Just Start your Diet, Will Ya?!? – Day 15 & 16

Friday, January 8, 2016 – Wt: 267.0 Blood Glucose 129 – 72.0 pounds to go – 6.6 lbs. lost – no Ketosis

Another decent day followed by a not-so-decent evening. Nothing much remarkable or different.

Saturday, January 9, 2016 – Wt: 267.6 Blood Glucose ? – 72.6 pounds to go – 6.0 lbs. lost – no Ketosis

Again, little remarkable. I did have some Wallaby Organic Greek yogurt with sucralose – and went to the movies with my wife – and I was oblivious of the popcorn she had – just zero interest. The evening followed the pattern of ‘treading water’ of the past few days: cocktails, lowish carb intake, and overall, eating a lot less in general than I had before I started the diet – but that first week’s level of focus – is not there.

I really need to cook more and focus more. Perhaps tomorrow I can do some cooking and reset my diet.

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Just Start your Diet, Will Ya?!? – Day 14

Day 14 – Thursday, January 7, 2016 – Wt: 267.0 Blood Glucose 133 – 72.0 pounds to go – 6.6 lbs. lost – in Ketosis

Despite the bumps, bruises, and other non-linear detours I have managed to lose 6.6 pounds in 2 weeks. This is above the 2 lb./week goal I set for myself so I can safely say this is the best that I’ve done at attempting weight loss in a while.

Now I’ve been no angel while doing this: New Year’s Eve party, pasta, cheesecake, vodka – all no-no’s – played guest appearances. Still, the carbs have been in portion sizes that don’t necessarily kick me out of ketosis – though they do prevent me from getting deeply into it.

Let’s say I’m ‘easing’ into the diet, bumbling my way toward healthier eating. I’m in no way there yet – to be sure – but it seems I am bumbling in the right direction.

That blood glucose number is pretty awful, for example. I need to get that down by eating less carbs. I need to cook more – a lot of the carb eating is more due to a lack of goto meals in the house combined with a lack of discipline.

There’s a reason why my blog’s tagline is ‘The world’s worst low carb dieter’. It’s not hyperbole.

My daytime has become routine – coffee and cream in the morning, a cup of chili during the day, and black coffee through the day.

The cracks are appearing in the evening – as they always do. It’s tough to have a routine when you literally have little more than 2 hours per day of free time in the evenings during the week – and kids sometimes have evening activities that can cut into that short window. It’s at these times that I tend to grab less than optimal foods just due to the fatigue of the day – up around 5am for an hour of so of solitude, coffee, writing and reading, then get myself and the kids out the door, drop the kids at school and then an hour’s drive to work – and not back home until 7:15pm. Weekends are the time to cook – but a lot of errands get left for the weekends.

You might have noticed a gradual disintegration of the diet. Hopefully I can keep it together until the weekend, get some cooking in, and have low carb choices for the week.

What I ate

Coffee and cream at home – and black coffee at work. A cup of chili at work. At home there was no pretense of a low carb diet as I ate bread as I dashed out to pick up my teenager, then came back and had some Chinese takeout, 2 vodka cocktails, then some chocolate cake.

Low carb diet?!? What low carb diet?!?

Just Start your Diet, Will Ya?!? – Day 13

Day 13 – Wednesday, January 6, 2016 – Wt: 267.4 Blood Glucose 108 – 72.4 pounds to go – 6.2 lbs. lost – Ketosis ?

I woke before the alarm and was able to get up – that a big improvement over yesterday, though I didn’t think I’m ready to take on the world just yet. I functioned OK, felt well and was in good spirits despite having to do an immensely tedious job that required a lot of concentration while also being long and boring.

Being able to do it seems proof my brain is functioning fine.

The operant feeling for the day was an unusual lack of hunger. Unusual because carbs late at night usually make me hungry the next day. Possibly because I ate only a small amount yesterday? Though it was pasta and garlic bread, there’s a good chance the whole thing was under 50 grams of net carbs since it was a small portion.

