Monday, February 25

You Choose! The March of Madness for PJ.

OK. For days, I've been thinking about this dilemma. I've been alternatively angsting and shrugging it off. I've been making excuses, I've been avoiding it altogether, I've been secretly wondering what's wrong with me. The problem is simple:

I don't know what I want to do. It's not a matter of not being ABLE to do something. If I make a firm decision to do something, I do it. It's a matter of the firm decision requiring, usually, some degree of 'want' for that given thing. Otherwise it's not a commitment, it's a whim.


When I first heard of lowcarb, it was easy. Eat <40 carbs! Gosh. Not exactly rocket science if you passed 4th grade math.

But then I discovered that my asthma and allergies were caused by gluten, so I should avoid that, which wiped out all my 'fake bread' lowcarb tortillas and Carbquik and so forth, darn it. For my own good in more ways than one, but STILL.

Granted, my high weight is over 500# and now I'm 375# which isn't a good weight but is a significantly better weight than where I started. I could barely walk to the car when I began; now I can shovel stuff in the garden.

But then I started listening to advice.

Less than 20 carbs! More than 40, under 70. Carb cycling! Calorie cycling! Keep calories to more than 1200. Keep calories to less than 2500. Reduce your fat. Increase your fat! Eat too much fat and you won't lose weight. No, eat coconut oil by the tablespoon! Veggies aren't needed, do meat & egg only! No, add at least six veggies a day to your plan. Count spices to the gram for carbs! No, ignore spices. Deduct fiber from your carbs! No, everything counts. Count sugar alcohol carbs! No, those don't count. Don't eat alternative sugars, that will KIIILLLLLL YOUUUUU. Go ahead and eat them daily, hell it keeps ME on plan. Try slimfast! Avoid frankenfoods. Take supplements! A good daily. And magnesium. Which must have calcium too. And Vitamin E. And Vitamin D. And Vitamin C. And don't forget the B vitamins are important. And folic acid, can't forget that! And water, you've got to drink a lot of water! How much is a lot? More than you're drinking. And exercise is "non-negotiable"! Never mind, it's what you eat that matters. No, go walking! No, do cardio! Here's a good stretch video. No, you must lift weights!

You know this is what it's like. Information overload and the more you read the more conflicting information you have, until you're a useless little ball of confused apathy whining about what a pain in the butt it all is so let's just do Taco Bell.


Well the last 12 week cycle sucked. For six+ weeks I was on plan, and I lost 17#. My goal for the 12 was 30. For the next ~4 weeks, I was more off-than-off, eating rather like I used to before I went lowcarb, which is to say, utter crap. For the next two weeks, I sort of took turns eating LC then not, which was pointless. I gained back what I'd lost, then lost a few more, ending up finally only 8# lower than when I began. Here's the tragic tale in picture:

OK, I could have lost no weight at all. I could have actually gained weight (and given how badly I ate for half of that period, am rather surprised I didn't). I really have nothing to complain about.

I'm complaining.

Because I seem to have lost my interest in any specific approach to food. It's just food. It's just pills in a jar. Who gives a flying pig. Me! I LOVE FOOD! And yet somehow, lately, the whole subject is just boring the snot out of me. I don't know WHAT I want to do. I don't really have any particular preference!

And you know what? I'm starting to think it doesn't even matter that much. That no matter WHAT "plan" or agenda I chose, if I did it consistently, I would probably lose a little weight. A little defined as, vastly less than I should, given my BMI, if metabolism were based on math (as people pretend) instead of chemistry. A little defined as, more than none, which is a good thing no matter what, but a better thing the more it is.

I know I should have a goal. I know I should be eating according to some kind of intelligent plan, since when I don't plan, I'm doomed.

