FitFriday, FatFriday VIII. We’re having a baby!

TTC.

Yep, we did it! I am approximately 12 weeks and four days pregnant, which gives us a current due date of boxing day. Here’s hoping for an early or a late one! πŸ˜› Will get the 20 week scan properly printed and put up here, but for now we’re letting the tiny thing do some more growing, as it currently spends most of its time upside down and looks vaguely like some sort of a cartoon character.

Jon is excited, but a little unhappy that it’s still so small as he wants it to be big and strong sooner. I have been telling him that it will happen soon enough, but he seems to want the next three months out of the way as fast as possible so the baby is more in the clear and we know it’s healthy all round.

I’ve also been really lucky and/or careful: no excess mucus production, no morning sickness, no constipation, minimal bloating, minimal aversions, minimal tiredness. Basically a bit like when I’m depressed, where I was a drowsy recluse for a couple of days, but seriously nothing that bothered me. Unsure how I managed it, but I’m glad I have!

On the downside I have had trouble staying asleep, a constantly full bladder and weak tendons from laxity. But you can’t win them all and so far I’m pretty happy.

Diet.

Was a bit bad over the weekend as we had another MeatFeast, but other than that I have been eating well, focusing on plenty of protein and plants and not too much salt, sugar, or processed fats. Still at no alcohol and down to one cup of coffee and maybe some chocolate on most days. Will still sometimes have three cups of coffee, but it’s so rare and almost every day I have one or none. ^^

Weights.

Still making good progress, though of course I know it may grind to a halt if I don’t keep working hard at them, or if baby-growing starts to take too much energy.

Incline press is 37.5kg for 6×4.

Squats are 58.5kg for 4×4, bicep curls are 7.5 each hand for 4×4.

Rows are 37.5 for 6×4, tricep kickbacks are 5kg for 2×12.

I’m also making a point of getting in some 10-30 minute constant calisthenics workouts every other day. Pullups had to fall by the wayside after I angered one of the lax tendons in my lower abs, though. 😦 Still hurts weeks later, so maybe I should avoid them when my abdominals are going to be splitting soon.

How did your week in fitness go? Any questions about the pregnancy so far? πŸ˜€

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

How To… nurture desire.

It’s a common refrain in the manosphere and red pill circles that desire cannot be negotiated. Which is true. When you simply do not want someone or something, there is very little that can be done about it. However there is a big difference between something we simply do not want and, unless we change radically, never will, and something we do want, but not the way it is presented to us.

This philosophy starts with sex and sexuality, but also extends into self-improvement, diet, employment and, realistically, everything you will ever do.

For me right now the problem is alcohol. When TTC, pregnant and breastfeeding, I will not drink. But everyone around me still does and did so during last weekend’s BBQ. And I had to remember that what I wanted was not best for me right now.

As a simple, relatable example, we may want pizza, not omelette for dinner. We don’t dislike omelette. We just want to eat a pile of junk. However for some reason it isn’t in our best interests to have pizza. Maybe we’re saving money. Maybe we’re on a diet. Maybe it just doesn’t fit into our day. Our desire for pizza cannot be negotiated: we want it and that’s final. And if we were presented with food that we definitely do not enjoy, perhaps brussels sprouts, our desire not to eat that cannot be negotiated. We will if we must, but even if we make ourselves we do not want to. However the emelette exists in a middle ground: we do desire it, but the circumstances right now mean we do not currently desire it. And that is where nurturing comes in.

1: Identify your desires and non desires.

In this case our main desire is pizza, our non desire is brussels sprouts and our secondary desire is omelette. We really want pizza, would be OK with omelette, and be unhappy with brussels sprouts.

2: Identify the reasons for your desires.

The reason we desire pizza and omelette is because they suit our palettes. They are savoury dishes with salt and fat and protein. They fill us up and the taste tells our bodies they are good. Likewise, we do not desire brussels sprouts because they are not savoury, salty, fatty, proteiny foods. They are bitter and plant-ish and lacking in calories.

3: Identify the pros and cons of your desires.

