If you’re reaaaaally clever, you may have guessed what this month is about from the title, but this ain’t no simple “Pumpin’ Da Iron Seven Times a Week Then Collapse” challenge. January is all about bettering myself. Shedding the fat and looking like Arnie, yes, but we’re also talking about the gym of the mind. Here are the rules:
- Detox – No alcohol. Too easy? We’ll go one better. Shizuoka Green Tea and water are the only liquids I’ll be drinking this month. No exceptions… Bring it.
- Eating – No carbs before a gym session. Only complex carbs after. We’re talking brown rice, wholewheat pasta and bread, sweet potatoes, pulses; that sort of thing. What does this mean? It means scrambled eggs and cheese for breakfast every day, protein shakes (made with water) and nuts/seeds for morning and afternoon snacks, chicken salads for lunch and cottage cheese and fruit before bed. “Proper” dinner using whole foods only. No sugar at all, and no milk.
- Education – 2 hours a day of personal education. What does this mean? Reading up on history, philosophy, sociology, economics, Japanese and anything else that takes my fancy. You get the point.
- Sleep – 8 and a half hours of sleep every night. No more, no less. Yes this includes weekends, so no lie-ins. I’m not going to have a lot of spare time this month so I’m not going to waste it sleeping.
- Gym – Every weekday. Yes you heard that right. Weight lifting on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and High Intensity Interval Training on Tuesday and Thursday. What’s that? It’s where you sprint for 30 seconds, jog for a couple of minutes, sprint for another 30 seconds, wash, rewind, repeat for about 30 mins.
This is pretty brutal, so I’m going to allow myself some leeway when it comes to my social life. If I go somewhere for the weekend then I can obviously relax some of the rules around eating and education a little bit. Likewise, if there is a one-off event on a certain day during the week that I desperately want to go to I will allow myself to skip the gym and the education. I still want a life, I just want to make more of the spare time I have rather than waste it in front of the TV/laptop. The drinking rule is non-negotiable however.
After all that, any spare time is mine to do with what I will. Games, TV, tiddlywinks, writing blogs, skydiving.
If anyone else thinks they’re hard enough and wants to get involved, let me know. It’d be good to compare progress. For the rest of you, I will of course keep you updated, and if anyone in Japan fancies sending me some green tea supplies they’d be gratefully received!