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Grizzy takes baby steps to baby steps: Part 1


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May 4th was pretty good. Got my fruit and veggies. Tested milk a bit - oddly, steamed milk seems to be fine, un-steamed not fine? Weird.

 

Also spent quite some time repotting the tomato seedlings I've been neglecting. Until I ran out of potting soil. Its still too cold here to let them fend for themselves outside.

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May 5th not so good. Or I suppose the 5th was fine, the morning hours after midnight not so much. Had another bout of intense abdominal pain. Talking to my nurse friends, I may have to get my gallbladder removed. I should probably go to my doctor but I'm really hoping it just goes away (the pain, not the gallbladder lol). I don't have a job now so I'm really hesitant to seek what could be pricey medical treatment. I don't even remember what my deductible is. It's probably insane.

 

Anyway, I got my fruits and vegetables, so that's hopefully all that matters for the challenge.

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13 hours ago, Grizzy said:

May 5th not so good. Or I suppose the 5th was fine, the morning hours after midnight not so much. Had another bout of intense abdominal pain. Talking to my nurse friends, I may have to get my gallbladder removed. I should probably go to my doctor but I'm really hoping it just goes away (the pain, not the gallbladder lol). I don't have a job now so I'm really hesitant to seek what could be pricey medical treatment. I don't even remember what my deductible is. It's probably insane.

 

Anyway, I got my fruits and vegetables, so that's hopefully all that matters for the challenge.

 

That sounds terrible. I hope you'll be better again. 💚 (Ideally of course without having to pay some insane deductible. Depending on where you are in the world health care costs can just be so crazy.)

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The pattern definitely seems to be "eat high volumes of a high-fat meal, or a high % fat, have issues."

 

So I made a list of substantially lower fat meals for the week. Today I made an Indian cabbage and onion side dish along with shrimp and peppers, plus rice and naan. I didn't cook the rice with butter like I usually did. Now I'm having grapes in place of cookies for dessert.

 

All of this food, and the food I have planned, is tasty, and more in line with how I should be eating - focus on veggies and more lean proteins, and if fats then healthy fats. It's just not my default way of cooking. I default to the "anything worth doing is worth overdoing" philosophy of cooking. I can pack as many calories into a breakfast as many people my height eat in a day. And I need to stoooop.

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Other people have challenge themes. I want a theme! I'm watching RWBY right now and I kind of want to make a challenge related to that, but I don't want the theme to overshadow my goals or change them.

 

I may amp/replace my eating challenge, because eating in such a way that doesn't cause me pain and make me incapable of either useful action or sleep will really undermine anything else I want to do. It's going to be much more about being gentle with my digestive system, which will almost by default mean more fruits and veggies.

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It's my challenge and I'll ramble if I want to...

 

So I read this book a while ago called How to Make Your Dreams Come True by Mark Forster. My major takeaway was that we have "push" mode, "pull" mode, and "drift" mode. Push is where you have to force or push yourself to get the things you want to get done. Pull is where doing such things are natural or obvious to do, because they are either so intrinsically rewarding or the extrinsic reward is so appealing, likely to occur, and close. Drift is where you are doing what you want, but it's largely due to fleeting intrinsic rewards or because of low barrier to entry.

 

Anyway, I don't really do well with fitness when I'm in pull mode. Not in the long run - I get injured, or accidentally start way undereating. It just happens easily when I'm in pull. And when I'm in drift, I sit on the couch and eat everything in sight.

 

Right now I'm pulled intrinsically to a healthier diet, because the alternative is a few hours of pain each day. The effort of making a meal plan clearly takes less of my time and energy, and even my favorite foods aren't worth the lost time and the punishment.

 

My question is how do I activate this motivation with exercise? The threat of a real intrinsic punishment for doing poorly clearly works for me, but I don't know how to make something like that without assigning a punisher, whose relationship with me will suffer as a result, because I can be a rebellious vindictive little a-hole.

 

Part of why I want to try out various activities I used to like is get that intrinsic appeal - the positive reinforcement of just the joy of the activity itself. That's just not nearly so strong as the threat of pain or the promise of it going away.

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I would've thought:

 

Push:

 

Lifting Weights Gym GIF

 

Pull:

 

200.gif

 

Drift:

 

Pool Party Animation GIF by Chris Timmons

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Maybe if I write out what I want to do tomorrow I'll be able to sleep?

