Sep. 19th, 2010 01:21 pm
replacementparts: Smiling dragon, optimism, bright (Default)
Started a second round of P90x. I may just be trying to hang on to something familiar amid a month of hard, abrupt changes. I didn't go to crossfit at all this week, and had started feeling like the gains I'd made over the last three months doing p90x would deteriorate if I was relying on getting to crossfit. So I'm going to keep p90x as my 'main' workout, and throw in crossfit when I feel up to some extra challenge. And Yoga classes a couple times a week.

I waffled a little on whether I was going to try carb cycling. I got my protein consumption up to about the right amount, and want to work on getting a lot more vegetables in my diet whether or not I carb cycle. It calls for three cups of veggies a day, and I think I average about one cup- and tend to go for starchy veggies a lot more than I should. What I've noticed in my diet over the past couple months is I've been progressively cutting back on carbs. Especially in the past week or so- mixed in with a couple instances of having bad carbs (dominoes pizza while playing descent with frens, and then eating my leftovers the next day... ugh and then a hamburger the day after that... the bun was soooo delicious...). That's definitely the WRONG way to do carb cycling, because high carb days are just as important as no carb days, and the carbs need to be good carbs and.

One good thing has come from my research into carb cycling already, though. I cut out milk. I've always been a big milk drinker. I'd even spent most of the last 7 years getting whole milk, only cutting back to 2% about two months ago. But last week I bought my first carton of almond milk, and haven't really looked back. I did have a couple scraps of cheese while helping S fix her dinner last night, but otherwise I haven't had milk products in almost a week.

That's a complete lie. I have whey protein about twice a day. I bought powdered soy protein from Berkeley Bowl last week, but it was d i s g u s t i n g. I could see it being okay in shakes, blended with some fruit, key word blended because it would not dissolve in the almond milk at all and it was chunky and tasted like chalk. It is also very possible I just need to find some higher quality soy protein but in the meantime I stocked up on the whey.

As much as I think I would enjoy learning about sports medicine, I'm leaning away from trying it as a career move at the moment. Its something I'd like to pursue a bit on my own time for my own use and perhaps also helping others. At this point I don't think I would like it as a career. I don't think it would satisfy me.

The more I think about it, the more I keep coming back to art. Its an insane career path. It terrifies me and I think that's why I've been so distant from it. Combined with some rather major-scale life upheaval issues I've been dealing with over the past couple years, I'm not surprised my art has gone nowhere. But I'm thinking its time to get back on that.

I feel so rusty, and my area of ability seems like its in a totally different direction from the kinds of things I want to be drawing, so I have a lot of ground to try to cover. It's huge and expansive and I have some ideas for where to start but barely a clue what to do from there.

I've been feeling lightheaded and a little dizzy for the past couple hours, since finishing my workout today. I'm blaming not enough carbs today (and yesterday, and probably the day before). So a bowl of oatmeal is probably in order. I was planning on going down to lake merrit because there's a great view of the oakland cityscape down there, but I'm not going to be able to go anywhere until I feel better.
replacementparts: Smiling dragon, optimism, bright (Default)
For the past couple weeks I have been reading reading reading. Trying to learn and absorb others' experiences with their transitions, helping where I can, but recognizing that I am a beginning beginner on this path.

Today I printed out copies of a bunch of forms for a court-ordered name and gender change today. I figure it'll be easier to pay my bills when I don't avoid looking at them because I don't like having to see my old name. Hopefully the process will be less complicated than it looks and I'll be able to get on with my life.

I got off-track with my fitness and nutrition stuff while mom was here, but not as badly as I could have. Being slightly lax about my workout routine and now going back to it has tested my discipline and reminded me how much I want this for myself. Eating semi-vegan for a week and a half gave me a good appreciation both for that diet, and also a better appreciation of MEAT. I've learned a lot about protein these two weeks.

I have this nagging concern that once I'm done with this transition stuff, I won't know what to do with myself. If everything in my life has been leading up to this crux of finding myself and making this change, what's next? Particularly since I've been thinking so much on the fact that I don't really want art to be my career anymore. I do want to make art, but I don't want to have to make money on art. I could very well still change my mind about that, but I've never really had a fall back plan and now I feel like I'm floundering a little in that regard.
replacementparts: Smiling dragon, optimism, bright (Default)
Another weekend. If nothing else, this one is guaranteed to be better than last if only because I get to go home tomorrow at the normal time. I don't have any plans for the fourth- Eira gets off work at about eight and I'd like to see if there's a park or someplace to ride bikes to and chill for a while. Fireworks or not.

Edwin and I have been cooking a lot lately, which is good for our wallets since we aren't going out to eat. Last week he made some Zucchini Potato Soup, and while it was good, it was missing something. So earlier this week I made more, and this time made dumplings to put in the soup and it was perfect. If only they had some nutritional value- flour, salt, sugar, baking soda and powder, butter and buttermilk. Can't eat those all the time they're so heavy.

Thursday night he made some hummus, while I made seasoned asparagus and we collaborated on Grilled Cajun Salmon with Tomato Pineapple Salsa. The cajun/seasoning on the salmon was awesome, I'd probably do that again, though with less salt, the cajun stuff we bought had a lot of salt in it so with added salt in the recipe it was just a tiny bit too much. The tomato pineapple salsa was a bit of a disappointment, though. Edwin had picked out the recipe thinking the weird flavor combos would magically come together, but it was really nothing special and just kind of weird. Oh well. He'd been disappointed with the hummus, too, until I was like, "You know what this needs? Some of this red onion we got for the salsa." Red onion and hummus on pita? Perfect.

I've cut out coffee almost completely. Now I usually drink green tea. I still haven't figured out how to make it not taste burnt. It's a little better now that I've been using water that isn't too hot, but it's still nowhere near as delicious as the tea at Yusan's or Ichiban.