The pros of our desire for pizza are that it stimulates our taste buds and provides calories. The con is that it is expensive, unhealthy and/or inconvenient.

The pros of our desire for omelette are that it stimulates our taste buds, provides calories, is healthier, cheaper and more convenient. The con is that, lacking carbs and cheese, it does not make us as hungry as pizza.

The pros of our lack of desire for brussels sprouts are that we do not eat a food we find unpleasant which provides few calories. The con is that we are avoiding a perfectly healthy food.

So, as we can see, the one that wins out is omelette, meeting our needs and desires in the middle. However it is not enough to deny ourselves pizza. We need to work on our desire for omelette. And, though we cannot eliminate desire for pizza or create desire for brussels sprouts, we can reinforce our desire for omelette.

4: Feed your desire for the best options.

Work on making that omelette an important part of your day. Season it well, cook it well, make it an enjoyable experience. When your mind drifts to pizza, remind yourself why you do not want to eat pizza: it is unhealthy, expensive and inconvenient. Think of the tastes and textures of the omelette. Feel the hunger. Build a craving for it.

5: Promote the best options with in-betweens.

And, of course, sometimes you will feel strongly pressed to go for something more like pizza. Sometimes the craving will be very strong. At times like this, you find a compromise which does not take away from the benefits of the omelette but allows you to enjoy the experience of pizza. Maybe you will fold cheese and cured meats into your omelette. Maybe you will make a pizza at home with cheap and healthy ingredients. Whatever you do, try and go for the best option for you.

In other words, desire cannot be negotiated. But to assume that means “I want pizza so I will have pizza” is ridiculous. We have more than one desire in the choices we make. And by nurturing the productive desires, we can make the most of our options. So pizza-omelette, here I come! πŸ˜›

What are some choices and decisions you find hard to make? Would love to hear about any time you overcame a craving, inertia or another conflict of desire!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

I accidentally made cheese!

Yeah, apparently you can do that. Was trying to rescue some milk by making white sauce. It hadn’t soured or anything yet, it was just starting to curdle. So I put it on to boil and hoped it would blend out, as it sometimes does.

Well, the curds and the whey split completely. I left it on the side to cool before throwing it away. But then I tasted a curd. It was lovely! Salted them, wrapped them in cheesecloth and strained them until they formed a round ball. Cheese. πŸ˜€

In celebration, here is a recipe for some awesome cauliflower and potato cheese which you can top with your own cheese curds.

Ingredients.

  • 300g potato
  • 500g cauliflower
  • 1l milk
  • 150g flour
  • 100g butter
  • 300g cheese
  • 1tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1tbsp salt
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 1tsp black pepper

Utensils.

  • chopping board and knife
  • large pot, stirring spoon
  • another large pot
  • small pot, stirring spoon

Recipe.

  1. Split the milk in half. Put each half into one of the large pots and begin to simmer.
  2. Chop the potatoes and place them in the bottom of one put of milk.
  3. Chop the cauliflower and add on top of the potatoes in the milk. Make sure the leaves are at the very top and bits of stem are with the potatoes.
  4. Salt the mix, cover and keep simmering until tender.
  5. In the small pot, melt the butter and slowly mix in the flour.
  6. Chop the cheese.
  7. Add the other half of the milk to the butter mix, the cheese, the paprika, the soy sauce, the pepper and the worcertershire sauce.
  8. Once blended, pour into the cauliflower and potatoes.
  9. Do not overcook! I disintegrated my cauliflower into the cheese last time. 😦 More fondue than cauli cheese. Tasted good though.
  10. Crumble fresh cheese on top and, if you like, bake in the oven for a bit before serving.

And that’s one of the things I served at the last meatfeast. Add more cauliflower and no potatoes for low carb. Use low fat milk and a reduced amount of low fat cheese for low fat. Remove the salt and halve the soy sauce for lower salt. Swap the worcestershire sauce for a drop of vegemite or veg stock, the cheese for mozzarisella and the milk for sweetened almond milk for vegan, lacto-free or paleo. Simples!

What is the weirdest thing to happen in your kitchen?

