Thursday, February 29, 2024

The last thing I need here is a lower back injury

I have been looking for lower-risk activities than weight lifting.  I gave myself 2 impinged shoulders, and severe tennis-elbow over the course of only 1 or 2 months of lifting.

My first thought was rowing, however lower back injuries are really common among rowers.  I have been rowing for about a week, and I can already feel what is "bad" soreness (as opposed to "good soreness", not "severe soreness") in my lower back. 

In lieu of having anyone reputable to ask, the advice I'd give myself is stick to walking, preferably not on a treadmill.  Do lots of stretching.  Add cycling when I want to do a lower-impact, or non-weight-bearing activity.

That's it.

Update/Edit: I have continued to row approximately every other day.  I haven't increased the volume or intensity from what I started with.  I am paying extra attention to technique and drills - in particular body preparation at the finish.  I seem to be doing fine.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Standing Calf Stretch (esp. good for rowing and compression at the catch)


Colloquially "Keto" or actually clinically Keto.

 Various clinical sources for epilepsy put a Keto macronutrient ratio at 4:1 (fat to protein + carb.). 

It is important to note that I believe this is by calorie, not by weight, a point I had wrong in my initial post.

Here is my most recent salmon and cauliflower mash meal:

percentage by weight
percentage by calories
ration of fat to protein and carbs by weight
by calorie1.875:1

11oz sirloin and double broc at Outback...
percentage by weight
percentage by calories
Ratio of fat to carbs and protein by

To make that meal "more keto" should I consider the 8oz cut of sirloin with an oz of butter?

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

All of these fitness a**holes are juicing.


Full Eating Days - Off Low Carb Diet

Common every day

Throughout the day:
Everyday I have about 2-3 cups of coffee with half and half or light cream, so I'm not going to list that individually.

Wed February 14th 

Meal 1 (1pm):
Lox and bagel platter: Lox, bagel, cream cheese, tomato, red onion, cucumber

Workout (4pm):
Brisk Walk Outdoors: About 25-30 minutes, or 4500 steps

Meal 2 (6:45pm):
Small cup of beef chili.  Chef's salad from the case (lettuce, yellow pepper, tomato, provolone and ham roll, boiled egg, Italian dressing.).  

Dessert (7pm): 
$3.50 container of honeydew, blueberries, and strawberries.


  • I realized that I have been worried about the pesticides from fruits and vegetables.  Buying the prepared food today was an end run around that.
  • After the walk I was ravenously hungry.  I decided to watch some nutrition youtube, and kind of let that subside before going for dinner.    I have some curiosity around putting yourself in the right mental state to buy food.  Can you consciously override a desire to binge by either noticing/accepting it, or waiting it out?  At some point you internalize a lot of good material on nutrition, and then you just have to make sure you are calm enough when buying food to operationalize it.
  • Walking outside improved my mood by a couple of rungs on the ladder.
  • I slept better last night than I have in weeks.  One of the roles of desert is a little bit of carbohydrate to cap off the evening, which does seem to make me sleep better.  Seeing if the fruit is as effective as something more processed.
  • The lox and bagel was consumed with an eye towards satiety and protein.  I haven't had a desire to eat "keto" foods recently, and have had some stomach problems.  I've been following the Hava app's perspective on satiety over macronutrient restriction.  The bagel probably wasn't ideal, but it was accompanied with enough fish (and wasn't accompanied with say, a large orange juice) to make it a satiating meal.

Thurs February 15th

Meal 1 (1pm):
Cheese steak sandwich (roll, beef, sweet peppers, fried onions, provolone cheese).  Small side salad with Italian dressing (lettuce, tomato, onion, oil, vinegar, spices).

Dessert (4:30pm):
Moderately sized, small-ish piece of chocolate birthday cake with white icing.

Workout: (5:30pm):
Same brisk walk as yesterday, about 25 minutes, 5k steps.  Did it at an even faster pace than yesterday.  Capped it off with an LMNT sugar-free electrolyte drink.

Dinner (8pm):
Sushi dinner: miso soup, salad with ginger dressing, 9 nigiri pieces, 1 California roll.  (this was too much food, and I would order a la carte next time).


  • I saw a film with Mat Fraser, the CrossFit champion, where he talked about eating mini candy bars before workouts, or even in the middle of workouts.  There is some reality that that piece of birthday cake made me feel more apt to take a run/walk than how I feel when I am eliminating carbohydrates.   If I can keep my weight steady over the next few months, I'm not opposed to using a little bit of sugar pre-workout.
  • Still interested in investigating the concept of trying to be in a calm, controlled state of mind when buying food, rather than going from binge to binge.  I don't currently have a rigorous meditation practice, but I can use techniques I learned when I did to check my mindset before going into a supermarket.
  • Psychologically, the exercise is just this huge boost.  There is an energy of activation, where I think "maybe I will skip it today".  Then I knuckle down and do it, and I just feel 1000% better afterward.  I wouldn't negate the nutritional impact of getting over this energy of activation.  If I'm glycogen depleted from a fast, or from cutting carbs, it feels a little bit harder to actually get out the door.

Friday February 16th

Meal 1 (1230pm):
Bagel and lox platter: bagel, lox, onion, tomato, cucumber, cream cheese

Dessert 1 (115pm):
Small slice of chocolate birthday cake

Workout (5pm):
6000 steps, about 30 minute walk.  Pretty relaxed pace, although I feel my lower body a couple of hours afterward.  I'm carrying around a lot of weight, so it's kind of like rucking.

