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My First Relapse & Depressive Thoughts

My First Relapse & Depressive Thoughts
Daniel's Weight Loss

My First Relapse & Depressive Thoughts

Everything was going fine. For the past couple of days I have been sticking to my calorie limit, however I’ve also been feeling rather depressed. I’m not entirely sure why, however if I was to guess I’d say it’s because (amongst other things) it’s incredibly busy at work at the moment and there’s a lot I need to get done before the end of the year, potentially more than what is possible. I know I do well when challenged, but when something seems impossible; like you can’t succeed, I lose all motivation.

As a result, over these past couple of days I haven’t been able to get a lot of work done. And time is ticking.

Another thing I know about myself…when I want to focus on my work, I can spend damn near 24 hours non-stop in front of the screen. Just give me something tasty to drink, something ‘chocolatey’ to snack on, some loud music and I’m good to go!

So that’s what I did. I went to the shops and got two boxes of Ferrero Rocher chocolates, lemon flavoured soft drinks and ice-creams (yes plural…4 in fact). And in less than 24 hours it’s all gone. Fun fact, I don’t feel any better, the work is not done and I’ve only set myself back.

This is not a proud moment for me, however I want to log the remainder of my weight loss journey so you can see that you’re not alone. It also illustrates the importance of having support, reliable support. Someone to hold you accountable and will be there when you trip up. Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of support and as you’ll know from my first post in this series, it’s the key motivating factor for building the Birch Fit mobile app; it’s a tool I wish I could use for myself.

Now that I’ve woken from my stupor, I’m heading out now for a 10km walk to get back on track. But before I do, there are a few other things I want mention which I was going to save until next Monday’s log, however due to the role they played in this recent relapse, now feels like a good time to mention them.

Though I have been to the gym here and there, I’ve been away from regular weight training for years now. As a result, my ability to recover from weight training is not as good as it used to be. With this in mind, I sought to take it easy and lift much lighter weight than I normally would. In hindsight, it wasn’t light enough. I’ve experienced a lot of muscular pain from the workout and thus didn’t train today as planned. On Tuesday evening and Wednesday I found myself eating outside of my routine (though within my calories) as I attempted to get as much protein as possible to aid in my recovery. I also felt more tired than usual.
This increase in appetite and need for sleep is again something I recognise within myself. And it’s very, very inconvenient to feel so hungry and tired when I have so much work to complete. Add on top of that the muscular pain from training and it’s not hard to see why it all fell apart.

I’ve decided to change my approach. You see, when I lost the first 15kg I did that primarily with diet and low intensity exercise. Specifically intermittent fasting and walking. As a person whose body likes to hold onto some body fat, the intermittent fasting was the more aggressive approach needed to see significant results and the walking provided the energy burn needed without stressing my muscles to the point of exhaustion.

The fact is, I enjoy working out in the gym. However, based on the process I used to lose the first 15kg and what I know about my body (which I was clearly reminded of these past couple of days), the best way forward is going to be intermittent fasting and walking. This is the program I’ll be following from Friday onwards:

Daily Intermittent Fasting from 12am to 3pm (15 hours)
Walking, 5-10km per day
1,500 kCal per day

My Intermittent Fasting Rules
  • Can drink water, tea or maximum of two “Daniel Coffees” (milk & 3 sugars) during fasting
  • No food or any other calories

It’s not a strict fast I’m aware of that, however coffee during the day is enough to keep my mood balanced until it is time to eat. I know this will be a sustainable approach for me, having done this in the past. And for the sake of 188 kCal (contained within the milk and sugar), to feel good and stick to this for long periods of time, it’s a worthy sacrifice.