#26: Regaining Focus

I realise that many of my more recent blog posts have not been particularly on topic or beneficial to myself with regards to what this blog represents. ‘The Male Body Image Experiment’ is an ongoing investigation to establish what works and what does not work with respect to my personal fitness and weight-loss goals. Thus I need to regain some focus and be more objective in future blog entries.

I have slowly been taking steps to bring myself on track, and for the last few days I have been successful in that respect. I am going to list below what I have done which, so far, has worked for whatever reason:

I re-organised my phone – This may sound silly at first, but a good clear out and movement of apps is what actually kick started my new found focus and motivation. This meant clearing out the clutter of apps on the main screen, new wallpaper and deleting some old apps for space. Thus re-organising my phone allowed me to start afresh and rebuild from the ground up in a manner that would empower me to reach my goals.

I installed new apps and moved them to my home screen – With all the clutter removed, my home screen is now only occupied with apps that will help me in some aspect. This means the first apps I see when I unlock my phone are the ones relating to my fitness and weight. I can clearly see these apps as they are no longer swamped in a sea of other apps. I organised them and grouped them all together neatly so my home screen looks organised and clear. The apps I have are MyFitnessPal, Instagram, Thinspo and a file manager – I know a trick with file managers that allow me to hide my own thinspo/fitspo etc safely within my phone without them appearing on my picture galleries which is why a file manager is included.

I started using Widgets – I might be showing my age here, but I accidentally discovered that widgets could be a vital asset to helping me maintain some fitness and weight-loss focus. Basically widgets can display snippets of information from your apps without you having to actually click on the app. MyFitnessPal and Hydro Coach are apps which both have widgets, which I have now displayed across my homescreen. The MyFitnessPal widget displays the calories I have left on a given day, and I cannot emphasise enough how simply seeing that number helps me to stay on track without the need to open the app. The number is always there for me to clearly see every time I unlock my phone.

I feel that the above 3 points have been the steps that have brought forth my ability to stay on track again. What I need to do now is move some thinspo/fitspo across to my file manager and organise my Instagram to display relevant and motivational feeds.

That’s all for today.

Till next time…

Nostalgic

#25: Optimism

Hello everyone,

For the first time in a couple of weeks, I feel good. I feel good that I’m able to relax a bit more for now, so much so that I feel like I can do things again. I feel like I can plan again, set goals again, and have a stronger willingness to achieve again. I don’t get this feeling of optimism all too often and I want to keep a hold of it for as long as I can.

I’ve picked up some of my hobbies again, motivated myself to do some exercise and I’m actively trying to make some healthier food decisions again. I think what I learned about in my last post helped me to start making these decisions again.

I don’t really have anything else to add today; I just feel happier and wanted to share that with you folks.

Till next time…

~Nostalgic~

#24: Sugar, you’re oh so sweet!

Hello everyone,

So today I had a thought; maybe the reason why I have such a hard time getting myself back on track is because of how much sugar there is in everything. So I had a little dig around to see what information I could find on the matter…

It turns out that the consumption of sugar releases a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is generally associated with reward-based behaviours, the consequence of such can lead to addiction. The problem is that sugar is virtually everywhere, so unless a lot of attention is paid to what you are eating, then chances are you are consuming a lot of it.

Too much sugar, and therefore over activating the brain’s ‘reward’ system, can lead to loss of control, craving and a tolerance build up which makes your brain want more of the ‘good’ stuff to get that ‘good’ feeling.

The next question I wondered is ‘how do I break away from all the sugar that I have been taking’? A couple of videos suggest just going cold turkey and cut as much of it out as possible, and also interestingly cut out foods containing flour (i.e. bread) as such foods also have the same negative effects. Introduce protein, fiber and healthy fats into your diet but avoid starchy vegetables. There are other factors that are meant to help break the habit like getting proper sleep and managing stress properly. You can allegedly break the sugar habit by detoxing for around 3 to 21 days, although some other sources say 10 days, assuming you effectively cut out sugars.

So to complete my basic understanding of all this, I searched for a list of sugars which are likely to appear in my everyday life. Here are a few:

  • Fructose
  • Glucose – starch is composed of this type of sugar
  • Galactose
  • Maltose
  • Sucrose – i.e. white sugar
  • Lactose  – i.e. the sugar found in dairy stuff like milk
  • Plus many, many more

Basically it seems that anything ending in -ose is a good indicator that it is some kind of sugar, although inspection of a sugar list will have state some other kinds of sugars.

I think I learned something from all this, time to plan and actively reduce sugar!

Till next time…

~Nostalgic~

References
http://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-starch-definition-function-chemical-formula.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHI-7I9kD5k – “How to Break Sugar Addiction: 7 Steps to Help You Stop Eating Sugar”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWGl3TIO00A – “Break your sugar addiction in 10 days”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEXBxijQREo – “How sugar affects the brain – Nicole Avena”