Tuesday, July 3, 2018

I Almost had it then I missed it Completely

Here I am... July 3. Blogging for Insecure Writer's 1st Wednesday, but it got all moved and stuff!  So I will entertain you briefly. I had a birthday recently... and my neighbor got home from vacation over the weekend with THIS awesome present... It's hysterical. Read the fine print.

And it SMELLS so good! The brown end smells spicy and the aqua end smells clean.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

FMD: So I'm a Believer

It took five weeks. One more than the diet says you have to do, but I've hit a stride, in spite of a few tweaks and cheats.

First tweak: (I took this from the FMD follow-up list so it's legit): add cooking oil regardless of phase. Sauteing in broth wasn't cutting it flavor wise, but more importantly, I had some joint aches on those no fat days. Only using fat as cooking oil is not much, but I think it should help that a bit.

Next tweak: Any fruit is fruit. There are a couple that are more sugary, and I don't really eat bananas anyway—a habit holdover from my Weight Watcher days when I had to count bananas double any other fruit. But things like strawberries and peaches are technically only permitted on those carb load days (Monday and Tuesday) but I am also allowing them in phase three because otherwise I'd end up throwing out fruit. I can't eat a whole thing of strawberries in my two days and the rest of the family just doesn't seem to eat them. Plus I love them in my oatmeal, so there.

Last tweak: Nuts are nuts. The phase three says only raw nuts, but I can't see what harm roasted nuts will do if the only ingredients are nut and salt. Not often. Usually my fat is avocado or hummus. But I do love a handful of pistachios now and then.

My cheat attitude: It's not a secret I like a drink or three now and again. I am not drinking often, but I am allowing for social invitation drinking. This week that was Thursday and Saturday. I still followed the eating rules. I just had a couple glasses of wine Thursday night because my buddy had a bad day and so we met at Whole Foods after work, and last night we went to Homes with another neighbor for a couple beers.

As to my conversion...

1) it has gotten a lot easier. I still have to think about it, but it isn't the stressful thing it was at first where I was “Wait, now what?” for trying to eat on plan. I have figured out a few things that satisfy me that might seem a little strange, but they work (like on Phase 2 that is only protein and veggies, my go to snack has become rolling spinach in turkey slices). I mean who would have thought of that for a snack?

2) It's working. Week 1 I only lost a pound and a half. Week 2 I lost 3, but it was a little flukey—like a sudden one day drop of five pound and then up again and it stayed back on most of the next week. Week 3 I lost 2.3 pounds and week 4, 3 pounds. That totaled 9.9 pounds for the 4 weeks. Week 5—catch this... I lost 3.6 pounds. It seems crazy, but I really feel like after 3 weeks of not being sure what I was up to, my metabolism finally kicked in to help and it is no longer just a diet.

You can see the drops down tend to befrom Monday to Tuesday and Friday to Saturday... Every week is lower. And no I don't weigh just over 100 pounds... that is how much MORE than my dream weight I am... Scary, I know.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What's Harder? Erm...

Nobody dive in the gutter. I am double entendreing but neither is sexual at this point in my blog (early days, yet, I know)...

For some context: Welcome to Insecure Writer's Support Group and First Wednesday! So this is what I will get to first. THEN I will talk eating plan (I'm on day 24 gang!) *cough*

As for the writing... say it with me... WHAT WRITING!?

*now for the tears* So many tears.

But I can still answer QUESTIONS about writing, can't I? That's legit. I mean I haven't totally forgotten. I've just lost my discipline. So let's do that.

June's question: What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

Totally character names. Easy peasy.

Know WHY?


I only have to hit one title I'm happy with for a whole book and I actually have sort of a knack for it. But you know what? EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER wants their own darn name! Man, what a tedious exercise. I mean I usually do fine with my first 3 or 4, but then I begin to realize they all start with M, or some such nonsense. I need to get clever and have my names mean something. That would help. Or complicate things. One or the other.

These beauties make everything right
Now for the FMD Portion of this blog.

Know what is harder? All the parts that don't allow any fat. Phase I and II are BOTH hard, then I get to Friday and get to add healthy fat (avocado, nuts, olive oil) and suddenly life is smooth sailing. There are hard things about the supposed “soothing days” (soothing, my butt—I may be allowed carbs, but HELLO, no fat! Sooth Schmooth. It's not). And the protein heavy days... GADS! Five times a day and every single time is meat (and vegetables, sure, whatever) but that is a LOT of meat. Add to that the complication that the only meat I eat is turkey and fish. So the hard part is all the no fat part.

Know the irony? Those three days I get to add the fats back in are the weight loss ones. I'm not breaking any land speed records but averaging just over 2 pounds a week--always lost in those last 3 days when I add the fats back in (about 8 pounds so far and I have 4 days left).

