Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Two Weeks on the Grayshott Spa Health Regime

For the past two weeks I have been staying at one of my favourite locations, Grayshott Spa. I stayed here in July last year and during that visit learnt about their new Health Regime. The ethos of which is to restore the digestive system and so bring about better health generally. The standard programme is for 7 days, but after ill health 18 months ago, which involved serious amounts of very toxic drugs, I decided to treat myself to two weeks.

The programme works on limiting the type of carbohydrates and cutting out all grains and dairy, thus allowing the gut to heal itself, with the aid of some probiotics. There is a huge amount of nutritional support, some blood tests to see what is going on inside, and a Body Composition Test which looks at how the body is split between protein (muscle), fat, bones, water etc.

So the stay started by telling me what I already knew, that I need to lose some fat and build some muscle. There are a number of reasons for this, but as a bonus, it is worth bearing in mind that 1kg of fat burns 20 calories a day, while 1kg of muscle burns about five times that and takes up a fraction of the space. So this blows the whole weight being what you should judge your health on out of the water. Identical twins could look the same, but if one is mostly muscle and the other is mostly fat, the one that is muscle will weigh significantly more than the one that is mostly fat. But which would be the healthiest?

Having learnt what my goals were I then set about trying to make a good start towards achieving them. In the first week I lost about 3.5 pounds, which I was please about as I have already lost about a stone this year. I am still waiting to find out what I may have lost this week/overall, but in a way I am not that concerned by that as I found out yesterday that I have lost 1.5kg of FAT, which is about 3.5 lbs, so most of my week one weight lose. I think this took the staff by surprise as they kept telling us that getting your body into fat burning mode is one thing, but to see any significant loss in that in a short time is unusual. I can only suppose I was already in fat burning mode when I got here and the regime just helped it on the way.

But this is not really why I joined the programme. For me the programme was about making me feel less sluggish and giving me more energy, and this I certainly feel I have achieved. It is difficult to judge fully in this cocooned environment, but I really do feel better. I am sleeping a bit better and have managed four personal training sessions with the amazing head of fitness here. He has shown me how to reintroduce exercise into my life without putting too much strain on my silly arm; this is revolutionary for me and means that, not only can I build up my fitness again, but the exercises we have gone through can be done at home with almost no equipment other than a Dyna-Band and a Bender Ball, which is a total outlay of about £20, so much less than a month's gym membership.

So what will happen when I go back to the 'real world'? My aim is to be good about 70-80% of the time, but to allow myself off the rails a little. As I was already doing the 5:2 regime, which is encouraged here and seems to have good fat burning benefits, I will continue to do so, probably for most of the rest of my life as I do find it really easy to fit into my day without much effort. I will be introducing more fats into my diet, but of the good variety, which is to say, saturated (there's a surprise for us all), cutting out most wheat, other than splet, and reducing the amount of grain based foods across the board.

This has been a good investment of time and money, now all I have to do is maintain it!

Monday, 10 March 2014

How can you do that?

The capacity humans have for being selfish always amazes me. I find this trait comes to the fore when it involves the use of public transport.

The number of times I get on to a full train only to find that someone seems to think that their ticket includes the fare for their coat or bag too, never cease to take me aback. Adults who are more than comfortable to see their fellow traveller 'strap hang' while their accessories take up a seat. When I see this I will invariably ask them to move the offending item so someone can sit. The looks I generally get are outstanding. They suggest that the individual concerned is shocked that the seat is not for their accessories, and that someone might want to use it.

We then have the individual who thinks that ALL of the floor space is for their use, so if they have a selection of bags, they will be positioned in such a way as to inconvenience themselves only a little, but their fellow travellers a lot. God forbid that the bag should be on their feet, rather than yours? Who cares, they clearly don't!

And how many times have I witnessed people 'super glued' to the Priority Seats, when someone who is clearly at some disadvantage gets on, only to have to stand. I don't know how people can be that unaware of their fellow travellers.

However, the counter to this is the individual who will offer their seat to others without hesitation, even when they are a little infirm themselves. That makes my heart happy and restores my faith in human kind. Unfortunately the former tend to outnumber the latter by quite a multiple.