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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Longing for Life Changes

As you can probably guess, I've been struggling.  I was kind of holding it together up until the weekend before vacation.  I wanted to keep some semblance of control that week, but did not do anything to make that happen -- no fasting or eating keto, etc.  My eating was not out-of-control excessive, at least the week of vacation.  But I was eating way too many carbs and some sugar.  This past week was a little worse.

I started out Monday fasting, and decided to eat when I got home from work.  I planned to start back up and do another 20-22 hours the next day, and made it until lunch.  It kind of went downhill from there.  It was not the worst I have ever done, but I did get a craving for jelly beans (a coworker keeps them on his desk and I had a few of those), and ended up buying some and finishing them off.  I've been trying to do some better and now I'm coming around to the beginning of a new week.

My right knee has been hurting a lot.  I feel like I am needing it replaced, but there is no way I am going to do that without significant improvement in my back.  (I may get an injection in my knee soon.)  I wouldn't be able to do the rehab required for a knee replacement with my back the way it is.  On top of that, sciatica is flaring up again.  I have more symptoms today than I've had in months.  I know how much eating low carb and grain-free (not to mention fasting) helps inflammation, so it is motivating.  I really have to pull it together.

I think one of my problems is that I am at a weight my body likes.  It is a weight I have stayed at for long periods of time and it takes quite a bit to push past it.  I feel like if I can do what I need to do to do that, I will start having more regular progress.  So that is the plan this week.  I've already started my fast.

Grains and sugar need to be history.  I am having headaches again, and I think grains (particularly wheat) are the culprit.  I am having headaches consistently and they are pretty bad.  I have difficulty going to sleep at night because my head is hurting, and at times, it hurts enough to feel nauseous.

All of these things improve when I am fasting and eating low carb.  The thing is, nothing I "should" eat sounds good most of the time, and I am never in the mood to cook.  I would love to do a more extended fast for a while and see if I can kind of reset my appetite and break loose from carbs.  I'm not feeling very "gung ho" about this fast, but I started it at around 6:30 and have made it to bedtime.

There are some emotional and life things I am thinking about and struggling with.  I don't want to share too much, but let's just say I am ready for some changes to my life in other areas.  I know it is up to me to make changes in order for those things to change.  I am praying (really) not only for strength to change, but for more consistent desire to change.   If my desire is not strong enough, I certainly will not have the other kind of strength needed to change.  I am feeling the need to put my needs to the forefront, more and more.  Not in a selfish way, but my life will not change if I am not willing to change some things.  Weight loss and improved health and energy would help a lot in these things.  So now I am back to where I started.

So that is the plan this week.  I have half of the year left to make more progress (since I wanted this to be my year).  I can do this.  I want to do this.  I must do this.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Tough Week

I mentioned that I have been loose with my eating, as far as what I eat, on my non-fasting days.  I had not checked my blood sugar lately, so decided to do that last night.  It was higher than I would like, but perhaps not too high since it is not a fasting blood sugar.  It was not in diabetic range, even for non-fasting.  Fasting blood sugar of 125 or over is diabetic range.  My non-fasting blood sugar this evening was 116.  I hoped it would be lower, but I will check it again tomorrow and see what it is.  I've kind of let that issue fall from the forefront of my mind, and I need to realize that there are more effects to my eating "loosely" on my non-fasting days than just weight-related issues.  But fasting balances it out somewhat.

I am struggling a bit with hunger today.  That could be nothing more than my tummy complaining after eating too many carbs lately.  Carbs make you want more carbs, particularly sugar.  So right now I am just treating it like that is what it is.  It has been harder than usual this week.  If I decide it is something else -- like my body needing a break -- I will rethink it.  I don't feel bad.  I just feel hungry and my mind is entertaining thoughts of eating, more than usual.  Usually when I am in fasting mode, I just do it.  But I have a suspicion my loose eating is to blame.  I plan to keep going until tomorrow evening.  This is also a reason I prefer fasting 4 days in a row instead of breaking it up.  I have to go through the hunger stage more often.

