At the start of November,  I started a month-long experiment based on a set of rules in a quest for self-improvement called No-fucking-up-vember.

Today marks the end of Week 2. I really cannot believe I’ve been doing this for 2 weeks already.

My notes:

  • I lost weight this week. About 4 pounds. I don’t really know what to make of that. I don’t feel like it was weight lost from anywhere in particular, but I am suddenly seeing a lot more muscle definition, particularly in my shoulders and upper arms:

    Photo on 11-14-14 at 8.38 AM
    It only looks that crazy if I flex. I think this is about as decked out as I want my muscles to look. I like having a girlish figure and I have no plans to go into a career of body-building 🙂

  • I’m eating a lot of wild sockeye salmon. I’m trying to diversify what fish I eat. I sometimes have to google the name of a fish to make sure it’s not a fictitious World of Warcraft or Animal Crossing fish. This is kind of sad. Orange roughy.
  • I’m having a hard time visiting the grocery store without getting really bummed out when I look at ingredients on things. Why is there so much sodium in everything?
  • I’m cooking a lot of things now that I have never made before and in some cases, haven’t really eaten too much of before. I made my first honey balsamic roasted brussel sprouts over the weekend and they were delicious. I also made garlic mushroom meatloaf with my own home-made ketchup and I think it tasted better than any meatloaf my mom ever made when I was a kid.
  • My 2 cheat meals this week didn’t really feel too much like cheat meals to me. The first was pumpkin-seed crusted salmon, butternut squash salsa, sautéed kale, vegetable flan, flourless chocolate cake, and 2 glasses of wonderful cabernet. The second was blackened tofu with mashed garlic sweet potatoes (the tofu does push it into cheat meal territory on technicality but I don’t personally have an issue with soy so…).
  • 2 glasses of wine suddenly feels like a lot.  I had dinner with friends for the second cheat meal and felt mildly drunk when I came home.
  • Forcing Pilates into my schedule has become slightly annoying because no one else in the class does any form of strength training and so the teacher keeps trying to force bands and rings into things to introduce strength-training that I really do not need. All it does is fatigue my sore arms and legs. Core strength stuff is still nice though.
  • I’m noticing significant improvements in my Crossfit performance. I PRed twice in the past week on bench press and push press and doing cardio doesn’t put me as much out of breath as it did before.
  • The biking more than usual rule I don’t think is going to work out for me for the rest of the month due to weather. It was nice fall weather when I started this challenge (50s). There is now snow and 10-30 degree Fahrenheit weather at stake that makes riding my bike feel like I am dying. I still have to do it to get to Crossfit, but I have no desire to ride my bike elsewhere, especially on icy roads.
  • As a result, I’ve planned to travel to Iceland in December. One, as a reward to myself for doing this. But two, to allow myself to continue to be a functional human being there since my bike is my only means of transportation. Why Iceland? It’s actually warmer there despite its closeness to the arctic circle. Reykjavik is highly walkable, it has some of the fastest Internet in the world, almost everyone there speaks English on top of Icelandic so going to Crossfit there will be possible, they have a very healthy supply of fish, and um…. well… aurora borealis and hiking on a glacier? Yes please!
  • I signed up for a “Paleo on the Go” delivery service which does weekly deliveries. They drop 2 meals I order off at my Crossfit box. This is pretty ideal for me because I want fresh food after Crossfit but I don’t want to cook and the guy who operates this service seems like he takes a lot of pride in the food he makes 🙂 The first meal I tried from them was Mustard-glazed roasted pork loin with butternut squash and roasted turnips.

  • My favorite fall drink… pumpkin puree… nutmeg… cinnamon… half of a frozen banana… half a cup of almond milk blended with an immersion blender. This tastes really good, even ignoring that it’s paleo. Also pumpkin has almost no sugar in (the banana on the other hand….)

  • Lowering the amount of sugar I eat, my mouth is now super aware of it when I taste it. I feel like if I ate bread with HFCS from the grocery store right now, I’d be unnerved by how sweet it is. A banana feels like eating candy.

  • The flavor I’ve missed more than sweet is sour. I loved sour candy and sour beer. To deal with that, I like to eat raw cranberries. Not only tasty, but also good for preventing urinary tract infections, I hear. I am slowly craving sour beer less and less though.

  • I finally started to notice improvements in my skin from drinking a ton of water. Not huge differences. But slight. I don’t think you could really tell a difference unless you spent all day looking at my stupid face. But I included before/after photos anyway for comparison. Less redness overall. Skin feels a tiny bit softer.

    Photo on 10-25-14 at 5.34 PM #3Photo on 11-13-14 at 8.52 AM #2

    Again, if anyone can really see a difference in that before/after, I’d be really surprised. It’s not quite like that lady who looked 10 years younger after a month. Not sure if I want to look 10 years younger than I already look anyway.

  • I was successful in finally getting 9 hours of sleep. When I get less than 8.5 now, I feel super tired the next day. So that kinda sucks.
  • FIBER: Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 8.41.33 AM

I didn’t take a significant amount of food photos this week oddly, but:

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Baked cinnamon apple slices I made. These tasted ridiculously sweet to me. They’re also extremely easy to make. Just slice an apple, coat it in cinnamon, and bake at 200 for several hours.

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My new go-to breakfast food when I’m feeling like I want carbs. Pumpkin pancakes made from pumpkin puree,  eggs, coconut flour, vanilla extract, nutmeg. They have about the same texture as normal pancakes but I suck at flipping pancakes. They definitely do not taste as sweet as normal pancakes do, hence the definite need for maple syrup or honey.