Friday, March 10, 2017

Careful, Tantor*

This marks one week, and I am thinking I am ready for a tweak, which is to do something about my portions at dinner. Which are large. Because I have often been eating after a less than ideal 7 hour fast. Though I am proud of myself for fasting for 7 hours-- I didn't even know I could.  The other tweak is to try not to eat at 7, because that is a looong time from a 12:15 lunch. In all I think I am doing surprisingly well not snacking, not even particularly tempted yet (resolve is strong so far).

The biggest threat I foresee is getting discouraged because I'm not losing weight, resolving I have to be stricter, and getting strict in ways that feel punitive and unsustainable. So it could go that way.  

Or, I could find that the inconvenience of not snacking or eating candy and desserts during the week is insignificant compared to the inconvenience of being insulin resistant and frequently hungry (or whatever you choose to call it when your stomach is full but your cells are crying out for glucose). I could keep it up and slowly but steadily drop some of my extra pounds.

Nothing exciting happening on the scale but I was not expecting too much yet. If I can drop a couple of pounds this months I will be happy. Ok, three pounds. Three pounds I will be happy. Four pounds I would be happier :)


*So if you've read Jonathan Haidt's Happiness Hypothesis, you know about the elephant and the rider. I picture mine listening attentively while I tell it, "And now, Tantor, I'd like you to weave between the flowerbeds.  Ok?"

Thursday, March 9, 2017

First Week

I started NoS Thursday afternoon at a deli in Baltimore :)  I am pleased with it/myself so far.  To recap

No sweets
No snacks
No seconds

except on days that begin with S (Saturday, Sunday, Special Days).

Because I am insulin resistant and Large, with imperfect control of my schedule, no snacks scared me. And to be sure, the first few days were hard.  I could feel myself languishing a few hours before a meal.  So I've been less concerned with how big my plates are or whether something qualifies as seconds, and more on eating enough to get through to the next meal. I figure I can always trim the size of my meals once I've got that down. I've also used juice or coffee with cream and sugar to get through. Essentially I'm trying to train my pancreas. Is there an app for that?

As far as the weekends, the plan is to stick pretty much with three meals (pancreas).  The no-sweets during the week thing has not been too bad since there's always fruit.  Last weekend I made some yummy baked things and had them with meals.  I have not generally been what I think of as a binge eater and I don't want to start-- I don't even want to read too much about disordered eating, since it is not a place I want to spend time.  I've seen my dad's lifelong struggle with what I feel is disordered eating and a legalistic relationship with food, and it just makes me sad.  Don't want to live there. And it's very hard, because there is pervasive subtle and not so subtle shaming around obesity.

To strengthen the framework of my resolve:

Snacking an independent cause of fatty liver and belly fat

Two large meals are better than 6 small ones in controlling blood sugar and weight

Dramatic evidence you might want to eat a big brekkie

So what is the nicest thing about NoS so far? The shift from feeling that all food has to be "clean." (There's something Freudian about that, don't you think?) I do mostly eat things with reasonable nutritional value but I do love getting away from the Manichean notion of Good vs Evil.  I mean, I believe in evil and good, but I prefer not to apply those concepts to food.

I may not lose significant weight until my pancreas is trained/I'm able to trim my meals, especially dinner, a bit. But that's okay.  Right, future Larkspur? Right!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

JKS*

So yesterday was a little weird-- it was very hard to wait for dinner from about 3:30 on, but I did it with help of some juice and seltzer.  I am pretty sure my body released a load of insulin at around 3:30 to cope with my usual after school snack, and when that didn't materialize, my blood sugar went splat. I actually tested it with my dad's glucometer--85 which is fairly splat for a random glucose on a prediabetic person. So my insulin is working, yay for that.  Made it through till dinner, and then again around 8:30 or 9 felt distinctly uncomfortable & antsy. Had hot milk with some hot chocolate mix and felt good after that, able to sleep. I'm just used to steady doses of carbs and my body is having to accept being fed three times a day.  Also I was very thirsty and peeing all day. Strange.

Things I like:

-- not grazing all morning and feeling like a heifer in a field caught chewing her cud (hopefully a large-eyed, mild, adorable heifer, ok?)
--having to think about food only at meal times, although some thought and effort has to go into making those mealtimes filling and nice
-- not getting gnashed between the gears of "everything is bad."

*Just Keep Swimming

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Blathering

So I'm following the No S Diet, and I am encountering the following Challenge Points:

1. Is coffee with cream and sugar really ok?
2. Eating a lot of sometimes not great food at meals. The "eating a lot" part has to do with making it to the next meal. The "not great" part, well, I am specifically thinking of last night which was Five Guys. I went from noon to 7 without eating which is practically a lifetime record for me and I was definitely in a "what sounds attractive and is not too much work or time?" space.
3. Weight was rather dreadful today but I will put that down to salt (see earlier) and weight training yesterday-- pleasantly a bit sore today. The progenitor of No S recommends you don't weigh often, but I think I will weigh daily or almost daily because I don't (usually) let it freak me out and I find it a a helpful nudge to behavior.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Never Give Up, Never Surrender

"HEY! Don't open that! It's an alien planet! Is there air? You don't know!"

