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Thread: Post-PhD Get Fit: Project Mikki page

  1. #1
    MikkiB's Avatar
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    Cool Post-PhD Get Fit: Project Mikki

    Primal Fuel
    Hi all, I was active on the forums a couple of years ago when I first went primal, but stopped posting in the last 2 years when I got too busy trying to finish school.

    The backstory: I'm a 46-year old mother of 4 (now ages 17, 10, and 8 year old twins), married 13 years to my best friend I've worked as biostatistician at a transplant center for over 15 years, and in 2007 they agreed to support my dissertation work so I've been working full time and did a PhD dissertation in genomic statistics part time (along with all that mom, wife, and housework stuff) for 6 years. To make it even more fun, my husband was laid off last April. We made the best of it -- he took care of all the cooking, shopping, and household so I could completely focus on work and school, but it's been stressful. It paid off and I graduated this past December! I immediately collapsed and have spent about 4 weeks out of the last 12 sick as a dog (and the rest of the time taking care of other sick family members it seems), culminating in a drug-resistant throat infection for which I finally had to take levoflaxacin (which has, among other fun side effects, the potential for permanent peripheral nerve damage, neuropathy, and tendonitis/burst tendons). I just finished those yesterday. On the plus side, my husband found a job last month, and it's finally springtime Also in 3 years of gluten-free sort of primal eating, I reduced my C-reactive protein from over 12 to 2.5 (normal range).

    So here I am, having gained 20 lbs back of the 40 I lost a couple of years ago, completely out of shape, insane levels of chronic stress, hypothyroid, my gut flora are dead and my immune system is utterly depleted. I'm sure my adrenals are shot, too, although I haven't done a cortisol test. I've managed to stay gluten-free for the most part, but to be honest, my diet isn't very paleo anymore and I haven't managed to follow any of Mark's other 9 rules either (well, I've been using my mind a LOT!). I drink way too much and mix it with diet ginger ale, and I've been snacking on cheese and sesame crackers and indulging in mashed potatoes and Jif peanut butter (not the low sugar kind, either). I tried to get back in the gym last September and managed to injure my achilles tendon, and that still bothers me, esp. this week after taking those antibiotics. I am going to have to ease into weight lifting slowly to avoid injuring them for the next several weeks.

    So, that's my confession.

    Here's my plan. Put Mark's 10 primal principles front and center and work to incorporate every one of them back into my life. It's easy to focus on the eating part of it, and that's important, but I also need to re-learn how to relax and how to play.

    My measurable goals: ultimately to lose 30 lbs, although more would probably be better; reduce my blood pressure to normal range without meds; get 7 hours of restful sleep per night; progress through the strength-training benchmarks in "Convict Conditioning" to at least level 5; be able to do sprints without joint or tendon pain; reduce my triglycerides to less than 75; raise my HDL to over 100.

    My non-measurable goals: find a couple of hobbies that don't involve whisky or video games; do more family activities and play with my kids; spend more time in nature and the sunshine. I don't particularly want to stop drinking completely, as I enjoy the flavor -- but I've been using it as a crutch to turn my brain off at night and deal with the chronic anxiety of work, school, and being a single-income family (besides being worried about my hubby!). I guess my goal is for alcohol to be an enjoyable option, not a way to self-medicate that interferes with my other goals!

    Starting stats:
    Weight: 190
    I'm at work right now so I don't have a tape measure, I will measure tonight - my measurements on Jan 1 were
    Chest: 44"
    Waist: 37"
    Abs (around hipbones): 41"
    Hips: 42"
    Cholesterol: (October 2012) total 259, HDL 64, trigs 78
    Other labs: liver function normal, kidney function normal, fasting glucose 91, TSH 1.8, free T4 1.1, Free T3 3.4
    Cardiac CRP: 2.5
    Vitamin D levels: 52.5

  2. #2
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    Journal for Thursday April 11

    1. Eat lots of animals, insects and plants (yeah, you probably won't see a lot of insects on the menu):

    6:30 - 2 cups coffee with unsweetened almond milk, Truvia, and a smidge of unsweet cocoa.
    7:15 - about half an eggs' worth of scrambled eggs cooked with coconut oil, about an ounce of cheddar cheese on 3 sesame crackers. Supplements: colostrum, mushroom complex, pro-biotic. Zyrtec, 2 motrin for menstrual craps.
    9:00 - scrambled eggs and 2 bacon from the cafeteria at work.

    2. Move around a lot at a slow pace.

    I'm walking slowly because my achilles tendon hurts, but I've walked about 8 blocks so far. My step-counter broke, maybe I can find another cheap one (I've asked for an "up" for my birthday, but that's not until June! [URL="https://jawbone.com/up"]

    3. Lift heavy things.

    10 leaning pushups (against my counter).

    4. Run really fast every once in a while.

    probably not today!

    5. Get lots of sleep.

    I had bad cramps last night so I took a half a Xanax and slept really well for 7 hrs. I only woke up once and was able to go right back to sleep, unusual for me. But I'd like to do it without pharmaceuticals!

