Friday, July 30, 2010

July 30th, I think

Something about travel just blows my date awareness away.  According to the local clock, it's after 7 am; my computer says 5.  Anyway, it's the last day of the business trip, and I think I've done okay as far as eating goes.  I've had about 3 small bites of bread (the one thing I never remember to ask not to have at the table in a restaurant), and about a scoop (1/4 cup, if I had to guess) of blackberry sorbet that, from the taste, didn't have a lot of added sugar in it - in other words, it tasted great to me.  I've stuck to breakfast and dinner only, had a lot of 3-egg dishes in the morning with bacon, and even asked for and got a protein-style burger (which I had to explain) at the Five Guys burgers at the baseball game - which I have to say was a messy proposition, although darn tasty.  Am I expecting to be thinner when I get home?  No.  I've eaten a lot, in quantity terms, so I think at best I'll have held my own.  

But! and this is key - I have avoided the bagels, watermelon (not a problem for me, I hate melons), muffins, cookies, and candy laid out for the conference.  When I got hungry over lunch yesterday, I had beef jerky (brought with me, just in case - thanks family!).  And I've been fine - even when they were heating them to make them smell more intense, I wasn't all that tempted by the cookies.  And there were 3 scoops of that sorbet at dinner last night, but I couldn't keep going.

Bottom line, regardless of the weight results of this week, I think I can confidently say that this is how I eat now.  Not a "diet" in the weight loss sense, but my diet in the way-of-eating sense.  

But enough of that.  I'm starving, and there are eggs out there with my name on them.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July 27th

Well, the IF got rid of the 1 pound, but nothing else - back to 162.2 this morning.  The tape-measure fat calculator thinks I'm at 30% today, which is nice, but when I look at some of the data there, I'm a bit discouraged.  On July 10th, I was at 165; in the 17 days since then, I've only lost 2.8 pounds.  However, it is a decrease.  And there will be more.

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 26th

163.2 this morning - down from this time last week, but up from the weekend (I sense a pattern here).  Saturday and Sunday mornings I was 162.2.  I did well eating on Saturday, less so yesterday - Chipotle naked chicken burrito without rice but with beans and corn salsa, and we had berries and cream for dessert at dinner (I don't really think that's a bad choice at all, but probably had enough carbs to retain some water - and I feel a bit waterlogged).  It feels like a stall, but I just looked at the raw data, and basically over the past 2 weeks, I've lost 1.8 pounds.  Within that period, over the past 10 days, though, I've only lost 0.2 pounds - been trading weight around for a while.  So it's hard to say what's up; could definitely be cyclical water weight, too.

I would really like to get my sleep straightened out.  I'm too cold or too hot, I make the wrong move in the wee hours and leave some extremity pointed a way it was not built to point (and have to get up and step on it to make it stop); whatever triggers the bad sleep, once I've awakened, even if I get back to sleep (and I did fall back asleep last night after the 1 am launch to fix my left ankle), it's nearly useless from a restoration point of view.  So I'm tired and cranky this morning, and rather achy.  Skipped breakfast; unless a dragon attacks my stomach at some point today will IF until dinner (steaks and something - guac if I can persuade Biz to make some).

And on to the next challenge: a business trip.  We've got vacation periods nailed pretty well, and really, it's not at all hard to tell a restaurant to omit the starch from a meal, so I'm not anticipating that aspect being tremendously difficult.  Where I think it will be interesting is during the conference.  Think about it - hotel catering inevitably believes that breakfast is a meal composed entirely of grain-based food and fruit (I've never seen bacon show up for a conference breakfast bar, but the bagels are there in droves, along with cereal and muffins and maybe even toast).  And of course, lunch is likely to feature sandwich options or pasta, another possible issue.  So, a plan: where there are bagels, there should be cream cheese.  Spread on strawberries, it won't look too primitive, and if I keep the cheese to strawberry ratio high, I should be okay.  Another option is to go to the real restaurant before the thing starts and get some eggs and bacon.  That's probably the way I'll try to go for breakfast.  If I can get a decent breakfast on a given day, IFing lunch is a simple thing - and dinner should be somewhere that involves sitting down and using silverware - except for the ballgame night - and a naked dog is easy-peasy.  So this shouldn't be any more difficult than a vacation trip, I think, and if I have to explain my ways to anyone, well, maybe someone else will get a new perspective on nutrition advice...

But if I forget to bring vitamins with me, I'm toast!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

July 23rd

162.6 this morning - my opinion at the time was, "it had damn well better be down!"  Rough night - several leg cramps and lots of tossing and turning.  I can't get the temp right - it's been cold at night - more than our blanket and spread are capable of combating - so I turn on the mattress pad, then turn it off, then get cold again, lather rinse repeat all night.  And the stiffness from working out on Wednesday finally showed up this morning.  While I am grateful for the hiatus, it could have gone on without hurting my feelings any. 

Wearing new size 14 jeans today - and the hips/waist are almost too loose already.  So things continue to go well, generally.  I more or less IFed yesterday - got gnawingly hungry in early afternoon and had 1/8 of the dark chocolate bar I keep here.  That helped a little, but I really wanted meat.  Once home, I had a couple of slices of cheese while cooking, and we had taco salads for dinner - followed by a nosh on walnuts and more cheese.  But since that was it for the day, I had some leeway. 

The whole size thing is interesting.  When I started, I was in size 18 pants and starting to find them a bit uncomfortable.  Now I'm wearing some size 16 chinos and shorts and they're still okay although starting to get a bit loose.  I'm down to 14 in jeans and have been at 14 for dresses for over a month.  My new skirts are 14s and I am probably going to have to take the waist in, although they fit right across the butt.  I fit better in a swimsuit from 2004 this past weekend than I did when I bought it.  Really, all most satisfying!

Had an on-purpose mammogram and ultrasound this morning - the doc thought I was lumpy during my checkup earlier in the month and wanted it looked at.  Found nothing.  I couldn't even find the lumpy bit he'd spotted 3 weeks ago, and neither could any of the technology.  An observation, though.  Most of my fellow patients (and I don't know if they were lumpy or diagnosed with something or just preventative) were overweight.  Taubes goes into details about cancer feeding on glucose - and quite honestly, that was why I was totally unworried about the lumpiness - and it made me wonder.  Just another reason never to go back to the Standard American Diet.

What does set my hair on fire, though, are all the rumblings from the government about dictating "healthy" food choices - because what they are proposing to dictate is what's been making everyone fat for the past 30 years.  If their edicts/recommendations were based on decent science, that would be one thing (well, still unacceptable to this libertarian), but they're not - and our children are going to pay horribly as a result.  Ugh.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 22nd

164.0 this morning - more like it, at least a little.  Sleep was a ball of putrid mud overnight - no leg cramps, but a lot of swapping sides.  I should have been either tired-er or sore-er; we made it to the gym for the first time in forever last night and I lifted - well, I used some of the weight machines.  And amused Biz - she had me try some exercises on the big ball and the weird half-ball that you stand on, and I was rather awkward on both.  Anything for a laugh.  But I'm not terrifically sore this morning; guess that's generally a good thing.  Took extra salmon oil - 2 at dinner last night and another 2 this morning - hoping that it really is anti-inflammatory.  I feel some indication that I've used various muscles, but nothing debilitating, so either the salmon oil is working or I didn't exert myself very effectively.  I'm going to work on leg strength first - they have seemed very weak walking up the hill after lunch when I go out, and I would like that not to be the case anymore.  The workouts are not to do with weight loss; more about improving strength and attaining some definition.  Not to the freak-show level of the bodybuilding women we saw on HBO not too long ago, but a long lean sort of look - and maybe a hint of a six-pack.  That would be a fun thing to carry into my 50s.

