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Beyond Whole30


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So I had been thinking about starting my fourth Whole30 this week, but I find that I want to focus on other goals.  I am continuing to eat well, but am not freaking out when the salad I want includes sweetened dried cranberries.  I have been working with a dietician for about 18 months, and her comment the last time I saw her was, "You're doing great with what you eat.  It's the rest of your lifestyle that you need to think about next."  She's pretty smart about this stuff, and hasn't been wrong yet.  So I'm trying to think about the rest of my lifestyle.


She suggests that exercise is the next place to look, and asked that I go back to tracking what I eat more closely.  She finds that those are key to weight loss and better health.  I suspect she's right.  


I know enough about myself to realize that those require two underlying items.  One is the time to do them, which means reducing the stress of my over-busy life.  The other is enough sleep to sustain them.  When I'm exhausted, getting through the day is all that matters.


So for the last few weeks, I have been thinking about what my lifestyle needs to look like to shift enough to incorporate exercise.  As context, when I decided I wanted to get healthy, I discovered that my stress levels were so high that I needed to change jobs before I could make any progress at all.  So I understand that big shifts can be needed to really affect how life looks.


I'm going to do some thinking about that on this thread.  It's not exactly about being off track or staying on track, but it is life after my Whole30, and this forum is closer than the other two in this group to what I'm looking for.


ThyPeace, kale harvest should be mentioned here...

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Remember that exercise doesn't mean having to carve out an hour per day of your life. Start small--maybe a 15 minute walk each day. On some days, you might feel good and want to do more. Maybe it's a really pretty day and you're enjoying your time outside. So enjoy it and do what feels good. If you work in a building with stairs, try to climb them a few times each day. (When I'm at work, I go to the second floor bathroom each time I need to go so I can walk a little more and do the stairs.) Your first goal is just to get moving. Once the habit is there, you can start adding other activities and playing around with the routine. Or you may find that your health is at a place where all you can manage is the walking. That's okay too. Keep at it, keep healing, and honor your limitations so that you can keep making progress.

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The first week of my effort at exercise started with the three day weekend over the 4th of July.  DH and I have been working very hard over the last three months, and this was the first weekend of down time that we had had.  We both slept for 11 hours the first two nights, and about 9 the third.  It was heavenly.  After that, it was so easy to get up at 6 (our normal waking time, but I was often pushing it to 6:15 or later) and go downstairs to exercise for half an hour.  I know I'm not in good shape, so started as I always do -- Wii.  I like the Just Dance series, and even if they're not heart-pounding or intense strength workouts, they are a good starting place.


I did that each morning all week.  I noticed a few aches and tired muscles, but nothing more than that.  Friday was a travel day, so in addition to the workout, there were very long walks through big airports.  That day I got almost 10,000 steps.  The others were far less, but still more than I had been getting.


This past weekend, however, was not so good.  Travel, family reunions, inability to access good food and "treating" myself.  Plus flying, which always leaves me very tired, and a terrible mattress where we stayed.  It didn't work well.  But more about that in my next post.


ThyPeace, has to get to her shower and on with her day.

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In nursing school, my daily workout of choice was Dance Dance Revolution on the Playstation. I'm definitely a fan of the dance games and they give you a range of intensities so you always have something that fits whatever level you're at. The Wii is also great for people with mobility issues because you can still swing and move your arms even from a seated position. No fall risk and people seem to have a lot of fun with it.

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All of the unusual foods last weekend led to a really bad food reaction on Monday.  I have had salmonella twice before, and almost think I had it again except it didn't last as long.   (I got it the first time at a wedding banquet -- several people ended up in the hospital that time -- and the second, much milder time in the JIF salmonella thing that happened a few years ago.)  In any case, it was the first time I've called in sick to work in a year.  I slept as much as  I could given the pain I was in, and still ended up the day lying in bed asking if I could go to sleep yet.


There was no exercise on Monday.  Nor was there any particular need to track my foods since I didn't eat much, but I did it anyway.  Breakfast was an apple and one bite of eggs (after which I realized I was going to throw up if I had any more).  I had a couple of tortillas around lunch time since they were the only thing that didn't make me nauseous, and had chicken soup at supper time.  Still had some twinges yesterday, but was able to eat normally and had enough energy for a short workout.  I intended to do a second short workout with DD in the evening, but she wanted to do her Wii runs by herself.  Ah well... at least she got 15 minutes of activity she wouldn't have gotten otherwise.


I'm going to have to figure out how to get my exercise today, as it's past when I usually work out and I won't have time before I go to work at this point.  I probably won't be home until 9pm.  Could be an interesting evening.


ThyPeace, has a long workday today and then needs to go to the grocery store before coming home.

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By the way, thank you for the input, Munkers!  I really appreciate it.  I should have said that before.  I'm glad you're a dance gamer too.  I think it's a whole lot of fun, and the older I get, the more important it is to me that exercise either be fun or meaningful to me.  (Dancing games are fun.  Gardening is meaningful.  Stair climbers are neither.)  You're absolutely right about the varying intensities and skill levels.  DD and I have been able to do them together since she was about 5, and we still enjoy it.  She's now about as good as I am -- I figure she'll pass me in the next year or so.


