Friday, June 19, 2009

Life is an interruption

But, if you are smart about it and work around your own tendencies, even on wicked busy days you can get a workout in.  The tricks I've used this week are being flexible about the time of day, setting up my workout room in advance, and doing it the first thing upon arriving home.  I have done my workout in the evening.  I even got my mother to help me tidy up my room when I was driving home.  One night I did my yoga at 9 pm which is really late for me!  Also, before I left my work location (3 hours away) I put on my yoga clothes.  I'm not likely to go to bed without doing the yoga if I'm already dressed!  Thats what I mean by psyching my self out, I set my self up for success by working around my own personality.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

EDH Technique #3 Make your own diet guide

Go to all of the website pages of your favorite restaurants.  Create a food guide with only the best food choices and their macro nutrients.  Print out this guide.  Take it with you in your purse or wallet.  I've done this with much success.  Its always surprising to learn things like a piece of fried chicken may have only 3 g. of carbohydrate and a piece of fried fish might be 10.  I never would have guessed that, but over at the Home Town Buffet, its true!  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not going to start eating fried chicken again. My point is that its not always obvious what the best choice is at any particular restaurant.  For me, over at McDonald's it is obvious.  Any salad selection with any salad dressing is acceptable.  I never drink anything that is sweetened.  Its best for a person to only have sweets as a treat.  I don't think its smart to drink them.  Its deceiving, it makes you think you had something to drink but what you had was a lot of sodium.  If you are thirsty, drink some water.  Soda is called soda because of the sodium.  It can't quench thirst by its very definition.  

I do like the buffet as an option.  As a person who prefers to eat low carb, I like being able to choose some white fish, a piece of beef, and green beans or a vegetable medley.  I do look up the carb content and watch my portion sizes.  I drink black tea.  I also put olive oil on a salad with tomatoes and mushrooms.  None of what I eat is weird food.  There is no sugar substitute on my plate.  I used to be a aspartame junkie.  I drank a case of diet cola per week.  I admit I was an addict.  I quit when I learned about its effect on the brain.  The headaches I used to get went away.  I also used to chew sugar free gum.  I loved to pop bubbles.  I switched to Altoids in college because thats what all of the other audio engineers liked.  I wanted to fit in.  I also developed a decayed tooth and had to have a root canal.  That was on my 16th birthday.  I stopped using Altoids after that.  A few years ago, I took an airplane ride and got some gum because its supposed to help with the ascent/descent variation in pressure and the painful effect that can have on the ears.  I got that nasty old headache again.  I finally put it together.  I should not be having these fake sugars.  I have not had any fake sugars since.  I tried the Splenda thing in Fl when I was trying to lose weight.  I did lose weight.  But, I have since then read about the effect of sending the brain the message that I have eaten a sweet substance without any additional sugars in the blood stream for my body to absorb.  This is a bad thing.  Sending mixed messages to your body is a bad idea.  Your body will release insulin and then you will lower your blood sugar to a dangerous level.  So, you get the insulin hit and no sugar.  After figuring that last bit out, I decided it was best to not eat fake sugar.  Its best to have the real thing if you want sugars.

I do not want sugars in my body.  Sometimes, I feel compelled to eat sugars.  Thats not the same thing as wanting to eat.  I don't want the effect of sugar on my body.  I get facial hair as a result of my PCO.  Its very clear the effect of sugars on my body.  Its critical to my sense of self to not have my body be androgenized.  It effects my self esteem, I become very depressed.  I don't like that feeling.  When I take my oils, especially my fish oil and evening primrose oil, the drive to find sugars decreases dramatically.  I have read that certain lipids give the body a chemical door into its own fat cells and that without those lipids, the body cannot access its own food supply.  Thats why when you eat a piece of salmon and your body is satieted, you might not be hungry for days because your body now has access to your fat cells.  That happened to me once.  I was stunned.  I had never not been hungry.  I was always hungry.  I always ate low fat.  I felt horrible all the time from my low blood sugar.  Then, one morning there was a left over piece of salmon that was going to go bad so I had to cook it and eat it.  I had it for breakfast without any thing else.  I did not eat for two days.  I had no low blood sugar symptoms.  Fascinating, no?

Jimmy Says!

Well, ok, he said yesterday on You Tube that there are several things which can stall low carb weight loss.  Pop over to his website and watch the video.  Don't be put off by the beginning part with the Kitty.  Its not a cat cast.  

