Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day 262

In an attempt to get my zero carb zen back, I am currently doing ground beef for first hunger and ribeyes for second (if necessary). I ate outside of hunger leading up to the holidays to keep me from eating the Christmas goodies and then ate borderline ZC fare like ham, deli meat and cheese while at my parents'. That led to a four pound gain. As of today, I have lost a pound of that but hope I quickly lose the rest. My clothes still fit fine but I feel heavier than I want to.

The biggest thing I want is to get my mindset back. After my ZC reboot in August, carbs just weren't an option. This mindset grew stronger after dropping diet soda and dairy in September. However, I added dairy back while on vacation at Thanksgiving and haven't been successful in dropping it since. I haven't been cheating; I've just had more cravings and my weight loss has slowed.

Now that the holiday minefields are past, I am going back to eating smaller amounts only when physically hungry and also dropping the dairy again. As mentioned before, I actually feel better when I have a little dairy but my sinuses don't like it and I think I lose better without it. As mention earlier, food will be ground beef and ribeyes for the next week or so (longer if I can score a marked down ribeye roast after work).

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 254

I haven't updated in a while because I have been super busy getting ready for Christmas.

This last weekend went pretty well. The exception was on Saturday. K and I were getting the presents wrapped and rounding up the stuff we bought for the boys' stockings. We have cut way back on the candy we are buying for them but we did get a few special treats.

As we were dividing it up, I started feeling sorry for myself and feeling deprived. I have avoided Christmas goodies so far but the reality of Christmas being around the corner kind of sunk in. It was almost like all of my habits suddenly resurfaced. I started thinking that going off plan until after Christmas wouldn't be the end of the world and wouldn't be that big of a deal.

Well, I didn't go off plan. What I did instead was take the advice of folks on the Zeroing In On Health forum and ate a ton of fatty meat (ground beef) instead, even though I wasn't hungry. I even included cheese with it partly to have something "special" and partly to up the fat. This worked and the cravings passed. I figured my weight would be up the next morning because of over-eating and because of the cheese but I was actually down about a half of a pound.

I have to say that I am jealous of the people that started zero carb and were never tempted to go off plan. That hasn't been my experience so far eight months in. I hope to get there some day. I think when the holidays are done I should be able to get my "ZC Zen" back. I had it from my reboot in August through our vacation at Thanksgiving. I guess I'll just have to white knuckle it at times until then.

Sunday, I was hungrier than normal and had about a pound of chuck eye for first hunger. I was hungry by dinner and ate meatloaf with the drippings (meatloaf = gb, ground pork and egg only). After that, last night I was super hot and couldn't sleep. I don't know if I went into overdrive burning off excess fuel but it wasn't real comfortable. This morning I was down to 169.0 pounds again. I was there a week ago but had bounced up to 170.2 lbs by Thursday.

I have been feeling more energetic (and have more than a little cabin fever) so have been contemplating adding in some activity. On Friday, I decided to dig out the DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) pad and play a game that I got last summer but haven't had a chance to try yet. I went through all of the songs on Easy, just to check them out. It was weird - my legs felt really heavy during the first two songs and then were fine after that. I could tell I hadn't done it in a while but I could also tell my knees and ankles appreciated having 30 pounds less to move around.

Yesterday we did our shopping for the week and scored big at Safeway. They have their big ribeye roasts on sale for $3.98/lb. These are the cuts where they cut the ribs out and then tie them back together with twine. Having the bone cut out makes it easier to cut at home. I am going to buy another roast tomorrow and leave it uncut. Then next week, I am going to do a ground beef and ribeye only week. I'll just slice off the steaks as needed. I wish I had more freezer room as I would stock up at this price.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 250

I had a hungry day yesterday. I rarely eat before 11 AM but my stomach was trying to tell me it was hungry when I got to work at 5 AM. I didn't think it was real, since I am never hungry that early. However, it kept insisting so I finally gave in and ate my hamburger bowl at 7 AM.

I wasn't hungry the rest of the day at work and felt great and energetic most of the day, except for a brief case of the sleepies at noon, which passed quickly. When I got home, I got to do a heavy workout called snow removal. The snow totally sucked as it was fluffy snow covered with ice, since we had freezing drizzle most of the day. It was sticky as hell and took forever to move.

When I was done, K was cooking dinner. I didn't think I was hungry but ate some chuck eye. Then my hunger kicked in and I ended up eating two chuck eye steaks (1.4 pounds) and half of a salmon fillet. I was pretty stuffed after that.

Because of the late big dinner, my weight was up a little this morning, to 170.0 pounds. However, my seven day average was 169.6 pounds, so it was a good week. For some reason, I always tend to be heavier on Wednesday and Thursday and then drop a lot on the weekend.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 247

I've been in the 160's for four straight days (169.6, 169.2, 169.2, 169.0), so it looks like it's sticking. I was at 169.0 lbs this morning and that was weighing at 4 AM rather than at 9 AM, when I weighed at over the weekend.

Yesterday's meals were a hamburger bowl at noon. Dinner was about a pound of sirloin roast dipped in the juices. Sirloin is not my favorite but it was okay. I thought I had bought a chuck roast last time it was on sale but couldn't find it, so this was runner up.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Eight Months ZC Anniversary (day 244)

Today is my eighth month ZC anniversary. I started April 11th of this year (the day before Easter). I have had a couple of slips over that time but consider them learning experiences.

Even though it is becoming more and more natural, I am still amazed that I am this far along. I was never able to stick with low carb for very long. I still have foods I think fondly of but all of the cravings are gone. I am still working on eliminating the "one taste won't hurt" thinking but Thanksgiving made a pretty strong impression on me so I feel pretty good about where I am now.

At dinner last night, it came out that I was eating only meat. The people I was with all knew me at my heaviest and saw me go through my various struggles losing the weight then, so they are used to my weirdness with various ways of eating. They asked a few questions but accepted it with out much fuss. They were actually more surprised that I haven't had any Diet Pepsi in over three months as they knew I drank it constantly before.

While explaining the various benefits I have seen since starting eating this way, it just reinforced to me that this isn't just about weight loss. My blood pressure has gone from around 150/90 to 110/63. I have effortlessly dropped 30 pounds, without exercise or counting calories or carbs. My elbows, which had bothered me for over a year before ZC, are fine now. A biggie is that my stomach no longer constantly hurts (a life long problem for me). There are a host of other small things - clearer skin, better nails, better sleep. I was telling K last night that it been easier than expected to keep eating this way because I feel so much better. Sure, ice cream and cookies taste great but they aren't worth the inevitable upset stomach.

I won't lie - the flat stomach and smaller clothes are a big motivator, too. It still amazes me to get out a shirt to put on and think there is no way I fit into that and then have it fit fine, or even a little loose.

I weighed this morning and am officially into the 160's! I was 169.6 this morning. That makes it exactly 30 pounds lost in the last eight months. Not super quick weight loss, but it is still lower than I ever thought possible. The funny thing is that I still feel a little bloated from the last couple of days, so my actually weight may be a little lower.

Dairy is now back out of my diet. I do feel a little better when I have it in small quantities but the sinus issues and the constant sore throat from drainage is too annoying. I am going to try to up my fat a little and maybe add some sardines occasionally to see if that replaces the dairy.

The other thing I am trying to do is to get back to being better about waiting for hunger. I was doing well before vacation and was really leaning out. I got out of the habit over vacation as I wasn't always free to eat only to hunger, being at someone's house and more on their schedule. Then when I got home, I ate more often to get over the cravings caused by eating off plan on Thanksgiving. Eating smaller amounts only at real physical hunger is definitely the key for me.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Day 237

I checked my weight today and I was down to 170.2 lbs. Two weeks ago today was the day I did my last update. I was 170.8 lbs, so there hasn't been a lot of weight loss over the last two weeks but at least it is heading in the right direction. I would normally gain over five pounds over the T-Day vacation and have no hope of losing any of it until after Easter. If I had behaved better on vacation this year, I would probably be in he 160's now. Hopefully by next weekend.

I was hungry early again yesterday. I ate a hamburger bowl around 8:30 am. Dinner was around 6:30 and was a pretty good sized T-Bone.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 235

Not too much to report. I am back to dairy free zero carb and it has been pretty effortless. I had a few cravings on Sunday but they passed quickly.

The week I was down in Salem, I added dairy back. It was mostly because it was difficult eating at the in-laws' and getting enough fat. Some cheese took care of that. Also, we ate while out and about several times and we found that going to Burger King and getting their $1 double-cheeseburgers (bunless and plain, of course) worked very well for the family. We could all eat and be completely full for $12 for all of us.

Most of the BK's handled the bunless thing well. The first time, I made the mistake of telling them they could could put two or three of the bunless double cheeseburgers in the same dish (depending on the order). That seemed to overload their brain cells. After that, I just ordered them individually (6 plain double cheese, no bun and 4 regular double cheese, no bun). We would get a million of the little trays but at least we got the order right.

The BK we stopped at on the way home was funny. The kid taking the order was obviously new. When I ordered the first batch, he looked at me all goggle eyed and said "Wha...?!". I repeated it and he said " But you have to have a bun?". K pipes and said "No. We don't". The kid finally calls the manager over and she shows him how to key it in. He kept looking at us and shaking his head. I guess he never heard of low carb or celiac disease.