Gee, it's been a while since I posted.  Last week did not go as planned.  I posted early Wednesday morning, and ended up not getting to work out.  I got more than 10,000 steps, though.  I was at a Wounded Warriors recruiting event during the day and got a nice walk to and from the car getting there.  That plus some walking at work and doing my best to move around the grocery store at a good clip was my achievement for the day.


That trip to the grocery store ended up with DH and me getting home after 10pm.  We had a (terrible) supper at McDonald's before going to the store and fell into bed well after midnight.  As I have learned repeatedly, lack of sleep is absolutely terrible for my ability to eat well and exercise.  So there was no workout the next morning, nor on Friday, and essentially no exercise at all.


The moral of the story is exactly what the Hartwigs say in several places.  Sleep is important and needs to come before working out.  Sigh.


Friday evening, DH and I came home early (which is to say, we took my car up to the dealer at 6pm and got home around 7:30pm for supper).  We had a nice evening -- good home-made steak salads! -- and a relatively early bedtime.  


Saturday was a day for a certain amount of shopping and then, YAY!  My new Fitbit Charge HR arrived.  I have to say, after wearing it for three days, I love it.  It hurts my wrist and doesn't feel right and I still love it.  The heart rate graphing is so worth it!  I also like that I have numbers on my wrist again instead of just dots.  DD is using my FitBit Flex, so it's not going to waste, but I wouldn't buy it again.  The Charge HR is far more what I was looking for when I bought the Flex.


Saturday I ended up with 8,500 steps, and it was relatively easy.  I also wonder if the new Charge records steps a little differently than the Flex did, but I'm not sure of that.  


DD was very helpful in encouraging me to get steps, and yesterday we went out for an early morning (for us on a Sunday) family walk.  DD was thrilled to learn that she takes 26 steps for every 20 of mine, and 30 for every 20 of DH's steps.  Even so, she ended the day with a count that was several hundred less than mine, which again makes me wonder which one is more accurate.  Anyway, my official movement for the day was 10,700 steps, including a walk, two Just Dance sessions, and the various walks required for our shopping trips.  Even better, we also went swimming, and I got at least 30 minutes of real swim time in there (as opposed to playing "Mermaid" with DD).  And a few hundred uncounted steps from when we were climbing the stairs to go down the slides.  I do love water slides....


It was a good exercise day.  Heck, it was a great exercise day!  I wish I could go swimming and go down water slides every day!  And what's really surprising is that I'm not particularly tired or sore today.  I was VERY slow at the swimming -- a thousand yards in 30 minutes?!?  Good lord.  But I kept the strokes as clean and well-formed as I could, and could feel some of the old glide I used to have.  Now I just need to be about twice as fast.


Food-wise, I'm still doing well but not perfect.  Dairy and wheat are generally easy to avoid, as are legumes.  Added sugar is the largest issue.  Still, very little of it is crossing the threshold into "worth eating."  


Oh, and I met with my dietitian last week.  She's happy that I've started tracking my food again and that I'm researching and thinking hard about making exercise a regular part of my workout.  She wants those two things to be my steady continuing goal for the next few weeks until I see her again, and then we'll talk about next steps.  I'm still at about the same weight I've been for the last few months, with a +-2 fluctuation depending on day and all that stuff.  So I basically haven't lost any more weight and my last Whole30 was no weight loss -- but also no weight gain during a very stressful time.  


Next time I see the dietitian, we'll also measure my body fat percentages.  I haven't had mine measured since my last bone density scan something like 6 years ago.  It'll be interesting to see what it is.  My guess is high 30s or low 40s, but we'll see.  (And yes, I think that's a significant improvement from where it was a couple of years ago.)


Did I mention that I can do 8 push ups?  I can.  Happy with that.  Usually I have to work up to that number, and I did a few days of knee push ups before I tried it, just to make sure my core muscles were stable enough not to throw out my back the first time I tried it.  But yay me!  I can do it.  Overall, I think the Whole30 has helped my strength considerably.  That's one of the reasons I think my body fat percentage has gone down.  It just feels like there's more muscle to work with everywhere on my body.


ThyPeace, boy, I'm rambling today!

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I am loving my new Fitbit Charge HR.  Being able to see how my activities affected my heart rate, and being able to see how much I'm really sleeping, both without having to do anything other than check the graphs?  Awesome!  I've learned that my exercise was all very-low-intensity.  Like, never sending my heart rate above about 115.  I knew it was a bit slack in terms of effort, and have been thinking about how to address that.  Having the input is a great motivator. 