I know there are a million things that are important. The food. The drink. The supplements. The exercise. And a lot of detail within every one of those. Some impacted by what I can't eat (gluten or high-carb) vs. what I won't eat (rutabagas, seafood, brussell sprouts); impacted by what I can't do (normal exercise or constant anything) vs. what I can do (mild walking, simple weight lifting, max 2-3 times/wk); impacted by what I should do (take supplements all the freakin time, drink 2 gallons of water a day) vs. what I usually do (remember them once a month if I'm lucky, drink a quart of water and four diet sodas).

Geez. That's exhausting to keep track of especially when what seems "right" or "most appropriate" seems to change by the day.

So here is a challenge for the many experienced lowcarbers out there. March is coming up in 5 days. Present a plan for me that is:

1 - LOWCARB AND SIMPLE (not 'cycling' and not 'moderate carb' and not 'atkins by the book according to OWL modified by xyz...')

2 - HAS NO MORE THAN FIVE MAIN RULES (though a given rule can have details, e.g. if supplements is one of the rules it can have a list/dosage, if fat is one of the rules it can have types/quantity)

3 - WITHIN THE PARAMETERS ABOVE (no seafood or gluten etc.)

Here's what I will do:

1. I will choose one of them and officially follow it for March, from the 3rd to the 31st, four full weeks starting on a Monday -- because that is how my weight spreadsheet is set up LOL.

2. I will track and graph my weight every day

3. AND how I feel every day

4. AND what I ingest/do every day (I use a digital gram scale for measures)

5. AND do measurements before/after,

and at the end of the month we will all see how well that given plan worked out for my body. I may not be perfect on it but I'll track what I do so it's fairly known what degrees of it I may have screwed up.

MY THEORY IS, that since I don't have ANY given goal-setting plan that inspires me enough to make a commitment to it, that instead, I will make a commitment to someone ELSE: the commitment just happens to involve a given lifestyle plan.

Can you do it?

FIVE RULES. That's all. Submit your ideas!! I need some options. :-)



Zute said...

How about giving my modified Paleo a try?

1) What you can eat: Low carb veggies, eggs and meats (fish, poultry, etc). As much as you want. Coconut milk (i.e. thai curries) great too, but homemade to ensure they're low sugar). Nuts in small amounts ok. No Fruit... avoid that for weight loss.

2) What you can drink: Any zero calorie drink is fine.

3) Treats: Deviant paleo baking is ok (some artificial sweeteners but using nut flours or flax meal).

4) What you can't have: No grains or dairy products.

5) For butter, I use it still but try to use bacon drippings or duck fat instead (when I have it).


Good luck! I hope this makes you feel as good as it does me.

Chiara said...

This is absolutely not going to surprise you.

Go Paleo.

1. Don't eat any food that you couldn't reasonably obtain with a rock, a stick, a knife and a fire. This particularly includes soy, gluten, or dairy.

2. Don't eat starches, even if they fall under rule 1. Corn and potatos come to mind.

3. If you would normally class it as 'carby' (ie nuts, berries, tomatos) practice portion control on both a daily and weekly basis. Stick to low glycemic fruits. Melons, berries, maybe peaches and cherries. No tropical fruits.

4. If you notice eating something gives you insane cravings or makes you feel bad, then don't do that again.

5. Take vitamin D and a B-complex every morning with breakfast.

You should choose my suggestion because:
Citruskiss and I already do this, so you'd have extra hand-holding and support. And we'd already be on the same channel for whining.

When confused, you just have to ask yourself WWBSD?
What would BatSpit do?

If it works after a month, its easy to loosen without disturbing the basic 5 rules.

The paleo recipes thread on our forums only has 6 pages, instead of 6 subforums. Plus there's a new thread about recipes with less than 5 ingredients.

Whatever you choose:
You already own not one but *2* crockpots. You should fire them up this week and stock up on pre-cooked protein foods. Start from a good place!


Chiara said...

That should be *excludes* soy, dairy, and gluten. Milk requires a bucket, which was not among the tools provided.

Although if you wish to substitute butter for mammoth fat rendered in a skin pot, I could probably be persuaded to look the other way.

orodemniades said...

