Eats, December 7: Am I SAD?

A Note on Irvingia: I’m going to post my observations on my Irvingia testing as comments to the Irvingia Field Reports page onward and see how that works. This way, the blog doen’t get entirely taken over by the topic, and people who are interested in Irvignia know where to go – and the folks who could care less don’t need to be botheredIf you are taking Irvingia and would like to let readers know of your experience, please post there.

I started my eating with a cup of the Crock pot pork and tomatoes, followed up by a cup of the celery stir fry. This was about 12:30. Hungry again around 4pm, I had some ham and two slices of low carb bread.

Still more thirsty than usual, I guzzled down 2 glasses of seltzer splashed over some 4c drink mix. I don’t mix up the stuff all at once, but I store it in an old prescription bottle and add a dash here and there when I want it. 

This saves room in the fridge, and avoids my 2-year old from seeing it, wanting some, and spilling it all over the white couch, where the neon red of the dye they use in the stuff necessitates pulling off the slipcover and washing it – again.

In the evening I had wine & pasta, a cookie, Stilton cheese, pork rinds, and some Greek toast with my daughter. 

The scale reports 212.0 – an impressive increase in just a few short days. 

If you look at these results, based on what I ate, it would make sense that I don’t lose any weight – but to gain so much?

If I look back a year, the EXACT same weight gain occured at the same time – in December 07, I shot up to 215, then worked my way back down.

I did a search on ‘seasonal weight gain’ – and got a lot of links for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Great. I don’t WANT a friggin disorder, especially one that seems like a disorder exclusively for hypochondriacs. I’m a guy – I want my disorders to have clearly defined symptoms – like a limb ripped off, or sky-high blood pressure.

These can be objectively measured, actions taken (limb reattached, blood pressure brought under control through medication), and objectively measured again to determine if the action was a success. It’s a guy thing.

With this disorder, you sit in front of a light, and ‘feel better’ – nothing objectively measureable. 

But…it really irks me that these symptoms from an article on the Clevland Clinic website seem to overlay where I’m at right now:

People who suffer from SAD have many of the common signs of depression: Sadness, anxiety, irritability, loss of interest in their usual activities, withdrawal from social activities, and inability to concentrate. They often have symptoms such as extreme fatigue and lack of energy, increased need for sleep, craving for carbohydrates, and increased appetite and weight gain.

Symptoms of winter SAD include:
  • Fatigue
  • Increased need for sleep
  • Decreased levels of energy
  • Weight gain
  • Increase in appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased desire to be alone

Now – a person has to be wary of what I’ve heard called ‘First year medical students disease’. This is where medical students start reading about diseases and their symptoms, overlay a vague set of symptoms on their complaints, and scare themselves silly that they are gonna die from a given disease.

It’s easy – here – play along: next time you have a headache, what if it not just muscle tension, but rather bacterial spinal menningitis

Taking that into consideration, might there be something to SAD? Might it explain a number of things going on?

And more importantly, might a stupid light fix it?

More Food Journaling 12-07-08

Had 3 eggs in a tablespoon of butter around 10am. I was hungry maybe an hour and a half later, so I had some cream cheese mixed with pumpkin and Splenda as a spread on low carb bread, then some of the cranberry sauce I made as the ‘jelly’. I really like the cranberry sauce. Boil cranberries in just enough water to cover until they burst open, then add Splenda to taste. I probably put 8 packets of Splenda in the last batch. It’s low carb, fresh made, and full of antioxidants. 

I could probably live without store-made zero calorie FrankenJellies.

Went shopping, and when I came home I was famished. I ate 3 slices of cheese with mayo and bread, and a ham sandwich. Couldn’t help myself. At this particular instant, there was NO indication that the Irvingia was diminishing my appetite. 

What I have noticed is being unusually thirsty. I am not usually guzzling down glasses of liquids, but when I came home, I couldn’t wait to have a drink of seltzer – I used some Crystal Light on ice – and drank at least 16 oz. very quickly – then had more.

I was in a funk the first half of the day. Maybe it was because I had a Christmas party to go to and I had no nice clothes. My nice clothes are all too small – and the ones that I do fit in just barely fit. It is a bummer of awesome proportions to buy clothes when you have clothes that would be just fine – if you could fit in them.

This means that I bought a pair of 36 waist pants for the first time in years. This really scares me, as I believe that not having ‘fat pants’ is, right now, a key to keeping myself at least at the weight I’m managing at presently.

This – along with a disastrous shopping trip with a toddler on the verge of a meltdown and a general anxiety that I normally have about parties, kept the stress hormone flowing today.

I whipped together a recipe for the Greek Pork & Tomatoes I made the other day – this time in the crock pot. All I did was put the contents listed above in the crockpot, set it for high for 8 hours, and went to take a nap because I was exhausted – and had a late night party to go to.

I took my nightly Irvingia right before I left for the party. I also weighed myself – 207.0.

The party turned out to be the high point of the day. Nice people and a relaxed atmosphere.

