Wednesday, May 28, 2014

How I'm doing...

So I thought I should mention how I'm doing with regards to escaping the rut I recently discovered myself to be in.

Basically, it's going well. I'm getting out more, and meeting some lovely people at a church group I joined. I'm starting to get back into reading, which basically stopped at the beginning of the year when things went pear-shaped.

I'm probably going to start painting this weekend if the light's okay. (It's very dark at the moment because of the rain.)

I'm hopefully going to find a new vocal coach so that I can continue my singing education.

The wonderful thing about all of this is that it's actually helping me recover from earlier this year much faster. I'd thought at the time that resting and not exposing myself to more exhaustion or stress would be the better way to get through the difficult time I had with my publisher. But the truth is, I'm only now starting to feel like I'm moving on, and I think most of it is because of me getting out there and seeing new places, exploring new foods (no carbs, which means I actually have a lot more energy) and doing things I love that I haven't gotten to in months.

So here's to doing more of those and having a fuller life.

Anyone else working on escaping a rut you're in? How's it going?

Friday, May 23, 2014

About following the Paleo diet...

I've come to a decision yesterday that I won't be posting my weight every day any more. Instead I'll be doing a weekly post (starting next week since I already did week 3's on Monday.).

Basically, I needed to keep track of my weight during detox so I wouldn't be tempted to cheat.

Now, I'm enjoying my new lifestyle so much that I'm really not all that tempted. Still, I think there's value in sharing my weight loss experiences. Even if it's just to encourage one more person to take on the challenge of breaking that carb addiction.

So what exactly am I doing at the moment?


(Dun Dun Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhn!)

A lot of people are incredibly excited about this way of eating. Others are incredibly concerned about cutting carbs out of our diets.

Now... I can go into research etc. about these issues, but since most of us weight-loss or health lifestyles aren't all that interested (sometimes to our detriment in fact), I thought I'd go into personal experience and common sense instead. Make of it what you will.

Issue 1: Paleo is about eating like a caveman, but we're not cavemen anymore. We've evolved. 

No, we're not cavemen. We're a lot less active as a rule, which means that we really don't have the justification of consuming the vast amount of sugars that we do. And really, we do. 

You know all those light foods we eat? So healthy because it's low in fat? 

No. The only reason those foods are palatable is because extra sugars are tossed into them to compensate for fats being missing. (More on fats next.)

And if we were evolved as we're being told, we wouldn't be in the situation where our generation's average life expectancies are being lowered by "life-style illnesses" like diabetes. 

Issue 2: Cholesterol! Heart Disease! 

Uhm... actually it turns out that there isn't that much of a correlation between fat intake (fat being natural fats) and cholesterol. This "knowledge" comes from a study where the "scientist" researched 22 (yes. twenty two) countries and used the results from six (yes, six) in his paper in order to show a positive correlation. The other sixteen? No correlation whatsoever. 

So why are we being told carbs have to be consumed in huge amounts, and that the study above was scientifically sound? Economics, darling. Politicians needed to find a way to lower food prices while keeping farmers happy. And that meant subsidizing the cost of grains and telling the whole world that they should be eating more grains than any other food source. (Even when it's not even remotely true.)

Personal experience fact: I've never had cholesterol, not even when I only ate proteins. The only time when I get really low blood pressure is when I don't eat refined carbs. Curious, don't you think? 

Issue 3: But fat makes fat! 

Nope. Fat gets converted as needed by the body in order to make the sugar etc. needed for it to function. If you consume natural fats (IE bacon, cream, butter, avo, olive oil etc) your body uses what it can and expels the rest. 

If you eat carbs, your body uses a tiny bit (because that's really all it can use) and stores the rest, thanks to insulin. And the problem is that insulin also prevents your body from using its own fat for energy. Which is why you keep piling on weight. 

So needless to say, fat doesn't make fat. Carbs make fat. And you know what proves it? The recommended amount of carbs saying we should eat them most of all came in in 1977. Obesity, diabetes, heart problems etc. only really became a problem since. 


Actually... No. And if you're overweight, HELL NO YOU DON'T. As I said above, your body actually creates its own energy from fat, whether it's already in your body or whether you consumed it with your food. 

But if it still makes you uneasy, going the paleo way doesn't imply no carbs. You can still eat fruit and a ton of vegetables. In fact, you're supposed to eat a lot more veg than fats and meat. 

The point is just that you can't eat grains, refined sugars and certain high carb fruit and vegetables. 

In conclusion: 

Yeah, I know I'm probably going to get some schlep for posting this, but I do get tired of people bringing up these issues every time I turn down consuming something obviously unhealthy. 

