As nobody visits anymore (fine by me) this will probably be seen by the few souls that subscribed some time long ago due to a momentary lapse of reason. Now here I am again, polluting your inbox. Sorry.
So how’s the pandemic/collapse of society treating you? Me – I can summarize: in spring of 2020 I went to the office for a meeting as the news of COVID began to build and one person at the meeting said: ‘This shit is getting real!’ He was right. 2020 was a shitshow, and so was 2021. 2022 is shaping up to make the previous 2 years look like the good old days. I didn’t catch COVID until late summer 2021. I was vaxxed and despite being fat and hypertensive, the symptoms were relatively mild. Low fever that came and went, fatigue, and my lungs hurt. I didn’t think COVID – I lived as a shut-in, worked from home, was lucky enough to afford having groceries delivered, and only ventured out to the local Trader Joe’s for a targeted visit with my mask on that lasted less then 10 minutes.
I did have a doc appointment and thought it rude to appear there without getting tested though I fully expected a negative. The test came back positive.
Went to the doc, explained the situation, and he recommended I see some specialists.
I pictured a series of appointments with various medical professionals stroking their Van Dyke beards going ‘hmmmmm…’ at my results – and recommending another friend/doctor for me to see.
Well after a month I had body aches, muscle aches, fatigue, and breathlessness – way more breathlessness than I had before COVID.
So I self-diagnosed I had ‘Long-COVID’, made a decision that doctors had no idea what to do about it – and did nothing.
So I worked and ate and slept. In my free time, I did a lot of doom-scrolling – which did wonders for my mental health.
And I ate whatever I liked.
Lots of takeout. Pizza was my favorite, then subs from Jersey Mike’s, then McDonalds. Last resort was Wendy’s as it was close and had a drive-thru so it was the least effort. I do not know how Wendy’s can claim to be better food than McDonald’s though – I think it sucks in comparison.
With this routine I packed on enough weight that my scale rated for 300lbs. would flash ‘WTF’ or something like that to tell me I was too fat for it so I didn’t have any feedback mechanism.
I had long ago ditched keto and occasionally checked my blood glucose, which oddly enough, was elevated but for the most part not bad. 120s – 140s – low, given my description of eating habits.
For more than 6 solid months a shower was an ordeal where I had to rest afterward before getting dressed. Going down stairs to get coffee and then coming up again would leave me winded for a few minutes.
I had no energy to cook, to clean, to do laundry. I did the bare minimum necessary for survival and an income.
But sometime in May I began to feel a little better. I didn’t need to take a nap for lunch anymore. I didn’t seem to need to spend 14 hours a day sleeping. Showers began to feel less or an ordeal again.
And things that I didn’t concern myself with began to bother me. Like not having a scale.
So with no plan other than to buy a scale I bought a scale. It was a no name brand, extra wide for fat folks, could handle hefties upt to 500lbs. and had big freakin’ glowing numbers.
That was good enough for me. I ordered for $40 and it was delivered May 24th.
The first time I weighed myself I was pleasantly suprised. I had thought given my eating habits I would be WAY above 300 but it said I was 309. 309 still sucks terribly but not as terribly as I imagined.
That was it: now I knew what I weighed. Time for bed.
I had been in a habit of weighing myself daily in my previous life and started that up. Still no plan to DO anything, but I weighed. I hovered around this number.
I started to notice however that I was paying more attention to what I was eating. The feedback alone made me more conscious of what I was eating and what I ate gradually lessened in quantity of junk as well as overall quantity. Still had pasta. Still had wine, but I skipped the 2 Big Macs – the second for only $1 more – which is a deal you do not pass up lightly. I bought a small fries instead of a large fries.
Then I found myself – a lover of bread in all its forms – putting in an order for delivery that had no bread. I still bought bologna – a comfort food I have lived on during the Pandemic – but I also bought the supposedly healthier chicken breast.
I soon found myself falling back into a keto diet. I suppose I am hard-wired after nearly 20 years of low carbing it to return to this way of eating.
I didn’t want to count shit and I didn’t have a plan – I just sorta avoided the stuff I knew to avoid and ate what I knew was ok. I suppose it looks like a kind of ‘dirty keto’ as there’s burgers and sausages and MiO and liquid Splenda and Atkins shakes. Not exactly ‘health food’.
I also maybe eat once or twice a day, thoough I still have my coffee with cream. I’ve even occasionally taken my supplement stack – which I had stopped
It might sound awful to you but I feel better. I love carbs but they make me feel sick – especially breads and pizza. If there is a Heaven their must be pizza and not that crap sold at the chains, but pizza made by real Italians that know how the fuck to make a good pie.
I’,m in ketosis now and have been for maybe a week. Again, I am tracking but not obsessing. I have keto sticks for blood testing (KetoMojo) that I thought I’d never use again – I’ve started and I’ve hit 1.8 mmol/ml. I’ve also hit the 300.0 mark on my no-name scale today – and I’ve recorded blood glucose measurements in the 90s.
