Friday, October 7, 2011

Getting less Fat. Are you a Loh or a Brad?

  The stages of coming back into form and fitness for my good self generally are

1) Get moving on the bike, yes you're fat but don't worry about it

2) Get moving more, wow you're fat but damn this exercise makes you sooo hungry, surely I can eat lots and the weight will drop?

3) Maintain moving more, oh no, still fat! Dammit, now I have to eat less :cry:

 And so it goes. The ever revolving circle of weight gain, weight loss...

How different people manage their diets and their weight seem to be entirely personal. Some swear off fatty food forever, others prefer to have small amounts to keep their desires at bay whilst maintain a 24/7 strict control of their diet and others (like myself) adopt an all or nothing approach.

Last year in the Marco Polo team house we wear witness to an ideological stand off.

In the Blue Corner stood Marco Polo stalwart, my Malay/Chinese food mentor and lover off all things tasty Loh Sea Keong.

Mr Loh is Mr Happy

In the Red Corner, Asian racing veteran and anti-fat zealot Brad Hall

Brad and Jono, getting into Qinghai Shape

I first arrived in Geleen with hard established routines with my healthy eating in place. This was completmented by the strict low fat diet of Brad. To quote Brad from various times and places

"Oh no, I don't eat nuts, too much fat"
"Hmm no, deep fried, not for me"

 Frankly, I am jealous at his commitment and fortitude, it's really something to behold. His diet is pretty darn sensational, and what's what, it works for him. He does not do fat.

 But I was getting mixed messages.

 I would look across and see Loh with Red wine and a thick wedge of triple cream brie, and he would just smile and laugh;

 "It doesn't matter Jono! You worry too much, whatever makes you happy. I have wine, I have cheese, I have no depression!"

And it sure worked for Loh. He was in for the long haul, he knew how to manage long stints away from home. And he knew what he needed to keep himself going; small doses of the good stuff.

Loh chucking another steak on the barbie

In reflection, I now know I sit the fence between those two. It's all or nothing. I have a split personality, for half the year I am Loh, for half the year I am Brad. I can only get through each period of being Brad because I know the reward of being Loh is not too far around the corner.

Those in attendance at one recent and notably ferocious dumpling session saw Rhys Gillett put away more than a few plates of dumplings. These people bear witness to the success of the All or Nothing approach. He is one skinny MOFO.

All or Nothing, do tell more:
When the time is right, have a few drinks, have some of that tasty cake. Enjoy it. Go nuts. As long as you are aware that all these jolly festivities will have to be worked off. There is no creative Greek accounting here, Goldman Sachs aren't gonna help you hide that blubber off the balance sheet, it's there. You know it's there. You have been warned.

When it's time to get down to business then there's no more messing about, cut the crap, drop the alcohol, get used to being a bit peckish most of the time, and get pedalling. It works for me.

I have one weakness though. One thing that keeps my obsessive compulsive tendencies at bay more than any toenail picking sesh' or any knuckle crack. That's coffee.

What's that you ask, coffee's not unhealthy? What are you on about you nutjob?

Well, long story short, (and aside from delving deep into the positives or negatives of caffeine, although if you feel like bombarding my comments, go nuts...) I ween myself down off coffee coming into big races to maximise the caffeine kick I can utilise during races. Or, moreso, just to get rid of any withdrawals if for whatever reason (god help me) I can't get a coffee before a race.

What this means for me is it's damn hard to be battling the bulge AND dosing down off coffee at the same time. It's very hard.

Yeh Yeh, I hear you all say, tough the **** up.

But no. Stuff ya's all.

And yes it is worth the stress of managing the ebbs and flows of going up and down through BMI categories and various states of caffeine addiction. It's very much worth it. Because food is awesome. And coffee is even awesomer (Yes I did that)

I know what process works for me

Haidar, Loh, Brad, Jono all tucking in

The question is, what works for you?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Big Brother Altitude House- Living with Iron Men and Women

Time in the altitude house out at VU has come and gone.

There were a number of good things about livin' life in the altitude hotel. Firstly, it's dam motivating being around a bunch of  endurance athletes preparing for the Hawaiian Ironman.

Dinner time conversation usually goes like this:

"What did you get up to today Jono?"
"Oh, I've been pretty busy, I went home about 10am, then I snuck off to do some pilates then I got back to do my hour of riding in the heat. You?

"Yeh not too much, just up a touch before 5am to get to swim squad, then back for my hour in the heat on the bike, then to work for 12 hours then I just ran from work to home, to the physio's, then to the gym, then back here and  I'm gonna knock off some calf raises then I'll be done.... it's been a cruisey day."

The funny part is you think I'm joking.

Secondly, it's even better being a 'hard working' uni student around a bunch of double timers (that is, full time worker + full time athlete). I certainly appreciate the flexibility in my schedule that's for sure.

Aside from time playing lab rat I've been getting on the bike OUTSIDE (which is freakin sensational)

Take this morning, Beach Road;
-No wind
-Good training partner, Mitch aka Dr Moo.

On Sunday, out through Eltham,
-Nice hills
-No magpies (got lucky)
-Wicked muffins at Smiths Gully (+ coffee)
-Good chatting with Stalds
-Tagging onto a bunch on the trip home (Who knew, a break away bunch from the 6amers , know there's another bunch of guys who I can train with and have my legs ripped off)

All the things that make cycling great; different training grounds, different training partners, tasty baked goods, copious amounts of coffee and those luuuurvely post exercises endorphins. Like all good things, cycling is addictive.


And on a final note I did another interview, this time with Shawry.