Saturday, June 30, 2012

D-day plus 3, plus 4

Day two was going along just fine. The stomach upsets didn't occur like they did in the morning. Of concern is that I was only able to eat 4 of the 6 cookies required. They are cookies and they are kind of sweet. Their main component is fiber that is supposedly 9 times more fibrous than normal. That's always been the problem with most of this kind of diet plan. They assume, I guess since you are fat, that you must be obsessed with sugar. I do crave sugar at times but my real cravings are for things like steak or pizza. Why has no one developed diet bars that taste like pot roast? If they made a grilled cheese diet bar I'd eat a million of 'em.  . . .Oh yeah, maybe that's the problem. Same thing on day 3, only 4 eaten.

I have done my research and know that the reason they have you eat a cookie every 3 or 4 hours is that they want you to feel full all the time and not be tempted to stray or binge. The sugar at regular intervals also keeps your blood sugar at a level where you will feel hungry.

I had been taking a break from Adderall but felt it was time to start taking it again. The world came back into what feels like sharp focus again. The underling feeling of enthusiasm at starting this process getting more acute. Adderall is also known as amphetamine, famous as a diet pill in the 50s and 60s. This could account for not eating the recommended number of cookies. Or it could be that all the fiber is more than I am used to. The GURD thing by it's self has had me feeling stuffed for years. The thing that is cool so far is that I am getting the good effects of Adderall and not the bad so far. Between the constant pain, loss of sleep and remaining bouts with GURD the stimulant was driving me crazy. The last few nights I have slept like crazy. The pain in my ass has been about the same. As long as it has taken to write this much I feel like my right hip joint is resting on a piece of board.

Then plan includes no fat as such. Even the 10-12 ounces of protein a day I am to have at dinner has to be very low in fat. As I said in the last post fat is the main thing that creates satiety, loads of fiber just make you feel full, 2 different things. No beef, no salmon, eggs but no yokes. I looked up the profile of raw eggs on 100 grams (2 large) = 143 calories, 10 grams of fat and 13 grams of protein. Just the white = 48 calories, 0 fat and 11 grams of protein. I then compared my boiled eggs to the same 100 grams of roasted chicken = 165 calories, 4 grams of fat and 31 grams of protein. Drumstick meat rotisserie cooked = 176 calories, 7 grams of fat and 29 grams of protein. My idea was to have a boiled egg the times the huger is at it's worst. Like around 4 AM just before I make the last leg of my nightly run. I have long thought that people who have things like egg whites for breakfast are douchbags. They refused to believe the updated studies that show that dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol are only vaguely related. However 5 grams of fat on this plan is kind of allot. I went ahead and boiled the eggs I had in the fridge. Better to error in favor of 5 grams of fat than something much worse.

Today's project is to forage for fat free salad dressing.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Farewell Satiety.

This is day 2 and I am having more physical sensations than I though would happen. The herofiber™ and  fortefiber™ that the maker claims makes the fiber in these cookies and snacks 9 times more fibrous is doing something weird to my GURD situation. I understand having to feel hungry but this is not right. I hope this is just a thing my system has to adjust to and won't kill me.

On a lighter note a couple of days ago, before the big D-day, I had these 2 Daily Deals vouchers that would just go to waste if I didn't use them before going on the diet.
A last hurrah of indulgence was in order.

What we see here is a Juicy Burger with double meat, pastrami, pineapple, avocado, cheese, grilled onion, and letuce. Sweet potato fries on the side. It went down easy and was very delicious.

Exhibit two is $10 worth of Tutti Frutti soft serve yogurt. On the right strawberry cheesecake with cheesecake sprinkles inside and candy rocks on top. On the left watermelon and pomegranate sorbet with . . . I don't remember. It too was very delicious (candy rocks not so much). I worked on this for a couple of days and ended up throwing out the rest.

The new way of eating, at least the first few months, is very very low fat and carbs. Fat and to some degree carbs are what make for the feeling satiety. I attribute most of my excess fat to a craving for fatty foods. Cheese the main culprit. I was in a grocery checkout line a while back and a guy in line commented on my cheese purchase. He said he didn't like cheese so much and didn't understand why some people like is so much. This was not a tiny guy by any means. I wondered what made him fat. He was from a different culture I assumed.

