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Harriet's Year of Battle: First Skirmish


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On 1/10/2022 at 9:06 PM, Alanna said:

Looks like you have a few doctors appointments ahead of you, unfortunately, but hopefully the results will help you troubleshoot and evaluate your current approach!

 

Thanks!

 

On 1/11/2022 at 12:09 AM, sarakingdom said:

Part of nerds leveling up is nerds recognising the cognitive pitfalls they tend towards. And a major one is giant piles of factual underpants, lovingly collected out of the enjoyment of research and a faith that the act of collection leads to some kind of success

 

Stop describing things accurately, it makes me uncomfortable 😅

 

17 hours ago, KB Girl said:

Having said that, I am going to echo the rest; step away from the underpants. Find a new hobby! It's like constantly reading the news- not good for you young lady. 

 

I have hobbies but I'm too exhausted and or lazy to do them, which makes me feel terrible.

 

12 hours ago, Defining said:

+1 for steeping away from the underpants; perfect is the enemy of done/good, and when it comes to nutrition there IS no such thing as perfect anyway. You experiment to see what works best for YOU, and go from there. I'll also add that there's nothing wrong using supplements if the whole food sources aren't working for you. Just don't rely on them for EVERYTHING.

 

Speaking as someone who shares an interest in the minutia of nutrition and health, it's still worth it to just step back and let it ride for a bit. The more you delve into the nitty gritty of nutritional science, the more it becomes obvious that almost everything we know comes from 'best guess' conclusions from flawed studies. Which is just another reason not to worry about finding 'one true gospel' of food.

 

Good points. It's so tempting when people share their stories of going from exhaustion to vibrant health, though, you know? But they share these stories on keto, paleo, vegan, and carnivore... so... there's no substitute for self experimentation, I guess. Or their health has nothing to do with their diets and they all experienced spontaneous remission, in which case I should just eat creme brulee and cinnamon doughnuts and pray to the goddess.

 

11 hours ago, Salinger said:

Hey Harriet, not much to add but an interesting discussion. 

Sending lots of love to you xx

 

Hay Sal, I hope your day is going well ❤️

 

9 hours ago, fearless 2.0 said:

also seconding the opinion that you need to beat the underpants gnomes... :)

very interesting read, because I find myself being able to do keto 80% and having trouble doing shit perfectly. I suspect thats impossible. Now to find a way to still get results!

good to read here again! :) 

 

Do you feel notably better when you're strict keto, or do you get good benefits from low carb/no grains?

 

And I do want to say in my defence I am not a total underpant gnome, but more of a breeches dwarf: I research excessively, but I don't research *instead* of acting. I also do things according to the research. Have I not tried many diet things? What I need, though, is to give each period a longer trial with more patience, and stop hoping for a cure which probably isn't coming, and start looking for and collecting 1% improvements. If they can be discerned amid the noise.

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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Well, on Tuesday night someone new came over and I drank wine with them, slept badly, and had a crap Thursday with only meditation, no gym or writing. I did ring the rheumatologist and find out that they *did* get the tests from my GP and they *can* rule out rheumatological diseases. I have to go in to pick up a letter from them.

 

Today I meditated, got groceries, wrote, and went for a walk.

 

I need more interesting stuff to read. It should be a little guided/structured. I'm thinking online courses. I have heard of Udemy and Coursera. Is there anything else I need to know about? I might do a uni level intro to biology course, or some history or religious studies or something, if I can find it.

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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1 hour ago, Harriet said:

I have hobbies but I'm too exhausted and or lazy to do them, which makes me feel terrible.

 

You really shouldn't, hobbies should only add to your life and shouldn't negatively impact if you don't do them! Though now I'm curious what the hobbies are :)

 

 

1 hour ago, Harriet said:

Well, on Tuesday night someone new came over and I drank wine with them, slept badly, and had a crap Thursday with only meditation, no gym or writing

 

I hate hangovers - was the evening fun at least?

 

1 hour ago, Harriet said:

I need more interesting stuff to read. It should be a little guided/structured. I'm thinking online courses. I have heard of Udemy and Coursera. Is there anything else I need to know about? I might do a uni level intro to biology course, or some history or religious studies or something, if I can find it.

 

Wow that's done varied topics you're interested in! Sorry I can't help with suggestions, I pretty much stick to fiction for reading (except Wikipedia rabbit holes obv)

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42 minutes ago, Harriet said:

And I do want to say in my defence I am not a total underpant gnome, but more of a breeches dwarf: I research excessively, but I don't research *instead* of acting. I also do things according to the research. Have I not tried many diet things? What I need, though, is to give each period a longer trial with more patience, and stop hoping for a cure which probably isn't coming, and start looking for and collecting 1% improvements. If they can be discerned amid the noise.

