The Weight Loss Begins!

So, this is day four or five of the ketosis push. That involves staying at 20 grams of carbohydrate a day. That includes any time you get up in the middle of the night to sleepwalk to the fridge. I don’t do that, but I know that some people do. However, those carb grams can be counted for the next day if it’s after midnight. 😉

I ran today. It was my usual plodding 10.7 minute mile, but I kept at it for a good 30 minutes, and I did intervals. 3 minutes at 5.0-5.5 mph, followed by 3 minutes at six mph, or more. Repeat that every three minute session until 30 minutes are up. I need to get faster, but my heartbeat is still hitting the target range.

Blogging. Maybe I will never be famous, and never make enough money to retire from this. I got that reality firmly into my head over this last year. I had to decide that those things were never truly the reason, and should not be the reason for blogging.

Did I share anything that people enjoyed? Did I share a good recipe? Did I inspire even one person to help meet their goals?

If so, then I truly have succeeded, whether I have 12 followers or 1200.

The weight loss: Well, generally, the first three pounds melt off seemingly overnight, and the elation flows. If one dropped the ketosis at this point, though, it would most likely be a mistake. I’ve accidentally gone over yesterday and today by 3-5 grams, and that will slow me down. Yeah, it’s that tight, that tough, that unbelievably important to keep to 20 or less. However, don’t throw in the towel. Keep it up. Keep exercising. It may feel much harder to get motivated to move during ketosis. Be sure to keep drinking a lot of water, and move anyway. Despite feelings or motivation, KEEP AT IT. Don’t cave in, and in time, more results will come.

It’s always a while for me before I can jump up to 26 grams. My weight loss stops at 25 grams, and I start to gain at around 32-35. I think the key to success this time, that I failed at before, was keeping my fats intake high in proportion to my protein. I was eating a lot of meat before, and now I am focusing more on things like sour cream, butter, and avocados.

I can’t tell you that I am going to drop these 7-10 pounds overnight. That’s not sensible, nor realistic. When I say ‘overnight”, I mean in less than a month. That’s a lot! But within three months, I feel this goal is attainable. It’s the little decisions every day that add up to a habit, and habits add up to a lifestyle. A lifestyle sets our course in life like a rudder sets the boat’s direction. Having my ‘map’, I also arm myself with positive affirmations, and recognize that my weight and my diet are just a PART of my life.

I am ready to let this new direction of health and fitness pull other aspects of health toward me. a HEALTHY MINDSET is also very important.

I AM GREAT AS I AM. I am AMAZING. I help others. I am growing. I know how to use emotional maturity. i choose to believe the best of others. I will give more of myself for the good of others. I will look for opportunities and seize them. I am worthy of love, acceptance, and a bright future. Age is just a number. I will not stop, I will not give up, and I will not go down without a fight!

These are the things I am telling myself. I am learning to be better about managing my time and resources. I am gaining friends and my career is about to take off in a positive direction! God loves me, my family loves me, and I bring joy to my work and to others.

So, that’s what I am feeding myself. In addition to salads and avocados. 🙂

What do you tell yourself?

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All About the Want

Doesn’t it seem that we are trained from the very beginning that it is almost wrong to want? Why is that? I understand that there are people in China who are starving. I understand that children in Africa struggle to survive and are denied even the basics of health, education, and  human rights. It would seem that these things are taught to us when we are children to give us perspective; teach us to know gratitude. But the unbalanced interpretation of this teaching can make us feel that all of  our wants are petty and vain. We are taught that we should be grateful for what we have, and not worry about what we do not have. Children should not be spoiled, but we also need to instill a healthy belief that dreams are good, goals are vital, and that it is O.K. to have desire. Nothing is truly accomplished by those who have no passion, no ‘want to’ in life. Besides, who is going to help the people in Africa if nobody gets and education and dares to move?

Gratitude for what we have and who we are is very important. But I think we get it twisted when we deny ourselves the healthy side of want. But that is what we do. “I would love a new car, but …some people don’t have any transportation at all, I should just be happy with what I have”. It’s actually a combination of a self-imposed guilt trip mixed with a built-in excuse to not ever try. And, if we allow ourselves to want, and we fail to get, why- that might be painful. Worse, do we truly believe we ‘deserve’ to have anything?

