Tuesday, October 16, 2012
There are a couple of reasons:
The physical process of switching to ketosis is done.
Some of my feeling a little off yesterday was probably from the chlorine when swimming. My eyes and throat are a little sensitive to it and both were burning slightly, just like getting a cold, for the rest of the day. I hope that as I get better at adjusting my goggles and breathing correctly without swallowing pool water , (yuck!) this will be less of a problem. Also, once my daughter's swim season is over I'll spend less time sitting at pool side smelling chlorinated air.
I'm glad I went to bed early last night because an open window, a lot of wind and some dogs led to some sleep interruptions. But I still feel rested now.
Now the good stuff: My weight was 129.8 this morning so things are moving in the right direction.
My husband had to go to a conference where they served breakfast and ALL the food had lots of grain and sugar in it (muffins, bagels, croissants etc.) He managed by eating fruit (his blood sugar is normal) and putting LOTS of cream in his coffee. I'm sure other people noticed.
I'm so excited to get to watch my daughter's swim meet this afternoon. There is a good chance of making state time at least for one of the relays and it's a very young team because many seniors left last year. The fact that they are doing so well encourages me to work harder on my swimming. Another example that true leadership is by example. Those girls have worked their butts off to get where they are and most of them take pride in their six-pack abs and strong arms.
I got to read some very good stuff about gymnastisizing horses (dressage) yesterday and was amazed again at how much transfers to conditioning in people.
When training/conditioning animals one can not just tell them to do X number of reps in three sets, but one has to find fun ways to get them to use their body correctly or they will put in the least amount of effort possible. I find people are really the same. There are many drill instructors at every gym who will gladly take our money to kick our butts, but frankly, that does not teach most of us anything about enjoying exercise, in spite of what the "The Biggest Loser" would have us believe.
The elegant way to change behavior is to find natural motivators that make the right thing more fun than the wrong thing. In horse and dog training I use food, play, touch and a soft, friendly voice to encourage and motivate. We can do the same in people, for ourselves and for others. The best motivation can often be the activity itself once we have learned the basics.
I have enjoyed swimming a lot more once my freestyle-stroke became smoother and I had more of a sensation of gliding on the water. I have enjoyed running more since I learned to use my body naturally (without shoes) and I have enjoyed horseback riding more since my spine has learned to absorb the bouncing movement of the horse at the trot and canter.
I remember the thrill when I managed my first little jump on figure skates last winter knowing that I was going to land on the correct part of my blade rather than on my butt.
But all beginnings are hard and finding exterior motivators are the best we can do to to make progress. Picking an activity that we truly enjoy (or at least can imagine enjoying) is critical. A walk through the woods on a fall day may be more appropriate and empowering than an hour at the gym doing intervals.
So today, I'm going to enjoy the sun and the wind and my dogs and take a good walk in the morning, knowing that this afternoon the only exercise I'll be getting is pushing the buttons on a stop watch and cheering our swimmers on.
Boy, this blog was all over the place. Thanks for reading all the way through.
Monday, October 15, 2012
I did go swimming this morning, didn't swim as much as I wanted to, only 750 yards, because I continued having trouble with my goggles. I also went for 2 walks, on with my daughter on horseback, one with some of the dogs.
I only ate lunch at 4 pm, really wasn't hungry before that.
I had a salad with mixed green lettuces, hard-boiled egg, chicken breast, grated cheddar cheese and olive oil and vinaigrette.
After that I had another cup of coffee with half-and half.
I was not hungry at dinner time but had a half cup of homemade ice cream made from raw milk, vanilla and a little Xylitol. I also had two teaspoons of an herbed cream cheese.
Total carbs probably around 15.
It's only 8:30 pm but I'm going to bed. Tomorrow is a big day, my daughter's last swim meet of the regular season before districts. I want to be awake without too much coffee.
I'm not hungry now but could be tempted to eat if I stay up too long.
Monday, October 15, 2012
I realized this morning that including yesterday I have 18 days until my next body scan.
The good news is that I'm in ketosis as of this morning, it only took 36 hours, and my weight is down 2 lbs. which of course is partly water weight. I'm enjoying a good cup of coffee with lots of cream and will make myself a duck egg omelet with pepper jack cheese and some parsley and lots of sea salt. I've increased my magnesium to almost 800 mg, Vitamin D to 4000 I.U., 2000 mg fish oil and also taking some extra Zinc and Selenium, all with doctor's approval. After breakfast I'm going swimming and, depending on the weather, later will either go horseback riding or running.
I'm also going to take this chance (it's my day off) to reread some segments of Volek and Phinney "Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living" and "Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Performance." I'll also take another look at "The Atkins Essentials", and at "Developing Swimmers" by Michael Brooks.
To keep things balanced I'm hoping to delve into "Complete Training of Horse and Rider" by Alois Podhajsky, a former director of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.
If there's still time left I have a couple of good documentaries lined up.
It's rainy here today, but after almost two months of drought rain looks and feels wonderful right now, in fact a run in the rain, at a moderate 60's sounds great. Just a question if I can drag any of the dogs along as they are sleeping peacefully in their baskets in the kitchen as I'm typing.
