Monday, February 22, 2010

Week 6 Update

Sorry that it's been weekly posts almost exclusively, but life has been too busy. Diet goes along fine. Was with my choir  Sunday night for a gig and the only food around was pizza for the choir, so I had two slices. No bad effects and no rebound desire for carbs--of course, it wasn't really very good pizza! Anyway, doing fine, staying fairly paleo/low carb without huge urges. I normally have one (only one!) Dove or Hershey's Bliss chocolate in the evening and sometimes some nuts as well. I still feel the urge to eat more than one, but it's not strong and not much effort to say, "no."

Crazy schedule has meant crazy sleep/waking patterns, not the best for me, so walking has been less frequent and core exercises as well. My back was also feeling really unstable and I think I may have tweaked it with one of the exercises, so I'm taking it a little easy, but will also ease back in.

I've been doing lots of reading about concentration, focus, time management, etc., etc. Some great stuff and I'll share some when I have time.

But this "transformation" is not meant to be just physical: I want to be more in control of my life and how I live it, to be able to accomplish what I want, to learn to be fully present whether at work or at play (and blur the lines between them, so that all seems to be play). Again, the process is important for me and is the focus, rather than the result, because I want the changes I make to be a true transformation . . . and a permanent one.

This week's results:


Six weeks, 18 pounds, 3 pounds this week and 3 pounds/week average. I still expect a slow-down, but enjoying it doing what it's doing.

I have been around 225 in recent memory, but once I go below 220 it'll be a territory I haven't seen for some time. And under 200 will take me back at least 15 (maybe 20?) years.

I feel better (lighter, for sure) with more energy and focus. Just trying to stay with the process and change how I look at and use food.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Week 5 Update

This week was interesting--Thursday I made a trip to a conference in San Antonio, which meant traveling on a bus with a group and so meals were not as disciplined (or as many choices) as usual. However, I didn't do badly at all, and much better than I would have before in such a situation!

Bus stop near fast food places for dinner on Thursday: Wendy's chili and a fish sandwich (eating only the fish), but with beans in the chili and breading on the fish, still more carbs than I've been getting. A bit of chocolate chip cookie upon arrival at the hotel (but that was all!). Friday morning breakfast: eggs, bacon and fruit (more fruit than I've been doing, too).  Friday day, shared Margarita (scratch margarita, but probably still containing a simple syrup, I'm sure) and taco salad. Some nuts for a snack later in the afternoon, then nothing until after a concert: a full margarita, then at a reception late Friday (9:30-10:30, much later than I've been eating) more fruit (quite a bit more), a fair amount of cheese, and meatballs with a somewhat sweet bbq sauce . . . then more cheese. Saturday's trip back home had a similar breakfast and the same fast food stop on the way home, but this time a deli with a nice chef's salad (with a small amount of honey mustard dressing).

Both Saturday and Sunday early when I woke up I had the sore, arthritic kind of pain, inflexibility in my hands--which I haven't had for several weeks.

In the end (or when closer to goal--whatever that is!) it will be interesting to experiment adding back food types one at a time (bread/other wheat, beans, corn, potatoes, etc.) and seeing what the result is (reactions like the arthritic ones, raised blood sugar, etc.). But that's an experiment which is some ways off!




So, the plateau is here (or at least, the reaction to Thursday/Friday/Saturday changes and perhaps water retention)--one half pound weight loss and body fat similar (again, with BF it's much harder to know if small changes week to week are significant or not).
It's fine, nice to see I didn't gain . . . and a half pound per week is still OK, even over the longer term.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Week 4 post

Still keeping faith with the transformation of my diet. When out at a Mexican restaurant Saturday (in between scholarship auditions) I was more tempted than usual by the chips, but didn't. That evening, we ended up at an Italian restaurant with friends where my choice was a lovely filet of sole, breaded (I didn't pick it off) in a tasty sauce with crab, shrimp and crayfish -- mmm! No bread, but a little of my wife's Pinot Grigio. Today lunch with a colleague at a sub (sandwich) shop: salad made with sub fixin's (smoked turkey, provolone, bacon) and I did have a little honey mustard dressing, so some sugar there, for sure.

