34 Pounds

My last report was on August 1. It is now August 17. I have lost another 4 pounds. I’m still doing intermittent fasting, and it is still fairly easy to do. I am feeling better all the time. I have had no drops in energy. And the weight keeps coming off, and I suspect and hope that everything else about my health is improving as well.

I have adjusted my fast from 20 hours to only 18 hours, leaving myself a six-hour window for consuming nutrition. This seems to work better for me. I have fewer issues with hunger.

I am starting to notice that my face looks a bit slimmer. My legs are becoming pretty skinny. I think my waistline has decreased, but since it was so large in the first place, I can’t really tell. I can tell you that all of my clothes are fitting me much more loosely. Makes me wish that I had not gotten rid of my smaller clothes a few months ago.

I do still struggling to eat the right stuff. Every now and then I screw up and carb-load like a marathon runner. Or my sweet tooth overcomes me and I become a dessert monster. Other than that I am mostly in control. Perhaps one day I will learn to eat right all the time.

Oh, why no pictures? Because I don’t want to. Maybe when I reach my goal weight. But for now…

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Delay, Don’t Deny

Delay, Don’t Deny

So,  I have been doing pretty good not gaining weight. However, I have not lost any more weight. So, I started researching intermittent fasting. I had already come across this concept while researching the keto diet. Many people on the keto diet have talked about using intermittent fasting as a way of stimulating the weight loss process.

It IS a good way to stimulate weight loss, but, I have found that there is a whole community out there and it is their lifestyle. They also make some serious claims about the benefits of the fast. There are also some serious studies and research from plenty of doctors backing up said claims.

The benefits range from correcting hormonal imbalances to reversing type 2 diabetes, to lowering blood pressure. And weight loss just seems like a side benefit (and a good one).

So, of course, I bought a book. A friend of mine who was in town on vacation from Florida recommended, Delay, Don’t Deny: Living An Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle, Gin Stephens.

Screen Shot 2019-07-10 at 9.00.04 PM
Gin Stephens, Author

fullsizeoutput-45cdIt is a fascinating book telling of her journey through the research she did finding the facts. She also tells her own story of weight struggle and eventual success. I am very encouraged by what I have read so far.

I have also started researching the resources myself. In fact, I began my intermittent fasting last night. I got so excited once I started into the book I began right away. I figure I can participate and research all at once.

I made it through my first day. It was a little rough but I knew I could make it through. I had been fasting without thinking about many times before. However, because I purposed to do it, it seemed much harder today. I didn’t get light headed until I drank a cup of coffee (black).

Now, before anyone starts thinking I’m not eating at all, don’t worry. It’s me! The fat man! I did eat today. I just delayed somewhat. I have set aside several hours in the day, a window in which I can eat as much as I need. Then the rest of the hours in the day, I fast. This is supposed to have great benefits for the body that I look forward to experiencing.

Of course, as I learn more I will write more about it, cuz right now, I don’t know jack! And of course, I will keep you informed of my progress. I will know soon enough if this is a doable thing for me.

Down 10 Pounds

Down 10 Pounds

10-poundsI am down about 10 pounds this week. As I said before, my new medications are suppressing my appetite somewhat. Some of that is nausea but that is slowly subsiding. I am also researching foods and nutrition again to see if I can do better.

I have been working to eat the right stuff. And with the meds helping me it has been easier to stay on track. I even have plenty of the right foods in the house for now. I have said in other posts that it pays to be prepared. I am trying to be more prepared by having in the house what I need. It is much easier to stay on track when everything you need is available at your fingertips.

One of the things I have come across in my readings is lectins, which is a protein in several plant-based foods with the ability to wreck your gut health. I am talking about something called leaky gut syndrome. Some doctors (Dr. Gundry in particular) believe that leaky gut leads to a whole other host of health issues.

Hey, I need all the help I can get.  Dr. Gundry’s research offers some hope that I could get a lot of my health back, eliminate some physical pain, and even get off some of the medications I’m on.

