Senin, 29 Februari 2016

Everyone asks me how the kids are doing. And I dont know how to answer.

Ive noticed they are so very resilient, and have done very well during this time of adversity. But each kid grieves differently, even in our family I have noticed many differences between all four children. The older kids understand more than the baby does, they know he cant come back, but they are hurting too. They write in their journals about how they miss him. They write memories, but its so sad. I hate seeing them cry because it just breaks my heart. Going back to school has really helped them though I think because they get to be with their friends. They crave normality, they want to play, run, jump, learn, and just be at school. This is also why I am trying to keep us busy. Were doing more things together. Today we went to a Halloween Party, and bought a new video to watch tonight. Tomorrow a friend is taking us to Chuck E. Cheeses and then were going to a Halloween thing at the local book store.

I think what has really helped us through these last couple weeks is that my husband was gone all the time, so we were used to day to day life without him. They talked to their dad on the phone, and we saw him every 7 weeks or so. He was always home for a week, week and a half, and then gone again.

But with the youngest, she doesnt quite realize what has happened. She was a total daddys girl, and ADORES her daddy. Yes I say adores, because she still does. She knows something is up though, and we have talked about it, and how daddy died. Today she asked my why he died. It hurts my heart to have to tell her over and over why Daddy died. In many ways she is so lucky because she wont remember the pain of losing him, but she cries for him every. single. day. It breaks my heart! I am just sick that she wont remember him though, and that all we have are videos and pictures, and OUR memories to share with her. How is she going to remember him at only 3.5? Its so unfair.

It hurts my heart, breaks my heart, and tears it apart to know that the kids have to grow up without their daddy. He loved them so much, he was so proud of them. And now they dont have him.

How am I going to teach the kids what their dad wanted to teach them? How do I step up and be mommy and daddy? Especially with the boy, how can I provide for him what he needs in a father? And the girls, they need a father figure too...but I just dont know what to do about that. I am thankful to have a wonderful brother who can be in their lives, but sometimes an Uncle just isnt enough. They need and deserve more.

I wish I could do it all for them, but I just dont know that I can give them all they need. I dont know how!

Why does it seem like everything has to be a blessing in disguise? Like the fact that I never took the kids to the hospital to see him before he died, so now all their memories are happy ones. Or that the baby is young enough to not remember how painful it was to lose him. Or the fact that when we purchased our van, we got that special life insurance on it *just in case*.


Edited To Add:
I wrote this post Friday night, but decided not to post it till Sunday.
Glad I decided to wait, because I have updates as of Saturday night.

Things I have noticed....regression in the 3.5 year old. She is sucking her thumb again and acting like more of a baby. She cries at the drop of a hat. And she is very antagonistic with her siblings. She just wont leave them alone! I think she needs some extra TLC, which I am totally OK with. Her and I have some fun activities planned for this week, including two story times at the library and a trip to the pumpkin patch.

And I found our oldest two girls crying in bed tonight after I tucked them in. I didnt want to disturb them, but I went in there and talked to them anyway. I started to cry as well with them, I wish I could just take the pain away for all of us. The oldest girl I knew would have a really hard time with it, and I was right. she was saying how much she missed her daddy. *sigh*

And there has been a LOT more fighting and bickering amongst the children. All of our fuses are short, but they just cant help themselves. Im constantly hearing tattling, whining, screaming, and fighting from them. All the time. I dont have time right now, I am so busy still trying to close up Barrys estate, but I will be looking into counseling for them and SOON. I think we really do need it and soon. Ive been given some recommendations by some friends of mine, especially about groups for kids only. There is also a 6 week course held at the hospital that started on October 7th that I wanted to go to, but it wasnt the right time. It starts again after Christmas, so I am going to register myself for that.

I wrote yesterday about how I was afraid to think about him. Tonight I made myself do something. I looked at some pictures, kissed them, told him I loved him. I listened to the music I had played at his memorial service. One song in particular is so etched in my mind that I can recall exactly what I was doing at that time. I was walking up to give my "speech" about Barry, and then I stopped right before I got to the podium to look at his face. Some of my friends were right though, I do need to look at the pictures and remember. I cant deny myself the pain. And you know what? I do feel a bit better. I cant handle it for long periods...I got about a half hour in tonight before it started to get to me. But hey, at half hour is a half hour, right? One thing I know I cant do right now is listen to his voice. Thats not something Im ready for. But at least I can look at his pictures once in awhile without being desperately afraid to do so.
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Guess its time I get on this eh? I cant forget to write about the trip as we came back TWO weeks ago!!! I cant believe its already been two weeks, time goes by so incredibly fast.

