First off, I will mention that I was super-strict with myself and got to bed nice and early last night, and I feel a lot better today. More energetic overall. And I also enjoyed my workout more today too. However, I am noticing a persistent issue of not feeling that strong in the workout. I ought to be able to snatch 40 lbs. But today the 35 lbs made me sweat big drops. Is this a keto thing? Or am I just going through some sort of cycle? Anybody have any comments or suggestions, please bring it on.
Breakfast: leftover beef & broccoli stir-fry. ALAS how sad it is to have no chili in the house right now! Can’t wait for next week when the blessed elixir returns to my kitchen.
Lunch: Chicken livers wrapped in bacon with some green beans on the side. Keep on scrollin’ to see the pic. Very tasty and WOW filling.
Dinner: Roasted seasoned chicken drummies & wings, and some leftover green beans yet again.
Snacks: No snacks all morning. Then I ate some olives at about 12:00 while making up the liver yumminess. Then after lunch I had some homemade chocolate nut bark, which I made up to replace the evil sugar-free choco nut mix of toxic gas doom. My nut bark is also sugar-free but it is sweetened with stevia rather than creepy chemicals so it does not make my guts go ACK NO PLFFT. I made it with half sweetened chocolate and half straight-up bitter baking chocolate, so it is not very sweet at all. At the witching hour, I had some cherry tomatoes but I tried to be aware of what was going on and not over-do it.
Notes: As I have mentioned, I’m trying to be strict and go to bed at a good time. The side effect of this is that I have little time to goof off in the evening. Basically I have time to make this post, scroll my dash a wee bit, clean the kitchen and off to bed. It does cut down on random-pantry-exploring time. A good thing.
Grade: A+. All keto, no fruit or carb-y anything, didn’t overdo on snacks. Very good! Also didn’t feel hungry or anxious about food at all.
I was just chit-chatting with queenbliss about this, and then it came up again on otontin’s tumblr too. We have ideas about ourselves and sometimes they just don’t match up to reality at all. I really went around my whole life feeling quite confident that I was basically a large, sturdy person who was also carrying a bit too much fat. But under that fat, I was a naturally big person. Strong, maybe even intimidating! Maybe even masculine. I liked that image of myself, sort of a butch tough chick. I suppose it was easier to have this idea about myself rather than to dwell on my long-term inability to manage a more feminine self-presentation.
But it turns out that I’m not large at all. I’m sturdy, sure, and maybe indeed a bit masculine in both style and personality. But not large. I’m small, smaller than I ever could have imagined. I just gave my friend my size 8 jeans, the jeans I was so thrilled to get into only a few short months ago. I was over the moon about those jeans, because I never imagined I could even get below a size 12! I was so excited to get into a size 12, and then size 10 was like magic, and size 8, wow, I was stunned. But now when I put them on they just look sort of frumpy and matronly. They look like mom jeans, because they just don’t fit that snugly anymore. My new jeans are the Truly Straight style from Eddie Bauer. Size 2 Short. Not even curvy fit! It turns out I don’t even have much badonkadonk anymore.
The craziest part is that I still have plenty of fat to lose, if I want to get really energetic and try to lose more weight. (Spoiler alert: probably not right now. Maybe next year sometime.) I could probably lose another 10, maybe 15 pounds if I work really really hard at it. Would I be a size 0 then? My mind can not even conceive of a Universe in which I would be a size 0. But then, I felt that way about size 2 before. It turns out that I am really very small.
I had absolutely no idea at all that this little body was here all this time. It’s astonishing to me every day.
So the message is: your ideas about yourself may well be as completely wrong as mine were. In fact, if you’re engaged in trying to lose weight or gain muscle or in any way change your body around, I would bet money on your ideas being wrong. Don’t put limits on yourself. You literally have no notion what you might be capable of doing.
I can do an unassisted pull-up!! And a chin-up!! Actually I can do more than one. All by myself, no assistance, no chair. Just me and my two beautiful strong arms.
Some people here described it like just one day popping up over the bar. I can not say it was like that for me at all. It was hard, y’all. But I don’t care at all, because I did it, I did it, I did it, after months and months of working at it, I finally got here.
So my skin’s actually looking really good these days!! I had some actual honey the other day for the first time in many, many months, drizzled onto some Purple Sweet Potato Pancakes, and it was sensationally delicious, and then I did NOT break out. So apparently, thank goodness, I can still have a smidgen of honey on occasion. What a relief. I was beginning to think I’d have to abandon all sweetness forever. But no. I have been spared a bit of honey. I am grateful.
