Posts Tagged ‘paleo’

October 2014 Weigh-In

I have, for so long, wanted to be a blogger, and frankly…  I just find myself falling farther and farther away from that world.

I’m not closing this blog, but I think I am formally announcing today what it has unofficially been for years now.  This is basically my tiny little corner of the internet and it’s not much more than a slightly-public personal journal.

I still welcome comments, but I’m not going to say that I’ll blog more than once a month or make any bold proclamations that I’m about to revitalize and start blogging regularly!  We’ll see what happens.  I’ll try to update my weight at least once a month.

In September, I weighed in at 399.8.  On October 1st, I got on the scale and it said:

392.4!

That’s a loss of 7.2 pounds in a month.  Not great, but I don’t consider that terrible by any means.  I am down 32.8 pounds from my heaviest.  Woo hoo!

My weight loss is slow, but at least I am actually losing, for the first time in what feels like forever.

My doctoral work is keeping me so much busier than I ever would have expected.

I am anticipating graduating in December 2016.  While that sounds like forever away, I know (in doc school terms), it’s right around the corner.  I’m lucky in that my 2nd Master’s degree is letting me count 12 hours toward my program requirements.  (And let me also say – thank goodness for free tuition.  While the doc program fees aren’t covered by my tuition waiver, the tuition itself is.  I can’t complain about getting this degree for roughly $35,000 cheaper than most.)

I’m not exercising as much as I’d like, but thank God for my lovely wife Tina who has become quite the expert paleo chef!  Before this semester (Research I, y’all… it’s no joke), I was the family chef, but she has happily taken that task over for me and is doing an amazing job of it.

While we are not 100% primal or paleo, I do have to admit – it’s not as hard as I thought it would be once I got into it.

I hate when I read on paleo websites people say things like, “And I haven’t craved bread or sugar since!”

No, I still want sugar, but the difference for me now is… the cravings are bearable and beatable.  I can overcome them, much more easily than I used to.

I also have no delusions that this is anything other than a calorie trick.  I’m sure we’re feeling much more satisfied eating protein and fats than we were more carbs, but either way, we’re dropping.  (And we’re also eating WAY more veggies than ever  before, so that has to be good for us.  I still hate Brussels sprouts, though.  I’m pretty sure they’re poison.)  And incidentally, Tina is also losing weight as well.

It’s funny; we’re feeding our son pretty much the same thing we eat, although he’s pretty small, and we’re trying to get him to gain weight.  (He’s 85% percentile for height but only 20% percentile for weight.  How I had a skinny kid… I’ll never know.)  The doctor isn’t concerned with his weight, though, because he is healthy and well proportioned.  It’s funny, though, and it kind of shocks me at how ridiculously obvious this is.

He eats whatever we eat.  A few nights ago, we had roasted broccoli with dinner.  He was chowing down like it was candy, and I strongly suspect it was because he saw his mom and dad eating it.

I have to eat well and lose weight to keep my kid healthy, if for no other reason.

I need to force in more time for exercise.  But I’m also trying to keep some fun time in, too.  Last night, after class (the class I’m in meets once Saturday a month from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.), we had a big bonfire in the backyard.

bonfire

No roasted marshmallows to go with it; we just enjoyed each other’s company by the fire in the backyard.

While I’m not a big fan of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, I do love the fall.

‘Til my next post, whenever that may be (early November at the latest)…

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Going Primal

If you have been following me on The Ranger Project on YouTube, then you know that I have recently gone primal.  My wife and I have pledged to go primal for the entire month of September, excepting ONE meal at our little guy’s 2nd birthday party later this month.

We’re on day two, and I know I have no rights to say, “It’s going great!”  There are still a lot of tough days (potentially) ahead of us.  However, we are finding it easier knowing that there are a lot of great primal/paleo recipes out there.  (I’m leaning toward primal, Tina is leaning more paleoish at the moment.)

Last night, we had Paleo Chili Rellenos, which were astounding delicious.  Those will definitely be going in the dinner rotation.  I was a little disappointed in how mild the poblano peppers were.  I am by no means a heat fiend.  Jalapenos are about as hot as I’m willing to go, but these were about as mild as green peppers.  (My wife thought hers were hotter; maybe I just got a dud.)

