Because I slowed down …

Reflecting on food, eating slow and the symbolic 80% fullness threshold.

I’ve enjoyed food for a long time, but really enjoying it and savoring the myriad of flavors present was relegated to special occasions and then even not that much as fast eating habits did not really allow me to experience the food as prepared.

I just did not know.

I’ve had to combat the stress of making sure I slow down (discomfort zone) and finding a quiet place in my mind to enjoy the food.

It has been four months since I began in earnest the practice of eating slowly  guided by PN coaching and dump the idea that I have to eat everything on the plate.

80% fullness is symbolic to me of leaving something on the plate, not throw it away, but put it back in the container and eat the rest at a later meal.

This method has worked quite well for me so far. Besides not feeling bloated, it has given me the freedom to eat when I’m really hungry not because I’m bored, or because the clock hit a certain hour. Translation: I have the freedom to eat any time, really!

Because the slow eating, allows me to chew my food more I can sleep better if I eat later than usual. That happens sometimes but not too often.

The emotional aspect of letting go of the mentality that this or that food are ‘evil’ and ‘poison’ but rather better or worse has added more to my enjoyment of food and I believe, how much more I benefit from it.


I don’t have guilt associated with choices that are less than ideal but keep them to a minimum nevertheless.

I’m not thinking on the back of my head “I’m really going to have work hard to burn this or that”. Because I slowed down, I am just plain enjoying how it tastes as the food lingers in my mouth. Since most of the time I also calm myself down, it’s then about the food not some situation that makes me not notice what I’m eating.

Because I don’t feel I have to finish everything and saving some for later, I don’t have the feeling I’m wasting food.

This translates into 17 lbs of fat loss goodness. Slowly!

The weight fluctuations that occur with water gain or losses are not longer earth shattering. Being  able to eat ‘anything’, or a least taste it, is quite liberating.

I’m updating this post on June 21, 2017. My year with Precision Nutrition’s coaching program is basically over. This time around I paid more attention and did what was told.

I’m ready to fly solo for a while. Apply what I’ve learned and adjust. After all there’s more to life than paying constant attention to your weight.

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Journey to Leanness
Day 142 February 18th, 2016
(22,218 days left).

Over the last two weeks I’ve experimented with high rep sessions of KB Snatches (1000) and a very large volume of swings (2,500) over the course of a few days with one day having 1000 swings in one session and 320 snatches in another.

What have I learned from all this?

While I was successful in completing the swings I did rip calluses on both hands. It was not too bad though but a totally unnecessary experience.

I was doing fine until the final sets of the snatching and swing sessions.

On my last 40 snatches I removed a cutoff sock (glove) I use because I felt good and got a little overconfident. Sure enough calluses went flying. Fortunately I was out of commission really only for 1 day but it was certainly a painful experience.

On the swinging session, my middle finger, about the lower third of the way, a callus formed just as I was hitting the 1000 mark. That was not bad but I think 1000 swings is my limit.

There is a program out there that completes 10,000 swings in 10 days. After having done 1000 in one day I can’t see myself doing that unless I’m on vacation and not worry about how long it takes. Working and other family responsibilities makes the task daunting if not impossible. 10, 000 swings in a month may be more reasonable.

More lessons learned.

I have the desire, will and power to go through challenges like this. I guess I should know that since I’ve done 4 full length marathons, and finished through pain and tears.

The snatch and swinging sessions were relatively easy in comparison. Long sessions as described do not necessarily impact your weight. That’s the endomorph legacy I carry.


I am going back to dead lifting.

I’ve been doing a lot of hinging and corrective sandbag patterns plus the swinging that should put me in a good spot. I also obtained the book Deadlift Dynamite which I’ll be referencing to get me stronger as I progress. It should take me be about a 6 months to a year to get to a respectable load. Doing it very carefully, methodically and consistently.

I am relearning how to dead-lift properly using Kettelbells, Sandbags and just plain body hinging.

The saga continues…

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Consistency/Sustainable energy.

Consistency/Sustainable energy.

Journey to Leanness
Day 114 January 21st, 2016
(22,246 days left).

Some time ago, approximately 5 years ago, I began a side project in tracking my energy levels during the day. It’s highly subjective in that I give a percentage number to how energetic and mood wise I feel.

If I’m sleepy for example it will be around the 30%-50% range. The lower numbers come in when I just simply must take a nap.

The 90%-100% only comes in if I’m doing some strenuous activity and that does not happen much during working hours. Which is telling in itself.

If I wake up without an alarm, then it will be higher than 60%, which normally means I wake up with enough time to exercise in the morning prior to coming to work.

I tend to have more energy around the noon hour and it seems I should seriously think about re-instituting my noon workouts in the parking lot. The way I work that out is to come in 1/2 hour earlier so I can take a little longer lunch. It’s only 3 times a week, so it’s not so bad. We shall see how the project I’m working on at the office develops time wise.
All of the above is quite dependent* on me going to bed at 10:00PM or before. It almost feels like it should be 9:00PM. I’ll have to pay attention to that.

The chart above does not record my cutoff time which was past 10:00PM. I needed the alarm next day to get up and cook some Buckwheat so I could have it for breakfast.

Since I hurt my left arm last week I’ve not been able to hit the 100% energy levels that I desire for my physical training. I’ve done some recovery walks and light kettlebell work.

I’m happy to report (to self), that I was able to do some light kettlebell snatches with my left arm with no pain what so ever. Which really makes me want to jump back in the saddle right away. But Alas! I must contain my salubrious exuberance, lest I get hurt, again, since I know I’m not exactly ready to go all out, yet!

