The price of pie:
Ah pie… how I love you. But apparently you come with a high price. The bearer of the amazing Amish funeral pie had a head cold-y bronchitis thing. Which I now have. It feels vaguely like someone dangled me upside down, poured liquid cement into my nostrils and let it harden in my sinuses. I do seem to be fighting it better (or at least I have way less symptoms) than the deliverer of the pie (and my husband) though so I am going to say kudos to my healthy eating plan and exercise regime for giving me a kick ass immune system.
I would like to say that the cold has kept me from doing exciting things and writing exciting updates. But this is a lie as actually, I have felt pretty OK with the cold. Pretty amazing actually since I discovered melatonin and am actually sleeping decent hours, and at a decent quality it would seem. I had an epiphany yesterday where, at 8 am, in a pre-caffeinated state with a paper already reviewed and corrected I realised that for the first time in many, many months, I actually felt rested. Happy, happy times.
I also had a moment of Stella-love (despite the germs), and felt moved to share them. So here are 5 things I love about Stella:
1. Her pies. ‘Nuff said. And not a euphemism.
2. Her innate ability not to just ‘go with the crowd’. Early on I was party to a conversation with a group of postdocs. An analysis plan was agreed on and Stella said “great, that should take me about half a day”. Another postdoc said “you don’t say that! You say it takes 3 days and go to the beach for 2”. I remember because I thought that was a sad state of affairs, but did question it. Stella’s reaction was better; all over her face was “There is no way in hell I am doing that, see you at the top”. And I had a moment where I remembered I used to be exactly like that, and actually preferred being like that. I switched my attitude back to how I like, and have been more productive and happier since.
3. Stella is striving for the top – but she is more than happy to take you with her. Whether it is the loneliness of postdoctoral epi, or the insecurity, that is not something I have overtly focused on: how to help others while helping myself. But I looked around, and realised how many researchers (PIs, CHARGE members, other postdocs) out there had gone out of their way to help me, for no other reason than that they could. So, again, I shifted my perspective and have really enjoyed reaching out to others. Maybe there really is no true altruism, and the rewards I have got from this are my motivation. If so: so be it. It works.
4. Stella defines goals, does everything to meet them, but doesn’t seem (overtly) to end in a spiral of self-criticism and depression if they aren’t met. I mean, sure it is disappointing, but I can take things way too personally, and way too much a reflection on my core character. One mini Toosie roll does not make me a terrible person.
5. Fun. Stella never forgets the fun in life. Actually, I don’t either, but it’s good to be reminded.
So, that’s the psychology update. What else do I have for ya?
Ah, it is going so well. I am losing minimal lbs, but the body fat is shedding. Those trousers that I couldn’t even do up exactly 11 weeks ago (seriously, I didn’t wear them as my Ma had to lend me others) are now too big. Even if I don’t always see the changes, other people have. I keep getting compliments about how much I have changed. So, I am happy and looking forward to switching from the Bikini Body 12-week plan to either DAMY method (ongoing weightloss) or DAMY lifestyle (maintenance). I am not quite sure. I’ll post final stats next week, and maybe (password protected… come on future employers and students read this blog) progress pictures. But in the meantime, as I near the end of the first phase of my DAMY journey this is what I have learned:
- Do not let a bad scale week (not day) define you. I used to freak out if the scales didn’t show what I wanted for a couple of days, and institute a radical change of diet. By sticking with Amy’s plan, and simply looking back and ‘tweaking’ things I have made slow and steady improvements.
- Overly restricting doesn’t work for me. It leads to a brief, unsustainable period of burning up my muscle, then extreme ‘off weekend’ where I piled on fat. Do this for several months and it is easy to go from skinny to skinny-fat to fat (I was never fat, I know, but you see the pattern). Much better is to always nourish your body.
- Hence, ‘off moments’ are just that: moments. A small piece of pie, or an extra glass of wine, doesn’t mean ‘it is over for the day’. It just means you can keep working to improve your figure / health or achieve your goal: you will just make a smaller improvement today. So, e.g. thanksgiving: I took mostly healthy food: salad, veg, white meat turkey and then had a small amount of (amazing) sweet potato casserole and stuffing. At dessert again: a very small amount of pie (and it is not like I was exactly hungry). But then dinner was right back ‘on plan’ instead of as previously ‘well, I have blown it today – can have what I want’. I guess, I was never ‘starting again tomorrow’ or ‘getting back to it at the end of the weekend’. I was always applying it. Just not always perfectly 🙂
- I guess I feel my 12 weeks (11.5) with DAMY so far have taught me a sense of balance and realism. So – I am super looking forward to continuing to work with Amy 🙂 Her workouts are killer 🙂 Which leads to:
Tough Mudder update
Actually the training is going very well. Generally doing the same as before: 2 runs a week (one long, one short) 4 weight sessions (1 chest and tri, 1 back and bi, 1 shoulder and abs, 1 legs. man, I hate the legs), 1 elliptical session (save the old knees) and trying to keep up the body weight and sprint workouts to twice a week. Plus my beloved weekly kickboxing. It sounds a lot, but is rarely more than an hour a day (maybe 1 hour 10 in this last phase of bikini body, but that will drop again soon). 1 hour a day is pretty manageable. My greatest joy as easily completing 15K at 5K training pace [just under an hour and a half] 🙂 . Sadly, although this was 10 days ago, my hips and knees are still hurting from it (no, I didn’t stretch or ice bath after – definitely my bad) considerably, so I haven’t been able to repeat. I am just waiting for the day that I can (which I think will be after next Saturday’s race) as I actually really enjoyed just zoning out and doing it.
DAMY is focusing on leaning down in this phase, so weights are high rep (20). I am looking forward to going back to low-rep (6-10) and higher weight. I just prefer it. And finally:
It’s been 6 months (!) Can you Adam ‘n’ Eve it? How are things going? Well, I think our marriage can be summed up thus. Wesley objected to finding Walter’s toothbrush so close to his own (yes, I brush Walter’s teeth daily) so I came home to find this dangling in the front room:
I think we’ll be alright 🙂 Speaking of Walter… he says: