Friday, September 7th, Day Three, Protein

Friday September 7th, Day Three, Protein


Bonjour!  It is still early morning and not light out yet.  My husband was up early, getting things from the kitchen.  He is nocturnal.  I am more of a day person–actually kind of a morning person.  I do not want that thought to become a limiting belief however.  I am a woman of all hours.  How does that sound?

Setbacks Can be Stepping Stones

It looks like my food yesterday set my weight back to nearly what it was on Day One.  That is okay. Setbacks can be stepping stones.  That is the way I choose to envision them.  The meaning we give the events in our lives is more important than the events themselves.

Top Five

Usually each morning I list my Top Five:
1.  My Four (meditation, Cronometer, journal, JV Life Tracker (Top 1,000)).
2. Get the mail.
3. Shower.
4. Day Three.
5. Make hash browns for my husband and serve him in bed with the new bed trays.


Meditation is the best place to start.  It increases alpha brain waves, which help relaxation and spawn creativity.  I listened to Mindfulness for Releasing Anxiety by Glenn Harrold.  My husband listened with me, for which I am grateful.

JV Life Tracker

Now I can do my JV Life Tracker app to record my activities for yesterday.  Wow!  I got 1,014 points–my highest score since coming to Colorado.  Maybe my setback is only a setup–the beginning of something new, something greater than before.


Now I am going to dress,
walk through a long hallway,
go up to the third floor,
walk across a bridge to a second building,
go down to the second floor,
walk across another bridge to a third building,
and walk down a ramp to the Town Center Clubhouse,
where the mailboxes are.
Along the way, perhaps dozens of retired folk will greet me.  I want to greet them in such a way that their morning is enhanced.  Yesterday I checked out the pool area while there.  The temperature of the pool was 86 degrees Fahrenheit, a little warm for lap swimming.  However, with my concern about hypothermia, that may be ideal for a short swim.  I want to think “swim” and gently encourage myself into a fitness routine.  I have not put my swimsuit on today.  It may be a bit tight.  I will swim though, soon.


A shower is next on the docket.  For some reason, I am usually reluctant to get in the shower.  It could be my concern about hypothermia again.  Right now, it is still summer so there should be no concern though the air-conditioner may be getting me.  Risperdal, my medication, makes me intolerant of cold and heat.  It makes me sensitive to sunlight and inhibits sweating.  A lady I met once told me she thought it would be great not to sweat.  Instead of sweating, my skin becomes very red.  Physiologically, I do not know the whole picture, but it is not pleasant.  So, what can I do to handle temperature extremes?  Should I just avoid them?  I have not solved that puzzle yet, but it does influence my desire to swim and shower.
When I was a teenager I would swim in the lake, and it was no big deal.  Medication changes everything!  Do you struggle with the side effects of your medication(s)?  Losing weight while on lithium and Risperdal is really challenging.  They usually make you gain weight.  The only way I have found to lose weight is to record everything.  You may be struggling with the inconvenience of that.  However, it may be the only way to succeed, particularly if you are on a medication that causes weight gain.  Years ago, I thought the only answer was to go off my medication.  Several episodes later, I realized I must find a solution that does not involve ditching my medication.  Much as I love to swim, it may be incompatible with the medication I take.  Then again, it may not be.  I am open to inspiration on how I can solve this puzzle.


I am getting breakfast and assisting my husband.  He is back in bed, so I have a few minutes to myself.  Sometimes I have difficulty getting through the morning on 500 calories or less.  However, if I eat more, I set myself up to eat beyond my calorie budget for the day.  Perhaps I can apply the same resolve I have in fasting from dinner to breakfast to fasting from breakfast to lunch.

