Saturday, September 25, 2010

245-6ish (stalled, but motivated still...)

Frankly, I'm not much concerned with this stall.  I'm not gaining, and at this point, that's still encouraging.

All said and done, I feel better than I have in years.  And years.  And... well, you get the idea.

But a word or two on the stall.  I am really beginning to suspect that this is due in large part to the diuretic.  I'm looking to find some alternatives to the triamterene that I'm on.  Atkins mentions L-Taurine and Co-Enzyme Q10.  I have a feeler out to a naturopath friend of mine for more info.

I got a decent bit of walking in yesterday.  Was in desperate need of a mocha yesterday, so I walked down to the bus stop and grabbed some beans from the store.  I hadn't had breakfast, so I knew a real walk wouldn't do me well with no gas in the tank.  But that was 10 blocks of walk (five on each side of the bus).  Later in the day, I did the full boat 1.6mi round trip.  Again, I didn't really feel like it, but did it anyway.  The walking's the thing, and if I don't do it, nothing really comes off.  So I strapped on the toggs and did it.  This was more of an aerobic walk than normal, because I didn't stop at the store.  I simply walked for the sake of walking, kept going and didn't rest, so it was a good, long, continuous burn.  All said and done, that was about 2 miles of walking yesterday.

Last night my kid was here for the afternoon-evening.  I hadn't really had much to eat all day except for pork rinds and sour cream.  She was hungry and fighting a headache, so I made "white roughy" with mustard/mayo on the grill.  I probably won't be making it again due to the controversy surrounding it.  Apparently it's basa, which is not a roughy at all.  It most certainly didn't taste like roughy, but the texture was similar.  Still tasty, though.  Also made a few chicken drummies over the coals as well.

Today is kinda a big day.  It's the celebration of my hitting my 250lb goal.  CCK and I are spending the day together in a special way.  Should be fun.  And low carb.  Very low carb ;)

Monday, September 20, 2010

248-ish something (Of shoes and saving throws)...

If there was reason to suspect that the 240's aren't here to stay, three days of not seeing 250-anything about stick a fork in it.  Having said that...

I have still not really recovered from my Wisconsin trip, but it's not for lack of trying.  It is, however, from lack of sleep.

JB an I have been seeing more of each-other, which is really nice.  We just get on so well is so many places, low-carb not withstanding.  We've really been feeding off each-other lately, and I saw her Friday afternoon, when we went to pick up her boy, my little buddy QB.  We then went back to my place and made dinner and some other things.  Sunday she came over during the day, and I made chicken thighs and experimented with a country sausage gravy that--while waaaaay too salty--was really tasty over mashed cauliflower.  We then went out to karaoke (with me fulfilling a promise) and had fun.  We stayed up way the hell too late last night, and didn't get to sleep until nearly 6am.  I woke up at about 11:30am today and made us breakfast: omelets with pancetta ham, mushrooms, diced onions and cheddar cheese with bacon along side.  She was thrilled and impressed.  I was wasted tired.

She left about 2pm, and I dorked about on my laptop, trying in vain to get caught up on nothing in particular.  I was dead tired, but knew I needed to go do something.  So I ate a CarbWell bar, strapped on the Keans, and walked.  I know that the exercise is key, so I forced myself, tired as I was.  I didn't even really give myself time to think about it.  I just started by putting on the footwear.  OK, strapped in.  Might as well walk.  I was so on auto-pilot and so tired that I didn't even grab my phone, which is unheard of.

Walking down the hill from my flat, I tripped rather significantly.  I stumbled two or three steps in a row, and thought for sure I was going to wipe out in spectacular fashion, splaying myself out in a heap on someone's lawn.

But I didn't.

And this is interesting.  Yeah, credit the dice with a good saving-throw, but I immediately knew that if this had happened to me before weight-loss (hereafter refered to as simply "BWL") I most assuredly would have been pulling grass out of my mouth.  My knees would have buckled, my hips would have given out, and I'd have gone down like The Hindenblob.