And of course now I have to push that boundary a bit. The Sankayah I just made was sweetened with something new I found, coconut sugar. It does count as a processed food; it’s made from coconut nectar. I certainly wouldn’t advocate eating it even every week. Since it is a bit processed, I’m not totally sure we can even really call it Paleo. But I gave it a try in the custard this evening. It was tasty and we’ll see how the chin looks in the morning.
I’ve come to see that it’s really a lifestyle, not merely a recipe. Here’s how it works.
Always save your bones. When ever you eat chicken, or maybe even beef too, save the bones. Throw them into a gallon bag in the freezer. I think maybe I will have separate bags for poultry bones and for beef bones. (Because I am suddenly thinking about pho.) Same thing with vegetable bits, such as the random things you cut or peel off your carrots and parsnips or beets, the papery stuff you peel off of onions and garlic, the weird hairy-looking end of the onion too. Random green parts off your cauliflower, broccoli stems too woody to eat, unattractive dried-up celery ends. Basically unless it is already black with rot, toss it into a bag in your freezer, a separate bag from the bones. So it probably will not take you too long to fill up both bags. I do not typically put in squash peelings, to be honest.
When you have 2 full gallon bags of frozen bits, one of bones and one of veggies, get down your giant stock pot. If you don’t have one, you should! Throw in the contents of both bags, add a ton of water, bring to a boil, and then simmer it at the lowest possible simmer all afternoon. Take a moment to feel super-righteous that you’re making delicious food out of stuff that everyone else throws away. I did not mention salt because broth has no salt — you add that later when you are making an actual recipe. To make broth, all you need is the junk in the bags. Give it a solid 3 hours at least; 5 or 6 is even nicer. You do not need to watch it or stir it, but I usually stir it maybe twice just for fun. Let it cool and then strain out all the gunk and decant the clear, tasty broth into large or small tupperwares, which you can either store in the fridge to make soup shortly, or in the freezer for future use. The fat rises out when you chill the soup, and some people remove it but you know I don’t because I love fat.
Use the broth to make any sort of soup you like. I favor the recipe from Paleo Comfort Foods. But you could use it to make Tom Kha Gai as well. I might have to do that sometime soon. It’s super for any recipe or for gravy. Nice for poaching salmon. I suppose you could even use it to add nutrients to a smoothie. Typically when I make chicken soup, I will use up leftover chicken that is a few days old and apparently nobody wants to eat it for some reason. Ha ha!! Thrifty!
Then, if you made chicken soup, make it even more awesome. Use a julienne peeler to make noodles out of zucchini. Salt the noodles and sweat them in a colander for 30 mins, then rinse them off and dry them in a dish towel. Bring your chicken soup to a gentle boil. While it is heating up, use the julienne peeler to make some noodles out of carrots, too. When the soup is burbling, throw in the carrot noodles. After about a minute, throw in the zucchini noodles. A minute later, your meal is ready. Fill your very large bowl and prepare to feel like the happiest person on earth. I have named this dish, Chicken Soup with Zoodles and Canoodles. It satisfied even my husband, who normally does not really consider soup to be a meal. (I am planning an experiment soon: will riced-up cauliflower in this soup be a good substitute for that insanely good congee stuff that all us asians are so nuts about?)
And while you are cleaning up the kitchen, put the leftover bits of zucchini and carrot into the bag in the freezer. All together now: “… circle of liiiiifffffffe/and it mooooves us alllllllll…”
When you join the Chicken Soup Lifestyle, you will feel the approval of our poor, hardworking, thrifty ancestors radiating onto you. Once you are in the Chicken Soup Lifestyle, you are always in the midst of the cycle of soup preparation, always engaged in both taking care of your business and in being wise and frugal. The Chicken Soup Lifestyle means that even in a week when you’re broke as a joke, you can put a meal on the table that people will be quite happy to see.
Note: if you are a vegetarian, you can still ride this train of righteousness. Just leave out the animal bones and instead, use two bags of veggie bits. Hi, Liss!!
So, it’s shark week, right? And that would normally be accompanied by breakouts around the mouth and chin area. But guess what? No breakouts! No painful swelling or redness. I can feel all around the chin and there’s no spot where I can feel a hard little lump under the skin, preparing to make trouble.
For the first time ever in my whole adult life, I have had a menstrual cycle that did not make me break out!!! I’m so happy.
Here is what I have done differently lately:
- took my facial-lady’s advice and switched to a foaming facial cleanser
- stopped using any personal hygiene products which contain parabens or phthalates
- started using Oxy Clinical Advanced Treatment acne face-wiping pads. They do a little exfoliating and whatnot.
- tried to eat more appropriately for my dosha type
I do not know which, if any, of these items deserve the primary credit. Common sense tells me it is probably the Oxy pads. But who knows? Sadly, we can not do double-blind controlled experiments when it is our own body.
