Archive for December 2018

Quick Thought   Leave a comment

Often when we seem to be struggling we’re given the advice by a well meaning friend to just try harder.  If you aren’t succeeding then you aren’t giving it enough effort.  Just keep adding to your effort until you accomplish your goal.

The problem with this is the assumption that you aren’t trying hard enough.  And it’s just that, an assumption.  Let me explain with an analogy.  Say I have a wheelbarrow full of rocks that I want to get to the other side of the hill.  I start pushing the heavy wheelbarrow forward and the steeper the hill gets, the harder I keep pushing.  After a while my progress stops despite the fact that I’m pushing as hard as I can.  Slowly I go backwards as I tire out until I find myself back at the bottom.  The next time I get a running start, hoping the extra momentum will carry me over.  But as before I come to a halt and then slowly go backwards down the hill.  You can encourage and cheer me on all you want, the hill is just too high and steep for me to push the heavy wheelbarrow over.

And therein lies the error with the assumption.  It was never that I wasn’t working hard enough.  I gave it my all.  The problem was that I wasn’t working smart enough.  In being fixated on getting it over the hill, and devoting all my energies there, it never occurred to me to take it around the hill.  It never occurred to me to adjust my strategy.

So as you go about your life, consider the “hills” you’re trying to get over.  If you’ve been working your hardest to do it and still not getting results, reconsider your game plan.  Look for ways you can go around your hill.  Or maybe the solution is to go thru the hill.  But continuing to put in extra effort on doing something that clearly isn’t netting you results isn’t being disciplined, it’s being wasteful.

So stop trying so hard, start trying so smart.  Have a great day.


Quick Thought   2 comments

So I applied for a job last night that requires good typing skills.  Not exceptional typing skills but good ones.  I’m getting up early tomorrow to go in and take a typing test before I head to work.  As such I decided it may be a good idea to take an online typing test to see how rusty I am.

Turns out I’m plenty rusty.  The last time I took a typing test to look for a job was over a decade and a half ago.  Adjusted for no errors my typing speed was 67 words per minute.  I was actually faster than that I just oops’d a few times knocking my score down.  When the woman told me my speed I was a little disappointed.  I knew I was faster than that. She was surprised.  She said my speed was well above most who tested for the job (Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles, if you were curious).  That was my last official typing speed test.

Tomorrow I have to beat 35 words per minute. Remembering my last official test I wasn’t too worried when I heard that.  After a few practice tests online, I’m still not worried, but also not quite as cocky as I was earlier.  My first go was 45 words per minute, well under my old speed.  And my accuracy was just a smidge over 90%.  Not my best showing, even if it would have counted as a pass on the typing test.  I did the test over a few times and I’ve gotten my speed back up to 64 words per minute over a couple of tests.  So I’m certain I’ll do fine on the typing test.

Why do I bring this up?  Simply, I had a good skill back in the day that I lost to a certain extent because I didn’t make use of it.  I typed all the time back then.  I was in college and had tons of papers to write.  And a very bad habit of putting them off until the last minute.  So quick typing was a necessity.  Now, aside from the blog, I just don’t need to type that much.  So my skill has waned a bit.

Happiness works the same way.  You can’t practice happiness until you get a good “happiness speed” and then coast on it.  It’s a skill you need to hone every day.  If you aren’t practicing happiness and gratitude daily, over time you’ll lose the “skill”.  You just won’t be as happy.

I’ve learned a valuable lesson.  I’m going to test my typing skills regularly.  Maybe even invest in a good typing program to challenge myself.  I’m also going to take this little epiphany to remember to also keep up on my happiness and gratitude practice.  While keeping up my typing skills may land me a good job tomorrow, keeping up my happiness and gratitude skills will land me a good life.  And it can for you too.  Have a great day.

New Vlog Up on YouTube   Leave a comment

From a physiological perspective there is no difference between how your body reflects fear or excitement.  The only real difference between the two is how your perceive it.  And that’s true of many things.  A situation in and of itself isn’t positive or negative, it only becomes one or the other depending on how you view it.  So choose to be happy.  Here’s the vlog on this topic.  If you agree, or even if you disagree, feel free to leave a comment here (or on YouTube) saying why so we can have a great discussion about it.  If you like the vlog please leave a Like on YouTube for me, I’d greatly appreciate it.  Subscribe and click the bell if you want to be immediately notified every time I upload a video.  Have a great day.