The dairy didn't affect me weight wise that I could tell but it did stuff me up again and restarted my hay fever symptoms. I also started seeing blood again when I blow my nose. That had stopped after giving up dairy. K says I have started snoring excessively again. So - back to no dairy.

I don't know where I am with my weight currently. I said before I left that I was going to stop the daily weighing and just weigh once a week and I am sticking with that. My jeans are fitting fine, so I seem to be on track and didn't gain much (if anything) from my indiscretions.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 233

Well, I'm back. We got home about midnight on Saturday and I spent yesterday trying to get back in the swing of things and get things back into shape at home.

The trip was fun. The first half, in particular, was great. I spent a bunch of time haunting some of my old shops and also did a bunch of clothes shopping. I felt lean and energetic and it was fun buying some new clothes, especially since I was now shopping in the "Medium" sizes. I didn't find a lot of fitted clothes but I found some things that fit now and will probably resort to on-line shopping when I get to my ZC size, now that I have an understanding of what to look for.

I helped my BIL move on Monday and it sucked as much as I thought it would.

For Thanksgiving, there usually isn't much dark meat, so I bought a pack of turkey thighs and had one for dinner (they are huge). Unfortunately, in a fit of temporary insanity, I also decided to have a bit of "this and that", just to try it. That ended up being three days of "I'll restart tomorrow". I didn't eat a ton of carbs or binge on anything but I wasn't ZC for that time. I am embarrassed and pissed at myself and definitely don't feel as well as I did before. I don't think my weight is up much and hopefully anything I did gain will drop off now that I am back on track.

At one point, before Thanksgiving, my in-laws' neighbor came over to say hi. She is overweight and has a raft of health issues, including diabetes. My MIL was fussing over me, telling the neighbor that I had definitely found the secret to weight loss and health. The lady was interested until my MIL told her what I was doing. She looked at me incredulously and kept asking if I ate this and that. She couldn't believe it and finally said that she would rather be unhealthy and eat what she eats (yes, she actually said that). I felt sad for her at the time but now that I found how easily I fell off of the wagon, I am just super aware at how difficult this is and how vigilant I will have to be for the rest of my life. Eventually it will sink in.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Week 32 Update

Tomorrow is actually the completion of week 32 of zero carb but I am leaving on vacation for a week so I decided to post today. It was supposed to be my seventh month anniversary but that was ten days ago and I didn't have time until now.

This morning, I weighed 170.6 pounds. It was a bit of a cheat as I didn't weigh or measure until almost noon because I had such a busy morning. I imagine that I would be in the 171 pound range if I had measured at a normal time. using that weight, though, puts me at a 29 pound loss since starting zero carb.

I measured last time on 10/24. Since that time, I have lost 3.6 pounds. It was really carving into my belly as it is down two inches in that time.

Since I started zero carb, I have lost 1.2" off of my neck, 3.4" off of my chest,
5.1" off of my stomach, 2.2" off of my butt, 0.7 off of my bicep and 2.2" off of my thigh. I have also dropped my blood pressure from the 145/90 range to 110/63.

Here are the scary pictures:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 223

The scale is suddenly my friend again. I dropped to a new low this morning of 172.0 pounds. That makes for a total loss of 27.6 pounds. This also brought my seven day average to a new low of 172.9 pounds. I guess excessive whining about extended stalls gets things moving.

First hunger yesterday was around 10:30 am. I, of course, ate one of my ubiquitous hamburger bowls. I wasn't growling hungry yet at dinner at 6 pm but we were having ribeyes, so ate one anyway.

The ribeyes were the ones we got at WinCo for $3.98/lb. They were okay but not as good as the ribeyes we get locally. They were trimmed too much, for one thing. They were on par with a decent chuck-eye, I think.

Ribeye roasts are on sale all over right now. Unfortunately, our freezer is packed full. Since we are leaving tomorrow, we can't get one to eat fresh, either. Maybe they will go on sale around Christmas or New Years'.

I did my hamburger bowls differently this last weekend. I had always cooked them in a pan on the stove, scrambling the meat up in to bigger chunks and then dividing the meat and grease into bowls to take to work for lunch. With all the talk of baking GB lately, I decided to try it that way.

I had a four pound pack that I divided roughing into half. I put each of the two pound chunks into a 9" x 13" glass baking dish and spread it out flat. I put the two dishes into a 350° oven and cooked it for about 30 minutes. When it was done, I just cut slabs off of the loaf and divided it into my work bowls. I then divided the grease that had cooked out evenly into the bowls.

When I warm them up, I just break the mini-loafs up into chunks and nuke them until warm and the fat is melted. It has a lot better texture this way and tastes better, for some reason. Usually the top of the loaf has browned up more than the inside.

I know it sounds like meatloaf, and it is essentially. However, I don't add any binders or spices. This method of cooking is a winner and is much, much easier than standing over the stove frying up four pounds of ground beef in several batches.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 216

I waited for the growl yesterday and didn't hungry until 3:30 pm. Since it was only a couple of hours until dinner, I had four or five bites of my work pemmican stash to tide me over 'til dinner. I was hungry again by dinner and had five leftover flanken ribs (about a quarter inch thick) and half of one of my normal hamburger bowls.

I think it was too much. I was stuffed and it upset my stomach. When I went to bed, my stomach was rolling and I had to make a couple of quick trips to the bathroom.

Some people here can eat until stuffed, but I don't think I am one of them. Every time I have tried it, it ends in disaster. I think I need to wait for the growl and then eat enough to be satisfied (or not hungry anymore). That has worked well in the past.

With the big dinner, I was up a pound this morning. It makes it a 2.6 pound gain since my low on Sunday. I am not happy about that but my jeans aren't that much tighter, so there is probably something else going on.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 215

Today is my official 7th month anniversary of starting zero carb. It has been a bumpy ride at times but has smoothed out considerably over the last few months. I will try to get some updated stats and pictures this weekend. I will have company, though, so don't know if it will be possible.

I would be a little more excited about it if my weight hadn't bounced up a pound and a half after hitting the new low on Sunday. You never can tell the reason for things like this but I wonder if it is because I am not eating exactly to hunger. When I had the big loss a couple of weeks back, I was eating only when my stomach growled. Currently, I always wait to first eat until my stomach growls and I feel hunger. However, I tend to eat dinner with my family whether I am hungry or not.

I am not full then; I could eat but I don't need to eat. I think I will go back to only eating at the growl as it has always worked best with me. I let myself be convinced otherwise reading what other folks are doing and I stall out. I need to do what works for me, not what works for others.

Meals yesterday were a hamburger bowl at first hunger (about 11:30 am) and tri tip steaks for dinner at 7 pm. I overate the tri tips because I really like them. They are usually too expensive but we took advantage of a nice sale on them.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hamburger bowls

Amy asked me in the comments what a hamburger bowl was, so I'll answer it here.

A hamburger bowl is just my shorthand way of saying ground beef cooked in crumbles and served in a bowl with the fat added back in.

I usually cook up 4 - 5 pounds of ground beef on Sunday for the week. I break it into bite sized chunks while cooking. I like the chunks versus a more crumbly texture, like taco meat. After it's cooked, I divide it into Tupperware bowls and then add back the fat to each of the bowls. I take one to work everyday for lunch.

I used to add some shredded cheese to the bowl after warming the ground beef. I called them cheeseburger bowls at the time. When I dropped the dairy, I took to calling them hamburger bowls.

I like doing it this way over burgers. Cooking burgers gets very messy, with grease splattering all over. It also takes a lot longer as I can only cook three patties per pan.

I should mention that I tend to use 80/20 ground beef. I accidentally got 85/15 last week and it was yucky and dry. I had to add butter to those to keep them from being too dry. 73/27 would work too but I can only get that in the chubs and I don't tend to like the chubs. I don't think they are as fresh as the 80/20 that the stores grind.

As for those that might be squeamish about adding the fat back to the ground beef, you get over it. I used to always religiously drain ground beef when I cooked it. When I decided to add it back in, I thought it was going to be disgusting but it was very good. It keeps the beef from being too dry and doesn't really add a flavor of its own.

Day 213

After two weeks of screwing around, my body is finally getting with the program again. I hit 172.8 pounds two weeks ago and then bounced up a pound and stayed there until yesterday. Yesterday, I hit a new low of 172.4 pounds. This morning I weighed about four hours earlier than yesterday and weighed 172.6 pounds. That puts me at a total loss of 27 pounds.

It was frustrating doing the bounce and stall thing. I was really enjoying the quick weight loss I was seeing before that. However, I just stayed the course and figured it would start up again eventually.

Meals on Saturday were ground beef both for first hunger as well as dinner. Meals yesterday were left over tri tip steaks at first hunger (about 12:30 pm) and a big chuck steak for dinner.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 205

I had a really busy weekend. K's folks stopped by Thursday night on their way back from Florida (coming back through the top part of the states). We had a nice but very brief visit with them as they left Friday morning. They were in a hurry to get home after being gone several weeks.

Friday, I had to do some work in the morning and then spent the afternoon working on my new shed. I staked out where the poles would go and then spent a lot of time moving stacks of wood.

After a snowy Thursday and a Friday that was cold and socked in all day, Saturday was beautiful. Sunny and 58°. The only down side was a pretty strong wind came up. I spent pretty much all day working on my shed.