I am so very happy about this!!!
But the painters have arrived and my whole house is swathed in plastic tarps… so pretty soon I’ll be taking the kids downtown for lunch at Chipotle and a viewing of Nemo 3-D. Mother’s work is never done.
Well, as you may recall, my poor daughter was having a very angsty sort of moment on Saturday. But today, I served the family an awesome quiche. I made it with coconut milk and eggs and filled it with the leftover meat and whatnot from our chicken soup. (My son likes the broth better than the stuff, so he carefully drained out all the broth, leaving me a useful tupperware full of soup stuff, AKA quiche filling.) I made killfatme’s recipe where you put an almond flour crust on top of the quiche partway through baking. And my daughter really liked the quiche! She actually told me to make it again soon!
I will post a pick of the quiche and my best approximation of a recipe tomorrow, I hope. (Spoiler Alert: there is bacon involved.)But tonight I’m just gonna bask in the warm glow of carving out a wee moment of success.
Also, I must mention that on Saturday at the grocery, in between comforting my daughter, I picked up a huge new stock pot that was on sale there for a mere $22. So I will be able to make WAY more soup now, big WIN for everyone.
As promised, here are my before and after pics from my recent ride on the P90X train. As we saw with the measurements, the differences are not extreme. OTOH I do think everything is sort of perkier.
And then my faith in the magic was restored! 3 lbs down in one week, back to 135. Shout out to everybody who told me I should probably drink more water. I did exactly that and also was super-meticulous about staying under my carb allotment. And by super-meticulous, I mean that actually, I went over on one day, by 20 grams. LOL. But it wasn’t yesterday so whatever! This week of success was pretty much brought to you by homemade beef jerky. Heck yeah. Feeling very happy about this, especially since my shark week is due to start pretty much right now.
But now this happy weight loss gives me a chance to talk about something I feel a bit funny about. Remember I was talking about how we might feel ambivalent about some element of the process? Well, I knew I had lost weight when I looked in the mirror this morning. I could see several signs: my shoulders looked really rocky and square; the edge of my obliques was faintly visible along my waist. And on my face, right by my mouth, my marionette lines were visibly deeper.
As I lose weight, I can see all the lines on my face deepening rapidly, but especially the lines right by my mouth. Fat was what kept those things plumped up, and as I slowly drain my fat away, the lines are appearing. When I was a good bit fatter, I looked young. But as I get to be thin, I look my age. I am really ambivalent about this. I don’t know how I feel about looking older, especially so fast. Intellectually I can accept that this is a normal part of my life’s journey. But it’s still pretty tough to realize that I may be thin or flexible or muscular, but I’ll never really be young again, no matter how I might feel inside.
And in possibly-related news, my first planned cheat meal in 8 months is scheduled for this Wednesday! I am taking my daughter out for Dim Sum to celebrate her extremely successful school year. See how that ambivalent-self-sabotage thing sneaks up on you? I must turn my mind to thinking how to make this week a success in spite of the carb attack which is coming.
Lost weight yet again! Down another pound to 135. MY GOD that is a low weight. If I suck in and haul my boobs out of the way, I can see the outline of my rib cage. Who knew that was down there? Oh, and did I mention that it is shark week? That’s right, bitches. I lost weight while the sharks were on the way and when they arrived too. Intermittent Fasting: it’s what’s for breakfast. Also I seriously did not hold back on eating during my feeding window, and on Saturday I ate waaaaay over my allotment. P90X in the morning and ass-kicking YTT backbend session all afternoon = very hungry blissmanifesto. So yeah. It was actually a pretty fun week in the food department overall. I realize I’m starting to sound like one of those nutty IIFYM guys, but honestly there was a good bit of So Delicious coconut milk ice cream involved. (No sugar added variety, of course.) I wasn’t super-strict about carb intake, either.
On the negative side, the zit situation continues unimproved. I don’t really know what to do about it. I mean, I can’t eliminate dairy or sugar any more than I already have! They are gone. Sugar is a tough one though. Every food made in a commercial establishment seems to have some sugar, and I am not really willing to say that I will never eat in any commercial establishment ever again. So I don’t know what to do about that. But I did get a facial the other day and I will be getting another one soon. Perhaps this will help some. If not, it’ll still be fun.
And if the next step is eliminating more foods? Like maybe nightshades? Then never mind. Because I frickin’ love me some tomatoes, man. If I have to give up tomatoes in order to have no zits… then I might have to just live with zits.
So that’s where I am this morning. Pimply, but quite thin. Got my workout pants on and my sports bra. Get the kids off to school, and then it’s more P90X!