So I was having my follow up for my Medical Thing, which appears to be ok for now kenahora, and there was a scale involved, and my doctor let me know that I gained 9 pounds since last fall. This is not a shock because I do get on the scale. In some ways it was a relief to have someone come out and say it. I have had periods of being hungrier than usual-- I've done plenty of navel gazing on the subject, and I know what my normal hungry is-- as if my body viewed gaining weight as an important strategic objective. So, objective achieved.

(Let me just say about my doctor that he is an extremely sharp and lovely person. I didn't feel shamed, just, "Hm, what does this mean?")


My motivation to Do Something just went up.  I have been uneasy in other ways-- the pants that always needed a pin to stay up don't need a pin, I am finding candy wrappers in my car (yes, I know I put them there).  I am feeling some shame and frustration which are two emotions I try to limit as much as possible. I’ve been getting up early a few days a week to exercise, and occasionally fitting in a short but grueling steep hike, but more is needed.


My chosen method to Do Something, as detailed in exhaustive reasons contained in the previous 40,000 pages of this blog, would be


1. dead simple
2. gently limiting while still allowing the occasional slice of homemade apple pie with all butter crust
3. not weird, rigid, or time consuming


The problem with these gently limiting techniques is that weight loss is slow, and if you loosen your grip or slip up, you don't lose at all. (See August 2016). I know I was telling myself, Well, I can just eat what I want whenever if I'm not going to lose any weight. If you're a set point theory person there is some truth in that, but apparently my body no longer subscribes to set point theory, so we're going to adopt a new theory, which is...

Trying to build up the suspense here...

No Sweets, No Snacks, No Seconds. (Yes, it's a book and a website:)  The author, Reinhard Engels, is a really entertaining writer and he makes a lot of sense to me. I don't think he has delved fully into the dark waters of insulin resistance and regulation (which would probably do more to support than undermine this system), but I can obsess over that on my own.

A similar system is Eat Like a Normal Person which I ran into on Pinterest.

None of this is new. The nutritionist Jane Brody used a similar method to lose 35 pounds back when oxygen was forming. I have tried it myself at times-- used it successfully in college to get down to 129 1/2 and was definitely All That for a while there. French people eat this way, or they did in 1984 when I spent six weeks there,

I worry about a couple of things-- the difficulty of making it through from breakfast until lunch, and the difficulty of not eating when I get home from work at 3.  Eating enough at meals and hopefully training my body to release insulin at certain times and not others (if it will agree to be trained) will help. I worry that I may not lose weight on it and will get discouraged and quit.  But one small advantage to being Quite Fat is that I suspect I have a good shot of losing at least some weight by cutting out snacks.

So here we go.  I started yesterday at lunch.  I thought it would be murder to get through until dinner but it was really okay. Likewise this morning. I have exciting leftover chicken marsala from Carraba's for lunch and I plan to make something lovely and special on the weekend which is tomorrow. So, week 1.

Note to future self: rapid weight loss not expected. Hang in there.

  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Thunk

That's the sound of me coming back to earth. It was going to be so easy, right? I'm going to eat moderately and the birds will sing and I will float down 25 pounds like a leaf on a whisper of wind.

Hah.

My body apparently did not endorse this scenario. I am eating moderately, My Fitness Pal keeps assuring me that I will see wonderfully lower numbers on the scale, but it is Not The Case.  I've been having trouble sleeping because I'm getting hungry at night-- either not getting to sleep until I have a snack, or waking up uncomfortably hungry. Since I am not prepared to sacrifice my sleep or go hungry during the day, I guess I'm going to have to be happy about the 6 pounds I lost and not expect too much more.

 I guess the deal is that I have one of those bodies-- big shocker, really. You know, where people assume you're hitting the pastries because you're big, when you really eat less than 2000 calories. I suppose between perimenopause and thyroid issues and a long history of weight struggles including anorexia and borderline obesity, I should not be shocked that I find it difficult to lose weight. I should be grateful I am not somebody who maintains 400 pounds on 2,000 calories a day.

So the decision is, I'm going to keep eating this way because I feel good on it (except for the hungry at night problem). I no longer have biliary pain, I enjoy my food more, find meal planning way less stressful, and I don't get uncomfortably full-- those things are all well worth having.

So I'll be making friends with this body morphology. Isn't my husband's soap dispenser cool? I dragged him to Home Goods where he kindly put up with my debating all the options.  It was like something out of an SNL skit.
I am also going to work on getting kick-ass fit :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Two Articles

Worth checking out this article from the New York Times.

I was fascinated by this research from Robert Lustig, the pediatric endocrinologist:  short sugar study.

The former has some enlightening points to make about dieting as a road to weight control.  The author mentions a Finnish study where former Olympians in weight-conscious sports like wrestling were three times as likely to be obese later in life as peers from sports where dieting to make weight is not an issue.

The Lustig study was only nine days long, but they were able to show rather dramatic improvements in metabolic markers just by substituting starch for sugar.  Keeping calories and weight stable-- the kids had drops in cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar in nine days.  Lustig believes added sugars are particularly villanous, unlike David Ludwig (different pediatric endocrinologist, different hospital) who thinks that starches are equally bad as they are similarly broken down in the body. That is the line as nurses we have been giving diabetic patients-- carbs are carbs and it doesn't matter where they come from. But I think I'm more in the Lustig camp than David Ludwig's. (Couldn't these guys have settled on aliases or superhero names or something? Way too similar.)

Worked out with weights timidly this morning. Haven't done that in ages. I am super hungry today, not a coincidence, I'm sure ;)  S'ok-- I'll go eat some starch :)