Anyway, I skipped breakfast this morning because I didn't feel like cooking (more that than any noble intention of fasting).  I may get lunch today or I may not; depends on how I feel at the time.  I was actually hungry when the alarm went off - we watched the Cooking network shows before bedtime and both of us ended up having a late night minor snack as a result - but it faded when the time came to turn the stove on.  It's sort of back, but I think I'll just ignore it.  And drink a lot of water - that worked well yesterday, I think.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


165.0 or 165.2 this morning, depending on which instance of stepping on the scale you believe (it went UP between two attempts).  All I ate yesterday was 2 skewers of white-meat chicken in sauce (probably sweet sauce, but it was fairly caramelized by the time I got it), one-half pound of gyro meat with tzaziki sauce, and 2 squares of Lindt's 85% cacao chocolate.  That's IT.  Some salt in the gyro meat might have added water (okay, I just saw an analysis online of gyros that listed something like 1100 whatevers of sodium, so that could be an issue), and maybe the chicken was on the salty side, but from LoseIt, I only consumed about 700 calories for the entire day.

Having things go in the wrong direction is annoying, certainly.  I'm up 2 pounds from Friday, and some of it might be actual body weight, but I think much of it is water.  So I'm going to drink water like a crazy person today to see if I can get it to flush out. 

The bodyaches are back today, and I slept pretty crappy last night.  Given the issue above and the pain, I doubled the salmon oil at breakfast.  I also doubled the magnesium, just to see if maybe I'm full of it (so to speak).  I don't think so, but it's worth a shot.  If I remember to do it, I'll do salmon oil at dinner as well.

For what it's worth, my waist is slimmer than a couple of days ago and that drove my bodyfat down to 30.2%.  I truly don't think I'm adding muscle right now (muscle weighs more than fat), although I have been meaning to go to the gym, so I do not know what's going on.  It could just be some sort of cyclical thing.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July 20th

164.6 this morning.  I refuse to get worked up about it, but a stall is always annoying.  Although, looking at a week ago, I believe the stall was 2 pounds heavier than today, and it broke wide open for a while, anyway.  Felt really awful yesterday all day.  I finally took a Tylenol PM to get an unbroken night's sleep, which worked pretty well until just before the alarm went off, and I feel much better today.  Although I do recall launching out of bed for one of those outside-of-the-ankle leg cramps at some point.  It didn't wake me up enough to remember being awake so I am much more alert this morning and not at all achy.  In fact, once I got fully awake, I felt really good, so maybe it's just been a few nights of nasty-bad sleep causing the issues.

I finally broke down and bought a couple of skirts last night - size 14.  The pattern used seems to assume a level of visceral fat in the wearer, because the hips fit me just fine but the waist is almost as big as that of the skirt I got these to replace - with the attendant puckering when a belt is worn.  I may have to do to these what I've done to this brand before - haul out the sewing machine and put in some darts at the waist - but I'll wash them first.  The store I got them at does seem to cater to middle-aged women, which may explain the silhouette provided; all I ever buy there is basic pencil skirts in chino (I may be 48 but I don't feel middle-aged and would prefer not to dress that way in general). I got about 25 pounds' loss wearing the predecessor, so am hoping not to have to replace these very soon (although would be happy to lose the weight that would necessitate another replacement).

Had chicken fajitas with guac and sour cream and a bit of green chile (roux-based, so I'm sure it had flour in it, but so worth it!) and maybe 5 tortilla chips with salsa for dinner last night.  I had been speculating that the pain/exhaustion yesterday was to do with too little fat in the diet, and dinner definitely made me feel better (I was starving pretty much all afternoon, oddly enough), so maybe that was part of it.  I IF'ed breakfast today; should get about an 18-hour fast to lunch, which I am going out with a friend for.  Maybe that will shift the stall a bit; if not, I'll pull a 24-hour IF later in the week.

Cravings seem to be in pretty good control these days.  We watch the Food Network a lot, owing to a dearth of anything interesting on the other 100+ cable channels (what a wasteland!), and last night was one of those "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" shows.  An early entry was sticky buns.  I like sticky buns, and these did look good, but my take-away wasn't "Go get a sticky bun or 10", but "I bet brioche dough would work well for those".  Over an hour of food paraded before us, and nobody went after snacks, so we all seem to be over sweet stuff as a craving.  I wouldn't go try eating anything sweet, though - more because of what I've seen happen (stall-baby!) each time I've had dessert than anything.  Going forward, sweets are for special occasions, and in modest quantities at best.

Got a coupon from Vicky's the other day for a freebie - and now that I'm down to an L with them, I can take advantage of it.  In fact, I need to; the XLs are getting loose and almost floppy.  Something the weight loss books do not talk about, but rather satisfying, since when I got the XLs, they were almost too small.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Early hunger

This is not usual.  It's 12:30 and my stomach is growling.  Had the usual breakfast (eggs and turkey bacon), which normally sails me through lunch hour with no interest in food.  We had dessert last night - black and raspberries topped with buttered pecan pieces, baked a bit and then further topped with whipped cream with just a touch (1 tbsp total for 3 of us) of powdered sugar in it.  Could that combo (quite tasty, I might add) have caused this, 18 hours later?  Sugar does seem to have lingering aftereffects, at least for me.

July 19th

Somehow over the weekend, I added just under a pound of weight - up to 164.4 today.  It'll shift; it always does.  Of more interest are a couple of other things.  First, on Saturday, from about 10:30 to noon, I sat outside protected from sunburn only by coconut oil.  The sky varied from clouds to sun, but clouds don't prevent sunburn; they just make you oblivious to the process.  The verdict?  The stuff works.  I got a mild tan on my legs - parts of them have not got any sun during my sitting-out-at-lunch sessions.  My arms darkened a bit, and my nose is a bit pink-brown - but not painful at all.  Don't know what's in it, but I'm a believer.

Second, I woke up at 2 am today just aching from head to toe.  Staggered out of bed for some advil, which I found by touch.  I really don't know what it might be, but I'm still feeling stiff and tired and sore now.  I didn't sit around a lot yesterday - I had that "too many calories" fidgetiness, so I cooked and tidied and did laundry all day with occasional stints of reading.  I know I'm out of shape, despite the fact that I'm starting to see actual muscle definition in my upper arms, but that badly?  Hard to say.  I skipped vitamins yesterday morning, so maybe it was a salmon oil deficiency. (Another clue that I wouldn't be seeing weight loss today - no potassium supplements yesterday and no leg cramps last night.)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Whoa, Nellie!

163.6 this morning.  That's 3 pounds in 2 days, albeit 2 of those pounds were probably water from the weekend sugar "binge" (funny to call a "binge" such a small actual intake - but the aftereffects were as-if).

Not that I'm complaining or anything.  Hardly.  It's quite fun to stand on the scale and see new numbers.  And these are pretty new, at least in a very long time.  I know that I weighed 160 after Biz was born (so that's 20 years ago) and 150ish going in to being pregnant (Twix Bars and fries with ketchup; that's all I want to say on that subject).  I know I hit the mid 160s when training for the Peachtree, which had to be the summer of '98 (that phrase whitens my hair so fast it isn't even funny).  And I have a faint memory of the scale reading 158 on one day after I came back to work here, and based on the context, that had to be the spring of 2000.  And I could be wrong about the reading, too - I know that it dropped rather a lot and startled me, and was oh-so-transient, but not a whole lot more.