As the day has gone on, I have still struggled, but it is that kind of hunger you always have on the first days of a fast.  I feel fine; I just want to eat.  But I want to make progress.  So this weekend I plan to stick to eating low carb foods so that future fasting isn't such a struggle.  I will do the best I can do on vacation, and bring some things that will help me regardless of what meals other people plan for the trip.  (Each family unit will be responsible for certain meals, their choice.)  I think I just decided what I might do for the dinner I am responsible for.  I can make a brisket and we can have brisket tacos.  I can make mine into a salad, if I want to, or take other measures to keep mine more low carb.  I can also bring a keto dessert that will give me something to have when other desserts are being served.  One of my daughters is following a keto diet and will likely try to have food that is conducive to her plan.  So that will help.  I believe my son said he will be making some kind of a stew, which can be not too bad for a lower carb meal.  As long as I am not eating a bunch of junk, I will be okay.  I am making pancakes for my breakfast, but could make me some keto pancakes for mine and take some of my SF syrup.  I have to make up my mind that staying on track is more important to me than what I eat on vacation.  But if I do end up indulging more, I will just get right back to it when I get home.

I also think I need to eat more on my eating days.  More of the right things.  More protein, for sure.  On the weekends I was loose on my eating, I did not eat much protein and I think that is another reason I am hungrier.  Just need to tighten things up.

One thing I will probably do when I get home this evening (I am still at work) is drink some broth.  That is not too destructive to a fast, will help satisfy me, and will warm me up.  I have been so cold today!!  That happens sometimes when you are fasting, but I have had to keep a sweater on a good part of the day today.

I am almost 27 hours in to this leg of my fast.  If I can make it through tonight, I think I will be fine.  It has been tough this week.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Picking Up Again

As predicted, I did eat last night with the plan that I would pick it up again this afternoon (after eating breakfast and lunch).

I got me kind of a chicken fajita salad from Taco Cabana last night.  That is all I ate.  This morning I had some eggs with cheese, sausage and a little avocado.  For lunch I had another chicken salad.

I have started my fasting timer again and the plan is to go until Friday evening.  I really need to do this and have a successful week.  Not only to keep my progress going, but to be successful at a different kind of week where the fasting is broken up, because there are times I need to switch things up.

I am being careful to eat the right things this week.  I was way too loose with what I ate the last two weekends.

So, I will report back tomorrow and be accountable about whether I stuck to plan.

Vacation is only a week away!  I have to decide how I am going to handle that.  I want to do some fasting during the week, but be able to enjoy my vacation without too much restriction.  I may do 16:8 days while on vacation.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

No More Speed Bumps

Last week ended at 4 days instead of 5.   I am perfectly fine with that, and my weight seems to be responding.  (I have messed around too much.)  I decided that is my sweet spot and I will stop trying to push it.  Unless there is a really good reason to.

One thing I have noticed -- I started taking a thyroid supplement (not prescription) again and that seems to be when my weight started responding.  So I will keep that up.

I was planning on another 4-day fast this week and got to about 1:30 today and decided to eat something.  It was more of a struggle last night and today, for some reason.  But I do plan to do more fasting this week.  I don't know whether to just keep going like I didn't break it (I ate some peanuts; nothing else), or refeed one day and go two more days.

Dr. Fung's recommended schedule is 36 hours, 3 times a week for weight loss.  I did about 45 hours so far this week (I started at 4:00 pm on Sunday).  I'm not really in the mood to cook tonight and don't have anything pre-prepared.  Just have to decide what I want to do.  I will either pick something up for dinner, or will just pick up and keep going.  I'm thinking it will be the former; I want to see how well I can do this and decide if I want to do it that way other weeks.  I'm thinking I might pick up something from Chipotle.  When I fast this amount of time I don't have to ease back into eating as much.

I have a dress that is going to be my next goal dress.  It is not the size I want to ultimately be, but I have my eyes on getting into it in the coming weeks (or months).  You can't see it really well, but here it is (below).  It belonged to my daughter.  She wore it a few times and then had it in a pile she was going to give away, and I snagged it because I always liked it.  It is a close fitting dress, but I do not want it as close-fitting as my daughter wore it.  I don't want it showing every bump and bulge; just want it to hang nicely.  Hopefully it won't be very long until I can wear it.  But it could be quite a little while -- I estimate I will need to lose at least 20 pounds before I am comfortable wearing it, but maybe not that much.  Just something else to motivate me.


