How it all started - Into the practitioner series
By chance finding out about this initiative, and as a colleague of Panagiotis, interested to understand more about the program. After a first chat, unfortunately as a Video call, instead of over a nice coffee in our canteen due to COVID-19, I found myself confirming to Panagiotis that I'm up for the challenge.. What did I get myself into 🙂
Actually I was not really looking to lose more weight, as I've went through a considerable weight loss some years ago (and yes staying up to the mark!), however due to the home office situation noticed my motivation and energy levels going down and not able to do my sport (running) in the same speed/length as I've done before...
...So I knew it was time to adapt, also to not return to older routines. So I actually started intermittent fasting myself before getting started with Ketontrack. But back to the chat with Panagiotis, he mentioned 'your luck has changed', as he was doing the 20 day fitness challenge, and I was more than welcome to join. Again.. what did I get myself into...
Long story short, we agreed to start the program, and I would give the fitness program a try to see if I get more energized to do my runs again..
Now for my experiences:
The nutrition - Getting into Intermittent Fasting and Keto
Before we started, Panagiotis suggested I would track one week for what I ate, not knowing that it resulted in my trying to empty my fridge/freezer to get ready for the program, I believe he almost got a heart attack seeing the amount of Carbs I had eaten. It was obvious that this was causing the hunger feeling at the end of each fast.
So we started, and as I have done low-carb / high-protein adaptation before to lose weigh, but with 5-6 eating moments per day to overcome the hunger feeling, I was not so scared of renouncing carbs and sugars. And as I managed to do 2 weeks of IF already (even up to 20 hours), also here I was confident I could make it happen!
And so it was, even with some cravings in the first weeks, I managed to keep it up without too many issues, and with the well managed program, adding something new to consider each new week. This way it's not too much to worry about. I believe that working from home helps in organizing better the eating moments and habits, so somehow I can consider this as a benefit, although I would rather be in the office..
The fitness - Getting active (again)
As Panagiotis offered to join the challenge he started on Facebook, I decided I give it a try. Little did I know that it was, at least from my perspective, a quite advanced Yoga training, and unfortunately it made me lose my motivation. So I decided to end this and focus a bit more on running and some basic exercises myself. With the change of diet, I was getting back some more energy and enjoyed more and more doing something again.
Luckily there was the new chance, in this case the beginner fitness course, and I wanted to have another attempt. Now in the 2nd week, it is for me still quite a challenge, but manageable, I wouldn't go as far as enjoyable just yet 🙂
6 days/week is quite heavy, but a good way to change habits and ensuring you move. The downside is that I'm not running, as 2 hours/day sport is a bit too much..
The sleep - Getting it right
Although it comes at a later stage in the program, I was already interested in looking into my sleep patterns. Initially of course to understand if I sleep well. In one of our weekly alignment meetings, Panagiotis showed me the Ouraring, which is a nice lightweight device to keep track of your sleep. I recently purchased the ring to start tracking. My first night sleep was by the books, but during the week there are some variations - so definitely something to focus on, maybe even more important than starting exercising?
Conclusion - my key takeaways
So, while writing this I have completed 43 days of IF and 4 weeks of the program, now fast-tracking week 5&6 together.
I'm happy that I decided to join the series, even if it controls my time/mind more that I initially might have expected, but all positive. I truly believe that it's all about changing habits and routine, taking it almost to the extreme in the beginning - of course not 'overdoing it' . However it needs to fit also into the 'normal' life, especially on social occasions with friends and family.
As you might have seen, I'm also quite active in finding interesting recipes, and where possible sharing them on this website. The risk I otherwise see is that it might become to tedious/boring, which might demotivate anyone trying to keep up with the program
Going forward I'm keen on getting into the next stage of the series, especially curious in moving from 16x8 to 18x6 to 20x4, the occasional 24 hour fast and ultimately the 3-day fast!