#1: I'm with Zute, try modified Paleo. However, I differ in that on my plan, fruit is absolutely allowed, as is butter (if you can tolerate dairy, I also recommend plain yogurt).

#2: weigh nothing apart from yourself. If this is not an issue for you, stop eating when your stomach feels full, rather than when you feel satiated (these are two very different things and for me satiation often = overeating). I discovered that moving from Atkins to Paleo freed me from obsessing about food, which in turn allowed me to focus on enjoying what I was eating rather than worrying about how much I was losing - or, in my case, since I am a glacially slow loser, what I wasn't losing.

#3: don't drink so much water unless you feel like it. I aim for 2-3 liters a day, way down from my max of 5-6 a day, for which both my bladder and pocketbook (hello, water taxes) thank me. I drank tea, black, green, and herbal, along with the odd cup of coffee, and didn't worry about it.

#4: stop reading the books and stick to a good forum. I know that's practically heresy, but I found that the experiences and advice of real people frequently on limited funds was of superb value.

#5: Eat chocolate. Buy some good cocoa powder, you can mix it with warm coconut oil and a touch of the sweetener of your choice if desired, add it to chili, dip sliced fruit or coconut into it, etc.


I was pretty hardcore when I first began paleo, but soon realized that there was no reason to be as anal about it as Cordain et al promote. Besides, somehow I doubt cavemen drank diet soda. Just sayin'.

The key, I think, to any lc plan, is that you have stop obsessing about it at some point, and that can be really difficult to do. For me I suspect it was fairly easy because I'm such a slow loser. I lost nothing the first 4 months I did Atkins, and it took me 2.5 years to lose 50lbs. I should mention that exercise completely halted any weight loss I did have, for as long as I worked out. If I stopped, I started losing again (well, what I call 'losing').

Finally, I'm going to add this bit because it may be what you need more than what you're eating, if that makes any sense. After years of floundering and wondering why the heck I was so fat when I ate less than everyone I know (and still do!), discovering that lcing was the only method of weight loss that has ever worked for me, and then deciding that really, it didn't matter if I lost weight or not, this woe was what my body preferred, I had/have some medical issues where weight is of concern. I have been turned away from clinics because of weight, and it was only in June '07 that I found a clinic that didn't give a damn about BMI. I've gotten my treatment and it's been successful (end game in 2-3 weeks!).

However, I was interested in the mental aspect of my disordered eating, because while I don't have an eating disorder, I bear some of the hallmarks of such - as most every woman in the Western world, and increasing numbers of men, probably have as well. So I bought this book, The Beck Diet Solution. I'll tell you straight off that a lot of it is plain wrong, and there's some hokum in there, too, along with the standard diet advice.

BUT, there are some really powerful suggestions in there concerning overeating, and believe you me, I never in a million years would have thought of myself as an overeater. Then I made the connection that 'stomach full' =/= 'satiation', and that's what I'd been doing, because that's what everyone says to do: eat until you're not hungry any more. Yet doing that always left me uncomfortably I started paying attention to the fullness of my stomach as compared to when I stopped feeling hungry, and boy, what a huge difference it made. I started losing weight like a 'normal' person, y'know, a pound a week, it was a miracle! And I was still low carbing.

It sounds stupid, because at heart I was doing something I'd always felt was right, but needed 'permission' to try. Medical stuff happened again and both woe's have been tossed upside down to some degree, yet I still think in terms of lcing and not-overeating. Once I move back home I should be able to return to those woes pretty quickly (I presume, it depends on how soon I can get back into the kitchen).

I'd like to add that this is NOT portion control. There is no set amount of food one must eat or mustn't eat, it all depends on the individual and how hungry they get, yadda yadda. I found that I did increase the number of times I ate a day, up from 3 to 4-5, but even then, the amounts pretty much remained the same.

Hope that helps! (the title of the book is atrocious and the slip cover is shocking pink, but it might be a worthwhile read if you can find it used or in the library).

orodemniades said...

