Squats and WOD

Today, back squats up to 2 sets of 8 at 155 and then 1 set of 8 at 165. (Cardio!) Then I did today’s WOD with Kyle. “With” in the sense that we started at the same time — of course he finished more than a minute faster.

400m run
21 squats
15 overhead kettlebell swings, 12 kg
9 pull-ups
3 rounds for time; 11:27 Rx.

Later, in class, I deadlifted with Beth and Susan. I went up to 1 x 5 at 210. Felt good. I don’t know if I’ve ever squatted and deadlifted on the same day before. Not heavy anyway. I’m tired!

For the past week I hadn’t worked out except to go to karate two or three times. Karate is going great. Next Tuesday night we have evaluations. I have to test on basics and one kata. I’ve been under so much stress related to the gym that my only focus was on being as upbeat in there as ever and running good classes. And personally I’m in the middle of a Whole30, which feels like a great means of self-care and an appropriate level of discipline. On the other hand, committing to doing the Open feels like too much pressure.

I led about 45 people in the Lurong Paleo challenge last fall, then that ended and the sewer pipe upstairs exploded. It closed us for five days and set in motion a clean-up and gear-replacement project that is almost finished. All we need now is shelves. But wait, we also had a water leak in the office, and now there’s a stink in there. So as soon as we get the shelves we will probably have to remove floor mats, carpet, and drywall in the office too. Meanwhile for a separate reason I’ve sought legal advice and met with our landlord and a real-estate agent in an effort to solve a problem that is more stressful than all the other stuff put together. Between that and the Whole30 and teaching my three types of classes, I’ve been doing a great job; and yet nobody has said so — people are sorry I’m stressed but want me to get rid of the smell in the office. I’m their mom.

Mexico vacation

After practicing in the boulder-filled water near the hotel–which was a great place to see fish, including what I thought was a pufferfish (not puffed), I felt great going into an organized snorkel trip with a group. It took us to two places, Palancar Gardens and Columbia Reef. What they call a reef in Cozumel is really a stretch of water that has boulders here and there instead of sand and sea grass.

Wednesday we snorkeled at Money Bar. Lots of rocks and fish. Someone else saw a turtle but we didn’t.

Thursday we hiked the beach just north of where the east-west road meets the east coast of the island, at Meszcalero’s(?). I think that’s what it was called. We saw a rock and palm and shrub garden in the sand that we found out afterwards (by looking on our map) was a Mayan ruin. We took another look and it did seem some of the rocks were very old. We never found out anything more about how much of this site was a ruin and how much of it was just the way someone has chosen to tend the ruin. It was a very beautiful spot with slatted wood shelters for shade and a few hammocks and benches.

On the way back westwards from there, we stopped at a “cold coconut” vendor on the roadside just across the road from the entrance to the San Gervasio ruin. He was a nice guy who took our picture repeatedly, adding hats and flowers to us each time. We want to stop there again on our next trip.

Friday we snorkeled outside the hotel again, then north of town on the farthest north beach we could get to (scooter on paved road), where it was all sea grass and few rocks or fish. I did find a beautiful small conch shell that is pink on the inside. The sea grass on the white sand bottom was very pretty. Then we went back to Money Bar for a little while and saw more fish. By this time I felt like a seasoned snorkeler, with no fear of diving down and clearing my ears and snorkel. I loved it! And we loved scootering around the island in the warm weather. It was a great vacation.

Food notes: Corn chips were usually fresh-made, and I ate thousands of them, I think! More than I’ve eaten in the past several years combined, I bet. I ate a fair amount of fresh seafood that was great, often in the form of ceviche mixto. I drank a Sangria with lunch most days and then had two drinks in the evening. After the first day learned to avoid the sugary “tropical” drinks in favor of less sugary NorCal margaritas and caipirinha. The caipirinha had a little sugar, the sangrias were made with ginger ale (but were less sugary than the sweetened iced tea and lemonade otherwise available at lunch), and the bartender even added “a little” sugar to the NorCal margarita. I can understand he just wanted it to taste good. How often does he get a customer who is trying to turn a hard liquor cocktail into a health food!

Food diary Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012

Normally I eat three meals on Thursday, but I didn’t feel I needed to eat in the AM, so I waited until after teaching the noon class to eat brunch.
10 AM: black coffee.
1:45 PM: two burger patties with grilled onions, truffle oil, bacon, and green salad (at Voila, aka Le French Burger), black tea; apple, blueberries when I got home ’cause I was still hungry.
Slight nagging headache.
9 PM: 8 oz salmon baked with a little olive oil on it, lots of kale sauteed in coconut oil, kombucha, blueberries, still hungry, had a few walnuts and pecans and raisins.
Took two Aleve at 9 PM for the migraine that was starting up. It went away before I went to sleep at 11:45.