 

Have to go to my allergy appointment at 10:35. That will take about 45 minutes, which puts me at 11:20.

 

May as well renew my library card on the way home. I stopped being able to read my e-book and that was VERY ANNOYING. And is probably why I'm up at 1:30 am on the forums instead of winding down with a book. That puts me at... Noon or so by the time I get home.

 

IceBear will probably want to hang out at least a little over breakfast, then we do a walk after that. So call it 1 PM.

 

Then I'll probably have some free time. Say 30 minutes of yoga, lifting or biking, depending on what I feel drawn to - 1:30. Then maybe an hour or two working on either planting the fruit trees or working on my floors. 3:30.

 

By then I'll probably be physically tired out, but my brain should be decently rested. Can probably work on some side projects or freelance stuff?

 

Then it will be time to make dinner (gonna try my hand at non-raw-fish sushi) then games with friends online.

 

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13 hours ago, Grizzy said:

May as well renew my library card on the way home. I stopped being able to read my e-book and that was VERY ANNOYING.

I haven't had a library card in years. I was young and reckless in my youth and as a result owe a considerable amount of money to the library and can't get a new one until I pay it off.

 

Sad Season 9 GIF by The Office

 

I do want to take my daughters so they can get cards, so I may have to actually pay it off one of these days.

 

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Hope writing everything down helped you enough to wind down and go to sleep. 💚 I started reading again, too. I noticed not being in front of a screen really helps me fall asleep faster.

 

1 hour ago, aquadwayne said:

I haven't had a library card in years. I was young and reckless in my youth and as a result owe a considerable amount of money to the library and can't get a new one until I pay it off.

 

I didn't even know this was possible. Isn't there some sort of upper limit to the fees you can accrue? Or did you just burn down a part of the library? 😅

 

 

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Ok, given my problems digestively speaking as of late, I am modifying my challenge a bit just before the start.

 

The diet challenge is going to be a bit more intense than the initial setup.

 

1. Track food, macros, and timing, focusing on fiber intake and fat grams.

 

Today I had an issue after eating a ham, cheese and egg sandwich, then felt substantially better later immediately after eating a bean, rice, and veggie burrito with no dairy whatsoever. I suspect there's something about having a low fat, high fiber meal that helps level out my reaction to fats somehow.

 

Also my assessment that the issue is with fat is a casual observation and not a rigorous scientific study. I hope to pinpoint what foods or macros or macro ratios result in pain.

 

2. Record pain/digestive issues in severity and time that they occur.

1 is "I'm maybe a little nauseated or have a little indigestion."

2 is "It hurts but I can still do shit."

3 is "It hurts to the point where I'm relegated to watching YouTube videos in bed/recliner."

4 is "I had to use a hot water bottle/take a bath to deal with the pain, I'm probably vocalizing my pain and consuming entertainment is mostly fruitless."

At 5 I probably would have passed out or gone to the ER.

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On 5/3/2021 at 3:26 PM, Alanna said:
On 5/3/2021 at 2:40 PM, Grizzy said:

I've been having some digestive problems I need to focus on a little during this challenge too. It comes and goes, but I seem to have either IBS or some dairy sensitivity or a wonky gallbladder, and need to not eat dairy and fat like it's going out of style. In the past going low fat high fiber for a while has fixed this, but it sucks because low fat isn't fantastic for managing my hunger or keeping my energy up.

 

If it's a dairy issue, some people (me included) do better with sheep and goat milk products than cow milk. Hopefully it's not your gallbladder and you can find some fats that you tolerate! 

 

Count me in the sheep ad goat club.  I can also do the lower fat A2 milk, at least in things like soups or what goes in my coffee, and buffalo mozzarella since it has the same protein make up as the A2 products.  But, ugh, trying to explain to people!  Enough of my issues..

 

Hopefully you can figure it out quickly!  Good luck with all your challenge goals.

 

 

 

11 hours ago, ninjakitten said:
13 hours ago, aquadwayne said:

I haven't had a library card in years. I was young and reckless in my youth and as a result owe a considerable amount of money to the library and can't get a new one until I pay it off.

