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Hayek 03-12-2013 10:18 AM

Unfaithful Reflections
 
This will probably end up a lengthy post with the goal of succinctly summing up the past 14 (15 but I count my first day as day 0) days, so please bear with me if you choose to read it!

I'm doing a self-modified version of Atkins. I'm using Atkin's (2002) Induction as my base guideline, but my major deviations are as follows:

(1) I allow myself my 4-6 ounces of coffee each morning, which I now put 2 tsp of coconut oil in along with a fiber supplement (this does not cause any hunger spikes for me);
(2) I allow myself unlimited leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables; however this is mostly a mental trick as I love leafy greens so if I say I can only have 3 cups of one and 1 cup of the other, I'll end up frustrated and quick. So in reality, this unlimited practice has translated into 4 cups of leafy greens via romaine lettuce and spinach and 1/2 cup of non-starchy vegetables via broccoli on a semi-daily basis;
(3) I allow myself three Crystal Light Raspberry Green Tea packets in my water on a weekly basis. I'm not entirely sure I can give this up because I love this stuff;
(4) I aim for 20 net carbs daily, but I don't strictly adhere to it as some of the more faithful individuals here do (elaboration to come); and
(5) I (less-intentionally) allowed myself two nights of drinking and one day where I ignored carbs. I'll elaborate a little bit later.

I started on 2/26/13 and according to the ketone testing strips, I was in ketosis by 3/2/13 (first day I had the strips to test). I noticed significant mood improvement from my normal carb lifestyle, including mental clarity, ability to focus, much less lethargy, much more patience, less anxiety, and no low-grade depression. The first few days of ketosis, I felt I had way too much energy. However, instead of anxious energy, it was a focused type (almost as if I had triple the coffee I normally do, but not a jittery caffeinated energy). Luckily, that wore off after a few days and my energy levels felt normalized. Also, I'm normally the kind of person that sets his alarm clock for about an hour before I actually need to get up because I'm a huge snoozer.

However, when in ketosis, I noticed myself getting up right when the alarm went off and having the grogginess of first awakening wearing off within 30 minutes (even before the coffee--which is just a morning ritual for me more than a caffeine need). Additionally, I never got most of the negative effects of ketosis people mention here (thankfully), and no odd taste in my mouth. None of my friends reported any funky breath on my part, which they definitely would lol.

Elaboration on (4), I aim for 20 net carbs daily. I've had 6 days where I've been under 20 net carbs in the period of 2/26/13-3/11/13. I had 7 days where I was between 20 and 40 net carbs (all the while remaining in ketosis according to the strips).

And now for the elaboration on (5). I regularly tested as being in ketosis through the morning of 3/9/13. On the evening of 3/5/13 I had some silver rum on the rocks, so it was minimal in carbs, but a deviation that I didn't intend. However, I remained in ketosis so it was not a big deal. Then on 3/8/13, I saw friends I haven't seen in a few years and the wine we consumed put me at about 65 carbs that day (along with what I already ate). Still the next morning I tested as in ketosis.

Once I got home that day (3/9/13), my roommates were having a card game party and I was out of healthy groceries to eat so I decided to take the day off fully aware I'd likely be kicked out of ketosis. I indulged in smaller sized pieces of pepperoni pieces, 16 ounces of regular soda, and a cup and a half of popcorn (over 150 carbs is when I stopped counting lol--willful ignorance). By 3/10/13, I was predictably out of ketosis when I tested myself and noticed that all of the negative symptoms of my previous carb lifestyle was back. I felt extremely lethargic, mentally foggy, mildly depressed (and not because of the guilt of willfully deviating) and just did not accomplish much that day. I immediately went back to low carbing (and this was one of the sub-20 net carb days), and was back in ketosis by the morning of 3/11/13. I didn't even really need to test myself, even though I did, simply because I could feel the difference mentally (though thankfully the energy was not as much of an initial spike as the first time entering ketosis).

Now comparing the past two weeks to my previous calorie restricted version of "dieting" I noticed an interesting breakdown. According to the tracker I use, during my calorie restriction methodology, I was consuming roughly 42% of my calories through carbs, 20% through protein, and 38% through fat (varies by week but almost always around the same percentages). I was also much more hungry and likely to graze on things throughout the day. Since low-carbing, roughly 12% of my calories come from carbs, 26% from protein, and 62% from fat. My caloric in-take is roughly the same (ranging from 1300-2000), however, I never feel hunger or deprived as I did on a more strict caloric regime.

I aim to only officially weigh myself once a month so I won't update my stats until the end of March, but I do weigh myself daily first thing in the morning to check my fluctuation range. When I was mostly watching calories, my fluctuation range was 220-226. However, with the low-carb way of eating, my fluctuation range has been from 215-220. Ultimately, the scale is moving in the downward direction, and that's what matters to me. My real goal is 2lbs of loss per week, so I'm not concerned with the amazing results of 5-10lbs in the first few weeks. I'm looking for long-term things that work with me and my eating preferences, which is why I have slight modifications (some of which are just mental tricks).