I cut my hair this past weekend, pretty dramatically.  I will post a picture when I get a good enough one (I'm terrible at selfies).  I just wanted a new, more put-together look.  I tend to let my hair grow out too long because I don't get around to going to the hair dresser often enough.  So I probably cut at least 5-6 inches.

Even though I kind of messed up today, I don't want to allow it to get me off track.  I need to be making regular progress.  I don't want this to turn into another speed bump.

I was at my lowest weight on this round of weight loss at the time I ended last week's fast.  I hope to add (subtract) at least a couple of more pounds this week.

I will try to check in tomorrow and be accountable on how I did.


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Feeling Good.

Day 3.

As I write this, I am now on the downhill stretch of this fast -- 65 hours in.  I do plan to go the full 5 days.  We will see how I do tomorrow night.

As I said, I am seeing some progress in my body.  I feel I am on the verge of moving past where I have been recently and I want to see it through and make that progress.  And then I want to keep going (with subsequent fasts).  No more messing around.

I worked on my budget a little the last couple of days and I spent way too much on food during the last month.  That is another motivation to fast.  It is partly from special occasions, paying for other people, etc.  But I should have money left over from my budget if I am on my fasting schedule.  I want to use that to pay down more debt, or for other things I might want, like clothes, activities, etc.  I'm not beating myself up about it, and that is not the reason I fast, but it is motivating.  Hopefully I am on a roll again.

Later

I am now 74 hours in.  I should get to the point fairly soon where hunger stops.  I've been a little hungry and tired tonight, but nothing too extreme.  I'm working hard at work right now, and I am ready to chill when I get home.  But the work is satisfying.

That's about it for tonight.  Feeling good.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Keep Fighting the Fight

I finished up last week's fast on Thursday (did not go on through Friday).  I am in Day 2 of this week and would like to go through Friday evening, but we will see how it goes.  So far, when I have had it in mind to go longer than the 4 days that typically end on Thursday evening, I haven't been able to push through and make myself keep going.  I really haven't tried that hard.  When I get to Thursday I just think about being ready to eat.  So I have to keep in mind the benefits of going longer.

I am having trouble with cravings on the weekends.  I want more carbs than I feel like I should eat.  I am trying to limit them to "real food" as it comes in nature, but am not always successful.  I will continue to try to clean that up, but I would like to do the 5-day fasts, at least for now, to kind of keep me going even I don't eat as clean on the days I do eat.

I am still trying to use the motivations I talked about last post, and they do help.  I was feeling like a little shaky (in my resolve) this morning (for a short time), and I pulled out my pictures of clothing I would like to wear, etc., as well as reminded myself about the other motivation (possibly seeing my ex in the not-too-distant future).  This evening I feel pretty strong.

I heard one of our attorneys on the phone talking to his wife this morning.  I wasn't trying to listen, but you can't help but hear.  It made me wish for someone who is as kind and patient as he seems to be with his wife and kids.  I haven't given a relationship a lot of thought in the last year or two, but deep down, I would still like to find someone.  As I get further in this journey, and feel better and better, I will start putting some effort into that.  Right now, I will just keep fighting the fight.

Another thing I want to do in the time before I think about that is get better with my housekeeping.  I have come to the realization in the last few months that a significant cause of that is my lack of energy.  When I am feeling better, I naturally get up and clean and do stuff.  So I think that will get better in the coming months as I keep fasting and healing and losing weight.  I feel good this evening (after I took my electrolytes).  I had cleaned my room over the weekend and I did what was necessary to maintain that instead of letting clutter build up like it usually does during the week.

I have also been thinking that I want to get out and try a little walking in the next few weeks.  We have a park right next to our house that has a walking track.  I think it is a mile around.  I could start by walking around that once every night.  My dog could use the exercise, too.  Hopefully there are no coyotes around.  (There are sightings in the general area on occasion.)  They would be quite attracted to my Yorkie -- he's a big Yorkie, but still not a big dog.

