Day 40 on my new approach to a keto diet

There is no one ‘keto diet’. It has many variants that appear more or less the same to the outsider but are very different to someone deep in the thick of it – like Protestantism.

And like Protestantism, each of these variants interpret the same documents that underlie the practice, apply them differently, then follow, or try to follow a certain high-level dogma that results.

Like any set of competing belief systems, there is a necessary infighting between the variants about details. Just one of the many differences is the use of ‘exogenous ketones’. This is a product that most often contains beta-hydroxybutyric acid, which is the ketone fuel your body creates and runs on when on a keto diet. Some people have put this into a supplement and sell it.

Some variants of the keto diet think this is fine. Others will remove your post from their Facebook group if you even mention them.

Another controversy is: how much protein? Some groups recommend a lot less than others – and both scoff at the other’s interpretations of the documents that support their position.

The same goes for fat. All the groups want you to moderate it, but some make this central to their belief system – others seem to pay lip-service.

Lastly (though by no means the last), there is what I would call the position on what I would call ‘Keto food porn’. To me, this is the intricate and tortured attempt to create keto meals that resemble their high-carb inspiration, or inventions like a bacon-weave taco shell, or a round meatloaf with cheese in the center, wrapped in bacon.

Keto is very trendy right now (which will probably pass as it did before) and people are bringing enormous creativity to foods and recipes.

Some people love this. Some people think this encourages consuming extra calories, and the first group replies: who cares about calories? Just eat to satiety.

On this 2018 version of a keto diet, as usual, I came up with my own road to follow. While this time I have immersed myself in the most current thinking, joining over a half-dozen Facebook groups and listening to at least 50 hours of keto podcasts to learn what the current state of keto is.

One thing it does NOT seem to be is ‘Atkins’. While I believe that none of these people would be talking about keto if it wasn’t for Dr. Robert Atkins, who died in 2003, few people discuss him, and the current products the company he started are not held in high regard.

While you might be forgiven for using these products, you would not be applauded.

Another worrisome thing is just how dangerous this diet can be if you do it wrong – and most of these people climbing aboard the keto bandwagon do not understand the seriousness involved in altering your body fuel source and the serious medical problems it can cause. I will leave the authoritative research to others – and to you to dig up – again, I have nothing to sell and nothing to convince you to believe. These are the things I’m concerned might happen to people who achieve nutritional ketosis but are ill-informed about the pact with the devil you sign:

  1. Alcohol. If you are deep in ketosis, too much alcohol can lower that threshold for alcohol poisoning. Having a ready supply of carbs in your body can help mitigate a bout of binge drinking that ketones cannot, apparently.
  2. Pancreatitis. If you are unknowingly predisposed to this, a massive cheat can push you into this condition
  3. Gallstones. I had read that fat is necessary for the prevention of gallstones. Fat-phobic people predisposed to gallstones who try a high protein and lower fat version of keto might set themselves up for this. There could be other reasons as well.
  4. You can get dehydrated easily and your relationship to water needs to be watched. Too little OR too much can be bad
  5. Electrolytes. One thing normies eating a standard diet don’t tend to worry about is their electrolytes. People doing a keto diet do need to be careful about this because your need for sodium, magnesium, and potassium change. This can screw up the electrical system in your body – and you know what your electrical system does? It controls the beating of your heart! OK they say, I’ll just take supplements. Not so fast. TOO MUCH can be as bad as TOO LITTLE. People are messing with system not only they don’t understand, but that their doctors don’t understand.

It is for these reasons I DO NOT RECOMMEND A KETO DIET! The science surrounding this diet has been my primary hobby for more than a dozen years. To the regular person who comes along with no interest in learning the intricate details, I would not recommend this to them unless they had medical supervision by a doctor who knew the ins and outs of a ketogenic diet – and good luck finding one!

Stop reading yet? No? Ok – the rest of you left, let’s continue.

So what am I doing differently this time?

The first thing is that I have simplified my diet considerably. I have given up almost all artificial sweeteners (except sugar-free ketchup – not ready yet), dairy, nuts, cheese – and of course all grains and carby foods like potatoes. I now drink black coffee and plain water.

A partial list of what I’ve been eating for the most part?

