Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Hmmm. 157.0 again today, and a gut full of, er, stuff. I think if it goes away (as I wish sincerely it would; it's a mite painful), the weight will go back down. Here's yesterday:
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • scrambled eggs
  • bacon
  • a jar of dilly beans
  • 6 hunks of cheese of various sorts
  • 2 dark chocolate peanut butter cups
  • 3-4 other pieces of chocolate or candy (including walnut fudge)
  • a naked burger with cheese and guacamole
  • a cup of green chile with cheese on top
  • about 6 french fries
  • 1 tsp honey
It was a rather carby, snacky sort of day - still trying to get that under control, and not as successful as I thought I'd been the day before. I need to keep reminding myself that nasty french fries (these were limp and bland) are not worth eating. That if I don't want dried-up walnut fudge and I do want a chocolate, to ONLY have the chocolate. That would have reduced the carbs by about half all by itself. The dilly beans - which I'd made as an experiment when our pole beans went berserk - were really good. I think I'll plan to grow enough to do them again next year - only more of them.

Sleep last night was better in retrospect than it seemed it was going to be around midnight. I woke up, thinking I was in for another bout of insomnia, and laid there focusing on how sleepy I was, which put me right back to sleep. The next time I woke, it was 5:10. Done on honey and melatonin. I'll take it, even if it resulted in frustration dreams about trying to board a plane and being prevented by a number of different things. Second night in a row of frustration dreams, which is kind of interesting.

Plan for today is to keep the candy to 2 pieces total today. I have cheese with me for "lunch", and no idea what we'll have for dinner yet. No plans for the evening; we're pretty lame when it comes to dancing in the New Year (or whatever people do anymore). The 5K tomorrow is still in limbo - it includes timing tags that need to be turned in, which means I have to go over there anyway, even if we're not participating, so if it's sunny and above 10 degrees, I'll probably do the race. With socks in my Vibrams. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


At the moment, I seem to have some control over things. 155.6 this morning - which could just be a setpoint defense reaction, but either way, a recovery from the excesses of last week.  Here's yesterday:
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • scrambled eggs
  • bacon
  • a bag of peanuts
  • 2 dark chocolates sweetened with maltitol
  • meat loaf
  • Southern-style green beans
  • 2 regular chocolates
  • somewhat less than 1 cup of cashews
And that was it. Better than it has been in a while for snacking; I seem to be better able to regulate my cravings at the moment. Not counting on that to continue, though. If I can get on top of things for a while, though, it might be easier to keep the next wave of cravings at bay longer. Maybe.

No exercise last night - it's too damn cold to go outside right now - and that includes walking to the car to drive to the gym. I got sleep - dream-riddled - but it was via Benadryl - my attempt to keep things from going sideways there by taking one periodically if I've had a couple of bad nights. It seems to be working so far.

Working from home today - the roads are rotten. I have a jar of dilly beans on the desk to nosh on as needed - hoping that they'll keep me out of weird carb binges. Though we did a bit of a purge over the weekend, so the weird carbs are not as available. A good thing.

Dinner out tonight - probably, anyway. We have to go pick up the shirts and numbers for the 5K on Thursday that we're almost certainly not doing (too cold), and will probably get something there.

Stress - meh. Somewhat better than before the holidays, but since I can't do what I want right now (hibernate), it'll probably never be zero.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Monday after Christmas

We survived, I think. Although survival included a medium movie popcorn, too many cookies, and too much chocolate, we survived it, and most of the chocolate has come to work, to be eaten by co-workers. I have had lots of salad over the past 2-3 days - dinner last night, lunch yesterday, possibly at least one other meal. Also soup. Probably the way to go for a while.

156.6 this morning - after a weekend where 157.8 was the theme. And, looking back, I see that I'm down from Wednesday a bit. 

No exercise to speak of this weekend - we have been slugs. But then, Lee threw his back out on Wednesday, slept through about half of Christmas, and is still coughing more than he'd like, so he's not really into much of anything vigorous. And I've been trying to make up for lost sleep, with not much success, I'm afraid. Seems like I get decent sleep about every third or fourth night - and sometimes, I have to force the issue with Benadryl. I will keep plugging, though. I continue to try to read on paper in the evenings, and have been taking honey before bed, with the resulting vivid - though, not so far memorable - dreams. I think that's indicative of more restorative sleep in one area (mental) at least.

Anyway, the stress of getting through Christmas is over, and there's nothing else upcoming that seems like a "power through it" event in the same way, so that should help things.

I seem to have got a low-grade sinus infection over the past week somehow. Seriously? I'm quite grateful that it isn't anything worse; I was a bit concerned that with the 4-day break and getting past Christmas, I'd come down with something awful - "vacation flu" or the like.

In theory, we are doing a 5K on Thursday to celebrate the New Year. In practicality, it's highly unlikely that Lee will be up for it at all, and my participation depends on the weather. I may have just bought a couple of $25 shirts, since we're due for below-zero highs tomorrow and will just be climbing out of that mess by Thursday.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


156.8 this morning. Here's yesterday:
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • scrambled eggs with ham, cheese, and tomatoes
  • 3 pieces of Kerrygold Irish cheddar
  • a ziploc bag of strawberries
  • salad with turkey and blue cheese dressing
  • 4 rice flour cookies (with frosting)
  • the cookie dough for a fifth
  • about 10 mint M&Ms
That was it. We did a bit of grocery shopping last night, and I baked cookies, which kept me out of the sitting-and-snacking habit.

Sleep was pretty good last night - with aid of a Benadryl. I fell asleep soon after 9, and woke up just after 5, with nothing but dreamland in the middle. I figured I'd had plenty of sugar last night, so I didn't bother with the honey, and I know that I dreamed last night, but again, not about what. Which is fine - if I were able to remember, it would mean that I'd been pretty near awake. For what it's worth, I've been looking dragged out and baggy-eyed all last week and this, and I still do. I feel better this morning than I have in quite a while, though.

Short workday today, but a long day. Our intention is to go to Midnight Mass, and if it's anything like the last time, we'll get home after 2 am. I'm spending the evening cooking in preparation for a bang-up brunch tomorrow, which we will eat when we get up - maybe around 10. A family dinner tomorrow evening - at which I am providing antipasto - beyond that, we don't know what's being served. And once that's done, we will be getting rid of all the sugar around the house again and getting back to eating healthy. My New Year's resolution - which I mean to implement starting tomorrow - is to get more vegetables into our diet.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


157.2 this morning. I knew the weekend would catch up with me eventually. Or yesterday:
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • scrambled eggs
  • turkey sausage
  • string cheese
  • strawberries
  • Five Guys bacon cheese burger
  • fries
  • 1 piece of candy box chocolate
  • 2-3 small handfuls of mint M&Ms
  • 1 tsp honey
Actually, that doesn't look all that bad - maybe the M&Ms were a bit over the top, and obviously the fries were a treat. I'm struggling with cravings at the moment - would probably break down completely if someone offered me a cookie - and mood swings, which makes a change from the usual insomnia and hot flashes. If I had to guess, I'd say Thursday is going to be rather rough for me. Forewarned, I can go in intending to make an effort, and not let my issues wreck the day for anyone else.

Sleep last night was okay - I woke at 1:40 and, while I didn't stay fully awake for hours, I slept fitfully until just before 5 when I woke up for good. I feel fairly well rested, though, so I won't complain. However, I think I'm going to take Benadryl tonight as a preventative, to keep from chaining multiple bad nights together. Maybe my plan will be to have one night per week of Benadryl sleep, just to try to keep more rested than not, since it seems like the tireder I am, the worse I sleep at night - not helpful, really.

I have more cheese and strawberries today, and will try to come up with something for dinner that doesn't involve leaving home to eat it, so as to avoid the fries. Here's hoping I'm successful.

Monday, December 22, 2014


156.0 this morning - surprisingly, down from Friday. Because I carbed out all weekend - rice, potato chips, gluten-free, but real pizza, candy.I didn't do anything all weekend, either - we were both more or less exhausted both days and spent most of the time on recliners in the living room, watching TV. Maybe that's what was needed. Or maybe, my body has a setpoint lower than 156.4 and is defending it.

