Hey Ladies and Gents
I’m back with another entry. I know, I know it’s been a while but I have had much going on. So don’t despair all it means is that I have a lot to say in this entry.
We left off last time with me introducing you to my coach and giving you my goals and some of the challenges I face on a day to day from training. So what have I been up to since the 20th of June 2015?
First up was Ramadaan (Our fasting month). For those of you who don’t know Ramadaan specifies that from the time the sun comes up till the time it goes down we are not allowed to eat or drink anything. No food, no water, no nothing.
“But what about the gains???” I hear you avid muscle lovers say. Well as my coach told us “Put your faith first and the gains will come”. So how did we overcome this issue? I can tell you it was not easy. I fasted in the day broke my fast and then trained and ate through the night. Waking up 3 times to get in 4000 calories. It’s quite a mission to wake up at 2am to eat chicken and rice, in fact it’s pretty sad. I felt like this dude.
The first 10 days saw me lose 2kgs which for me is great since normally in a fasting month I can lose about 5 to 7kgs and a lot of it comes off in the first 10 days. I then gained back the 2kgs in the middle 10 days of fasting and gained an extra 2kgs on the last 10 days. I have never achieved this in my life during a fasting month so I was extremely happy.
Thereafter it was straight into helping Shaheen “Lil Moose” Moosa into full prep mode for provincials. Training with a younger stronger kid certainly made do a few things I haven’t done in a while. Each workout was a challenge to see who could go heavier or for more reps. I wanted to teach him that his body would give him what he asked of it, if only he would ask. In the end I was glad that he had learnt more about himself during this prep than even he admitted he knew. At the end I learned that I’m not that old, but also that I can get through a prep training program which I was truly afraid of doing due to my back issues. So we are all systems go.
Or are we? About half way through the prep training, actually on Eid day(After fasting) I started to feel a bit weird. Let me give you some context and background. From about the age of 15 I would always be shaky if I had not eaten or trained hard. My mum would always say to me “It’s all these supplements you are using. Why do you need to lift weights?” Like surely that was a rhetorical question right?
Anyhow after taking a shower on Eid day I basically experienced something really scary. My whole body was shaking and I felt… well out of it to say the least. Having grown up in a medically inclined household (My mum’s a nurse and aunt is a doctor and sleeping nights at the hospital sometimes) I knew I had to get some sugar and salt in me. I hit the dessert table to grab some sweet stuff and was given some sugar and salt water but it took about 3 hours to feel fully normal again.
Now I’m never one to run to doctors so I started eliminating things that I thought might be an issue. All stimulants, bulk supps, coffee, etc. I eventually ended up realising that I may have a bit of an issue. Sort of when I started randomly falling asleep like some sort of narcoleptic. I would be sitting in a meeting talking to someone and the next thing I knew I am drowsy and fighting to stay awake.
I finally decided if I wanted to reach this goal I have set I need to get this looked at. I had been carrying snacker and granola bars around with me to try and keep my sugar levels up and as a result putting on some body fat.
I finally went to see an endocrinologist around 5 weeks ago. Looking at some markers he is assuming I am diabetic. We will be testing for this and my thyroid levels amongst other things since both run in my family. My sisters, mother and aunts are all hypothyroidal. It turns out he works with some bodybuilders already so he is no stranger to managing any issues. It excites me since we have decided to take a more scientific and health driven approach and for the first time I will be doing regular screenings to make sure everything is working optimally for muscle growth as well as longevity.
So next week some time I will be doing my blood tests and I’ll know which way I need to go to manage things. It hasn’t been the easiest 8 weeks of my life I have to admit. I had been feeling listless, demotivated and pretty exhausted like all the time. I would fall asleep in the middle of watching my daughter. Thank goodness she’s quite independent and disciplined or who knows what I could have woken up to.
I hadn’t told my coach Earl about all this initially since he was on prep and I didn’t want to add to his stress. After SAs though I broached the subject and he has adjusted my diet accordingly. It is working really great at the moment. I have energy, drive and motivation back. The success of this though is highly dependent on spacing my meals correctly and feeding myself regularly. All things I am used to yes, but where I had the ability to push a meal a little later if I was busy at work. These days I can’t do that or I fall asleep at my desk.
At times I have wondered if all this was going to pan out and get under control but I am confident that I will be able to still keep to my goal of stepping on stage early next year. Currently my weight is stable at 91kgs. I am still a bit away from my goal weight of 105kgs. But that’s not too much of an issue as I have accepted that we are working with a new set of challenges in addition to all the others. I have the right Coach, I have the right Physio and I have the right Doc working with me so I don’t see why I can’t go all the way.
In closing I will say this. I always told my wife I feel like I have been put on this earth for a reason. I have flatlined on an operating table (That’s quite a story actually), I have had a collapsed right lung which almost caused a heart attack, I have broken my neck, I’ve lived in pain and still continue to on a day to day basis. Sometimes in life we don’t have the luxury of the easy road, but in the end it is OUR road to walk! Whatever the outcome of my tests I will continue on. Hopefully it was nothing more than a passing phase (Insert Optimism). But if not, I’m interested in learning more about manipulating my endocrine system and overcoming this challenge.
When life gives you lemons… squeeze it over your food to lower the GI load of the meal!
What’s a little diabetes or hypothyroidism? BRING IT!!!
I will update you as to my results and the way forward in a few weeks, after I have seen the Endo.
In the meanwhile, I’ll see you guys at the bar!
Your Brother in Iron