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

FitFriday, FatFriday, VII. Weights reshuffled again.

TTC.

Still waiting and hoping. Cross your fingers for us!

Diet.

Looking pretty great. Waist nicely flat. Breakfasts have been largely small, lunches have been carbier, but lighter in calories, and dinners have been plenty of protein with a bit of fat and a bit of carbs.

Down to one coffee a day, the odd bit of chocolate. Since getting some ear plugs I have been sleeping deeper too, so I may not even need a caffeinated morning coffee!

Weights.

Keeping on top of them and, due to TTC, I’m on a routine that’s mirrored, to allow daily exercise. Rather than just doing squats one day and having a day off, the second day I will double down on the squats by doing high rep work. This increases time under tension, further breaks down the muscle tissue, promotes growth and density, without overloading the body.

Day 1: 36kg incline 4×4. Day 2: pushups or 2×12 at a lower weight.

Day 3: 57.5kg squats 4×4, 6kg biceps 4×4. Day 4: 12kg kettlebell squats 2×20.

Day 5: 37.5kg rows 4×4, 3.5kg triceps 2×12. Day 6: Lighter rows 2×12.

We will soon be upgrading the 4×4 to 6×4.

Fat Friday.

On the not so good side, I have recently been having more and more for breakfast, especially in the fat department. I think this reflects that I am too hungry for a light carb breakfast, and I will be working on getting more protein in the morning. I had a slice of cake over the past week or two, so on the carb front I have been quite good. πŸ˜€

How did your week in fitness go?

10 Ways To Slim Your Waist.

A post I put on the RedPillWives reddit, on how to make the most of your natural figure and build a feminine shape healthily.

I have been asked about this before and explained to friends and people who inquired, but decided to deliver a proper post, to help everyone out.

As we all know, men like a teeny tiny waist. Being slim indicates youth, fertility, that you are not pregnant, health, etc on many levels. However, the most important aspect is not actually the waist on its own. Men also love hip and bum fat. Hence why the waist to hip ratio (WHR] is so important in human sexuality.

Besides that, we want a nice WHR for ourselves, as we are programmed to want to look pretty for our partners and to pursue health and wellbeing for ourselves and our children. Which means that overall, a small WHR is a great confidence boost!

So, how does a girl get herself a booty without sacrificing too much of that whittled waist? She tricks her body into giving her both.

Well, not so much tricking, as using what we know about biology, human evolution, nutrition and exercise to train our bodies to be the best they can be. Without further ado, here are some tips to maximize your WHR.

1. Know your body.

Sorry, but this won’t do magic. If you already have a WHR of 0.7, are very lean or are just straight boned, you can’t change that. However, all the following tips will help to make the most of your body and make sure it stays where it ought to be.

2: Eat omega oils and fat-soluble nutrients.

When your waist is small and your hips are wide, that booty is made of omegas. Designed to nourish fetuses and infants, the fat in these areas is rich in all sorts of tasty nutrients! When these nutrients are scarce your body may strip your hip, thigh and bum fat to get them, resulting in a smaller hip than you might like.

Make sure to supplement omegas 3, 6 and 9 either through oils or through diet. Also make sure to consume plenty of vitamins D and E, which can contribute to growing healthy hip fat.

The added bonus to this vanity: you will be more fertile and your kids will come out slightly smarter and better fed as babies.

3: Cut fast release carbs and excess salts.

Things white sugar and table salt have in common:

white

shiny

granules

in everything

make you hold onto water weight

Focus on natural sugars, sugars with fibre and sugars with fat so as to not play around with your insulin and water storage. Limit your added salt, especially when combined with simple starches and sugars.

The added bonus to this vanity: Your body will be glad of a sugar detox and resensitizing your insulin response to sugar and kidneys to salt is great for your overall health.

4: Cut the booze.

Not out, but at least down.

Alcohol may be estrogenic, but it also promotes fat retention around the torso, especially beers and ales.

Opt for a casual glass of wine and be sure not to drink more than once or twice a week, if that.