I gathered myself and continued on, grateful but still tired.  I stumbled a few more times.  This was beginning to feel odd.  Yeah, I was tired, and yeah, my right foot drags due to my unsteady gate and disability, but what the hell?  I stopped at a crosswalk and looked at my feet.  I suddenly realized that my feet were too small for this particular pair of shoes now.  Well, I should say that they were too small for the way I'd been wearing them.  I never had to tighten the drawstrings on them before.  My Fred Flintstones were always kinda snug in them.  I walked a bit further, sat on a bus-stop bench, and sinched them in tight.  The walk from that point on was easier.  And safer.  And less spectacular.  Good.

I was still damn tired, and knew that I probably wouldn't do well tackling my regular 1.6mi walk, so I decided to make it a simple (and safer) 1 mile.  On my way back, I got a bit of an idea, and popped briefly into a local pet store.  I found the largest bag of dog food I could find--a 36.5lb bag--and lifted it.  I then reminded myself that I've lost 5.5 pounds more than that bag weighed.  That was how much weight I was schlepping around on my 5'8" frame.  Part of me suddenly felt a slight shame welling up inside of me.  The other part--the larger part now--didn't feel that.  It felt relief and a bit of pride.

This is working.  Finally.  It's working...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I did it! 249.8!!

(Sorry about the picture quality.)  That is a real number.

While I was on vacay in Wisconsin, I fell off the "don't weigh yourself on someone elses' scale" promise wagon, and stepped on my mom's.  It read 245!  I knew that that was not real.  Couldn't be.  But at the same time, I felt an encouragement.  I weighed less than my first goal weight on someone's scale.  For whatever reason.  Maybe it was the latitude.  Gravity may be pulling harder on me in Portland?  Who cares?  I felt energized.

I was so good while in Wisconsin.  At my mom's party, there were buns, mac and potato salad and all the carby rest of it.  There also was cake, and a ginormous birthday cookie.  I had none of it.  Didn't even really feel tempted.  My eldest sister went out of her way to make a pot of veggie something-or-other for me.  She haddn't gotten the memo about my dietary switch-back.  I was so touched, yet I couldn't eat it at all.  It was bean-potato something, so it was like a double poison.  I actually felt really badly about it.  I found out that she has done low-carb as well.  She was a nurse her whole life, and knows her medicine.  She was really encouraging, and it made me feel better about my decision, and about the food she'd made me that I couldn't enjoy.

My other sister (the middle one) had gotten the memo, and went out of her way for me in the other direction.  She'd already made a big pile of chicken with bar-b-que sauce, and when she saw a post of mine on low-carbing it, she went out, got yet more chicken, and made a slightly smaller pile of it for me specifically with no sauce.  Awesomeness.  I had three pieces of chicken, three brats, and a couple of dill pickles, some mustard, and a tiny bit of ketchup.  I felt totally satisfied.  I got to take the rest of the chicken with me, so I had some back-up food at the motel.

I stayed that night in a motel my eldest brother had rented.  They had a fridge in it.  I'd inadvertently left the no-sauce chicken with my mom, and my brother had a pile of the sauced kind in the motel-room fridge.  "Just peel the skin off" he said.  Nope.  I wasn't even inclined to open the fridge.  The following morning, after he hit the road to drive back to Arkansas, I was gathering my stuff in order to swap rooms away from the high-volume-TV-at-4am neighbor, opened the fridge and spotted--along with the sugar-coated-chicken--a huge 2lb bag of "White Mountain Trail Mix" that was full of white chocolate, dried fruit, and about ten different kinds of baked crunchy carbs.  As I was walking down to the front desk, I had to squeeze past a house-cleaning cart with a garbage bag hanging off it.  I tossed the trail mix in like a desperate junkie dumping his last bag of heroin into a toilet.  On one hand, it was kinda sad: Yes, it had come to that.  I was looking at carbohydrates like they were a drug, a poison.  But it was also very empowering, freeing and encouraging.  I was not only able to say "no" to the drug, but I was able to say "yes" to control.