When I finally came in after working all day, I was beat. I came into the house and was confronted with a bowl of Halloween candy that K had left out in case we got any trick or treaters. Maybe because I was so tired, I went through a period of intense argument with myself to stay out of it. It really caught me by surprise because I haven't been tempted at all up until that point. I really came this -||- close to falling face first into the candy. I managed to resist by convincing myself that I wanted to be as thin as possible by the time we go to the in-laws' for Thanksgiving. It wasn't the best reason but it worked. I also managed to distract myself by getting immersed in the Beavers game.

Sunday was nice too. I had to do some grocery shopping with K in the morning and then worked on the shed in the afternoon after the frost had disappeared. I also had to spend some time consoling my oldest son as he is in the process of learning the travails and drama of associating with teen-aged girls. I was still wanting the candy but it wasn't as strong.

Meals were pretty basic as I didn't want to fix much. Thursday was a hamburger bowl for first hunger and meatballs for dinner. Friday was a leftover short rib and some eggs for first hunger and a flat iron steak for dinner. The flat iron steak sucked and I won't be buying those again. Saturday was a hamburger bowl for first hunger and a ribeye for dinner. Sunday was a hamburger bowl and a couple of slices of bacon for first hunger and a hamburger bowl for dinner.

One frustration lately has been my weight. After a week of quick weight loss last week, I bottomed out at 172.8 pounds last Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday, I bounced back up a pound and have stuck there since. I expected to stall a little but what makes it frustrating is that is seems like all the extra weight is centered on my lower abdomen. It makes my pants tighter than before I lost the weight last week. It also makes me feel very fat despite the lower weight.

No matter, though, because I don't intend on changing anything. I have trusted this way of eating so far, so I just have to wait it out.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 200

Now for an update. The rapid weight loss came to a screeching halt. I have been essentially stalled the last three days. The weird thing is that during that time I have been having detox symptoms - bloated stomach, skin breakouts, headaches, inflammation in my chest. It seems to happen sometimes when going into virgin fat territory but I am not sure what causes it. Doesn't matter anyway as I'll just continue to do what I am doing and will just wait it out. I imagine that I'll get over it in a few days and will start up the losing again.

Yesterday was the first time in three days that ate more than once in the day. I was hungry early, around 9 am, and ate a hamburger bowl. I ate dinner more because it had been thawed and wouldn't keep than because of any real hunger. I had a salmon fillet and a small sirloin tip steak.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 198

The melting continues.

I was down .6 pounds this morning, to 172.8. That makes a total loss of 26.8 pounds since I started ZC six and half months ago.

After complaining a couple of days ago about my stomach being bigger despite the lower weight, my stomach was noticeably flatter this morning. I didn't have time to measure or anything but it was noticeable in the mirror. Maybe I'll see those abs yet.

I am still not very hungry. I had first hunger yesterday at 2:30 in the afternoon. I ate three chicken thighs and a small hamburger bowl. I didn't get hungry again, so that was it for yesterday.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day 197

I think I picked up a tapeworm.

Continuing a week of rapid weight loss, I was down to 173.4 this morning. Here is what I weighed the last eight days, including today:


I am still amazed every time I get on the scale and it is lower. I keep expecting the normal bounce up after a new low and a week of fluctuating around that weight, but it hasn't happened yet.

All I can think of is that it has been six weeks of no diet soda and next to no caffeine and over three weeks of no dairy and my body has finally adapted to it. I think my body trusts that there is no sweet, no caffeine and no carbs from dairy and has dropped my insulin levels. I have not been very hungry, which tells me that I am using fat stores for energy. I also haven't been getting cramps, so I don't think I am dehydrated.

Meals yesterday were bacon and eggs for breakfast and some leftover roast, with juice, for dinner. I wasn't really hungry at breakfast but K and I were going to be out and about for awhile, so I decided to eat early. Besides - the bacon smelled good. It was about 7 pm before I got hungry again and that is when I had the roast.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day 196

Two days ago, I was excited that I had broken into the 175's, at 175.4 pounds. This was after three weeks of fluctuating around 177 pounds. This morning, though I weighed 174.2 pounds. The weight is flying off right now. It puts me at a total loss of 25.4 pounds since I started ZC.

Here's the weird part though. I have felt like, despite all of the recent weight loss, that my stomach was actually bigger. My jeans felt a little tighter. I wasn't sure, though, so took measurements this morning after I weighed. I then compared it to the last time I measured, which was three weeks ago when I weighed 177.4 pounds. My neck, chest, arms and thigh are all smaller. So is my waist (the narrowest part of my abdomen). However, my stomach, measured just below the navel, is .8" bigger, despite the three pound loss.

I have no idea why that might be, except for some kind of weird body recomposition thing. What is there seems "squishier", not as firm. I have read that when fat is lost, sometimes the body will put water in place of the fat as a kind of placeholder. Once a period of time passes and the fat isn't replaced, the water is then released. This is supposed to explain the "whoosh effect" that a lot of low carbers see.

I just have to be patient and see what happens. It is fun to see the numbers on the scale drop but it is a little unsettling to see the belly increase while it is happening. I just want to see some abs. However, with as quick as the weight is coming off, I imagine there will be some shifting around going on.

After plugging the numbers into the bodyfat percentage calculator, it showed me at 15.7% bodyfat. My BMI came to 24.5, so I am finally out of the "overweight" category. It showed me still carrying 28 pounds of fat, so I am now thinking that the weight range in 160's isn't out of the realm of possibility.

As for meals yesterday, I didn't get first hunger until 1:30 in the afternoon. I had some leftover roast, in it's juice. I didn't think I would get hungry again but started eyeing the burgers that I cooked up for the boys and their friend, so ended up eating three patties around 8 pm.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 194

My weight loss seems to be turbocharged this week. I dropped .8 pounds overnight, down to 175.4 pounds. That's a loss of two pounds in the last week and a total loss of 24.2 pounds since I started.

I really never expected anything like this. I assumed that by the time I got this low, every ounce would be a struggle and it would be sloooow, especially considering my age and (no) activity level. I must finally have my insulin levels under control. Even though I have been eating zero carb for almost seven months, it has only been six weeks since fully giving up diet soda and four weeks since giving up dairy. It has also been a week since I have had any antihistamines, which I do think makes a difference.

I would probably be further along if I had done these things from the start. Honestly, though, I don't think I would have been able to stick with it if I had. I remember telling my wife early on that there was no way I would be able to stick with this if I couldn't have cheese and cream. Then one day I forgot to add cheese to my cheeseburger bowl and was most of the way through it before noticing. I dropped the cream when I dropped artificial sweeteners because I didn't like the cream in my tea without the Splenda. Now I barely drink tea. The gradual release of my holdouts seem to be what works best for me.

I have still been on a beef kick. I had a hamburger bowl at first hunger at 11:30 am. Dinner was a small untrimmed T-bone and a chicken thigh.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 193

I had another all beef day yesterday. I was first hungry at noon and had a hamburger bowl. Dinner at 6:30 was a chuck roast.

It was one of the best roasts I have ever had. I usually don't like roast because it was always dry and overdone (sorry K). Trying to keep it from being overdone only resulted in it being too chewy. This one came out perfect - pink and flavorful. It wasn't falling off the bone tender but wasn't chewy. It actually tasted like a steak would instead of the usual cardboard.

I had read about cooking roasts by cooking them on high for a half hour and then shutting the stove off and leaving it in the oven for several hours, cooking in the residual heat. That method wouldn't work for us, though, because we have a gas stove and they don't hold the heat as long. However, we do have a cast iron dutch oven that I bought for K several years ago and we have never used. It occurred to me that it would do nicely to help hold the residual heat.

To prepare the roast, I first turned the oven to "Warm". While waiting for that to warm up, I took our nicely marbled chuck roast (about 4 pounds) and browned it in a little tallow in the dutch oven on the stove. I did sprinkle it with a little creole seasoning (spices and salt) before browning it, but that probably isn't necessary. After browning the meat, I stuck our digital thermometer into it, closed the lid and stuck the hot pan into the now warm oven.

I set the thermometer to go off at 155°. It took about 2 and half hours to get to that temp. After it went off, I pulled the dutch oven out of the oven and left it covered on the stove top to let it rest. After about 20 minutes, the temp had risen to 163°, so I took it out and sliced it up. I ate mine dipped in some of the juice that had cooked out and it was amazing. My oldest son loved it too. K and my youngest aren't big fans of roast but said it was good.

Despite pigging out on roast last night, I was down another .2 pounds this morning, to another new low of 176.2 pounds. I am really amazed that I am still losing at a good rate, despite being pretty close to a healthy weight. I expected it to slow to a crawl by this point.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 192

I have decided that I definitely don't thrive if I eat too much pork. We had quite a bit of it late last week through the weekend. Pork chops and pork riblets (which my family calls "piglets"). There were quite a few piglets and I was the only one who would eat them warmed up, so I had piglets every day through the weekend to use them up.

During that time we also had meals of chicken thighs and dinner Sunday night was Canadian snow crab. The snow crab was very good and I found I like it better than King crab. For one thing, it was much cheaper - $3.99/pound versus $10/pound for the king crab. The snow crab isn't prickly like the king crab, either, so it is easier to deal with. We don't have crab often - two or three times a year - so it was a nice treat.