There was also no stomach discomfort even though I had my coffee and cream in the AM.

I ate a cup of chili at about 5pm. A cup is small, but it does the job these days. I’ve also noticed the unnoticed: the McDonald’s that used to be a regular stop on the way home doesn’t seem to even get a thought these days. That’s a big win.

I had an evil idea – or at least one of those ideas that gets you into trouble. When I go home I was 265.4 and in ketosis – and thought that I might have just ONE drink of vodka before eating. Nothing wrong with one – right? Well, it turned into two, which again is not necessarily a big deal – alcohol is not a carb, a protein, nor a fat – it’s in its own category. You CAN drink on a low carb diet but it will slow weight loss.

I think the vodka (on the rocks with lemon juice, BTW) was more of an issue in messing up my food choices. Cheese, mayo, and lettuce? That was fine. The leftover tuna salad? Fine, if I skipped the bread I had it on. And the tortellini? No excuse there, but the excuse I gave was ‘just a little bit’.

Let’s be honest: my diet still sucks but it sucks less than it did compared to before I started. I’m getting better but there’s room for improvement. All this needs to be balanced with a way to sustain sanity: would I have given up and made NO progress if I had been more strict?

I feel quite sane at this point – so maybe half-assed is all the ass I can put into the game for now and I must be patient, persistent and forgiving to myself as I bumble my way toward my goal.

That sounds a lot like me.

 

Just Start your Diet, Will Ya?!? – Day 12

Day 12 – Tuesday, January 5, 2016 – Wt: 267.4 Blood Glucose ? – 72.4 pounds to go – 6.2 lbs. lost – Ketosis ?

Kind of a lost day.

All I did was sleep. I couldn’t drink coffee and my stomach was doing loop-de-loops. I drove my kids to school, hoping I would feel good enough that when I got home I could shower and get to work.

Uh-uh.

I came home, went straight to bed and slept almost 8 hours straight. Then I fell back to sleep and slept until 7:30.

I really wasn’t hungry, but I was dehydrated and had a lot of water. The kids had tortellini with garlic bread. I had a small bowl of that with some of the bread. That was the only thing I ate and drank for the whole day.

I then went back to bed around 9:30 and had no problem falling asleep.

 

Just Start your Diet, Will Ya?!? – Day 11

Day 11 – Monday, January 4, 2016 – Wt: 269.4 – Blood Glucose  97 –  4.2 Lbs. lost – 74.4 pounds to go – in Ketosis

I try to console myself about the fact that I must return to work today with the thought that, unlike other times at home with a fridge steps away, I not only resisted grazing on whatever I could find, but in fact, got into ketosis for most of that time as well as saw my blood glucose go down into the normal range. Yes – there was New Year’s – and that was another success – it didn’t derail the diet.

With my focus more on the ketones and blood glucose I am much calmer. With the weight secondary I am not frustrated – nor should I. My goal was 2 Lbs./week and that looks to be on track – so what’s there to be frustrated about?

I’ll even put this out there: even if I don’t lose the weight I’d like, I’m in a better place psychologically and physically than I was prior. My energy is up (a little), my apathy is down (let’s see how work goes, though), my mind feels clearer – and I’ve consumed no junk food since before Xmas – with New Year’s a brief exception.

All good stuff, and I’d like to think, a great start to the year.

Then the wheels came off.

What I ate

I had made some low carb chili awhile back and thawed some out. One cup was my lunch. Of course, before this was my coffee and cream at home as well as black coffee at work. I was feeling weird all day – probably the ketones – as it was woozy with a slight headache.

Around 2:30 I had an energy drink as I was battling a fatigue unlike that of a big carb-filled lunch that just makes you incredibly sleepy but more a heaviness without tiredness. I didn’t notice any mental fatigue – I seemed sharp and in a good mood, really, for a first day back at work.

