Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Van Gogh scarf

Before spinning I had to update my ravelry page.  I finished this scarf over the weekend.  The yarn was brought back from Germany by Mom, it's inspired by Van Gogh's La Cafe Terrace a Nuit.  It's hard to take photos with a big camera in one hand!

Unexpected Quiet

I called in to work at 8 am to see if my ICU treatment was a go.  It was not.  So I'm on day call (hellooo callback pay!).  Ben packed up Jack to Bailey.  His parents are staying in the condo so they will play with Jack while Ben does homework up there.  I'm left with a clean house and no agenda.  How nice! 

Jack's birthday was really really fun.  What wasn't pictured was all the times his grandparents took him out for walks to the park while Ben and I stayed home.  Also I went to Zumba.  It was so good.  It really feels good to exercise again.  It totally wipes me out, but not as bad as at first.  What DID wipe me out yesterday was eating a small steak salad at 11:30 for lunch, going to Zumba for an hour, then frosting Jack's cake.  Like usual I taste-tested the frosting and licked up any spills on my fingers.  I think I sent myself in a little hyperglycemic episode.  I laid down for a while and drank a lot of water.  When I felt a little better I came downstairs and Jack obliged me with cuddling and Yo Gabba Gabba. 

But I felt better by dinnertime and we had a tasty meal, followed by cake, ice cream, berries and cream.  Brian poked fun at my diet slice of cake.

One more day of Atkins to go.  Ben and I agree that although we indulged yesterday, we ate a LOT less than we normally would have.  No afternoon ice cream, no buns with our sausages, no lemonade, no doritos, no potato salad, no potato chips, and very small cake portions.  I went from an all time low (since 2007) of 155.5 pounds yesterday up to 157.5 today.  But Ben lost another pound over the same night.  And I'm the one who exercised.  Go figure.

Well, I'm gonna go set up my spinning machine and enjoy the quiet.  

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Second Birthday Jack!

I think Jack must have had a splendid day.  I'm not feeling up to writing much, so here's a picture dump of a two year old's birthday.  (PS, Ben put some of his on Flickr, and you should watch the video of Jack finding presents here).

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Good food

Another Atkins salad, and a sneaky smoothie for Jack.


Ben has already started teaching Jack to use a controller. They are playing "Hydro Thunder."

Some weekend pictures

 Another delicious low-carb dinner:  Cajun blackened steaks, aged cheddar, and mixed salad with blue cheese dressing.
 I had a request for post salon pictures.  Just more red and a trim.  What do you think of the prescription sunglasses I got from Zenni Optical online?  Stylish?  Or comically small?  It was a gamble ordering online, but I'm happy to have good vision in the sun now.  Oh, and did you notice this?
Yeah, I got a purple extension.  Because why not?

We had a busy morning.  First brunch with Mavi and Brian at Breakfast on the Edge.  We ate on the breezy patio and watched water skiers on Sloan's Lake.  Also lots of impressive motorcycles down Sheridan (impressive to Jack).  His gear came off for the meal, like a gentleman. 

 Then we all went to Echter's nursery.  Mavi had a mission, but the rest of us bought plants too.  Must be Memorial Day weekend, right?  I went kind of crazy with the succulents.  It gave me a good reason to re-pot the others I've had sitting at home, and sweep up the back patio.  Jack wanted to help, and now I'm researching how to clean stuffed toys.  Kipper is prematurely graying. 

Here's Jack while we wait for Ben and Brian in Edward's Meats.  Too much running around and sunshine I guess :-) 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Duplos with Brian

Yay for free cookies!

Whew! A little Me time

I worked 6 shifts in the last 7 days. They were all rough too. Glad to be done with that and have a 4 day weekend. I'm at the salon for a cut and color, long overdue.