So, I’m 10 pounds. I would like to continue losing weight. That in itself can improve a lot of my issues. It is not even about the looks anymore, or the clothes, or how attractive I may or may not feel. At this point, I would settle for feeling better and being healthier.

I’ve bought a couple of new books: The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease And Weight Gainand,

The Plant Paradox Cook Book: 100 Delicious Recipes To Help You Lose Weight, Heal Your Gut, And Live Lectin Free.

I hope to learn much more about the effects of lectins on my health and how to deal with it. I long to feel better, be healthier, and actually feel like I would like to live longer. If aging continues in the way it has gone so far, I am not so sure I would like to live longer. In the grand scheme of things, I would like to be around for my kids, meet my grandkids, and enjoy my life. At the moment, getting there and feeling good at the same time is a challenge.

Aging is not for cowards!

Losing Weight

Losing Weight

I’m losing weight but mostly because my new medications make me nauseous. So I don’t feel like eating most of the time. Seems like an awful price to pay, but at the moment, I guess its worth it to be able to keep my blood glucose levels within the normal range.

Normally, I am not eating things I should not be. However, it does happen. And that usually does not go well with the medications I am on. Add bloating and stomach pain to the already present nausea and you have a very unhappy Tony T.

So, because of those issues, it is like I am being trained to stay away from foods I should not eat. In a way, it is like being punished when I eat the wrong thing. In order to continue feeling okay, I try more intentionally to eat the right stuff.

My blood glucose levels have been way better I have to admit. I wish I had had the strength to do it without medications. However, I could not. So, here I am, diagnosed with a disease (diabetes) that contributed to my Mom’s death. It is a little scary. Only a little because of the unknown of what happens after death. I have been blessed in life, but I have had enough of a rough time that my last day in this life will be a welcome beginning to rest.

I know. That sounds rather dark. I am not depressed. I am not suicidal. I am just tired. I have great people in my life. My kids, my family, my friends, my girlfriend. With them, I am always having a good time and learning more about love every day.

So, losing weight can’t be too bad.  I could stand to lose about 70 pounds. If I could do that, it may ease some of my physical pain, which is substantial. I could possibly eliminate some of the medications from my life. Maybe I would have more energy. Wouldn’t that be great!

Anyway, that is what I have to report today. I hope you all are blessed in your own lives.

A Week Into Diet

A Week Into Diet

Well, it has been a week since my re-start. I managed to stay on my diet with the exception of one meal. I did pretty well overall getting the nutrient percentages required. It was actually pretty easy using myfitnesspal.

What I have found is that I have to make a conscious decision about what I’m gonna eat at every meal. I am constantly tempted to go off-diet. For instance, yesterday, I had a job interview. Woke up in plenty of time to make breakfast at home. However, the thought to just grab something at McDonald’s on the way to the interview surfaced. Without thinking I was headed out the door. I caught myself, returned to the house and made my breakfast, which only took a few minutes.

The mindset and the ability to just grab food on the road which is usually not healthy for you is prevalent in my mind. I have to keep reminding myself that I have food at home. And at this point, I am not busy enough to be grabbing convenient fast food meals. Before I am so busy, I hope to be in the habit of preparing meals for such times. Being prepared is a big part of success.

I think I lost 4 pounds. That always happens at the beginning. The challenge is staying the course when weight-loss isn’t happening. There many benefits to the keto-diet. One of them is how settled and unbloated your stomach feels. Also, my blood pressure is back to near normal (with the help of medications). My blood glucose levels are within normal ranges.

Hopefully, my success will continue beyond just a few weeks. I will try to keep you all informed.

I Want A Harley-Davidson Lowrider!

I Want A Harley-Davidson Lowrider!

It turns out that this is the blog where I not only write about my diet and health challenges, but also the things in life that excite me or disappoint me. Looks like it is my everything blog, kinda.

So, I am excited because I went down to the Harley-Davidson dealer (nearest me) and saw the next bike I want to buy. It is their soft tail Lowrider. Yep! That’s it on the right. It looks great in pictures, but, it is mind-blowing up close and personal. The only thing that bothered me a little was how high the mid-controls pushed up my knees. I am hoping Harley-Davidson will put out a modification for a more forward set of foot controls.

