Fiera Fights Back


Well-known member
Bottom Up

I have reached a "strategic inflection point'.

Just arrived home from an 11-day stay in FL with my Dad and his partner, Peaches. Longest ever. The thought of re-entry into my empty home life triggered a hollow sickness in my stomach. Life in FL - their household, their lifestyle - was colorless and not my own. Everything constantly revolves around food, television, Dad's wants/needs, and his temper. While there were some good times of connection, in general I felt broken, emotionally dependent, and unable to think clearly. My sense of myself as an independent being with wants and needs became subordinated and then lost. WTF.

So WHAT is going on Fiera? An inventory reveals...

Physical condition (low energy, clothes don't fit, very overweight/unfit, piriformis issues, constraints of sun sensitivity and glasses)
Emotional condition (flat, ashamed, depressed, detached)
Circumstances (caretaking responsibilities, KDog dying, disconnected from friends and pleasurable activities, house issues).

I finished reading a memoir written by GB. Some of the times, places, and circumstances overlapped with my own life 30 years ago. As I read the arc of her story, I reflected upon my own. It struck me that hanging on to my history - while there are aspects I cherish - doesn't serve me in the struggle to make a meaningful life in the present and future. I'm tired of struggling. I'm tired of my house taking up so much mental and emotional (and financial!) bandwidth. I'm tired of the navel gazing as I work to resolve childhood trauma. I am tired of paralysis. I have been stuck here for too long. It is time to take action.

As GB said, paraphrased "How can you be a fist if you are always hiding in shadow?"

It seems that if I want to get back to a life worth living - a connected life, with joy and activity and emotion and confidence - I need to FIGHT like my life depends upon it. Fight for fitness - mental, physical, and emotional. Fight for love and joy and connectedness. Stop wondering WHY things happened or HOW I ended up here, and just FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!! Let's Go!!

Starting a Prolon 5-Day program tomorrow. It's challenging, but it really helps the mental clarity (after the keto flu part lol).

Continue the daily walking started in FL. 10,000 steps a day.

Rid myself of obstacles - sentimental ones especially - which no longer serve me. People, objects, thought patterns. Listen to my gut.

PAG made me feel good with a nod credit on his video game, and he will stop by tomorrow evening to show the game to me. Connect! Joy! He said I gave him the idea a few months back to include the and it makes it a much better game. Cool!

Fitness Goal: Drop 20 pounds before my trip to Iceland/Ireland in 16 weeks and be in much better walking/hiking condition. :D I just sketched that trip idea out during the flight home. Now I need to plan and book it. Anyone want to come to Iceland?

Starting weight will be added tomorrow morning! Unofficially 192.5 this eve,
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Day 1 FMD
SW: 192.5
BMI: 35.2

Weight was still at 192.5 exactly this morning so using that as official.

Good to start the 5-day FMD when I came home to an empty fridge. Fewer temptations. I also put Proggy on notice to set expecations around any meet ups. He decided it would be better to not meet up until after I am done. HA! At least he is supportive as he knows I am really struggling with weight.

Putting intermittent fasting windows around food consumption should help. Like waiting until noon to eat and then having small meals until 6 or 8P. Sleeping a lot and keeping my mind occupied also help.

I woke up again to pain/tightness in my leg, so out with the massager. When the tightness is bad, I get stabbing pains in my lower back. It is taking a long time to resolve, I may make an appointment with chiro/massage for next week.
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Exercise: 1.5M early walk
Sun is out and it is a gorgeous bright cool day! I will walk some more after lunch.

Looked up airfare etc and think Proggy and I may choose to road trip with a rental car instead. It is about 20 hours to get to his cousin in Albuquerque and we could just hang there or head to catch some cactus league baseball. He is challenging to make plans with but the ball is in his court now.

I am finding it also difficult to pick a project and focus on it. Not sure whether it is because the FMD frees up cooking/food prep time or whether it's about having too many things on the plate with no glaring priority. I will unpack, start laundry, then go get tax stuff organized.
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Started laundry, ran updates on computer, and stalled out trying to reconcile my financial software to my brokerage accts. Triggering to deal both with glitches and reinforcement that my financial strategy is not working. Gah. It's like I came home and found an elephant in my living room. So taking a break from it.