Phrases like, “Who does she think she is?”, “What makes YOU so special?”, “Why should HE have that when I don’t?”, and on and on teach us that good things come haphazardly, randomly. It’s easy to have bitterness and resentment of others, because we refuse to do what we need to do to have the same thing! It is not true, despite urban legend, that life’s goodness just falls on certain people like lottery winnings. This kind of thinking also seems to set- up a belief system that life just isn’t fair, good fortune is all about luck, and that is why sometimes  the just are not rewarded, while the wicked flourish.

Turns out a lot of that is just a bunch of crap. The people who get what they want allow themselves to want it, know what they want very clearly, and let nothing stop them. The wicked people of the world aren’t usually the ones hung up on how their evil ways make them undeserving, and yet the generally decent but misguided self-flagellate and refuse to allow themselves to succeed. We stand in our own way, through lack of faith, lack of vision, lack of desire, and somehow feeling that to have what we want is wrong.

I am no fan of excess , luxury, greed, and wanton pursuit of pleasure. There is a difference between hedonism , however, and success.

Poverty mindsets get handed down through generations. It takes a lot of insight and sometimes a complete, deep reworking of our belief system to get beyond them. A poverty mindset is a self-limiting and destructive force that will run our lives for us, if we let it. It’s that ugly voice that guards the wall between where we are, and where we haven’t dared to even dream we could be.

Many never see that wall for what it is, much less question it. Some of us attempt to scale it, but it works with our fears, magnifies them, and we give up. We lie to ourselves and come up with convoluted plans on how to take that wall down…one day. Tomorrow. After we get more tools. Maybe after we take a class on Wall breaking. Next month, after this stress subsides….on and on. So,  we let it win. Some of us will see it for what it is, and just completely bulldoze it. If we can’t get ahold of a bullldozer, we can get a ladder and scale the wall. We will not use any excuses. It just comes down.  That’s when we can truly begin to live.

When the wall comes down, we finally see all the dreams and possibilities that were always there. We also see that while many people live lives in abject poverty, we were born with opportunities and freedom. Why would  we deny the sacrifices of our forefathers to allow us to have what we have, and dishonor our blessing by throwing it away? Does it help starving children in Africa if I drive a beat- up car, or refuse to work on my talents? Does it honor sick, uneducated people if I also don’t take advantage of educational opportunities, or other means to improve myself? No!

Do I deserve “it”?  What I deserve in this life is what I believe I deserve, first and foremost. My actions will bring me what I have given out – but it may be now or later. I don’t believe that I deserve sickness or illness, but rather health That extends to my emotional , and even financial health as well. As long as I let mistakes that I have made be my judge, and punish myself through denial, I will remain behind the wall.

What if, instead, we treated ourselves with the same grace and forgiveness we give our friends? WOW! I never judge my friend’s mistakes and decide what they ‘should ‘ deserve or ‘should not”! Why do I do that to myself? Can you just imagine this conversation?

Friend Joy calls me up on the phone. “Hey, Lee, this is Joy. I have been racking my brain for an answer to this problem I have been having, and I think I have a great idea. Here’s what I want to do, and it will allow my family to stop worrying about bills, go on vacation, pay off debt, save for retirement and get new hairstyles!” Joy is very excited and tells me she is writing a book, or recording a song. I know that Joy has tried this before, and did not reach the goals she had set previously. Also, I really love Joy and and she has always been a great friend. So, would I be a jerk and say to her, ” Well, Joy… I am not sure about this plan. I mean, you tried this before, and it didn’t work out. Maybe it’s because you just don’t deserve it. What you really deserve is to work your ass off for the rest of your life. I mean, C’mon, Joy. Dreams? Why should YOU have  that when I don’t, anyway? Why don’t you get your head out of the clouds, girlfriend?”

