Suddenly Energy!

Whatever else the ketogenic diet might be doing to me, I have finally noticed the uptick in energy that is promised by the proponents of it. This morning I went for a run (a short one of about 35 minutes because I had meetings I needed to attend for work), and then after work I had so much energy that I did a couple of back-to-back quickies – 15 minutes walking and then, because I was still in the mood, 15 minutes of aerobics.

Normally after work I read a book while lying around like a slug, surf the internet (same), or sometimes pick up some long-neglected sewing, but today my body was like, “Nah, let’s do something active!” I like it!

I guess tomorrow better be all about strength training, though, as today was all cardio all the time.

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Keto Restart: Week 1

Ok, now that I’ve let a whole week pass on this round of keto, I find I’m quite pleased with this week’s results: down 5 pounds! Hooray! Good work, body! Keep it up!

In my last post I noted that my body did something ridiculous but that it was probably just water shifting around, and indeed I was right. That was a weird anomaly and not on my normal trajectory. I was so suspicious of it that I didn’t even note it down in MyFitnessPal – I knew I’d be crushed to have to post a gain next time I weighed. (Also my scale might be haunted) It did bump up again, but not as high as before. So instead, I got to post a loss this morning, even over a holiday weekend!

And friends, we had an epic party at our house on NYE, with a bartender and all the best people I know. It was marvelous, and I drank seltzer water mixed with shots of straight vodka (keto-approved booze!) all night (what’s all this about getting drunk harder/faster when you’re in ketosis? I couldn’t catch a buzz at all), but only a total of about 3 shots because I was having too much fun to remember to refill. I stayed good and hydrated though!

I’m ready for 2018. I took the last two days off from exercise because of everything else going on (throwing a party, cleaning up from a party). But I woke up energized this morning and took on a kickboxing workout and kept up the whole way! I’m getting my endurance back this year.

This week’s challenges includes a re-enactor event all weekend at a hotel, but I’m going to make a plan for that to keep on keto. I’ve done it before with even more restrictive programs, so I know I’ll be fine.

What does your 2018 look like?

That can’t be right

You ever step on the scale and just go….No. That’s wrong.

I did it this morning. I’ve been back from vacation and doing keto again for four days now. This morning, just to check in and see how things are going, I got on the scale and it said I was down 8.5 pounds. No way, body, stop messing with me.

I mean, obviously that would be awesome, because I gained 6.5 pounds on vacation, and wiping those out plus another 2 would seriously make my day. And yeah, when you weigh yourself the day after a transcontinental flight, like I did Tuesday, you are always going to be retaining a ton of water. But…wow.

I am optimistic for the first time in a long time. Because keto is, right now, and maybe only today, doing the thing I was promised – fast weight loss, feeling energetic and good.

It’s the second part I’m most amazed by, though. The first time I did keto earlier this month I suffered badly from “keto flu.” This time…not so much. I felt a little headachey yesterday (regular headaches, not a migraine, and if you know my history of chronic migraines you know a little old regular headache doesn’t much faze me), a little tired in the evening, but that’s been ALL.

And for the last two days I’ve woken up at 6am full of energy to take on the world. I am back to my harder workouts – two days now of kickboxing workouts FTW! I’m still rebuilding my endurance, but having a body that feels like even trying at all is a huge improvement!

I expect my body to probably regain a bit by the time I check in again next week – that is water weight without a doubt that’s been coming off these last few days and things need to equalize a bit. But, good start, body! Let’s keep it up!

More Numeric Ruminations

Last week Trystan commented here that despite the number on the scale, I still do a healthy lifestyle better than almost anyone. I am hugely proud to hear that, but also it reminded me that people don’t just come here because I’m specifically keeping off 200 pounds (because I’m not), but for other reasons and living a healthy lifestyle may very well be one of them.

So, today I’m going to ramble about last week’s numbers. Last week I burned 3,780 calories in exercise. That’s well above the 2000/week recommended by a lot of programs – almost double, in fact. All that, and I even took Saturday as a rest day! How did I get there? Well, I could break it down and tell you that represents 305 minutes of activity (a little over 5 hours) that week. That’s an average of 12 calories burned per minute, but I don’t exercise in averages. A majority of my exercise was at a high intensity (running, kickboxing), which using my ballpark calculations I estimate at 14 calories/minute. The rest of it was at moderate or medium intensity (walking, yoga, weightlifting), which I ballpark at 8 calories a minute. These numbers are based on my weight and change when my weight does – when I weigh less I burn less per minute, when I weigh more I burn more. Most days I do 40-60 minutes of exercise.

I also did a great job last week at journaling my food intake (except Saturday which was unusual). I saw a steady downward motion on the scale – started at 224.5 on Monday morning and by Sunday morning I was at 221.5, excellent progress.

Yesterday I went for a long, hard run. I didn’t have anywhere to be, and the usual symphony of bodily complaints was at a mere whisper, so I decided to go for it. Not my longest route, but a portion of it which was 5.5 miles and included a serious hill in the middle. It is a steep, high hill and I don’t attempt it very often because it is HARD. But when I do attempt it I have only a single goal – to not drop into a walk on the way up it. That’s it. That’s the only thing I want to accomplish on that run. On Sunday I powered through and made it up the hill, then back down again. By the end my legs were burning pretty hard – not only a longer run than I have done all year, but a seriously strenuous section in the middle. That run took me about 90 minutes, and burned ~1260 calories. I took a long nap after that run. Yesterday I consumed approximately 1600 calories all day. Pretty good in/out ratio there!