Tonight, after spending a long time at the used bookstore, I came home with a Kari Anderson DVD.  Kari made some of my favorite workout videos in the 90s, so I took a chance on it.  It was FABulous.  Loved doing the 24 minutes that I was able to complete, and now I have a challenge for myself to make it through the whole 60 minutes + stretching.  This is exactly what I needed to complement the various exercise program books that I've purchased in the last few days.  I think I'm going to use a Kathy Smith 10 week program that I bought at the same used bookstore.  It includes stretching, strengthening, and cardio.  It specifies the strength exercises and allows you to pick the stretch and cardio workouts.  I will, however, ignore the "reduce saturated fat" and "margarine is better than butter" diet advice.  Basic exercise I'm pretty sure I can manage to follow, and I did buy a couple of more modern books that will help me refine once I have remembered how to do the basics.


Now though, it's time to go get something more than 6 hours and 12 minutes of sleep, which is about what I've gotten the last two nights.


ThyPeace, feels like she worked out.  First time in a long time that I've felt that way and had it feel good instead of crappy.

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I just read through all of this and I just have to say...good for you! We're at totally different stages of life but some of what you're talking about really resonates with me. I don't have a step counter but, beyond walking to and from work every day, am doing physical therapy for my shoulder surgery four months ago. I'm getting to add weights and it feels SO NICE to work out again (I've had 3 surgeries since April 2012 so it's been a LONG time since I've worked out for real...).


Yay you on finding things you enjoy to get some exercise in, and to get the family involved! I'm expecting my first in late January and it's nice to see you find ways to make it work in real life!

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Hello, Mrs. Stick, and congratulations on your impending new arrival!  And also on your new ability to add weights to the PT.  I had 6 months of PT for a herniated disc a few years ago and know how frustrating and exhausting healing can be.  That's one of several reasons why I am not so fit at the moment.  


Fitting all this into real life requires changing real life.  The first, and hardest, part for me was deciding what I am not going to do.  That involved letting go of a job that I loved -- and was so stressful that I could not make any progress on improving the rest of my life.  Now I have a job that pays better, fulfills me a bit less, and isn't killing me.  And it was still really, really hard to let go of.


Though my DD is 12 and it's been a while since that (very traumatic because of grown-up issues) shift from not-parent to parent, I've watched my brother and his wife do it much more recently.  They didn't understand when I used to decline social times and refuse to go out.  Now, well, they do.  It's a transition that's different for everyone, but my observation is that the change to I Am Utterly Responsible For The Wellbeing Of Someone Completely Helpless is a really big one.  


And for the first year, sleep will be FAR more important than exercise.


ThyPeace, has a 12 year old who still crawls in bed with her.  It used to be cute.  Now she kicks me.  Sigh.

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So yesterday morning I "lifted" for the first time in a long time.  In quotes because really, 3 pound dumb bells and body weight don't really count as lifting.  Still, it's a start and I know better than to go crazy the first day when nothing's tired or sore.  Got in 9,600 steps in spite of spending my morning lifting objects rather than moving.  


DH was kind and did some light massage on my legs and back last night.  I know that helped me be less stiff today, bless him!   And I was very tired last night, I assume from the body going "What?  Wait.  WHAT???"   Eight hours later, it was feeling considerably better, but still tired.  There are a few aches here and there.  Apparently I have not been working my upper back muscles.  Like, at all.


This morning I did the other half of the Kari Anderson video.  Woo.  Kicked my behind.  As usual with her stuff, I can stumble through because she is an amazing choreographer and builds the routines really well.  However, I'm nowhere near fast enough to do the turns and kicks yet.  I'll get there.  And this is why one workout video of hers will last me for a couple of weeks of workouts before I need to change things up.  


Looked into a gym.  Cost of one local one is $189 per month for the three of us.  I laughed and decided I could spend a little more on my home gym, get DD a new bike, and pay for weekly trips to the pool for all three of us instead.


ThyPeace, ate compliantly yesterday.  And the day before that.  And the one before that, too.  

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3 pounds and body weight totally count as lifting. My physical therapy exercises that I count as my lifting use anywhere from 1 pound to 15 pounds. You are holding on to weights and moving them around, so you are lifting weights. :)

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Heh.  Fair enough.  I ended the day today with 12,000 steps, got my heart rate above 120, and climbed a total of 40 flights of stairs. 


I also went to a nice restaurant and had a delicious meal.  The biscuit and the glass of port were non-compliant, and I'm sure there was sugar in the sauce on the pork chop.  Dang but it all tasted fantastic, though.  The rest of the meal was two sides -- one a brussles-sprouts slaw with raisins, the other sauteed spinach, onions, and mushrooms.  Neither the biscuit nor the port were worth it.  It's amazing how many foods I once loved are just "meh" now.  The pork chop, on the other hand?  OMG fantastic. 


I think I'm going to sleep well tonight.  Body says I've worked plenty hard.


ThyPeace, looking forward to lifting and stretching tomorrow, and lots more steps.  Already thinking about ordering another video.  Didn't I say just this morning that the one I have is plenty?  Yes, I did.  But the one I want is a strength workout.  I'm justifying it as "good complement to the one I already have."  And hey.  This is still about a tenth of the price of the gym I looked at the other day.