No, I don't think this is the only way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but it's the only way I've tried that's actually not really difficult. And honestly, why make things harder when you could actually enjoy the way you eat? 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Day 18

Sigh. I have to say I'm a bit out of it today. Partly, it's because of a flu or something I caught in town Friday night. It's really not all that fun trying to focus when your head feels stuffy and your throat burns. 

So... I'm just going to turn in tonight and will hopefully post something more meaningful tomorrow. 

But! The scales have returned, and with it, good news: 

Weight: 100kg (220lb 7.4oz)
Total Lost: 5.7kg (12lb 9.1oz)
BMI: 34.6

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Day 13

Sadly I'm still without scales, so I can't update on my weight.

I did think, though, that I should update you on how I'm doing.

To those of you who missed my announcement, I cut (almost all) carbs out of my diet in an attempt to break my sugar addiction. The plan is that I'm going carb-less until I feel bad, and then I'm re-introduce unrefined carbs back into my diet.

Diet here being what I plan to eat for the rest of my life.

And you know what? I'm at day thirteen, almost two weeks in and I'm doing great. I had one scone over the weekend because I felt my energy dragging after a fourteen hour day on Friday (carbless, I might add.). And you know what? That one scone held me up for a ten hour active day. (Arranged flowers for a wedding. We ate lunch etc, but I skipped carbs again.)

Which I think goes to show how much unnecessary carbs I've put into my system before. I mean, if one scone on an active day is enough, six slices of bread or equivalent on non-active ones are waaaaaaaay too many.

And I'm definitely feeling the difference. I have started to up my activity levels in general (more walking, mainly), but am staying away from jogging etc. for now as at my weight, it won't be good for the joints. And on next to no carbs (I do get a few in, but unrefined and not more than about 10g as a rule.), I feel energetic and much more alert than I've felt in months.

Also, more stable. It's like I have a constant source of energy going through my entire day, instead of buzzing and crashing in cycles.

So yes, I know that my body will need carbs (it's come up in the comments multiple times), but until I'm in a condition where I can exercise enough to need them again, I'm staying away. Why? Because I feel better without them.

Anyone else changing their life-styles? How're you doing?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Nope, still didn't vanish...

Hey all! Just want to let you know that I didn't disappear on you.

Remember last year when my mother, my gran and I did the flowers for my friend's wedding? Well, one of her friends liked the arrangements so much that she asked us to do the flowers for hers as well.

So that's what I did on Friday and Saturday. (In blistering cold - okay not quite blistering - I might add.)

And on top of that, the scale I use to weigh myself has died, so I'm forced to hold off weighing myself until I get into town to buy batteries. (Ah, the joys of living on a farm.)

I will say though, that so far, things are going well. I did cheat a bit on Saturday (blaming the cold, the smell of fresh scones and the place's amazing jam for that.) However, I didn't crave any more sugars after and still don't. (Yay me!) And I'm not letting myself feel bad for a minor slip because... well, I'd spent a fourteen hour day on Friday and a ten hour one on Saturday, both mostly on my feet and lugging heavy stuff around.

Now things are getting back to normal, and I hope I'll easily get myself into some sort of routine again. I let myself slack for the first four months because of the nonsense with my publishing house, but even though it's over, I'm having difficulties with getting back into the groove.

How are you doing? Been up to anything interesting recently?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Day 7: Priorities

Sigh. Yesterday was a bit of a mess, blogging wise, so I thought I should at least put a bit of effort into today's update.

But sigh. I don't really want to because today is a week in and I'm feeling like I'm achieving nothing. Because for no reason whatsoever, I gained half a kg back from Tuesday.

Needless to say, this has me frustrated beyond measure. Right now, though, I'm sticking to my cut-out.

Why? Because I know that the weight will come off, and because I know that the weight is really a secondary consideration here.

Sure, losing weight is a great thing, and keeping track of it is the only real variable I have. But the truth is that right now my overall health is more important. And truth is that I have felt more stable, more energetic this past week than I have for months.

Will I feel like this forever with zero carbs in my diet? Probably not. But hopefully I'll be free enough from my cravings to re-introduce healthy carbs without over-eating them or without reaching for the bad stuff long before I start to feel bad. If not, I'll slowly add in healthy carbs, even though it'll slow my weight loss more. Because that would be the healthy thing to do, and therefore it's more important.

So no, I'm not starving myself of carbs forever. I'm merely breaking the chains they had over me before so that I can better control what and how much I consume in the future.

My weight, I'm sure, will follow suit regardless. But I think how well I cut off my cravings now will have an effect on how long the weight stays off.

For now, then, I will continue with my fast.

Weight: 102.3kg (225lb 8.5oz)
Total Lost: 3.4kg (7lb 7.9oz)
BMI: 35.4

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Day 5

Still craving bread etc, but it's getting easier.

