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Why Do We Sabotage Ourselves?

Have you ever noticed that once you get within maybe 10% of your ultimate physical goal, you start to get a little cocky and relax a bit. Or maybe that’s just me?

Mid-December, the week after I got back from my Biosignature Level 2 in Perth (where I was aiming to hit 9.6% body fat but came in at 10.9%) I dropped straight down to 9.5% and my abs had more definition than I have EVER seen. I had a definite 4-pack and was just a whisper away from the whole 6-pack. I was pretty impressed with my efforts, if I do say so myself, and knew that by staying super clean for another week or so I’d be ‘there’.

So what did I do?

Why, the logical thing of course! I relaxed my eating by about 15-20% and have kept it that way since. Smart, huh? It wouldn’t have taken much effort at that point to drop another percent or so but instead I started on nightly cheeses, post-Bikram yoga juice guzzling, and a disturbingly regular intake of Cadbury Old Gold dark peppermint chocolate.

I go through phases with chocolate where I can happily stick just to my organic raw square or two – and am genuinely satisfied, but then slip back into an ‘old-Kat’ phase of simply needing to have one particular type of (usually crappy) chocolate in the house and eating some every night after dinner. On weekends the downward eating spiral can start even earlier in the day. The unfortunate sum of which is that I’ve probably been averaging 2-3 blocks of the stuff per week over the past week. Dark chocolate it may be, but I think we all know the difference between Cadbury dark chocolate and proper organic 70-85% dark chocolate (hint: 50% dark chocolate is still 50% sugar. And when it’s dark chocolate filled with sugary peppermint-y stuff, then you end up with a lot MORE than 50% sugar). Yes, we’ve been here before – I admit it, my name is Kat, and I’m a sugar addict. Sigh.

so what’s a flat tummy-wanting gal to do?

It’s generally not the occasional massive binge meal or day that gets you. In fact, that can even work in your favour. No, it’s the insidious creep of ‘just a little bit’ here and there. The 5 or 10% of ‘naughty’ foods that you tell yourself shouldn’t make a difference. Well shouldn’t and won’t are two different things entirely, aren’t they?

So. The good news is that I have cut out the juice as of last week. It’s really quite amazing how 2-3 glasses of juice a week can change my body. I’m not pro-juice for anyone – even if just squeezed, that’s still a lot of sugar with (usually) less fibre. I mean hello – would you normally eat 10 full oranges? I think not. I actually LOVE juice, particularly blood orange or sparkiling apple cider. And I LOVE knocking back a whole glass of it straight after 90 minutes of hot sweaty yoga. If you’re thinking that surely I should be able to get away with just a  glass when it’s after a 90-minute fairly full-on workout, then welcome to my mind. Unfortunately (for both of us I guess) we’d better think again.

Every time I’ve tried to tell myself that ‘hey, I’m lean now, and I’m sure my body will just zap it right into my muscles after yoga’ and subsequently started drinking the stuff I have consistently gained around 1kg a week. Every time. And I’ve tested the theory about 5 or 6 times now. Of course logically I shouldn’t need to test it to know that drinking high amounts of fructose is not a smart plan. Post workout may be just marginally preferable to not, but yoga – love it though I do – is not the same as breaking down muscle and increasing insulin sensitivity through weight lifting. In that case (IF and only if you’re already lean) then you could likely tolerate a small amount of fructose and it would actually help shuttle protein (of course you have to knock back some of that after every workout) into your muscles. If not, then standard post workout protocols for fat loss are your friend.

how to have your cake and eat it

All of which bodes well for juice-lovers like myself of course. Now that I’ve kicked the juice I just need to (wo)man up and switch back to my 1-2 squares proper dark chocolate (yummy stuff anyway, so I don’t know why I’ve been silly about this!) as opposed to 2-3 rows cheap sugary stuff. This will help me drop that 2% I’ve gained over the past 4 weeks so that I’m back in the lovely land of being able to tolerate carbs and now that I’ve kicked off some more high-intensity weight training I’ll make sure I stay there. All of which adds up to mean that I’ll be able to tolerate just a little juice post workout (weights!) if I so desire.

Don’t you just love how there’s a way around every problem?

So how about you? What have you been struggling with lately? Have you kicked off your 2011 physical resolutions with a bang, or are you living wild and resolution-free – and loving it?

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