Saturday… a day like any other, I guess

Well, here I sit at my desk, contemplating stuff.

I am posting this in more than one section today because, well, all sorts of stuff in this one post.  My mind is being it’s usual ADHD self, so I am thinking about 10 things at the same time.  I am not joking when I say that during this post I will likely go away to another window at least 5 times, check mail, and basically get lost in non-related and unimportant things as it happens.   It is the nature of my slightly fried and very hyper brain.

Atkins wise:  Yesterday was not the best day for me.  I felt tired all day, listless without much energy.  My weight remains a pretty unchanged 175, which makes me think I have hit either a metabolic wall or there are other issues I am not grasping.  I am eating pretty much “by the book”, but I am pretty much stuck.  I am also not enjoying the lack of energy that I have had for a few days now, so I am looking for alternatives.

Well, today I guess I took the other route, and went out to eat.  Woohoo, I actually went out and ate something that wasn’t measured, checked, or weighed.  Lovely.  Kojax (a montreal greek fast food style deal) is pretty good, so I stuck to an Atkins version of it:  Meat, more meat, and some more meat… with salad and feta cheese.  1/4 of one pita bread (about the size of a dollar bill cut in half) as my carb break buster (more on this in a second) and hot sauce to dip and enjoy to make it all good.   I came home feeling pleasantly filled but not over stuffed, and I surprised myself by finishing the salad pretty much before I touched much of the meet.  In my mind, that is a pretty good deal.

As for the Pita, well, I know that is a big no-no, but I am starting to feel that my carb count per day might have been a little too far under for it’s own good.  This is doubly so because I am about to start working out more (badminton at least 3 times a week, plus bike and some weights) and after the crappy feeling I got on Tueday after playing, I don’t want to take the chance.  Tuesday really put a little fear into me, as I am really feeling that my carbs were so low that my body was not even able to refill and replentish my muscles as I exercised, which left me pretty weak towards the end and playing poorly, plus making me feel a little sickly.   I got the same sort of feeling after riding my bike as well, and that makes me think that I am not getting quite enough carbs to work out properly.   Regardless of diet, working out is important and having enough energy to do it is as well.  So I am more than a little freaked out on the concept.  So today I added in 1/4 of a pita (nothing big) which should have put in about 8 or 10 extra grams of carbs.  I will be careful the rest of the day not to blow the number out, but I need to see what if anything that will do for me.

I can tell you that after a long sleep (about 10 hours) and a decent meal, I am feeling quite a bit better and more focused.  I was really sort of losing the plot last night, and that bothers me no end.   I was so gone out that I didn’t even wake up on the alarm this morning to check out Formula 1 Qualifying, which is something I pretty much always watch.  I also missed the practice sessions, which is pretty strange for me.  Proof if nothing else that i really haven’t been myself.

Now, on to other more fun stuff.

First off, I added live chat feeds directly into  If you go to the new sites pages (click here) you will see a new window called “really live now”.   This really is a live feed, with a number of camera options.  You can open a free account over there and chat with the lovely girl, or just enjoy the view.  It is live from Amsterdam, and it is freaking hot!

Second I am still working on the new 1 hot tgp.  This site has a nice mix of galleries and such, and I am adding a ton of new ones every day.   I will be adding some great archive pages over there shortly, so you will be able to find everything you love 🙂

I am going to work on some stuff this afternoon and this evening, so I will come back to post more as it happens.

Have a great Saturday!

Another day in paradise I guess

Not really, just the same old shit different day.  176 this morning, but well, my hours were screwed up by having to take my car for service really early, so I don’t think I slept a full cycle.  As a result, I take all of today with a large grain of salt.

The car is fine, some stuff I could do to it one of these days if I have the urge, but generally things are okay.  The front sway bar bushings are squeaking again, and lubing them is about as expensive as replacing them, so that will get done some time soon.

Now, as part of my “lose weight get into shape” thing, I am going to step up my badminton (yu ma cho /  羽毛ç?ƒ ).  There is a fairly good league int he west end of Montreal, so I will be working over the summer to see if I can qualify to play at a decent level.  To that end, after 3 years plus of playing the same racquet, I went to buy a new one today (which I will get all nicely strung tomorrow) – a Yonex Nanospeed 7000.  It cost more than all the others I have combined, so here is to hoping that I enjoy it.   It is my reward / encouragement to get back to it and try hard.  The next tryouts I think are in  September, so I have 4 months to step it up bigtime and see where I can land.   I am lucky that i have some friends that are much better players and they will encourage me to try hard.  It is a really good thing, and I think being 20 pounds plus slimmer than before should make the game a little easier to play too 🙂

Motivation is your friend.