In heroin recovery circles, we have a bit of a combined saying; "Third time's the charm" combined with "Never trust a junkie who's quit smack once."  This essentially speaks to the following: it's actually easier to quit a drug or addictive substance when you've bottomed out and are lying face-down in the gutter.  You're miserable, you're in pain, and you're desperate.  You'll try anything to get clean.  So you quit the junk to avoid pain.  The trouble happens when things start looking up.  You're back in control somewhat.  You feel a bit empowered as far as avoiding temptations.  Then, a little voice in your head says Ya know, we're better than we used to be at this.  Maybe we can do it again and stay in control?  Yeah, I bet we can.  So you fail.  You feel like hell.  You know you made a mistake, so you climb back on the wagon.  Then the watershed moment.  You're back in control, and then something in life goes really wrong, totally pear-shaped.  You use again out of the fear of pain and suffering, to feel that instant rush of familiar--yet false--comfort and relief.  Then you are faced with a choice: the faux relief of the anesthetized state, or the tough--yet real and honest--world of sobriety.  You choose sobriety for its own sake.  You choose it in the tough times, not merely in the good times.  You choose it for no other reason than its base honesty.  You have finally comprehended that the honesty, the truth, is what has been missing from your life this whole time.  It, and it alone, is what has been exacerbating your pain.  The avoidance of the experiencing of pain has caused you to suffer more, not less.  So you say "I want to be real.  I want to feel what's real".

I want to feel what's real.

249.8 is real.  And it feels good.

The rest of the trip was really great.  Great on so many levels.  But there was some sadness, and it was weight related.  My eldest brother, who's lost over a hundred pounds at least ten times according to him, is back up to nearly or over 300lbs again.  He has degenerative disc disease, and has virtually no discs in his entire spine that are whole anymore.  He has such a hard time moving.  He is in so much pain.  When he awoke and rolled over, he let out a groan/yelp that sounded like someone snuck into the room and was stabbing him in the face with dull forks.  It was heart-breaking.

Next, I went and had a very quality hang-out with one of my oldest and closest friends, KK.  K had always been rather thin and healthy when we were teens and young men.  But the middle-aged Wisconsin life and diet of beer and stuff-on-carbs with a side of carbs had taken its toll, and by about 2003 or so, he was up to my realm of weight.  When I saw him at my father's memorial, I barely recognized him.  This past week, we were at about the same place weight-wise.  I tried to gently encourage him to think about trying the ANA.  We made a very carb-friendly dinner: roasted chicken on the grill and mashed cauliflower with cream cheese.  It was fantastic.

The rest of the trip was full of people wanting to support me with this approach.  My old college philosophy professor, MCEP, made a great stir-fry of free-range chicken and "Chinese-uh-Vegetable" (inside joke), and did make it more challenging by making Basmati rice for he and his wife.  It was more challenging less about rice being present than because he actually knows how to properly prepare rice.  I just had extra chicken and veg, and was totally pleased.  He and his vastly-better-half had done ANA, and were beyond supportive.

My greatest weapon during the trip were my Atkins bars.  I always had them with me, so I was able to maintain energy even at kind of challenging times (most notably, the airports).  When I felt depleted, I'd have a bar, and that would sate me.  On my way home, waiting at MKE, I knew I hadn't had anything real to eat that day, so I ducked into a Chili's in my concourse just a few yards from my gate and had a Mesquite Chicken Breast salad with bacon, cheese and ranch dressing.  They serve it with BBQ sauce, which I simply didn't use, and had them skip the roasted corn relish.  I felt totally satisfied.

I got a good walk in yesterday, running to the store for a few things.  Last night, JB and I got to hang out and have dinner together with her son QB.  We had a tiny bit of a low-carb freak-out feast.  I made grilled chicken and pork loin cutlets over oak coals.  JB totally dazzled me with tuna-cakes (think "crab cakes") and this absolutely fantastic cheesecake pudding that we topped with this sugar-free chocolate fudge sauce I picked up while we were all out shopping.  We also took KK's mashed cauliflower to a new high by making it with cream- and fontina cheese and some garlic powder, whizzed up in the food processor until smooth.  It tasted all the world like mashed potatoes!!!!  We both commented to each-other how helpful, and just plain ol' nice it is to have a friend in our lives who is doing low-carb as well that you can cook with, hang out with, and both support and be supported by.

Last night, I weighed 250.6.  This morning, 249.8.

What a journey this has been...

Friday, September 17, 2010

250.6!!! WHILE ON VACATION!!!!

How do you like THAT?  Ten pounds in a week!  I will keep this brief and elaborate a bit in another post, but:

  1. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be.
  2. I had very little temptation, and was in total control the whole time.
  3. I had plenty of energy the whole week.
  4. I did get plenty of walking in.  The airports made sore of that.
  5. I feel better than ever before.
  6. People are really noticing now, not the least of whom is me.