As the day went on I felt weirder and weirder. I also had a rather large headache, though I took nothing for it. I felt it might just be the adjustment to ketones. I also felt that same craving for something bad which seemed to accompany each time I seemed to really start to crank out the ketones.

This time I gave into the craving. I stopped on the way home at Trader Joe’s, got a bottle of vodka, and had a drink when I got home. Then another. I felt fine. A little vodka isn’t even going to ruin my diet all that much – it’s not like it was a piece of cheesecake.

The third one was not such a good idea. I have noticed this before: drinking during ketosis can turn you into a lightweight – after the third drink, which I didn’t finish, I began to feel sick.

I had checked my ketones when I got home and the strip was quite dark. I seemed to be producing a lot of them.

I was eating tuna salad and pork rinds – and had been feeling nauseous even before I got out of work. It got a lot worse. At this point I thought that some carbs might make me feel a little better – I can pick up the diet tomorrow – but in my addle-pated state I grabbed the first thing I could find – the kid’s leftover pizza. This *did* make me feel a bit better – for the moment.

Then I had a slice of cheesecake.

I went to sleep figuring I’d get back on course tomorrow, but instead I felt awfully sick. I awoke and almost a 1/2 dozen Tums couldn’t contain the pain and discomfort. I actually had 2 bid glasses of milk and this did settle my stomach. I went back to bed but drifted in and out of sleep. When it was time to get up I felt in no way able to get up. My head ached. It seemed more the continuation of the headache from the afternoon before rather than a hangover. Every muscle in my body ached. Was I coming down with the flu?

I doubted it. I believe it was some toxic combo of ketones, vodka, and crappy carbs that did me in. I could deal with that better than a case of the flu.

And maybe the vodka was a lesson learned. I needed to have it to show myself it makes me sick as a dog. It will probably hold less allure in the future after this.

Just Start your Diet, Will Ya?!? – Day 10

Day 10 – Sunday, January 3, 2016 – Wt: 268.2 – Blood Glucose  105 –  5.4 Lbs. lost – 78.6 pounds to go – no Ketosis

I woke at 3:30am – most likely because the TV was blaring and the cover had been pulled off me. The temperatures in the Northeast have been warm to the point of breaking records – Xmas  eve it was 72 degrees, for example – but now the temperatures are what you’d expect for January and the noise and the cold awoke me.

What might be uncharacteristic was me getting up after I turned the TV off. Normally I wouldn’t have the oomph to do much more than to crawl back to bed. Anomaly or diet? I can’t be sure, though waking early (though not *this* early) was one of the hoped-for side effects of my 2016 diet.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I wanted more from this diet than just to lose weight – I wanted to feel younger than I felt in 2014. It’s early in the game and I have been on vacation, which is a sort of artificial life, so it is hard to draw any hard conclusions. I DO think I am a little less apathetic.

It might just be the vacation time, though – let’s see if this holds when fully back in the rat race again.

Usually my Tums consumption goes down. This time? Not so much. Again – perhaps the holiday played a part in this and I’m still recovering.

My body is telling me: go back to sleep, fool – and this is after a big mug of coffee. OK – you win this one.

I woke again at 9:30.

My stats for today are a little off. When I woke at 3:30 I was in ketosis. At 9:30 I wasn’t. I also took my meds so my fasting glucose might be lower than it would be if I had not gotten up.

What I ate

It wasn’t until 1:30 that I had cheese and mayo on iceberg lettuce again. I swear – I could live on this stuff. What I really want to do is crack open some of my recipes here – or maybe go spelunking around the Internet for some new recipes – but the house – long-neglected – needs cleaning so I put in a few hours of that before my stomach was uncomfortable. Not necessarily hungry, mind you – I had only given it coffee and cream since 3am – and the last real food was 15-16 hours ago. It wanted to digest something other than itself, so I fed it and it gurgled happily – and I enjoyed my cheese, mayo & lettuce as well.

Toward evening I made this creamed spinach recipe – I actually spitballed it, but came out pretty good. It left noo room ofr more food, that’s for sure.

