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.