Mary Alice H.

Mary Alice H.

Way Better!

This week was much, much better than the last couple. Kim and the nutritionists helped sort out my diet, so I had a bunch more energy, was watching the fat come off again, and did a bit better at night.

Much of the week I was still waking up hungry (but no longer starving at least), but last night I tried banana as my evening fruit, and that seems to have done that trick when combined with some yogurt, and I slept great last night.

So, here's to a strong final two weeks!

Slow and steady

This week has been good in terms of being able to stick to the plan--no visitors and no travel. While I'm feeling confident that I'll see good results by day 90 because I'm already seeing good results now, I find that I'm becoming more ambitious. I feel like I might not get good results, I might get amazing results.

But, I kind of feel like things might be stalling. The diet isn't working anymore because I keep waking up in the middle of the night starving, and last week I was lethargic and lightheaded. The no-carb, no-fat, no-protein. (other than a single egg white) isn't cutting it. I want to finish strong, but I'm feeling weak. Hopefully a couple of minor tweaks will set me right.

Breakfast Fritata

My new zero carb (Kenzai carbs) breakfast: Sauté onions and garlic. Zap chopped potato and carrots in microwave for about a minute. Add mushrooms and peppers to pan and sauté (cover if needed). Add softened potatoes and carrots. Add pepper and oregano (or any spices you like). Mix 3 eggs with about 1/4 cup of milk and add to pan. Turn heat down and cover until egg is cooked (or put in a preheated oven). Remove from pan and slice like pizza. Makes 3 servings. When ready to eat in the morning, add a dollop of canned speghetti/tomato sauce, microwave to warm, and serve. You won't miss that toast. 😉


I finally did a full 3 min set without tripping!!!! In case it works for others, I focused on a single visual point and concentrated on my breathing, counting my breaths in counts of 10. Before I knew it the timer said I had 40s left. I thought, "I'm going to do this. Today's the day." And it was 😊

ATM thinking

I really appreciated the lesson on ATM thinking and felt it at work this week. On Wed night I was invited out for a work dinner that a) I couldn't refuse and b) was the best Korean food I've ever eaten. I could keep the carbs low, and I just had one small piece of each dish, but it was hugely rich and. very protein heavy. I thought that one meal might sink my progress for the week, but it didn't! I just picked up where I left off and it was fine! In fact, after six weeks I'm FINALLY starting to see and feel some real reaults.

Asian Slaw

My new breakfast veggie: Asian slaw. Shredded--Chinese cabbage, red cabbage, carrots. Apple and rice wine vinegar. I added a pinch of salt, a pinch of sesame seeds, and about 1/2 tsp of sesamie oil, figuring that they'd be largely insignificant when spread over 6+cups of slaw and they add a lot to the flavour, but you could remove those for full compliance if you like. Very yummy and gets yummier over time in the fridge.

Plugging Away

Like many of you I'm plugging away this week. While I know in my head this is a long haul program and we're at the worst section now--lots of hard work and (at least for me) only a teeny tiny bit to show for it--I'm just trying to keep my head down and keep going.

I know that if I just stick it out I'll see results at the end. I can feel myself getting stronger. I know it is working on the inside, it is just going to take time to show up on the outside and on the scale. At the same time, I feel those creeping doubts--I really don't look that terrible as is, do I really need to put myself through all this? Maybe I should just be more self-accepting and become satisfied with how I am rather than trying to change how I've looked for decades.

Fortunately, I can be fairly stubborn, and since I started with a goal, I'm determined not to give up until I've done my best to reach it. So, I'm doing my best not to think too much--just stick to the plan and keep going. Once I see some better results, which are inevitable if I can stick with it, I'll be able to be motivated by success. Until then, I'm just going to keep plugging away...

Yippee! I managed all the skips and had no knee pain today. I'm still not able to do more than about 50 in a row with the new foot placement or with alternating feet, but I'm confident I'll get there quickly. My skipping location is outside near a highly reflective patio door that lets me watch my feet while skipping, which is very helpful.

Doing OK with food during the visit with friends. I'm managing pretty close to last week's diet--breakfast and lunch are perfectly on plan, and dinner is small in portion size and near zero carbs. We'll see if I can make any progress by next week, but at least I don't think I'm backsliding.

The good news first--I think I solved my skipping problem! I thought maybe I could solve the problem if I could teach my self to jump with alternating feet, since I don't have an issue if I land on one foot rather than two. I watched this video ( and noticed that his feet are right next to each other when he jumped with two feet. Brilliant--my feet can't curve inward if they're pressed against another foot. Then, I saw this one ( which was actually helpful for alternating jumps. Yesterday I got through 800 of my 1000 jumps. I probably could have done more, but I didn't want to push it too much. Today I should be able to do all 1000. :-)

The bad news--I'm on the egg white+apple+banana for dinner diet. ;-( I heard about this possibility and wasn't really looking forward to it. Sadly for compliance, I'm traveling all of this week visiting a friend and staying at her house. There is no way I'm going to be able to eat this for dinner without offending my hosts. I don't think I'll have too much trouble sticking pretty close to last week's no-carb, low protein, lots of veg dinner. So, I'll just have to do last week's diet for one extra week before switching to this one.

Ah well. Maybe I won't make much progress this week, but I'm determined not to backslide. On the upside, I should get lots of exercise during the week since rather than sitting at my desk most of the day I'm going to be running around the beach and exploring the hills in western Australia with my kids. We'll see where things are a week from now.

So last week a messed up my knee and realized it was the jump rope. Kim suggested that I take a video of myself skipping to help figure out what was wrong. Sure enough, it became obvious.

