Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hello, hello . . . is anyone there?

(note: this one turned out grouchier that I had intended. Oh well, something to grouse about next time)
Only 6 page views last time. Considering that this is essentially a personal journal more than anything else how many people read it shouldn't matter. Then again I am a bit of an exhibitionist and was jazzed that so many people read the one about my old friend Curt. I have only gotten a couple of comments so far on the posts about what I am doing. It could be that what I am writing about is boring or the way I am writing about it is boring.

One comment from another dear old friend was "May I put my two cents in? Eating right is not about fad diets. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables (mostly vegetables) and protein. But you also must exercise. The two go hand in hand." What she says is the simple common sense approach. I have clearly failed to get across what my process is and why I am doing things the way I am. I have rejected most of pop culture since I was a kid. That doesn't mean everything in pop culture is wrong or bad or useless. It is just shallow. What it does have to offer can lead to better things. I believe I did say that I am eating mostly vegetables and protein with a little fruit and even a little carbs in the form of gluten free bread and sweetener for drinks. I also said that my exercise will increase as I am able to do so. I think the problem is also that this is typed out and I am a verbal person. I need to start recording these posts to add in the inflection and pauses that I hear when I am typing it in. Written and oral communication are two different things.

 The way my mind works is to over analyze and over analyze and over think things to death. To resist this is to invite trouble. By occupying my mind with all the variables and possibilities and letting it cipher and decipher on all the questions, is for me, a way to keep on point. Thinking about nutrition and how human need met with human greed has lead us to a place that is killing us by the tens of thousands while providing others the chance to exist at all, is more than enough to make me think before I bite. (Now that's a run-on sentence). Just to have a little bit of throwing back in your face; losing 20 or 30 pounds over and over again with the simple common sense approach is a world away from losing over 150 pounds for good that have been there for decades.

 I mentioned before that this is the first real weight loss I have done since I did Weight Watchers in 1972. In 1977, I think it was, I did do a crazy diet I'll talk about later. I have dabbled in others from time to time. I have signed up at fitness centers a couple of times. In 2006 I started going to 24 hour fitness and was clear that it didn't have to do with losing weight. That is what I kept saying, I think other people heard something different. It was about feeling better. I went 4 or 5 times a week and did feel better. This was before I figured out what the Statin drugs were doing to me and in a fit of depression I stopped going. What makes this weight loss project different from before has to do with what I posted in the first one of this series 6 weeks ago. I am not really attempting to change my behavior. I simply can't eat the way I had been eating before. The position I am in now is more like being on a strange planet and having to do endless trial and error to find out what is edible. Some things that taste good are really toxic. Things like vegetables that are for the most part quite tasty never come to mind when it's time to eat. Go figure.

On from the tedious part to the really tedious part.

Part of the reasoning behind why to avoid wheat has to do with one of the proteins in the gluten, Gliaden. Dr Davis put it this way.
"Gliadin is a more powerful opiate–The changes introduced into the gliadin gene/protein make it a more potent opiate. While the digestive byproducts of gliadin bind to the opiate receptors of the brain, they lack the pain-relieving and euphoric effects of heroin and morphine, but 'only' provoke addictive eating behavior and appetite stimulation. People who consume wheat consume, on average, 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year."
I found this in looking for exdence of the opiate effect of Gliaden in wheat. I found a pdf of an actual study done in 1978. The ratio of gliaden in the hybridized wheat grown now is much higher than ever before. This accounts for why I don't feel hungry and craving food all the time like I was before.

The other aspect of the new eating is the ketosis effect of low carb high fat. I have seen lots of examples of it working. I want to dig into the science a little more and try to understand why. Next week.

I'll be thinking about other posts to this blog that aren't so much of a personal journal. My absurdist view of the world needs some exercise. We all can ride the Bri bus to adventures in awareness. They don't call me the Center of the Universe for nothing. If nothing else I have a unique perch to see the universe.

Today's weigh in. 331.9    
Down another 3.2          
Total lost so far 21.8        

I really am at the weight most people remember me being the last 20 years. Going forward we break new ground.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Enough about other folks, back to me.

This has been quite the week. Wednesday after having lunch at a local BBQ joint with my pal Rob I got a letter or rather a note in the mail from an old friend and well . . . the resulting post is below this one. I posted a link to it on facebook on the group page for our graduating class and in messages to a few other people who knew Curt back in the day. 145 page views so far. Wow the other posts get maybe 10 the first week and then a few dribble over time. The pages with a photo do better. I think the photos turn up in weird random searches and get clicked on by people from all over the place. Especially the Ukraine for some reason. They love that picture I posted last year of Crickett chewing a shoe. Anyway it was an excuse to make contact with people I haven't contacted in a while. I think Curtis has the opportunity to renew some connections himself. It's all good I suppose.

After last week's weigh in I decided that the cookie diet was a bust. I lost allot the first 2 weeks but water loss can account for most of that. I got 6 weeks worth of cookies and still have more than half after 4 weeks. I just can't eat 6 of those things every day.