We packed SO much into that trip, and thankfully I had the foresight to bring a pedometer with me.  A couple of the days we walked 10 miles.  yes. 10 miles.  I had sore feet most days, and put the kids to work giving me foot massages.

Day two was October 8th, so Es 8th birthday!! That day we went to Epcot, and walked. walked. walked. and walked some more.  It wasnt quite the traditional birthday for her, but seeing as were going with that trend the last two years, we may as well keep up with it I guess.

Now, if you havent been to Epcot, you dont know how big it is.  Its massive, like bigger than all the lands in Magic Kingdom massive.  There are two "worlds", Future World and the World Showcase.  We started off in Future world where we did a character meet and greet with Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Donald and Goofy.  That took up quite a bit of time, as we had autographs and what not to get as well.

After that, it was time to haul ass over to Epcots "Norway", as we had lunch reservations at Akershus to have lunch with the Disney Princesses as a special treat for Es birthday.  We were early, so we did a bit of poking around Norway, rode Malestrom (really lame boat ride), and found a cute little gift shop.  I was in heaven here, because they had my IKEA COOKIES!!!! haha.  I stock up on those cookies every time the kids and I head to Ikea (an hour north of us), and we hadnt had them in awhile, so I forked over a few bucks for that.

Lunch with the Princesses was a lot of fun, albeit very expensive.  We got a ton of food, and I had mentioned to them before hand when were being seated, that it was Es birthday.  After lunch, they gave her a special birthday cupcake and we all sang Happy Birthday to her.  The food at Akershus wasnt too bad I suppose, I enjoyed it, but the kids didnt love it too much.  We were there more to meet the Princesses anyway, and we did! Part of the package is getting photos taken, so when we were ushered in, we had personal photos taken with Belle.  They treated us well there, as we got a family photo package (8x10, 4 4x6), AND E got a photo pkg with just her and Belle (same amount of photos as I just mentioned).   During the lunch, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White and Ariel came around to the tables (they staggered the princesses, so each princess went to each table), and did autographs and pictures with the kids.  I have a ton of pictures.  I really enjoyed this part, as seeing the kids face light up with each new princess was priceless.  They got to actually talk to and personally interact with them, not like normal meet and greets.  The princesses interact with the kids, talk to them, take pictures....that alone is worth the cost of the lunch.

After  lunch, Im pretty sure we went all the way around World Showcase. For some reason my memory of that part of the day is foggy, I should ask the kids.  Honestly, Epcot World Showcase was pretty boring for the most part. We didnt see any of the "shows" inside the countries, but just looked around, took pictures etc etc.  My favorite was Germany, as was the kids I think, because they got their Giant Gummy Bears.  Which are disgusting by the way.  Now, normally I love gummy bears, but these tasted like pure crap.  I liked Canada, but I was very disappointed how my home country was represented. Tres Boring! The shop had smarties and wunderbars, and I so wanted to, but I wasnt about to spend $3+ dollars for a box of smarties.  We went to the UK section and met Pooh and Tigger!!  That was really fun, as theyre pretty much our favorite characters.  We also saw "The British Invasion" perform a few Beatles songs, and they were pretty awesome!

Sugar Ray was supposed to be performing at Epcot that day, but we didnt stay because it was packed due to it being the Food and Wine expo.  After seeing all the countries, we did some of the other stuff in Future World.  We did LOVE Spaceship Earth, we rode that a couple times.  It was awesome.  We missed Soarin and Test Track (more on that another day) though, but did most of everything else.  We did NOT stay for the fireworks. I was bummed out about that, but at Epcot you NEED to get a good seat, and I was not in the position with four kids by myself, to sit and hold our spot for almost two hours.  So we left after dinner and went back to the hotel.

That was a long tiring day, one of our most tiring actually, and I cant remember the little details about it.  My feet were positively aching by the time I sat down on my bed in the hotel.   Next ReCap, Ill cover October 9th (Animal Kingdom), the 10th, and the 11th.  I dont think I could possibly write about all that now, there is just so much to say and remember.
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Since I only started Nutritional Ketosis again four days ago, I just want to post this update and talk about how I will eat in this coming week.

On the first day - July 15, 2015 - I did a full days monitoring of my blood sugar, to get a baseline for the future.  Here are the results:

(click chart to enlarge)

As you can see, my average blood glucose for the day was only 79, which is great, and the highest it went all day, even after eating, was only 90.  Well within optimal range!  I also added a chart above that shows what I ate at each meal, so I can see how the macros of fat, protein and carbs impacted my blood glucose.  The levels that I ate on this particular day did not cause any problems.

Here is what I actually ate on that day:

(click chart to enlarge)

So food is good, blood glucose is good, but what happened to my body composition in the past four days?