 

You asked before how you tell the difference between the crucial facts and the noodling about in the weeds, and I would say this: the crucial facts are the ones you already know. You know more about keto science and practice than most successful keto practitioners learn. It's probably now getting in your way. You don't need to refine your keto practice more, you just need to practice it.

 

I'm gonna recommend you talk to your Buddhist brother here and get his input on 1) beginner's mind, and 2) the difference between learning about meditation and practicing meditation, and how you develop a practice. Right now, you're practicing keto, yes, but don't seem comfortable just practicing it. You feel the need to study it intellectually. Studying things intellectually (so say the traditional Japanese sources) gets in the way of authentic practice. You need to stop analyzing and studying and planning, and just practice. You're not in the moment, not mindful. Keto is not meditation, but your approach to keto looks like it has the hallmarks of someone who throws themselves into meditation believing they need to go to great lengths to intellectually understand it, and it will cure them if they figure out how to do it right. Their cup is not empty, so it will not, and they will not find the things meditation can deliver on.

 

In short, what you need now is not incrementally better keto. It's less mind noise. You don't lack information. You lack... mental satiety. The ability to achieve mental satiety. You want the switch to flip that says, "my understanding is good enough, I have achieved something, I am officially worthy," and that switch does not exist, so you're chasing a mirage. You'll tire yourself out that way, and miss the destinations that do exist. You need to stop trying things. Right now, trying things is the illusion, it's you flailing and telling yourself your understanding is not good enough, you're not yet worthy. Work on the acid reflux, perhaps, but let the keto do its work. Just practice it. Observe it. Observe your energy levels. Observe what you get done and what you don't.

 

You don't, so far as I can tell, have an answer to a really crucial question yet, and that is: are you improving over time with what you're doing now, or has your progress stalled? There's nothing else to try until that question has an answer. You don't know if you've found your solution or not. Maybe you have, and you need 6-12 months of doing the same thing. Maybe you haven't, in which case you need data on your ups and downs.

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3 hours ago, Harriet said:

Well, on Tuesday night someone new came over and I drank wine with them, slept badly, and had a crap Thursday with only meditation, no gym or writing. I did ring the rheumatologist and find out that they *did* get the tests from my GP and they *can* rule out rheumatological diseases. I have to go in to pick up a letter from them.

 

Today I meditated, got groceries, wrote, and went for a walk.

 

I need more interesting stuff to read. It should be a little guided/structured. I'm thinking online courses. I have heard of Udemy and Coursera. Is there anything else I need to know about? I might do a uni level intro to biology course, or some history or religious studies or something, if I can find it.

try Fernuni Hagen for courses, thats where I did study psychology. Loved it! 

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I'm glad your doctors are communicating and saved you some trips!

 

3 hours ago, Harriet said:

I need more interesting stuff to read. It should be a little guided/structured. I'm thinking online courses. I have heard of Udemy and Coursera. Is there anything else I need to know about? I might do a uni level intro to biology course, or some history or religious studies or something, if I can find it.

 

EdX is another platform. I recommend choosing your courses based more on the instructor (e.g., look at the reviews) - it really makes or breaks the course.

 

You could join the programming bandwagon :D. I did part of this course several years ago and it was good from what I remember. 

 

I think there are courses on things like being happy and mindfulness if you want something more personal-growth themed. 

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In light of the previous suggestions, I suggest spending more time looking at knitting patterns and yarn sites. Much creative inspiration, no pressure. You can express your inspiration at your own pace. If you want quick satisfaction, you can make potholders, baby socks, hair scrunchies or hats. For more complex expression of color and form, maybe a fair isle tam or mittens. So many options for color, texture and form.  All no calorie. Could be hypoallergenic if you work in silk, bamboo or linen.  🧶

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2 hours ago, Mistr said:

  All no calorie. Could be hypoallergenic if you work in silk, bamboo or linen.  🧶

This cracked me up 😂 

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6 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

You want the switch to flip that says, "my understanding is good enough, I have achieved something, I am officially worthy," and that switch does not exist,

 

...because there is no need for it. You are worthy. There is not such thing as "not worthy enough", or "more worthy" when it comes to things like health and taking care of it.

 

You are worthy. 

 

If anyone tries to disagree with that statement, I'm sure I can convince several others in this thread to join me in having an enlightening conversation with that person. 😈

 

(Also, everything else @sarakingdom said. Heed the words of the wise one!)