I made pasta fr the kids  when they came back from their activities. They also brought a baguette with them. I didn’t notice *either*.

This is what I love about a ketogenic diet: once you’re in the groove you don’t have to fight against cravings for foods you have a deep psychological attachment for – it does that for you. In any other circumstance – I would have eaten some of both.

 

 

Just Start your Diet, Will Ya?!? – Day 9

Day 9 – Saturday, January 2, 2016 – Wt: 269.8 – Blood Glucose 124 – 3.8 Lbs. lost – 74.8 pounds to go – no Ketosis

I think the above numbers answer the questions asked by well-meaning folks: “Can’t you cheat just a little?” “Do you really need to be on such a severe diet?”

A…no, I really can’t. Um, yeah – I think I do.

As I was not all that bad yesterday, I can only guess that there was a bit of a delay in the impact of New Year’s festivities, otherwise it is hard to explain the blood glucose number.

Also – if I was to tell people my doctor put me on a therapy that knocked up to 35 points off my fasting blood glucose in less than a week and has side effects of diminishing hunger as well as weight loss, though it comes with side effects that don’t allow me alcohol nor much in the way of  carbs, would they bat an eye – especially if a pill was involved?

Probably not.

Actually, I think this is how every gimmicky infomercial diet works. Spin a carnival wheel and pick a substance – maybe something exotic. Put it in a bottle, call it ‘Fat Slasher’ or something like that, then instruct the rubes to take one pill a day and follow the meal plan enclosed with the pills.

The pill could be filled with sawdust – it’s not doing anything – it’s the meal plan – but that pill allows us to confuse cause and effect and make the hucksters peddling it wealthy.

What I ate

It should go without mentioning that I had coffee and cream not long after I woke. And a bit more early afternoon. I also had my psyllium, and around 2:30 I had 2 slices of American cheese and a single hot Italian sausage, cooked in it’s grease, and topped with the canned parm cheese.

Mid-afternoon I began to feel tired but not tired, a little cranky, and began having cravings for anything on my ‘prohibited items’ list. The cravings did not discriminate but jumped from item to item – all would be fine. I had the luxury to do so and went to bed, though I really did not sleep, but instead lie there with my eyes closed. They were bothering me and I had a slight headache.

I finally got up around 6:30 and I tested – yep – ketones.

I suppose it’s not unreasonable to think that since I had a massive craving just before first going into ketosis on day 3 (I think) that there might be some physiological effect that rises up to a psychological one during the transition from the body fueling itself from glucose to one fueled by ketones. Let’s face it: glucose is the body’s first choice. For a lot of people, it might be the better choice.

Then there’s those of us who believe that the backup fuel system – ketosis – is a better choice for whatever our reasons: diabetes control, weight loss, epilepsy, etc., and we don’t give our bodies what they prefer. It doesn’t mean it’s necessarily bad for them, but they still protest. Sometimes your body doesn’t know better – look at autoimmune diseases, for example, where the body attacks itself. Allergies are another example.

It is important to ‘listen to your body’, but that doesn’t mean you listen to EVERYTHING.

Sometimes your body is just being dumb.

I do realize that this conclusion brings with it great personal responsibility. *I* might be the dumb one in this – or any situation where I am ignoring what my body says.

But my body was telling me to go out and get some vodka – I can be reasonably sure in this instance I was NOT ignoring some deep wisdom – except perhaps: “I’ll get him drunk and THEN he’ll eat carbs.”

Instead, I ended up cooking some stuffed pork chops – all seasoned and stuffed from Trader Joe’s – and had a portion without the stuffing. After that I had maybe 5-6 slices of cheese in a wrapper of iceberg lettuce with mayo. Iceberg is much better at mimicking the utility of the missing bread by acting as a means to hold the thing.

I finished up with dessert – about 1/2 a 4 oz. container of cream fraise, then went to bed and read for a while. I remember looking at the time right before sleep  – 11:30pm.