My goal for the next 14 days is to not take any form of a break and to cut out all alcohol along with Crystal Light (which I'm dreading this one!) to see if it speeds up my weight loss/changes the fluctuation range, and of course, it'll be close to the official weigh in date!

Thanks for reading all this incoherent rambling and the wealth of information so many of you have provided on these forums.

mountaingirl 03-12-2013 11:35 AM

Excellent post, Hayek! It's sometimes those mental things that are stumbling blocks.... so the modifications are a good idea and you still end up doing the right thing! (I feel the same about the veggies... if you tell me I can only have this amount, then I want more! but if I say it's unlimited, then I easily cut off my amount... go figure!) Good job. I limit my Diet Pepsi too. I rarely have one but used to be a can-a- day girl. I just have one as a special treat (maybe once every 2 weeks). :)

Hayek 03-12-2013 12:03 PM

"smaller sized pieces of pepperoni pieces" = should be slices of pepperoni pizzas. Oops! lol.

I realized my comment on 20-40 carb range was to shortcut my weekly count but I decided to include a Day/Net Carb break down:

0/17; 1/17; 2/18; 3/40; 4/20; 5/22; 6/21; 7/24; 8/15; 9/31; 10/65; 11/150+; 12/16; 13/14.

Most days were better than the few slip ups, but ehh, carbs happen. Back on track this week! (I originally started on a Tuesday but am going to start measuring on Sundays lol--so technically this week started on Day 12)

lterry913 03-12-2013 12:59 PM

Good post, way to keep yourself accountable.

Hayek 03-26-2013 07:19 AM

Day 28
 
I know I originally said I was going to just move my dates and measurements to Sundays and the end of month to make "counting" easier on my side, but I decided I'd just do it every 4 weeks, thus based on a Tuesday which is when I started. Since I'm tracking myself pretty closely, it's not all that difficult.

As of my weigh-in this morning, I am at 215LBs, or down 5LBs from my start date of 2/26/13.

My day/carb count since my last post is as follows:
14/30; 15/12; 16/24; 17/7; 18/17; 19/19; 20/16; 21/28; 22/17; 23/10; 24/80*; 25/29; 26/21; and 27/29.

I'm still aiming for the 20-30 net carb range, as I find that is the easiest way for me to view this more of a way of eating than a strict diet to follow. It may cause me to lose at a slower pace, but it's a much easier way for me to stick with it instead of give up. However, I really hoped to be down by 8lbs by now, but considering I'm still losing while eating a way that's become very easy and natural to me, I'll take the 5lbs as a victory.

I abstained from drinking until Day 24 where you see the 80 carb spike. Several friends from out of town came to stay with me for the weekend and one of them brought a favorite, hard-to-find wine I love (which has practically become my gimmick). It's a rather sugary-wine so the whole bottle cost me 70 carbs that day, bringing my total net carbs to 80. However, even the morning after that consumption, the ketone testing strips showed me as still being in ketosis. Not sure if that means I have a potentially high-carb allowance to still remain in ketosis, but even if it does, I do not want to go that high up regularly. The following day/evening, there were a few drinks involved, but I just stuck to silver rum on the rocks so there was no carb spike. And Sunday was their departure, so no boozing it up then.

Fortunately, while my friends wanted to go out and eat during their stay (for most, if not all, of their meals), I convinced them it would be wiser to just use that money we'd all be spending on restaurant food to split on groceries. I told them we could all split the low-carb items and I'd cook those for them (and they could get whatever carbohydrate-filled food they wanted, but that was not part of the money split lol). So they easily went along with that and were quite content with some of the recipes, which also kept my carb count in check during their stay. And since drinking doesn't really make me have ravenous cravings, much less for carbs, all ended well compared to that 150+ carb spike I had a few weeks ago.

I did cave in twice in the past 14 days to have Crystal Light. Unfortunately, I bought a lot of it on sale prior to committing to this way of eating. I weigh myself daily just to check my fluctuation patterns (but do not let it set my mood for the day or make me want to give up), and if I consumed a Crystal Light packet, I shoot up at least 3, but potentially upward of 5, pounds the following day. And that upward fluctuation is dead the morning following a non-Crystal Light day. So I imagine either the sodium or the aspartame (or both) helps contribute to water retention, but seeing that fluctuation in the scale will definitely make it a rare treat until my supplies run out--and then it's gone for good. Other than that, I've started really liking just a dash of lemon juice in my water (I always carry a 32oz bottle of water around so that's what the CL packets and lemon juice are going into).

In sum, slightly more faithful to my personal goals in the past 14 days. Had a few "slip-ups," but nothing too egregious. But having some of those slip-ups makes it an easier, natural way of eating for me without becoming stressful. And best of all, the scale is still trending downward even if not as fast as I want.

Hayek 04-09-2013 01:07 PM

Day 42
 
Up until this morning, I managed to avoid Crystal Light since my last post.