Apparently, peanut butter and grapefruit are out.  I had tried the grapefruit on the recommendation of another dieting guru, Ms. Sandra Ahten of Reasonable diet.  I tried it.  I don't think it really helped.  As for peanut butter, I had heard that there are diet coaches who recommend against all nut use.  Apparently, there is a problem with the hormonal profile of nuts.  I guess it makes sense.  After all, the little bitty thing is supposed to grow up into a big tall tree.  Its too bad, I liked both of those foods.  However, in the interests of my weight loss goals, I will for go the grapefruit and peanut butter.  I'm also skipping the wheat and dairy products.  

You may ask, well Alisha, what does that leave you with?  Lots of healthy fats, plenty of low carb vegetables, and some protein.  The other thing that Jimmy mentioned which may pertain to myself is that excess protein is converted into sugar.  I had forgotten about that.  At some point, I did know that.  So, I should also watch the portion size of my protein.  I had read on a forum that some trainers recommend no more than 20 grams of protein per meal.  Wow, thats only 2.3 ounces of chicken breast at a whack.  The Dr. Eades recommend 34 grams of protein for a person my size.  Thats about 4 ounces of chicken or 2.5 to 4.5 ounces of steak.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Not really knowing

I know that I will be switching to primarily night/evening workouts.  I'm normally a morning workout person.  But, my new work schedule really requires me to be more flexible about that.  My plan is to do my yoga in the morning because that requires no sweat nor gear.  Just my mat.  I will do my cardio in the evening when I come home from work.  My day will start at 6 am.  There is a rumor that there is a gym that I may get to use.  I haven't done a gym workout in a long time.  I've been so enamoured of Cathe and home workouts, it just has not appealed to me.  Also, those places are kind of gross, how often are they cleaned anyway?  A lot of diseases can be passed through sweat and snott, you know?  Still, I can take a towel laced with cleaning fluid, wipe down the equipment and then use it.  There are spin classes and treadmills.  There is a full assortment of weight lifting equipment.  The last time I went to a gym people kept forgetting that I went there and kept asking for my ID but guess what I don't work there, my Mother does!  Sheesh.  They couldn't remember from one day to the next.  It was so freaking irritating.  I may just choose to run on campus (my job is at a college for the next 60 days.) and shower in the ladies gym.  Poop.  This stuff is dumb.  I need a runners wallet to carry my id/keys in.  I need to go to REI or Sports authority.  

I'm thinking about that new rotation.  I could shift my day off to Monday so that I would get my long run in on the weekend.  We are supposed to only work 4 days a week.  Thats super cool.  I bet my workouts will be awesome!  

Thursday, June 11, 2009


My goal is to be a healthy weight.  I have fitness goals too.  I want to be able to run a 12 minute mile.  I want to be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping.  I want to be able to run for 60 minutes without stopping.  I want to be able to do boy style push ups.  I want to be able to do chin ups and pull ups.  I want to be able to do a Cathe abdominal workout without feeling like I'm going to puke.  It just takes a little planning, a little dedication during the workouts, and vigilance about what I put in my mouth.  I'm 55 pounds away from my goal weight.  I'm two minutes away from my mile pace.  I'm 14 minutes away from being able to jog for 30 minutes without a walk break.  I'm 44 minutes away from being able to jog for 30 minutes without a walk break.  

My health goals are tied up primarily in my diet.  I need to eat a low carbohydrate diet in order to properly control my blood sugar, give my pancreas a break, and restore my insulin receptors.  The whole thing is complex.  I also must use my yoga.  It is critical to keep my stress level down because without a calm mind, the body produces sugars and raises your insulin level.  

I only eat a small amount of grain post cardio workout.  This morning it was 1/4 cup of berries and 1/2 cup of steel cut oatmeal.  Later, I'm planning a second cardio workout of stationary biking and I plan to follow that up with 1/2 a grapefruit.  

Goals are important.  They help you stay focused on what you really want.  I really want to be fit.  I really want my health to improve.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lentil soup

Has more carbohydrates than I remembered.  Oops.  Oh well.  There is always tomorrow and the rest of the day to make better choices.

"Eat like its your job."

I've forgotten who said that first.  Whomever they were was terribly smart.  It is important to eat frequently, properly and enough.  Even though I'm not really hungry yet, I'm snacking on some walnuts and left over roast chicken.  Its not easy to get a lot of calories in when they are all clean calories.  It takes a lot of good protein and healthy fats to make up the necessary calorie intake to avoid hibernation mode.  I've had what carbohydrate I will have for the day.  It was two slices of Sara lee Whole Wheat bread and 1 cup of black berries.  Yum!  

Why does a cloudy day make me want to sleep?  

I love cold, grilled chicken.  I had two left over pieces from Sunday night.  I grilled them outside.  They were so tasty.  

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Food, diets, and macro nutrients

I've been thinking about my diet.  I think that I haven't always lived up to my goals.  Its time to be a little more forward thinking and  a little bit selfish.  That means I'm carying my cooler.  That means I'm not eating what everybody else is eating.  That means they may not like it.  Too darn bad.  Its my mouth and I'm in charge of it.

New diet goals:
1. Get 130 grams of protein per day.
2. Get at least 1200 calories per day.
3. Get 3-5 servings of vegetables per day.
4. Get 1-2 servings of fruits per day.
5. Get at least 1 serving of coconut oil per day.

Low Calorie days: 1200 calories with a calorie and carbohydrate taper.
High calorie days: 2000 calories with additional carbohydrates.  Up to 60 grams of carbs per day.  

Its simple, the night before I cook my chicken and have my hot meal.  The day after, I eat my left over chicken.  

All of this is important. The exercise is important.  The eats are important.  Why?  Because my goals are important.  It matters how I take care of my body, mind and spirit.  If something is out of wack, its much harder to be an effective human being.  


My best friend when I'm stressed is my workouts.  They aren't fattening.  Other coping mechanisms like ice cream and popcorn just make you feel worse.  I blew my diet all weekend.  I was under serious peer pressure.  I can't like that anymore.  I feel aweful.  I don't ever want to go back.  I've had it with ice creams and fried foods and hamburgers (not that great btw.)


There is more to life than sweet tastes in your mouth.  What about the aftermath?  The stomach ache?  The head ache?  The fat belly?  The self loathing?  The loathing of others?  Never again.   I've had enough.  What is that saying, enough is enough?  For whom?  I've had enough to last me for months without eating, of course my metabolism would tank and I would gain weight, but that is another topic.  

I have at least fifty pounds to lose.  In order to achieve that goal I have to set boundaries and use my ability to say "No thank you."  My old habit was to just go with the flow.  To use inconvenience as a reason to not eat well.  I'm too old to eat poorly anymore.  Now, eating poorly makes me feel bad.  Seriously, I could just puke and frankly if I did puke I would probably feel a lot better.  

In order to feel good about myself, whether or not my body does what its supposed to, I have to follow a reasonable diet.  A reasonable diet does not include dessert.  It just doesn't.  I don't need to be stuffed to not feel hungry.  A smaller portion of food will do just fine.

If I never eat another ice cream cone, I will be just fine.  There is no RDA for ice cream.  ugh.  It makes me wonder if I'm just bored or thirsty all the time.  I know I'm bored a lot.  

Boredom is not a fun thing.  They say if you are bored then you are a boring person.   I just don't give a poop whether or not I"m entertaining anymore.  I worked in show business.  Its boring half the time.  So, how can a business which is all about entertainment, be boring?  lol.  Go figure.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

EDH Technique #2 State your goal before your workout

Before every workout, state to yourself or to others, what it is you are trying to accomplish in the next hour.  For me, each workout satisfies several goals.  I have both intensity and duration goals.  I also want to improve mental outlook, burn calories, and increase my metabolism.  I am also meeting a promise to myself, to give diet and exercise my all before I resort to a medication alternative to improve my mood, blood sugar, blood pressure, or insulin sensitivity.  The only way I know of to properly meet all of those goals is to use my heart rate monitor.  I wear it on almost every workout.  I use it to help me know when I have achieved my goals for that day.  I use it to help me run intervals and to stay in a tight range on steady state cardio days. Knowing what it is I am trying to accomplish before each workout really helps me stay on target.  Sometimes I don't meet my daily goals.  Thats a disappointment every time.  

Struggling with carb cravings

I don't know why this is coming up again.  It doesn't make any sense.  I just really like fresh fruit.  This morning I had some cherries and fresh strawberries.  More than I probably should have had on top of my pbj.  I'm going to have to be more careful about that.  