PS: sorry for the essay!

Zute said...

I should mention, I'm Nancy LC over on the forum.

PJ said...

I'm manually adding in this from Calianna who posted in my journal instead of here on the blog, so suggestions are together. Appreciate all the input so far you guys!!! I will choose one on 3/1 as implementation starts 3/3.

--------------------- from Cal:

I"m answering here, because I'm lazy and I just don't feel like signing in to blogger right now.

Anyhow, I looooooved this paragraph - I sat here giggling and ignoring my mass cooking of hamburgers on the Georgie... which nearly burned, of course!

[[Less than 20 carbs! More than 40, under 70. Carb cycling! Calorie cycling! Keep calories to more than 1200. Keep calories to less than 2500. Reduce your fat. Increase your fat! Eat too much fat and you won't lose weight. No, eat coconut oil by the tablespoon! Veggies aren't needed, do meat & egg only! No, add at least six veggies a day to your plan. Count spices to the gram for carbs! No, ignore spices. Deduct fiber from your carbs! No, everything counts. Count sugar alcohol carbs! No, those don't count. Don't eat alternative sugars, that will KIIILLLLLL YOUUUUU. Go ahead and eat them daily, hell it keeps ME on plan. Try slimfast! Avoid frankenfoods. Take supplements! A good daily. And magnesium. Which must have calcium too. And Vitamin E. And Vitamin D. And Vitamin C. And don't forget the B vitamins are important. And folic acid, can't forget that! And water, you've got to drink a lot of water! How much is a lot? More than you're drinking. And exercise is "non-negotiable"! Never mind, it's what you eat that matters. No, go walking! No, do cardio! Here's a good stretch video. No, you must lift weights!]]

This I think is a large part of the problem I've had with being on the boards. IT was sooo simple back in the 70's when I went low carb, purely for my hypoglycemia, and losing weight was just a nice side effect. Now it's like too many people have tried far too many different things, and each of them got different results using the same methods. It all depends on what works for you of course.

Anyhow, if I was going to give you a couple little rules, I'd just say basically what I used back in those days.

1) No starches, no sugars. Eat some meat. Have some low carb veggies too. Don't worry about how much fat you're eating, eat what ever fat you need to cook it with, and as much food in the form of protein/fat/veggies as you need to feel full and satisfied. Don't worry about the details, like percentages. (although in your case, you know you need to try to eat a certain minimum amount of protein to maintain muscle strength, so figure how many ounces of meat, cheese and/or how many eggs that amounts to, and try to get that amount in each day) Stick with whole type foods most of the time, and make most of your treats from stuff that you know what it is. For instance, whey powder would be fine for making treats, but bars and pre-fab shakes are an "only as necesary item", not as a staple of your diet. About those treats... if you're using things that you know what they are, along with mostly whole foods, I don't see any need to limit yourself severely on them unless the make you crave the carby and or gluten filled stuff. If you're craving chocolate on a regular basis then, for goodness sakes, make something chocolate, even if it requires using 2 kinds of protein powder and 3 kinds of SF Da Vinci.

2) Try to move a little every day. Any movement counts as exercise. When you're overweight, just carrying your extra weight to the bathroom 27 times (see rule 3) counts, although not all that much. If it's just walking around walmart, that counts. If it's digging in the garden, my goodness, of course that counts. If you feel so inclined, then take a walk around the block (avoiding the direction of the fast food places), or lift a few weights. It doesn't have to be writ in stone exactly what you're going to do each day, just do something. 5 minutes, if that's all you feel like, an hour or more if you feel up to it.

3) Drink plenty of liquids. Of course with Low Carb, you're not going to want to make it milk, juices, or full sugar soda. Water is best, but if SF soda and SF flavored waters make it easier to get in enough liquid, then keep an ice chest of the amount you should be consuming right next to you, and sip, sip, sip. Just keep yourself hydrated! You'll be able to tell if you are doing this, because you'll need to run to the bathroom so often.