Just finished day 3. So far it’s not too awful, although I’m well aware that the dreaded Core Synergistics disc is waiting for me down the line. Day one was Chest & Back, but since I don’t yet have a pull-up bar I didn’t complete all the exercises. And also I ran out of time and did not do Ab Ripper. Still got a nice workout, though. Then yesterday was Plyometrics. That was not insanely hard but I really had to work. And then all yesterday afternoon my left knee was like “fuuuuuuckkkkk youuuuuuuu bitch!!” So I got worried. But today it’s fine, no pain or discomfort at all. Which tells me what I already knew from running in VFFs: there’s something weak on my left side. Maybe the ligaments of the foot/ankle, maybe the knee, I dunno, but it’s not as strong as the right. I do have some minor DOMS in my calves today.
And then today we did Shoulders & Arms plus Ab Ripper. I really felt it, even at embarrassingly low weights. It was a ridiculously bro-y workout with tons of curls and stuff, although to be honest I think I need it, seeing how weak I was. And of course the Ab Ripper… ugh… the name really says it all. Could not even do some of the exercises, but one thing you learn in yoga for sure is that if you can’t do it, no one cares. Just modify it to the point that you can do it and keep on trying. So that’s what I did. But between the shoulder stuff and the ab stuff, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be feeling it tomorrow big-time.
My poor husband tried to do Yoga X yesterday… not good. Tony Horton is a horrible yoga instructor, because he doesn’t actually give any instructions. He just says “Down Dog… Chaturanga… Up Dog” like that, which is great if you already know how to do a Sun Salutation and how to move your body in and out of those poses. But if you’re like my husband and you don’t know shit about yoga, it’s horrible. The only way to know what to do is to watch the screen… and you can’t watch the screen when you are in Down Dog or Forward Bend. So he got super-frustrated and quit after about 15 minutes. Unfortunate. But today he’s supposed to do Shoulders & Arms plus Ab Ripper, same as me. I bet he’ll dig that a lot more. Bros love curls.
So that’s the state of my P90X journey so far.
And after I showered and dressed in a cute little skirt and tank top, I admired my own really cut calves (thanks Plyometrics Hell) and realized that I will do as much P90X as I have to in order to keep on enjoying this wonderful feeling of being thin, and pretty, and young, and strong. It’s priceless and I am more than willing to work for it all I have to.
I can officially say good-bye to my plateau at long last. Lost another pound, down to 136! Never been this low as an adult. Amazing!! This success moment is brought to you by Intermittent Fasting. Thank you!
And wish me luck… today is my first day of P90X. True story: my husband’s old work-wife came to town and she’s training for a triathlon and she basically shamed my husband into agreeing to do P90X. And so I’m doing it with him. LOL it’s totally insane and I’m sort of terrified. But what the heck, YOLO and all that. So yeah. After I hustle the kids off to school, I’ve got a date with Tony Horton. ACK!
We do not endure [self-discipline] merely for its own sake, but for what lies beyond it. And we bear those acts of self-denial and self-restraint because we feel and know full well that through such acts alone can we regain the mastery over all our misused powers and learn to use them with a vigour and a joy such as we have never known before…
Basil William Maturin
Self-Knowledge and Self-Discipline, 1916 (full)
“… a vigour and a joy such as we have never known before.” Yeah. THIS. All the hours of work and training. Every day that I get on my mat and stretch down and up and back and try with little success to just open a wee bit more. Every time I struggle to balance and then fall down. Every time it hurts to raise my arms or go down stairs. Even more than that, it’s also every time I choose to eat good food in the right amounts, at the right times. Every time I turn away from things I know are not good for me, no matter how delicious they once tasted. Every time I choose to go bed on time and arise on time. Every time I choose to take proper care of my mind and my body, on the mat and off of it.
It’s for this. It’s for the vigor and joy such as I have never known before. I dreamed it existed. And it does.
It’s worth it to click and read the rest of the piece, too. He has even better stuff to say about how your energies, if not given a proper outlet, will turn inward horribly. This dude’s a genius.
Happy Dance!! I’m down this morning another pound, to 137!! Hooray for Intermittent Fasting. It’s not exactly fun but it really does work. Okay, and actually it is sort of fun when I’m gorging myself during my feeding window, LOL. I can’t lie, that part is fun.
Not much time to chat this morning… see you back here soon.
I wish I had a way to shoot video, ‘cause I just did the wackiest shit on my yoga mat. I did Crow pose, which is a strong pose for me. Then I tipped my head down and transitioned into a Tripod Headstand, and then came back down from it and lifted my head back up to Crow! It was insane. Most amazing of all: did not fall down while doing it.
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