Food diary Wednesday Feb. 1, 2012

9:30 AM: 6 oz ground pork browned in some coconut oil with 3 eggs and a bunch of spinach. 10 oz black coffee.

Exercise: AMRAP 10  minutes, 5 power cleans (53#), 5 push-ups, 5 knees to elbows. I only did 9 minutes because I started after my group started. I got 8 rounds.

3 PM: half a .91 lb steak, half a bunch of kale sauteed in lard. An apple. Kombucha, homemade. Water. Blueberries. An apple.

Exercise: Walked to the gym and back.

9 PM: the other half steak and kale prepared in coconut oil. Kombucha. Water. Still hungry! Hmmm.

What I’ve learned the first month

Since January 1, I’ve been eating only twice a day on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Fridays. I started doing it to see if I could slowly lose weight. I may have lost one pound. I’ve learned some new things about my metabolism, and I only had one migraine all month. Now I’m having a period, which came as a surprise. I normally don’t get them because I don’t take a pill break very often. I wonder if my mild intermittent fasting somehow allowed my natural hormonal cycle to overpower the pill just as it changed something in my head that avoided some migraines. I would sure like to go off the pill while I still have cycles.

So, what I’ve learned:
1) It feels really good to delay eating, a lot of the time. This is only true while I’m eating a high fat paleo diet and getting enough sleep and not stressed out. 2) I can sometimes feel when my brain shifts to running on fat/ketones–I suddenly find myself quite alert and sharp after a little spaciness. This feels great. 3) I can’t work out fasted. 4) It’s hard to lose fat! 5) When I eat less often, I appreciate and relish my meals more.

Food diary Monday Jan. 30, 2012

11 AM: a tall americano, black.
1:30 PM: golf ball size amount of bulk lamb sausage from Leschi market browned in a little lard with three eggs and a bunch of spinach. Homemade kombucha. An apple and some macadamias.
Exercise: Heavy deadlifts up to 3 at 225. Planned to do 3 at 250 (90% of my calculated 1RM which is obviously wrong today) but could not lift it off the  floor at all.
9 PM: .4 lb coho salmon fillet, baked with a little olive oil and salt, lots of kale sauteed in 2 T lard, white wine 2 glasses.

Felt like from the waist down I had been run over by a truck. (Fatigue/ache, not injury.)

Food diary Saturday 1/28/2012

6:15 AM: browned ground pork with 3 eggs, spinach, black coffee about 8 oz (half my tall mug). Walked to gym.
9:45 AM: Two Kind bars, an apple, a few macadamias, herb tea.

Exercise: 1 minute each: box jumps, push-ups, double-unders, rowing, thrusters (25#), rest, 3 rounds for score. I worked hard. Don’t remember my score.

1 PM:  Three chicken legs from the market, half an avocado, water.
8 PM at The Whistle Stop Ale House (seeing George’s band): a big steak in a mustard/pepper sauce, mashed sweet potatoes, broccoli, water, 2 glasses of wine.

Went to bed at midnight but read for a while, slept really late (10:15) but not well, headache, jaw pain.

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.

Food diary, Monday, Jan. 23

9:30 AM: black coffee
1 PM: ground lamb .63 lb, 3 eggs, a bunch of spinach, all cooked in coconut oil. An apple with some salted roasted almonds.
9 PM: reheated chicken from last night (salsa, lots of coconut oil, a little prosciutto). Two glasses dry white wine.

Exercise: I fell on the steps today on ice and bruised my right-side sacrum. For a while I thought it may have been a joint injury, so for exercise I just did three sets of max press at 53 lbs and three sets of max strict pull-ups, and mopped half the gym floor.

Food diary Sunday, 1/22/2012

10 AM: black coffee, 3 eggs with ground pork and spinach browned in lard, salsa
6:30 PM: a chicken breast and thigh browned in coconut oil then cooked with prosciutto, salsa, chicken stock, and seasonings. I couldn’t finish the breast. 2 glasses white wine.

Nagging headache all day that I was able to ignore. It woke me up sometime on Sunday night as a bad migraine, so I took Maxalt for it. It didn’t come back on Monday. This was the first migraine in 2012. I do feel that the eating twice a day most days is helping me not get headaches.