FMD is going OK. The soups are getting harder to eat, they contain potato starch and rice flour for bulk; taste and texture are off putting, The program does work tho.

Missed the offshoot (pirate) meditation group last week and this due to trip. Boy that practice really helps. I feel like I am blocking a lot though. Blocking versus calm abiding. Perhaps practice leader can offer suggestions.


While on my trip, Irish Friend posted that her primary companion dog for the past 10+ years had to be pts for an untreatable facial tumor. Now Pixy messaged me from the vet saying that her sweet GP has reached her own has been a battle with tick borne disease and medical mysteries for a couple of years, and the dog has lost weight and become very weak. Just sad for them both, even as I emerge from the worst grief of my own KDog passing away. All 3 of us are experienced pet owners, and I think that having dealt with pet loss numbers of times over helps us be more accepting. But it is still hard.

On top of all that, EF, who lost her ex-hubby/father of her kids a few months ago, is going through another loss. This time, the mother of her ex-hubby, which, while she was not a pleasant person, still is another loss for her kids to navigate. So just sending a little love out to my hurting friends today.

Waiting to chat with Proggy, and then PAG comes over later tonight. I feel off kilter without food. Weird, eh?

Well, time to get moving again (FIGHT!).
Day 2 FMD
Weight 189.7 (THERE is the post-pizza drop, ha)
Early headache, resolved w 8 oz coffee permitted

Was impatient w Proggy yesterday afternoon, frustrated w vacation plan making, though I know his job situation is causing it to be extra difficult to make decisions. I resent spending my own time trying to research options when the time frame and expense and destination are opaque. We of course smoothed it over before bed time.

Nice visit with PAG. He demoed his game, which seems to me to be pretty good. He made me laugh, which is also good. 🙂 His grooming habits seem to be slipping again now that he lives solo. But he seems quite happy and doing OK financially.

Dreams! Possibly fast-related, or because I slept w tv on and awakened intermittently. Of course they fade but one occurred on a excursion to an unfamiliar outdoor mall at night. We found a loose rescue dog from our group and contacted the owners. I spent time walking around while on phone with them trying to find a landmark which would tell them where to meet us. "Us" being vague but there were I think 2 people, the male was just there in beginning and peeled off, the female was a rescue friend (not anyone in particular). There were a lot of additional details but nothing compelling. It was just a dream - but for me any dream is interesting because they rarely arise to my conscious mind. So Yay!

Also, when I awoke (a bit after 5), after I got done remembering dreams, I suddenly was hit with a wave of anguish, missing my mom fiercely and then getting mad at her for leaving me 20+ years ago so I have to take care of my Dad today. As quickly as I lashed out and accused her of being selfish, I retracted it. She was fairly incapacitated and suffering with pain; she never would have been able to lift a finger to help. She could not have foreseen, certainly I never foresaw, that my Dad would end up with long term chronic illness. Anyway, a likely emotional swing due to fasting which came and went quickly. Took me by surprise though. I don't think I ever resented her death in that way.

TBH, I would rather have emotional moments from time to time rather than the dull numbness. Brain/body feeling a bit crisper and clearer this morning. Sun is out! Again! Lucky! Looking forward to a beautiful (and hopefully not too crabby) day!
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Ran a few errands - bank, and emissions test on way to indoor walking was too nice a day so I looked for an outdoor place. Found a little nature center, Walked the paved part but not the earthen part due to having my best running shoes on I did not want to muddy them up. It was only about a .5 mile and I didn't feel like doing loops. The forest preserve I had in mind seemed too far a drive so I ended up at FG on the way home. Did about 1/3 mile there and realized I just didn't have the energy. I had only had 1/2 bar for lunch and nothing since 6PM the night before. So gently observed the gorgeous nakedness of trees and river on sunny pre-spring day, and trod the 1/3 back even more slowly. About a mile total. I picked up the house earlier for the D-dash (cleaning lady) and made one more stop on the way home. I didn't get my 10K steps in yesterday so I hope I can find the 2nd wind after I have had more to eat.

In the woods, I keenly felt the absence of KDog in exploring a new place. What an eager explorer she was! How I relied upon her for companionship and security! How different it feels to walk alone, more tentative, less fun, less secure. I will have to get out of my comfort zone a bit to meet some hiking friends, but I have a meet up group I can use for a start. And of course Proggy occasionally. I walk so slow now I will have to find folks who don't mind a casual pace.

