Giant Gulp of Sea Water

crashing waves

I’m am of the belief that the best way to get through life is to ride the waves. The ride is much more enjoyable that way…. you can get into the rhythm of life, roll with it.

When you fight the tides you become exhausted, and soon, with all your energy expended on the fight, there is nothing left and it’s easy to become discouraged, angry, and frustrated.

I myself think this is a pretty sound philosophy, and one I try to live by, but sometimes, even being in possession of a sound philosophy, I still go off track and find myself with a mouthful of sea water.

The sea water of late tastes very much like self pity. Sometimes it feels like the world has shifted on it’s axis, leaving me dangling … like in a movie where a ship is sinking and the passengers cling to the side of the rails rather than give in and fall to the water. That’s my mental image… of course, in my mental image it isn’t certain death in the depths of the ocean but something unknown and unfamiliar… uncomfortable and I’m trying to cling to the best parts of my life, like the rail, but it’s futile. Yep, I’ve been going around feeling damned sorry for myself.

A little of that, I believe, is OK now and again. It’s the darkness that lets us appreciate the light and I think it’s OK to spend a little time wallowing in that darkness before rising up and cursing it one last time before finding a new wave to ride. The trick is not to wallow so long and end up drowning.

As the Buddhists believe (in my extraordinarily limited understanding), we suffer due to the attachments we hold. We become attached to all kinds of things, from material possessions to people to situations (this is where I am right now).

Because the ‘things’ we become attached to are non permanent, there is no choice but to eventually lose that thing. So, we are on an endless circle of chasing attachments, believing that once we have enough of them, we will be happy… ‘them’ can be cars or friends, dollars or clothes, money or love, or or or….

The key is to give up attachments, to understand that all things are transient and as long as I continue to chase things that are not permanent, I will continue to find suffering…. don’t cling… roll with it!

If the happiness is within me, then there is no need to seek comfort from the outside, the world can continue to change as it will – and it will have no effect on my inner peace.

My friend says: Have you considered a period of monastic living? My response: Yes, but it’s not very practical.

I guess I’ll have to get there the slow way.

4 Hour Body – Not For This Body

Well, the 4 hour body crashed and burned.

Nothing more to say really than that it didn’t work out for me.  I was gaining weight on it and I just didn’t have it in me to keep trying in some hope that eventually the scales would tip (pun intended).

I gave it up and have gone back to a variation of Bernstein/Atkins which is working relatively well.

‘Relatively’ means that I loose weight on it, I feel good but sometimes I go off for a day or two and depending on how badly I do on those days, I have to re-lose the weight I put on – which seems to happen right around the time that I’m looking for a binge again.

I also blew my sciatic a week ago which is impairing my ability to do any real exercise –  I am going to yoga but not able to do everything for the entire class.  Bummer.

So, along the health lines, I could do better.  I will do better.

New supplements….  HGH Releaser by Abundance Naturally.  The idea (so my trusty sister tells me) is that post menopause, natural or surgical, the body does not produce HGH  (human growth hormone) and somehow that’s responsible for that nagging fat that hangs around regardless of diet and exercise on women over 50.  Here’s the link to the webpage for the HGH Releaser product.

Since I went out and bought the vitamins that Tim Ferris and the 4 hour body diet recommended, I figured I might as well have them, they seemed reasonable anyway so this is what I take with full meals – when I have full meals (lots of bars and shakes right now).

Green Tea Extract. (2 daily with food)  Ok, well, this is apparently the miracle all us overweight individuals have been waiting for ;)  Check out 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet where they have already listed the miraculous properties of Green Tea Extract.

Alpha Lipoic (1 daily with a meal) – Another powerhouse in the form of antioxidants.  Helps motabilize fat better, internal skin cream, boosts power of other antioxidants, reduces insulin levels…. and more.  My source here is naturalnews.com

Garlic (Allicin) – Another superpower – kills bacteria, increases metabolism, good for your heart, on and on and on…. read about it here

Carb Cutter – on a whim I bought this to help with the occasional binging – I have no earthly idea if it works so I take it because so far, it doesn’t seem to be hurting anything.

And finally, and this is not weight related …. After my chemo and subsequent hair loss, my hair came back very sparsely.  fine and thin and a few baldish patches and after being the person that was known to hairdressers far and wide as the woman with all the hair… ok, well I wasn’t known far and wide but I had a LOT of hair, this has been a insidious thorn in my side.

Yes, of course I’m grateful to be alive and healthy and so far, cancer free – but I think perhaps there was enough ongoing struggle and permanent reminders that we could have done without taking away my hair.

Anyway, constantly on the search for something that will keep what I have strong and maybe even help more keep growing and filling in, the latest is Silica.  It also seems to have some excellent benefits but what I am concerned about is hair and it seems to improve the strength of it… and, if it makes my skin a bit better, I’ll take that :)

This was intended to be a quick update about the 4 hour body and instead it’s a health and diet update? oh well. it is what it is.