The non-beef meals started to add up, though. My weight was up a little Sunday and Monday and I was craving ground beef like crazy. I had a hamburger bowl yesterday at first hunger (about noon) and an untrimmed ribeye for dinner. I feel much better today and my weight dropped to a new low of 176.4 pounds (I hit 176.2 pounds Saturday but it was much later in the morning and I think I was a bit dehydrated). That makes for a total loss of 23.2 pounds.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 191 - Then and Now

In the summer of '06, I had been putzing around with low carb for a while. I hadn't lost weight but I had stopped the regaining and was sitting around 200 pounds. I stumbled onto the Meat and Eggers for Life thread on the Active Low Carber forum and was intrigued. Unfortunately, I didn't feel at the time that it was something I would be able to do but it did inspire me to cut way back on my carbs.

I decided to go very low carb and eat small amounts only when physically hungry. I decided to show my progress by taking pictures of me squeezed into some old Levis I had saved from my thinner days. They were 33 inch waist 501's. I went from 200 pounds down to around 182 pounds in three months. Unfortunately, the holidays got to me and I didn't lose any more over the next couple of months and kind of went off track after the new year. I drifted away from very low carb after that and spent a couple of years messing with calorie counting and PSMF diets. What a waste of time!

Anyway, here is what turned out to be the before and after picture in my "challenge pants" from that attempt.

The challenge pants went back to the low end of the pants pile. You know - the pile of pants arranged from "Fits Now" to "Slightly Tight" to "Only In My Dreams". That pile has been shrinking significantly lately as I have been under growing the pants. Last weekend, as we were getting ready to leave for the weekend, I grabbed the pair of jeans off of the top of the pile and put them on. They were some 34" Wranglers. As I was rushing around getting ready, I could tell they weren't going to work as they kept sliding down. I didn't want to spend the weekend pulling my pants up so I went up and threw those in the Goodwill pile and grabbed the next pair of jeans - some 33" Levis.

I was surprised that they fit as well as they did and ended up wearing them over the weekend. It wasn't until later that I realized that they were my "challenge pants".

I weighed in at 176.2 pounds last Saturday morning, about 6 pounds lighter than my "After" picture from three years ago, so decided to make a comparison picture.

No more muffin top! Next stop is my "In Your Dreams" jeans - 32" Levis 501's. I am a little torqued that I tossed some brand new 31" 501s - tags still on them - a few years ago because "there is no way I will ever fit in them again". :dodgy:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Day 188

My weight has been holding steady lately, fluctuating up and down a little around 177 pounds. My hunger has been weird though. I get hungry the first time between 10 am and noon and I'll have a hamburger bowl. Then I won't really get hungry again until 9 or 10 pm and then I am only kind of hungry, not stomach growling, low blood sugar hungry.

Yesterday, I got hungry about noon and finished off the meatza crust that I had had on the weekend. There was quite a bit of it, so I kind of thought that I wouldn't get hungry again that day. Around 9:30 last night, my stomach was feeling kind of weird, not upset, but like something wasn't setting real well. I decided to cook up some tri tip steaks that were getting a bit elderly, thinking I would eat one and eat the rest this morning. Well, I ended up eating all of it, about three good size steaks worth! :blush: Even after that, I wasn't really full but I didn't want to eat more. I felt fine but was rather hot all night.

I think part of the problem is that K was baking cookies (gluten free scotchies and peanut butter) and the smell was driving me nuts. Even today, I have been a little crave-y. I kept wondering how many carbs were in one cookie but didn't cave.

I have been griping about sinus issues lately and gave up dairy a couple of weeks ago to see if it would help. It has helped a little but I have still been stuffed up and "snuffly". I kind of had a thought about it and have been seeing if I could make it better.

I don't breath well on the right side of my nose and that is where all of the problem originate. I am usually stuffed up on that side and when I have allergy days, that is the side that "tingles" and makes me sneeze. Also, before ZC, I frequently would get a little blood out of that side when I blew my nose.

I didn't realize until very lately that I wasn't getting much air in that side. The doc verified that I have a deviated septum that is partially blocking it. He said my sinuses on that side tend to be uh... "yucky".

I think not getting air in that side is keeping it from being healthy. The dairy was probably also contributing, but it can't heal from the dairy. I've decided to start using saline to irrigate that side. I also have decided to stop taking antihistamines because I think it was causing that side to plug.

Yesterday was awful. I sneezed and my nose ran all day long. I was starting to think that this was a stupid idea. However, today has been much, much better, so maybe there was some validity.

Maybe I have just swallowed the kool-aid here, but I am just going to stop taking stuff like antihistamines and try to let my body do what it is supposed to do under the influence of zero carb.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 185

I did a bunch of traveling this weekend that had a few challenges but turned out fine (and fun).

On Saturday morning, we took the boys to Silverwood, which is an amusement park in Idaho. We frequently go there in October and have always had beautiful weather. However, this year was sunny but very cold. I think the high for the day was about 40°. It was tolerable at first but got colder and colder in the afternoon, especially as the wind came up. By the time we left around 5:30, we were all frozen.

We still had a good time with the boys. G and I rode the wooden roller coasters several times. I was disappointed that the new coaster was closed as I wanted to try it but the wooden ones were fun too. We pretty much hit most of the rest of the rides at least once except for the water rides. I definitely didn't want to get wet.

Food wasn't a problem at all. I didn't eat much Friday night so was hungry in the morning before we left and I had a hamburger bowl. To have something to eat for lunch, I baked up a Meatza "crust" on Friday and packed it in a cooler. I actually didn't get hungry until pretty late in the afternoon despite all of the walking and a couple of slices of the meatza crust worked well.

After the park, we drove down to my parents' house. We swung into a McDonald's in Coeur d'Alene, ID on the way through town. I wasn't hungry but the boys were so we ordered them a bunch of quarter pound beef patties. The boys wanted cheese on their burgers but the manager insisted that we had to pay for two slices per burger because that is the way that Quarter Pounders are made. When we got the order, each burger patty was in its own box, with one slice of cheese under the patty and one on top. With the burger being hot, of course the bottom slice was melted to the box. My wife hit the roof and chewed them out big time. We got extra cheese. I like the fact that McD's offers the choice to just buy the burger patty without having to pay for the whole burger but it really seems that any time you do something out of the ordinary there, you can actually see the sparks from the McD employee's brain short circuiting.

I was dreading meals while visiting my folks but they went okay. K and I stay at my Grandpa's and he fixes breakfast, which is always eggs and sausage links. This works fine except he always makes enough for an army. He was a logger and still has the mindset that you need a huge breakfast. Those of us that pretty much sit on our butts all day don't need quite as much.

Dinner on Sunday at my parents' was ham. I just ate a couple of slices and was good. I was really surprised that there were no comments about my plate only having meat but it wasn't an issue. I did surprisingly get hungry again a couple of hours later and had three of the hamburger patties that we brought.

We had breakfast at Grandpa's again Monday morning before heading home. This time I was able to talk him into cooking less. With the burgers the night before, I wasn't very hungry. Also, two days of sausage and ham wasn't really sitting that well.

We did some shopping on the way home through Spokane and scored some marked down chuck-eyes and pork riblets as well as some $3.98/lb ribeyes at WinCo. I also got some marked down tri tip steaks at the grocer at home. They is becoming a favorite cut of mine so I get them when ever I see them marked down. I had several of them for dinner. It was nice to get away from the processed meat and back to good ol' beef.

I thought the trip would be challenging, especially in regards to Diet Pepsi. Normally, I would have ended up buying several bottles while at the park as well as one going there and one on the way home. This time, I found I wasn't very thirsty so was okay with the bottle of water I had in the car. Also, for as long as I can remember, visiting with Grandpa was "sitting down and having a Pepsi". He seemed surprised and skeptical when I refused one but didn't say much. I had actually planned on cheating while there just to keep that ritual but didn't feel like it when the time came. I think that is good progress for me.

I expected my weight to be up a little because of the processed meat but I was actually at a new low this morning of 176.8. It may be that I am a little dehydrated with all of the traveling but I was at 177.2 on Saturday morning, so losing a little on the weekend isn't out of the realm of possibility.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Day 179

I didn't get hungry yesterday until about 1:30 pm and had a hamburger bowl. I was expecting to be hungry again by the time I got home at 8:30 but really wasn't. K had made taco meat for the boys and held out a pound of GB for me. About the time I started getting ready for bed, I started getting hungry. I didn't want to spend the time cooking up the GB so decided on a small bowl of taco meat. I also decided "what the hell' and threw in a pinch of shredded cheese, probably less than half an ounce.

I had been feeling a little sorry for myself lately for giving up the dairy. Cheese is such a convenient way to add fat to a meal or to easily finish off a meal if the meat wasn't quite enough and I didn't want to cook more. I am still having a lot of allergy issues and my sinuses are still bothering me a little. I figured that giving up the dairy hadn't really helped that much.

Well, this morning I woke up much more stuffed up than I had been and my mouth and throat coated with gunk again. All day today, I have felt like there is a lot of drainage (yuck - I know). I guess it was making more of a difference than I realized. Live and learn.

Weight-wise, I have been holding around 177.8 pounds for the last six days except for two quick excursions down to 177.4 pounds. My seven day average is 177.9 pounds.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Day 177

Yesterday, I first ate about 10:30 am. I wasn't fully hungry yet (the Chiefs were making me lose my appetite) but K cooked up bacon and the smell made me want some. I ate five pieces of bacon and had some sliced up sirloin roast.

