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Journal of a Weary Dragon

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  • #16
    Sunday 3/2 Was on the computer til very late tonight so ended up getting only 3hrs sleep - not good I know & I woke before I needed to, probably because I had to be up at a certain time & that always causes me sleep problems. One of my big problems with primal living is getting enough sleep. I don't sleep well anyway & have just got a new job which involves me working long hours so going to bed at 10pm & getting up at 6am is going to be very difficult (even if I did get to bed at 10 I am unlikely to go straight to sleep). The only thing which sends me off is having the TV on otherwise I lay awake for hours In my defense I tend to listen to it rather than watch it - maybe I should try a cd or something.

    Numbers for today: cals 1877 (went over board on the nuts tonight - will put it down to experience & very late night) ratio:18:3:79
    Last edited by Ddraig Goch; 02-04-2013, 11:56 AM. Reason: spelling


    • #17
      Week 1 Round-Up So first week is done & dusted. Ave cals 1490, av ratio 16-5-80 so pretty much spot on with the ratio. Cals 150 over. Wt loss 7lb (still can't believe it).

      So what have I learnt?

      1) Once you get over the initial 'do I really want to eat butter & olive oil off the spoon like cream?' its actually quite easy to up the fat levels.
      2) eating good fats is way more expensive than normal protein (can't afford grass fed from the farm down the road at 3x price).
      3) It's better to get the ratios right (ie 80% fat) rather than keep the cals low
      4) Tracking is a necessity with this WOE & its better to track before dinner so you know what to have to get the cals/ratio spot on. - planned menus are a must I think whilst calorie counting as its just too easy to go over when trying to get the ratios right.
      5) Butter is my new best friend - same fat cals but <1/2 the price of coconut oil & mac nuts (need to find an unsalted grass fed source though)
      6) With a little creativity you don't have to give up on your favorite foods - I can still have hot chocolate - ditch the soya milk & use hot water & cream
      6) I feel less stressed & less tired. Will be interesting to see how it goes next week when I start exercising.
      Last edited by Ddraig Goch; 02-04-2013, 12:39 PM.


      • #18
        Monday 4/2 cals 1345 ratio 16-5-79 pretty much spot on even with eating slightly different foods.

        Been trying out extra butter today. Got through 30+g - definitely too much salt (I never usually have any). also cleared the freezer out & found some portions of minced turkey - slightly up on the protein but not at max so will finish them off over the next few days.

        No exercise today but not bothered if I don't start til next week. More interested in getting the the nutrition right (80% of the issue)
        Last edited by Ddraig Goch; 02-05-2013, 03:53 AM. Reason: spelling


        • #19
          Tuesday 5/2 Cals 1373 Ratio 17-4-79 Sleep 9hrs (went to bed at 8pm as felt I could fall asleep which I did - woken in the middle of the night by a thunderstorm (in the middle of winter???)& hailstones.

          After reading MDA & (trying to keep up with) EMF thread, IF seems to be the way to go or at least eating when you feel like it. This worries me for 2 reasons:

          1) B/fast is supposed to be the best meal of the day (B/fast like a king......)
          2) Eating small meals through out the day is supposed to keep the metabolism burning.

          I went for years eating only once a day & gained weight even when I was dieting. I have appreciated for some time now that eating all your cals late at night is not the way to go. I also know I have a very slow metabolism as I have always found losing weight very difficult (Until I went low carb & even that stopped after a few months).. So I am terrified of screwing up my metabolism even further.

          On the other side I did lose 7lb last week using EMF & every thing I have been reading over the last couple of weeks seems to contradict CW, it also all makes sense. The other thing about IF is it will keep the food bills down which would allow me to swap supermarket meat & eggs for grass fed (3x price here).

          Plus, as I have already learned this week, to do EMF you need to unlearn everything you thought you knew about nutrition so maybe this is just part of the relearning process.

          As I have never been very good at clock watching & thus never have managed to eat 6 meals evenly spaced out, I'm going to go for 4 meals a day spread out from 7am to 7pm & aim more for the ratio than for meeting the cals target (everyone in EMF seem to never be hungry anyway). I need to eat really cheap right now & have a freezer & store cupboard full of protein so for the next 12wks will stick to using these up, have a wide variety of fats every day whilst keeping the expensive ones (coconut oil & mac nuts) to a minimum & see what happens. I tend to overeat in the evening anyway so having a defined curfew will hopefully sort that out.