Tried the sizzling entrees at Applebee's last night - not too bad, but you have to tell them "no potatoes" and that confused our waitress so much that she actually brought me fajitas at first.  I was hungry for dinner, unlike the day before, but once I finished it, I didn't want anything else.  Granted, we were kinda busy packing for a weekend away, so there wasn't time to sit and contemplate my appetite or lack thereof.

Based on my bodyfat measurement and weight of yesterday, my weight at 20% fat would be 142.  That's up 4 pounds from when I did it a while back, and I'm cool with that.  Once my body starts telling me it's at the weight it should be at - and I think it will tell me - I'll see where we've landed and make some seasonally-based adjustments to how I eat.  A bit more fruit in season.  An occasional potato. Things like that.  I'm contemplating offering cheese and fruit for the "dessert" course at any future meals I may host - get some good stuff from Whole foods and maybe offer the good seriously-dark chocolate as well. Don't know if it will go over well or not, but I don't think that will stop me.

Onward and up - well, no, not up - downward.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Recurring backache

Over the past few weeks, I've begun having a recurring backache when I get up in the morning.  Some mornings, anyway, not all.  And, interestingly enough, doubling or tripling up my fish oil seems to keep it at bay.  But I was kind of wondering what on earth was causing it, because it's not something I've had going on for long periods in the past, and while I may be doing more physical activity, especially in the evenings, nothing substantial has changed in my environment that coincides with the backaches. 

So, it sort of occurs to me that it might be my weight change.  My center of gravity has definitely moved, with the reduction in visceral fat (even though that was in the early weeks of my overall weightloss).  Maybe with a few other things.  Certainly, when I sleep, my hips aren't displacing my spine as much as they used to, and I fit differently in various chairs - that's something I'm starting to notice, because I'm getting uncomfortable in positions that did not formerly bug me. 

Makes some sense, anyway.  For now.

July 15th

Well, that sorted it.  164.6 this morning, and a fat% of 30.9.  I ate dinner last night but wasn't particularly hungry, and was finally hungry again this morning.  I feel much less logy today, although a bit sleepy - I'd just drifted off last night when a calf cramp propelled me out of the bed.  And into the kitchen, where I grabbed 2 potassium before trying to get back to sleep.  No more cramps after that, but the broken sleep just at that point seems to have rendered the rest much less effective. 

I did not snack at all yesterday evening, either.  No cookie cravings.  I wonder if the sugar from Saturday actually triggered all that, and it took a solid 20+ hour fast to make it stop?  Food for thought.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Easy IF today!

Wow - nearly 2:30 pm and I've yet to be hungry today at all!  I guess I made a good choice in not eating this morning; maybe my body was telling me it wanted some rest.  They say to listen; I listened, and it's working out just dandy.

Ugh! stalled a bit

7/14 - 166.6 this morning again, dammit.  I am IFing until dinner if I can, today, to see if that will move things along.  I can feel water retention - my fingers are swollen again - but I think I'm over-snacking.  Last night, after dinner (flank steak, tomato/cucumber salad), I ended up eating about 1/2 cup of olives and a bunch of almonds (they were both very salty, which could explain some of the water retention).  We also worked outside a bunch after dinner - moving plants out of a garden that is about to become a concrete patio - and that could also explain some water; exercise (yard work) nearly always results in weight gain for me, justifying Gary Taubes in another of his counter-intuitive proposals (exercise isn't useful for weight loss).

I was surprised - pleasantly - this morning.  I told Lee I was skipping breakfast if that wouldn't bug him too much and he was utterly cool with it.  I'm glad; I know he doesn't want to fast himself, and a lot of times he seems to think my various stabs at being more healthful are a bit stupid, so I figured this would be one of those times - and it wasn't!

I did not finish the coconut water yesterday; I think I drank about 1/4 of the can and poured the rest out.  It's very delicious, but so rich-flavored that I'd want to cut it with something or have it measured out in fingers, I think.  And the carb count is a bit high for a drink - at least, the way I want to approach life.  Still, I think I'll get some to have for those occasions that need a gatorade, because it certainly seems like it would be a better option, being natural.

I put everything I ate yesterday in LoseIt, and it came out to 922 calories, 60% fat, 15% carbs (28.6g), and 25% protein, which is pretty much par for the course lately.  I haven't been hungry, so I think I'm getting enough for satiation, although that's one low number of cals.  It was salty, though (no count on that, just from the taste of things), so maybe I just have to get that flushed out.

No noticeable leg cramps overnight; my stomach is weird this morning - achy and full-feeling - and last night I was kind of wanting a cookie.  Maybe I should have had one, rather than all the olives and almonds; that might have sorted everything out.  And again, don't want to be dogmatic here; treats can occur - infrequently enough to BE treats, that's all.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Coconut Water/Juice - whatever

...tastes like melted Kraft caramels - the ones you use on candy apples - only not so tooth-curlingly sweet.  A 10 oz can (thank heavens the place I went had the smaller size as well as the larger - might have been 20 oz) runs 95 calories (yes, I know, I don't care about that) and 24g of carbs, of which 12g are sugars. 

So, while it's very tasty and supposedly can be used as emergency blood plasma substitute, I don't think it will be a regular part of my life for the foreseeable future.  Paleo, yes.  Low-carb, not so much.

The real question for today is, do I finish the can or not?

One other thing

I had a golly-whomping nasty backache yesterday - the kind that just makes you feel exhausted until you realize what it is - and then you still feel exhausted but can recognize that you're not actually tired.  Advil did not shift it, but salmon oil did.  Not sure what prompted me to take 2 capsules at dinner time, but I ended up spending the evening weeding a flower garden - that's a stooped-over activity that should have left me begging for mercy - and was fine this morning.  Better than yesterday.

Except, of course, that I was up and down all night stomping out leg cramps, so today I AM exhausted...

July 13th

166.2.  Considering that I was flying out of bed with leg cramps enough last night to change my name to Wallenda, I really think we could have lost a bit more than that.  Oh, well.  It's back in the right direction, albeit still leaving me muttering nasty things about my mother's mental programming that is just not wrapping itself around the whole Paleo eating approach, although she is supposedly following it (I sent her Kurt Harris' 12 steps) and losing weight.  It's not her fault - mostly, anyway; I did make the choices to eat what I did, but I hate to hurt anyone's feelings and she'd made so much food, and she's getting to the stage in life where my job is to honor my elders and not attempt to change their ways...  It's not a setback, just a pause.  But I want that 165.0 back, darn it!  Now!

I had - and satisfied - an odd craving last night.  For shortening - Crisco - the original trans-fat.  As a kid, I used to swipe and eat bits of it any time we made cookies or pies, and even as an adult would occasionally eat raw pie crust for the taste.  Pica?  Maybe; I don't really know.  Anyway, I had about a tablespoon of it after dinner because I was hungry, and it did stave that off.  I know it's poison, basically, but it tasted rather good.  Don't think I'd be similarly tempted to filch a spoonful out of a bucket of lard, somehow.

I also read something yesterday about coconut oil being a good moisturizer and possibly a sunburn preventer.  I can't test the latter out, but I had a jar around the house that we weren't using for food (I don't like the taste much), so I used it this morning instead of the usual lotion.  Fortunately, it doesn't smell very strong, and absorbed in pretty quickly.  We'll see how it works.

As for the leg cramps, I'm going to hunt down another coconut product to see if that might help - coconut water.  It's supposed to be better at electrolyte replacement than Gatorade and have more potassium than a banana, so it's worth a shot.  I've heard mixed reviews about the taste though, so don't think I'll start off buying a case...

