Its been ages since I last wrote anything (I think) – well it certainly seems like eons ago, there’s been so much going on its about time I caught you up.
I think I ought to apologise up front for those of you who are about to get on stage – I’m going to talk a lot about food, so you might want to cover your eyes! 🙂
When I last left you I was all excited about getting my training mojo back and I’m happy to say that has continued ever since. In fact it’s been going so well I’ve increased my squat by 15kg, my deadlift by 10kg, my bench press by 20kg and my shoulder press by 10kg in the last 4 weeks. The power of a positive mental attitude!
And it’s showing, I just had a dexa and since the last one, I’ve put on a useful amount of muscle as well as losing fat and I’m back under 20% body fat. I’ve kept my diet really clean and the only thing I’ve changed is to increase the amount of food I’m eating by a significant amount. I’m talking about 30% increase here on what I thought was already a huge amount of food. You seriously wouldn’t believe the amount of sweet potato I get through in a day – about 1kg of the stuff!
And you know what, I actually don’t think I’m eating enough!
I’m beginning to get the energy crashes again, waking up tired and needing a nanna nap during the day. On Thursday after legs I had to lie down for about 10mins before I felt well enough to eat, so that I could get on my bike to get to work. By the time I got to work I was out of energy again and just slumped into my chair and ate – 400g sweet potato, 200g grapes, 1/2 punnet of strawberries. I couldn’t even speak until I’d finished and I could literally feel the energy bleeding back into me. It was only after I’d polished off that lot, that I had the energy to go to the kitchen and eat my post workout meal – the usual huge green salad, sweet potato, and 200g chicken!
Thats one helluva lot of food and I still felt a bit wasted.
My post workout ‘snack’ some days is pushing 1000 calories!
My work colleagues all find it quite amusing, the difference between pre food and post food is quite amazing. Before food I can’t think, I’m forgetful, scatterbrained and ditzy. After food I’m switched on focused and quite happily multi tasking between 3 projects.
Aiden is constantly telling me I have to eat if I want to put on muscle, and I’m always telling him that I am eating – I guess compared to a normal person I have felt that I’ve been really overdoing it. On the surface I sort of get it, makes sense right – eat more to grow more. But given this dexa result, I think I’m finally beginning to understand what he actually means when he says ‘eat’. ‘Eat’ as in ‘healthy’, ‘a lot’ is a totally different thing from ‘eat to grow’.
The penny has finally dropped.
And that is why I’m thinking of increasing my calorie intake even more. I’ve got about 8 weeks before I start cutting for comp(!!!how exciting!! Can’t wait!), so I’m determined to make the most of whats left of my growing window, but I should make it clear here – I’m not just eating any old crap to fill up the requisite amount of calories or macros per day. No, its real food at all times, really clean and an absolute bucket load of it..and one go completely nuts meal a week 🙂
I’m on an official rest for the next few days, guess what Aiden has instructed me to do?
Do nothing and EAT!
I hear you buddy, and now I get it.
Bacon, poached eggs, avocado salsa, on grilled haloumi and gluten free toast…
Yeah, reckon that will kick the day off nicely! 🙂
What else has been going on? Well after I rediscovered my mojo, I finally got round to booking an MRI for my elbow, for some reason I just haven’t been able to decide whether I should get one done or not, maybe not knowing will make it go away? Well that clearly is not the case, it hasn’t been getting better despite trying the hippy approach with fish oil, turmeric and glucosamine, so it was time to see what is actually going on.
I went to the sports doc to get the required referral and he suggested before we went down the cortisone route perhaps we should try the hippy approach…
That’s what I’ve been doing and it’s not working.
Ah, but this is the docs version of the hippy approach – fish oil, iboprufen, a broomstick and…
Yep, I have angina patches on my elbows.
Didn’t I get a funny look at the chemist when I put in that script…I don’t exactly fit the usual profile of someone who needs angina patches.
I got an even more blank look when I told them it was for my elbows!
The theory goes, that angina patches are supposed to dilate the blood vessels increasing the blood flow to the affected area.
Tendons in general have a very poor blood supply which is why they are such a bugger when they tear and why they take such a long time to heal. So if the blood supply is increased, then it should help healing…this is also the theory behind blood injections, which in my case I think did work when I had them last year.
It’s a bit early to tell if the angina patches are working, apparently it takes about 4weeks to kick in…but damn they give me a bad headache – thats what the iboprufen is for I think!
In the meantime the MRI showed mild tearing of golfers elbow tendon and inflammation of my bicep tendon.
We’ve gone the cortisone route – sledgehammer time – I haven’t been able to train arms since before Christmas and I’m running out of time.
Just fix it.
The other surprising medical result I’ve had in the last week or so, is the result of my liver ultrasound – we got that done because for the last year my blood tests have been showing that my liver function markers have been going the wrong way and are outside the acceptable range by enough to worry about. We also wanted to check for haemochromatosis (rusty liver as I call it) as a possible cause of this energy issue.
Well that came back all clear for rustiness, but not for fattiness.
yep, I have a fatty liver..symptoms of which include chronic fatigue, memory loss, inability to concentrate…
I don’t know who was more surprised – me or the doc.
You see, there are two generally recognised causes of fatty liver – alcoholic and non alcoholic.
Obviously I don’t have the alcoholic variety, but how in the world have I got the non alcoholic variety when the usual profile for someone with the non alcoholic variety is overweight (obese!), drinks too much, eats too much processed/junk food and doesn’t exercise, often has heart disease and diabetes!
so getting my liver checked has raised more questions than answers! I’ve now got another 7 weeks before my next blood test to see if it changes – not sure what is supposed to change given that I haven’t been told to do anything differently and am not taking anything that might help ‘de-fat’ it.
ok now we’re all up to date, whats the plan?
Eating seems to be the go. By upping my calories so much, it should give me plenty of room to move when cutting. I’m averaging about 3000 calories a day at the moment and I was down to about 1500 calories when I hit stage last time round. So I’ve got plenty of room to move here. With the huge amount of fish oil, and sweet potato I’m getting through, these will be easy calories to shed and hopefully I won’t have to resort to doing (much) cardio.
I haven’t been having any casein at night – so I’m going to add that in now and I might start back on the nut butter as a bedtime snack. I haven’t been sleeping particularly well recently and I’m wondering if its because my metabolism is running so fast that it needs something to keep it going overnight. With this combo that will be another easy 100 – 200 calories a day…depending on how big the teaspoon of nut butter is.
Of course I’ll keep monitoring how I look to make sure I’m not getting too fat – I have this handy little vein in my left shoulder that I can use to gauge where I’m at. If its not visible during workouts – time to cut back, if its only visible during workouts – time to shave things a tiny amount, if its visible pre workout or resting then we’re all good.
right now its sitting watching me type this.
so it must be time for some sweet potato!