How healthy I’m not…

That blasted shoulder separation incident REALLY set me back.

1) It got me out of the exercise habit.
2) It got me dependent on external sources for pleasure-center stimulation (6 weeks of Lortab)
3) I broke the Lortab dependency with comfort food…
4) My diet shifted from a nice, medium-carb maintenance diet to being heavy on starches and sugars
5) I didn’t get back into the exercise habit

The result: I’m 10 pounds heavier. I’m officially “obese” for my height, since I’m about 25 pounds heavier than I should be, and I’m about 40 pounds over the 8% body fat weight I consider “fighting trim.” My energy levels are low, and I guess it’s a good thing I’m working at home since I seem to need about 10 hours of sleep per day. That’s 8 hours each night, plus two one-hour “not-really-a-power-nap” naps.

Enough is enough.

Low-carb dieting has always worked well for me, but it’s expensive. Well, last week Sandra and I decided that we’ll go ahead and spend the extra $100 or so each month, and put me back on the low-carb wagon. Last night I fried some egg-dipped mozzerella before bed. This morning I had cold ham for breakfast. Then I went shopping.

Mid-morning I had fresh mozzerella drizzled in olive oil. Midday, while pencilling, I snacked on hot chicken broth and celery sticks. I popped a few Li’l Smokies in the afternoon, and then headed for the gym. After a nice 45-minute workout, I came home where for dinner I had a low-carb Masaman curry — grilled chicken, not-lite coconut milk, masaman curry paste, and 5 packets of Splenda.

My energy levels are already starting to pick up. And good grief… I ate CELERY. And LIKED IT. The urinalysis kit (ketostix from Bayer) shows that I’m already pissing trace amounts of ketones, which means my metabolism is shifting from “sugar-on-the-fly” to “fat-burning.” Tomorrow I’ll be far enough into ketosis that I can start digging into actual salads: romaine lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, ranch dressing, and real chunks of crumbled bacon.

I’ll really miss buttered toast with my eggs at breakfast. And grits. And Nesquik (there isn’t any in the house — it’s too tempting). But if I can get my energy levels back up and drop 15 pounds between now and Christmas (5 pounds a week, I’ve done it before), it’ll be worth it.


(p.s. Anyone feeling compelled to post anti-low-carb diatribes may take comfort in the fact that I’ll read your post at least once before deleting it. I’ve heard it all before, and I know what works for me. You don’t.)

33 thoughts on “How healthy I’m not…”

  1. No anti-low-carb diatribe here; if that’s what works for you, go for it, and good luck.

    All I can really say is that what seems to be working for me is ‘The Hacker’s Diet’ ( ); all it really is is knowing that 3500 calories equals one pound of fat, and knowing that my body burns about 1900-2000 calories a day. If I eat more than that, my weight goes up; if I eat less, it goes down. (Not counting the usual plus-or-minus five-pounds-or-so from water etc.)

  2. Hee – works for me, too. And as a diabetic, makes insulin doses smaller and easier to figure. I have to do South Beach though – if I burn ketones, doctors get all ticky.

    Good lock.

  3. All I can say about the whole low-carb diet thing is what I said back when they were working on redoing the food pyramid, before they released the new one (that is much, much WORSE than the old one)…

    The creation of the old food pyramid was mostly funded by the bread and pasta companies.

    That’s all. Just that eating carbs is not as good an idea as you (by ‘you’ I mean ‘I and people my age’) learned it was in middle school, so low-carb diets are on to something. Might be they go a bit extreme, like most diets do, but m’eh, whatever. I just ignore it like I ignore all other diet advice.

    1. It seems the old food pyramid was created when a lot larger chunk of the population were in more rigourous jobs. I’ve been on something very much resembling an Atkins diet my whole life, mainly because I love meat more than all the rest of the food groups, but when I’m doing steel framing, I know I need a lot more potatoes than when I’m working in retail.

    2. A close friend of mine discovered that avoiding carbs has a very distinct effect on her emotional state and energy levels: she gets depressed, cranky, and tired. In short, it makes her life miserable.

      The appropriate conclusion from this, of course, is simply that her metabolism is tuned very differently from Howard’s (as should be blindingly obvious to anyone who looked at the two of them!) and thus she needs different food.

      Funny how that works.

      (So I think the real conclusion is that the best diet advice is: pay attention to what works for you.)

      (I should also note that I’m not posting this to disagree with you, at all — it’s just a tangent that your comment brought up.)