          I have reworked my menus & they all come in just below the suggested protein level & between 0-100 below the cals target I set for myself. As all these numbers a subjective anyway (there are so many different ways of calculating these thing all giving slightly different results - who's to know which is the definitive answer) & since this is my own n=1 experiment (can't imaging anyone ever wanting to read any of this but I'm finding it a good place to get the thoughts down) I'll start here & see what happens.

          As any new eating regime has funny effects on the body at the start (don't suppose losing 7lb in a week is the norm) I will give it 3 weeks eating these menus before changing anything then will up the cals (fats) by 10% if I lose more than 2lb a week (why starve for no reason) or if I lose nothing (low cals could mean stalling I think). If I lose LBM I will up the protein by 10% & adjust the fats accordingly to keep the 80% ratio. Aside from lots of walking I will not start any other cardio (unless I'm feel like it) for the 3wk intro period but will start my LHT program next week at the latest.No w I have got that sorted I just have to stick to it.

          NB: I also have to stop over analysing everything - I don't have the time & to keep changing thing means I'll never know what works.

          So going forward, I am going to update here with minimal progress posts every day & ignore MDA & EMF (too much info) as I'm finding it addictive & should spend the time more wisely (LHT, walking ??)
          Last edited by Ddraig Goch; 02-05-2013, 02:00 PM. Reason: added numbers


          • #20
            Wednesday 6/2 Cals 1531 Ratio 16-3-81 Sleep 7hrs woke naturally

            Haven't managed to kick the read EMF habit yet. Spent most of yesterday checking out IF. It seems that it may not work so well for females especially those over weight. I like Marks approach - fast when its convenient or when you are not hungry & I still like the idea of restricting food in the evening as that it when snacking get out of control so I still going to try a 12hr on/12hr off approach to see what happens but wait until I stall before trying proper IF.

            Had the urge to weigh this am just to see if last weeks weight loss is still there (still can't quite believe it). Have lost another lb so half way to my goal of 2lb for this week. So what I'm doing seems to be working.

            Tried 3 egg yolks in my omelette for b/fast but a) not enough liquid b) 3 whites is a little too much for the dog I think so will go back to 1 whole & 1 yolk tomorrow. Also tried single cream in my hot chocolate - not a success & gave the rest of the cream to the cats.

            Just been reading the poo thread & discovered cayenne is good for constipation amongst other things. I dislike any hot spice but have been happy consuming 1/2tsp paprika on my evening meat so will get some mild cayenne when I shop next & try it. See if it makes any difference. Have started taking phsyllium husks just to get things moving as have found stools very hard since starting EMF. Apparently its good to take with a squeeze of lemon so could add it to my early morning hot lemon (have been thinking of upping it from 1/4 lemon to 1/2 for a while now so might do both).

            NB: cals a bit hit but really pleased with 81% fat
            Last edited by Ddraig Goch; 02-07-2013, 01:50 PM. Reason: input numbers


            • #21
              What has worked well for me is eating around 1:00 pm and 6:30/7:00 pm so I end up with a 17 hour fast most days. However if I need to eat, I eat. And I still end up hitting my ratio's/calories pretty well.


              • #22
                Hi NB thanks for the feedback, it is always good to know what works for those with some experience when trying new things. I am starting to think that I could give b/fast a miss & start eating later. The trouble is there is too much info out there. I read yesterday that women do better on a 14hr fast while men do better on a longer fast so who knows? I am still having trouble dropping the idea of ‘6 small meals a day or your metabolism will suffer’ so will stay with my revised 4 meals a day & 12hr window for a while & see what happens but great to have another option to follow up on if need be.


