Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 75

I finally have lost all of the bloat from my diet fail last weekend. In fact, I hit a new low this morning. I dropped 1.2 pounds, down to 183.0. The stupid scale teased me by flickering 182.6 a couple of times before settling on 183. That's a total loss of 16.6 pounds.

I wasn't very hungry yesterday. I got hungry the first time about 9 AM. I ate two flanken ribs that were pretty meaty with lots of fat. I expected to get hungry again in the early afternoon but it didn't come. I kept expecting it but - nothing. I finally got hungry about 6 PM and ate three cheeseburger patties. I also ate an extra slice of cheese while waiting for them to cook. I was pretty hungry by then.

I was originally going to try to cut out the dairy but I have found I just do better with it. I think the cravings that led to my eating ice cream and yogurt last Sunday came from trying to cut out the dairy the week before. I have also found I don't get the leg cramps as bad if I have dairy, probably because of the calcium. Finally, it's just easier to stick with eating this way if I can include some dairy. Whether that is because of something dietary or because it allows for a little variety, I don't know.

The next couple of days will be a challenge. We are going to be spending the weekend at my parents' place. We are driving down tonight and will probably eat dinner at Golden Corral so that we can stuff ourselves on steaks. Breakfasts aren't bad since we eat at my Grandpa's and he cooks us eggs and sausage. The meals with my parents will be challenging as they are usually carb based. I cooked up a bunch of burgers to take with us, just in case.

I was worried about getting flak from my folks for the way I am eating but I have decided to just go with it. I am not going to be shy about it and the nice benefits I've had. I am going to take the Good Calories, Bad Calories book and if it gets too annoying, I'll just hand the book to my dad and tell him we'll talk about once he's read it. Otherwise, conversation over.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 74

I have been hiding from my blog the last few days because I didn't have a good weekend. It started with having some serious cravings a week ago. I don't know where the cravings were coming from as I was eating pretty well but they were annoying. I would eat a bunch of meat and just didn't feel full afterwards. I wasn't still hungry but had a "hollow" feeling in my stomach. It's hard to explain.

We went to Spokane on Friday to meet my parents so they could take the boys with them (the boys are camping with my dad this week). After dropping the boys off, K and I did some shopping and then stopped at the Golden Corral to eat. We were both very hungry by then and had a really nice meal. I had one of the best steaks that I have ever had there off of their grill. When I back for seconds, though, the next steak wasn't that great. I also had some rotisserie chicken (way too salty) and a little ham.

At the end of dinner, I decided to have "a treat" and had three strawberries. They were incredibly sweet, almost too much so.

I was okay the next day, except for being up slightly in weight, probably from the few carbs and all of the salt from dinner. However, by dinner, the "can't get full" feeling was back and I ended up just picking at more stuff after dinner. It was all in the ZC vein but I just ate too much.

The same feeling was there on Sunday and I did the same thing all day. By dinner time, I was very frustrated and ended up talking myself into a big bowl of real ice cream. Dumb excuses like "It's Father's Day and I deserve a treat" and "I've gone 10 weeks without a serious cheat, one time won't hurt". I can't say I didn't enjoy it, but I definitely didn't enjoy the stomachache afterwards or the 2.4 pound gain on Monday morning!

Feeling disgusted with myself Monday morning, I went back to mainly beef. I also have made it a point to eat smaller amounts only when physically hungry. As of this morning, I am back down to 184.2. That isn't my lowest but it is where I was before the cheats. Also, the weird cravings are gone. I don't know if it is because of going back to smaller amounts of beef or if my discretion satisfied whatever was causing the cravings. I hope it's the former.

I didn't do a 10 week update because of the salt/carb bloat and won't do an update next week because I'll be out of town next weekend. I'll do a 12 week update with new measurements and pictures. I hope to be lower in weight by then but all I can do is stay on plan.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 68

After having several days of not being very hungry, yesterday was totally different. I got hungry early, about 7 AM, and had two chicken thighs. I was hungry again by noon and had a big cheeseburger bowl. There was only a little shredded cheese in it but a lot of hamburger that hadn't been thoroughly drained so it still had a lot of fat. That kept me full pretty much the rest of the day.