Atkins is going well. My weight loss stalled, but after a long stressful day yesterday I'm down to 157, 5 pounds down. Still not craving breads or sweets. I like it. But I'm starting to plan Jack's birthday cake. I need to browse recipes and baking aisles.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Addendum to Jack's Process

Ben Here: I took a video of the phenomenon

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Which brings me to today

 End of Week 1
A much better shift at work today.  Amazing what good staffing can do.  I'll just touch on some things I noted while posting all those other entries.
--I'm not tired anymore.  I'm actually energized.  I used to feel a big slump after my lunch break but now my energy stays up and alert, even after crazy yesterday.  I do feel more dizzy and weak if I can't eat right when I want to.
--I don't feel that restricted in my food options.  I have no true cravings.  I've figured out what foods are ok and what aren't.  I'm enjoying the vegetables.  I have my shakes and gold coke, my almonds and cheeses, and those are doing me ok for now. 
--Eating out just isn't an option with this diet so I feel resigned to make my own food.  You have to be creative, but it's such a limited source of material I can usually settle on a meal instead of endlessly waffling.  
--I've talked to people about the diet and everyone who tried it had good success with it.  That's encouraging.  
--I'm having a weird post-cold sore throat.  Although Jack's contagion never fully blossomed in me, I can't shake a scratchy throat for a couple days. His nose is drying up.  I hope he can go longer than two weeks this time.

Today I stuck to the 20 gram limit.  I hope that will pay off on the scale tomorrow.  Ben and I talked about reaching the end of one week and how we feel about long term plans.  We both are feeling wellWe both want to stop induction at 2 weeks.  I'm going to move up to the next phase (fruits and nuts are ok and carbs are 30 a day).  Ben is going to maintain a low carb diet while nixing junk food.  No fried potatoes, he said, and a lot less sweets.  Kind of a Pollan diet.  He'll do periodic weight and carb counting, but not be to as finicky as we have been.  We both like the idea of doing the induction whenever we get back from a vacation.  That way we can enjoy ourselves, but then kickstart back into healthy habits when we get home. 

Here's a couple dinners we had.  Tossed salad: butter lettuce, parsley, red pepper, and boiled egg with italian dressing.  Hot wings and dip, jalapeno bacon cream cheese wraps, and roasted cauliflower salad.  

More Atkins

Day 5, Monday May 21

I'm so glad I didn't have to go back to work last night.  I had a page at 1:50 am that just needed some discussion on the phone.  Ben made me fried eggs this morning, alongside my usual bacon and sausage.

I lost more weight - down to 158.5.  I've never been lower in the past two years except for when I'm sick.  To celebrate I'm taking Jack to Target to buy some new exercise clothes.  I get to do Zumba today!
I'm excited to dance without the usual carb-water bloat I carried.

Zumba was awesome!  I had great energy and a lot of fun.  I hope I burned some real fat.  I worry about how much my weight loss so far is just do to water weight.   Earlier today I bought some new exercise clothes as a treat, for sticking with the diet so far.  They were comfortable and looked good (it helps to take classes with women over 50).

I went to trivia in our neighborhood at Teller's Taproom. When I walked in the door I had the sudden urge to order something even though I already had a full dinner.  After all, you really need to order something at a bar, it's like rent on the table, even if I was only staying for a couple rounds of trivia.

I had a coke zero (first caffeine since the diet, and an hour before bedtime) and a fried artichoke.  It was delicious.  I later discovered an artichoke has 7 net carbs.  Yowza!  That put me way over my limit for the day.  But for the moment I enjoying being in a restaurant with friends and enjoying myself.  I helped nail the 90s Billboard Music round then went home.  A three minute drive home.  I'm going to like having trivia here.

Day 6
A long day at work.  13 hours and I didn't get a lunch break until 4:15 pm because we are short staffed.  That's 10 hours without a rest.  I ate my snacks at my desk while working.  String cheese.  Atkins shake.  Mini cauliflower salad.  Almonds.  Lots of water.  When I finally got down to the hospital cafeteria the salad bar was incredibly limp and depressing.  But it was my only choice, aside from the leftover bacon-cheese-jalapenos in my lunch bag.  The lettuce was wilted, the cucumbers turning mushy, the egg and chicken were most certainly partially fake and possibly injected with dextrose and who knows what.  I'll stick the Adventist hospital salad bars from now on. I packed a big lunch for tomorrow where I'll be working the same shift, some place.