Monday, July 12, 2010

No knee pain

One of my knees used to be a real problem for me.  Not surgery-worthy, but every so often it would just pop when I moved in a way it didn't like, and nearly knock me to the ground with a nasty stabbing pain.  It was bad enough that when I was going for MAT therapy, fixing that issue was one of the key things we were working on - and led to a whole lot of work on where my feet were aiming when I stood or walked.

All well and good - until just now, I was reading something that just happened to mention the ACL, and I realized that it's been a really long time since that knee has acted up.  So long, actually, that I am not entirely sure which knee it was.

Nutrition related?  Who knows?  I'll take the improvement, no matter what the reason (and maybe the next time I walk somewhere, I'll look to see which way my feet are pointing).

July 12th

166.6 this morning.  A bit of a bummer, that, but I can identify every ounce (what would that be, 26 of them?).  Ice cream cake at dinner on Saturday (a small piece, but it was my sis's birthday and I refuse to be dogmatic to the point of weirdness).  The water needed to digest that (possibly also the sweet dressing on a spinach salad and a bite (literally) of pasta salad) added a pound on Sunday morning, and we had stuffed peppers with brown rice for dinner last night and I think I overdid it on the rice - voila! another .6 pounds.  So my fingers are puffy today and I'm back on all meat for the day, I think.

The tape measure-based fat % numbers continue to drop a bit; they're getting close to 30% even.  And Biz crossed the 170 barrier over the weekend; she's very happy with how things are going again.  So all in all, progress continues apace.

Friday, July 9, 2010

July 9th

Two bits of information this morning: first, my weight is now down to 165.0.  Damn!  It just feels good.  I was sitting at lunch yesterday and realized that my skirt had spun itself sideways while I'd been walking (it also bags in the back based on views in the restroom mirror).  My jeans this morning are extremely loose on my thighs; and they used not to fit at all.  So that's all good.  Except (sort of) for the need to buy yet another round of clothing.  I'm holding off for a while longer (bought some shirts over the weekend, but not skirts/pants), to see where things settle - or until I start looking like a kid playing dress-up in Mom's stuff.

The other information: I got my lipid numbers back from the physical, and they are pretty respectable.
  • Total Cholesterol: 176 (I think last year it was just over 200)
  • HDL: 44
  • LDL: 120
  • Triglycerides: 61
I would like the Total:HDL ratio to be better - it's 4:1 and I'd prefer 3.5:1 or lower, but really, not bad.  Triglycerides:HDL is supposed to be less than 5:1; think I have that one pretty well covered.  And with Triglycerides at 61, sure as shootin' the LDL are large and fluffy, not small and dense.  So I don't think I'm likely to keel over from heart disease within the next week or so.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

July 8th

165.8.  I'm not sure what is psychologically important about crossing the 166 barrier, but this feels like a significant milestone.  According to the LoseIt app, I have lost 25.6 pounds since I started tracking, just after Easter.  I don't know what that works out to in terms of pounds per week or anything, but it has been relatively steady and very effortless (considering I have yet to make it to the gym, I think - really effortless!).  Sometimes, everything just clicks - and this is one of those times, I guess.

Biz is finally seeing some good results again; she's very obviously making the effort to avoid the bread - last night at dinner, she had fajitas and ate them without the tortillas (until one bite at the very end).  I could see her treating this as a "diet" and trying to go back to "normal" (i.e., the SAD), but she's bright enough to recognize the effects early, so hopefully it won't be for long.

IF-ing breakfast today as I have a lunch meeting.  Figured that would be the easiest way to handle it - and I wasn't at all hungry this morning.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hungry day

I IF'ed lunch today, which normally gives me a mild twinge of hunger around 1:30ish and then goes away.  Not today.  I've been stomach-growling hungry most of the afternoon - in fact, it might have started before normal lunchtime.  Still not eating - it's not accompanied by any low-blood-sugar nastiness and is bearable - but it is a bit odd and I wanted to note it.

FWIW, here's what I ate yesterday:
  • 1 ground bison patty with about 1 TBSP blue cheese melted on it
  • around 2/3 cup coleslaw (heaven only knows what's in the dressing, but it isn't as sweet as some I could name)
  • 3-ish slices of raw tomato
  • a glass of white wine (I think it's an un-oaked Chardonnay, but wasn't paying attention)
  • 1/8 bar of 85% cacao chocolate
  • 3 very thin slices of swiss cheese (maybe 1.5 ounces)

Per the LoseIt app on my phone, that comes out to a whopping 876 calories (total), 60% fat, 15% carbs (28.6 g), 25% protein.  Since then, only scrambled eggs and Canadian Bacon for breakfast today.  Maybe I know why I'm hungry...

Stomach-ache is gone, finally.  Not sure what was prompting it (it was NOT hunger - very different sensation).

July 7th

166.4 this morning; I shouldn't be disappointed, but I am, a bit.  I know I was only a bit above this 2 days ago and figured that a 24-hour IF would sort it and add some besides.  I guess it did, but I just can't get too enthusiastic about .2 pounds.  It may end up being more - I have a stomach ache this morning that presages some intestinal "to do"s (I'm trying to be delicate here), so we will see what things look like tomorrow.

Almost afraid to mention this out loud, but the leg cramps have subsided a bit - I haven't leapt out of bed in nearly a week.  I've pulled back to 1 potassium rather than 2 to see if it stays that way. 

Anyway, since I had to fast until the physical yesterday, I just kept at it until dinner - Lee refuses to do a 24-hour IF; actually, he refuses to fast, period, which is fine as long as he doesn't get all weird about me doing it.  But I don't want to be too in-your-face about doing the long ones; at some point, he's going to start quoting conventional medical wisdom at me and tell me I'm making myself sick.  Fabulous reasoning, if I were actually getting sick as a result, which I'm not.  But I'd rather not have the discussion at all, so I tend not to fast breakfast unless he's not there to see it.

Will probably IF lunch today - the weather is nasty and not supposed to improve, so I see no reason to leave the building.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Some results from the physical

Well, my blood pressure was so low that at first, it read as 90/something.  We tried it again, and came out 110/78.  I would have liked the diastolic to be lower - and the machine was behaving a bit squirrely, so maybe it was - but that's still perfectly acceptable.  I've been at 120/80 in previous physicals. 

The doctor's scale read about 2.5 pounds heavier than the house one, putting me at 170; okay.  I think I'll keep with the house numbers, if for no other reason than that's where the baseline is.

And my resting pulse, without exercising, and after the less fun parts of the exam (the "think of England" parts), was 68.  I'm fairly sure that's quite decent.  In fact, I just did a quick Google search for normal values, and the first hit said anything between 70-80 is normal.  So there!

Lipids and Vitamin D levels should come out within a week or so.

July 6th

167.4 again.  I'm assuming it's water; my joints are a bit sore from hoeing the weeds out from under the rosebushes.  But it looks much better out there, I must say.  Got my physical this morning.  Blood tests should be interesting.  Of note, I've been sleeping very soundly the past few days, and falling asleep very easily.  That in and of itself is a huge blessing.

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5th

166.6!  !!! - and that's after having a bunch of chocolate almonds as a snack and a burger on half a bun at the lacrosse game yesterday, to boot.  I kind of wish I could remember exactly what weight I got to when I was training for the Peachtree, because I can't help thinking I'm close to that now.  Biz is discouraged - she feels stalled.  I told her to pay more attention to eliminating flour and sugar and she understood it well enough to tell me not to say anything when she had chicken nuggets at the game last night.  I almost did say something, but stopped - she's right, it's her choice.  As long as she understands the consequences.

Anyway,  I haven't been this thin in eons, so I'm very happy!  Physical tomorrow; am really interested in the lipid results.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th!

