Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I've done something I was told was "unrealistic" and "would never happen".
I am very near my college weight.
I fit into a pair of jeans I wore when I was 24.
Take a look.
Me at 24:
Today, at 36:
Exact same pair of jeans.
Don't let anyone tell you what you can or can't do, folks. Don't let anyone tell you what is or is not possible. When you live life without borders, there are no limitations. If you can't find your way on your current path, find a different route.
Learn. Adapt. Survive. Thrive.
I'm not done, yet. No. I'm going to exceed. I am going to be better than I was at 24. I'm going to do all the things I should have done, with youth on my side. But I'm going to do it better, because now I have age, wisdom, and experience on my side.
I'm taking this ball, running with it, and seeing how far I can go. I'm off road.
Why? Because I can.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Two-fer blog day.
I'm 36. I do not have detectable levels of insulin resistance. At my last physical, my doctor said I was very healthy - she called me an "athlete". But I still carry more bodyfat than I should. I may be an athlete on the inside, but not on the outside. My LDL, HDL, triglycerides, kidney and liver function, blood sugar are all in the excellent range.
So if I am healthy, why am I suddenly so scared about diabetes?
I am seeing the results in the people around me.
My dad has been taking Avandia for several years for his Type II diabetes. Avandia has been shown to cause increased risk of heart attack and liver failure. It has been pulled from the European markets, but it is still available in the US. The FDA has put restrictions on it, but won't ban it. My dad continues to take it even with these risks because he says it is the only thing that works. When I visited my parents house, I was horrified. It was filled with fat-free cookies, crackers, Cheetos and candy. No, dad. Avandia is not the only thing that works.
My team lead is currently in the hospital. He has Type II diabetes, and has been on dialysis for several years due to kidney failure. He has been bound to a wheelchair for several years. He recently had a procedure done for peritoneal dialysis, which is where they insert a bag with fluid in his stomach that would filter his blood in place of his kidney. He hoped that he would be able to do his own dialysis, rather than going to a dialysis center. Unfortunately, he has developed a complication. Peritonitis. It is a bacterial infection, and it is potentially life threatening.
I can't help but wonder. What if there is a way to prevent this disease? Losing weight is just part of the equation. Most people end up overweight, then can't figure out why they can't lose the weight. Then they get diabetes, and think it is an inevitable part of growing old.
What if we are wrong? Type II diabetes used to be called adult onset diabetes. Now teenagers are getting it. Even Type I diabetes rates are rising. That is frightening.
It's not "if" we are wrong. We "are" wrong. Teenagers should not be getting Type II. When I was growing up in the 80/90s it was unheard of. I only knew kids with Type I. These kids with Type II are shortening their lifespan by half. This generation of kids with Type II are increasing their risk of cardiac deaths in their 30s and 40s.
We were told if we avoided saturated fat, we would avoid diabetes and cardiac death. This has not happened.
If things stay the way they are, that means by 2050 one in three Americans will have Type I or Type II. Current rate is one in ten. Diabetes isn't just linked to increased risk of cardiac death and cancer. It is also linked to Alzheimers. It is now believed that Alzheimers is a Type III diabetes.
People can stay the course if they want. Me? I'm going off the grid.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
My approach to diet has completely changed since I made the revelation that fat doesn't make you fat. Insulin makes you fat. I thought insulin and blood sugar was only important to diabetics. Years of abuse with cola have damaged my insulin receptors, even though I am not diabetic. However, it means that I have increased my risk of diabetes. It will take a while. I'm 36 now. Odds show that if I continue to eat a high carbohydrate diet, I would probably develop later stage insulin resistance by my 50s. I have no intention of taking drugs like Avandia. Not if there is another way. Not if there is way for me to turn it back right now. If all I have to do is reduce my grain consumption, then it's a no brainer.
Since I've altered my diet, I've only had to alter my menu slightly. All I did was reduce the amount of starchy carbohydrates. That's it. I started off with some pretty good eating habits. I have been eating clean for several years, so this was not a big stretch to me. If you have been eating frozen dinners or fast food, then the adjustment will probably be a bit more radical.
I have a few rules:
1) Whole, unprocessed foods. I shop only on the outer perimeter of the grocery store. I shop in this order: produce, meat counter, dairy, then checkout counter. I do not shop in the middle aisles where the processed food is. I do not buy Atkins bars, Zone bars, or low carb bread. Low carb bread? Whatever that is.
2) No reduce fat anything. Whole milk. Full fat cottage cheese. Regular cheese. Whole milk yogurt (that I make myself - no sugar added.) Whole cream butter.
3) Meat and vegetables. A vegetable serving comes with all meals.
4) If I eat bread, potatoes, rice, fruit, or dessert then it is one meal a day. This is the sugar group. It is a very small portion, and is eaten with a medium to large serving of protein.
Here is a sample of the menus I've been eating.
One egg omelet with cheddar cheese, genoa salami, and strawberries.
Coq au Vin with vegetables
Steak and roast vegetables (my honey made this!)
Baked chicken quarter, cauliflower gratin, and an Amstel Light.
There's about 2 tablespoons of panko bread crumbs that I used for the baked chicken crust. While low carb says deep frying is ok if you use a non trans fat, I don't like to deep fry. I still prefer to bake.
Ham and vegetable soup, and yogurt and blueberries
Yogurt, coconut milk, strawberries and dark chocolate powder.
Fresh strawberries and creme fraiche
Obviously I have a lot of strawberries in the house this week!
Do I feel deprived? Are you kidding me? This is the easiest diet I've ever been on. I am never hungry. I am always satisfied. I'm losing fat and building muscle almost purely with the food I eat.
