Thursday, January 31, 2013


Damn Atkins is making me crave things.  All I want is sweets and breads and anything that's a carb.

I'm not having them though.

I'm staying strong.  For the most part.

I'm prescribing to the idea of 90/10 - 90% of the time is hardcore Atkins and 10% of the time I can splurge.  For example, I had some brown rice this week at Chipotle.  But, I didn't have beans or the tortilla, and I had the lowest-carb salsa (medium in case you're wondering). 

Tomorrow night I might allow myself some carbs; it depends how my weigh-in goes in the morning.  I have an excel graph where I've plotted out how I envision my weight loss trajectory going in a healthy way that has all of my weight lost by this time next year.  Obviously, it would be better if it were quicker, but I'll be so happy to lose anything, I'm okay keeping at it for one year.  I'm on track for where I wanted to be at the end of January.

My goal is to be at 220 by my graduation in May.  It's a little extreme, but so is this diet.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Day 1

Seven months ago I wrote this.

Seven months ago I thought my life was beginning.

Seven months ago I would have said in seven months I'll be so much closer to reaching my goal.

To being healthy.

In seven months I have accomplished nothing.

I tried.  I worked my ass off all summer.  For nothing.  I'm embarrassed to read some old blog posts talking about how much I was at the gym.  About how many hours I was working out.  About how heavy the weights were that I was lifting.  But it was difficult to keep up with that when the school year started and I was seeing no changes on the scale.  So I stopped.

This week I've been to the gym twice.  I have plans to go 3 times next week.  I'm not going to kill myself overdoing it, especially because of the next step of my plan.

I'm going full-blown Atkins.

My last post said I was waiting, waiting for an answer from doctors.  I have my answer.  Insulin resistance.  Otherwise known as metabolic syndrome.

On one hand, I'm glad to know I'm not crazy.  I'm glad to know that the reason I haven't lost weight doing the right things is because it's 5x harder for me to lose weight than a "normal" person.  And because of that I can't just do things the right way most of the time, it has to be the right way 100% of the time and then some.

On the other hand?  It's another diagnosis and I've been prescribed more meds to take because my blood sugar levels are too high.  I don't have prediabetes, but it's dangerously close.  If I don't get this under control, the next step is prediabetes followed by Type 2 diabetes.

I realized today while I was in bed thinking before I got up that a diagnosis of diabetes means never again will I have freedom eating what I want to.  Every food decision I make will be clouded by the fact that I have diabetes.  Insulin resistance is completely reversible through exercise and weight loss.  It's possible my body really doesn't tolerate carbohydrates well; maybe I will never be able to eat carbs again without spiking my blood sugar and worrying about what it will do to my body.  But if I am healthy, if I don't have insulin resistance, I can splurge once in a while.  I can go out with friends and eat what I want to, as long as I am careful the rest of the week.  I could have ice cream without doing dangerous things to my body.  I wouldn't have to be 100% careful 100% of the time.

I love food.  I love good food.  I love trying new things and going to good restaurants or cooking good food.  I don't want to have to worry every minute of every day about what I'm eating.  I want the freedom that comes with being healthy; so for now I'm willing to sacrifice that freedom.

The doctors recommended I go on a low carb diet.  They're sending me information in the mail about exactly what they want me to do.  However...  I do everything to the extreme.  If my problem is carbohydrates; that my body can't convert them to energy without spiking my blood sugar which in turn causes weight gain, then why don't I just cut carbs all together?

Atkins is hard core.  For phase 1 (which I'm planning on extending from 2 weeks to 4 weeks (or maybe longer) to maximize weight loss), I don't get fruit, startchy vegetables, or any grains.  I'm supposed to eat around 20 grams of "net-carbs" a day (fiber doesn't count).  What I'm quickly finding out, is that everything has carbohydrates.  I'm allowed to eat a lot of protein and basically as many veggies as I can (8 cups a day between salads and cooked veggies).  I went shopping with Owen yesterday and stocked my fridge with all sorts of non-startchy vegetables (fennel, zucchini, green beans, lettuce, radishes, squash...) and lots of proteins.  I can have cheese in small amounts, and if there is one thing that rivals my love of really good bread.  It's really good cheese.  I think Owen and I may venture to Trader Joe's one day to check out their cheese selection.  If I have to give up bread, I'm going to enjoy my cheese.

I'm a good cook.  In fact, were things different in my life (no "calling" to be a special ed teacher and no Owen), I think I would have ended up in culinary school.  I may love good bread and sweets, but I trust in my ability to make a meal from just a protein source and veggies.  I love eating vegetables, and I am going to use this time on Atkins to explore different vegetables and different ways of cooking them.  I know I can cook and I know I can cook vegetables in a way that I will want to eat them.  But I also bought an Atkins cookbook because I have never consciously cooked low-carb in my life.  Once I run out of what I know, I know I will be happy to have some inspiration for new meal and snack ideas.

Day 1 on Atkins (aka: the day my life really begins): 265 pounds.  110 to go.

Breakfast: super cheesy scrambled eggs with a smidge of sour cream.  3 eggs with 2 oz of cheese; I think tomorrow I will try with just 1 oz of cheese (I only get 4 oz a day).

Lunch: 2 small hamburgers with cheddar & pepperjack cheese (1/2 oz of cheese on each) & salad (dressed with olive oil, half a lemon, and parmesan cheese).  I also had some club soda with the leftover lemon; the meds the doctors have me on are making me nauseous.  (My salad ended up being my afternoon snack as the meds I took right before lunch made me so nauseous I didn't want to eat for a while.)

Dinner: pan fried green beans (with garlic & lemon) and steak with olive tapenade.  Yum! 

I'm having more club soda (with lemon) now as a preventative to settle my stomach as I had to take the second pill after dinner.  There's no rhubarb in the stores now; I forgot to check the freezer section in the store.  If I can find rhubarb, I can cook it down - Atkins says with artificial sweetener, I'll probably use honey or agave because I don't like eating the artificial stuff - and eat it with heavy cream for "dessert".

Day 1 was a success!  Here's to.... a lot more.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I am still waiting to hear back from the doctor on the results of my lab work.  They are suspicious of two things:

1) Insulin resistance - it's basically pre-pre-diabetes.  There wouldn't be anything medically to do in this case; but it would be helpful to know if I am insulin resistant.  This would mean it would be 5x harder for me to lose weight than an "average" person; so for every 2 pounds I lose, someone putting in just as much work would lose 10.  Another way of looking at it would be that for every one month somebody puts into losing weight, it would take me 5 months to lose the same amount of weight.  Sucks, right?  But at least I would know that the fight I am in for would be that much harder.  I would know that to see big numbers I would have to wait 5 or 10 months instead of 1 or 2.  It would suck, but knowing that this is what I am up against would help.

2) Some kind of thyroid problem.  I'm predisposed to thyroid problems as they run in my family (and while they aren't genetic in the way that they are passed down, if somebody in your family has a thyroid disorder it means that your genetics are such that you are more likely to have a similar disorder).  This would be good news in the way that it could help with my weight loss, but it would likely mean a lifetime of medications.

or 3) A combination of both things.

I should have heard back from the doctor last week, but still no answers.  I am calling (again) tomorrow morning, hoping that somebody somewhere has answers.

My weight has been fluctuating between 267 and 269 for the past few weeks.  Back to the gym tomorrow now that my schedule is figured out and my health is under control.  I figure it is better to start working on good habits now, even if I don't know what the doctors know yet.

Waiting, waiting, waiting...