This should be a very fun day.
And here is my breakfast: 2 jumbo-size duck eggs scrambled in 2 tbsp. virgin coconut oil with 2 slices if pepperjack cheese and lots of parsley
Monday, October 15, 2012
Last night I had two lovely ripe pears with yogurt as my dinner. They were sweet and yummy, like all our homegrown fruit that I have enjoyed lately: watermelon, apples and plums. They also had more sugar than what my formerly sugar-addicted body can handle. Strange when I think about the fact that I would have considered this a fairly healthy dessert even a year ago. My carb levels were probably up to about 80-100 grams/day again these last ten days. Unfortunately my weight was up to 133 lbs. this morning. That alone would not concern me if I had reason to believe that this gain was muscle. But I had almost no time to exercise the last 10 days. The other thing that is on my mind is that my last H A1C test was at 5.9 when I weighed only 130 lbs. and I have to assume that my blood sugar was a little high again.
In 17 days I have my next scan to determine body fat vs. muscle and I'm not planning to waste my money on this one or to cancel it.
So for the next 16 days I am going to reduce my carbs all the way down to under 20 grams/day and I should also be able to make time to exercise a lot more again and get plenty of sleep.
I still want to be able to strengthen my upper body but will have to go about it much more carefully to avoid any tendinitis.
So my plan is to go swimming three times/week and to do running, ice skating or horseback riding on the other days. In spite of what some swimmers have told me I will have to make swimming my strength training for now and judging by the way my daughter looks after less than 2 months of high school swimming it is quite possible to gain significant muscle that way.
Today I started with a cup of coffee with heavy cream in the morning, eating my first meal, bacon and eggs with zucchini around 1:30pm, a cup of coffee in the afternoon and then had a salad at around 6pm. My late-night snack was 2 slices of cheese.
Overall carbs should have been under 10grams.
As expected my energy level was a little on the low side today and I did not feel hungry nor tempted to eat any snacks.
I've never eaten this few carbs before and am guessing that I may lose between 6-8 lbs. in the next 16 days and hopefully very little of this will be muscle.
After that my plan is to increase carbs very slowly to see at what level I will maintain.
I've been somewhat tempted to buy a blood-ketone meter which is more accurate than the urinalysis type, but then decided to only do this if my attempt to lower body fat/increase muscle mass fails.
I like to try new things, so this is going to be a fun challenge. I hope my body will adjust very quickly so I'll have plenty of energy to exercise, maybe as early as tomorrow.
Monday, October 08, 2012
I had been trying for well over a year to improve my swimming at least to the level where I can use it as my cardio. I tried some private lessons which helped my technique somewhat. But I did not make swimming a regular occurrence in my life. Part of it is my sensitivity to chlorine. My eyes get a little sore even with well-fitting goggles and so does my throat whenever I swallow some pool water. I was not sure if my thyroid is affected by the chlorine as well. But every summer, when I get to swim in an outdoor pool I make another effort.
The fact that my daughter is a high-school swimmer and getting pretty good tells me that it should be in my genes to be able to be a half decent swimmer.
I started to see some improvements in my overall energy levels when I went low-carb about 7 months ago. This helped to get me feeling better and not totally out of breath after swimming through the length of the pool with poor technique. I had enough energy to work on improving my form a little over the summer, occasionally asking my daughter for input.
I swam my first 25 yards of butterfly but still struggled with the breathing rhythm for freestyle.
A couple of weeks ago I made plans to do regular upper body strength training but after only two workouts I was getting some mild tendinitis in my right arm that is the result of having a metal plate there that was put in when I broke my wrist. I did not want to make that worse.
So I decided that swimming will have to do for strengthening for now.
Today my freestyle somehow all came together. I realized that when I breathe on my easy (the right) side, that my left arm does something slightly different than for the non-breathing strokes to stabilize me in the water long enough to get enough air (and I need a lot right now). It seemed that it stayed a little further away from the mid-line while under water. I realized that I was not doing this with my right arm when breathing on the left side. So I used the line that marks the center of the lane as a guide and visualized keeping my right elbow and hand just outside of it as I was breathing on the left. It worked beautifully and once I got in the habit I focused on keeping both elbows and shoulders just outside this line. It made it easier to reach, keep my arms closer to my body and, because both sides of my body were moving more evenly, made my kick more even. Overall I could tell that my arms and legs were more relaxed, leaving my shoulders, core and hips to do more of the work. It felt great.
My daughter encouraged me to breathe earlier which helped me to not have to keep my head out of the water as long.
With all these improvements I still needed 1:20 for 50 yards with 40 seconds recovery for my first 1000 yards. My pulse was probably around 140 bpm after each 50 yards. So this is my starting speed: 20 x 50 yards on 2 minutes
I suspect from this point on I will be able to improve relatively quickly. I'll focus on adding distance first, hopefully increasing to about 1 hour of swimming soon. I suspect as my stroke gets more efficient that the speed will improve on its own.
When I've gotten a month of swimming under my belt and replaced some fat with muscle I'll switch out of my slightly over-sized swim suit with skirt that works more or less as a drag suit to the size that should fit me comfortably by then.
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