Diet

Diet

I have, in my drafts, a post about letting go of vanity.  I haven’t finished the post –  yet today I’m going to post about yet another diet I’m trying.  That seems a little ironic that part of me wants to let go of concern about my appearance and on the other hand, I’m still trying to lose weight.  Apparently, letting go of vanity isn’t going to come easily.

Anyway, Since November I’ve been on the Dr. Bernstein Diet (It’s a Canadian Thing I believe).  For those of you who aren’t familiar, this diet is based in low carb, much like Atkins but less fat and fewer calories – “Doctor Supervised”.

You attend the clinic 3 times per week and are seen by a nurse who tests your supplied urine sample for “among other things” (so they say) for levels of ketones.  Ketones are ejected from your body when you are eating so little carbohydrates that your body starts to burn fat stores – thus – rapid weight loss.

During your visit you also get a shot of B12/B6 and they check your food diary for issues.

From November 13th to January 7th I lost not quite 20lbs.  Now factor in that over Christmas I went off the diet and then spent a week re-loosing about 7 lbs.

The diet is very restrictive and it takes about 3 days of being on it to start loosing ketones. When you are loosing ketones you don’t feel hungry and the weight drops pretty fast but one screw up and you are toast – start over again.

The other huge downside is that you can’t just stop the Dr. B diet without consequences – notice that I put on about 7 lbs in the 2 weeks over Christmas.  You can’t just go all willy nilly and start eating carbs again when you have lost the weight.  You are supposed to go on their maintenance program  – I hear that is for about a year and, well, it isn’t cheap!

Ok, so I knew all that going in – there was no Tom Foolery or Evil Trickery – I went in with my eyes open and I’m not bashing it, just giving the low down on why I always have my eyes open for something better.  I may just have happened on the ‘something better’.

Enter The 4 Hour Body! (from Timothy Ferriss – Author of The 4 Hour Chef and The Four Hour Work Week).

I heard Ferriss interviewed on The Kickass Life podcast and although I didn’t listen to the interview that Dean Dwyer did with him, I know he interviewed him as well so I took a look at the book and I gotta say that I was hooked especially after reading about “cheat day”.

Ferriss offers that most diets fail because people can’t maintain them long term.  This is not news per say but it’s not a lot of diets that actually build in a cheat day to the plan.

The 4 Hour Body does just that with instructions to eat a regular on diet breakfast, then go crazy and eat as much of and whatever you want one day a week.  This does away with the uncontrolled binges and feelings of deprivation that often goes along with dieting.

I myself know that when I’m on a program – like Bernstein’s – that I will eventually cave to a craving and more often than not, this leads to a binge that typically will last a day and, in the case of Christmas, led to a 2 week diet hiatus.

What typically happens is I have a “little” of something and then I’m overwhelmed by a desire to eat more of it.  I LOVE food.  I love the taste and the texture and the smell.  I don’t eat because I’m hungry – I eat because my taste buds are hysterical with desire and that’s what fails me each and every time.

As a side note, my middle son does not enjoy food at all.   An athlete that doesn’t eat is not a good mix so I am constantly trying to lure him to eating high protein – high calorie foods.  I only WISH that I had that issue!

So… first the taste, then the binge and then the beating myself up and throwing the whole thing out the window because it’s pointless – I DON’T WANT TO LIVE MY LIFE NOT BEING TO BE ABLE TO EAT GOOD FOOD!

Ok, so I really like the 1 day a week that I can eat what I want but what about the other 6?

Beans Beans Beans.  I like beans which is a good thing because this diet consists of protein, legumes and veggies… heavy on the first 2.  At least 20 grams of protein with legumes and some veg.  I can do that.

You are supposed to eat this every 4 hours, 4 times a day with lots of water (naturally).  So, with a bit of trepidation, I launched into The 4 Hour Diet on Wednesday and here’s what happened….

I started out weighing in on Wednesday morning at 179.5 lbs.  – On Wednesday I ate 3 eggs, black beans and mushrooms for breakfast – chicken breast, black beans and tomato with mushrooms for lunch – same at dinner and then could not eat the 4th meal because I wasn’t at all hungry.

Thursday morning I weighed in at 178.5 lbs.

Thursday I ate 3 eggs, lentils with salsa for breakfast – chicken breast, lentils and a few tomato slices for lunch with balsamic vinegar, same for dinner and again, could not eat the 4th meal for lack of appetite.

This morning I weighed in at 176.5 lbs.  I weighed myself 3 times because I couldn’t believe it.

I get hungry 20 minutes before it’s time to eat again.  This is not water weight because I have been steadily dieting and loosing for several weeks already.  I’m stunned.

So – that’s where we sit.

Today at lunch I didn’t have beans because I had lunch out with a friend and there were no beans to be had so I had a spinach salad with chicken breast and the kicker – salad dressing which is a no-no… I didn’t think to ask for oil and vinegar which is ok… we will see what effect this has tomorrow.

Tomorrow is cheat day.  Even though it’s recommended to be on the diet for a week before indulging on cheat day, I am going to go for it anyway because I have been restricted for more than a week – I will update as this goes along!

Meditation Required

I completed my very first meditation last night.