Meal 2 ( 6:30pm):
Chicken Caesar Salad: grilled chicken breast, croutons, lettuce, Caesar dressing

Dessert 2 (7:15pm):
Wawa $3.50 size large cup of fruit salad.

  • I feel I could have easily replaced the chocolate cake with a similar fruit salad.  With the fruit, you can afford a little bit more volume.  It is pretty sweet and satisfying, also hydrating.  I was in a funk this morning after an anxiety dream, and felt that I needed the sugar pick-me-up.  What I could have gotten away with was  a fruit salad, some pineapple, watermelon, or some strawberries...etc.  I probably wouldn't have felt I missed out on anything if I did that.  
  • Watching my weight for the last 30 days, I'm doing well at maintenance.  There is even a bit of a downward trend.   The walk felt amazing, even though there was a little bit of "Idonwanna" activation energy.

Saturday Feb 17th

Meal 1 (3:30pm):
Sushi (9 small nigiri, 1 roll, ginger salad, miso soup)

Dessert 1 (4:45pm):
5oz white birthday cake

20 minute spin on the bike, reasonably good effort, hr around 130-137.

Meal 2 (9pm):
Steak Caesar salad (6oz sirloin, croutons, romaine, dressing -- heavy dressing. ick.  Outback Steakhouse's recipes are sub-optimal for health.)

Sunday Feb 18th

Meal 1 (8am):
Tuscan omelet (red pepper, egg, spinach, provolone, sausage), potatoes, rye toast, butter, jam

Dessert 1 (1pm):
Wawa large cup of fruit salad

Workout (4pm):
25-30 minute brisk walk.

Dinner (6pm):
2 pieces of meat lovers pizza

Dessert 2 (7pm):
Traditional size (250cal) snickers bar.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

My problem

Assertion: My body has finely tuned homeostatic mechanisms to keep me at a healthy weight.

Evidence: Satiety hormones: GLP-1, cholecystokinin, peptide YY

Evidence: Hypothalamus legioning experiments

Evidence: Lack of obesity of animals in the wild, prevalence of obesity in pets

So then the question is: What the heck is throwing my weight set point off?  

(I phrase it this way, because the answer for me is likely different than the answer for someone else.  )

  • addiction to processed flour and sugar.  These foods blow right past satiety signals.
  • shopping in a food environment that features these foods. (is there one that doesn't?  This is a legitimate question.)
  • Diet limited by budgetary constraints.   It's a double whammy that the flour and sugar are both addictive and cheap.
  • Social constraints pushing me to eat out more than I should.  Restaurant food can be engineered to tickle those flour/sugar addictions.  I don't have a family at home or people to eat with unless I eat out.
  • preference for sedentary behaviors like working in front of a computer over activity.
  • preference for solitary activities that are sedentary.  A lot of people get a lot of success out of group classes like CrossFit or Zumba.  I find these classes psychologically taxing even before the physical activity starts.
  • disordered eating that goes back as far as cutting weight for lightweight sports, or farther.  Potentially being made worse in the present by attempts to control weight like fasting that result in bingeing.
  • Historic lack of temporal structure around eating.  There was never a meal-time growing up, snacking was always permitted.  In the present, I have trouble having food in the refrigerator, because I just eat constantly.
  • I don't feel like I am well tuned into my satiety signals.  I have a regular experience of craving some food, eating it, and then lying down an hour later only to realize how stuffed or bloated I feel.  This is related to the answer about flour/sugar.  Sugar overrides the satiety signal, providing that "second stomach [always have room for desert]" effect. 

Some things I'm interested in trying out
  • Treating flour/sugar as an addiction, and opting to abstain completely.
  • exploring weighing food
  • Cooking more, eating luxurious foods that I love (the first thing that comes to mind here is basil, tomatoes, mozzarella, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Learning to cook some new low-carb foods.  This isn't a matter of learning 20 new recipes.  It's a matter of learning 1. (at a time).
  • Experimenting with keto meal delivery.
  • Not worrying so much about eating luxurious low-carb meals out, balance them with a cheap second meal of eggs.
  • Changing where I shop from convenience stores to real markets where I have some better shot at not being fucked-over by a shit food environment.
  • Trying to find a group fitness experience where I feel like one of the in-group, and that reinforces my participation, rather than serving as an additional source of anxiety.  That or just walking outside more and learning to really love the feeling of being outside.

There is another class of problems though beyond the largely behavioral ones I listed above:  That is namely, insulin resistance and a pre-existing condition of obesity.  Having become obese before my teens, it became all that much more difficult to maintain a normal weight.  I'm not sure of the mechanism here -- dieting surely doesn't always help and can make things worse if done wrong.   Insulin insensitivity is a biological condition that just makes things like avoiding addictive flour and sugar all the more important.

Ideas for working on insulin insensitivity:
  • Avoid foods that spike insulin
  • Fast somewhat regularly for periods equal to or over 36 hours. [I might avoid this in preference for the next two as fasting relates to disordered eating, binging, and regulating sleep-wake cycle]
  • Exercise
  • Exercise at high intensity with some regularity

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Being sick is hard...

 I'm resolved to abstain from flour and sugar. period. However I have had a severely upset GI system for the past few days.   I had pancakes for breakfast, which agreed with me.  I had a turkey sandwich for dinner, which did not.

Planning for an illness like the Covid bout that took me out of my low-carb routine seems like a good proposal.  I'm just not sure what the answer is.  

Maybe it's something like if eating flour, make sure it is in chicken noodle soup or saltines, nothing else.  If eating sugar, make sure it is in ice cream for a sore throat, and nothing else.  And then get back on the program as quickly as possible.

Covid sent me into a 2-month long tailspin.