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Saturday, August 31, 2013

I Do! I Like Them Sam I Am!

What is that? That is my breakfast: Green Eggs and Chili with four bites of Sauerkraut. Have you lost your mind? Nope, but I have lost 5.8 lbs. in four days. Another eating plan? Yup, another eating plan and I've ridden Posie (my crazy sparkly bike) for eleven days in a row. Boom.

So break down your breakfast will ya? Of course. The eggs are 2 egg whites, and 1 whole egg scrambled and cooked well with about a 1/2  cup of spinach that I chopped with herb scissors (so I don't get a big slimy bite). Then I take my delicious 3 bean chili (lentils, black beans & pintos with a serving of carrots hidden in there) and drain off some of the juice and throw those in with the eggs, just to warm. Mix it up. Boom. Ummmm, didn't you forget something? I'd like to. The sauerkraut acts as some kind of magical probiotic putting good bacteria into one's belly. It doesn't take a lot and I hold my nose and down it goes. (Big Daddy is substituting Kimchee for the kraut.)

So what makes this different than the other plans? I think of it as a modified Paleo with a binge day. The modification is the addition of legumes which are the silver bullet with this plan. I eat beans at every meal. They're cheap and filling and easy to cook. I will throw in that this is the most affordable plan I've ever been on.

So what are the rules?

Rule #1: Avoid “white” carbohydrates. Don’t eat bread, pasta, rice (brown or white), grains, potatoes, breaded fried food or dairy on your slow-carb days.
Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again. Meals should include protein, legumes, and non-starchy vegetables; eat as much as you like, 3-4x/day.
Rule #3: Don’t drink calories. Avoid milk (including soy), sweetened soda (no more than 16oz of diet), and fruit juice. One or two glasses of red wine are permitted. (I do put a little cream and sugar-free syrup in my coffee, I'm just not a black coffee drinker yet!)
Rule #4: Don’t eat fruit. Tomatoes and avocados are okay (the latter in moderation).
Rule #5: Take one day off per week. Go nuts and eat lots of calories to keep your metabolic rate (thyroid function, conversion of T4 to T3, leptin) up. Do at least five days of rules 1-4 before following rule 5.

Look, I know the key to all of this is staying the course and that's always always always the challenge. I am just saying, that I am encouraged because a) I've been willing to do some physical activity every day, b) I know how to jump start my metabolism now c) I am getting results quick!

If you'd like more information you ought to pick up a copy of The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss. It's interesting reading and just maybe...

Friday, August 30, 2013

Go to Your Room & Make Stuff

I've been on a creative binge lately. The photo is a painted composition book cover I made from a drop cloth and craft paints. I'm not really crazy about that one, so I may paint over it and start over. That's one of the things I love about making stuff, you can call do-overs and begin again when you're not crazy about the results.

This is actually a perfect time to get lost in the craft room. It feeds the soul and doesn't drain the bank account like some of my obsessions can. I was just asking myself why I craft and there are lots of answers to that question at any given time. Here are some of them:

1. I caught it from my dad, who caught it from his mom, who caught it from...well I don't know who she caught it from, probably lots of her relatives as people made things both for entertainment and for use back in the day. I've been making stuff, painting stuff, drawing stuff, weaving stuff, molding stuff, stringing stuff and sewing stuff for as long as I can remember.

2. I'm a thrifty girl. I like to make stuff to give as gifts although I can rarely wait until a holiday to give it. I love making things for others, especially when I know who I'm going to give it to. Then I get to think about that person and what they mean to me while I'm making the gift.

3. It's problem solving at it's finest. I rarely create my own projects. I borrow ideas and put my own twist on it. I always think it's going to be simpler/easier than it is, and there's a great sense of accomplishment when the plan comes together. (Nailed it!)

4. I'm always learning new things. I've been Pintresting since before there was a Pintrest and all it takes is a spark and suddenly I need to make soap (saponification, not just melt and pour for me!) or knit scarves, or decoupage a bike...

5. Nothing kills a bad mood or an empty afternoon like a visit to the craft room. Time flies. Problems are left outside the door. For just a little while it's just me and my scissors, paper and glue, and I am in my happy place making stuff. (Side note: My craft room looks nothing like those pictures. My craft room is a long white table, an old dresser and a bunch of crap all over the floor. We clean it and I immediately destroy it. It's a complete disaster. That's why there's a "Keep Out" sign taped to the door.)

6. Crafting is my therapy. I struggle a bit with depression and both exercise and creating do wonders to help me get through those low times without going into the deep.

7. Because it's fun! You should try it! Really!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Why Should I Feel Discouraged...

Today, I'm trying to focus on the line, "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me." 

Yesterday I got a text from someone I'd been working for off and on, and she let me know that she'd pay me for her last order but they'd be using a restaurant in the future. Honestly I have not felt good about our partnership for awhile now. There's been a lot of disorganization and I've felt like I had to beg to get paid. Intellectually I know this is for the best...only I don't know what's next.

What experience tells me is that there is something coming and it will be better. What fear tells me is that--oh screw fear, I'm not going to bother repeating the lies. I am a precious child of God and I am being provided for especially when things change. I am being given what I need right this very second. All I have to do is adjust my wants to align with God's desires for me. (Funny, I went to a meeting on Monday night that was on this subject. Coincidence?)