I slept well all 3 nights. Took melatonin, magnesium, and honey before bed all 3. Tried to avoid electronics (bar the TV) in the hour before bed. The "honey" sleep is back - I feel like it's been more restorative, richer, than before, and I've definitely had dreams, but don't remember any of them, just that they occurred. That said, I'm still exhausted and feel pretty crappy for someone not actually sick. My left jaw aches, for some reason - I'm thinking it might be a low-grade ear infection, because I'm a little vertiginous this morning - not exactly dizzy, and not exactly not. Blecch. I am assuming that my entire immune system is engaged in repelling the flu virus that Lee's been liberally spreading around the house, and I know that can tire a body out. On top of the menopause-induced insomnia of the past few weeks and the fact that I'm kind of down emotionally right now, I think the explanation is pretty clear. So I'm looking forward to the time-off aspects of the upcoming holiday - at 2 pm on Wednesday, my work week is over.

I have string cheese and strawberries with me to eat today. Not sure what dinner tonight will be yet - I hope to come up with an idea soon. Something fairly healthy, though.

Friday, December 19, 2014


156.4 this morning. Got decent, albeit drugged, sleep last night, but, as usual, could use more. Here's yesterday:
  • tea with cream
  • 3 pieces of cheese
  • a ziploc bag of strawberries
  • turkey
  • salad with balsamic vinaigrette and almonds
  • mixed vegetables with butter
  • ham with pineapple
  • a baked sweet potato
  • 3-4 chocolates
  • a tsp of honey
I'm back trying the honey at bedtime thing as an effort to improve sleep a bit - so even if it's short, maybe it's more restorative. Too early to tell if it helped or not from the last 2 nights - I'll give it next week to see if it helps on a longer-term basis.

I'm feeling a bit bloated this morning, so imagine my weight will go further down - but we will have to wait and see on that as well. Right now, given the issues I've been having the past few weeks, though, sleep is my top focus. Not sure yet, beyond honey, what I am going to do about it; something to think about with my slightly better brain today.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


157.0 this morning. Not particularly surprised. Mid-day yesterday, some work stuff hit my stress point, and I added a bag of M&Ms and a bag of Skittles to my diet. Went home and ate meatloaf and cauliflower and chocolate. So I didn't exactly hit that "healthy" target yesterday.

Last night was the second night of complete shit sleep. Same exact pattern - woke around 1 am, tossed and turned for about 2 hours, slept fitfully from 3-5:30ish. And this was on melatonin and honey at bedtime.

Suffice it to say that I have felt better in previous times. I'm operating now on tea and RedBull, and it's not helping much. No breakfast this morning because my stomach hurt - as it did for about half an hour during my midnight wakefulness. Probably reacting to the crap I ate yesterday.

When I was still sane yesterday, I bagged up some cheese and strawberries to bring with me today to help ward off the urge for M&Ms. And I got it here. I hope it helps. I have eaten one of the pieces of cheese I brought, since I was a bit hungry.

Supposedly this insomnia pattern I'm describing is textbook menopause. It has bad side-effects in that it messes with ghrelin and leptin levels, which can trigger weight gain. Somehow, I'm not terribly surprised to learn that. And, come to think of it, after eating actual lunch the other day, I spent the afternoon starving - growling stomach and all - and I have noticed that I want a lot of food at meals lately - dinner last night included probably 2/3 of a head of cauliflower with boursin and parmesan on it. Exactly what one would expect if leptin and ghrelin were out of whack.

I need, at some time when I have a functional brain (this could be a very vicious circle), to come up with a better plan for improving sleep that doesn't involve Benadryl on a regular basis. However, I think tonight's sleep will involve Benadryl - 2 of them, to make sure it takes. Because this shit is killing me.

Ham and something for dinner tonight - maybe baked sweet potatoes, if Lee feels well enough to go buy a couple. We're both a pathetic hot mess this week - I'm very glad we were able to get nearly all our Christmas shopping done.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I give up.

I have been trying to lose a few pounds for this entire year. When I began tracking my weight for the year, I weighed 154.2. After nearly 12 months of trying to lose weight, I weigh 156.6.

Whatever I'm doing right now, it is not working. And I am effing sick and tired of putting in all this effort, paying attention to my food intake, tracking details, checking ketosis, with no results. It's stressing me out, and that can only be adding to the list of things working against me.

So I'm done.

Starting today, I will no longer sweat the details of my fat vs. protein vs. carb percentages. I will no longer check my nightly ketone levels. I am finished putting my weight in a spreadsheet.

Way back, when I first started trying to eat better - nearly 5 years ago now - it was first and foremost, to improve my overall health. And it worked like a champ. It's still keeping me healthy, despite sleep issues, despite stress issues, despite menopause. And I'm not going to stop eating properly - and trying to improve some habits that have slipped. 

I probably won't stop weighing myself daily. But I'm not going to chart it.

I will go back to listing my eating here, instead of in a formal nutrition tracker. And all I will be looking for is that I ate healthy foods and avoided the junk.

And, I think, now that it's a week and a day before Christmas, I'm going to stop pressuring myself to avoid the candy. Especially since it's not working at all.

All that said, I have a stomach ache this morning and slept like a pile of crap last night, so I may not eat much at all today.

Yesterday, I ate:
  • scrambled eggs
  • bacon
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • a couple macadamia nuts
  • the insides of a turkey and swiss cheese sandwich
  • a 1-oz bag of "kettle" potato chips
  • a pickle spear
  • 4 chocolate covered raisins
  • chips and salsa
  • 3-stack cheese enchiladas with green chile
  • a dark chocolate Lindt truffle
  • a dark chocolate peanut butter cup

Today so far, I've had scrambled eggs and turkey sausage. No plans for lunch, and dinner will feature ground beef and cauliflower with cheese.

I may revisit things after the first of the year, but I'm fed up, frustrated, and discouraged right now, and I think it's time to get out of that box for a while.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


155.2 again. Eating yesterday was light, I think - my log says very light, but I didn't add in a bunch of lightly glazed pecans or the praline or the 2 mint chocolates, so I suspect it was a bit high on the carbs. Very light Trace ketosis last night.

No exercise to speak of; I got home, went and got dinner, and took a bath, and that occupied all the time between work and bedtime. I was very cold in the evening - possibly the end of being "paleo sick" for the day - I'd felt a little off starting at 1:30 yesterday morning with a "hurts to breathe but not to swallow" sore throat and a few body aches, and I took aspirin a couple of times during the day to fend that all off. I feel fine now - the bath seemed to fix what ailed me - and I got a pretty good night's sleep last night - woke once at 2 am, looked at the time, and fell asleep almost instantly - and the next thing I knew, the alarm was going off. Not bad.

That's about it, really. Normal breakfast this morning, not much planned for the day (Lee's still very sick, so no gym trips this week, I'd bet). Hopefully a calm, quiet sort of day.

Monday, December 15, 2014


155.2 this morning. Carby day yesterday, and truly, also on Friday; Saturday wasn't too bad, I think. Lee was sick yesterday and I was tired, and I ended up eating candy and cashews last night - too much. We ran a lot of errands, and yesterday was devoted to decorating the house for Christmas, and I actually got a fair amount of walking around between hanging ornaments and getting things in a state last night that I would be able to do the animals this morning fairly quickly.

Sleep over the weekend (Friday and Saturday nights) was good. Sleep last night was buggered all to hell; I woke up around 1:30 am and was still up well after 3:30 am. Oddly enough, I'm reasonably alert this morning - and that's after thinking that I was coming down with Lee's illness (which sure looks like influenza) for much of the time I was awake. I feel okay now - not great, but okay. Not sick, in any event. Paleo seems to have strengthened my immune system a lot, and I'm grateful for that.

Stress - could be better. Sick husband on top of full time job and long commute means more to worry about plus more to do, since he can't do much of anything in his current state. I'm quite grateful that we're decorated, and down to 3-4 gift cards to acquire before declaring a Christmas shopping victory. And I'm only about 1 present behind on wrapping, although I haven't added bows or tags or anything yet. I also got all the cards addressed last night, and if need be, will get them into a mailbox tonight. So that's done. I guess, in a nutshell, stress could also be worse.

Very light Trace ketosis last night - kind of surprising. Back to my weekday routine today - light breakfast, boatload of macadamia nuts, dinner of some sort. Not the best I could do, but it's what can be accomplished right now.

Friday, December 12, 2014


I went to bed at 11:30 last night because of work. I spent much of yesterday knowing that the night would be unpleasantly late, and let that influence my mood, so I ate a lot of crap prior to the actual period of work. I'm not feeling tremendously great this morning, both because of the eating and the lack of sleep - I'm weak and achy and cranky and my stomach hurts. 155.2 this morning, so the week as a whole was a gradual weight reduction. It would have been faster, I think, if I could have resisted the garbage.