  • Ground beef (moving toward New Zealand raised grass-fed beef)
  • Chicken thighs (moving toward organic – and I’d love to find pastured but haven’t yet)
  • Steak
  • Pork belly
  • Fire-roasted tomatoes and green chilies (for my chili)
  • Red and green bell peppers
  • Organic chicken broth
  • Lettuce (iceberg for now until people stop getting sick off of romaine which is a ‘thing’ as I write this)
  • Beefsteak tomatoes
  • Acocados
  • Asparagus
  • Organic celery
  • Eggs (organic and pasture-raised when possible)
  • Bacon
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Coconut milk
  • Coconut flour
  • Mushrooms
  • Pickles
  • Kimchi
  • Organic hot dogs from grass-fed cows
  • Sauerkraut
  • Psyllium husks

And I am planning to try experimenting with adding:

  • Ghee (aka clarified butter – considered OK in a dairy-free diet by people not eliminating dairy for religious or ethical reasons)
  • Broccoli florets
  • Nutritional yeast (a powder that sorta kinda of tastes cheesy, is full of nutrients, and might be good sprinkled on my broccoli)
  • Cabbage

I did not start here 40 day ago. It took a while to convert from my diet prior to April 2 where my primary food group was McDonald’s. What prompted the change was a sudden, worrisome trend in my blood glucose. I was seeing numbers up to 140 in the AM and they would stay elevated – even with taking metformin.

In less than 2 weeks I was able to get that number down by 20-40 points. In the mid afternoons I can see numbers in the low 80s – and this is with my stopping the metformin over 2 weeks ago.

Carb withdrawal at first was miserable. I comforted myself with an abundance of American cheese – God, I love the stuff! I also guzzled down seltzer loaded with Orange-Tangerine artificial sweetener in the evenings.

I also had Greek yogurt in work and Kerry Gold butter in my coffee. That was after the coffee and heavy cream I had in my coffee at home. I usually didn’t eat solid foods, though I would grab an Atkins shake and have some chicken broth with extra salt at lunchtime. This seemed to help with the mild headachy feeling I would get – but otherwise I felt good. Here and there was 2 squares of dark chocolate.

I gave up on the Greek yogurt because it seemed to trigger hunger during the first week.

There were some trashy, though low carb choices, along the way. Oscar Mayer bologna as well as bologna’s more refined cousin, Mortadella. Kielbasa. Pork rinds. These didn’t impact my blood ketones, which I measured obsessively. I got as high as 3.5.

I stopped negotiating with myself in the second week. I no longer thought about ordering McDonald’s and not eating the bun. I could watch people in work and at home gobble up carbs – even pizza – and it not bother me. It wasn’t willpower – it was that I had detoxed myself from carby foods and no longer had an interest. While I would not say even now that I don’t miss pizza, I don’t have this terrible craving for it, either.

Besides – I had substituted a bunch of junky keto-friendly foods to take the place of the high-carb junky foods.

To be clear: I started this particular go at the diet primarily for my health. And that worked: I lowered my blood glucose and stopped taking metformin. I also pulled off 10-12 pounds in 2 weeks. That was nice – but not the primary goal.

After the first 2 weeks the scale did not really budge, however, and while I was still committed to the diet for health reasons, I did want the weight loss to be part of it.

Finally, on day 34 I decided I might be strong enough to pull off eliminating all dairy and artificial sweeteners.

Boy oh boy, did this suck!

The cheese got replaced with more calories from meat and tomato slices with my burgers. While I still continue to use sugar-free ketchup, the amount of artificial sweetener is trivial compared with how much of the orange-tangerine stuff I would blast into glass after glass of seltzer on ice.

I started eating avocados more regularly. They can be tricky as they go bad so quickly but I’ve been able to manage. Once almost ripe, they keep in the fridge for a few days. When you take one out, eat it that day. Mostly works well.

I don’t drink the Atkins shakes. I’m drinking my morning coffee with coconut milk – and recently nothing. I no longer put butter in my coffee at work – and find that a little coffee goes way farther than it used to. I sometimes find myself not drinking any coffee at work – and when I do, it’s black. I don’t really drink fats anymore.

