Monday, March 19, 2018

30 day diary of newbie intermittent fasting..

So in what is going to be possibly the longest post I've ever written here at Almigo's Adventures, I tried intermittent fasting for thirty days and I took notes (while attempting to swerve away from distractions and temptations along the way) while I potentially shrank.

The last time I had anything to do with controlling my eating? Well it was a radio competition involving pretty tasteless powdered shakes and I really couldn't wait for it to end. 

Pictured: Me involved in another strange idea.. 

So this was a doddle, right? 



What type of fasting was I doing? 

 A 16 hour fast. So I can eat my usual stuff in an 8 hour window (say 12pm-8pm or maybe 10am-6pm) and not eat anything for the other 16 hours of the day. Personally trialled from 10:30am-6:30pm so I could still have breakfast if I wanted and I didn't starve at my night shift job. 

So was this a full food overhaul? 

Not at all. I ate what I usually do but only in that time window. Thankfully I'm not a big fan of junk food (once in a blue moon is okay) preferring stuff like tuna, eggs, bacon, spinach, sweet potato and tonnes of roasted meats. Tonnes and tonnes of roasted meats. Mmmm roasted meats. So I didn't measure my meals or count carbs or anything like that. Just eating normally...in that 8 hour window. 

What inspired this? 

Well a couple of people actually - first is a bloke I work with who is also a personal trainer and gym owner who looks like he can bench press a rather heavy tractor. Curious as to how much he consumes in a day, I found out he only has a couple of meals and fasting was a massive help in getting him in the condition he looks now (ready to rumble at a seconds notice). Secondly was an amazing podcast chat Tim Ferris had with Terry Crews (I highly recommended it for the incredible depth about Terry it gets to, it’s incredible listening and you’ll walk away with some amazing insights) and he swears by it to. It’s kind of hard to ignore two shining examples staring me right in the face (and it couples well with my aim this year of really getting into the fit and trim side of things.) Also I’m 37 which means my metabolism has gone from ‘Throw whatever you like at me, I got you bro’ to ‘Easy turbo, one slice of cake is more than enough.’ Hence the figuring ‘Let’s give it a boost shall we?’ 


(You can check out Tim's incredible chat with Terry right here.)

So was it just the fasting? 

No I still worked out. Two to three sessions per week as usual when I remembered/found time/wasn’t hurting from the previous one. Lots of weights, the occasional kettle bell and body-weight exercise thrown in for good measure. It wasn’t just be the food window doing all the heavy lifting. 

What about the morning coffee? 

I was curious about this too but happily read that you can have a coffee or tea or two outside of the eating window, provided it’s not drowning in sweet stuff. I like my coffees like psychopaths do apparently, black with no sugar so that was good. Otherwise I’d be one hell of a grumpy turd daily in the lead up to 10:30am.. 

Any booze with this plan? 

I like to have a celebratory drink on a Friday and Saturday night but it’s usually two max (I’m nowhere near a big a drinker at home as I used to be) so that’s stayed. Usually it’s a beer or two or scotch and sugar free lemonade. If it was a six pack a night I’d be looking at cutting back but it’s minuscule amount spread over a month. 

I keep seeing this Fitocracy word. What's that about?

Fitocracy is an app I use to keep score of my workouts and I've been using it for years. Do an exercise, log it, score points. It gives me a good indication of how I'm travelling and I can easily look back at the last time I lifted the heavy stuff. You can find out more right here. (Feel free to follow me: Almigo_v2)


Further reading 

I slogged through 30 days to see if there was any radical change and to see what happens next but you can read the results someone had after a year of doing the same: https://jamesclear.com/the-beginners-guide-to-intermittent-fasting 

Right then, let’s get into the diary! 

DAY 1: THAT TURKISH BREAD DOES LOOK GOOD… 

Weight: 76.3kg 
Mood: Tired 
Workout: Mid range (500 fitocracy points) 

Me on day one. Look at how excited I am!


8AM My lovely wife got up early to grab some fruit from the supermarket and came back with a loaf of garlic Turkish bread which I love. So suddenly I had visions of toasting it with cheese, bacon and egg for a great start to the day snack…maybe after 10:30. So for now, just a coffee it is. After saying goodbye to the kids I fired up the mower and got busy tidying up the front and back garden and sweating up a storm in this wonderful Queensland heat – the hill out the front is monstrous and my mower not the easiest to wrangle when the grass gets long so it’s a hill of a workout. Of course when I went to make another coffee as a reward for mowing down some weeds, long grass and a suicidal cane toad I walked past the bread again. I think it’s calling me. I don’t speak Turkish but I think it’s asking me to devour it. Just a little crusty end piece… 

9:47AM I’m feeling slightly peckish but we’ll see how we go in 43 mins. I’ll keep nursing this coffee for now. 

10AM Workout. Usually I aim for 1000 fitocracy points, this time I cough up half being half worn out before I start. While midway through my second set of barbell floor presses my wife walks out and remarks ‘Don’t know how you can do that in this heat.’ I point out I’m working out in the shade. She just rolls her eyes and walks off. I also manage to smack the bar into my nose on an overhead press descent. Workout going well. Post workout I’m not that hungry. Bottle of water and the second half of the second coffee do the trick just fine.

12:15PM Turkish bread, come at me! My wife whips up a Turkish bread pizza with chorizo, mushrooms, tomato paste and cheese. Kicking off with my first meal at this time means I can now eat right up to 8:15pm. Glorious. 

Arvo: Plenty of mugs of water. Might have been the salt from lunch though. Still water is good so there’s lots of it. 