Other than that it is one of the most beautiful machines I’ve ever seen on two wheels. It’s no wonder HD is a favorite of Motorcycle riders all over the world.

My old bike to the left is a 2007 Suzuki Boulevard M-50. I have had it 11 years. My Son has asked me for it because he wants to learn to ride. This bike has been a good one. I had one issue where the gear oil leak out, or wasn’t replaced during a service call and ended up having to replace the drive shaft. And I’ve had to replace one gasket to stop an oil leak. That’s a pretty good ROI for this bike. And I’ve had a blast riding it. I think it would be a great start for my Son. Of course, I will make sure it is in tip-top condition before that.

I purposely made the newer bike photo bigger here because that’s exactly what it felt like to ride my bike to the Harley-Davidson dealer and see the LowRider in person. Other than the one issue I’ve already mentioned this bike is freaking awesome. The feel as I sat on it made me feel powerful somehow. It’s hard for me to describe it. I can’t wait until I get to test ride it.

The new Milwaukee 8 engine powering the Lowrider dwarfs the 805 cc of my Suzuki. It is 107 cubic inches in displacement. That’s about 1753 cc. The size difference is massive. The Suzuki is shaft driven. The HD is belt driven (which I like because it’s probably easier to keep up than a drive shaft). Out of everything I have heard people say about this Lowrider the thing that sticks out is, “this thing has massive power and torque.” I get excited just thinking about it.

Anyway, that’s what happening in my life today. I probably won’t buy this motorcycle for a while. I have some other things to do financially first.

As for diet and weight loss, I am still eating crap (fried chicken is awesome!). And where I thought I had gained about 8 pounds, it turns out I had lost about 2. Go figure.

My Makeover

My Makeover

What exactly is a makeover anyway? What exactly should I be trying to achieve? Am I trying become a skinny person? I don’t think that is actually going to happen. I think I love food too much, and that includes all the ones that are supposed to be terrible for you.

I think maybe I am, or maybe should be, trying to simply develop a healthier attitude about foods in general. I still like the Ketogenic diet. It is easy to follow and a fairly healthy way of eating. However, I find that I am prone to taking advantage of the higher fat intake with the wrong kinds of fat. I have been doing better with that part. This year so far I am mostly overdoing it with the carbs. As you may know, the ketogenic diet is low carb by design.

I don’t ever remember being especially concerned about my appearance when it came to weight. However, before I turned 40 I had never been heavier than 185 – 195 pounds. When I turned 40 things just seemed to slow down; my metabolism, my running speed, and my energy level went way down. I got out of the Navy when I was 44. I feigned injury to get out of my final Physical readiness test (PRT). I would have probably hurt myself doing it anyway.

So when I began writing this blog I had just had my 50th birthday in March. The month I started writing (Sept), is the month my Mom died. She was my best friend. Nothing could have prepared me for such a loss. I was, and am, affected deeply by this event. I think sadness sometimes has a lot to do with the way we eat. Some of the times I ended up eating when I’m not hungry are times I thought to pick up the phone and call my Mom, having forgotten for a fraction of a second that she is gone. There are, of course, other triggers. I think this is what is meant by emotional eating. Everyone probably does it.

As far as controlling weight gain I believe exercise is half of the equation, but sometimes injuries can keep that from happening. I have had a lower lumbar fusion, two levels. I have had the same type of surgery on my neck, level C6. The one thing I am never without is physical pain. My doctors always ask me what my pain level has been between visits (1-10). Mine is always between 5 & 10. Most days it is around 8.

So, I don’t know what kind of a makeover am trying to achieve or could expect. I once thought that if I lost weight maybe my pain level wouldn’t be so high. I’m not sure I believe that anymore, mainly because I don’t think I will ever lose enough weight, but also because degenerative disc disease is, well, degenerative. So, a makeover I may need or want, but, I don’t know what that actually means.