Friday, September 10, 2010

260 (again, again...)

Well, I'm back on the diuretic.  Two days off: five pounds back on.  Disheartening, but understandable.  I went back on for a few reasons.  1) I think I still actually need it for my hypertension, 2) I still suffer from edema, and really don't need to feel that awful when I travel, and admittedly 3) Gaining weight sucks.  I'll have to come off it sometime, I know, but I don't think now is it.  I already feel better, and I am down to 260-and-change again from 264-5.

Tomorrow starts the madness.  My former wife's wedding, then the reception, then the flight, then the layover, then the other flight, then hopefully a nap, then the party for my mom, then the rest of the time spent seeing old friends.  Some very old (friendship-wise, not chronologically).  I'm concerned about eating, especially with the money involved.  I have most dinner arrangements made to dine with friends and family who are willing to make me things I can eat that are low carb, but the mornings are likely to be up to me.  I need to go get some Atkins bars to have along with me during the day.  I hope it will be a fun trip.  I know I'll get quite a bit of walking and schlepping in at least.  I'll weigh myself tomorrow morning, then no weigh-ins until I return.  I'm practicing not caring about what the number is in the event that I gain weight while gone.  We'll see.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

260 (but I have a really good excuse, I swear!)

After going through a few flaming hoops last week to get my next 90-day supply, I have decided to go off of my diuretic blood pressure medication.  Now nobody start freaking out on me because of this; I'm taking good care of myself, I promise.  But diuretics or "water pills"--while rather effective at dealing with mild to moderate hypertension--are not very helpful when you're doing a low carbohydrate diet.  As a matter of fact, they are anti-helpful, and actually keep you from entering ketosis.  As a result of the combination of constipation and retaining a bit of water, I'm back up to 260.  But I want my numbers to be real numbers.  I need them to be real.  I'm okay with 260.  It's still quit a bit of progress over these past months.

Diuretics tend to tweak your kidneys so that they pass lots of fluid out of your system (by design).  However, in the process, they tend to leech lots of vitamins, minerals, aminos and important acids out of your system before they're actually done with their important jobs.  It's a trade-off: trade excess fluid that builds blood pressure for an inefficient body pH and malabsorption of bio-available nutrients.  When hypertension is moderate to high, there's no question that it's a good trade-off.  But I have actually been feeling so much better blood-pressure-wise that I know that I'm needing them less, and frankly, taking diuretics when you don't actually need them isn't very wise either.  To top it all off, diuretics actually exacerbate constipation, so there's even more reason to try life without them.

I had lunch with a buddy yesterday at our tavern of choice.  It was a bit of a challenge.  I'd never read the "meat" menu.  I wound up with a ginormous Mediterranean chicken salad that was rather good, and made with actual GREEN lettuce, and not just empty iceberg or romane.  But there's scant else on the menu I can eat.  Lots of beef (which I won't touch because it's not organic), and the rest of the sarnie side is just that: bread, bread, bread, bread, bread.  At least I have that salad.  My buddy commented on how much better I'm moving around.  Hell, for me, that's as much a compliment as "you're looking great!"  This falls squarely into the realm of "I'll take what I can get"-ville.  People noticing means there's externally noticeable progress, and that's all good.  It matches up with how much better I feel physically and internally (minus the constipation, of course).

Afterwards, I spent the evening with my friend JB who is serious low-carb, and was a bit of an impetus to me in trying this ANA for myself.  She brought over a "test loaf" of a turkey meatloaf she made, which was stellar.  I tossed it on the grill along with the rest of the Johnsonville brats (that I had that needed to be cooked before I left town anyway).  We chatted about how nice it is to have people in your life that you're close to doing this eating-style as well.  And it certainly is.  No question.  We had a really nice evening of low-carb chit-chat and reinforcing each-other.  She's a Wisconsin girl, and appreciated the mothers-milk bratwurst, too.

My daughter's headed over here in a tick.  Yesterday, she had me prepare her rice. RICE!  I had none of it.  Not one grain.  I even prepared her the stir-fry she was going to make, but when the time came, she was where?  On the phone.  I was comforted in making her the food regardless, and while I have joked with her about her evilness at demanding carbs, it really didn't phase me at all.  I really didn't feel tempted by it all that much, and it didn't seem to negatively impact me or cause a craving that I felt the need to push down.

