Results … Month #13

Not a typo!
Unfortunately!!!

I just can’t believe it, I weigh exactly what I did this time last month. I can’t even get the same weight on the scale twice during a single day, never mind over the course of a shaggin’ month. At least I didn’t put on weight, but this whole project is supposed to be about weight loss, so what happened over the course of the last month?

Summer is the time of salads & walking on the beach, it should be the easiest time of the year to lose weight. Not!

My story, & my excuse, for this pretty shoddy result is that I was trying to shop local. In fact, I was trying to find a local beer. I wanted a “favourite” beer made by a company that is locally owned, & not by one of the big international brewers. I have nothing against the big guys, I like a lot of their stuff, but I did want to have a couple of favourites among the small, local brewers too. Craft brewing is big everywhere these days, of course, but I’m struggling to find a couple or three beers that I really like. I don’t know what’s going on with all these fruit & chocolate flavoured brews, I just want a bloody beer-flavoured beer. And no, it doesn’t have to be screaming hops, or some other bloody ingredient, at me either. Is that too much to ask for?

Anyway, sitting amongst hordes of millennials, all of them sipping pink & cranberry coloured brews, with cinnamon sticks & orange slices hanging off the glasses, I tried beer after beer. They’re not all bad but I haven’t found the one yet. You know the one I mean, that one that is so good that you have to have a couple of dozen in the beer fridge, at all times, in order to avoid the constant worry that you might be running low. So … & only very reluctantly, I assure you … I might have to continue this beer investigation through the month of August too!

I think I might not be a wine drinker. Now that doesn’t meant that I haven’t drunk a glass or two of wine in my time. And I’ll probably drink a few more going forward. But really, is it just me, or doesn’t most of it taste like shite!?! That said, I’ve had a few glasses that I’ve enjoyed along the way so, never one to give up, I will persist until I find that perfect red & that perfect white. Here again, I’m looking for a local product. I still have a lot of work to do on this wine front yet. So maybe another project for the month of August.

And of course, when you’re testing beers & wines, you need to eat some stuff that you mightn’t normally eat. To mop up all that excess alcohol swishing around inside you, as it were. The old French fry is a great tool for that & you can get them everywhere, can’t you!?!

On the bright side of things, the good news is that it looks like I’ll be able to integrate beer & wine into my regular diet & not balloon up again.
Sure, isn’t that only great news!!! 🙂

PS … I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer & if you have any recommendations on the beer & wine front, send them my way!

Fat & Broken .. but Functional?

Beer or Wine? Mmmm!?!

There has been a big movement decrying fat shaming in recent years and that’s a good thing. It’s sadly typical of the screwed-up society we live in, that men are more “tolerated” for being fat than women. That doesn’t mean we don’t feel the pain sometimes too.

And I do.

These days, we are encouraged to accept ourselves for who we, and as we are. That too is a good thing.

But what if I can’t?

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of my reflection in a store window. Or maybe it’s a pic (Please, God, don’t let them post that online!) on a friend’s phone. And I’m shocked. For the most part I don’t actively notice such things. I carry on with my life, making my best effort to not think about my condition. But, every now and then, I see myself with horrifying clarity. And I am just that … horrified. For some short period of time, I am devastated. Is that really me? How could I have let this happen?

I grew up in a time and place where the definition of good parenting was a little different than it is today. Negative comparisons with our peers was often considered a good motivational strategy. And indeed, for some, it was. Regardless of its impact on my emotional development, I was sometimes motivated to change. Even today, I “happily” berate myself, in the hope of triggering some action.

And … sometimes … it works.

I guess I’m broken. Aren’t we all! Should I go and get it fixed? I don’t think so, it’s not serious enough for that.
Unless it’s the cause of me being fat in the first place!?!
No, that would be a nice excuse but I know that’s not it. Or at least it’s not all of the problem.
But is it okay to use this childhood affliction to motivate adult weight loss?

Occasionally,so long as it’s not bringing me down, I think it is. And, every now & again, I will use a good self-berating session to challenge myself to get back on track.

Such a pity it doesn’t work all the time.

Sometimes, I’ll instead just challenge myself to deciding between whether I’ll have a pint or a glass of wine!!! 🙂

Results … Month #12

Happy Dietary Birthday to me!

It’s early morning, & despite the rain & the grey day I’m looking at, I am so happy to be down 43.2 lbs for the year!!!

I’m going to gloss over the fact that I lost 33.8 lbs in the first 6 months. While only losing 9.4 lbs in the last 6 months. Who cares! I’m down 43.2 lbs for the year!