The added bonus to this vanity: Sobriety has many benefits, health-wise and also in your social life. Consume fewer empty calories, relax your liver, spend more time actually talking to friends, keep cool and focused all day.

5: Drink plenty of water.

Yes, I said to avoid water retention. But drinking more water does not make you retain it. If anything, water in bulk goes through you. What drinking more water does do is it helps to keep your digestive tract and kidneys cleaner and ensures you don’t dehydrate. Dehydration can cause water retention and inflammatory responses, so it’s better prevented than cured.

The added bonus to this vanity: Drinking more water may elevate your mood, help clear your skin and reduce cravings for salt and sugars.

6: Exercise your bum.

Not everything about your bum is fat and bones. Some of it is muscle. To develop the curved spine, strong and sleek thighs, and firm cheeks you desire, do bodyweight or weighted exercises designed to build up the upper leg and buttocks, such as squats or stair sprints. Not only will the extra muscle tighten and shape your healthy omega fats, but the activity will work on your posture, bringing your hips into the perfect position to show off your assets (giggle].

The added bonus to this vanity: By improving your overall muscle tone you are increasing your base metabolic expenditure, lengthening your life and making your immune system stronger (except against colds]. By improving your overall fitness you are making life in general much easier and more pleasant.

7: Do the upward abdominal lock.

I have done this since I rediscovered yoga and I didn’t even remember what it was called til I looked it up again earlier. But doing this over the years seems to have been working wonders on counteracting the muscle expansion I get from powerlifting.

When you build your abs with situps, crunches and weights, you are building them out, making your waist wider. What this does is the opposite: by tucking your waist in and holding it there you are activating the parts of your belly muscles that pull everything front to back. Over time this becomes an aspect of your posture, giving you a permanent, natural “sucked in belly”.

The added bonus to this vanity: better digestion, reduced menstrual cramps.

8: Belly dance.

Again more muscular whittling. Belly dancing activates all the muscles in your core and trains your hips to move in their full range of motion. The result is twofold:

Firstly you are tightening your lateral muscles, making your front profile more of an hourglass.

Secondly you are making your hip movements wider, so they move more as you walk, giving the illusion that they take more space. The sexy slink, basically.

The added bonus to this vanity: Bellydancing is great fun, a good way to exercise and a fun addition to bedtime routines.

9: Destress.

It is a well documented fact that stress masculinizes the female form, making our waists bigger, our hips narrower and even making us grow additional body hair.

Find out something that lets you destress mentally, physically and emotionally. Indulge it. Reducing your stress and relaxing is crucial to a feminine figure.

The added bonus to this vanity: Lowered risk of mental health problems, ulcers, heart problems, etc.

10: Lose weight.

Ultimately, whatever you do to maximize the body you have, always bear in mind that sometimes the key is just to drop the pounds. If you have folds around your belly when standing casually, there is plenty of fat to be lost there. Beyond losing the folds it really is up to you and your man to decide what you like, but I would say that aiming below a UK 16 is better for your health, statistically speaking.

The added bonus to this vanity: Losing body fat is well documented to improve your all round health, especially in the long term.

And there you have it, several ways of making your waist smaller, your hips and bum bigger and your body curvier in a natural, healthy way!

Hope it is helpful, and feel free to ask questions about, add to or correct any of the points.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Being All You Can Be. Part V: Enjoyment.

In the last two sections on being all you can be we addressed the two financial, or β€œsurvival” sides to hard work: monetized work and self-sufficiency. Doing both of these things in some way will maximize your life by minimizing expense, giving you some spending money and freeing you from reliance on others. However what are we meant to do with all this spare time and money? Enjoy it, of course!

The other thing that makes work worthwhile, beyond money and independence, is enjoyment, pure and simple. This is what you have been working towards.

Everyone should have a hobby or two or three, but not all hobbies are created equal. Some hobbies eat more into your free time and money, some hobbies even generate time and money, some hobbies are pure dopamine and some build us up. So here are a few points on which to evaluate our hobbies.

1: Money.

Hobbies can be sorted into the expensive, the balanced and the paid.