5:30PM Brain feeling just a touch fuzzy at the moment (probably from talking too much working in a radio station as I do.) Just a little hungry at this stage. Amazingly not clawing at the walls for a feed. 

6PM Brain feeling a bit better after a couple of big sausages, fried onion and mashed potato. Told you I’m eating all of my usual stuff. Treated myself to a couple of chocolates the better half got me for Valentines Day for desert as it’s well within the time limit. 

9PM: Cravings setting in for something sweet. Settle for water. Stomach responds to this wonderful gift by growling at me. Might have to try three meals during the 8 hour block instead of two, especially for the first couple of weeks until I get used to this. 

10:30PM: Home at last, giving the kitchen, fridge and Valentine's Day box of choccys a wide berth. Try not to think of crackers and cheese, my go to late night snack. Eventually go to bed and thankfully do not dream of food. 


DAY 2: BLACK COFFEE, SHARKS AND SNAKE FACTS 

Weight: 76.3kg 
Mood: Tired, brain a bit slow (didn't sleep well last night) 



8:00AM I am slightly hungry (more tired than hungry) at this point but coffee and a good book (Salamander by Nick Kyme) is a decent distraction. Take my son and his best mate to school where I’m entertained by the following ‘facts’ from the back seat of the wagon. 
-The longest snake stretches from Gold Coast Australia...to the UK. 
-Sharks can and will eat ladders 
-Sharks get annoyed when you try to set them on fire 
-A boa constrictor could eat a whale (I’d like to see it try…) 
-Sharks can and will jump in and out of the water on a whim. 

10:30AM: The raisin toast barely has time to cool before it's attacked with butter and devoured with mad abandon. Explain during mouthfuls to my wife why I'm entertaining breakfast this late. She asks me not to starve myself in the process. Fat chance of that happening. 

12PM: Subway for lunch. Just the sub, no drink, no cookie. Look at me mum, I’m behaving. 

4PM: Needing energy to tell the world that Agadoo by Black Lace truly is an awful song as part of my radio night show, I’ve already polished off half of tonight’s meal. Thankfully there’s enough for closer to shut off time. 

9PM: Nowhere near as hungry as I was this time yesterday. The split meal was a big help. 

10PM: Slightly hungry now. There's half a pizza in the fridge and god is it tempting just to lift the lid and marvel at its tasty toppings. Thankfully the glass of white wine is far more tempting after a big week so I settle for that. My lovely wife offers me a chocolate before looking at the clock and withdrawing the offer. I'm happy she's right on board...as much as the choccy would go down a real treat right around now… 


DAY THREE: MINECRAFT CHAT AND A BABY SHARK 

Weight: 76.1kg (-0.2kg) 
Mood: I'd love some more sleep right now 
Exercise: 10,000 steps and a brief jog home from the petrol station to help start my car (long story) 

Are these things edible?

Ahh the weekend. I woke to the sounds of my son explaining his latest Minecraft build with teleportation plates, my daughter singing the Baby Shark song she loves so much and our dog Savannah ready to lick me to death. I also managed to sleep til 930 which isn't bad, not so long to wait til late breakfast. 

1PM: Found a cafe on Mt Tamborine with a $40 burger. I forget what was in it but I settled for the $15 version instead. Spent the afternoon roaming up and down the main Street which was dangerous for the credit card as it's filled with plenty of places that make their own chocolate, fudge and amazing smelling coffees and teas. I came home with a bit of everything including a tea that smells like creme brulee - a bit of a different choice of beverage for those non eating periods. 

7:15PM: The fudge wasn’t bad. The tea could have brewed for a couple more minutes but not bad for the last drink of the day before I force myself to go to bed early for what’s happening next… 


DAY 4: SHUT UP ALARM, YOU HAVE NO FRIENDS. 

Weight: 76kg (-0.3) 
Mood: Need you ask? 
Exercise: 155 fitocracy points (body weight squats in the studio) 



4:45AM: Ugh, today is going to be a task and a half. I’m up early for my six hour radio shift that kicks off at 6am - it’s been awhile since the last stupidly early start. Normally I wake with a couple of hours before I get to eat, this time it’s 6 hours away. So I’m just talking, chugging coffee and trying not to look at the large container of instant oats behind me. Oats have never looked so exciting to me like this before. I’ve also found a spare apple in the work fridge left over from our free fresh fruit Friday so that’s going in the mix...when 11am finally rolls around. 

11AM: It needs some honey. And a dash of cinnamon. And a meatlovers pizza beside it. But it's a big bowl of instant oats and fresh apple and my stomach has stopped trying to eat itself silly in anticipation now that I'm setting a land speed record blitzing through it. 

1:30PM: ‘They're starting to look bigger’ - my wife, pointing at my arms. 4 days of fasting has pumped up my cannons. Or more than likely it's because I've been regularly exercising this year. Perhaps the 300 grams of fat lost so far is from my arms alone, 150 a side? Still I'll take a compliment however it wants to arrive. 

5:45PM: My turn to cook and it's a big pot of spaghetti Bolognese. Now usually I like to attack this with my coveted low and slow method - low heat over time to really get the fat in the chorizo to run free and coat everything else for maximum flavour, the meat comes out amazing this way. With these imposed time limits though, I don't have time to get fancy. Mushrooms, onion, chorizo, tomato paste, pasta, go. Still, I bloody love pasta. 

10PM: More tired than hungry now. Still at least the alarm won't go off at 4:45am tomorrow.. 


DAY 5: BRING YOUR OWN FORK TO WORK DAY 

Have you seen anything that looks like these?