4) Supplements. Well, I believe you should take some, but you know better what you're lacking than I do. Personally, I only take estroven (I hate hot flashes), which includes lots of B vitamins, plus I take biotin (trying to improve my fingernails), some calcium w/D, vitamin C, and Co-Q10. I don't worry too much about when I take what, I just try to get them in me at some point during the day, and yes I take them all at once - even if it's not the best timing or combination, I figure it's better than not taking them at all.

5ish) This is not a rule, merely as suggestion. Try to do a bunch of cooking all at once. For instance, buy 4 or 5 lbs of hamburger and do multiple batches of hamburgers on the Georgie (or in a frying pan, or under the broiler, or on a gas/charcoal grill - however you like them). While those are cooking, put a pan of eggs on to boil, so you can use them to make devilled eggs or egg salad. [I don't even know if you like hard boiled eggs, this is just to give you an idea of how to go about having enough food on hand to not have to be cooking constantly] Once the eggs are on the stove, stick a few chicken breasts in the crock pot with a little water, so you'll have cooked chicken in a few hours, which you can use to make chicken salad. It doesn't take a bit longer to make a double batch of oopsies or rev rolls than it takes to make a single batch, so do that and stick those in the oven while you're waiting for all this other stuff to cook. When the boiled eggs are done, cool them in cold water enough to peel them, then stick them in a covered bowl in the fridge. When the oopsies (or rev rolls, if you prefer) are cooked, let them cool. Your hamburgers should be done by now too, cooling, and ready to go in the fridge. You can either clean up the kitchen while you're waiting for the oopsies to cool and the chicken to cook, or wander off for an hour or two while they're cooling, then stick the oopsies all in a plastic bag and put those in the fridge too. Set a timer or alarm to go back to put the oopsies away, and to check on the chicken in the crock pot, if you're afraid you might lose track of time and let this stuff sit all night - even frozen chicken breasts cook in about 3 or 4 hours on high in today's hotter crock pots. The next day, you get out the eggs and make them into deviled eggs and/or egg salad, and while you have the mayo out and utensils already all messy, get out the chicken breasts and some dill pickles (or celery, peppers, or however you like it), chop up the chicken breasts (after being cooked in the crock pot, you can just slice across the grain and it will make tiny shreds, perfect for chicken salad), and make a container of chicken salad. You can also wash a bunch of lettuce, shred it up, chop some veggies and put them all in containers in the fridge for ready to eat salad. Shred at least half a pound of your favorite cheese and keep it in a container in the fridge - good on the salad, or on burgers. Now you have two dozen deviled eggs or egg salad (or some of each), a couple dozen pre-cooked hamburgers, a container of chicken salad, and a bunch of rev/oopsie rolls to eat this stuff on, plus salad to eat with it all, and some shredded cheese to put on top. So no excuses for not eating regularly, and no excuses for eating the wrong things either. If you're making treats one night, remember that making a triple or quadruple batch of coconut bark doesn't take a bit longer to make than a single batch, and you'll have a chocolate goodie to snack on for a lot longer than if you made just a single batch. If I"m going to open a package of bacon, I always cook the entire thing - that way I only have one pan to clean up (or since I usually do it on the georgie these days, I only need to clean it once) If standing in the kitchen all this time while cooking and cleaning up is hard on you, a bar height stool to the weight off your legs is a very good investment.

I know, not much of a plan, certainly not as detailed as what you're used to.... probably not structured enough for you to stick to it, seeing as how you plan everything in so much detail. It's what I'm trying to do, and I find it much easier to stick to than fussing with tracking everything, and get in exact percentages of this or that. We'll see if it results in any weight lost for me. Meanwhile, I certainly feel a lot better than I ever did on high carbs.

liz said...

