Sunday, February 23, 2020

Retrospective #372: My 10-week, 30-lb challenge, 5th week’s Progress Report

Note: This “Retrospective” was originally written in early 2017 and reports of an alternate-day fasting experiment I undertook with the goal of losing 20 pounds in 2 months. This week I upped the stakes. Read on to see how.
I’ve changed the title of the “2-month, 20-pound” Challenge to a “10-Week, 30-Pound” Challenge. The reason is that it quickly became clear to me that I was going to over achieve my goal. This is the new mid-point report.
Another reason is that I have a doctor’s appointment coming up in Week 11, and I wanted to capture both the best A1c and weight loss improvement possible. The challenges will be that, for a large part of the final 2½ weeks, the unique circumstances that gave rise to my beginning this gambit will change: 1) I will not be alone and preparing all my own meals, and 2) I will at times be “on the road” and eating most of my meals in restaurants.
That being said, the necessary adjustments will be good for me. They will allow me to transition to “real life” while at the same time being under the gun to preserve continue the gains. (See how easy it is to undercut one’s confidence and resolve?) Reference: for the Challenge, see Retrospective #368, for the 1st week’s Progress Report, see Retrospective #370, and for the 2nd week’s, see Retrospective #371. Now, back to the new mid-point Progress Report
Week 3: Having gained 1 pound in Week 2 (after losing 11 in Week 1), I was confident the “progress…was not really lost,” and “it [the progress] will show up on the scale this coming week.” Well, I lost 4 pounds in Week 3.
Better yet, my Fasting Blood Glucose (FGB) average dropped again, from 88 (3.8mmol/L) to 86mg/dl (3.7mmol/L). The actual readings were 81, 104, 90, 78, 84, 83 & 79. The 104 was a surprise. It came after a supper of veal kidneys cooked in onions and mushrooms with Marsala wine and a salad of Romaine lettuce, mushrooms, hazel nuts, shredded cheese and my homemade vinaigrette made with white wine vinegar. Go figure! Tonight, I’m having the 2nd half of that kidney dish, with another salad, so we’ll see what happens.
Changes in Week 3: Going forward I’m going to cut my morning coffee from a 16oz mug to a 12oz mug. That should reduce the heavy cream from 2oz to 1½oz. I found that I had swallowed all my supplements with only half a cup and the 2nd half of the cup was just an indulgence. The idea came to me after reading a blogger who was looking for people to join him in a 30-day coffee fast. I like coffee, but I am not addicted to it, and I don’t want to be.
Week 4: Well, it wasn’t the veal kidney and salad supper that gave me that anomalous 104mg/dl FBG (5.8mmol/L) last week. The same supper the 2nd time produced a FBG of 74mg/dl (4.1mmol/L) this morning. Conclusion: anomalies happen. Now, once again, THE BIG NEWS THIS WEEK: MY FBG AVERAGE PLUMMETED AGAIN, FROM 86MG/DL (4.8MMOL/L) TO 77 (4.3). I HAVEN’T SEEN FBGS LIKE THIS EVER! True, on my own initiative, but with the concurrence of my doctor, about a year ago I increased my dose of Metformin from 500mg/day to 1,500. I had read somewhere that 1,500mg was considered a “therapeutic” dose. The inference I drew from that was that a dose of less than 1,500 was not therapeutic. And since I have been a diagnosed type 2 for 30 years, and on a reduced dose of 500mg for the last 15 since beginning VLC, it seemed appropriate to me that my medication should be therapeutic. But I think my doctor never suggested an increase because he thinks my diabetes is already “in good control.” I’m not blaming him. That’s the guidance he gets from the ADA, Medicare, etc.
Week 5: I’m settling into a groove. MY WEIGHT DROPPED BY ANOTHER 2 POUNDS IN WEEK 5, BRINGING THE 5-WEEK TOTAL TO 18 POUNDS. And my weekly average FBG continues to drop. This week I had 3 readings in the low 60s, and MY FGB AVERAGE THIS WEEK DROPPED TO 70 MG/DL (3.9 MMOL/L). Recapping my weekly FBG averages: 119 before starting, then 100, 88, 86, 77 and now 70. I hope they level off now. If not, I’ll cut the Metformin. My goal, though, is a lower A1c, so I am willing to have “low” readings so long as I feel I am in no danger of hypoglycemia.
Conclusion: I can’t believe that I have been so blind in my diabetes self-management for these last 15 years!

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