Today was a day to look forward to – with the recently acquired red velvet cheesecake from last night’s dinner. I went out on a workout, not expecting much, but it ended up being superb! Almost 2 hours at around 250w, which in my current bike form is really good. So that’s 5 days in a row of solid bike rides… there may be some virtue to this whole cake thing after all…
Finally I actually got to eat some cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory… usually I’m too full by the time I finish my main course. I had the dulche de leche cake which was great, plus I took a red velvet cheesecake home for the next day.
Plus it was Donut Friday at work, so I started the day off well with a chocolate donut and a cream cheese danish. It was a big calorie day, somewhat offset by the bike ride fortunately! Post ride I had my Ultraman stage race staple, Kozyshack rice pudding, which is high carb and great for eating straight after a hard training session.
I went to the grocery store to get supplies this morning, and happened upon a box of a dozen freshly baked donuts. It seemed irresponsible to turn that offer down – I mean a baker had slaved away in the early hours of the morning just to make this happen. So I bought a box. I also bought a cheesecake, two cannoli, and some chocolate lava cakes.
Today was a fun day. I tried two things; firstly was the next experiment in daily food distribution. I tried backloading the cakes to the end of the day, but with a high fat/protein breakfast, as well as cakes during my workout. Secondly, was to design my bike ride so that I routed past a few bakeries at around the time I’d be taking a short break.
Both of these things worked really well; the morning omelette kept me energized for a long without any dips in energy (like you get from a high carb meal), and the workout powered by cakes was very good. I rode hard for 2.5 hours but I felt like I could have done another 2.5 hours easily. This was in stark contrast to yesterday’s unfueled workout which felt like I was limping home after just 90 minutes.
Here’s a link to my workout on strava. So it was a great day! Excellent workout and the food distribution worked well – I wasn’t hungry at all in the evening – all I had was a red velvet bundt cake and I was 100% satisfied.
Today I tried to spread out the cakes across the whole day. While it worked ok, I was still too hungry at night. So for me it definitely works best to back load everything to the end of the day, at least as far as cakes are concerned. What I will try in the future is eating my protein in the morning, and cakes at night. Lunch will be super light if anything at all. And I need to plan my workouts better so that I can ride past a bakery if it’s longer than 90 minutes…
I did have some great cakes. Cheesecake for breakfast, key lime pie at lunch, and red velvet bundt cake for dinner (with some ice cream).
Since I ate chicken at lunch, I didn’t consume any protein shakes. Wherever possible, I do like to eat protein from natural sources and not a shake, but on most occasions it is a shake that gets my intake up to the right levels. On a regular diet, it’s a lot easier to get the protein from natural lean meats and fish which is by far my preference.
Day 1 of cakes got off to a good start! Probably because I’m so happy to be done with beer…
I used the same strategy that worked well for ice cream, which is to stack all of your calories towards dinner time. That way, it’s a lot easier to get through the day being hungry than being hungry when you try to go to sleep at night. Actually I wasn’t hungry at all during the day. I even got in a 10 mile run which went well. For some reason I wasn’t thirsty either so it was very much a free run with no stuff other than the basics. Meal of choice for today was the reputable Lamar’s Donuts which is 8 miles from Boulder, in Louisville.
I ate 6 of the 7 donuts which conveniently added up to 2000 calories.
I topped them off with a protein shake to get 2240 calories for the day. I have to say, that even though these are good donuts, that I’m not really a huge donut fan, which I think is due to the taste of deep fried dough. For me, it just doesn’t please my palate. Needless to say, I was not hungry at all after eating a dinner of 6 donuts, I might have even felt a little sick. Anyway, I’m really happy that the scope of this phase is broad enough to include any type of cake – lots of variety out there!
I thought the day would never come! But it’s here, so I’m on to the next phase until the end… donuts, cakes, desserts, chocolate…Plus the bonus content of allowing any of the previous food phases as extra fillers in the event that I need to get in some extra calories; beer (no thanks!), pizza (not likely), ice cream (yes please) and burgers (maybe on occasion). Especially since at some point in this phase I will be on a ski trip, so need a bit of flexibility in food choice, but I think there will be no problem finding cakes, ice cream and burgers in a ski town. Worst case I know for sure there will be beer…
I planned a big bike day on Friday, but I felt terrible during the ride so cut it short. However the day before I had an awesome ride (unexpected since I felt tired before I got on my bike), and then today I had a great long ride on the Dimond (tri bike), just over 4 hours and I felt really good. So as they say it’s swings and roundabouts… as long as you expect to have some bad days then it’s all good.
I’ve been super busy this week with little time to post updates or record videos… so here is a short update in the interim…
Diet: Settling down now that I’ve reduced alcohol, weight is at least constant but I’m still stuck around 75kg. It’s pretty common to hit a plateau at some point – for me it’s usually the weight at which has been my “lowest constant” in the past 12 months. No matter what type of diet I’m on, I tend to “hover” around this weight for a while before it drops off. This is common for everyone, and can be a make-or-break point in any weight loss initiative. Seeing lack of progress is a sure-fire way to dampen spirits and send you on a downward spiral, binge fest, or maybe both. However, with perseverance and faith, the plateau will eventually be overcome. If this was my first time getting down to race weight, I would probably think that I’ve just reached my weight, and that I’m not meant to go any lower. But since I’ve been here before, I know that getting to 73kg or 72kg is very possible, provided that I have some patience. I’ve been lower than that too, getting to around 70kg, which requires getting over another plateau that I will see at 73kg (it happens to me every time, and usually I don’t try and go lower because 73kg is “good enough”).
What I really should have done in this project, is anticipate the 75kg plateau and scheduled something sustainable (like burgers) for that phase. Ah well, next time I will do that!
Workouts: I’ve had some surprisingly great workouts when I didn’t expect to, and then I’ve also had some terrible workouts where I expected greatness. The important thing is to just roll with it based on how you feel. If I’m feeling good, I try and go a bit harder and make use of the good feeling. And likewise, if I’m feeling terrible then I just the workout short and accept it.
I really feel much better now that I’ve reduced alcohol. Weight is also stable now around 75kg and not jumping all over the place. My calories today were all from liquid (water, kombucha, ginger beer, a regular beer, and a protein shake), with the exception of some tomato and avocado I had in the evening. I only did a short 8 mile run, but I felt great and the pace was good.
Calories were a bit low today but I just was not hungry at all for more. I could have forced some food down, but let’s face it I could do with losing this kg and moving on to cakes!
Ok – the decision is in – out of necessity (or maybe desperation?) I am modifying the beer phase so that I can avoid the alcohol. Even with relatively small amounts (like 2-3 beers at night), the impact on me is really negative… sleep is compromised, I feel terrible most of the time, and weight is fluctuating all over the place (even with constant calories). This phase was always about experimentation to see what would happen – and the [obvious?] answer is “nothing good happens when you are on a beer diet”.
So in order to get back some stability (and general human function) I will continue with this phase, but broaden the scope to drinks that are brewed in some way. This gives me flexibility to include non-alcoholic drinks such as kombucha (which does have very small amounts of alcohol) and ginger beer. In the spirit of the overall “bad food diet” we are still ok – ginger beer has a lot of sugar and is generally something I would avoid except during and directly after a workout (or race). I will still drink beer but limited to 1-2 per day… there is just no way to get most of my calories from beer and still function! My fellow South African countrymen will probably disown me – I know a few who can put back 12 a day, every day, no problem. But I am clearly not one of them!