July 15, 2015
Neck - 12"
Bust - 36"
Waist - 31.75"
Belly - 39.75"
Hips - 40.25"
Thigh - 22.5"
Calf - 14.25"
Scale weight - 146.2 pounds
Body fat - 52.7 pounds - 36%
Lean mass - 93.5 pounds - 64%

July 19, 2015
Neck - 12"
Bust - 36"
Waist - 31.625"
Belly - 39.5"
Hips - 40.125"
Thigh - 22.25"
Calf - 14.125"
Scale weight - 144.4 pounds
Body fat - 51.6 pounds - 35.8%
Lean mass - 92.8 pounds - 64.2%

In the past four days, I have lost 1.1 pounds of body fat, but I have also lost 0.7 pounds of lean mass.  I would rather have lost less weight on the scale in order to have not lost muscle.  This muscle loss came after eating only 66 grams of protein for the day.  I was basically having only Bulletproof Coffee for one meal and splitting my protein allowance for the day between the other two meals.

The reason for partitioning my macros this way is to make sure that I am eating at least 30 grams of complete protein at each of my two main meals.  The idea for this came from Dr. Donald Layman, PhD.  In this video, Dr. Layman explains why it is necessary to eat at least 30 grams of protein at each meal in order to achieve protein synthesis.  Dr. Layman says that it is necessary to eat three meals per day, with at least 30 grams of protein at each meal, but I am questioning if this is a good idea for a Type 2 Diabetic.  Most of the ketogenic diabetes blogs I am following say to eat much less than 90 grams of protein per day to keep high blood sugar at bay.  So I am going to experiment on myself with a new n=1.  I am going to "sneak up" to eating more protein at each meal, until I get up to the 90 grams of complete protein (this would be protein that contains all the essential amino acids, but not the protein that comes as part of the vegetables that I eat, which are incomplete proteins), or until my blood glucose starts increasing, whichever comes first.  So here is my plan for this coming week:

Breakfast (Bulletproof Coffee with whey protein isolate):
437 calories
43.5g fat (89.7%)
10.7g protein (9.8%) of which 10g are complete protein
0.6g net carbs (0.6%)

For lunch and dinner, I will eat whole foods.  For each of these two meals, I will budget 30g of complete protein, plus whatever small amounts of incomplete protein are contained in vegetables.

I will budget no more than 5g of net carbs for each meal.  If I fall short on carbs at lunch, I will not try to make it up at dinner.

As far as fat goes, I am a little on the fence about it.  Part of me thinks that I should hold the fat low in order for my body fat to get burned, and part of me thinks that I should keep fat higher, to make my food more palatable, and to keep more in line with a true ketogenic diet.  Two schools of thought.  Looking back at my old food and weight loss logs, I see that having more fat did not stop weight loss or muscle gain, so I am not going to restrict fat.  I am also not going to force fat in order to get it up to a certain percentage of my food intake.

What I am going to do is eat the amount of fat that seems right for each meal, and let the grams fall where they may.  For instance, I am having quite a bit of fat at breakfast.  If I eat a salad with protein for lunch, I will add enough oil in my homemade salad dressing to balance the apple cider vinegar I use.  That seems to be about 4-1/2 teaspoons of oil for the 4-1/2 teaspoon of vinegar.  If I eat protein with a cooked vegetable, I will use a tablespoon of fat of some kind on my meat, and another tablespoon on my vegetables.  For "dessert", I will treat myself to one of my fat bombs, which is one of the recipes I contributed to "The Fat Fast Cookbook".  (shameless plug)

Lunch (green salad with homemade dressing and some sort of protein):
560 calories
43.9g fat (70.6%)
36.1g protein (25.8%) of which 30g are complete protein
5g net carbs (3.6%)

Dinner (cooked protein and vegetables with butter, oil, lard, etc.):
621 calories
52.2g fat (75.6%)
32.8g protein (21.1%) of which 30g are complete protein
5g net carbs (3.2%)

The total for the day, based on this example:

1618 calories
139.7g fat (77.7%)
79.5g protein (19.7%) of which 70g are complete protein
10.7g net carbs (2.7%)

(Edit at the end of the day)  Here is a chart to show how I ate today and how it affected my blood glucose, which is not much!

(click to enlarge)

My plan for the future is to try to keep increasing protein each week.

Week 1:  70g of complete protein (10 breakfast, 30 lunch, 30 dinner)
Week 2:  80g of complete protein (20 breakfast, 30 lunch, 30 dinner)
Week 3:  90g of complete protein (30 breakfast, 30 lunch, 30 dinner)

By the time I get to Week 3, I should be up to the 30g of complete protein per meal that Dr. Layman recommends that I eat.  It remains to be seen if my blood glucose will stay under control doing this.