I plan to MOSTLY continue, but the lack of fat on those 4 days is making my joints hurt, so I am adding in cooking amounts of olive oil on those two days and allowing myself the occasional social splurge or I will derail. I know myself, and I can do the no splurges for the 4 weeks (though I did have a couple splurges, but not bad), but to go on I need to make some allowances.

Monday, May 21, 2018

FMD Progress

So I failed to give my phase updates, but better late than never, eh?

Phase 2: This was Wednesday and Thursday of last week and boils down to LOTS of meat and veggies and nothing else. And it was surprisingly easy. It shocked me this could be easier than the carb load days, but it was. Figuring out what to eat, eating enough. It was easy easy easy. I made some turkey jerky (a recipe in the book that is super easy) for my snacks—at it wrapped in spinach because the protein veggie combo is what they recommend, though only require at meals. One hard things is this phase has some limits on the veggie list including tomato and salsa, which is one of my go-to “make meat and veggies a meal” and salsa is a dressing free dressing, ifyouknowwhatImean. Starchy vegetables are also off the list (tuber family, squashes), but that doesn’t bug me, as years of Weight Watchers makes me think of those as carbs anyway.

I made my hat. I smelled really good.
Phase 3: The thinking is hard, but once done the eating was great. By hard I just mean every meal is a different thing so there is a lot more checking for “hey, is this right?” I had some additional challenges that were “me specific”.

First, my work had a service day Friday, so we went to Detroit to do a service project. Then they bought us lunch (are you seeing the challenge?) and we went to the zoo. But I planned well. I know lunch was wraps. I had ordered turkey. So I brought my sprouted bread and moved my sandwich innards to my “allowed” bread. And I brought almonds for morning snack and celery with almond butter for afternoon snack. Done. Success.

Pajamas and hats, to be specific. It was 6 am.
Second challenge was harder. My neighbor hosted a little party to watch Harry and Meagan get married. Fancy gorgeous food, nearly none of it compliant. I brought my own veggies, though. And could eat the fruit. And she had marcona almonds which aren’t RAW (as they should be) but I figured were close. My only cheat in the positive was salmon dip (which was made which cream cheese, but hey, at least I at it on veggies rather than crackers) and I had 2 glasses of champagne. But I was MISSING the required protein, so I had to eat that when I got home. The rest of the day I was good, and yesterday was fine. Ironically, Saturday was my best loss day all week.

But that weight loss thing is tricky to think about anyway. My first day (before I started) I was down 3 pounds already… Something I did last weekend dropped weight somehow. So after day one I was up 2 and it dropped again by about 1/3 of a pound a day until my low Sunday morning (down a pound and a half from “pre” and then gained it again overnight, so this morning I was back to my starting weight, though this is the only day this week I didn’t weigh less than same day last week… I know. Complicated. I am going to keep going for the next 3 weeks though. Let that fluke even out.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

FMD: Phase I

So phase I of this baby was lots of evenly spaced carbs. And one of the diet details I don't remember if I mentioned... I am meant to be eating double portions because I have a lot to lose. Yesterday I had a REALLY hard time with that, probably because I took the day off so had to eat it all in a more compressed time. (like I didn't want a big dinner at 10:30 so I switched order of snack and dinner. This is allowed, but it made dinner too soon after lunch. I just couldn't eat it all.

And yesterday (Day 1) I felt sluggish and lethargic. No fun. And today my hands are killing me. Worst carpal tunnel ever. I think I overused beans as grain (turkey chili for 3 meals in 2 days... and a lot of it). But I don't feel so sluggish today and didn't get a hot flash every meal like I did yesterday. And tomorrow I am on to protein and veggies. So hopefully that will help. I am still counting on this being a process and I am barely started.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

FMD: An Eating Adventure

So this blog has normally been about writing, which is why I've been so scarce. I haven't really been writing. But I am beginning an adventure Monday (yes, that is a euphemism, but I AM motivated). It's about eating. And exercise. And hopefully about overhauling my metabolism. And I am hoping by blogging my progress that I can ALSO get in the habit of writing regularly. But I DID want to warn readers that the majority of my newly active blogging activity will be related to that. So that you don't feel you need to rush over here only to find I'm talking about that if it doesn't interest you, I will title all of them starting with FMD (Fast Metabolism Diet).

If you ARE interested though, my plan is THIS introductory post, then a REVIEW of each phase the first week (there are 3), then a weekly progress report and maybe a few extra things I learn or experience.

So why am I doing this?

I have ended up grossly overweight. I have always battled it and for decades was able to follow Weight Watchers to bring it back in check. I had four big rounds of success with Weight Watchers:

1984: lost 29 pounds and almost came within 10 pounds of goal. (maintained briefly)

(through college I managed healthy weight with exercise and sugar limit—nothing more necessary)

1990: lost 38 pounds and actually went 10 pounds BELOW goal at the time. (gained back to goal, but then held for a few years before starting to gain again)

1999: (post babies) lost 57 pounds and achieved goal.