Can you imagine?! Most of us would never treat a friend like that, never say or feel things like that. Yet ,we do it to ourselves. Can we not even muster up enough appreciation and love to treat ourselves with love? Kindness? Encouragement? Can’t we see how vital these things are for the person we spend the most time with, the one we rely on most? Nobody can do this for us. Even for the fictitious example, “Joy”, anytime we speak our minds or hearts to our friends, whether we encourage or discourage, ultimately the choice to truly live or simply exist comes down to the individual. So, going to person after person to bolster our dreams and encourage us is wonderful to an extent. Finally, though, we have to decide to act.

Faith and belief in ourselves need NOT come from looking back on our previous experiences to gauge our likelihood of success. We can learn from our mistakes, but we should not use those mistakes as a reason to give up. If everyone did that, Thomas Edison would not have come up with the light bulb. He flopped on that one over, and over, and over again. Most people would have given up. Those who don’t- will succeed, one way, or another.

So, first- allow yourself to have a dream.

Determine what you really want, but allow for a surprise.

Weigh the cost. Understand the sacrifices. Anything worth going after will require hard work, time, and a focus of energy , possibly bordering obsession. Do you REALLY want it? Why? Have a clear why.

In addition to sacrifice, are you willing to continue when things get hard? Take it day by day.

Finally, Are you afraid to have what you want , based on an unhealthy poverty mindset? Remember, you share your wealth of experience and resources with others. If you are not being greedy and selfish, why feel guilty for having? You should not.

Again, remember to treat yourself with the same grace, kindness, and encouragement that you would a very good friend. Be honest and truthful with yourself. Ok, maybe the truth is that you are NOT good at singing despite much love and hard work, but you are a good songwriter, or promoter, or talent scout. That’s ok, too. It doesn’t mean you failed- look for another outlet for your love of singing and music, or just enjoy it in the car or shower. 🙂 A dream diverted does not mean a dream denied. Dreams should fit , to a possible degree, with who we are.

So, know yourself. Don’t get stuck on this step, though. Some people never find themselves…

Quiet Science Worth Listening To: Another Prop to Low-Carb Eating!

Once again, just a casual perusal of health news provided me with this gold nugget of information that I wasn’t even searching for. I was looking at the news updates on our online local news from KATU out of Portland, OR. Up-to-date and relevant, I found this article, which I have directly quoted and cited below.

From http://www.katu.com

Why You Should Probably Stop Eating Wheat: DNews Editors Dec 14,

2012. George Dvorsky, iO9

“Wheat contains a protein that degrades into a morphine-like compound after

eating, and creates an appetite for more”- Corbis

“Raises blood sugar levels, causes immunoreactive problems, inhibits the

absorption of important minerals and aggravates our intestines..”.much of this

may stem from the fact that wheat simply ain’t what it used to be” . Since the

50’s, scientists have been cross-breeding wheat to make it hardier, shorter,

and better growing… Scientist Norman Borlaug won the Nobel Prize for his

work on this… but this work left the product not entirely human friendly.

From the same article, (and I am going to find this book) :

Cardiologist Dr. William Davis from his book, Wheat Belly: Lose The

Wheat, Lose the Weight-, says today’s hybrid wheat contains sodium azide, a known toxin.

It also goes through a gamma irradiation process during manufacturing.

Novel proteins not found in either parent plant exist in the hybrid, and this is what leads to the

belief that this is the cause of the rise in Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, etc. (from

http://www.katu.com, Jan.5, 2013)

If all this is true, it also begs the question to consider the ingredients of the low-carb bagel, or pasta. Have the “morphine-like drugs” been removed from
these items, or have they simply been engineered with more ‘fluffy fiber’ in various forms to negate the carb content? Are products like these still not the most body-friendly choice for those who wish to avoid gluten components or addiction to wheat products? Like anything else, moderation could be the key. However, for many of us ‘virtual addicts to everything’, this may not be easy to do. My experience with these products is that I do tend to start craving those bagels, but I know that some of it is from the sheer novelty and difference they are to my normally bread-less diet. The exceptions are the low-carb tortillas I enjoy. Whereas I don’t have a gluten sensitivity per se`, do I have a latent addiction that I am feeding with the tortillas, or are they just a nice low-carb wrapper for my meats and veggies? Let’s investigate the ingredients of my Mission Low-carb tortillas. They come in wheat and white. I believe the basis of their low-carb claim comes mainly from the addition of fiber, and the thinness of their structure.