Dinner was ribs, both back ribs and flanken-style beef ribs. I grilled the ribs and ended up eating one back rib and two meaty flanken ribs even though I wasn't that hungry. They looked really good (and they were).

My weight this morning dropped back to 183.2 pounds, my low so far. I expected it to bounce around after hitting the low on Monday but it would be nice if it would drop some more now.

Besides the weight, another thing that has happened lately is that I am getting my energy back. I had several weeks there that I just didn't have as much energy as earlier and my legs felt really heavy and leaden, like my muscles weren't getting energy or something. Hopefully this means I am finally getting fully fat adapted.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 67

Yesterday was another "not very hungry" day. Part of the problem was that my stomach was bothering me. It was having a regular spasm on the left side, just under the rib. It did that pretty much all day and was extremely annoying. I wasn't sick or anything; my stomach was just unsettled and spazzing out.

I ate the first time about 10 AM, thinking it might settle my stomach. It didn't. That meal was a cheeseburger bowl. I wasn't hungry at all the rest of the afternoon and evening until I finally got really hungry about 7:30. I had two chicken thighs, half of a chicken breast - all with the skin on - and a cheeseburger patty. My stomach was fine after that and is fine today.

I was back down to 184.0 this morning, so still up a little but heading in the right direction again. I had mentioned that my khaki shorts were getting loose. Last night, I found I can slip them off without unbuttoning them. These are the 32" waist shorts that I started wearing about a month ago. I am not sure what is going on with the weight but there is definitely body recomposition going on. I did change the battery in my scale last night in case that why I was seeing all of the bouncing around.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 66

I expected a bounce up this morning but was surprised when it was 1.4 pounds up! I wasn't very hungry yesterday and didn't eat much though I had a very late dinner.

I got hungry the first time about 11 AM. I had picked all of the steak strips out of the leftover Beef and Pineapple since it didn't look like anyone was going to finish it and it was getting elderly so I had that when I first got hungry. Dinner was three chicken thighs and half of a chunk of chicken breast, all with skin. Dinner was about 7:30 PM.

It's possible that there were a few residual carbs in the steak strips but it didn't really taste that sweet. The weird thing about the bounce up is that my 32" waist khaki shorts are hanging off of me today. I am starting to wonder if it's just time to change the battery in the scale. I'll be bummed if the lows I was seeing was all because of a bad battery.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 65

I haven't updated in a while. Last weekend was very busy. We had relatives here Thursday and Friday. My parents, K's parents and K's sister all came up for G's 8th grade graduation. They were gone by Saturday morning and we spent the rest of the weekend doing stuff around the house. I wasn't on-line very much.

Thursday night was the graduation party. G wanted pizza, so K made a pizza quiche for her and I. We also had a crust-less, sugar-free cheesecake and some ice cream a la Bear. I ate quite a bit that night and still dropped a pound, down to 183.8, a new low. On Friday, I ate to my in-laws schedule, not mine, and ended up overeating and bounced back to 184.4 lbs.

Saturday was leftovers and I dropped down to 184.2 Sunday morning. Yesterday, I wasn't hungry in the morning, so didn't eat until around 1 PM. While shopping in the morning, I bought some carb-free bacon. When we got home, I cooked it by putting it all on a cookie sheet and baking it at 400° for about 20 minutes. This cooking method worked really well. It was a lot less messy than cooking it a pan and it got nicely crisp.

I ended up eating a leftover beef rib (way too lean - yuck) and about 2/3s of the bacon. It was very good bacon and it hit the spot. It also seemed to be pretty low salt as I didn't puff up from it.

I had a new low weight of 183.2 pounds this morning. That makes a total loss at this point of 16.4 pounds in a little over nine weeks. My normal pattern is to hit a low and then bounce back up for a while before dropping again. We'll see how it goes.

I am a little unsure about the dairy now. I had thought it was holding me back. However, between the ice cream, cheese-cake and pizza quiche, I had a ton of dairy over the weekend and still posted a decent sized loss. Maybe I was just primed for it and I lost despite the dairy and not because of it. I am still going to try to keep it limited for now to see what happens. I do think I breath easier when I don't have it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 60

Since this is day 60, it marks the 2/3rds point of my original 90 zero carb try out period. I am planning on taking it to at least six months now (and probably make it my lifestyle) but I am just marking it now for posterity.