167.4 this morning, thanks to a couple of perfectly delightful eating days.  Cracker Barrel has a low-carb section for breakfast; I had the double-meat breakfast yesterday and it was quite good.  Dinner the night before was at Lone Star steakhouse - wedge salad with blue cheese dressing, bacon bits, tomato bits, and steak medallions.  And last night we made skewered shrimp wrapped in prosciutto interspersed with scallions, on the grill and that was amazing.  Anyway, progress continues.  

Took an epsom salts bath yesterday after a ton of yardwork.  Not entirely sure, but that may have kept the cramps minimized.  Worth noting.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Hot, shaky, and tired

I'm pretty sure this is a hydration issue, but I was just out for some "fast" shopping (i.e., no food) at lunch, and was struggling on the way back to work.  Shaky, weak, symptoms that felt somewhat like an insulin spike.  Since I've not eaten since breakfast, and it was turkey bacon and eggs (I know, anything labeled "bacon" is probably not Paleo, and turkey bacon is a supremely fake food, but it tastes good and isn't as messy as the real stuff, and I am most assuredly NOT going to eat smoked salmon bellies as a bacon substitute), so I don't see much to spike insulin, especially just at lunchtime. 

Other hypothesis?  Dehydration, so I'm downing a bottle of water right now.

Caught up and moving forward

Ate lunch and dinner yesterday so was not surprised by the 168.6 this morning - that, and I think the time of water-weight-gain is upon me again; I had near-cankles yesterday and could feel the arches of my feet hitting the Birkies when I put them on. I should be able to fast through lunch today, so barring some sort of binge on bad things tonight (not bloody likely - there's famous last words if I ever saw them), this will be temporary.

And still - I'm below 170, which I tend to think I last saw at the end of the week of South Beach, phase 1, which was quite a few years ago. No whining here!

From July 1st

7/1 (guess I'd better change the calendar page) - still 168.0. Not surprised, as it was a 3-meal day and lunch was a burger with guac and bacon on it (very tasty, I might add). Measurements and measurement-based bodyfat down to 33.something%, though. Did NOT sleep well last night at all; woke around 2 am with cramps and couldn't get back to sleep for a while; when I did, I had crazy-odd dreams. And then the dogs joined us - somewhere between 3 and 4:30 when Biz got up. I slept a bit after that, but the quality was atrocious. Biz and Lee had mac-and-cheese for lunch; and both felt the aftereffects. I keep hoping they'll get thoroughly on board with this way of eating, rather than looking for ways to have occasional breaks from it. The tiredness is from other things too, I know - Lee's job issues and having to be supportive with that crashing in right on top of his mom's death. He's rather high-maintenance right now; forgetful, ditzy, querulous. I try to do my stuff "around him" as much as I can - and that does seem to be keeping me on an even keel. And, for what it's worth, even under all this stress, I'm not at all drawn to eating carbs - and in days of old, I would have been.

From June 30th

6/30 - 168.0. one - but a serious bugger one - cramp last night, but maybe I'm getting used to handling them. This one was in the outside of my right ankle and I could not figure out how to stretch it out, so I had to relax and let it run its course. And then I fell right back to sleep. Anyway, I'm chuffed that the weight has been steadily disappearing this time. Hopefully it will keep doing so. FWIW, this is within a pound or two of where I stopped in Bham while training for the Peachtree. I think it was a better lean/fat ratio then, because of the walking, but the weight is the same. Not stopping this time. Anyway, I had fidgety-lots of energy last night after dinner - ended up matting and framing 6 pictures (the new ones for the kitchen plus Lee's Song of the South ad). My back was not happy, but other than that, I had energy to spare. And then, when I laid down to go to bed, it was maybe 10 minutes and I passed out cold.

From June 29th

6/29 - back below 170: 169.4 this morning. No leg anything all night, so the strong correlation just got weaker. I'm thinking I just need to watch salt intake in the evening and it should basically settle down. We'll see. Did not spend the night half-awake wondering if Biz would make it to work on time; much more slept this morning even than yesterday. I think the bodyaches were keeping me out of deep sleep Sunday night. On other fronts, the skirt I had on yesterday was so huge that it kept riding up my ribcage, and since it was only knee-length, that threatened me with overexposure, so to speak. I really am going to have to start giving some thought to new skirts. Bummer - not!

From June 28th

6/28 - was 168.8 yesterday, 170.2 today. Very stiff and sore so I think it's inflammation water - or could be pre-period water, since I think that's on the horizon as well. Did a lot of work over the weekend, including painting the kitchen on nearly no sleep (crampy legs were awful Friday night). Did have limeade/Perrier and some pork-and-beans yesterday; that might have tripped a stall briefly (got hungry mid afternoon after that for lunch), but as usual, not too worried. Tape measure shows minor improvements in waist, I think, so fat % is a bit down. I think I've figured out the leg cramp thing and why it signals that weight loss is on track. Try this out. Apparently, the potassium loss is a side-effect of signals to the kidneys to expel excess salt when the overall water needs of the body are down. The latter occurs when the carbs are not around, since we need extra water to metabolize carbs. So basically, it's signaling that I'm in ketosis and getting rid of unwanted water. I might be able to get it to be less annoying by keeping the salt intake down. But I have found that taking the magnesium and potassium at bedtime rather than in the morning helps a lot, so for now, I'll just keep that up. In any event, at the beginning of June, I was at 177.6 and now I'm at or under 170ish, and I don't think I'll complain. Must also remember to take fish oil all weekend - think that might be part of the stiffness issues today. Oh, and we did walnuts and chocolate at the movie and it worked just fine (although we felt like lawbreakers sneaking food into a movie). I can get along nicely without popcorn, it turns out.

From June 25th

6/25 - still 169.8, but I ate lunch yesterday to keep Lee company, and had a taco salad with refried beans for dinner - and then got hungry and ate a bunch of olives and some chocolate in the evening. So not all that surprising. And the correlation between calf cramps (or weirdness) and weight loss is strengthened a bit. I did take a magnesium just before bed that might have helped with the cramps, but I really didn't have much rumbliness, even. Got a good night's sleep, which I did need. Plan for the weekend is to keep things going, although we have a movie planned for tonite and I'll have to come up with a strategy, because the popcorn thing is just not working for me. Maybe some walnuts and dark chocolate, smuggled in, would work. Something that occurs to me; I read periodically that tiredness prompts eating because the energy you would have got sleeping properly is made up by the added food you eat. Might explain the hunger last evening and the lack of loss overnight. Just sayin'.

From June 24th

6/24 - 169.8. Need I say more? Well, okay. Body fat calculator from measurements said (I think - I was tired) 34.2%; the scale said 28-something. Horrible sleep; calves went from rumbly to cramping and kept me un-asleep most of the night. I would like to fix that, but will live with it to get the scale to go down. I just checked the weight/bodyfat thing to see the target and my lean mass is the same as a few days ago (at 172 lbs) and the target is still 139. All very good. I think if I were awake right now, rather than semi-comatose, I'd be doing the happy dance; I haven't been in this weight range in probably 8 years, maybe longer. woo.hoo.