                • #23
                  Thurs 7/2 cals 1119 ratio 17-3-80 sleep not much

                  ended up in the ER today. Thought I had a trapped nerve all week but this am was woken at 4am with pins & needles in my hand which wouldn't go away & couldn't get into the Dr until tonight. Well, the pain which up til now had been creeping up over the course of the day was now full on in my shoulder, neck & arm so I gave in & DD took me to casualty (didn't trust driving myself). Turns out I have a impingement (tendon gets trapped under the shoulder blade) so strong painkillers,anti inflammatories & rest are the order of the day. Did manage to get an hours sleep when I got home once the painkillers kicked in so hopefully sleep will be better tonight.

                  Spent most of yesterday & today reading Peebles67 & Demuralist journals (oh the joy of working from home) as they seem to be the key players in starting the EMF thread & it seemed a good way tot get to knoe them better (I always feel as though I'm prying when reading someone else's journal though which is silly really given that I would be more than happy to have people read this & provide some moral support - Thx again NB).

                  All this change of schedule & extra reading meant it was gone 7:30pm when I finally checked my macros. As the ratio is spot on I decided to stick with my 'no eating after 7pm plan' even though the cals were low. Will make up for yesterday Not particularly hungry but could have downed another mug of hot chocolate ( this is my comfort food but now HFLPLC 7 totally primal) Will have to do with a chamomile tea now though. 3 days of eating like this & I am really pleased with progress. My cal average so far this week is spot on 1357 so it just shows that evening eating really is my downfall as far as calorie consumption is concerned.


                  • #24
                    Where has all this research taken me Part 1? Having done lots of reading & research over the last few weeks I am still somewhat confused. There are so many ways to work out BMR , final goal weight etc I'm not really sure what is true anymore. So I have decided to redo all the numbers & made a surprising discovery:

                    Method 1 - Optimal Diet formula given in EMF thread. Goal weight HSIS 137lb 62kg P62-C31-F124 Cals 1488 (HSIS determined by WII based on BMI of 22)
                    Accuracy of result BMI is known to be a poor indicator given that muscle weighs more than fat & the average person probably wont have the muscle mass I should have after LHT consistently for the next 9mths

                    Method 2 - Protein requirements determined by LBM. Protein Ratio determined by A&S of LCP Currently LBM 102.4lb 0.6x102.4 = 62 P62-C31-F124 Cals 1488
                    Accuracy of result? This I trust more as only LBM requires protein as a building block. Funny the numbers come out the same though.

                    Method 3 - Frame size Left wrist I can touch with finger & thumb wrapped around (Measurement 16.5cm) - Med frame. Right wrist I can't (Measurement 17cm) - Lg frame. However as I have a protruding scar on my right wrist I suspect this may be why its bigger (I guess I'm probably medium frame borderline large) so will go with the medium frame Protein requirements for medium frame, female height 5'6 is 62g
                    Accuracy of result? Does it really matter? The numbers are the same

                    So 3 methods all giving the same result. I guess I have got to accept the numbers 62g protein 1488 cals

                    However, the carb count is too high as I want to stick to my 15g/day which is what I have been on for nearly a year. I have no carb cravings & feel great so that is one macro I am not prepared to change.

                    I also feel I need to up the fats to 80% - I know 70% doesn't work in making me lose weight

                    So 62*4+15*4 = 308 cals which is 20% of daily intake so total cals 308x5 = 1540 fat = 308/9*4 = 137g

                    Current BMR based on LBM excluding activity is 1372 so I will go with the lower cals figure which is 1488 as the optimal target & not sweat if I actually hit 1540 but no higher (don't believe in average cals over time as the body doesn't work like that it - either burns it off or it stores it & once stored I think its harder to burn no matter how fat adapted you may be - also it takes time for the fat cell to die so even if the stored fat is burnt off the remaining LBM in the cell will still count as extra weight & bulk where it shouldn't be).This would give me a working ratio of P62-C12-F132 Cals 1484

                    Red flag here - if I aim for 1484 that is 116 cals higher than my supposed 1372 BMR at rest but as long as I do at least 30min walk every day (dog aren't you a lucky boy!) I will burn that off easily (30min walk at 3mph for current weight 176lb is 174 cals). As I intend to do 5miles a day 6 days a week plus LHT & sprint once a week the exercise will create a calorie deficit =weekly weight loss. So as long a I stick to the exercise plan I should see a weight loss at 1484 cals even if I'm not in full fat burning mode.

