April's CR Diary

A diary of a 30 year old woman following CRON, or Caloric Restriction with Optimal Nutrition, for health and life extension.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

That was the song playing on my radio this morning as I drove to the office at a quarter to six. Ah, the irony.

One thing I love about my job is that half the people I work with are working night shift at any given time, so I can call them at work and get some work done even in the middle of the night.

My cat woke me up at 3:30 to feed, and since I had been out of cat food the night before, I thought it only reasonable that I get up and find some food for the poor dear. My mother is out of town, so I went to her house and stole some cat food that I will replace. I also fed and petted her cat, to whom she refers as my brother. He does look a lot like me: pale with lots of orange fur. I am taller, which is nice. It's nice to be taller than someone, sometimes.

I have a little extra time to blog due to insomnia, and I have to spend the entire day working today, so I'll take advantage of this time to write some thoughts I've had lately.

Topic 1: Social eating, meal timing, and Zen:

The tactic of fasting all day when I know I'm going to be eating a big meal for dinner seems to work quite well for me in terms of staying on calorie target. After all, it's hard for a small person to eat 1000 calories in one sitting, and since I don't mind the feeling of hunger, I am fine with not eating all day. The only problem is on occasion if I have kept my calories very low for days on end, I start to feel a little shaky when fasting. That's not good if you have to drive a lot, which I do for work, though I don't think I'd mind it much if I didn't have to drive.

However, eating one big meal seems to mess with my Zen. For example: after Friday night's too big eating adventure, I was eager to fast all day yesterday so that I would get my zen back. And it worked: while I woke up feeling the typical high calorie induced anxiety (NOTE: The anxiety is not *about* the high calories, body image, or anything of the sort. I am just as happy with my body at 109 as at 108, so one day doesn't make much of a difference. It's the kind of free-floating, attaches to anything anxiety that people who've had anxiety problems will recognize. One minute, it's about paying my taxes. The next minute, it's about whether or not my hair stylist will like the bottle of wine I gave her for an engagement present.) By about 3 pm, the Zen was back, and I was feeling like my real (post-CR) self. Wow! Happiness. Even though I had a crazy day of running around, working, trying to get everything done for my dinner party, taking my mom to the airport, etc., I was feeling calm and happy.

The anxiety was somewhat back this morning, after one meal that was not over target in and of itself but was definitely larger than what I would normally eat, and not Zoned at all.

I hear Barry Sears giggling in the background.

Anyway, it makes me think that for a while, I might try staying just under target and avoiding the large meals. My anxiety fighting CR side effect is very important with all the work stress I'm under right now, and it might be worth dealing with the Social Struggles that are involved in not eating big social meals.

Which brings us to topic two: Social Struggles.

One of the funny things about writing a blog that can be viewed by the entire world is that you have to assume that anyone could read it, anytime. Therefore, while I make reference to social struggles, I don't go into detail, since I wouldn't want to offend or upset the people involved. I'm very lucky that for the most part, my friends and family are extremely supportive. Reading about people with spouses who dislike CR or its effects and kids who want junk food makes me even more grateful for my supportive social network.

But I have had some social struggles, most of them centered around a) how much weight I've lost b) how differently I eat now from how I ate for many years.

It's funny that some of the controversy would come up around issues like fat. For example, people who knew me as a low fat vegan have reacted very strongly to the sight of me consuming olive oil based salad dressing.

People always ask me things like, "Can you eat that on your diet?" And of course I have to explain for the millionth gazillionth time that CR is not a weight loss diet, that no foods are off limits, blah blah blah.

But my practice of going out once a week and having a big dinner, or fasting all day to stay at target even if I have one meal that is large and full of unusual foods has made it much easier to navigate the complex waters of CR in social situations.

So if I find that keeping my Zen requires me to modify this practice, I think I will have more social struggles. And I'll probably refer obliquely to them in the blog, without detail.

Last night's dinner party:

olive tapenade
sundried tomato goat cheese spread
bread and celery for the dips (I did eat two small slices of bread)
pasta (I ate none of that) with red sauce made of: garlic sauteed in olive oil, red peppers, lots of red wine, tomato paste, capers and broccoli
peanut butter pie

I ate more of the olive tapenade than anything else, but I did have some of the sauce just on the plate, no pasta. I also had a tiny sliver of pie, prompting this exchange:

"Can you have that on your diet?"
"Since I haven't had any food today before dinner, I am fairly sure that even with a tiny sliver of pie, I will be at or about my calorie target."
"I'm not sure that's healthy."

Note: lack of interest in debating the topic. I must have been tired. I changed the topic to EOD fasting and Mattson's rats. Or are they mice? Anyway, I was hanging out last night with some friends I don't see all that often, so it necessitates a level of explanation that my closest friends got months ago and no longer require. In fact, my closest friends hardly ever ask me about food. I guess they hear about it enough without asking!

I was trying to imagine the scene at my dinner party if I had just gone ahead and eaten what I would eat for dinner if I had no company, or CR friendly company. I would have skipped the bread, eaten the tapenade with celery only, probably put the pasta sauce (which had some nice veggies and olive oil) over a bed of greens, and skipped the pie. Not a disaster. I could do it.

Monday night I'm having dinner with an old friend who actually used to be my boss, but was always one of my best friends. He hasn't seen me since early April, which was like 25 pounds ago. That should be interesting. We're going out to dinner, and I wonder how I will navigate. I'll let you know. I had been planning on making that my dinner out over target night, but in light of Friday and my Zen issues, I don't think I can do that. I need to find a place that has a really good entree salad, and where eating more than one course won't be expected.

I was planning to do some archives research this morning, but the archives seem to be having problems. Talk about an anxiety producing situation!

Today I'll be at work most of the day and evening, but *as far as I know* I'll be in the office, so I should have fairly good control over the day's food. I need to go back to my happy foods like eggwhites and non-fat plain yogurt with veggies. I am going to try to make and tupperware up most of the week's lunches this morning before I come back into the office. I need an answer to my flax oil storage question, and the archives are down! Help!

More soon.


  • At 5:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Stealing Cat Food or Safely in Karlsruhe--
    German keyboards are different.....kezboards would be the waz I#d tzpe this in Phillz. Donät worrz about the brother cat. He shares well.
    Talk about CR Strange--trz an all night flight to Europe. Good thing I had mz healthz snacks, but I longed for All Whites--eggs that is.
    Anzwaz--this is cool. Off to mz meeting. VSM-- Very Skinny Mom


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