Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Change is Hard

Change is hard, whether it is in your thinking or in your habits.

The best book I have read on dating is The Tao of Dating: The smart woman's guide to being absolutely irresistible by Ali Binazir, M.D., M.Phil.  Now here is someone who changed from being a doctor, though he may still practice to authoring a book helping women to find love.  The book is mostly about caring for yourself.  My favorite quote is "contentment is not a person it is a feeling."  It is important for me to remember it is about me.  I am the star of my own show.  (I stole that line from About a Boy a great movie about change.)

Anyway, I have been dating a man for about 9 months.  We have gone out exactly 5 times.  We text and occasionally talk on the phone.  From the beginning, I have suggested to him I need to be a little higher priority.  He works incredibility hard.  But obviously, if I was important to him I would see more of him.  I finally decided to choose myself and tell him exactly want I want and need.  Because I am not overly invested in this relationship I have been able to practice expressing my feelings instead of letting things build until I get angry.  Men do not like angry women.  Still waiting to hear back.  But the out come is not important. Choosing myself is the important part.

Which brings me to a great book on change I have been reading called Choose Yourself by James Altucker.  Mr. Altucker believes that we will not be able to depend on the old style of work.  That cubicles are empty and we are entering into a era where we will all be working for ourselves.  At least if you want to get ahead in this world.  And as I was laying in bed this morning trying to go back to sleep I thought about my brothers and sisters.  They are already there and have been for a long time.  Jane doesn't work but has many wonderful creative ideas everyday.  Bill has been self employed forever as a landscaper mixing both hard work with creativity.  Judy, although now working for the school system, use to head a nonprofit working with children.   Susan, has her own fiber business and farm where she raises sheep and chickens.    John buys and sells stuff.   And Tom, has been self employed as an architect for most of his career.  I am the only one who has always worked for someone else.  Not that I work in a cubical.  But I am the one who has to plan vacation time and can't just do something spontaneously.  (I know it isn't that easy for the others either but they can plan their own life to a greater degree than I can.

Mr. Altucker is all about ideas.  He has made and lost millions of dollars and is now finding a way to stabilize his life, changing from the inside rather than the outside.  Makes me feel like all my internal changes may pay off after all.  He talks about daily practices in the 4 different areas of life, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  For me the most difficult to embrace is the physical practices of choosing health.  In later blogs I will talk about his other areas.  But as I was rereading the book he mentioned a diet he follows called the slow carb diet basically invented by Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-hour body.  You see how one thing leads me to another, to another.  I love my Kindle app and Amazon.

So I decided to give the slow carb diet a try.  It appeared from the book, I might actually be able to meet my 50 # goal in my allotted time limit if I suck with the diet.  The diet is basically a low glycemic diet designed to keep your blood sugar level even.  This in turn keeps your body from producing high levels of insulin that causes fat storage.  No grains of any kind, no fruit, no sugar, no dairy, and only a little red wine.  Lots of high quality meat, eggs, poultry and fish.  Lots of vegetables and lots of legumes.

And it worked well for 3 weeks. I lost 14 pounds. He also lets you have a cheat day every week.  Makes the body think it really isn't in starvation mode.  The problem was I never really felt that great.  I know some of it was detoxing from sugar and grains.  But I was also still having some acid re-flux.  Not as severe as I was having but it was still there.  Usually when I diet, it completely goes away.  I was also really missing fruit and having trouble eating the beans.  After some research on the internet I found a theory that re-flux may be caused by carbohydrates more than anything else and actually complex carbohydrates are worse than refined carbs because they take longer to digest and build up gas.  What I liked about this diet was that my sweet cravings completely vanished.  I was still drinking diet coke which may have satisfied some of it, but still, I wasn't even tempted to cheat on non cheat days and really didn't eat much sugar on days I could cheat.   So I wanted to find something to go to right away and not  loose my momentum and gain back the weight I had lost.

A friend suggested the South Beach diet, which I looked at.  The problem with that diet however, is it does not follow my philosophy about food.  It relies on low fat versions of dairy and proteins.  Not whole foods. And then I came upon and their 30 day challenge.  They propose something very similar to my previous diet except they do not like legumes and instead let you have some fruit.  Still no sugar, no dairy, no grains.  Plus no legumes, no soy,  no alcohol and no diet coke.  Rather than being focused on the glycemic index and insulin spikes, they are focused on foods that cause inflammation.  They are less concerned about weight and fat loss than becoming healthy.  (I can't even weigh for the 30 days).  Besides detoxing from the foods they feel cause inflammation, they want you to really change your relationship with food.  I will let you know how I progress.

Addendum:  Day number 3 of the 30 day challenge.  I am tired of cooking.  Fortunately I have been off for several days and so I have been able to cook.  But I don't like it much.  One thing that is helping is that one other change I have made is to quit playing computer games, (spider, freecell and hearts).  I suddenly have lots of time on my hands.

The high quality protein is costly, but less than eating out.  A pound of wild salmon $21.  But if I cut it in 4th's it is only 5 bucks.  Oh and I made mother's goolash.  All perfectly legal with grass fed ground beef.  Except the macaroni of course.  I substituted spaghetti squash.  Very, very tasty.  Going to have some left overs right now.