I am down a pound.  I suspect that it was a result of two days of hardly eating anything because I felt so poorly.  I did exercise this afternoon.   I didn't have the endurance level I usually do.  The best approach under those circumstances is to work with the endurance level that you do have and not worry about comparing yourself to your best days performance.  I did 26 minutes of a step workout without risers and 20 minutes of a hi/lo tape.  I plan to do some yoga later.

One thing that I have noticed, is that I'm getting better about not needing to eat everything I make.  This afternoon, per request, I baked two cakes, one was orange and the other is apricot.  I wanted to taste them but I did not.  Yeah!  Thats a victory!!!  I enjoyed the baking process but because I ate a filling lunch of eggs and steak, I was not swayed by the lovely smell of freshly baked cake.  Wow.  If you bake or cook, you may understand how important this is.  

I've been thinking about a rotation style that was posted on the Cathe Friedrich forum but I don't remember the OP's original name, so I do apologize for borrowing your idea, I don't know who you are, please let me know if you read this.  The idea is to use a different kind of exercise every day of the week.  I have not been willing to do this in the past because there are only two exercises which have really put me into my target heart rate, step and walk/runs.  I did try the stationary bike a week ago and I really hurt my butt.  I couldn't hardly walk for three days.  It was ugly.   I did start out gung ho, I did 60 minutes in my THR.  I wonder if that was too much or if I should try folding up a towel to make the seat a little more tushie friendly.  I'm not willing to give up a day of jogging/walking.  I like how that improves my lower body.  I would be willing to add some stationary bike to days where my step workout is not long enough in my THR.  Also, on one of my jog/walk days I can add some jump rope now that it is warmer.  

Yesterday I got out there and did a 3 mile hike even though I didn't really feel like it.  I didn't even wear my hrm.  I just walked.  My endurance was down.  I'm guessing it was from being sick.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Its the diet stupid!

I have read all over the Internet that it is the diet that is the culprit for most people when they are trying to lose weight.  I was sick last night and as a consequence, I did not feel up to going for a jog this morning.  I used to be really worried that a day or several days without a workout would make me heavier.  It doesn't.  When I was recovering from a broken foot, my appetite went way down.  I just did not want to eat.  So, I didn't.  I lost 25 pounds even though I was off of my feet for six months.  When I was working on a film project with a lot of hours and a lot of physical activity, I put on weight.  It was a very stressful job.  I believe that the stress trumps any physical activity added to the equation.  I believe that stress can trump a good diet, too.  

Luckily, the only real stress I'm experiencing right now is that I am looking for work.  I am extremely lucky.  I have a place to live.  I am able to look for work because I have my laptop, Internet access, a wardrobe and a vehicle.  

Although I really prefer to open my day with a workout, sometimes that is just not an option.  This is especially true when I'm not feeling physically well.  Dizziness, nausea, and gastrointestinal distress are good reasons to put off your cardiovascular workout.  The trick with a day that does not have cardio, you must be really careful with your calorie intake and the quality of calories.  Today, all I could manage to eat in the morning was some triscuit crackers and a very small amount of Sprite.  Just now, I was able to get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich down.  I was feeling really hungry probably because I haven't eaten since yesterday morning.  

The best kind of peanut butter and jelly is the closest to clean that you can get.  I use the Laura Scudder peanut butter.  I like the natural kind of peanut butter that you have to stir the peanut oil back into the solids.  I like no salt on my peanut butter sandwich.  I use the grape jelly from Trader Joe's.  It does not have corn syrup and is very inexpensive.  I use 1 tablespoon.  I use the honey whole wheat Sara Lee bread.  Again, it is not made with corn syrup and is whole grain.  This sandwich has a considerable amount of carbohydrates.  As a consequence, on a day when I have one of these I don't have a lot of other grain sources.  According to my calculator, thats 481 calories and 61 carbohydrates.  That is more carbohydrate than I normally eat.  However, sometimes thats all I can stomach.  If I can eat later it will just be some plain scrambled eggs.  I should come in above my target on my carbohydrate intake.  But, my calories will be within range.  The next time that I experience this kind of sickness, I hope that I can keep my carbohydrate intake within limits, I'm just at a loss for how to manage that.  

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Delayed Gratification

One of the other things that I delay is purchases.  I am currently in the job market.  I am delaying the purchase of a few non-essentials until I can purchase them without using credit.  I would like to purchase a lower mileage vehicle.  I would like to buy some of the Cathe Friedrich DVDs that I don't have yet.  I am on the 5 year plan to purchase Cathe's DVD collection.  I allow myself two purchases per year, one for Christmas and one for my Birthday.  They are gifts.  I would also like to buy a new computer to edit my audio, video and photos on.