It probably no surprise that I would lose more in the first 6 months, than in the following 6. But the difference is a little more than might be expected. However … I have some great excuses! Moving house, some added job stuff, that hospital stay. There were a few stressful events that influenced the last 6 months so that’s what I’m blaming the slowdown on. It has absolutely nothing to do with my addiction to my homemade ice cream. Nor the fact that my French fry days have increased a little. Okay, a lot! It couldn’t have anything to do with the bias shifting heavily slightly from dark to milk chocolate, could it!?! LOL

Today is also Canada Day & I’m hoping that rain clears up. Because there’s a big Ribfest going on. And now that I’ve weighed in already, I don’t care how much sugar they’ve got in that BBQ sauce … I’m going out to do some serious damage to some brisket & ribs!

It doesn’t matter where you are, I’d like to share the warmth & joy of this holiday spirit with everyone …

Happy Canada Day to all!

I’ve learned a lot over the course of the past 12 months. The biggest thing I think I’ve learned is what my diet might look like when I decide to stop “dieting”. And I think it’s good! Of course, the job isn’t done yet. There is still a long way to go. But the journey began with a single step. And now, down 43.2 lbs, those steps are getting a little easier to take. I think I’m almost looking forward to seeing what will happen over the next year. I am cautiously optimistic. Putting aside the visit to Ribfest today, I’m ready to tackle the new year. One day & one month at a time.

Wish me luck!

Weight Loss Without a Gallbladder?

Dum Aloo or Dum Paul!?!

Despite being fat, unfit, a smoker, & generally an excellent candidate for all the diseases of western civilization, I’ve done pretty well. Short of an unusual incident, or an occasional accident, I have managed to avoid hospitals for most of my life. It was a little cruel that I found myself curled up, on the ground, in the parking lot in one of Canada’s favourite coffee shops, during the first day of me enjoying a couple of vacation days with the family. Fortunately, these coffee shops are well located in the heart of things, so there was a walk-in medical clinic on one side. And an EMS station on the other.

With some assistance, I made it to the walk-in clinic & immediately assumed the fetal position again. On the floor again. That disrupted things a little but one look & the doctor put out the call for the ambulance. The EMS team arrived in minutes & I was on my way to hospital shortly after. Under less painful circumstances, I might have enjoyed the Code 1 ride, lights flashing & sirens a wailing. Not so much this time. Thanks & kudos to those folk who do the ambulance thing for us, by the way. They were great.

Despite how much I know about what my pancreas does for me, from a dietary perspective, I don’t always treat it well. And while I’d certainly heard of this condition: pancreatitis, along the way, I never paused to learn much about it. After all, it didn’t apply to me, did it? It did now. And it hurt. A lot!

Long story short, after 8 days in hospital, I went home, leaving my gallbladder behind in some garbage can. I’m not sure I made the right call in going ahead with the surgery. And though there were people there with far more serious conditions than mine, I still felt sorry for myself. I’m sad that I lost my gallbladder. I miss it!

But how is the lack of a gallbladder going to impact my way of eating? My diet? My weight loss efforts?

There are varying reports on the impact that this very common (too common?) procedure can have on our lives. Most reports seem pretty benign. From a cursory look, it seems like the recommendations for what to eat after the surgery are as confused as the “best diet” recommendations for our general health & well-being. My biggest fears were that I would no longer be able to tolerate hot & spicy foods. And worse, I might not be able to tolerate fatty meals.

Never one to shirk a challenge, I begged for my first home-cooked meal to be hot & spicy … a seasoned-to-kill Dum Aloo! It crossed my mind that it was a little unusual for me to avoid meat, but that’s what I wanted.

And the result?

I survived! Since then, I’ve tried a few high fat meals. Including bacon & eggs, with cheesy home fries … mmmmm! I’m very conscious of not having that big shot of bile available to attack the fat but otherwise, I seemed to tolerate it reasonably well. There are some weird little aches & pains hanging around my midriff but I’m not sure if that’s just the physical healing after surgery. Or if I’m inducing them with my crazy food choices. I also decided to do a big bread day. There was no logical reason why, but I was hoping that I was miraculously cured of my typically poor reaction to eating bread. I wasn’t. And that was a really bad idea!

So now, I’d like things to carry on healing. I hope they didn’t leave a tea spoon inside me. And, maybe in a couple or so days, I’ll get back to the grind of weight loss … without a gallbladder! Fingers crossed, all will be well.

