Monday, January 21, 2013

Serotonin Power Diet, Phase 2

Scott and I completed the Serotonin Surge phase of the Serotonin Power Diet.  We had a fairly successful Phase 1, and are moving on to Phase 2.  I have lost 6 pounds, and Scott has lost 9 pounds.  I have been exercising, and he has not.  Yup, typical dude.  The most important, we both really have been feeling the effects of changing our diet...not only what we eat but when we eat certain things, like protein and carbs.

As we enter Phase 2, it is recommended that we eliminate the evening snack.  It was carbs eaten a few hours after dinner.  I will say, I liked that snack, as I was a habitual evening snacker.  I felt like the diet was not making me sacrifice that.  The authors say that, if your cravings come back and you need the snack to calm them, go back to Phase 1.  We shall see.  Tonight is the first night without it.  After two weeks, the brain is allegedly trained to allow serotonin flow.

We also get to add a small amount of protein back into our dinner.  Tonight: chicken tacos!  I get 2 ounces of meat, and Scot gets 4 ounces.

I am getting about 3-4 workouts in during the week.  I am trying to mix cardio and weight training as much as I can.  That seems to be working well.

So, good news from here!  I am off to make egg white omelets for lunch.  Scott is home sick with a cold, and we are all off enjoying MLK's birthday.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Timeline in Pictures

Ignatius Scott Plato
Age: 7 Months, July 1997
Talents: Rolling over, sucking fingers, eating toes

Monday, January 7, 2013

Serotonin Power Diet, Day 1

Today I began the Serotonin Power Diet.  My goals:
  • To curb binge eating urges brought on by stress and my brain's reaction to my antidepressant.
  • To reel in harmful eating habits that I have acquired.  
  • To try to control nutrition to increase my body's ability to calm itself.
  • To keep from gaining any more weight, and to hopefully lose at least what I have gained since August.
I powered up my Lose It! app again.  Thank God it doesn't say something like, "Oh, it's YOU again!" when I open it. It welcomed me with open arms, well, OK, that's hyperbole.  However, some mechanism for tracking is quite welcome.  Being the data-phile that I am, I also love the stats I get with Lose It!.  Below shows today's breakdown.

I know, all the protein lovers out there just gasped.  However, the first two weeks are quite low in protein.  The diet consists of precariously placed carbs throughout the day, especially at dinner.  The vegetable part is my worst.  I am trying.  I got more vegetables in my system today than I have in a very long time.  In all, 1513 calories were consumed, I was honest with my tracking, and I stayed true to the diet (except for a couple of mints which were necessary after the onions at lunch, trust me).

Scott insists he feels better.  For me, it's hard to judge since I am presently medicated and since I feel like I am coming down with a cold.  Plus today was the first day back to "work" after two weeks at home.  Many shocks hit this system.

A really hard thing for me is the desire (not need) to snack.  We just finished a snack full of pure carbs: toasted marshmallows!  Still, I find that I have to retrain my brain to not want to eat while I work at night.  Wish me luck!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Oh, No You Di-in't

Yep, I did.

Last year, I started a journey with Cathy Zielske's Move More, Eat Well 2012.  I lasted through March, and then fell off the scrapbooking wagon.  In fact, I fell off a couple wagons.

I had successfully (?) gotten back into some rotten habits with workaholism.  And I slowly felt the insidious crud known as depression trying to grab hold again.  I was knee-deep in a Master's program, and looking down the barrel of having very little down time.  Then, when my grandmother died this summer, it sealed the depression deal: back to meds I went.

The idea of "catching up" with the Zielske and Edwards albums was daunting.  I thought they were doable because they were once a month and relatively painless.  And yet, I could not seem to keep up.  I allowed life to get in the way.

So, I decided 2 things: 1. I will be working on my Strength album to complete that over the course of the next several months. 2. I will re-commit to MMEW 2.0, this year's version with Cathy.  Wha?  So, you screwed up last year and now you are doing it again?

Well, Cathy shared that last year she gained 10 pounds.  She was leading a class of 1500 people, and she found the struggle to be a big one.  I am looking at the cusp of a weight gain that has a lot to do with being back on meds, and an equal amount to do with me and this weird brain of mine.  She was honest and real on her blog.  I respect that.

So, this journey will be tacked into last year's scrapbook, and we begin anew, this year embarking on the Serotonin Power Diet to see if I can target the area that most wishes to do me harm: the chemicals in my brain.  And I am committing to documenting WHATEVER.  If I am successful, it will be in there.  Unsuccessful--> it's going in.  I am embracing the journey, already moving quite a bit, thanks very much, but certainly NOT eating well.  This will be my year to change those habits, hopefully for good.  Or at least become aware of what is going on with me.

So, off I go!  Move More Eat Well 2.0.  Let's see where this adventure leads.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

An Open Letter to Sara Burnett

Regarding your Associated Press article published in the Pantagraph, page A4, Tuesday, January 1, 2013:

Clarification #1: Springfield is the capital of Illinois, not Chicago. If you plan to write an article about what Illinois lawmakers are discussing, it might be more credible to report from the primary source.

Clarification #2: Omitted from your article was the decision to offer early retirement incentives for the last 20-some years. The lawmakers figured that if the highest paid teachers retired, the State's underfunding of education would not look as disgusting as it was. Breakthroughs in medical science have allowed these teachers to live decades longer than anticipated. Therefore, yes, there are LOTS of healthy, retired, Baby-Boomin' teachers in our state. Yeah for them! Oopsie for the legislators.

Clarification #3: I was saddened by your bias in adding that, if IL legislators honor the Constitution of the State (my words, sorry), money would be necessarily taken from education and health care. That is already coming, so associating paying retirees the money owed to them would cut this funding is irresponsible on your part. IL neglected to place the money that was taken from teacher paychecks and invest it as it was legally obligated to do. If this were a company, we would be forming an "Occupy Springfield" movement and shunning its CEOs. Teachers will now, thanks to the November vote, be giving IL MORE money toward a fictitious pension that it has already mishandled.

Clarification #4: Richard Dye (whomever he is) is quoted in your article (was he even talking about teacher pensions?) as saying, "It's a culture of 'Where's mine?'" Actually, that IS my question. Where is my money that I put into my pension? Teachers spend careers teaching students the importance of being fair and just. Are you feeling the irony? I paid nothing into Social Security after 1999 through no choice of my own. I am told the money I put in to SS for 15 years I will not see and my husband and dependents will not see. Does that sound just?

Clarification #5: Look at a map. Don't rely only on suburban Chicago legislators as your source. In my School Finance class I learned that several suburbs of Chicago can finance themselves and need no funding from the state. We are bleeding south of I-80.

I look forward to seeing your report from the teachers taking days from their (unpaid) "vacations" to speak to legislators this Thursday and Friday. I spell my name with a capital L and two n's.


JoLynn Plato
IL teacher for 21 years