However, in the past 14 days since my last post, I've had 3 very high-carb days. :\ One day I had 115 net carbs (registered in ketosis 12 hours after that "binge" as I didn't have the strips to test myself first thing in the AM). Another day I had 81 net carbs (still registered as in ketosis the next morning). And last night was really bad and had 125 net carbs (didn't register in ketosis 7 hours after, but did register as being back in ketosis 16 hours later). Though as usual, the mental transition was enough to cue me in to the differences.

There were 4 days between the 115 and 81 carb days. And there were 5 days between the 81 and 125 carb days.

The 115 carb day was on a concert and I just had a Wendy's binge as I hadn't gone in years (favorite fast food place ever, hence why I do not go there lol) and figured one meal wouldn't kill me. (Not so) Secretly, Wendy's was totally worth it haha.

The 81 carb day my roomie's had made some delicious brownies and I talked myself into having two. As small as they were, I'd say this definitely wasn't worth the high carbs.

The 125 carb day involved me hanging out with friends all day and not planning ahead with low carb snacks/meals. It involved an 8hr gap between my last meal and I hadn't gone grocery shopping in over a week, thus lacked much at home to cook. Plus, at that point it was very late at night and I simply did not feel like cooking (and had nothing low-carb already prepped). Thus, I gave in and went to McDs. Commited carbicide. Definitely not worth it at all. I woke up early this morning, lethargic, in a horrible mood, and knew I was not in ketosis. I decided since I had nothing to do to go back to bed for another 4+ hours. Woke up feeling much better, which only improved within an hour or two after waking up! Felt like I was back in ketosis so decided to test myself on a strip again several hours after waking back up, and what do you know, I was in it. Either way, I rarely eat fast food, and McDs is the one I really loathe lol. Oh well, totally my fault. Glad the carb hangover finished quickly.

Other than that, my daily net carb in-take was almost always under 30.

I feel kind of bad because I know I'm cheating myself and slowing down my progress, but I'll recommit seriously as while I'm still losing, I don't want to sabotage the process too much.

My next official weigh-in is on the 23, and I'm hoping to see some more pounds drop off! Must commit until then. I don't feel bad about a hiccup once a month, but reflecting on this and my carb in-take, I'm hiccuping a lot and using the quickness of going back into ketosis as an excuse to forgive my hiccups.

Hayek 04-18-2013 10:04 AM

Intermediate Update - Day 52
 
Normally I just update this for myself every 14 days, but I've been bad this past week and want to reflect.

I looked at the calendar I use to personally track my daily net carb in-take and which day of this way of eating I'm on and realized I've been off plan too much.

It has been 52 days since I started trying to commit to this "new" way of eating. If I count any day above 40 net carbs as a cheat day (though it was usually just a cheat meal), I've cheated 10 times. Now most of those days I was still in ketosis the following day or back within it quite quickly--perhaps relying too much on this.

I figure if those 10 cheat meals slow me down for even 2 days, I've lost close to a month and thus practically caused a stall. And while I only do official weigh-ins monthly, my daily weigh-ins (to monitor fluctuation) have been steady at 215, so I essentially have not lost any weight in the past month. This is my own fault.

I've also been social drinking more than I should when trying to take my weight loss serious. Even when it's low carb, I'm sure it is hurting my weight loss.

A few recent life events, some of which caused unexpected expenditures--while not catastrophic--these events have me in quite a funk. On Monday, I ended up being out of the house for over 12 hours--which I did not anticipate--and only took an Atkins bar with me to tide me over (thinking I was only going to be gone 2-3 hours). I got home late in the evening and simply did not feel like cooking. Well, there was ton of leftover spaghetti with great homemade sauce so I broke down and had a decent sized helping. Because I was already down and there was Vernors (soda isn't usually a weak spot, but this one is) that no one drank during the weekend socializing, I had 3 glasses full of it. This put me at 240 net carbs for that day.

I felt miserable and kept beating myself up over it. Not just upset at myself for caving in, but largely because I knew I was stalling, still caved, and then kept caving with the Vernors. And on top of that, the carb crash/hangover was just awful. I actually fell asleep hard two hours after the carbicide (normally I'm a chronic insomniac). I had the fun lethargy and irritability the next day. While I didn't bother testing myself, I knew I was out of ketosis.

I recommitted to the low net carbs that Tuesday (I'm just setting my hardline max at 30 a day, though I'm usually under it) and was back in ketosis when I tested myself on Wednesday.

Anyway, more bad news on Wednesday, so I just said, "screw it, the universe isn't liking me right now so I'm going to drink my blues away." Big mistake. Drank a pint of gin over a 5 hour period then went to bed.

So I'm recommitting as of today (though for my calendar purposes, not until 4/23/13) and being super strict about those 30 daily net carbs (still love my veggies) through my birthday at the end of May. I want to see if the stall stops, and how quickly the weight loss picks up. Perhaps seeing the better results and improvements will make it easier to stay on plan instead of thinking a cheat meal here or there won't hurt (especially with the being back in ketosis relatively quickly as an excuse to give in).