[ profile] trashedbat asked, in my previous post, how my energy levels have been since going on T. It's a little hard to say because I started making a lot of changes to my overall health right at the same time. I started exercising on a daily basis, and making a very conscious effort to eat healthy foods almost exclusively. I also added some workout supplements before and after my workouts. All these things have a positive effect on my energy levels. If I had to guess, I'd say the exercise has had the most impact, but the exercise is made possible by the good food and supplements I take in. I WILL say, though, that I have found myself to be both lazier and grumpier in the day or two immediately before a shot, which indicates to me a fairly strong correlation between having low testosterone in my system and having very low energy.

I guess my point is I can't for certain say that the T gives me more energy than I had before starting it, just because I have less energy when it is low in my system. I have had more energy and better moods since starting, but again, exercise and healthy eating probably has a lot more to do with that than T specifically.

I have noticed my Left brain feels like it is becoming more active. That's the math and language hemisphere, as opposed to the creative/abstract right hemisphere. I'm finding it easier to put my thoughts and emotions to words, and therefore to be able to understand them better myself, rather than having all this jumbled up frustration or undefined upset-ness. Now, if I get upset, I can actually identify what is making me upset, and take steps to resolve it, rather than before when I'd just get upset and not know why/not say anything/sit and stew in that frustration.

I probably would be concerned about resultant atrophy in my right hemisphere, but I don't think it's working like that. It feels more like an opportunity for overall growth than a tradeoff. And it feels more like myself, the way I should be, the way I always should have been. Like there was this block between where I was and reaching my full potential, and now I'm starting to chip away at it. It's kind of exciting.

Quick (hopefully) update on Exercise stuff. )
replacementparts: Smiling dragon, optimism, bright (Default)
I thought that deserved its own entry. Lest I ramble on and it gets to the TLDR stage.

On the exercise front, I made it all the way through the first week of P90X. The last couple days (thursday and friday) were hard, I was pretty exhausted and thursday in particular I don't think I'd had enough of the right kinds of food on wednesday so getting up and trying to exercise before breakfast thursday was rough. I wanted really badly to quit halfway through, but I made it all the way through 'Legs and Back', though I did skip Ab Ripper that time. I did it sunday and tuesday, so I guess skipping it thursday this time won't kill me. Yesterday was Kenpo-X, which, as Mel has been telling me repeatedly, was a lot of fun. There were a few moves I had a hard time catching on to, though. Well, that one's repeated every week, even on 'rest' weeks, so I'm sure I'll get it after another try or two.

Thursday I went back in to the clinic for my second T shot. I got the RN going about nutrition, which Edwin enjoyed a great deal. lol. I had asked if I needed more food to deal with increased energy needs and she was like, "I gotta be honest with you, you're overweight, you don't need more food than you're already eating." Later she kind of retracted the statement like, I didn't mean for that to come out like it did, I mean most americans are overweight and the food industry is trying to kill us. Edwin did back me up and was telling her I've been doing really well with eating healthier the past few weeks but later he had fun saying the RN had said I was fat. (I weighed in at ~169, with stuff in my pockets but no shoes)

I think I'd failed to word the question like I meant it in my head. Because I HAVE cut back pretty hardcore on how much I eat and what I do eat tends to be much much healthier than a month or two ago. For example a month ago I was eating a couple eggs with a bunch of cheese and a bagel slathered in cream cheese and 2-3 travelmugs full of coffee with french vanilla coffeemate every day for breakfast. I switched to a couple eggs with just a little cheese and an english muffin with a little jelly and cut back to 1 mug of coffee (still with coffeemate) a day. Now Most mornings I have oatmeal with about a half tablespoon of butter and seasalt, and often don't finish my mug of coffee, which I'm now making with milk instead of coffeemate. I've also been making a much greater effort to have vegetables, particularly green ones, every day, and preferably a few servings a day. Still want to get better about that because vegetables are awesome. Also planning on cutting red meat back to maybe once a week instead of a few times. Even though that makes me sad because cow is delicious.

On the physical change front, I expect to start seeing any potential changes from this shot in the next few days, if the first shot was an indication. That doesn't mean I don't have anything to report- I got my first taste of whoaacne yesterday... not so much visible, but I could definitely feel it, especially after biking to work. I sweat way more now than I used to, which is good in a way because sweating is healthy, but it made my face burn for a while when I first got here.

Also my knees look fat. >8[
At first I was like, I don't remember having such fat knees, wth. But I can feel a lot of muscle under there, so I suspect I'm building muscle way faster than I'm losing the fat sitting on top of it which is sadfunny but also makes me happy because I AM building a lot of muscle, I can feel it. I can feel my external obliques under my lovehandles, which is new for me, and makes me hopeful that I'll have nice visible ex-obs once some of the fat is burned off. External obliques are the sexiest muscle, fyi.

I think my lower legs are looking manlier, too. I've always been pretty happy having monster calves, but it feels like the fat is peeling away there a liiitle faster than elsewhere and I'm starting to have pretty defined lower leg muscles. Like my Tibialis Anterior muscles. Whoa, where did they come from? Also the skin itself seems coarser, like it has a slight 'cracked' texture. The pores and hair follicles are more visible, and it's definitely looking like there's multiple hairs growing from most follicles now, even if they're just like transparent baby hairs at this point, and I don't remember there being hair on my knees before. Exciting.
replacementparts: Smiling dragon, optimism, bright (Default)
Just want to start keeping better track of what I eat and do physically on a daily basis. I'll keep it behind a cut for those not interested.

Read more... )

I intend to edit this post with anything else relevant today (or maybe for the week?).


replacementparts: Smiling dragon, optimism, bright (Default)

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