I had been chatting with JB about how one of the things I like most about the ANA is that I have a consistent level of energy throughout the day now, as opposed to these highs and crashes that come with unstable blood-sugar from both a high-carb diet and with low-cal dieting.  Even when I'm hungry, I'm not on fumes like I was.  That's a huge help to me.  My mood is stable, my brain is more clear, and I have no real cravings like I used to.  That alone is enough to keep me at this.

Monday, September 6, 2010

259 (and grumpy...)

In my defense, I haven't had a movement since LAST @#%@ FRIDAY, so I suspect that that's the vast majority of my "problem".  I shall fix that.

The whole bowel thing is really irritating.  It's keeping me from walking.  It's making me feel a tad enslaved, which I don't like.  I'm drinking fiber daily, and no luck.  I've upped my water intake.  No luck.

Whinge, whinge, whinge.

I have to go have lunch with a friend today.  The tavern we hang out at together.  Pub food.  I've no idea what I'll eat.  Back when I was a veg, it was a veggie burger (which is awesome there) onion rings and fries.  I've never looked at the meat side of that menu.   I think he has a turkey sandwich.  Hopefully chicken.  We'll see.

Just a bit down today, I guess.

Happy Labor Day, everybody...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

256.2 (Randomness...)

Just blogging for the sake of consistency today.  It seems that a daily blurb here helps me stay focused, although I have to say that I haven't been finding it all that bloody hard to stay focused on this task.  That's refreshing.  Every other time I've tried to lose weight, it's been such a fight. Yes, there were up times and moments when I felt empowered, but for the most part, it was drudgery of the first order.  This is... easier.


Well, I have been, I suppose, but it's been pretty damn minimal.  I guess by "cheating" I'm referring to the induction phase of ANA (or "Atkins Nutritional Approach").  I have been having more than 20g carbs a day for the past week, which is why things are a bit slow I suppose.  But I've minimized things where I could.  Yesterday, I made two Johnsonville Brats for dinner. 1g carb each.  I made them into wraps in low-carb tortillas (3g each) with dill relish, onions and brown mustard (0g each).  But these were the first Johnsonville brats I've had in almost 10 years.  It woulda been an insult to not put ketchup on them.  So I went sparingly.  They were really good.  I'm making bacon cheeseburgers tonight, and will use them again.  I need to back off on the cheese a bit, though.  Need to stick with the harder cheeses and not so much fresh mozzarella.  Oh well.

The mocha is now going to be a weekly--not daily--thing, as it should be.  I'm going to make the low-carb version when my sweetie is here with me.  Most likely Sunday mornings.  I skipped it today.


Well, firstly, it's really nice to have someone doing this with me.  My sweetie, CCK, is doing this at the same time, wanting to shed about 10-15lbs.  It's already working for her, too.  She's done Atkins before, and jumped right back on it.  Her encouragement and support is invaluable to me.  We rant to the Low-Carb Nation store together, and had fun looking at all the (admittedly overpriced) goodies.

Support is also coming in from other places.  Old friends from afar finding out about this from Facebook posts, popping into this blog, people in my sangha noticing the weight-loss unsolicited, then asking how I'm doing it, even my sensei.  They are all encouraging me onwards, even taking the switch back to an animal-based diet into account.  They know I'm doing it very conscientiously, even when at the same time the decision has pained me somewhat.

Support has also popped up at my local Mondo-Mart!  I walked down there this morning to get leafy green salad mix, some avocados and an onion, and was hoping they'd carry the low-carb Heinz ketchup (DAMN YOU KETCHUP!!!)  Nope.  But while walking out the store, I happened to pass by a section that I'd never seen before.  They have a little section of low-carb and sugar-free stuff, including a bunch of things the LCN store carries, and lo and behold: SUGAR FREE KETCHUP!!!  I got that, and a sugar-free dark chocolate bar for CCK and I to have after dinner tonight as a special desert treat.