I'm not considering it a complete restart as I didn't go off plan for an entire week or month or anything so my official weigh-ins are still scheduled based on me starting on a Tuesday and weighing in once a month. Plus that just helps keep my days on track and specific timing in sync (and prevents me from having to redo the calendar I created lol). Probably seems confusing but it makes sense to me, especially when it's in front of me!

Anyway, in better news, I decided to treat myself to Green Raspberry Tea Crystal Light today and it didn't even taste good to me! Looks like I may have to unload my stash.

Hayek 04-23-2013 09:29 AM

Day 56
 
Official weigh-in today, I'm down to 212.5 LBS. Despite my cheating I still managed to lose, though I am no where near where I wanted to be at the moment.

Either way, I've been recommitted since the last post and nothing new to report.

Next official weigh-in is May 21.

Absolutely no alcohol or cheat meals until then at the very soonest and a hardline of no more than 30 carbs a day mostly from non-starchy vegetables.

Since recommitting, I've had one day where I hit the 28 carb mark (mostly from giving into onions lol), but all the other days were below 20.

Hayek 05-21-2013 07:54 AM

Day 84 (Day 22 of "Restart")
 
Essentially I've been committing to having no more than 30 net carbs a day, which in practice has lead to more days under 20 in the past month than anything. And those net carbs can come from any source (in theory). However, if I go over 30 net carbs one day, I subtract the amount I went over from the next day's carb allowance. For instance, if I have a day with 40, then I'm 10 over, so the next day I can only have 10 net carbs.

I did have two "major" cheats since I last posted, which you'll notice doesn't comply with my original restart date as a few things not worth going into occurred). One was when a ton of friends that were over decided to order Chinese to pick up. I indulged in sesame chicken, but I shared half my order with a friend and did not eat any of the rice. I also had one egg roll, which I think was the best an egg roll ever tasted. I didn't even bother counting the carbs, but essentially went on a meat fast for the next 3 days as a way to "rebound."

My other was when my brother made lasagna. Quick background information, my brother is such an awesome cook and only makes lasagna once a year or so. However, when I decided to indulge, I just took the smallest piece that was cut out and further cut that piece in half. That is all I ate. In my pre-low carb days, I'd easily have eaten 3 large slices of it and allowed myself to feel disgustingly full.

The few other deviations I've had (though technically still within plan) have been a piece of whole grain toast, half a serving of toasted what thins, and half a serving of multigrain tostitos (not all on the same day). However, with these I just counted straight carbs even though there was dietary fiber and also treated it as a whole serving (so in my tracking, the carb count is higher than I actually consumed). Either way, I still remained right around my 30 limit.

Anyway, today was my official weigh-in day, and I'm down to 207lbs. That puts me at roughly a 5.5lb loss since I last weighed in a month ago. Even with a few deviations that were not as extreme as my previous transgressions, my weight loss seems to be going a little bit faster now. And that's definitely motivation to continue.

TLDR: Restart date changed a little. I aim for 30 net carbs a day from any source. I had two major cheats and a few minor deviations. I'm down 5.5lbs since my last weigh-in a month ago.

GailyGail 05-21-2013 08:46 AM

You are doing really well! Congratulations on your weight loss. Going under 30 carbs seems to really work for you too.

Patience 05-21-2013 08:50 AM

Sounds like you've got a good system in place that is working for you.
I like the way you note your exceptions . . . it's very honest and gives you a great record to draw from.

Hayek 06-08-2013 10:54 AM

Non-Scale Victory Intermittent Update
 
I'm still about two weeks away from my official stats-updating weigh-in, but thought I'd post this here:

Last night, I decided to go out with friends but realized my two forgiving pairs of jeans (more on this later) were dirty. It's been months before I've squeezed into one of my less forgiving pairs. Well, I decided what the heck, I'll see how they fit now and put them on. There was no squeezing involved and there was even a little bit of room to spare!

These less forgiving jeans used to fit so tight, if I was forced to wear them, I would usually unbutton the top of them and just put a belt on for extra security. If I didn't unbutton them for just walking around (they have a very strong fly lol), I absolutely HAD to when sitting in the car otherwise I'd be so uncomfortable and feel like my insides were being mushed. Well, I had a total 3 hour drive yesterday (round-trip) and I was able to sit with them buttoned and be completely comfortable!

I personally don't feel I look much thinner in the mirror yet so this was a nice way to feel as though I've made progress that isn't measured by a scale.

Regarding the power of forgiveness in the jeans. Ladies, I think you have the worst sizing inconsistencies, but let me tell you, often times there are awful variations in the male clothing lines as well. However, not as extreme. My pants are all the same size, cut, and fit mostly from different branches of the same corporation (and my sizes and fit change so much amongst various companies as well), and many of them fit differently. I have two pairs I've been wearing rather religiously as I lose weight because they seemed forgiving in stretching with me lol, while many of my pairs have felt like I'm a marshmallow without the ability to get squeezed in as well.