                    Even with all of this common sense & proven maths I am still struggling with the idea of what I think are quite high daily cals, but my first week of LFMPLC was an average 1499 cals & I lost 7lb so that result should make me see sense. Except that we all know the first week on a new WOE is not indicative of future weeks. As I know I can happily live on the 1350 cals I originally set myself if I get the evening eats under control & as I am not going to be LHT for a bit (shoulder impingement remember) I think it will be OK to stick to my original plan of 1372 cals 53 protein 80% fat & see what happens.

                    If I lose LBM after 3wks or lose LBM but not BF after 2 weeks I will up the protein to 62g & the cals to 1484 & see what happens over a further 3wks. If I plateau (ie not lose for 3 continuous wks) I will do the same.

                    Not putting the exercise plan into action right now is also not a problem as it will give me a chance to see what the WOE on its own will do.

                    So having got all that off my chest I must now put my anxieties to bed & not change anything for the remaining couple of weeks

                    NB: I realize some of this may be repeats of earlier posts but I do take some convincing.
                    Last edited by Ddraig Goch; 02-07-2013, 03:43 PM. Reason: spelling


                    • #25
                      Where has all this research taken me Part 2?

                      Having finally sorted the ratios & cals out in my head my other main anxiety is fat burning. How do I know if I've got everything right & I am becoming a fat burning beast? It seems that the ontology real way to know is with a blood ketone kit & for the foreseeable future it is an expense I can't afford. The ketositx I have have never changed colour. Should I be worried? No because:

                      a) they could be faultily
                      b) Ketositx is not an indicator of blood ketones which is the real proof of fat adaption
                      c) I drink 1.5-3l water a day + 4-5 cups of weak tea so my urine could be too diluted
                      d( Even on a fruit binge day I have never eaten more than 30g carbs in nearly a year, never use sugar or AS & my last diet coke set back was 2wks ago so I must be in Ketosis to some degree.

                      Time to throw the Ketostix in the bin. What about other symptoms? The only other one I know is a bad taste in the mouth. I'm never sure if this is due to the foods I have eaten & sometimes I don't really get any. I also read somewhere that as the body adapts the bad taste disappears so I may have been in a low state of ketosis long enough for it not to really notice. So again another possible test that doesn't really help.

                      Jimmy Moore says in his blog re his n=1 experiment with monitoring blood ketones that he used macros of 10-15% protein 1-3% carbs & 80-85% fat. My starting macros are P17% (possibly a little high) C3% (spot on) & fat 80% (possibly a little low)

                      Volek and Phinney in A&S of LCP say 'the three primary factors impacting blood ketone production are carbohydrates, protein and exercise'. They also say it 'can take as much as two weeks to become fully keto-adapted'.

                      So given that the ratios can sort out the first two, I really need to get the exercise plan moving. So i think that if the weight isn't coming off with my current cals & ratio I should get the exercise plan consistent before upping the cslories.

                      I am also convinced that EMF is definitely the way to go because:

                      a) I have lost again after months of stalling on VLC
                      b) It seems to have helped Pebbles67 curb her binge eating (21 days clean how cool is that?)
                      c) It seems to be helping Demuralist to finally lose weight (although she hasn't weighed since starting EMF she certainly sounds happier in herself & in her relationship with food)
                      d) Paleobird (who seems to have started all of this) has moved from PB with higher fat ratio of
                      30/15/55 (essentially what I have been doing for the last couple of months & stalling) through calorie restriction with a ratio of 40/15/45 (see her post re Calorie Counting revisited) to finally embracing EMF (another great journal I must get around to reading for inspiration)

                      So to recap:

                      1) Stick with 17/3/80 1372 cals for now
                      2) add the exercise program in asap & definitely make it a priority if start stalling
                      3) move to 17/3/80 1484 cals if continue to lose LBM
                      4) move to 15/1/84 ratio within 7-8hr window (see NB's previous post & the 8-hr diet by
                      David Zinczenko) if stalling after implementing 2 & 3 above consistently.


                      • #26
                        Where has all this research taken me Part 3?

