Post-Fast – Retained Results, New Exercise and Diet

I lost a solid six to eight pounds after my fast. I was very pleased with that. It was tough at first thinking of it like I gained back twelve to fourteen pounds, but those pounds weren’t ever mine to have lost. Overall, the fast was hard, but I’m glad I did it. If I did it again, I’d probably do a bunch of shorter timeframe, more frequent fasts than another 1-2 week one. Maybe 1-3 day fasts.

Right now I’m mostly just doing intermittent fasting where I skip breakfast a few days a week, and I try to be honest with myself with dinner – if I’m not hungry, don’t eat. I’m trying to eat less bread and pasta as a general approach, and more salads with lots of fats, moderate protein, and carbs only coming from the veggies. But I am also occasionally having pizza. Or Mexican food. Or any other food I REALLY want. But I’m trying to have a realistic, healthy approach, and not watching diet a lot more than that. So far weight’s holding steady, and I’m pleased with that.

I had been doing a few workout videos a week and some heavy deadlifts. I am a big fan of Metabolic Effect. I’ve bought a few programs in the past, read most of Jade’s articles, and used one of his techniques in my battle against adrenal fatigue. It’s still one I use today. I monitor my heart rate during a workout, and if it doesn’t return to normal within a few minutes of resting, I call it a day for workouts. He seems to have several approaches you can employ, and I do believe there are many ways to healthy, but I decided to give his Metabolic Prime workout a shot. More

Advertisements

Overweight People Aren’t Lazy Idiots – Maybe There’s Another Cause (Besides “Genetics”)

Here it is. The death rattle heard ‘round the Internet. People are posting links to this article and either saying it’s disheartening or “another excuse.” And despite my better judgement, I read every comment. Every single one. Full of people who think their experience never gaining weight, their experience easily losing weight, or their experience losing weight and keeping it off negates that there’s an issue. Rather people are lazy excuse-makers. No one sees an overweight person as a person. Rather they’re a sub-human form of life who is disgusting and lacks willpower. I’ll stop you right there if you’re one of those people. I am overweight, and I am not lazy. I am not worthless. I have willpower. I work on projects for work that everyone else has abandoned because they require too much work, too much attention to detail, and too much follow-through. I lack nothing that these assholes are saying fat people lack. I am a very goal-oriented person. I bet I have more money saved than the average American my age. I get delayed gratification. And I am a smart person. I have access to good food. And I eat it. And I don’t eat 6,000 calories a day like many people assume. But I hear you, you judgmental jerks. You don’t WANT heavy people to lose weight. You don’t want there to be more to the story.

In my opinion, this article was the perfect avenue to open up dialogue and brainstorm other potential causes  or approaches. This was a great scenario to consider other things that might be playing into the story. Maybe it’s not as simple as people are eating way too much because they’re glutenous sloths. Maybe most overweight people WANT to lose weight, but they’re struggling. Maybe simply eating less and exercising more really isn’t working. Maybe you can take them at face value and be part of the cure, not the perpetuation of the disease (of fat-hate).

Somehow an article that seemed to me like a suggestion to look at other approaches has pitted those who struggle against those who have never had weight issues or lost weight once and kept it off (even if that time is less than two years, as mentioned in the article – those who have lost weight recently think they’re safe from regain). Hell, a friend called fat people “fucktards.” How is that helping? I’m glad you know every person in the world. I’m glad you’ve experienced every scenario. I’m glad you know everything about everything, ever.

So, as a fat, worthless, lazy fucktard, what do I think? More

N=1 – What Works For You Versus What Will Work For Everyone

Let me start this post by saying, I think it’s so, so, so important to learn what works for you. So important. So I’m not suggesting people stop that. Keep using yourself as an experiment. If you think a certain food bothers you and you want to eliminate it, add it back and see what happens, great! If you want to see what level of carb intake your body responds best to, do it! Or how much protein or fat seems to be optimal for staying full and getting in good workouts, do it! Or, when you have in injury you might work out on your own or get advice on what your issue is, that’s fantastic. There’s no point in knowing what that pain means in “most people.” In order to heal and improve, you need to know why YOU are having the pain.