These are the same jeans I wore back when I was around 170-175 (back then, a belt was required and they looked very loose and semi-baggy, but because of bone structure, I can't really drop down to the next waist size that's generally available--those become very tight on my hips even if the actual jean looks great [and I'm sorry, I don't like that feeling]).

However, if I drop the weight and keep it off this time, I may look into finding the odd intermediate size through special stores or see if I can really get comfortable in the next size down with the right fit and brand. I think when I originally weighed that low, I felt like it couldn't last so I didn't want to invest in new clothing. Though now I know this is sustainable and when that day comes, it will last, and if I have the money, I will be investing!

Hayek 06-18-2013 06:43 AM

Day 112 (Day 49 of Restart)
 
Well, there are no cheat meals to report since last time so I'll just jump right in.

As of today's official weigh-in, I'm down to 203lbs. Still keep hoping for things to speed up, but the trend is in the right direction.

I technically started on 2/26/13 at 220lbs with a BMI of 31.56 ([moderately] obese). Now my BMI is at 29.12 (overweight). Granted, I know BMI isn't the most reliable indicator of anything, but it's nice to see it going down.

I've been mostly hitting my macros right on target. Sometimes I'm a few percentages off, but I'm not sweating that too much as my natural way of eating seems to bring me close enough to them.

One major change I've noticed since starting is that this way of eating is now more of an effortless habit than something I feel I have to "stick to" in order to see results. I definitely do not feel deprived of anything nor do I really miss any particular foods from my pre-keto days. And while I may not be losing as fast as I want to, and am still far from goal, I just focus on what I've already lost to keep me motivated. Granted, with this being an effortless habit now, I'm rarely ever feeling demotivated or as if I should just throw in the towel.

And as a completely random aside, because of the warm, often hot, weather, I switched from hot coffee to iced coffee (I make my own, not prepacked stuff). I've been placing coconut oil in with my iced coffee. Obviously that means it hardens up instead of being a nice liquid. But I scoop out the hardened chunks with my straw and it is freaking DELICIOUS with the heavy whipping cream and little bit of added Splenda. And it's ultra refreshing on the warm, muggy mornings.

I'm really hoping I can make it to the 100s within the next 30 days. Cheers!

Hayek 07-16-2013 07:03 AM

Day 140 (Day 78 of Restart)
 
Nothing too major to report. I'm only down 2lbs since the last weigh-in, but it's ok, maybe I'll break the 100s next month! I'm down to 201. Still far from goal, but also down a pleasant amount. Gotta keep focusing on how far I've come, not how far I've got left to go.

The two things I've changed since my last update are that I work out at least 5 days a week now - in a nut shell, about 45 minutes of cardio followed by 25-30 minutes of strength training/weight lifting (though I go more by reps than I do time for that) - and I weigh out all my portions of meat now instead of eyeballing it. I always measured certain things with measuring cups or spoons (liquids, vegetables, etc.) but was too lazy to use a food scale. Well, now I'm in the habit of weighing everything. The good news is that it turns out I've been over estimating my portions.

Also, I decided to finally take body measurements since I started working out (and anticipated some disappoint as far as the scale is concerned). I started working out about a week after my last update and I have lost about an inch and a quarter from my problem areas (waist, hips, thighs). While I'd still like to have a scale victory, inches are great too!

I also someone I hadn't seen since the end of November who doesn't know I was even trying to lose weight, and they asked another friend who was with us if I had lost weight before they asked me (I guess in case I would be insulted?).

So while I haven't always been 100% faithful or adherent to my dietary plans, and there isn't a great scale victory this time around, I'm thoroughly pleased with the non-scale victories, the general sustainability of this way of eating, and have no reason not to continue on. Slow and steady wins the race.

Hayek 08-13-2013 09:04 AM

Day 168 (Day 105 of Restart)
 
As of this month's weigh-in, I'm down to 197. Finally broke the 100s.

I've also lost 3.25 inches from my lovely muffin top since June. It's turning into a mini-muffin top lol.

Hayek 11-05-2013 12:35 PM

Day 252 (190 of Restart)
 
Well, I've neglected this awhile and my day count may be off as I just tried to do the mental math of it instead of looking at my tracking calendar.

Not a lot to report since my last post, which was when I first broke the 100s. My September weigh-in was 196 and both my October and November weigh-ins were 194 - so I'm stuck on the scale victories. However, I lost an additional inch and a half from my waist since my October weigh-in, so body composition changes are still occurring. And that'll have to be enough to satisfy me for now.

Had a few other non-scale victories, such as running into a former romantic interest who told me I was looking great, and being able to fit into my former fall wardrobe, including zipping up my medium-sized hoodies without any bulging going on. Also, I have visible muscle definition in my arms and legs even if I'm not flexing.

