Friday, April 13, 2012

Flat on my face, learning how to walk

I love taking advice from people who have made mistakes, because anyone who has never fallen down can't really teach you how to walk.

I'd like to offer some advice in that vein. Please bear in mind that free advice is worth what you pay for it and is not as much fun as free love or free beer (although with those you sometimes end up paying quite a bit later, so perhaps the comparison isn't fair).

My favorite bit of free advice comes from the woman who said that if you don't know what soap tastes like, you've never bathed a dog, and my first bit of free advice is along the same lines

If you want to stay dry, don't allow your kids to shower together when they're both in a mood to take on the world. Last night's shower went from howling laughter to bawling tears and back again in under 20 seconds. So, I guess the advice also holds that if you don't want emotional whiplash, don't do this either.

On the upside, the kids mostly had a blast, and are continuing to figure out both how to play with each other and how to push each other's buttons. Not like they needed much help with the latter, but they did hone some skills.

OK, did I just compare my kids to our former dog? Sure, with the one difference being that they don't shed as much. OK, and they don't stand sullen in the tub, tail tucked between their legs, whining until the bath is over when they leap out of the tub, sprint around the room and spray water on everything while drying off.

OK, there are a few differences. On to my second bit of free advice.

If you don't want to get nauseous and exhausted, don't start the South Beach Diet while riding your bike 125 miles per week. Not without some modifications, that is.

Although I'm heavier than I'd like to be, I didn't start--restart, since Mama and I went through this wringer five or so years ago--the SBD to lose weight. I did it to get myself back to basics: less sugar, less processed food, more fruits and veggies, more whole grain and more attention to what I eat in general.

Some parts of my diet haven't changed a bit. I still have an egg for breakfast, although I add spinach to it now, and I have a large salad for lunch, although in phase 1, without berries. For dinner we've been eating different dishes than we typically do, but the contents aren't radically different.

What's changed is that there's, for example, no rice to go with that entree at dinner. No apple with that salad. No bagel with that egg. And it turns out that when you're exercising as much as I am, those little bits of sugar add up into something your body calls energy.

A few nights ago, after reading 3B his bedtime stories at about 7.30, he asked me to snuggle up with him. At about 10.30 I crawled off his bed and into my own. I had crashed and felt like I couldn't move. Then, on top of the fatigue, I started to get bouts of nausea during the afternoon and evening.

Finally, at work yesterday morning, just so I could lift my head off the desk and perform basic functions like keeping my eyes open, I ate an apple, which made a world of difference almost immediately.

Then I did what anyone serious about their health will do--googled around for an answer (we got rid of the original book years ago, keeping only the recipe book). Searching on "SBD phase 1 exercise" did the trick. I learned that it's OK to eat some oatmeal or yogurt before a workout to get that sugar into my system. And that has made all the difference. I'm still somewhat tired and get twinges of the nausea, but I can basically function.

All thanks to someone who went before me and made the same mistake I did of exercising regularly while in phase 1 of the South Beach Diet. So I should be able to make it through this next week and into phase 2 without stealing bagels from my kids' plates.

Although I might throw those bagels at those kids if they behave that way in the shower again.

Papa Bradstein will ride 200 miles across Massachusetts in two days to help fight cancer. Please support his ride.

...Or get new posts via email.

Email address:


  1. Anonymous8:44 AM

    Agree on the SBD. Their official recommendation is no phase 1 for serious athletes anyway. I started SBD in the final taper of marathon training. I only got halfway through day 1 before deciding that phase 1 was a bad idea - especially as a vegetarian - it's less than 1000 calories a day if you follow all the rules (broiled mushroom with a side of vegetables for lunch tipped me over the edge pretty quick). My modification was pretty simple, I moved beans to the unlimited list and went right to phase 2.

    1. One of the reasons Mama chose it back when she did was because it was vegetarian friendly, so they at least have recipes for vegheads. However, for exercising vegheads, yeah, not so much. Consumer Reports reviewed all the big diets back when we first started SBD and it said essentially the same thing, only a little stronger. They said that phase 1 wasn't healthy for anyone, but since it lasts only two weeks, it's not so bad...but be careful. Nice to know your modification if I need more help. So far the oatmeal and yogurt is working.