How we think about ourselves is key. With the practice of meditation you can train yourself to observe the thinking mind without judgment or interfering. Basically what you will start noticing is that thoughts are some kind of noise. You don’t have to pay attention to it and it is not necessary to respond. You can let the noise be. After some time it becomes really clear that your thoughts have a huge impact on your life, and quite often not in a constructive but in a very limiting way.
One of the young guns I hired is named Wouter. He has been my housemate too this summer. I just asked him if he had some sort of question because I knew I had this piece of writing coming up. He asked me how I experience training in general. He had a Dutch word for it that I find hard to translate (trainingsbeleving). He refers to the transition of going from everyday mode into ‘the zone’. He feels the excitement and anticipation flowing through his body when his body tells him it is time to hit the gym.
Apparently I am carb intolerant. I knew that a ‘low carb diet’ was good for me but it seems to be going in the direction of a ‘no carb diet’. That will be just eggs, meat, fish, nuts, seeds and veggies for me. No pasta, no bread, no sugar, not even a bit of brown rice. Look, I love my buddies at Evolve and I really respect the vast knowledge of the human body of the founders Mike and Sander. But I hate the casualness with which they squeeze in my back, look at each other and say ‘yup, carb intolerant’. ‘With your body type you can’t eat any carbs for nine months. That way you can completely wean of carbs and then perhaps slowly reintroduce them into your diet.’ What? Nine months! That feels like receiving a prison sentence! It is not that I am such a sweet tooth but it requires a lot of discipline. And I just love breaking rules.
18 months of traveling took its toll. I lost my routine due to the transient lifestyle but also because of little injuries that I did not know how to address. A hurting wrist prevented me from doing push ups for example. Afraid of doing more damage I stopped doing anything at all. Just an example how a simple fear can paralyze us and have pretty big consequences. I was very fit when I left Amsterdam in January 2012. The last measurement that I had was that my body fat was at 9% and my weight at 89 kg. Now I am 98kg and my body fat is at 25.8%. My lean mass dropped from 81kg to 72.8kg. That means I lost 8.2kg of muscle and gained 17.3kg of fat.