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Oh yes.  And I took a look at the new "Super tracker" on the USDA web site.  It's an interesting way to look at calories and activity.  Entirely different than the Whole30 and not all that helpful to me, but still interesting.


ThyPeace, it was designed by a mathematician from the National Institutes of Health who used the best data available to model weight loss against calories and activity. 

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Ended up with a terrible hangover this morning. I was obviously dehydrated -- I lost almost 5 pounds between yesterday morning and this morning -- and had a terrible headache and upset stomach. The port and bread were DEFINITELY not worth that much misery!

I have had about 110 ounces of liquid today, plus a lot of high-liquid fruits like watermelon and grapes. I started feeling better about half way through all the water, and felt much better after some high sodium and high potassium foods.

Blech, though -- bread and wine are not so important to me to make me want to ensure that again.

Once I'd finally recovered, I felt like working out, so did that this evening. Did some easy lifting again, though I did use ten pound weights and up my push-up totals by one per set. After that, I did the step part of the Kari Anderson video. Made it through all 30 minutes this time, though I did the easiest variations on the moves all the way through. I think it'll take me a week of doing it every other day to get close to being able to do it without missed steps. Which is what I expect and I'm not worried about it at all.

I've been reading the Primal Blueprint 21 Day Program the last couple of days. Mark Lisson is the author. He's totally into "primal will fix everything that's wrong in the world." That may be true, but when I think of the horrendous death rates for women in aboriginal societies (much due to complications and infections after childbirth), I sure am glad of modern medicine and sanitation.

His constant emphasis on the positives of aboriginal life seems quite forced. I much prefer the Hartwigs' version of essentially the same underlying program.

ThyPeace, would have been one of the ones who didn't make it past childhood diseases and accidents.

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It's been a couple of good days of workouts.  The body continues to be tired and happy about being tired.  I have read two or three books about fitness and am in the middle of another.  Wow, there are as many ideas about how to get fit as there are about how to eat well.  I should have expected it, but have not investigated fitness in this much depth before. 


The major argument seems to be over the intensity and duration of exercise, with much debate about what is the "one true way" to get it right.  I suspect there is no one true way, just like there isn't a single way with food.  So I am looking for common themes that they all share.  So far, it seems to be fairly consistent that:


- For heaven's sake, move your body!

- Active play is good!

- Lift heavy things some of the time.

- Get your heart rate up some of the time.

- Rest and recovery are really important.

- Work hard to avoid injuries -- form is important and overtraining is a problem.


Obviously I'm reading plenty about how much (the experts' opinions vary) and how intense (again, lots of variation), but the above items seem common to all that I've read so far.  So I'll just keep working with these basic notions for now. 


Yesterday and today I worked out for 30 minutes each morning.  I went to bed rather than work out again last night, so got less than 9,000 steps.  Really glad I made that choice -- it made a big difference when DD and the cat got me out of bed at 4am.  We eventually all settled down again, with my hoped-for 8 hours of sleep shortened to 7 hours.  Far better than going from 7 to 6 or 6 to 5 though.


ThyPeace, still eating well.  Working on downshifting some of her carb intake -- noticed I was eating potatoes AND a lot of fruit, so am playing with that now.

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Doing well in my new "life is less stressful" mode.  I am loving getting enough sleep -- though it's still a work in progress.  DD and the cat are continuing to wake each other up, leading to me being up in the middle of the nights four times in a row.  Argh!  I've taken to going to bed early like I did when DD was a baby and I had to be up in the night, so I'm still at a decent average of 7 hours per night.  And last night, praise be, everyone slept though!   I climbed in bed before 10, forced myself to stay awake until DH came to bed at 10:20, and slept like a log until his alarm went off at 5:45.  I got up at 6, worked out, made everyone's breakfast, and still had an extra half hour to do a whole bunch of changes to our car insurance that needed to be dealt with.  What a fabulous way to start the day.  If I keep doing this, people will get truly sick of how cheery I am!


The workouts, now, I need to think about.  I freaking LOVE the workouts I've been doing.  Over the weekend I woke up early enough to get all kinds of exercise -- lifted weights and everything two mornings in a row.  Saturday we got a great walk in, and Sunday I went swimming.  Woohoo!!  1,500 yards is still a very light workout for a serious swimmer, but I'll take it.  Even better, at about the 1,000 yard mark, I finally remembered how to really SWIM.  I have no endurance and have to alternate 50 yards of freestyle with 50 yards of an easier stroke.  But.  Suddenly I could swim 50 yards in 45 seconds like I expect to be able to do.  And oh man, the stretch that goes with swimming is soooo good for my body.


I was totally exhausted afterwards -- first time I've ever really needed a post workout meal.  Chicken, mayo (homemade, yum), banana, lots of liquid.  Felt better after that.  Must've used up the glycogen storage for the first time in about 15 years. 


So the problem is that the step workouts I've been doing at home are making my poor old knees ache something fierce.  Gotta give them a break.  Which means figuring out something that still gets my heart rate up but without the knee problems AND is fun.  It'll take some thinking but I'll get there.