Weight: 76kg (-0.3) 
Mood: ugh, Monday. 
Exercise: decent session (1005 Fitocracy points) 

7:30AM Usually having breakfast and scrolling through a book at this time, I hit the weights outside instead. It was a combination of barbell exercises and kettle bell moves (seriously if you want to buy through any and all energy you have left, use kettle bells) and surprisingly I made it to over 1000 points quicker than I thought. Doing a workout this early also means I won't cook myself stupid in the Queensland sun if I did it later this morning as it's going to be blazing once again. 

9:30AM: Feeling drained from the workout (as expected) but also not hungry in the slightest. Usually I'm ravenous and clawing at the fridge at this point after weights and a shower with no breakfast. Interesting.. 

11:15AM: Go to make myself an omelette with bacon, onion, spinach and cheese. Discover we’re out of eggs. Settle on a toasted wrap with bacon, onion, spinach and cheese. Basically the ingredients I’d already cooked up before I realised I wouldn’t get very far without eggs.. 

3:45PM: There’s half a big box of what looks to be strawberry cheesecake here in the office and amazingly for once it holds absolutely no appeal to me. Zero whatsoever. Once upon a time I would have cut myself a slice, poured a coffee and tweeted something useless with #freecheesecake in it but today I brushed by and did not feel a single pang of regret about that. I did decided that it was mid arvo snack time so I’ve settled on a small bowl of last night’s pasta...which I ate with a teaspoon. For some reason there’s not a single fork left in the building...and there’s roughly 100 people who work here. Some people have even taken to bringing their own cutlery in (and then probably putting it under lock and key before the mad fork thief makes off with yet another ill gotten gain.) Still tastes alright with a teaspoon though. 

6:20PM: Dinner time. Even though the cleaners have come through and wrangled up the rogue crockery on everyone's desk, I still can't find a fork to save myself. Back to the teaspoon then. 


DAY 6: BUNS OF TITANIUM 

Weight: 75.8kg (-0.5kg) 
Mood: A bit sore in one particular area but happy with progress so far after just 6 days. Exercise: 11,000 steps. Most of them around a busy shopping centre. 



8AM: Some of the muscles in my bum are making their presence felt today. I suspect yesterday's walking barbell lunges are the culprit. It was never massive to begin with (does it look big in this?) but if it ends up more chiselled and toned by the end of these thirty days...well that's just hilarious. I'm very happy that in less than a week I've shed half a kilo just by eating the stuff I normally do, just within a time frame. No radical diets, no insane levels of exercise, no starving for three days straight. Steady progress is very enjoyable.

11:25AM Popped into work today to record an interview with the always entertaining Dave Gleeson from The Angels. Stomach starts to growl as I hit the local shopping centre food court for a toasted chicken and avocado panini and coffee breakfast. While waiting for my coffee I'm offered a small sample cup of something containing kale which I pass on. 'It doesn't taste much like kale.’ She adds. I reply that unless it was beer or coffee flavoured then it's a no for me. Note to smoothie makers: Beer smoothie gets my vote... 

1:30PM Sit down at my desk and have a strange feeling that I want to put my head down and sleep the rest of the afternoon away. Very tempting but not very productive. Yesterday’s workout in delay here? 

4PM: Make a sneaky break from the studio (my show doesn’t start for a couple of hours) to the supermarket across the road, hoping they still have one of those cheese and bacon topped rolls to snack on. Of course I turn up at the exact time they are remodelling their bakery and not keen on waiting there for the next ten days for it to reopen, I settle for some Lean Cuisine - a frozen Korean beef. Not bad at all aside from the stingy amount of vegetables. 

7PM: Tuck into a big bowl of slow cooked beef and mashed potatoes. Well as much as you can in between answering the phone and firing off emails to the engineering team about the dicky microphone in the 4th studio. Still tastes good and I’m beside myself over the fact that I found a clean fork in the building to eat it with. Still want to sleep though. Only three hours til I’m home for a refreshing glass of...water. 


DAY 7: MY, WHAT A BIG WALL YOU ARE 

Weight: 75.8kg (-0.5kg) 
Mood: Dead tired man walking. 

This was bound to happen sooner or later..

7:30AM: Wow, what a rough night. For no reason I can pinpoint whatsoever, I didn’t sleep much at all. My plans of exercising this morning have gone right out the window for fear of running out of energy before I even start. So I get up, chug through a coffee, weigh myself, wait til my son goes off to school and jump straight back into bed again for a couple more hours. I still don’t sleep much but resting for a couple of hours makes me feel a little bit better. 

11AM: Fuzzy headed (I’m still yet to experience this massive spike of energy and clarity that some fasters have experienced) and curious to see if anything has happened since earlier this morning, I weigh myself again. Now the scales are telling me I’ve lost a further 0.4kg in the two and a bit hours I crashed. I guess the hard work really happens in the last few hours before you refuel. Breakfast is whatever I can find in the fridge (wraps, bacon, cheese, spinach and taco sauce), lunch is some cheese and bacon rolls. 

4PM: Munching through a cheese and bacon roll I explain to a co-worker in the work kitchen about my 16 hour fast. She gives me a confused look so subject quickly changes to ‘strange people we used to work with.’ I know many. 

6:30PM: Dinner is stuffed chicken with some kind of cheese and chorizo filling on a bed of flavoured rice. Of course I’m eating it at work with nary a fork in sight so I have to cut up the chicken with a tablespoon.. 


DAY 8: ONE TANK OF FUEL TO GO PLEASE 

Weight: 75.7kg (-0.6kg) 
Mood: better than yesterday
Exercise: Semi decent workout of overhead presses, dead lifts (671 fitocracy points) + 10,000 steps and one hell of a farmers walk later on... 