My wife's been making lovely dinners. Tonight: chili (beef, no beans), guacamole, carrot sticks, celery sticks, and half an apple. Last night, smoked pork chops, green beans, cole slaw (not creamy, but made with a fabulous California olive oil flavored with blood orange), and some avacado chunks a few slices of orange.

Most breakfasts have been protein drinks (as before, water, one scoop Designer Whey, one scoop Metabolic Drive, some coconut oil, a scoop of natural full-fat yogurt, and a little cream).

Walking has been slightly more often (probably four days this week) and the associated back/core exercises.

Sleep's been variable, last night not good at all. Went to bed, mind ran around in circles, and got up again. Asleep at 3 or so, up at 6:45.

I've been reading a lot about willpower, concentration, focus, meditation, etc., figuring out my next step in transformation (I'll say more about the reading later). It will probably be beginning a meditation practice, at least one of those times before bed. As I stated earlier, I need a bedtime routine, with meditation (and some space) after any TV, reading, or computer work (like this, at 11:24 PM!). A way to transition. I'll probably begin next week. Again, no hurry. I want these changes to be permanent, not (as before) a short-term effort.

Weight this week:

Another 3.5 pounds lost, total of 14.5 pounds over 4 weeks.
In some ways that's scary, because I want to remain focused on process and long-term change of habits. I know this can't continue, so in a way need a plateau--that sounds strange, but these losses become motivating. I want motivation to come from within and for the right reasons.

So, keep my mind focused on the changes in eating habits and how good I feel.

And have I said how good I feel? Much better, more energy, more concentration (although if I can get my sleep squared away it will be even better). Hands not stiff, sore, and arthritic feeling in the morning. The walks feel great and I walk at a faster pace. 

Miles to go, but you can only get there one step at at time . . .

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Feb 1 update - end of Week 3

So . . . slow to post lately. Will have to improve!

This Week (after 3 weeks):

. . . and bodyfat

How have I done?

Down another 3.5 pounds, total 11 pounds in 3 weeks, better than I would have expected. Body fat percentage is much harder to gauge, since electric impedance measuring of body fat can vary widely, depending on how much water you're retaining. It's particularly hard to gauge versus my opening body fat, which measured 33%, then to 37% for the next two weeks, and now 36%. Assuming I stay on target with lower carbs, then I should be more consistent, so probably the 37% is fine for a beginning measuring point. But small losses won't mean much, week to week. It'll be the longer-term changes, trending in the right direction, which will be significant.

From a compliance standpoint, it's been great and I've been able to do so without any real feelings of  hardship, even when going to a Mexican restaurant and avoiding the chips and salsa (earlier I would have scarfed down the equivalent of a basket before even starting the meal--and probably had a coke to drink as well). At home, I've kept to good foods, moderate snacking on nuts, and my one indulgence every night of one dove dark chocolate.

I've also had several days with no lunch--just the schedule, not a deliberate attempt--which is the beginnings of doing some intermittent fasting. I'll do more of that, no doubt, aiming for a couple days a week with a longer fast (perhaps dinner to dinner: no breakfast or lunch).

My walking has been at least a few days a week, 3 to 4 times. Back exercises the same. I will work to make more consistent.

I went to Bikram Yoga last week. The session was as remembered . . . very intense, but good. I was sore the next couple days, particularly my back and shoulders. I would love to do this . . . but the Bikram place is quite a distance and when I went (for the 8:30 AM class) the traffic was nasty. Left an hour before, got there about 10 minutes before class was to begin. Unpleasant, to say the least! That means leaving at 7:30, class until 10 AM, ca. 35 minutes home, shower/ablute/dress, eat, and get to school ca. 11:30. I simply can't afford that. And with an 8 AM class two days a week, it doesn't combine very well.

They have a 5:30 AM class, which probably means leaving by 4:45 and getting up by 4:15 or so. Even then, I can't do this and be back for my 8 AM classes, so I'd have to do it on other days. The biggest problem, though, is that I'm a musician and have many evenings at concerts. To get up at 4:15 every morning, but have evenings when I don't get home until 10 PM (and am usually fairly wired) would likely mean not enough sleep.

A dilemma. I might try the early class to see how it feels, but it's a challenge to make it work, get to bed early enough consistently enough to make it worthwhile. We'll see.

By the way, this week the cluster headaches finally gave up and went away! I'm so happy to be headache-free and not taking tylenol in addition to naproxen!

Will try to write more often.