Well my first thought is, "I haven't posted on this blog in nearly six months!" Holy cats! How time flies! I didn't realize. I've lived and worked 'on the internet' for 15 years and I swear it has really mucked about with my 'time-sense'.
I've been working nearly like an ancient egyptian slave for a long time, so my time for anything else has been super limited. Also though, I have gone off and on "serious" LC -- and had not yet fully implemented my 'hypernutrient' approach which I wanted to have some follow up to next time I posted on this blog.
Today is day 5 on a return to more officially-sane eating. (Usually, my eating is LC by default. It's just that in some periods, there is other HC stuff too. When I go official, anything HC is totally out.) This is the first time I've gotten to my "Hyper-nutrient" approach.
It's like ten handfuls of big pills. I do ok swallowing pills but this really pushes my limits! That is every other day. On the alternate days I take only a few of the supplements: a liquid multi (NOW brand), and dropper-bottle under-tongue doses of B-12 (NOW), and two different blue-green algaes (Klamath). I try to "think to" my body, "OK, I'm sending you a ton of elements. Pick what you want out of all these, flush the rest." I actually thought that taking this much stuff at once (always just after eating) would result in digestive surprise of some sort, but it doesn't.
I feel more clear-headed and energetic than I have in a LONG time. I noticed it pointedly on day 2.5, and more each day since. Last night I did more stuff around the house than I have in eons, re-read a book on weight lifting, just felt a lot more proactive. Today I did a lot more house stuff, including some hard muscle scrubbing of the stove and various parts of the kitchen, we did prep cooking and then made a quiche, I did a slow lift of really light (5#) weights, sitting on the incline bench, nearly every arm/shoulder push/pull exercise I could remember, just to remind my body what it was like. If my energy keeps increasing like this, I'll be working out for real again by mid next week.
This is an anomaly, though. There's something mysterious going on. To recap:
About 3 years ago, VLC (that means >30 carbs a day), which I love eating and had lost a whole lot of weight on, suddenly quit working for me. I mean I seriously felt like crap eating that way, which I couldn't understand as it hadn't been that way before. The "feeling bad" was different than my ordinary "lack of energy." Normally, if I'm not eating 85+g protein daily, I have little energy. (Any decent amount of grains/fructose/lactose make it worse.)
I don't think people realize just how sedentary someone my size can be. I don't just mean "I don't do the dishes or exercise," I mean literally you'd probably need to be in a coma to be any more "still" -- not using any more energy than sleep probably -- than I can be for really long periods of time, comfortably. It's part of the same health issue that causes the food to store its energy as fat and not give it back to you as energy. But that is not like the 'exhaustion' of an illness, and it is not like being sleepy. I have a LOT of "mental energy" -- more than most people I suspect -- just none for the rest of the body (I think maybe my brain grabs everything available!).
But the feeling bad on VLC was more like, feeling seemingly like normal people, plenty of energy, and then at some point in the day -- alas sometimes morning -- it was like I would "hit a wall" and suddenly understand perfectly that "my battery was on zero%" and that's it. I mean there were times I was doing something -- lifting weights, doing dishes, whatever -- and I literally stopped in the middle of a motion, dropped what I was doing and walked away and sat or laid down. The "sudden" zero-energy was like being hit with something, I'd never experienced anything like that before. And after a few days, it seemed to translate into an overall feeling utterly crappy that I just couldn't stand. So I would eat some carbs -- and feel better.
But every time I would up carbs, it had the same effect that my attempts at carb cycling had: it sent me completely offplan. I simply quit caring about lowcarb almost immediately. So I tried to break it down into a specific food. Just berries. Just beans. Just a little bread. Whatever. And one by one, determined that there wasn't ANY food that would raise my carbs to 50-60 daily (that i liked) without seeming to just change my whole chemistry, food preference, etc.
After 3 years of this, and spending more time off LC than on as a result, I have theory#1, that it is not necessarily a given food triggering me; it's just having over a certain (unspecific) number of carbs for more than one day in a row is all.