Insulin Control

I understand that periods of fasting between meals are very important for insulin control.  Continuous snacking does not facilitate weight loss or even a good metabolism.  The pancreas releases insulin when food is ingested, especially carbohydrates.  During periods of fasting or exercise, the pancreas releases glucagon, which has the opposite effect of insulin.  Insulin is the primary hormone that makes us fat.  Keeping insulin levels within their proper bounds is a primary goal in dieting.
There are several things that can be done to improve insulin levels:
1.  Do not graze.  Eat meals.
2.  Keep carbohydrate consumption down at each meal.  (The right level depends on the individual.)
3.  Eat protein and fat with carbohydrates.
4.  Do not consume more than about 500 calories at each meal.
5.  Fast between meals.
6.  Fast especially between dinner and breakfast.
I usually eat a snack in the afternoon between lunch and dinner.  However, it could be that this snack is what is keeping me from being successful at losing weight.  I am going to try an experiment.  I am going to eat dinner about 4:30 PM and forgo the snack.
You may have heard the mantra:  Eat frequently.  However, if you do that, your body never has time to kick in its glucagon production.  It will be busy churning out insulin.  Insulin tells your fat cells to store fat rather than release and burn it.  It will literally lock your fat in your adipose tissue.  You do not want that.  You want to release glucagon, which will break down your stored glycogen and release glucose as needed into the bloodstream.
Then you want to coax fat from your fat cells into the mitochondria for burning into energy.  The challenge is this:  if you are not used to the feeling of when you switch into fat burning mode, you will not like it.  Personally, I can get nauseous myself.  So how do we surmount that problem?  How can we switch into fat burning mode and love the feeling?  Or do we run for carbohydrates and start the insulin cycle all over again with no breaks?


Protein may be part of the answer.  There is great controversy over protein.  Some say you do not need very much of it.  Others gobble it down almost exclusively.  Economically, it is an issue because a protein calorie is the most expensive.  Protein tends to cause the pancreas to release both insulin and then later glucagon.  So what is the final effect?  I think it varies from individual to individual.
The Institute for Integrative Nutrition counseled us to experiment with protein.  It also encouraged us to use different types of protein.  Use protein and learn how it affects your appetite and metabolism.  You may be consuming too much.  If so, consider cutting back.  If you are severely limiting your protein, you are probably making a mistake.  Err on the side of moderation.
I have had good results in losing weight with Barry Sear’s Zone diet.  However, my protein consumption got up to 100 grams a day and beyond.  My blood and urine tests indicated I could be eating too much protein.  I probably was.  I have cut back since that time.  Whether my current level is ideal for weight loss, I do not know.
It seems that to lose weight we may need more protein than is ideal for our health.  Or is that a limiting belief?  That is another puzzle to solve.  Help me with this one, okay?  Despite all the controversy, the correct answer is the one that works for you.


It looks like I may have my entire book written before I lose any weight!  It is now 10:55 AM.  I am feeling that “I need to eat” feeling I often have around 11:00 AM.  Sometimes I go ahead and eat at that time.
I understand that tapping can be used to relieve a craving.  I wonder if it can subdue hunger as well.  I have never tried it for that purpose.  It is worth a try.  Let me think of what to say:  “Even though I feel hunger before noon, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”  It is possible that the feeling is not hunger at all.  It could be a craving, perhaps for chocolate.  (I had chocolate whey powder for breakfast.)  How do I know the difference?  Let me tap to this, “Even though I want to eat before noon, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
I got through the first round of tapping.  Let me evaluate my need to eat on a scale of one to ten.  It was about a six.  Now I think it is about a three.  Let me do another round.  Done.  Good.  I feel I can now wait until noon.   Hey, those rounds of tapping took no longer than actually getting a snack, and they were far less expensive.  Nick Ortner be praised!