While not every day, on some days I find myself only eating one large meal a day. This happened quite by accident, but then I found out it was a ‘thing’ – OMAD (One Meal A DAY) or 23/1 Fasting. It seems there’s this notion called an ‘insulin holiday’. Here’s how I understand it. It is not only sugars that trigger insulin: proteins trigger them almost as well. So while your blood glucose might be low, your insulin might still be high – and as you have insulin resistance if you’re like me, eating nothing for a while gives the body a chance to not have to produce insulin as if you were snacking all day – and this might lessen insulin resistance over the long-term – at least that’s how the thinking goes.

There is a trick to this, however: eat too little and you put your body into ‘Starvation Mode’. Do this and your body can do all sorts of things – like make your hair fall out while holding on to every last calorie like a miser – and make you feel quite crappy – and there are voices on the Internet that don’t think this can be done without putting you into starvation mode.

So what I am doing is counting my macros more closely. I used a calculator I found here, and it gave me these ranges:

Calories:     1200 – 1892

Carbs:        20

Protein:    94-124 (104 is ideal)

Fat:        77-155

So the lower end is my target – and that ends up being one very satisfying meal per day. I don’t do this on all days – sometimes I have an avocado at work, and/or chicken broth. Sometimes I just have salt in water – depends on how I feel.

But you know the weirdest part of this: my narrowed food choices are liberating!

My diet seems easier. I’m not futzing around with food or thinking about food all the time. Diets can make you obsess about food more than not being on a diet. The simplicity makes things easier to track – and I hate tracking. The overhead of the diet is a lot less. I have more time for other thoughts than what I am going to eat – and amazingly enough – I don’t feel deprived.

That was the last thing I ever expected to say.

I could go on – like about what supplements I am taking – but I’ll stop here for now.

 

 

 

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My Crappy Diet So Far 11-11-2014

Another missive from the trenches. Where was I?

Oh, yeah – November 8th – a Saturday. I spent a good part of the day cleaning up the house, and part of that was the fridge. My wife has a tendency to purchase greens for what ends up being a form of torture of vegetables as they slowly degrade into uselessness, only to be thrown away – an utterly pointless existence. One could argue that food that has died for us so that we can eat has participated in ‘the circle of life’ – but to be thrown in the trash seems a sin against existence itself.

I think this philosophical position is one of the reasons I’m fat.

Anyway, I found a bunch of vegetables well past their prime and decided to make a soup out of them. The sad and wilted made it into the soup – the fuzzy from mold were too far gone even for me and got discarded. I didn’t even recognize what the greens *were* – except for the fennel root.

They either came from our excellent Farmer’s Market or from Whole foods, so they were – at least at one time – high quality – whatever they were.

Everything got chopped with the care and precision of an axe murderer late for an appointment and placed in the crock pot with the leftover chicken broth and beef broth. I then topped the chopped up greens with some Trader Joe’s IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) chicken thighs. These are very handy to have around. As individual chunks of meat-ice, you just take what you need and don’t have to worry about defrosting as I believe that they squish them to be sorta flat – making cooking time from freezer to plate reasonable within the context of a busy modern life.

Some things about food processing technology are not bad ideas at all.

I had a cup of my zucchini noodles in cream cheese pasta sauce as my first meal of the day. This is really good stuff. Who would have thought cream cheese would make an ideal ingredient in a pasta sauce?

I also made another pot of coffee and had more – along with cream.

While cleaning the fridge I found 1/2 burrito left to perish as its guacamole faded to black – but I had found it behind another item on the top shelf before this descent into inedibility occurred. So I ate it – the first cheat of the day.

I need to learn to waste food. My family does it with nary a thought – which is why I always seem to be taking up the slack and eating leftovers I shouldn’t. The problem is – as parents of depression-era parents, I heard too many stories about not enough food to go around and I suppose it scarred me as I find the wasting of food to be as abhorrent a thought as eating a bowl of wiggly worms.

Given I can’t change anyone but myself, this is something I need to work on – but it’s very near the core of what I consider ‘sacred’ and someone once said that the closer you get to what people consider ‘sacred’ the closer you get to the irrational.

Anywho,  I ran out and got chicken breasts as dinner for the kids. I also got them canned corn.

As I did all of this it occurred to me that something was different: my energy level. I didn’t feel as fatigued as I normally did. I wanted to do more, and kept at the long list of chores rather than putting them off. Things I didn’t expect to get done got done.

