Catching up

I felt too busy to blog for a few days. I’ve also been confused. We’re starting a paleo challenge at the gym with something like 30 people participating. Everyone will send in a food diary that everyone else can see. I’m having trouble deciding what will be my bottom-line firm commitments during the next six weeks. That is, what changes will I promise to make, and not break my promises? This puts me slightly into a defensive angst (not as much as it would have several years ago) and also slightly into analysis paralysis.

Anyway: Wednesday and Thursday were three-meal days and I don’t remember everything I ate; it was all alcohol-free and “paleo,” except that on Wednesday afternoon I had a hot chocolate from Starbucks. Tuesday was two meals that were “paleo,” but I had two and a half glasses of wine–yikes! I often have two glasses but never more than that. Two glasses is too much, I think, although what I do is have one with dinner and one later, so I don’t feel the effects much.

Exercise: Wednesday I walked to the gym and home twice–about 5 miles total. I did the workout of the day which was 50 box jumps (20″), 50  jumping pull-ups, 50 kettlebell swings (16 kg), 50 pushpress (45 lbs), 50 double-unders (unbroken), 12:28. Not one of the fastest. Thursday I front squatted up to 3 at 176 lbs and then this: 15 deadlifts (95 lbs), 15 push-ups, 10 rounds, 21:03. That one made me really pleasantly tired! Later I taught three classes including one intro class and fortunately the energy was great and they went very well.

Today is Friday, two meals. So far I’ve had a giant brunch of bacon, browned ground pork, two eggs, and a lot of sauteed kale, and then some blueberries. It was at about 2:30. I had been in the gym for two classes by then as well as at the chiropractor, and had not been home since 7 AM. I was unusually ravenous, although as usual I wasn’t distracted by it earlier while I was working. When I prepared the food it was as if I couldn’t stop thinking about additional things I could eat if I wanted to, knowing that actually I’d be full when I was done with the big meal I was making.

That was the case, but I continued to want more food! I won’t say “crave” because I was easily able to think about other things and do other things. Now it’s between two and three hours later and I’m looking forward to dinner although I don’t know what I want.

This two meals a day four days a week thing is really great. It’s changed and continues to change how I feel about food and how my body and mind feel every day. That is mostly in subtle ways, but one striking difference is I’ve only had one migraine since I started this intermittent fasting this month. It’s a little hard to say how what I’m doing is different from “restricting calories and starving yourself” that supposedly makes the body “hang onto calories” and “refuse to burn fat.” (Quoting various conventional wisdom cliches.) I do think I’ve lost a little bit of fat. My weight is fluctuating within a pound and a half range that is one pound lower than a month ago. Not much but I do feel a lot different. Lighter and more mellow is how I’d describe it. I’m also taking the Natural Calm magnesium supplement.

What are some of my options for commitments in the paleo challenge? Quit drinking wine. Quit drinking coffee. Stay completely off dairy. Completely avoid fries, mashed potatoes, and sweet potato fries when eating in restaurants. (Those are things I don’t make at home. I wouldn’t exclude homemade sweet potatoes of any sort.) I’m sure I can commit to avoiding dairy and the potato stuff, but those are the easy ones. Staying off coffee and/or wine might affect me more… around the waist or some other way. I don’t know. Is cutting back on those things good enough, or too wishy washy? How about: coffee only when I have to work in the morning; wine, no more than 1 glass Monday-Thursday and do not have it every night; no dairy; no potato junk?

And I want to add something rather than just omitting stuff, so I’ll commit to making bone broth at least twice and to trying at least two new meat and veg recipes. I want to remember, as Stephanie points out in “Add Before Subtracting,” that adding good new things is just as important as deleting things that aren’t working well. The great thing about that is that you find a new good thing that actually replaces a bad one, not because you’re using willpower, but because you found something new that you really look forward to.