"Garbage" consisting of rice flour cookies, dark chocolate peanut butter cups, and cashews. And a couple of Zapps Voodoo potato chips. And some homemade eggnog, which didn't come out very tasty; I think I will toss the rest of it.

Today's theme is surviving to the end of it, so I can get some sleep. And probably not eating much until my stomach stops feeling nasty. And trying not to faceplant on my desk before about 3:30 this afternoon. Ow.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


155.6 this morning. Somewhat better. I'm starting to see my appetite go down a bit, which, to me, means that ketosis is taking hold. Small ketosis at bedtime last night, so that's 2 days in a row. Christmas lunch party at work today - Mexican food - so I don't know if I'll be able to sustain it a third day, but I'm going to try.

We got to the gym last night; Lee's feeling inspired just now, after his physical. Fine, I guess - I don't know that I really need to go to the gym that frequently, and right now, I'm limping a bit from overworking my right leg last night (hamstrings/glutes and my big toe), so I guess I'm glad that tonight is a deployment for me and a social thing for him so we will not be working out. Aggravating last night, though. I'd been walking for a while at a good clip, went to look at my Running app to see what the distance was, and found that I'd paused it early in the workout and never restarted it. So my "official" distance last night is just over half a mile. Bother.

Salad with smoked turkey for dinner, 2 more rice-flour cookies, and a chocolate mint after that - the snacking at night has calmed down a good bit so far, and I'm hoping it will continue that way. Reasonable sleep - I know I woke up briefly around midnight, and for good some time after 4, and that was it. Hot flashes continue off and on, and I continue to hate them. Stress, well, it is what it is. If we can get the tree up this weekend, and the presents we have around the house into a wrapped state, I think I'll be good.

Late night tonight, unfortunately. I do wish I could find an interesting job that didn't involve long commutes or late nights, but I'm starting to think that I'd jump for one out of 3, which I don't have right now. Not looking terribly likely, these days, so I'm settling for a steady adequate income.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


156.4 this morning. In a reverse of how I lost all the weight in the first place, I can gain real weight (apparently) in leaps and bounds and it is snail's pace coming off. I didn't think the 157 was real. I still don't, honestly, but it isn't dropping off at all. I think I will try to increase fluids today (a benefit of Fridays for me is the never-ending teapot, which I don't have at work), and see if that helps.

Eating yesterday was okay - a little carbier than I would have liked at 51.2 g, but that's an improvement over recent days, and I think it will go lower in the future. Lee told the doc yesterday that he didn't want to go back on statins, based on my advice, but when I told him that inflammation was a more important predictor of cardiac issues, he wanted to know how to control that, and my answer was to stop the bread and breading that he still eats and to increase the fish, so if he is taking that seriously (he's asked for a CRP test; the results will be interesting), the temptation to eat such things should be removed. I wonder if I can get him to give up the potato chips because the oil is a PUFA with omega-6s? Not that I eat them that often, but it would be nice not to have them in the house at all.

Ketosis last night was back at Small, and my goal today is to continue that trend, which probably means I should think of something other than LC pizza (which is not as LC as I would like) for dinner. Meatza, maybe? We haven't done that in quite a while.

Sleep was adequate - woke up twice that I recall, based on my iPod settings (one WWII playlist, one OTR). I went right back to sleep, or nearly so, and dreamt fairly vividly, although I don't actually remember any details, just that there were dreams. I wonder if that's a side-effect of the rice flour or cornstarch in the cookies? I think, having been cooked and cooled, that they'd be resistant starch, which is supposed to kick off a lot of dreaming. However, at 10 g carbs (for now, I'm counting them) each, I think we've had our batch for the season and I will freeze the other half of the dough for some time later.

Stress, I think, is low-level, and mildly chronic. My temper is too ready to flare at not a lot of stimulus these days, and I think that's why. Still working on it. Not sure what I can do beyond avoiding bathing in the news (so to speak) and using music to soothe the commute.

I have put the whole intermittent fasting on hold for a while - I still want to return to it, but I think I need to get through whatever is going on with me hormonally first, so that a skipped meal doesn't send me plunging face-first into the chips or the like.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


156.6, so some of it's coming back down. More to come, I hope, but a start, anyway.

Yesterday's eating was okay - I only logged part of it so far, but the parts I didn't log included a Cobb salad, a cup of green chile, and 2 rice-flour cookies, so I'm fairly sure it wasn't too high-carb. We also got to the gym and I walked 1.7 miles fairly briskly - more briskly than the 5K, for sure. And then went home and read on paper. That worked great to make me sleepy - I was ready to go to bed at 8:00 - but didn't work to keep me asleep once in bed. I got rest - possibly because I was asleep before 9 pm - but woke up at 10:50 (I think) and 3:20 and 4:49, the last time for good. I was able to get back to sleep fairly quickly, so I'm not super messed up this morning, but it sure would be nice to string oh, about 30 nights of full sleep together, just to see what it's like.

Stress is okay, I guess. I am starting to feel the pressure to get things wrapped and mailed, and hope to get that done, or mostly done, tonight. And we still have to decorate for Christmas at some point - hasn't happened yet, though.

Trace ketosis at bedtime last night. That's about it, really.

Monday, December 8, 2014


Yeah. So annoying. 157.0 this morning, after being about that all weekend.

Friday, I started on what appears to have been a minor carb binge, by eating tortilla chips out of the bag around lunchtime.  I don't recall what we had for dinner, but I don't think it was an improvement. Saturday, we had the race, I had an all-day headache, which I tried to get rid of by mainlining green chile on enchiladas and tortilla chips; dinner, if I remember correctly, was snacking, including cheese and cashews. Yesterday, I made cookies, and ate 3 of them and scraps sufficient to have been a fourth. Also potato chips.

Some of the weight is water - my fingers are swollen and we did do a 5K on Saturday so there's some residual stiffness and inflammation from that. Some of it is digestive. But what has me so bloody annoyed isn't so much the weight as these cravings and binges and what-not. Four years ago, this wasn't happening; I was able to control what I ate and was in ketosis and able to stay there. Right now, I have a lot less control (out of control would have been a lot more than 3 cookies, I guarantee!), and have been having a cycle of "bingeing" (for me) on carbs followed by a couple of days of low-carb flu when I try to get back on track. It's irritating, to say the least, and I'm not what you'd call functional in that mode.

After looking up my dizziness and finding that it's probably "just menopause", and figuring that my not-quite-migraine on Saturday was probably "just menopause", I'm guessing that the carb issue is "just menopause" too, but all the other "just menopause" stuff like insomnia, flashes, dizziness, and mood swings, makes it nearly impossible to get control over the eating part. Stress much? Um, yeah.

So not good. Guess all I can do is keep trying to get control, and trying not to let "out of control" go too far. And take some fish oil for the inflammation.

On the other hand, we finished the 5K at a sub 15:00 pace, which is pretty darn good considering I wasn't really pushing the pace and Lee's plantar fasciitis was bugging him. And I got 2 nights of decent sleep in a row the last 2 nights - much needed (highlighting that I need more still). I'm in the middle of a room-darkening project that I hope will help even more; it would be done, but yesterday all I really wanted to do was curl up in a ball and rest - and I spent much of the day doing just that. (Apart from the cookie baking, anyway.)

Friday, December 5, 2014


Apparently, dizziness and/or lightheadedness are a part of menopause - I thought I'd read that somewhere, but when I had another bout last night while finishing with building the "electric fireplace" TV console thingie, I thought I'd double check. No wonder menopausal women have mood swings - it's just one damn thing after another. No sooner do I reconcile myself to hot flashes and nightmare sleeplessness than I find myself reeling around the living room or unable to walk from the car into a restaurant without looking like I should be going the other way (and into a taxi).

I took Benadryl last night to get some sleep. It worked - although it was remarkably ironic that I was the one who heard the dog wanting to go out in the middle of the night; Lee got up once I got her out the door. The nice thing about the Benadryl was that it allowed me to get back to sleep quickly and thoroughly, unlike the night before. But all in all, that's not the way to go through life, relying on chemical supplements to accomplish normal functions. Besides, I've read enough to know that it's sub-par sleep, and I want the full monty.

