December 31, 2013

Weird emotions

After cutting my carbs in half for four days, I’ve been weird emotionally. Irritability, mood swings, existential dread—all likely a result of my reduced carbohydrate intake. This is the initial hump, and I assume if I can get over this without eating poorly, I’ll be home free.

Bring it on.

December 30, 2013

The Dread

Tonight I'm faced with an exceptionally severe case of existential dread—the angst that accompanies deep thoughts about life, death, and the meaning of our existence. Most people don't think the way I do, but Jezebel's Tracy Moore does.

She wrote an amazing piece about existential dread management, wherein she provides some solid suggestions, including:

  • Make sure your life adds up to something

  • Consume copious, reckless amounts of art

  • Unleash the primal scream

  • Take Tylenol (seriously!)

Moore also articulates the feelings of existential dread in a way I find difficult to replicate:

For the record, I have a lot existential dread, or at least, I can't remember not really having it. If you're running low, you can borrow some of mine. I don't sit around in black turtlenecks chain smoking talking about Why We're Here (fine, that was college. And my twenties) but as long as I can remember being alive, I've had a lot of questions about why the world is the way it is, what I'm supposed to do with myself, and whether it all adds up to anything that counts or not.

I also noticed that it wasn't always easy to find people who think this way. I was all: "But how do you know what actually matters? How do you know if your choices are adding up? If your life has real meaning? How do you even define what that meaning IS? Is it just doing what everyone has always done and finding solace in that, or are you compelled in some way to do something else to create meaning in the world, like make art, or save lives, or simply exist with extraordinary kindness? HOW CAN YOU NOT THINK ABOUT IT?!?!?!"

Agreed on all points.

December 26, 2013

Leaning out

Last year, like so many others, I resolved to live a healthier life and lose a little bit of weight. I haven’t managed to stick with it, probably because I didn’t have a clear plan. As of today, I’m implementing a new diet/exercise plan to lean out and build muscle over the next few weeks.

This week, I’m cutting my carb intake in half for four days. On Monday, I will return to my regular portions. Returning to regular carb levels after a drastic reduction should increase my metabolism and muscle-building efficiency.

In addition to four days of reduced carbs, I will be eliminating carbs completely from my last meal of the day—every day. Going to bed with a lower blood-sugar level as a result of avoiding carbs at dinner, the body will increase its production of growth hormone (GH), which should accelerate fat loss by increasing my metabolism and boosting muscle growth.

As for the rest of the plan:

  • Week 1: Reduce carbs by half for four days; eliminate carbs from last meal.
  • Week 2: Add two 30–40-minute cardio sessions per week; add 50 grams of protein per day.
  • Week 3: Further reduce carbs on one day to as little as 25% of my normal intake.
  • Week 4: Schedule 40 minutes of medium- to high-intensity cardio first thing in the morning.
  • Week 5: Enjoy a 500–700-calorie cheat meal on a regular carb day; add 50% more sets to weight workouts.
  • Week 6: Take a three-day break from the entire plan, then start again.

I’m also getting more serious about my fast food ban, and I’m eliminating soda as a beverage option (with rare exceptions, such as my Week 5 cheat meal).

I’ll be documenting the process and experience here as I move forward—mostly for myself, but also for anyone who cares to follow my progress.

I only have one body, so I should probably take care of it. That begins now.

December 25, 2013

And to all a good night

I spent another great Christmas Day with Sabrina and family today: a day of visiting relatives, overeating, and finally collapsing in bed after an overdose of extroversion.

It was a long and busy day, but I saw a lot of my favorite people, along with some new faces, and really enjoyed the company. I think it's safe to say that tomorrow will be a home-in-our-pajamas kind of day, however.

I hope you all enjoyed the holiday.

December 18, 2013

Back to my old theme

To the nerds it may concern:

Ever since I migrated this blog from Blogger to WordPress, I've been struggling to find a theme I like enough to keep. So tonight I dove into the theme files and modified the Twenty Ten theme to match my old Blogger template, and I'm pretty satisfied. There are a few kinks here and there that are driving me crazy, but I think this one is here to stay.