Despite the bacon, I think the whole thing was too lean. I was full but I spent the afternoon kind of "crave-y". I ate dinner at 6:30 and had a huge T-bone. It was good, but I still prefer rib-eyes. However, the T-bones are on sale right now for $4.99/pound, so I'll have T-bones for a few days.

My weight was 177.4 pounds this morning, even with weighing much earlier. That is four straight days in the 177's. My seven day average is 178.1 pounds.

I spent some time Saturday going through my clothes. With it getting much cooler, I had to find out what pants fit other than the khaki shorts I wore all summer. I also tried on all of my shirts and sweatshirts. I had to dump a bunch of the shirts and several pairs of pants because they were too big.

There were a couple of nice surprises. The main pants I have that fit is a pair of Levi's khaki cargo pants in a 32" waist. The only problem with them is that they are in a wide leg style and I keep flashing back to high school.

I also have an old pair of unworn Levis 501 jeans with a 33" waist that fit pretty well. They are old enough that it is a true size and not the vanity sized khakis (yes they do it for men's clothes, too).

The thing that makes me sad is I easily fit into my Levis jackets now but I am pretty sure they are hideously out of style.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Week 25 Update - Day 175

I was planning on doing a six month update but will be gone next weekend. I decided to do my update this weekend instead, especially since I did one about a month ago.

This morning I weigh 177.4. That is a total loss of 22.2 pounds in 25 weeks. I weigh 1.6 pounds less than I did at my last update a month ago. However, the difference in the numbers is striking. My BMI is 25.0 - right at the threshold to overweight - and my body fat is calculated to be 16.2%.

From the measurements taken a month go, I have dropped .2" from my neck, .8" from my waist, 1.6" from stomach (sucked in), 1.4" from my stomach relaxed, .6" from my hips and .8" from my thigh. My chest and biceps were unchanged. It seems like every bit lost now is really carving into my body.

Here are my comparison pictures comparing the progress made from my start April 11th. Click on the picture for a bigger version.

As for a daily update, yesterday I was hungry first around noon. I hadn't had eggs for a while so had four eggs scrambled with three cut up sausage patties. I next got hungry about 8 pm and had a hamburger bowl. Still haven't had any dairy and I seem to be getting clearer sinuses. It is still rainy but I have been sneezing any way, so there is still some allergens floating around. I seem to have pretty clear sinuses anyway.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Day 174

Yesterday, I got hungry early again and had two chicken thighs. I expected to get hungry again pretty soon after that but it ended up tiding me over until 6 pm. I was still at work at that time and ate the hamburger bowl that I had brought. The hamburger bowl was a little leaner than usual and it didn't really satisfy me so I ate half of a chuck-eye steak about 9 pm when I got home.

I also got a decent night sleep. I went to bed about midnight and got up at 10 this morning. I was awake on and off from 6 to 7:30 while K and the boys were banging around getting ready for school. Still, it felt great.

My weight was at 177.8 pounds this morning. I weighed a lot later than usual, so it wasn't a surprise to be down. However, I weighed at the same time last Friday and I am down two pounds from that time. I'll take it. It also brought my obsessive seven day average down to 178.9. It is pretty amazing to be firmly in the 170's. It also brought my total weight loss to 21.8 pounds since April 11th.

Another dairy free day and I was definitely less stuffed up last night. However, it rained overnight so it is possible that there weren't as many allergens floating around.

The temperature has taken a sharp downturn also. I got up this morning and the house was 65°, with the temperature outside in the low 50's. Brrr. I decided to finally fire up the gas stoves (we heat our house with two free standing gas Quadra-Fire stoves), so now both cats, the dog and I are all camped in front of one of them.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Day 173

Here is a chart of my seven day average weight from the time I began almost six months ago. I don't have every single day on there but I think it is pretty close.

As you can see, it gives a nice feedback on what I am doing plus the overall trend.

Obviously, weight isn't everything and it is possible to get smaller without going down in weight. In fact, this morning my weight was essentially holding but I somehow felt smaller. My waistband is verifying that as my pants are looser. I take measurements occasionally and I think it gives a better view of what's going on. I like the chart, too, for immediate feedback.

As for yesterday, I got hungry earlier than normal. I had to have some blood drawn for some tests I ordered so i had to fast until then. I did that at 8:30 am and was starting to get a little hungry. By the time I had got back to the office, I had kicked over into full hunger so I ate a hamburger bowl.

I expected to get hungry again since I ate so early but was only kind of getting hungry by the time I got home at 8:30 pm. I decided to go ahead and eat with the family and had a nice, thick ribeye.

Still no dairy and I think it is starting to help. My voice didn't get as raspy over the day as it normally does and I felt a little clearer during the night. However, I was sneezing a lot this morning, so I think I am still reacting to some allergen, which is masking the sinus effects.

As mentioned before, my weight is still holding at 179.0 pounds. My seven day average is at a new low, at 179.1 pounds. Progress.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 172

I think I might go back to posting daily menus and times. With some of the changes lately, I want to track how it's affecting me.

Yesterday was my first completely dairy free day. I would like to think that I woke up slightly less stuffy this morning but it is probably wishful thinking. I imagine it will take a while to see actual results.

As mentioned before, I waited until I felt stomach growling hunger before eating. I finally hit that stage about 12:30 pm and ate a hamburger bowl. I still wasn't hungry when I got home at 8:30 but ate two chicken thighs anyway. I had to fast 12 hours to have blood drawn this morning and that was the latest I could eat. I didn't want to wake up hungry.

My weight has been pretty steady the last three days 178.8, 179.0, and 178.8. However, I track my weight every day in a spreadsheet that averages out the last seven days. This smooths out the bumps. Anyway, I was at my lowest seven day average this morning - 179.4 pounds. That is exciting.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day 171

Despite cleaning eating yesterday, I ended up being really short-tempered yesterday evening and then ended up with a really bad headache. I had the headache all night and into the morning. It's finally gone; I have no idea what caused it or me being a grouch.

I decided to forgo my tea with HWC in the morning while at work for a while. Also, my normal cheeseburger bowl became a hamburger bowl today. I want to see if doing without the dairy will ease some sinus problems. So far, it hasn't and I am losing my voice like I do most afternoons but I imagine it will take some time. I am still not sure how I would feel about having to do without dairy.

I also tried to wait for my normal hunger symptoms (growling stomach and a kind of pulling sensation inside) before eating. I had been letting that slide as there were times where I would eat when I was just close or just thinking about food. I am not trying to be legalistic about it or obsess about it; I just want to see if it makes a difference.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day 170

I finally dropped all of the "giving up Diet Pepsi" bloat and hit a new low this morning - 178.8 pounds. That is with early weighing, too. Hopefully it continues because I have been essentially stalled for the last three weeks.

It's funny but there are times I have to remind myself that I am making progress. I still don't like what I see in the mirror and I worry that it isn't working. When I look at pictures, I can see the difference but it doesn't seem like much. I guess it is because it has been so slow. There are some reminders, though, like the fact I can't sleep the way I used to (on my side, with one leg on top of the other) because my knees are too bony and hurts to have them on top of each other. :D There are times that my collar bones and shoulder blades seem prominent.

That said, there seems to have been some changes lately - since giving up DP - that aren't necessarily weight related. My energy level is up and I swear my arms are bigger, even though I haven't been working out. My arms went through a stage where they looked like Skeletor's (aka Madonna). They seem to be filling out again.

The other thing that has changed some is my hunger signals. I have been in tune with my physical hunger for years and knew what it felt like. It worked fine under ZC, too. Recently, though, I don't get to the stomach growling stage. I tend to eat now when I get tired and start really thinking about food. I am not sure if I should go ahead and what for the growl like I used to or just "go with the flow". It still seems to fall into the twice a day pattern.

One other thing that I have been debating about is to cut way back on the cheese (I am not ready to consider the "eliminate" word). I do fine with cheese and don't over do it. I don't have that much HWC - a splash in my tea (two mugs a day, four days a week). What is making me think about cutting back is that my sinuses just won't clear. I wake up every morning stuffed up and my mouth and throat coated with gunk (probably from breathing through my mouth all night). I seem to have "allergy" issues all of the time lately. Seeing Margot's sinus success on ZIOH after she dropped HWC is encouraging.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Slaying the Beast - Some Aftermath

It's been a little over a week since dropping the diet soda and I'm still hanging in there.

The first few days were surprisingly easy. I did have a headache for a couple of days and my upper legs and backside hurt like mad for about six days, to the point of making it hard to sleep because I couldn't find a position where they didn't hurt. However, I wasn't tempted to cheat, even with a road trip to Spokane last Saturday.

I didn't intend it but I have basically dropped everything but water and a mug of hot tea on work days. I had intended to keep drinking unsweetened iced tea but ended up not caring enough to continue it. I have found that drinking plain seltzer water occasionally fills the need for fizz and plain water the rest of the time helps with the thirst.

On Monday, I was blindsided by terrible cravings, both for carbs and for Diet Pepsi. This was surprising because I haven't had any carb cravings for the last two months. I also ended up with a bad headache that lasted all night.

I persevered and continued eating zero carb and drinking water. However, Tuesday, I woke up 3.5 pounds heavier and feeling bloated. Since then, the weight has steadily dropped every day and the cravings have gone away. My energy levels were also much higher yesterday and today. I am not sure what that was all about but I had something similar with my weight last time I tried dropping the soda.

