Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tacking Stock - Of Emotions, Coconut Oil, and Spaces

Post Number: 61
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily Points Left: 43 of 71 (Goal: 21)
     Weekly Points Left: 49 of 49 (Goal: 49)
     Pedometer Reading: 5468
     Meetings Attended: Weight Watchers
     Exercise Completed: Replaced Aquatics Class at the Y with swimming 4 laps (200 yards)

Taking stock two days ago helped with yesterday. Yesterday was very difficult, physically and emotionally. Physically, my eyes burn, my ear ache, and my muscles ache more, although my joints aren't complaining quite as much. Emotionally, I'm still brow beating myself for the financial mess I am in. I usually pay down equal percentages of my bills when money is tight. And I should have done it this time. Plenty of time to catch up later. I even have an Excel spreadsheet that will allow me to enter the values of each bill, provide the total I am putting towards the bills, calculate the percentage available to all of the bills, and then calculate how much will be paid on each bill. But being tired of late notices and disconnect warnings, I paid 'em all off. Way to shoot myself in the foot! And for some reason, that mental amputation wore on me yesterday.

To try and focus on something useful that would challenge my intellect and calm down my emotions, I went online to update my web software at my business site, Scientific Consulting Services. There's nothing there right now. After playing around with the web software for awhile, I find that Joomla is not the most user friendly software. Nor does it lend itself well to what's going on in the background. Sometimes you can figure out how to get things done by discerning how the designers were thinking. Not in this case. It's keeping its secrets. But that's okay. I enjoy the challenge. Now that I have poked around in it for awhile, I'll go read and watch the tutorials on their website. They will make a lot more sense now, I am quite sure. The first thing I want to figure out, how to create structure to the web site. Everything I create gets added to the home page. I want other pages. The second thing I want to figure out. How to change the template. The default is bo-o-o-o-o-ring. I want a little eye catching scientific pizzazz.

What isn't scientific pizzazz is the very obvious fact that I eat more on the days I exercise. Swimming makes me hungry. Since I haven't come close to eating my total allotted points or my self-selected total points, it's okay. But I need to recognize this and be aware of it in the future. I notice I am more likely to nibble when I have the after-exercise hunger.

I also hunger for more knowledge. I wanted to record an e-mail reply that I sent out concerning weight loss. Here is the original e-mail:
Is their science on track or way out there? Or worse, just enough truth to make sense.
Here is my reply:
While there is science in the article, I cannot judge how much of it is on track by my standards. There is only one journal named. And there are no links to the original articles, no titles, and the authors are unnamed. This appears to be a re-quoting, as from a book, rather than from her direct experience. While some of this information is on track for the surface level biology, the deeper delving is missing. And since the articles aren't listed, I cannot say if the authors had other findings she has skipped. I would even suggest she didn't read the articles, just the books. Plus, the "evil twin of coconut oil" has been run out of town by all of its bad press. It's hard to find. And even the coconut oil I have in the house is getting bad press as well. Bad press that I am not sure is deserved. For example, we're supposed to stay away from saturated fats. Most of the coconut oil is saturated fats. But our metabolism churns through the coconut oil fats for energy almost as well as straight sugar. And from my own research, most notable through Pub Med, coconut oil by itself helps but in combination with other fatty acids, helps a lot more. The problem is that coconut oil with those fatty acids doesn't reduce the risk of muscle loss during weight loss. So, even after the missing verification, the weak explanations, and the glossing over of details, my biggest problem was her disclaimer that she gets paid for the links in her article. In spite of her insistence that the opinions are still hers, I have trouble believing she isn't influenced by the cash flow.
After talking with Kyle at Food 2 Store about my upcoming class in January at his place, I had already planned on adding in coconut oil next week. I have been avoid the carbs hard this week because I want to lose 3.2 pounds so I can get two 5-pound stickers in a row. I'm paying for it. Details intentionally missing. So I am incredibly grateful that Saturday is coming the day after I wake up. As for adding in coconut oil, I haven't decided how much to add in. In general, 1 tsp of oil is 1 PPV, as is 1 tsp of butter or sour cream or margarine. But I am interested in trying it out to see for myself.
As a not-so-quick addition to my reply, I would like to point out that the article talks about butter as a healthy oil. There is a reply to a comment posted in the comment section mentioning the same thing. Yes, there are situations where no adverse effect has been noticed by consuming butter. Think of the "farmer's breakfast." Large, hearty, calorie laden breakfast dripping with fat. But think about what the farmer's of yesteryear then went and did. Worked all day in the fields burning off the quick calories (the carbs from toast and hash browns) and the slow calories (fat and protein from eggs, bacon, and butter). A body burning through that many calories will have the ability to clear out the animal fats before the arteries are layered. And that is the real danger, in my opinion, of calling butter healthy. I love butter. I'll put some on every pancake. I enjoy it on hot veggies. And popcorn is never better than when it slathered in butter. But I'm not about to call butter health at this weight, at this blood pressure (even under medicinal controlled), at this level of exercise. I miss butter some days. But I am not attracted to it.

I am attracted to taking coconut oil. And so I shall be adding in coconut oil to my diet for a week or two to gauge how I feel about the consumption and see about the weight loss. Frankly, like so many other supplements for weight loss that work that I have researched to discover good options (Konjac root fiber, raspberry ketones, L-Carnitine, white kidney bean extract, ...), their assistance, while productive, is no where near as useful as eating less and exercising more.

Other productive ideas that I am beginning to understand come from Weight Watchers. They talk about Lists, Tracking, Routines, and Spaces. Lists are simple. I have been making them for a very long time. And I've even learned to make lists that explain things like motivation, urgency, and value. Here, Lists includes the "why-to" and the "how-to" to add  Tracking is simple to understand; If you eat it, track the points. Routines is simple to understand; Attack bad habits by replacing them with good Routines. But Spaces I didn't get until yesterday. Spaces is the idea of being aware of locations that trigger snacking (say the mall). Spaces is also the idea of creating places that are safety zones for retreating to when cravings hit or for knowing you can feel comfortable there. Routines attack foods that trigger binges. But Routines also attached spaces where eating the wrong thing is more likely. If the mall is a bad Space, make a Routine of bringing along a favorite healthy snack. In my case, something like popcorn.

All of this knowledge, added with emotional validation and mental motivation, will make physical activity and mental preparation easier and more productive.

Yours in the knowledge that joy and excitement will return,


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