Thursday, August 9, 2018

A keto plan

We’re back from several weeks of on-and-off travel and more or less staying put for the foreseeable future. I was not too happy with my last experiment in going keto, so I’ve been listening to many, many podcast episodes about the topic. It seems each podcast host has her own program that you can purchase to help you. I don’t really object to supporting these people who provide me tons of free information, but in the end—and coming as no surprise to anyone—I decided it would be more fun for me to develop my own plan. (You’re not the boss of me, keto expert!)

My understanding is that it’s important for women to go into keto gradually and without fasting or eating too little. So my general plan is to 1) start eating breakfast again and 2) eat more carbs for a couple of weeks (for me that’s like a sweet potato and two pieces of fruit a day, plus the usual vegetables and nuts). Then I’ll start tapering off the fruit and starches and increasing fat over a period of six weeks or so. That gets me well into fall, and I think I’ll try to stay keto most of the winter, which seems to me a super-logical form of seasonal eating.

There are several other aspects of this New Life Plan, too, in the back of my mind, but I’m making a conscious effort to keep this simple, which I will attempt to reinforce by not writing about them right now.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Low-carb purgatory

For quite a while M.H. and I have been “carb cycling” by eating them only on Friday nights, but some new reading on the topic recently suggested to me that that was maybe not the best pattern. Of course M.H. was doing fine on that diet, just like he does fine on every new thing I suggest, but he’s super-cooperative in going along with all my experiments. So together we decided to try instead spending six straight weeks eating low-carb and hopefully get into a ketogenic state, leading up to a family wedding we attended last Saturday.

Being keto is supposed to make you feel amazing, and M.H. pretty much did feel amazing. I didn’t feel bad, but I didn’t feel great, either, and as you may remember I was having a hard time swimming and walking in the morning. So, anyway, the six weeks were over as of our car trip to the wedding, where we ate essentially whatever we wanted, including wedding tacos and wedding ice cream.

I thought I would feel awful the morning after returning home, and I wasn’t really planning to swim. But it turned out that I was awake at 5:10 a.m. and feeling fine, and so I went. And the swimming went great, and the walk home was easy, and I felt fine and not at all exhausted the rest of the day. BECAUSE OF THE STUPID CARBS.

My working theory is that I was essentially doing it wrong (because of COURSE it’s trickier for women than for men) and not actually in ketosis at all but merely in “low-carb purgatory.”

Sorry if I sound like I’m talking gibberish, but I just wanted to vent, and if you care you can Google all these terms.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Important updates

  1. I finally finished the final edit of M.H.’s new book, turned it into an ebook, and UPLOADED that baby onto Amazon. We decided to do a 99-cent promotion to get it into as many hands as possible, so you can preorder it now for that low, low, very special, limited-time price right here:
  2. It came as a shock to me, as I think I’ve mentioned before, how hard it was to get back into swimming (and walking, even), but I think I’ve got the hang of it at last. At any rate the cotton candy in my arms seems to have been replaced by something more effective at swimming. There are only a couple of weeks left in the team’s outdoor season, but I guess I can still go to the pool on my own, pay money, and swim if I want. I won’t, but if nothing else I need to at least continue walking in the mornings.
  3. I’ve rediscovered the wonders of infused water, and in particular the wonders of infusing it with lemon and strawberry slices. My adapted-to-low-sugar palate feels that this is basically a more refreshing version of strawberry lemonade.
  4. Finally, it is a new month, but I don’t see the point of declaring that I’m working on a new habit when there are at least four perfectly good other habits from previous months that I have failed to incorporate into my life in any way. Some of them are very simple (“Start each day at the standing desk” literally requires only that I log into my computer from there) so I think I’ll just focus on actually doing the things I already said I wanted to do.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

A hike, a kid, a harsh realization

We headed to Bozeman on Friday to watch a Shakespeare in the Park play—but since it’s mountainous, and since Dex lives there, we also planned to take a short hike and to see our boy.

First was the hike (Middle Cottonwood Creek Trail), and not to be obnoxious, but it was not that exciting by Montana standards. Still, if you lived in Bozeman and had this right in your backyard? That would be neat.