I was hungry early yesterday and had the final two piglets at around 8 AM. Surprisingly, I didn't get hungry again until after 5 PM. Dinner was supposed to be short ribs but they hadn't thawed out. We made chili for the boys and K and I had leftovers. I had two burger patties and three all beef hot dogs that needed to get eaten. I sprinkled a little shredded cheese on the burgers for flavor. The hot dogs had less than 1g of carbs each.

We are having a bunch of family visiting tomorrow and having a party for G's 8th grade graduation. K had to do a bunch of baking yesterday for it including making a gluten free yellow cake that smelled really good. I think it set off an insulin reaction. We also tried making a batch of "The Bear"'s zero carb ice cream for the party so that K and I could have a treat.

The ice cream turned out really good right out of the ice cream maker as a soft serve. I had about three or four spoonfuls. However, I noticed that it was pretty hard in the freezer this morning, which is always a problem if you don't get enough sugar in ice cream. This recipe relies on milk protein powder and powdered Splenda (or aspartame) to keep it from freezing solid. We had to modify the recipe for our machine and I don't think we had enough. We have a few ideas for next time.

Even though the Bear called it zero carb, it really isn't, though it is close. For two quarts, the breakdown for the whole thing is 248g of fat, 53g of protein and 28g of carbs. Each cup, therefore, would have 3.5g of carbs. Not too bad for a very occasional treat. It didn't set off any cravings for me which is big. i was a big ice cream fan before zero carb and I was a little worried that this would make me crave "the real thing".

The downside for me is that it looks like dairy might be on the outs for me if I want to continue to lose weight. After dropping steadily over the weekend while eating no dairy, I am up again this morning .4 pounds, to 184.6 pounds. This is after eating hardly anything the last couple of days but adding back a little dairy. This sucks big time.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 59

It was an odd day yesterday, food-wise. I got hungry early, about 6:30 AM. I ate two leftover chicken thighs. They weren't very big so I thought I would be hungry again fairly quickly. It turned out that i didn't get hungry again until almost 2 PM. Since this is getting fairly close to dinner, I just had two leftover piglets.

Well, it ended up being a really good thing that no one else at home was hungry enough for dinner because I wasn't even remotely hungry when I got home from work. I finally ended up eating some burgers at 7:30. I was cooking them up for the kids and got hungry then. I don't know if I really needed to eat before then or if the smell just triggered it. I had three plain burger patties with some spicy brown mustard (I'm lovin' that stuff lately).

Possibly because of the late dinner, I was up slightly, .2 pounds, to 184.2 - essentially holding.

I posted a few days ago about benefits I had seen while doing zero carb that weren't just weight related. I came across another one recently. I am much more tolerant to a wider range of temperatures.

In the past, while dieting, I would frequently be cold all of the time. After I lost the 45 pounds doing Weigh Down, I had several years where I was cold all of the time, even in the summer. I wore sweatshirts to work in the summer because the A/C made me too cold. I wouldn't turn the A/C on in the car if I was alone, even when the temperature was over 100° out. Winters were very uncomfortable.

When I wasn't dieting, I was always hot. Our house doesn't have A/C but where we live it cools down at night so we just put fans in the windows and cool the house naturally. My goal was always to get the house as cold as possible overnight so that by the end of the day the inside temperature was only in the mid-70's. The problem was that it froze out K and the boys when they were home in the summer. K and I had some disagreements over this method.

This year, I have found that I can be comfortable in the house through a wider range of temperatures. I haven't minded it even the times it has gotten up to the low 80's. This isn't the same as when I was cold all of the time because I can tolerate it when it is lower, too. K is happier now, too, which is always a good thing.

I have also noticed another really trivial thing. When I first started LC five years ago, I noticed that I got considerably fewer of those white spots on my fingernails. I don't know what they are or what they signify, but I found it interesting. The thing was, though, that I never was completely free of them. It seemed I would always have at least one. Now, since starting zero carb, I haven't made any new ones and the last one will be gone when I cut my nails next. Like I said - trivial, but interesting to me.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 58

I wasn't hungry yesterday in the morning, so I went out with K to do our shopping without eating. While picking up our piles of meat (80/20 hamburger for $1.58 a pound), I found a one pound package of pork belly strips on markdown for $1 and decided to pick it up to have for lunch when we got home.

