Monthly Archives: January 2012

Week 8 / Month 2 Weigh In

Weight this week: +.4 lbs
Total weight loss: 18 lbs

Since this is the end of Month 2 of my challenge, I also took measurements. I’ve lost a total of 8 inches since the beginning of the challenge. I also took pics (which I won’t be posting here) and made a side-by-side comparison.

I wasn’t sure what to expect this week. Last week everything was off because of the snow storm. I had a MONSTROUS cheat day last weekend (because I was bloody starving), and I didn’t do any of the 4-Hour-Body hacks to minimize the damage. After eating so little last week (because nothing was available), I went back to regular full meals this week. So I suppose .4lb weight gain is about the best I could hope for.

I was really frustrated last weekend. That eased up when I got food in the fridge and was able to get everything back on schedule. Overall, I felt good and positive this week.

I just wish the weight would come off faster.

  • I want people to see me and say, “You look great! How much weight have you lost?”, but no one has noticed anything. I can’t say as I blame them, because looking at those pics, I don’t see anything different either.
  • I want to have to buy new clothes, but I’m still wearing the same clothes I was wearing in January of last year. I have one pair of jeans in a smaller size, but they’re pretty tight.

I need to take a deep breath and focus on the good:

  • I’m fitter and stronger — lots stronger.
  • What I’m losing is FAT, not muscle — and I have reliable (hydrostatic) body fat test results to prove that.
  • I *like* my program. Sure, I’d like some more flexibility during the week, but it’s satisfying, doesn’t rely on deprivation, and it’s sustainable over the long term.

Long term, long term, long term. I need to convince myself to be patient. This is about the long term, not about today.

But it sure would be nice to be satisfied with the progress I see today.

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Low Carb/Paleo/Primal resources

When people ask me about low carb or Paleo/Primal, I find I recommend the same resources over and over. I decided to compile them, so I’d have a good place to send them for the details.

Blogs I highly recommend

The first two are written for the lay person. They present a fair amount of science, but they’re still strongly skewed toward a lay audience.

  • Mark’s Daily Apple (The Primal Blueprint) — My favorite on a daily basis. For basics about the Primal Lifestyle, however, I think you’re better off reading his book.
  • Robb Wolf (The Paleo Solution) — I find this one kind of hit or miss on a daily basis, but overall there are more hits than misses.

These next three blogs have a more science-heavy bent. I think they’re still (mostly) accessible to a lay audience, but they go into a lot more depth. DOn’t be scared off, though. The information is FANTASTIC.

Blogs that are sometimes helpful

  • Healthy Diets and Science — a compilation of scientific research that supports low carb dieting. I don’t always love how the person who runs the site summarizes the results, but the studies are fascinating. Includes links to the studies themselves, if you want to delve into nitty gritty.
  • Chris the Kiwi — the guy behind “Athletic Greens.” Defnitely for the lay person. Not as good as Mark’s or Robb’s sites, but occasionally interesting.
  • The 4-Hour Life — based on Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Body. Not all of that book agrees with Paleo/Primal, but there’s still some good info here. I *think* this site is written by a doctor.


If you want an intro with lots of science but still written for a lay person:

If you want the in-depth science (written for doctors by doctors), this has become my BIBLE:

Other books

These two outline the diet principles, but don’t delve exhaustively into the science behind obesity:

This one, again, doesn’t agree entirely with Paleo/Primal, but it has some AMAZING tips and tricks:

Finally, if you’re not interested in Paleo/Primal, but are still open to low carb, check out these two:

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Paula Deen

Interesting article here in the Huffington Post about Paula Deen:

As you’ve probably heard, Paula Deen recently admitted that she has been diabetic for three years. Her announcement came at the same time that she became a paid spokesperson for a diabetes medication. Since that time, crap has been raining down upon her.

I disagree with most of the criticisms being leveled against her.

First, I couldn’t care less that she waited three years to “admit” to the world that she has diabetes. Celebrity or not, chef or not, it’s none of our business. Can anyone look at her and at the food she cooks and be SURPRISED that she’s diabetic?

Second, I don’t happen to personally like diabetes management drugs and won’t take one myself, but I don’t begrudge her for either taking one or becoming a spokesperson. LOTS of people take similar drugs — Metformin, anyone? — and believe, in their hearts, that they HAVE to take the drug to avoid (or slow) the progression of the disease. Since the media isn’t coming down on them, I guess it’s just that she dares to make a living as a celebrity by being a paid spokesperson for a product she believes in. Well, get over it. That’s neither a crime nor a moral failing.

Third, Paula Deen’s food isn’t healthy and has never been healthy, and no one, including Paula Deen has ever claimed it to be so. Is there ANYONE out there who thinks her concoctions are health food?

Paula filled a niche. She is personable and fun, and she makes food that some people enjoy. This is not a crime. She has ZERO responsibility to provide only healthy products or to coach people on how to eat well. Her job is to provide recipes of the type that her audience WANTS, and she does that well.

The article claims that in “real home cooking,” the chefs would make everything from scratch — that Paula Deen’s failure is in using processed food. Um, I’m from the South, and I can assure you that even my grandmother stopped making most things from scratch except for special occasions by, oh, 1975. Get real.

Fourth, Paula Deen bears no responsibility for anyone’s health except her own. Period. She does not need to change her style and offer healthy, non-diabetic recipes. There are other chefs who do that. Her only responsibility is to herself and the people who pay her — people who want the unhealthy stuff because that is what people are BUYING.

