4 Hour Body Diet – Day 4 Update

Well yesterday I posted all in a giant state of excitement because I had lost 3 lbs in 2 days on The 4 Hour Body – Slow Carb Diet.  Today I’m not so excited – I gained 1/2 of that back and was up to 178 this morning.

Now I have not lost hope because I didn’t do everything the same yesterday as I did the previous days and there is enough of that to make me wonder if I just stepped too far over the line… here’s what I did (or didn’t do);

  • Lunch, or as I prefer to call it, the second meal… I ate at a restaurant and did not have any beans.  I thought this would be ok, and perhaps it might have been – or maybe it was but it’s not the only thing I did.
  • Lunch – I also had some creamy dressing on my salad with chicken.  In hind sight, I should have asked for oil and vinegar which is acceptable but I didn’t think of that or I could have at least asked for the dressing on the side which I usually do but apparently I wasn’t thinking.
  • Exercise – I have been, for the last 6 days, trying to implement a new strategy for adding new habits to my life.  I’m calling it the 5 minutes a day for 5 days positive change plan (a little lengthy – if it works I’ll work on a catchier name).  So for 5 days I have spent 5 minutes a day on my elliptical machine, on the 6th day I did that and added another thing I wanted to turn into a habit but yesterday, day 7, I totally forgot and missed doing both things but importantly to this, the 5 minutes on the elliptical.
  • 4th Meal – The last 2 days I have not felt any desire to eat the 4th meal so in the name of honoring my system I did not eat it.  Yesterday I was hungry at 4th meal time so I ate.  Albeit it was a small meal, probably 1/2 the regular portion size but none the less, I had not done that the other days.
  • 1st MealI’m adding this as an after thought – I’m not sure if this is an issue or not and if it is, it will be one for today as well…. You are supposed to eat within a half an hour of waking – maybe an hour but definitely not longer than that.  Day one and two I did that – but yesterday I did not have to go into the office and wasn’t feeling well so I wanted to indulge in some extra shut-eye time and stayed in bed. The problem is – I woke up earlier and while I didn’t actually ‘get up’ I was awake and even my extra shut-eye was a little forced and not actually “sleep” but more like cat napping – so – not really sure about this but it’s an extra variable to consider.

The returned 1.5 lbs could have been because of the missed bean portion at lunch or even because of the salad dressing or the missed exercise  – I don’t know but I think it’s possible that the fourth meal or the combination of all those things brought it on.

So, in that vein, I have decided to postpone my ‘binge day’ until tomorrow.  I want to find out if I messed up or if it turns out that this diet is a bust after all.  I certainly was not comfortable with the idea of a free for all day while not being confident that the diet was going to deliver as promised.

So far today I’m still having the same experience of not being hungry until it’s time to eat again but I have been more cautious of portions – sticking to 1/2 c of beans for meals one and two but I think I will have a more liberal portion for dinner if I want it in an effort to avoid meal 4 again.

I will continue to post progress – or lack there of.

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!

What About the “Till Death Do You Part” Part

I was recently asked… “What happened to “in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, etc.? Commitment doesn’t end just because things aren’t so rosy any more”.

For 25 years we have had a ‘creed’ I guess…. for lack of a better word – we agreed before we were married that neither of us would ever threaten the other that we would leave unless we meant it.  The bottom line is, if you say it, you’d better have your bags packed.

The intention was to never be one of those couples that is always leaving and then coming back and trial separations etc. because we felt that people give up on things too easily.

I still believe that people not only give up on things too easily, but that they rush into them to quickly to begin with.  All along I have looked at this marriage as a ‘until death do you part’ commitment and I know he has too.

However, “things aren’t so rosy any more” really doesn’t apply, at least it doesn’t right now.  We have had lots of ‘not rosy’ thisisn’t the hardest thing we have faced as a couple – ‘things’ are still pretty good.  No one is sick or dying, no one is broke, no one is having an affair – there is no crisis.  Well, me not being in love any more is a crisis but there is not event happening to make me feel that way.

Together we have faced infertility and unsuccessful treatments, adoption x 4 – one of them a failed adoption, illness and death of family members x 3, illness and death of parents x 2 (both mine), debilitating car accident, unemployment, financial crisis (many),  cancer and treatments (mine)… these are just the biggies.  So yeah, there have been times that life was not “rosy” and we faced those times together – in good times and in bad and all of that.

I am open (and would be happy) to finding a way to stay together – the only thing I ask is that we live in some semblance of peace.  We don’t have to be having a good ol’ time all the time but there can’t be hostility all the time either.

…. and I’m still hoping that it could happen – I just wish I knew how to make it happen.

However, I certainly am not doing him any favors either – staying married because ‘I promised’.  To honor the commitment without the feeling is, in my opinion, the epitome of betrayal.

In making a decision to stay because “I promised”, am I not robbing him of the potential of finding someone who is “in love” with him again?  He can’t truly be happy either, I am NOT that great of an actress!

However, My marriage is a very tiny part of the re-inventing myself plan.  My focus is on my mind body and soul, I am practicing meditation, exploring my spirituality, taking care of my health and trying to spend more time doing things I’m passionate about (and finding out what those things are) into my life.