If you are living life without a gallbladder, let me know how it’s going for you.

5 Ways to Prevent Weight Rebound

5 Ways to Prevent Weight Rebound

Vanilla Cinnamon Pancake made with eggs & cream cheese!

If you just can’t take another day of dieting, try these 5 things see if they help avoid a rebound. And that horrible feeling that comes when we step on that lying, cheating scale the morning after falling off the wagon!

I’ve been struggling the past couple of months & these little tricks have helped keep me treading water. I hope they continue to work ’til spring finally decides to arrive.

  1. Eat more fat. I tend to choose fattier cuts of meat & add more pan-fried foods to my diet. Topping my greens with butter helps too. Keto & low-carb adherents will know the value of a fat bomb. Little treats that we can stuff into our faces without fear of disrupting that venerable state of ketosis. Who cares if fat has the most calories. If it stops us going through another self-destruct phase, it’s worth it. And we just might be lucky enough to carry on losing a little while we seek comfort in eating more fat. If that doesn’t work, and …
  2. When I feel like I just can’t carry on … then I don’t! Whatever diet I’m on, I try doing the opposite. On a low-carb diet? Go all carbs for a day. Or three. Sounds like heresy but it can work. If I feel guilty about it, I can make healthy choices, like broccoli, sprouts, or cabbage. Flavorful additions like garlic & onion don’t even count, right! I stir-fry these in my favorite fat. And eat ’til I’m ready to burst. This is my “Vaguely Vegetarian” routine. I try not to eat a slab of meat on such days. Maybe a tiny few bacon bits. Just for the flavor! Sometimes, I go all starch with my choices, like home-fried potatoes. A day or two eating nothing but fried potatoes or fried rice (but, sadly, not bread for me) can soothe the soul. Yes, I may see a blip on the scale next morning but likely not on subsequent mornings. Once the liver & muscle tissue is loaded with the stored form of glucose, & the necessary water that accompanies that, it’s difficult to add much more. And it usually flies off again, once I go back to low-carb. If the first two suggestions are scary, why not …
  3. Go with the creep. But cautiously. Dessert can often be a lure for those of us on a low-carb or keto regimen. And those fat bombs don’t always work for us. In fact, they’re sickening sometimes. But adding some berries doesn’t add a huge amount to the glycemic load. So I make my own ice cream! I add heavy whipping cream to a cup of frozen berries & blend. I mostly add some dark chocolate (70% is about as dark as I can tolerate & still enjoy) for chocolate chip ice cream. Very delicious & quite addictive but it can keep me going during difficult times.
  4. Pattern disruption can help too. My problem time is in the evening. On the couch. Can you relate? Skinny people tell me to just get off the couch but this is not always easy to do. Sometimes, I need help from the nuttier parts of my mind. Early in the day, when I’m most motivated & strong, I’ll place something on the couch. Maybe a suitcase, to remind me of an upcoming trip that I want to look good for. Or simply to take up all the room on the seat so I can’t sit! When it gets near my crash & relax time, that suitcase reminds me of how enthusiastic I felt that morning. And it helps me focus on finding something else to do. Somewhere else to be. Leaving a suitcase on my couch isn’t a long-term solution, but it can help me do some different things. And pattern disruption, even when not directly related to food, can often help develop some new, sometimes more positive, patterns. A new pattern might include …
  5. Going for therapy! While it may well help, I’m not suggesting that we all go book an appointment with our favorite therapist. Instead, I try shinrin-yoku! This is “forest bathing”, Japanese style. It sounds like a mystical thing but it was only studied & given this name in the 80s. It is a practice of communing with nature, gently ambling through the forest. Regardless of diet & weight loss challenges, it proved to be of great benefit for our general health & well-being. I like water therapy too. I like to spend a little time by the ocean, a lake, or a stream. Though at this time of year, in my neck of the woods, the blackflies & noseeums do their best to suggest I go elsewhere! And that’s okay too. Because I might visit my favorite coffee shop (for coffee only!), the local library, or take a walk in the mall. I may even just sit on the porch & say hello to the neighbors. And their dogs. I just added riding a loop of the local transit system to my list. It doesn’t matter what we do, just getting up & going out is the thing. Interacting with nature & humanity, even just a little, can do wonders for the soul. And we can but hope that the body comes along for the ride!

If you have any suggestions on strategies that have worked for you, & that might help keep me on the straight & narrow … please pass them along in the comments section. The comments link is just under the post title.