Category Archives: baby steps

I Knew This Day Would Come

IMG_0640For the first couple of weeks on keto, I felt like a pile of dirty clothes, left on the floor to fester and rot. Well, maybe that’s a little exaggeration. I just remember the transition from being a carb-burner to a fat-burner was not without its struggles.

For the next couple of months, I started feeling better and better, and I knew I was feeling on top of the world (cue Karen Carpenter’s voice here). I also knew that no one ever stays feeling that way forever. Gradually, though, I have become a little less ecstatic and a little more realistic.

I’ve been cheating on myself a little bit lately with food. Still no carbs, but a little bit extra here and there. I managed to keep this fact from myself as I simply didn’t write down all the transgressions on my food tracking app. For all intents and purposes, if you looked at my food diary, I was rocking this diet!

Hi my name is Siouxsie and I’m an alcoholic. That’s what they say at AA meetings, even if your drug of choice is something else. I’m far, far from an alcoholic, laughably so, but I still possess addictive thinking and behaviors. And what I’m addicted to is anything (legal) that I think will make me feel better. My drug of choice used to be carbs. How often I turned to junk food and sugar when I sensed dissatisfaction within. And, just like any addict (I think), when you get rid of the main source of feeling “good,” a bunch of feelings you have been avoiding rush in and vie for attention. Surely these feelings contribute to relapses.

And for an addict, occasionally there will be some other substance which will quell that dissatisfaction and those uncomfortable feelings. Which brings me to today.

I turn to social media now hoping it will make me feel better. More connected, heard, witnessed. I turn to meaningless television shows I can binge on Hulu and Netflix and Amazon prime. I turn to the carb equivalent of literature — easy to take in, non-nutritious, digested quickly and I am left wanting more.

So what if there is a “keto equivalent” for information? What if there is a portion that is similar to these good fats I am eating every day? Well, if you have read anything I have written you may know I love a good analogy. Therefore, for me there is definitely a keto equivalent.

The good “fats” are writing, creating, reading non-fiction, drawing, reading classical or deeper literature, listening to podcasts with some depth and meaning. 75% of the time I am using my brain these are the activities I want to be doing. The protein is connecting with people in real life.  (In some cases, that may mean FaceTime if the person lives in California.) 20% of the time I am using my brain, I will be nourished by connecting with people in real life. The “carbs” could be empty or near-empty like scrolling through Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, or slightly more nutritious like (TBD – to be determined – any ideas?) and I would allot 3% of my brain space to these activities.

I drew the onion illustration for my post. Normally, I just google an image, which is fine, but I like drawing, even though I’m a primitive beginner. Actual food was the outer layer of my onion. I see that information processing is the next layer. The parable of the two wolves has caught my attention today. I want to feed my good wolf so I’m taking in more goodness, kindness, compassion, truth, beauty.

I still have to work out what going “keto” on information looks like. I know a few things it doesn’t look like. I have a hunch that shifting my information “macros” will lead to a more satisfying, meaningful experience. What about you? How do you find a good balance in how you take in information and create things? What tips do you have for managing the information that is available and coming at us full speed ahead 24/7/365? What are your good “fats” relating to information?


Many Happy Returns of the Day

For many years now, I have been susceptible to the GoBackToBed Magnet. I always seem to buy beds with really strong ones. On days when I don’t have to be out the door, sometimes rather often I can fall prey to the Preying Magnet. As recently as yesterday, the GBTB Magnet drew me as easily as the iron filings to Wooly Willy.


Knowing today that I didn’t need to be anywhere at any particular time, and also knowing full well how cozy the old grand lit is, I thought maybe I better approach the problem from a new angle.

While Kepler and I danced around at the bus stop (to the music from Shrek; always Shrek), a thought popped into my head.  “I shall pretend like I am someone who never goes back to bed after I get my kids off to school.”  I was thinking about actors and how they embody personas that are very different from their natural personality, and I thought well darn it if Leo diCaprio can do it, then so can I. On my way back to the house, I just engaged in a little game of pretend and imagined all the things that kind of person might think about their day and their time and their bed.