But you have to remember, what works for you may or may not work for someone else. So someone else is struggling losing weight, and when you lost weight all you did was eat as few carbs as possible. That’s great. And it’s nice to suggest, but stop at suggesting. If the other person feels like crap on very little carbs or can’t maintain it, or doesn’t lose, that doesn’t mean he or she is lying. It just means what worked for you doesn’t work for them. If weight loss for you is simply staying under 2500 calories, great. I’m glad you found what works for you. The problem is you can’t push that on someone else. You can’t expect someone who progressively feels worse and worse to intermittent fast. Or run two miles every morning. Everybody’s body is different. We’re all unique little snowflakes. And, sure, when something works for most people, it’s nice to suggest it. But when it doesn’t work for someone, that doesn’t mean they’re lying or doing it wrong, it simply means they’re not part of the “most.” That’s why they say “most,” after all. “Most” means “not all.” More

Nine Cups A Day – Day One

Day one wasn’t as hard as I suspected. It’s not that I never eat fruits and vegetables, I think I wasn’t giving myself enough credit for how much I was eating. Probably at least five cups per day, on average. Of course there are days I only eat a cup or two. But other days I probably get six or seven or more. So adding two to four more cups wasn’t much of a challenge. The biggest challenge seemed to be the sulfur-rich vegetables, which, admittedly, I avoided.

Once upon a time, I ate carrots, cucumbers, peppers, broccoli and cauliflower several days a week for an afternoon snack. Then I couldn’t eat peppers anymore. And then I tried to limit things like veggie dip. And without those few tablespoons of dip, I didn’t want raw vegetables anymore. So it was kind of nice getting back to eating some raw veggies. I did miss that. I used to pair raw veggies with any number of things. Yesterday I just had my veggies with a dip made of cream cheese, salsa and garlic powder. Win!

So, the day went well. But it was also kind of gassy and bloaty which is the reason I’d been avoiding broccoli and cauliflower. Once I stopped eating it semi-regularly, it’s like I lost my tolerance for it, even cooked. I’d wake up in the middle of the night with those gas pains that feel like a heart attack. And if I’d add just a few pieces to a salad, I’d feel blah all day. So, like a normal avoiding person, I avoided.

Anyway, that’s the background of that. And I’m excited to add these vegetables back because I did some limited/unfocused research (results below), and am excited to get the health benefits of these vegetables.

So, what did I have?

  • Berries (frozen and fresh): 2 1/2 cups
  • Spinach (raw): 1 1/2 cups
  • Kale (cooked): 1 cup
  • Lettuce (plain old iceberg, which many people don’t count, but I do): 1/2 cup
  • Grapefruit (fresh): 1 cup
  • Carrots (raw): 1/2 cup
  • Broccoli: 3/4 cup (1/2 cup raw, 1/4 cup roasted)
  • Cauliflower: 3/4 cup (1/2 cup raw, 1/4 cup roasted)
  • Banana (fresh-frozen, and fresh): 1 cup
  • Onion and Garlic (cooked): 1/4 cup
  • Tomatoes (canned and salsa): 1/2 cup
  • Total: 10 1/4 cups

Summarized:

  • Greens: 3 cups
  • Sulfur vegetables: 1 3/4 cups
  • Colorful: 3 1/2 cups
  • Miscellaneous: 2 cups

My goal was three cups each of the first three. I fell short on the sulfur vegetables, but think I made a good decision to ease into it. As my body adapts to eating them, I’ll probably eat more, spreading them out during the day. I HATE waking up in the middle of the night feeling miserable. Not only do I feel miserable, but it impacts my sleep. And I need my sleep! I seemed to thread the needle. Enough for bloating. Not enough to be up at night (and I even ate dinner late).