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13 hours ago, Silmarilliane said:

You really shouldn't, hobbies should only add to your life and shouldn't negatively impact if you don't do them! Though now I'm curious what the hobbies are :)

 

Reading, writing, painting, knitting, lifting. I'm all hobbies, no job.

 

13 hours ago, Silmarilliane said:

I hate hangovers - was the evening fun at least?

 

It was fine. The new acquaintance seems nice.

 

12 hours ago, fearless 2.0 said:

try Fernuni Hagen for courses, thats where I did study psychology. Loved it! 

 

I read this as ferNOONy and it took me a few seconds to realise it's fern Uni. Thanks for the suggestion! Unfortunately it seems to be in German... not sure if my German is uni level ☹️

 

11 hours ago, Alanna said:

EdX is another platform. I recommend choosing your courses based more on the instructor (e.g., look at the reviews) - it really makes or breaks the course.

 

Neato, I'll take a look.

 

11 hours ago, Alanna said:

You could join the programming bandwagon :D. I did part of this course several years ago and it was good from what I remember. 

 

I think there are courses on things like being happy and mindfulness if you want something more personal-growth themed. 

 

I can't see me doing programming. I mean... maybe... but probably not? I'm thinking more squishy science, with frogs. Or humanities. Living stuff.

 

10 hours ago, Mistr said:

In light of the previous suggestions, I suggest spending more time looking at knitting patterns and yarn sites. Much creative inspiration, no pressure. You can express your inspiration at your own pace. If you want quick satisfaction, you can make potholders, baby socks, hair scrunchies or hats. For more complex expression of color and form, maybe a fair isle tam or mittens. So many options for color, texture and form.  All no calorie. Could be hypoallergenic if you work in silk, bamboo or linen.  🧶

 

I am devoted to sheeps' wool, and tolerate it well, no allergies here. I have ordered yarn for another sweater. Yes, another. I'm getting better at them. But maybe I could learn fair isle on small things, too. But where do you get lots of small skeins for all the colours? The answer will be different in Europe, obviously. Just need to look around for small or inexpensive but still nice yarns.

 

10 hours ago, Salinger said:

Hey Harriet ❤️ 

 

Lots of love, how are you feeling?xx

 

I am okay. Not great. But okay. Hope you are, too ❤️

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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12 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

 

You asked before how you tell the difference between the crucial facts and the noodling about in the weeds, and I would say this: the crucial facts are the ones you already know. You know more about keto science and practice than most successful keto practitioners learn. It's probably now getting in your way. You don't need to refine your keto practice more, you just need to practice it.

 

Quite probably. Although I was planning to shift to a more paleo template. I have been feeling depressed more often (though that could just be winter and relationship stuff), and the reflux isn't going away, so I thought a few months of higher low carb.

 

12 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

You feel the need to study it intellectually. Studying things intellectually (so say the traditional Japanese sources) gets in the way of authentic practice. You need to stop analyzing and studying and planning, and just practice. You're not in the moment, not mindful. Keto is not meditation, but your approach to keto looks like it has the hallmarks of someone who throws themselves into meditation believing they need to go to great lengths to intellectually understand it, and it will cure them if they figure out how to do it right. Their cup is not empty, so it will not, and they will not find the things meditation can deliver on.

 

Well, yes. It never occurred to me that I needed to practice. I thought you just research, choose, then transfer the choice into your mouth.

 

12 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

In short, what you need now is not incrementally better keto. It's less mind noise. You don't lack information. You lack... mental satiety. The ability to achieve mental satiety. You want the switch to flip that says, "my understanding is good enough, I have achieved something, I am officially worthy," and that switch does not exist, so you're chasing a mirage. You'll tire yourself out that way, and miss the destinations that do exist. You need to stop trying things. Right now, trying things is the illusion, it's you flailing and telling yourself your understanding is not good enough, you're not yet worthy. Work on the acid reflux, perhaps, but let the keto do its work. Just practice it. Observe it. Observe your energy levels. Observe what you get done and what you don't.

 

Sounds about right. I guess one of the reasons is I feel I need to be able to scientifically justify my choices to skeptical doctors, husbands, friends and complete strangers. But I don't.

 

12 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

You don't, so far as I can tell, have an answer to a really crucial question yet, and that is: are you improving over time with what you're doing now, or has your progress stalled? There's nothing else to try until that question has an answer. You don't know if you've found your solution or not. Maybe you have, and you need 6-12 months of doing the same thing. Maybe you haven't, in which case you need data on your ups and downs.

