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.