I figured it was time.

The last 10 days has been stressed to the max and that’s not even including the normal stress of Christmas and the holidays.  Yesterday I experienced what I believe to be a ‘anxiety attack‘ or ‘panic attack‘.

I have had a few of these before and they aren’t pretty – terrifying would be a word I’d use to describe the whole experience. Especially the first time.

If you Google the symptoms – racing heart, shortness of breath, dizzy – feeling like you are going to pass out, break out in a sweat – chances are you’ll find you are having a heart attack – or a panic attack.  It’s a good thing that there is no possible way that during one of these episodes you are going to be Googling anything.

The ton of bricks hit me and I had enough in me to tell my son he would have to walk to the bus because I was suddenly not feeling well and stumbled up the stairs.  My younger daughter was still getting ready for school and I asked her to wake me when she got out of the shower – then again when she was ready for school.  I’m not sure that it was a good thing that they didn’t get freaked out  – what if I had been having a heart attack – this not too minor point is running through my head as I’m laying on my bed doing Lamaze style breathing.

In a very few minutes everything returned to normal and I was just feeling tired so I dozed for an hour and then when my daughter woke me again I got up and did a status check – all seemed good.  I waited a few minutes and went to work.  No more episodes the rest of the day but I did have an ongoing problem focusing.  I believe I was tired.

I have found in my vast experience with anxiety attacks (I’ve had 3 now) that the cause is probably not what you are doing immediately before the attack but probably (and yes, I am surmising, speculating, theorizing without benefit of a medical degree or even any real research) that this is your body’s way of hitting you with a stick or slapping you in the face much like is depicted in movies and television when one is slapped to “bring them to their senses“.

My body and brain had been telling me that I was overwhelmed.  I felt tired, cranky, even downright hostile.  I was waking in the middle of the night thinking about work.  I was having headaches and yet I ignored all this with the plan that things would settle.  B&B (body and brain) decided waiting was not an option and together they ‘took me down’.

Effective.

So instead of listening to my usual David Wood or Dean Dwyermotivational pod casts on my way to and from work yesterday – I decided meditation was required and I shifted gears. (you can read about my initial meditation experience here)

Slippery Diet Sliding

35 Days ago I joined a diet program.  I believe it’s a Canadian thing – the program is Dr. Bernstein’s.  It’s a Slippery Diet – meaning if you don’t hold yourself just right sliding down hill is way too easy.

Interestingly enough, they don’t go into a lot of details as to how the program works, at least they don’t volunteer the how’s and why’s of it but it’s easy enough to figure out and I knew going in what I was up for.

The program is based on low carb, below 30 grams a day I believe but that could be off a bit.  It’s also low calorie – less than 900 calories a day, and it’s supplemented with  Vitamin B12 and B6 injections 3 times a week, a daily multivitamin, daily potassium supplements and a VERY strict and limited allowed foods list.

The goal of all this is to put your body into ketosis.  Ketosis   happens when you don’t consume enough carbs for your body to use as fuel and so it starts to use your fat stores for energy and the result is – amazing quick weight loss while continuing to feel great.  Energy is still there and the ketosis keeps you from feeling hungry.

I went in wanting to loose about 35 lbs.  They would prefer I loose between 45-55 .  I said I would re-assess when I met my goal.

In my first month I lost 19 lbs.

The problem is that the first month landed me right smack in the middle of “Christmas Goody Season” and goodies are my weakness.

Honestly I did pretty good at sticking to my diet through 8 grueling days of the office goodies table.  I realize now, in retrospect, that the further from my allowed foods the goodies were, the better it was for me because I would avoid the table altogether.  When things on the table were closer to what I was allowed to eat, I would think – ok, just a couple and then any willpower, real or perceived, was done, toasted, even deep fried.  Gone.

macaronSo, remember how I said that this was low carb, low calorie?  Well the big deal is the carbs, if you are going to eat something you aren’t allowed to eat, you might squeak through if you  binge on a chicken breast or even a couple of pieces of cheese but there is no how, no way that a Parisian Macaron – beautiful visually and in your mouth, home made by your sister is going to squeak through anything unless it’s a split seam in your jeans.

In a sum total of  6 days (since the teensy weensy start of my diet slide) I have gained back almost 7 lbs of my 19 lost.

What an absolute bummer and Christmas itself is still 4 days and counting and then there is New Years!

I know, I have no one to blame but myself.  I knew that varying from the diet was weight loss suicide…. yet I did it anyway so I have no one to blame but myself.

However, I refuse to wallow.  Me Intercepted, Me Reinvented does not wallow.  This me gets up and dusts off and says ok – I’m going to climb back up the slide and then I’m going to continue up the mountain to reach my goal.

Mountain Climbers do not just slide the rest of the way down, they get a better grip and keep going and I will too.

I started my climb with a short stint on the elliptical trainer and I am back on the program today.

I am going to make a list of snack like food that I can keep on hand so that if I’m going to binge on something it doesn’t have to be a full bag of Doritos or a absolutely beautiful Parisian Macaron a la my sister.