Get Back On Track Now.   Leave a comment

If you went on a road trip and 3/4 of the way there you took a wrong turn, you wouldn’t stop driving for the rest of the day or the week.  You’d immediately get back on track and moving towards your destination.  To do otherwise would be silly.  And yet that’s how we view so many other things in life.

On the keto diet it’s very important to stay strictly keto.  And the reason why is if you exceed the carb limit for the day you get knocked out of ketosis immediately.  It isn’t like glucose based diets where you can have one bad meal a day but balance it out by being otherwise healthy in your eating.  So when you do go outside the guidelines it’s easy to think “well I’m already outside of ketosis, might as well just take the rest of the day off.”  Some people even call the rest of the week off, promising to get back on the keto bandwagon at the beginning of next week.

Or maybe you were supposed to work out today but the time you had scheduled to do so comes and goes.  Perhaps traffic was bad and you couldn’t get to the gym.  Or another event had to take priority.  It’s understandable, things happen.  But why throw the rest of the day away because of it?

The longer the amount of time you go from the point where you went off plan to when you get back on plan the longer you go before seeing results again.  So sure, you fell into temptation and had lunch at Dairy Queen.  You’re no longer in ketosis because of it.  When you wait until tomorrow to get back on track you’re wasting valuable hours during which you could be correcting the mistake now.  If you immediately go back to eating keto, or maybe even fasting, the quicker you’ll get back into ketosis.  By calling the whole day a wash you run the risk of compounding the issue because well you’re already out of ketosis so might as well enjoy yourself.  Not a good strategy for success.

You had a great workout planned for 2pm today but you got side tracked.  You would have burned a lot of calories or maybe put on some muscle.  But instead at 2pm you were elsewhere.  How does failing to exercise the rest of the day improve on that situation?  At 7pm when you have some time get in a walk.  It won’t be an exact replacement to what you missed, but it gets you back on track quicker.

And that’s the goal to focus on.  Mistakes happen.  Things get missed.  The plan doesn’t come together.  But if you get right back up on that horse and take off again, you’ll get to your destination with only a minimum delay, instead of an extra day, or week.  And if it’s a long journey and you fall off a few times, all those delays can really add up.

So here’s to getting back on track now.  Because there’s no better time to become the best version of yourself.  Have a great day.

12/17/18 Weigh In   Leave a comment

So my weight went back up again.  I was 269.6 last week and I’m 271.4 this week.  So almost 2 pounds.  Not sure why.  I’ve been in ketosis the whole time according to my Keto Mojo ketone meter.  I’ve felt pretty good, and my clothes feel like they’re fitting looser than last week.  I’m not sure if it’s me or maybe the scale.  I’ve decided not to worry too much about the number quite yet though.  As long as I feel good and it’s clear the clothes are getting looser, not just feeling that way, I’m not going to let the roller coaster effect the last few weeks get me down.

Last week my muscle mass was 27.9% and that didn’t change this week.  Pound wise that amounts to a .3 pound muscle gain.  I’m guessing that’s within the scales margin of error so I’m calling that breaking even.

Body fat wise I was 36.1% last week and 36.2% this week.  So basically a pound of body fat gained.  So the remaining .5 pounds must be water weight.

Exercise wise, as I mentioned earlier, I’ve been on point.  I closed all three rings each day last week.  And on three of the days I was at 150% of my move goal for the day.  And on my weekend I got three workouts in each day.  Not sure if the up/down plateau I’ve reached means I need to dial it back or ratchet it up.  I’ll try ratchet it up first as I don’t feel fatigued or burnt out.

Meditation is progressing at its usual slow but reliable pace.  I have added one change I’ll mention here.  I don’t know if I’m being too critical with myself but I do feel I should be doing better about my thoughts not wandering so much.  To help with that I’ve given myself something to focus on.  I downloaded a fireplace app to my Apple TV.  So now while I meditate I play that and can focus on the flames.  I think that’s helping so I’ll keep it up.  Side benefit is it adds a cool ambience to the room when I’m not meditating.

Food wise I’m keeping it pretty keto.  My only thing is I really need to start tracking it better.  I think one of the problems I could be having is I’m guessing on calories from day to day.  I may be underfeeding and that could be holding me back.  I’m pretty sure I’m not over consuming, but can’t say for sure.  I didn’t like weighing everything at first which is why once I got in the habit of eating foods that had the proper macro ratios I stopped tracking.  However, if my progress keeps stalling like this I’d rather deal with the nuisance than the lack of progress.