Oh, I almost forgot...


As soon as I started eating this way, I noticed that the only time I am hungry is first thing in the morning on the days I have to get up at 4 am but do not have breakfast until 8 am.  Why do I wait to eat?  Because I just cant eat a full breakfast before dawn, and if I did, it would mean getting up even earlier that 4 am to prepare and eat before leaving for work at 5 am.  Not only that, but I am not able to have lunch until I get home around 1:30 pm, and if I ate at 4 am, there would be a 9-1/2 hour break before lunch.  So, I have a cup of broth at 6 am at work, then have a cup of coffee at 7 am, then eat the breakfast I brought from home at 8 am.

Calorie reduction makes me hungry.  This way of eating suppresses hunger.  On the four days a week that I do not leave the house to go to work, I eat around 8 am, 1 pm and 6 pm.  I do not snack at all in between, and I am never hungry.  Being in a state of ketosis will do that for you!

Ill try to post again in a week to let you know how it went for the week.

Thanks for reading!

This photo, by the way, was taken by my wonderful husband on our 40th Wedding Anniversary on October 27, 2014.

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Minggu, 28 Februari 2016

Ive always been interested in photography from a young age.  When I was 12, my parents bought me my first camera for Christmas, which I had for years.  Ive had various cameras since then, and a few years ago finally got a good digital camera.  That was my Canon SD1000 Power Shot.

I had bugged Barry for years because I always wanted a DSLR, but he would never let me spend the money on one.  It irritated me to no avail, so the first thing I bought when he died was a Canon Rebel XS DSLR camera, which I absolutely loved.  I felt like such a rebel when I did that.  I had that camera until this past February, when I was at Best Buy with my dad, and traded in that one for the newest Canon EOS 60D.  My dad paid me for my Rebel, and I used that to help pay for this camera.

Since Ive had the DSLRs, Ive fooled around with photography, and have taken some really amazing photos.  I had a friend over a few weeks ago, and snapped this photo of her 6 month old son.

Ive gotten some really great feedback on the photo, and was just nominated for Photo of The Week on  Even if I dont get photo of the week, I feel such a sense of accomplishment.  I am proud of myself for taking such a great photo.  I absolutely LOVE it!

If you dont mind, take a peek at the photo and vote if you can :) Id really appreciate it, even if you have to become a member, I would be really happy if you could.

Thanks so much everyone!!
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Can you guess where Im headed with this?

M I C K E Y M O U S E!!!

The kids and I need to get away. We need a distraction from life in general, where we can just focus on having FUN, and doing exciting things. We need something to look forward to.

Honestly, I was seriously considering going the Europe route. Barry and I always wanted to take the kids back when they were older. Id love to do that now, but honestly, I dont think that the kids would enjoy it very much. And A being dragged around London and Paris and Germany at 4 years old? no thanks. Thats a melt down waiting to happen. As much as I would love, love, LOVE to do that, I just cant right now. The kids wouldnt appreciate it as much as I would like them too, so that will be on hold for a few years. That way I can also ask my nomadic brother to come with us. Ill want to take the kids to all of our old haunts in Germany, see as much of England/Ireland/Scotland that we can, and also go to France and maybe even Prague. So you can see why that will be hard with all the kids, at this age especially.

So Disneyland it shall be. I cant go during May, because thats when the kids have their WASL testing. Our spring break isnt until the first week in April, but Im thinking Disneyland will be too busy then. So my other options are between the 22nd and 26th of March, not including weekends (Early release week because of Conferences), and then the last week of March right before Spring Break, and then I would keep them out for two weeks. Anyone thats gone, when is a good time to go? Ive always found Easter break to be easy too, which is when I went as a young kid and it was never too busy.

I am craving some time away. I just want to leave to be completely honest. I want a break. No, I dont want, I NEED a break. We just need to get away and have fun! Go to Disneyland, go to Disneys California Adventure, Knotts Berry Farm, do all that fun stuff.

So my task for you is me plan! Give me advice on the trip, EVERYTHING about Disneyland that you can. Money is not really an object, Im not worried about that. Im planning on splurging a bit anyway, as this will be a first plane trip vacation for the kids.

Any help you can give me would be much appreciated.
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Sabtu, 27 Februari 2016

In Loving Memory
Barry N. Bender, Jr.
3-6-80 to 10-10-09

I will love you forever and always sexy man.

Ive been writing this blog post off and on for the past week, gleaning bits of information from myself to write today.

Today is the magical number two. Two months. 8 Weeks and 5 days exactly. 87,840 minutes.

It has been that long since Barry died.

