Eating well definitly isn’t on my short list of strong points. The fact of the matter is that I just enjoy eating, and I really enjoy eating cake! It’s not uncommon for my friends to laugh as I demolish a whole battenburg cake with lunch on climbing days and title it my “energy food”. And we can all imagine the sugar crash that soon follows.
Now I don’t wish to encourage this kind of gluteny but normally I can just about get away with it. Through working a fully active job and not stopping being active on weekends I burnt enough calories for my poor eating to never show its dark side. That was right up until I became “inactive”. Not exercising as much as I used to was inevitably going to have some effect on my energy and mental health. But I didn’t even take into account my diet, and continued to eat pretty crappy food without doing anything to burn it off. It was only a few days ago that I really started to look at how much added sugar was in the foods I was eating, from the fruit juice with breakfast to the sweets and crisps as snacks. These kinds of added sugars have no nutritional benefit and are only really there to make things taste nice! Also eating all of this sugar and not exercising was causing some weird mood swings throughout the day, which was not helping in keeping me positive.
So I decided to cut out all unnecessary sugars. I know that there is sugar in almost everything and is very hard to cut out completely but I’m just going to cut out the added sugars like sweets, concentrated juice and over processed food. I found some pretty disturbing facts from the guardian written by a doctor that stated there was no healthy amount of sugar consumption-
- Stresses the Liver: “When we eat fructose, it goes to the liver. If liver glycogen is low, such as after a run, the fructose will be used to replenish it..However, most people aren’t consuming fructose after a long workout and their livers are already full of glycogen. When this happens, the liver turns the fructose into fat. Some of the fat gets shipped out, but part of it remains in the liver. The fat can build up over time and ultimately lead to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.”
- Increases Bad Cholesterol and Triglycerides.
- Can contribute to Leptin Resistance (and then weight gain, cravings, sleep trouble, etc).
- Creates an addictive sugar response in the brain.
- Doesn’t fill you up and instead encourages you to eat more.
The first few days have been fine, easier than I thought they would be in fact. I am still having to consciously think about not snacking through the day times, but that is getting better and I’ll graze on fruit if I get really hungry. I have also noticed my energy start to return and level out throughout the day.
To compliment this healthy eating kick I have also started to get back into my old training habits. So I have slowly started to fill my evenings with the joyful practises of lots of sets of pull ups, pushups, sit-ups and a variety of other exercises that are achievable on one leg. It definitely is proving difficult training for climbing when I can’t actually go an put it into practise yet but those days will come, and I want to be strong like an ox when it does!
After these sweaty delights comes the pièce de résistance, time spent aimlessly hanging from a torture device that kids these days like to call a fingerboard. It can easily be summed up by hanging from your fingers on a variety of different little edges until you can hold on no longer and end up curled up in a ball on the floor underneath said torture device feeling like half the man you were when you started. I have been trying out the new Beastmaker app which has proven really helpful as it lets you set the difficulty of your workout and how many sets you think you can claw your way through.
The ankle is also making some progress, As per my instructions from the doctor I also spent yesterday evening slowly putting weight back onto my ankle as I walked around on both crutches, the joint was certainly stiff as expected but i didn’t feel too much pain so I am looking forward to continuing this physio. Ill end this blog on that healthy, happy and productive note. ’till next time, Steve