Thursday, April 5, 2012

8 weeks of something - part 2

I´m a useless, imbecilic, lanky streak of piss. That´s the result of week 1 of the 8-week challenge.

So what happened? I decided to take Phil Maffetone´s 2 week test to see if I had carbohydrate intolerance. It seemed like a good idea as I feel I´ve single handedly kept the sugar industry going through my eating habits the last two years. Refined carbs are a food of choice and/or luxury for some. For me, they´re 5-a-day and no mistake. Chocolate, coca-cola, muffins. cheesecake and a million other tempting, gorgeous things besides, all created for my own personal gratification. However I knew they weren´t doing me any good so in the end I reluctantly decided they had to go, at least for a while.

What has this got to do with running? Well apparently the well-informed and regarded Dr Maffetone says that our body will start to feel great and will also begin to burn fat for energy, an essential requisite for any self-respecting distance runner. How could I refuse? I started on Saturday, the same day I quit smoking again.

By Sunday evening I had a fever and my stomach was doing an Olympic gymnastics audition. Later, while vomiting, I thought to myself how unlucky I had been to catch such a virulent bug at the same time as undertaking such courageous endeavours. At least, I thought philosophically, I wasn´t hungry, so no need to worry about menu-planning. But this bug turned out to not be like others I´ve had in the past. The fever eventually subsided but the stomach pyrotechnics didn´t. I sought help from my forum friends, some of whom assured me I would feel bad and it would pass. But this bad?

However, I still felt positive. I wasn´t tired, even though I was ill, and I felt sharp, even though I was distracted by my belly-flips. However, even the hardiest soul, which I cannot claim to be, would get down in the end. On Wednesday evening I let some carbs back in and lo and behold, within a few hours, I started to feel much better. This was both a relief and a shocking revelation. A relief because I now believe it was the carb withdrawal that caused what it did, so I knew how to fix it. And a shocking revelation because I now believe it was the carb withdrawal that caused what it did, and I don´t know how to fix it.

All of us have heard about the withdrawal symptoms from drugs like heroin. Was I experiencing similar? Could sugar be that powerful? Some people think it can be but the worst thing is that if it is, I don´t know how long these symptoms would have lasted. If I´d gone an extra day, would it have all evened out and I´d now be a fat-burning juggernaut ready to roll over the highest hill? I´m not sure. I haven´t got the guts to find out because they´re still recovering from the shock.

So...let´s forget the diet for now and just try to eat sensibly. At least I haven´t gone back to anything really bad yet. I´m on holiday in Asturias and there are mountains all around me. Tomorrow, I´m off up one of them to find out about myself. I hope I look better than my insides feel.

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