Monday, July 22, 2019

07/22/2019 - 35 years

Well...here I am...

Still plugging away...Hubster and I just celebrated our 35th anniversary!

It's hard to believe we've been married that long.  I look at him and still see the same man I married...and then I look at the pictures.  Funny thing, I asked him if I still looked the same to him; he said I did.  I've hidden all the pictures now.  Just in case...lol

Anywho - we're so busy all the time we decided to stay close to home and go fly fishing.  We stayed at a really nice lodge with all the amenities and a guide (who did all the rowing!)  It was tons of fun.




Healthwise, things are going well.  During our little getaway, I splurged a bit.  However, I didn't go off the rails either - it was pretty much moderation all the way.  One interesting thing was that this was an inclusive package we had, so all our meals were included - even lunches on the river were packed for us though I had no clue ahead of time what they were going to be.  One day it was ahi tuna on a bed of salad; the next day, it was a huge turkey (real turkey sandwich).  There was fruit, some other salad type of thing, a few pieces of candy, some sort of fruit bar, and a bag of chips.  Each day, I ate the main thing, the salad thing, and the tiny candy thing (the splurge!) - and that was it - no chips, no fruit bar, no other junk.  I can honestly say there was no desire.  I was pretty happy about that too. 

When we got back and I weighed the morning, the scale was up three pounds, but it was the alcohol, the increased carbs since I did have dessert three nights in a row, and that damned Diet Coke.  I think one thing that made the difference is that it was really quality food in realistic serving sizes.  For instance, one dessert was a chocolate tart/torte and was no more an inch at its widest part.  The ice cream scoop was the size of a golf ball.  It was good, I was full and satisfied.  There was also very little...read NO...snacking between meals for me.  We were too busy fishing.

But today, I'm back on track and I'm good.  No residual issues or hankerings.  I'm thinking there really is something to this feast/fast thing.

Anyway, I don't post often, but wish I did.  I'm sticking with it!

Onward!



Sunday, June 2, 2019

06/02/2019 - Still here

Well...here I am...

I'm still here plugging along.  It's unbelievable how busy life gets, yannow.

Work, as usual, is nonstop with longer hours than usual.  Relative to my health and weight loss endeavors, I would say it's been a win.

When I last posted, I was going to switch my fasting to the OMAD regime where you eat...you guessed it...one meal a day.  The issue with one meal a day and I believe this is what's happened to me is that my weight loss has slowed because I'm NOT EATING ENOUGH.  From what I've read, it's not necessarily.  Right now I'm down between 34-36 pounds.  So slow over the last month, but still less than before.

For 2 of the weeks since I last posted, I was in two separate week-long meetings with national and international visitors that went from breakfast through dinner.  Eating and drinking was part of the agenda it seemed.  The thing that I found wonderful about it all is that I was able to make good food choices in the various situations and, believe me, there were several times it was taxing.  Dinner with colleagues after an already long day can be stressful.  Anyway, while I didn't show a weight loss, I didn't have a weight gain either.  That's a win.

So, I'm switching to alternate day fasting.  I'll continue to skip breakfast each day, but will keep my coffee with the heavy cream.  At this point, I plan to fast just 2 days a week - basically the long fast I had before broken up over the course of the week.

Folks have been commenting on the weight loss.  Women at work come to my office for one reason or other and then invariably ask me what I'm doing to lose the weight.  It always sparks a great conversation.  For the most part, I've not encountered any naysayers.  I just try to make sure that folks understand that you do have to keep your electrolytes in check.

Relative to my nutrition, I've been looking at my protein sources and I want to introduce some plant-based protein sources into my diet.  It seems they've been villified for so long, but I'm learning and trying to get over some of my bias and optimize my health and nutrition.  I honestly think this is a hormonal issue for me and not just a calories in/calories out deal.

The ups and downs I encounter are still reasonable and manageable; I'm not letting them become mountains and abysses (I liked that in my last post).  The choice becomes much easier when it's eat/don't eat I think.  I'm glad I found Dr. Jason Fung and his fasting philosophy.  It's working for a lot of people relative to their Type 2 diabetes and weight loss is a just a happy consequence.  I'm not a diabetic, but I do need to get this weight off permanently. 

I would love to blog more, but I'm not sure lots of folks check in anymore.  I just want to remember where I'm at at this moments in time on this journey.

Onward!

Friday, April 12, 2019

04/12/2019

Well...here I am...

Still plugging along and moving in a forward direction.

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday - I'm down a total of 32 lbs.  The doctor is happy with it and I'm happy with it.  Everything is not perfect, but I think I'm learning my way to getting this weight off and being healthy for the rest of my life.  I appreciate Dr. Jason Fung's approach of fast follows feast follows fast.  And no - it doesn't lead to an eating disorder.

