Archive | September 2016

Uncle Josh is Half the Man He Used to Be

Well, not literally, but I am a writer and allowed to bump the baseline, as the song goes. But I am feeling smaller, and I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that.

This is the end of Day 13 of our Whole30 and on top of getting sick and tired thinking about and working for our food. It seems like all our free time is going into food prep and cleanup. I carve out enough time to work out three times a week, and I feel like I’m  losing ground.

I started serious strength training on June 20, 2013. I did my first set of squats (5×5) at 25 lbs. On September 16, 2013 my squat was 215 lbs. It maxed out at 290 lbs that November and had read Starting Strength on the recommendation of a chiropractor, so I only needed to do three sets of five, but I did them. I tried to go higher but my standard bar was full and the plates popped off once and there was another dangerous incident where I bottomed out and could not get out of the squat and had to roll the bar over my neck to escape.

Strength training has come and gone, but I am back at it and did a 215 lb squat today, almost three years after I first hit that milestone. My squats are okay, but my press is deteriorating and my deadlift is crawling up and getting dangerous. I need some serious checks on my form and perhaps some special instructions to avoid the–ahem–soprano maker deadlift.

In all this lifting, in this rebuilding of my strength, I don’t feel strong. I used to feel strong. Maybe what I felt all that time was muscle soreness and constant inflammation and that’s the sort of thing the Whole30 is supposed to be fixing in my system. No inflammation, or at least heavily reduced, leads to faster recoveries. Gains in the gym are included in the Whole30 success stories. Perhaps the diet and heavy protien is helping. Although I haven’t counted protien in a while. I counted the first couple of days and didn’t get enough according to the strength training advice for building muscle.

Considering I’m hungry a good portion of the day, perhaps this is the case.

Besides feeling smaller and not feeling my strength, my mood swings have stabilized but my energy level seems to putter around 75%. I just don’t have the oomph to get started on anything. This is mental as well as physical. I tried getting up early to write and so far I have done that three times this month.

According to the Whole30 timeline, this is normal. I should be getting my energy back next week. I miss it. I miss feeling strong. Granted, my strength is there when I need it. I felt it when I put Stephanie’s spinning wheel in the car. I felt it when moving a television table to the garage. Sitting at my computer, I don’t feel it, and I used to.

Uncle Josh is Half the Man He Used to Be was originally published on Uncle Josh Talks Too Much

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Uncle Josh breaks a mayonnaise

This is day 6 of our #Whole30 and it was a tough one. I was tired all day no matter how much coffee I drank. I ate everything I had taken to work and was hungry by the end of the work day. Tonight was also a lifting night, and I was afraid of what the iron would do to me.

I had to run and errand during the day and I turned a corner to see the sign of a sub shop and my first thought was “she’ll never know.” I was tempted. Hungry. Worried. And there was the promise of forbidden foods that would make me oh-so-very happy. I even persisted in the illusion that I could hide it. No, that’s not bread and onions on my breath, not at all. Gee, hon, I don’t know how that sub shop charge landed on our bank account. 

I was, in short, thinking like a heel.

The sub shop was closed anyway. A Mexican joint is under construction in that place. 

So I came home and had some almonds and raisins and went to the bar. Whole30 leads to some strange snack options. I gained my scheduled ten pounds on my squat, and did worse on the overhead press than last time. This has me worried. Then again, I looked at some Starting Strength workout logs and people with twice my squat are doing about the same in the overhead press. So maybe I’m okay there and should work to maintain a weight while everything else returns.

Our dinner plans were foiled by a lemon. This was the result of a series of discoveries that rivaled a Douglas Adams text adventure. After dinnet I went to the store to get the lemon so we could make a mayonnaise so we could make a ranch dressing so we could make something resembling one of our favorite fallback recipes: chicken ranch wraps. Of course, being on the whole30, it was to be unwrapped ranch chicken wraps.

And so I made a mayonnaise. We’ve made two batches already and I tried for the third. We don’t have a food processor, only an immersion blender. The first batch we tried mixing in a mason jar. it was okay but the shape or the jar fought the emulsion. Then we tried the plastic mixing cup for the blender. It was okey at first but fought us net the end. The emulsion was so thick we had a heck of a time getting the last quarter cup of oil integrated. (But it tasted great. We used half of it to make the ranch dressing and I fell in love with a food all over again.) The next experiment was to use a small mixing bowl, but this didn’t work as well as we’d hoped. The oil flies to the edges and the mass of mayo doesn’t come together. I finished it, but I don’t think it will hold up.

Now I am tired, and I’m going to bed.

Uncle Josh breaks a mayonnaise was originally published on Uncle Josh Talks Too Much

Uncle Josh Dreams of Food (Whole30 Day 2)

Yesterday, according to Weight Watchers, I only ate about 63% of my daily allotment of SmartPoints™. I was satisfied with breakfast, but fell into hunger mid-morning and mid-afternoon. I ate raisins as a pre-lift snack and because it was cool I managed a pretty good workout between WW and dinner. Dinner was wonderful, and there was a hint of peckishness as I fell asleep.

I was not prepared for the dream.

It was a common scene: I was in a parking lot outside a grocery store moving soda waters and chips from the cart to my car. I opened a bag. I ate a chip.

And then I had this horrible feeling that I had done something horribly wrong and betrayed everything that is good and wholesome in the world and had cheated on my wife.

I was not prepared for the dream.

I tried to hide my sin. I tried to return the chips for a full refund (except the bag I opened because it’s not the store’s fault I opened it), and at some point I woke up.

I was not prepared.

Tonight I sleep ready.

Uncle Josh Dreams of Food (Whole30 Day 2) was originally published on Uncle Josh Talks Too Much

Uncle Josh Eats Lunch (Whole30 Day 1)

Today is day one. Last night we prepped breakfast, a potato-sausage-egg casserole with onions and mushrooms and–this is amazing in context–lemon. It lasted most of the morning until about 11.

Lunch is a mason-jar salad full of veggies and a can of tuna, plus an egg.

I don’t plan on reporting on every little thing I eat. In fact, I’m not supposed to be eating all the “little things” and restrict myself to three meals a day.

The challenge is I’ve been on an eat-every-two-hours thing for years. I have to adjust to not eating “all the time” which my co-workers may come to appreciate. (I’m sure they’d appreciate it if I didn’t eat lunch at my desk, but that’s modern work for ya!)

For years I have equated “Tired” with “Depressed” and struggled to break that mental connection. I also have equated “Hungry” with “Angry” and “Peckish” with “Tired” which links back to “Depression”. I think this is why I ate every two hours. So I am fighting this mental rut today.

On the writing side, I managed to wake up and get in a morning writing session with the SAD light. I had good energy through most of the morning, until I slipped into Peckish.

It’s a long road in September, but I am still confident we can pull this off.

Uncle Josh Eats Lunch (Whole30 Day 1) was originally published on Uncle Josh Talks Too Much