175… and that is that :)

Okay, I hit the magic number that is making me happy, 175.  That is the signal for me that it is time to start cranking the carbs (but not really sugars) back into my system and to start to work out more.

I also got a secondary signal last night, while playing badminton.  Near the end of the night, I started to feel very tired and very weak, not getting good recovery speed or anything.  Usually a few minutes break and I am good to go, but in this case I was pretty much worn out and not feeling really up to anything else.  This is certainly a sign that my blood sugar was probably pretty low, and that the conversion of fat to energy was no longer matching up to my needs.  For me it is a (perhaps false) indication that I have burned off all the easy fat, and now it is just the leftovers I am dealing with.  It may also be an indication that the carb levels in my system are just too low, and that I am missing important stuff to actually convert fat to energy.  Either way, it tells me that my diet restrictions are likely now too severe to get done what I want on those last 5 pounds, so change of course.
If I am going to work out and get more exercise, I will need to have enough energy to get that done.  So I am going to very carefully add in some more carbs, possibly allowing a fajita type shell (15 net carbs or so) in at least one meal, so that there is something there to work with.  Yes, this will pull me out of Ketosis, and I am sure my liver will be happy about that.  But I have a feeling with decent eating and exercise, the rest will come.  I will continue to work on the food side of the equation until I find that carb limit for losing level where things are still going well but I am no longer denying myself quite so much.

IMHO, Atkins works, even for someone like me who was only in the 20-30 pounds need range (I am at 18 pounds off now).  It is a clear indication that things are possible, and that this sort of deal works at least during the intial phase to get your body changed completely.  I am sure I have burned off fat that has been stored for years, and that is a real good feeling.

More as it happens… the game isn’t over yet 🙂

Solid 176 this morning

Considering that I had my diet day off and all, I am not disappointed at all.  Solid 176 without any fuss or muss… a nice easter present, I guess.

I am about 1 or 2 weeks away from joining a gym and getting to the more serious “fixing” part of this job… plus meaning I will have somewhere to play badminton (yu ma cho) for the summer, which is good.  I have at least one friend who is a member already so it is all good.

Hopefully this week will bring good things 🙂

Diet day off

Well, actually call it a meal off.

Here is the deal.  One of the things about Ketotis is that there many opinions that say that staying solidly in this mode for a long period of time is not good at all for your body.  It is one of the reasons that Atkins only has a two week induction period, rather than locking you into that mode for a long time.  They say you can stay longer, but they certainly don’t encourage it.

On the Atkins diet, when you leave that mode, you are suppose to add 5g of carbs per week until your weight loss slows down and then stops.  The point at which it stops is your CCLL (critical carb level for losing).  Stay below your CCLL (which I suspect is the line of ketotis or normal sugar / fat storage processing) and you will continue to lose weight slowly.  If you go above that line, you will either stay stable or slowly increase your weight.  NOTE:  This only works providing you are still following the no sugars no trans fats no high sugar modified whatevers, etc.

Well, I am all fine with that, but yesterday was my two weeks into induction, the numbers are VERY good (a little too good I think) so I allowed myself to enjoy a decent “carbs don’t count” meal of one of my favorite things, pizza.   Please note:  I removed all the crust area outside the slice, so the only bread coming in was that under the contents.   It was a montreal style pizza, so the crust isn’t very thick or anything.  I had a pretty low carb day otherwise, so it isn’t a really big thing – and most of what is on the pizza (cheese, pepperoni, some green pepper, some mushrooms) is mostly stuff that is allowed in the diet anyway, so there you go.  I might have blown the portion counts out a little, but basically it is about the healthiest junk food that I would regularly eat.   I ate until I was satisified and not stuffed, and then stopped.

That explains the most of what I have learned about Atkins going forward:   I controlled the portion (all good diets should teach you this), I avoided or limited the carb bomb part of the meal (the crust areas), and ate a type of pizza that was mostly stuff I could have (I avoided high carb toppings).  So even what some people would consider a “blowout” was in fact a controlled demolition experience.