8AM: Coughed half the night away (lingering cold over the last couple of days) but woke up to the the very nice surprise of my wife holding a caramel flavoured mini bucket sized coffee - now that's how to start the day off on a good note. (Confidentially late last night I got into conversation with my gym owning mate about what I was doing and asked how he kept his energy levels up with his fasting - he laughed and pointed to the bucket sized coffee he was holding. Maybe she knows something? c:) 

12:55PM: After some gourmet pizza for lunch, things went downhill fast at the local library. After returning some books I jumped back in the car and the battery felt like that was a good a time as any to completely give up, refusing to kick off anything (it’s been on the way out for a while). The nearest battery shop? About 1km away. So I hotfoot it over (I’m parked in a 15 min parking bay and the wagon is not going anywhere) and discover the shop closed last month and is being renovated for god knows what. So I found another auto shop around the corner who didn’t have anything that fit, directing me to the auto electrician over the road. Thankfully he did have something that would work and my 1km farmers walk with battery back to the car began. Of course the old battery was bolted in tight and my tools were out of the car...so off to 7/11 for a multi-tool in lieu of a spanner. I walked into work sweating like a marathon runner, stinking like an overworked amateur wrestler covered in rain and engine grime. A good look for sure. So thanks for the extra exercise you bastard battery.. 

Nothing to see here, just a man taking a fresh battery for a walk. A long walk.

6PM: Chicken curry for dinner. Thankfully nothing explodes nor do I have to walk 1km for something to eat it with. 


DAY 9: ROOM FOR TWO 

Weight: 75kg (-1.3kg) 
Mood: Surprised. 

Eggs. Baked eggs. License to please.


8AM: I had to blink a few times and step off and on the scales again just to check but it seems like my running around yesterday like a mad man has bolted a turbo to my metabolism. Will this last though or will I return to my usual loss of around 50gms a day? We'll find out quick enough. 

11AM: Baked eggs for breakfast/lunch yum. Love eggs, spinach, bacon and cheese on it's own - together though it's a match made in (baked) heaven. 

6PM: For dinner, it's Mexican wraps. Now incredibly I only feel like two. This is a first because usually I hoover down at least 4 in a sitting and whatever ingredients are left over but tonight two feels more than enough. Still messy eating though as tasty as they are. 


DAY 10: SATURDAY NIGHT TASTY MINI BLOWOUT 

Weight: 75.4 (-0.9kg) 
Mood: Not working this weekend, awesome! 



10AM: My weight loss spike returns to regular programming. Breakfast at 11 is some leftover pancakes my wife cooked last night and some bacon. Incredibly even after a decent sleep of 9 hours and only 2 wraps last night, my stomach is not tying itself in knots before I eat. 

11:15AM: My sinuses are a mess. I'm constantly sneezing and chewing through tissues at a rate of knots. This is a by product of my asthma and while it's been okay the last couple of weeks it's nightmarish to deal with today so a trip to the chemist is well and truly in order. 

3PM: By the time we've fed the kids, hit the chemist and taken my son to the optometrist, the stomach is rumbling again. Finding myself at the local shopping centre still lunch consists of a bowl of bbq and noodles. Delicious. 

6PM: My wife surprises us all by taking us out to a steak and seafood restaurant! Red wine, garlic bread, rib eye in mushroom sauce and ice cream when we get home. After eventually putting the kid's to bed I also celebrate with a beer (which wasn't as great as I was hoping it'd be) and a couple of chocolates while watching the Cloverfield Paradox (which was disappointing like the beer.) Still a mini blowout here and there won't kill me. 


DAY 11: COME BUY MY STUFF 

Weight: 75.6kg (-0.7kg) 
Mood: Hopeful 
Exercise: Mini workout (506 points) 

9AM: Another decent sleep in and into a big morning of...Gumtree. Yes there's a lot of excess stuff around this house that needs to go so I spend the morning pricing and posting accordingly. Did I manage to sell anything? No not at all. Typical. 

11:45AM: Breakfast/lunch of chicken schnitzel sandwiches. I forget how insanely salty the ones from the local supermarket deli are. So it's a round of sandwiches and a couple of bottles of water for lunch.. 

6PM: Quick workout in the rain (it's been clear all day right up to the part where I thought it'd be a good idea to do some exercise.) And then it's bbq time! Popping open an ice cold pale ale, I get to work sizzling some sausages, burgers and chicken sticks while my wife whips up a salad. God I love a good bbq! 

Pictured: A man who really loves his bbq..

DAY 12: WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? 

Weight: 76.2kg (-0.1kg) 
Mood: Annoyed. 
Exercise: The other half of yesterday's session involving dead lifts, overhead presses and squats. 



8AM: Either I've packed on some solid muscle last night or the scales have got into my beers again. Grumble over some black coffee and decide to weigh myself later this morning to give the scales a few moments to get it together. 

9:20AM Finish taking out my frustrations on the barbell outside. It doesn't seem to mind in the slightest that I'm throwing it around with mad abandon. When I finally tire of it it gives me a barbell high five and tells me it looks forward to our next session. 

11:20AM 'Have you even had breakfast?’ good question better half! It seems I clean forgot while tooling around on the net. Stomach didn't nag enough it seems. I have a massive craving for something on a bed of rice vermicelli noodles. So I whip up a pair of toasted tuna sandwiches (guess what I don't have in my cupboard currently?) Note to self: buy more food. 

6PM: Dinner is some leftover bbq and salad from last night. Sadly no beer though as I'm working. One caller rings up and lambastes the station over the fact that we only ever play two Elvis songs. After kicking off the call with 'now listen here boy!’ (I'm 37) I listen to him drone on in between mouthfuls of coleslaw. 