                        The only good thing about spending time in casualty is the opportunity to read a book. Hence I have been able to finish the PB so now would be a good time to look where I am at re the 10 Laws:

                        PB Law #1: Eat Lots of Plants and Animals OK with this, no grains eaten for nearly a year (can't understand why anyone wants to put these in their mouth) - have thrown out the oats, oatbran & flaxseed I was going to go back to once I was in range of my goal weight. Life has moved on & these are not healthy either. Freezer & store cupboard full of protein. HFMPLC means a lot less protein needs to be in my long term diet so when the freezer & store cupboard is empty (need to check which tinned fish is not strictly primal) I hope to be able to restock with small quantities of grass fed meat & will try eating steak again. Working towards buying grass fed chicken and eggs (is there a source round here - must do some research) when freezer empty. Will also work toward buying local seasonal organic veg when weight at goal & can be a little lest restrictive with carbs.

                        PB Law #2: Avoid Poisonous Things OK with this - haven't eaten sugar or AS for nearly a year (again, why do people touch that stuff, I have become a real zealot now). Just got to keep the diet coke in check (I know it tastes horrible & is unhealthy & addictive & makes me feel terrible so why drink it. I will win the battle by not touching it again - ever).

                        PB Law #3: Move Frequently at a Slow Pace No problem with this, 30 min daily dog walks (instead of just letting him into the field to chase rabbits & a quick trip round the block if it raining) & 5mile walks for work 6 days a week

                        PB Law #4: Lift Heavy Things I have always wanted to be able to do push ups, pull ups & squats & recognize now that my excess weight has probably more to do with stopping me than any lack in upper body strength. With Marks breakdown of the moves I will be able to learn them whilst losing the weight. Also I now know the importance of strength training so am looking forward to incorporating full body weight lifting once I have the 4 essential moves mastered. & I know its possible to get a ripped body (this is important to me) just by using body weight from looking at the success of the simply fit followers so anything is possible.

                        PB Law #5: Sprint Once in a While Once moving at a slow pace & lifting heavy things consistently, will be finishing off the exercise schedule with this. Should make the knee stronger I think so another positive.

                        PB Law #6: Get Adequate Sleep This is the problem area. I desperately need a Body Media Fit to monitor my terrible sleep patterns (good for activity levels & other things too) but will have to save. Oh well, good motivation to start earning some real money. First want to try 5-htp. Natures Best have 50% off & I have no money arrrrgh!

                        PB Law #7: Play Not much chance of this at the moment. My chosen play is dog training but have to give it up for now. Also want to go back to Karate. Maybe next year.

                        PB Law #8: Get Adequate Sunlight No problem with this will be outside for 4hrs a day with job. Already taking Vit D sup.

                        PB Law #9: Avoid Stupid Mistakes Don't start on the Diet Coke & stick to the mantra 'Consistency is Key' especially where exercise & work are concerned. The hardest part is keep the stress levels low. Doing the afore mentioned will help. Must not rise to the bait if DD is being horrible & must stop worrying about DS - he is old enough to lead his own life & must be take the consequences for his own mistakes. Deep breathing & knowing the detrimental effect stress has on weight loss is helping.

                        PB Law #10: Use Your Brain Finding this one difficult at the moment. Been in a stress & lack of sleep induced fog for a while now. Perhaps EMF will help. Already feel happier now I have found a like minded group of people who will hopefully offer support within the EMF thread & I have now found a weight loss & exercise plan that might actually work.


                        • #27
                          Goals Rehash Having sorted out the wood from the chaff so to speak I think I should now reiterate my goals

                          Weight Loss: Start weight before Low Carb 212lb 11/3/12 Lowest weight on Low Carb 176 5/11/12 Total Loss 36lb
                          Start weight before EMF 181lb Current weight after 1 week EMF 174lb total lost since start 38lb

                          I have broken this down into many small goals as its easier to motivate myself to achieve a small success than to aim for a big success so far in the distance I can't even see it. As each success is achieved I shall tick it off by adding the date. Realistically I am hoping for weekly success as follows (I told you I was a numbers person) so I can be HSIS on my birthday:
                          >12st2 (170lb) 2lb/wk (2wks)
                          >11st2 (156lb) 1.5lb/wk (10wks)
                          >10st2 (142lb) 1lb/wk (14wks)
                          >9st11 (137lb) 0.5lb/wk (10wks)
                          >9st6 (132lb) 0.25lb/wk (20wk)s

