Back to Normal?

My Drugs of Choice!

Is it possible that only a week of fentanyl and hydromorphone use, prescribed & while in hospital, could result in withdrawal symptoms?

I’m scared of drugs. I mostly choose to put up with a headache, rather than take an over-the-counter medication. I prefer to let a fever run its course, over taking something that might reduce my temperature. I generally try to avoid antibiotics. Don’t get me wrong, I will take prescription drugs if my doctor tells me it’s essential. I just don’t want to mindlessly, nor needlessly, take them. I figure that my body, despite how poorly I treat it, will know best how to handle most minor afflictions. That philosophy went out the window with my recent attack of pancreatitis. I couldn’t wait for the medical professionals to stuff a fire-hose into my vein. The pain was excruciating and I didn’t care what they had to do to make it go away!

After two or three days, I passed on a refill. I wanted to see if the pain was manageable without drugs. The logic being that pain serves a purpose. If I move, and I feel pain, then perhaps I shouldn’t be moving in that particular way. The test worked. I still hurt. Stick that thing back in my arm again, please!

Next day, I skipped another dose. It hurt, but not so much. I was switched to the oral versions. Overnight, inadvertent turns triggered pain and disrupted my sleep. I wanted to be oblivious, so I took the overnight doses too. When I finally came out of hospital, I was depressed. I was missing my gallbladder. I felt sure that if I’d had time, I could have figured out a dietary solution. I regretted not having had a chance to do that. But I couldn’t risk another attack. Imagine if that happened while travelling. I thought the, potentially unnecessary, loss of my gallbladder was the cause of my melancholia.

While I had to get back to grinding through my work days, I wasn’t enthused about much else. It is only a few days ago that I started to feel like my usual self. Notice too, the length of time between this post and my last. That’s just not me. With the return to my “normal”, I can’t help but wonder if, as much as I missed my gallbladder, was I missing those drugs more?

Scary stuff, those drugs. I think I’ll carry on steering clear of them. And, I hope, hospitals.

Now if I could just develop a similar attitude towards cigarettes!

Results … Month #9

Results … Month #9

Results Month 9

I changed this month’s animated pic. Typically it would have proclaimed that I was “Down 32 lbs“, since I started the program. Instead, this month’s says that I “Gained 8 lbs“. I am keeping the Results post heading consistent but I didn’t want to hide the fact that this month’s efforts resulted in a pretty big weight gain. The first time that’s happened.

Of course, what I really wanted to do was scream out …

What a total loser! Or maybe it should be … What a total gainer!

What I said, after stepping on the scale this morning, was a tad worse. I won’t repeat it here. But you might be surprised to hear that I deliberately brought this all upon myself.

I had scheduled June for a bread test month. A couple of opportunities for some good bread eating turned up at the beginning of last month, so I flipped it to March. I have managed to work a lot of things back into my diet & I really wanted to see if I could integrate bread again. Why?

Because I love bread, of course!

For an entire month, I ate bread. Sometimes in controlled doses, at other times with abandon. And that wasn’t quite what my original intention was. It got so messy, so quickly, that I really haven’t learned anything new from what should have been a month of measured bread eating. I was so out of control that I was blaming eating bread for the slice of chocolate cake that followed. And for the bag of chips I scarfed while watching the big game on Saturday morning. For most of the month, bread was being blamed for everything. It was a total fiasco. I was, all at once, stressed, depressed, anxious & furious. And stuffed. It was all bread’s fault. It certainly wasn’t mine!

Was I anxious & depressed because I was eating all that bread? Or was it the anxiety that had me eating more bread than I intended? The whole month was so out of control that I didn’t know which came first … the chicken or the egg?

In fact, I didn’t care if it was the chicken or the egg, so long as they were between two slices of well-buttered bread!

Not only have I gained 8 lbs over the past month, but I’ve learned little to nothing from the experience. So I’ll have to do the bread month again. Properly this time. Just not anytime soon!

Now, a new month, a new start. It’s April. Maybe I’ll quit bread & smoking at the same time for the day that’s in it!?!

Happy Fool’s Day to all.

Unfortunately, I’m not foolin’ about the weight gain for March. It’s real.

Mood Altering Foods

Mood Altering Foods

Sourdough Bread

I’m being lazy, sorry. I am recycling this bread pic because I wolfed down the tomato sandwiches too quickly!

I generally don’t eat candies so I have no idea if that red food dye still gets kids going crazy in the classroom. What does seem to have an impact on me is bread. Though I’ll admit sugar might also be making a contribution. Whenever I fall off the wagon and eat bread, I’ve usually fallen so far off the wagon that I’m devouring cookies, candies, and who knows what else. None of which aid weight loss. And some of which may be playing with my head.

I’m generally an optimistic person. On a bad day, I’m probably just a realist. It takes a really bad day for me to feel depressed. Though on any given day, regardless of mood, I can certainly be anxious about uncertainty. Or about something that matters to me. Whatever my mood, I can make the situation feel worse by eating bread. I was feeling a little anxious the other day. My diet was off the rails and I simply couldn’t get it back on track. I have no idea why but, in the midst of this, I was inspired to test the bread theory. Again!

Growing up, I absolutely loved bread. There is probably no better way to eat food than stuffing it between two, heavily buttered, slices of a crusty loaf, is there!?! Bacon and eggs, ham and cheese, cheese and onion, French fries (the amazing Chip Buttie!), cold cuts, hot meats, even potato chips! Fresh bread, toasted, it doesn’t matter, all are simply great. Just on its own, there’s nothing like oodles of melting butter on an oven-fresh hot loaf. My mouth is watering as I write, though I only had a couple of almost-boring tomato sandwiches for lunch the other day. Even they were delicious. I couldn’t help myself, I ate more bread with dinner that evening. That evening I felt great. No indigestion. No feelings of malaise. No depression. Had I overcome the effect? Could I safely eat bread again?