Strength Training

Now it is time for me to do my strength training.  Strength training is one area I focused on while doing peer coaching.  I have not done a really good job with strength training throughout my life.  I disliked the aches and pains I had afterwards.  But now, in my sixth decade, it is time to get serious about it or I will suffer lack of function in the coming years.  It not only builds strength, it increases the metabolism.
In 2010, I experienced a frozen shoulder.  I could not reach up, back, down, or sideways on my right side.  Therapy to restore range of motion involved strengthening my back muscles.  Though it has not been that bad since, I still need to take proactive care of myself.
Let me begin with the end in mind.  I see myself in my ninth decade, dancing freely.  Yes, I like that vision.  There.  I did 10 arm lifts, resisting against strong stretch bands.  That is a start.  Strength training is worth a point in JV Life Tracker.  Perhaps I should give it 10 points.  It is of critical importance.  Perhaps I could even give it 25 points.  I think I will.


My husband woke up.  I asked if he would like a sponge bath.  He asked if he could wake up first.  Then I called the Home Support Line for advice on how to care for my husband better and/or ideas of how I can get outside help.  Sometimes the care of loved ones exceeds our strength or training.  Hopefully I can get help.
I served my husband his hash-brown omelette.  I got a little nap to catch up the sleep I missed last night.  Now, looking over my Top Five, I am all done except for finishing the day with Cronometer and Day Three of logging this journey.  The day is only half over!  Let me think of a second Top Five.
1.        Finish Top Five (Cronometer, ebook writing).
2.        Catch up email.
3.        Read Everything is Here to Help You by Matt Kahn.
4.        Give my husband a sponge bath, if I can talk him into it.
5.        Give myself a manicure.


It is now 3:54 PM.  I usually have a snack about 3:00 PM.  Now I just have a headache.  I have been working at cleaning up my Gmail, which could explain the headache.  So, should I have a snack now or hang in there until 4:30 PM?  I am certainly in fasting mode.  Even though there are symptoms, there are good physiological changes too.  Maybe some more tapping is in order.


I could also get some water because the problem may simply be dehydration.  Let me start with that.
Four cups of cold water later and after serving my husband a snack, my headache is almost gone.  I have to remember I have diabetes insipidus and live under constant threat of dehydration.  Even if you do not suffer the same, water is your friend.  Thirst can feel like hunger, causing us to reach for food when we are not really in need of calories.

Temptation and Addiction

Having a lot more snack food around since being married has been a challenge.  I need to adapt to more temptation.  If possible, reduce your exposure to temptation.  If that is not possible, let us develop strategies for managing the constant presence of temptation.
Temptation is more tempting if you constantly give in to it.  I never touched alcohol until 2015.  Then I started using it for the sacrament.  I used less than one ounce of red wine per week.  I found that I can manage having wine around, if I strictly adhere to no more than one ounce per week.  Sugar has been a longer-term temptation for me because I was addicted to it as a child.
I once had the sugar addiction licked, or so I thought, but changes in my lifestyle, due to marriage, lured me into temptation again.  I thought I could consume a bit and be okay, but the pounds immediately started piling on, and I wanted more and more.  I am so addicted to sugar, I would dig cookies out of the garbage can and eat them days later.  So, the key is adaptation.  I am going to adapt to the circumstances of my marriage, communicate with my husband, and manage my addiction.  I do not think addictions go away just because we have them temporarily mastered.  I used the Twelve Steps of AA to master my sugar addiction before.  It is time to communicate with my Higher Power and get help again.



I waited until 4:30 PM to eat!  It was not all that hard either, once I drank a lot of water.   When I snack at 3:00 PM, I tend to consume the calories I need for dinner.  Then it is hard to figure out dinner.  This time I waited and had enough room for dinner.  I had a better appetite too.  For dinner, I had garden salad and dressing, butternut squash, and hash-brown omelette from lunch.  You may wonder, “Where is the protein?”  I am going to see how well I do on whole foods alone without the protein.  If I get voraciously hungry before bedtime, I might eat some chicken, but my goal is to fast now until breakfast.
[I did get voraciously hungry.   I did eat chicken.  It is best to have it with my meal.]
Let me check in with my mood.  I have a JV Journal template for important things like gratitude, mood, energy, and accomplishments.  It is designed for mornings, but if I do not fill it out until later, I am not going to be hard on myself.