My weight loss is taking some tweaking because I have added some exercise back into my routine, and I'm trying to figure out how to adjust the balance. Too much cardio definitely halts progress. I do think resistance exercises are more beneficial. Since it is summer time, I am switching my main form of exercise to swimming. I get a full body resistance training routine, it is fun, and I think it will have great results in toning and trimming.
Monday, June 13, 2011
I cannot participate on the message boards anymore. They make me angry.
This era is going to go down as the dark ages of nutrition.
I assure you I am not a genetic anomaly. I'm not some miracle because I quit the low-fat diet and am miraculously losing weight, and my health is improving.
I have to stop visiting the message boards because I'm not good at keeping my mouth shut. I just want to scream to the top of the world. The thing is, I'm not a crusader. It is not my place. I can't change anyone's mind who isn't ready to listen. So I just have to disengage. But I really hope people will come to the realization faster than me. Maybe they can save themselves a lot more trouble.
A long time ago, rickets and scurvy were determined to have been caused by lack of exercise. Exercise more, and you'll lower your risk of rickets and scurvy.
When that didn't work, they blamed witchcraft.
I want to show you something. This is the obesity map of America in 2007. It shows that the leanest state in the US is my home state of Colorado.
I hear a lot of speculation on why that is. Oh, it must be all the bike trails, hiking and skiing.
No. There's tons of wonderful outdoor activities in Colorado you can do. But my friends and I never did them because we were poor and didn't have much money. Skiing costs money. I never learned to ski until I got a middle class job and moved to Washington. My friends and I played soccer after school. We spent a lot of time loafing around at malls on the weekends. We were moderately active, but not super-athlete. We played plenty of video games. I am the Nintendo generation.
No. It's because Coloradans love their protein. Meat. We didn't let no government tell us we need to eat sprouts and arugula. They'll take our beef from our cold, dead hands.
Seriously. Drive I-25 from the New Mexico border up to Wyoming. You will see wide open spaces with free roaming cattle, munching grass, drinking from ponds and napping under trees. There's few other places in the country where you can walk into a butcher shop and take home buffalo, elk or venison steaks without special ordering. Either you are a hunter, or have a friend who is a hunter, who goes elk hunting. An elk is a huge animal. You get it carved up by a butcher, then you call all your friends over for a BBQ to help you eat it.
Up until my mid 20s, I was never fat. I never counted a single calorie. What changed when I got in my mid 20s? I gained weight eating fast food with lots of french fries and fully leaded coke, then I went on the low fat diet. I suddenly became concerned that all that protein I was eating was going to make me get heart disease.
I didn't lose any weight until I moved to Washington, then my diet changed again. My world was suddenly opened up to pacific wild salmon. I used to hate salmon. Being in landlocked Colorado, we could only get it shipped, and it was poor quality. I am very sensitive to fish that isn't super fresh. In WA, I could get salmon as fresh I could catch myself, if I wanted. In a similar way that backyard BBQ elk was common in CO, BBQ'd salmon was common in WA. I was eating a lot of salmon. I lost a lot of weight.
You might live in CO or WA and think, "Hey, I've never heard of this." You need new friends. Find a neighbor that goes elk hunting in CO, or salmon fishing in WA, and make friends.
But I couldn't finish losing all the weight I gained. So I went back to the low fat diet. My weight didn't budge. I kept trimming my protein and fat back further, and further hoping to see a change. Recently, I have been the closest to vegetarian I've ever been in my life. I didn't lose a pound. But my hair started breaking and falling out. I looked suddenly years older. I started getting some weird infections on my skin. I developed an unsightly cyst under my eye. My gingivitis was getting hard to control again. Thrush was showing up.
So as we know, I've recently gone back to my roots. Protein. All of those conditions I listed above cleared up, to my surprise. I was just trying to lose weight. I had no idea those problems were all related.
I am coming to the realization that we are a mostly protein eating species. If we stop eating carbohydrates, our liver is capable of producing all the glucose we need. If we stop eating protein and fat, we get sick and die. An all carbohydrate diet is impossible - we cannot synthesize cellulose from plants into protein. Even a minimal protein/fat diet is just skirting the edge.
I am not an anomaly. I promise.
For more evidence to make up your own mind, here is an interesting video I found of an neurologist who became an expert on heart disease because his triglycerides were off the charts. It is titled: "How Bad Science and Big Business Created the Obesity Epidemic."
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Warning: Contains pictures of swim suits. If you are offended by such things, click the button to take you away from here.
Ok, I'm getting over my embarrassment to show you my pictures. Please be kind!
A month ago, I showed you "The Motivator". It's a swimsuit that I bought for my upcoming vacation to Mexico. Only problem is, it doesn't fit. A risky move, but I bought it because I thought it would help motivate me. I didn't want to be a blob in it, so I had to lose the weight.
Here it is:
Well, I took some before pictures that were pretty darn unflattering. I knew I didn't look great in it, but until I looked at the pictures, I didn't know how awful I looked in it. Pictures tell the truth.
I kept trying it on every week and snapping pictures, hoping I would see a change. For a while, I didn't see any visible change.
Well, now I do have a little progress that I'd like to share with you. This is -7.2lbs down from 135.0 - 127.8. 38% bodyfat - 32% bodyfat.
Here is the front view. I've got bat wings, a double chin, and a poochy belly. No hourglass at all.
Here is after:
Bat wings are shrinking, some muscle tone is starting to show up! My waist is cinching. My double chin and face are shrinking. And my hair looks better! That is not just a coincidence. Really. It's a totally unexpected change, but my hair has suddenly become manageable, less frizzy, and it shines! And it doesn't break and fall out!
Side view, before. Ugh...you can really see the pudge in my arms and stomach.
Side view, today:
I have a jawline! My stomach is flattening! The girth on my arm is shrinking!!
What do you think? Is it just my imagination?
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