At home I made a sandwich wrap with low carb tortilla.  While eating it I realized consuming a whole tortilla, while only 6 grams of carbs, is probably not kosher for induction week.  When I tallied up my
dinner I went over the daily limit again.  Feeling pretty bummed out. Also, Ben is having a harder time on the diet without me around to help make meals.  The rest of my week will be rough.  Two more shifts and then I have a long stretch off of work for Jack's birthday.

More Atkins

Day 2
I had eggs, sausage, and bacon for breakfast and it didn't sit well. I've eaten cheerios or frosted mini-wheats before every work shift for over three years.  My body is expecting that carb load and it's
rejecting what I gave it instead.  I felt slightly nauseated.

Then I felt hungry all morning.  Maybe I didn't eat enough at breakfast, but I couldn't stand the thought of eating more meat. Sadly, fruit is out of the question during this stage of the diet. Vegetables don't appeal to me before 11 am.  I snacked on beef jerky and cocoa powder covered almonds.  They tasted so incredibly sweet! My sweetness sensitivity must have dropped a lot.  Technically almonds are not a part of this diet stage.  But I don't have much to lose so I'll give myself little allowances. They are only 2 carbs.

I notice my caloric intake has dramatically dropped.  I estimate normal for me is 2500-2800.  The past two days it's under 1600.  I guess that's good for dieting.  It's probably partly due to the carb elimination because those foods are so high in calories too.  Also the queasiness.  I need to work on eating more volume.  But it's hard to keep the limit down and keep the calories up!

Ben and I were both exhausted tonight.  Hard to say whether I felt bad because of Atkins or because of my crappy day at work or because I'm catching Jack's cold.

Day 3
Dreamed about counting carbs last night.

I weight 161 this morning.  Down a whole pound already!  It's probably mostly bloat -loss, but it still encourages me.  I actually feel trimmer too.

(PS a big componant of Atkins is water intake.  You need a minimum of 8 x 8 oz glasses water per day.  I've been drinking 10-12 per day.)

Ben and I both feel better today.  His headache is gone.  I definitely have Jack's cold but it's mild.  After some Dayquil I feel pretty good.  The breakfast sat better in my stomach and I ate an extra
sausage link.  I'm not so snacky this morning, although I did eat my cocoa almonds and some string cheese.

We ordered buffalo wings for dinner.  I wanted to "eat out" so I could feel more normal about our habits.  (we eat out far too often.  Maybe 30-40% of lunches and dinners?). The wings were good and I liked the celery.  But I missed have fries on the side and a giant diet coke.  This caffeine free coke is not as good.  Caffeine is supposed to cause insulin spikes so Atkins says to quit it during the diet.

Day 4
I lost 2 pounds!  I'll be super impressed if this continues.

Right after I woke I was called into work.  I ate a giant plate of scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon.  My stomach was pretty happy with that.  Quite the change.

Unfortunately because of how far the hospital is from my house and some delays on their end for another procedure, I won't be done here until 4:30 pm.  Glad I ate extra eggs.  I had an Atkins chocolate shake (weird after taste) and some almonds I smuggled in my bag.  Gonna be hard to drink all this water but not pee for 5 hours.

I ended up working all through the middle of the day.  I'm glad I had my atkins shake, beef jerky, string cheese, and almonds to sneak. They were surprising satisfying.