This is what most diet books are loath to tell you:  You can follow our plan exactly and it will work, or you can LEARN our plan, play with it for your personal comfort and progress, and still do very well.  I think taking off as much percentage weight as I have since I started overall is very good indeed (More than 5% body weight on atkins, about 7% overall since I started).   More importantly, these drops have brought me MUCH closer to my goal weight (call it 170 for shits and giggles) – so from the original 193 to 170 (23 pounds) I have lost 15 of them, or about 65% of my total goal.  I cannot complain too much about this.

I am back in the saddle today, going to stay with it for another week, while adding in some extra carbs this week once everything settles back down.  We will see how this all goes 🙂

Good Friday… riiight!

Well, I guess we are 45 days after Mardi Gras (only reason I know when Easter / Good Friday and whatnot are).  Plus I guess passover is in here somewhere too… I am an equal opportunity type when it comes to being ignorant about religeous holidays, thanks…

Anyway, the scale said just about 176 today (mostly 176 with a little 177) so that isn’t all that bad.  Today is exactly two weeks of induction phase operation, almost 10 pounds in that time is pretty darn good for a guy who wasn’t all that overweight to start with, and almost 15 pounds since I decided my jeans were way too tight.  I still have some way to go, but overall things are working out better than I could have hoped for.

A side note about Atkins style eating:  One of the comments often made is “it is too expensive”.  Well, I am not feeling that at all, maybe it is my position and stage of life.  Let me explain.  I am a single guy, and I was cooking on average less than 1 meal per day at home.  Even at local (canadian) price for two McMeal type things per day, I could easily go through $15 per day.  Now I go to my local Loblaws or Maxi and I spend about the same or less per day, and much of it has been “setup” stuff and expensive things I prefer (like sliced smoked turkey… I can plow through a pound of that with the best of them!).  I have been eating steak, eggs, back bacon (canadian bacon to you south of the border) salad, vegs, cheese… and enjoying pretty much all of it.

So for me, Atkins has not only broken the fat cycle I was in, but also broken the “eat out” cycle I was in as well.  I went shopping yesterday and I had to work to find 3 things to buy (I had enough beef, chicken, and veg in the fridge, so just salad, cheese, and a bottle of flavored water (no carbs, no sugars, 0 calories… but carbonated so it is like a soft drink of sorts).   Breaking the cycles the in the end are not good for us (we are creatures of habit) is the sort of thing that has life changing implications.  As I get nearer the end of the Atkins process (maybe a couple of months from now) and move on to the maintenance stage, I will be in a position to enjoy much of the foods I enjoyed before, but I have a feeling that they will not hold the same interest.

Actually, one of the most bizarre things I am finding keeps me from eating out is the idea of potatoes and other high carb high starch foods that seem to make up a big percentage of the total plate size at many establishments.  Montreal is the Patate Frits (french fries) capital of the universe, and it is not unusual to get a couple of huge scoops of fries with everything ordered.  BBQ breast comes ina box topped up with fries – literally to the top in most cases.   Of course, most of the places are cooking them in bad oils, so the trans-fat count of them is insanely high, so they are taking something that is an empty carb filler and tossing horrible oils on top of it.  A really not cool situation when you think about it.

The other issue I guess is that most “faster” foods come in a bun.  Even the companies trying to push health bring their product to you on bread.  Subway (or Carbway as I tend to think of them) put almost all of their product on breads with on average near 40g of net carbs – two times induction DAILY levels, and a huge percentage of daily for someone on lifetime maintenance   They have one carb wrap thing (net 5 carbs) but that is a rare exception in a sea of carbs, carbs, carbs… (want to know more?  I found this list of subway information ).  I won’t even mention McFood or any of the 101 hotdog stands around here.  Safe to say that pretty much all of this stuff is a carb bomb waiting to happen.

Which I guess is why they are popular – carbs push sugars, give you quick energy and make you feel good, at least temporarily.  Much like drug addiction, you can get addicted to that good feeling of a sugar rush.  Trust me, I can down redbull all day without a blink and sleep at night… I have certainly had my additictions and pleasures from sugars and whatnot.  I can see how it all works, and I can see to an extent why it is bad.

However, that being said, as I have mention before, I will not be an “Atkins for life” member.  I am not entirely comfortable with all that comes with this, I don’t want to count carbs all my life, I don’t want to have to make excuses every time I am asked to go eat out, and I don’t want to spend my life totally avoiding things I enjoy.  Very simply, Atkins in an education to me, an experience, and something that I will carry forward for a long time to come, choosing better foods and being careful what I eat in general.  That won’t exclude the occassional Pizza or whatever, but it will be better balanced against a whole backdrop of better eating.

