We are nearly two weeks into the New Year and I’m pleased to report a week of good things! I rode just under 300km last week and managed a run and some strength training, stuck to my new nutrition habit and organised my mental health plan. In Australia, we can access psychology through Medicare, so I am feeling obliged to take advantage of the taxes I pay! The road to a happier place hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it, despite the tears and self doubt that plagued me for most of last week. The adage of sometimes you need to hit rock bottom before things improve resonates!
Firstly – training! It’s been a good week – the highlight being a ride to Tamborine mountain with Coach Liz and the girls. It was a tough day out, which involved sitting on Cherie’s wheel whilst she did a solid time trial effort of about 25km. I got spat out at a nasty little pinch at Yarrabilba, but I was pleased to have been able to hang on to her wheel for about 18km especially when undulations were involved. The climb up Tamborine was tough, I stopped once to sort out a cramp and have a bit of a technique reset, and as I was quite slow, I decided to soak up the rainforest atmosphere. The other big bonus was that even though the temperatures were starting to soar, the climb was shaded. The descent down the other side of the mountain was exhilarating and from a technique perspective, I felt like I’d done a pretty good job! There was a nasty 12% climb after the descent which wasn’t exactly to my liking, however after that it was all smooth sailing. Since then there’s been a swim, a recovery ride and some efforts this morning, including four hill sprints. They’re never my finest hour, but there’s been a definite improvement in fitness since my first attempts six or so weeks ago – the only way is up, literally!
Secondly – nutrition! I have managed to tick the box on the habit of eating three times a day – except for long rides. The result of this has been a four kilogram loss since the beginning of December, with most of that coming off after Christmas. It hasn’t been easy, but it hasn’t been a white knuckling restrictive eating affair either. In fact if I eat too little, I find it hard to last at least five hours between meals and I figure that if I’m consistently getting little drops on the scale, then there’s no need to change anything. I’ve taken out all ‘diet’ products and am eating what I’d consider to be ‘regular’ food, meaning that we’ve been cooking out of normal recipe books with no consideration paid to fat or calorie content. Interestingly enough, most of my meals have been made from scratch even though I hadn’t planned it that way. The main thing is that I seem to fill up nicely on this food and am now having stretches where I’m not thinking about the next meal, food, or wondering whether whatever I am doing is “working” so I’d call the free up of mental space winning.
Thirdly – addressing mental health/depression/anxiety etc. As mentioned above, I’ve got the ball rolling with my GP. What I have noted is that once I decided to do something, I immediately began to feel better. However, because I’m feeling relatively cheerful today, I’m not letting myself off the hook as I know there’s work to be done.
It’s a nice feeling to be ticking off some goals in a sensible, evidence based way. The quacks out there would have you believe that there’s something wrong with you and that you need to buy their program to ‘succeed’. It’s better to know that being sane and sensible is the better option!