I am grateful for my Cathe DVDs.  These are part of how I keep my sanity.  I love the use of exercise rather than prescriptions to bolster my mood and keep a lid on anxiety.  Exercise has been found (according to Dr. Oz) to be a more effective mood elevator than prescription drugs over the course of a year.  I am very glad that I did not elect to try prescription drugs before I tried exercise.  I do take fish oil.  I am under the impression that fish oil is not addictive.  I also understand that drugs like Paxil or Wellbutrin must be carefully reduced with the supervision of a medical doctor.  If stopped abruptly there are significant side effects.  

AM Cardio is Key

I, for one, find the morning to be the best time of the day to workout.  It is key to keeping me in a fitness mode for the rest of the day.  I have a very small snack before my workout.  This morning it was just three Triscuits.  That is wheat.  I should have had a hard boiled egg.  I forgot.  This is a good time to put into practice one of Renee Stephen's techniques called the "Re-Do."   Its very effective and prevents self recrimination.  After my recent post about the adverse effects of stress and how that in turn effects insulin, you should already understand why it is terribly important to reduce stress both external and internal sources.  That includes learning to modify your behavior without degrading into calling yourself names or beating yourself up.  

In a recent tweet, Sandra Ahten brought up the concept of delayed gratification.  I use that concept to help propel myself throughout my day.  I use my morning breakfast and my carbohydrate (for me its a treat) post workout as my gratification.  I delay it until after my cardio.  I try to keep treats/carbohydrates to only immediately post cardio.  I have read that having one's carbohydrate post workout is important to replenish the glycogen stores in the muscle.  I have also read that tapering your carbohydrate intake throughout the day is an effective fat loss strategy.  I understand that idea comes from Venuto of the Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle ebook.  I do not own a copy of that book.  I just heard about it on a forum.  I understand his book is really aimed at normal people and not at those with insulin resistance and PCO (aka easily developed muscle.)  Also, by keeping my cardio pre-breakfast I don't get into the situation of, oops I forgot!  or I feel too tired!  Cause, I know I'm not too tired when I wake up.  I am a morning person, this strategy works for me most of the time.  If I must workout in the evening, its not as pleasant.  I feel odd the whole day.  

Monday, June 1, 2009

Today's Reasonable Diet Tweet

Sandra Ahten posted a tweet suggesting 2 things:

1. What can you leave behind?
Cheese.  I should.  Its not really serving me.  I like it a lot.  I don't think its good for my digestive tract.  I haven't so far because its one of the few things I really look forward to anymore.  I do like my salads.  Preferably with some shredded cheese!  ugh.  ok.  fine.  how about just for one week?
The only real calorie sources in my diet are chicken, pork, beef and good fats (coconut, olive) anymore.  I really have to pack in the veggies too.  But, no tangy cheese?  shoot man!

2. What one, brand new thing, can you do today?  I have a pilattes dvd I have never tried.  I could do that.

Odd things in dieting: 1

People are sold appetite suppressants as though lowering calories was the ticket to weight loss.  One of the things that happens when you reign in your calorie intake is that you automatically lower your carbohydrate intake.  The result is a lower insulin level.  Insulin, as you may recall, is a storage hormone.  The less insulin floating around, the thinner you get.  Insulin is not evil.  It is something to be understood.  An appetite is not evil either.  But food that does not satiate is not (in my opinion) an effective food.  If you eat a reasonable quantity of food with an appropriate variety of nutrients you should be satisfied.  The body naturally regulates how much food it needs.  If, on the other hand, you eat a reasonable amount of a food and still find yourself ravenous or driven to continue eating, let me suggest that is not food.  What you have discovered is a narcotic which is ingested through the digestive system.  Real food satisfies.  Narcotics never really do.  

I have often been told by well meaning individuals that I would lose weight if I would lower my caloric intake to just 500 calories per day.  That tactic did not work for my grandmother.  As a matter of fact, I believe it destroyed her metabolism and that the recommended subsequent diet of low fat was her complete undoing.  I do not believe in a low fat diet anymore.  

Low fat foods do not satisfy me.  They tend to leave me with a stomach ache long before I am satisfied.  A mere 4 ounces of turkey, 1 cup of salad greens, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and drinking plenty of water spiked with lemon juice is satisfying for me.  For me, the protein and the olive oil are key components of my effective diet.