                          Wt Goal 1: 12st2 (170lb) - 20% of starting bodyweight (3st) lost
                          Wt Goal 1a:BF<40% (excess BF)
                          Wt Goal 2: 11st13 (167lb) - NSZ 30lb from secondary target weight, start running on road
                          Wt Goal 3: 11st7 (161lb)- 50lb lost, 30lb from final target weight, Am I lighter than my mum?
                          Motivation point - celebrate with a meal (HFLC of course) out with family
                          Wt Goal 4: 11st5 (159lb) - 25% of starting bodyweight lost
                          Wt Goal 5: 11st2 (156lb) - 4st lost
                          Wt Goal 5a: BMI<25 no longer overweight
                          Wt Goal 6: 10st12 (152lb) - NSZ 60lb lost
                          Wt Goal 6a: BF<31% (moderately lean)
                          Wt Goal 7: 10st7 (147lb) initial target weight, Can I fit into my wedding dress? Am I lighter than DD? (she is tall & slim, oh to have her genes - all my children take after their father thank god)Motivation point - clothes shopping trip with mum & BFF (please bear in mind I hate shopping so it will probably be 2 shops - my normal limit - & a long lunch)
                          NB: Any weight loss after this point will be dependent on how I look & feel I don't want to end up looking gaunt. BF% is far more important to me. I want to find my abs.
                          Wt Goal 8: 10st2 (142lb) - 33% of starting bodyweight (5st, 70lb) lost
                          Wt Goal 9: 9st13 (139lb) - NSZ
                          Wt Goal 9a: BF<23% (Lean - Oh yyyessss!!)
                          Wt Goal 10: 9st11 (137lb) - secondary target weight HSIS weight B/day wt based on hoped for loss plan above
                          Wt Goal 11: 9st6 (134lb) Final target weight (this could get me to where I finally have some abs)
                          Wt Goal 11a: BF<16% Oh those abs!!

                          I will weigh weekly on a Monday & measure every 4 weeks. I'm not a compulsive scale hopper but occasional will weigh out of turn if I am feeling particularly thin or when TOM is . To keep me honest if I weigh I will post it.

                          Exercise: 1) To implement plan & be consistent 2) To be able to do 50 full squats, 20 pushups, 5 proper pull ups & 2min plank, 3) To run 12 5k events this year time & money permitting (all below chronic cardio levels) 3) To run a 10K on new years eve & another on new years day (this has been an ambition of mine for years & would make the best Christmas present ever)

                          Health: To leave the black dog of depression behind me & be able to consistently wake up every morning glad to be alive (this forum has finally given me a reason to look forward. Thank You)

                          Wealth: 1) To pay off some short term debts 2) To not have to rely on DD & DS paying a small rent to pay the bills 3) To be able to back to dog training again 4) To have some money in the bank for emergencies.

                          NB: This post has been very theraputic as its made me sit & really think about what I want to achieve over the next 12 months & also see that with consistency & good fortune I can make it happen. Reading Pebbles67 & Demuralist journal's have shown me that things can be over come if you keep plugging away, no matter how hard or for how long. So thank you both if you ever read this. I am very grateful to have finally been shown a light at the end of the tunnel.
                          Last edited by Ddraig Goch; 02-08-2013, 01:04 AM. Reason: add NB


                          • #28
                            It is now 2:30 am I have still not reached for anything to eat. Feeling peckish but I can manage. One small victory - the first of many I hope.Going to bed now anyway with no forced wake up time tomorrow (except the dog barking to be let out - he has just been out so it shouldn't be too early he is usually very good). Now I really must stay off this computer tomorrow & do some work.


                            • #29
                              Great to meet you and follow your journey here. I am an IF'er and very low carb when I eat my one meal of the day. Its great losing again. Good luck!


                              • #30
                                Hi Khaleesi great to see you here & thx for the support. Do you have a journal?