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Everything posted by Harihead

  1. I'm mostly writing short stories at the moment, because it's easier to fit into a working day. I've written several novels, but have only 3 as commercial properties. The others were for "fun". Short answer: I'm delaying this challenge to a later time. I was doing great with diet and exercise, and then... appendicitis. Doctor said no restrictive diet while healing from surgery. And, the appendicitis turned up another problem, where I'll have to have more surgery in about 3 weeks. So, with all the surgeries, healing, etc. I've got to focus on that. Bummer for many reasons. The boot camp was working. I'll just have to recommence at some later time. Best wishes to all of you who still have normal lives. Cheers.
  2. THE CHALLENGE IS ON! I'm reading my ketosis guidebook that will help me through "boot camp". Phase 1 takes ~8 weeks, but it's measured by ketones, so I'll see if I enter Ph 2 sooner. I'm needing to adjust all of my lifestyle during this 2-3 month period, which includes: Diet: Category 1 + supplements, periodic fasting, boosting emunctories Exercise: Blend endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance - moderate aerobic level, no HIIT at this time. Great choices are swimming, walking/hiking, biking, and yoga. Rejuvenate: Follow daily rhythms: Rise at 7, exercise AM or 2-4 PM, start relaxation ~8 PM. This will be challenging with work/life commitments.
  3. Pre-challenge update: My initial ketone reading Weds. this week was 0.5. All alcohol still stopped, but enjoyed a last delicious cup of decaf this morning. Lost 11 pounds in the last month-- I'm pretty sure that's a record. The Category 1 phase starts tomorrow. I will get more instructions from the dr. on Tuesday. This is what I'll be eating until my ketones are consistently over 1.0: Greens: Alfalfa sprouts, arugula, bok choy, cabbage, chard, cilantro, lettuce, radicchio, radishes, sauerkraut, spinach, watercress Fats: Avocado, butter/ghee, flax, olives, Oils: coconut, flaxseed, olive, sesame Condiments: Horseradish, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, wasabi Protein: Any good fish, turkey, lamb, game, bison, ostrich, low CHO powders (Avoid 2+ weeks- allergy testing: Chicken, Beef, eggs & shellfish) Spices: Sea salt, pepper, fresh herbs and spices (garlic, cumin, dill, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, turmeric) Sweeteners: Cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla Beverages: Water, Herbal teas, full-fat coconut in can Regarding exercise, the pool opens today. I hope to do my usual morning swim most days unless prevented by bad weather, out of town, etc. We're getting a rainstorm today so plan to head down about 9 AM when it's a bit warmer. Swimming will count toward vigorous exercise only if it's 30+ minutes. (I normally do 20 minutes before work.)
  4. Thanks, Evicious! I didn't intend to start keto -- it evolved out of the discussions we had regarding my symptoms and diet plan. It really feels like the right way to go, and I'm eager to get started! But I can't really being until my discussion, scheduled for Tuesday next week. So I'm still in prep mode, but "accidentally"- stopped drinking coffee and alcohol stopped eating all junk The question is how many starchy foods I can still eat (like rice or certain veggies) because he wants me to enter keto slowly. My kit arrived tonight! I look forward to reading the 4 separate user guides (yikes) and taking my first reading.