After 4 or 5 hours of my decrepit greens and chicken crockpotting I took the chicken thighs out of the crockpot and hit the mix with the immersion blender to break up some of the larger chunks. It didn’t blend as nice as my kale soup but it did help kinda even out the hack job I had done on the veggies when I hacked them up.

I then took the chicken thighs, cut them into bite-sized chunks, and put them back into the soup to cook for another hour.

When the hour was done, I had a small bowl. It tasted…OK, I guess, but I had put no spices in. I thought to try salt but then thought: Lea & Perrins sauce.

Yummmmmm. I am such a slut for Lea & Perrins. It’s said that Worcestershire sauce stimulates the umami taste buds – the more recently discovered taste bud to join the sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. I believe the Japanese discovered umami in the 1980s, which is why it has a Japanesified name. English speakers sometimes refer to it as ‘savory’.

You know what else goes well with this kind of very thick soup with little broth? Sour cream. Put a spoonful on top, and the hot and cold, the differing textures, and the sourness of the cream increase the complexity and makes it quite enjoyable. I had a second cup while my kids had their chicken, potatoes and corn.

I also drank 2 liters of Orange soda – sugar-free of course.

Of course I then enjoyed some of their chicken and potatoes and corn. Not too much – at least for me, but I didn’t stop there. I had some grapes as well, and right before bed, a handful of dried fruit.

Sunday, November 9, 2014. Woah. Abrupt change in direction. The magic fairies that gave me progress despite my lax diet standards have abandoned me. I’m up to 238.4 with my blood glucose up to 122. I’m guessing the dried fruit drove up the blood glucose and I’m retaining a goodly portion of the 2 liters of orange soda from the night before, but we’ll never know for sure.

The body does what the body does.

I’d like to think that the past week was a ‘practice run’. I’ve ditched the alcohol habit. It wasn’t particularly bothersome, but I didn’t drink daily anyway – I just needed to break the habit of drink as a ‘reward for a stressful day’ – and *every day* was a stressful day in the past week so it was good practice under my belt. I’m feeling less sluggish and actually had an honest-to-goodness energy burst yesterday. I have plenty of the right foods in stock. My middle of the night GERD has disappeared and my Tums usage has gone way down.

And this post is *way* less grumpy than my last few.

I think I’m ready for a next step where I focus on two things:

  1. Eating all low carb (no cheats)
  2. Portion control

Both of these are a cakewalk during the day. I need to bring all my energies and focus on these items to the time period between 6pm and bed time.

Here’s an idea: perhaps I should attempt to go a week without eating after 6pm.

Logistically, I can do this. I can bring my pre-made dinner to work, eat it at my desk before I leave at 6, then only drink fluids at home.

But could I actually *do* this? This is a really big change in my habits. It’s a simple rule – no eating after 6pm – and I believe just this one rule would cause a dramatic change in my adherence to my low carb diet as well as weight loss. but my search-and-destroy approach toward food in the evenings is so powerful that I wonder if it’s possible. I’d be fighting a powerful force within myself and I might be asking too much.

How about this: change it to just ONE rule for the coming week – starting today:

No food after 6pm

Trying to do too much too fast is the trap of every dieter. I’ve been dieting since I was in 5th grade. Don’t try to undo everything at once – even two things at once.

So I’ll start with just one.

So I made sure I had a good meal – two hamburgers covered in melted cheese and Worcestershire sauce. While I waited for the burgers I had salami and cheese. I also had some slices of American cheese with tomatoes and mayo – one of my favorite weird eats – after the burgers.

At 5:57pm I had some crunchy chocolate chip cookies my daughter wanted during our stop at Trader Joe’s.

Then it was 6pm. No eating.

I was good until about 7pm. Then a mental inventory of the fridge began.

I sat back and had more orange soda.

I tried distracting myself, reading on my phone while my younger daughter binge-watched some Disney show on Netflix.

I would go a half hour, then the inventory would start.

Around 8:30pm, the ‘renegotiation’ began. Perhaps a better plan would be one more thing to eat just before bed – low carb, of course. don’t you think? Then an alternate voice started mentioning the leftover pasta. No, said the first voice: low carb or nothing.

Ultimately, I caved and had a small bowl of pasta. Seemed like a good idea at the time…

Ugh. Some force just refuses to let me get a *single day* of low carb under my belt!

