Tuesday, May 15, 2018

FMD: Phase I

So phase I of this baby was lots of evenly spaced carbs. And one of the diet details I don't remember if I mentioned... I am meant to be eating double portions because I have a lot to lose. Yesterday I had a REALLY hard time with that, probably because I took the day off so had to eat it all in a more compressed time. (like I didn't want a big dinner at 10:30 so I switched order of snack and dinner. This is allowed, but it made dinner too soon after lunch. I just couldn't eat it all.

And yesterday (Day 1) I felt sluggish and lethargic. No fun. And today my hands are killing me. Worst carpal tunnel ever. I think I overused beans as grain (turkey chili for 3 meals in 2 days... and a lot of it). But I don't feel so sluggish today and didn't get a hot flash every meal like I did yesterday. And tomorrow I am on to protein and veggies. So hopefully that will help. I am still counting on this being a process and I am barely started.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

FMD: An Eating Adventure

So this blog has normally been about writing, which is why I've been so scarce. I haven't really been writing. But I am beginning an adventure Monday (yes, that is a euphemism, but I AM motivated). It's about eating. And exercise. And hopefully about overhauling my metabolism. And I am hoping by blogging my progress that I can ALSO get in the habit of writing regularly. But I DID want to warn readers that the majority of my newly active blogging activity will be related to that. So that you don't feel you need to rush over here only to find I'm talking about that if it doesn't interest you, I will title all of them starting with FMD (Fast Metabolism Diet).

If you ARE interested though, my plan is THIS introductory post, then a REVIEW of each phase the first week (there are 3), then a weekly progress report and maybe a few extra things I learn or experience.

So why am I doing this?

I have ended up grossly overweight. I have always battled it and for decades was able to follow Weight Watchers to bring it back in check. I had four big rounds of success with Weight Watchers:

1984: lost 29 pounds and almost came within 10 pounds of goal. (maintained briefly)

(through college I managed healthy weight with exercise and sugar limit—nothing more necessary)

1990: lost 38 pounds and actually went 10 pounds BELOW goal at the time. (gained back to goal, but then held for a few years before starting to gain again)

1999: (post babies) lost 57 pounds and achieved goal.

(moved across country and gained a significant portion back in the shake up)

2002: Lost 45 pounds and ended up 20 pounds below goal—mostly maintained 2 years until job change, then the gain started.

And as of my 40th birthday (2006) Weight Watchers has mostly stopped working. And since 2002 I've ended up about 100 pounds overweight... It's horrible! And I feel totally helpless. Nothing works. I've found a system to slow the gain, but that's as good as it's been.

My gorgeous daughter and I: Halloween (I'm a gypsy)

This picture is mortifying. I am clearly seriously overweight and desperately want to do something about it. Even my face--my eyes have disappeared.

Jump clear forward...

One of my writer friends posted a pic... she'd successfully lost 32 pounds on the Fast Metabolism Diet. I decided to investigate. And the premise is that through diet cycles over time we slow our metabolism more and more. Our body is panicked that we are facing starvation because we keep denying it stuff. The science behind this looks pretty solid to me with a goal of metabolism recovery.

How it works:

Banned food list: Sugar, wheat (except sprouted), corn and all corn byproducts, dairy, soy, regular potatoes (turnips, rutabagas and sweet potatoes okay), high sugar fruits (bananas, grapes), alcohol, caffeine

Now it's not totally that simple. Different fruits and veggies and proteins are allowed at different phases. It is a rough one for full vegetarians, as phase 2 doesn't allow bean and similar proteins... for me it will be a lot of fish and turkey, as those are the only meats I eat.

The other big challenge: I am to divide my weight in half and drink THAT MANY ounces of water every day. At first this is going to be hugely challenging. I confess it is more than the 64 ounces of water most diets require.

Phase 1 (Monday, Tuesday) Calm the adrenals with easy to process healthy carbs

Breakfast (grain and fruit)
Snack (fruit)
Lunch (Protein, grain, fruit)
Snack (fruit)
Dinner (Protein, grain, fruit)

At least once in this phase there needs to be a cardio workout

Phase 2 (Wednesday, Thursday) Start the fat grabber... the first two days tells the body it will give it what it needs, then this phase denies it fat and carbs, so it feels free to grab fat from the body stores.