The pork belly strips are basically uncured bacon. I decided to try cooking it in the oven at 400 degrees on a cookie sheet. To avoid splatter, I put them on a rack in the sheet. I think this ended up being a mistake, though, as it didn't brown except for a few spots where it sagged through the rack and touched the grease. I am a little leery about getting too much grease splattering around in the oven since it is a gas stove.

The pork belly was good anyway. I have really been liking spicy brown mustard (zero carbs) on meat lately and it worked well with these. I ended up eating about three quarters of the package.

I wasn't hungry again 'til dinner. Dinner was baked chicken thighs. I talked K into leaving the skin on and it made a world of difference in flavor. They were very good and I ended up eating four of them.

Another day of no dairy. No beef either, though it didn't seem to make much of a difference as I was down a pound this morning, to 184.0. That is my lowest since going zero carb and brings the total lost to 15.6 pounds in about eight weeks.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Day 57

After talking about being beef only, I had more of the piglets yesterday when I got hungry. We needed to be out the door in a hurry and the leftover piglets were the only thing really available. Since I had jumped up in weight 2.4 pounds last time I had them, I was a little leery. I didn't seem to bloat from them this time, though, and they seemed fine. I am starting to think it was just coincidence with some random thing that caused the bloat Tuesday.

For dinner, K made a Vietnamese dish that the kids like called, simply, Beef and Pineapple. Since it has a full can of pineapple in it (with 3.5 pounds of london broil), I cooked up a chuck-eye. I had a few strips of the meat that I fished out of the broth, just for a taste of it.

The pork didn't seem to cause a problem, weight-wise, this time. I was the same as yesterday, at 185.0 lbs. The scale even wavered for a second to 184.8 but settled at 185 (sigh). I am getting the sinking feeling that it wasn't the beef that getting me back on track but the fact that I haven't had very much dairy. Having to give it up would severely suck, but you do what you gotta do, I guess.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Week 8 Update - Day 56

The beef and water routine seems to be working. I was at 185 pounds this morning, which is only .8 pounds from where I was two weeks ago. It's frustrating that I am still over that point, though. I am hoping that I will continue in the right direction.

I was hungry pretty early, about 8 AM, and had a beef short rib. I was hungry again at 2 PM and had six flanken-style ribs. They were good and fatty and very filling. I thought it would take me through the evening but I got hungry again about 9 PM and had a small chuck-eye steak.

Since I am doing "official" updates every four weeks, it is time again for one as this is Week 8. I am still higher in the measurements than two weeks ago but it is close. I have still lost a fair amount where it counts over the whole eight weeks.

Here is a new series of before and after pictures. You can click on any of the pictures for a bigger version.

I think there is a fairly noticeable difference and I feel I put on a little muscle (or, at least, uncovered it). I still have a lot of fat on my belly and it is irritating that it refuses to drop faster. However, I can't do anything about it but to keep plugging along and wait for it.

These kind of updates are good for me mentally. Looking at the scale day to day and not really seeing any progress stresses me out. I can tell by how my clothes fit that I am smaller but it's easy to forget that as you kind of get used to yourself over time when there aren't big changes. Seeing it this way helps to reaffirm what I am doing.

I still haven't gotten the energy boost that some people see on zero carb. I am doing okay but find my legs feel leaden sometimes and I just don't have that extra gear yet. I think one thing that has been working against me lately is that the pine pollen is really bad and the cottonwood trees are, too. I haven't been sneezing too bad but I have been stuffed up and have a stuffy head and always scratchy throat. Maybe that is adding inflammation or something that is keeping me puffy and run down.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Day 55

The last few days have been very frustrating. Tuesday night we had pork riblets (piglets). The piglets had been marinated in Frank's Red Hot sauce and some wheat-free soy sauce. They weren't particularly salty and I only had four because I wasn't real hungry. However, the next morning my weight had jumped up 2.4 pounds to 188.8 pounds!?! I really don't know what caused the jump but it was definitely bloat as my stomach that night felt distended and hard.

I went beef only the next two days, except for a little cheese yesterday with my cheeseburger bowl at lunch. I ate primarily fatty beef ribs and hamburger over those days and my weight fell to 187.4 yesterday and was at 186.0 this morning.