    6. Play.

    TBD

    7. Get some sunlight every day.

    not yet

    8. Avoid trauma.

    so far so good

    9. Avoid poisonous things.

    there were probably some bad oils in the cafeteria eggs

    10. Use your mind.

    Today I need to read a paper on methods for isolating different types of neurons and the gene expression profiles during embryonic development; organize data for an analysis of outcomes in liver cancer patients; finalize study design and sample collection for a biomarker validation study (my first post-doc project!); and whatever comes up during the day

  3. #3
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    OK, so just doing my journal every day is a habit to establish LOL. I had a very rough Friday, with strange and annoying work things culminating with me taking a bit of a beating in a meeting with my bosses. Then I moped around all weekend because I have tendonitis in both feet (side effect of my antibiotics) and couldn't go racing (I was signed up for autocross). Suddenly, it's Wednesday!! What happened?? Anyways, here I trying to get on track! My eating has been so-so ... gluten-free, basically primal, but portion sizes too big...

    Journal for Wednesday April 17

    Weight: 188 (down 2, but probably due to end of period rather than any virtue on my part)

    1. Eat lots of animals, insects and plants:

    6:30 - 2 cups coffee with unsweetened almond milk, Truvia, and a smidge of unsweet cocoa.
    7:15 - scrambled eggs cooked with coconut oil and with melted cheddar; 1/4 banana, 1 sausage link. Supplements: mushroom complex, Vit D, Vit K, Vit C. Zyrtec, naproxin.
    11:00 - organic spaghetti on rice noodles (didn't eat most of the noodles)
    7:00 - homemade cheeseburger, home-made mac and cheese (gluten-free noodles, sauce made with cheddar, ghee, and gluten-free flour).

    2. Move around a lot at a slow pace.

    Tendons are still bothering me but I can walk a bit more normally for longer before go back to the old lady shuffle. I walked the 6 blocks from my parking deck, but took the shuttle in the evening, so 8 blocks total

    3. Lift heavy things.

    15 bend-knee leg lifts (works abs)

    4. Run really fast every once in a while.

    not yet.

    5. Get lots of sleep.

    11ish to 6:15, only woke up once at 4:30 and was able to go back to sleep.

    6. Play.

    I had fun making dinner, does that count? Read a bit, played Skryim a bit before bed. My son started a game of "what would you copy if you had a machine that could copy anything?" and we had fun with that while I was making dinner.

    7. Get some sunlight every day.

    not really

    8. Avoid trauma.

    so far so good

    9. Avoid poisonous things.

    still drinking my diet ginger ale and whisky at night (I'm actually more worried about the diet soda LOL)

    10. Use your mind.

    Nothing too cerebral planned for today -- I'm working on 2 analyses but they aren't complicated.
    Last edited by MikkiB; 04-18-2013 at 10:51 AM. Reason: filled in the rest of the day

  4. #4
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    Journal forThursday April 18

    Weight: 188

    1. Eat lots of animals and plants:

    6:30 - 2 cups coffee with unsweetened almond milk, Truvia, and a smidge of unsweet cocoa.
    7:15 - 1 sausage; 2 bacon. Supplements: mushroom complex, Vit D, Vit K. Zyrtec, naproxin.
    11:00 -leftover home-made mac and cheese
    1:30 - very sleepy. Too many carbs in those GF noodles!!
    Dinner plan: chicken thighs... not sure how I'll prepare them. salad

    2. Move around a lot at a slow pace.

    Tendons are a bit better again today. Walked 3 blocks


    3. Lift heavy things.

    10 leaning pushups (against the counter)

    4. Run really fast every once in a while.

    not yet.

    5. Get lots of sleep.

    10:30-11? to 6, woke up once

    6. Play.

    TBD

    7. Get some sunlight every day.

    not yet

    8. Avoid trauma.

    so far so good

    9. Avoid poisonous things.

    so far so good

    10. Use your mind.

    Found an error in yesterday's analysis, have re-do. Boo.
    Last edited by MikkiB; 04-19-2013 at 11:50 AM. Reason: forgot to change date

  5. #5
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    PrimalCon New York
    Journal for Friday April 19

    Weight: 188
    I had terrible bloat last night -- I think too much dairy from the cheese sauce. The GF noodles were mostly rice and potato flour with a little bit of soy. I never have soy so I'm not sure if I might have reacted to it ... I'll try to eat pretty clean this weekend and let my gut rest!

    1. Eat lots of animals and plants:

    6:30 - 2 cups coffee with unsweetened almond milk, Truvia, and a smidge of unsweet cocoa.
    7:15 - Supplements: mushroom complex, Vit K. Zyrtec, naproxin.
    11:00 - Teriyaki grilled chicken thigh
    1:00 - salad -- greens, cucumbers, red onion, shredded cheese, tuna salad, bacon, dried cranberries, some kind of fruity sweet salad dressing
    Dinner plan: grilled london broil, maybe with sauteed onions, and a salad.

    2. Move around a lot at a slow pace.

    Tendons still gettin better, but only on flat surfaces and with short strides. Walked 3 blocks


    3. Lift heavy things.

    nothing yet

    4. Run really fast every once in a while.

    not yet.

    5. Get lots of sleep.

    10:30 to 6, woke up once when I dreamed about an angry ghost breaking down my door to kill me ... didn't sleep very well after that.

    6. Play.

    My sons are studying China and Egypt in school, so we have a Civilization V battle planned for tonight - I'll be China, he'll be Egypt

    7. Get some sunlight every day.

    about 10 min, then the storm clouds came in.

    8. Avoid trauma.

    so far so good

    9. Avoid poisonous things.

    I'm sure the tuna salad and dressing had some vegetable oil.

    10. Use your mind.

    Mostly I've been trying to identify and fix a process problem that has resulted in losing data entry forms. Bleah. maybe I can do some real analysis for my last hour!

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