What to say here?  To say that this is a practice in mindful eating is an understatement.  But this is not like the obsessively niggling pain of counting calories.  I mean, I pretty much need only count to twenty.  I can handle that.  I am also finding a new joy in the freedom that this eating approach affords me.  I'm not as focused on food as I had been in the past.  Food for me now is an exercise in simplicity.  I like that.  I like to savor the things I'm eating, not cram them in as fast as I can.  I'm more satisfied with less food now than I once was, but at the same time, I'm not munchy again in 90min.  I'm not constantly thinking about what I'm going to eat next while still chewing something I'm eating now.  That is beyond helpful, and again, very freeing.


I crave a whole lot less than I did, that's for sure.  Yes, I still feel the tug of the sweet-tooth, but it's really diminished.  I don't partake in the sangha "tea and cookies" after sitting anymore, even to reward myself for having a "good food day".  My sweet needs are now covered pretty well by a low-carb snack bar.  Bread is still a bit tricky, mostly in the bun department.  I'll be perfectly happy with the low-carb wrap solution for now, but when I return from my Wisconsin visit, I'm going to get down to work on making home-made low-carb hamburger buns.  I've found a few resources on-line that use muffin-top baking pans, and low-carb flour that looks promising.


That may be taking a rest.  I think I'm going to switch to a weekly weigh-in.  Sunday mornings.  I'll do it tomorrow, and then when I get back from traveling.

That's all for now.  See you on the flip-side.

Friday, September 3, 2010

255.8 (Woops! Drank shower water and now 256.2!)

So I haven't been walking like I had been.  I've been stalled back up at about 260 for a few days.  But by "stalled", I of course mean my sewerage system.  I stopped taking the fiber laxative I'd had on hand because it has a $^@%-load of sugar in it.  No laxative--something that should make you $^@%--should have a $^@%-load of anything in it but fiber!  So I now have the sugar-free version.  Took that this morning, after the low-carb mocha I shouldn't have had, hoping for aid.

No joy.

Well, I did some work, watched a documentary on Netflix, cleaned my kitchen island, waited, and...


So I ate an Atkins bar (Yum! But damn the carbs, even the Net ones).


I figured that by this time, nothing was likely to happen.  Probably.  I needed to go make a (very meager) deposit at the bank about 3/4 a mile from here.  My landlord's been letting me use his truck while he can't drive (detached retina), so I could have driven, but I needed--and wanted--to walk.  It was a warmish day, and I really wanted to walk before it got hotter.  I know that the lack of exercise is expressly one of the things that's keeping the weight-loss creeping along, and I want it to go faster.  So I wrapped up my domestics, slapped on the Keans, and headed out.

I have a little system for, shall we say, "emergency rescue".  I walk on the side of the street that takes me with the flow of traffic.  If I suddenly get alerts from the, uhhh... "Waste Management Dept", I can stop at a bus stop, hang out and hopefully get rescued in time.

And that, of course, is exactly what happened.  Fortunately, I made it into the local Mondo-Mart down the street with time to spare.  I have visited this bathroom more times this summer than I care to admit.  Well, honestly, I don't care either way.  I'm grateful that it's there and public.  But I'm so familiar with that 'loo that I have my preferred stall, and am well versed in local lore: who gives up the goods after three PBR's, who is a total stoner, and what the Fourth Reich is up to, as well as what local bands are full of, apparently.

So, yeah.  Relief.  And...  umm... and how.  'Nuff said.  As a vegetarian, I really didn't have this problem.  This constipation is like a return to the bad ol' days of me eating meat for me.  As a spinal cord injury survivor, the bladder and bowel control are things #1 & #2 to go (hehe... see what I did there? '#1' & '#2'?  Heheheh... heh... anyway) and I have suffered that issue rather painfully since I was 15.  But if I have to suffer it again for this to work, I'm fine with it.  I have my sugar-free fiber-2-go stuff, and it'll be a twice-daily thing.

I walked back to the flat from the bank.  Check that: I floated.  Good lord, I felt like a feather.  A hot, sweaty feather, admittedly, but a helluva lot lighter than I set out.  Peeled off the sweaty stuff and headed to the shower.


So, that is my real, current body weight.  Seriously, though, after drinking some shower water to rehydrate the insides, and absorbing some through the skin, it was 256.2.  O! sweet water of life.  Why must you weight 8.3lbs/gallon?  I have been drinking more water lately.  It's important to the process for a number of reasons, not the least of which is my bowels.  So I've been really trying.

