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Primal Fantasy: the incredible shrinking author

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  • Primal Fantasy: the incredible shrinking author

    Hi, everyone,

    I've been lurking for several months while I debate with myself about starting a journal. End result: I need one to help me through plateaus and other frustrations.

    I'm a sci-fi/fantasy author. The first dictum of my profession is "Sit butt in chair." So, yeah, it's a bit of a sedentary profession. Anyhow, I have a big-deal event coming up in about seven months, the kind of thing that culminates in an Oscar-style awards ceremony complete with red carpet and paparazzi.

    The good: I'm pretty motivated. There's no way I'm going up on that stage looking like a hippo in sequins.

    The bad: I'm 47 and female. Not bad in and of themselves, but being a woman of a certain age does tend to make fat loss more difficult.

    The ugly: I'm hypothyroid and insulin resistant. And I need to lose forty to fifty more pounds.

    Where am I on the path?: I started the year at 235, lost 20 lbs by April, then gained 10 back. Got serious again in August and I've re-lost 7 of the 10, which puts me at 218. (I'm somewhere between 5'6" and 5'7".)

    How Primal am I? That's hard for me to say. I'd put it somewhere between dilletantish and transitional. At the moment, it's more important for me to stay in ketosis than to be strictly primal, but my diet is pretty clean.

    Here's what's typical:

    Breakfast: 2-3 eggs fried in butter (yes, Kerrygold) served over crushed pork rinds or over sauteed veggies left over from the night before. Coffee (3 mugs, half caff) with coconut milk and no sugar or sweetener.

    Lunch: A mixing bowl size salad with spring mix, cukes, peppers, snow peas, some meat from a previous dinner and sesame oil and balsamic vinegar as dressing.

    Dinner: homemade pork chile verde with a dollop of sour cream

    Snacks: a mozzarella stick, raw veggies, a square or two of 85% dark chocolate and/or some berries and heavy cream

    My ratios tend be 1,800 to 2,000 cals, 65% fat, 30% protein, 5% carbs. I have to watch my protein. If I'm not tracking in Fitday, it's easy for my protein to creep up and my fat to slide down, and thanks to gluconeogenesis, that stalls me.

    On the upside, I can be in ketosis at around 100 carbs a day as long as they're whole food carbs from fruits and veggies and not bread or PopTarts. Still, though, I'm keeping myself under 50g.

    Fitday has also shown me something interesting. If I let my macros slip to the point where fat and protein are about equal, I can't lose unless I cut calories to 1450. With my fat above 65%, I can lose on 1800 calories or so. From a thermodynamics standpoint, this makes no sense, but screw it, I'm less hungry with more fat.

    Exercise: I walk 10 - 15 miles a week in very hilly terrain. I also work a few days a week at an organic farm co-op. How's that for Primal?
    Last edited by Diotima; 09-21-2014, 11:19 PM.

  • #2
    Sounds pretty primal to me. Welcome !
    link to my journal


    • #3
      Hi, jacmac! Thanks for the welcome.

      Dinner's in the oven as I type this - roasted veggies with some stew beef. I was short on time, so I tossed the stew beef in with the veggies to roast. We'll see how it turns out.

      A couple of interesting points:

      1) A lot of the weight I've lost has come straight off my belly (not that I'm complaining!). Bonus!

      2) Yesterday, I grabbed a spoonful of peanut butter to tide me over while I was cooking. We're talking Skippy here, not the good stuff, and OMG! It tasted like cake frosting! I can't believe how sweet it was.

      3) Low carb tortillas - Alas. I knew them, Horatio! When I said that staying in ketosis was more important for me right now than staying strictly Primal, this is what I meant. Yes, I know they're grains, but LC tortillas used to be one of the occasional convenience foods that helped to keep me on the straight and narrow when life got hectic. Wrap sandwiches with otherwise legal fillings, fajitas, street tacos, etc. But dagnabit, I've been using ketostix lately and they throw me out of ketosis. *&%^$@#$!! I'm banishing them, not so much because they're not Primal, but because of ketosis. Granted, I had three (carne asada soft tacos, YUM), so I might try again with just one but if the verdict is the same, out they go.
      Last edited by Diotima; 09-10-2014, 05:19 PM.


      • #4
        Welcome! Fan of Plato much? :-) BTW - I also have the same problem with weight loss when my protein and fat macros get to close to each other. Lately I've said screw you to keto as it stopped working. I'm currently doing the potato hack to try and break through a stall. So far so good! If you find yourself in a similar spot check out the potato hack thread.


        • #5
          Hey, Colorado Springs! I'll be there in February for an author workshop. Phantom Canyon, Springs Orleans and Ritz Grill, here I come!


          • #6
            February huh? I just might have to show up for that. :-D


            • #7
              Originally posted by jenna View Post
              Fan of Plato much? :-)
              Well, now that you Mantinea it...


              • #8
                Welcome from a science fiction lover. I hope you are successful in shedding the pounds before your big event.

                Looks like you have a good handle on Primal. While "Get butt in chair" may be the first rule of the profession, I suggest you get butt out of chair and move every 20-30 minutes (but don't interrupt yourself if you are "on a roll".) Do some squats, check out the "100 Up," walk around for a bit. I think you will find this will assist your mental sharpness and your productivity. If it does work this way for you, entertain a standing desk (crates/boxes are fine to use) and work your way into it gradually.
                The Buck stops here. I am responsible for my past and my future. So for today: I choose to be happy. I will seek wisdom. I will be a servant to others. I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit.