My macros have been adjusted, they're still the same percentage wise, but the actual grams I aim for have changed. I've also reduced my calorie goal a bit more, though I wasn't really hitting it before, but it helps keep me focused. Since mid-October, I'm largely down to one "real" meal a day because I have my morning coffee with HWC and CO and (this is the change) I also have it as my lunch. Sometimes I'll have a little something with the lunch coffee (such as string cheese, some lunch meat, or a small salad) if I feel exceptionally hungry that day, but this is rare. Combining this with exercise has led to some large calorie deficits that I'm wondering if I should "force" myself to eat more, however, I plan to just stay the natural course for now and see how my health results come out.

And, perhaps the biggest change of all, I no longer drink any diet soda! My last diet soda indulgence was on September 26 (I have it marked in a calendar lol). I don't even miss it. My can-a-day habit wasn't exactly out of control, but I rarely drank soda before starting a ketogenic lifestyle so I think it was just an outlet for some indulgence that wasn't ever necessary.

I hoped I'd be about 10lbs lighter than I am now at this point in the game, especially since I've been extremely faithful the past two and a half months, but I'm just going to focus on all the positive changes as I know only more of such changes are coming on the road ahead. Keep calm and carry on.

Hayek 11-16-2013 12:07 PM

Intermittent Update
 
Normally I just do the monthly update when I record and measure my various stats. However, after last week, I decided I'd weigh myself weekly instead of monthly and record that weight. I figure it might help me track fluctuations and keep my accountable if the scale doesn't move or goes upward - help force me to reflect on things I did or ate that might be different than normal and impacting the scale. I will only measure my waist monthly though.

Anyway, I was bummed last week when there was no scale movement, so I decided on Monday to weigh myself again. I weighed-in 189. I thought, ok, this is an odd and sudden drop for me without any real explanation (I haven't "carbed up" to cause an upward spike nor drank alcohol to cause an illusory but lovely water weight drop). I shrugged it off, but decided to weigh myself every day this week to see if I still stuck around that number. Even as of this morning, I am still weighing in at 189, so I'm officially considering that my weight and recording it.

Not sure what happened, and I'll see if something changes Monday (but won't be doing my daily weighs that week as I have with this one). Either way, it feels good to break the 180s and be about 15lbs from goal.

Hayek 12-04-2013 04:36 AM

Day 315 (Day 217)
 
It's technically Day 316 and Day 218 as I didn't update yesterday at my normal schedule, but only a two pound drop since the last weigh in. Not a big deal. No further inches lost on my waist either, but I'll just keep chugging along.

I did take the Wednesday night (chinese food which I haven't had in over a year) and Thanksgiving day off from my keto ways. But since I still dropped some weight I don't think it did too much damage, plus I'm not going to undo 30+lbs of loss because of a day and a half off. The Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving I did two 45 minute HIIT sessions on the elliptical each day (my quads felt like jelly afterward lol) and was back definitely back in ketosis by Saturday evening if not sooner.

And I had an NSV just now today, which reminded me to update. I used one of my more forgiving belts to wear my suit or dress pants for work, and couldn't find it this morning so I used a belt that I couldn't even use before I started low-carbing because it was too small. Well, not only was I able to use it, I had to go three notches in for the belt to do its job!

Anyway, that's all for now. Nothing too exciting to report.

Hayek 12-31-2013 09:56 AM

Last Post of the Year
 
I stopped counting the days and I'm too lazy to do the math to figure it out, but on to the last update of the year.

I haven't really changed much. I am down to 183lbs from 220lbs for a total of 37lbs since 2/26/13.

Since I started taking body measurements in mid June, I have lost 6 inches from my waist, 2 inches from my thighs, and 3 inches from my bum measurement (though I didn't create this measurement for myself until July).

As far as the New Year, I'm not making any resolutions period - I never have, and probably never will. However, I will continue on as I have because if it's not broke, don't fix it.

The only changes I'm making, some of which I already implemented, involve weighing myself every Monday (instead of monthly like when I started), and doing my journal reflections along with my body measurements on the last Monday of each month. I started on a Tuesday so I've largely been using that as my weight loss schedule, but I'd rather switch to what I mentioned above for easier tracking.

Bring on the new year!

RoxyRoller 12-31-2013 11:54 AM

Hello! I enjoy reading your journal. I like the once a month weighing, I was a scale hound for a long time. Congratulations on your weight loss. It's a great feeling isn't it? Happy New Year!

Hayek 01-27-2014 06:11 AM

First Post of the Year
 
I haven't changed anything plan or exercise wise since my last update.

I am down to 177LBs as of this morning and was at 183LBs when I last posted so I've lost 6 additional pounds since then for a total of 43LBs.

I've also lost a half inch from all the body measurements I take since that last post.

My next entry will be shortly before the one year mark so hopefully I can make goal by then for my one-year anniversary and review post.

Until then, just going to keep on going as I am.

Hayek 02-26-2014 08:08 AM

One Year - February Update
 
Today marks one year since I started on the low-carb lifestyle so I figured I'd summarize my journey - where I started, where I'm at, and where I'm going. It will probably end up quite lengthy, but it's the shorter version of the long version!

