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.