                • #9
                  Hi, Rig, and welcome,

                  I've been considering hacking my desk so I can try the standing thing. Maybe this weekend.

                  What kind of SF do you like? Got any favorite authors? My short fiction leans toward SF, but my novels are all fantasy so far.

                  I'm having a fat day. No, not me - my food.

                  I've been bouncing around within 218 for nearly two weeks. My clothes are getting looser, but I'd really like to see 217 so I'm giving things a wee tweak. 80 - 90% fat til dinner, then we'll see if I even want dinner. We're going to a wine tasting this weekend where the food is no problem, caprese skewers drizzled with balsamic and olive oil, but the wine part of it means that if I don't see 217 tomorrow, I won't see it until next week, if that, because next week signals my monthly 4lbs up, 4 lbs down. Grumble!!
                  Last edited by Diotima; 09-12-2014, 10:59 AM.


                  • #10
                    I'm heavily biased toward hard SF. I also find that I don't have time for much SF reading now, so am pretty much out of touch with current authors/trends. Most of my reading time now has gone into keeping in touch with politics, health, current events. As a youth, I cut my teeth on Asimov, EE Doc Smith, and Arthur C Clark. Later I enjoyed Niven's "Known Space" stuff, particularly Ringworld. I liked Ender's Game, and a couple of the sequels, then lost the thread.

                    I'm not into fantasy at all. The few I have tried were overly complex, long winded, and required way too much patience to understand the world the author created. As an example, the Game of Thrones series was hopeless for me, I read the first couple, found that the characters I liked all were killed off, and decided that the effort required to keep up with the story far exceeded the enjoyment reward. Similar experience with Stephen King's Gunslinger series, the first couple were good, but much too long with too little "headway" in the story. 'Tis an unfinished business, don't think I will ever muster up the gumption to complete them.
                    The Buck stops here. I am responsible for my past and my future. So for today: I choose to be happy. I will seek wisdom. I will be a servant to others. I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit.


                    • #11
                      On the standing desk front, here is what I use as a quick and dirty option with your current desk:
                      The Buck stops here. I am responsible for my past and my future. So for today: I choose to be happy. I will seek wisdom. I will be a servant to others. I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rig D View Post
                        On the standing desk front, here is what I use as a quick and dirty option with your current desk:
                        Yup, I have two racks like that for my mouse and kb, plus a sturdy box from Costco for my monitor.

                        Today's weight: 218.0. *Dia gives the scale some side eye* OK, 'nother fat day.

                        Re: hard SF - keep an eye out for stuff by Brad Torgersen and Martin Shoemaker. They're up-and-comers who write hard, space-faring SF and appear frequently in Analog. Brad's a triple-threat award nominee (Hugo, Nebula, Campbell), so he's got a touch more name recognition at the moment, but Martin will be neck and neck with him within about a year.


                        • #13
                          Well, it's official. I have to buy all new underwear as I've shrunk out of mine. (Take that, scurvy scale!)

                          I'm seeing some nice looseness in a lot of my tops, and I'm between sizes in jeans. My 16s are all baggy, and some of them slide off without undoing the waist, but my 14s are still tight. I can get them on, but I wouldn't wear them out of the house. The 16s are probably stretched out, but it will be nice when I can make the 14s official and save the 16s for dirty work at the farm (which is most of it, HA!).

                          I've also shrunk out of some of my bras, the band more so than the cups. Fortunately, I've got a variety of sizes in my drawer, so no need for bra shopping at present.


                          • #14
                            HA! Double victory!

                            1) Scale this morning: 217.5

                            2) Every other month or so, we get invited to join some family friends for breakfast in their garden, and the centerpiece of said breakfast usually consists of homemade buckwheat pancakes. Fortunately for me, there were some new guests, plus three kids and three dogs running around, and that meant I could surreptitiously skip the pancakes and just eat the other items - organic full fat yogurt, strawberries, pecans and sausages - without worrying about offending my host. Great breakfast and I'm still in ketosis.

                            They gave us a tub of this... stuff... that my sister-in-law left with them last time she visited. I think it's a vegan butter substitute. It's called "Melt" and the ingredients are a fair trade mix of organic, expeller pressed coconut, palm fruit, canola, hi-oleic sunflower and flaxseed oils. There's a bit of honey it for 1g of carbs / sugar per tablespoon. Omega 6/3 ratio says it's 2:1.

                            It smells like a scented beeswax candle though (no fragrances on the label), so the eating experience is weird. My mouth says this isn't food. It's... well, it's like I'm drinking a candle. Very perfumy. Bleah.

                            Anybody familiar with this product? What's the verdict on organic canola, palm fruit and sunflower oils? This is a high fat product (99%), so if I can get around the smell, I could use it up in my coffee in lieu of coconut milk.

                            Last edited by Diotima; 09-14-2014, 01:22 PM.


                            • #15
                              If you can tolerate dairy why not just use heavy cream? I wish I could, coffee and cream is sooo good! I'm taking a break from dairy as I think it was aggravating my hayfever. I've tried coconut milk/cream in my coffee and i don't care for it. I'm finding it easier to just drink tea, but every day it's a bit of a let down.
                              Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.