My ‘diet’ is still an uneasured melange of chaos that circles keto – and maybe that’s were I should keep it for now. I’m not overthinking it. There is no ‘plan’. I’m avoiding bread, pasta, pizza, and other takeout. As the keto kicks in quick for me as I think my body is so conditioned to it that it just does it easier than most folk, the appetite is kinda dead and I might go a whole day without eating – only to grab something before going to bed after some wine.
Remember that I am a ‘stunt dieter’ – I don’t recommend you follow my advice on ANYTHING – except maybe one lesson learned here.
If you are having issues getting into the groove of a diet try weighing yourself every day. A LOT of people frown on this – I find it – perhaps even subconscoously – motivating.
At least it seems so now. How long all this lasts God only knows. I didn’t really intend to start a diet – it just sorta happened. I’m somehow detached from it all. I almost feel that what happens next isn’t up to me.
17 thoughts on “Hi Folks – how’s it goin’?”
Glad to see you back! I always enjoy reading what you have to say. I discovered you a number of years ago when I tried to follow a low carb diet, but always struggle with it. Thanks for letting us hang out with you again.
And thank you Denise.
I always enjoy your posts. Glad to see this latest one pop up in my inbox. Know that you are in good company. I’m the chubby girl with a working knowledge of LCHF/Keto. I’ll share it with anyone who wants the info, but I’m currently (and clearly) off the wagon. Wish it were easier to stay on it!
Still here and still reading! Happy to hear from you and lost 20 myself this spring with keto! Keep posting, please!
In an unbelievable coincidence, a few days ago I was actually thinking about you and wondering whatever became of you after all of this time not hearing from you. So, I’m glad to hear that you are still out there keeping track of what you eat, whether good or bad, but knowing that every day is another trial we face is just one more step towards your goal. I’m also glad to know that you are feeling better since your Covid experience. It was good hearing from you again.
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I know: ‘Is that dude dead or something?’ Not yet. Believe it or not, about a year ago I had an echocardiogram and – suprise – after neraly 20 years of eating high fat my carotic and coranary arteries were pretty clear. And still – after eating like I have for quite some time – I don’t have full-blown diabetes despite my family history predicting it decades ago. What up there? Who knows? Thanks for the response – from you and everybody – I never thought much of this blog but maybe some of you folks find it somehow useful or at least entertaining.
Hello! So very glad you’re back! We all appreciate your writings! Sorry you got Covid. Our county is finally in the “moderate” level. Please keep posting!
ME! Hope all is well. I don’t know if I’m ‘back’ – if I think I have something interesting to say I’ll post but I don’t think I’ll return to my old ways. We’ll see.
Wish I could interest people who struggle with weight issues to experiment with their meat intake. A lot of folks on keto don’t know to restrict their arachidonic acid intake so as to normalize endocannabinoid system function. Here’s a good article that explains how the fatty acid profile of ones food intake affects appetite, etc. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3677644/
Hi Dave! I gotta tell you – it’s been a long day and I don’t have the IQ points to read medical technobabble. I once read they didn’t do this in the old days but now all the researchers have to write like this because writing like this is assumed to be the sign of a smart person when in fact, making your papers easy to read is a much harder task but they get no credit for that. Could you summerize in plain english? My day job has me at full capacity and I’d love a translation.
Sorry. I thought the ‘Fatty Acid Modulation of the Endocannabinoid System and the Effect on Food Intake and Metabolism’ article was written in plain English.
The problem is, most people are not familiar with the terminology because there are no science writers anywhere in the World reporting on arachidonic acid research. I have found that if I Google arachidonic acid in conjunction with any physical or mental disturbance that comes to mind, somebody is researching the matter. For example, on page 2 of a 1996 symposium entitled ‘Biological Effects of Arachidonic Acid’ the authors wrote, Excessive signaling of AA metabolites has been associated with various chronic degenerative or autoimmune diseases, and intervention with the metabolism of AA is widely employed therapeutically in these afflictions. In essence, AA is the most biologically active unsaturated fatty acid in higher animals. Its concentration in membranes and its magnitude of effects depend on its amount, or that of its precursors and analogues, in the diet. The tendency of the field of nutrition to ignore the role of dietary AA will optimistically be reversed in the future.”
Well, the future has arrived and the field of nutrition is still ignoring arachidonic acid research. Meanwhile, no nation on Earth has figured out what’s causing the obesity/diabetes epidemic.