 

I don't appear to be improving further. The anxiety is gone, and a few miscellaneous things have improved a little. There seems to be a higher floor on my energy, but not a higher ceiling. I am having an increasing number of depressive days.

 

6 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

...because there is no need for it. You are worthy. There is not such thing as "not worthy enough", or "more worthy" when it comes to things like health and taking care of it.

 

You are worthy. 

 

If anyone tries to disagree with that statement, I'm sure I can convince several others in this thread to join me in having an enlightening conversation with that person. 😈

 

Thanks for the offer, but I should probably deal with it myself 😅

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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Thursday

Meditated, went to gym (bench press, same weight as current squat 🤔), wrote for ten minutes. Will walk to rheumatologist today to pick up letter. Made an appointment with orthopäde because the ganglion cyst (which has been hanging around annoying me for two or three years now?) is starting to hurt.

 

Checked ketones last night and this morning. 0.4 and 0.9 respectively, so out and in, despite eating 60-70 net carbs per day atm.

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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7 hours ago, Harriet said:

Well, yes. It never occurred to me that I needed to practice. I thought you just research, choose, then transfer the choice into your mouth.

 

I think that, prior to Japanese arts, I would not necessarily have had the language for "having a practice". Although, in truth, all sorts of artists and so on do. The act of transferring the choice into routine is often assumed to be automatic in the West, and not an act of effort to maintain and develop a routine. There is, I think, a stage of closure on implementation that we miss in general; we treat the decision as closure, when in fact it's just the start of the important work, and just the start of a lot of important learning about yourself.

 

7 hours ago, Harriet said:

Quite probably. Although I was planning to shift to a more paleo template. I have been feeling depressed more often (though that could just be winter and relationship stuff), and the reflux isn't going away, so I thought a few months of higher low carb.

 

If I'm not mistaken, didn't you just do that recently, because of the reflux? It seems like you're really just back on keto after a somewhat on and off period.

 

This is, in theory, a worthy experiment. (I would not discount the winter and relationship stuff, however. I'm certain they have some effect, especially if you know you experience seasonal slumps.)

 

But in practice, I think there are questions, like: How many hours per day of planned activity do you manage on average now? What's the average for mental work and physical work more specifically? What is the minimum you can count on, and the maximum you can hope for? What commonly precedes good days or bad ones? What happens the day after physical over-exertion, mental over-exertion, dietary changes like high carbs? Compared to when you started keto, has that average activity completion gone up or down, or held steady? Have you had sleep changes that have affected your recovery? Not what it feels like is happening, but actual dates and numbers that are not affected by memory or mood. Food, sleep, and qualitative feelings of wellbeing are things where it's immensely easy to fool our perceptions.

 

So, when you say this:

7 hours ago, Harriet said:

I guess one of the reasons is I feel I need to be able to scientifically justify my choices to skeptical doctors, husbands, friends and complete strangers. But I don't.

 

First, you don't, but second, you already have. Your doctor has been backing keto for you. Your husband... well, he's having vegan passive-aggressivity issues, but he did. (And maybe does. He may be misreading the searching for something new as "it's not working".) We internet friends and strangers are more than convinced. That data is in. It's done.

 

The data that's not in is the diagnostic data you need to decide what should be tried next. Numbers. Trends. Justify your new choice, not your old one. Why paleo? The last time you ate carbs, you felt great for a while, and then like total shit. There's no indicator there that more carbs is at all useful; so far your only concrete data point is your first one, that lower carb reduced your anxiety and gave you more task completion energy. If anything (and I say this as devil's advocate, not as a real suggestion, because there aren't enough data points), it's more logical to go carnivore, because it fits your data better. Trying paleo without knowing how your body is truly, concretely reacting to your diet in terms of performance is just throwing stuff at the wall and hoping something sticks, and when you get there, you'll have no clearly recorded data to compare against, just fuzzy memories of a couple months ago, which are easily swayed by "but I have fruit now, so life is better". That’s  blind hope, not experimentation.

 

7 hours ago, Harriet said:

I don't appear to be improving further. The anxiety is gone, and a few miscellaneous things have improved a little. There seems to be a higher floor on my energy, but not a higher ceiling. I am having an increasing number of depressive days.

 

From here, the ceiling on your energy seems massively higher. You're doing so, so much more every day than you were before, and without burning out. So I do question this narrative, in the absence of, well, actual record-keeping. (Depressive days I do believe, though I have no idea how to control for their causation, given seasonality and relationship stress. Nutrition is good, but it's not the universe's ultimate magic or anything. No steak is going to overcome Mr H telling you what your anxiety levels look like and suggesting everything he hates is conveniently carcinogenic.)