Tonight, we are having bacon cheeseburgers with homemade paleo mayo served on green lettuce leaves.  We wanted butter lettuce, but I couldn’t find it without going to another store, so I just got green leaf lettuce.  It should be a lot better than iceberg, regardless.

Planning our meals out ahead of time is clearly what is going to be our saving grace.  We’re also cooking enough for every dinner that we have leftovers for the next day.

Eventually, we want to get our little guy on the primal/paleo bandwagon, but we’re not being too worrisome about that, yet.  He still enjoys his morning oatmeal, and the kid is so scrawny (80% height, 25% weight, but his pediatrician doesn’t seem worried, so we aren’t either), we’re just pleased when he’ll eat.  Getting him off of junk food once he left daycare was tough enough, but we’ve finally (mostly) won that battle.  (Grandparents still feed some junk food, but that’s just what grandparents do, and neither of us are so stressed by it that we freak out if our not-quite-two year old eats some Cheetos with grandma.)

I’m also not getting on the scale until October.  I weighed in at 399.8 about a week or so ago, and I am pledging to be scale-free until October 1.  I’m hoping to see a weight in the 380s, at least.  I think that’s extremely doable.  The last time I gave up the scale for a month, I obsessed a bit about it.  So far, I’m doing okay.  We’ll see how the rest of the month goes.

Exercise-wise, I am doing a mix of Body Revolution by Jillian Michaels and the pool.  I am not following Body Revolution by their calendar.  With the still-recovering (but much better) knee, I imagine I’ll be on Weeks 1 and 2 of Body Revolution for quite a while.  That is perfectly fine by me.

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Post San-Diego Weigh-In

Today isn’t a real weigh-in. I’m just going to report how I did after San Diego.

Pre-San Diego: 360.4
Immediately After Arriving Home, Post-Flight: 372.8 (AAAH!)
Two Days Later: 359.6

What am I taking from this? I retained a LOT of fluid, especially in that last day of air travel, and after two days back home and eating well, my weight dropped. So I’d say I may have slightly lost weight in San Diego, or at worst, I maintained. I’m counting this one as a victory.

As I mentioned on Sunday, I am going to Weight Watchers with my mother starting on Saturday. Those Saturday weigh-ins will be reported on Wednesday, so next Wednesday, I’m going to call it Week One. Just a straight forward numbers game with a vlog.

I am still debating as to whether or not I am going to follow Weight Watchers. I had a little lesson today that showed me I MUST stick to strict paleo for my joints to be happy. Tina went out to eat with her mom, and she brought me a quarter of a club sandwich on potato bread. Well, even potato bread has wheat in it, but I justified myself in eating it.

Two hours later, I am noticeably hobbling around the house. I couldn’t believe how quickly it affected me, but again, Dr. Google showed me that for some people, eating grains causes an almost immediate reaction (some within minutes).

Wheat is an out. Paleo is the way for me to eat now. I hope I can someday eat bread again, but the foreseeable future, it is not a good option for me. No grains. No dairy. No legumes. That’s just the way it is for me and my body at the moment. Maybe even forever. Oh, and the corn I had on Monday night (that I blogged about on Tuesday)? I was hobbling bad Tuesday morning. No corn, either.

Fortunately, there are some amazing paleo recipes out there. I’ve even found some for “bread” that are actually clean recipes.

So, my point? I swear I had one.

I probably am only going to do Weight Watchers for the meetings and public weigh-ins. I’m not going to do eTools. I’m just going to eat my paleo foods and count my calories.

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Life Stuff

I have not been around for a few days. This may be a fairly length blog post, so if you want to know what has happened and what will be happening to me, please read ahead to find out.

First of all, the good things. Tina and I recently returned from our babymoon in San Diego. It was a great last trip before we have the baby. Baby Logsdon is still doing great (although our last ultrasound revealed he was going to be a very LONG baby – I’m not surprised; his mother and I are both six feet tall).

Other good things – my entire family is still with me, even though if things had been just a little different the other day, I couldn’t say that now.

I’ll explain that one, first.

My mother is a Type 2 Diabetic. She was diagnosed when I was in middle school. I’ve watched her struggle with it my entire life.