Unfortunately, the physical and mental challenges caught up with me through the night. Disturbing my sleep and leaving me to lie there worrying about how I might ever get back to losing weight again. The next day was challenging, I couldn’t stick with the low-carb regimen I had planned during those sleepless hours. I felt quite miserable about it all.

Yesterday, I thought I’d try fighting one kind of starch with another and I committed to a predominantly potato day. I had hash browns for lunch. And a ludicrously large bowl of home-fried potatoes for dinner. Okay, I admit it: I went back and had a second bowl.  I started out with at least a cup of olive oil (it’s a really big pan!), along with six or 8 cloves of garlic, one medium onion, and some hot peppers for added flavour. And then that huge pot of cooked-and-cooled potatoes hit the pan with a sizzle. I did sneak in a chocolate-nut mix dessert too, drenched in heavy cream.

While my stomach was a little distended as I trudged up the stairs at bedtime, the noise in my head had abated. After a good night’s sleep, imagine how elated I was to find myself down 0.8 lbs the following morning!

Had I banished the bread banshees? Was it the feel-good butyrate produced by my tummy bugs from all that resistant starch in the cooked and cooled potato? Who cares! Feeling good is feeling good.

I’m not sure that I’m back on track yet. But I am cautiously optimistic!

Let’s see if I can make it through the rest of the week without making any more silly dietary decisions. Even if I have to force myself to eat more of those amazingly delicious absolutely awful potatoes! 🙂

Crazy Keto Contrarian Day

Crazy Keto Contrarian DaySourdough Bread

You’re going to love this one. Wait ’til you hear what I did yesterday!

In my typical hardly-scientific way, I thought I’d try something way off the charts.

Despite eating a good low-carb regimen for the past three or four days, my mood wasn’t great when I woke up yesterday. However, it picked up as the morning progressed. A lot. And I decided to do something a little crazy!

Lunch: Two sandwiches that included 4 slices of heavily buttered sourdough bread, 4 slices of Jarlsberg cheese, topped with real sauerkraut and a squirt of Dijon mustard. Oh, I had the heel with a big splodge of butter too!

Dinner: A curried fried rice with red kidney beans. Lots of oil in the pan to brown the garlic and onion, before adding the rice and beans. Added a cup of cream at the end for a little more lubrication. I ate ‘til I was stuffed and even had leftovers that I had to stick in the fridge.

Dessert: Totally shameless cherry ice cream with 5 squares of Caramel Sea-Salt dark chocolate.

I know, know! What on earth was I thinking? I was thinking to challenge how much my body had changed over the course of the past two & a half months. Was my blood sugar control any better? Despite my reservations about the impact the bread might have on my mood, would it be okay to do the bread thing every now & again?

Today … I only went up 0.4 lbs!

That’s great on a number of counts, and here’s why …

  • It is a pre-bowel movement (sorry!) weight.
  • I woke up really early this morning, so I weighed in two hours sooner than is usual.
  • And I pigged out on tons of pretty bad carbs (from a low-carb or keto viewpoint) yesterday.

What can I say, bread isn’t depressing me today!

I was monitoring my blood sugar throughout the exercise too. From morning to lunch time yesterday, I was low-normal (fours & low fives) courtesy of the lower carb days leading into this. My peak after lunch hit 6.9 mmol/L (124 mg/dL). My post dinner and dessert peak was 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dL). My overnight (I woke up at 3:00am) and very early morning readings were 6.9 mmol/L (124 mg/dL) or lower. The overnight & early morning numbers were still green on the app log but they are higher than I prefer. And they are not numbers that I would want to see on a regular basis. But since this is only likely to happen very rarely, it’s a great result.

I’ve seen weight loss on potato days before. Now, I think I could achieve weight loss on rice, or even bread, days too. Might have to skip that 1600 calorie dessert though! I know day by day measurements are pretty meaningless in the great scheme of things. But it is nice to know that I can go a little wild every now & again. Without paying the psychological price that a big jump on the glucose meter, or on the bathroom scale, brings.

The bottom line is that my diet seems to have improved my ability to handle sugar & starch. I’m not “cured” in the sense that I can go back to eating the way I used to. Not without consequence. And certainly not every day. But it looks like I may have brought still more flexibility back into my diet & my life. And that’s a good thing.

Now what crazy things can I do today!?!

The 2nd Month’s Results

The 2nd Month’s Results

That’s 17 lbs total loss since the start of this experiment on July 1st, so it’s only a 6 lbs loss for this month. It really is pretty good but I’m totally depressed about it though. Why? Because I’ve just come back from a two-week vacation in Canada’s Maritime provinces & Quebec, during which time I ate more bread than I typically would in about 6 months. Maybe even in a year.

Now I thoroughly enjoyed eating the bread. It was on my plan to do just that during vacation. But, as I’ve written about before, bread seems to depress me. So I’m depressed writing this morning! 🍞😁

Let’s be not-so-depressingly realistic here though: that’s a pretty good result for a month that was half consumed by the culinary debauchery of vacation eating. It’s still too soon to say for sure but this flexible dietary strategy seems to be working. I’ve got some work travel planned during the coming month but I continue to be intrigued by the potential.

Though feeling as I do this morning, it’s challenging to feel optimistic about the outcome!!! 😂 😭 😂

Those emoticons are a bit of depression humour right there! LOL

PS … I’ll cover the vacation eating in a little more detail, & its impact, in another post.