In 2003 Global Obesity expert Barry Popkin came within shouting distance of the truth of the matter when he noted increases in vegetable oil and meat consumption in countries with a growing obesity problem. https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-xpm-2003-09-28-0309270148-story.html#nt=outfit&nt=feed-flex-feature
It amazes me that nobody has figured out that the meat is defective due to the practice of feeding grain to livestock. Researchers have powerful tools that can be used to determine what sort of and how much meat people are eating. https://www.studyfinds.org/hair-reveals-food-obesity-risk-haircut/
I went to https://www.textcompare.org/readability/ and plopped in some text from the NIH article and it came back as 20th grade level. My post is 6th grade level. I just went through 2 full days of in-person meeting at the corporate office and I work in a very technical field. There was hour after hour of technical presentations. I will also find myself working through the weekend as I am behind on a number of projects where I will have to think up solutions to problems, outline them, propose a solution, then estimate resources and timelines.
My brain can’t take on the cognitive burden of an NIH article. And this is why AA gets ignored: most researchers already have their own pet projects and aren’t interested in expending what cognition they have left at the end of the day to take in your pet project.
Let’s face it: you, Dave Brown, are the world’s foremost expert in arachidonic acid. And when you exit this mortal coil, you might be the only expert the world ever had.
I think you have to change your audience. Researchers might not care, but regular folk might. There’s a lot of fat people looking for a new approach that you could help outline for them. You could take that NIH article and with your years of study, bring it down to a level that most folks with a grade-level reading capability can understand. Give them the ‘Cliff Notes’ version of things, lay out some simple diet reccomendations, be clear you’re not a doctor but just a dietary research nerd and what you write isn’t medical advice – and maybe some folks will listen.
Think of Robert Atkins. Doctors didn’t want to listen to him and thought he was a total crackpot – but he wasn’t a total crackpot. From the 1970s till his death in 2003, he popularized his diet with very plain speak. People bought his diet book, some lost weight, and finally, so many people were doing it that NOW the researchers were interested in proving him wrong. Thing was – a lot of their research showed he got a lot of things right. Keto still gets a bad rap but https://www.virtahealth.com/ is a medical plan for treating diabetes by 2 keto scientists that is now covered under a number of insurance plans.
It wouldn’t exist if Atkins only tried persuading researchers – he was just a cardiologist and they thought he was a con man and a quack. He might have been a bit of both but there was something valuable there.
I’d love to see you popularize what you have learned and share it with a wide audience. You need to be a Carl Sagan, a Neil Degrasse Tyson, or a Bill Bryson (I’m currently listening to ‘A Short History History of Nearly Everything’ for like the third time – it’s all about science but so easy to take in it’s a pleasure. Download an excerpt from somewhere and see what I mean). You have all the references so no one can accuse you of making stuff up so when people try to diss your ideas (nutrition science is a blood sport) you have your bases covered.
Dust off your blog, write some conversational posts at a grade-school readability level. Post to Twitter. Forget the researchers and create the ‘Dave Brown Arachidonic Acid Diet’.
You might help a few people, and maybe more than a few, then get some attention, and them maybe change the world.
I’m totally serious.
I suggest you change your audien
It’s good to see an update from you. It’s weird that we have very similar health journeys: I went from 359lb to 185lb in 2009 via low carb (before the current “keto” thing became all the rage). And the weight has slowly crept back on over the ensuing years such that I’m at around 300lb now. And I’m currently isolating from a COVID-positive test earlier this week with very mild symptoms. Crazy similarities.
As always, know that people out the on interwebs are pulling for you, and know that you’re not alone in the struggles with weight and health. And we’ll continue to look forward to that next elusive post from you.
All the best!
I do so appreciate the sentiment, Chris. I must say that the state of the world these days has me losing faith in what I thought was a fundamenal decentness in humanity. So many people seem so mean, and angry, and full of hate and the temptation is to think that is all there really is and my faith in the goodness of people was wrong all along – and you, this stranger, come along, and remind me that not everyone is cold and only out for thenselves, but a few folks are still able to care for one another. Thanks for the reminder.
As to our shared membershp in the 300lb. club, the only advice I feel confident in giving is: be kind to your body, be kind to yourself, be kind to others even if they don’t deserve it, and be kind to the world. Kindness shared can spread – and you might not change the world, but you might just touch one person now and then who is dying on the inside and give them a glimmer of hope.
I wish you success if you choose to give a diet another try – or peace with yourself if you don’t.
LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing from you again! You have always been one of my very favorite blogs to read. You’re so honest, real and upfront about the trials of weight loss. I am sure you realize you’re not alone. Right there with you starting keto again. As always, I wish nothing but the best.
Hey you! I just used an expression I’ve oft seen you use to describing using up leftovers and wondered how you were doing. So nice to see that there is even recent activity on your blog. I’m sorry you’ve had to go through COVID but I am glad you’ve survived the pandemic. There are people out here who do care; I hope you’ll keep popping up to say hi. Be well!
Hi! You’ve posted here a lot. Nice to see you visit. You’ve already been warned so you know what to expect. Thanks for checking in!