And I need to get the knees stronger.  More careful squats for me, I think.


ThyPeace,  yes, it STARTS with food.  I'm still eating compliantly and enjoying that too.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

It was a quiet weekend here in ThyPeace land.  DH and I were here by ourselves, as it was DD's weekend to be with the ex.  I got up and worked out first thing both days.  The body was tired afterward -- I got almost 10,000 steps on both days, plus strength workouts.  Saturday morning, before DH got up, I did 44 minutes of the workout video I've been using.  (He got up and then I was distracted and couldn't both interact and work out.)  When I can finally do the whole thing, I'll be ready to up the intensity again, I'd say.


This week has been okay on steps, though the intensity is lower than on the weekends.  More than 10,000 steps on Monday and Wednesday.  Only 8,700 on Tuesday, but I did get a nice bunch of active minutes in the process.  I notice that my heart rate rarely goes up into the cardio zone, much less the "peak" zone.  I figure that's a reflection of being out of shape.  I am seeing more time in the cardio zone as I continue to work out and my body isn't protesting and stumbling so much.  Good stuff, all that.


I am also still doing okay on sleep.  My average so far this week is just under 7 hours (6 hours, 58 minutes), which feels like enough -- but not plenty.  I've had to be up right on time several times this week, so couldn't take the luxury of sleeping in.


Today I am on leave from work, though I haven't spent a single minute relaxing.  Spent much of it actually working, so I'll correct my time sheet accordingly, and the rest doing activities with DD.  Now, though, she's gone on to do other things and there's only one major work item remaining.  DH's sister is in town unexpectedly, so I'll probably go meet them for dinner.  But.... maybe I have a few minutes to either take a nap or get some more exercise.  And revise a 6 page document that I only did half of this morning.  So many fun things to choose between!  (Dance 10 minutes, read 30 minutes, nap 15 minutes, repeat?  Maybe...)


This is the last week of regular summer schedule for us.  Next week we will be on vacation -- my parents and then a huge water park resort.  Wheee!  Wish I could wear my heart rate monitor down the slides.  :o:D   I might post once, but then again I might not.  The week after, DD is on vacation with my ex, so I'll have lots of free time for work, play, exercise, and sleep.


And then back to school on the 31st.  None of us are going to enjoy that part!  I really want to keep working out, but my workout time during the summer is drive-DD-to-school time during the school year.  That makes it tough, to say the least.


ThyPeace, eating compliantly for the most part, but has had two non-compliant foods.  Saltwater taffy (not worth it) and chicken kadhai over saffron rice with a samosa on the side (worth every delicious bite, especially the samosa).  Neither one gave me major tummy issues, but they're not things I'll eat regularly.  I'll be able to eat pretty compliantly at my parents' house.  The water park, well.  I'll do what I can and won't worry about the rest.  I already know their desserts aren't worth it -- tested that last year!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a lovely long post in the works yesterday, and then stupidly closed the browser window without saving it.  So annoying!  I shall recreate in smaller chunks and hope that I can remember everything I wanted to talk about.


First off, the trip was lovely. The first day was dreadful!  We arrived something like 8 hours after we should have.  So instead of 4pm, it was midnight.  We were all exhausted, cranky, and had terribly unhealthy meals that day.  I did convince DD to eat about half of my burger, which was the first major protein she'd had in weeks.  So that's a success.  (With bun and all the fixings, yes.  For her, it's still an improvement.)


After that, the week was just lovely.  Full of activity!  The first few days we were at my parents' house, and activity meant walking on the beach and sticks into the water in the morning, doing yard work during the day, learning again that I really don't like my dad's exercise bike and lifting some weights in the afternoon, and long walks on the walking path in the evening.  Truly lovely.  Along with a great deal of much-needed sleep, it was a wonderful refresher.  On Tuesday, DH found a strength video that I wanted to try.  It's Kari Anderson's Reach, and it is all body-weight exercises.  HARD body-weight exercises!  I loved it.  I can't do it, but I loved it.  Took me two days to make it through the whole hour, and boy was I sore afterwards!


I liked it enough to buy it, though, and did it again this week.  I can already tell that I'm getting better at it -- I'm not as sore, and understood some of the more complex moves better.  


On Wednesday, we headed to the water park.  Oh my, the exercise there!  Thousands of steps just getting from our room to the various other locations, plus the ropes course and wall climbing (I am good on ropes, won't climb above 6 feet on the wall), plus the actual water park.  Slides, water basketball, wave pool, and best of all, the FlowRider!  (Look here if you've never seen one:http://www.flowrider.com/.)


See, I was a water baby.  Note the mention of beach at my parents' house above.  Don't get too jealous, though -- it's Great Lakes beach and it's COLD water.  I grew up body surfing any time going in the water wasn't going to cause hypothermia, and it carries over surprisingly well to the FlowRider.  Took me a minute to find the right body skills, but once I realized what I was looking for, it came back.  