I am going to explain it as a result of how far I had fallen. McDonald’s every day. Deli sandwiches at lunch.

Perhaps I just need to keep trying and failing until I stop failing. My only other option is to stop trying and I did that – it didn’t work out. I’m at a point where the easy way out isn’t even easy.

My last thought as I reread this post for spelling errors is: I write too damn much.

Monday, November 10, 2014 – I porked up some more and landed above 240 at 241.2. Given what I ate – and the liters of water I drank, I’m going to attribute much of this to water weight – though it still sucks.

To be continued…

My Crappy Diet So Far 11-08-2014

Another missive from the trenches. Where was I?

Oh yeah – Friday, Day 5. Still grumpy and wrote a screed on how much BS a positive attitude is for weight loss.

Don’t misunderstand: a positive attitude and a cheery, positive outlook are great things and help with motivation.

My concern is what happens when they abandon you because of the vicissitudes of life – or if you’re just not that type of person.

Are you doomed to never losing weight because you lack positivity? I call bullshit on this.

Anyway – back to Friday. I don’t start out with anything other than a half-baked plan, and it wasn’t in my plans at all to survive the work day on coffee with Atkins shakes as creamer and a big handful of macadamia nuts before I left work – but that’s how it ended up.

Beat up from the week at work, I went home and found the energy to cook the zucchini concoction from the other day. That gizmo to noodlize the zucchini really is a neat little contraption.

I had a bowl of the stuff, then found myself craving the REAL pasta in the fridge – and had a small bowl of that. My daughter had made a pile of these wonderful baked potatoes where she slices them very thinly almost all the way through and drenches them in oil, butter, and spices. I had two of these small wonders.

Lastly, I had a bit of chocolate cake and a few tablespoons of ice cream.

I still haven’t started my low carb diet apparently – maybe it should be called ‘lowish’ at this point.

While not sticking to a plan (as if I really had one), the volume of food eaten was not excessive for the day, and I was not particularly bothered by my so-called diet. Perhaps its indifference: it was lunch time and I decided to have some lunch – but the thought of *any* food just filled me with ennui.

I had another cup of coffee instead.

If I were to characterize my state of mind I would list cynical, indifferent, with a repressed anger that comes across as a dark humor that most people have come to expect of me. I was talking to a coworker who is leaving and he mentioned that I had a very good reputation within the company. I had told him that he had very good social skills and he told me: “You have your own social skills.”

We never see ourselves as others see us, but if I were to try to fathom why people put up with me in work is because I am often the target of my own savage sardonic tongue. I am quick to point out my own flaws – perhaps it takes the edge off when I criticize others’ ideas with the same savage, sarcastic, and original banter. I am nothing if not original.

Or maybe my coworker was lying and they all hate me. Always a possibility.

Self-absorbed digression aside, the day did end and I the next one arrived.

Day 6 – Saturday, November 8, 2014. Wow. The number just keeps going down. I was 234.6, which puts me down 6.6 pounds from the outset. My blood glucose was 111, which is still inching lower.

It’s the weekend, and that brings two possibilities:

  1. The time to think out a more detailed plan for the coming week and maybe get the ‘low carb’ part of the diet started
  2. A time to eat incessantly with a comfy chair to sit in and a fridge nearby

There was also the possibility of neither. Chores are piling up and my younger daughter needs an emergency trip to the dentist because a loose tooth was giving her a lot of pain. It might just be another weekend stumbling through the brambles that appear out of the mist – which seems a fine metaphor of my life as of late.

It’s not to say I don’t have *any* plans. There’s a pork belly in the fridge I want to cook. I still have sausages. I have plenty of sour cream. I have tuna and mayo. I have my leftover zucchini pasta with the cream cheese sauce. I still have 2 big containers of my kale soup in the freezer.

If I didn’t hit a store the entire weekend I wouldn’t starve the coming week, but it would do me good to maybe go through my recipes, put together a bit of a meal plan so I don’t get bored, and try to align it with my family’s food needs so they can add a starch to what I’m eating and join in as well.

We’ll see if that happens.

Again, I’m going to stop here and press ‘post’ before I overthink this post and end up not posting it.

To be continued

My Crappy Diet So Far 11-07-2014

Here’s another missive from the trenches. Where was I?

I was on day 3, where I had KFC chicken thighs for lunch.

