Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Warm Showers list

Today is the fourth and final day of my mini vacation and I must say it has been very nice. I have gotten lots done and found time to relax as well. No bicycling but due to plenty of yard chores, getting in exercise has been no problem. We had some diseased trees cut down last week and we have been cleaning the brush out of the yard this weekend. We also set up a pool for the kiddos.

But, the best part of the weekend has been having friends and strangers hanging out. We had a friend and her kids stay Friday and Saturday night. On Sunday night we had our first touring cyclists of the year and last night we had our second set of cyclists. Since Berea sits on the Trans America Route (formerly the Bike-Centennial route) we host cyclists fairly regularly. We had been doing this on occasion over the years when we see tourists in town. About ten years ago we discovered the Warm Showers list and we have been hosting more folks since then.

Warm Showers is a list on the web for touring bicyclists. You can go online and register for free. Once you are a member, you can host cyclists, but more importantly you can find housing if you are touring. We really enjoy hosting and typically get great stories out of it. Folks who are touring are just good folks. And, the added bonus this weekend has been that since they showed up right as the weather warmed up, we were able to sit on the back porch and chat as the sun went down. It made for a great weekend. If you are not a member, you should look into it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

No Rapture for you Fat Boy

Well, I did not magically float away today, but thanks to my low carb lifestyle, I am definitely feeling lighter.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Get a Job. Or, get rid of one

Been thinking a lot about work, lately. Reading Dilbert collections is not the way to get inspired to get up and go in the morning.

Seriously though, I have been with my current employer for over 9 years and I am beginning to wonder if the ride is not coming to an end. I am just not digging it. I think I need to explore a bit though because it is a good job doing good things for others. Just don't know and the thoughts are so crammed into my head that it may take a while and several posts to get them out so I can start to organize them. This much I know-since I started eating low carb and doing the right things for my physical health, I am more interested in doing the right things for my mental and emotional health. I feel myself getting less and less connected to work and more connected to home and family. What could it all mean?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Got in a ride the last two days

I have ridden to work the last two days. Great weather for it. I should have ridden in on Monday morning, but I was not feeling up to it. It was the right decision because I felt great yesterday and today. It was plain easy to ride in this morning. I am not fast in the real sense of the word, but for me, I was flying.

I hate seeing gas at such a high price because I know a lot of folks struggle with it. But, I have to say that every time I pass the station on my bike, I figure I am saving a dollar. Two dollars each day. Tomorrow looks like another two dollars saved.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lunch time rambling

Well, it seems appropriate to write a low carb post while eating lunch. I just finished a delicious lunch of deviled eggs, fresh salad greens, chicken, high fat/low carb ranch dressing and cheese. Delicious and filling.

Other than the weight loss (more on that later), the thing that has surprised me the most is my changing relationship with food. All of my life, I have always experienced hunger as a weak and tired sensation. I rarely experienced hunger as a stomach sensation. And, if I did, it came only after being tired and/or weak for a while. There are so many instances of me "bonking", a sensation normally only associated with depleting energy supplies through exercise, from just puttering around the house on the weekend. Or, worse yet, from sitting in a meeting and having to delay lunch an hour.

When I was a kid, I thought everyone felt that way. As an adult, I associated it with having a family history of adult onset diabetes (now called type 2). My blood sugar always tests fine in my fasting blood tests, so I know I don't have diabetes, but I figured I was close to having a problem.

Knowing this about myself, I always got a bit anxious about my next food source when I was three or four hours out from my last meal. I felt compelled to eat. This is no longer the way I approach eating.

There was no conscious choice on my part to make this change. It just happened. Sometimes I realize that it is 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon on the weekend and I have not had anything but a couple of handfuls of nuts since breakfast. Last night, I had a two deviled eggs and grabbed a piece of leftover cold chicken when I got home from work and did not eat anything else (normally we eat a family meal but one daughter was out at team practice and the other was riding her bike. With the weather we have been having, I hated to call her in on such a nice night). This would have been unheard of six months ago. I would have had to eat more to be satiated and to guarantee that I was not going to get hungry again.

The basic idea is that I eat when I get hungry-when my stomach feels hungry. My body is doing a good job of regulating my energy so that I no longer get those miserable feelings anymore unless I ignore the signals my stomach sends for too long. I like that a lot and it constantly reinforces my food choices in a positive way. As compared to the negative guilt associated with choosing the "wrong" foods or too much food on a calorie restrictive diet, the positive reinforcement my body provides when I eat as much as I want of low carb foods is awesome.

I mentioned earlier that I would blog a bit about the weight loss aspects. That is a great benefit to this lifestyle. It is the one benefit that attracted me to the low carb lifestyle to begin with. I mean, I read that my energy levels would fluctuate less, but in my typical way, I was in total denial that it was an issue with me. Those 2:00 p.m. yawns? I just need to get some fresh air. Those days when I thought I could put my head on my desk and take a nap? Must have not slept as well as I thought I did last. Now I don't get them. I am absolutely happy about the weight loss, but I would stick with it even without the weight loss just because I feel better.

I have, though, been losing weight. Despite the fancy new scale at home just begging to be used, I have resisted the urge to weigh myself. I only want to weigh in once a month because I don't want to be falsely optimistic or pessimistic because I had too much coffee or not enough. I figure that a pound one direction or the other is not going to be noticed on a once a month basis.

However, there are other indications that weight is falling off. My favorite is that I just feel better. I move easier. Sitting up in bed is easier. Tying my shoes is easier. Riding my bike is easier. Everything is easier. The amazing thing is that the weight I am at is still too heavy. I have been this weight before and felt like I needed to lose weight then. I have to admit that it feels better on the way down than it did on the way up. I can't imagine how nice it is going to feel when I get even lighter

The biggest indicator is my belt. I can tell by the wear marks that at my biggest I had it on the fourth hole. Now it is on the first hole. I have always had a bit of a paunch and even that is going away. Obviously, this is concurrent with my pants getting loose. Loose pants is definitely comfortable but harder than belt size to quantify.

Overall, I am very satisfied. Cutting bread, rice, potatoes, sugar and beer, with occasional lapses, is so much easier than weighing portions or following a very rigid diet plan. I have now gotten into the habit of looking at carbs on food labels, but mostly it is just to confirm what I already suspected.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May 1 weigh in

Officially down 20 pounds since I started this thing. Woot. I will take it.

I am going to focus more on exercise during May. Hopefully, the weather will improve and I can commute by bike more. That is way more fun than the elliptical.