DAY 13: WHERE'S THE BEEF? 

Weight: 75.7kg (-0.6kg) 
Mood: Low energy (did not sleep well at all last night) but happy things are getting back to normal. 



Noon: After dropping the kids off to school and daycare, accompanying my wife to her doctors visit and then doing the fortnightly shop, I finally get down to eating something. This time I do have some rice noodle vermicelli and whip some some beef strips in teriyaki that comes out as a grey mess but tastes great. 

2PM: Snack of a custard scroll and since I forgot to brush my teeth this morning, I grab nature's toothbrush - a granny smith apple. Needs more yeast, sugar and a two week ferment time. 

6PM: Dinner of salt and pepper squid from the frozen section. While munching away I read about how much fat is in a chorizo sausage. Trust me, you don't want to know. Shame, I like chorizo. 


DAY 14: BUILD A BOMB WITH THIS PAPERCLIP 

Weight: 76.2kg (-0.1kg) 
Mood: So I guess you can't eat the occasional bad thing if you're serious about using fasting to chisel your rig. Or my scales are having a rough morning again. 



7AM: Up early to get the kids some breakfast, my son manages to destroy his own pair of glasses by sitting on them (we do have a pair of new ones on the way but they're a few days away.) So with my heart starting coffee, I keep myself busy repairing them with a paperclip and tape. As long as he doesn't wear them while attempting to run an obstacle course or start a war, they should hold. 

10:30am: I remember to eat breakfast! Score! A couple of poached eggs on toast with a rasher of bacon goes down and absolute treat. 

6pm: Spaghetti bolognaise time. Disgustingly good. Polish off a decent size bowl with a couple of slices of garlic bread and don't feel the slightest bit hungry for the rest of the night.  
9pm: I am craving a beer right now though. Distract myself with Netflix as it's not Friday night...yet. 


HALF TIME SCORE So it's been two weeks so far - do I feel any different? I've had some days where I’m mildly hungry but rarely ravenous and feeling like I'm trapped on an island without anything to eat. I also feel from passing mirrors that I'm a little trimmer. It's nothing major (nobody would confuse me for someone else for example) but I reckon I am in parts (probably should've taken measurements I guess) but it's a good feeling and even if it's not the case then the exercise and positive thinking at least if a confidence building thing. I've survived the first two weeks, how hard can the next two be? 



DAY 15: LIFT NOW, BURN LATER 

Weight: 75.7kg (-0.6kg) 
Mood: Defiant 
Exercise: Decent workout (1005 fp + 383 points later..) 



7:25am: Got time for a quick coffee before I head outside to patch up my dog’s handiwork. Not content with annoying the neighbours dog from our side of the fence, she's started tunnelling through to the other side. So dodging fossilised dog poo, I shovel a gravel barricade back to place and remind myself to buy some weed killer next pay day to destroy the jungle down the side of the house. 

9:30am: Buyer of my Gumtree bargains arrives and after loading up the trailer I figure it's workout time. I get ¾ of the way through and figure I'll do the last ¼ tonight but then remember that late at night I'm an incredible procrastinator and so grin and bare the remaining 250 points. I'll be sore later but I'm satisfied now. Feels good man. Turns out it was a good choice for later on.. 

11pm: Breakfast consists of a hot potch cheese and bacon roll with more cheese, more bacon, sun dried tomatoes and a spoonful of taco sauce. Not pretty in the slightest but damn tasty. 

1pm: Lunch of prawns and vegies in vermicelli. Last of the food for a while? Fat chance. 

3pm: It's monthly meeting time! It's also pyjama day at work which is why everyone including myself is dressed in gowns and slippers. In typical monthly meeting celebration they break out the sausage rolls and sweet snack. So it's a mid afternoon snack of snag rolls and a cherry ripe slice. 

6pm: Dinner is a decent sized plate of my wife's famous corned beef. And a birthday cupcake. No it's not my birthday, they organised a box of cupcakes for people who had a birthday last month. And since there were a couple left over...well happy birthday to me! At my desk for some reason someone has left me a box of chocolates with a note that reads 'I don't know who you are, but you deserve these.’ Mysterious but nice! 

7:45pm: Still at work and deciding to pay the piper, I track down a co-workers set of 15kg dumbbells and proceed to whip out a mini workout session in the studio. Rather than walk them back to their hiding spot when I'm done, I lunge with them back down the hallway. Ouch. Still, take that snag rolls and cupcake! 


DAY 16: I CAN TASTE THE BEER FROM HERE 

Weight: 75.5kg (-0.8kg) 
Mood: Happy that it's Friday 



11am: Breakfast of toast with the last vein of peanut butter. Guess what I forgot to buy at our recent shop? Mentally remind myself to put this on the shopping list, along with eggs. Will probably forget both of these when it comes time to actually shop. 

12pm: Pastizzis! What are these you ask? Well their puff pastry filled parcels you bake in the oven. I think the ones I had were chicken and veggie. Not too bad until a piece of rogue pasty somehow shears off a small section of skin in my mouth (yeah I’m not sure how either). Uncomfortable but not earth shattering. At least the parcels themselves were tasty and hit the spot. 

6pm: Sausages for dinner on a bed of mash. Get through 3 out of the four sausages before the stomach tells me it’s done. Usually I’d be licking the plate clean in record time! 9pm: Friday night beer and a couple of chocolates from the mystery box. It's the weekend and I'm celebrating. Go weekend! 


DAY 17: UP AND DOWN, UP AND DOWN 

Weight: 76kg (-0.3) 
Mood: Do I really have to work? 