And you know what? Im OK. I really am. most of the time. Today though, because it has been two months, I am sad. And I am crying, but I am OK. I am OK because I know that he loves me, and he will always love me. And I am OK because I know that I gave him his forever, even though he couldnt give it to me. I gave him the most love he could ever receive, I was a good wife, I was a good mother to his kids, I was his everything. He died knowing that I loved him, and that he was loved. And now in tribute to him, I am going to continue to live because that is what he would have wanted.

I still miss him terribly, but that awful heart wrenching pain has dissipated quite a bit. And for that I am thankful. I am thankful I can go to bed without crying, without feeling desperation all day, without feeling like I HAVE to grieve. I can go about a normal day and be a normal person. I love the picture that I posted of him. I took it this past summer at Fort Langley when we were visiting my mom. He rarely smiled in pictures, but in this one I can just see a smile coming out. I can look at it and see his mouth break open into a smile, while he looks at me. Even his eyes are smiling.

My cousin Heidi wrote a note on face book that really struck a cord with me. She wrote exactly how I felt, have felt, was feeling. She wrote about how you never think things are going to get better, and how it seems all youre going to do is hurt. But that time heals.

And its true, it really is. Time heals all wounds, even though it seems like complete bullshit when you first hear it.

To quote Barry,

"But in realizing death, we must also remember to live. Time heals all wounds. Grief is normal, and it will pass"

Ive had to repeat that to myself many times over the past two months. It seemed at first that nothing would get better, that I could never be happy again, that I would never get past this. And I really did walk around in a fog, just had this cloud above my head that was dark and thunderous. Eventually it started to go away, slowly, but its gone now. Sometime last month, a couple weeks before I wrote my post about "Its Time", is when I finally started feeling normal. I still wrote grief posts after that, because I felt I had to, but not because I wanted to. I felt it was expected of me. Like I had to bow to societys standards about how I have to grieve. But you know what? Fuck Society. Really. I dont care what everyone else thinks. Im an adult, I am independent, and I will make my OWN decisions and stop worrying about what everyone else thinks of me. I can thank Barry for helping me cultivate that attitude/view on life, because without him, I wouldnt have it. I will grieve in my own way, and if someone doesnt understand then they can just keep that to themselves.

Then I think about what he said, and I realize that time does heal all wounds. I can look back at him now and smile, and remember without my heart breaking. I still get teary eyed sometimes, and I will always miss him and love him. Hell never be forgotten. Hell always live on in us.

I had my ring cut off on Monday. I didnt feel right wearing it anymore. Im not married anymore, so why wear it? My fingers were too chubby to take it off myself, so I went to a local Jeweler, and had them cut it off. BUT BUT...Im also having mine and his re-soldered together, so they are intertwined. Not sure what Ill do with them after that, but Im not worried about that yet. They are very special to me, and we have the exact same ring, a plain gold band he bought from a German jewelery store. This way, if the kids want later in life, they can get them made into wedding bands for themselves, and have something special that was mine and Barrys. Ive also gotten rid of most of his stuff. Ive kept all the important mementos like pictures, cards, his wallet, knives/guns, last outfit he ever wore, his favorite t-shirt and one shirt for each of the kids. And I kept most of his DVDs, and his computers. But everything else went to goodwill. I dont want it anymore. I just needed to get rid of it, as it is cluttering up my life. I just cant have it around anymore. Im ready to move on. I think he would be exceptionally proud of me for how strong I have been, for how Ive held up in this time of adversity. I know he is proud of me. He ALWAYS encouraged me to become more independent, to stop worrying about what everyone thought of me, to be my own person, and I finally am. He would be extremely proud of me for standing on my own two feet!

In just under a month well be ringing in a new year. Im going to make 2010 the best that I can. Im going to Live, Love, Laugh, and Be Happy.

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This little cutie is my grandson, and he turned three on Wednesday!  And, of course, there was cake and ice cream.  I decided that because I have been so low carb and doing well (blood ketones and blood glucose at great levels), that I would go ahead and have a very small sliver of the cake and a few bites of vanilla ice cream.

I tested my blood glucose an hour and a half later, and it was 117.  Two and a half hours later, it had risen to 141.  By three and a half hours, it was started to drop again - down to 106.

My normal reading are no higher than 91 after eating.  I guess Ive learned my lesson.  To keep my blood sugar in normal ranges, Im just going to have to forgo the wheat and sugar, as disappointing as that is.

Jumping ahead of my story a little bit, it took me three days for my blood glucose to get back into the normal range.  So, eating just a small sliver of cake and a half of a scoop of ice cream raised my blood sugar for three days.