I have a few options, I guess. I can go back on melatonin supplements - preferably time-release ones. I can go back to reading paper after dinner to avoid the direct blue-light input from the iPad, thereby allowing melatonin to develop naturally. I can resume the honey. All of this, possibly, with the Benadryl as a fall-back once I've had a couple of bad nights in a row - to prevent having a third. I think the plan should be something like this:
  • Step 1 - read on paper at night
  • Step 2 (if step 1 is insufficient) - take 1 tsp honey as we're heading to bed
  • Step 3 (same caveat) - take time-release melatonin (probably stop the honey if it's not working)
  • Step 4 (same caveat) - add the honey back on top of the melatonin

155.6 this morning. I ate rather a lot of candy last night, on top of a lower-than-usual-fat day of eating, the candy as an effort to spike my blood sugar, in case the dizziness was somehow related to that (I think now that it was just effing change-o-life crap, so won't take that approach again). No ketosis at bedtime, unsurprisingly.

I am more rested today than I was yesterday, but not fully rested by any means. I am tired, if not sleepy, today. In fact, I will probably go directly to step 4 tonight, to do everything I can think of to promote sleep - real, restful, restorative sleep - tonight.

5K tomorrow morning, and a lot of Christmas preps for the weekend - trying to get the vast bulk of things done well in advance, so we can sit back and enjoy the season. Even if it spins.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


I am struggling mightily with the temptation to succumb to despair. Monday night I had crap sleep. Tuesday night I had crap sleep that was slightly less crappy than Monday. Last night was only barely within the definition of the word "sleep". I went to bed after 9:20, took a little while (not long, maybe 20 minutes) to fall asleep, and woke, bright-eyed, overheated and ready for a new day, at 12:12. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 3:30, I drifted off a little, then woke up about every half hour between then and the alarm going off at 5:30.

I don't know how long I can sustain this kind of thing. It's not like I can take a nap or anything; what I get out of this is real, nasty, sleep deprivation. With all its concomitant evils - stress hormones over growth hormones, the lack of energy creating hunger, and anything else that might come along that I can't think of just now. Not to mention that I'm commuting with RedBull on mornings like this - and I'm thinking that infusing that weird chemical cocktail can't be a good long-term strategy. Hence the struggles with despair.

I decided yesterday to reintroduce a bit of deliberate IF into my life, starting with between breakfast and dinner. I was successful; ate nothing from leaving home until getting to a restaurant - my first bite was steak, I think, and quite delicious. I then ate from then until about 9 pm, and have had nothing today but heavy cream in my tea. I'm aiming at getting to dinner today, and then I will go back to my normal eating patterns with one key exception - I am going to try very hard to stop snacking and instead eat in time boxes of 1 hour max, 2 or 3 meals per day. It seems that ad-lib eating results in obese mice, and time-restricted feeding, even with intervals where ad-lib eating is permitted (e.g., on weekends), results in lean and fit mice. I know I'm not a mouse, but that seems to be fairly compelling. Certainly worth a try, anyway. And if it provides any short-term results, I'll do an IF day say, every couple of weeks. I don't plan on going into the "no breakfast or lunch" pattern on a daily basis as I sort of did about 2 years ago.

Tomorrow should be interesting, being work from home day, where I have free access to snack foods. I will aim to eat "lunch" (in addition to breakfast) and see what transpires.

I haven't added dinner to yesterday in my log yet, so I don't know how it shook out, but I hit Small ketosis at bedtime and lost 0.2 pounds overnight - 154.6 again this morning.

I think I'll stop now, while I'm ahead of the typos - a lot of backspacing going on this morning.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Another day, another night of crap sleep. Interruptions last night involved a leg cramp, the dog, and at least one hot flash. Oh, and my sore left hip, which I finally managed to get attacked with the golf ball this morning, so I'm hoping those muscles will stop bugging me. Rough, though. I think I hit the bed before 8:30 last night. 154.8 this morning; 154.6 yesterday, which I forgot to mention. It looks as if I've resumed the weight pattern I had all summer, where the upper and lower limits of any given week would vary, hitting a high about Wednesday or Thursday and a low at one or the other ends of the week, but with both limits being slightly down from the previous week.

Eating was okay yesterday; we ate dinner at Country Buffet, which was fine in itself, but goofy when I tried to log the food in LoseIt - the restaurant is there, but the carb counts for everything are wildly wrong - as in, the carb count doesn't remotely reconcile with the calorie count for a given item. After using those items, I showed something like 750 grams of carbs. I picked substitutes - maybe accurate, maybe not, and my day went back to something approaching normal - 69.2% fat, 10.2% carbs (and under 50 grams), and 20.6% protein. Trace ketosis at bedtime, and a leg cramp. Haven't seen much of those in the past couple of months - good and bad.

Stress is okay; the holiday music on the commute is helping, I think. That, and trying to get the Christmas shopping done early; I want to have some time for a proper Advent, even if it isn't the whole 4 weeks.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


I managed to eat a lot of food yesterday, despite having a salad for dinner. Lunch was kind of a giant bolus of fat and protein, and the salad at dinner was a chef's salad - with ham, chicken, and cheese on it. And then topped it off with 4 small pieces of candy, which drove the carbs over the 50 gram mark.

We did the gym before dinner, and I overdid it there - put my loud car music playlist on, which puts me at a 13-ish minute mile pace. Consequently, I was aching through the hip and thigh region after going to bed, and woke up at 1:15 to get aspirin. The dog woke up about an hour later, just as I'd fallen asleep and was dreaming, and Lee, not being a subtle individual, sat up abruptly and threw covers around, which woke me up. Probably subconsciously intentional - he doesn't much like suffering alone. And despite my best efforts at being smooth and quiet when I got up for the aspirin, it woke him up. He generally sleeps well, but wakes up at the drop of a hat. In a building a block away that has all the doors and windows shut.

I got back to sleep, but not well, I think - each waking took me at least a half-hour to get over. I don't know what that makes the total; what I do know is that I fell asleep on the couch last night around 8, and was in bed by 8:30, so that helps a little. Had a RedBull on the way to work - still waiting on the wings. I'm pretty groggy this morning.

We skipped breakfast, too - just to get a few more horizontal minutes on the clock. I had a piece of cheese and have others with me, so I won't starve today. No gym tonight; on the other hand, I don't really know what we will have to eat and we will probably go out shopping. I want to get the Christmas shopping done and checked off with just a few exceptions this week. I think that will aid with the stress levels, since it's pretty obvious that my sleep is not in a good place just now. Thinking seriously about blacking the room out further - curtains over the windows above our headboard to start with, and somehow making the window-seat curtains go to the tops of those windows as well.

Anndd, here comes a hot flash. Life can be annoying at times.

Monday, December 1, 2014


I think, overall, we had a pretty good Thanksgiving. I was able to putter a bit, we got some exercise - both the Turkey Trot and leaf cleanup - and I had fires in the fireplace 2 days and got a lot of reading in. 

Eating was, well, okay. Generally carbier than usual, because, pie. And I could have done better than enchiladas for dinner on Saturday. But, even with a bit of lingering water from post-walk inflammation (I think, anyway), I'm only at 154.2, which is definitely in the could-be-worse category.

I didn't track eating at all while I was off. I'll start back this morning. The plan is to do the gym tonight, and at least a couple more times this week, and we have the Colder Boulder on Saturday (just a 5K). I also signed us up for a 5K on New Year's Day.

Sleep has been iffy. I'm contemplating blacking the room out, based on Robb Wolf's advice in his book, but for me, I don't think light cues are the issue - it's all temperature. And unless someone has some magic to stop the nighttime hot flashes, I'm kinda screwed in that area.

Stress was obviously down for most of the weekend - Thursday, not so much, but I burned off a lot via exercise that morning. I'm continuing to make my commute into as relaxing a thing as I can right now, and can only hope that it helps.

Leftover turkey broccoli casserole for lunch - a crazy high-fat cream/cheese sauce on it, so I'm guessing it's similar to the soup in profile.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Let's see. Yesterday was stressful, due to outside news and what-have-you - interesting that it didn't affect me much, but I was distracted by it - I ate dinner out, and slept like a rock and lost a bit over a pound. Glad to see we're not all hidebound about following patterns around here. 153.2 this morning. 

Nutrition breakdown yesterday was 69.7% fat, 10.3% carbs, and 20% protein, with carbs just shy of the "magic" 50 grams. I was between Trace and Small ketosis at bedtime. We did not exercise. Both of us got cold when out and about running errands, although the weather has been not that cold (it was probably in the mid-30s), and never warmed up until bedtime. Just noting it - no idea if it's useful information or not - but it may have contributed to my good night's sleep - being cold is usually helpful for my sleep patterns.