Here's what I do:

1. Eat at least 100g of protein per day
2. Eat no more than 40g carbs (minus fiber) per day, with no more than 20g at any meal.
3. Eat fat and additional protein as desired
4. Eat as many or as few meals as you wish
5. Avoid any foods on a regular basis you have an intolerance for or that you know beyond a doubt make you crave *any* other foods or additional food.

I don't stress over what constitutes the 40g carbs. Hey, if you want sugar then go for it unless it violates rule #5.

Rule #1 insures I eat sufficient protein to avoid muscle loss and seems to control hunger.

Rule #2 keeps me in ketosis. I rarely eat 40g carbs in a day. I have tried eating as much as 20g carbs in a sitting and find it doesn't cause blood sugar changes which would indicate insulin spikes.

Rule #3 insures I'm eating to satiety.

Rule #4 insures I'm listening to my body and not a clock.

Rule #5 came about because of this: if I eat BBQ then I absolutely *must* eat chocolate at the end of the meal. I figure anything that sends me running for another food -- even no sugar chocolate bark -- I probably should avoid on a regular basis. Avoiding intolerant foods goes without saying.

I am losing weight following this plan following a 4 month stall on Atkins. It's simply a slight modification of PPLP -- the modification being 20g carbs at a meal as opposed to the PPLP limit of 10g.

PJ said...

Kvon posted this to my journal, but I'm trying to keep all the suggestions in one place on the blog so I'm manually copying it here.


my plan has been fairly simple, even if i do complain about wanting to eat "normally"...

1. if it's on the induction list, you can eat it.
2. zero-calorie drinks with artificial sweeteners are ok.
3. no foods that contain more than 1g of sugar alcohols per serving (the sugar-free banana popsicles i get have 1 per stick).
4. carbs should stay between 20-30g per day. fiber IS deductable.

i think out of all of them, #5 is the one that keeps me interested. this is what allows me to tweak restaurant menus and come up with a million and 7 variations on roasted chicken.

i also don't measure things. i keep track in MY P.L.A.N., but i don't worry about how much mayo i'm spreading on the lettuce leaves when i'm putting together a lunchmeat wrap thingy. everything is done to taste and calculated afterward. by the time i'm done, fat and protein grams are usually about even.

now, the only reason i didn't include things in there like staying away from nuts and keeping an eye on sodium is because those are quirks that are unique to me, not necessarily to you. i think no matter what, you're going to end up with a list of "don'ts" to go along with your list of 5 rules to follow.

maybe when sara gets back she can help with her version of atkins-KISS.

hippiegirl said...

Because the most frustrating thing is all the "rules", I'll keep this simple. I kind of felt the same way you do - that I was getting mired in the details.

Eat any kind of meat you like, and don't be afraid of fat.

Eat any kind of lc veggies you like, and don't be afraid of fat.

Drink any no sugar drinks you like.

Forgive yourself if you have a slip-up, and immediately get right back to it. (This has been very important in my world!)

Eat if you're hungry, even eat if you're bored. It WILL even out eventually, honest. Stop obsessing, basically.

Trust yourself. You know what you're doing.

Allow yourself to enjoy your food. Dress it up with butter, or sour cream, or grated cheese, or whatever floats your boat that you know is low carb.

If you like chocolate, have a bite of an high cocoa (I use the 85% Lindt) bar.

That's it. For me, the biggest keys have been to embrace fat, and stop looking at it as all or nothing (thus the chocolate), and the forgiveness. Once I decided to stop beating myself up when I "cheated", this all got easier. I've hit my stride, and I'm finding it easy. I'm eating creamy, delicious, things. And sometimes I'm lazy and just microwave veggies with cheese. But it's all good food that actually has nutrients (except for the Diet Coke! lol )

And as for supplements - take a multi and whatever else you like. I like 5-htp, fish oil, a multi, an extra calcium/vit d, and coconut oil. But I'm not religious about it. This is life. We have enough to do without spending our lives on Fitday.

Good luck - I know you'll do well no matter which plan you decide on. Look how much you've accomplished so far! I'm in awe, seriously.

BamaGal said...