It will be interesting to see how I deal with the cravings that never went wanting before.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My own D-day (D as in Diet)

If I try to recall I seem to remember going on a diet (Weight Watchers) back in 1972, give or take. My lowest weight at full height was 189. that lasted about a week. I try to forget about it but I also dieted a couple of years later when I was 19. You can do stupid things when you’re young, right? Since then nothing serious except in 2001 when I first was diagnosed with diabetes. That wasn’t a weight loss thing, super healthy but not about calories as such.
In looking for a program to use I went to the net and found quite allot of useless information and many charlatans. What do you expect from the web? Anyone can start a web site. I must have 6 or 8 websites I never even use. Books are the backbone of knowledge. On amazon I found hundreds of books claiming to have “The” answer. sigh. The problem is that every book, website and plan is first and foremost about the people behind it finally finding a way to make it rich. 
The credo of “Take in less calorie than you burn and you lose weight” is the gold standard of reason. The problem with that is that eating is an emotional, social, sensual act. The fact that food is also the fuel you use is a side benefit. For the last 4 years I have been listening the Nutrition Diva podcast. Unlike most things on the net Monica Reinagel, MS, LN, CNS is the real deal when it comes to cutting edge information on nutrition. She does deep research into the science in an as unbiased way as I have seen. Well heard, it is an audio podcast after all. She covers many many nutrition topics and of course weight loss too. She has put most of the approaches to weight loss you have heard about in their place. Some good a few very bad. Science has to be the bottom line. There again she covers the science, not so much of the thousand natural shocks the flesh is heir to. 

I had to figure out on my own what I want to accomplish and what steps to take: 
  1. First thing is to break the cycle of reaching for food at will. I have to let a plan do the deciding of when to eat and what. Less or no cooking will help keep food off my mind and lower the risk of deviating from the plan. 
  2. No negivitity just enough flexibility. The concept of sin is not one I apply in other parts of my life it has no place here. Failure to follow the plan is simply that, an error not to be repeated, learned from if possible. I am into this thing to succeed rewards and penalties are not required.
  3. Right now exercise is not in the cards. Just sitting in this chair is driving me nuts. I have the seat of my car set up with special medical grade cushioningIt cost too much to buy one for every seat. I tried a light work out one day and spent 2 weeks getting over it. The place I go has a nice pool. A couple of laps is fine for now. 

Price wise I am very limited. The kind of plan where they send you complete meals would be awesome. At some point I may be able to afford Nutrisystem. It's about $10 a day. The real fancy schmancy ones are more like $50+ a day. If I could afford it I don't know that I would. $1500 a month for food is disgusting behavior. What I a came up with is this: simple simple simple. What they call a cookie diet. $172 for 42 days plus one real meal a day. 

This came to my door step yesterday. I started it today. 6 cookies or other snack items (or protein mix, chips, powdered soup etc). The real meal has to be 10 - 12 ounces of protein with 3 to 5 servings of vegetables. 
No Fruit
No Beef
No bread
No lots of things.
I wanted drastic. I needed drastic. This may be it. 
"breaking the cycle" "breaking the cycle, boss"

The claim is 15 pounds in 30 days. 
At my weight the first 5 are a gimme, just for thinking about it. 
This morning I was 353.7 on my home scale. 
Looking for 338.7 or less on July 27. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

What was your first clue?

I outlined many of my long term health issues in October. Any one of those things or just the fact that over weight has blocked or prevented me from numerous opportunities and created as many other disappointments over the years that should have each been the alarm that set change into motion. Self-change is always difficult, especially when what you want to change is a key survival trait woven into the most primal part of your DNA. Alcoholics (those pussies) have one kind of substance to avoid completely. With weight loss you still have to eat everyday of your life. The challenge is much more subtle and pervasive. A balanced and healthy diet consists of all the things that can lead to over weight. Only in proper proportions. Your friends and family can’t tell right way when you fail. Who will know if you slip into a McDonalds for an order of fries? The pleasure, the anticipation of satiation pushes everything else out of your mind. Then the sensation last only a moment and is just as quickly forgotten.

Regardless, changes are an ongoing task I have to make an everyday part of the rest of my days. But when?

In 2010 I embarked on a new adventure. I was giving it a go as a comedy hypnotist. In May of 2009 I went to a 3 day seminar in Las Vegas to learn the workings of staging and promoting a Comedy Hypnosis act. In the 17 months that followed something had happened. Partially because I am ‘lowest common denominator’ disinclined and partially because I am a serious cheapskate, I am immune to the charms of Las Vegas. I spent much of my free time walking around. In Las Vegas you have to hire a cab just to find places to walk around, even so, miles of walking yielded many sights and sounds. By the time I finally arranged my first show it was clear that standing for for 60 minutes to do the show was going to be a problem. My svelte 330 went to 360. I had gained 30 lbs just sitting around. Most of my extra weight is right in front making up a giant belly. When I do stand I have to have my legs bent to center gravity over my feet. You’d think this would be enough to trigger drastic action.