My hunger has been different the last couple of days. I haven't been getting hungry until much later than normal - usually around 1 - 2 PM. I am then barely hungry when I get home around 8:30. Last night, I just had a burger patty with a little cheese around 9:30 as I was just getting hungry then. I think it is possible that the diet soda was making me hungrier than I needed to be, which was slowing down my weight loss. Hopefully, the fat loss will pick up again once the diet soda is out of my system.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Slaying the Beast

Okay - it's time to try to slay the beast.

Ever since I "rebooted" ZC a couple of months, I have still been drinking Diet Pepsi. I haven't had any cravings and was still losing weight, so I wasn't as motivated to take on my addiction.

However, I think my body has been telling me enough is enough. Even though I was losing weight, it was slow and bounced all over. Also, I would occasionally get a little light-headed if I drank it on an empty stomach, which tells me it was dropping my blood sugar because of an insulin response.

However, yesterday was the final straw. I had some with lunch and got really dizzy and kind of sick to my stomach. I also really bloated up. I felt tired, fat and miserable all day after that, which made my 14 hour work day feel really, really long.

Quitting is really tough, though. I gave it up for about a month when I first started ZC but was still having odd bits of carbs here and there so never lost my cravings for it. Since then, every time I have set a quitting date, I panic and drink twice as much leading up to that date and then find some reason to push it off.

Sounds pathetic, doesn't it? Addictions suck.

I am going to steal something from Charles on Zeroing In On Health because I can't approach this as something I am going to give up "forever". So, I woke up this morning and decided I won't have any diet soda today. Hopefully I'll wake up tomorrow and decided that again but I am not going to worry about that now.

So far, today is going well. The bloating has dropped some and I have way more energy than yesterday.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Five Month ZC Anniversary

Today is five months ZC for me. I had a couple of slip ups during that time but have been going strong for the last couple of months. It is getting to be second nature now. My energy levels are finally feeling normal and I don't really have a problem with leg cramps anymore unless I am actively losing fat.

My weight is still up a little from my low last week but that bounce tends to happen when I hit a new low, so I am not worried.

Overall, I am surprised that I have been able to go this long and even more surprising is that I can see this as being sustainable for the rest of my life. Part of me, in fact, is pissed that I didn't know about it earlier and I wasted so many years with poorer than necessary health and fighting my weight and acne.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Day 147 - 21 Weeks

I think I got off on my day count. It's actually day 147 which is 21 weeks since I started my zero carb way of eating. Since that is roughly five months, I figured it was time for an update.

My weight this morning was 179.0. That is a total loss of 20.6 pounds. That isn't a huge weight loss over 21 weeks, but I am at the weight where it doesn't come off fast. I have also had some set backs about halfway through that delayed my weight loss. Those couple of carb days really weren't worth it.

Here are my measurement stats from when I started and today. The numbers are odd because I measure in centimeters and the spreadsheet converts the numbers to inches. I don't bother rounding them down.

Stomach In37.8"35.83"-1.18
Stomach out39.76"37.99"-2.76
Right Bicep13.39"12.6"-0.49
Right Thigh19.59"19.09"-0.39

When I started putting this all together, I was unimpressed with the numbers. I know I am smaller but it didn't seem like all that much smaller and the numbers kind of bore that out. However, I think the pictures paint a different story.

The "flex" pictures are a little embarrassing because I have no muscles but I think they show the differences in weight. I can work on the muscle thing later.

According to the on-line bodyfat calculator, I am at 17.3% body fat. I remember reading on Lyle McDonald's site that, for men, you should just start to see abs at 15% bodyfat, so around 17% is probably right. That means I am still carrying around 30 pounds of fat, so another 10 pounds or so would be a good loss. However, I don't really have a "goal weight", so I will just let the chips fall where they may.

The calculator site gives my BMI at 25.2 and says I am still 2.2 lbs overweight.

I also checked my fasting blood sugar this morning and it was 85. My strips are old, though, so I don't know how accurate that is.

It is hard to convey to people that are still eating carbs how easy it is to eat this way. People simply can't fathom not eating all of their favorites. Sure, I still get tempted by old favorites, but it is easy at this point to forego them. I haven't been overwhelmed by cravings in a while and food has just become something I have to do because I am hungry. The temptations are different from cravings and it is much easier to intellectually choose not to have those tempting foods. Cravings are driving one physiologically, which makes it much harder to gain control. Hopefully that makes sense.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Day 145

When I got on the scale this morning, I had to do a double take on the number because it looked so weird. I finally figured out why that was - I was no longer in the 180's! 179.8 lbs this morning.


I haven't seen the 170's in a loooong time, except briefly after I had the flu for a week about 10 years ago, which doesn't count.

Everything is still going well food-wise, so I only expect it to go onward and downward from here. If I don't bounce up tomorrow, I will do updated stats and pictures.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day 142

Those mysterious extra pounds from last week seem to have gone. I was under 181 pounds over the weekend and have been at 181.4 lbs the last two mornings. Since I am weighing 4 hours earlier than on the weekend, I consider it a wash. I am down two pounds from seven days ago, so it appears things are moving in the right direction.

I took the boys fishing last Saturday and needed to wear some long pants because of having to go through some brush. I have been wearing khaki shorts all summer so had to dig through the closet to find something that sort of fit. I had some cheap khakis that I wore at the beginning of the summer when I had been on ZC for a couple of months so I wore those. I spent the entire fishing trip trying to not lose my pants. I guess some shopping is in order before it turns cold (no chance of that happening anytime soon).

The fishing trip was a bust, fish wise. It was more of an exploratory trip anyway since we had never gone there before. Youngest son, J, was really just wanting to practice his fly fishing. I did have to fish my oldest, G, out of the river after he fell off of a rock. Fortunately, he is a good swimmer and there is hardly any current there, so it was good for a laugh more than anything. J said it made the trip so worthwhile.

I was very pleased to see G's reaction to this and some other things that happened. In the past, he would have been uber-pissed and lashed out at everyone. Instead, he was calm and laughed off everything that happened. Learning to laugh at himself is [b]huge[/b]. I don't know if he is calmer because we have been cutting carbs at home (they still eat some but less than in the past) or because he is maturing (turns 15 in a week). Probably a combination.

It's a big milestone for G today, too, as it's his first day of high school. Then he turns 15 in a week and the day after that, starts the state-mandated Driving School.

I'm scared.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 138

My body has been driving me crazy lately. After spending a couple of weeks flopping around 182 lbs, I dropped to 181.4 last Sunday. Then Monday morning, I was up to 183.4 for absolutely no reason that I can see. I stayed there all week. The only thing that I could come up with was that my hayfever was really bad this week (weed pollen is really high) and maybe that caused the weight gain. Nothing in my diet changed and I ate the same thing I always do - cheeseburger bowls, ribeyes or beef ribs. Not even any pork or chicken.

There were some weird things going on, though. I was hungry much earlier than normal. I didn't eat any more than usual; I just had my first meal around 9 AM instead of noon. Normally I would be hungry again when I got home around 4 PM but I wasn't this week. In fact, I was barely hungry enough for dinner even with eating earlier. My energy levels were higher than normal this week too.

So I was stuck at 183.4 pounds all week. I get up this morning and I am at 180.8, which is a new low and makes it a total loss of 19 pounds in about 4.5 months. I did weigh a little later than normal but not late enough to make up almost three pounds. I can see why people say that scales drive them crazy.

I also had leg cramps for the first time in over a month and half, which lends some credence to the theory that the cramps herald some fat loss.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 130

I haven't updated in a while because there really hasn't been much change. My weight has been fluctuating around 182 pounds. This is disconcerting to me because that is where I stalled 11 years ago when I lost a lot of weight through Weigh Down. I was stuck there for almost five years until I started slowly regaining from too many carbs. I have been able to briefly drop to 182 a couple times since but regained each time. Hopefully this time will be different. I suppose I could live with it but I would really like to lose some more of the roll on my gut.

Other than that, there isn't much to report. Eating has been pretty much the same things - cheeseburger bowls for work lunches and ribs, steak and/or chicken thighs for other meals. I did have pork ribs the other day and didn't feel well afterward. I don't think pork sits well with me, which is weird because I used to eat it all of the time.

My energy levels have been up and down, as they have been since I started ZC. I haven't slept well the last few days which isn't helping. I do need to do something to get into better shape, though. I went trail riding the other day with the boys and I noticed I was really huffing and puffing after some pretty minor hills. I don't think I have completely keto-adapted yet, either as I run out of steam pretty easily. I seem to recover quickly but it would be nice to be able to do more before crashing.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Day 118

Today was four weeks from my last update. I am down 3.6 pounds from that date. However, I had K do new measurements and there wasn't really much change. My stomach is down almost an inch but everything else is almost the same. In fact, the bodyfat percentage calculator gives me at a higher percentage than last time, despite being down 3.6 pounds. I think it's just a glitch because my clothes do feel looser. It is kind of a bummer to see a new low on the scale this morning (181.2 pounds) and then have the calculator say I'm actually fatter.

I was asked last week where I thought I might end up. Looking at myself critically, I think I could lose twenty pounds of fat without looking too skinny. I am currently looking forward to breaking the 180 pound barrier first and will post new pictures when I do.