I always struggled with my weight since being a teenager and throughout adulthood. By the time I was in the middle of my sophomore in high school I weighed around 235LBs. By the start of my senior year, I dropped to 195LBs mostly by exercising regularly and no longer eating complete crap (e.g., no more soda or having fast food 4-5 times a week).

During that time in senior year, I sort-of did low-carb for a certain period without actually reading much about it. This was around 2002-2004 when one of the Atkins "crazes" started. I simply told myself to stay within 50-100g of actual carbs as I didn't understand the net carb concept at that time nor any of the other specifics about a low-carb diet. It was just a "cut carbs" mentality and see what happens. Even though I only counted carbs in that manner for about 6 months, I ultimately dropped to 185LBs by the end of my senior year of high school.

Throughout the four years of undergrad, I maintained a fluctuating weight range of 180-185LBs by moderating my portions, exercising semi-regularly, and doing the typical low-fat, high-carb "western" diet. By the time I entered grad school, I was back up to 190LBs so I cut all red meat, most dairy, and continued exercising, which allowed me to drop back to the 180-185LBs range. Eventually, meat and dairy were phased out of my diet and I ended up following a more vegetarian-like diet (though not in any intentional way, it just kind of happened). Between that and what likely, in retrospect, counts as "stress starvation" (i.e. being so stressed and busy I often only ate two small meals a day that I was probably at an extreme caloric deficit most of the time), I ended up dropping to around 175LBs by the middle of my second year of grad school.

During my last year of grad school, I went from stress starvation mode to stress eating mode, and by the time I was done with that final year I was back up to 195LBs. Fast forward through a busy and stressful 6 months and I was ultimately back up to around 220LBs by January 2013. Realizing how much I gained and the fact most of my clothes went from being snug to not fitting at all, I decided something had to be done. Thus, at the beginning of January 2013, I decided to start counting calories, cut out red meat, and do the typical healthy whole grains, low-fat, high-carb diet that is prevalent in Western societies and seemed to sort-of work for me before.

By the end of February, I had absolutely no results. At this time, I only measured my success by the scale, so it's possible I lost inches and didn't know it, but I doubt it. My clothes still didn't fit and I felt even more disgusting than before (possibly because I felt like a failure). Because of this failure, a lightbulb went off in my head about how half-arsed low-carbing helped me in the past and at this point wouldn't hurt to try again. However, this time I was going to inform myself and do it the "right" way.

Because Atkins was the recognized "brand" name on low-carb diets, I decided to read the 2002 version of his book. And on 2/26/13, I began my self-modified version of the induction phase. In short, my modifications allowed me to have coffee, unlimited leafy green and non-starchy vegetables, and a certain amount of artificial sweeteners, as long as everything remained within my net carb limit. After about three days of this, I entered ketosis. I did not get the typical keto/induction flu that so many describe. In fact, quite the opposite. I felt completely euphoric to the point of giggling at absolutely nothing, energetic yet with a calm focus, and noticed significant improvement in anxiety, depression, and other mood-related issues. After a little under a week, the extreme euphoria and energy subsided to more normal levels, but I noticed that all the aforementioned improvements remained. Ultimately, these ketosis-based benefits made me decide to not climb the carb ladder or go on to the other phases of Atkins.

While continuing my self-modified induction, I read "Why We Get Fat" (Taubes) and "The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living" (Phinney and Volek). After reading these books and better understanding ketogenic diets, I used online tools to calculate specific macros to target, which helped me become even better at specifically tracking my food in-take. So while I started low-carbing on 2/26/13, I did not adopt a "true" ketogenic lifestyle until 5/6/13. During those few months, I went from 220 to 208LBs. In retrospect, after reviewing food logs, I was in the ketogenic ballpark in terms of macros, but my fat:protein ratios were not as ideal.

As of today (2/26/14), I am currently at 174LBs for a total loss of 46LBs so far. Unfortunately, and one of my biggest regrets still, I did not take body measurements until I started exercising in June. Since 6/26/13, I have lost 7 inches from my waist and 3 inches from my thighs. I also created a "bum" measurement in July (similar to a woman's hip measurement), and that has gone down 4.5 inches.

I met (and exceeded) my goal weight of 175LBs. I will continue doing what I am doing and once the loss completely stops ("stalls"), I may consider adjusting my macros to take that into account to lose more. However, even if I don't lose another pound, I am extremely happy with where I am at, especially since this ketogenic lifestyle is 100% sustainable for me in the long run. The mental benefits alone would be enough to keep me dedicated to this way of eating. I enjoy the foods I'm eating, I enjoy the way I feel, which helps beyond measure - and I enjoy the results that follow!

Either way, I'm not the quickest or more impressive loser, especially with a lot of the amazing results you see/hear about with this type of diet. However, this makes me even more thankful for every single pound I've lost. And that gratitude will prevent me from taking the loss for granted and help me from deviating or becoming a "carb monster" again.