Eggs and bacon for breakfast today, macadamias if I get hungry, and I think a big-ass salad for dinner. I don't know if we will hit the gym or not - guessing not, though. And then 5 days off for Thanksgiving and the weekend, which should be very nice.

Monday, November 24, 2014


Kind of an up-and-down weekend. I lost a pound and a half, and gained part of it back, I slept rotten Saturday night, but great last night without sleep aids of any sort. Worked out Saturday along with doing all sorts of stuff around the house (pain was one of the reasons I slept badly), was kind of a veg yesterday, although I polished silver, cleaned a bathroom, and ironed napkins. And nearly napped in front of the fireplace all afternoon.

154.4 this morning, after a low on Saturday morning of 153.6. I didn't eat terribly well all weekend - for ketosis, anyway. More carbs than usual, but not a lot of sugar - lots of corn, actually, with tortilla chips both days.

We did get in a 2-mile walk at the gym on Saturday, and I made sure to slow down toward the end - no residual dizziness, I'm happy to say. After that, we cleaned gutters (Lee) and windows (my work), and I scrubbed the paw prints out of the back seat of my car. And, as a result, my feet and ankles were very achy from 2 through 5 am on Saturday. I really need to learn to get out of bed and get aspirin when that happens; once I did, I was finally able to sleep a little.

So, Thanksgiving week. We have a monstrous turkey, and gluten-free cornbread for stuffing, and a gluten-free crust for pumpkin pies. And a road race Thursday morning that should allow me to carb up in the afternoon okay. I think the plan for the week needs to be sensible going into the day, a "treat" day with limits on the day itself, and keeping the leftover noshing to the non-carby elements. Get in a couple of gym trips prior to Thursday, and maybe one or two after - just a lot slower - because we also have a race a week later, on the 6th.

I think that's it. I really wish we could have got in an outdoor walk this weekend, but it's just been too cold for Lee. I guess the time outside working on the gutters and windows will have to do.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Likely cause of the dizziness

Almost certainly this. I didn't slow down for my last lap at all, and pretty much went straight to the car and sat down. Duh.


First, get the routine stuff out of the way. 155.2 this morning, Small-Moderate ketosis at bedtime last night, sleep went well, but only with the aid of Benadryl (although I was falling asleep on the couch by 7:45, I think). I haven't fully tracked eating yet, but imagine it was in the high 60s for fat % at a minimum.

So here's the non-routine stuff. We went to the gym last night, and I walked 2 miles using one of my racewalk training playlists, coming in somewhere around 13:30/mile. Felt pretty good, certainly it wasn't any sort of cardio workout for me. We got done with that, and were going out to dinner, and were on the final stretch of that drive, when I got all sorts of dizzy - the drive was making me completely unable to focus on one point or anything or position myself in space. Once we got parked, I sat still for a moment, tried to get out of the car, and couldn't, so we ended up going home. By that time, driving wasn't bugging me, and I was able to get out and make it into the house. I sat down for a while, and by the time Lee had gone to the Chinese place for food and back, I was pretty much over whatever it was, and I felt fine by the time I went to bed (at 8) and am fine now.

During the episode, I started a headache, which dwindled, and had tinnitus in both ears (I have sporadic tinnitus in my right ear, but not my left), and my left ear felt stuffed up. That's all gone now, I think. I ate some candy when we got home, and dinner helped a lot - I realized that I was really hungry after I started eating.

I don't know what this was. Factors to consider include: fasted workout, trying to get back into ketosis after a period of slacking, extra magnesium taken this week for mild constipation, and some really bad sleep issues. I checked for signs of things like strokes, but there weren't any - I just got horribly lightheaded and then it stopped. Low blood-pressure? Maybe. Low blood-sugar? Maybe. Exhaustion? Probably, but in combination with something else. And maybe some sort of electrolyte balance, although my pulse seemed steady enough at the time. I'll keep an eye out, and will make sure to have a piece of cheese before working out from now on. If it happens again, at least I have this record of it so I can compare possible causes with then. I hope it doesn't, though. That was rather nasty. Lots of empathy with Elizabeth, who has this sort of thing happen somewhat routinely.

Maybe another hint that this just isn't a time to do anything more ambitious than to maintain my weight.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Life kind of sucks right now. I woke up this morning, thinking it was time to get up, and it was 2:39. And after letting the dog out (she was whimpering a bit, but it was temperature that convinced me the night was over), I went back to bed and laid there for over 2 hours before drifting off again. Except that's way too static a description of what I did. I laid on one side, got uncomfortable (pain or over heating - or freezing, for that matter), rolled over, did it some more, got up, drank water, listened to my iPod, listened to radio, drooled a bit, and, just before the alarm was due, fell a little asleep - but lightly, enough that I was awake again at 5:28 wondering if the alarm was going to go off.

Apparently I looked so pathetic that Lee wanted me to stay home and not drive to work - he offered to drive in to get my laptop - an 80-mile round-trip during rush hour. I didn't take him up on it, and I am here, but limp and droopy and stupid, for sure.

155.4 this morning. I tried so hard yesterday to be good - at dinner, I had a salad and a pile of smoked turkey. And got home and was starving, so I had cheese, and then a whole bunch of cashews. I am on the brink of giving up on weight loss and just praying I can maintain where I am for a while, maybe lean out a bit through walking and weights, and call it good. Because I have no control over what's happening right now, and until I'm over this soul-destroying period known as menopause, I don't see how I can do anything that has predictable results. And I'm not fat - my wardrobe fits me and looks good on, not tight or anything - I'm just afraid that it won't stay that way unless I get a few more pounds off.

For what it's worth, I was in Moderate ketosis last night. All I can think is that I haven't managed the necessary population of enzymes to make use of the ketones, because there's no way I should have been so hungry after dinner - but my stomach was growling, it wasn't some psychosomatic deal. After the cashews were added in, I was 68.8% fat, 8.8% carbs (and 51 g, so more than normal), and 22.5% protein.

Back at it today; eggs and sausage for breakfast, broccoli cheese soup and macadamias here, and something for dinner - no idea what. But all I really want right now is consistent good sleep.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Low-Carb Flu

I'm trying not to do a faceplant on my desk right now - wobbly and sleepy and drained. I think it has to be adaptation time. I screwed up last month. I should know better. Maybe noting it here will remind me next time.


I thought last week was going to be perishingly long, but no, this week is. I thought yesterday was Wednesday at first, and now today should be oh, maybe Friday - that would be nice.

I slept last night, but am still sleepy and feeling foggy and weak. Low Carb flu? Maybe - I don't know if I had fallen that far off the wagon in October, but it could be. And I did sleep last night - hard enough to dream vividly enough to wake me up at 4:30. Now, if I can just get a night's sleep that is restful, I'd be golden. 

155.6 this morning - and I truly thought it would have gone down overnight. On the other hand, why should I? See yesterday afternoon's entry, which shows that I have nothing in my bag of tricks that would affect my weight in any way whatsoever. Not on a daily basis, anyway. I may try some regressions against weeks or something - but doubt it will change.

Yesterday's eating came in at 78.7% fat, 7.9% carbs, and 13.4% protein. The carbs were at 35 g, so there is room to drop there, and maybe that's what I'll have to do. I was at solid Small ketosis last night, though, for the first time since getting strict again about watching, and my calves are fasciculating this morning, although they did not cramp last night. Thank Goodness for that; it would have been adding insult to injury.

Probably walking at the gym tonight. Maybe a few weights. Broccoli cheese soup and macadamias while at work, a fairly standard breakfast and who knows what for dinner. We did manage brats last night.

Oh, for a nap right now...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Results of analysis of how I ate this summer

Between June 9 and August 22, I lost about 4 pounds, more or less steadily (lots of ups and downs, but the overall trend was definitely down). And I had been fairly strict about logging in LoseIt over that period, so I had reasonably complete datasets for nutrition as well.  So I did a little basic regression and correlation by date, to see if I could figure out what was or was not working for me in that period.

I'm sure there's a way to post charts here, but probably not via email, and that's about it for me right now. To summarize the results:
There appears to be no correlation at all between calories, fat grams, or protein grams consumed one day and the amount of weight lost or gained the next morning. None. Those charts have a flatlined linear regression trendline. Between carb % or carb grams consumed one day and the amount of weight lost or gained the next morning, there's a slight negative correlation: that is, I lost mildly more weight the day after I'd consumed higher amounts of carbs than I did the day after I'd consumed lower amounts of carbs. In a general sense, that is. I also lost weight the day after I'd consumed very low carbs, and gained after consuming high amounts.