 

I didn't even know this was possible. Isn't there some sort of upper limit to the fees you can accrue? Or did you just burn down a part of the library? 😅

Aquadwayne:  uh, what? how?  If you ask nicely, they may forgive you

Ninjakitten:  thank you for asking the important questions!

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On 5/7/2021 at 2:32 AM, Grizzy said:

Other people have challenge themes. I want a theme! I'm watching RWBY right now and I kind of want to make a challenge related to that, but I don't want the theme to overshadow my goals or change them.

 

Go for it! When I do them, I mostly use challenge themes as an excuse to post some gifs or videos and have a punny/fun title. You can do as little/much as you want to with it.

 

I hope you figure out the cause of your dietary issues soon - that sounds really unpleasant. I know the insurance is an issue, but keep in mind that if you have a major underlying digestive issue, it may be easier to get a diagnosis now while you're having symptoms and possibly physical changes/damage to your digestive tract.

 

 

4 hours ago, Chesire said:

 

Count me in the sheep ad goat club.  I can also do the lower fat A2 milk, at least in things like soups or what goes in my coffee, and buffalo mozzarella since it has the same protein make up as the A2 products.  But, ugh, trying to explain to people!  Enough of my issues..

 

 

Darn A2 dairy. I think I'm okay with buffalo mozzarella too, or at least more okay with it than cow mozzarella. To make things more complicated, I think I have an additional lactose issue - goat milk gives me headaches, but if I use it to make kefir (--> most of the lactose gets processed by bacteria), it's fine. I'd have to check how much lactose is in the goat and sheep products I tolerate, though.

 

On 5/7/2021 at 4:34 AM, Grizzy said:

It's my challenge and I'll ramble if I want to...

 

So I read this book a while ago called How to Make Your Dreams Come True by Mark Forster. My major takeaway was that we have "push" mode, "pull" mode, and "drift" mode. Push is where you have to force or push yourself to get the things you want to get done. Pull is where doing such things are natural or obvious to do, because they are either so intrinsically rewarding or the extrinsic reward is so appealing, likely to occur, and close. Drift is where you are doing what you want, but it's largely due to fleeting intrinsic rewards or because of low barrier to entry.

 

Anyway, I don't really do well with fitness when I'm in pull mode. Not in the long run - I get injured, or accidentally start way undereating. It just happens easily when I'm in pull. And when I'm in drift, I sit on the couch and eat everything in sight.

 

Right now I'm pulled intrinsically to a healthier diet, because the alternative is a few hours of pain each day. The effort of making a meal plan clearly takes less of my time and energy, and even my favorite foods aren't worth the lost time and the punishment.

 

My question is how do I activate this motivation with exercise? The threat of a real intrinsic punishment for doing poorly clearly works for me, but I don't know how to make something like that without assigning a punisher, whose relationship with me will suffer as a result, because I can be a rebellious vindictive little a-hole.

 

Part of why I want to try out various activities I used to like is get that intrinsic appeal - the positive reinforcement of just the joy of the activity itself. That's just not nearly so strong as the threat of pain or the promise of it going away.

 

I also prefer pull for exercising and then making sure I don't overdo it (I guess getting injured/not having enough energy is usually enough of a deterrent for me?). It sounds like you prefer that, too, if you are gravitating back towards exercises you used to enjoy - maybe it's just making sure it is sustainable? I guess there is also the the pull of long-term changes (more energy, baby goals, etc.). 

 

You can also somewhat activate "drift" mode for exercise by lowering the barrier to starting (e.g., keep your dumbbells out and have enough floorspace to do your exercises).

 

This language is also frustrating me because there are different types of reinforcers - I keep wanting to use psychology terms like positive punishment 😂. That's what I'd classify your nutrition motivation as right now - the arrival of a stimulus (pain) makes the behaviour (eating fat) less likely to occur. That type motivation is quite different from the positive reinforcement that you're talking about with exercise, even though they are both "pulls" under this categorisation. If the exercise isn't reinforcing enough, you could reward yourself with something if you do a certain number of workouts - I got myself a book last challenge. Or you could pair the exercise with something else (e.g., I only get to watch this TV show while doing my bodyweight workout). 

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4 hours ago, Alanna said:

I know the insurance is an issue, but keep in mind that if you have a major underlying digestive issue, it may be easier to get a diagnosis now while you're having symptoms and possibly physical changes/damage to your digestive tract.