I got a call from my father at 7:30 a.m. yesterday morning, a Saturday. We were all going to meet up later that morning to go to my nephew Clint’s graduation. He was calling to say they would not be able to make it, and he further explained why.

My mother almost died in bed early Saturday morning. Her sugar crashed in the middle of the night, and she was unable to wake herself up to consume orange juice or something else with sugar. Dad only knew it was going on because he heard her trying to scream to get his attention.

He tried to get her to drink orange juice, but at that point, her sugar was far too low. He called 911, and the paramedics were able to get her stable. She didn’t have to go to the hospital, and now, she is fine.

Her sugar has certainly crashed before, but it has never crashed that drastically or caused her to have that dramatic a reaction.

This is the part that scares me. If my father had not been there, my mother would be dead right now.

Just a few weeks ago, my dad left the house at 2 a.m. for a week straight because a nonprofit agency he is the head of was doing security at the Kentucky Derby. If this had happened then, when my mother was alone, she would have had no one to call 911 for her, and she probably would have laid in bed and died, alone. The nonprofit agency is a Rescue Squad, and that means they frequently go out on calls in the middle of the night to search for people who have been reported missing. If he had been out on a call, she would have died.

I may be 34 years old, but I’m not ready to give up my mom yet. She’s only 67. She should still have many years of life left in her.

I called her Saturday afternoon, and we talked for a while. She knows she has to get her health under control. She did Weight Watchers with me in the past, and she was successful at it. But as circumstances change, she stopped going.

She wants to be around for the birth of my son. I want her around to watch my son graduate college.

She and I are going to start going to Weight Watchers again. There is a meeting in my city every Saturday morning at 10 a.m., so she is going to drive up and we’ll attend together. With the structure of the meetings and the weekly support and weigh-ins, I feel very confident that she’ll overcome this obstacle. I hope, sometime shortly down the road, I can write a blog post about how her type 2 diabetes is completely overcome.

Just as importantly, I know that the group support of Weight Watchers will be useful for me, too.

Something else has been going on, too. Let me explain this one by explaining my thoughts on dieting. (It’s relevant, I promise.)

I am a huge fan of moderation. That’s why I can’t ever subscribe to ONE diet plan, because I want to eat… well, everything. I can’t commit to being vegan forever because I like meat and cheese. I can’t commit to being paleo forever because I like cheese and bread. I can’t commit to Atkins forever because I like fruits, veggies, and bread.

But, that said, there is one food that I will never, ever, ever, as long as I live, consume again.

Artificial sweeteners.

They are literally poison, and I am suffering from the effects right now.

Before I explain, let me give a little back history.

When I was in my mid-teens, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. It primarily affected my upper body, mostly my hands, and it was painful, crippling, and embarrassing. I remember my fingers swelling up so large they wouldn’t bend. I went to a doctor, was put on some anti-inflammatory meds, and by the time I was 15, it was over and in remission.

In my late twenties, I began having pain and swelling in my right knee. I truthfully ascribed it to my obesity, and kept saying, “Well, when I get to goal weight next year, it won’t hurt anymore.”

I’m now 34, and I’m still not at goal weight. My knee still hurts. It typically painfully swells about two to three days out of every ten. The other days, I’m fine. My chiropractor even told me she suspected it wasn’t because of my weight, as if it was, both knees should have been affected. Regardless, she agreed losing weight would help it.

About three and a half weeks ago, I went through a two-day binge of Diet Dr. Pepper. I drank maybe twenty ounces of water over those two days. My food was fine and spot-on. My diet soda consumption was three two-liters over those two days. Not good. It was, in my mind, an acceptable, calorie-free binge.

On day three, I woke up with the most painful swollen knee I have ever experienced. I took four ibuprofen and the hottest shower I could stand to even be able to move around somewhat easily.

My wife has been trying to get me to give up artificial sweeteners for years. I made a very clear association – my sweetener binge led to a swollen knee. I was done.

I threw away my Crystal Light and poured my last 2-liter down the sink. If I want soda, I’ll have the regular kind and count the calories.

Well, an interesting thing happened.

My body lost it’s freaking mind.

My right knee, which is the only joint I’ve been having troubles in for YEARS, decided it wanted company. Left knee. Both ankles. Alternating elbows. At one point, my left elbow was so stiff, I couldn’t straighten my arm out more than about 120 degrees. Two days later, my left elbow was fine and my right elbow was so stiff, I couldn’t touch my right ear.