Now, I have always noticed that my weight change seems to lag a day or two behind any spikes (positive or negative) in eating, and I may try shifting the data for intake another day against the weight changes, see if that shows anything. But I thought it was interesting that nothing I did this summer appears to have had any real effect on my weight loss success or failure - the control was, at least superficially, not in my hands at all.



I mean, sometime this week, to take the macronutrient percentages and correlate them to my weight gain or loss, day by day - see if I can figure out what levels worked best for me over the summer, when I was actively losing weight. In the meantime, I hit 71% fat, 6% carbs, and 23% protein yesterday, and felt quite satisfied at about 1300 calories, so I do think ketosis has kicked back in, despite hitting only Trace->Small on the test stick last night again. 155.0 again this morning, still stiff and sore and sluggish.

We walked and did a few weights last night, which we both sort of regretted later. Lee was at least practical about it - when the dogs woke him up at midnight (and they all combined to wake me up), he went and took Advil. I tried to tough it out, and took an hour and a half to get back to sleep - sort of. It was one of those nights - freezing or sweating were my only options. Not good. I'm struggling with that this morning as well. So today will be a "recovery" day with no exercise whatsoever.

That said, I did a sub-14:00 mile even not trying too hard. So there's that. My speed is definitely improved.

Stress seems to be my one success of the moment. I've been listening to music on the commute instead of talk radio, and I can definitely tell a difference. I don't feel anywhere near the edge anymore, and that's nice. And I'm feeling much less urge to snack.

More broccoli soup today, and macadamias, and no idea what we're doing for dinner, which probably means a restaurant. I will try to avoid Mexican and Chinese, and see where that gets us. If at home, I'm proposing brats and kraut.

Monday, November 17, 2014


And back at Monday again - no matter how many times I think I've escaped, it keeps coming back. Ah, well.

Pretty good weekend, I think. Got a lot done - 2 trips to the gym (!), cooking for the future, miscellaneous errands, silver polishing, picture re-framing, miscellaneous housecleaning - all sorts of things. I like that sort of weekend; it makes me feel like I've had one, where the ones spent resting and not doing much leave me feeling like I never stopped working at my paying job. The 2 gym trips proved very interesting - I walked a total of about 5 miles between them, on the track, to my "loud car music" playlist, and averaged somewhere around 13-minute miles both days. Yesterday, my second mile came in under 12 minutes. And generally, they didn't feel hard, although I'm stiff and a bit inflamed today from them.

Which brings me to my weight - 155.0 this morning, and I feel swollen up all over. I hope it's water and not fat, because my clothes are decidedly uncomfortable this morning - they fit okay, but as if I've changed shape in unexpected ways. Not pleasant.  

Eating yesterday came in at 65% fat, 6% carbs and what, 29% protein, I think? Not too bad - and quite bereft of snacking for once - as I said, I stayed busy yesterday.

Sleep, unfortunately, has been shite. I'm not quite sure why, but I'm having more hot flashes than usual. Again. I woke up thinking it was nearly morning at 10:30 pm. So annoying. Saturday night wasn't much better, nor was Friday, although for at least one of those, we had a space heater inadvertently running all bloody night, making the room rather hot.

Ketones were approaching Small last night - in between Trace and Small, but closer to Small. So my approach is getting close to where I want it to be. I have Fat Fast broccoli soup for lunch this week, and macadamias, and am hoping to stay at or above that point all week. Barring some horrid hormone-infused chocolate binge, I think I can do it.

Friday, November 14, 2014


And, 153.4. Good trend this week, although truly, it's just getting me back where I was before the sugar binge a couple of weeks ago. I will work hard to keep the momentum going.

Sleep and stress was good yesterday, until after dinner. A bit of evening work that had everything out of our direct control that could go wrong, do so. I got to bed just before 11 and slept reasonably well, but I'm beat this morning. Tired and achy and stupid. Hope I make it through the workday - and grateful that no driving is involved.

Trace ketones at bedtime - but solid Trace. Still shooting for Small as my steady state, and I think I'll get there.

Eating yesterday was pretty normal until evening - breakfast, cheese and macadamias, low-carb pizza for dinner - and I kept snacking in the evening to some cheese crisps (all cheese), and the last fun-size halloween candybar I am willing to eat - a Milky Way. 12 g of carbs in something the size of my thumb - sheesh!

Still no exercise. Will try again tonight.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


A day at home leads to more snacking. Seems like I can't avoid it, really, and I ended up at 66% fat, 11% carbs, and 23% protein, with the carbs being over 50g and protein over 100g. That said, I was solidly at Trace ketosis at bedtime, and lost a pound (no doubt, of water) overnight - 153.6 this morning. So that's good.

No real exercise this week; I can't ask Lee to go out in that weather, since cold causes him a lot of pain. I am hoping to get to the gym this weekend, at a minimum.

Stress - I think some of my ideas are working. In addition to just listening to classical music on the radio, I repurposed one of the family iPhone 3s that is just sitting around the house, turned it into a car-only iPod, and loaded it up with my classical and sacred (and Christmas) music, so I can run my own "station". This morning, my drive to work was all Purcell - very soothing, and I feel quite calm and serene. It's all good, and I will keep working to find opportunities to inject stress-relief into my days. I don't know that working at home yesterday hurt any either - me and the fireplace and a jazz playlist and pots and pots of tea. A good way to spend a day, even if there was work to be done.

Sleep yesterday was pretty good. I'm falling asleep quickly, and don't recall awakening before 5:15 last night. Don't feel quite rested, though, so I may not have slept all that deeply. I guess one of these days I should run that sleep quality app again, see what's going on.

More eggs and bacon this morning, string cheese and macadamia nuts with me, and no idea what's for dinner. Possibly Chinese, which means leaving the house for a bit, I guess. And I could have a mildly late night, since we have a deployment at work.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


I kept things under control yesterday - a very good thing! The day's eating worked out to 75% fat, 7% carb, 18% protein. I can live with that. For what it's worth, I am at 154.6 this morning - must have been water, or at least, I guess that's what it was. No substantive ketosis at bedtime - maybe a slight tinge of Trace at most. Anyway, my goal at the moment is to start hitting Small on the keto-stix pretty much daily, and see if that's enough to start dropping.

I know this works - I've seen it work this past summer - but the cravings and what-not have derailed me so often this year that it feels a bit like that definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. 

I'm logging my food in LoseIt for a while, to try to get back in the habit of eating a bit more sensibly - and to get some data about what works to maintain ketosis and what does not - so I won't duplicate that here.

On the stress front, I put the radio on XM Symphony and listened to Barber and Mozart all the way home last night - and despite a nasty drive (snow and starting to get slick), I think I made it home in pretty good shape. Sleep wasn't great - I need to foam-roll my hips because I'm having some aches that are making me change position a lot. That's on the agenda for today.

Eggs and bacon for breakfast, soup for dinner tonight. Since I'm working at home, not sure what the middle will be yet.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Oh, goody. A short week after a vacation. Four days that will seem like 14, give or take. Or maybe not. I could survive it just fine. We'll have to wait and see.

I think the eating on vacation was an improvement over last week. A little sugar, a few french fries, but not mindless handfuls of candy. I have disposed of the candy corn, too. 155.8 this morning - not too surprised, and maybe a bit relieved. So, here we go again, trying to understand what works for me regarding weight loss right now, and what does not. 

Certainly over the course of the year, I succeeded best when in ketosis. And I think that's probably my best bet going forward. What I struggled with - up through last week, even - was avoiding sweets and staying in a ketotic eating approach. That has been so much harder than before. I've looked into a lot of ways to deal with it, including tryptophan/5-HTP or whatever it is, and can only assume that it's to do with hormones - certainly, part of PMS always involved carb cravings, and while menopause is not PMS, my hormones are certainly "off". So, maybe.

And now we're heading into the Holiday Season, fraught with danger of all sorts. I would have liked to be coming into this season below 150, and I'm not. But my clothes still fit - thanks, I think, to the walking we've been doing. Hoping we can keep that up (it was 18 this morning on the drive in to work, and supposed to snow - winter has officially arrived) - at the gym, if necessary. I think it also helps with my stress, although part of that was from being outside in nature, as well - and I think I will try to walk outside on weekends, regardless of the temps.