Maybe, in the beginning, I wanted to prove I could lose a lot of weight, and be able to post before and after photos. Now I don’t care about that part of it. Some days I just want to feel sane or normal and feel good physically. Maybe I suffer depression. I don’t know. Perhaps a makeover of the mind is in order.

So, I don’t know what a makeover means for me. I will always try to watch my weight. At my age its a sensible thing to do. I want a healthy mind and emotions. Maybe when that happens (and I believe it will) I will have a better relationship with food, or a healthier one anyway.

Blueberry Scones?

Blueberry Scones?

The other day I made blueberry scones. Now, I’m not supposed to be eating blueberry scones or any other kind of scones. This is my problem; I know how to bake. I can’t even blame this on my son. He’s already back at school. I told him about them and now he wants me to make some the next time he’s home.

Sometimes I just want to give up on this health thing. I haven’t lost or gained any weight. It is extremely frustrating. Frustrating because I have not lost any more weight. Frustrating because I am glad I haven’t gained. That’s not an accomplishment. I’ve just been lucky.

I keep saying I need to get serious about this thing yet, I keep breaking my diet. Even as I write this I am thinking if going into the kitchen and making more scones! I don’t know what to do. Obviously, it takes some amount of discipline to stay the course, but, I don’t seem to have it.

God, I’m not in the mood for this…

What The Hell is Up With mY Hair?

What The Hell is Up With mY Hair?

For nearly 25 years I have kept my hair extremely short – bald – and lately, I’ve even been shaving it. About 2 weeks ago I decided I would try and grow it out just to see if I still could. This morning I was checking it out in the mirror to see if I had begun to lose even more hair than when I first realized it was happening about 9 years ago. I AM!

What I saw in the mirror was excruciating. Does anyone remember Sanford & Son? Red Foxx was the old man (Pops) in that show. There is only one way I know of to describe what his hair looked, raggedy. I knew I was losing hair at the crown of my head, but it is not happening at an even rate. It is very spotty and it looks EXTREMELY raggedy.

I didn’t think to take a picture before I cut it all off. And it is not likely that I will let it grow out again. I refuse to be seen out in public with such a mess. Needless to say, I am even more motivated to get myself into shape. If I can’t have my hair I at least want to look better in my clothing.

I’m really starting to hate the aging process. It hurts, threatens my good looks, and is very hard on my self-esteem. That’s right ladies, it sucks for men too.

By the way, I have not gained any weight. Yet, I haven’t lost much either; maybe a pound. I am constantly fluctuating with a 1 pound loss or gain. And that is mostly because of my lack of discipline.

Anyone else out there having similar problems? What’s your deal? I told you mine.

PS, I am still waiting to see a specialist about the issues mentioned in my health update.

The Makeover Continues

The Makeover Continues

I am holding pretty steady on my diet. I am not cheating as much as I have been all year. At least that is what I thought. Even though I thought I was not cheating by not eating foods outside my diet most of the time, I think I was consuming too many calories. Still, haven’t gained weight, but I haven’t lost any weight either.

Today I went back to using myfitnesspal to track my meals and macronutrients. And as I suspected I ended up eating way less food. So even though I was eating the right foods I had forgotten what the right amounts of food looked like. It was just too much of everything, especially proteins. And proteins in excess can break down into sugars, raising blood sugar.

I am not on a high protein diet. It’s a high-fat diet. The idea behind the keto-diet is to get the body to use fat for fuel. Giving it too much of anything, whether carbs or proteins can result in higher sugar levels in the body, hindering efforts. My goal is to consume 75% fats (the good stuff), 20% proteins, and 5% carbs. This diet works well.

Even though I have not followed my diet very well I still have not gained all the weight I lost last year. I am still 22 pounds under my starting weight. My immediate weight-loss goal is 10 pounds. I think I can do that in 2 months if I can stick to my diet. Right now I’m 245 lbs. I would like to be at 235 lbs. by the end of June. That’s only 5 pounds per month (1.25 pounds per week).

My overall goal weight is 165 pounds. I still believe I can achieve it. I am very excited to still be in this “tltatemakeover.