Ingredients of the “La Tortilla Factory” Original whole wheat low-carb, high fiber tortillas. These provide 3 grams of effective net carbs.
Water, oat fiber, whole wheat flour, soy flour, vital wheat gluten, canola oil, baking powder, corn starch, sea salt guar gum, citric acid, yeast, xanthan gum, cysteine, (a freshness preservative). Everything sounds fine, if you’re not avoiding wheat gluten by design. I can eat 1-2 of these per day, but I don’t eat them every day. I have not noticed a need to consume more. I still feel that for the non-gluten sensitive, these are a nice complement to my diet, at my stage. Obviously, over-consumption would not be the best choice for me. For example, using them as a major staple in my diet.

The mission white carb-balance tortillas are a different story in terms of ingredients. The list is so long, it would be quite tiring to list them. Suffice to say, these white tortillas rely much more heavily on cellulose gum, presumably the source of their heightened fiber content, since with the white
flour, most fiber is stripped away. These also come in with a net carb amount double that of the whole wheat/oat fiber variety. These I have found to be more palatable for certain wraps and for frying as chips, but I am resolving to make the other type more often my first choice when eating low-carb tortillas.

The main point of this piece is not to debate the merits of one type of low-carb tortilla over the next, but to point out my underlying and continual theme, which is that sugar and carbs- like those found in glazed donuts, provide not only a taste sensation, but a very real drug-like addictive property
that can become a hurdle for dieters that makes any plan like Atkin’s, South Beach, or Paleo seem absolutely impossible. Not only do these plans go against the ‘grain’ of the low-fat, carb-loading mindset of mainstream
nutritionists. doctors, and some athletes, even if science sways their opinion toward low-carb, that is only half the battle. The second part, and the hardest, is always the wrestling we do with ourselves. First, the would-be dieter will generalize and misconstrue the basic tenets of the diet. The most common myth I hear people state, almost verbatim, is “Low-carb diets don’t let you eat fruit and vegetables! It’s all greasy meat and hollandaise!” Nothing could be further from the truth. Have they ever even read the book? No. It doesn’t seem to help when you tell them that the first couple of weeks of induction is designed to cause your body to become a fat burning machine
first, glucose burner second. Yes, there is an emphasis on meats, eggs, and greens during this phase. It is not painful, but can get boring without using creativity. Their eyes glaze over. All they really know is that they are going to lose donuts and Frosted Flakes for breakfast, giant sub rolls on their hoagies, potato chips and french fries, Snickers and Coke,and that is something simply too hard to contemplate. I have no pity for these folks. They can just keep running like rats, endlessly on treadmills, and burn it off, while gulping down cholesterol medication. At least those willing to work it off are willing to pay to play. Also, these people are generally not obese, or even overweight. Me? I say exercise for strength and heart health, stronger bones and lung conditioning, etc., not to burn off garbage you have stuffed yourselves with. That being said, I am going to conduct an experiment of my own in the next month or so. In November of 2011, my weight was at 144-146, and the doctor said my cholesterol was a bit high. At that time, I was eating pretty much whatever I wanted, attempting ‘moderation’, which meant only one candy bar per day, in addition to everything else I was eating, most of the time. In January of 2012, I began Atkin’s with strict adherence. Now that I weight 124, it’s time to see if I have lost weight at
the expense of heart health. Mind you, this won’t stop me from staying with a low-carb lifestyle. It will only mean that I will increase good-for-you fats that come from sources such as olive oil, nuts, and salmon, and cut down on the poor quality fats from things like bacon, mayonnaise, and butter. ( and I do love my Ranch dressing)

I will arrange testing ASAP, despite the cost not covered under insurance, quite possibly, because I care. Besides, I am getting my thyroid tested. It has been a little low, but apparently not dangerously so. We shall see. I will post the numbers here on the site. I am hoping and expecting the numbers to reflect a lower bad cholesterol number to go with the lower weight, but I could be surprised.