Author Topic: Moonbeam's Hormesis Life Improvement Plan  (Read 8293 times)

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Hello
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2010, 10:19:16 AM »
Moonbeam, glad to hear things are going well for you.  I glanced back at the original plan you wrote on April 24:

I shall begin my hormesis life improvement plan as applied to diet by using the principles of:

1)   Intermittent fasting, by encouraging a morning fast and introducing an unpleasant yet healthy element by making the first meal of the day sardines.

2)   Deconditioning, by exposing myself to delicious food, and then eating something as non-tasty yet paleo-compliant as I can.  

I will do these things for three weeks before deciding on the next step.


It looks to me like your plan is working quite well!

Offline Moonbeam

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Re: Hello
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2010, 06:59:49 AM »
It really is Todd; thanks a lot.  I finished "Ready, Set, Go!" and have been reading a lot at Fitness Black Book.  The IF is easier than I thought it would be, and I think not eating before and after my workouts, both the AM treadmill and the evening lifting, finally started making the difference.  That, combined with a little philosophical strength of mind from the stoicism, etc. keeping me on track with the food.








Offline Moonbeam

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Re: Hello
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2010, 03:50:30 PM »
An update--everything is going well.  I am enjoying the morning interval workouts a lot more than I thought I would, and it really makes a difference.  I continue with the sardine diet, and that helps me fast til 10:00 or 12:00, then I only eat for four hours after that.  In just a couple weeks I'm in better shape than I've been for a long time.

I haven't psyched myself up for the cold showers yet.  It's weird because that was always the thing that I felt grateful for; it's like all of society and technology and modern life can be summed up in the fact that we have dependable hot water--it's the epitome of luxury, in a way, it's an example of how even the poorest people have better stuff now than royalty used to have; I've thought that a lot in the morning, when it's cold and that's the first thing I do.  That probably doesn't make much sense.  What I mean is, if you appreciate the simple things in life, which we should, hot water is one of them.  It would be so sad to give it up.... :-\

I re-read the opposition-process theory, and I think it's true...one of these days soon I'll try it. :'(

Oh, I'm reading Irvine's other book, "On Desire".  It's good too.

Offline jared33

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Re: Hello
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2010, 08:05:33 PM »
Sounds great, Moonbeam. Glad to hear you are getting in good shape.  Have you lost any weight with the sardine diet, or are you mainly just feeling more fit?

I also am not sure I could give up warm showers. But I've also being thinking about other ways to apply the opponent-process theory. For me, I do this by pushing myself harder in my workouts than I otherwise would, really pushing myself beyond what is comfortable, but without risking actual injury. I find that I  paradoxically feel really good later that day or the next day when I have pushed myself hard.


Offline Moonbeam

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Re: Moonbeam's Hormesis Life Improvement Plan
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2010, 06:11:12 PM »
Hey Todd, Jared, and everybody.  :)  Sorry to be gone so long (I got busy, work stuff, and I get out of the habit of stopping by, yada yada yada) but I've kept the ideas in mind and I'm doing pretty well.  

The sardine-diet has evolved into the four-hour/day diet (with occasional lapses, right now doing really well again for several weeks).  I don't need to make myself eat sardines first to be able to wait til later in the day to eat, and whenever I start eating I make sure to quit by four hours later.  That usually means a meal and a snack later, or sometimes a snack first and then the meal later.  I eat anywhere from 12-4:00 PM, or sometimes just cram it in between 3:00 and 4:00.  I have more energy at work when I'm not eating, and then enough strength to do weights in the evening after digesting for a couple hours.

Diet composition is pretty good; not totally paleo, but I'm not eating sweets for the most part.  I have to make my meals pretty high-quality so as not to get too hungry later or the next morning; something big and filling for the meal, with a lot of protein, and a healthy snack like berries and nuts and yogurt.  I tried occasionally to have a candy snack or something like that, but that really makes it too hard.  It doesn't last and I'm hungry later on, because it's not a good quality food.  However, on Fridays I like to put off eating til after work and stop and get some kind of treat (like hummus and a bag of rice chips or crackers, and eat the whole thing in the car on the way home!).  I could probably drink a little less too, and I'm not good about keeping that in my four-hour windows, but somehow I decided straight hard liquor isn't food, only beer or mixed drinks are, so it drinking that doesn't count.  Probably not logic working there.

The early AM interval exercising is not going so well.  I have a couple weeks on, then several weeks off.  I can't seem to get in a good habit.  Autumn always kind of sucks for me because I'm hit with allergies, then I take anti-histamines which I blame for making me lazy.   But I'm not going to give up; every week I make a new commitment.  One of these days maybe it will take.  I should get to bed earlier, that would make it easier.  I need to do what jared said--it does make me feel better when I do it.