I had a rum and Diet Coke, then some champagne.

For eats I had some meat balls – maybe six. A little later I had some of the pastries, a small roast beef sandwich 
(with the bread),  and maybe a chip or two as they sat in front of me on a table.

The scale reported 209.8 in the morning – not unexpected, but not welcome, either.

The Irvingia Weight Loss Challenge – Day 2

It was a 2 hard-boiled egg and 2 cups of Italian meatball and sausage day at work. Home in the evening was some of the Greek – inspired pork dish that I cooked the other day with some vino. 

I was in bed and half-asleep when my daughter needed a bottle of milk. I went downstairs and while waiting for the mik to warm, I noticed the dish of Chef Boyardee Beefaroni that someone had prepared for the Kid and went uneaten.

Well, the uneaten part of this story wasn’t going to last.

Now, putting this in perspective, it’s not all that bad. If you take a look at the nutrition data for the stuff, you see a total of 236 calories, and 35 grams carbs. 

While it is preferred that one obtain their daily carbohydrates from sources other than Beefaroni, my total carb count for the day, considering the other stuff I ate, must have been well below 40 grams. 

This rationalization did not impress my bathroom scale, however, and it reminded me that Beefaroni is decidedly not a diet food by returning a weight of 207.8.

As to the effects of Irvingia so far, I’ve noticed no stomach upset, nor other unpleasant gastric disturbances. No mood changes from what is usual for me. I’d say maybe – just maybe – I feel a little bit different, but I can’t quite put a finger on how.

I’d hazard a guess to say that I’ve noticed a gradual decrease in my appetite – nothing Earth-shattering, but it appears to have lessened a bit.

As one poster commented, Irvingia seems to work over a period of time – her theory is that the reduction in C- reactive protein takes time to have an impact, but as your body readjusts to the lower inflammation, it begins to accelerate the weight loss. This would explain why in the LEF study, there is an acceleration of weight loss – from week 4 to week 8, the participants lost 10 lbs. 

They lose 10 lbs. in week 8 to week 10 – twice as fast after 2 months on the stuff.

Now, I don’t necessarily believe that explanation, but it stands as a working hypothesis until something better comes along.

As Aristotle said: It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without embracing it.

The Irvingia Weight Loss Challenge – Reports From the Field

Wilbur Olin Atwater


I build things for a living. And when you build things, you need ideas so you know what to build, and how to go about building it.

I remember a long time ago, a boss of mine and myself were trying to come up with a solution to a particular problem and my boss had an idea and explained it to me.

It sounded good, and I said: “Sounds good – now what might possibly be wrong with this idea?”

He looked at me and laughed: “Why would I want to find anything wrong with my idea? It’s mine.”

I bring this up because I’ve always been suspect of ideas – any ideas – without them being tested.

In my early career I’ve had the opportunity to see my untested ideas come to life more time than I care to remember – and be a disaster.

When you build things, ideas are the fuel. You need a lot of them. They are a commodity – and they need to be tested – empirically, and carefully.

You also can’t assume ANY idea, from any source, no matter what the authority, is a given.

I’ve questioned many an assumption that was the bedrock of some idea, only to see that idea was a paper tiger.

One example is the ‘A calorie is a calorie is a calorie myth’ – much of the medical profession believes in this, but in my personal estimation, they are wrong.

When I researched this topic, I found so much guesswork in measuring calories in food and calories burned, as well as the fact that your absorbtion of calories must vary due to a number of factors, that I concluded personally counting calories was probably pointless.

Most people wouldn’t have got so far as to learn of Wilbur Olin Atwater when going on a diet – but I do. 

This can make me very irritating – people usually don’t like their assumptions questioned. 

So when I read of Irvingia, I was intrigued – and tried to figure out a way that I could somehow, to the best of my ability, ascertain if this stuff really worked – without taking as gospel every word of the Life Extension article.

Believe nothing you read and half of what you see. I heard that once, and that is my gospel.

So I did my best attempt at research, and based on what I read, and the credibility that Life Extension has in my estimation, I thought I would give it a try. Honestly, if this supplement was introduced by any other organization, I wouldn’t have tried it. 

So here I am trying this stuff – and so are at least a half-dozen of you folks out there. A lot of you have offered to post your experiences with the stuff, and I am honored.

Think of it this way: the research has been done in the lab and in medical settings. What we are doing here, together, is the first ‘real-world’ test of Irvingia. 

Irvingia ‘looks good on paper’ as they might say, but Irvinga as a means to a signifigant weight loss can only occur one person at a time, living in the real world.

We are putting it to the test. 

A bunch of folks have already sent their experiences, and they are scattered across a number of posts, making them hard to find.

To try and make it easy to find these posts, I’ve set up a page – Irvingia Field Reports. Please post any experiences about Irvinga there.

To anyone who is as adventuous as I am and had decided for themselves to try this stuff and post their experiences – welcome onboard.

Let’s see what we find.