Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day 6 - Bootcamp breakthrough

Thank you so much for your comments, which are a HUGE help. I have good news to report. I went to bootcamp this morning. This is something I've been doing twice a week since September, and I absolutely love it. Initially we were outside in the park, since November we've been indoors. We do exercises and running which don't require anything much apart from your own body. And it's fun. The woman who runs it, Donna, is great, knows what she's doing, gets us going, and is super-nice. If anyone lives in the Hudson Valley NY area, I really recommend joining the group. What I've found with exercise, is that you have to want to do it. If I think "Oh no. I have to go to the gym today," I know I'm onto a loser. Previously, the only place where I really enjoyed exercising was at my Dad's house in Italy. I run up the hill behind his house, on the dirt tracks amidst the olive groves, up, up, until I reach the tall pine trees at the top and sit down and look out at the view over Rome. Whenever I'm there, I get very fit, because I want to go running every day. It's a treat. Not surprisingly, this is not something I've been able to replicate in "normal" life. It's always "Oh no. I have to go running." Bootcamp changed all this. I want to go, I think because the company is so nice. One Danish woman doing it is actually 79 years old (I think), you wouldn't believe it, she looks about 60. She used to be a cross-country skiing champion.

Anyway, I struggled through bootcamp today. I really felt my muscles hurting as I did the exercises. This doesn't normally happen. Even exercises I normally find easy (eg. standing with my back against the wall with knees bent so I'm in a sitting position - sorry don't know the term for it) I found hard to do. I could feel my stomach muscles as I was doing planks, I could feel my arm muscles as we used the kettlebells. It's very strange, because normally it's only the day after that they ache. But afterwards I felt great. I still do. Those who recommended exercise are right!

My weight is 162 lbs, so down approx 4 lbs since starting this...and I feel very upbeat and energetic.


I still have an issue with eating though. I really appreciate your recommendations on food, and will try to follow some of your tips. I think my issue is partly one of time management, in this sense: my days have never been structured to allow time to think about food/recipes during the day. I rush around with the kids, I spend time in my office making calls and doing work, and it's only in the evening that I have time to think about food.  It's not that I don't want to cook all these lovely recipes and think about them, but my day isn't organized to allow it.

So, for example, yesterday, I really honestly wanted to eat lunch, but I didn't get around to it. I had bacon, eggs and sausages for breakfast, and spent the rest of the day getting by on water (and maybe a cup or two of coffee) as I drove the kids around and did interviews from my office. I finally found myself in ShopRite at 6pm, buying food, and trying to come up with ideas, which I did. I had a great recipe book with me, Nigel Slater's 30-Minute Cook which has lots of enticing vegetable and meat dishes. I also had one recipe with me, for pancakes. But I got so tired I actually sat down on the floor at one point, and just looked at my shopping list.

When I got home, I ate a ton of pistachios, and quickly put together an avocado filled with crab, cilantro, mayonnaise and turmeric. We were supposed to have steak and various things as our main course, my husband had offered to cook, but I had a "quick rest" before dinner, read my mystery for a few minutes, and promptly fell asleep. When my husband asked me if I wanted dinner I had no idea what he was talking about. I woke up in the middle of the night with the light on, my contact lenses in, all my clothes on, and my husband asleep beside me.

This is partly because I'd had to stay up till 2.30 am the night before, writing up an interview. So it seems like a one-off. But there always seems to be something throwing off my day...


  1. Hi Sophie!

    So glad you're getting over the hump! Congrats on the weight loss!

    Exercising while your metabolism is switching to fat burning can be hard for those first 2-3 weeks. You can counteract that by eating more fat, as others have suggested previously.

    I personally do Superslow weight lifting, eating 1650 cals a day, 40 net carbs, at a 25% protein, 65% fat, and 5% carb ratio. Right now I'm leg pressing 300 pounds, up from 90 when I began last September.

    This is a great lifestyle for fueling exercise, and once you complete the switch, you'll find you actually have more stamina and steady energy than the sugar-burners around you. Look out world! you'll be on fire! :)

    Exercising could deplete your electrolytes, so don't forget your broth, avocado, and foods high in magnesium! :)

    So glad to hear you are adapting and happy now! :) Can't wait to hear more about how your husband is doing too. Best wishes to you all.

    1. Sorry for the typo! Of course it's a 25-65-10 ratio. Obviously, I need a cup of broth! :)

  2. One thing that has helped me is to create a menu. It could ne for a week or just a few days.
    I look through recipes and create a varied breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. For snacks I just keep a list to choose from: boiled, eggs, nuts, etc.
    I promise it helps. It takes the guesswork out of it.
    Look for Crockpot recipes as well.

    You're doing great!

  3. Finding time to prepare meals is definitely one of the biggest challenges. It's all about preparing ahead of time. A couple things that really help me are:

    Crockpot/slow cooker: A little bit of prep the night before, throw everything in in the morning and you have a great meal with minimal work at night.

    Prepare as much as you can on the weekends. For example, make a big pot of chili or beef stew, dish it out into tupperware and then freeze it. Take out servings as you need them throughout the week.

    Cook twice as much as you normally do for dinner. Don't just have some scraps left over when you are done dinner. Cook enough so that you have at least two more good sized portions. Then put them in the fridge and have them for lunch (or even breakfast) the next day. All it takes is a couple minutes to warm it up in the microwave.

    Good luck!

  4. Sophie - I am a huge believer in LCHF simply because of the science behind it (and a big fan of Taubes), but I'm going to say here that I don't think this is the diet for you -- at least not at this time. To do this, you have to have a certain dedication to planning ahead and making sure you have food available that is not too difficult to consume. For example: (all already cooked) chicken wings, sliced meats such as a pork or beef roast or ham, hard-boiled eggs. You also have three children and are preparing for a move, which tosses a whole extra level of complexity into the mix. The way you are approaching this diet makes it seem as if the problem is with the LCHF lifestyle, when it's merely that it may not be a good choice for you without a more serious, planned approach. No one should be miserable on a "diet," but rather comfortable with a lifestyle of healthy eating, regardless of what that healthy eating style may be. And I'm a food and health writer, so I know a bit whereof I speak!

    1. I agree with you in many ways, but I also think that if it's an approach that is too hard for busy people, then it'll limit its effectiveness as potentially solving the weight problems of the entire population? That's why I'm kind of interested if I can manage it, despite the fact that, yes, I've always got too much on.

    2. It really wasn't the busyness issue that had me concerned about you being on this diet, it was the lack of planning, the impulsive nature of the decision to start this way of eating. Sounds like you're doing much better, though, and getting into the swing of it. Also, while I do like the LCHF approach very much, especially for those with metabolic disorders (like my son), I don't necessarily agree that it can potentially solve the weight problems of an entire population. One way of eating will never be suitable for everyone, some people just eat too much of the wrong foods and can solve their weight and health problems by making better food choices, regardless of what way of eating they choose to follow.

    3. Forgot to add: Good luck to you and I enjoy your blog!

  5. I disagree Warrior Woman. There's no need to be a perfectionist. That's a sure way to failure for most people. It sounds like she is doing fine to me, and experiencing normal levels of misery, figuring out things as she goes along like many of us did.