A special ‘Double Episode’ this time round as Weeks 6 and 7 of The Man Challenge for me coincide with Queensland’s biggest cultural and agricultural event, the Royal Brisbane Show, better known locally as ‘The Ekka’ (that’s ‘Exhibition’ – they do things very differently up here, they do.)
As hinted at in earlier Diary Entries, when I signed on for this, the third incarnation of Adam MacDougall’s Man Challenge, I was well aware of the obstacles that would present themselves in my endeavours to complete the program and achieve some tangible and long-term results. One was my physical ability to ‘compete’, another was the mental toughness required to keep at it through the whole ten weeks and one – no, two – were the Craft Brewer’s Conference and The Ekka.
For those thinking of taking on something like The Man Challenge it’s well worth pulling out the old calendar and cross-referencing any other significant events that might cross over the ten weeks. Holidays, work commitments, conferences, planned medical procedures and footy club end-of-season trips need to be identified early. Once committed it’s actually a good feeling to actively attack occasions such as these. There’s a real sense of achievement, of defeating an ‘enemy’ when it pays off.
Here are this week’s thoughts.
Week 6 & 7 Diary Entry
[To the tune of the Can-Can Dance] “Ekka, Ekka-Ekka-Ekka, Ekka, Ekka, Ekka – Ekka-Ekka-Ekka Ekka-Ekka-Ekka!!” Because some things are surely designed to test us. Or send us mad if we let them.
“A bit of preparation was required to make sure things were set up to complete each days exercise and meal routines. For those outside the ‘Carny Folk Code’, here’s how the Ekka works; EVERYBODY IN QUEENSLAND GOES TO THE EKKA. Now, any commitment of ten days or more of twelve hour days talking, hawking, chatting, pouring, sampling and otherwise flogging goods and/or services to around 400,000 people is a fair old task at the best of times. When your business is promoting great Australian Craft Beer inside the Woolworth’s Fresh Food Pavilion the gig is even tougher.
Preparation included packing enough food so that I didn’t have to rely on Show Food which invariably involves anything you can batter, deep fry, salt or sugar and then put on a stick. My ‘take away’ over the past two weeks of The Man Challenge has been the important of WHAT I eat and WHEN I eat it. 5 meals a day are ticked of the Rewards page and they comprise Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with a Snack between Breakfast and Lunch and another between Lunch and Dinner.
Finding the time to squeeze in an apple, a nut bar (check for low sugar) or a protein bar (hard to find the few that don’t pack sugar in) was at times a juggle but overall we got there. The Sunday weigh-in might tell a different story to ‘at home’ weeks.
What I learned this week
Early on I dismissed the snack as something not needed if hunger wasn’t calling but the hints and tips delivered through videos and Facebook feedback has taught me the value of keeping up the nutrients (especially protein as exercise increases) and the value of maintaining a constant level of metabolism. Therefore, the body maintains a steady ‘feeding’ of the muscle that it’s building which, in turn, burns fat while the body is at rest.
What else I learned this week. Because, sometimes, I’m a dickhead (See Week 2. The scales episode). A chance reading of a Facebook discussion which Adam himself conducts regularly led me to another Eureka moment which has plastered a huge smile across my face this week. Most readers will know me as a Beer Writer and Good Beer advocate but there was a time when I held real jobs as well. One such vocation was as a Wedding Consultant, measuring blokes for wedding suits. Years of practice meant that I still take a waist measurement, as trained, from just above the hip bones. This is the number I submitted as my starting waist measurement. Now I find it’s actually a ‘gut measurement’ taken from the level of the belly button.
So, after 7 weeks of believing I had made zero inroads into my waist decimation I am now keen to get back home from The Ekka to run a tape around the old ‘Cut & Paste’ to see what the new number reveals.
Starting Weight – 89 kgs Week 6/7 Weigh up – 79 kilos. Good plateau.
Starting Waist – 45 inches Week 6/7 Waist measure – 38. Much better now that my ‘starting waist’ has been adjusted.
Weight loss so far 10 kgs – double figures and target met!
Inches lost so far 7 inches. Bitches!!
Next Episode. Week 8 and Prof hits the ‘home stretch’. And learns how to stretch.