From June 23rd

6/23 - 170.6 this morning. Nothing like a good 24-hour fast to clear the roadblocks. And that was absolutely the easiest of all. I was vaguely hungry (stomach growling and all) for maybe 10 minutes mid-afternoon yesterday and before I really paid any attention to it, I wasn't anymore. Had a pretty much normal dinner around 6ish - pork tenderloins with mushrooms and shallots and a big salad. Biz made the pork from a cookbook she bought over the weekend, and it was major-league delish. I'm starting to see a pattern - my calves were all rumbly overnight - not cramping per se, but threatening - and that seems to be a sign of weight loss in progress. Works for me. And they didn't cause me to rocket out of bed to stretch anything even once all night, so I'm happy. Fat% and weight from yesterday says my target at 20% bodyfat would be around 139. Seeing where I've got to so far, that is totally doable. Oh, and one more thing - I was lying in bed last night and noticed that I could actually feel the outlines of my hip and thighbones at the joint with a little bit of pressure. Not that they're standing out yet - and they shouldn't be - but there are dents all over the place that didn't use to be there before.

From June 22nd

6/22 - 172 this morning. Still felt some water stiffness in my fingers, but I'm IFing B&L today. didn't manage the all-meat day yesterday because we ended up at Qdoba for dinner. I was in ketosis (did a test) just before dinner, for what that's worth. I redid my calculated bodyfat this morning and might be down by .2% (tape measures can be pulled tighter or looser, so it's a bit hard to tell. I have a spreadsheet set up at home to track body measurements and will see if maybe I'm building muscle - another option that would not bug me much.

From June 21st

6/21 - 171.8 this morning after popcorn and mexican food Friday, coconut chips on Saturday (these are problematic for me for some reason), and slaw/beans, cake and ice cream on Sunday. Could be worse. So today I'm IFing lunch and doing an all-meat day otherwise. May have hit the hormonal trough again, so I'm not going to get weird.

From June 18th

6/18 - 171.0 And that includes eating lunch yesterday. And a string cheese at bedtime (I was hungry after dinner a bit; should have had more kebab meat, I guess). Verified the calculated bodyfat % and it is definitely 35.4-6%ish, depending on my vigor with tightening the tape measure. Having very annoying leg cramps at the moment (well, over the past few days), which have an association with the rapid weight loss, it seems. Only out of bed for them a couple of times last night; I've amped up the potassium some and may try magnesium at bedtime tonight to see if that helps. The Mg is working nicely on other fronts - early phase constipation is now a faint memory. And one other note. My "skinny" jeans (albeit size 16 tall) are roomy this morning, fresh from a wash.

From June 17th

6/17 - ended up with a 12+ hour fast yesterday owing to the loss of a $20 from my pocket at lunchtime (oops), and delaying dinner until we got the sod basically laid. So at the same time as the fast, I was getting somewhat of a workout. Good results; 171.8 this morning. Scale shows fat% around 29.something still; I used a tape measure-based thing this morning and it said 35.4%, which is probably more correct. So I have a ways to go. Based on my current lean weight, I should weigh 138 lbs at 20% fat, which is quite a significant additional loss. But it is also about what I weighed when I started college, which is where Paleo says I'll end up. We shall see.

From June 16th

6/16 - 172.8. Guess the 173 yesterday was for real. Cool beans. Had some Lindt 85% cacao chocolate after dinner (for dessert) last night; pretty amazing stuff, but you don't want a lot at once (makes it even better). Mostly not sweet at all, so maybe nobody else will want any becept me. Fat still 29.7% I think. I _feel_ thinner - rather a lot, actually. I was rubbing a shoulder on Friday night while driving from NOLA to Mobile and realized that the muscle was just under the skin. I have weird little dents on the backs of my wrists, and you can see the knobs of the armbones there. My butt is starting to develop dents on the sides. Along with all the other side effects - increased energy (no problem driving 3 hours starting at 11 pm the other night, last night I came home and fed the dogs and then went grocery shopping and moved Biz' car and went through all the accumulated mail before cooking dinner, etc), better sleep, fewer aches and pains, a basic feeling of well-being,... And I ask myself - self, why would anyone eat any other way? After the carb-fest on Monday night, I felt rather crappy - heart pounding, mild stomach ache, shaky and weird. Hadn't felt like that for months until then. Once life around here settles a bit, I think I'll try getting back to weightlifting. I have a feeling that it will go well.

From June 15th

6/15 - go away for the weekend. eat sorta okay, but not as well as i might if not distracted (and if things without buns were available - and I did succumb at Cafe du Monde in NOLA and had a few beignets - yum-a-licious!). major carb nosh last night - pizza rolls, and chocolate almonds and way too many nuts (i was cranky). And this morning? 173. Some days you just luck out. And the %fat started with 29 this morning, to boot. Oh - and I'm back in my size 16 pants - comfortably. And the dress fit perfectly and comfortably this weekend without the spanxx on - which was a good thing because it was ferociously humid and that would have been several layers too many!

From June 11th

6/11 - 174 this morning. body comp numbers all weird so I give up on trying to make sense of that until it starts dropping well below 30% fat. The weight number is plenty good for me.

From June 10th

6/10 - tried out an idea I'd had a while back - making mini pizzas with canadian bacon as the base. not too bad - I should have cooked the bacon separately to dry it out a bit, and maybe less cheese next time. And I really wish(!) that the canadian bacon would not be so dental-floss-like. That is driving me insane - I always have meat stuck in my teeth. But not this morning. IF-ing breakfast and lunch today. Down to 175.2 this am - but 34.1% muscle and I don't remember what the fat % was. I am not truly sure why I keep looking at those numbers on the scale - they seem somewhat meaningless. Hopefully the weight is not. feet mildly better, but they do NOT like the heat.

From June 9th

6/9 - IF'ed from breakfast to breakfast yesterday/today. not tremendously hard and will probably IF from dinner to dinner tonight/tomorrow. Back at 176.0 this morning. 34.3% muscle and 30.9% fat. My feet are still swollen from yesterday, so there's probably too much water there as well. Confirmed at home that I was not hallucinating - that dress still fits. totally cool!

From June 8th

6/8 - yeah, so. stressy day yesterday led to baking (not enough) and eating 4 m&m cookies and then noshing on a bunch of chips and salsa. Yecch. won't do that again. 178 this morning - 34.something muscle percent (that scale is delusional, I think). Anyway, I will return to the meat & veg eating now. the cookies were rather nasty as were the chips. not worth it.

6/8 - one more thing. Went out at lunchtime on a "fat" day to find a dress for the funeral and tried on a size 14....AND. IT. FIT! Not everything in that size does - I tried on a couple of skirts as well that weren't quite so accommodating (but close, really) - still!!!!! I am wearing a size 18 skirt right now and some of my size 18 pants were getting tight around new years, so putting a 14 on without any foundation garments and having it fit comfortably (I will bring spanxx to wear with it just on principle) is just boffo amazing. Oh, and BTW, I've got balloon foot on the left side with emerging cankles right now - due to heat or hormones? which could be influencing the whole weight thing.

From June 7th

6/7 - saw 175 Saturday morning. Haven't seen it since, unfortunately, but it will return. Did a bunch of work outside this weekend and am stiff and sore today as a result, but not (maybe) as much as I could be - turns at rototilling and some digging and painting and pulling weeds should have left me pretty much blasted. The eating wasn't so great: Sultan grill with humus and strawberry-mango juice on Saturday and Rib City that day for lunch (ate small bits of bread at both places, and sweet BBQ beans and slaw at RC); Mexican (enchiladas, chips/salsa, and sopapillas) for dinner last night (tasted great, but I think we can retain it as a special treat rather than an always thing). So being at 177 this morning between swollen joints and starches, really could be worse. I wish I'd been tracking muscle percent - 32.9% this morning seems like higher than in a while, but I don't have data.

From June 4th

6/4 - 176.2 today (new low). Eating yesterday was mixed; pork-&-beans with steak and commercial salad dressing at dinner, but only beef jerky for lunch. Progress, and I'll take it, and hopefully sustain it over the upcoming weekend.