The morning after the birthday party, I tested my blood ketones.  My normal has been an average of 2.4, but that morning it had gone down to 1.7.  The next day, Friday, it was still only 1.8, and this morning it was only 2.0.  Those are still within the target area, but they obviously went down and I want them to go back up to where they were before.  So, for blood ketones, after three days, they are still depressed due to what I ate.

From left to right - my grandson, Will, the Birthday Boy, my father, me, my son, Barry and my granddaughter Annelise.  Four generations!
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Jumat, 26 Februari 2016

Skinny news everyone!

Its official. I have lost over 70 pounds using HCG! I started this journey the second week in June and less  than 6 months later I have come farther than I ever thought imaginable!

I have learned a lot from this experience. I almost feel like a veteran for team HCG Diet, kind of like I need to help the new comers out a bit so they have the success Ive had.

Here are my 4 pieces of veteran advice.

1. Track your progress. It is important to track how much you are losing. Each day I come into work and one of the first things I do is write down my progress on a sticky note. Ive done this since round 2. I even have all the sticky notes to prove it.

I love starting my morning knowing that I can update my collection of progress notes. This is a very tangible way to show how quickly the pounds add up.

2. Follow the success of others, but dont compare.Since starting this blog I have had many opportunities to connect and interact with other HCG dieters. During my second round I would get frustrated when I saw people who were on the same round and day as me losing more weight. This frustration would ultimately build until I ate more than I was supposed to. While it is great to connect with other people and share success and experiences, dont let someone elses success negatively impact your diet. Your body is not their body. Sometimes you will lose weight faster, sometimes you will lose weight more slowly. This is not a competition.

3. Take each day one pound at a time. Some days I dont lose any weight. Days like that are difficult. Then I look at before pictures and see all of the progress Ive made and realize that I just have to take things one pound at a time. As long as I am following the program, my efforts will add up to a fantastic reward. On the days you dont lose, take a deep breath and commit yourself to a day of hard work and determination. Dont throw away all your good days because of one bad day.

4. Do it for you. 
I have tried losing weight before, but it was never really about me until now. I used to try to lose weight for my mom, for guys, to fit in at school, but ultimately never because I thought I deserved it. I realize now that trying to lose weight for the sake of pleasing other people never worked. I inevitably crashed and burned. When I finally decided that I deserved to be happy and healthy, losing weight became a lot easier. I am not torturing myself, I am giving myself a gift. This mindset has helped me be successful.

Now that youve read my veteran advice, what advice would you give to someone trying to lose weight?

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Kamis, 25 Februari 2016

Christmas Eve 2015

Today is Day 16.

Weight goal - 151 or lower
Actual weight - 147.6

Blood glucose goal - 89 or lower
Actual blood glucose - 89

Today is a Feast Day!

For me, that means a ketogenic diet - high fat, moderate protein and very low carb.  Each day, I will weigh in, check my fasting blood glucose, find out if I will feast or fast that day, update my chart and post it here on the big blog. Im posting it to motivate myself not to give up, and if I think that anyone is looking at this, it will help to keep me accountable.

Yesterday, I had Bullet Proof Coffee with chocolate protein powder for breakfast, pork rinds and sour cream and a few slices of hard salami for lunch, and broiled ribeye steak with butter, garlic powder and sea salt for dinner.  I also drank a glass of water.





I made a few charts to track my progress.  The orange lines are my goals. The blue lines are my actual results.  The last chart is a little heat map to show at a glance how often I actually have had to fast to achieve the results I am after.

(click on charts to enlarge)

This is a personal challenge just for me, but if anyone reading would like to join me, please talk to your doctor and make sure that it will not conflict with your current medical condition or medications.  If you are taking the challenge, please be sure to let me know how you are doing!  Thanks for reading!

To find out more about this challenge - the rules and how it started - click here.
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Rabu, 24 Februari 2016


"The truth is, the conventional wisdom about why we get fat is simply wrong. It’s not about energy balance; it’s not about “overconsumption of calories” or “taking in more calories than we burn.” It’s about something else entirely: how the human body regulates fat metabolism and the accumulation of fat in our adipose tissue."
       -Gary Taubes

Even though our understanding of biology has improved and the causes of obesity are better understood, we still have some flat Earthers that can’t get past the overly simplistic and trivial “calorie theory,” aka “eat less, move more.”

Like anything else, reality depends on the frame of reference of the observer. If someone has a minor weight issue, or people around them do, a simple “eat less, move more” more approach does work. This gives one the erroneous conclusion that this is all that matters. It’s like someone that only sees the world as flat-

“The world must be flat, just look at it.”