I was easily the oldest woman to do it the entire time we were there, and got several compliments from the people watching after I got back off again.  It's utterly exhausting, though.  Must build more strength and stamina!  And obtain fewer bruises next time -- even though they don't let you stand up on the board, I hit really hard when I fell at one point.  The more strength I've got, the easier it will be to build skill and stay on the board while I'm trying to learn stunts.


Anyway, I definitely burned a ton of energy, and so did everyone else.  DH and my stepson like the fast crazy slides, DD and my sister are much more sedate.  I'm in the middle and spent more time on the sedate side, so didn't climb up to as many really high slides as I have in some years.  Still, what fun!  I totally want to work there when I grow up.


Our last day, we went to see my brother and his family, and then came home.  A three hour shuttle torture awaited us to go get the car at the other airport (a remnant of the craziness at the beginning of the trip), and then we had a full day to just recover.  


We both slept for 11 hours that night, just out of sheer exhaustion, but I did pretty well with sleep the whole trip.  The shortest night was more than 7 hours, and they were generally more like 8 to 8 1/2 hours.  We were just using our bodies far more than we usually do.


Food was vacation food, of course!  Noncompliant foods included:  burgers with actual buns, real Catherine Clark bread (it's a midwest thing...) for toast and stuffed mushrooms, a mini chocolate croissant, crackers with tiny amounts of cheese, three cookies, and angel food cake with Cool Whip and berries. All in all, I enjoyed every bite, but would not do the cookies again.  The rest, well, yes!  On a vacation I would.  I should also say that the goat cheddar and 7-year aged cow's milk cheddar, in a dose of less than an ounce, did not give me stomach agony.  Yay cheese!!  Because you know.  Wisconsin.  Cheesehead.  On vacation at home with family.  Cheese!!!!


I didn't gain any weight while we were away, but that may partly be from coming home dehydrated and then eating almost nothing the first day we were back.  I was just too full to eat!  (And that never happens to me.)  I've bounced up three pounds since I got home and started eating compliantly again.  Today I seem to be shedding liquid left and right, so we'll see how it looks after a few more days of steady eating.


This week has been pretty awesome, too.  I finally did the whole Kari Anderson aerobics video that I bought a few weeks ago on Monday morning.  I was feeling so rested and relaxed, and had the time, and it felt great.  But I'd eaten fairly soon before hand, so that might not have been a great idea -- had some stomach issues later in the day that started with a small amount of nausea during the workout.  The rest of the week has been just incredibly high energy and lots of working out and really good sleep amounts --


-- Even though DH decided to start getting up at 5:20am so that he can work out before work!  Go him!  He has a fast 40 minute walk as a part of his commute, but hadn't been able to get any other exercise for more than a year.  He has this thing for Jillian Michaels workouts that I don't understand, but that's okay.  He doesn't understand my Kari Anderson fun either.  And eventually I figured out that I have a DVD player on my computer, so I can work out when I get up 40 minutes later even if he isn't finished.


And can I just say that I am thrilled that I can feel my abs?  Yes, they're under a solid couple of inches of fat.  I know.  But they're there and they work!  I seriously think I had been immensely undernourished before I started eating this way last year.  My whole body has changed.


My weight, however, has been flat for five months now, and today way my trip to the dietitian.  More about that in my next post -- need to get this one up and then get on with the evening!


ThyPeace, DH notes that I'm so energetic right now that he doesn't really recognize me.

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Good morning!  Let's see.  I promised an update about the dietitian visit.  The last few weeks, I had been hovering around 182, and started and ended the vacation at that weight.  Bounced up to 185 the day before I went to see her, dropped to 183.5 that day.  All this bugged me because I've bounced between 182 and 185 for months now.  For the first part, from March through June, that was the goal.  Life was crazy and all I wanted to do was maintain.  I did that with the help of a Whole30 -- otherwise I would have been hitting the chocolate and chips the entire month of May.  But in July and August I really wanted to get back to both weight loss and a healthier body.  So I showed up in her office thrilled with how I feel and the things I've been doing -- and really annoyed about my actual weight.  (And this is why, during a Whole30, you don't weigh yourself, and you check on all the other measures of health before stepping on the scale at the end!)


She, too, is very pleased with the much-increased amount and intensity of exercise and the continued focus on mostly Whole30-type foods.  And I've been tracking every bit of food I eat.  So she really expected that I would have lost weight, because in her experience, those are key things.  So we talked through all this good stuff, and then we talked actual calories and food composition.  She took a look at my tracker (MyFitnessPal) and declared that even though I'm eating protein at each meal, I'm probably not eating enough of it.  I'd been at something like 50% fat, 40% carbs, 20% protein.  She'd like me to shift to 30% fat, 40% carbs, and 30% protein.  I am trying to figure out how to do that.  My first step is to replace some of the nuts I've been eating (once a day at lunch time) with a packet of tuna in addition to the other protein I have. 