 

From the work of improving my sleep, I know how easy it is to fool myself on how much sleep I'm getting on average, how subtle and hard it is to assess my internal state based on that sleep, and how slowly those subtle level-ups come. I'm also familiar with the loop of obsessively searching for The Right Thing you describe, and it's not driven by my mindful, more rational self,  but by a blinder, more primitive instinct that cannot be satisfied. That's why I'm pushing you towards hard data.

 

1 hour ago, Harriet said:

Checked ketones last night and this morning. 0.4 and 0.9 respectively, so out and in, despite eating 60-70 net carbs per day atm.

 

I'm not sure of the meaning of this data. My impression was that testing ketone levels was somewhat (very) bullshit, and heavily affected by things like hydration levels. And, like, 0.4 of what, and so on - what I'm saying here is, you're in some pretty niche territory already in terms of how people understand and practice keto, so it's very hard to give a reality check on how arcane or usefully diagnostic the information is. So allow me to reiterate my contention that you are past the useful core of knowledge, and it is time to stop searching for The One Magic Fact for a while. Your collection of information about your body on keto has not kept up with your collection of underpants about keto.

 

It is not weird to be in ketosis at 60ish g, though. The old ketogenic diets like Atkins started out at the low levels modern keto diet use, and gradually added 5g a week until people fell out of ketosis, then backed up 5g, so they were at the maximum carb intake for ketosis. 55-60g would not abnormal. (And this was people doing it for weight loss, so their insulin sensitivity was more compromised than yours likely is.)

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9 hours ago, Harriet said:

Thanks for the offer, but I should probably deal with it myself 😅

 

Definitely, actually. But there's nothing wrong with having backup standing by. ;) 

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3 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

 

I think that, prior to Japanese arts, I would not necessarily have had the language for "having a practice". Although, in truth, all sorts of artists and so on do. The act of transferring the choice into routine is often assumed to be automatic in the West, and not an act of effort to maintain and develop a routine. There is, I think, a stage of closure on implementation that we miss in general; we treat the decision as closure, when in fact it's just the start of the important work, and just the start of a lot of important learning about yourself.

 

Most interesting!

 

3 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

If I'm not mistaken, didn't you just do that recently, because of the reflux? It seems like you're really just back on keto after a somewhat on and off period.

 

Yes? I switched back to keto because the doctor said we'd test. Then I switched back to low carb paleo because I felt depressed and wanted fruit and my research was pulling me in different directions.

 

3 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

But in practice, I think there are questions, like: How many hours per day of planned activity do you manage on average now? What's the average for mental work and physical work more specifically? What is the minimum you can count on, and the maximum you can hope for? What commonly precedes good days or bad ones? What happens the day after physical over-exertion, mental over-exertion, dietary changes like high carbs? Compared to when you started keto, has that average activity completion gone up or down, or held steady? Have you had sleep changes that have affected your recovery? Not what it feels like is happening, but actual dates and numbers that are not affected by memory or mood. Food, sleep, and qualitative feelings of wellbeing are things where it's immensely easy to fool our perceptions.

 

It's hard to tell because I am also using pacing--deliberately stopping short of my max effort--to try to avoid slug phases. It's working. my physical energy is not better: I have temporarily given up walks because it is too much with the lifting and grocery shopping, and also the darkness and coldness and wetness is depressing. But I hope to add a few back in. As for mental work... also hard to tell because I'm not pushing myself hard, because I am trying to build sustainable habits. The only thing that reliably precedes a bad day is alcohol. I have not had days of overexertion, but I am not good for much after deadlifts. I could try to keep really detailed records but it's a lot of work. And I do use my challenges for that.

 

Edit: actually, what am I talking about? For the first two or more months of keto I did zero lifting, and only started again recently. And I did over-exert myself on three travel trips. Each time it took me about 1.5 weeks to shake it off and feel like doing things again. But none of the old 2-3 slug weeks.

 

3 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

First, you don't, but second, you already have. Your doctor has been backing keto for you. Your husband... well, he's having vegan passive-aggressivity issues, but he did. (And maybe does. He may be misreading the searching for something new as "it's not working".) We internet friends and strangers are more than convinced. That data is in. It's done.

 

Yay! Internet people support me ❤️

 

3 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

The data that's not in is the diagnostic data you need to decide what should be tried next. Numbers. Trends. Justify your new choice, not your old one. Why paleo? The last time you ate carbs, you felt great for a while, and then like total shit. There's no indicator there that more carbs is at all useful; so far your only concrete data point is your first one, that lower carb reduced your anxiety and gave you more task completion energy. If anything (and I say this as devil's advocate, not as a real suggestion, because there aren't enough data points), it's more logical to go carnivore, because it fits your data better.