At home Ben made a big chopped salad and it was delicious.  I made a smoothie for Jack and it was so awkward to not taste-test it.  I'll be a little teaspoon of it would be a couple carbs though, so I
refrained.  He seemed to enjoy it without my taste approval.  After he went to bed we watched Thor.  I wanted a movie snack.  I found our low carb tortillas (3 grams per half tortilla) and broiled them with olive oil to make crackers.  We ate them with a spinach cheese dip for a total of 4 grams.  The chips were not good, I would easily reject them in my normal lifestyle.  But there's something about a dry crunch with dip.  Celery and other veggies just can't replace it


 Surprise!  Ben and I have been on the Atkins diet for a week.  I have been journal writing along the way but wanted to wait to post until I had stuck to it for a while and had some progress.  So I'll post those entries now. 

Thursday May 17
I'm keeping a journal of my dieting experience.  I hadn't posted it yet because it's kind of embaressing to admit you are dieting, and using a 10 year old semi-fad diet too!  This is mostly a record for me to see how far I've come and measure my success.

Here's the gist:  Induction stage of Atkins is a two week long diet to"kick start your body into a fat-burning machine!"  Basically you super restrict carbs to force your body into a ketogenic state, so it starts burning fat for fuel instead of expecting carbohydrate deliveries.

Key point:  Net carbs = total carbohydrates - fiber
Induction = net carbs/day.  Subsequent stages allow more daily net carbs.

I weigh 162 pounds (varying from 158 to 164 over the past 3 months).  Before Jack I consistently weighed 158, but was chubbier than I liked.  At the end of college I weighed about 146.  At the end of high school I was around 132.

I think a safe, reasonable goal for me is 150.  12 pounds.  It's not too much, really.  According to the Atkins plan I could start at an easier stage, limiting my net carbs to 30 or even 50 a day.  But I'm
going to start with 20 per day for three reasons.

One: I want to do the diet right.  I have failed at other attempts to self regulate.  I hope to have more success by following a strict regimen to the letter.

 Reason two: Won't I lose faster if I start at the hardest level?  All the better for me (see birthday cake, above).  I don't plan to be low carb for life (tsk tsk says Dr. Atkins).  I hope to do some power
losing and then go back to my steady maintenance with a better awareness of carb intake (hopefully making better choices along the way).

Reason three:  Ben is doing the diet with me.  Lying bed one night I was moaning about how fat I felt.  He said he wanted to lose weight too and his doctor had actually recommended the Atkins diet. So we teamed up!  I'm going to stay on the low carb path as long as Ben does.  Possibly at a more lenient level.  But I want to be supportive for him.

Day 1
I'm excited!  I had planned to do a "test day" by counting my carbs and seeing how low I could go without strictly dieting.  I had half a slice of toast with eggs for breakfast.  11 carbs, yikes!  We talked
about how hard it will be to diet on Jack's birthday (I MUST bake a real cake!) and with family visiting.  Later that morning Ben and I decided to plunge in.  We will always find excuses not to start. Today is no worse than any other day!

Enthusiasm has made it easier than it will be later.  I spent much time reading Atkins materials and recipes.  I bought low carb foods to stock our pantry.  I bought an app to keep track of my intake.  Again, the diet change feels . . .weird.  I already miss sugar.  I didn'trealize just how badly sugar is EVERYWHERE.

Signature Look

 Jack is making a sartorial statement I imagine is unique to toddlers.  If we are going "out" then he simply can't go without donning:

1.  Blue straw fedora: usually worn sideways but always smashed down flat against his head.  Sort of a theatrical 20th century street urchin.

2.  Kipper: a stuffed animal based on his favorite TV show of the same name.  My Dad jumped through some hoops to get this imported from Amazon UK, since it is a British show and they don't sell merchandise here.  An early birthday gift.  It came with Pig and Tiger too, but Kipper is preferred.  Jack is smitten and Ben is terrified that we will lose it.

3.  Plastic duck bill necklace: Ben purchased on a whim for 33 cents in the post-Easter clearance bin.  Jack can blow it to make a duck sound.  He certainly likes to quack it, but lately only quacks on request. 
 No, he just likes to wear it.

So these three things must be before we can walk out the door.

Whether taking a car trip.  Or shopping at Target.  Or frolicking at the playground.  Or any other excursion you can think of.