Re day 2: Today is the beginning of transition to ketosis. It was interesting to observe my mind directing my attention to many food sources...from restaurants I drove by, to the tinned ham on the counter in the grocery store. So far, the impulses are relatively weak. However, I am heading into the time period where I cracked last time. I cannot recall whether it was the evening of D2 or the morning of D3. Getting my "FIGHT" mentality on!

I am definitely seeing a reduction in inflammation...belly, gut, thighs. It is very motivating!
Day 3 FMD
Weight 187.8

Was surprised to get a D2 drop, over 4 lbs lost in total. I Really don't expect more as this program is about autophagy versus weight loss. Still, it is really a noticeable difference to get rid of all that swelling. I am more comfortable for sure. Yay!

Today is FMD hump day. There is much to do yet I want to go back on the couch, asleep under a blanket where there is no food to tempt me. Am very aware that this is where I cracked last time. Since hiding from the world is not a long term strategy I do expect to get out of the house at some point today. Proggy has wisely suggested that we not get together until after I am done with FMD.
Oh dear...just opened the D3 box and laughed (a bit hysterically). So little food on the middle day. I typically eat something at Noon-2P-4P-6P. I also make 6P the heartiest meal to get through the evening. I don't know how to conjure up a strategy out of what is there. It is comical. Maybe try to hold out til 1P and do 1/3/5. 1/2 bar, then soup and 1/2 crackers, then the other soup, 1/2 bar, and 1/2 crackers. OK that seems like the best approach.

Enjoying my coffee now. Like REALLY savoring it. It feels like an island of sanity in a sea of crappy packaged soups.


Fiera's Fighting Plan for today:
FMD (Obviously) (Going well - having a plan worked!) ✅
Car Wash ✅
CB ✅
Outdoor Walk ✅
Nville Booking / Discuss w Proggy (In process, iterating)
2023 Tax Stuff to Accountant ✅
March Transport Recruitment Email
Mailing List Audit
Landscaper Response Action (Added)

Oh there is so much more which NEEDS to be done but let me start with a manageable list! A failure to plan is a plan to fail, right?!!
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MN, K's last sitter, lost her elderly dog. What IS this, it's too much. KDog, MJ's dog, MN's dog, Pixy's dog any day now. They were all up there in years but is this a winter thing? My heart. And I saw a set of photos in one of my social albums today, adventures out and about w KDog - so many! so varied! she was game for anything! And the thought hit me hard "I don't get any more. I don't get any more KDog." And the howling welled up and out but I quickly turned it off again, It is over, done. I have things to do. Been getting better at shutting down derailing thoughts/emotions.

Amazingly, after lunch at 1, I didn't have much issue with cravings. Kept busy working on trip planning and taxes and next thing I knew it was 6PM, and I had a soup, 3 crackers, and my full bar to eat. Going well!
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Day 4 FMD
Weight 186.8

Again surprised to drop another pound, this is very likely the low point and there will be an uptick after I start on "real" food again. But it is encouraging. I will surely be in the 180's when the FMD concludes Monday morning. From there, it will be a huge first step to get back into the 170's. So I have my eye on 179 as the first major milestone in my "Fight" for a body which will be an enabler for my life yet to be lived. It doesn't have to be anywhere near perfect, it just needs to get me where I want to go. That is where my bar is at this stage of life (almost 55).

Haven't achieved 10K steps the past 2 days. 7-8K. Walked a little over a mile outdoors each day. Did some chores and errands. Used step to work on piriformis/hips. Allowing myself the grace to do what my body was saying considering the low calorie intake. I am good with all that as long as I get back to 10K after the fast.

Booked chiro/massage for next Weds to help w piriformis and right hip. Less pain. Feel them working and positioning better with the reduced inflammation, the stretching, and the stepper...but a little help might get me there quicker,

There is a little less "peace" at this point in the fast (compared to 2 prior fasts). Peace in terms of relaxed body and mind. Perhaps the morning coffee (pretty sure first time or two I phased it out entirely, but found it is is permitted). *Hey* Fiera try to make this a learning. Go purchase some decaf or go back to matcha-only. The other factor could be (shameful to admit) a lingering cigarette here and there, which I really hope I can go without today and forward. So stupid. FIGHT! It's like I need to keep reminders in front of me until new habits are formed.