 

Trust me, it's on the list 😛 But I found it hard to eat two portions of fresh meat, let alone three, per day. My desire for meat seems to have settled and I'm happy with 100g lunchmeat for breakfast and 250g fresh meat for lunch.

 

3 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Trying paleo without knowing how your body is truly, concretely reacting to your diet in terms of performance is just throwing stuff at the wall and hoping something sticks, and when you get there, you'll have no clearly recorded data to compare against, just fuzzy memories of a couple months ago, which are easily swayed by "but I have fruit now, so life is better". That’s  blind hope, not experimentation.

 

Fruit, exactly. That's my main reason. That and a worry that very low carb is causing reflux and depression. Mind you, I don't seem to be any better after 1.5 weeks of 50-70 carbs. Nor has quitting chocolate helped *imagine an extremely angry face emoji here*

 

3 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

From here, the ceiling on your energy seems massively higher. You're doing so, so much more every day than you were before, and without burning out.

 

Thank you. I don't think I'm doing a lot more (ten minutes of writing is not much) but I have certainly avoided slug phases and am enjoying more consistency. I can't pinpoint whether that's the pacing, the keto, or the meditation.

 

3 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

I'm also familiar with the loop of obsessively searching for The Right Thing you describe, and it's not driven by my mindful, more rational self,  but by a blinder, more primitive instinct that cannot be satisfied. That's why I'm pushing you towards hard data.

 

A very fair point.

 

3 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

I'm not sure of the meaning of this data. My impression was that testing ketone levels was somewhat (very) bullshit, and heavily affected by things like hydration levels.

 

Urine ketones are not very reliable except at the very start of the diet, as they are affected by hydration and they measure what you're wasting, not what you're using, so they decrease as you get more adapted. Blood ketones, which I have measured, are much more reliable. I think the meaning is that 60 or 70 carbs is enough to have me enter ketosis overnight, but not be in ketosis all day long. (0.5 is the generally accepted cut off)

 

3 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

It is not weird to be in ketosis at 60ish g, though. The old ketogenic diets like Atkins started out at the low levels modern keto diet use, and gradually added 5g a week until people fell out of ketosis, then backed up 5g, so they were at the maximum carb intake for ketosis. 55-60g would not abnormal. (And this was people doing it for weight loss, so their insulin sensitivity was more compromised than yours likely is.)

 

That's what I thought: 20g is recommended to *guarantee* ketosis in virtually everyone, but many people can stay in ketosis at 50g. 50g would be a lot more flexible for me and allow some fruit and veg, and for me to not worry so much about dairy, which is why I tested.



Hmmmmmmmmmm. What to do? Design a way to collect hard data? Collect data daily while trying different diets? Collect data daily while trying the same diet? For how long? Which one? Keto with 20g? Keto with 50g? I could commit to avoiding diet/health readings for six months? (Gosh it would help if I weren't also sneakily looking for a way to lose weight. Seriously, fuck off, me.) You don't have to answer all these questions, by the way. Just thinking out loud.

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Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

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1 hour ago, Harriet said:

Hmmmmmmmmmm. What to do? Design a way to collect hard data? Collect data daily while trying different diets? Collect data daily while trying the same diet? For how long? Which one? Keto with 20g? Keto with 50g? I could commit to avoiding diet/health readings for six months? (Gosh it would help if I weren't also sneakily looking for a way to lose weight. Seriously, fuck off, me.) You don't have to answer all these questions, by the way. Just thinking out loud.

 

I'm going to suggest some answers anyway :D 

 

1 hour ago, Harriet said:

Design a way to collect hard data?

 

I've found some rough scoring systems helpful - for example, when I had bad sleep problems several years ago, I had a sleep scoring system that aligned with my most common sleep issue (waking up ~3 am and not being able to go back to sleep). So it was something like 5 = slept through the night and felt rested, 4 = slept but still felt a bit tired, 3 = woke up too early but was able to go back to sleep without much difficulty, 2 = woke up and couldn't get back to sleep, 1 = very little sleep, please put me out of my misery. Could you come up with similar scores for the symptoms you care the most about (e.g., anxiety, depression, fatigue)?

 

I recommend sticking them in a spreadsheet so you can make graphs and relate them with other measures - eventually I found a relationship between my sleep quality and my calorie deficit (estimated from tracking data for calories in and Fitbit for calories out - the Fitbit was biased but consistent). It was a noisy relationship, so having the data to plot (rather than just trying to figure it out without data) really helped.

