Tuesday, December 1, 2009

November Weights and Measures

Fourth monthly roundup of measured data and analysis.

Data

Since blogger is annoying in how it handles images, I’m going to upload an Excel (2003) spreadsheet. Here’s a link:

http://www.forefrontpb.com/phildiet/Diet%20Records.xls

The "Weekly Graphs" worksheet shows the weekly average of weight and the weekly average combined BM score and quantity. Also added average frequency.

The "Weight Chart Daily Graph" worksheet shows the daily morning weight.

The "BM Score Daily Graph" worksheet shows the daily combined BM score and quantity.

I'm keeping a food log and notes in a written notebook, which for the sake of putting off an annoying task, I will scan and upload when I'm done rather than every month.

Analysis

Month four was a much more turbulent month than month three. I started strong, lifting weights and generally feeling energetic. I went to a two day paintball game in North Carolina (Fulda Gap at Command Decisions Warfare) where I played well enough to earn MVP of the 39th Guards for Warsaw (one of two MVP awards given for the ~500 player side). I had a ton of fun, did not feel limited by my diet at all, and were it not for having to explain myself every time I ate a meal, I probably wouldn’t have thought about it.

I drove home on a Monday, downing a lot of coffee along the way. I woke up on Tuesday completely mentally and physically exhausted. This was different from the usual exhaustion after paintball. I usually go through a several day blergh period after a two day game, which I attribute to the sudden onset and then departure of a very different kind of stress from what I normally experience. After Fulda, I went through several days where I was essentially a zombie. There wasn’t any mood involvement that I could tell – I wasn’t depressed – I was just not awake.

I didn’t experience any bowel distress during the game, but in the Sunday/Monday following I had a few reminders of what it was like to have a Crohn’s flare up. The four days I spent as a zombie were not remarkable on the BM meter. I can only speculate as to why I was so blitzed, but if the sudden combined stress theory holds, then it would make a certain amount of sense. Fulda this year, while a ton of fun, was pretty stressful due to the increased logistical planning as well as spending most of the game attempting to lead a group of good paintballers without screwing up. Maybe I just had to come down.

That weekend I helped my dad and my brother put in a new split-rail fence, and I didn’t feel any particular tiredness. Whatever the problem was, it was temporary.

The next week, I had a several day burst of manic energy, almost as if my body was making up for sleeping through the previous week. I got a lot of stuff done at work, felt like I didn’t need to sleep, and generally felt like I could take on anything.

Very odd.

I continued lifting weights (not on Zombie week) and after a month have added about 20 lbs to my squat. Not much considering, but not bad either. If I didn’t have to keep missing weeks due to random injury or inexplicable exhaustion, I’d probably be making better gains.

I also got my cow from the farm! So far, the cow has exceeded expectations. The ground beef tastes good, the steaks taste good, and one roast was good enough to entice a ten-year vegan into giving it a try. That probably had more to do with the fact that it was farm-raised and humanely treated, but still. Not many roasts have accomplished such a feat.

It’s hard to rate November relative to my “overall wellbeing” baseline of August, thanks to the wild swings. I would say it averaged out to October levels (+3, +4).

So far, so good. I don’t have scurvy, I don’t have any signs of vitamin deficiency, my lifestyle hasn’t been crimped and my Crohn’s is under control. If this keeps up, I don’t think I’ll be changing things at the end of my year significantly. But that’s a very premature judgment to make.

Four months down, eight to go!

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