Friday, 28 September 2012

Week 36 - Progress and Update

Another week is in the books, and it went pretty well.  I am down another 0.8 pounds, for a weight of 275.1, down 58.8 pounds total since I started this journey. 

All in all, it was a good week, bad back notwithstanding.  I stuck to my eating and exercise plan, and I was able to lose all of the water weight from last week and a bit more.  I am officially in new territory, lower than I have been since 2000 (the last time I worked out).

I had the extra bonus this morning of having normal blood sugar.  My reading was 5.4 mmol/L, which is under the cutoff of 5.5 mmol/L, and one of the lower readings I've had in recent weeks.  I am almost more happy about the normal blood sugar than I am about losing weight (but not entirely, as I know the two go hand in hand).

I now have 110.1 pounds left to lose, just under double what I have lost to date.  It sounds like such a big number - humungous, really - that I think sometimes that I will never accomplish it.  But then I look at my weight loss over time, and think back to the beginning of August, when I was pushing 295 pounds - - I have lost 18 pounds in just about 2 months, and that goes to show you that baby steps can add up to big results. 

The key is consistency, and sticking to the plan.  I am determined to keep exercising and eating well each day.  If I watch the days, the weeks take care of themselves.  And once the weeks are taken care of, the months seem to work as well.  So far, it's working.  I haven't missed a workout in 18 weeks, and I am becoming a more savvy shopper and eater every week. 

Photo courtesy Istvan Takacs, licensed CC-BY-SA

I have decided to reduce the gluten in my diet moving forward.  It's not that I have any real or imagined gluten intolerance, it's just that gluten is highly correlated with carbs, which raise my blood sugar.  And carb-y foods are trigger foods for my binges.  Even though it has been literally months since my last binge (in truth, I cannot remember exactly when I last binged), I know that as an emotional eater, I could relapse at any time, just like an alcoholic.  I'm a foodaholic. 

I am not going to cut out all gluten from my diet because that would require a more significant lifestyle change than I am willing to undergo right now.  But I will cut out bread and wheat-based pasta and flour-based snacks as much as possible.  If gluten appears in a sauce we use, or flour is used in a recipe as a thickener, for now we are going to ignore it.  The objective is to reduce the amount of gluten consumed, and see where that takes us.

The Nerd read an article from a researcher who claims that today's genetically modified wheat has an interesting feature - - when you eat products comprised of this wheat, it makes you crave more wheat-based products.  A vicious cycle, as it were.  Now I have not had a chance to review this guy's methodology, and his hypothesis sounds suspiciously like any number of self-serving "gurus" selling cheap fixes for weight loss and eternal happiness.  But I know from observation that people who cut down on their gluten consumption are also cutting down on other things that are not good for them at the same time, and they generally experience positive health benefits as a result.  I'm down with that.

My back is 100% better than earlier this week, although it is still a little twinge-y when I move in certain ways.  I still don't know what caused it to vex me so much, but at least whatever it is, is going away.  Not that it will go away forever - I know that back issues at my age typically recur. 

So, next steps: keep on doing what I am doing.  Try and be better at going on incremental walks (I have let that slide in recent weeks), and keep sticking to my eating plan. 

October will be a challenging month - - we have my nieceling's birthday party on Thanksgiving weekend, and then the Nerd and I are going down to Columbus to visit his parents for our birthdays.  Fortunately, the Nerd's mom really likes grim death marches around the neighborhood, so I think she would be supportive of my desire to keep active on our visit.  At the end of the month I will be in Washington DC for three days at a conference, and it will be particularly challenging to eat well and keep exercising.  No matter which way you slice it, there are a lot of things happening in October that will be a challenge for this little foodaholic, and it will take iron discipline to keep on path.  

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