Sunday, March 22, 2020

Retrospective #400: “Not half the man I once was,” my wife quipped

As you can tell from the number above, I have been writing about “Type 2 Nutrition” for a long time. I have been a diagnosed Type 2 diabetic for 34 years and probably pre-diabetic for a decade before that. At my doctor’s suggestion (TO LOSE WEIGHT), I’ve been eating Very Low Carb since 2002. In early 2018, I added Extended (Full-Day) Fasting.
Starting in 2002 at 375 pounds, following Atkins Induction (20g of carbs a day) for 9 months and lost 60 pounds. Four years later I regained 12 and restarted Very Low Carb (Bernstein: 30g/day). In a year I lost 100 pounds. Later I lost 20+, more, reaching 205 pounds in 2008. I regained some later but recently returned to 205 using alternate or consecutive 2 and 3-day fasts. This was possible because, while fat-adapted on VLC, losing weight WITHOUT HUNGER is easy.
My weight has not been below 205 since I was a teenager, maybe since I was pre-pubescent! I’m 78 now. But, feeling as healthy and energized as I do, I decided to go for a new goal: TO BE HALF THE MAN I ONCE WAS. Recapping, I began in September 2002 at 375. My goal was to get to 187, half that weight, by September 2017, 15 years later. Here goes. (Note: If you want to skip the details, don’t bother with the Weekly summaries; just jump down to Results.)
Week 1: I started this challenge at 207, so I needed to lose 20 pounds in 8 weeks. The 1st 4 was easy. I had regained them overnight, literally, so this week I expected to lose at least 6, leaving 14 for the remaining 7 weeks, or 2 pounds a week. That’s very doable. Result: I lost 5 lbs. FBG aver: 81mg/dl. Wk 2 goal: 5 lbs.
Week 2: Three restaurant meals this week, including a birthday. Fasting only Mon & Wed. Result: took 3 days to lose the 3-pound gain, and the glucose shot up after the birthday bash; alas, I lost only 1 lb. FBG aver: 97mg/dl.
Week 3: Started the week 2 lbs. behind, but I have no excuses. Should be a good week. Goal: lose 4 lbs to reach 197; Plan: fast Mon-Tue-Wed. Result: lost 5, then regained 2 Sat to 198, net lost 3 lbs. FBG aver: 82mg/dl.
Week 4: Started week just 1 lb behind. Goal: lose 3 lbs to reach 195. Fasting Mon-Tue-Wed. Result: Small cheats every day, but I lost 3 lbs. and reached goal of 195, a 180 lb total loss from 2002. FBG aver: 82mg/dl.
Week 5: Eight pounds to go in 4 weeks, 2 lbs per week. Goal 193. However, gained 4lbs each Sun & Mon, so strict fasting this week; I need to lose 10 lbs. Result: Lost 11, fasting 4 days; net lost 3 lbs. FBG aver: 79mg/dl.
Week 6: Now 1 lb. ahead, but goal is still 2 lbs. Eating ‘normally’ Sun & Mon (having company); fasting thereafter. Results: Relaxed a bit and just lost 1 lb. to 191, on target. 4 pounds to go, 2 pounds each week. FBG aver: 71mg/dl!
Week 7: Going to do a modified fast Mon-Tue-Wed, then Fri and/or Sat if required. Thurs: dining with visiting ‘kids.’ Results: Missed the mark; lost just 1 lb. Too much fat, a little cheating, poor choices Thurs night. FBG aver: 88mg/dl.
Week 8: Final week of challenge with 3 pounds to go. Very doable with a little discipline. Let’s see if I have it.
Results: A feast on Sunday added 4 lbs. to the challenge, but I “fasted” until I lost NET 4 lbs. FBG aver: 79mg/dl.
Results: Well, I did it! These words recall for me the line “We did it!” that Elle Woods squeals in her graduation speech at the end of one of my favorite films, the chick-flick “Legally Blonde.” Except in this case, I did it, all by myself! In the last 8 weeks, using a combination of Very Low Carb on days that I ate “normally,” and “fasting,” I lost 20 pounds. That was my goal: to get to be “half the man I once was,” starting at 375 pounds in 2002, when my doctor suggested I eat Very Low Carb to lose weight. It’s been a long journey, with lots of ups and downs, but I finally reached my goal of 187 pounds, HALF THE MAN I ONCE WAS. And I feel great. IT’S WONDERFUL NOT TO BE ALWAYS BE HUNGRY.
Next week my wife and I are taking a vacation. We’re going up to the Shaw Theater Festival at Niagara on the Lake, in Ontario, Canada. We plan to eat dinner every night in a “fine dining” restaurant and to tour one of the wineries in the area. When we return, I will begin one more weight loss challenge: To lose most of the weight I will regain on vacation. And then, THE FINAL CHALLENGE: to maintain a 180-pound weight loss and keep my weight between 195 and 200 pounds. I will use a combination of One-Meal-a-Day (OMAD), VLC of course, plus Extended Full-Day Fasting as needed.

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