Monday, September 24, 2007

A Trying Weekend

It's been a weekend of highs and lows, but the lows were much worse than the highs.

On the good side, we went to a shrimp boil Friday after work and had a good time with folks while enjoying sweet gulf shrimp, corn, potatos and various chips, cookies and other junk food. Then on Saturday, we went up to the HGMS gem and mineral show. I got some nice opals, a nice piece of amber (raw) and a few slabs to cab later on. Plus I picked up some tools for my Dremel to make it easier to polish my opals.

On the bad side, Daniel discovered he's developed an allergic reaction to shrimp. Notice what we had on Friday? Somehow, he didn't get sick by eating it, but when he handled the raw shrimp, his hand swelled up, and by Sunday night it had started to spread to his neck, arms and legs. So we made a late night trip to the emergency room for steroid shots and prescriptions.

The not-fun continued today, with the sad death of three of our goldfish. We'd been keeping the pond level low so that when the weather finally cooperated and we had time, we could easily pump out the pond, put in a new liner and replace the water. Unfortunately, it seems the water got too low for some of the fish. We lost 3 last night and 2 more are looking shaky.

The timing doesn't help either. I've got a massive amount of work to do this week, so I'll be working 10 hour days, and this weekend, we've already made plans to go to Fredericksburg on Friday and Saturday. Plus, they're talking about having us work this weekend! My poor fish. Maybe I'll just have to break out the flashlights and do it at night.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Diet and workout - CKD

Part of getting back to this is to have a place to record some of my thoughts on my new diet and strength training program. It's not a place for detailed day-to-day journalling, but I think an update would be good here.

Almost 4 weeks ago, I started a cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD). It involves low-carb during the week, and high-carb on Friday night and Saturday. The idea is to get the body to switch to fat burning during the week and lift very heavy. Then on the weekend, you eat high (clean) carbs to replenish the glycogen in the muscles, give them something to use to repair and get stronger. Then on Sunday, back to low-carb and the whole thing starts again.

I'm an all-or-nothing kind of person when it comes to diet. I did okay on a moderate (40/40/20) diet for a few months, then the snacks and junk food would slowly sneak back in, and by August I had gained back 15 pounds from January. I actually only count 10 of it, because the first 5 was water rebound from the Medifast diet I did last year. So I found out about the CKD and decided to give it a try.

It's been 4 weeks, and I made the switch fairly easily. Never had the brain fog that affects most people. The happiest thing is that I'm rarely hungry and I'm able to get by with the targeted amount of calories. I set my calories at 1650-1750/day Sunday to Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, I'm aiming for 2100-2300. You're supposed to do clean carb-ups, meaning oatmeal, sweet potatos, tuna, chicken. A "standard" bodybuilder diet with low fat and no refined sugar. In practice, I've been giving myself permission to have the things I'm "denied" during the week, or even on a 40/40/20 diet. From what I've read, it's fairly standard among people starting a CKD, and after a few weeks, you're done binging and you can easily stick with clean carb-ups.

I've only had 2 carb-ups so far, and last week I splurged on a birthday cake, so I went a little overboard. I know that a dirty carb-up can wipe out any gains during the week, so I have to take more accountability for my weekends. However, my pants fit better now, even though the scale isn't moving down very much. That's the most important thing to me, considering that I had to go buy a larger pair of pants a couple months ago. Now I'm back in my regular clothes and much happier.

It's an experiment and for the first time, I'm sticking to the rules so I can acurately evaluate what's working for me and what isn't. I feel like it's taken me many years, but every time I try something, I get a little better at it.

So bottom line for the past 4 weeks?
Low carb cals: 1650-1750; ~20 g net carbs (lots of veggies)
High Carb cals: ~2200; too much fat
Exercise: Heavy training 2 days/week, depletion workout on Friday afternoon; cardio 2-3X/week
Weight lost: 2 pounds
Waist inches lost: ~1-2 inch

Thoughts: A little slower than I was expecting. Possible reasons? Too many refined carbs and fat during the carb-up. Not enough calories during the week.

Have to really keep an eye on carbs during the week. They sneak in everywhere.

Strategy? Giving it 2 more weeks on the current schedule, then I'll decided what changes I want to make. Work on cleaner carb-ups and getting more healthy fats in and reducing the saturated fats. Aim for 4 strength trainings/week instead of 3.

Back and practicing

There are so many reasons to keep up a blog. So why do I have so much trouble? Well, maybe by now, not so many people are reading, so I can spend some time writing for myself now, and work out some issues. Like why do I procrastinate? Why does anyone?

There are a lot of things going on right now, and often I think it'd be neat to write stuff down so I can share with friends. I also feel like it's about time to reinvent myself again, something I seem to do every 3-5 years. Thoughts of running my own business are creeping into my head again, but I keep asking myself, what would I do? I know I don't want to stay in Houston, and I'd like to move back to Virginia, so that's the major factor in that wish. I did have an interview at Wallops Flight Facility, on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, almost 2 weeks ago. I thought I did really well on the interview, but I still haven't heard anything. I know they have someone, or two, in mind locally, so I'd have to be really good to beat them out. One other thing is that they aren't offering relocation expenses, so we'd have to pay for it ourselves. I would, though. That's how much I'd love to get back to Virginia. Everything else can work itself out.

So this morning on my way into work, I hear a talk show about a woman who started her own business(es) and what she had to say resonated a lot with me. To the point where I went to the website and did some reading and got some ideas.

One of the ideas floating around in my head involves communication, so in the end, that's why I'm back to my blog. I need to practice. I need to get in the habit, even if no one is reading now. Someday, they will be.