Fifth, just because Paula Deen promotes a certain style of cooking and certain recipes doesn’t mean she eats that way all the time. Get serious, people. If she ate like that all the time she would be 500 pounds.

Sixth and finally, Paula Deen is not an authority figure. She is not a role model. Children are not looking up to her and thinking, “If I make all these recipes, I can be just like her!” She’s a celebrity chef who provides a product that people want. She didn’t MAKE them want it, and she is not responsible for their eating habits in any way.

She does not need to educate people on healthy cooking or eating. They need to do that themselves. If people think that eating a breakfast sandwich between two donuts is healthy, then, well, they have bigger problems than Paula Deen.

I like Paula Deen. I’d love to meet and chat with her. I’d love to spend an afternoon in the kitchen with her (on my cheat day, of course). I hope she discovers Paleo and makes a huge turnaround in her health. But I also hope that she sticks with her current brand unless she herself wants to change.

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45 weeks to go

Weight loss this week: 2.8 lbs
Total weight loss: 18.4 lbs

What a week. And I do NOT mean that in a good way.

Last Saturday, it started snowing. Yes, I know it’s January, and most of you live in places where you haven’t seen the ground in months, but I live in western Washington. We get rain rather than snow. This week, though, it snowed. In total we got about 12″ at our place.

We live on a ridge about 15 minutes outside of a small town. For most of the week, the roads weren’t too bad. Some were plowed (at various times); some weren’t. But they weren’t horrible — until the trees and branches started falling. We were never snowed in, per se, though we chose to stay in at the beginning of the week. Later in the week, when things took a turn for the worse, there were times the roads were impassable because of trees and downed lines and such.

Our big problems stemmed from power outages. We were out for a few hours on Tuesday. No biggie. I had prepared for it — it didn’t even affect my work. Since a lot of snow (which we didn’t get, thankfully) was predicted for Wednesday, I made sure that my work for that day would get done even if the power went out.

We didn’t get the snow, but we lost a telephone pole and all the power lines on it. That was 1:30PM on Wednesday. No worries, the power company assured us. They’d have power back that evening. Oh, no, not that evening — 11PM. Or 7AM the next morning. Or noon. Or none of those, because they stopped working in the middle of the project and sent the trucks south.

See, the weather took a turn for the worse on Thursday. South of us, an unpredicted ice storm hit. Freezing rain turned the area into a war zone. I *get* that. They needed all hands on deck down there. But they could have finished the project they were working on here. Even if we’d have lost power again — and we would have, because on Thursday the trees and branches started falling everywhere — we’d have had a few more hours of refrigerated food, a few more hours of water (and indoor plumbing), etc.

But they didn’t. So we were without power until Saturday night at 9:07PM.

We have a small generator that runs our pellet stove and a few things in our basement. Honestly, we stay pretty comfortable with that. We move the guest bed down there, and although we don’t have computers, we can run the TV and a halogen light, and we can charge our phones and the Kindle.

Where I suffered was the food. This challenge I’m doing is not flexible. If I had cheated, I’d have forfeited the money. 100% or nothing. So I had kale chips and nuts. Some peanut butter, but nothing to put it on, of course. My husband was sick, so he grilled once — enough for a single meal. I was HUNGRY.

I didn’t go off plan (though I REALLY resented it), and I got my exercise in. Sort of. I did lackluster cardio that I REALLY didn’t want to do. I didn’t get to work out with Jenny or B, and I didn’t get to Pilates.

Saturday saved me. Saturday was cheat day on the plan. I did my weigh in early on Saturday as usual, and then I ate myself silly. It wasn’t until pizza at dinner, though — after a lot of food throughout the day — that I finally wasn’t hungry anymore. If we hadn’t gotten power back, I don’t know what I would have done.

All in all, it was a horrible week, and I’m really glad it’s OVER. I hope we don’t have any more snow or power outages this winter. This week killed my enthusiasm for this challenge. I’m going to start counting the year down in reverse, because it’s not fun anymore.

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Week 6 Weigh In!

Weight this week: +.2 lbs
Total weight loss: 15.6 lbs


I realize no one but me will say this, but, “Holy cow! Is it Saturday already?” I had a stressful week at work, but it was very busy, so it went by fast anyway.

I’m actually not terribly disappointed by the “gain” this week. TOM hit two days ago, and that usually spikes my weight by about three pounds. Stress can also spike your weight — so to be up only .2 isn’t such a bad result! How’s that for rationalization?

This was a good week, regardless of what the scale says. I’ve really adapted well to the eating plan I’m on. I don’t have any cravings at all during the week, and since we keep the fridge stocked with food I love, it’s easy to eat every day. Cheat days have become an opportunity to taste the different foods I can’t have during the week, but I find I don’t want much of them. Still, it’s nice to be able to have popcorn at the movies or to go out to dinner and not worry about what I order.

Workouts went well. I got my cardio in on 5 days, just as intended. Jenny had to work on Sunday, so I didn’t get a Crossfit workout in, but I went to Pilates on Monday night. Thursday night I did an upper-body strength workout with B. I’m planning to try a yoga class after my workouts with B, but I had to get back home and work a couple more hours this week, so the class will have to wait.

Otherwise, this has been a really busy week. It’s chaotic (and stressful, have I mentioned stressful?) at work, and I have a ton of projects I want to work on. The problem is, I have so many that it sometimes freezes me into doing nothing. Does that ever happen to you? I think I need to make a schedule with bite-sized goals for each session. If I can get some time to myself this weekend — not looking promising — I’m going to check out different types of organizational software that my FB friends recommended for me.

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