I had a nice visit with my sister a couple of days ago. She was actually the first person to comment on my weight loss. She was fairly receptive to the idea of meat only and asked a lot of questions. However, there was still an air of disbelief ("you don't eat fruits or vegetables at all?"). I am going to recommend to her to just do low carb first and then keep dropping carbs if she stalls.

Meals the last few days have been fairly simple. K made pizza for everyone while my sister and her kids were here. I was going to make a pizza quiche but finally decided I didn't want that many carbs. I decided to try a meatza.

Changing the recipe to make it as low carb as possible and still stay pretty much zero carb was pretty easy. We mixed together one pound of italian sausage and one pound of hamburger along with some italian seasoning. The sausage and seasonings was just spices and herb with no fillers. We spread this out into a 9" x 13" baking pan and baked it for 20 minutes at 350°.

After the 20 minutes, we took it out, drained the grease and let it cool. When it came time to top it, I spread about three teaspoons of homemade pizza sauce over the whole thing and then topped it with a cheddar and mozzarella cheese mixture. The sauce has a only one carb in the three teaspoons but I am not sure it was necessary. I'll leave it off next time.

The meatza was very good and I ate about half of it that night. I ate the rest of it yesterday. I found it was amazing cold. It stays solid and has good flavor. It will make an excellent travel food where we have a cooler but no way to heat up meat.

The rest of the meals have been cheeseburger bowls.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day 114

I had some leftover short ribs yesterday when I was first hungry at about 11 AM. The ribs tasted okay but were getting a bit elderly. I wanted to finish them off because they needed to be used up and ate a bit more than usual. However, either because I overate or because they were getting old, I didn't feel real well the rest of the day. My stomach was upset and I felt hot.

By dinner at 6:30, I was getting hungry again, even though my stomach was still a bit upset. K made swiss steak (steak cooked in a sauce made from onion, tomato and celery) and I ate several smaller chunks of meat, though I didn't eat any of the veggies. I finished that off with a slice of cheddar.

Interestingly, even though I didn't eat any of sauce, I smelled like onion this morning when I took my shower. I didn't get any carbs from the sauce but must have picked up something from it. It didn't affect me in any other way, though. My stomach feels okay this morning and my weight was down another .8 pounds, to 181.8 lbs.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Day 113

I have finally shaken the bloating from my exposure to gluten two weeks ago, so I have decided to get back to recording my zero carb journey. My last exposure to carbs was two weeks ago. I have been eating primarily beef and some hard cheese (cheddar mostly) along with some cream in my tea in the mornings that I work. This seems to work for my body and I have lost the carb and gluten bloat and hit a new low weight this morning - 182.6 pounds. That gives me a total loss of 17 pounds since I started.

I am still drinking Diet Pepsi. I had thought it was triggering cravings but that doesn't seem to be the case now. I think the cravings were coming from bits of carbs here and there - a few mushrooms with a steak, onions mixed into a sauce, etc. I do need to give the pop up, though, as I will get a little dizzy if I drink it on an empty stomach. This means I am releasing a little insulin from the sweet taste, which drops my blood sugar a bit at the time.

Meals yesterday were a cheeseburger bowl at 1 PM and a small bowl of taco meat, cheese and a little sour cream for dinner.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Catching up

I have been neglecting my blog as I have been trying to get my head on straight and to back on track. I am going to be lazy and post a series of posts that I wrote in my journal on ZIOH instead of writing a bunch of new stuff.


I haven't been posting lately because I have been struggling a bit and I figured no one wanted to read about that. However, Suzanne wrote this earlier in Kristina's journal:

Suzanne Wrote: New and old people need to understand that zc is NOT easy. If we only write about the good times, the new people will think they are the only ones who struggle. They need to read about our struggles, so they know it is all normal.

It made me think that I might do better if I posted more often. I guess if someone doesn't want to read it, they don't have to click on my journal.

Since my 90 day update, I had been doing really well, food-wise, while trying to cut out the diet soda. Last Sunday, K and the boys left to go to K's folks for a couple of days and I ended up with a carb day that day. I'm over that and using K's absence to try to do mainly beef. I grilled up a bunch of beef short ribs for dinners and fixed a bunch of ground beef for my lunches. I also have ribeyes in the freezer if need be. The food's going well, but now the soda's back. I'm working on it.

Somewhere along the way, I was exposed to barley. I get an autoimmune response in some glands, usually my throat, when I get barley (wheat is a different response). The glands below the ear, under the jawline, swell and get painful to the touch. I have that going on now, in both glands, which is unusual. It made it very difficult to sleep last night as I couldn't find a position for my head that didn't put pressure on my neck.

It sucks but I have to just ride it out. Ibuprofen isn't even touching it at the moment. The weird thing is I am feeling pretty good except for that. My energy level wants me to bounce around but then my neck starts saying "Ow!!!!".

I am not tracking my weight right now as I am up a bit from the carbs last Sunday and even more from the glutening. That showed even before the throat started hurting.


KathyAnne Wrote: Also, sounds like you are right back on track!!

I hope so, but I thought that last week, too. I went all week ZC eating and no AS at all. Then I get on the scale Sunday morning and see my weight is UP! The little voices in my head said "F*** it. If that's the way it's going to be, I might as well eat what I want".

I now think I was glutened on Saturday (by some hot dogs that we grilled up while K's dad was here), which explained the weight gain.

Another problem is this idea of restarting. Another part of Sunday's carbfest was the idea that I had just restarted the weekend before, so it wouldn't be losing much time if I had carbs and then "restarted" again.

I'm not counting days anymore. I am just going to try to go day to day now and do the best I can. My biggest hurdle now is that I am not 100% convinced that I need to be ZC. I am not trying to fix any health problems and I am not horribly overweight. My head reads the info on ZC and thinks that it would be the best way to prevent problems in the future now that I am middle-aged. My heart, however, isn't completely convinced I need to do it now. I am going to give it a good try, though. I am fearful that anything else will spiral me out into carb land.


Yesterday went well. I was hungry early and had two short ribs. Surprisingly, I didn't get hungry again until late. I actually wasn't very hungry when I decided to grill up the flanken-style ribs that I had in the fridge. I basically just needed to get them cooked as they had been thawed several days. After I grilled them up, I decided to eat a couple of them so that I wouldn't get hungry during the night again. However, they were so good, I ended up eating about six of them. Maybe the glutening short circuited my hunger signals for now? These are definitely my favorite type of ribs, though the short ribs were good this time, too.

My neck is still bothering me, though I slept better last night, so I think it's on the mend. My weight is still way up so I still have some inflammation going on. I have had it take a week to clear up so hopefully by next week it will be gone. K e-mailed me that the hot dogs bothered her, too. She isn't Celiac but eats gluten free as we have to keep the household GF because of me and the boys. She can tell when she has gluten now. I don't think that stuff is good for anyone.


While eating dinner last night, I watched the first half of the Mystery Diagnosis that I had on the TiVo from Monday. That segment was about a little girl that had trouble swallowing, couldn't move very well and was frequently sick with respiratory problems. It turned out she had something called Pompe Disease which is a genetic disorder where you can't utilize the glycogen in the muscles so it builds up and causes an autoimmune reaction in the muscles.

When she was first diagnosed, there was no treatment and she was expected to die before she reached her 20's (she was 11 at the time of her diagnosis). Her family got involved with the experts and got them together and there is now some gene therapy that can slow the progression of the disease. The girl is now in her early 20's but is confined to a wheelchair.

I was curious if there was any kind of dietary treatment. It seemed that if the body couldn't deal with glycogen very well, you would want to get as little as possible in there. I did find that there has been an attempt to treat them with a "high protein, low carbohydrate" diet but only about 25% of the people responded to it.

I know I am just a layman and just thinking "out loud" here, but it seems like a "high fat, adequate protein, zero carb" diet would work better. From what I could find, it is just completely unfathomable to researchers that people could actually not eat any carbs at all. From the description of the treatment diet, it sounds like it is also unfathomable that "high fat" would work.

As the segment on the girl ended, it showed her and her family sitting at the table, eating pizza.


Another good food day yesterday though I still haven't been very hungry. I had a cheeseburger bowl at work at about 11 am. In the evening, I wasn't very hungry but ate a short rib and a half and a little cheddar, mostly so I could take a handful of ibuprofen without upsetting my stomach.

I thought my throat/neck was getting better but it isn't. It was kicking my butt yesterday (and so far today). It has moved to it's typical spot on the left side and intensified. If I hold my head in one position for very long (like when working on the computer), it will clamp down hard when I next move my head.

This is getting irritating but I can't do anything about it but pop ibuprofen and wait it out (and eat right). Oh, and I can whine about it here. LOL

Some people on another forum that I'm on were posting pictures of themselves from their childhood up through current pictures. It was fun looking through them and I went through my pictures last night so that I could post too. I was struck by the fact that I was actually fairly thin up 'til a year after I got married and then God flipped the fat switch (actually - I blame my wife LOL). I never saw myself that way (thin) at all, which meant that I never got to enjoy the feeling, either, if that makes sense.


About 3 1/2 years ago, I had been studying gluten intolerance in an attempt to get to the root cause of a lifetime of stomach problems and some bad headaches. I didn't know for sure that I was intolerant, but I was willing to give it a try to see how I felt. I didn't have any trouble at all being extremely strict and sticking with it because I felt great right away. After accidentally eating something with gluten and getting sick about three months in, there was no question I needed to eat that way the rest of my life and I have never been tempted to stray. There are times it sucks being different and having to be a pain when eating at other people's houses but it really hasn't been that difficult and except for a surprise brief period of mourning, I haven't really missed anything.