In a couple of weeks I’ll have a better idea and a reminder of where my best time to do the most productive things belong.


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Journey to Leanness
Day 107 January 14th, 2016
(22,253 days left).

My new journal book has now two full pages of thoughts, foods eaten, workout information which I’ll be able to refer back to in the near future. Especially the recorded reasons or feelings I had while eating.

I had for example a good lunch. Chicken and vegetables. But I felt a little rushed or tense. Had a meeting scheduled for later that gave me some consternation and it turned out to be nothing. Almost, almost ruined my lunch. I’ll make note of that. Actually I did  make note of it, in my notepad and here.

Recovery is in full swing. Which is what I did, although I can’t press with my left arm I can definitely do single and two arm swings. Six sets of 15 between rows and loaded reverse lunges. I also did some much needed hip mobility drills.

My left hip is tight. Really tight. I can easily get off the floor without using my hands favoring my right side. To the left it’s an impossibility, currently! So I’m working on it. It will be months of work but well worth it.

What I’m doing is well demoed here:  Hip Mobility Drills

If you can actually do what it’s demonstrated here, do your best to keep it. Gaining it back is difficult as I am experiencing.

Back to my arm. I can actually put my shirts and jackets without much effort again. The twitch is still there so I’m avoiding the specific things that will set me back.

Consistency/ Knowledge / Failure / Lesson

Yep, lesson learned.

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Consistency/Journaling project.

Journey to Leanness
Day 106 January 13th, 2016
(22,254 days left).

I started journaling some years ago using Blogger. The last time I wrote anything through that site was something to remember my sister after she passed away.

I have a couple of other Blogger sites that are specific to a photographic themes and those now lie dormant as well.

What I have not done is stop journaling. Sometime it gets online, lots of times it goes on paper or on my local PC. These days I’m using Journaley as my electronic recorder. I moved away from OneNote but I tend to go back and forth.

A few things I write or record within the app Journaley end up on my online blog like this post.

Before I proceed the update on my limb injury is a good one. I have been doing some self massage myofascial like therapy.

I can now lift my arm above my head and can do many more things since Sunday. One arm swings are not painful at all. So I’ll stay the course. I’ve not taken any pain pills whatsoever as the pain is my guide.

Since sugar exacerbates inflammation I avoid it as much as possible.

Today I begin an additional process in journaling. That is to use my paper notepad much more than I have been using it.


So my food, training, how I feel, and more will go there. I particularly want to jot down some things before I eat. I’m realizing I need to re-awaken my hunger awareness.

I’m cutting down on the amount of food I’m eating (visually) and making sure I have enough variety of vegetables available to make sure I get as much nutritional value from my meals.

The thoughts between writing on an electronic device and my paper pad will merge at some point. I have an idea on how to incorporate both. Evernote and OneNote come to mind. We shall see.

For today what I ate and how satisfied or not has gone into my paper journal. It’s also recorded here through a photo of the journal. I noted, or became aware of a certain feeling of hunger but could not really tell if it was thirst or hunger so I’m playing the waiting game. Meanwhile drinking some water.


A Moleskin like looking pad. It has a nice feel to it and it’s large enough for me to record everything I please.

First page has some goals I’ll look at ever day and proceed from there.

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Consistency/learning from failure.

Journey to Leanness
Day 104 January 11th, 2016
(22,256 days left).

Another lesson re-learned.

Some years ago I injured my right shoulder cleaning a barbell after I had finished my regular training session. I was exhausted and I figured I save some time picking the bar up and taking it near where the racks were to put all the plates away.

I never like to leave things lying around and I paid  a price for not being patient and taking each plate off and walking it over to the rack.

As I cleaned it, my right arm, shoulder and bicep felt like someone had put a needle or a bunch of needles on the area. It took me months to recover from that little fiasco.

I do still do re-rack all the weights when I’m done but I never pull that stunt again.

And now for the left arm.

Some months ago, while walking with a friend in a parking lot I prevented him from planting his face on the pavement by extending my left arm as he was falling.

He was unharmed but I felt a twinge in the exact opposite area as my right. It was not as painful but I could feel it a discomfort on my bicep area and shoulder.

I did not pay much attention to it as it did not prevent me from doing anything, I would foam or ball roll it and the pain would go away.

I’ve been doing pretty good since the summer. Until this past weekend.

I was doing high pulls with a sandbag and attempted to pull the bag, clean it and do some  presses with it. The object is to have land softly on your fists as the sandbag settles well in that position.

Unfortunately I cleaned a weight that I was not ready for. I felt that familiar twinge on my left upper arm and decided to stop. Since I was all warmed up I just switched bags, kept going and even did some double cleans and presses with my 24kg kettlebells.

I was a little more uncomfortable than usual after I finished but the worst was yet to come. With in a couple of hours I could hardly lift my left arm. Putting on a shirt or just getting dressed is an exercise in ingenuity. I’ve had to figure out how to put on anything upper body by starting with my (for now) useless arm and proceeding to do some creative maneuvering with my right arm.

After a weekend of foam rolling and being careful not to do any sudden moves I feel much better. I was able to sleep better and full on self massaging is on.

Things I can do.

I can do curls oddly enough, which is something I never really do. Maybe I should start. I can do bent over rows, squats (one or two legs), hip mobility work, shoulder work as warm up for handstands and much more. No pressing with the left arm though. That’s out. Sadly my left arm was the strongest. I can press the 24kg bell all day with that side. Which really means that my right gluts are probably stronger and out of balance which caused the whole mess to begin with.

So a small set back and a lesson about over-progressing and learning to hold back and be patient.

I just wish these lessons were not so painful.
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