up at 5.30 am and was awake for 1-2 hours of that. I was waking exhausted, irritable and using ‘supplements’ to stay useful during the day.

I started wearing three devices to gather data – my apple watch, a Fitbit charge 2 and an Oura Ring. The Oura ring is a fantastic device, and I’d strongly recommend it for anyone looking to gather detailed data on their sleep patterns.

I discovered I was only averaging 20 minutes or so of deep sleep, the phase where the body does most of its repairs and regeneration.

I’ll talk more about this in detail in another post; but between January and April, I’ve managed to increase my sleep time by about 1-hour, without any extra time in bed.

My deep-sleep has increased to around 1 hour – and I pretty much fall asleep the second my head hits the pillow.

How? I started wearing blue-light blocking glasses from 7 pm every day.

No activity, food or drink within 2 hours of bedtime

and I take 5mg of melatonin about 45 minutes before I expect to move to the bedroom.

I also invested in a fantastic pillow and bamboo sheets – HIGHLY recommended.

Weight/Fat Percentage/Fitness

I was 100KG and 20% fat at the start of the year.

As of right now, I’m about 90KG and 15% fat.

I’ve been consistently rowing 10km per day on an indoor rowing machine and aiming to have a 5km walk every day.

I’m aiming to do this five days a week, with more or less depending on what my body tells me.

Diet

I made a significant change in January – I changed to OMAD (One meal a day). It’s a lot less hassle than planning meals throughout the day. I aim for five days a week and don’t stress too much if I have to break this with lunch with a friend or whatever.

As of this week (w/c 16th April) I’m also moving towards a low/zero gluten diet and more of a Keto macro.

It will look something like this – with variations depending on my physical activity on a given day. It represents a 500-1k deficit so I’ll be tracking my exercise and making adjustments as needed. Along with the change in macros, ill be moving off Pepsi-max, caffeine in general and any processed sugar. I’ve done Keto before, and it has massive benefits for me in terms of body comp, and overall health – so I’m hoping I can stick to it this time.

Whats next?

Sticking to the Keto diet will be a big deal, but I’m aiming for 3-months at least, with 2-3 full blood workups during that period.

If you are interested, I’ll make sure updates go on here 🙂

/Adrian

 

Leave a Reply