I got through the first day of slow carb eating without incident although I did peek into my carb cabinet and found there's a half bag of pita chips in there that I need moved out of reach. I didn't eat them (saved myself $10 there) but the afternoons are rough with wanting to snack. I am going to need to work on activities to fill the dangerous hours. I have known for a long time that boredom is a bigger enemy than hunger. 

That's all the news that's fit to print. And just in case there's anyone else who needs reminding:

"Let not your heart be troubled,"
His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness,
I lose my doubts and fear;
Though by the path He leads me
But one step I may see:
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Stocking the Toolbox

The first thing you need to know is that the picture there is not my breakfast. It was supposed to be a picture of my breakfast but the picture of my breakfast up and disappeared. My breakfast was some pinto beans, spinach, egg whites, salsa, a cup of coffee, a large glass of ice water and 4 fork fulls of saurkraut. That's right boys and girls it's new eating plan time!!!

Today we’re starting the slow carb diet as suggested by THE 4-HOUR BODY by Timothy Ferriss. Before we start the eating plan, there are some tools suggested to failure-proof the plan. Here are the ones I am deploying:

Photo Tracking my Food: Tracking has been a good tool for me when I do it. One of the coolest suggestions I found in 4HB is to track by photo. The benefits are that it’s immediate, it’s honest and it’s simple. All I have to do take a picture of food before I eat it. I’m using the eatly app to do it. (Okay so that plan hasn't gone well so far, it's day one, meal one--I'll get better!)

The Fatty Photo: I know, that’s not the nicest way to put it, but it’s true and it’s time to face facts--every time I open the fridge. Having a before pic is supposed to be a “big” motivator. This is my overeating mugshot. I can’t wait to track my journey to freedom. This was painful. Big Daddy and I took these pictures after a bike ride. Hair was floppy, shirts were off (I had on a sports bra.) There was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. This picture bums me out, especially when I consider that I was 30 pounds heavier a year ago. I have a new respect for those folks on the Biggest Loser. Here's the crazy part, when I look at that picture I think, I don't want anyone to see that, but the truth is that I'm the only one who has been in the dark about how big I am.

Make it a Game: I’ve already told you about “don’t break the chain.” That’s one part of making it a game. The other part is that Big Daddy and I have to put up or pay up. If either of us cheats on a non-cheat day, we have to put $10 in the Vegas Fund Jar.

Inch by Inch: Unlike other plans where I relied on the scale to tell me how I am doing, I am also using a tape measure each week as another way to track my progress. 4HB is really big on measuring and tracking so I’ve made very simple worksheets to record my data.

As far as the Slow Carb Diet--I’ll be posting about that in the days to come. It’s a very different eating plan and it’s not designed for fun. It is supposed to be designed for quick and profound results and maybe just maybe if things go well, someday, I’ll share my “before” picture.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Don't Break the Chain

Yesterday, I mentioned "don't break the chain" and today I got to put my seventh sticker on my bike riding chain. I read about this motivational tool on Apparently Jerry Seinfeld was giving advice to a new comic and he suggested that he track daily activity using a calendar. Each day that he accomplished his goal, he put a big red "x" on his calendar, creating a chain. The game is to see how long one can go without breaking the chain. It's simple, it's silly and guess what, it works! I am using a calendar I found online and right now I'm only using it for my bike riding, but I will be adding more chains in the near future. 

The reason I'm excited about hitting the seven day mark is that I've read that the tipping point for creating a habit can be as little as four or five days. I have passed that point and for the first time in my life I am rolling directly out of bed ready to move and I'm doing more than I committed to do. Both my distance and the frequency of my riding has increased in seven days. I will be the first to admit that this is not a strenuous work out, but I am getting my heart rate up and I'm working up a sweat and I'm doing more than I was while sitting on the couch. It is my hope that by the time we reach October, Big Daddy and I will be able to ride in the park

Today we took measurements and weighed and tomorrow we start on a new eating plan. I have a lot of feelings about that which is the whole ball of wax. Food and feelings are linked for me and when I surrender those indulgences (even short term) I am left with the feelings and that's a big part of why I've fired up the blog. I need to talk about it. I need to share. Wish me luck and remember, we've only got to do one day at a time. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Another Beginning

I just saw that my last post was on Jan. 1, 2012. Nice. So it's been a couple of days, but I'm back, with a new resolve--I hope.

That's been the theme lately: I'm ready to change! (I hope.) Earlier this year, Big Daddy and I went on a diet plan, we did really well for about six weeks, we did okay for about a month, and then we piddled around with it for another month until we were back to Cheetos and Peanut M&Ms. We've been dancing around the fact that we have to start again, again for weeks now because it's a little hard to be optimistic at this point. Then I got a bike.

It was plain blue with no frills, no gears, foot breaks. She's a granny bike with a bell. I will not be taking on the Tour de France on this thing but I started to ride. Just a little. Just around the block. Then I decided she needed sprucing up, and a name. Then I the next morning I rode and I added an evening ride. Then I did it again. I started a "don't break the chain" and today I got to block out the sixth day. Big Daddy went on his maiden voyage this morning and he left me in the dust.

Tomorrow we start another experiment and I am committing to one week. I bought the food. We've cleaned out the junk food. I'll share the adventure with you probably to the point of overkill (but if you can't overdo it, why do it?) Stay tuned.