Well anyway I think a limited time period for eating during the day is a pretty effective way to lose or maintain fat, without messing up your exercise.  Plus you can get away eating with a few things that you normally wouldn't be able to eat on a strict diet--you just have to figure out how much or what kinds of food are OK for you to eat.  I'm sure different people can get away with more or less during the four hours.  For me, 6 days of "healthy" food allows me one day of "junk" food (but still that day it's only one meal, so the damage is limited.)  You enjoy your food a lot more when you limit it to short period of time, so you don't feel like eating "bad" stuff as much.  Also, because it is more flexible in what you can eat, since you are automatically eating less, you can adapt it to eating out or whatever you may need to do--just make that your time to eat for that day.  So I like it; I plan on continuing this forever.  (Thanks to Martin at Leangains, Brad Pilon, every intermittent fasting thing I've read.)

It's hard at first, but gets easier as time goes by.  There is an energy and calmness at the same time when you don't think about eating til it's time.  Then you eat, and enjoy it a lot.

No cold showers yet.  :-\   Re-reading the Irvine's Guide to the Good Life--good stuff.  Good to keep in mind.  

Well let me see what else has been going on here since I've been gone!  :)
« Last Edit: October 14, 2010, 06:13:35 PM by Moonbeam »

Offline jared33

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Re: Moonbeam's Hormesis Life Improvement Plan
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2010, 10:32:07 AM »
Nice to hear your update, Moonbeam.  Your approach sounds basically like fast-5 (or maybe fast-4!). That is working well for me to, and I think Jaye and Todd and others.  I really agree with your comment that it gets easier with time and that there is "an energy and calmness at the same time when you don't think about eating".  That is so true.

I don't think I could run every morning either. I usually run twice a week, once on the weekend and once during my lunch hour at work (if I'm skipping lunch). I have read a lot of the same sites as you, and I don't think you need to exercise every day, as long as you exercise hard one or two days each week. Rest and recovery is as important as the exercise itself, and I think some people burn out on too much exercise.
 
I see in your note above something about trying what I said, but I can't remember what I recommended to do -- so please do remind me!

jared

Offline Moonbeam

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Re: Moonbeam's Hormesis Life Improvement Plan
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2010, 06:21:43 PM »
Lol, hey Jared, at first I was totally blanking about what I meant, but I realize now.  I meant pushing myself in running, and how it sucks at the time but feels good later.  That is for sure an opponent-process thing; I feel so light when I get to work, and running up the stairs is so easy, and my mood is great--if I get up and run first.  If I don't, I'm trudging in, plodding up the stairs.

RE fast-5, that style of eating:  When I was younger, after I was a kid and my Mom quit fixing my meals for me, all the time I was a teenager and in my 20's, I ate one meal a day almost all of the time.  I never had any trouble with gaining weight whatsoever back then; I was extremely thin without exercising.  I'm ectomorphic and not naturally athletic AT ALL, it's a huge struggle for me, but I am extremely worried what would happen to me [cough] dissolve into a pile of jello [/cough] if I didn't lift weights, so that come easily--it's the aerobics that is hard to force myself to do.

Today, my BF (on and off his diet, I guess off today) randomly asked if I wanted to go to the Chinese buffet for lunch.  I said sure, no big deal, I can do that without destroying my diet for the whole friggin day (or maybe week).  So I went and filled up one huge plate with semi-healthy food (lots of veggies, but also some crab rangoon, egg foo yung gravy, etc), and then went back for a little bit of the apple cobbler.  Not a diet meal, but it is if that's all I eat, it works fine.  So it's a natural and adaptable way to eat, once you get in the habit of it.  You just don't expect to eat any breakfast, and your first meal is going to be a big one that lasts for a while. 

How do you do it?  I mean, do you eat one big meal in the five hours, or do you eat a few smaller ones?  (I can't recall if you have a thread about this, I'll go look and see.)

Offline jared33

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Re: Moonbeam's Hormesis Life Improvement Plan
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2010, 09:27:50 AM »
Moonbeam,

Thanks for reminding me of what I said...yep, I think that the biggest problem with exercise is getting motivated to do it when you are out of practice. But you have to remind yourself of how good it makes you feel later.  What I learned from reading about the opponent process is that you can expect it gets easier and more enjoyable to exercise the more frequently you do it, and the initial hesitancy gets less with time.  I only exercise 2 or 3 days a week, but I don't think you have to exercise every day to get the benefits, in fact that might actually backfire.

As to your question, think I eat more or less the same as you, except I tend to eat two fairly decent sized meals at lunch and dinner and nothing in between. I'm not a nibbler, because snacking seems to just stoke my hunger.  And I'd rather not think about food all day, I'd rather just look forward to a good sized dinner and I know that's gonna make me happy.  It becomes a routine and you just find you don't eat between meals.  I don't always keep it strictly to 5 hours, sometimes I eat lunch at noon and have dinner as late as 7-8 p.m.  Sometimes I have a small breakfast on the weekend and that doesn't seem to mess things up.

jared