So naturally, as you can imagine, I woke up this morning to the highest weight I have seen in years – 225. That’s right, running  shoots my weight up. Always. Running harder than usual will spike it higher than usual. That’s just how it goes. Maybe not for everyone, but always and without fail for me. At this point I’m just looking at the numbers out of objective, scientific curiosity. “Oh, huh, that’s a surprising number to see after yesterday. Wow. Body, you never fail to confound me.”

I started reading a new book I bought on Rianh’s recommendation last week, The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung. I’m about halfway through, so nobody spoil the ending for me (the butler did it, right? It’s always the butler!), but so far it makes a lot of sense and I am hoping there will be a “how to do this” section in the back, because I will probably want to give his ideas a try. What do I have to lose, other than all this fabulous and exciting fat?! I’ll keep you posted as I go.

Math is Hard!

Ha! Just kidding, math isn’t hard. It’s logical and follows basic rules of operation. What is apparently hard is tracking days. I weighed myself Wednesday thinking it had been a week because 5 days back at work feels like a week on vacation I guess! And I found I’d only lost a pound and I railed and moaned because I was hoping for more. But reading back, I didn’t start out by weighing in last Wednesday (how could I? I woke up in an airplane over Cuba), I started weighing in on Friday.

So fine. I weighed in this morning. Down a pound and a half. That’s much better. I credit it to two things: 1) yesterday I finally felt up to my usual 3-mile run again after shaking that cold I had, and 2) Thursday night is my usual “cheat” meal, because I have dinner with some friends on Thursdays and relax my rules a little bit and also have wine. Actually the second one probably has more to do with why I didn’t drop more, but it’s a good mental health activity so I’ve refused to give it up.

This morning’s exercise was Jillian’s HardBody DVD, which is one of the harder workouts I do. I still have the occasional tickle in my throat and coughing fit, but I consider myself well enough to push hard. It’s better for me to work hard, it will clear out the dregs of the sickness better than anything else I know.

Speaking of Biggest Loser trainers (was I?  I guess I was), I’m sure you  heard about Bob Harper having a heart attack while working out. He’s ok, but in general it’s kind of a reminder that all the exercise in the world can’t really overcome genetics. Although, being in top physical shape probably had a lot to do with him actually surviving that rather than just dying on the spot (I am not a doctor so I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about and just made that up with zero evidence or knowledge to support it, just thought it sounded good but seriously this freaks me out that you can do everything right and still almost die if your heart just decides it can’t even).

Have a good weekend everyone. Remember to track your food choices, keep your portions reasonable, and work your body a bit every day.

Grudgingly

I got on the scale today to see how I’m doing getting those 5 vacation pounds off. First it flashed the same exact weight as last week, then it grudgingly flashed its final answer: Down a pound.

Damn. I expected two or three, because that’s what a normal result would be. I drastically changed my eating and cleaned it up – no cheats or treats this week. I drastically increased my exercise (from zero to daily, but not all they way back up to pre-vacation levels due to the cold I also got on vacation). All that for a measly, grudging pound.

I guess my previous goal of losing those vacation pounds in two weeks needs to be revised. It looks like I’ll be lucky to lose them in 5 weeks.

In case you were wondering, this is what a broken metabolism looks like. I have no doubt that my lifetime of dieting, then gaining, then dropping again have completely fucked my metabolism and now dropping anything at all is going to be a grand struggle. But, as always, what other choice do I have but to keep shoving that boulder up this mountain? I guess simultaneously work on loving and accepting my body as it is now. As it has become through all these years of trying to figure out how to keep and maintain it.

I know less now than I ever have. Don’t ask me for weight loss advice, it’s clear I don’t know shit, and what I’ve done not only hasn’t worked long-term, but has screwed things up beyond repair.

Vacation Detox: Phantom Hunger

Continuing to re-acquaint my body with healthy habits. What I mean by “vacation detox” is that my body grew accustomed to certain things – too much food, too little activity – and now I’m having to readjust.

The first thing I noticed is that I’ve had several “hungry days” in a row now. Hungry days are those days where no matter what you eat, or how much, your body won’t stop sending you the hungry signals – phantom hunger. I know they’re false, but they’re still there. I think they happen because my body gets used to me eating much more than I need, more often than I need, and when I revert back to my regular, healthy patterns it takes some time to convince my body I mean it and I’m not going to feed it cookies or pastries (or cocktails, if I’m being honest) just because it claims hunger. I have a couple of tried-and-true methods for dealing with those signals.

-The best one is a hot beverage. Hot tea, usually, will make my stomach settle down and stop sending the hungry pangs for a while. The weird thing about the pangs is I can get them right after I’ve eaten on a really bad day. The messaging gets completely screwed up by too many days of overeating and I know it, so I have to find ways to distract myself or short-circuit the network.

-Another strategy is to eat, but eat something supportive. A piece of fruit, or a hard-boiled egg usually fit the bill, if it’s been a reasonable amount of time since I last ate.

-Exercise can sometimes do it, a hard workout will often suppress my appetite. This one’s tricky, though, as it can also sometimes backfire and leave me MORE hungry. Also hard to do when I’ve been getting through a cold.

-Worst strategy, but often used: Just gut it out. Accept that my body is telling me it’s starving but I know it’s not, and read a book or do something distracting, and drink a lot of water.

Today’s workout was 30 minutes of quiet cardio. A hard workout despite the name, and my weakened state made it seem that much harder. (Bane of my existence: Chair pose. Why, yoga? It looks so simple but it kills me!) My cold has been receding nicely, much less hacking today. I’m optimistic that I will be able to go for a run tomorrow morning. A short one, of course, I don’t want to push it too much but I need to get back in the swing of it.

I’d definitely be open to hearing your tricks for dealing with phantom hunger. Does anybody else have this issue, and how do you suppress it?

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