Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Getting back on the carb cycle after a fall


Ok, lets try this again! I'm over my two days of PMS and ready to begin.

I think my PMS is getting worse. When I was a teenager I such horrible cramps I had to take a day off school each month. I was put on the pill and that helped a lot. I've always had a lot of physical problems with my cycle and have tried a few different pills over the years. I don't remember any emotional issues, or just a very rare weepy day in my 20s, until maybe the past ten years. Since I had children? Maybe before that, but not so bad it really affected my life. Now I generally have two days when the world seems a dismal place and I'm annoyed with everyone and everything. I'm both sad and snappy and try not to take it out of my family too much but I don't know how well I succeed. The best I can do is keep my mouth shut. If I let myself make major decisions on those days I certainly wouldn't have a puppy any more and I don't know what else. I don't want to think about it. I also eat too much and don't exercise. Maybe I need a strategy for that, but for the moment I'm just going to accept that I need to do whatever I can to get through those days without any consequences more dire than gaining a little bit of weight.

I'm ready to do more exercise than just walking Thor. I seriously considered joining the gym again - I have at various times in the past enjoyed BodyStep, BodyPump, the rowing machine, the elliptical and the weights machines, but I get bored with them within a few months so next time I join the gym it will be for three months instead of a year and wasting most of my money. But going to the gym is a huge time investment with all the driving and finding parking and changing twice and showering etc, an hour exercise takes nearly two hours out of my day. So for the moment I'm going back to dancing at home. I still have to change and shower but it takes travel time out of the equation.

I was inspired by a new TV show, "Bringing Sexy Back" (terrible terrible name!) which is like an accelerated Biggest Loser. Each week they show a new person or couple, and follow them over about three months with a personal trainer and help from a celebrity chef and a big makeover and reveal at the end. They do it all from home, fitting healthy living around their normal work and other commitments so it is a tiny bit more realistic than Biggest Loser where all you do is exercise.

I did some writing this morning (I have rewritten what was lost and moved on) and then an hour of dance. It went well. I'd dipped my toe back into dance a few times recently but had trouble keeping up with the energy levels and the choreography, neither my mind and body were cooperating. But today I was back in the groove. I'm working my way through getting 5 stars in every dance on medium difficulty in Dance Central 3. I love a goal.

Then I had my lunch, and took a cup of tea outside with the puppy so he could run around a bit without getting lonely. I did some work reading, then took Thor for a walk that went past the school on our way home. Thor is getting a bit better with walking. He still pulls a lot. The kids rarely ask to walk him now, it's not very pleasurable. Yesterday I started giving him food treats as well as verbal praise when he was behaving well, and it certainly keeps his attention on me more! My previous dog, a collie, was not particularly motivated by food and was very eager to please so I don't think I ever used food treats, just attention and praise. The working dog (sheepdog) temperament. But Thor, both sides of his ancestry from hunting/gun dogs, likes praise but it takes food to distract him from the exciting outdoors! He tries to chase birds, too, and points his little foot. Very cute. But he is much nicer to walk when you don't end up with the lead strap embedded in your hand.

Today is a low carb day. I've gone a bit over my very low carb allowance (36 - 90 grams) because I was surprised by a few things. My banana had nearly 22 g, the orange 17 g and the Yakult a very unexpected 11.6 g of carbohydrate considering it is a tiny 50 mL bottle. I know I could have checked before I ate things but I don't want to give up fruit regardless so I'm not sure how I'm going to get around that on low carb days. Maybe only one piece of fruit? The Yakult is a rare thing, just to help my gut flora rebalance. Apart from that, my carbs came from one slice of toast, four wholegrain crackers and lots of non-starchy vegetables. If I cut out any two things (not the veges) I would be under my limit. On high carb days I get 180 grams of carbohydrate, plenty for just about anything, but high carb days are low fat days so I still have to monitor everything carefully.

If you haven't tried Yakult it is a fermented drink full of probiotics that I expected to be like slightly nasty runny yoghurt but in fact tastes just like melted vanilla ice cream. Delicious. Full of sugar, of course. I don't get it very often, but I buy a pack after a stomach upset. And hide it from the kids.

... (A bit later.) I had a lovely low carb dinner of steak and salad. Then ate three chocolate biscuits. So, hmm. I'm still giving myself a B for today's healthy eating. Mostly I did very well. I ate at least five serves of vegetables. And I did an hour and a half exercise! And drank seven glasses of water! And wrote! Overall an excellent day.


  1. HI Natalie - I honestly don't remember on whose feed I spotted your blog? but I'm struggling myself to climb onto the low-carb wagon; having 50/50 success at this point (trying to keep carbs under 100 g but zing! it sure is easy to have 'em shoot up close to 200!) Hang in there - best wishes from the Great State of Texas!

  2. Any advice for someone getting ready to try carb cycling for the fitrst time?

    FogDog's Weight Loss - Starting Over (Again!)

  3. I've only been trying it this week (and not doing so well) so not really! I just looked it up on the internet and that told me how to work out how much of each macronutrient to eat each day. I'm trying to alternate high carb/low fat days with low carb/higher fat days - lots of protein every day.

  4. Hi Natalie! I'm personally not 'into' the whole macros craze that is going on right now, because for me, I don't think it would be an emotionally good place to go. I just eat real food, and keep fruit to once or twice a week, realizing how 'sugar' loaded it is. We each have to walk our own paths.

    Re the PMS getting worse, roughly how old are you?

    1. Hi Gwen. I'm 44. I've wondered for a while if I'm peri-menopausal but I'm quite young for that. And my mum wasn't this young.