I would like to get into the same mindframe with ZC but it hasn't been very easy so far. For one thing, I didn't get the immediate feedback of feeling good like I did dumping gluten. It makes it harder to stick with when you feel run down, have leg cramps and "bathroom issues", especially when the scale slows down.

That said, I have been feeling motivated lately by looking at my old pictures. I don't want to go into my later years carrying a belly and feeling tired all of the time. Heart disease and diabetes runs in my family. I actually have had a bunch of issues clear up, as listed in the Benefits of ZC thread. I want to give it a fair shot and I am feeling pretty good about it right now.

Must be all of the beef I'm eating while the family is gone.


Everything is still going well, except for the neck thing. I'll think it's finally getting better and then it flares up again. Oh well, it's my own damn fault.

I was worried about this weekend since I'm home by myself. However, I haven't been tempted at all to eat stuff I shouldn't. In fact, I haven't been very hungry. I didn't eat yesterday until after 1 PM (hamburger) and just had one and half short ribs and a slice of cheddar at about 9 PM.

I've dropped more than five pounds of bloat this week. I am still a pound above my lowest weight but hopefully that will be gone soon as I continue to eat right and as the inflammation dies down.

When I got up yesterday, the weather was much cooler than expected so I went out to do some much needed yardwork. It was mostly pulling weeds with a little mowing thrown in. I worked most of the morning and got a bunch done. However, I kept having a problem of getting really dizzy when I would stand up to move to a different spot. One time, I seriously thought I was going to black out. It felt exactly like my blood pressure was dropping too fast. It could be because I hadn't eaten yet but I don't think so. It's just something I will have to watch (and get up a little slower).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 90 Wrap-up

Yesterday wrapped up the original 90 "challenge" period for my new way of eating. While it was 90 days since I started, unfortunately, I can't say I was zero carb for 90 days. Over the last four - five weeks, I have several times where I have fallen off the wagon with different degrees of severity. Also, over the same time period, I added Diet Pepsi back in because it helped clear my throat when I was having problems with my allergies.

Coincidence that the time I struggled was also the the time I added soda back in? - I think not.

I originally added it back in with the idea that it would just be until the pollen died back down and I didn't need it. I happened to drop to my lowest weight about a week after I started drinking it again and I figured the pop must not bother me or affect my weight loss. However, it was not long after that low point that the cravings hit hard and I started struggling and falling off the wagon here and there.

I also started getting the light-headed feeling in the afternoon again. As far as I can tell, it must be a low blood sugar reaction from the sweet taste. After this experience, I can truly say that diet soda won't help me be healthy and lose weight. It has to truly go this time.

I never got measurements during my lowest weight times, so my spreadsheet doesn't look very impressive. It shouldn't though, because I haven't been at that point in two weeks. I basically have made no progress since the end of May.

I've kept track of my average weight over the 90 days. It is a moving average of seven days. The averaging takes out the bounces and gives a truer picture of what is going on. As you can see, it dropped quickly and then just honed in to the 185 range over the last five weeks or so.

Here are my before and after pictures. There is no denying that I have dropped fat. It is just that I could be further along now.

The "after" pictures are going to become the starting pictures for the next 90 days. I am going to do zero carb the way it is supposed to be done - no artificial sweeteners, no snitching a few macadamia nuts after dinner here and there, no falling of the wagon just because I am eating at someone else's place, etc. Just water, meat and high fat dairy. I will also drink unsweetened tea to help get through the soda withdrawals but will have to evaluate it as I go along.

I have to do this to evaluate if zero carb will be something that will work for me for the rest of my life. If all goes well, the cravings should go away, the weight should drop off and it should become easy enough to stay with for the rest of my life. Two things that have to happen, though, is my energy level has to come up and the leg cramps have to stop. If those don't happen by the end of 90 days, I may have to look for something else. I don't foresee that happening, though.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 87

I've neglected my blog and my journal because of the long weekend. I work four 10's, so had half of Thursday and all of Friday, Saturday and Sunday off. I stayed off of the computer almost the whole time, even though I didn't really do much. We had been gone the previous two weekends so just hung around the house.

It was also blazing hot, so I didn't much done, except a little yard work early in the day. K is in a cleaning out the excess mode, so I helped her go through the kitchen, sorting out stuff we don't need anymore. We are going to end up having to have a huge yard sale, with no relatives invited that weekend. :lol:

Food wise, the weekend was a bit of a struggle. I didn't do too bad, but just fought cravings all weekend. I think part of it was just from hanging around the house. I don't have nearly the problem on days I work. Weekends have been a problem for me because of that.

I experimented a little over the weekend, too, to see if I could kill the cravings. I thought maybe that I wasn't eating enough so tried eating more ZC food when I got hungry. That didn't work at all and I just ballooned up and felt crummy. I have decided the only way that works for me is to eat smaller amounts when I get hungry. I am not leaving myself hungry or anything like that; I just can't stuff myself.

I still haven't lost all of the bloat from the previous weekend at my parents'. I think the biggest part of that is because I was glutened. It almost always takes a week or so to lose the gluten bloat. My weight hovered in the 185's all weekend, though it was down to 184.2 this morning. Hopefully I'll get back to my losing ways soon.

The 4th was my 12th week since I started this challenge. I had intended to do an update of my stats and pictures but decided there was no point with the gluten bloat. Friday the 10th is my 90th day, which is how long I originally intended to do this challenge. I will do an update then. It will also be a new start as I have some changes to make for the next 90 days.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day 81

I haven't updated since last weekend, where I was concerned with being at my folks' for the weekend. It turned out to be a mixed bag.

K and I drove down Thursday night and had dinner at the Golden Corral on the way. Dinner was okay but not great. I have decided that I don't like whatever it is that they sprinkle on their steaks. It has a weird aftertaste and ruins the taste of the meat. I could probably ask to leave it off but it is all over the grill so it would still be on there.

I also had a little mixed meat from the salad bar (chicken and ham) plus a little cheese. This turned out to be a mistake because it glutened me. The rest of the night and most of the next day, I had that familiar "glass in the intestines" feeling. Dumb, dumb, dumb. One of these days, I'll learn to not ass-u-me about restaurant food.

The next day was good, food-wise. Breakfast at my grandpa's was typical - massive amounts of eggs and sausage. The sausage links were supposedly 0 grams of carbs but they tasted a little sweet to me. Not too bad, though. Dinner was tacos, so I had a little meat and cheese and then ate two of the hamburger patties that we had brought. I think my mom was a little put out by that but I wouldn't have done well with more taco meat.

Saturday was a repeat for breakfast. Even though the breakfast was huge, I still ended up getting hungry around lunch and had a couple of burgers. For dinner, K and I had bought a bunch of marked down chuck-eyes from a local store and I grilled those up for dinner. They turned out well and everyone raved about them. Amazing how a little fat on a steak will improve its taste.

That dinner was where the problem started. I was feeling ten foot tall and bulletproof and decided I could handle a little baked potato with my steak. Well, as can be imagined, that potato led to a salad, which led to a few chips, which led to *mumble* chocolate chip cookies.

If that wasn't bad enough, I ended up eating chili and ice cream the next day at home. I had only regained a pound and a half from the episode at my parents' but the other stuff led to a total of four pounds regained. I have been doing well since but have only dropped a pound of the bloat. I am also fighting some severe allergy problems at the moment, which I think is causing me to hold on to the water.

I have decided that I am going to avoid the Golden Corral in Spokane. Not only does their meat taste weird but it has set off cravings both times I eaten there. Taking the burgers worked really well and I'll just do that next time. On longer trips, I'll probably take something in a cooler. Restaurant food is just too big of a risk for me and isn't satisfying from a ZC point of view. It is also too expensive for what you get. It cost K and I $28 to eat at GC. In comparison, on Saturday we shopped for the BBQ and bought eight 1/2 pound chuck-eyes, a bag of chips, a can of Bush beans and a can of olives for $24 (and most of that we wouldn't normally buy). The high cost of the restaurants just isn't worth it to me.

Not too much happened in respect to our way of eating. I was expecting comments from my dad but he never said anything to me directly. My mom said something about me not eating lettuce with the taco "salad" and said I was cold because I had lost weight (I had to put a jacket on because I was sitting by the A/C when we were playing pinochle). I know it is only vanity but I was a little disappointed that no one said anything about my weight loss from a positive point of view. I was down 16.6 pounds at that point and feel that I look a lot better but not one word. I guess they are waiting for my arteries to explode.

I did have to deprogram some nutritional "wisdom" that my dad told my boys. I had to explain to them that the brain can get all the glucose it needs without one having to actually eat carbs and that one can get all the vitamins and minerals from just meat, as long as it isn't cooked beyond recognition. Apparently, the nutritional lectures are going to the kids instead of me.

Because of my epic fail two weekends in a row, I thought about resetting my time back to "Day 1". However, Charles recently told someone that going off plan was actually on plan because it shows you how carbs affect the body. I am definitely learning that lesson. I realize that my results so far are different from someone doing ZC flawlessly over the same time frame but I think these bumps will happen when trying to make a lifestyle change.