I feel the last two weeks have been a period of stagnation. To riff on King Claudius from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “when troubles come, they come not as single spies, but as battalions” and although there’s been nothing of major consequence, I’ve been riding a 14 day long wave of stress that’s affected training, nutrition and most of all, my sleep and recovery.
When my stress levels soar, I find solace in food, and in the last few weeks I’ve had my share of higher carb days and a few misplaced binges that shouldn’t have happened. Being on holiday, surrounded by abundant, exotic, cheap food in locations famous for its carefree decadence and worship to hedonism makes it hard to maintain the spartan rigidity of a contest diet.
14 days ago I switched to a carb-rotation schedule incorporating one planned cheat-high meal a week. Given the circumstances, it’s been more like 2-3 cheat meals a week. When I say cheat meal, I’m talking, 2 bread baskets with butter, 3 large croissants, banana milkshake, small pizza, 12 oz steak with mashed potato, 2 cups of rice, 1 plate of seafood risotto, cheese platter, chocolate cheesecake, and blueberry ice-cream.
Go hard or go home, right?
There’s no surprise that my weight is up 4kg (9lbs) in two weeks after these kinds of calorie shit-storms and the associated stress-related water retention.
Strangely enough, when I binge for 2-3 days straight, I inevitably look fuller and more vascular; that’s a given. But I also get more comments about how much better I look compared to when I’m grinding away on low carbs and low calories.
I’m still not anywhere near the level of conditioning I need to be at, so I’m going to tighten up the diet and introduce some regular daily cardio for the next few weeks and see how things go.
I can definitely see why all or nothing diets can be so appealing and easy to follow. When you take a moderate approach, using carb cycling, incorporating some tasty foods etc, you can really skirt the boundaries of temptation. Keep it bland, keep it harsh, keep it painful but the results come that much quicker and more dependably.
With time running out, I’m going to start posting my weekly training and diet logs to preserve what I’m doing – I have a habit of ruining my workout journals over time by tipping copious amounts of protein shakes and water on them. Plus, it’s also a way of being accountable. I always seem to work better and maintain discipline when someone is looking over my shoulder, and this is the best way I can do this.
Anyway, here’s pics with 8 weeks to go.