 

1 hour ago, Harriet said:

Collect data daily while trying different diets? Collect data daily while trying the same diet? For how long? Which one? Keto with 20g? Keto with 50g?

 

One diet (that you can stick to) at a time for at least a few months unless you need to bail because it causes catastrophic failure! 

 

If you add some carbs back - I'd recommend prioritising starches, not fruit, since you have the blood sugar hypothesis. Or at least something low glycemic like berries if you want fruit.

 

1 hour ago, Harriet said:

I could commit to avoiding diet/health readings for six months?

 

I personally have to step away from regular health research because it will raise my stress levels, which is counterproductive for fixing health problems. You need to figure out what works for you.

 

1 hour ago, Harriet said:

(Gosh it would help if I weren't also sneakily looking for a way to lose weight. Seriously, fuck off, me.)

 

A calorie deficit is an additional stressor that could increase fatigue and perhaps obscure benefits of your dietary experiment. Unless you think extra weight is a cause of your health issues, I would try to maintain for at least a few months. If you have a better starting point energy-wise, losing weight later should be easier and less physically stressful. 

 

Sounds like you already know this from the 2nd sentence, though 😆

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1 hour ago, Harriet said:

(Gosh it would help if I weren't also sneakily looking for a way to lose weight. Seriously, fuck off, me.) 

 

Self-Sabotage!?!

 

GET AWAY FROM MY FRIEND!

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16 hours ago, Harriet said:

I am devoted to sheeps' wool, and tolerate it well, no allergies here. I have ordered yarn for another sweater. Yes, another. I'm getting better at them. But maybe I could learn fair isle on small things, too. But where do you get lots of small skeins for all the colours? The answer will be different in Europe, obviously. Just need to look around for small or inexpensive but still nice yarns.

 

There are lots of independent dyers who sell mini-skein sets in related colors. The ones in my Instagram feed are mostly in the US, because I try not to fall in love with products that have huge shipping fees. Look on Etsy or Ravelry for "mini-skein sets" and I'm sure you will find some.

 

So far I have not done any complex Fair Isle projects. I have done some two color knitting.  Every now and then I see a pattern that I think looks good, but I prefer texture and lace knitting.

 

I am with you on liking sheep's wool. I am very happy with the Wensleydale/BFL lamb's fleece I'm spinning right now. I hope the yarn comes out as soft as the carded fleece. I also love alpaca, angora and baby camel. I am currently wearing slipper socks I made from alpaca. They are warm and soft. 🥰

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On 1/13/2022 at 2:18 AM, Harriet said:

 

I am devoted to sheeps' wool, and tolerate it well, no allergies here. I have ordered yarn for another sweater. Yes, another. I'm getting better at them. But maybe I could learn fair isle on small things, too. But where do you get lots of small skeins for all the colours? The answer will be different in Europe, obviously. Just need to look around for small or inexpensive but still nice yarns.

Another fan of sheep’s wool here. Though most of my purchases are from US based companies. I also don’t have much experience with mini skeins …. I tend to work with the same 3-4 colors on all my projects …..
 

Sweaters are fun! I just finished my first one earlier this year (will tag you whenever I get around to organizing and posting pics in my thread 😅)

 

13 hours ago, Mistr said:

There are lots of independent dyers who sell mini-skein sets in related colors. The ones in my Instagram feed are mostly in the US, because I try not to fall in love with products that have huge shipping fees. Look on Etsy or Ravelry for "mini-skein sets" and I'm sure you will find some.

Seconding this recommendation. But with the warning that it’s a huge tempting rabbit hole of pretty looking yarns 

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17 hours ago, Alanna said:

 

I'm going to suggest some answers anyway :D 

 

 

They are very welcome ❤️

 

17 hours ago, Alanna said:

I've found some rough scoring systems helpful - for example, when I had bad sleep problems several years ago, I had a sleep scoring system that aligned with my most common sleep issue (waking up ~3 am and not being able to go back to sleep). So it was something like 5 = slept through the night and felt rested, 4 = slept but still felt a bit tired, 3 = woke up too early but was able to go back to sleep without much difficulty, 2 = woke up and couldn't get back to sleep, 1 = very little sleep, please put me out of my misery. Could you come up with similar scores for the symptoms you care the most about (e.g., anxiety, depression, fatigue)?

 

 I could try to do this. I've done it before but then lost interest. We'll have to see what I can do to maintain interest when things don't change much for weeks at a time.