Yeah I have a virtual appointment on Monday. Fingers crossed I get useful, cheap answers.

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Our usual Saturday night meal is pizza and a dozen wings with buttery delicious hot wing sauce.

 

Today I did much better nutritionally, fueled but the threat of positive punishment.

 

Veggie pizza with only a sprinkle of cheese, and a "wing" salad of chicken breast, hot sauce, carrots, celery, lettuce, and vinegar. Both were pretty good, just not nearly as good as the usual. But if I'm not in pain I don't caaaare.

 

Breakfast was just strawberry and banana with black coffee.

 

I'm way under on calories though. How on earth do I get enough without fats? I need to see if I can tolerate veggie based fats any better, or fats spread out over the day better, because I don't think I can eat enough protein to get my calories without eating so many carbs I'm constantly crashing.

PXL_20210509_013830985.jpg

PXL_20210509_013840149.jpg

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6 hours ago, Grizzy said:

I'm way under on calories though. How on earth do I get enough without fats? I need to see if I can tolerate veggie based fats any better, or fats spread out over the day better, because I don't think I can eat enough protein to get my calories without eating so many carbs I'm constantly crashing.

 

Some sort of protein powder might help on the protein side. Legumes and quinoa might help as carbs that have some protein, too, although I still prefer throwing some chicken in with my lentils to up the amount of protein in the meal.

 

Unless I've missed something, you've mostly mentioned cheese, right? Have you found any other reliable triggers? (Eggs? Avocado? Coconut? Fattier cuts of meat like chicken thighs and non-lean beef? Olive oil? Nuts/seeds?) Maybe try a very small amount of one of those and gradually increase your portion size, although it might be better waiting until you see what a doctor says... unless more data would be helpful before you go to your appointment? No clue.

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6 hours ago, Alanna said:

Unless I've missed something, you've mostly mentioned cheese, right? Have you found any other reliable triggers?

One night that was really bad I was explicitly trying to avoid cheese, so I had a giant helping of pasta and sausage and had a terrible time, which is why I'm assuming fat.

 

Then again, that also used egg noodles, and I had a bunch of cookies afterwards which contained egg, so there's a possibility I've become super sensitive to egg?

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Grizzy said:

One night that was really bad I was explicitly trying to avoid cheese, so I had a giant helping of pasta and sausage and had a terrible time, which is why I'm assuming fat.

 

Then again, that also used egg noodles, and I had a bunch of cookies afterwards which contained egg, so there's a possibility I've become super sensitive to egg?

 

 

 

Egg issues aren't uncommon - they are one of the things excluded from the autoimmune paleo protocol (https://www.thepaleomom.com/whys-behind-autoimmune-protocol-eggs/). If you have some sort of gut damage because of the other issues, maybe that could make you sensitive to the eggs too? And they have fat, if fat is the issue.

 

Are you fine with gluten? That pizza wasn't gluten free, was it? Egg and dairy can both cause issues in people with gluten sensitivities and celiacs.

 

In order to really narrow things down, you'd probably have to stick to safe foods and follow a strict reintroduction protocol (e.g., one new food/one new category of food about once every three days, starting with small servings). Hopefully some medical tests can just tell you what the issue is.

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19 minutes ago, Alanna said:

Are you fine with gluten? That pizza wasn't gluten free, was it?

Nope, just regular old flour.

 

Today I'm going to have a single quail egg with the breakfast that caused me no problems yesterday. It has like .2 grams of fat, so if I have problems, it's almost definitely from the egg.

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8 hours ago, Alanna said:

Some sort of protein powder might help on the protein side. Legumes and quinoa might help as carbs that have some protein, too, although I still prefer throwing some chicken in with my lentils to up the amount of protein in the meal.

 

Sadly, in terms of calorie-goal-meeting, it's realistically either carbs or fats. Though you can keep protein higher to balance out the others more evenly, it's really hard, and arguably not that desirable, to get, say, 60% of your calories from protein.

 

16 minutes ago, Grizzy said:

Today I'm going to have a single quail egg with the breakfast that caused me no problems yesterday. It has like .2 grams of fat, so if I have problems, it's almost definitely from the egg.