My theory is I didn’t get fat overnight, I wasn’t eating so badly that I was putting on 20 or 30 pounds a year or anything, but that over a long period of time, pounds had collected and there seemed little I could do.  Atkins is a reset, a new start, and a warning signal all in one.  I will reach my desired weight, and I will work to maintain it.  I will be carb and sugar careful in the future, and I will work to keep it this way.

Thanks to the late Dr Atkins 🙂

Second week almost over

Woke up this morning to see the electronic scale bouncing between 178 and 177, so that means probably half a pound since yesterday, not all bad.

I think I have reached the point of being both comfortable with the induction and low carb lifestyle that comes with it, and a little tired of having to say no to things.  I  have run into my first naysayer (” don’t do it, you look alright, yadda yadda “).  It is someone who’s opinion I value most of the time, but who recently seems to be getting further and further away from the mark on things I am trying to accomplish.  That person doesn’t realize that things like this are only steps in a process that happens in almost every life, and one we must face with the strength and courage of our convictions and desires.  So this is one of those things that I have to face with one of my wingmen sitting on the bench, not at all understanding the play.

As I get closer to my initial weight number goal, other things come into play that will change other things, and like dominos, they all fall together to resolve the issues before me.  This isn’t where I started, and this is not where it ends.  Sometimes taking a moment to remember WHY you are really doing something.   That refreshes my spirit and reminds me I can move ahead.

If you have a dream, a hope, or a desire… every journey starts with a single step.

Another day….

another pound.  Woke up to 178 this morning, probably as a result of a good workout last night playing badminton.

Last night actually was the first time that I had experienced any Atkin’s related issues.  I bent over to get something out of my sports bag, and then stood up rather quickly.  Dizzy time for a second as the blood wasn’t making it to the top floor.  That is after some pretty hard exercise, so it means my blood pressure was down a little bit towards the end.   That is a sign that I am pushing about as hard as I should, I guess.

Friday will be two weeks on that plan, I am hoping to see 177 by then, which will mean 9 pounds in 2 weeks, which is fucking amazing as far as I am concerned  I have honestly been stuck in the 180s for so long that I can remember the last time I was really in this range.  With a goal of about 170, I don’t think I am far off the mark here.

Warmer conditions have arrived, so I have been riding my bike a bit and generally getting a little more active, which is good.  I am also learning the good and the bad of the Atkins plan, and I see a few shortcomings that I think are actually slowing me down rather than speeding things up.  Most importantly, I am not good at measuring food, I cook by eye (I always have) and so I might be over doing it in some cases.  Learning to eat less and eat more often is key I think to making this work out, so I am rarely hungry.  Last night I was hungry after working out, that was for sure!

The other thing that I find negative in all of the Atkins world is that while some sorts of bread like products are permitted, none of them are readily available in my area (Montreal) and I really don’t want to order overpriced stuff from distant companies only to find out I don’t like it.  That would suck massively.  So I have lived without being able to make acceptable foods like Fajitas (which I do like) and instead I am sort of on a meat and veg diet that could easily become boring for someone that is a little more adventurous than I am.

Add to that the easter holiday weekend.  My sister has already invited me for dinner, which would include much many piles loads and buckets of carbs and sugars, which is just not on my list of things to do.  So I have to decline, which I hate because I enjoy seeing my neices and other family members, but I guess I do what I gotta do.  I have a feeling they will understand more when they see a slightly more healthy me the next time around, I guess.

Overall it isn’t bad, the food situation is getting a little dull due to the limited choices I have during induction, but the results are there and the suffering is really worth the end result.   I can physically see the difference (which when combined with other steps I took starting in January now totals up to 15 pounds), and my clothes either fit better or fall off, which is good in my book.  8 more pounds and I think I will have hit as low as I would want to go, but I guess that is based more on the look and my health and less on just what I weigh.

More on the weighty issue of the day…

179...It is the weighty issue of the day for me, anyway…

Just wanted to post up a pic to show where I had gotten to. I had started out about 192 or 193 at the top, so 179 is certainly a major improvement and it shows (no, I won’t take those pictures yet!). I am rather happy at this point, and happy enough to say that the goal is very much closer to 170 than I am right now. It all really depends on if I lose weight faster or build muscle faster (as muscle is a little bit heavier than fat, so I could lose fat and gain muscle and have my weight actually go UP, not down).

