I hate when I screw up and lose weight

I hate when this happens.

Despite the fact that I indulged myself on 3 double cheeseburgers at McDonald’s yesterday – as well as ate generously of leftover candy some bastard coworker brought in, I lost almost 2 pounds.

It makes me think I have no *clue* what or how to eat to lose weight.

As mentioned in a previous post, I need to visit a client on Wednesday and want to look somewhat presentable. I am lucky to say that I am accepted as I am by my colleagues – but perhaps still vain enough that I would like to up my image from Old Navy khakis and polo shirts when visiting someone important. This is compounded with the fact that I am going to go with 3 other people and needs to at least attempt to somewhat match.

The good news is my industry is not a dressy, formal one. ‘Business casual’ is the norm, but there’s a spectrum to that and for a visit with someone I have never met, you would like to present yourself on the higher end of that spectrum.

I *hate* shopping for clothes. Even when thin, I was never a fan and would need to fight an urge to bolt from the store, not buying the whatever it was I had gone there for in the first place.

This was going t be made even harder by the fact that it’s pretty hard to find clothes for people as fat as I am. There are special stores of course – but none less than an hour away.

I needed moral support and someone who had a sense of style and lots of opinions on this sort of thing. My 17-year-old daughter was perfect. I asked her to accompany me – and let her pick the stores.

Lord and Taylor was her first choice, but the woman in the sport jacket department looked grim as she told me that she had nothing that would fit. I believe she was more embarrassed by the situation than I was. She did say that while she didn’t want to send me somewhere else, she had heard from other customers that JC Penny had larger sizes.

So we took a walk there. She was right – they catered to a fatter demographic. I found a blue blazer that *just* fits me and a shirt that wasn’t skin-tight. After dealing with a sales clerk who seemed determined to get me to sign up for a JC Penny credit card I did not want – I bolted.

To be honest: if I had gone myself, I would probably have given up after Lord and Taylor.

By the time we came back it was early afternoon and I had not eaten. I had my psyllium, then putzed on my computer and did some chores around the house.

As is typical with me, as the day progressed, things went downhill. Not that I ate particularly bad, but I didn’t eat low carb.

I gave up on Sunday and didn’t try at all. Again, I did not go out of my way to binge – I just ate when hungry. I did have orange juice which I didn’t need. That was probably the largest of my sins.

Monday wasn’t a particularly bad day either, but Tuesday morning I was 278.

Oh well.

 

 

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I’m not hungry…and then I am

What was it – day 3?

I felt better in subtle and not so subtle ways. It’s not like the weight was flying off, but my head felt, in general, more clear. I didn’t seem to be craving carbs that much – and I passed the new White Castle being built along my work route home not with excited expectation – I had fully planned to be among the first to go there – but with a sadness that comes from Things That Will Never Be.

It’s hard to notice things that *don’t* happen and feelings you *don’t* feel. It seems I am not hungry – well, as I’ve written before, hunger feels different on a low carb diet. To me it feels less urgent – even when present.

I also find that breads and other savory carbs don’t dance in my head like they did only a day or two back. It’s way early to say I’m over them – but it does feel different.

It was 1:30pm before I had my first solid food – 2 tablespoons of butter wrapped in a slice of roast beef – and a string cheese. I did have coffee before that along with some Atkins shake I use as creamer. A container lasts me a few days. Regardless of what the label says I do not refrigerate after opening. It’s usually fine, though on a fe occasions it turns into a semi-solid – which is my signal to ditch and get another one.

I have plenty. I have Amazon auto-ship 48 to my house every month. I started this awhile back as I took a few furtive steps toward dieting again. I find they help.

Things quickly deteriorated late afternoon. First, some nimrod brought in extra Halloween candy and let it unattended in the kitchen. I can assure you that my higher cognitive powers were surely snoozing or out playing golf because no conscious thought went in to my decision to eat some. I didn’t even attempt to rationalize it.

It got worse as a few of my coworkers had a little going away party for a departing colleague. There was beer and champagne as well as chips and dip. I had a beer and some champagne, and a few chips and dip before heading out the door to go home.

And then, I stopped at McDonald’s and bought 3 double cheeseburgers.

Again, the troublesome part was the complete lack of my higher cognitive functions from even *commenting* – it stood by and did nothing.

After the feeding my higher powers of reasoning came back online. They assessed the situation calmly, assigned no guilt I could detect, and went back to doze in a corner.

It pretty much stopped there. I did have 2 large glasses of milk but other than that, did not eat the rest of the night. A voice inside of me said ‘we’ll pick this up tomorrow’ and that was about it.

I think I know what’s going on. I won’t speculate here and now, but I think I need to manage the Executive Function of my brain better.

I don’t travel well

So I was 275.8 and went to 273.6. Big deal.

I can say I did feel a might bit better in the AM. I know full well I feel better on a low carb diet and just a day proves it.

I have vacation time and took a day before I lose it to catch up on a few things around the house. Of course, the opportunity of being in the house by myself – with Halloween candy still by the front door – added some challenge.

I had a few slices of the mortadella wrapped around a few tablespoons of cream cheese as a late breakfast. and 2 hamburgers with melted cheese and Tabasco sauce as dinner.