I've done a little more looking into the Wheat Free diet or the not eating one thing meal plan or however you describe it. The factoid about the A TO Z: A Comparative Weight Loss Study was very interesting to me so I had to follow up. As is my usual way of finding things out I went to the podcasting section of iTunes. I found a number of interviews with Dr. Davis who wrote the "Wheat Belly" book. One with Dr. Christopher Gardner who did the research for A TO Z. One reason I favor podcasts is that I can tell more about the topic by the way the person talks. Especially if they are not a professional media person. Just a random person with a mike and a computer. Then again some give too much information. I like what a crack pot some of these people are. For example the Fat burning man. Show # 6 is with Dr. Davis. It had some good info but I'll not subscribe. Connie Bennett has one called Gab with the Gurus. She is an anti Sugar fanatic. While I agree with the premise that sugar is a bad thing in general the way she talks about it is off putting. She does interview some interesting people however. The one where I liked the host the most is called Dana's Low Carb for Life. I was frankly surprised when at one point she mentioned her husband. She sounds like a friendly old dyke that is also a serious geek about this low carb thing. Her overview of Wheat Belly was good. Sad to see she hasn't done a new show since Thanksgiving. Overall the interview with Dr Gardener was the most informative. He pointed out that while the low carb high fat diet works best when tested against the others each person is different and has to find what works for them.

Along with the low carb/high fat diets are the Paleolithic diets (Paleo diet). I had heard of the Paleo diet years ago and just assumed that it was a fad that came and went. As it turns out they both have world wide communities of people some who are just looking to feel and be healthier and a few who are on a march to stamp out all modern processed food.  This includes food like grain that pre agriculture humans would have never have eaten because it has to be cooked first. (technically meat can be eaten raw and I guess was but eew) The non-gluten eating community that has grown out of the increase in Celiac Disease is a bit more mainstream. They have created a situation where they enjoy the comforts of mainstreaminess without all the pesky business of having to deal with a broken world.

What I have experienced so far this week is mostly positive. I have been using self hypnosis on myself so it is difficult to quantify the extent of some of the elements. Customizing my focus with hypnosis is useful but doesn't lend it's self to the scientific approach for analyzing my own data. Removing the remaining wheat from my eating has had many of the effects I have come to expect from the book and other things I have read/heard. I have very little appetite. A couple of times a day I feel hunger that is soothed with a surprisingly small amount of food. I found myself nibbling some the last day or so but I think that may have more to do with boredom than anything else. One thing that has become more common since this adventure began is having a clear mind. Sometimes for almost a whole day at a time. I was so confident that this anti-Wheat anti-Carb thing was right for me I started to reduce my Omeprazole and may stop the other anti-acid too.  My stomach has been very quiet with a couple of upsets in the mornings. Yesterday I was at Costco and got a polish dog with sauerkraut. I threw away the bun and my lemonade was mostly water. I'm thinking the spices in the dog or the vinegar in the kraut is what made my bowels convulse quite liquid a couple of hours later. Otherwise, to put it this way not at all for shock value, my turd production has yielded individual units in lieu of the intermittent continuous production of the past couple of decades. A good thing.

I made 3 trips to the store this week in an effort to forage for the new kind of nutrition I now require;
First I went to Lassen's health food store. I was delighted at all the special shelf signage marking the many many "Gluten Free" items for sale. Just as I had been warned in too many of the items wheat and gluten were simply replaced with other simple carbs like rice of corn starch. Still a few carbs are allowed and so what if they are high on the glycemic scale. I got mac n cheese flavor cheese puff balls. and some nice 3 cheese flavor rice crackers. A pack of 4 Gluten free bagels was over $4. 2 gluten free pizza crusts were almost $5, the larger ones were 2 of $14. In all I spent $35 for one fairly light bag of groceries.
Next after doing more reading and listening about low carb/high fat I went to Winco. Finding low carb and/or gluten free is not as easy in this store but they have the best bulk section for 100 miles. This trip got me 2 bags filled with lots of different kinds of raw nuts, meat and a half gallon of full fat milk. this time the bags were heavier and cost $58. This store is kind of out of the way but just as before is worth the extra drive once a month or so to get what other stores don't sell.
Finally yesterday I went to Costco. I am a person who abhors all things corporate that functions as if profit is the only value worth,  . . . well value. This includes all but a very few. Ben and Jerry's at least pays lip service to being part of the communities they serve (while over dosing them with sugar). It may be the straight forwardness of the way they do business. Anyway for what ever reason it is one of very few store that I truly like shopping at. I got lettuce and a big old spinach salad (add some lettuce and it is easily 2 salads). They had racks of ribs ready to cook on sale and I got more than a mess-o-ribs. Artichoke hearts in oil are now okay, darn they only come in a 2 back, throw em on the cart. I wanted BBQ sauce for the ribs but the 2 kinds they had were kind of high in carbs from sugar and wheat. Plus I make my own that I really like better than store bought that I think can be done lower in carbs. In all this trip cost me $80. One thing is becoming even more clear, easy and cheap carbs from wheat and other grains are what makes up a large portion of the cost effective food available.

I have had to do this post in small portions to get through it. I have a zillion more things to talk about. However one thing that has not improved yet is, ironically, the pain in my hips and butt. Last week my beloved seat cushion sprang a terminal leak and is on it's way to be replaced. I have the lower cost version of the same thing. It is helpful but sitting for more than a few minutes gets painful quick. I may add a picture to this post later so our friends in the Ukraine can enjoy my wisdom too.

Today's weigh in. 335.1
Down another 2.0
Total lost so far 18.6