From June 3rd

6/3 - still 177 even; not absolutely sure but I think I'm seeing some increase in % of muscle. Actually, not sure I trust the non-weight bits of the scale, since they seem to fluctuate at random. 6 sausage, 2 salad-with-meat, a bit of cheese, and 1 chocolate almond yest; I would think that's not enough to sustain life without burning body fat. A little higher in carbs 13% and lower in the other two (fat at 63%) but about the same calories as yesterday.

From June 2nd

6/2 - 177 even this morning. got the 2 naked hot dogs for lunch; dinner was fajitas without tortillas, and bits of cheese to deal with hunger. According to the LoseIt thingie, I had 22 grams of carbs (about 8%) - not entirely sure where they came from, but with 69% fat and the rest protein, I guess that's not too bad.

From June 1st

6/1 - back to 177.6 after 4 days on the road eating as well as we could. I did well at breakfast the entire trip, ate 2 Wendy's singles and a small fries (buns included on the burgers) and a McD's double cheeseburger with only half the bun. And a bit of red beans/rice at Rendezvous. Other than that, I stuck to paleo principles/low-carb the entire trip and got decent results. After reading a good bit on weightloss over the weekend in GCBC, think I'll try nothing-but-meat (eggs count as meat) for a day or so. See what that does. Should be pretty easy if I can convince a hotdog guy to sell me bunless ones at lunch.

From May 27th

5/27 - up from yest - back to 178. water I think - my feet/ankles will not stop swelling up. I also got gonzo-hungry around 8 last night after a dinner of salad and shrimp and broccoli at Red Lobster. Ended up eating about 4 pieces of cheese and a bunch of olives. I'm thinking I'm getting more carbs than I am counting (as much as I'm counting anything), so am going to try to eliminate them as much as possible going forward. Depending on the vacation outcome.

From May 26th

5/26 - spent yesterday eliminating the Chinese food, but my stomach is still a bit iffy this morning, so i am betting we're not done yet. 177.6 this morning. sore and stiff. the weightloss pattern right now reminds me of what was going on in B'ham - i'd see a really good number at one point and then it would vanish but eventually i'd sink past it. so we're getting there, just a boatload slower than a bit ago. anyway, wondering if the bodyaches today and yesterday's water weight were a result of the Chinese.

From May 25th

5/25 - yeah, well. up to 178.4 this morning; more yard work in the evening and aches and pains with swelling, and a minor chinese food binge last night. FWIW, my stomach does not like the chinese food either this morning, so I may be able to get rid of the excess weight via that channel. This shall pass.
- also, vacation planning. Theme is "do the best we can, but don't get weird about it". So, if we have to eat fast food, we'll try to keep the bad stuff to a minimum. Buns-as-wrappers is one option - but if need be, eat the damn bun. Salads is another, if we are not eating-while-driving. But as I read somewhere, if we opt for a cheeseburger, let's eat the cheeseburger - and then go back to eating properly. No fakes.
- update on stomach. I think the Chinese food is working its way right through. Ugh.

From May 24th

5/24 - down to 176.4 over the weekend, but up to 177.2 this morning with water from sore muscles. I know it's water because my bodyfat is down to 30.9% Did a lot of yard work yesterday - sprayed the driveway weeds (hopefully enough, because I REALLY don't want to do that again for a while), planted zucchini, canteloupe, cukes in the garden, filled the hanging baskets out back, and trimmed back some rootstock growth on one of the roses. Ow.

From May 21st

5/21 - 176.8 this morning and 31.0% bodyfat. Ate a bunch of pork roast, green beans, broccoli w/cheese sauce, and salad for dinner - all wonderful. The peanut symptoms lasted until about 4:30 and then weren't noticeable, so I'm not truly sure what to make of them. I may need to buy some small beef jerky bags and stash them in my desk for other similar occasions. FWIW, while I was stalled, it didn't seem like I was having the un-painful leg cramps, but I'd had them while losing before, on and off. Last night, they were in evidence again. I'll have to look that up. I also have the ketosis artificial sweetener taste in my mouth, especially in the afternoons on IF days, so I think that's working for me.

From May 20th

5/20 - phew yesterday's IF of lunch seems to have broken the dam a bit - down to 177.6 this morning. don't know what the calorie count is, and i'm still IF-ing today until I can't (hopefully that will be around dinner time). 31.2% bodyfat; really don't think that makes a lot of sense. for the record, a taco salad consisting of 1/2 pound of bison meat, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and tjs salsa is pretty dam' good stuff. 3 pm - IF-ing (I am guessing) is making me a bit achy and groggy at this point (over 20 hours since I last ate). Doing okay but wondering if I shouldn't break the fast before driving home (with what, though? only machine food available - which means peanuts). I think I will call it a day on not eating and get a bag of nuts. 3:30 pm - interesting physiological response to the peanuts on a very empty stomach. mild intestinal pain (sensation of movement) and gas and mild lower stomach pain within 1/2 hour of eating. The achy/groggy stuff is gone.

From May 19th

5/19 - still stalled. Of note is that yesterday's calories were above 1500; don't know entirely if that's a huge deal or not, but it might be contributing. IF-ing lunch today in exchange for a nice walk and a bit of sun. Sleeping like a rock (although I did dream) even with Lee being restless. I think I'm going to try a "real" IF tomorrow - no breakfast or lunch - and see if that doesn't get things moving again. they're right about low-carb hunger being different. no headaches, it just feels less crappy. one possibility as regards the stall is hormone fluctuations, so I'm not going to freak out.

From May 18th

5/18 - bugger, .2 back up this morning despite IF-ing lunch and eating only eggs, meat, and salad/dressing all day. i'll let it ride a while, though. it would be a bummer if this is where my weight settles, but i do not plan on going back to the carbs; the better energy, sleep (I'm dreaming again), and fewer aches and pains are all beyond worth it.

From May 17th

5/17 - 13.2 pounds down (weigh 178.2), fat % was 31.0 today. BMI officially in "normal" range as of Saturday am (when I miraculously weighed 177.4 - gained some back by eating popcorn at Iron Man 2 but it was worth it ;) - and probably all water because the fat % on Sat was also 31.0). or maybe i'm gaining some muscle mass???

From May 14th

5/14 - no change in weight or fat %. IF-ing lunch today to see if that kickstarts anything.

From May 13th

5/13 - 12.4 pounds down. Starting to look at fat% on scale; yesterday was either 32.1% or 31.7%; today is 31.6%. BMI today is at 25.0

From May 12th

5/12 - try 11.6 pounds. Here's what I ate yesterday: 4 slices of turkey bacon, an apple and a bag of peanuts, a pork chop, large salad with greek dressing and tomatoes and green peppers, some strawberries with a bit of tangerine juice on, 5 chocolate almonds, a slice of cheddar cheese (probably more cheese than that but that's what I remember). just out of curiosity i put it into the LoseIt log and it comes to about 1600 calories-ish. but i wasn't hungry except right before each meal, and on that many calories and no exercise whatsoever, i lost nearly a pound. I love this!!! Also bought some ghee to cook with yesterday; what a well-behaved oil!