PJ--Here's a concept--why not just give up "dieting" completely.

You have a broad knowledge of nutrition. You know the foods that cause you difficulty for you health's sake.

Learn to enjoy food again. Not just for the sake of it's nutritional value or that you want to lose a few pounds. Just because it is good. And who says you have to lose weight to be healthy anyway?? You can enjoy good health no matter your size.

Enjoy life, enjoy love, enjoy yourself.

cleochatra said...

I liked the boobiefood concept, but hey-- not everyone wants to keep a chalupa under their bosoms.

That said, here is something that has worked for me.

1. Eat no more than 20 net carbs per day.

2. Make all food choices low glycemic (not index) food choices

3. Do not diet according to phases. You eat day one what you eat day 31.

4. Eat when hungry and stop when no longer hungry.

5. Do not seek out low-fat foods. High-fat is the way to go here. It allows you to feel more full while trying different foods.

This plan has helped keep cravings at bay while allowing me more freedom in choices throughout the day.

Anonymous said...

Hi PJ,
Thank you for this post. I could say all the same things - I've tried - dilligently tried, giving each experiment time to work - eating more/less calories, more/less fat, more/less protein, more/less carbs, exercise, carb/fat/protein/calorie cycling, dairy elimination, anti-yeast... I'm weary and confused. No matter what I do, the pounds don't move. I've spent a lot of energy and time trying to find the magic formula that would help me get to a healthier weight. When I seek advice, I get contradicting information, or opinions that make it very clear that people either don't truly hear me, or don't believe I'm being honest about sticking to a plan. I'm really discouraged and weary. So weary.

Recently I had to back away from it all and breathe. I'm following some of the advice people gave you in their comments here. I am eating proteins, fats, and any non-starchy non-sweet vegetables I want, and I'm not tracking anything. It's hard! I'm trying to shut out the noise. I am trying hard to find my body signals, but it's hard because if I really listen to my body I end up hardly eating anything at all. I have some healing to do.

It reminds me of when I was in labor for my first child. With each contraction, I'd hoist myself up and grab the side rails, and push with all my might. After a while, the nurses caught on and took my side rails away. I was mad! I needed those rails! They said no... you're putting so much energy into holding on that you're going to wear yourself out. With subsequent contractions, I was lost. I didn't know how to push without those rails! They were right, of course, and the next day my arms hurt more than anything else on my body. Good lesson learned - now to apply it elsewhere!

I think all the WOE tracking and obsessing have become my side rails and I've lost my strength for pushing, and my confidence in my own power. I weaned myself off the scale because it was just too painful to try so hard and not see results. The next step was to walk away from sparkpeople tracking and carb counting and calorie counting and protein counting and whatever else I thought might be the source of my problem. I'm still not over the death grip on the rails yet. I really hope that if I can let it go and find a good groove, I'll at least feel more whole even if I don't get thinner. Fingers are crossed for both, though!

I'm enjoying reading the comments here and hope to find some things that will be helpful for me as well. Meanwhile, I just wanted you to know that I appreciate you.

How is your daughter doing?

Anonymous said...

I have type 2 diabetes and other health issues which I manage with carbohydrate restriction. This is the back-to-basics plan that I settled on after becoming disgusted with myself for constantly veering from one extreme to another and obsessing too much about every little detail of everything. My main goals are stress reduction, insulin and blood sugar control, and feeling well. So far, so good.

1) Diet: ultra-low carb paleo, or as close as I can get. One to three meals a day as desired of fatty meats, fish, poultry, eggs, non-starchy vegetables, and modest amounts of nuts. I try to consume liver now and then. No grains, no legumes, no dairy, no vegetable oils, no added sugars, and little or no fruit (commercial varieties are too sweet nowadays.) I don't count, weigh, or measure anything.

2) Supplements: I get sun in summer, and take vitamin D3 (in oil-based gelcap form) in winter. Also, since wild salmon is expensive and meat and eggs from grass-fed animals are hard to find where I live, I take fish oil.

