Monday, October 19, 2009
The company gave us a load of plastic bags with "RUSH" stamped all over the bills, told us the reciver needed it ASAP, and that they recieved 24 hrs a day, 7 day s a week. We called the broker and assured them we could have it in Columbia City, Oregon by early Sunday morning, then we pushed hard to get it there. Just as we were crossing onto Oregon, we got a call - don't bother hurrying. They won't be open on sunday . It turns out the plant had some sort of technical problem and had to shut down. So, we ended up sitting at the TA in Troutdale, OR for 24 hours.

On the plus side, I did get in my first session of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The way it works is this: You run all out for 30 seconds, then jog (or in my case walk) for an interval, then run again. Since I'm just starting out, I started with a 3 minute warm up, then 30 seconds of sprinting followed by 90 seconds of walking, then 30 seconds of sprinting again - rinse and repeat. I had planned on 6 intervals (6 high intensity, and 6 low intensity), but I only managed to make 3 1/2 of the sprints, and just walked the rest of it. I'll work my way up to being able to do the full 6, then work on pushing it to 12 intervals, then I'll start shortening the low intensity intervals till it's 30 seconds high and 30 secs low.
I downloaded an app for my iPhone that lets me time my intervals - it plays a sound when it's time to change from high to low and back again, and it'll even play over my music. Works great.

I've lost 11 lbs so far, and have lots more energy than I used to.

Anyway, we delivered our load this morning. We had to drive right inside the building at the receiver, as they didn't have a dock, and two guys unloaded us with a pallet jack and a fork lift. Now we're back in Troutdale at the TA waiting for another load.
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Friday, October 16, 2009
Mike and I got to see our grandson play flag football yesterday. He's only in first grade, but I think he's headed for a Heiseman Trophy. The kid is good. The local Pop Warner team already wants him as soon as he's old enough. His big sister makes me so proud, too. She's decided she wants to be a CSI when she grows up, and she's only 10. I think I'm gonna get her a kids crime scene kit for Christmas.

It was good to have a little time at home, even if it was so busy it barely counted as a break. We got home around 11 am on Thursday, and we parked in the municipal truck lot. Mike walked over to the DMV to renew his haz-mat endorsement, and he came storming back only a few minutes later. They keep changing the rules. He got his license renewd last month, but they told him he had to renew his TSA background check before he could get his haz-mat endorsement renewed. So we finally got his letter back from the TSA, took a day off, and he went to take his test, only to be told that they had to see a copy of his birth certificate - which they never even mentioned last month when he went in.

So, I was in the middle of sorting through all the various and sundry junk we have in the truck, and I had the bed stripped so we could wash the linens, and the truck was a disorganized mess - and Mike, already in a bad mood, had to dig through it all to find his birth certificate. I just stayed out of his way - the wisest course of action when he's pissed off. But he did find it, and he passed his test and got his endorsement renewd. The Surgeon General ought to put a warning on the front door of the DMV - "Caution: Entering this building may cause an unhealthy rise in blood pressure."

We dropped the trailer in the Municipal truck lot and bobtailed to the house. We ran around most of the day running errands. Then I cooked dinner - primal style.

I'm loving this new diet I'm on. One week, and I've lost 8lbs, and I don't feel hungry or deprived at all. I had plenty of energy for everything we had to do yesterday, even with many trips up and down the stairs lugging heavy stuff (which actually counts as a primal workout - bonus!).

Dinner was:
Sirloin steak marinated in a lime chipotle marinade of my own invention. (extra virgin olive oil, juice of two limes, crushed fresh garlic, black pepper, chipotle chili seasoning, and a dash of Tabasco for kick.)
Steamed broccoli with homemade Hollandaise sauce (which is completely primal: 4 egg yolks, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a pinch of salt.)
Pico de Gallo on the side.
The only un-primal thing about the meal was the garlic bread my husband insisted on. I admit, I cheated just a little and had a small piece, but after only just a week my taste buds are getting accustomed to my new way of eating, and it just didn't taste as good as it used to. Which is good, cause it means I'm going to be a lot less likely to slip in the future.

The meal was a hit, and I loved the chance to get back into the kitchen and work some magic. It's been so long since I did much cooking - it's been so long since I had the energy to make anything that didn't involve boxed mixes and microwaves. And it was great to get some real food after so long with just truck stop fare.
Oh, and I fixed beef fillets wrapped in bacon, and scrambled eggs with the left over Pico de Gallo for breakfast.

But all good things must end, alas. We got a call from dispatch and had to roll this morning, so we only got one night at home. But we accomplished everything on our to-do list, and I have a pork tenderloin waiting in the cooler for dinner this evening (I'm going to try to cook it in the lunch box stove we have in the truck).
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Monday, October 12, 2009
I've been reading and learning a lot over the past few days. Some of the things I have learned are pretty scary. Did you know that 70% of what is on the supermarket shelves isn't really food? It's chemicals created in labs to resemble food. It's hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, added plant starch, unpronounceable preservatives, and artificial colors and flavors added to make psuedo-food look and taste more like the real thing. I've learned that we are killing ourselves with what we eat.

We've been falling for the industry pushed line that what we get packaged on the shelves is healthy, but all it really is is cheap. How much of the food you buy today would have been recognizeable to your great grandparents?

I've been looking - really looking - at the lables on the food I've been buying and I now understand why I've had so much trouble with my weight over the years. I'm not going to go into detail about why all those chemicals and sugars are bad - the wonderful authors of the blogs listed over to the right have done a much better job than I ever could. I mean, hey, they convinced me.