I tried to avoid work – it should be able to get along without me for a day – but I saw something appear on my calendar – and it looks like a meeting at a client. This sucks. I don’t travel well – and I don’t believe I have any decent clothes that fit.

Later in the evening I sat with a drink and had the most profound sense of despair descend upon me. Where did this come from? It felt as if everything wrong with my life, all the tasks I needed to get to, all the shortcomings that humans have and need to deal with about themselves on a daily basis suddenly appeared together to torment me.

That’s not me – usually. I’m more accepting of the imperfections of life and myself.

I chalked it up to lack of carbs. Carbs mess with your brain – as do the lack of carbs. My brain was reacting to a different diet and this explained why the exact life I had a day before and was sanguine about now seemed unbearable.

My drink – another vodka – seemed unbearable as well – I tossed it, unfinished. I followed it up with a psyllium in water chaser.

Hungry before bed but still not completely having my footing yet with low carb eating, I found some frozen roasted cauliflower in the freezer. I nuked that and ate it. It was just roasted cauliflower but the roasting made it flavorful enough to stand on its own.

I went to bed but had indigestion – I think the large glass of water with psyllium was the culprit. I had a few Tums, noting that from the moment I started my diet my need for them plummeted.

 

 

 

Letting the cat out of the bag

So I decided to start – yet again – with an old standby: butter – lots of it – wrapped in roast beef. I made 4 or 5 of these tiny little wraps, wrapped them in foil, and brought to work. In my experience there is nothing like butter to accelerate ketosis.

I remember the other side – a place where carb cravings lessen, where hunger is not so persistent, where a sort of calm descends.

The problem is getting there. As I’ve written on before, the body’s conversion from burning carbs to burning fat can be a rocky one. I’ve done it more times than I can remember but I always feel the physical effects: headache, dizziness, at least. Also – while you’re actually in the midst of the conversion you still have full-on carb cravings – worse because if you have put little effort into curbing carbs prior (raises hand) – you are going to notice.

I started the day with coffee with Atkins Shake as creamer, then had one of my mini wraps as breakfast when I got into work. It tasted OK. I must admit part of my difficulty in restarting my diet has been perhaps a tiredness as to my food choices. Why have just a burger when a burger on a toasted bun is so much better?

As the morning progressed I found the need to ask a colleague a question and – somehow – the conversation turned to diet.

I told this person I had started a diet – and told them my goal was to eat a stick of butter today to get ketosis going.

I got ‘that look’. Very used to it – I expect it. The larger issue is: I owned up to being on a diet. I’m on the hook. It was unintentional, but now I have some social pressure to keep me honest.

Late morning I had 2 big tablespoons of psyllium husk in a large glass of water – horrible stuff unflavored and not ground fine – but I am very used to it. That was about as far as my plan extended – I really had nothing after that, which wasn’t good.

I eventually took a ride to the fancy supermarket down the road and got mortadella and cream cheese. No carbs to be found – and both are on a shortlist of what I’d call the ‘Protein/Fat Inversion’. Most foods – even most fatty foods have more protein than fat – but not these two – both of these have more grams of fat than protein per serving.

The deli guy gave me 2 slices of mortadella as I waited – I guess that’s lunch. I really should eat more like that. Small, high-fat, high-calorie portions that aren’t really all that high calorie in the end because you’re not eating that much.

While mortadella is not exactly a health food, I just need to keep the fat up to get over the carb withdrawal hump. Eating things I like will ease the cutover – then I might be able to apply some discipline and eat less processed fare overall.

(I’m beginning to touch on some of the psychological aspects of food that usually derail me but I’ll avoid a discussion on that now.)

I also ‘cracked open’ my copy of ‘The Fat Fast Cookbook‘ – a mercifully short to-the-point book on basically eating 90% of your calories as fat to jumpstart a low carb diet, with a bunch of recipe ideas. It’s a Kindle book and so it’s always handy as long as at least I have my mobile phone with me.

I had an afternoon coffee and discovered – damn! – they DID use my picture! 

Well, I have proven talented at using a mirror without looking at myself in the mirror. There’s a difference. I’ll have to do the same with this.

Evening was so-so. Got a pizza for the family and had a slice. Also had some vodka.

All in all – it could have been worse.

Some external events prompt another go

God am I ugly.

I’m married, in my 50s, and don’t need to get through life on my looks – but man!

I had my picture taken for professional purposes and it is awful. I almost can’t bear to look at it.

Apparently – neither can others. It was going to be used as part of a group of photos representing a team I am on, but it appears that my assessment of the photo – and my visage – is objectively correct: I’ve been dropped from the group and my photo is missing.

I’m quite happy about this. I have never been photogenic. I’m lucky if a good picture gets taken. I tend to freeze up when a camera is pointed at me, and my ‘photo smile’ makes me look like a half-wit.

The pictures capture this perfectly. Artfully taken by a professional, they capture all the reasons why a camera should never be pointed at me.

Now – you can’t cure ugly, but the ugly is made worse by the fat. I’ve had some success at addressing the fat issue before – and this photo might be that tipping point that leads me away from the Land of Fun Starches back to the Land of Low Carb Reason – a place I know exists. I’ve been there before. I’ve lived there. It was OK. No – I didn’t eat White Castle hamburgers there, but I did eat, didn’t starve, lost weight and felt better.

And I didn’t look like Jabba the Hut on a bad hair day.