I'm still fasting, but I've switched up the fasting schedule.  Previously, I would fast from Sunday evening to Wednesday noon with regular meals after that.  I would always have coffee with cream in the mornings regardless.  That worked quite well and lead to good weight loss, good blood work, and a host of other good things.  The frustration for me came from daily weigh-ins, which is something I need to do.  It was becoming frustrating to only realize a real weight loss over the course of a week due to water weight after breaking a fast.

So I changed my fasting schedule.  Now, I do one LARGE meal a day on most days, one day total fast, and one or two days with two meals a day. My total caloric intake is about 1200 calories or more a day.  If I must have something during a fast, I'll have a fat - a few almonds, a small slice of avocado, etc., something that won't illicit either a glucose or insulin response.  This is more manageable for my lifestyle and still allows me to get the weight off.  My overall nutrition scheme is still fibrous veggies, moderate protein, and good quality fats.  I've also removed added sugar from my nutritional scheme and I feel so much better.  On a side note, my joints stopped hurting and I don't ever feel sluggish after I eat.

And yes, it is a high fat diet, but it's good fats - avocados, nuts, olive oils, etc.

I've also had a few interesting situations lately that have given me some real "lessons learned" (to borrow from work) to remember and both deal with eating at home versus dining out.

The first is that I'd much have people over to our house so that I can control the menu.  Last weekend, we invited a couple over for dinner and they were going to bring the dessert.  This was fine with me because they always bring the same dessert, which isn't a hot sugary mess.  Well - not so this time.  They ran out of time and brought a disastrous concoction from a local bakery.  I had the smallest slice possible.  And seriously, I felt like complete shit the next day.  So did hubster.  He's been following along with me by proxy (and has lost weight as well!)  We didn't even get out of bed until after NOON!  I haven't done that in more than 20 years!!!  I felt like I had been hit by truck - sluggish and just all around yucky.  The lesson learned here is that I will also provide the desserts from now on.  I've taken to baking with nut flours; I get plenty of compliments on my dessert adaptations.

The second lesson is that hubster and I rarely eat out anymore - mostly because we don't live in town and have to drive in to town to get to go to a restaurant and don't pass any on the way home from work.  This past week, we decided to go to town and try a restaurant.  It seems that eating out can be difficult, but on the appetizer menu, I found a roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower dish that had bacon bits, feta, and olive oil throughout that sounded scrumptious!  That along with a side of grilled chicken made for a delicious meal.  I was able to maintain my nutritional scheme with minimal effort - I was pretty happy with myself.  That lesson was pretty much an internal lesson, but a lesson all the same. 

Life is forever busy it seems, but for now at least, things are moving in a forward direction and I'm able to keep the ups and downs from becoming mountains and abysses by maintaining a realistic frame of mind.

Onward!



Friday, March 1, 2019

03/01/2019

Well...here I am...

There's been an awful lot of stress since that last post; however, I feel I managed it well.

Our kids came home and we skedaddled over to the Elk Refuge in Jackson near the Grand Tetons - we got some incredible shots.  In all, I think we saw about 7000 head.  It was a fun time and we had an awesome family weekend.


One thing about family time is that I've gotten used to not having the kids around so I was a bit concerned that some of the good habits I've adopted would be challenged.  Didn't happen.  They all drank alcohol - I didn't.  They wanted crazy foods, I didn't partake, but got my own instead.  Interesting though at the end of the weekend, the scale was up a bit.  However, I think it was because we were eating out, and though I ate well, there were some processed foods.

Stress at work was EXPLOSIVE for me this week and even interrupted my vacation last week.  For the past several years, I've carried two job titles; however, I abruptly resigned from one this week because I'm just tired of the bias and bullshit.  It's not loss in pay; just less bullshit.  I made a pact with myself at the beginning of the year that I was going to actively deal with stress this year because I think that is part of my weight issue.  So - I'm actually glad to be done with it.

Also had my doctor's appointment on Thursday.  It was a great appointment.  I really like this doctor a bunch - I wish everyone could have a doctor like him because he partners with you.  In any event, I'm down 15 lbs EXACTLY since January 17.  He's was initially concerned that's too much, but once we started looking at it, it's averaging two pounds a week - we're both good with that.  I think much of the success goes to my actively working on sleep and the WEEKLY fasting.  My nightly sleep average has almost doubled over the last three months.

The doctor likes my fasting approach.  He's pretty adamant about no longer than 72 hours.  Fortunately, I agree with him.  In the back of this brain of mine, I'm starting to formulate some real opinions about what is going to be best for me about getting this weight off for good relative to nutrition.  OH!  This reminds me of one of our conversations.  I told him that my thought process had switched from thinking in terms of calories to thinking in terms of energy requirements.  He was so funny - it was like a light went off.  That led to the conversation about optimum nutrition.  We tend to agree on the profile - lower protein, higher fats (but quality fats), high fiber carbs, and no added sugar.  While we didn't discuss it, for me I will add, no added sugar and minimal grain.