This is how the world really is. For day to day living, this does not matter to a lot of people. All they need to know is east, west, north, and south. The same can be said for the folks hung up on “eat less, move more.” If this is all they see, and it seems to work, they think that this is all there is.

What the Flat Earthers Don’t See:

Calorie theory ignores hormones. The above quote by Taubes, author of “”Why We Get Fat,” is a quick summary of why hormones drive weight. Calorie theory is simply wrong, but it just appears to be correct if one has limited experience or a limited frame of reference.

People who do lose weight by moving more and eating less have not done enough damage so that hormones matter much. Good for them, but it doesn’t not apply to everyone. Their calorie theory is incorrect in the same way that the Earth is not flat.

Who Cares?

Hormones matter a lot, when they matter. Hormones matter when one is insulin resistant, when leptin signaling is off, when thyroid hormones are out of whack, when their endocrine system is wrecked after taking steroid medications, and for a lot of similar reasons.

Some will say that obesity is the cause of the above, and stop making excuses. This is also wrong. It doesn’t matter anymore once the weight is there and the hormone problem is real. What matters is what to do about it. It’s not a reversible process where you just eat less and move more, and the problem goes away. If this were true, there would be no diet books and no diet websites. Life would be simple, but it just isn’t. The world is not flat.

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 A little over a week ago, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.  I was both surprised and not surprised at the same time.  The doctor said he did not mean to offend me or upset me by telling me this.  I assured him that I was neither.  It really does answer some questions for me, like why I have had such trouble losing weight and why my blood sugar raises into diabetic levels unless I eat extremely low protein and low carb.  Also, there is a genetic component to this disease, and my maternal grandmother was a needle-carrying Type 2 Diabetic, and others in my family appear to have developed the disease, but have not been diagnosed.

During the time that I have been doing Nutritional Ketosis, I have been periodically checking my blood sugar with a home glucose meter, and I have found that eating around 130 grams of fat, 57 grams of protein and less than 25 grams of carbohydrate per day has kept my blood sugar at an average of 86, including both fasting and after eating.  Eating this way has also kept my blood ketones in the ketogenic level, meaning that I am burning ketone bodies for fuel instead of glucose.  So thats good.

But wait, theres more...

The reason I started Nutritional Ketosis in the first place was that I suspected that I was eating too much protein.  And testing ketones did confirm to me that eating about half of the amount of protein that I used to eat did, indeed, raise my blood ketones and lower my blood sugar.  Both good things.

I do lose weight and feel good eating this way, but there is a problem...  Although, at first, I found that my appetite had been satisfied with this small amount of food, it has become increasingly difficult to feel satiety after eating.  In other words, Im hungry!  Plus, with eating this small amount of food, I really have to only eat twice per day in order to get more than a few bites of meat at each meal.

So when my doctor advised me to change the way I was eating, I was all ears.  He said, simply, to...

Just eat meat.

He said that he, himself, just eats meat.  He said that he eats steak for dinner with a side of chicken.  Interesting!  I have been thinking about starting a zero carb way of life for several weeks and have been reading up on it, so, starting on July 21, I took the challenge to go Zero Carb, which does not mean literally no carbs, but only the trace carbs that come from animal products.  I am eating meat, a small amount of dairy, some healthy fats and I am drinking water only.  I am testing my blood sugar before meals and two hours after meals to see how I am reacting to cutting out all vegetable and berry carbs and increasing my protein substantially.  I am carefully tracking what I am eating.

Here is what I have learned so far about how my blood sugar reacts to food:

On July 22, I ate meat, healthy fats and water and found that my blood sugar was very stable and in the acceptable range, only a few points over my normal of 86.

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 On July 23, I added some dairy to each meal, based on my recent discovery that I am moderately intolerant of dairy, and I eat it no more often than every four days.  I also had some bacon for breakfast that had more sugar in it than my regular bacon.  My blood sugar was less stable, and close to 100 at times.  It is either the sugar in the bacon or the dairy that caused this.

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 On July 24,  it was back to just meat, healthy fats and water to drink, and my blood sugar went down with each reading, into a very nice range.

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On July 25, it was just meat, fat and water to drink, but I did try having the more sugary bacon for breakfast, and it raised my blood sugar.  The next time I eat dairy, I will then see if the dairy also raises it.

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On July 26, it was meat, fat and water as usual.  I saw a little bit of instability, but Im not sure why.  At any rate, it was still in the acceptable range.

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On July 27, something interesting happened.  I ate dinner at a friends house, and although I passed on the cake and ice cream dessert, I did have about a serving of vegetables and a very small salad.  With only that small amount of vegetables, I was surprised that my blood sugar went up to 110.  I know that it is not extremely high, but it is higher than what I am used to, and higher than a non-diabetic would get after eating a few bites of low-carb vegetables.  I had been wondering what would happen if I ate vegetables, and now I know.  I had been toying with the idea of putting veggies back into my diet, but I think I will wait a while before I think about that again.

