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.

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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.

 

Pigs Fly – Day 17

Thursday, July 21, 2016

 

266.8 at morning weigh-in.

Not the best of days. Did all right during the day – and part of the evening as well – having my burgers and cheese – which I don’t seem to tire of.

Went off the rails while watching part of the Republican Convention, having cheese, lettuce, and mayo on a slice of bread, the moppings of the hamburger grease on a half slice of bread, and ate way too much of a Lindt chocolate bar with blackberries that I got for Father’s Day.

I went to bed before the candidate spoke. Not all that interested.

Calories: 2645
Net carbs: 83g
Protein: 119g
Fat: 200g

Pigs Fly – Day 16

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Morning weight was 266.4.

The previous day ( which I did not have time to document) showed me at 1300 calories and 45 net carbs.

I think I can attribute a lot of my nearly 12 pound loss to portion control rather than low carb as I’ve been (on the whole) better at reducing the overall amount of food I’ve eaten than at choosing low carb foods.

For example: I ate a baked yam – no butter or other flavors added – at midnight as I had to work (don’t ask).

I have a sneaking suspicion that, at least for me, a small amount of carbs might be OK as long as I rigidly adhere to portion control – and portion control is easier without carbs because carbs make me hungry.

On this particular Wednesday I did the daytime in what is becoming the norm: coffee and Atkins shakes. This isn’t proving a big deal – I’m kinda used to it.

When I got home there were 2 hot dogs and cheese on a single bun, 1/2 peanut butter(!) and jelly sandwich on a single piece of bread, a fat slice of tomato. and a slice of Margherita pizza my daughter ordered.

A few glasses of MiO-flavored water also accompanied dinner.

The guesstimate for the day was:

Calories: 1350
Net carbs: 86g
Protein: 73g
Fat: 75g

 

 

Pigs Fly – Day 14

Monday, July 18, 2016

My weight this morning was 269.4. Not quite sure why – I’ll blame it on fluid retention.

Seeing the number still under 270 is nice – I’ve been unable to hold it there for very long since February.

It’s a small victory, I guess…

I woke early – before 4am – probably because my back was sore rather than any bursts of energy from a low carb day on Sunday. It was going to be a stressful week and out of the gate it lived up to every expectation.

I wasn’t myself, however. My brain was sluggish – or perhaps things were moving too quickly for me to keep up – I wasn’t the only one who seemed to feel this.

My day ended up being a long and stressful one. I didn’t get out of work until 7:45pm and a power line down made me take a detour so even with little traffic at that time I ended up home 8;45pm.

I ate nothing all that time except for coffee, atkins shake as creamer, and psyllium with water. I wasn’t feeling particularly hurgry nor out-of-sorts, but I did feel that I needed to eat something – althouugh part of me toyed with just going straight to bed.

When I got home I had the same from the previous night – 2 burgers, each with 2 slices of cheese topped with ketchup – though I bought the reduced sugar version to cut the carbs.

Ha! like that mattered! Mentally fatigued and physically tired, there was no controlling an urge for junk – especially when right in front of me. Someone had bought pound cake and I ate 3 slices. At this point I was so spent I don’t remember what else I had – a glass of milk perhaps? I also had a half bagel with butter.

The guesstimate for the day were:

Calories: 2900
Net carbs: 201g
Protein: 140g
Fat: 168g

 

 

Pigs Fly – Day 13

Sunday, July 17, 2016

I awoke at 4am with my stomach hurting. I drank 16 ounces of whole milk, which did make me feel somewhat better…for a while.

Then a sudden rumbling in my gut made me think it prudent to make my way to the bathroom.

Boy, was I right.

Whatever got into me wanted out – and it did so without decorum.

I went back to bed with my stomach still hurting and had a fitful sleep until about 10 am.

At noon I had the psyllium husks with water.

I was content until evening when I had 2 broiled hamburgers, each with 2 slices of American cheese with ketchup on top.

As a snack I had a cup of ricotta cheese with the EZ-Sweetz pure Splenda sweetener. I used to eat this when I first started low carb. I didn’t much like it now. It had almost a gritty texture.

Maybe not this go-round.

Totals:

Calories: 1572
Total carbs: 63g
Net carbs: 53g
Fiber: 10g
Protein: 104g
Fat: 101g

 

Pigs Fly – Day 12

Saturday, July 16, 2016

I was 268 when I got up. I felt sick and dazed however. I’ve been fighting a chest cold and it knocked the stuffing out of me.

I went back to bed and slept until nearly 4pm.

I ate…something around then – i think it was leftover scrambled eggs and butter on a slice of bread – then some toast on rye bread with butter.

Then I snoozed again.

Later I got up and had some wine and cooked up some kielbasa with sauerkraut and had that on some more bread.

I stayed up until my daughters came back from a movie then went to bed.

Too wiped to tally, but I’d guess the calories were not too high though the carbs probably were.