Speaking of.

One of the great motivators is of course to have goals, a vision. Visualize. It has always been difficult for me. In recent years I have learned that I have aphantasia, which is the inability to create or hold visual imagery in your brain. It is why I can see a picture of design and know that I like it, but I cannot create or describe or recreate an image in my mind. I am smart, and GREAT at pattern recognition. Aphantasia probably explains why I always had an affinity for music, and may explain quite a few things about how I perceive the world. Anyway my purpose in mentioning this is that it still is important and motivating to have goals. And I think perhaps I have not put in the work lately to take inventory in a way which will help me really grasp on to a set of priorities and direction. I woke up with this clear as a bell this morning. What is the point of going thru my life surviving until it is time to die? Seriously. Why not take risks, why not put fantasies into motion? YES I am paralyzed by fears about money. But what if I die without doing the things which make life meaningful? How stupid is that? Someone just now made a comment about property taxes have escalated. Yes they have. And I can choose to curl into a ball or make one of 3 active choices. A. Move. B. Budget and confirm I can handle for a sustained period. C. Generate income. There is no room or need for actual fear or anxiety. It does seem as though my mind is getting sharper on this FMD (inflammation reduction). How exciting! 🙂

So I am out of time to continue on about goals and vision. My dad called. I printed a spreadsheet and put tax stuff away (will do receipts shortly). Gaining clarity on Nashville trip too. Looking forward to sunny day ahead.

Fiersa's Fighting Plan for Today:
Tax receipts ✅
Walk outdoors ✅
Nville Planning
Mailing List Audit
March Recruitment Email
Landscaper 1-2 Alternate Quotes (contacted 1 referral so far)

Listed dog pads and dog ramp online market ✅
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Not feeling hungry though it is past 1PM. I suspect the included drink provides enough sustenance to satisfy cravings. It is almost peak warmth so I will eat 1/2 bar and take a walk.
I feel so GOOD! It is pretty great for a walk; sunny and crisp but not cold. I put on music and even did a little tiny-step jogging (though it was clear that FMD left nothing to power my leg muscles. 1.6 miles.

When I initially felt the motion of jogging, that reminder of freedom of motion, I was overcome with emotion. Joy. Release. Hopeful. My piriformis issue is a lot better. It has been a month. I feel a bit like I am coming to life again. Focusing on one day at a time. But maybe I can do a spring 5K (walk-jog).

I had 1/2 bar at 1:30. The soups are getting so off putting I am not sure I can eat one but I will try. I get 2 packets of olives today (about 7 olives each). Anything chewable is my favorite on this FMD.

Oh, I wanted to note that I can cross my legs way easier and - importantly - I feel like the reduced swelling has play a part in being able to get my hips moving, my glute firing, and my tummy crunching (a tiny bit) again. I started wondering if the piriformis was in part due to excess weight/bloat and weak muscles affecting the way I was carrying my body.
4:45PM on D4. Starting to fantasize about pizza lol. Only an hour to go however to get to my dinner "feast". I saved 1/4 bar for dinner and have soup, olives, and the coco crisp snack. I can do this! Fight for it!
Day 5 FMD

Wow. Another pound. I fully expect an uptick after I "resume normal eating". I put that in quotes because of course if I resume the habits which got me here it will result in failure. Now is the time to plan ahead. Without structure, my brain gleefully wants to go out and stuff myself full of pizza. Or whatever. It wants to resume eating until I feel stuffed, my comfort zone. Like that will resolve the tension of these cravings which are not originating from my tummy - it is not rumbling - but from some other brain-biological process. (Oops, started rumbling just now).

I hope that when the last of the nicotine is out of my system for good that I will feel more relaxed and present. There is probably overlap with nicotine withdrawal right now. I had my last 1/3 of a cigarette yesterday morning, end of pack, so that is it. I took a 2nd W yesterday at 3 and it kept me awake until 1AM which was very unhelpful. I was trying to nod out since around 7:30. Oh well, won't do that again today. Either I take the 2nd dose by Noon or not at all. It's is almost 9A now and first one still sitting there so not even in question.