Yes, I am using Atkins, which is working out pretty well, although it is a modified Atkins (my own design) and it is doing pretty much everything I set out to have it do, which is, well, excellent. This week is certainly slower than last week for weight loss, but I have a feeling that I am just bumping a wall and that will solve itself within the next 48 hours or so as I adjust the food intake slightly (still eating a ton, just a slightly different ton). Plus the weather has turned nice here in Montreal, so I will be able to take my bicycle out and get some good rolling miles done there as well, which should help to raise my metabolism a little bit.

Overall, it isn’t so bad, and it is getting better. 🙂

More on the battle of the bulge… and other stuff!

Well, got on the scale this morning, and it suggested that I had broken a milestone (179, which is the second “turning” I have had since the start of the year). It is a very positive feeling to see that things are finally working out after any number of years of up and down and annoyingly getting stuck above 180. My real “suppose to be” weight is more like 165ish, but I am going to be happy to approach 170 and call it even.

Atkins is a life changer, even if you don’t guy into it completely or follow it like a religeon. It is true that much of it is very extreme sounding (I have never eaten so much steak, back bacon (what americans call Canadian bacon for some reason), salad, chicken, and turkey than I have in the last 8 days. I am literally eating like a horse, and yet the weight keeps going away. I am filled with energy, and I can feel my entire body changing gears into a much happier mode. It is a nice feeling. But I can understand that much of this isn’t entirely a natural situation, and that sooner or later, I will have to allow a fair bit more carbs back into my diet. However, the religeous part of Atkins will stay with me (and it is pretty much the same as every other diet deep down inside):

Empty calories, those generated from sugar and especially things like high fructose corn syrup that just blow your body away with huge shots of almost unmanagable sugar doses. Stripping away some of the carbs (moving from a potato or pasta to a salad or low carb veg replacement), and eating more of what comes naturally is pretty much all in the cards. Soft drinks, high sugar energy drinks (like Red Bull, example) are toast for me, as well as most of my high end coffee habit (I went from probably a pot a day to 1 cup a day when this started, and I am trying to find a way to ween that down further as I go along). All those things are generally bad and must be moved off the daily consumption list.

The most interesting about atkins is the lack of fruit in the intial stages (what they call induction) as they move your body into a state of Ketosis, which basically means your body needs to start converting fat into energy rather than just using the wildly abundant sugars in your system. Fruit is fairly high in natural sugars, and as such, would stop this process from happening. I suspect I am pretty much in this state right now, which is acceptable to hold for a couple of weeks, especially if you are consuming enough calories and protein, which I am certianly doing at this point. After the two week window, I think fruit is one of the things I am looking forward to occassionally adding into my diet, if for no other reason than I miss the tastes.

Now, some of you reading this might be asking “why would someone who is fat but not obese be doing Atkins style dieting”? The simple answer is that at my age (41) and with the length of time that the fat has been on my body (probably 10-15 years), it is very hard to get acceptable and dependable results from just the standard “careful what you eat”. Much of the fat on my body has been that harder, more concentrated fat that is hard to get to break up, andadding activity alone hasn’t really helped out. I get maybe 3-4 hours a week of exercise (hard, as I play badminton, which is a pretty intense sport at better levels) plus I am a stair walker not elevator taker. But almost without exception, I have been able to lose a certain amount of weight on each try, but it comes back quickly and I have sat between 183-184 and 195 for most of the last 10 years. More importantly, I have been my pant size slowly slip up the scale, to dimensions I don’t like (but that many people would still only dream about). I can remember buying jeans on my 21st birthday that were size 28… today that would be more like 36. While I know I will never wear the 28s again, my goal and aim is 32 without overhang (everyone knows the dreaded overhang).

To that goal, I am adding in more physical exercise over the next couple of weeks, working to tone the muscles and tighten up the waistline a bit.

So yeah, I needed Atkins style thinking to really make a change, and now that I have “hopped the fence” and made it past the first few days of craving and stuff, I am pretty much good to go. I do look forward to re-adding some of my favorite fat foods back into my diet, but I have a feeling that they will not be anywhere near as desirable or enjoyable when I get to that point. Changing your thinking really does go a long way to obtaining the long sought and rarely found results.

So I keep on my path for my goals, and hopefully they will come to me over time. If you don’t have a goal, you have nowhere to go. I have a goal and I am heading that direction 🙂

Any other atkins people out there? Drop me a line or a comment, the comments are open on this blog.