From May 11th

5/11/10 - weight loss as of this morning is 10.8 pounds. woohoo! I can also now vouch for the efficacy of intermittent fasting - i skipped lunch yesterday by way of experiment and the loss yesterday was 1.2 pounds. Energy level over the weekend was out of the box. migraine yesterday, though - due either to a stressy family dinner or the micro-slice of chocolate-beet cake I ate (or both). I will note that when I woke up at 10:30 pm overnight and it was still there, I got up and took salmon oil, potassium, and magnesium, and it did disappear overnight eventually. don't know if any of those was the ultimate cure or not, but wanted to get it down. Read yesterday that added fat will help improve sleep restfulness (no, really), and tried it, sorta - pan-fried a chicken breast in butter (quite tasty even though the solids browned a good bit), and dished up a bag of purple bush beans with another chunk of butter on them. I didn't eat all of the butter. I think I felt more alert and rested this morning, but it's a bit hard to tell.

From May 7th

5/7/10 - weight loss as of this morning is 8.6 pounds. And that includes some water weight that I can feel in my joints in a couple of places (though for some reason this morning, I ache from head to toe).

From May 5th

Want to note something from yesterday (5/4/10) - I had 2 scr. eggs and 2 turkey bacon for brek, a chicken ceasar from Quiznos for lunch, and chicken and salad for dinner. After dinner, I went out to look at the garden a bit, and ended up working in the butterfly garden for over an hour (I think). Substantially better energy level than I'd had for a really long time. Even tho' we're not being hardliners about this, it's totally working. And I'm not really missing the bread and sugar at all. Rather jolly!

From Late April

After 1 week, I can say that this is working very well. I believe I was over 190 on Monday last; a week later, 185.4 (including a drop over the weekend). Some other things that may be occurring with this change in the way we eat (for me, anyway; I haven't sold Lee on the no-dairy-or-grains stuff so much):

* better sleep (granted, I've had the place to myself for a week with Lee being sick and sleeping at the other end of the house, but last night, I was asleep within maybe 10 minutes of lights-out and did not fully wake up until 5:29 am. I sorta-woke around midnight-ish (can't remember the time, so sorta is a good description) to turn off the heater, but that was it. If this lasts, it will be huge for me - it's been 20+ years since I slept well routinely. (5/5/10- continuing.)
* reduced aches-and-pains. Could be a placebo effect thing, since a lot of the success stories on the paleo diet page did seem to point at improvements in inflammation, but whatever the reason, if it's real, I'll take it. my thumbs seem to be subsiding, anyway. (on the other hand, the 2-day backache is going to do me in if it doesn't stop soon)
* possibly increased strength. rising from a seated position has been really hard for me since we got back from the cruise for some reason. I've definitely noticed improvements this weekend.
* possibly improved energy - could be the result of many of the other things, obviously, but again, whatever the cause, it's good.
* digestive changes (less gassiness). At least, I think that's the case.

I'm also rather chuffed by the ease with which I'm doing this. Sometimes, things click, and this appears to be one of those times. I have been avoiding dairy pretty well and am sort of wondering if that might not have been the stumbling block on previous occasions doing South Beach. Pretty much no bread except for the Wendy-burger on Saturday night, and not too many other grains (rice last night in the stuffed peppers, corn with it as a side). I think I like that the fruit and expanded veg show up on day 1 with this approach - have been eating strawberries and mandarins and a banana and that keeps the sugar cravings down a bit (not perfectly, as witnessed by the diminishing stock of Easter candy - but I am not going totally berserk, and I'm not rampaging through the cookies). Anyway, what I want is to morph into eating this way for life, and not treating this like a diet, and I think this can do that. Given that this is meant to be a lifestyle change (reversion, whatever), I've been avoiding calorie tracking, which is actually the hardest part for me. So I've been tracking weight daily, as a substitute (paltry, but it's what I have).

Eating Food. Mostly Plants. Not Too Much. as Michael Pollan says. And that will be the long-term plan, which might allow bread and dairy back in if we can find real bread and pastured dairy.

Previous posts that never got posted

The next few posts are going to be "old" - that is, they're the contents of the e-mail draft I was logging progress on. Once that's caught up, I'll just log here.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

This Eater's Manifesto

Like 99.a-whole-bunch percent of American's I have spent much of my life listening to and following the advice of nutrition "experts."  As of this past April, following that advice - paying special attention since the birth of my daughter in the late 1980s - their advice had left me 40 pounds heavier than when I got married, and roughly 50 pounds heavier than I would be if my body were only carrying 20% fat, which is the optimal level for someone who is not an athlete.

My parents had actually started on this journey before I was born, when my paternal grandfather died of a stroke.  At one point, my Mom was rinsing cooked ground beef to get it even leaner.  We grew up on skim milk, and never ate butter, only margarine.  And I grew up thin.  I think that was in part due to the bout of pneumonia I had at age 7, which left me unhealthily skinny for a while. 

I subscribed to Prevention for years.  And their argument, it's the fat you eat that makes you fat, made logical sense to me.  About the time my daughter was born, the food industry, freed from having to mark all altered foods as "imitation", came out with low-fat or fat-free versions of the items we'd been eating all along.  I bought them and tried them and incorporated them into my family's diet.  I selected candy based on fat content - Red Vines are very low in fat.  I substituted Egg Beaters for eggs, used fake salt (Potassium Chloride), and did my part to sustain the boneless, skinless chicken breast industry.  I became a pasta-salad fan, and ate Wendy's pita bread sandwiches instead of burgers - or worse, Arby's deli sandwiches.  We went through bags of baby carrots, and tried to make whole-wheat pastry flour work. 

Diets?  I tried a few - nothing all that organized, mostly.  I never really understood the Peanut Butter diet.  I did do Slim-Fast for a while - can't recall any positive results from it.  And I bought diet books and calorie counters.  I think we tried the American Diabetic Association diet, and I have cookbooks from the American Heart Association and Cooking Light and independent authors, all claiming to be able to get rid of that weight.  Over the nearly 20 years I was dissatisfied with my weight, I only ever managed substantive weight loss once: during a 5-month period when I was training daily to racewalk the Peachtree 10K roadrace and counting every calorie and fat gram that passed my lips 7 days a week.  I lost approximately 20 pounds over that period, and kept it off for a couple of years.

And then, somewhere, I read that a glazed fried donut has only 110 calories.  I think that's where I started replacing that lost 20 pounds.  They all came back, plus a few more.  One slight diet success - following phase 1 of the South Beach Diet - got rid of about 7, but they came back.  And that left me, this past April, staring at the scale, seeing a number I had vowed would never figure in my weight.  And I started doing some reading.

The results?  A way of eating - not, mind you, a diet; this is permanent - that flies in the face of the dietary guidelines established by the government and being pushed on the citizens through many channels.  I am a low-carb, lacto-Paleo eater.  This is what I believe:
  • Refined carbohydrates are responsible for most weight gain and associated diseases of civilization.
  • Fructose should be consumed seasonally, if at all, and in minute quantities.
  • Mankind was never meant to eat wheat or other gluten grains.
  • Saturated fat is good for you.
  • Carbohydrates of any kind are unnecessary for good nutrition.
  • Dairy products aren't something Man evolved to eat, but probably are not that big a problem (right now, I'm still eating them).
Not exactly the Food Pyramid - I've "X"ed out quite a few categories and rearranged the layers.  And I've been eating that way since April.

The results so far: nearly 24 pounds lost, effortlessly.  Including some cheats, like an occasional hamburger bun or pizza crust.  I haven't been hungry, bodyaches have disappeared, my mood has brightened, and next week, when I go in for my annual physical, I confidently anticipate that my blood lipid profile (not all that bad to start with, fortunately) will have improved.

I've been keeping track of my progress on a saved e-mail draft.  I'll be breaking that up by date and posting it here - and adding new posts going forward.  This is primarily for me to track my status and reflect on what is and is not working for me and my family (I've - well, more accurately, my weightloss and other side-effects have - persuaded them to make this change, too).