Oh, and the newest pain to join my old-guy-aches? Fiery hot nerve flare-ups on the back of my left hand.

I was beginning to believe I had developed rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, or lupus. Or all three. I couldn’t exercise. I could barely walk, and this was with me taking MULTIPLE ibuprofen a day. You know how the bottle says you shouldn’t take more than six a day? Some days, I took sixteen.

I scheduled an appointment with my doctor, fearing the results but knowing I had to do something. But then, on a lark, I visited Dr. Google, and I got the best news I had ever heard.

I wasn’t alone. I probably didn’t have RA or lupus.

I was experiencing the common after effects of going cold turkey on artificial sweeteners.

Except for headaches (which I never get), the symptoms were like a checklist of what was wrong with me. Other people had gone cold turkey and their bodies suddenly hated them. I kept my doctor’s appointment, but I felt a great relief.

But then I got some bad news. Most of these people said it took two to three months to get back to their normal, pain-free lives.

Crap.

So at over two weeks out, I was still hobbling. I was still in extreme pain.

It sucked. My wife and I went to San Diego, and I was in extreme pain for the entire trip.

I did a little research on diets that would help with inflammation.

Time and time again, I kept coming back to various forms of paleo. Give up the grains and the inflammation will disappear.

Paleo, as many of you know, is giving up grains, dairy, and legumes (beans and peanuts).

Last Monday, I decided I would start a paleo-ish diet. I can’t say that I am paleo, because I’m not being too strict on dairy. I don’t really drink cow’s milk anyway, so I have cut that out, but if I want cheese once a week or so, I’ll have it, provided it is a hard cheese. Basically, my “paleo” is giving up grains, legumes, and most dairy. I know some paleo people would call me a heretic, so if people ask, I mostly say I’ve just given up grains.

Giving up legumes is not a big deal. I hate beans and literally eat them only for the health benefits. It’ll be no trouble cutting them out. I do like peanuts (a legume), but I’m going to give them up, too, just because saying sayonara to peanuts or peanut butter won’t be that difficult.

As I said, last Monday, I started giving up all grains, all legumes, and most dairy. By Wednesday, I was taking only two ibuprofen a day. My results were anecdotal only, but I felt SO much better. My daily weigh-ins showed that weight was coming off fairly steadily, too. My suspicion for this? Without eating starches, it is fairly difficult to eat high calorie. I was eating proteins and fats (along with LOTS of veggies and some fruits), and I had no trouble getting satisfied and keeping my caloric intake low. It was clear that I was walking better. I still had soreness, but I felt tons better.

You’d think it would be easy to just keep giving up grains, wouldn’t it? Well, I gave up grains for five days, and I fell off the wagon on Friday. I ate a slice of pizza and had two breadsticks.

By Saturday morning, I was a crippled old man again. It hurt to lay in bed. It hurt to sit on the couch. It hurt to hobble around the house.

Dare I say it? Grains are the devil.

This can’t be a coincidence. Tina asked me if I thought it might be psychosomatic.

If it is, sign me up for crazy pills because I’ll take relief in whatever healthy form I can get it.

I plan to keep eating grain-free. I know that I will eventually have bread again. I’m hoping that someday, I’ll be light enough with healthy joints so I can occasionally have a slice of bread or pizza without being crippled. But for now, at my weight, that is not an option, so if my options are pain-free days or eating bread, I’ll take the pain-free days.

Upcoming Plans

I need to blog more often. It keeps me sane, and it provides an outlet. I know this blog isn’t widely read, but it’s useful for me. (And to those of you who comment or read without commenting, I thank you for being there for me, even if we’ve never actually spoken.)

I’ve come up with a schedule for blogging. I want to blog daily, at least until such point that it becomes a chore. I have a proposed schedule I’m going to try.

Monday – Motivational Monday
Tuesday – Healthy Recipe
Wednesday – Wednesday Weigh-In
Thursday – Geeked Out Weight Loss Review
Friday – Open Letters (a.k.a. Stellar Path Stalks Celebrities)
Saturday – Photog Friday (a photo recap of the previous day)
Sunday – Horror Movie Weight Loss Review

As other things occur that I want to blog about, I am, of course, at liberty to abandon this schedule as I see fit.

