So here I am, on the 30th day of my 100-day fitness redemption. The first 30 days was not easy, it’s been a battle; getting myself just back in the routine of regular rides, setting the alarm at 4:25 AM, and trying to sleep after night rides with West Coast Riders. My training volume over the past 30 days has continued to grow, and the optimization of my overall fitness has definitely improved.
One of the key lessons I’ve learned in this pursuit is the use of a food diary. As a key enabler, the food diary, along with the guidance of Roz at Pure Nutrition, has been extremely vital in terms of optimizing and planning my macro-nutrient consumption which must be aligned with my calorie expenditure for each day. This is all in the quest to achieve my used-to-be body mass of 70 kilograms. For the past 30 days, I’ve been on a bit of a roller coaster. First, I got to lose and lower my weight to 73 kgs, and after a few events, I saw my weight come back up to 75 kgs.
Losing weight in a life full of temptations like chocolates, beers, and noodles, is hard as there is a tendency for you to fall back into the habits that are less than desirable for your end goal. I had hoped that this coming weekend I would be in Chiang Mai for the Masters of Chiang Mai, one of the highlights of the racing calendar for the year. I know a number of my fellow Singaporean riders would be out in force to enjoy the climbs of the surrounding ranges of Chiang Mai. Best of luck to everyone that’s out there this weekend. The event would have been a great benchmark on my progress.
Unfortunately, I’ll be travelling for work this week which will be a test of both my focus from not being able to join the racing, and also my resolve to remain healthy while travelling. For those of you who remember, when I first started this journey, the key part of the challenge comes from my ability to manage temptation and eat healthy while travelling for work. Over this coming week or so, I have to do everything, from pre-booking my low-calorie meals on flights, ensuring that I keep up my daily food diary so I can track my macro-nutrients. I have to as well squeeze in exercise whenever I can.
My fitness goals, I believe, my will power is slowly returning and my fitness is continually improving. I’ve been using Xert and the Training Peaks to monitor my power bands, and I’ve seen continued growth in my power thresholds. Fingers crossed, I’m back to about 90% of where I was previously. I haven’t actually done a Functional Threshold Power (FTP) test yet. That will be done on day 50 of this journey, and then again every 20 days until December 28th. I can feel that I’m getting a real gauge on it, as my legs are starting to return to my previous power levels as I continue to train.
So what have I learned in the first 30 days?
The first thing is that it’s very easy to fall into temptation, and yes, we all love to enjoy life. I still can enjoy life while maintaining a healthy balance, which enables me to focus on my performance. I love cycling, but not at the expense of everything else.
Second, it really helps to gain and engage the support of someone like Roz from Pure, to both learn how to log your food intake into a diary, gain the knowledge needed to recognize the nutrient value of a meal. This made us aware of the macro nutrients like protein, carbohydrate, and fat, and help us understand how it links to either over or under doing it.
The overall journey will teach that simple things will surprise you. I was amazed how many calories are in Tomago Sushi, something I guiltlessly enjoyed in the past. That little sweet egg omelet on top of a cup of rice, has extremely high calories that are hard to burn off. Connecting yourself back to the macro-nutrient consumption, helps you to understand the nutrient value of what you’re consuming. The numbers give you real time feedback, with absolute numbers to guide your choices which includes those temptations like beer and chocolate.
In the next couple of weeks, I’ll focus on doing some longer rides. I have completed a Round The Island (RTI, a or a complete lap of Singapore) over the weekend. And, I’m looking forward to complete more of those longer rides to build my aerobic fitness back up.
A few people mentioned they are on similar transformation journeys. I would love to hear how they are going. Plus, I’ll surely share with you an update in a couple of days.