She also suggested doing some checking on portions by using a food scale to see if I'm under or over-estimating anywhere.  I decided to go ahead and try it -- I've measured food volume, but never weighed them, and that will be useful for things like nuts and protein where it's hard to do good volume measurements sometimes.  The scale I ordered should arrive tomorrow.  I do NOT intend to weigh my foods forever, though!  My goal is to learn, not to live in a food control zone forever.


She also set a calorie goal for me -- 1,700.  That won't be a problem.  As I look back at the average calories I've been eating (I rarely look, but MyFitnessPal does track it all) every week has averaged between 1,600 and 1,750 calories for the last 6 weeks. 


All that said, I woke up yesterday morning weighing 182.5, and the same today.  It'll be interesting to see what the next few days does.  I need to remember that, having increased the intensity of the workouts, there will be days when I'm up a couple of pounds as my body recovers. 


So if any of you have suggestions for shifting to more protein, I'd love to hear them.  I can post a couple of days of food logs if that helps.


ThyPeace, today and tomorrow are the last two days of freedom from DD going to school and homework.  Sigh.  Workout time is going to drop dramatically.

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Homework and back to school sucks just as much as I thought it would.  DD has had three major meltdowns in two evenings and now appears to have developed a cold.  Sigh.


Even so, I've been up and out of the house walking at 6am the last two mornings.  This morning I even put in a few steps of running.  Don't tell my back or knees, though.  I'm hoping they won't notice.


ThyPeace, warmed up really, really thoroughly first and ran only on the very flattest of parts of her path for only very short distances.  The last time I ran, I threw out my back and had spasms for a week.  I don't need that again.  But.... it actually felt kind of good to move that fast. 

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Dear Cat,


5:30am is NOT when you're supposed to wake up DD.  



Your Owner.


Dear DD,


I know you don't feel good and are tired.  Stop making me miserable because of it.  Thank goodness for ibuprofen.



Your Mom


Dear Body,


I feel that scratchy throat you're trying to pawn off on me.  Knock it off.



Your Brain


ThyPeace, school sucks.  But I'm not allowed to let DD drop out yet.

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Got a good night's sleep after an exhausting day yesterday.  (Cat woke us up early, then DD couldn't deal, then the after school routine was disrupted by the need for a gray gym t-shirt WITHOUT decorations and NOT a boys' shirt.  Which, I will have you know, is impossible.)  


The Fitbit says I had a restless 6 hours and 8 minutes of sleep.  My body says I was entirely unconscious for 6 1/2 hours.  I'll trust my body on that one.  I need another solid day of rest like that, then I'll be back to my new normal chipper self.


Being sleepy yesterday also meant I was hungrier.  I did my best to eat well rather than junk, and satisfied myself on that count.  I did eat more than I planned to, and less protein, though.  I could've used more vegetables, as well.


Today my body is physically tired from yesterday's workout.  I went for a long walk this morning, but did not push the speed or incline nearly as much as on Tuesday.  I could tell it was far less intense.  Guess I need to think about ramping that up again.  I was stiff yesterday from my few running spaces on Tuesday, but there were no significant back or knee issues.  So that means I should do more of it, in my mind, with decent rest times in between.  


I was thinking about my overall activity levels today, though.  When I was in college, I walked everywhere.  I attended a small liberal arts college that sits on more than 900 acres of land -- much of it forested arboretum, but the campus proper is large, too.  Almost all students live on campus, and few are allowed to have cars.  So if you want to go somewhere, you walk.  So when I was a student, I easily walked 5 miles a day.  On top of that, I took a PE class most terms, and was a member of the synchronized swimming club.  So I got easily between 3 and 7 hours of additional exercise every week.  I wasn't always doing intense exercise -- I took social dance (as did most students I knew) one term.  It's just really interesting to realize how different my life is from that now.  Faculty members there walked just as much as students.  Few were overweight and almost none obese.  


I have often thought of the excellent academic education I got there.  I wish the the PE classes had spent some time on teaching long-term fitness habits.  


ThyPeace, not that it would have saved me from my own foolishness.  But it might have shifted my habits somewhat.

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The weekend started off really well -- DH gave me a fantastic massage, and the rest of the evening was also very very nice.  But I also noticed that my throat was scratchy and my nose plugged, and my body ached more than usual.  Suddenly the very-tired feeling I'd had all day Friday made a lot more sense.  I actually got a cold!  First one in a year.  I don't recommend them.


So Saturday and Sunday were pretty low-key.  I didn't work out on Saturday at all, and focused on rest, dealing with things that had to be done, and getting to bed early.  Sleep is really hard when I'm congested.  Sunday I felt somewhat better in the morning, so took DD for a "walk to the park" which involved us creating funky moves to copy all the way there, then lots of play on the equipment.  That and a walk in the evening, plus light walking during the day, got me to more than 11,000 steps.  I still spent a lot of time on the couch and resting in between.  Another tough night of sleep.  Ended up sleeping on the couch, where I could prop my head up better.