My energy levels have started to come back up. However, my workouts on Monday and Friday were really tough. I am managing to match what I did last week but I couldn't make any progress. I am hoping that I will be hitting that keto-adaptation soon so I have more energy and endurance.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Day 52

Yesterday was a lot better though I was still dragging a bit. I am starting to wonder if I eat enough. I eat when hungry but that is only a couple of times a day and I fill up pretty quickly. I read about zero carbers eating like a pound of hamburger at a time. I eat about 8-10 ounces with my cheeseburger bowls and dinner is an average sized steak and I'm done.

I'm not going to force more food yet but I need to listen closer to hunger signals to make sure I'm not putting them off until they are stronger. They have changed some since going zero carb and aren't as clear as before.

I had another no Splenda day yesterday. I also had a lot less dairy, though I had a little shredded cheese in my cheeseburger bowl and two mugs of tea with a splash of heavy cream in each. I got hungry the first time at 12:30 and had a cheeseburger bowl. I was hungry again around 5 PM and had two all-beef hot dogs (<1g carb each) to tide me over to dinner. Dinner was a ribeye steak.

I scored some chuck-eye steaks yesterday for $2.49 a pound. Chuck-eyes are kind of a poor man's ribeye and are pretty good and fatty. They normally run about $4.50 a pound so this was a good deal. I am supposed to pick up a big pack of flanken-style ribs tonight for about the same price per pound. Those are super good, too.

Weight was down .4 pounds this morning, to 186.4. Hopefully the new changes will get it dropping again and get me back to the 184s.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Day 51

I haven't updated in a few days. It was a busy weekend and a bit of struggle, too, eating-wise.

Saturday was my seventh week on zero carb. I would normally do an update on my measurements but K had to leave early so I didn't get it done. At the eighth week time, I'll do new pictures and measurements. Hopefully, I'll have a decent change by then.

I had a terrible time Saturday. Originally, the boys were supposed to be gone all day on a school trip and K and I would have the day together. Friday night, the school asked her if she would go on the trip as one of the teachers had to bow out. This left me doing a bunch of projects around the house by myself.

None of them went right and required a bunch of screwing around and several trips into town for parts. I wasn't hungry in the morning so I didn't eat before working on the projects. When I did finally get hungry, I was in the middle of a dirty, physically demanding job. I didn't want to stop and have to get cleaned up to eat so I kept going. By the time I finished, I was really dragging.

I got cleaned up and made a taco meat omelette with left over taco meat and cheese. I ate that and collapsed into a chair to watch a movie. Despite being pretty full, after an hour I got the worst cravings I have experienced while eating this way. I ended up caving in and having a big handful of mixed nuts (almonds, cashews and macadamia nuts). It didn't really help and I kept craving the junk.

I didn't end up eating anything else but a couple of ribs later in the evening. It is amazing how the cravings grab a hold of you and work your mind. I kept having feelings of being tired of meat and wanting a change. Knowing what it would do to me to give in and binge on carbs helped me eventually keep it at bay but it was tough sledding there for a while.

I don't know what triggered it. It could have been getting too hungry or the carbs in the taco meat or even stress from the projects and being disappointed that K wasn't home with me. Probably a combination of all three. I don't think I completely have my insulin under control. It means that I can't utilize my body stores quickly when working hard and needing fuel. I noticed my legs will get leaden in that situation, like I have completely run out of energy.

I had hoped that by seven weeks in I would be keto-adapted but it hasn't happened yet. I think I was getting there but this last week wasn't very good with regards to my food. Tacos, ham, too much dairy, a couple of forays into nuts and my Splenda use increasing has probably kept my insulin elevated and has kept from losing any more weight.

Yesterday was less strenuous but I was still fighting cravings some. I also had a bad headache for the first time since giving up diet soda. In fact, a Diet Pepsi is what I have craving the most.

I would be satisfied eating ribeyes, ribs or hamburger for every meal but have been eating these other foods because K gets bored eating just beef. This week, I am going to try to keep it simple. Pretty much all beef, very little cheese and no Splenda. We'll see where that goes and if gets things moving again.

My weight for the last three days has been 186.2, 186.6 and 186.8.