 

Bear in mind, the quail egg itself may be so small that you don't hit sufficient quantity of the protein triggers to react. A giant bowl full of egg noodles is probably a full yolk or two.

 

If your fat reaction is so extreme that a single chicken egg triggers it, it's almost certainly an allergen, not fats. Having that extreme a reaction to just a few grams of the whole spectrum of an essential macronutrient would be very, very unusual. (And would make me suspect something non-digestive in nature, like a major problem with the gall bladder.)

 

Have you tried a vegan salad with an olive oil and vinegar dressing? That would test fats as a whole, without getting your existing or potentially new protein triggers in the mix. Or a PB&J if you're certain about the gluten (which doesn't appear to be it, if veggie pizza is okay). Or a plain old avocado. Basically, test some generally non allergenic vegetable fats alone. (Peanuts deserve a real asterisk on this list, because they're a widely allergenic one, but it's usually breathing, not digestion.)

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3 minutes ago, sarakingdom said:

Sadly, in terms of calorie-goal-meeting, it's realistically either carbs or fats. Though you can keep protein higher to balance out the others more evenly, it's really hard, and arguably not that desirable, to get, say, 60% of your calories from protein.

Yeah, too much protein is hard on kidneys if I remember correctly (at least it is for some animals). Sorry that wasn't clear - I meant the legumes could be a carb source that has a bit of extra protein to help balance out blood sugar swings, and therefore an alternative to things like rice, pasta, fruit, bread, etc. for calories. Unless someone's protein intake is already very high, I think it would be difficult to overdo it with something like lentils (~7 g of protein per 100 g, uncooked). 

 

7 minutes ago, sarakingdom said:

Bear in mind, the quail egg itself may be so small that you don't hit sufficient quantity of the protein triggers to react. A giant bowl full of egg noodles is probably a full yolk or two.

 

If your fat reaction is so extreme that a single chicken egg triggers it, it's almost certainly an allergen, not fats. Having that extreme a reaction to just a few grams of the whole spectrum of an essential macronutrient would be very, very unusual. (And would make me suspect something non-digestive in nature, like a major problem with the gall bladder.)

 

Have you tried a vegan salad with an olive oil and vinegar dressing? That would test fats as a whole, without getting your existing or potentially new protein triggers in the mix. Or a PB&J if you're certain about the gluten (which doesn't appear to be it, if veggie pizza is okay). Or a plain old avocado. Basically, test some generally non allergenic vegetable fats alone. (Peanuts deserve a real asterisk on this list, because they're a widely allergenic one, but it's usually breathing, not digestion.)

 

I agree that you'd probably need to test larger quantities, too - but worth testing the small amounts first to rule out extreme sensitivities. Olive oil would be a nice control. Also agree on the asterisk to PB, and it gives me extreme fatigue and achy-ness, so I have anecdotal evidence that it doesn't just cause breathing issues! I'm a weird case of various sensitivities without clear allergies, though 🙄

 

I'll also add that I would wait at least 24 hrs, preferably a little longer, before testing something else since reactions can be delayed.

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3 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

like a major problem with the gall bladder

I'm actually pretty suspicious that it is a gall bladder issue in general. I figure I'll slowly bring up the egg quantity, but I'm really hesitant to totally bomb my system with potential culprits because the consequences are very un-fun.

 

3 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Have you tried a vegan salad with an olive oil and vinegar dressing? That would test fats as a whole, without getting your existing or potentially new protein triggers in the mix. Or a PB&J if you're certain about the gluten (which doesn't appear to be it, if veggie pizza is okay). Or a plain old avocado. Basically, test some generally non allergenic vegetable fats alone. (Peanuts deserve a real asterisk on this list, because they're a widely allergenic one, but it's usually breathing, not digestion.)

Yeah, this is on the list too. I was considering just the olive oil/avocado thing as well, because if I eat a big avocado and I'm fine, that points back to some kind of reaction to dairy or egg.

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12 minutes ago, Grizzy said:

I'll slowly bring up the egg quantity

 

I'm not sure what information this would give you. It wouldn't give you much to differentiate between eggs or fats as the problem. If you're going to risk the consequences, non-allergenic fats would tell you more at this stage. If you can rule out fats as a whole, eating an egg would help you pin down the exact allergen.

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Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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