I was thinking about the electrolyte issue I have struggled with for so long.  I still do struggle with it, at times, but I now know what to do.  I am trying to maintain a level on fasting days that keeps me virtually free of symptoms, with a lesser amount on eating days.  But I recognize the symptoms now and feel confident that I am doing what is needed.  It is not such a huge struggle for me now.  Thank goodness.  I was feeling quite sleepy when  I got home, took my electrolytes and it wasn't long until I perked up.  I have had somewhere around 3,000 mg of potassium today.  Recommended daily amount is 4,700 (which includes what you get in food).   Perhaps I should a take a little more before bed since I am not getting any from food on fasting days.

That's it for tonight.  I'm feeling positive and like I am seeing some progress in my body.  That motivates me more than anything.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Motivation

Today has gone along okay.  I have had some hunger pangs, but have not been tempted to break my fast.  I am almost 66 hours into my fast, so hunger should be decreasing fairly soon.

I am thinking of things to motivate myself.  I mentioned one yesterday.  I still have that one in mind when I try to rationalize stopping sooner than I planned.

I like visuals.  It really helps me.  I was lying in bed last night trying to go to sleep and focused my mind on what I would like to look like, and what kind of clothes I would like to wear.  I confess, it was hard to visualize myself any way other than the way I have been for years.  So today I have been looking at the type of work clothes I would like to wear.  I want a more polished look for work when I get to where I want to be.  Today's look is more of a flared denim skirt with a top.  My look has been decidedly more casual than I would like.  The preferred look would be more of a pencil skirt with a nice blouse.  Or a nice dress.  Or a suit.  So I am saving pictures of things I like -- not because I plan to buy those specific ones, but to look at periodically as motivation.  I will print out pictures and put them in a notebook and view it every once in a while to keep in mind where I want to go.

A few years ago I had a notebook where I took a list I had made of the reasons I wanted to lose weight.  I made a page for each reason and I added pictures to illustrate each reason.  I can't find my notebook right now, although I know I still must have it somewhere.  So maybe I will make another one.

My reasons have changed somewhat; although certain things are still valid, they are not as important as they used to be.  Others have become more important.  Those are the health-related things.  Like wanting to reverse Type 2 Diabetes (which I did not have then), not wanting to develop heart disease, and wanting to never, ever have Alzheimer's (which runs in my family).  My lifestyle (when I am on track) will do all those things.

The thing I would like to add to my lifestyle, at some point, is more exercise.  I want to be stronger and more energetic.  I feel too handicapped, at times.  My mobility is impaired.  I want that to improve greatly.

I need to get some more weight off to be able to do much of that, but I hope to be able to get started in a couple of months.  I hope by then my back will be less of a problem.  Right now, if I do much new activity, I am sore for days afterward and my mobility decreases.  For instance, yesterday -- because of a problem with the train system here -- I had to go down several flights of stairs.  That has been difficult for me since my knee replacement.  My quads are not as strong as they need to be and my knees are very stiff.  (Of course, the other knee has basically no cartilage.)  But yesterday I was able to descend those stairs more normally than I have been able to do since my surgery.  I didn't have to turn sideways to step down.  But today I am sore.  I am walking like an old lady and I realized that is probably why.  (I already walk like an old lady a lot of the time, but today it is more pronounced because I am stiff and sore.)  I want to get to where having a more active than usual day does not set me back.  And I want to be able to do fun things with my grandson.  I try, but I am limited.  Last time we went to the zoo, I rode around on a scooter.  And that is okay; I am glad they are available so it is more enjoyable for me.  My grandson enjoyed that too!  But I would prefer to be able to walk the whole time without having to sit down and rest all the time, or get off my feet because my back is killing me.

The thought struck me that if I made that motivational book back then, and I am still basically in the same condition, what makes me think it will ever be any different?  But you know what?  I know it can be.  I know what I am doing will work.  It is my choice -- I just have to do it.  Before, oftentimes I felt doubtful that it would work, even if I did do what they said you should do.  But I have much more optimism about it now.

So, I'm going to take this motivation and use it.