 

17 hours ago, Alanna said:

If you add some carbs back - I'd recommend prioritising starches, not fruit, since you have the blood sugar hypothesis. Or at least something low glycemic like berries if you want fruit.

 

I think I might need the fruit for happiness. But I can alternate--some days with berries, some days with tasty sweet potato. I think this would fit into a 50g/day plan along with some vegetables and dairy.

 

I'm still interested in paleo, AIP, carnivore, and other tweaks, but I think they need to wait.

 

17 hours ago, Alanna said:

I personally have to step away from regular health research because it will raise my stress levels, which is counterproductive for fixing health problems. You need to figure out what works for you.

 

You too, eh? Yes, I think a break would do me good. I have enough information, I just need to parse and prioritise.

 

17 hours ago, Alanna said:

A calorie deficit is an additional stressor that could increase fatigue and perhaps obscure benefits of your dietary experiment. Unless you think extra weight is a cause of your health issues, I would try to maintain for at least a few months. If you have a better starting point energy-wise, losing weight later should be easier and less physically stressful. 

 

No, I just have a body hatred demon that I have been unable to exorcise. I'm 66kg/165cm and pear shaped with some visible muscle, so the most health-related thing I could say about losing weight is that enhancing my muscle to weight ratio could reduce the cost for activities like walking, shopping, cleaning, etc. But unless I lie to myself and everyone else, I can't say that it should be a top priority.

 

17 hours ago, Alanna said:

Sounds like you already know this from the 2nd sentence, though 😆

 

Yeah. Don't let me get away with bullshitting about this. I'd LOVE to be thinner but that doesn't mean I should focus on it right now.

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You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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17 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

 

Self-Sabotage!?!

 

GET AWAY FROM MY FRIEND!

 

She must be a rather busy demon with all those humans to attend to 😆

 

13 hours ago, Mistr said:

There are lots of independent dyers who sell mini-skein sets in related colors. The ones in my Instagram feed are mostly in the US, because I try not to fall in love with products that have huge shipping fees. Look on Etsy or Ravelry for "mini-skein sets" and I'm sure you will find some.

 

Oooooh  mini skeins ❤️ I bought some recently for the first time, and felt able to pick some more adventurous colours. I love the idea of getting more. Wait, you can buy yarn off ravelry? I need to look into this. But etsy is a great idea, thank you.

 

13 hours ago, Mistr said:

So far I have not done any complex Fair Isle projects. I have done some two color knitting.  Every now and then I see a pattern that I think looks good, but I prefer texture and lace knitting.

 

Texture is definitely my favourite. Lace is no good for sweaters because it catches on things and is less warm. But I do like some cables and twisted stitches. I've done a couple of tiny projects with mosaic or stranded, but never a full sweater. I do have a favourites page with a lot of designs, though.

 

13 hours ago, Mistr said:

I am with you on liking sheep's wool. I am very happy with the Wensleydale/BFL lamb's fleece I'm spinning right now. I hope the yarn comes out as soft as the carded fleece. I also love alpaca, angora and baby camel. I am currently wearing slipper socks I made from alpaca. They are warm and soft. 🥰

 

I've found alpaca a little itchy (there's always a few guard hairs!) and the drape doesn't quite create the sweaters I like (I like when they're a little cropped and float out from the body a bit). But slippers sound nice. And maybe the right baby alpaca would be free from guard hairs?

 

8 hours ago, fearless 2.0 said:

Im no expert but I would second the idea of testing keto with 50g carbs for a while. 

also I think that you are fucking killing it now with activities and energy compared to where you started. 

 

 

Thank you, darling ❤️ I think I'll go with the 50g.

 

8 minutes ago, Rebel Pilot Gar said:

Another fan of sheep’s wool here. Though most of my purchases are from US based companies. I also don’t have much experience with mini skeins …. I tend to work with the same 3-4 colors on all my projects …..

 

It has taken me years to realise that just because I like *looking* at bright colours doesn't mean I like wearing them. In truth I like black and grey, so I've been looking for different soft blacks to knit with. I'm going to have a cupboard with a rainbow of blacks. It's going to be glorious.

 

8 minutes ago, Rebel Pilot Gar said:

Sweaters are fun! I just finished my first one earlier this year (will tag you whenever I get around to organizing and posting pics in my thread 😅)

 

Oh, yes please! I'd love to see any finished projects 😊

 

8 minutes ago, Rebel Pilot Gar said:

But with the warning that it’s a huge tempting rabbit hole of pretty looking yarns 

 

Temptation? I don't want to be saved 😛

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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