Then we picked up Dex, said hello to his cat and one of his buddies, and had a tasty dinner. It is always fun to catch up with Dex, as he loves his job/classes/town/house/cat/friends/life, and honestly what more can you hope for as a parent? 

Unfortunately, at 30 minutes to Shakespeare showtime it was pouring down rain. The good people of Bozeman were heading over there anyway with umbrellas, but we had two raincoats between the three of us and no desire for two hours of wet shivering. So we dropped Dex off and headed home. We’ll have to catch the play at some other venue if we can work it out.

I woke up the next day in PAIN from the short hike—I’m afraid that spending December through May sitting at my desk 10 hours a day has dragged me to new depths of out-of-shape-ness. Seriously, both this and pain from the first two weeks of swimming were no joke; I must be a mess physically. I’m going to need to think hard about what I’m doing for exercise these days and probably step it up a bit.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Still swimming!

Outdoor 6 a.m. swimming got off to a ROUGH start, honestly; all I’ve wanted to do for the couple of weeks is go lie down. Like, no matter what time it was or what I was doing. It was so bad that I was delighted on Monday to have a dental cleaning—30 minutes of scheduled midday horizontal passivity, hooray! Not to mention my neck got horribly sore for some reason that must be related to either really weak muscles or really bad form. But the exhaustion and the neck pain are both lifting, and swimming feels a bit more normal, and the walk home is no longer finishing me off completely.

Plus, now that the water temperature at the pool is reliably good, the morning exercise and sunshine are really nice. It seems the last remaining problem is that I am tragically slow and can’t do even a full 50 meters of butterfly, but that can hardly be considered a problem, since I don’t really have any goals for this other than morning exercise and sunshine.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

June habit

Since I am on a minor blogging streak, I’ll do the habit report. (I am still trying to add a new good habit, or eliminate a bad one, every month.) Here’s what I have so far:

January: Eat more vegetables
February: Take shorter, cooler showers
March: Start every workday at the standing desk
April: Something something gratitude
May: Keep social media out of my office and out of my face

The only one of these I’m doing well on is “Eat more vegetables,” but at least I’m doing better than before on all the rest. (It’s good to look at this list in its entirety now and then!)

So for June…I recently had the thought that if I just did one small house-cleaning task every single day, it wouldn’t take any significant time (and might actually make a nice break from desk work), but I could actually get a lot done over time. I started doing that a few weeks ago, but I think I’ll call it my June habit. Every time I notice some small thing that needs to be taken care of, I put it on my calendar for the next available day. (And the things on my list all take about five minutes or less—so not “clean downstairs bathroom,” for example, but “clean downstairs toilet.”) This seems to work really well for me, or at least I’ve done every single thing on my calendar so far and made the house noticeably more pleasant to live in.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Morning swim practice

I went with Mik to the first outdoor morning swim practice of the season, having again scored permission to invade the masters’ side of the pool without actually paying or signing up—one of many perks of being Mik’s mom. (Today we had three 50-meter lanes and two swimmers, so don’t think anyone will mind.) It was a mixed bag…

The good things:
  • The pool heater is fixed, and the water temperature was pleasant.
  • The horrifyingly nasty locker rooms have been demolished and are being replaced with shiny new ones, which means I’ll be able to take an actual shower after swimming when they fully open in few days.
  • The walk home gave me time to listen to an entire hourlong podcast, which I had been missing more than I realized.
  • My shoulder is 100 percent again, so I’ve decided to commit to doing around 30 minutes of whatever the actual workout is, rather than just dinking around.
The bad things:
  • I slept poorly because I knew the alarm was going off at 4:55. (I’m sure that will pass, and anyway it’s moving to 5:05 tomorrow.)
  • Swimming hurts SO MUCH. Not in an “injury” way, more in a “you’re 47 and have not swum in 10 months” way.
  • Even walking hurt—in a “you aggravated your Achilles tendon a bit last week while running and it’s not going to let you off the hook just yet” way.
The best thing, really:
  • I came home happy (though in pain, truly), and when Mik came home a bit later, it was that much easier to talk to him for having spent 45 minutes in his world.