I find that things that work for me tend to arise organically, but almost always confirm something I have read or heard in the past. In college, THE thing that stuck with me out of all the psych classes I took was the idea that attitude follows action. That my attitude will very often change based on me taking action. When I start something, even if I only intend to keep it up for two minutes (like a cleaning task), keeping on going is almost always the outcome. Overcoming that initial inertia gets the momentum going.

I made colorful signs for myself and posted them around the house, affirmations about the kind of person that I am, even though I can find evidence against each of them! I placed “I am the kind of person who stays up after my kids go to school” on my already made bed. I placed others throughout the house, and each of them made me smile throughout the day.

And I got hella done, man. Not only for myself, but I helped my mother by taking nearly 100 books out of her house for her — books she was ready to part with. (Although I was once accused of shoplifting, I don’t actually steal things.)

One of the books leaving was A Prairie Home Companion Pretty Good Joke Book. I decided I needed that one more than the donation box, and so I will leave you with a Pretty Good Joke: Why did the mushroom go to the party? Cuz he was a fungi! Why did the fungi leave the party? Cuz there wasn’t mushroom.



How it’s Going: FAT TUESDAY series, Part 6

not actual serving size

Suzy’s Going Public Post

A Problem and a Potential Solution

Baby Steps on the Road to Healthy Living

I Think I Might Have Found my Why

I Have a Sponsor

I went back and re-read my FAT TUESDAY series. I was reminded of the thoughts and feelings that were present while I wrote and the ones that sometimes occur when I eat. Since the A to Z Blog Challenge takes Sundays off, I’m writing my next FAT TUESDAY installment today.

When we last looked in on our protagonist, she was planning to shop and eat the perimeter of the grocery store, keep a food journal, and limit eating hours to 7am-7pm daily.

Do you use any food or exercise apps? My Fitness Pal? Endomondo? I have. For me, though, they add a layer to my eating that is actually unhelpful, as I focus more on the number of calories, grams of carbs, etc., than the experience of eating the food and what I feel like after I do so. I think this is why the food journal baby step only lasted a few days. It may be back in the future, but isn’t working right now.

The perimeter of the grocery store continues to be an extremely helpful focus. I find myself shopping this way more and more, and the food in the house is primarily healthful, although we still have a few snack and processed foods.

Finally, deciding to stop eating at 7pm every evening has been a very good baby step for me. Coupled with deciding that there are no banned foods, I’m finding the 7pm stopping point to work very well.

Understanding baby steps also seems to be of value in my journey. Typically, I have imagined a baby step to be something that is small, but also short-lived before the next one is implemented. When I think about the way a baby walks, she takes a step, or maybe two, and then lands on her butt before she gets up again to take another step. No baby I know walks like an Olympic speed-walker.

I have actually found myself sometimes saying no thank you to the delicious ice cream in the freezer asking to be eaten. It’s my very favorite kind, locally made, expensive, and very high quality. There seems to be something powerful to having the ice cream available and to know I can eat it anytime I want (between 7am and 7pm). No big fights about it within. Therefore, no compulsion to eat it now as if I can never get anymore again.

Today, as we discussed dinner, I first suggested pizza, probably out of habit, and the memory of how that first bite of cheesy, saucy, dough tastes. After a few minutes, I realized I didn’t really want pizza. I wanted one of my super duper smoothies. (kale, spinach, kefir, blueberries, wheatgrass, etc) I was pleasantly surprised at this turn of events.

Having a sponsor is more helpful than I would ever have imagined.

So, my eating isn’t perfect. Never has been. Never will be. I really do not believe there is any such thing as perfection, so that’s not even the goal. I’m looking to be nourished, to be in touch with what I eat, to make choices that actually serve my health, and oh yeah, to enjoy it all.