Weight: 101.8 kg (224lb 6.9oz)
Total lost: 3.9 kg (8lb 9.6oz)
BMI: 35.22

Monday, May 5, 2014

A further thought on getting out of the rut.

As you might know, I've become aware of a rut that I've been living in, and am now working on getting out of it. Today I came across this video, and I think it dovetails quite nicely into this theme...


Needless to say, I'll be turning off the internet when I'm outside my home.

Weight: 102.1 kg (225lb 1.5oz)
Total Lost: 3.6 kg (8lb)
BMI: 35.33

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Day 3

Headache's mostly gone, but cravings aren't. Staying strong, though.

Weight: 102.5 kg (225lb 15.6 oz)
Total Lost: 3.2 kg (7lb 0.9 oz)
BMI: 35.47

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Day 2

Okay. Today is my second carb free day. It sucks. Right now, me body is both craving for more carbs and detoxifying, which means I'm snappish and nursing a nice, throbbing headache. That said, I've had migraines much worse that this. I can, after all, still stare at the computer screen.

That's actually why I picked to cut out on Friday. Day 1's sucky because of cravings, but Days 2 and 3 never go well, so they're best spent away from work. Hopefully I'll feel better by tomorrow already, but I'll have to see.

In the meantime, I'm drinking enough water so my system can flush out toxins faster.

Good news is that I lost 1.7 kg (3lb 12 oz) yesterday. This will mostly be water weight, as that's the first thing a body releases if you change your diet.

Hopefully I'll be getting into fat reserves in this coming week.

Weight: 104 kg (229lb 4.5 oz)
Total Lost: 1.7 kg (3lb 12 oz)
BMI: 35.99

Friday, May 2, 2014

Kicking the habit

You can't imagine how much I don't want to write this post. See... This blog is about taking charge.... of succeeding. And the point is I'm not.

My weight seems to be something I'll have to grapple with for the rest of my life. There will be no quick fix. There will be no lasting success.

And you know why? Because I have an addiction. To sugars and refined carbs. Every time I make the same mistake of thinking I can handle it when I start eating them.

Short term, I can handle things fine, but once I start, sugars keep creeping into my diet and before I know it, I have a serious problem.

Right now, you might be chuckling, but I'm dead serious. The medical community is starting to come around to the fact that sugar and refined carbs can be as addictive as smoking and alcohol. Moreover, they're becoming more aware that such an addiction is about as dangerous to our health.

We used to need rapid releases of energy back when we were running from dangerous creatures, or hunting the ones we needed to eat. In those times, refined sugars would have been perfect, and that's why our bodies react to it the way they do. Most of us crave it. All. The. Time.

Problem is that we no longer run to or from creatures. We simply don't need rapid releases from sugar anymore. On the contrary, we need slow-release carbs in our diet as that gives us better stamina to get through the day. But see... our lives are more complicated. One can argue that it's much more stressful, which means we're living under conditions somewhat similar to having to face down a sabre toothed tiger.

Every day.

So our body's response is to want sugar, because sugar gives you energy to run. To run fast. To run far. And to run RIGHT NOW.

Except... we don't. We stay seated at our desks, we power through all the stress and the resulting high-crash cycle from the sugar we consume adds to our stress. Which means...

You guessed it. More sugar.

Add to that the fact that consumption of sugar desensitizes our bodies to its effect (yup, like an alcoholic needing to drink more to get drunk)...

Yes. More sugar. And more. And more. And more.

So yes. As you can see, I get it. I know that it's dangerous. And what's even more dangerous for me is that after losing 14lb after cutting back on my consumption, I regained 18lb since that post, simply because my body isn't wanting to let go of the habit. That's a huge amount to gain in less than a month.

I can't go on like this. My body can't handle the stress of the weight I lose and gain. So this is where I go cold turkey. This is also where a ton of you will be going on about it being unhealthy to cut out carbs. But the fact is this.

There is no cutting back for me.
Cutting back only results in my weight yo-yoing.
Which is worse for my body and my health than probably anything else I can do short of eating poison.
I have diabetes and hyper-insulinism in my direct family, and already have other hormone issues, so I really DON'T need more problems.
And no, the cut-out won't be permanent. As soon as I see I really do need carbs again - which might be a while, given the amount of fat my body can use instead - I will re-introduce them to my diet the healthy way. In other words, next to nothing refined.

But first, I need to kick this habit, and this time I hope that it'll be permanent. An in order to keep myself on track, I'll be posting daily updates, at least at the end of every post I do. I will try to post more than weight loss, in case you're wondering, but right now, this is the biggest priority when it comes to me controlling my life.

Weight Today: 105.7 KG (233 lb, 0.5 oz)
BMI: 36.57