12pm: Yes I do indeed have to work, gotta pay the bills somehow. So after driving in, breakfast and lunch is a small plate of BBQ chicken and a couple of pizza slices over the space of an hour or two while I graze while taking calls for moving tickets. Doing this over and extended time means I’m not ravenous when I finally get home. 

7pm: Carbonara for dinner. While I didn't think I was hungry, I wolf down my bowl. Pasta and I have had a very long relationship and has been there for good and bad times. 

10pm: German beer and chocolates. Not at the same time. The beer was smooth, the chocolates hit the spot. Am I going to be surprised by the scales tomorrow? Probably not. Should I give them a miss? Most definitely. 


DAY 18: CLEAN UP THIS COUNTRY

Weight: I only remember that I wasn’t going to measure this today at the exact point when I stepped on the scales. Surprisingly still at 76kg. Thought I would have added at least 100gms or so. 
Mood: Very tired. I was up til the early hours of the morning playing Dungeons (cracking game) but then got woken up early by my daughter and have to get ready for Clean Up Australia Day. 
Exercise: Clean up session, light weights (371 fp) 

Mini Almigo making his dad very proud again.

9am: Some people are filthy animals I decided as I tote around the garbage sack and help clean up Jackson's school for Clean Up Australia Day 2018. Cans and take away coffee cups everywhere, Zooper dooper rappers and plastic bags, broken glass and chip packets. Clean your shit up Australia and learn how to use a bin. Am very thankful I wasn't the parent who found a stray pair of jocks… 

10am: Reward time for the kids so off to the local cafe for a bubbacino. Confused woman behind the counter overcharges me, helpful waiter wonders why anyone would order coffees for the kids (we didn't) and promptly sorts situation out with a refund and an apology. He's a great guy and deserves every pay rise they helpfully give him. 

11am: Weights time. Got to a stage where mid lift I felt on the verge of being dizzy. Great time to stop. Time for a shower to stop stinking like hot garbage before getting something to eat. Huzzah! 

12pm: Lunch is a couple of tuna, cheese and tomato rolls. It doesn’t take long for the lack of sleep to catch up and I start to fall asleep in the recliner. I completely ruin this effect by moving to the bed where I don’t sleep, rather just lie there for a couple of hours sweating away. Getting bored of nothing happening, I get up and do some writing instead. 

6pm: Slow cooked pork and rice. Oh and a beer. Surprisingly neither the food nor the beer make me sleepy, it’s only when I get through a couple of chapters of my latest book that I’m reading that the eyelids start to droop. 

DAY 19: SURVIVING IN THE SWAMP LANDS 

Weight: 75kg (-1.3kg) 
Mood: Rested 

I was here for some reason. I'm not sure exactly why..

8am: Cleaning up the country is hard work and I slept deeply, albeit with strange dreams of living in a run down house in the bayou somewhere, surrounded by swampland and walking talking mutant frogs. Yeah I don’t have normal dreams. 


9am: Attempt to mow the wet grass, mower decides it has a headache and gives up half the time. 

11am: Read somewhere that the best thing to eat as your first meal off a fast should be some protein. So breakfast today is a toasted sandwich of bacon and cheese with a bit of chicken thrown in for good measure. 

12pm: Early lunch of cheap and nasty dim sims from the supermarket. I wasn’t expecting much at all being $2 a packet and turns out I was right on the (not much) money, they were rubbish. 

6pm: A big bowl of last night's dinner. Being slow cooked pork and rice it does look a bit like gruel but it's the best tasting gruel lookalike I've ever had. 

10pm: It's raining when I get home, absolutely hammering down. So I pour myself a glass of wine and read a book outside under cover while it thunders down around me. As noisy as it is with the downpour it's incredibly soothing. 


DAY 20: GIVE US OUR DAILY TURKISH BREAD 

Weight: 75.2kg (-1.1KG) 
Mood: Some more sleep would be nice.. 



10:30am: My wife whips up a great breakky of eggs, bacon and Turkish bread. Tasty and filling! 

1pm: Get to work and realise I haven't packed anything other than dinner...which is a while off. Settle for a couple of cheese and bacon rolls from the supermarket which turn out to be as tasteless as the plastic container they came in. 

6pm: Steak in mushroom sauce and veggies. Perfectly cooked, nicely drowned in mushroom goodness. 

9pm: I'm starving all of a sudden. Possibly due to the lack of carbs in the last meal. Settle for a couple of glasses of water instead. Nowhere near as tasty. 



DAY 21: ALL HAIL GLORIOUS POTATO 

Weight: 75.4kg (-0.9kg) 
Mood: Is it the weekend yet? 
Exercise: mild (570 fp +310 later on) 

Glorious!


9am: Workout time! I cough through a mild session before I run out of puff. “I’ll just finish things off tonight!” I conclude, a mini workout in the studios on the cards. 

11am: So that’s where that sweet potato went! I knew we bought one. So a couple of big wedges of it end up in the frying pan with a couple of eggs and a slice of bacon. Delicious. Remind myself to put future potato purchases in plain sight. 

3pm: I eat a third of last night’s dinner for lunch. Thankfully my wife did a slow road lamb so there’s plenty of lamb, potato and greens to spare. Not as good as it would have been fresh out of the slow cooker of course but damn tasty. 

6:15pm: Eat the remaining plate of dinner. Needs more mint sauce but once again hits the spot. 

7:30pm: Go for a hunt for Jeremy’s pair of dumbbells only to find that’s he’s taken them home. So I settle for a couple of random 5kg weight plates laying around in the office (yeah I don’t know why either). So some squats and floor presses later and I add another 310 points to the haul. I’m going to be sore tomorrow.. 