Apparently when I skip rope, instead of jumping straight up and down, like I do when I hop or jump, I do a little flip of my ankles, turning my feet inwards towards each other such that the soles of my feet almost touch, before going back out to land. I must be self-consciously trying to avoid the rope with the edges of my feet. While this is no big deal if my feet actually make it to a fully flat position before landing--like they do when I'm fresh--it is not good if I land on the side of my feet, thereby putting a lot of pressure on my ankle and the outside of my knee, which is probably what happened last week when I wreaked my knee.

So, no problem, I think, I'll just jump straight up and down. I can't jump in front of a mirror, so I set up my laptop, so I could see the screen while the camera can see my feet. I take some jumps without the rope. No problem feet flat, all good. I use the rope, there curve my feet, and I trip. Drat. Stay flat I tell my feet. I jump again. They curve again. Stay Flat! I yell at my feet. I jump again. They curve again. I put down the rope and jump a few times. Flat, no problem. I get the rope, they curve. *sigh*

After 20 minutes of one jump at a time, I think I managed five whole jumps where my feet stayed flat, and I didn't get two in a row. Those were five jumps where my feet stayed flat, I cleared the rope once, but then I caught it on the second jump.

Ugh. I feel like I'm back to day one of skipping. I guess I'll be continuing with my alternative cardio for a while while I work to re-learn how to jump rope, since I definitely don't have the patience to do 850 skips one-skip-at-a-time. *sigh*

On the up side, my knee feels better, and I'm no longer worried that I'm going to do permanent damage to myself. I just have to get that foot to STAY FLAT!

So, I rallied to do 300 at one go again yesterday and found my form falling apart toward the end as expected. I took a break and then was ready to go for 200, but discovered that my knee was really, really sore. I stopped jumping to make sure I didn't injure it any more. By the end of the day I was really hobbling. This morning it still felt quite tender and twisted.

I don't think I've injured it too badly, a combination of ice and ibuprofen has improved things, but I believe I've now answered my last skipping question, at least for me.

I need to stop the minute my form falls apart. My knees weren't all that great to begin with, so I definitely don't want to damage them. I felt totally fine when my reps were 100 at a go, and I really like the efficiency of skipping, so I don't want to give it up completely.

I'm talking several days off of jumping to make sure the knee heals, and when I go back I'm sticking to a max of 100 at a go for a while. I'm going to be a lot more careful adding jumps to a single set from here on out.

Hopefully, over time I'll still get to that 500+ all at once, but I recognize that it is going to take longer than I had initially thought.

So today I made it through a first set of 300, tripping only a few times. Took a 30 second break, and then tried for 200. It was a disaster. I could hardly manage 20 at a single go without tripping, and I had several stretches where I couldn't get more than three at a time. After that 200 I took a minute or maybe it was even 1.5 min rest. I was then able to go a whopping 140 without stopping once.

So, here's the question: As I'm trying to get better, is it better to take longer breaks between sets so my form is better, or should I just struggle through, keeping the heart rate up the whole time but having my form fall apart?

I really felt like I was getting the hang of the diet by the end of last week, and there was really only a slight change from Week 2 to Week 3, so I got lazy. Monday afternoon, since weighing everything all the time is a pain, and I remembered that my apple was "about" the right weight for my snack, I didn't bother weighing. Same for my evening snack.

Tuesday morning at 2am I woke up STARVING. I was so hungry I couldn't fall back asleep, so I went to the kitchen at 3am and ate a non-authorized apple, fell into a bad sleep at 3:30 but was up for the day and hungry before 5:00. Not a good night.

Tuesday I vowed to weigh everything, but I didn't stick to the measurements. Similar to Monday, I wasn't really hungry for afternoon snack, so when my pear weighed in only 30 grams less than what I was supposed to have, I thought it was close enough. At lunch my piece of bread was only 20 grams less than was called for, so it too was deemed close enough. But dinner is small now, and no carbs! So, I was hungry when dinner was done. And, still hungry when evening snack was done. I ended up having a second evening snack (50g or so more of fruit) so I didn't have the problems of the 2am wakeup again. It worked, sort of. This time I didn't wake at 2am, but I did wake at 4:30 (an hour earlier than I usually rise).

So, on Wednesday I was ultra-vigilant--measured everything, ate everything when I was supposed to. Slept like a baby.

Moral of the story: Don't skimp on snack!

(Also, I'm just as challenged as everyone else with the 600 jumps. Monday I was doing 6x100 and now I'm up to 3x200 with only a few trips here and there, so I'm feeling pretty good. Hopeful that I'll be up to 2x300 by the weekend. Sadly, I expect it will be a very long time, if ever, that I'll be able to do 600 all at one go.)


I've been lucky that the diet part hasn't been too hard for me. I had a bit of trouble with all the dairy in the morning, but I made a kind of lassi drink mixing yogurt and milk and then added some cinnamon, and it was yummy. I've also found that cinnamon added to my oatmeal makes it much less boring.

Mostly, for breakfast I've usually been eating an english muffin (turns out to be exactly my proscribed number of carbs) with a lightly fried egg (I've got a nonstick pan, so don't really have to use oil to fry it). The yolk makes the muffin less dry. For veggies I just have a salad (with extra cukes to add weight ;-) ). I've found that I like the Asian habit of salad for breakfast, so it doesn't bother me.

The only challenge I've had so far was a business lunch. I couldn't weigh anything, but I just did my best and moved on. It's only one meal/snack out of 42 for the week, so I'm not that worked up about it.

My stomach bug came back with a vengeance, and I spent all of Friday in bed. *sigh* Downside--no workout. Upside--leaving 25% behind was super easy as I basically didn't eat.

Fortunately, it seems to have passed quickly, and while not 100%, I'm much better today and got the workout in (even had my boys join!).




Kenzai Body
Kenzai Body