Theme of the Week: Diet & Meditation.
The mini-cut is going well – inasmuch I’m not struggling much emotionally with the calorie restriction. Don’t get me wrong, I’d absolutely rather eat more, but as diets go this is a walk in the park in comparison to the pain and distraction I’ve put myself through before when dieting. My saviour is absolutely Intermittent Fasting so I can still enjoy my same tasty dinners.
My weight is 189.5, 2lbs lower but about the same as last week. 3-4lbs to go in two weeks, hopefully. Surprisingly, I’ve managed a few strength gains – hitting another PB in my Deadlift (172.5kg 5×5) as well as more sets/reps on various other exercises such as Dead Start Squats, Incline DB Bench Presses and Overhead Presses. However, I am definitely fatiguing a little quicker than normal, but that’s to be expected when in a deficit.
This week however has been much more than being on a calorie restriction. I’ve been feeling an increasing pull to do something I’ve been putting off for many years… starting the journey of practicing meditation.
Why Meditation & Why Now?
Over the last few weeks, a low level background anxiety and stress has been amping up. It’s coming from the volume of learning, growth and activity I’ve placed upon myself to get AdapNation off the ground and to lift the bar on myself every week. But, in all honesty, there really is nothing that I should be stressed and anxious about. The workload is manageable, and I have the capabilities needed to get the work done. The anxiety is somewhat irrational, and not something I could explain to myself let alone others.
Moreover, I’ve caught myself struggling to breathe. I know this sounds stupid, but my breathing seemed too shallow and wound tight. The belly breathing I’d try and do seemed restricted. Combine this with my chockablock mind racing full of ideas, actions and timelines, and it creates this feeling that I’m up against everything, and overwhelmed. I have felt like this before, but it’s been quite a while. The impacts are mainly distraction when working, working out and with my family, leading to less concentration and presence.
Over the last year or two, I’ve heard so many successful leaders interviewed on Podcasts, and almost without fail each and every one of them will declare meditation as one of the top three or most important behaviours that bring the greatest return to their life. Intellectually, I could absolutely understand that there must be some profound benefits to getting into a tranquil and calm state everyday. But the timing was never ‘right’. “I don’t need this now”, “I haven’t got the time to learn this new skill right now”, “My mind is too busy, I can’t quieten it to meditate”, “I’ll do this when I find someone who can coach me”.
I’m aware enough to spot when I need an intervention of sorts. It just felt right to finally prioritise Meditation now, to help reach a level of calm and control needed to grow without the stress spiralling out of control. So, I’ve taken the first step this week, and downloaded an App on my iPhone that helps with guided meditation. The app I chose is one called Headspace.
To be clear, I’m not meditating proper. My mind races and is so so cluttered, plus the first week of this app is treating you with kid gloves and at a pseudo-meditation beginner level. I’m not cross-legged in candlelight, chanting ‘Ommmm’, fingertips pressed together and wearing a buddhist robe. Instead, I’m listening to 20mins a day of a prerecorded meditation coach guiding me through the basics of initiating meditation and coming to peace with my busy mind and thoughts. It’s progressive, with every 10min session building off of the other. So far, it’s been pretty good.
Is the Meditation Working?
Without a doubt, the tight breathing is definitely getting addressed. I’m taking full diaphragmatic breaths in these sessions, but also able to get back to that during the day too. That’s exactly what I needed. Moreover, I’m definitely feeling more calm and as a result more resourceful to address the workload and day. I’ve had a couple fo fantastic days, where the low-level stress felt completely melted away, and my mood, energy and productivity was at an all-time 2018 high.
That said, it’s early days, and I’m definitely not floating on cloud nine everyday. Plus, the habit is not formed, so it is really difficult to respect the time for this, without constantly thinking about other stuff. With the positive impact so far, and knowing the real goodness is yet to come, I am going to do my best to commit to the process for the next few weeks, on the lead up to our Australia trip.
WHAT’S COMING UP?
- 2 weeks to a month-long trip to Australia! – It’s feeling real now. Cannot wait. Will have an increasing volume of pre-holiday tasks to get done.
- Leaving Do, Daughters Birthday Party and a mid-week restaurant dinner date – A fair amount of activities in one week to enjoy, without losing sight of my tightly timed mini-cut goal
- Kickstarting 3x Friends and Family Body Transformations – Our work is inspiring lots of of people to make some changes to their diet, habits and exercise. Makes me so happy. To encourage and offer that external accountability, I’m helping a few people personally get them off to the races. It will help them, and also keep me motivated on my own body goals.
I’ll let you know how I get on… 🙂
Follow Steve’s Body Progress Journal as it unfolds. Comment if you have questions, ideas or motivation to offer, and please keep me honest to the above.