And while this wasn't always the easiest road to travel (especially at the beginning), most roads worth traveling never are.

Hayek 04-28-2014 11:16 AM

March & April Updates
 
I didn't post anything back in March so I'll just combine March's update with April's update. Some of this information will be repetitive, especially compared to my lengthy one-year post.

Since starting this journey on 2/26/13 when I weighed 220, I have lost 59LBs as of this morning, putting me at 161LBs. Since first taking some body measurements on 6/26/13, I have lost 10" from my waist and 4" from my thighs.

There have been plenty of NSVs, but a few happened recently.

In mid-March, I had to start tossing most of my underwear because the waistbands were getting so loose that it reached a level where my underwear would just slide down to the point of inconvenience. The waistbands stretched with me while I gained weight, but they didn't shrink with me when I started losing it.

Also, last week I wore a watch I purchased back in 2011 when I was around 175LBs. At that time, the watch fit me perfectly. Of course, when I ballooned to 220LBs, it still fit and almost just as well, but after wearing it for a full day, I would have some slight red marks on my wrist. As of last week, that watch now slides up and down the better half of my upper forearm. It's still in what most people consider normal watch sliding range, but I don't like my watches to fit like that so I'll likely have to remove a link in order to get it to fit the way I want it.

And, of course, I continue to use my leather punch to put new holes in my belts. However, pretty soon I will simply have to bite the bullet and purchase new pants as mine are beginning to look ridiculous in how loose they have become. It's to the point where if you don't think or know that I lost weight, you'd think I couldn't dress myself properly or was trying to identify with or follow a certain fashion scene or sense that I am definitely not trying to follow.

I would update my side-profile progress pics, but because of the clothing factor and the fact I try to wear similar clothing in the pics for comparison reasons, you cannot really see any differences in that context at this point. I may look through some other photos I have in other types of clothing to try to create a group of comparison photos based off of that, but until I get new clothes, there won't be much updating in that area.

However, that said, here is a progress picture I took toward the end of March comparing my weight from May 2013 at around 208LBs to my weight mid-March at around 170LBs:

http://imageshack.com/a/img59/6938/5hgz.jpg

I still kick myself for not having any useable before picture at 220LBs and for not having taken body measurements when I started, but it is what it is and I at least started doing it eventually, which helps keep me motivated.

Either way, outside of that, not too much to report. I probably should change the name of this journal as "Unfaithful Reflections" isn't too applicable anymore since I haven't gone off-plan since Thanksgiving and haven't changed or altered what I'm doing. Plus, at this point, the ketogenic lifestyle is simply what comes naturally to me and I will continue on.

Hayek 05-23-2014 05:31 PM

May Update
 
Normally I wait until the last Monday of a month to post any updates, but figured since much hasn't changed I'd just post some progress pics I threw together last night:

Side profile comparisons:
http://i.imgur.com/CcIS377.jpg

Random clothing comparisons:
http://i.imgur.com/q3RkNt5.jpg

Other than that, just continuing on.

NewestAtkinsFan 05-25-2014 05:53 AM

I just wanted to say, "great photos." I really enjoyed reading your journal/updates also. Thanks for all the inspiration and motivation! Awesome job!

Hayek 06-30-2014 08:34 AM

June Update
 
Not much to report yet again. I'm down to 155LBs and have been maintaining that for several weeks. I'm more focused on maintenance now than losing, but if losing continues to happen, so be it. I'm also focusing on upping my strength training so that could cause scale gains, but I'm taking pictures for myself to measure that progress.

I did buy myself a Fitbit Flex to a certain degree "just because," and I love it along with the Fitbit Aria scale, which I used to weigh myself daily now to monitor fluctuations and help keep myself focused on maintenance to make sure I don't slip up or start sliding back into old, unhealthy habits.

And, I guess one sorf-of NSV to report is that just last night, I kept obsessing over how delicious pasta sounded and made a conscious decision to take a one-meal break from keto (my first since Thanksgiving) as it wouldn't cause me to gain 65LBs back or stumble into a carbicidal-lifestyle. So I picked up a box of my former pre-keto staple favorite whole grain pasta and cooked it when I returned home. When I took my first bite, I thought to myself "this doesn't taste as good as I remember it." So I took a second bite, hoping for a different result I suppose. After the third bite, I just dumped it even though I hate wasting food. The pasta didn't taste as good as I remember it, nor was it enjoyable so I wasn't going to force feed myself. It's just interesting that something I used to love so much wasn't even worth consuming after over a year without it.

And since it appears I must have deleted the photos I previously uploaded, here is one re-post and one slightly updated:

http://i.imgur.com/GrDluYH.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/jFDEnYy.jpg

makrida 06-30-2014 08:48 AM

I just read all of your story and pictures. You have done amazingly well, Congratulations !

Even your fingers look thinner LOL !

Hayek 08-25-2014 06:14 AM

July & August
 
Nothing to report these past two months. Simply maintaining at 155LBs, which is just fine with me!


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