Tag Archives: health

Low Carb Check-in


I came home from work last night and did a load of laundry, complete with hanging and putting away, worked in the yard and cooked dinner. Oh, and I worked on sorting the pile of junk that has accumulated on my dining room table. I barely sat down until 8PM–and this is after I had hit 10k+ steps for the day before even leaving the office.

I lost 2.5 pounds in the first week. For a year now I have been working on upping my exercise and eating low fat and although I did go down a size, I didn’t lose anything. I gained a couple of pounds, in fact. I guess I put on muscle, but it is still crazy. I was hungry all the time, too, which probably explains the lack of weight loss. I had to replenish all the energy I used up with exercise. Now, I have energy to do things, my clothes are looser, and the scale is moving. I can eat bacon and eggs for breakfast and not even think about food again until lunch. I am also noticing I am more productive in general, at work and at home. I am getting more stuff done, with less distractedness, which is huge for me.

The results are so good, I am almost wondering if it is psychosomatic. It is too soon to tell if these are permanent effects, or just a honeymoon phase, but so far I am loving the effects of the low carbs. I just feel so much better. Also, my kids are thrilled with all the meat we are eating–they have always been big meat lovers.

The only bad thing I have noticed so far is the expense–meat is expensive. But it is worth it if I am healthier! Of course, if the weight loss keeps up, I am going to need to spend even more money on new clothes. I’ve had worse problems, but on the other hand, I don’t have a lot of disposable income for clothes at this point. And nothing makes clothes shopping more necessary and more fun than getting smaller, so this could be a minor budgeting problem.


Energy Management


For the last few years, my company has presented a series of seminars for low-level managers to increase our leadership skills. Really, they are a combination of a forum for senior management to make sure we are all on the same page.and seminars from outside consultants. The senior management messages are generally interesting, and it is good to get a window into what our senior management is thinking, the seminars are what make the whole thing amazing.

Last year, Dr. Jack Groppel spoke to us for the first time (he came back this year) and he actually came to my location in St. Louis, so I got to see him in person. This may sound incredibly cheesy, but I don’t care: that talk literally changed my life, both at work and home.

The crux of the Corporate Athlete premise that he presented that day is that managing your energy levels is the key to productivity in anything that you do. This means physical energy of course, but also mental, emotional and spiritual energy. So, I am trying to stand up once every hour at least and do as much exercise and healthy eating as I can to maintain my physical energy, but I also have to work on those other areas for optimal engagement with what I do.

An exercise we did in that first seminar was focused on changing the stories we tell ourselves. The structure of the worksheet was basically “I would like to do ( x ). I don’t because ( y ) But the truth is ( z ).” A simplified example would be “I’d like to write more, but I don’t because I don’t have time, and anyway I would be terrible at it. Buy the truth is, I am not a terrible writer, and I can get better through practice. Plus, I could definitely watch less TV.”

The first thing I did after that seminar was spend some time figuring out what I would actually like to do with my time, starting with a more fleshed out version of that example above. I like my job, but I was most concerned about my out of work time–I felt that I was not spending that time wisely, using most of my energy at work. I made goals and started to look a how to make progress toward those goals. I started writing for GamingAngels, to give myself a wider outlet for my writing, and I started posting more here. I also decided I didn’t want to give up TV entirely, but in order to earn TV time, I had to do something else at the same time, usually either exercise or some form of crafting. That way the time felt a bit more useful to me.

In order to fit more into my personal time, I needed to do that energy management thing. I started on my quest with the fitbit not too long after that seminar, and I found that it really did help. I was a bit more tired at first, but that actually helped, too, because I slept better at night, and I quickly found I had more energy. I got better about planning time with friends and family, too, in order to keep my emotional energy up.

As I worked on these things, I found that I did get more done, and the benefits also spilled over to my work. My work life hadn’t been in as bad shape as my personal time–that was where I was using most of my energy–but the extra energy helped take my work from decent to pretty good. There are still stressors, but somehow they don’t seem quite so difficult to overcome.

Lately, I have found myself spending too much time playing fairly mindless games on Facebook, which is a pretty sure sign I am letting my energy flag. I am still getting more done than I did before I started working on these things, but less than I was when I was more on top of things. I clearly have some work to do now. Oddly, I find that letting my writing slip is draining my energy more than actually doing the writing does. I would have thought of writing as something that takes energy, which is true enough in a way, but it obviously provides energy in other ways.

How do you manage your energy and get things done?

Update on leaving vegetarianism


It has been a little over two months since I stopped being a vegetarian, so I think it is time to evaluate the results. Spoiler alert: they are all pretty positive.

Here are a few things I have noticed:

  • I don’t have that unfillable hunger I used to have; I get hungry, but then I eat and I feel better, unlike before, when I would feel burstingly full of stomach, but still not satisfied
  • I have more energy
  • I have less breakouts on my face
  • I haven’t lost any weight, but I haven’t gained any weight either; all of my clothes are looser, and people ask me all the time if I have lost weight, so something is going on here

I have not turned into a full carnivore, eating meat all the time. There are still nights when we have a vegetarian or vegan dinner, and when we do eat meat, it is usually more in the ingredient role rather than the star of the plate. I am still focused on getting as many vegetables crammed into a day (and into my children) as I possibly can. We are still reducing but not eliminating carbs, especially simple carbs.

The transition has been easier than I anticipated. I have found lots of good recipes online, as usual, and I have been enjoying trying some different things. It certainly makes eating outside the house a lot easier. People can feed me, and I can go to just about any restaurant. I am still somewhat appalled by the whole situation, because I thought I was doing what was best for my health. How could it all be so wrong? But I am adjusting.


In other news:

  • I made it to 1027 words of fiction for the week last week. That number includes notes, but those notes were important, because they led to the decision to throw out a bunch of what I have and start over. I know, that doesn’t seem like huge progress, but it is, because now I feel that I can move forward with a draft, and not edit anymore until I am done, because I have a good direction. I will re-use some of what I have, I am just restructuring a bit and changing the timeline of the world building (I was going to be doing the story post-big-political-change, and now it will be mid-change).
  • I need to add a note to my camping planning: I must do menu planning for the week after the camping trip either as a part of the planning for the trip or during the trip itself. This week has been pretty random on the dinner front, because I had no plan, and I am out of the habit of worrying about this during the week.