DAY 22: I DON’T LIKE THE LOOK OF THIS 

Weight: 74.8kg (-1.3kg) 
Mood: sore as expected… 



11am: Big bowl of oats, garnished with a dash of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Smashing. 

1pm: Tuna toastie in the car on the way to work. Our sandwich press is one of the hardest working kitchen implements and I love a good toastie. I'd prefer some turkey, cheese and cranberry...but we're fresh out of anything but tuna. 

6pm: Big fat sausages, mashed potato, onion and veggies. It needs a massive pot of gravy but I'll make do. There's some kind of apple tart thing left over in the work fridge but it's been there for a few days and could probably knock a nail into wood so I pass on the idea of dessert.. 


DAY 23: TIME STANDS STILL 

Weight: 75.2kg (-1.1kg) 
Mood: Need more sleep (so maybe staying up and playing Watch Dogs on Xbox One wasn't a great idea you're saying? 

11:20am: After doing the fortnightly shop, doing the four minute mile to the nearest post office and then living through three ice ages to finally get to the front of the line to buy a simple post pack, I eventually find the time to work up two slices of wholemeal toast with peanut butter. 

12:55am: Kransky hot dog in bread for lunch. Good for me? Absolutely not. But God it tastes good. 

6pm: Slow cooked beef pie and vegies. There's quite a bit of food in the work fridge left over from a client function...but the pulled pork burgers have been sitting out for a while which dampened my enthusiasm. Same with the curry. Damn, I love a good curry but I'm not willing to risk the pretty high by now possibility of catching something I shouldn't. Settle for the pie. 

11pm: Friday night celebratory beer. Unsurprisingly it doesn't touch the sides. 



DAY 24: GET YOURSELF OFF THE GROUND 

Weight: 75.1kg (-1.2kg) 
Exercise: Very heavy weights (for me) (693fp) 
Mood: must teach the kids the concept of sleeping in on a weekend… 



11am: Ribs! A strange thing to chow down on for breakfast I will admit but they were left over from dinner last night so why not? Messy but they hit the spot. 

2pm: A classic bullseye for lunch (egg in bread) with a slice of cheese. 

3pm: Workout time. I start off kettle bells and move to dead lifts, wondering how I'd go getting slightly more than I currently weigh off the ground. Working up to it I knock out five reps of 76kgs before my back starts to protest. Awesome! (It’s a great feeling when you get to the point where you can lift more than you currently way - go team functional strength!)

6pm: Roast pork for dinner. I'm very peckish after the exercise and polish off a decent wedge with a tasty IPA. Life is good. 


DAY 25: YOU BUY NOW!

Weight: 75kg (-1.1kg) 
Mood: it's 6am Sunday. You can just imagine what my mood is like right now.. 



6am: Up early for a car boot sale at a park a couple of blocks away. The great thing about fasting is that all I have to make for myself is a coffee at this time and worry about breakfast much later. Parked, setup the stall and within 5 minutes the kids exclaim that they're bored. Between that and the grumpy lady next to us 'I’m in pain and this setup looks terrible!’ we're off to a flying start. It rains on and off. Strange people walk up and ask strange questions ‘Does your airfryer work?’ - seriously, why would it be for sale if it didn’t? The coffee here is cheap and hot but still nasty. We last a few hours before putting the bored kids and all of our junk back in the cars and drive home. 

12pm: After dealing with the elements, an order of fish and chips are in order. Given how much my brain is failing due to lack of sleep, brain food is a good idea. Until I hit the couch and my brain along with everything else wants to hit the off switch for a couple of hours.. 

4pm: Wake up in a confused state (nothing new there) time for some more coffee! 6pm: Wraps with mince, tomato, lettuce and cheese for dinner. The kids love theirs so much, they pull out the mince and replace with ham for some reason. Okay then. 

11pm: In bed but still wired due to my arvo nap. It’s going to be a long night… 


DAY 26: THESE POINTS WON’T RACK UP THEMSELVES YOU KNOW 

Weight: 74.7kg (-1.6) 
Mood: Surprisingly awake 
Exercise: Good workout (1025fp) 



9am: Workout time. I promise myself that I will stick around and knock out at least 1000 points. It takes a bit (I come and resume after a spell) but I get there. 

11am: There’s a whole heap of leftover pork from the roast a couple of nights ago so half of it goes in a pan with some onion, cheese and egg for a tasty omelette. However there’s not enough egg so it comes out more like scrambled roast pork and onion egg… 

1pm: Bowl of vermicelli noodle soup with prawns and yep, you guessed it, more roast pork. With a splash of honey, tablespoon of crushed garlic and dash of teriyaki sauce it’s a warming bowl of even more pork goodness. 

6pm: Leftover wraps from last night. I’m not really hungry (like this morning when I work up, I’m rarely hungry first thing any more) but finish off two wraps while taking requests. Not feeling sore at this stage but only a matter of time.. 


DAY 27: MOW MOW MOW THE LAWN 

Weight: 75.4kg (-0.9) 
Mood: Fighting to stay awake. A rubbish sleep (full of working out rooms with strange calculations for some reason and I was never that good at maths) and up early for my son's parent teacher interview. 



9:10am: Interview done and currently sore, tired and very hungry (more than likely the carry on burn from the weights yesterday) I distract myself with...some mowing. Exciting no but at least the family dog won't get lost any longer in the jungle out the back. 