Yesterday DD and I went out for our walk to the park again, but this time she wanted to ride her scooter.  That meant lots more running for me!  Much of the rest of the day was devoted to homework and painting her toenails.  DH took the burden of the house and yard work this weekend and let me do the kid related stuff.  I did re-caulk the shower, which I'd been meaning to do for weeks.  It looks much better now.  DD helped with some of the caulk removal, which I appreciated.  We're still struggling with working back into the back-to-school routine.  It's been an ugly week or so, but I think it's going to get better.


This morning, DD was sound asleep when I got up, so I didn't invite her along on my walk, though she'd talked about it the night before.  Based on her reactions before bed last night, I'd say she needed the sleep.  I guess taking me out for exercise is good for her, too.  It was beautiful out!  Venus and the moon were high in the sky, and I am sure this is the earliest in the year that I've ever seen Orion.  Seeing the light change from early dawn to daylight is really something I enjoy more than I thought I would.  I'm not sure how much I'm going to like going outside when it's pitch black.  I'll think about that when it comes, though.  I ran quite a bit today, alternating with walking.  I'm definitely noticing that my body is having to adjust to be able to work hard enough to get my heart rate into a cardio zone.  I'll just keep working at it.  Tomorrow, though, may be a strength day -- haven't gotten any strength work in since early last week because the cold kind of messed with my schedule.


I have been continuing to work on getting more protein into my diet.  (Which reminded me to break out a packet of tuna -- it's lunch time.)  That and downshifting some on fat are both getting somewhat easier as I figure out how to shift things.  I am also finding that the legumes and a little in the way of grains are helpful.  I may have been able to get the same results with more starchy veggies, not sure.  In any case, I'm pretty satisfied with my digestion, how I feel, and how well I'm able to work out.  If I keep getting colds, I'll definitely re-evaluate.


And, awesomely enough, the scale finally shows some progress!  I weighed 179 this morning, the first time I've been under 180 since the week before I got married in 2008.  (It lasted about five minutes then.)   My next big milestone will be 175 -- which I haven't seen in more than ten years -- and then 170, which was where I was when I was lean and fit and far younger than I am today.


ThyPeace, I think it's the protein.

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It's been a few days since I last posted.  A nice few days and weekend are in between.  I caught up on my sleep on Friday night -- more than 10 hours, thank goodness.  That will help with the poor food decisions I had made a couple of times during the week.  Interestingly, I am aware enough that over eating means that I have less appetite -- and eat less -- in the day or two afterward.  That never used to happen!


Having caught up on rest also helped with working out.  Did a nice intense 30 minutes last night, and then went "playing" with DD and DH this morning.  Playing means DD rode her bike and I tried to keep up all the way to the park, then we climbed and played on the park equipment.  We were there early enough today that no one else was there.  That helped.


One thing we do is try to climb up things that are built for sliding down.  So we climb the slides, for example.  I've been thinking about how to climb the fire pole, and haven't succeded until now.  Today, I finally kicked a leg up onto the platform andthen pulled myself up hand over hand on the pole.  I was totally psyched!  My body loves pulling and climbing movements, but until today I didn't have the right ratio of weight to strength to be able to do something like that.  I'm trying to convince myself to go over to the park tomorrow morning to play some more.  But.... it will still be dark then, and I'm not convinced of the safety of being there in the dark.  That may have to wait until the early-morning sunshine of next summer.


In any case, it's been a good weekend in other ways, too.  The bike I mentioned earlier is a new purchase that we finally got yesterday after a year of procrastination and not finding what we were looking for.  Now there are bikes for all three of us humans who live in the house.   (DD things we should get a trailer for the cat...)  So we can maybe do a little short-distance biking before it gets cold.  I'm not expecting to be able to do long complicated bike rides, but a 30 minute ride up to the aquatic center should would be a nice way to begin and end an afternoon of swimming.


I am continuing to work on eating enough protein.  I still find it very difficult, and could use more suggestions on stuff-that's-protein.  I mean, I had salmon twice today, plus some chicken and some ham, and I still had only 24% of my calories from protein.  I guess I could have added some beef in there somewhere, though we didn't have any that was thawed.  I really enjoy these weekend days when I only eat two meals, though.  It just feels like a really nice readjustment after the 3-squares every day during the week.  Maybe that means I'm eating too much during the week, but it feels more like I'm really resting my whole body.  Good stuff.


I remain at a lower weight than I was, for which I am grateful.  I had worried that my sandwich-and-caramel-corn meal on Friday would blow things pretty badly.  It did for a day, but at a level I am familiar with, and didn't cause lasting discomfort or pain.  Like I said, it was nice to reset this weekend.


Now, back to the grind of the week.  it if weren't for waiting for DH's dress shirts to come out of the dryer, I would already be in bed!  (We both forgot about them earlier today.  He's showering, I'm typing, and now I'm stopping because it's time for us both to brush our teeth.  Sleep is AWESOME!)


ThyPeace, planning to be up at 6am to greet the stars before they go out, and the sunrise as it begins.

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