Something else I've learned about is the Japanese principal of Kaizen - change through baby steps. I want to change the way I eat and live. I want to get healthy, I want to have the energy to do more, I want to be able to be proud of my body - but if I look at everything I need to change all at once it seems overwhelming. So I'm going to apply Kaizen. My first little change is what I've already started doing: cutting out grains and starches and sugar.

I'm going to post updates on my progress here as well as my usual cool stories about life on the road. This job presents unique obstacles to living and eating healthy, and maybe through my trial and error, discoveries and progress I can help other truck drivers who want to get healthy out here on the road, or anybody who wants to get healthy.

So, as I sit here in Mira Loma, CA, four days into a new way of eating, I'm making this resolution - I AM GOING TO GET HEALTHY!!

Here's my before picture:
267 lbs, smoking a pack a day, no energy, eating anything I feel like, depressed, hormones imbalanced (the doctor says its Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), but when they say "syndrome" instead of  "disease" that means they don't know what causes it or how to fix it. Maybe it's from the hormones in the meat and dairy I've been eating all my life.) Because of the PCOS (or whatever is causing my hormone imbalance) I've got acne, oily skin, dandruff, and other problems.

Here's my plan: Stay with the carb reduction for now - no grains, no pasta, no refined sugar. Once this has become a fully ingrained (ha) habit - say 30 to 60 days, and I'm not as tempted to grab for sweets and pastries, I'll move to step 2. Step 2 will be the hard one - Quit Smoking. After that I'll work on ways to move from processed, industrialized foods to natural, organic foods. Through the whole process I'll be moving every chance I get, adding exercise Primal Blueprint style.

I'm not going to set a timeline, I'm not going to get depressed and give up if I slip, I'm not going to set myself up for failure. I'm going to take baby steps.

My progress so far:
I haven't had any bread, pasta, pastries, potatoes, corn, or candy for four days now.
I've mostly been eating salads, nuts, veggies, cottage cheese, a little fruit, and beef jerky.
I have gotten out of the truck three days out of the four and walked for at least half an hour.
I have been drinking only water and, once a day, a cup of coffee with half-&-half and no sugar.
I've lost 6 lbs already!! And I know that I'm not going to keep losing at this rate. I'm hoping for about 2lbs a week on average.

The thing is, I think this diet is going to work. There are a lot of meats and cheeses I like to eat. Since I stopped eating sugary foods, fruit tastes decadently sweet to me now so I don't think I'm going to miss the sugar much. I don't feel hungry, and I have more energy now than I've had in a long time. And this is only four days in!! I can't wait to see how I'm doing in a year.
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Saturday, October 10, 2009
When I came back out on the road in September of 2008, I weighed a little under 200lbs. After one year back in the truck I'm up by nearly 70lbs. I've tried watching calories, burned myself out on salads, given up and gorged myself on junk food in bouts of depression, resolved to exercise every day and never find the time to do it, alternately been determined to lose the weight and resigned to my fate as a fat trucker slob.

 At the moment I'm on a new track - I've discovered the idea of living (and eating) primally. The whole idea is to look back at the diet and lifestyle of our caveman ancestors because that was the life and diet our body evolved to handle best. That means a diet low in carbs, high in meat and veggies, and moving whenever possible rather than set and repetitive workout routines. The basic premises are:

  • Eat lots of animals and plants.
  • Move around a lot at a slow pace.
  • Lift heavy things.
  • Run really fast every once in a while.
  • Get lots of sleep.
  • Play.
  • Get some sunlight every day.
  • Avoid trauma.
  • Avoid poisonous things.
  • Use your mind.

 Check out the Primal Blueprint at Mark Sisson's blog -

My biggest problem is the fare available at truckstops. Every truckstop is full of the usual convinience store fare of junk food, candy and sodas. Most truck stops also offer selections of fast food - delectable tempations garounteed to pack on the pounds. They don't carry much in the way of veggies.
My strategy so far:

Sunflower Seeds - most truck stops carry these, and they are full of protein and good fats.
Hard Boiled Eggs - some truck stops carry these. Flying J usually has them.
Subway Salads - I can still have the Subway sandwiches I enjoy, I just have to ditch the bread and order them as a salad instead.
Beef Jerky - something else I can find in almost any truck stop.

Not a whole lot of variety here, but I'm looking for more options so I don't burn out on this diet. Hopefully we'll find time for a sit-down restaurant meal soon so I can order myself a nice big steak.

My biggest problem so far is that without bread in my diet it's hard to find meals I can eat while driving - no sandwiches, no burritos.

It's been two days now since I've cut out the carbs. I even got out of the truck and went for a forty minute walk yesterday - and instead of pushing myself to walk hard and fast and ending up with my legs cramping up five minutes into the walk and giving up, I did it primal style and just walked at a normal pace, not worried about getting my heart rate up or pushing myself. I just enjoyed the great outdoors, watched the dragon flies and butterflies and enjoyed the lush, jungle-like foliage of central Florida. I even walked on the grass on the side of the road instead of on the road itself - to make my feet and legs have to flex and work more naturally. I have to figure out how to work in strength training, though, but I'm going to step into this gently and slowly by changing my diet first, and just trying to move more. I'll update as I go. I'm pretty excited about the whole idea of Primal Living because it's not just a diet, but a lifestyle.

 It's not going to be easy, though. Truck stops are not designed with health and fitness or natural living of any kind in mind.
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About Me

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I'm a 34 year old wife, truck driver, writer, and photographer with a love of adventure and travel. I am a Libertarian, and a total sci-fi geek. I studied archaeology at Auburn University.


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