Week 26/52: Feed me, Seymour

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Lifting and training is often viewed as an individual sport. It’s just you on the platform or the stage. It’s just you lifting the weights. No one else can do it for you.

If you look at the bigger picture though, there’s a whole team around you. Your training partners, spotters, coaches, chiropractor, massage therapist, and whoever else you use in your training, health and fitness realm.

If you’ve been following along over the weeks, you know I’ve been reading some Zig Ziglar stuff. The entire book See You at the Top is about moving up in your personal and professional life. It’s about reaching BIG goals and having BIG dreams. No, not fluffy dreams, but real honest to goodness “I will do these things” dreams. (Do you have those? I do.)

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry, I eat. My little (eh, sometimes big) belly wants food quite often. So I feed it. And I feel satisfied. But then I get hungry again. Do I not eat because I just ate a couple hours ago?  Heck no. I eat again.

Your attitude (your brain, your thoughts) needs constant feeding too. Have you ever woken up and thought, “Hey! Today is going to be a great day!”

And guess what… IT WAS!

But then the next day…not so great. Do you think I starve my brain, my thoughts and my ideas from the food it needs? Heck no! I feed it with what I need to continue to push forward.

Maybe it’s reading a book. Or seeing a quote. Or listening to a book on tape while I walk the dog. Maybe it’s a facebook video that captures my attention and brings my attitude back to grateful, positive and confident.

Our minds need to be fed constantly. I know exactly when I haven’t been fed…I feel like Vampire Bill Compton who hasn’t drank any blood for a few days. I feel mentally weak… famished actually. My attitude towards others is poor and I become highly UNmotivated to work on anything that will take me (personally and professionally) to the next level.

 

Food. Every day.

Brain food. Every. Single. Day.

 

Feed on something. Quotes, books, videos, friends, family, meditation…every day. Twice a day.

Week 25/52: Caffeine detox: Good or Bad?

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As I climb out of bed (some days I crawl), I sleepily hit the start button my coffee maker.  Over the past several years, I’ve come to love coffee – good coffee.  I love trying new roasts and flavors. The warm feeling of the hot cup on my hands in the morning starts my day.

Now, I’m not going to lie, I wouldn’t say that I get this huge jolt of energy after I drink it, but it’s become a ritual… a habit. The problem is when I do need a jolt of energy before a workout, my body is so used to it that it just doesn’t seem to give me the effect that I want.

The adrenal glands are put on demand when caffeine is consumed. Epinephrine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline are all release. It’s kinda like a “fight or flight” response. The problem is we aren’t running from lions or in any real danger (unless you call rush hour traffic “danger.”)  We are sitting at our desks, shuffling papers and writing emails. So then when the rush wears off, we crash and burn. Cravings (usually for sugar) set in.

Now, understand that every person is different. Some tolerate caffeine well while others do not. For some it can worsen the effects of menopause. It has varying effects on insulin sensitivity as well, depending on the individual.  Caffeine also has a half life of about 6 hours and for some won’t totally clear out of your body for a full 24 hours. So even though you might not drink caffeine at night, your afternoon pick-me-up might just be causing your sleep to be a little less than optimal.

Last week, we (well, I … husband just followed suit) decided to go caffeine free all week, as a bit of a detox. I decided to give my adrenals a break and see how it would affect my body, performance, concentration and energy. Like I said, I can’t say that I would feel a huge jolt with my morning coffee, so my typical morning routine didn’t feel too different. We did drink decaf coffee which has about 10% of the caffeine of regular coffee. Other than that, no energy drinks, no caffeinated teas, no pop, and no coffee.

By day 3, I came down with a headache for about an hour or two, but that was about it. No other side effects. I did find that I was very tired at night, earlier than normal. Usually I would get tired around 10:00 pm and this past week I was getting tired around 9 or 9:30. Since there was no caffeine lingering in my system, I’m thinking my body was ready to shut down a little early.

I plan on keeping my caffeine intake to a minimum, especially since I have a meet in about 4 weeks. I want the caffeine to be able to have an effect during the meet. My plan moving forward is decaf coffee in the mornings (I still love the feeling of the warm coffee mug to my lips) and pre-workout drinks twice a week.

 

Have you ever went on a caffeine detox? How did you do? Was it a positive experience or not?