(moved across country and gained a significant portion back in the shake up)

2002: Lost 45 pounds and ended up 20 pounds below goal—mostly maintained 2 years until job change, then the gain started.

And as of my 40th birthday (2006) Weight Watchers has mostly stopped working. And since 2002 I've ended up about 100 pounds overweight... It's horrible! And I feel totally helpless. Nothing works. I've found a system to slow the gain, but that's as good as it's been.

My gorgeous daughter and I: Halloween (I'm a gypsy)

This picture is mortifying. I am clearly seriously overweight and desperately want to do something about it. Even my face--my eyes have disappeared.

Jump clear forward...

One of my writer friends posted a pic... she'd successfully lost 32 pounds on the Fast Metabolism Diet. I decided to investigate. And the premise is that through diet cycles over time we slow our metabolism more and more. Our body is panicked that we are facing starvation because we keep denying it stuff. The science behind this looks pretty solid to me with a goal of metabolism recovery.

How it works:

Banned food list: Sugar, wheat (except sprouted), corn and all corn byproducts, dairy, soy, regular potatoes (turnips, rutabagas and sweet potatoes okay), high sugar fruits (bananas, grapes), alcohol, caffeine

Now it's not totally that simple. Different fruits and veggies and proteins are allowed at different phases. It is a rough one for full vegetarians, as phase 2 doesn't allow bean and similar proteins... for me it will be a lot of fish and turkey, as those are the only meats I eat.

The other big challenge: I am to divide my weight in half and drink THAT MANY ounces of water every day. At first this is going to be hugely challenging. I confess it is more than the 64 ounces of water most diets require.

Phase 1 (Monday, Tuesday) Calm the adrenals with easy to process healthy carbs

Breakfast (grain and fruit)
Snack (fruit)
Lunch (Protein, grain, fruit)
Snack (fruit)
Dinner (Protein, grain, fruit)

At least once in this phase there needs to be a cardio workout

Phase 2 (Wednesday, Thursday) Start the fat grabber... the first two days tells the body it will give it what it needs, then this phase denies it fat and carbs, so it feels free to grab fat from the body stores.

Breakfast (vegetable, protein)
Snack (protein, (veggie optional))
Lunch (vegetable, protein)
Snack (protein, (veggie optional))
Dinner (vegetable, protein)

At least once in this phase there needs to be a strengthening workout

Phase 3 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) Pre-emptively stop the panic about no fat by adding in healthy fats. This apparently turns up the metabolism as it calms that panic down enough that the body thinks it is safe from starvation once and for all. It also does a lot of hormone repair.

Breakfast (protein, healthy fat, veggie, fruit)
Snack (healthy fat/protein, veggie)
Lunch (healthy fat, protein, fruit, veggie)
Snack (healthy fat/protein, veggie)
Dinner (Grain, healthy fat, protein, vegetable)

At least once during this phase there needs to be a relaxation activity

The groceries...
A bit more:

I've read enough that I intend every day that allows fruit to include a citrus, every day to have at least one dark leafy green veggie. I'm trying to have it easy. I have a turkey chili recipe I can eat all but phase 2 that I plan to mega jump the veggies in... totally easy for one dinner and a couple lunches. I also have a fish stew that is just fish, vegetables, spices and broth for that difficult Phase 2.

And I had my first ever yoga class yesterday. At my work they are offering a Friday class and it is a lot cheaper than club yoga, as the U subsidizes it, plus they take it straight out of my check, so I won't miss it. So it started yesterday (went in even though it was a day off).

And I did my shopping for the week today. I had to go to three stores to find tortillas with no wheat or corn... but I found them. I think I will look for a recipe, though I hear Trader Joe's normally has brown rice tortillas (I ended up with some grain I've never heard of, but we will see).

Anybody ever tried this thing before? I'd love some advice. And I sincerely don't intend to bore you. That's why I am titling to warn you. Just skip it if you aren't interested. I'm trying to document for a few friends who HAVE expressed interest and get in a regular writing habit again. Hopefully it will take and I will get back to writing posts, too.

If anyone is MORE interested, the book was published long enough ago that I got the copy from my library, and TONS of info about it is available just by googling.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Is a Writer who isn't Writing a Writer?

Spring is time for these little fellas around here...
Hallo fine peoples! It's first Wednesday and therefore the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group... Sadly, I'm not feeling very writerly these days. My mom attention is demanding a lot of me, which is ironic, since my kids are both adults now, but there you have it. I've also developed a real life group of friends so I do more social stuff, which can only be good, right? But the bad habits are the worst of it.

So the question for May is: Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?

Yeahnono. Spring makes me want to be outside. And if I take my computer outside I get a glare. But JUNE has been BuNoWriMo for me for many years, so THAT might get me going. Probably means I should spend May plotting, eh? And plotting I can do in a notebook, which I can take OUTSIDE!!!