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So this is my experience so far with eating zero carb.  Although the main reason I am doing this is to manage my blood sugar and be able to remain diabetic complications free, I also am hoping that it will help me lose these last few pesky pounds.  Along those lines, how did I fare eating zero carb?

I started new charts to show my progress.  You know how I love my charts!  Here they are, after the first week on ZC:

The charts speak for themselves, so I wont say much, except that my body size is going down.

RELATED POST:  Zero Carb Results by Week

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I have been on Phase 2 of Round 3 forever.

Seriously though, Im 43 days into my VLCD of the HCG Diet. I fell off the wagon for a little while, but the important thing is that Im back on track with the help of my diet buddy.

I owe all of you an update on my progress. Even though this has taken much longer than needed, Im really proud of my progress... Since June Ive lost 76.4 pounds. Since starting round three in October, Ive lost 20 pounds and only have 10 more pounds to go before Im at my goal for this round :).

Today Im excited to share something monumental. I crossed something else off my 20 things Ill do when Im skinny list!

On Black Friday, my roommate convinced me to go to Victoria Secret at midnight. I wasnt thrilled about the crowds of energized shoppers, but deep down I was excited to buy some cute unmentionables.

In the past, when I weight 285 pounds, I was never able to shop at Victoria secret. When I started this journey I made it one of my goals to lose weight just for the sake of shopping at one of my favorite stores.Thanks to the Black Friday deals, I walked away with more than something sexy. :)  

My hard works is definitely paying off and slowly but surely Im getting things crossed off my list! 

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Selasa, 23 Februari 2016

Today, I tested my A1C and it was 5.1, which is pre-diabetic.  Bills was 5.5, which is pretty close to diabetic.  I also bought a glucometer and started testing my blood glucose right before each meal, and 1 hour after starting to eat (postprandial) and 1 hour after that.  Here is my chart:

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I just came across this article (Thanks, Adam Kosloff) about the sad state of affairs going on with prescription drugs and the irresponsibility of the drug companies that manufacture them and the doctors that prescribe them.  Here is an excerpt:

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”

Dr. Angell cites the case of Dr. Joseph L. Biederman, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and chief of pediatric psychopharmacology at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital. She explains:

“Thanks largely to him, children as young as two years old are now being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and treated with a cocktail of powerful drugs, many of which were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for that purpose, and none of which were approved for children below ten years of age.” 

Read the full article here.

It makes me want to just go live on an island.  Sigh.  Or better yet, I will devote some time to getting the truth out to all of those who cannot go live on an island.
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This weekend, I had the opportunity to run the Race for the Cure with my best friend and my stepdad. The race is only a 5K (which is great because Im totally not a distance runner... yet, and Im not all that fast.). I did this race last year when I first started running. During the 2013 Race for the Cure my 5K time was 42 minutes. I was unable to run the whole thing, but I was pleased that I finished.

This year I went in with the goal to run the whole thing and beat 37 minutes. In the last couple months, Ive been pretty consistent with running. I started increasing my distance to the point that I could run/jog a 5K. Once I knew I could do it, I tried my best to set goals to get faster. I started at 40 minutes, went down to 39, the 38, then about 37:30. And then.... I plateaued. Despite my consistency, I just couldnt break that 37 minute mark. As discouraging as it was, I kept running. The weather got warmer and I started running at work on lunch breaks, up hills, down hills, and all around trails.

When race day rolled around on Saturday, I was optimistic that it was going to be a fun run. And IT WAS! My friend Brice and my stepdad are much faster than me, but I was able to run with Brice for about the first mile. The whole race I was feeling pretty good. When I completed my second mile, I was surprised to find out that my time was only 22 something. That meant that I was on track to beat 37 minutes! This helped me relax a little bit more and just enjoy the last mile. I crossed the finish line at 35:24! My fastest 5K time EVER. It was an incredibly motivating experience. Im so glad that I didnt quit when I plateaued. I just kept running even though I felt like I wasnt seeing the results I was hoping for. :) I am so happy with my progress. The experience was motivating enough to help me realize that my hard work really is paying off. I surprise myself all the time at what Im able to accomplish when I just hang in a little longer.

Running has been a tremendous blessing for me as Ive been trying to maintain my weight loss. Now that Ive surpassed a 5K, I want to work on training for a 10K :) Theres an awesome race coming up in July!

When you lose weight, I cant stress how important it is to find something you love doing, whether its at the gym, on the trail, on a field or in a studio, GET MOVING. :)

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