That’ll wrap it up for this weeks check in.  Thanks for coming along for my weight loss journey this year.  Just two more weigh ins to go that’ll be the icing on the keto cake I’m sure.  Have a great day.

200 views   Leave a comment

I wanted to put out a quick thank you to those of you who have viewed my YouTube vlogs.  I reached 200 views today.  While that’s well under the 10,000 views I need to monetize my channel it still represents a good start to me.  I was anticipating a slow start and didn’t figure I’d get to 200 until early 2019.  Now, with a couple of weeks to go, I’m already there.  If you haven’t watched any of my videos feel free to scroll down through my feed and check them out.  If you have any comments or suggestions leave them here, or on the video posts, or even on the YouTube channel itself.  There are still plenty more videos to come as I promised myself no matter what I’d put at least one video out a week for a full year.  So here’s to hoping as I move forward I’ll be thanking you for 500 views soon enough.  Have a great day.

Keto Christmas   Leave a comment

So we’re just a little over a week away from finding out if you were naughty or nice this year.  On December 25th you’re likely to have a plethora of food options that’ll be amazingly delicious, but decidedly not keto.  What to do, what to do?

Like most of life’s best questions the answer is, depends.  You have a few options available to you, you just need to pick the one that feels right to you.

The first, and most obvious, is make your Christmas gift to yourself a day off from keto.  This is the one I’m chosing, and I don’t feel the least bit bad about it.  I want to spend time with my family, and I want to enjoy it.  I usually give myself one day off from keto a month, and this month I’m making it Christmas.  I’ve been in ketosis the whole rest of the month, as my blood tests show, so one day off isn’t going to kill me.  It’ll slow the progress a bit but that’s a trade-off I’m willing to make.  I’ll fast like I normally do the day after and will snap right back into ketosis.  And, as is usual for my keto day off, I’ll enjoy food choices I can’t usually make, but I won’t go crazy and glut myself on them.  I’ll keep the portions reasonable and get in plenty of exercise.

Maybe you want to show a bit more discipline than me and stay keto this Christmas.  In that case you still have a few options.  You can limit yourself to the keto friendly foods being served.  You can create a new Christmas dinner tradition focused on keto options.  Or you can take the really easy route and do keto meal replacement shakes and forgo the other fixings.

If you’re having a traditional Christmas dinner (which varies from house to house) there are some keto friendly options, and stuff you just have to avoid.  Turkey is just a protein so it’s ok.  Ham can be as long as it isn’t glazed, which ups the carbs.  Deviled eggs can be keto if you use something like Primal Kitchen mayonnaise to make them.  Primal Kitchen is an avocado oil based mayo so it’s high in good fats.  Unfortunately the list of things to avoid is bigger, and includes the fun stuff.  No stuffing, pies, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, or gravy.

Thankfully, option two allows you to bend the rules a bit.  Instead of the usual way you make a lot of these recipes you can trade out items for keto friendly versions creating a new holiday tradition.  With some though you want to be moderate in your consumption.  Instead of mashed potatoes you can substitute mashed cauliflower.  Instead of high carb dinner rolls you could make fathead dough rolls.  You would just want to limit yourself to a roll or two.  Instead of pies you could make brownies or cookies.  There are companies that specialize in making keto friendly dessert replicas.  Like Good Dee’s brownies ( ) and Kawaii Treats and Eats which makes a variety of low carb desserts ( ).  There’s even keto cornbread options ( ).  For hors d’oeuvres you could make something like bacon wrapped Brussels sprouts or a simple cheese, salami, and pepperoni platter.  Lots of options.

And finally if you want to hang with the fam but don’t want to bother with cooking keto just for you there’s the keto meal replacement shake option.  American Metabolix ( ) and Sated ( ) both are excellent options.  They have great macronutrient ratios and taste delicious.  Plus they’ll keep you from feeling hungry so you won’t be tempted to partake in the non keto fare.

Whichever of those options you choose, the most important choice to make this holiday is to spend time with the ones you love.  Whether that be the family you were born in to or the family you choose.  Don’t let being on the ketogenic diet, or any diet for that matter, dissuade you from being there with them to celebrate Christmas.  Just make your game plan in advance and stick to it.  And if you’re going to partake fully with the family, like I am, enjoy the day guilt free.  Just get right back into the keto game the next day.

Whatever you do, I hope that in the week or so to come between now and then you have a great time.  And whatever you do, do it with happiness and gratitude.  See you soon.