The best thing about the doctor's visit was the bloodwork - it's all good.  Last year, I was feeling desperate and a friend of mine referred me to a functional medicine doctor who was basically a quack - UV blood irradiation, vaginal ozone, and all that shit.  In any event, he did a crap ton of blood work, sent it to a lab in California, don't know why they couldn't send it to a lab closer to home, and the results came back with all sorts of horrible results.  Basically, my testosterone was through the roof, I had Stage 2 kidney disease, and signs of a myriad of autoimmune diseases.  When I brought those results to my *real* doctor, he didn't believe the results.  The first thing he said yesterday when he handed me the results was, "Notice anything?"  Well yeah.  The testosterone dropped from 402 to 25.  All of my kidney function is fine (I only have one kidney due to previous kidney cancer.) . We measured my A1C for the first time ever - no evidence of diabetes.  We think that the results got mixed up with another patient or else it wasn't a reputable lab.

I have another doctor's appointment on 4/11.  He and I have agreed on 6-week checkups while I'm doing these fasts to ensure things continue to go well.  I also want to maintain some accountability.

One thing to mention that might be useful for the passersby.  I've found a wonderful app called Happy Scale.  You can log your weight or it will pull your weight in from other the Health app if you have an iPhone.  It will breakup your total weight loss goal into 10 smaller goals, give you an estimated timeframe based on how quickly YOU say you want to lose, tell you how quickly you're going to get there based on how quickly you're actually losing, gives you weekly, monthly, and yearly weight loss charts, running averages, etc.  For me, it's the best visual I've ever come across.  I used to maintain something similar myself.  It sounds a little silly perhaps, but it's a bit motivating to me.  And no, they have no idea who I am - it's just a useful app for me.

Hubster has been on travel all week and gets home today - I'll be happy to see him.


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

02/21/2019

Well...here I am...

Just a short note.  Came off a fast today - it went well.  Our kids have come home for a very delayed Christmas.  We plan to go over to the Elk Refuge outside of Jackson Hole.  It should be fun.  I know I need a few days off from work.

I had some bloodwork done today.  I have a doctor's appointment next week and I'm eager to see what the progress that's been made.

It's a cold and snowy time here, but it sure is beautiful.  My head is full of a ton of thoughts today - fortunately none of them are centered around weight or food.  I was glad when I realized that.

That's about it.

Friday, February 15, 2019

02/15/2019

Well...here I am...

Things are good.  I think about all the things I'd like to write about, but I rarely have the time to actually stop and write.  Life has been busy.

However, the scale has been steadily going down - in the 280s - so I'm happy with that.  I had an awesome discussion with my doctor in early January.  We both agree that intermittent fasting, good food, and good sleep is the way to go.  We also agreed to appointments every 6 weeks.  So far, so good.

I've changed my focus in a variety of ways.  Don't get me wrong - it's still a work in progress, but I feel I'm making REAL progress.

First - I'm working really, REALLY hard to make sure I'm in bed LIGHTS OUT by 9 pm so I can try to get 7 hours of sleep since my alarm goes off at 4:15.  I've even started wearing an eye mask to ensure I'm not disturbed by hubster reading or turning on lights.  To help fall asleep, I read up on melatonin and discovered that the majority of folks take WAY too much of it.  Recommended dosage for folks over 50 is only 0.33 milligrams!!!  So I cut a 1 mg pill into thirds as best I can.  Finally, I stop drinking caffeine around 2 pm.  These three things are helping me to fall sleep and stay asleep.  And I think the sleep is helping me to lose some weight.  Seriously.

Second - Intermittent Fasting or Time-Restricted Eating.  I'm doing a modified version of this.  One time a week, I will fast for 42 hours - from the end of an evening meal through the next day through to lunch the following day.  On all other days, I eat between noon-12:30 (or so) and 7 pm.  Now the biggest kink in this is that I am drinking my coffee with half and half and stevia each morning.  Some diehard fasters would say, "well then, you're not fasting..."  Whatever.  The half and half raises neither glucose nor insulin; and I don't believe the stevia has that much of an effect either and my doctor agrees.  This is what is working for me as I make my way through this process.

Third - I'm trying to eat good healthy food without losing my shit over what I'm eating.  I'm not counting calories at all, but am keeping it to things that aren't processed as much as possible.  I'm not freaking when I eat potatoes, but I'm minimizing them and enjoying them.

Fourth - Hubster and I are working hard to de-stress.  Hubster had a heart scare that scared the bejeesus out of both of us.  I've loved that man for close to 40 years and we are not ready to lose each other.  We both have extremely demanding jobs that require long hours and lots of attention.  We are learning what the word "delegate" means.

The biggest thing I'm noticing is that there are no huge scale fluctuations - up/down/up/down - with a downward trend.  And as I said earlier, I can't help but think that the better sleep is helping with the weight loss.