  5. This challenge will build on my previous one. In the last challenge, my goal was to stabilize my emotional and physical state. Check! Now, we get down to business. Under a doctor's supervision, I'm going to start a 2-3 month keto-adaptive boot camp. I have already ordered the blood-testing kit and keto strips. I wanted to start last week, but the doc has some extra steps he wants me to take before I go full bore. He was worried I didn't have sufficient ketones built up to withstand the initial diet. I take my first blood test Tues-Weds when the kit arrives, and I also have bloodwork that's coming back. This challenge will coincide with the "full bore" phase, starting May 28. I will be evaluating and tweaking my diet as I go based on the ketone results strips. Life Goal: Return to the weight and fitness I had when I worked from home, instead of in someone else's office. 4 Week Challenge Goal: Complete month 1 of the keto-adaptive boot camp. Diet: Category 1 food list, no coffee, alcohol, proscribed carbs of any kind. This is super strict. A = <=1 fails/week, CON +3, CHA +2 B = <=3 fails/week, CON +2, CHA +1 C = <=5 fails/week, CON +1, CHA +1 Exercise: I want to focus on building stamina and vitality, so focus on 5+ "vigorous" exercises and 4+ yoga exercises per week. A = 9+/week, DEX +3, STR +1 B = 6-8/week, DEX +2, STR +1 C = 3-5/week, DEX +1 Refresh: Continue work into mental health-- books and talk therapist if I can corral one. A = 4+/week, WIS +3 B = 3/week, WIS +2 C = 1-2/week, WIS +1 Fiction: Life goal, this. I'm up for one new story a week, which includes a major revision. That will clear the decks for the novel. A = 4+/week STA +3 B = 3/week STA +2 C = 1-2/week STA +1
  6. They are! I feel headed in the right direction. Dr. said I wasn't physically ready to start full-on ketosis-- I don't have enough ketones built up to sustain it. Obviously the change in eating style really helped, and I've been backing out of my coffee crutch pretty well, although I still allow myself some decaf if I'm really missing it. So when I go full no coffee in maybe a week, I'll have eased into it. The "shock" part of the switch is already over.
  7. progris riport 4 - Week 4 status It turns out this month was the setup-- I'm going full-bore ketosis soon. Looking forward to it! Proceeding under doctor's care. Diet: Pathetic B- with 4 outright failures. Challenges included entertaining out-of-town guests, writing workshop, and blood prep work that led to a 16-hour (intentional) fast. So the big lunch/small dinner thing only happened once this week. Total pounds lost this challenge = 9 Exercise: I barely met the new A goal once again (10+ all and 7K steps), so it's still good: Tai Chi x2, yoga x3, extra x2, step goal x3 Refresh: C for week; this one fell off with all the physical prep. Activism x0, mental health x2. Sleep not great but started taking melatonin as an aid upon reawakening. Something with Fiction: A- with 4 writing-related days (day 4 was workshop = editing). Nice strong set out for consideration. OVERALL CHALLENGE RESULTS: Diet: B+ = CON +2, CHA +2 Exercise: A = DEX +2, STR +1 Refresh: B = WIS +2 Fiction: A- = STA +2 I'm happy with my progress and excited about the next phase (ketosis). My headlong plunge was not only halted but outright turned around. I have a team of professionals and friends supporting me. Ready to get my life back -- you bet! For this upcoming week, I'm doing the keto-prep my doctor has advised. I'm working out how to best track that on the next challenge. Cheers, all! HH
  8. Primarily weight loss, but also helping to control stress, which got me into this mess. I will geek out on keytone levels for probably the next 6 months. So good about the therapist. I think she'll have the objectivity to look at your case independently of b/f, although agree it will be WAY better for him to see someone else. Therapists are only human; they can't help but pick favorites or be influenced (as I discovered when I went with my ex-- who was the favorite.) Best wishes to you!
  9. I'm so glad! It's amazing, once I got started, I started feeling better... which encouraged me to do more... a positive cycle! Please let me know how your session goes. I'm still trying to find a therapist. One is in China, another is leaving soon for a month, so no new patients-- I'll keep looking! The dr. visit was great. He tweaked and modified my diet all over the place, into a keytone-burning wonder system. I'm getting a blood test tomorrow so we have a baseline of 3 pertinent markers, and I'm getting a self-test kit so I can actually track my keytones. This is the geekiest diet thing I've ever done and I'm loving it! It's hard to hold myself back -- he wants me to wait a week so I can get that baseline test. I'm already filling my cabinet and fridge with keytone-inducing food. THIS WILL BE SO GREAT!!!
