Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 31, 2010 Update

Yesterday went well. I had back ribs for lunch and boneless short ribs for dinner. The short ribs were from WinCo and were a different kind than we get locally. They were much more like chuck steaks and had spots that were so tough you couldn't chew it completely. However, they were very tasty and the fat on them was very good.

I haven't been eating at full hunger as I am not fully trusting my hunger signals at the moment. Until the carbs are out of my system, I will eat when I feel it coming on but not wait until full, stomach growling hunger. I will return to that after I get over the cravings.

I thought of another reason that I have been having problems on Friday. I work at home on Friday and spend most of the morning on the computer in my office. I like to take a break at noon so I would wait to eat until then, even if I got hungry earlier (that way I could eat while watching Perry Mason). I think waiting that long was helping to set up the cravings. This Friday, I think I will try to eat something early and then follow my hunger the rest of the day to see if that helps me get through the day without caving to cravings.

I was down 3.8 pounds this morning (1.4 pounds from Monday). Whoosh goes the water weight.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March 30, 2010 Update

Monday through Thursday is never really the problem for me when eating ZC, so it isn't surprising that yesterday went well. I don't really have a food plan other than ZC but I am trying to stick with just meat. After the big steak off of my dry aging ribeye slab last night, I really wanted a piece of cheese but resisted. I ended up feeling stuffed after a little while, so I definitely didn't need it.

I don't know why I always want that little extra of something after eating my meat for dinner. It isn't always a carb craving; I just feel like I want something different than the meat I just had. It is probably habit more than anything.

I woke up early this morning - 3 AM instead of 4 AM. I laid there for a bit but finally got up and came into work early. I have a headache this morning and I was also hot, so there was no going back to sleep. I am dreading the headache that is coming. Stupid carbs.

I was up a couple of pounds this morning. It was probably from weighing earlier than usual after a later than usual dinner as well as the last of last weekends carbs in my system. I know that it will come back down if I get my act together but it is still distressing to see the 180's again.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Reboot time, again

This has been a tough post to write. I have started it several times and deleted it and keep putting it off. It is time, though, to get it out.

I have written several times over the last few months about my struggles but I haven't put out any details. However, it is now confession time because I haven't been able to reign myself in through health and weight concerns so it is now time to try public humiliation.

I haven't had a clean week of eating since the first of the year. I start every Sunday with the best of intentions to get back on ZC. Every week, it's "this week is going to be the week I go back to full time ZC". I do great and then become possessed on Friday and/or Saturday and eat nuts or get into the ice cream. I then repent of my deeds and regain control and swear off carbs forever and then the whole cycle repeats.




I have also engaged in behavior that scares me. I have binged on ice cream in secret, even hiding the empty container in the trash and washing all of my dishes so that K wouldn't know. I have also seriously considered purging after a binge, pretty much only being stopped by the fact that I have never been able make myself puke. This behavior scares the hell out of me and I don't know why I am heading down that road. It's like if no one else knows what I am doing, then it didn't happen.

So here I am, hat in hand, at the beginning of another week, determined to go ZC again and stop the idiocy. I am going to stop doing this in secret and go for full disclosure so that if I screw up, everyone will know. I am going to post about everything, so if you don't want to see a grown man flailing, bitching and complaining, you better avoid my blog for awhile.

So why do I think it is going to work this time?

For one thing, I saw this morning that I am now a full 10 pounds heavier than my low and am bumping back up against 180 lbs. It's time to stop the slide.

I also had an epiphany last week. I have been struggling since the beginning of the year, as mentioned, and two things happened at that time that is probably affecting me.

I had cheated on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day (but not in between those days). The holidays' indulgence had caused me to put on a few pounds so I decided that I was going to very carefully eat to hunger as I got back on track with ZC. I was going to eat small amounts when I got hungry and then rely on getting hungry more often to make sure I got enough fuel.

I also started my push up routine (and later added the squat routine). This workout routine really helped to put on muscle and I felt a lot better physically even doing mundane things like climbing stairs and bending down to get something out of the lower cupboards.

I think that the problem was that I was doing something that was requiring more fuel (putting on muscle) while cutting back on fuel intake. I relied on my hunger signals to make sure I was getting enough fuel but it didn't work for some reason. I didn't get hungry more often. Instead, my body started screaming for more food in the form of cravings, probably because I had upset my insulin levels with the holiday cheats. I would end up cheating after four or five days. I would actually feel like a passenger in my body as it would go onto autopilot and start eating stuff it shouldn't.

Of course, I would feel terrible about it and vow to get even stricter with eating to hunger and being ZC and start the whole process over. I think it has been a vicious cycle.

So - I feel that I might finally be able to end that cycle. I have started eating more when I get hungry. I am also not fully trusting my hunger signals at the moment because my insulin is so unsettled. If I start craving, I am going to eat. A little while ago, I suddenly got very sleepy and decided to eat instead of ride it through like I normally do. The sleepiness went away.

Right now, I am not concerned about weight loss or gain. I simply want to string enough consecutive ZC days together to get my insulin under control and get the cravings to stop. If I have to overeat meat to do that, I will for now. I think my hunger signals will straighten themselves out once my insulin is back under control and I can  trust them more at that point.

I have to do this not only for myself but for my boys. They are drifting towards ZC but they see me cheating (not everything, but enough). That isn't being a good role model for them.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 5, '10 Update

know it probably won't sound like it with the rest of this post, but I am really starting to feel that my mind is getting back to what I call my zero carb zen state. I had that from September through November and did great. I ate just meat and didn't worry about things and everything worked great.