11:30am: Breakfast time. As part of our ‘explore this amazing neighbourhood’ things my wife and I like to do (and since the kids are off to school and daycare today leaving us free) we check out a nearby cafe for the first time. So breakfast today is a steak sandwich with lettuce, tomato, beetroot and bbq sauce for $10. Bargain! I’ll be popping back here again! 

4pm: I’m stuck in the studio and can’t dash out to the shops so my late lunch/arvo snack is half of tonight’s sweet and sour chicken and pasta. 

6pm: Time for the second half. 9:34pm: Hungry now, wishing there was a third half...settle for water. 


DAY 28: LESS IS MORE. I MEAN FASTER 



Weight: 75.2kg (-1.1kg) 
Mood: I'm having strange dreams again of former classmates in strange locations. Any dream experts on board? I'd love to know your thoughts. 
Exercise: good session - lowered the weight on the barbell so I could burn through the sets quicker with less rest time between reps. This worked well and I clocked up 1025 fp much faster than usual. 

11am: Finishing off the sweet potato in the fridge I cut it into chips, dice up some bacon and add a sprinkling of cheese as well as a dash of allspice. Although it’s a small bowl of homemade sweet potato goodness, it’s very filling. 

1pm: A quick couple of tuna toasties before I rush off to work and look at the large pile of today’s jobs. It’s going to be a long long day… 

6pm: Start tucking into dinner of sausages and vegies. 

7pm: Still picking at it. Being on air at the time means I can’t sit there for a full session, I just pick at it when I can. 

7:15pm: Give up picking at it. 


DAY 29: ONE ANGRY BEAR 

Weight: God only knows (see below) 
Mood: Like a bear with a sore head. And shoulders. And legs, definitely legs. Pretty much everything. Growl. 

You need a shave Al..

7:15am: Weigh in time and this does not amuse the bear. The scales first tell me that I’m at 75.4kg. Then I step off and back on to confirm and get 75.6kg, then 75kg, then an error code and then 75.7kg. So which is it?? Have my digital scales been smoking crack the entire time? I resist the temptation to reset the scales by hurling it through the nearest window. 

11am: The marinated split chicken that my wife was going to cook last night (only to find it was frozen at the time) goes in the oven this morning and makes a perfect filling (complete with lettuce, cheese and tzatziki sauce) in some spinach wraps. God the kitchen smells amazing now! Chicken is a little spicy but hits the spot. Bear is less angry now. This is good.  
1:30pm: Today's eating plan starts to go off the rails right about here. I get in work early because I have A LOT to do and on a day when studio access to do it is limited, it means it's going to take a long time to do it. I finally take a mini break at 5pm and eat a handful of leftover chicken from lunch. At 6:30pm I make myself a wrap and pick at it for the next hour as I throw myself back at work. I'm still feeding on chicken round 8 and 9. I finally finish up at 11 and crawl into the car at around 11:20, craving a bucket of beer but settling for an orange juice from the petrol station when I go to fill up. It's just after midnight when I get home. Just one of those days. Welcome to the last day of this 30 day journaling. 


DAY 30: THAT WENT...FAST 

Weight: Possibly 75.7kg (-0.5kg) but I'm not exactly trusting these scales so much anymore. 
Mood: Sensationally tired. Not a groundbreaking breaking surprise that one. 



7:30am: Well the last 29 days flew by pretty quick. I'm fuelling up on black coffee this morning because it's Friday and I'm going to need as much of a caffeine boost as possible to get everything done before the weekend. After last night I really can't wait for tonight's celebratory beer...is it 10pm already? 

11am: Two slices of toast with peanut butter. You'd be thinking I'd have something incredible on my last day, but no...just toast. 

1pm: A pair of tuna and cheese toasties. When in doubt, tuna and cheese it out. I also treat myself to a choc chip muffin from the supermarket because I need a sugar hit to stay awake. "Wow, you look tired!" is something I have heard a lot since I got to work.. 

6pm: Slow cooked beef and veggies. I eat most of it but being tired means I'm not ravenous as much as I usually am. At around 7 I start to get the taste of a Friday night beer but by the time I get home that want is gone, replaced by a burning desire to sleep. (Don't worry, I celebrated across the weekend instead.) 
Phew, made it!


Day 30. Exhausted, but happy I got there. 

So what did I learn after 30 days? 

- Not much happens in a month (well for me anyway). Weight went up, weight went down (from muscle gain? Well that'd be nice..), sleep came and went. However I have probably exercised more regularly by doing this so that's a positive. 
- I didn't feel any bursts of energy after a few days. Maybe it's the way I'm wired? Not sure. 
- You do appreciate your food a lot more when it's been 16 hours since you last had a feed..
- Some days this plan will go right out the window and that's okay. Welcome to life which is never predictable. 
 - Doing a night show when you're supposed to be eating before your daily time is up is not a great idea. 
 - You never realise how much you graze throughout the day until you put a time limit to your eating and take a note of your eating patterns throughout the day (seriously, I love my late night snacks of biscuits and cheese) 
- It goes a lot easier if you tell friends and family what you're up to and chat with someone who has/is doing it. 
- The hunger pains do get easier after a few days. 
- Will I continue to do it? I reckon so, but without the focus on the scales. As challenges go, this was pretty cruisy honestly. I snacked less, I lifted more, I appreciated everything I ate, my wife was very supportive. While it hasn't given me a chiselled physique to make passerby's drool in 30 days (ha ha), these were very good things.

So over to you now.

Have you tried this yourself? Did it work for you, did you find it too tough, are you going to give it a crack now that you've read all this? I'd love to know.
(Additionally if you have done this and discovered something that really worked well for you, I'd love any comments you'd be willing to share.) 

Cheers
-A slightly lighter Almigo

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