I had eggs and sausage for breakfast today, have a couple of pieces of string cheese with me, as well as macadamias, and short ribs in the crock pot for dinner, possibly with mashed cauliflower. Onward...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Completely out of control. I shouldn't be, but I am. I hate this. I did great all day until dinner, craved - and ate - french fries, and followed that up with handful upon handful of candy corn. 155.8. It should probably be worse.

Got a 1.1 mile walk in this morning though - took the light rail to work so I would not have a car here all weekend. Fasted, too - we didn't have time for breakfast in order to get to the light rail on time. Light rail is not a viable option for me under normal circumstances - as bad as my commute is, it's still faster. Ugh.

At least the election is over - that was definitely a source of stress for me. One down, many to go. I was so wired up from that stress - and all the sugar, I think - that even with a 10 mg Melatonin, I slept like crap. Although I fell asleep easier than I would have expected, which may be due to sheer exhaustion from the years of night sweats or something. I'm kind of a mess right now.

Vacation starts tonight. My plan is to eat as well as I can manage while we're gone. Try to avoid even buying sugary anything or fries. Stay away from chips and whatever (salsa, guac, etc), and hope for the best. Not sure what else I can do right now; I'm fighting demons and this past week or so, they've been winning.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Yesterday didn't turn out to be a great start. Still at 155.4 this morning, and I didn't even see the point of testing for ketones at bedtime. Here's the day:
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • scrambled eggs
  • 4 pieces of bacon
  • 2 string cheeses
  • 12 macadamia nuts
  • 2 mellocreme pumpkins
  • chips and salsa (not very many, but it probably didn't matter)
  • 2 cheese enchiladas
  • rice and beans (I cleaned my plate)
  • a gluten-free red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting
  • 2 small handfuls of candy corn
Shortish list, but look at all that sugar. Not good.

I'm in a slump right now. Battling with the black dog a bit - life is very neutral, is how I'd describe it. I can't muster much emotion, and when I do, it's negative. I can manage anger, anxiety, weepiness, but not much humor or contentedness or actual happiness. Elizabeth is visiting for the first time after moving away, and I can only get to "meh". Maybe hormones, maybe fall (SAD?), maybe stress, maybe just being me. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that the sugar-noshing is a search for serotonin. And it's not working.

So, today? Start again, again. The usual breakfast (eggs and turkey sausage this morning), macadamias for use as hunger dictates throughout the day, something for dinner (don't know what yet). Hope for the best. Keep trying. That's all I can do, really.

Monday, November 3, 2014


Another week, another suck. 155.4 this morning, after a weekend of stress and sugar. I actually bought candy corn - and have been eating it. I made gluten-free red-velvet cupcakes for Biz' family birthday celebration last night, and ate 2 of them. I ate chips like a crazy person on Saturday night, for the salt, I think. I had a hard cider.

So much for the sugar - and those cupcakes weren't lacking in it, for sure! - the stress was all about crowds. We spent much of Saturday running errands at the mall (crowds), and ended up at my niece's State Gymnastics meet (more crowds - they won as a team and she came in 4th on Floor, so it was all good, but still - crowds). Yesterday, more errands, back to the mall, and a family dinner which started at 2 pm on the dot and ended around 7 pm, I think. I spent the afternoon sitting on "hostess seats" - i.e., having given all the actual furniture to the guests, I ended up on a footstool or dining room chair - and my back was killing me. That, and sitting through a football game with my father and brother-in-law, both of whom are far too into the team for my comfort anymore, kept me going out to check on the progress of dinner. And bringing in alcohol, and going out into the garage to take a deep breath.

These gatherings have not bugged me as much in the past. I know I'm way too near my screaming meemies threshold these days, and yesterday made that all too obvious. I think I was asleep last night before 9 pm (oh, and the time change. Not the most wonderful time of the year for me).

So we're starting over today. Again. And again next week, if necessary. The walking is helping, but now it's dark at night, so I don't know when we can do it. It was helping with the stress, and adding muscle to boot. I hope we can figure out a way to keep it up, but it won't be happening the first half of this week - maybe Thursday or Friday or Saturday or Sunday in Phoenix.

I don't foresee the stress reducing this week, with getting used to the time change, trying to get the dog stable again (her blood sugar has been skyrocketing), and the travel and wedding. My best bet at the moment, I think, is probably just to focus on eating clean.

Friday, October 31, 2014


So, I'm up a bit - 154.2 - but the walking seems to be paying off, because my clothes all fit. I'm wearing my Gap size 10 skinny jeans, and they're loose around the waist and hips. So I guess I don't need to be getting all weirded out about it. I will continue to try to get my eating away from the candy-laden mess it's been for the past couple of months, because, health, you know, but the muscle-weighs-more thing is surely true.

Here's yesterday:
  • tea with cream
  • scrambled eggs
  • 2 turkey sausage links
  • salad with dressing
  • 3 pats of butter
  • macadamia nuts - not sure how many
  • burger with bacon and cheddar cheese
  • fries with ketchup
  • several dark chocolate peanut butter cups
  • 2 potato chips
I think that was it. We were out picking Elizabeth up at the airport last night instead of sitting around eating, so that's good. For what it's worth, I was at Trace ketones last night at bedtime, and have been having a mild set of digestive symptoms this morning, which may have dropped my weight even further.

Sleep was not good. I woke up several times and had to resort to audio to get back to sleep. I'm a little ragged this morning - could be worse, but not great. I don't think that it was hot flashes, nice to say - I was just awake. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Got a walk in last night - before sundown, barely. And at a nice brisk pace for much of it - I think we even hit the 11-something minute mile there for a few moments. On the other hand, I was starving after dinner and ate cashews. I think I need to give up my cashews. Sigh.

153.6 this morning. Here's yesterday:
  • tea with cream
  • D3 and magnesium
  • 2 turkey sausage links
  • 2 string cheeses
  • about 6 slices of salami
  • an apple
  • about 10 macadamia nuts
  • 1 dark chocolate peanut butter cup
  • a bunch of cashews
  • a hamburger patty
  • salad with blue cheese dressing
  • a Haagen-Dasz strawberry ice cream
  • a small handful of potato chips
I think that was it - there could have been more. It was a lot, regardless. I don't know, maybe not eating breakfast is a bad thing again. 

I slept reasonably well; woke up at 4 am, unfortunately, for good. So I'm a bit draggy today. I did eat breakfast though - hoping that will help me get through the day without noshing myself into insensibility.

And just for today, I'm not eating cashews.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Didn't make the walk last night - Lee wanted to go eat steak. He plans to be home at 6 tonight; wonder if I can get home enough earlier to get a walk in after feeding the dogs (I think that will still need to be done), since it's starting to get dark around 6 these days. Or maybe I can persuade him to go for a walk after he gets back - but at the gym (sigh). It's really summer-over when we have to walk around the track at the gym. I think the laps are half as long as a trip around the building at work.

We skipped breakfast yesterday in order not to get up - today as well. Here's how yesterday went:
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • the innards (roast beef and tomatoes) of a roast beef sandwich
  • a pickle spear
  • caesar salad
  • 6 oz sirloin
  • Southern-style green beans
  • 5 salted dark chocolate almonds
  • 1 dark chocolate peanut butter cup
  • 1/2 cup cashews
So not bad, really. I hit Trace ketosis at bedtime, and am at 153.0 on the new scale this morning. I like the new scale - it does one thing and apparently does it well - not a lot of delay figuring out the number, and I can read it without my glasses from the standing-on-the-scale position. And it doesn't seem to fill the bathroom with blue light, so I could (should I feel the need) weigh myself at 3 am without bothering anyone. 

I did end up eating 3 turkey sausages today, and some vitamin D3 and magnesium. And I have lunch with me. I think I overdid the fasting thing a few years back, and don't want to do that again - it probably slowed my metabolism into starvation mode, and that hasn't been helpful.

Good sleep last night - I fell asleep within a half-hour of lights-out, and woke up a little after 5 am. So grateful!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Reasonably sane day yesterday; increased sleep is helping, and the cold weather is helping provide increased sleep. That said, we went for a walk after work yesterday, and it was freezing out - I think the thermometer said 43, but it nipped at the nose, and the gloves I had on did nothing to insulate my fingertips. We did a pretty brisk pace for much of it, but slowed down on the home stretch to bring the average to 17:04 for a mile and a half.

