Monday, April 22, 2013

English Needs a Word for This: The Rule of K

The Rule of K: noun.  A principle that states if you think something definitely will, definitely won't, or are surprised that something hasn't happened, the opposite will magically become true.  Similar but unrelated to Murphy's Law.

I think we've all been confronted with the idea that saying, or even thinking, that something definitely will or won't happen somehow causes the opposite to be true.  For instance, if I look at the forecast and say, "It's not going to rain for our picnic," you'd better believe a hurricane is going to form right on top of us.

Of course, logically we know this line of thinking is silly and our words and thoughts do nothing.  But we still keep from saying or thinking it.  Husband has a very specific look he gives me when I break the Rule of K.  It's usually followed by him saying, "Shut up."  As in, "It won't rain if you take your MG out for a drive."  "Shut up."  He's a big believer in the Rule of K, even if it didn't have a name until now.

About a week and a half ago, Philosopher Child's best friend came down with a nasty virus.  He missed several days of school before returning.  When he went back to school, he and Philosopher Child were practically attached at the hip as usual.  The night after his return to school, he relapsed and spiked another fever, causing him to miss more school.

This led to stupid universe-altering thought number one: My own child has not been sick in a while.

A week passed, and Philosopher Child showed no signs of illness.  A this point I figured he wouldn't, by some miracle, be coming down with the illness himself (stupid universe-altering thought number 2).  Then came the night where previously mentioned, previously ill Best Friend was spending the night to celebrate Philosopher Child's 9th birthday.  His parents came by to drop him off and to look at our garden.  They were considering starting a similar one.  Best Friend's mother and I chatted for a little bit, and then we both -- both of us, equally guilty -- said the universe-altering stupid thing of universe-altering stupid things.

"Isn't it amazing that Philosopher Child never got sick with this?"

Facepalm.  Head desk.  Eight shades of idiot.

Anyway, the sleepover got underway.  There was a fabulous dinner and an ice cream pie from Bruster's.  There were Legos and TV and snacks.  It was great.  At 10pm, I told the kids to go to bed.  At 11pm they finally went to sleep.  Just before 6am, everyone was up again, ready for breakfast.

About an hour after getting up, Philosopher Child came to me and said he had a sore throat and headache.  I didn't think too much of it.  Our weather has been crazy and it's not unusual for us to get headaches and sore throats as a result.  I advised Philosopher Child to drink a glass of water and lay down for a few minutes.  Within two minutes he started crying that his head suddenly hurt a lot.  I took his temperature.  Yep, fever.  I sent him to bed and called Best Friend's mom.

"You know how we were talking about how amazing it was that he didn't get what your little boy had?" I said into the phone.  She started laughing.  She knew exactly what I meant and was at our house a few minutes later.

Up until that moment, the sleepover had been very successful.  No major fights, only had to break up roughhousing twice (pillow fights + 2 kids with glasses = no), everyone played nicely (for the most part).  Our little guest was even happy to eat our whole food dinner: roasted chicken, green beans, and red potato wedges.

And of course, we proved the Rule of K.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Disclaimer: Not a health expert.  Just talking about our experiences.

Nevereverse: noun.  An act, thought, object, or activity that you swore you would never attempt, own, or have but end up doing anyway.

Low carb diet.  The words alone made Husband and I burst out into a fit of giggles.  *Snicker Snicker Snort*  What a bunch of nonsense.  Screw carbs.  It's all about calories.  And whole grains.  And exercise.  In fact, when one of our friends went very, very low carb (read: tried to cut out all carbs), he lost a ton of weight, but was extremely miserable.

Well, of course he was, we thought.  Low carb is such a silly idea.  Everything in moderation and such.

Recently, another male friend of ours decided to try the low carb diet, but with a better idea of what he was doing.  He limited carbs, not cut them out.  Husband couldn't help but notice the weight dropping off of his friend, no misery involved.

"So-and-so had this for lunch.  It has this amount of carbs," Husband would occasionally say.

"Why do you care?" I asked.  "You are using the word 'carbs' a lot recently.  *Gasp!*  Have they...gotten to you?"

"N-no..." he would respond.  "It's just another form of calorie counting, after all.  Isn't it?"

Our resolve was starting to shake.  He started to talk about his low-carb friends' diets more, to the point where he was announcing to me what he had for lunch, and how many carbs was in it.

"Are...are we thinking of going low carb?" I finally asked him last night.

"I think we might," he replied.  We talked about how what we were doing clearly wasn't working.  We both limited calories and ate healthy, whole foods.  I work out.  He only eats two meals a day.  Neither of us tend to over eat.  And yet, we are both overweight for our height and genders.  In fact, despite doing the right things and only falling off the wagon occasionally, I slowly gained 10 pounds.

You may think, big deal!  So, 10 pounds.  It's just 10 pounds.

I have to be very honest with myself here.  That 10 pounds is not just 10 pounds.  I am 5'6" and weigh 168 pounds.  It's not healthy.  With heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, and possibly diabetes all running in my family, I need to take my health seriously, and I need to do it now.  What we were doing would probably work for some people, or a lot of people, but it wasn't quite working for us.

So.  *Deep breath.*  We are giving low carb (not no carb) a shot.  We are currently aiming for under 100 carbs a day, but over 50.  More research is needed on our part, but that's where we are aiming for right now.  We did a full day of low carb yesterday.  I came in at 86g.  Not bad.  Husband came in at 197g.  He asked me to double check the math, but it is correct.  He got a pretty big shock when he realized 100g of carbs a day comes just from his sweetened ice tea.  The kicker is it's not even that sweet.  Half a cup of sugar per pitcher, and he goes through an entire pitcher per day.  He asked me do drastically reduce the sugar and is now adding some lime juice to it instead.

So, let's see what happens.  And of course we have to be all scientific about it.  I took our measurements and our weights, and are writing down what we eat for each meal and snacks.  Maybe it will work out.  Maybe it won't.