I am currently working on the premise that if I work on my own self – I can become the person I want to be and if I am then at a place of peace with myself and achieve some level of inner happiness then I will be better able to handle things that make my hair stand on end now and even find a way to be happy ‘together’ again.

Meditation – Take 1

Yesterday I decided meditation was required and refocused my attention on spirituality.

For a long time I’ve been fascinated by Hinduism and Buddhism and admittedly, I know very little about them – not even enough to write a blog post about.

With my current limited knowledge, my own personal beliefs and philosophies lay somewhere between the two and since Buddhism isn’t so much of a religion as it is a school of thought or a way of being, I decided to start there for meditation guidance.

What I learned yesterday from the ZenCast Podcast was probably not even a real basic understanding but it’s my basic understanding – the idea behind Buddhism is to find peace and enlightenment through not dwelling on the feelings and thoughts we have.  You are to accept the feeling or thought as existing but then release it.

Meditation is practicing releasing those thoughts and feelings and letting your mind quiet.

This is probably not absolutely correct but it’s what I know right now and I’m going with that – as I learn, I’ll talk about it.

Anyway, so I listened to an introduction to meditation and then a podcast that focused more on Buddhism and then last night I found a guided meditation podcast and set out to complete my first meditation.  Meditation Take 1.

I have ‘tried’ to meditate before but was driven to distraction by the distractions.  I did get that this was part of the process, to overcome the distractions, to notice them and re-focus but I did not have the level of commitment required to complete a full practice.

One of the things I heard yesterday was that it is important to set the amount of time you are going to practice meditation and commit to it.  Ideally I suppose you would use a guided meditation or some sort of timing device to alert you to the end of the set time so that you aren’t feeling a need to check the clock.

While no one actually said it – I think it’s safe to assume that clock watching is counterproductive to meditation.

So, I got myself into a comfortable seated position, put on my headset and started the guided meditation.  I have a few notes for next time;

  • I need a new head set.  One with the noise cancelling feature because during my meditation  I could hear my boys playing Xbox and they were very distracting.  I get that I’m supposed  to be learning to overcome distractions, to notice them and let them go and refocus my attention on my breathing but honestly, my mind and body provide plenty of distractions to practice with – I don’t need any help on that front.   Some day I plan to rock this meditation practice to the point that I could meditate on a roller-coaster but for now, lets make it a little easier.
  • Speaking of making things easier – I know you are supposed to sit with a certain posture and balance.  I did not.  My creaky weak unfit body complains a lot about some things so in the same spirit as the point above, I am making a few modifications in the name of minimizing distractions.  I did “sit” and I did “sit cross-legged” and I did sit straight up but I used back support.  Again… when I’m rocking this I will be able to do it sitting on a rock.
  • I need to ensure I wont be disturbed – I wasn’t.  No one came in but I didn’t specify the need for solitude before I went to practice my meditation so I kept wondering if I would be interrupted.
  • Put my phone on “do not disturb”.  That’s a big one.  I listen to the podcasts and guided meditation on my iPhone and when one of my friends sent me a text message 3/4 of the way in I just about leaped out of my skin.  Not exactly the peace and tranquility I was going for.

That said, over all I am pleased with how it went.  I did do the entire 30 minutes without moving except for the text message interruption after which  I did set the phone to silent to ensure no further skin-leaving episodes.  However, that required me to open my eyes and then I was unable to control the urge to look at the clock and read the message.

I felt very relaxed during the meditation practice.  So much so that a few times I was not sure if I was experiencing absolute relaxation and peace – or if I was falling asleep. I’ll have to look into that… or maybe set my meditation time for when I’m not so totally exhausted.

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)

Alone

Ok, well, I’m seldom alone but this as of right now I’m about to spend the third consecutive night alone in our king sized bed.

This is not the first time in 25 years that I’ve been on my own with the kids by any stretch of the imagination.  My husband has been going off on his solitary vacations periodically for a few years now but it’s usually a week – maybe even two weeks.  This is the first time that I’m looking out into the horizon and not really being able to wrap my head around how long this vacation actually is.

Looking outside at the snow and thinking that in 3 months it will be April.  Last April it was running around a balmy 15°c outside – the grass was greening, jackets were being discarded – spring!

Unfortunately, and I’m thinking this might just be some kind of cosmic tom foolery, nothing has been going right since he left.

Truth be told though, the few days leading up to my husband’s departure were not great at work – tackling a giant project that was stressful and time consuming probably wasn’t the best timing but that’s life right?  If I was actually single, I would still have to do my job, regardless of what else was going on in my life so fine…. the universe wants to play that way, I’ll play along.

So work has me running around and working extra hours (something I rarely have to do) and the kids chime in and add to the chaos.

The middle kid in particular presenting me with his unique brand of challenges.

It was suggested that he might be acting out because his Dad has gone off but honestly, so far it really isn’t that much different from his usual ‘ball of raging hormone puberty in progress’ self – I just decided this time I wasn’t going to play along.