For dinner that night I made the kids pasta. I was going to make burgers for myself – or maybe have more of my leftover kale soup – but had leftover pasta, meatballs, and Halloween candy instead.

The only consistent success of the diet so far has been the elimination of booze. That’s something, at least.

I’ve been feeling slightly better and have not had the GERD that wakes me in the middle of the night. I suppose a good night’s sleep is another benefit as I ease myself into a better routine.

Day 4 – Thursday, November 6, 2014 – showed still more, though slight, improvement. My weight continued to inch down. Now it was 237.4 – down 3.8 from that 241+ that shook me. My blood glucose also peeled off a few points, going down to 112 – 26 points lower than at the start.

Despite an awful, blunder-filled start, at least I’m stumbling in the right direction.

I had coffee and cream in the morning – perhaps too much – but I’m trying to go light on the unnecessary rules until I have a better grip on myself. We had visitors in work and that meant copious amounts of bagels and pastries – which I ignored. I did have 2 roast beef sandwiches – I should have stopped at one – and ate the meat off the bread and threw the bread away. Afterward I was uncomfortably full.

As there was plenty of free coffee, I drank still more of the stuff.

When I got home it was announced that I was going to take the children to their evening class. Typically when I do that I get pizza for the kids while I wait for them to finish their class. I thought this might be a good test of my resolve (fool that I am).

I ordered a large pizza with mushrooms and onions as per my older daughters peculiar tastes, and drove home pizza and kids.

My resolve lasted all of 10 seconds. I tore into two slices of pizza with my kids and enjoyed it greatly. A little later looking for something sweet I had a bit more of the candy corn. My younger daughter said: “Awwww”.

Fear not my little love, there is still plenty for you to rot your newly emerging adult teeth with.

This might be a good time to mention what I’ve been drinking the past few days. It hasn’t been alcohol. While I might miss the buzz I feel a lot better. Dieting is all about giving up things now for something better in the future. I am sorry to say that perhaps I’ve drunk enough alcohol for one lifetime. The fact of the matter is, unfortunately, alcohol just doesn’t agree with me anymore. When drinking alcohol, even hours and hours later, every meal feels like I am swallowing fire. The Tums consumption is keeping factories running three shifts in order to supply my needs. Without alcohol, this changes almost overnight.

So what have I been drinking? Well, Mary Dan Eades ruined almond milk for me with a post about the polyunsaturated fat in almonds. Thanks, Mary Dan! I don’t like to get to sciency in this blog anymore but I try to avoid polyunsaturated fats and keep my remaining fats to either saturated or monounsaturated. I don’t want to go into the science because we end up going down a rabbit hole of studies and then contradictory studies and endless debates and all sorts of arcane fine points that I would frankly like to avoid.

The result is that I might have almond milk on occasion but as a regular drink I’m going to try to avoid it. I’ve tried the coconut milk sold as a replacement drink for regular milk and I find this stuff or a horrid thing.

My liquids have been:

  • A daily pitcher of water at work. I bought one of those PUR water pitchers and it does a fine job of stripping the chlorine flavor out of the tap water at work
  • Coffee with cream at home, and coffee at work with Atkins shakes as creamer. I’ve seemed to lose my taste for black coffee. Perhaps I need to get used to it again just to keep the calorie count down.
  • Seltzer from my SodaStream (one of the best and most-used gadgets I’ve ever bought) with ice and MiO soda flavorings. Too much artificial stuff in that MiO stuff? I don’t care.

Day 5 – Friday, November 7, 2014. Down over a pound from yesterday to 236.2 – 5 5 pound total weight loss so far. My blood glucose is essentially the same as yesterday at 113.

Considering how crappy I’ve been doing over the past 5 days, the weight loss and blood glucose management shows just how spectacularly awful I must have been prior to that.

I can’t say I’m not pleased with the reduction, nor the reduction in Tums use, and not waking up in the middle of the night coughing and choking from GERD. I can still say, however, I am still in a crap mood overall.

So grumpy dieters, take heart: you can still have a crappy and cynical attitude and lose weight. You don’t have to be all positive and cheery if you don’t feel like it. Keep your grump on and still lose weight – and fuck those people who say you must have a positive attitude first before you can have any success.