Eating was pretty good - went like this:
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • scrambled eggs
  • bacon
  • 2 string cheese
  • about 5 slices of salami
  • an apple
  • 2 macadamia nuts
  • chicken tortilla soup with "carnitas" added in - a fake Mexican Gumbo - and shredded cheddar
  • More of that apple tart (we finished it off)
  • about 1/2 cup of cashews
If I could just stop with that final snack thing! I was feeling quite satisfied and unhungry, but still felt snacky around 8:30 last night. At least I managed not to bring out the entire container of them.

153.6 this morning, so I'm starting to shed whatever was bugging me last week. Thank heavens. The plan (mine, anyway) is to walk pretty much every night this week (okay, probably not on Friday), weather notwithstanding - so I'm glad to see a sunny day that is supposed to be warmer than yesterday!

For the record, ketones were negative yesterday and I slept pretty well - woke up at 1:45 absolutely freezing, so I put the mattress pad back on and pulled the covers up over my head for a while - was back asleep nearly instantly once I got warm, and didn't stir until 5:26. I will so take it.

Monday, October 27, 2014


Okay. New week, new start. New scale, for that matter - our previous one went all possessed and flickery on us and refused to light up at all after we replaced the batteries. 

I was going to say that the new scale is the reason that my weight is up from last week, but then I looked at my tracking spreadsheet, and I'm actually down. 154.2 this morning. So it may well be as accurate as the last one. 

Eating over the weekend was not great - I'm fighting carb cravings and mostly losing - to the tune of 2 different bouts of eating tortilla chips yesterday, as an example. I also made an experimental apple tart - trying out gluten-free piecrust - which I spent the day smelling and had some of for dessert. And while the crust wasn't perfect (I'd added too much water, so it was more like eating a cracker), it tasted awesome. I haven't had an apple pie since I can't remember.

Anyway, not really doing the heavy lifting for weight loss, this past weekend.  And yet, I lost weight - on paper.

Got in 2 3-mile walks over the weekend. The weather was amazing - sunny, crisp-to-warm, just perfect. Unfortunately, I didn't get credit for either on my FuelBand - due to some issues with their website, I was led to believe that it had developed an issue that required a factory reset, and nothing done since Tuesday was saved. Sigh. It's back working now, and I plan to get a walk in tonight, so we will start again. I did, however, take my phone and used the Running app, so I got credit for both walks there - that's how I know how long they were.

I brought a bunch of macadamias in to work again. I'm hoping that they will help with the urge to snack in the afternoon - either by providing satiety or as the snack. I'm thinking a homemade version of Qdoba's Mexican Gumbo for dinner - we braised a pork shoulder in the crock pot yesterday (to freeze for quick dinners) and I have some tortilla soup frozen that we could thaw out for it.

Sleep last night was good - I think I woke up only once, at 3 am. Hot flashes are occurring intermittently again - don't know how long this bout will last, but undoubtedly longer than I'd want (they've already achieved that).

Friday, October 24, 2014


Bad week. Awful week. I'm overreacting to minor stresses, snapping at perfectly reasonable requests, eating crap, failing to sleep, gaining weight. 155.something today - the scale is all psycho to boot, so when I bent down to look at the details, it faded out and started flickering. Perfectly justified; yesterday was a complete carb-fest. Apart from a little cheese in the morning and a Jimmy John's unwich, my diet consisted of Mexican food and candy. We did manage a walk, and ended up going to bed before 8. Probably a good thing, too, as temperature fluctuations woke me up good and hard at 11:40, and I didn't get back to sleep until around 2:00. I think that works out to around 6 hours' sleep. 

I need to research what life is like post-menopause. I hope it calms down a bit, because this just sucks. The sort of existence that makes a massive solar flare wiping out life on earth seem like an enticing prospect. Given the utter lack of real hardship, I'd have to say it's a good thing I don't have a hard life or any real problems - I'm poorly suited to handle them, obviously.

I hope I get good sleep this weekend, and that next week is better. I think I might need to spend a lot of time outdoors this weekend, see if that helps at all.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


153.8 this morning. I don't really have anything to add.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


I had to fight to get a walk in last night. On the way home, Lee suggests that I go eat dinner with him at the golf course, rather than heading home. And of course the service was slow because I was in a hurry. Anyway, I made it - got home just before 6 and there was still some sunlight available, so I did about 2 miles at a 14-and-a-bit pace. Not bad. And I think it burned out some of my irritation at the day - irritation I could not vent at dinner because one of Lee's fellow club members showed up and he can't not invite people to join us (we are polar opposites in terms of how we relate to the human race). So I had to be polite and discuss the weather and such all during the meal.

Anyway, I'm feeling proud of myself about that. Unfortunately, that pride translated into 4 dark chocolate peanut butter cups, 2 pieces of cheese, and a bunch of cashews throughout the rest of the evening. The snack craving is strong in me.

Here's yesterday:
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • scrambled eggs
  • turkey sausage
  • 2 string cheese
  • an apple
  • naked cheese steak sandwich
  • a pickle spear
  • cottage cheese
  • 4 dark chocolate peanut butter cups
  • 2 pieces of Gruyere
  • a bunch of cashews
153.0 this morning. Annoying, but there it is. I will try hard to get another walk in tonight; it does seem to help. Sleep was adequate - I remember waking twice during the night, once for overheating, but got back to sleep pretty quickly. Ketones were at Trace last night.

I am happy to report that, even with the extra weight, some skirts that weren't fitting last year are fitting this year, so maybe the walking is adding a bit of muscle - that, or the weight is being carried somewhere other than my thighs.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I practiced what I preached yesterday, and slept a lot better. Got a walk in - to and from a dinner of smoked turkey and a salad. Came home and read things on paper - left the iPad completely alone. Changed to pajamas without sleeves. It all helped. I intend to do similar things tonight.

Here's yesterday's eating:
  • tea with cream
  • the usual supplements
  • scrambled eggs
  • turkey sausage (2)
  • 2 string cheeses
  • an apple
  • about 6 slices of salami
  • 1/2 lb smoked turkey
  • salad with blue cheese dressing
  • an after-dinner mint
  • a small slice of cheesecake
We found the cheesecake in the freezer when cleaning it out on Sunday - a box of 4 quarters, each a different flavor. I think the diameter is probably 8", and we sliced one of the quarters in half. I tried to avoid the crust, but ended up eating some of it. I don't think it will kill me.

I don't recall dreaming last night - may have been just too tired. I also don't recall being bothered by hot flashes. Bedtime ketones were at Trace (barely), but my day wasn't deliberately ketone-generating, either.

Dinner on my own tonight - Lee has a golf meeting at 6. I will walk first, then figure out what to eat. I have a flu shot this afternoon, which normally doesn't affect me, but will hold firm to my plan just in case. 

Monday, October 20, 2014


Wretched weekend; got to last night and it just felt like we hadn't had one. Which wasn't true, but I'd spent Saturday feeling poorly - migraine, I think - so we really only had Sunday, and it felt like there should have been another day after it.

And then I went to bed and pretty much failed to sleep all night - instead, I played the "wrong temperature" game for hours. I know for sure I was awake at 10, 1:15, during the 2-3 hour off and on, pretty much all of 3-4, and finally fell asleep sometime before 5. And woke up after 5 but before the alarm went off. I'm surprisingly un-tired this morning, though. Hope it lasts well enough for me to get home tonight.

I ate a lot of carbs over the weekend - including an entire Domino's gluten-free pizza, several handfuls of potato chips, and more candy than I should have. I'm struggling hard to get control of things right now, and mostly failing. 153.4 this morning, if the scale was accurate (it appears to be low-battery and acting up this morning, so I'm suspicious it's wrong - probably too low). Quite discouraging.

In the course of trying to sleep last night, I succumbed to the lure of live radio. I don't think it's a good idea, and I shouldn't have done it. I don't know if using an OTR playlist would have worked better - the problem is that menopause was waking me up, not audio stimulus. But maybe I would have been more asleep without the audio and might have slept through the heat waves.

I hate this. I want to enjoy being warm, but I'm stuck with 2 options - freezing to death or sweating. There's no middle ground anymore. And I keep thinking it's done, that I can start living normally again, and then it returns. I will grant that this bout is less severe, but it's still severe enough to mess with my sleep.

For this week, I think the focus needs to be on eating healthy things and getting walks, and trying to get my sleep under control. Maybe then I can focus on the weight thing again.