  10. progris riport 3 - Week 3 status Coming in a little late, because I was on vacation. Whahoo! I really needed it. Diet: A wimpy B. I only had 3 outright failures (pasta, pizza and dessert), but my traveling routine is Big Breakfast, little or no lunch due to sightseeing, and largish early dinner. So the light dinner plan failed. Total pounds lost =5 Exercise: I barely met the new A goal (10+ all and 7K steps), so it's working: Tai Chi x2, yoga x2, biking x1, step goal x4 (+4-mile hike) Refresh: I'm going with A because of all the restful, rejuvenating sights and activities on vacation. Activism x1, mental health x4. Sleep not so good, <7 hrs/night all week. Something with Fiction: A. 3 good writing mornings on vacation, with a new story complete on Sunday. YaY! Tomorrow I see my doctor for my first check-up. So far the anti-toxins are doing great. Not seeing much progress on the adrenalin exhaustion. I started an elimination diet today, which means no coffee, but Dr. will customize my plan tomorrow.
  11. progris riport 2 - Week 2 status Week 2 of better habits. Thank you, Rebellion! Diet: More solid A this week-- still had 3 failures, but 2 of those were planned celebrations, so improving. Total pounds lost =4 Exercise: I beat up my A, so I moved the goal posts to be harder next week (10+ all and 7K steps): Tai Chi x3, yoga x2, biking x0, step goal x4 Refresh: B, but overtime at work interfered. Activism x0, mental health x3 (research, talk, and meditation). Slept 9.5 hours one night, big yay! Something with Fiction: B. Only 3 writing days this week, and only 1 with multiple hours. The new story made the top 20 before coming back, alas. Out again. 10 in circulation.
  12. I'm still in the research phase. The 3 rec'd therapists are in Boulder (where my doc is); I won't drive more than 40 minutes. Too much time to work into a full schedule. I have on my list to look them all up and pick one. These give a free short interview to figure out if you're a match. You're right, the wrong therapist is worse than none! NF kept me on track this week, that's for sure. It's easy to blow off good practices when no one's looking. I'll aim for "above bare minimum" next week, but the fact that I could barely squeak it out makes me feel I'm in the right ballpark. Best of wishes for your own quest!
  13. progris riport 1- (borrowed from Flowers for Algernon) - Week 1 status Thank goodness for the Rebellion, is all I can say. I wouldn't have made nearly this much progress without it. Diet: Barely squeaked out an A-- but to be fair, I hadn't signed up yet on Sunday. Pounds lost =1 Exercise: Barely squeaked out an A: Tai Chi x3, yoga x2, biking x1, step goal x2 Refresh: Another barely A. Activism x1, mental health x3 (research, talk, and meditation). Slept 7 hours last night, yay! Something with Fiction: A+ on this one. 5 writing days this week, and all 5 were multiple hours. One new story written and several out in the mail.
  14. "Do something kind for someone else" IS the best advice. I do help out sporadically, but I think I need an ongoing gig, like healing animals, so I can see tangible results. I help out with cash, but I think I need to roll my sleeves up. Best of luck finding a good therapist. I found my divorce one through a group class; she was _awesome_ (the previous counselors were awful). I'm starting the investigation. None of the recs I got from the doctor are on my insurance; oh well! A good person is worth it. Next step is to check them out and make appts. One step at a time.
  15. Thanks, Kareesh. I decided that my slump was not a fluke and had to be addressed. Just the act of addressing it has helped my attitude-- but I fear this victory will be short-lived. I am putting together a local support system (sisters and friends) as well as following doctor's orders and looking for a therapist. I had therapy before, after my divorce, and it really helped (once I found the right counselor). I'm hoping I can find another person who can bring me out of this current space. So, I'm hitting: - lifestyle - diet - mental and physical health The mighty legs upon which to build a more productive future -- fingers crossed.
  16. > Out of curiosity, what do you do for your mental health exercise? I'm as curious as you, Island Girl! The doctor gave me the name of some talk therapists yesterday. So this week I will be researching them and making appts. I assume once we get started, I'll have lots of homework. The other thing he suggested is that I get active in some volunteer aspect that helps me think I'm really making a difference. I started researching those options last night. So that's tick 1 for the week; 3 to go. Thanks for the gif! I love it!