Oh! I SLEPT in the bed! I "planned" it by clearing off clean clothes and moving the space heater into the room/finding a plug for it. Easier without a dog and dog bed to worry about safety (it's like an 8x9 room I think). I didn't end up needing the heater anyway. In the AM I was able to feel my hips shifting / (de-rotating?) so I may be on to something positive!

Creating Positive Momentum!

Fiera's Fighting Plan:
Shopping List/Menu Plan ✅
Journal on Goals and Success Factors
Walk Outdoors (went to rescue meetup! after SB could not go) ✅
Shop (possibly) ✅
Nville Itinerary ✅ (we make progress every day, getting there!)
Hair Appt ✅
No cigarettes (embarrassing to even type that but just to emphasize) ✅
Sleep IN bed again

Arm Hair ✅
Clean Garmin/Order Band (turned into a project) ✅
Callus Removal (so liberating) ✅

Off to work on menu planning!
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Just finished the last of the FMD meals and will watch movies tonight. I cannot WAIT for eggs and avocado toast. 🙂
Day 6 FMD (Transition)

Did not sleep well (again). Stayed on couch (tv). Alternating hot and cold. A bit troubled by the persistent head-noise around pizza and avocado toast. Rather than feeling free from the noise as I have with previous fasts. Well, today I start my thoughtfully prepared transition into real food. I have eggs, spinach, avocados, bananas, cod filets, chicken filets, salad, tortillas. I will probably have margharita Napoli pizza Tues or Weds before trip. It is pretty light.

Thursday AM Proggy and I head to NVl for which I don't yet have a plan. Ideally I would keep on eating clean and low carb to extend the keto aspects of this diet. We will be eating out and having a few adult beverages too. We have a rental with a kitchen and will make eggs daily for brekkie. Maybe try to have lunches of salad w protein and dinner of meat with side of veg and potato. Stay away from sugar, cheese, and processed foods and try to eat lots of veg. I just don't want to rebound out of control. We will certainly do enough walking to burn off some excesses.

I had such a nice time at the rescue dog walk yesterday. I had texted SB to go to H Park walk and then TJ. When she didn't respond promptly and I remembered the walk, I jumped in the car and headed in the opposite direction. It was about 30 mins away. One of the dogs from the kennel just went into foster and I took him for a walk. Afterwards, I was introduced to a "wow" big boy with notable presence, a brindle return who is just a bit large but in other respects a perfect dog for me. Wow. It is a great reminder to bide my time and an exceptional dog will come along when it is my time.

Pixy sounds very stressed out. I feel so bad for her and yet I know that some of her crises should be avoidable if the organization were well...more organized and things were delegated effectively. There is a lack of urgency and engagement among the volunteers. It really needs fresh blood and fresh perspectives, But don't look at me, I don't want to be doing it full time. Happy with my slice.

Last night Itook the evening off and just watched movies. This after thinking earlier about the fact that I don't specifically carve out "me" time daily. That is to say, I let my to-do's plaugue me mentally all day until they are entirely done (which occurs rarely). So maybe a time bound structure would help. Kinda like punching out from a job.

Fiera's Fighting Plan for Today:
FMD Day 6 Menu (as above)
NVille Shop list ✅
Nville Pack list
Oil Add SUV ✅
Shop (coffee for trip +) ✅
Need smaller bills ✅
"Lunch Break" 11-12 ✅
Attic pans check ✅
Walk outdoors 1-2 ✅
Haircut 3P ✅
Pirate meditation group 6:30 ✅

Trim nails ✅
Order extra bra ✅
Vaccum ✅
Dishwasher ✅
Replace garmin strap (never arrived)

Note: Up early, couldn't get back to sleep, so brekkie at 6A. Found myself putzing on social because don't have to shower til later. Getting off social (bad for brain) and pulling out book (good for brain).
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Brekkie was 2 scrambled eggs, a piece of thin-sliced 12-grain toasted (dry), small 1/2 avocado. Black coffee. It was really so pleasant to eat solid, tasty food.
I Choose To Lose

Nice taking a shower and getting dressed and not having to squeeze into my jeans.

I noticed my thoughts about moving forward I need to make good food decisions and exercise, simple as that...the weight loss will follow at its own natural pace. I flipped the word selection around from "food decisions" to "food choices" and it sounded more upbeat and empowering. I Choose...I Choose to Lose! Meaning I choose what goes in my mouth in order to lose weight and gain freedom of motion.