Starting this upcoming Saturday, my mother and I will begin attending Weight Watchers. I will continue eating grain-free, and I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to post my Weight Watchers weigh-ins (late on Wednesday, obviously) or if I’ll just continue weighing in at home.

In Conclusion

I realize this was a long, slightly random post about a lot of different things, but I had a lot to get out at once. Thanks for reading.

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Hungry Monster Weigh-In

Few things to note before I jump into another weigh-in:

First of all, I am following the Paleo diet because I am in Nerd Fitness’ contest for the Rebel Strength Training Guide.

I am now doing my weigh-ins (and the only time I get on a scale) at my Weight Watchers @Work Meeting at WKU on Tuesdays. I will post my weigh-ins either on Tuesday or Wednesday, depending truly upon when I have time.

Last week’s weigh-in of 362.0 was at home, in my boxers, on my scale. This weigh-in of April 26th was done at my Weight Watchers meeting, where I was weighing considerably more than just my boxers. Therefore, I feel a little better about my low weight loss, as I expect it was higher than what this number shows. Regardless, it is going down, and for that, I am pleased.

April 26, 2011
Last Week’s Weight: 362.0
Today’s Weight: 361.6
Change from All-Time High: -41.2 pounds
Change from Last Week: -0.4 pounds

So why is this a Hungry Monster Weigh-In?

Because, as said above, I am doing the paleo diet. I’ve done it for almost two and a half weeks now.

My thoughts?

IT SUCKS! I feel like I am always hungry because I feel so ridiculously unsatisfied.

I thought the first week might be the worst because I was detoxing. No grains, no cheese… gotta be a shock to my system.

Week two… still no grains, still no cheese… and while I do not feel like I am detoxing, I do not feel amazing, either.

My food obsession is growing. I am almost counting down to May 31st when I am going to eat a grilled cheese (which I will count with my Weight Watchers Points, by the way).

I’m probably being a little overdramatic. The plusses of Paleo…

I am eating WAY more fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. That is awesome.

I don’t feel BAD. That’s a big deal, too. I felt bad when I did Atkins. I physically feel fine, more or less. I’ve got some extra joint pain, which is unusual as I expected eliminating grains to eliminate (or reduce) that, but it’s not. I’m finding my knee and hips hurt a bit worse than usual, and my feet are frequently exhausted at the end of the day. Still, it isn’t something that I’m going to blame on the diet. It may truly be because all is has done here in the South this spring is rain. (And tornadoes, too, but I don’t think I can blame joint pain on tornadoes.)

Or can I?

Tornadoes - responsible for trailer park damage and mild joint pain

Tornadoes - responsible for trailer park damage and mild joint pain

The Cons of Paleo…

I am more obsessed with food now than I was before. I think I may be a “moderation or else” kind of person. Eliminating a food makes me a wee bit obsessive about it. This is definitely mental and may end before the six week contest is up. We’ll see.

It’s harder to eat on the go. Meals must be planned out in ridiculous detail. I can’t even swing by Subway or Einstein Bagels to grab a bite here on campus. Not many places are Paleo friendly.

So… that’s where I’m at, food wise.

Exercise is going fantastically. Steve has created a great workout plan in the Rebel Strength Guide, and I’m really enjoying working out at home. I did find that I actually missed going to the gym, so a few times a week, Tina and I head to the gym to do our dumbbell workout there, along with some time on the cardio equipment.

My clothes are feeling a bit looser. I was tempted to take a photo last night for comparison’s sake, but I talked myself out of it. I want to see the big reveal when the contest is over.

I’ve got to get better at blogging. I’m going to try a little experiment for the next week so see if I can blog more often. Nothing big – I’m just going to try and do some theme days and see how that feels.

I have no plans to be one of the Big Boys of Blogging because I simply don’t have time. I’ll admit to be envious of people who can make their blogs amazing places on the internet with frequently updated content, but I don’t see that ever becoming me. I am still quite grateful for those of you who do read, comment, and email me. Thanks for sticking with me – I may not produce the most content, (Lord knows I don’t produce the most content), but I hope I am at least entertaining and worth a read.


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Weigh-Ins
12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)