Breakfast (vegetable, protein)
Snack (protein, (veggie optional))
Lunch (vegetable, protein)
Snack (protein, (veggie optional))
Dinner (vegetable, protein)

At least once in this phase there needs to be a strengthening workout

Phase 3 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) Pre-emptively stop the panic about no fat by adding in healthy fats. This apparently turns up the metabolism as it calms that panic down enough that the body thinks it is safe from starvation once and for all. It also does a lot of hormone repair.

Breakfast (protein, healthy fat, veggie, fruit)
Snack (healthy fat/protein, veggie)
Lunch (healthy fat, protein, fruit, veggie)
Snack (healthy fat/protein, veggie)
Dinner (Grain, healthy fat, protein, vegetable)

At least once during this phase there needs to be a relaxation activity

The groceries...
A bit more:

I've read enough that I intend every day that allows fruit to include a citrus, every day to have at least one dark leafy green veggie. I'm trying to have it easy. I have a turkey chili recipe I can eat all but phase 2 that I plan to mega jump the veggies in... totally easy for one dinner and a couple lunches. I also have a fish stew that is just fish, vegetables, spices and broth for that difficult Phase 2.

And I had my first ever yoga class yesterday. At my work they are offering a Friday class and it is a lot cheaper than club yoga, as the U subsidizes it, plus they take it straight out of my check, so I won't miss it. So it started yesterday (went in even though it was a day off).

And I did my shopping for the week today. I had to go to three stores to find tortillas with no wheat or corn... but I found them. I think I will look for a recipe, though I hear Trader Joe's normally has brown rice tortillas (I ended up with some grain I've never heard of, but we will see).

Anybody ever tried this thing before? I'd love some advice. And I sincerely don't intend to bore you. That's why I am titling to warn you. Just skip it if you aren't interested. I'm trying to document for a few friends who HAVE expressed interest and get in a regular writing habit again. Hopefully it will take and I will get back to writing posts, too.

If anyone is MORE interested, the book was published long enough ago that I got the copy from my library, and TONS of info about it is available just by googling.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Is a Writer who isn't Writing a Writer?

Spring is time for these little fellas around here...
Hallo fine peoples! It's first Wednesday and therefore the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group... Sadly, I'm not feeling very writerly these days. My mom attention is demanding a lot of me, which is ironic, since my kids are both adults now, but there you have it. I've also developed a real life group of friends so I do more social stuff, which can only be good, right? But the bad habits are the worst of it.

So the question for May is: Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?

Yeahnono. Spring makes me want to be outside. And if I take my computer outside I get a glare. But JUNE has been BuNoWriMo for me for many years, so THAT might get me going. Probably means I should spend May plotting, eh? And plotting I can do in a notebook, which I can take OUTSIDE!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Insecurity March

Hallo fine peoples! It’s first Wednesday! Wait, whut? Where did February go? Though to be honest I’m glad it’s over. February is when winter really drags and once March arrives I feel a little more hopeful.

Gratuitous cat in drag

So welcome to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group meeting!

This month's question...

How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/ finish a story?

Gads, I wish I remembered! I guess I must have been doing it wrong though. Because if I was doing it right, it would have reinforced me to do it more often and it also would be epic enough that I would remember.

I think my trouble is my first drafts are dirty, so it ISN'T the end. I still have at least 9 rounds of editing ahead. And even then I don't know if it's done. I mean it may not be good enough for any publisher or agent and then where are we? In front of more editing, that's where.

But when something is accepted for publication--THAT is big. THAT is a party.

I gotta question for you. If you had NO RESTRAINTS (time or money), how would you LIKE to celebrate this? I think I'd do a trip. A different country for each book....

Okay, now go visit some other insecure people!