So, overall, I’m happy with day one!

Other breakdowns: 

  • Fruits: 5 cups
  • Vegetables: 5 1/4 cups

More vegetables than fruits (by a hair). And I even put tomatoes in the fruit group. I’m happy with this.

Sulfur-Rich Vegetables

I did a little more research on the sulfur vegetables. The Wahls stuff I read says the sulfur helps push the toxins out of your body. Mark’s Daily Apple had a little bit of information on why to eat sulfur-rich vegetables.  It wasn’t as in-depth as I’d hoped, so I specifically researched a list of and benefits of the two types of sulfur-rich vegetables: brassica and allium.

Brassica

  • Rutabaga
  • Turnips
  • Kohlrabi
  • Cabbage
  • Collard Greens (which I’d put in the greens group)
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts

Brassica Health Benefits

  • High amounts of vitamin C and soluable fiber
  • Potent anti-cancer properties (reduced with boiling – but not with steaming (especially for 3-4 minutes), microwaving or stir-frying)
  • Compound in brassica is a potent modulator of the innate immune response system with potent antiviral, antibacterial and anticancer activity
  • Improves eye health
  • Lowers risk of stroke
  • Rich in vitamin K, which improves inflammatory response

Some Considerations

  • The same compound that modulates the innate immune response is also an anti-androgen.
  • They also contain goitrogens, which suppress thyroid function.

Allium

  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Scallions
  • Leeks
  • Chives (not a vegetable, and contain limited health benefits compared to above)

Allium Health Benefits

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Helps with memory loss
  • Hinders tumor growth
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces LDL cholesterol
  • Improves heart health
  • Helps with arthritis

Allium Health Considerations

  • Garlic can be a blood thinner
  • Might want to avoid if you have migraines

Doesn’t that make you want to run out and make a brassica/allium stirfry? Seriously, though, is there a better smell than onions and garlic cooking in butter? I’m already thinking of all the ways I can incorporate more of these vegetables.

Day One Workout

Just for the sake of reporting in on my workouts, I did 30 minutes of walking at work yesterday (I sneak in the workout room on breaks and walk at 3MPH). I also went for a 2 mile walk/run/jog. Jogging as much as I could, doing some faster running intervals when I felt like it. This was the best attempt at running in a long time. I still felt tight/clunky and am worried I’m inducing shin splints. But I think the magnesium is working! Zero full on charley horses while running. I didn’t even stop to stretch. Although my legs were the first to fatigue. I also did about 20 minutes of a workout video, which included some weight lifting. I just wasn’t feeling it. I’m going to use some of the machines in our workout room the rest of the week since I seem to be on a cardio uptick, which means I’m lifting a little less. Don’t worry, this is normal. Spring and fall always make me want to get outside more. My goal is to get into good enough running shape to maintain through the summer.

Overall Day One Summary

My energy was good yesterday. The worst part of the day was the bloating from the cauliflower and broccoli. But if that’s the worst of my problems, life is pretty good!

Tomorrow I’ll talk about either brightly colored

Waving The White Flag at Perfection – Focusing On The Big Picture

I want to apologize in advance for over-use of quotes. When I talk about an eating plan, I often quote stuff because it’s all heresy.

This week starts my “focus on nutrients from foods” week. Forget about eating “perfect” since there’s really no “perfect” diet. The one thing all the “good” or “successful” diets seem to have in common is focusing on eating fruits and veggies. Sure, there are some diets that say to avoid fruits or starchy vegetables because of the sugar. But most just say, “Don’t just eat potatoes and bananas, and you’ll be fine.” All of these diets can’t be wrong. There’s a reason that’s what we always go back to fruits and vegetables. They’re nutrient-dense. They’re satisfying. Fruits can cut your sweet cravings. Vegetables are filling. You’re getting vitamins and minerals and fiber and improved internal functions. And there are so many to choose from.