New Year, new outlook and I don’t have time for him to play “if I irritate mom long enough she’ll stop asking me to do stuff”.

It’s all good though.  This is just normal life with normal stress and sometimes it’s easier to handle this kind of thing without having to deal with an uncooperative or uneven tempered peanut gallery offering his 2¢.  It’s kind of nice to make the decisions, take the action and move on without having to discuss it to death.

So far, still liking single – but hey, it’s still early… I could change my mind.

The Laws Of Attraction

“They” Say… They being the experts in the field of all that is ‘woo woo’ and ‘spiritual’ and ‘feel good’ and the way it should be in a perfect world – ‘they’ say that the things that you focus on are the things that you will attract to you.

In the movie, the book… ‘The Secret‘ the basic concept is that you should focus on the positive that you want more of in your life because what we focus on is what we get more of.  Ok.  I think maybe it works.

I have been focusing on my marriage – on not knowing if I would be happier separated or if that would just bring me to a new kind of miserable.

Today I put my husband on a plane for a 3 month “hiatus”.

Hiatus:  A pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process.

It’s not entirely clear if the hiatus is for him… or for me… or for both of us – but I’ll take it.

The thing is – if I take myself out of my own head, out of my own space and try to look at this scenario from an outside vantage point – it just seems weird.

Seriously, how many people willingly go or willingly send their spouse on vacation for 3 months?  It just doesn’t happen.  I can tell.

Our friends and family have reacted  – some laughed (thinking we were joking), some yelled at him (thinking it was his idea) – some looked at me and knew that this was all OK with me but you could still detect the ‘how the hell did she pull this off’ thought running through their minds.

I’m convinced it’s the law of attraction.  This is what I have been daydreaming about.  Somehow having a trial separation without the mess and the hurt and the drama.  It’s a win-win situation.

My husband suffers from back and neck pain – the cold Canadian winters bring him to his knees – he is too sore and tired to do much of anything – he complains about it constantly (justifiably) and it all adds even more stress to an already buckling relationship.

He typically tries to go away about 3 times during the winter – choosing the least expensive destination helps but it’s still expensive.

As he was scoping out his next 2 trips in the next 3 months I suddenly recalled that he had mentioned that some of his older retired friends spend months where he goes and get a better rate for it.  Quick basic math said he could go for 3 months for the same cost as going 2 weeks now and 2 weeks later.  I offered the suggestion, we talked, we thought and in an hour he will be on the plane.

The down side – yes there is one – even several but this one is not about me – it is that our youngest child is not very happy about it.  The others are older but this one is pretty young still.

We have made a plan that the kids and I will try to arrange a trip in about 6 weeks to visit, we will talk on the phone every week and there will be of course email and Facebook.

I am going to be very busy.  I still have to work.  I still have to drive 3 kids around to their various activities.  I still have all the other stuff that I have to do and want to do.  This will be a real trial.  Lets see how it goes but for now I am a happy person just getting this opportunity to try this on without having to commit.

Wading Through The Marriage Goo

I have waffled back and forth about my marriage so many times I’m not even sure which direction I’m moving in at any given time.

For snapshot in time sake, my marriage is not a disaster.  We have been married over 25 years but for whatever reasons, and the reasons are potentially many and varied, I am just not feeling ‘in love’ any more and while I am not exactly “unhappy”, I am not happy either.

I find myself daydreaming about being single.  Often.

On the other hand, (this is where the waffling comes in), I am not sure that leaving for ‘me’ to  be happy is very fair.  I wonder if I could bring myself back to interested, or better yet, back to ‘in love’ – for the sake of the children…

I think sometimes that as long as I do all the other things – make all the other changes – follow my passion, encourage happiness within myself (without concern for external conditions), be healthy,  encourage my spirituality out into the world, that this one area of my life might be ok to stay not quite so happy.  Or perhaps that being a better person in all the other aspects of my life would improve the way I interact with my husband.  But I sure would have to get better at this being “okay” because right now it’s not.  No.  It’s definitely not.

I no longer have tolerance for the faults my husband possesses.  Nothing has changed – he is the same man as he was when I married him but now I don’t like him so much – and when I don’t like him, I am not nice and that is not good.

I saw myself yesterday as a miserable witch.  Or even more accurately – Bitch.

I almost always believe I’m right – and I probably am, almost always and I do think that I at least try to choose my battles but I don`t always choose the best ones.  I think the Bitch only comes out when I think it’s important to be right.  It’s not that I thinknow that I am more often right than I was 10 years ago, it’s that I no longer have the patience and tolerance to ‘sway’ the argument or ‘encourage’ my husband on to my train of thought.  I just figuratively (of course) hit him over the head with it.

That isn’t right.

So yesterday after one such battle, I agreed to go to therapy.

A little dishonest about the purpose of therapy.

He asked me to go a few months ago.  He feels that I did not adequately deal with the breast cancer I was diagnosed with 3 years ago, or the death of my mother 2 years ago.  That’s possible… and maybe looking at those things will help me as well.  What I want out of therapy is for me to come to a solid answer to the question – “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”