Gratitude Practice

5-10 things i am grateful for:
my new ebook, my husband, life itself, my ability to cook, my ability to write, my computer, my Higher Power
comments, feelings, ideas, moods, and empowering questions:
What can I do to be even happier?
mood and energy
I have been happy all day, singing away
My energy is much better than it has been in years.
reason it’s important
next action(s)
Started writing a new book.
health coaching, health, writing
Write something almost every day for 100 days or so or until you lose the pounds you wish to take off, AND figure out how to do it without compromising your mood and energy!
My husband is happy..
relationships, marriage, commitment
Stay committed to his happiness.  He is committed to mine.
Fasted from dinner to breakfast for the past two days.
health, energy, metabolism
Do it again tonight!
Did my strength training today.
health, metabolism
Do it three times weekly.
Got a record score in JV Life Tracker.
authenticity, balance
Continue on!

Happiness Activities

So, to answer the question of what I can do to be even happier, I remember what I learned from the research of Sonja Lyubomirsky in the How of Happiness.
She outlines 12 activities proven by research to promote happiness:
1.        Expressing gratitude
2.        Cultivating optimism
3.        Avoiding over-thinking and social comparison
4.        Practicing acts of kindness
5.        Nurturing social relationships
6.        Developing strategies for coping
7.        Learning to forgive
8.        Increasing flow experiences
9.        Savoring life’s joys
10.        Committing to your goals
11.        Practicing religion and spirituality
12.        Taking care of your body
The night is not long enough for me to cover all of these topics in depth.  However, I just spent some time committing them to memory, using techniques I recently learned in Unlimited Memory by Kevin Horsely.  Tomorrow my husband and I have to go to the emergency room at the hospital to remove stitches they put in last Saturday when he fell and gashed his head near his eyebrow.
I went ahead and ate some chicken at about 6:00 PM.  I do not know exactly how many calories I consumed today, but I am already hungry.  It is 7:00 PM now, so there are two and a half hours until bed time.  Can I pull off a fast until then?  I could try drinking water again because I could be dehydrated again.  Let me try that.
Water is taking the edge off my hunger.  Many people, including perhaps you, are waiting for a diet book that tells you how to lose weight without any effort–without any hunger.  I am writing some things you can do while you are waiting for that book.  Protein can help you manage your hunger, but it will not eliminate it.

Home Support

I called the Home Support Line today, and she said they would call me back.  I have not heard anything yet.  Tomorrow is Saturday, so I may not hear anything until next week.  My mood is slipping a bit, so I need to do something about it.  I think I am concerned about my husband.  I cannot let his condition get me down.  I just put on some serenity music for us.  That may help.  Years ago, I would have shuddered at even the thought of marrying an alcoholic.  Now that I have done so, I seek serenity from my Higher Power.  Let me pray:

Evening Prayer

Dear Lord,
Please bless me this night with the serenity promised by Al-Anon members.  Fill me with your love.  Let me feel it.  Help me to bond with my husband, and help me to be resilient.  Do not let this situation of his (and even my) disability take me down into the depths of despair.  Bring me up from the hole of despondency.  I am not far down, but I am lower than I have been for most of the day.
Help me to manage my bipolar symptoms.  I would love it if they were all gone forever.  Short of that, help me manage.  Thank you for your support and protection so far.
I desire to lose weight, but I have forgotten how difficult the hunger is.  Now that I am writing to an audience, I want to be a good example to them, so they will have strength and courage as well.  If I cannot show them how to avoid a bad mood, I can at least show them how to get out of one.
Yours devotedly,
There.  Sometimes prayer is the best resort.  I am unashamedly sharing prayers in this book.  That is not to impress you with how spiritual I am.  It is to give you an example, so you can insert words for your own Higher Power.

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