As I plied up failure after failure in my efforts to find bookings my depression and physical deterioration escalated. On the verge of foreclosure I also ran out of some of my medications. I was in a very dark place; the darkness enhanced by withdrawal from my ADHD medication. Adderall (aka speed). Somehow in the midst of all this, out of nowhere, I had an opportunity, for the first time in years, to make love to a woman who has danced and been a beacon of hope in my consciousness for decades. Between my inability to maneuver my body and with my giant belly in the way, it just didn’t happen. Disgusted, she asked that I not contact her for a while. To say she has never been a generous lover would be giving her too much credit. She does however posses great physical beauty coupled with tremendous charm and kindness that have given hope and meaning to my existence when nothing else did. I had to let her go. You’d think this would be enough to trigger drastic action.

I was given reprieve from financial oblivion by resuming my place in the selling and distribution of newspapers. I had tried to escape the dying media the year before. Just like I had seen happen to others, I was pulled back in. The public health system despite all of it’s slowness got me on track with meds and even helped figure out that I have GURD. See a previous post. I also described in April the problems Gemfibrozil was causing my joints and muscles. 
It started with pain in my rear end when I sit then got very bad when I stared going to the gym again. At this point between the pain and general feeling of weakness I spend my days sitting here in front of the computer, in the recliner in front of the TV, in the seat of my car at work or lying in bed. Many days I also have pain in one hip or the other making even walking a painful chore. This leaves lying in bed the only time I am pain free. At long last it is time for drastic action. 

Other things to overcome or deal with:
I have an extended family that I am part of. Or is it? I am an extended member of a family not my own. Anyway I met this family in high school and was made welcome, as were others, to many family functions over the years. 40 years later I am sure not to miss a Seder or Holiday meal. My own Father, Mother and older Sister gone, it is a comfort to have something of a family in this world. (no disrespect to my younger sister or nieces but they have lives on a different track) The fact of the matter is my extended family members (my age and older) are all over achievers in a variety of ways. If you ask one of them about being an overachiever they won’t know what you are talking about. This is, for the most part, a very good thing. Over the last years of symptoms that have made me grouchy and miserable much of the time I've gotten a little sympathy and almost no understanding. Naturally. Not a one of them would never let any of this happen in the first place. Just because I am at times an outspoken person, definably of his own mind, doesn't mean I am immune to the pressures of comforting to the expectations of peers and family. This is made worse by the love and admiration I have for theses people. 

Humor lost. One of my favorite things about myself was my sense of humor. Not everyone got my jokes. I was always able to evaluate a situation and quickly turn it sideways just enough to squeeze out a quip or a one liner. On my good days I could tune into the audience (1 to 1235) and bounce a volley of custom riffs off of them to the delight of all. A specialty was cutting remarks that showed off a fallacy or inconsistency in a claim or situation. About 10 or so years ago this all started to go wrong. Little sister, having had to deal with this (abuse) her whole life one day had enough. I didn’t speak with her for several years. Likewise a woman friend / gal-pal I ran around with never got the joke and thought I was just cruel. 
I could write much more on this topic. The point here is that besides social pressures, my miserable state of mind and the terrible side effects of the medications I was prescribed; my humor has flown the coop. To survive and succeed in serious change to myself I need it back. Albeit a more mature version.

In the midst of the goings on of the last couple of years I had to let go of my dental plan. I haven’t seen a dentist in that time. My teeth are in big trouble. I went to what I thought was a low cost dental clinic. I don’t believe such a thing exists these days. I need 6 extractions. A root canal. A crown. A partial denture and more. List price $5000 that I don’t have. Or the special poverty discount of $2000 that I don’t have. I’ll figure something out but the process will be stressful and take months. I let go of my health insurance too. My income is low enough That I qualify for county healthcare. Even though I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2003 they want to do a new "sleep study". The county is all over reporting this kind of thing to the DMV. The DMV revokes your driver's license if you have sleep apnea. I drive my car for a living. The Dr said he could write out something to override the revocation, but he would say that in any case. This kind of common stress factor make giving up on the soothing intoxication of food especially difficult. A way to deal with it must be found.

I spend altogether too much time with introspection. However this new destiny I have chosen has at least some of my reasoning in a sharper mode than is usual:
I have known for some time that; even though I have never had a primary capital R “Relationship” are like most people, I am a person who is hard wired to function best as part of a couple. Since this has never come to be I have replaced it with, at times, inappropriate infatuation or devotion to a task, drinking or smoking joints. Best for me (and most people) is to have a great love and a great mission in life. I don’t know that finding a great love is possible at this point in my life. I am not at all pleased with who and what I am these days and would have trouble respecting someone who thought I was great. This may just be because of how terrible I feel in general and may change as a feel better. How bad of an opinion of myself could I really have if I think someone might read this? More troubling is that except for emotional bonding or at least casual sexual liaison nothing motivates me or sparks in my imagination. In the past I have had a couple of highly rewarding careers and a few great jobs. Right now nothing sounds good. I hope this changes too. I don’t want to spend all of my time thinking about food.