DAY 1 – MONDAY 24 JUNE – THE DAY IT BEGAN!
After years of yo-yo dieting and reaching my highest weight again, I decided it was time to get rid of my excess weight for good. After a period of time away in Africa I was able to reassess what it is that I want out of life and a heart attack and an early grave was not it. I removed myself from the continual cycle of partying and hangovers that were the central aspect of my life and realized that as I approached 30 it was now the time to get myself fit and healthy or face up to the reality that I was in for a short unhappy life.
I was recently introduced to a film ‘Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead’ by a gentleman called Joe Cross, a successful businessman accustomed to a party life style of excess, although I am not at his level yet in the business world I do well for myself and have enjoyed a life of excess. I could relate to Joe and how he managed to get into his overweight and unhealthy position, it was exactly the same way as I had. I decided it was time to follow in his footsteps and change my life in a positive way so that I am healthy and happy.
In his film Joe introduces the concept of ‘juicing’ as a weight loss technique. He is followed by a film crew on a journey across the US for 60 days in which he discusses the benefits of juicing and precedes to lose nearly 100 pounds in those 60 days. That is a big transformation in a short period of time and with me being inpatient at the best of times I thought it would be worth a go!
I have tried many diets with varying degrees of success, in my late teens I lost about 60 pounds on the Slimming World diet and in my mid-twenties I lost about 80 pounds on Lighter Life. The Slimming World eating plan was an extremely healthy way of losing weight but a lot slower than the Lighter Life which is fast but not healthy at all. In my opinion the Joe Cross juicing approach takes the best out of both these diets, healthy and fast.
So how am I feeling after day 1 of juicing? Tired, sluggish and have a chronic headache, however I can attribute this to my body being in shock that it is actually receiving some healthy vitamins and minerals! I still feel better than I would have done with a hangover!
DAY 2 – THE FIRST TEST
The first problem with juicing is that you have to buy an unbelievable amount of fruit and vegetables, due to their lifespan this involves a near daily visit to the local greengrocers, it is also surprisingly expensive. The second is the increasing amount of time spent in the bathroom!
I experienced my first real test to the diet today, my girlfriend Raushana’s mother and brother were visiting from Karaganda and it is the first time that I have had the pleasure of meeting them. We had agreed to take them out for a meal in a nice Middle Eastern restaurant in Almaty. I love going to that restaurant and usually gorge myself on hummus, falafel, bread, soup, steak and wine however this time I took a different approach. I felt uneasy about meeting the family for the first time and not eating, sitting there with a glass of water only. It is not the first impression I want to make, bringing attention to my weight and size, so I ate a Greek salad and a few pieces of falafel whilst drinking sparkling water. I tried to keep it healthier than my usual routine!
I still have a headache and am feeling shattered, I thought all this healthy juice was meant to give you more energy…still it is only day 2.
DAY 3 – MY ENABLER
I have recently moved back to Kazakhstan from Tanzania. From the realization in Africa that I needed to change my lifestyle I have returned to the source of a lot of my problems, namely over eating and drinking too much. My drinking partner Terry however has been back in the UK with his wife and new born child. This has meant that I can start this lifestyle change without the additional pressure of a quick pint after work! However he is due back next week, so I have to be extra careful that I do not slip back into the old routine!
DAY 4 – STILL HUNGRY & TIRED
I am still waiting for this increase in energy that I am meant to be experiencing with all the juicing I have been doing. Every diet I have been on claims that I will experience more energy and every diet I have been on has left me shattered.
The good news is that the trips to the bathroom have slowed down…
Raushana is away at a wedding tonight so I think I will go home after work, juice tonight’s meals and tomorrow’s breakfast and hit the Xbox 360 Kinect. I am also going to take advantage of the free bed and try and get more than 6 hours sleep!
DAY 5 – THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY
So as we creep to the end of the Friday work day here in Kazakhstan, I have to think about what my new routine is for a Friday night. Usually I would start rounding up the recruits for a few pints after work in the local pub Shakespeare, tonight however is the first Friday night of the DMMD Lifestyle Revolution. So what do I do? How do I fill the social void? I ask Raushana the plan for the evening and I get the response of ‘I want to relax as I’m tired’, which is fair enough due to the late night she had with the wedding yesterday, however I have a week’s worth of steam to blow off from work. I’m thinking of going home doing some juicing and playing on the Kinect…
I have found this week fairly easy in terms of the diet at work, I tend to order in and eat at my desk so it hasn’t affected the social interaction with my work colleagues. No one has stopped to ask me about the green liquid I am drinking in the morning and why I am not eating at lunch. I haven’t broadcast the fact that I am on a diet, I don’t want the pressure of people continually asking how I am getting on. I’m hoping within the next 4-8 weeks that the changes in my look will result in questions on what I am doing.
On another note, I have enjoyed using WordPress and the concept of blogging. These are both new to me so there is definitely a learning curve that I am going through, but I feel as though I am picking it up. Additionally I feel that having this blog to air my thoughts and report daily on my progress will help to keep me on track as I am much more reflective on my thought process throughout the day. I haven’t broadcast this blog yet on my social network, partly because I don’t want to bring attention to my size and secondly because I am thinking of surprising my family when I go home at Christmas with a new streamlined version of me. I think once again when the results start to show, that will be the point when I open up this blog to people I know on my social network.
If anyone has any suggestions on how to blow off the steam from a week’s worth of stress, please let me know
DAY 6 – 6.5 MILES
Today was a good day, I went to meet a friend for a coffee (I had a sparkling water and green tea, which makes a change from a cappuccino and a cake!) and talked to him about his journey from a life of excess to one of control and healthiness. He provided some good advice which I am certainly going to take. In the evening I went for a walk around the Botanical Gardens in Almaty with Raushana, something I wouldn’t have done before as I would have been in the pub! It was a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city as well as the stress of work and writing my MBA thesis. I downloaded an app for my iPhone called Endomondo, it uses GPS to track you as you exercise, I found this useful as I struggle to judge distances accurately, just ask my golfing buddies! I walked a total of 6.5 miles and I felt as though I could have walked another 2/3 more which was great. I had less back pain than I usually do and I attribute this to all the vitamins and minerals that I am consuming on this juice diet. I have never eaten anywhere near the amount of fruit and veg in my life as I have this past week!
DAY 7 – PANCAKES!
As I was juicing my breakfast this morning, Raushana started to cook banana pancakes, the apartment smelt incredible. As much as I wanted to eat the whole batch smothered in honey I resisted and continued drinking my juice. My willpower and strength is going to get me through this, after leading a life where I always said yes (to another beer, another scotch, another desert) I am starting to say no. I am focused and determined to succeed and that is exactly what I want to do. I have always wondered why it is that I can be a professional management consultant, work long hours and produce excellent results, study hard and achieve fantastic marks in my MBA but not have the strength and dedication to my personal health and happiness. I think the reason is that it is my escape route from the stress of work and studying – now I need to find a new escape route and I think I am going to replace it with walking. I am still juicing and I am still motivated and dedicated, I haven’t hit a real tough patch yet – long may that continue!