An expensive hobby would be one you can’t afford to do weekly without controlling other expenses. For me that would be shopping and dressing up, which I love but just cannot justify as a full time hobby.

A balanced hobby would be one you can afford to do weekly without going into the red. For me that would be painting or dancing, which cost very little, but generally still cost me.

An earning hobby would be one where you can make enough money to pay for at least the expenses of the hobby, if not enough to give you a profit! An example for me is writing, which is also my job, and gardening, which saves me money.

2: Time.

Hobbies can be sorted into the no-time, the casual and the time-saving.

A no-time hobby would be one that you need to schedule in carefully to be able to do it. For me that would be my comic book project, which eats away the hours.

A casual hobby would be one that you can indulge every now and again without scheduling. For me that would be my blog, which I can fit in weekly or daily.

A time-saving hobby would be one that in the long run saves you time. For me that would be my budgeting and meal planning, which relax me, but also free up time over the week.

3: Productivity.

Hobbies can be sorted into sinks, even and productive.

A sink hobby would be one that eats away at productive time and yields few results. For me that would be anime, which can easily eat productive time.

An even hobby would be one you can happily do daily as it does not affect your productive time. For me that would be painting and gardening, where the results are not frequent, but the effort is not free of results.

A productive hobby would be one that yields solid, real results. For me that would be drawing or writing, where the results are immediately in front of me.

4: Health.

Hobbies can be sorted into detrimental, harmless and fitness.

A detrimental hobby would be one that actively hurts your health in the long run. For me that would be anime, where by sitting around watching something I am negatively impacting my physical and mental health.

A harmless hobby would be one that isn’t healthy or particularly unhealthy. For me that would be dancing, which is in theory good for me, but not required on top of my fitness regime. For others, dancing might be a fitness hobby, as it may be a vital core of their exercise regime!

A fitness hobby would be one that improves your health actively. For me that would be gardening, which does contribute to my fitness via constant low-level activity.

Myers-Brigss style, you can take the first letter of each of the four categories to categorize your hobbies. Another way of doing it would be to number each result in each of the four categories from 1-3, with 1 being least desirable and 3 being most.

Let’s use two examples: soap operas, ballroom dancing and growing berries. Assuming all three are a single person’s hobbies, all of which they enjoy equally, here is their breakdown.

Soap operas: Balanced, as it does not cost or earn; Casual, as long as they are flexible with watching it online; Sink, as it uses time and energy with no reward; Detrimental, as sitting still for extended periods and tuning out are bad for mind and body.

Result: BCSD, or 2211. Not the best hobby.

Ballroom dancing: Balanced, as even classes are inexpensive; No-time, as both classes and casual dancing need preparation and deciation; Even, as eventually results show in health and skill; Fitness, assuming it’s core to their exercise.

Result: BNEF, or 2123. A good hobby.

Growing berries: Earning, as it saves money; Casual, needs minimal involvement; Productive, as results are immediately visible and soon edible; Harmless, as it is active but not intense.

Result: ECPH, or 3232. A very good hobby.

That doesn’t mean soap operas need to be neglected! It is just a tool for considering how we use our enjoyable time.

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Fit Fiday, Fat Friday VI. Off the wagon, on the wagon.

TTC.

Seems I am not a hermaphrodite, although much more cannot be said yet. Here’s hoping. πŸ˜€

Weights.

A lot of garden work needs doing right now, so we’ve moved my weights onto a day-on-day off session. The order looks like this:

Day on: main weights session.

Day off: yoga during the day, light or bodyweight version of the main session.

Most days: shearing, digging, hoeing, carrying things in the garden.

2-3 times a day: run the dog in the garden.

Diet.
Not too bad, not as good as I would like. Gained some excess fat so just making sure I get no more calories than I need and fasting in the mornings, which is nice and keeps me focused.

FatFriday.

That said, I have been eating a few more sweet things and wheaty things, which may explain the issues I’ve had with fat and water weight. Been eating much more cleanly the past few days, lots of vegetables and lean protein.

How did your week in fitness go?