I got thrown off track during the holidays and since that time, I keep going through periods of cravings and doubts about the sustainability of this way of eating. However, after a nice discussion with Kelly and Caitlin the other day along with reading Mel's posts on keeping things simple, I am feeling myself get that mindset back and am feeling much more optimistic about being able to continue ZC. As I said before, it is easier said than done, but I think I am getting there.

Okay, now for the obsessive part. Last weekend, I determined for sure that the milk protein casein affects me similarly to gluten. I did some research and found testimony that some people sensitive to casein can get away with dairy that is low casein, like butter and heavy whipping cream. Butter has never affected me in any way and I have contnued to use it, even during my "dairy free" periods.

I decided to see how cream alone would work, since it was supposedly low in casein. I don't really have any use for heavy cream except in coffee and tea, so I had coffee the last two days along with an organic heavy cream whose ingredients included only cream and carrageenan. It was the purest I could fine. I included the coffee with cream with my meals when I was hungry so that I wasn't eating outside of hunger.

It turns out that it is no dice with respect to the cream. It didn't necessarily bother my stomach (that could be the coffee) but my sinuses seriously clogged up after both nights I had it with no other dairy. I could keep trying things like goat milk, raw dairy and stuff like but I am not going to. I throw up my hands in surrender. Non-butter dairy doesn't work for me even outside the constraints of zero carb, not to mention that it is stupid to keep trying to add back coffee while everyone else on ZIOH is trying to kick it. I will say that part of the reason behind having coffee was that the warm weather has kicked off horrendous cravings for Diet Pepsi that have had me climbing the walls.

Yesterday, I packed up all of my coffee making paraphernalia and took it home. Some of it is going into the garage sale pile. For some really odd reason (probably because I am really odd), I never get tempted to make coffee at home, only at work. I can't stomach any of the coffee I can get close to work, so now I am done. Fini.

There is some proof that gluten and casein can act like opioids in those that are intolerant to them. I am really starting to believe it. Gluten wasn't that hard for me to give up but dairy has been a bitch. I keep acting like an addict looking for one tiny fix or some way to keep the supply coming without somehow affecting me otherwise. I never eat a lot at a time - a slice of cheese after dinner or a splash of cream in my tea - but I want it every day. It's like an alcoholic that only drinks a couple of beers but has to have it every day. I think this finally explains why I feel better when I include dairy - I'm getting my fix.

Unfortunately, like any other opioid, the only way to get over it is to get it out of your system. I think if I can make it through the weekend and the next couple of weeks without a fix, I can finally get through all of this BS that I have been going through since the holidays.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March 2, '10 Update

Yesterday was a good day. First hunger hit earlier than expected - about 8 am - and I had one of my 1/4 pound burger bowls. I wasn't hungry again until after my squat workout. Dinner was still an hour off, so I scrambled up a couple of eggs and threw in a handful of ground beef. I had been eating a couple of hard boiled eggs when hitting a "mini-hunger" but dropped that. I can seriously cook two eggs faster than I can peel the hard-boiled eggs.

Even though I wasn't hungry again, I ate dinner an hour and a half later. The eggs hadn't really filled me up, so I figured it was okay. K had done up a pork shoulder roast in the crock pot. I pulled off a hunk of it, mashed it up and mixed it with some of the juices. It was a bit salty because she had put some Italian seasonings on it but it was really good. It was the first non-bacon pork that I had enjoyed in quite a while. My weight was down a little this morning, so the salt wasn't a big deal.

I was reading Charles' journal yesterday where he was talking about eating dinner until he was stuffed and still dropping weight. Mats also mentioned it. I have been eating smaller amounts when hungry and don't really eat much. I have been a bit concerned that I don't eat enough, especially with my workouts.

Old advice from before ZC that you can't put on muscle without an excess of calories is rattling around my brain. I don't worry about calories but I also haven't really seen an increase in hunger from the workouts. I have been wondering, though, if the cravings aren't at least partly caused by not eating enough for the workouts. I had the cravings before I started consciously eating smaller amounts but I have never really eaten a lot since starting ZC, especially compared to what I read on ZIOH.

Of course, I also realize I am obsessing again, so I'm not really going to try to change anything at the moment, other than really treat cravings as hunger. If I start wanting some nuts after dinner, I am just going to eat more dinner and stop trying to white knuckle my way through the cravings. Other than that, I'll just keep eating meat when physically hungry.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 1, '10 Update

Not much to report these days. I am still dealing with cravings but I think it is getting better. I wasn't too good about the "no dairy" thing this weekend but I have definitely determined that I don't tolerate casein well so that should help keep me away from dairy now that it is firmly in my mind. It worked with gluten once I knew for sure that I couldn't tolerate it. Nothing tastes so good that it is worth putting up with a constant upset and/or painful stomach.

I have also realized that I have been putting too much time and effort into this. Like I said before, I keep trying to go with what I can get away with instead of just going with the flow and just eating meat when hungry without obsessing over it. I am not sure how to turn it off and "just do it" but it is something for me to be aware of.

On the positive side, we had a beautiful weekend. It was sunny and in the low 50's with no wind. On Saturday, I got our bikes out and cleaned them up and got them ready to ride this season. Then the boys and I went out and rode for about three hours, hitting some of the light trails near our house. It was a blast.

The amazing thing to me was how well I did physically, considering I hadn't ridden at all since last summer and I didn't do so well then. I barely rode last summer because I just struggled with getting enough air and would get winded way too easily. I didn't have that problem Saturday at all. There was one long, steep hill near the end of the ride that I got a stitch in my side on but I recovered pretty quickly. I have ZC and my push-ups/squats to thank for that, I believe.