  17. I'm up for this challenge! It's been several rough months for Harihead, and my brain and body are out of whack. I'm desperately seeking stability. What I'd like from the Rebellion is high accountability. There is no hiding or shirking. We are serious unto the death!!! Life Goal: Return to the weight and fitness I had when I worked from home, instead of in someone else's office. 4 Week Challenge Goal: Restore stability. I have suffered wounds of body and spirit. This is the challenge to reclaim myself. Diet: Lo carb, high good fat. Per the doctor, I must eat high good protein/fat breakfast and lunch, smaller veggie dinner. I'll allow 1-2 oatmeal substitutes for breakfast per week (deprecated). A = <=3 fails/week, CON +3, CHA +2 B = <=6 fails/week, CON +2, CHA +1 C = <=10 fails/week, CON +1, CHA +1 Exercise: Must be mild to avoid relapse. Targets: Tai Chi and yoga 4x/week each, 1x biking, 1x step goal. A = 10+/week, DEX +3, STR +1 B = 6-9/week, DEX +2, STR +1 C = 3-5/week, DEX +1 Refresh: My brain chemistry is out of whack. I need to do some form of mental health 3x/week. Do some form of activism 1x/week. A = 4+/week, WIS +3 B = 3/week, WIS +2 C = 1-2/week, WIS +1 Something with Fiction: Because I gotta. A = 4+/week STA +3 B = 3/week STA +2 C = 1-2/week STA +1
  18. Sigh. Numbers were worse. You can't undo 6 months of stress in a month. Carry on, all.
  19. THEY TOOK MY BLOOD! Now, I wait on tenterhooks, wondering What, oh What, will the result be? *drumroll* In other news, I'm a walking fool. According to my UP (a cheap Fitbit), my 7-day walking streak put me in the top 14% of female UPsters. I'm not sure if it's the 7 days in a row, or the 7,700/day step average. Anyway, they hung a flag out there, saying, Can you make it to 10? As I am gold-star obsessed, I kept walking around my neighborhood last night until I met my 6500-step goal. Day 8! The next 2 days should be in the bag, because I will bike tonight and hike tomorrow. The hike will really push up the average, as I go about 3 miles (all I can fit in after work). This weekend I'm looking at a 7-mile hike. The aspens are turning; I can't wait! In other, other news, I'm reassessing my nighttime ritual. For the last 2 weeks, I've been drinking berry tea, which really hits the spot. Last night, to be super clean, I took none of my usual herbal relaxers. I have a variety-- Deep Sleep, Sleep Thru, Sleepy Time tea, etc. I deliberately mix them up. According to UP, I slept my regular amount last night-- just under 5 hours of "solid" sleep-- with no "enhancers". So I'm going to quit taking them this week, as I see the doc Tues morning, and do a sleep re-evaluation. I feel all perky and clean, so it's a good time for a test. But this morning, I'm eating eggs. Have a great week, my Rebels!
  20. Thank you! 2 days until the cholesterol test, 9 days to the doc. Week 3 Challenge Report: I'm in the groove. Exercise: Cardio = elevate heart rate at least 45 minutes 6x weekly. Meet my MFP walking goal 4x/week. A+ again, exceeded every goal every day, 2 full hikes, 1 bike, daily swim, lots of walking Diet: Track all my cholesterol reducers, plus sugar and coffee: A-. Just some tiny deviations, 1 alc, 3 squinks of diary, and processed food (4 crackers -- to eat the dairy! homemade goat cheese, cool) Refresh: Daily sustaining practices of yoga, Tai Chi or meditation A. Finally! My daily practice became daily. Something with Fiction: Post-WorldCon writing and business. B. Very tough week for writing, missed 2 days. Got 2 more stories in mail, still working the writing business action plan.
