Resting, fasting and exercising for health in January 2022.
Blog time : it’s the end of a wet and cold week, mid January as i write and iv’e just got through the first part of my new year reset, a multi day fast- i broke my fast with a celebratory actual breakfast out with my partner on day 5 and some 108 hours fasted. I didn’t make it quite as long as i wanted due to the fact that i found myself getting unacceptably cold after exercise – as i said, it was a wet and cold week and my exercise walks were a bit of a slow wet plod every day. I found also that iv’e been slow to get going with work in the morning and this time iv’e just chosen to accept that that’s the way things are and not to fight that but to rest up a bit now and to be honest to just chill a bit and not worry so much about putting out new material and writing new sections for my book project.
If you’re thinking something like “haven’t we been here before ?” then yes we have – because two years ago i had a major health reset after i fully retired from the NHS with a combination of obesity, hypertension , early arthritic changes and so on ; some visitors will know that i made a bold leap into low carb/keto dieting and then dived into a year of experiments with IF and longer fasts. Well, iv’e had a much better year this time because of a good health carry-over into this year when i was outside a lot and fully engaged with my boat building project outside which itself carried over into a couple of months of hard work outside. My mistake/s was that i didn’t keep my eye on the ball with my eating habits so i drifted back into snacking during the day, notably my downfall which was multiple coffee and biscuits in between work sessions…..and secondly that my ‘other’ exercise just dropped away completely. My wake up call this time/this summer was 3 infections back to back – one nasty paronychia and two UTI’s that needed a total of 5 different antibiotics and then a rapid onset of weight and waist as my work schedule tailed off.
Basically…..after a miserably wet winter and spring i just stopped thinking about it so much and got on with building a boat : https://dirtywetdog.co.uk/2021/05/14/the-microcruisers-that-got-away/
New year does seem to be the time that many people make some sort of resolution to do better with their health – many people , for example, used to start a ‘diet’ of some sort at this time of year and/or take up a gym membership. I used to feel both smug and sorry for the obvious newbies at the gym all in their posh new gym clothes and brand new trainers – they looked lost and i knew that many would only last a few weeks before their interest waned or when they just didn’t see any results.
This year my health reset is in specific response to the fact that i’m now that bit older (63) , still have a propensity to put on fat weight quickly and this year that we are obviously going into the peak phase and endemic phase of Covid 19. It’s knowing what we know now – that it’s much better not to be obese and much better to have a powered-up immune system and reduced inflammatory drive , that has pushed me over my edge of laziness into proper nutrition and exercise again ; the big difference this year is that i have a much better toolkit to work with .
Unlike that first year when i had no idea what to eat when i stopped stuffing my face with carbohydrates and seed oils all the time – and then didn’t even know what i should be eating , i now have a reasonable idea about what to avoid and what works for me and beyond that i know and have experimented with many different patterns of eating and fasting. Some readers will remember that i stumbled upon intermittent fasting (IF) naturally in the first few months and that discovery led me on a path to explore longer fasts…..those techniques are all ‘in the toolbox’ now.
Last week when i went into a long fast i wasn’t just ready for it as i found out when i just felt cold all day ; this week i was looking forward to going into a fasted state so tonight i called on of my new tools……..a simple’ (low carb) meal and then go straight into a fasted state overnight and that will kick-start the next stage. My plan by the way is to fast in a 4,3,2,1 pattern – that’s 4 days the first week, 3 the second and so on and of course to combine that with decent nutrition and increasing exercise : last week was just about walking for exercise and this week i’ll change that up to make the exercise useful – my technique being to get out there and scavenge some firewood from fallen trees.
Having simple plans and achievable goals is the idea as i’m more likely to stick with a simple plan and less likely to lose heart if i set the exercise bar low at first. I know now that i lose interest very quickly if i can’t see an immediate point in that exercise so this coming week i’m turning a simple daily exercise (walking) into cutting and carrying a heavy load of wet wood home . I can make a simple goal out of that too ; a dozen lengths of heavy tree branch would be something visible and tangible…..and it’ll keep us warm for a few nights in a future winter.