3) Beverages: After spending years compulsively drinking water and peeing it back out all day long, I decided it was all a waste of time. Now I drink when I'm thirsty. I avoid liquids at mealtime.

4) Exercise: I've swore off "exercise." Instead, I simply engage in activities that I enjoy, as much or as little as I please. Strangely enough, the occasional long hike on hilly trails keeps me in better shape than miles of going nowhere on a treadmill ever did.

5) I sleep in a fully dark room, and make sure to get as much sleep as I need.


Peri said...

1. Fewer than 50g carbs per day.
2. Do all your day's eating within a 3-5 hour time period. You can cheat with some milk in your coffee or have one small cappuccino at some other time.
3. Waiting at least 1 hour before or after eating or drinking _anything_ else as a buffer period, consume 50g-100g / 4-8 TB of pure fructose daily, dissolved in water. (I put about 1 TB in about 1 cup of water and I use the occasion to rehydrate after exercise.)
4. Any zero calorie drink is OK, but must not be taken during the fructose-water drinking period or the buffer period.
5. Get enough sleep and exercise according to your preferences.

snowleopard said...

Hi PJ,

I completely empathized with your post--so much good advice leaves me whimpering in gridlock. I have taken a nose-dive over recent months, and am crawling back up out of the gutter *yet again*, carb-wise, and so the issues you've described are getting a lot of my attention these days.

You're one of my angels, so any cry for help from your direction has my proto-wings attempting to flutter. These suggestions are intended as a gift, clumsily wrapped, well-intentioned (think of a child painting a rock and beaming radiantly as she gives it to you as a present). Whether this is helpful or not, it is given as the best I have to offer, out of appreciation and admiration. I realize the date is off, too, but just discovered this post.

Here's what works for me:

1) Hydrate before you eat in the morning. For me, this means six (or three, or nine) cups of water, with a touch of sweetener and lemon juice. (Guess how big my cup is?)

2. If my life is working to provide me this time, I use that hydration tme to either do some breathing/vocal exercises using Ariella Vaccarino ~ she sings out ~ CD's--because I can start the day right while laying flat on my back--and I think the extra oxygen gives me a real boost in a multitude of wonderful ways OR to get on the 'net and get mentally inspired by reading forums, success stories, blogs, etc. Giving myself that boost just seems to kick-start the whole day, and doing the rest of the stuff right is then in the bag.

3) Join your daughter's TKD class. If it is the kind of dojo where you want her, they will welcome you. Stand in the back, and use a stool to support your leg while you do your kicks and stretches. Focus your brain while you're there on what you are doing, not on comparing yourself to others. Been there--God bless Master Dan. I was surprised that it helped me to find my center, and my strength to keep on keeping on in an incredibly difficult time.

4) Get wet. Find a therapeutic pool where the broken, the aged, and the infirm swim, one that has a ramp going down into it with a railing, so that you do not have to climb in and out with a ladder. The water will be warmer than at other pools, the staff kinder, and no one will look at you askance, mock you, or wonder why you aren't like them. Junonia has swimsuits that will fit you if you don't have one.

Water-walk, do your TKD work-outs there, get wild and crazy and dance in the water. Drink water while you are in the water. Make this your wild-woman-moving-freely time, and learn what life is like without the restraints you experience on dry land. Recognize that you will mourn when you return to gravity, but keep coming back to the water.
Know that someday you will put your arms on the side of the pool, push down, and propel yourself out, and walk away knowing that you are amazing and can do anything. Find a buddy, if necessary, with whom to walk and talk, or get a SwimP3 player, or whatever it takes to make it happen. Or take your daughter swimming with you.

5) Do what you know is right about food, what's worked for you in the past. Make the occasional mistake, fall down, get up, keep going. I don't feel wise enough to advise in this area, but if you do the above, I think the weight loss will follow.

You sent me a song about Earl once, over on the forum. This is my thank you post.

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