But now for the Annoyingly Contradictory Facts, there are two carb-foods that I can eat without it throwing me off-plan. Beans, which we ate in stews, and corn tortillas, which we fry in OrgNonHyd Palm shortening. The problem with the beans is it is so easy to overcarb, in fact we almost can't help it just by decent serving size, and it makes any weight loss whatever come to a stop. The problem with the corn tortillas (check for gluten in the ingredients, they vary) is that they're like 10 carbs each, so I tend to get too many carbs and not enough protein when I eat them. I still do on occasion but we are working on limiting that.
We had to put a moratorium on peanut butter in the house. Both of us, if we touch the stuff, become obsessed with it and it seems to be a very 'small' almost-trigger of carb-desire. I was never that crazy about peanut butter until I went low carb, go figure.
As usual, I have the predictable effect of getting my protein up to 85+g/day (preferably about 100-120g/day) for several days running. First I have tons of "fidget energy". Then I want to get up and cook more and get up and make coffee more and little things like that. Then I start cleaning more (I have a housekeeper so don't normally), little obvious things like the dishes. Then all the sudden, it's like my environment springs into view. I walk into the kitchen and think, good grief that spice shelf, those cupboards, the fridge, that must get cleaning! I walk into the living room and think the same thing about the big built-in bookcase and the carpet and everything else. I told some friends that the last time I was decent on protein for an extended period, I ended up like some unholy union of Tim Allen and Martha Stewart, with house and yard and garden projects all over the place. There is something amusing about the fact that when I finally get enough protein for awhile, that instantly becomes my focus. I'm a rather practical and proactive sort by nature, it's just that usually I haven't the energy to do anything about it whatever, unless it's something I can do sitting motionless at the computer. Crank up the protein, which I have a simply horrible time keeping decently high most days even after years, and everything changes.
OK so now for the anomaly. This issue with "feeling like crap if I eat VLC" has gone on for three years. Three years! That's a long and consistent time.
But 5 days ago we went VLC because I wanted my (13 year old) daughter to do this for awhile. She has been consistently losing weight on the "mostly except occasionally" low-carb that we've been eating for quite some time, but verrrrrry slowly. I wanted to bring it back to only-basics and see if we could do something better for her speed of weight loss. Or to correct that, size-loss: she hasn't lost a single pound on the scale although she has lost at least two shirt sizes and her pants fit very differently. I had intended to add in some other foods for me, to up my own carbs; I bought avocados partly for that purpose that I'm ripening. But then I ended up working very long hours and just not getting around to it.
And then I realized that by now I should feel hideous but actually, I feel really good. After 3 years, suddenly I can eat VLC again and it works for me? Really?! What the heck!
Could it be all the supplementation? That is the one thing that has changed. I don't have any easy way to parse out what element of supplementation might be responsible, unless it's just a synergy of some kind.
I've had a lot of people tell me they were the same way. They ate VLC, felt great, lost weight, then at some point just could not do VLC at all without feeling like crap. But if they increased their carbs they felt ok again. Maybe not good but ok. Mostly women have told me that. So I know that wasn't just me, I wasn't just spontaneously imagining it, and heck, not for 3 years!
And yet spontaneously after 3 years it suddenly doesn't work that way anymore. Suddenly VLC feels just fabulous again, I'm losing the initial water weight at decent speed, I am vastly more energetic and optimistic than I am off low-carb of course, like everything is back to the way it used to be. I'm utterly baffled.
Could it just be time? Like the body needs some period of recovery after losing a lot of weight really fast? And in my case that's a *really* long time? I've eaten back and forth from LC to HC for the last 3 years. (As a result my weight has gone from 356-405 about 8 times in that period. I don't really take it that seriously, since 20+ of that is water weight anyway.)
Or is it the nutrient supplementation?
Or -- this is hilarious -- could it be that the huge quantity of supplements, all added together, plus the liquids, simply kick my carb intake every other day up 20-40 carbs? So in a way I'm getting more carbs but I'm not having to a eat a likely-triggering food for it?
It's a mystery. I don't know, but I'm happy about it!