But back to the weigh-in.  I do believe that if I keep this up, I should make my first goal of 250 on time.  That will be big.  I will celebrate.  I will celebrate without food!  I will not do what I used to do and use success as an excuse to undermine myself and aim myself back to failure.  I have saved something special for myself for this occasion.  Some may say it's silly.  I don't.  It's very special to me, and I have saved this for years.  A special little treat that I have reserved for the two-five-oh, and I didn't give in and enjoy it at 253 back in 2007 or whenever it was.  I wanted to earn it.  It will be nice.  I will wait until I actually hit 249 or lower, so I know that 250 is real.

I'm all about reality now.

P.S.: Hope you enjoy the new masthead logo.  That's the tub that was custom-made for the 27th President of the United States--William Howard Taft. A notorious tubby if ever there was one, Taft--or "The Big Lub"--was too big to fit comfortably in the White House master bath tub, so he had this made and installed.  Acording to the Wiki gods: "Weighing over 300 pounds (140 kg) on average, Taft was physically the heaviest American president ever elected, and the last president to have facial hair."[3]

A side note: At my max, I weighed about 30-40lbs more than "The Big Lub" ever did.  Must be the facial hair...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Frying in the face of danger...

So, according to an ideal weight calculator page, I should weight somewhere between 126-207lbs.  Now there's a specific target, huh? 0.o  I think were I 126lbs, I'd look like Ghandi, and if I were 207, I'd still call myself fat.  The top end of the Medically Recommended Ideal Weight for a person my height is 167lbs, or approximately 91lbs from here (258).  That shocked me.  I'm less than 100lbs away from anyone's "ideal" weight!  That was a bit of a thrill.

Now, to reality.

I stopped to think about it just now.  I think 167 may be a bit... I don't know.  I can't even envision myself at that weight.  Then I stopped myself and realized that I've never been able to envision myself at that kind of weight, or in that kind of health.  Never.  I have spent my whole life being fat.  Huge.  Morbidly obese.  I don't think I have a circuit in my head that can conjure up that kind of visualization!

But on the other hand, there is something new going on in my head.  Something very different.  There is a voice in there now that is gently encouraging me to do so.  For the first time in my life, I feel that this may be possible.  It's thrilling.  It's scary.  It's empowering.

I am still concerned that 167 may be a bit pork-chop-in-the-sky (remember: no pie!) but I am now seeing that setting a few reasonable goals may be worth-while.  Now, I think that setting date-specific goals would be counter-productive: an unneeded pressure to succeed at something I'm so new at.  I haven't really experienced any of the major pitfalls or stalls yet, so I'm not sure how long they'll take to get passed.  Add to that the fact that at some point in this weigh-tloss, my doctor is going to tell me it's time to come off the diuretic for my hypertension, so I may gain some water weight back after that.  But I am beginning to think that 10lbs a month for at least the next three or even four months is reasonable and do-able.  After that, I think 5lbs a month is not unrealistic.  Also, the 167 number just seems a bit low, so I'm gonna pick an ideal weight for me as 175.  175?  I can't even believe I'm saying that!

So, having said all that, here are my goals:
  •  250 by 09/15/2010: This goal is a bit of a big deal for me.  You may recall from reading earlier on in the blog that I missed this a few years ago by three lbs.  It will be the lowest weight I've been at since high-school.
  • 240 by 10/29/2010: This is the date of the beginning of the Mindful Eating retreat that CCK and I plan to attend at Great Vow Zen Monastery.  I will be able to say that I've lost a hundred pounds since 2003, and over fifty pounds since April 3rd, 2010.
  • 235 by 11/15/2010: This is the date of the beginning of the Generosity Sesshin at Great Vow, which I am planning on attending.  This will be my first "sesshin", or formal zen monastic week-long meditation silent retreat.  The vast majority of the reason why I have been so nervous about sesshin is due to my weight.
  • 225 by 12/17/2010: This is the first day of the Beginner's Mind retreat, which I also plan to attend.
  • 220 by 01/01/2011: That would be an average of about 10lbs a month for 4 months.
At that point, I'll be 45lbs over my "ideal weight goal".  By this time, I really do expect the weight loss to slow somewhat from all I've read.  Taking that into account, it means that at a very reasonable (and frankly, modest) 5lbs a month, I could conceivably be at 175 by this time next year.