Insecure Writer’s Support Group meeting!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Almost Missed Me Completely

Here I am halfway through the day before I remember... not that I forgot. It was on my weekend to do list. And my Monday one. But Tuesday rolled around and I had social commitments and my mind left me entirely.  But I'm here now!

Welcome friends to the first Wednesday Insecure Writer Support Group!!! My writing life has been on hiatus of late, but The Burrow, my writing group, is at least talking about writing again, so that's something. I've also been reading a lot. Erm... and binging on too much television...

As for this month's question... What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

I suppose for me that boils down to suspense. I write YA, dystopian, mystery... the common thread is I like a twisty tale. The thing I love is laying out the threads and then pulling them all back together again. My very favorite stories are the ones that elegantly pull several strands back into place that you haven't even noticed were anything more than description at first. Sometimes I do this intentionally (like with murder clues)--I always try to have my major plot points mapped--but the part I REALLY love is when I suddenly realize I have a solution where part of the pieces were just included organically. There is this rush of satisfaction with it.

What about you? What is the favorite thing about your genre?  And now go visit some other insecure writers!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Insecure Much?

Hallo fine people, and welcome to first Wednesday and the Insecure Writer's Support Group. This blog is officially a re-first... what do I mean by that? The first second blog within a week in many many moons.

But enough about that. Welcome to the support group and welcome to writing life 2018, which will hopefully be a significant improvement on writing life 2017 or writing life 2016. Because here is the thing. I haven't finished a new book since 2015.

Yeah. If that isn't something to feel insecure about, I'm not sure what is. I have some 20 finished books under my belt, but somehow things unraveled for me in 2015 and I haven't been able to find it again.

Somehow. I actually know how. My worklife threw me a giant turd and I spent the next 18 months trying to find my place again so I wouldn't end up fire. This left me a big pile of emotional goo when I got home and my several attempts to get going again went amiss.

The good news: I have found that spot so my nerves are no longer shot and my creativity has peeked in on me now and then. In November, while I didn't “win” or finish a book, I DID write 43,000 words. Better than an ordinary month, if not WriMo speed.

I also made a deal with a neighbor, though I need to check in with her again, to hold each other accountable in the new year.

But BEST... as I slept in yesterday (my last day off of 12 days) a good plot unfolded. When I got up I wrote a timeline and thought through some characters and actually started writing.

My intention is to put in at least an hour five days a week. I may have some more intense periods, but that feels sustainable to me. I'm not worrying at this point about publishing and how it fits with my other stuff, as I haven't had much luck selling my other stuff. It is just time to remind myself I love to write and that if I stick to it, I can finish.

What about the rest of you? How are you feeling on writing in the new year?

And please, go check in on some other insecure writers!

Monday, January 1, 2018

One Day at a Time (With Planning!)

Resolutions are easier to keep with specificity. I know that. But I am trying something different this year because my last couple years the plan has petered out relatively quickly.

I did do a couple things right last year. I adopted an eating plan that is totally sustainable, NOT a diet, and only gained 4 pounds over the course of a full year. Normally I have either been losing or gaining, and with this plan my entire range this year was +/- 7 pounds from my starting place. But always returned to that center. It involved mixed methods (which the statistician in me loves) so I have 3 days of no carbs in a week, 2 days of “light” (one super light, one 25% less than normal) and two days of flexibility (one “normal” and one 25% EXTRA). The idea is that it keeps the body from panicking and hoarding calories.

This year I am just adding some objectivity. I am going to track calories and “define normal” calorie wise... just a reality check that I hope may be enough to push me into loss range.

But there are several things that I've not been attending to that I need to get going on. I feel like I've been in crisis management for a few years now, just doing the next thing that needs doing because it has reached critical and failing to do the self care I know I need.

Physically I need: more sleep, regular stretching, regular strengthening, a more coherent exercise plan.

I need to write.

I need to organize.

I need to be there for my kids and husband.

It's a lot.

So I am actually only making ONE resolution. I take a bath every night as part of back pain management. This allows me to EASILY spend five minutes planning the next day's specific goals. That way I get the specificity, but also the flexibility to adjust for what is and is not working. So my resolution is to make a mini plan every night.

Anybody else?