A positive attitude has nothing to do with weight loss. Nice to have, it helps – but it’s optional. Your weight regulation mechanism doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your positive affirmations.

If I lose enough weight and notice enough positive changes that my mood starts to improve – great – I can’t wait – but long-term weight loss and maintenance will NOT be a result of maintaining a perpetual ‘blissed out’ Tony Robbins positive attitude. Your life, like everyone else’s, will have its ups and downs. If you can’t manage your diet when life gives you lemons and you don’t want to make lemonade, then it’s going to be hard to pull it off long-term.

To be continued

My Crappy Diet So Far 11-05-2014

Everyone loves a cheery blogger – one chomping at the bit to seize the day and make it theirs – with a big grin and a spring in their step to boot.

I ain’t that.

Right now the most cheery thought I can conjure up is a meteor crashing through the roof and striking me dead.

But you didn’t come here to read about ol’ gloomy Gus here bitchin’ about life – you’re here because…well, I don’t have a clue why you’re here, exactly, but it probably has something to do with low carb diets – I’m guessing that from the name of the website.

So on Monday, November 3rd, I attempted to start my low carb diet again. I had tried on November 1st, it being the beginning of the month, and that’s a fine place to start. When that didn’t pan out, I tried November 2nd, since that was a Sunday – another good demarcation point to start. When that didn’t pan out I figured I’d try Monday.

I wouldn’t say the third time’s the charm, but I did get a little nudge from a couple of things that I think helped me to get a creaky and backfiring start to my diet.

The first was that I picked up the super-cheap Relion blood glucose meter from Wal-Mart and tested my blood glucose for the first time since the summer. My fasting blood glucose was 138. While I’m not particularly afraid of death, I have a significant fear as to how I arrive there. The direct meteor strike doesn’t concern me, but a lingering future of all my tiny capillaries getting chewed up by excess blood glucose, leading to blindness, amputations, and loss of sensation in my extremities among the many things that diabetes does to you before it kills you outright does register with me.

Then there was the number on the scale: 241.2. All I can say to that is: oh, fuck. I’ve spent a year drawing a line in the sand, having my weight cross it, then drawing another line in the sand, and now I’m above 240.

I’ve got to draw a line in the sand.

Day 1 was a mostly OK day, which coffee and cream at home, then coffee with a splash of Atkins shake as creamer, then Italian sausages with sour cream for lunch. Evening is always the worst but I managed to hold it together (mostly) with a bowl of my kale soup. I did  have some bread and butter as it seems I can’t get my act together to pull off a single good day from end to end. It could have been worse, however – like day 2.

Day 2 showed progress in both numbers. The fasting blood glucose was down by 20 points to 118 – I guess that 20 was courtesy of the Halloween candy lying about. I also got under that 240 number to 238.8 – a number that gave me some hope – though if you told me last year I’d be at this number I would have pulled out tufts of my own hair.

The day was more or less the same as the previous day, but the evening was different. I ended up getting McDonald’s for the kids and questioned my sanity in doing so as I drove 45 minutes with the smell of burgers and fries wafting up next to me. I didn’t touch it though – at least not yet.

At home I found some abandoned sausages in the deli drawer that said ‘sell by 10/22’. I wondered if they would make me puke-sick almost as an aside as I heated them in the microwave and ate them on the last of the low carb bread I am not planning to replenish.

I did have a leftover bite or two of a Big Mac and maybe a half-dozen fries. My younger daughter had candy corn that appeared out of nowhere – how long had it been since I had any? Now I knew: a half-dozen at that moment. Lastly, I had some dried apricots – just to make sure I couldn’t pretend it was even a halfway OK day from a low carb perspective.

Day 3 found me at the same 118 for a blood glucose number and down almost a pound to 238.0. The diet Gods were toying with me – making me think I could eat like I did the day before and not screw things up.

I brought the same Italian sausages and sour cream to work but it was so uninspiring that I couldn’t bear it. Instead, I went to KFC and had 3 of their grilled chicken thighs. I make no claim that these are ‘healthy’ – I once read a list of the ingredients that they tart these things up with to make them taste so darn good and I’m sure that they will increase no one’s longevity – but the things are zero carb and I’m in an ‘any port in a storm’ mode with my diet at this point so I could have done a lot worse.

 

As I am also having problems writing and not posting, I’m going to stop here and just say…to be continued.