Now, I'm not going to really hold on to anything more than the goal of 250.  The rest just seems so ephemeral.  But if I am going to start visualizing myself as this wholly different person, I should also allow myself the ability to think about when it may happen.

Here's to the future.  Now where's my jet pack?

258.6 (and the ketosis dream becomes reality...)

So I went running around with CCK today after we got up.  First, I made low-carb mochas (which are pretty durn nommy, if'in you ask me, and only 10g carb -vs- the vegan mocha I used to make that totals a whopping 46g!) and mushroom omelets with garlic jack cheese and bacon.  I really am becoming Le roi des omelette du' fromage.  Good thing I really love eggs in all their forms!  Anyhoo, we went to the Low Carb Nation store in the area (sort of: it's a bit of a drive).  Last night, I was bemoaning a desire for cheesecake.  Today, we walk in, look in the freezer case, and spy "Frozen Cheesecake On A Stick".

OMFGLOWCARBPWNIES!!!  Man that thing was good!  They said to let it thaw first.  Yeah.  I heard her say that right before my last bite.  I got some no-carb barbecue sauce, some low-carb baking mix, and an Atkin's low-carb chocolate peanut-butter cups.  At some point I need to come up with a low-carb bread/bun/roll solution.  Glad I'm also a good baker.  I can't really manage to pay $8 for 6 hamburger buns!  And eventually, I WILL eat bread again.  Meanwhile, the baking mix is primarily to work towards one thing: PIZZA CRUST!  I have not switched over to a meat-and-cheese diet without being allowed to eat a fracking pizza!  No-sir-ee-bob.  I'll get it figured out.

Then on to Costco for meat-madness.  6.5lb bag of Chicken thighs, a three pack of organic ground beef, a box of Splenda, a huge two-pack of both turkey and pork bacon, and finally, a home-grown treat: a 20-count box of Johnsonville Brats!  Charlie Murphy[1] would be pleased.

On the way home, I stopped at some gal's house and picked up a bottle of Bayer ketosis test strips that she had no use for (-via- Freecycle).  When I got home, I was able to test myself for the first time, and I am already about 80% into ketosis!  The results showed "moderate" which is one step away from "full-on".  This most likely is the reason why the weight-loss has started again after a stall.  That, combined with the scale reading today, makes me smile inside and out!

If anyone ever tells you that low-carb and Atkins are BS, respond with a polite "BS to you too" because you now know someone who is living proof that this works.  It is easy, it is fulfilling, it is energizing, it is affordable, and I think it may be my ticket to a different life...

[1] For those not fortunate enough to have been raised in the Cheese Belt, "Charlie Murphy" was a character in the Johnsinville bratwurst ad campaign in the 80's.

259.2 (and an obseration on fat math...)

So, I've discovered that if I go to bed weighing approximately the same as I did when I wake up (with a day's meals in and no, um... "deposit"), I'm about to drop a pound.  I am not scale obsessed.  I find it helpful to track my weight throughout the day, so I have a sense of what "real numbers" are.  I am, however, considering switching to a weekly weigh-in on Sundays.

I am really feeling the difference in my body; how I move, my energy levels, my stamina.  I know I'm not even it ketosis yet.  This is really encouraging.  I have, for the first time, a sense that this low-carb way of living may really benefit me in the long-haul.  I am starting to envision myself in the future, and the image that was once a wild dream that I never really allowed myself to even so much as entertain now seems a possibility.

The craving for carbs and sugar has really diminished.  It's almost as if it only has an aesthetic appeal, and not the magnetic, black-hole-gravity draw that it used to.  Although I miss bread and potatoes, I miss them less than I thought I would.

I stumbled upon an offer on of someone giving away a pile of ketone test strips.  I'm going to go pick them up today.  Damn handy.  I guess those things are really pricey.  Probably going to pursue the Low Carb Nation store today with my CCK.  She's doing excellently as well, and has jumped past her initial goal of 150lbs (sorry, dear-heart.  I meant "10.5 stone" ;).  It's nice doing this with someone.  Anyway, I don't think I'll hit my 250 goal by the time I'm back in Wisconsin for my mom's birthday party unless I really ratchet up the exercise.  Who knows, though.  At this stage, I think anything may be possible.