Sometimes when you’re on a journey of self discovery you have experiences that at first don’t make any sense. For the last year as an Aussie bloke in his early 40’s I’ve made the decision to start looking after my body.
My Evolution To Getting Healthy
Like many Aussie men, I probably haven’t been the best at taken care of myself, and to be honest, it was easy not to. Once upon a time I could play a full day of AFL (a game in the 2s and then play in the 1s in the afternoon, go to a party and drink way too much beer and a host of other beverages, feel a little hazy for an hour or two the next morning, and then begin the week just to do it all over again next weekend.
I wouldn’t eat all that well during the week either, and never really has to think about it. As rolled into my 30’s I started to drink more during the week, to point of normalcy, and still binge on the weekend.
I started to put on weight and constantly felt bloated. The binge exercise I used to do, just wasn’t having an effect anymore. So as I hit my 40s with a young family, and started to notice that that I’d occasionally here of an old school friend that got sick and died, or died essentially from abusing themselves for so long, I realised it was my time to starting thinking about getting healthy.
Still I’m sometimes tagged in a Facebook post with old friends together, and most of them look overweight, and seriously unhealthy. It seems a lot of them have fallen into the same trap of the last 20 years or so.
The Routine That Has Changed My Life
So now you know a bit about my back story, I can explain what works for me, and also might work for others. It costs me almost nothing, except a little bit of time and importantly, commitment.
My Healthy "ME' Routine1. I fast two days a week. Each day is a full 24 hours. Currently it’s a Monday and on a Thursday. You can learn more about my interpretation of the 5:2 diet here.
3. I exercise everyday. I ride my mountain bike at least 30 mins per day (usually in the morning) as hard as I can go. Full exertion for a short period of time. If I get time on the weekend I always try and get a larger ride in.
2. I’ve implemented the Wim Hof Method into my every day routine. I do the breathing techniques everyday…..and I mean everyday. I also take a cold shower(cold therapy), at least once in the day. Sometimes it’s in the morning, sometimes it’s in the evening. You can learn more about the Wim Hof Method and it’s benefits here.
4. I don’t drink during the week. On the weekends I try to moderate carefully.
I commit to all of the above.
5. I’m careful with my diet, and limit sugar as much as possible.
The only supplemental intake is currently taking our organic super green juice each morning.
7. I’m now about 6 months in to doing all 100%, and it’s been life changing. I’ve lost weight, but more importantly my mind and body feels exceptional.
My Weird Experience When I Was Starving
So as I mentioned I had an experience the other day, that at first didn’t make sense, until I did a little more research.
Last week, it was Tuesday morning. I fast on Mondays so this meant I had not eaten in 24 hours. I did feel really hungry. However I decided to get in an early morning bike ride before breakfast. I took a route that has more hills, and went out hard as usual, thinking that I would knock up rather quickly without eating for 24 hours.
The opposite happened however, and as I got further into the ride, I felt better, and just kept going harder and harder. By the end I powered home up the hill, in better shape than I had ever been before.
It certainly intrigued me what this had happened, so straight to Google I went.
Maybe There Is Something To Qigong & Chi
So the first article I came across talked about the ancient Chinese energy art called Qigong. The theory goes that we cultivate a storehouse of energy in the lower abdomen. When unlocked this energy can move through the body and revitalise organs and systems. This energy, also known as “Chi”.
The problem however, as the article states, is that most people this energy is blocked. Too much food blocks this energy. Not only does it block Chi physically, but energy is also diverted to actually digesting food, especially if you’ve eaten too much or over indulged. Of course, all this makes perfect sense, but I’d never heard of this before.
You can read more in the article here: https://scottjeffrey.com/eat-less/
There is also a nice Quora thread on the subject here: https://www.quora.com/Does-eating-less-give-you-more-energy
Why Intermittent Fasting Aids This Process
According the an article on Freeletics:“Eating several times throughout the day means our metabolism goes through cycles of breaking down carbohydrates and turning them into blood sugar. Eventually it is used for energy or stored in cells for later. After blood sugar is consumed or stored by the body, it drops, taking your energy and mental performance down with it.”
However when fasting:
“fat is digested slowly and must be sent to the liver for processing (to ketones) before it can be used for energy. This process happens steadily and consistently with no up and downs, meaning we have more energy, feel better and our concentration levels and cognitive function is also higher.”
The Science On Having More Energy When Fasting Is Already There
So even though this has been a well known benefit of fasting for a really long time, it was the first time that I had really noticed and experienced it myself.
This intermittent fasting thing just keeps getting and better.