  4. I think it impressive that you’ve listened to your body and found out what works for you. And I applaud that you have recognized your need to trim down a bit and have already started in on the way that works for you – you have family support which is of the utmost importance.
    Really, as long as you don’t mistake low-carb for no-carb, you’ll be back to your ‘fighting trim’ in no time!

    1. Yeah, for the most part when I do low-carb what I’m really doing is no-starch, no-sugar. Once I get into the diet, I’ll be having lots of veggies. I’ll also treat myself to a bowl or two of muesli (sweetened with Splenda) each week to make sure I’m getting enough fiber.

    1. They will burn in keytone hell, my friend. They will burn, and then I will piss them into a dingy toilet.

      (unless we’ve just cleaned the bathroom, in which case I will piss them into a toilet full of bleach.)

      On further reflection, I may piss some of them into the snow, just so I can say I gave them the “fire and ice” treatment.

  5. This is not an anti-carb rant btw… just out of curiosity, what other kind of diets have you tried? So far, the ones that work better for me are all calorie-count based.

    Incidentally, I’m on a diet too. Trying to shed all those pesky pregnancy extra pounds. Diets are no fun :B

    1. On the Atkins diet, tomatoes have too many carbs. For the first while you aren’t allowed to eat them, later only sparingly.

      On the South Beach diet you allowed tomatoes but you mozzarella would need to be low-fat.

    2. Well, tomatoes are out of season. The romas in my garden are gone (it froze before the last of them ripened) and anything short of a garden-fresh roma tomato won’t tempt me.

      I slice the mozzarella and drizzle olive oil over it. No tomato. No balsamic vinegar (which, by the way, is loaded with sugar, so I have to be careful of it for the first week.)

      I tried dipping the fresh mozzerella in egg+basil, and then frying it in olive oil. It was a waste of good cheese. The regular, grocery-store, low-moisture, part-skim mozzerella is better for frying. It softens more evenly, and crisps on the edges without getting tough.

      I’ll be doing a chupaqueso today, too.

  6. I know how low carb really works, and it can work just fine. The fads just blew it out of proportion, with the implication that you could eat _anything_ as long as it was low carb, and you’d lose weight.

    You’re doing it the right way, with exercise and vitamin containing products.

    Personally, I’ve found the pushaway diet works best for me.


  7. (p.s. Anyone feeling compelled to post anti-low-carb diatribes may take comfort in the fact that I’ll read your post at least once before deleting it. I’ve heard it all before, and I know what works for me. You don’t.)

    What you said and right on! Two heart attacks later Atkins dropped 50 pounds off my pudgy little frame and got all my cardiac grease numbers well within normal ranges without any of the cholesterol lowering drugs. (Which make me sleep 12 – 16 hours a day when taken in full strength).

    So your on this diet for a year, it’s working well, you’ve got the numbers to prove it and some know-it-all begins telling you how you’re destroying your health with it.

    My cardiologist likes it so the rest of them can go… never mind.

      1. Not as religiously as I was. But no more M&M’s for dinner, killing an entire pack of Oreo’s in one sitting, etc. Alas, while I’m on the road, especially in areas where the infrastructure has been slam dunked, it just is not feasible.

        BTW: The “new” Atkins bars are yucky! I want my old chocolate decadence back. *mega-frown*

  8. That’s a bad idea

    No, not an anti-low-carbs diatribe.

    The celery man, the celery, it’s the work of the devil I tell you!

    Ok, I only say this because just tasting the stuff makes me start to retch….

    1. Re: That’s a bad idea

      See, I feel the same way… only yesterday I was actually in the mood for the stuff. I found myself using adjectives like “cool” and “crunchy.”


  9. Good luck with the changes Howard. No low-carb diatribe from me as I’ve found that staying low-carb is about the only way I can keep my blood sugar from pretending its a roller coaster or a yo-yo.

  10. I am always amazed at the variance in people. Your diet would blow me up like a balloon and I expect what works for me would do the same for you. Good that you know what works for you!

  11. I could say pretty much the same things you said about low-carb dieting. It’s the only diet I’ve ever tried that both works and makes me feel good. I’m inching my way towards starting it again… I know better than to start a diet during the holidays! I’ll blow it when the pumpkin pie comes around.

    Incidentally, it seems – from my own informal research, backed by an unoffical affirmative from – that low-carb diets work better for people with blood type O. So what’s your blood type, Howard?

        1. Sorry, but I’m type O and while Atkins was great at dropping the pounds for me, my low blood sugar wouldn’t let me stay on it (constant dizzies).

          Howard, glad to hear low carb is working for you! Keep it up!

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