  21. Noting for posterity: I'm on day three of my super rigorous diet. I'm giving myself a week to be super clean before my cholesterol blood draw. In broad strokes, this means: no red meat, limited poultry, no dairy, push the veggies, favor fish, oatmeal vs eggs for breakfast. A more detailed breakdown of favored/non-favored foods is listed below for quick reference, courtesy of WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/tc/high-cholesterol-effect-of-food-on-cholesterol-topic-overview Although alcohol may increase HDL, I'm not doing alcohol this week because I don't want the empty calories. Instead, I'm continuing to push exercise, a healthier way to raise HDL. So far, exceeding every daily goal like last week. My weight has stayed rock solid; I'm pretending it's because I'm building muscle from all this hiking (2x/week, + daily walks). I should check my measurements tomorrow; I haven't checked for 3 mos. Tomorrow: Well! I finally lost a pound, but what is more interesting is that I lost 5 inches when I wasn't looking. Here I thought I was holding steady; it turns out I was building muscle after all! Here's the WebMD cholesterol summary: -LDL soluble fiber = Oats, Dried beans (legumes), Peas, Barley, Citrus, Apples n/a insoluble = roots, cauliflower -LDL Monounsaturated fat = olive or Canola oil, Avocados, Walnuts Flaxseed oil in moderation 40 to 60 grams, maybe soy? -triglycerides Omega-3 fats = fish esp salmon and mackerel, Plant sources above +all Dietary cholesterol - Egg yolks, Poultry w skin, Red meat, organ meats, Dairy products, Shellfish +LDL sat fats = meat, skin, butterfat, tropical oils +LDL trans fats = Hydrogenated fats, snacks, unnatural Peanut butter +HDL Alc = 1/day, 2 drinks a day may raise triglycerides
  22. Exercise is my preferred method of attack, provided I can find the time and am healthy! I'm being smarter about injuries, and it's finally starting to pay off. How are you doing?
  23. Week 2 Challenge Report: Yup! Momentum is my friend. Exercise: Cardio = elevate heart rate at least 45 minutes 6x weekly. Meet my MFP walking goal 4x/week. A+, exceeded every goal every day, 2 full hikes, 1 bike, go me! Diet: Track all my cholesterol reducers, plus sugar and coffee: B. Improving! Tracking calories is helping. This week missed metrics on red meat, wine, and processed food (2 deviations) Refresh: Daily sustaining practices of yoga, Tai Chi or meditation B. Missed 2 days again, but doubled up some other days. Getting better! Something with Fiction: Post-WorldCon writing and business. A. Daily writing, 2 stories in mail to target editors, working the writing business action plan. I'm actually distressed this challenge will end too soon! Not forgetting my big goal, to impress the doc, but I really like how this challenge has focused me on those daily goals. Blood draw in 10 days. I hope everyone else is squeezing their last bit of fun out of summer. The weather has been spectacular. Cheers.
  24. I'll second that! One of the things NF has done for me is make me more aware of my limits. When I find myself failing, I check the Will account. Often I've piled too much on a full plate. I take away some of the restrictions (in my case, limiting coffee this challenge) until I can successfully achieve the base metric. There's always another challenge to work on what I failed at. But I'm after consistent progress. If I can keep moving forward, even if it takes longer, I'm much more likely to achieve my goal. I lost 40 pounds since I started NF. I know others have lost more faster, but after 3 years those pounds are gone, and I have reasonable confidence they'll stay gone. I'm much happier and healthier overall. Like everyone, I have setbacks, but NF has given me the tools to work through those relatively quickly and get back on track. I'm so grateful for that. I think I look younger than I did 5 years ago (good news for a late middle-ager like me). The doc will be dazzled. I'm just pushing for degree! Run swiftly, my Rebels! Let us all be victorious in time!
  25. Week 1 Challenge: Since I'm actually running a week late on this.... Exercise: Cardio = elevate heart rate at least 45 minutes 6x weekly. Meet my MFP walking goal 4x/week. A-, barely missed the 45 mins one day, but extra mins the other days + walking goal Diet: Track all my cholesterol reducers, plus sugar and coffee: C-. Not very consistent. I'm biting the bullet and tracking calories. Refresh: Time to pay more attention to daily sustaining practices. My choices are yoga, Tai Chi or meditation B. Still not a habit, missed 2 days. Something with Fiction: This challenge starts right after I return from WorldCon. B+ After a late start, going great guns on this. Writing + writing business activities galore. Next week will be better. I'm getting my momentum up. How's everyone else doing?
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