So, it’s the end of an era. The era of perfection. The era of, “This perfect diet is what I need.” I’m entering a new era. An era of, “Perfect isn’t working – it’s too time-consuming.” I’m moving on to “eat like you’d feed your kids.” Or, “Focus on the positive, not the negative.” When we feed our children, we focus on making sure they eat nutritiously most meals. We give them fruits and vegetables. But we don’t often do the same for ourselves. I once read that the majority of dog owners feed their dogs better than they feed themselves. I think it’s easier to see what everyone else needs, but easy to put our own needs aside. Our health is a priority, too. And once we’re past a certain age, our moms don’t force us to stay at the table or withhold dessert until we’ve finished our vegetables. We’re adults. We should do this for ourselves.  More

The Affliction of the Naturally Thin

Before I get into this, I want to disclaim, I’m NOT judging those people who have problem putting or keeping weight on. I think those who struggle to keep their weight up are in a similar boat as those who easily keep weight off. I’m also not addressing those who easily maintain their weight without much effort but don’t say anything snarky. This post is narrowly considering those who keep a healthy weight without much effort, but tell others to “just” do some super-simplistic approach to weight loss (or gain, but I can only speak to loss).

I was a skinny kid. My parents used to worry I wasn’t eating enough. I always had good energy. And don’t remember having a favorite food beyond cheese and cola. I do remember foods I hated (mostly vegetables, but I also wasn’t fond of meat or egg yolks). I remember being excited when my mom made ice cream or brought it out to us after swimming, but I don’t remember begging for ice cream or other sweets. Food was just… Food. Those were the days, right?

I hit puberty and suddenly had hips and thighs and a little stomach pooch. But I wasn’t fat. I maintained this “not quite a thin girl” look all through high school and the first few years of college. During middle and high school I definitely started having an affliction for fast food (especially McDonald’s cheeseburgers and pizza). After a breakup, a bout of depression, finding solace in food, and unlimited freedom to eat all of my meals out, I gained weight. I haven’t looked back since. It’s been a struggle to lose the weight I gained mostly on impulse. Mostly in a fit of self-pity. Mostly over a term of several months.

And since then? I get it. I get why weight loss is this national phenomenon. I get why it’s a bajillion dollar industry. More

Food – My Former Frenemy

We’ve all heard of frenemies, right? Enemies who are your friends. Friends who are your enemies.

That’s how I used to feel about food. I still do sometimes.

About two and a half years ago my face started breaking out. These were new breakouts, worse than I’d ever had. Suddenly coming on. And more than ever. I won’t go into the specifics, but after some googling, I decided they might be some type of allergy. I realized they were coming from eggs. So I cut out eggs.

Problem solved for almost a year, then peppers started doing the same thing. I cut out peppers. Problem solved for a few months. Then something else started causing problems.

At this point, my brain shifted. Every food out there was a possible enemy. Not unlike spiders because you know one can be poisonous, you think they all have the potential because you’re not sure which one is the problem. That’s how I felt about food. Every food I ate, I was skeptical of. Was one food a problem? A group of foods? What was my body telling me? USE YOUR WORDS, BODY!

Instead, I feel off the cliff into orthorexia, an eating disorder a lot of people mock. But trust me, when you fall into that group, it’s a real thing. You’re controlled by it. You start to shape this diet of “safe foods” and if you fall off the wagon, you shame yourself. You can’t eat out anywhere. Or even a home-cooked meal because what if someone used x food? It will throw off your attempt to create harmony in your body.

I didn’t live in a crazy cycle for too long, but it was long enough. I kept eliminating more and more foods and food groups, my face didn’t improve. I was lost and frustrated and felt like a failure. I CAN CONTROL THIS! I CAN FIX ME! STOP ASKING ME TO GO TO DINNER! STOP INVITING ME TO EAT AT YOUR HOUSE! More

Previous Older Entries