It's catchy. Maybe that will help me keep it top of mind when the binge monster wants to eat til my tummy is stuffed. Probably not a unique's pretty basic....but it just struck home out of nowhere so I will grab on to it.
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Not surprised at an uptick. Had a nice dinner of cod w lemon and butter, turned into fish tacos. Tartar sauce, cooked spinach. But then I was still "hungry" and made a thick peanut butter sandwich. In the middle of meditation group I start feeling hot and thirsty and sucking water down. Also hot spell. More water when I got home. Too much salt and sugar?

I turned on portable radiator to heat up room and got IN the bed within 30 mins of getting home. Drank lots of water. But couldn't fall asleep. (Had NO W during day so not that). Ended up getting up and snacking. First, olive tapanede on stale water crackers. But then 1/2 dark choc bar leftover from before fast. This morning my tummy HURTS. I am not disappointed. Just a little sad and ashamed and disheartened. Like an addict who has relapsed for the 1000th time. It was so much work to clean my system out. It was the work of 15 seconds to give in.

Insights: Keep snacks out of house. Restless/tired night time snacking is no good. Eat a filling dinner and then FIGHT like heck in the evening, I'll feel much better in the morning. Also...the later I can eat brekkie and compress my feeding window the more that will support me in the evenings,

Pirate meditation group was good. We listened to some audio extracts from Peda Chodron's "When Things Fall Apart" which was instrumental in my coming to terms with freefall during times when job, friends, relationships all were in flux. No doubt I will find myself there again at some point. It was a good reminder that those times can be teachers, can lay us bare, can give us (frighteningly) only the present moment, and can teach us courage. Personally, it would be awesome to never have to experience that sort of terrifying free fall again in life...but it most likely will, it can happen in an instant, and there can be a philosophy around the experience. Plus, with age one accumulates wisdom. I can see it at play in how I handle the grief over KDog. "Grief SUCKS!" I cried into the woods yesterday...fulling knowing that the experience of walking alone without her was difficult and empty, and yet grateful for the intensity of the missing and the memories arising in my mind. Eventually I will be beyond that intensity of feeling for her...grief too is is good to FEEL that ache and love for her, while I still can, before memories fade.

I posted photos of the woods, the trail, my shadow on leaves in the sunlight. I used to always include photos of KDog too. It was a perfect post to capture the emptiness and yet I still refrained from saying anything. Those who know, know, looking at those photos, that it reflects grief. Those who don't just see a pretty day in the woods. I'm OK with that.

And that is today's philosophical sidebar.

Also: I have been up for an hour and my tummy still hurts.

Fiera's Fighting Plan for Today
Menu plan:
B Huevos, green sauce, toast, 1/2 avoc
L 1/2 Napoli Pizza + side salad w chix
D. Cod, broccoli
NVille Pack List
Laundry (started)
Outdoor Walk w SB ✅
Audit email list
March Transport email (pending date condo)
Cook Bacon (for trip) ✅

Redo air in tires
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Hi Bluehat and Cate, thank you for stopping by my new journal! 😁

Switched up the day, happily SB texted at 9:30 about the walk and we got that in before lunch. She picked me up with her dog and we had about 2.5 miles in FG woods. Long time since we have caught up. She didn't know about KDog, the last major friend I needed to tell, and I covered it briskly and immediately since she asked.

I knew that walking a bit faster pace with them (though slower than our normal brisk walks) was going to flare the sciatica back up a bit. Stretching is called for today and then I have massage/chiro tomorrow.

It is absolutely stellar out. Bright sun and not a cloud in the sky, though a purplish tinge has just emerged which may indicate *something* is on the way. Started moving winter ice melt and snow shovels into the detached garage, I grab something each trip. Installed the cargo cover in the SUV for upcoming trip with Proggy; checked the oil and all is good. Was nice to have a few minutes to check on recycling options; closed today, but starting to get a few more things organized here and there. If I ignore the house problems (for now) and my dad, the rest of my life actually functions.

Skipped brekkie entirely (thanks SB!); had a small salad with 40z. chix strips (tried new precooked from TJ and quite YUM and convenient). Then drove over and got the napoli pizza; ate 5/6 frankly. It's OK. Will finish rest for dinner w cod tacos and broccoil or spinach. It still will work out Ok calorie wise (I think.)