This morning, I weighed, and I am at 137.6, at first thing in the morning, prior to breakfast and a lot of water. That’s great, I always weigh in the morning. So, the Ketostix are fairly consistently staying at ‘small’. I have seen less than that, but it seems to be averaging to small, and that’s better than none, for sure. I am going to call this day 10 in reality, because I don’t believe I was really getting it right the first few days I got back on induction, but that’s ok. I can already see more lines and shadows in my tummy area, and pants are already fitting better. I am feeling more energetic, but when I do sleep, I sleep harder, better.
Ok, so my beginning weight less than 2 weeks ago was at 140-141. This is certainly no record weight loss so far. Most people would never notice three pounds, but it is significant to me because I haven’t seen 137 in over a year. I have been a constant 140, and it felt like it was too often lately that I would see 142, or even 143. So, yes, I am moving in the right direction.
Food: last night was my husband’s and my date night. We went to a great restaurant nearby in St Helens, and I ordered a wonderful spinach salad. It was covered in these tender, delicious steak medalions. There were succulent little bacon pieces on the salad, and I asked for some tomato. They sprinkled on mozzarella cheese, because I wasn’t in the Bleu cheese mood, which is normally what they put on this salad. I skipped the fresh beet crinkles more because I don’t like beets, but also because I figured ‘sugar’ beets would have too much sugar content. I was almost satisfied with this salad, but still felt a bit hungry. I snuck a little piece of round, delicious cheese out of my purse. It’s the kind that comes in the net bag, and each piece is wrapped in plastic and red wax. (blue bell??) Anyway, after my husband laughed good-naturedly about my purse stash and pulling it out at the dinner table, I was feeling pretty great. I was very overdue for dinner, and had been quite hungry, but not surprisingly so, considering how little I had to eat yesterday. If I was not on Atkin’s , with its high protein count, and low carbs, I would have been having a low-blood sugar attack if I had to wait for dinner. I know, because this happens to me regularly if I begin a lifestyle of one- sugar- rush- to- the- next- eating, as I am prone to do anytime I stop eating right!
Before I discovered Atkins, breakfast would be something like cereal. Not a sin, but not containing enough protein to keep me satisfied for long. By lunch, I’d be starving. Lunch would usually be a sandwich, a few chips, and inevitably, a candy bar or 4-6 cookies. I ate until I felt sluggish sometimes, so of course, by mid-afternoon, I would be hungry again. If I was being ‘good’, I’d grab a sugar-laden yogurt. More likely it would be more cookies, or chocolate. I’d still be hungry by dinner, though. Too much spaghetti or pizza, cheesesticks, or steak and baked potato, loaded would be a typical dinner. Or, I might have chosen fish and chips with 2-3 beers if we went out. The worst part about this vicious cycle is how it made me feel. If I was too late in getting my next meal, I could have a full-blown low blood sugar crash. I would feel confused, begin sweating, get extremely light-headed, feel tingly all over and be engulfed with the overall need to eat right that very minute, and felt like I could and would hurt anyone who got in the way. I’ve actually had to rescue myself or have others come to my rescue with a quick banana and juice, or crackers, cheese, and milk. It would take about twenty minutes to feel normal again. That’s no way to live.
Sometimes, I’d eat ‘right’ of course, but before Atkin’s, I never understood the problem with starchy foods. I knew candy bars were not a good idea, but it had not occurred to me that potatoes, rice, and bread/rolls could be a problem. I, too was raised with the 80’s mentality that dry bagels and pasta, prepared ‘low fat’, or plain popcorn and celery sticks were the path to righteousness. While I learned to stay away from fried foods, that was never a problem for me, simply because I just don’t like most fried foods.
We have a junk drawer at home. It’s where all the kid’s Easter, Christmas, and Halloween candy goes. We have a pantry right now that contains those cheap boxed donuts, white and milk chocolate drizzled popcorn, toaster pastries, and all the makings for pancakes or waffles. We have ice cream in the freezer, at least two different flavors. Prior to starting back onto induction, these ‘foods’ would have been nearly impossible for me to resist. Now that I am not eating those things , I have stopped craving them. I am not sure why this occurs, but maybe the body ‘wants’ what it is ‘used’ to. Or perhaps it is the constant roller coaster of rising and falling blood sugar levels that causes us to crave the ‘fix’. It really is an addiction when you’re living the sugar-laden life.
I met a lady at work the other night, and we had a wonderful conversation, once I got a word in edgewise. She was speaking very quickly, she was almost hyper. She was asking me for advice on skin care products, finding nothing to be helping her acne. I told her I suffered with it well into my 30’s. She asked if I felt I ‘grew’ out of it. I thought about it for awhile and realized that it was in my mid- thirties when I first tried Atkin’s! I remembered one of the great benefits whas how the pimples vanished, the redness in certain areas of my face went away, my scalp condition all but disappeared. I will maybe always have these latent issues, but they definitely become much worse when I am not limiting my sugars.
All of this information seemed like a revelation to my customer. I also told her about how limiting sugar greatly affected my moods and energy. I was stabilized, no longer going from one sugar rush high, down to a sugar crash low. Then my customer was in awe. “Oh my gosh! I just was crashed on the couch and didn’t want to go anywhere about an hour ago, but I got up and ate a bunch of brownies, and …” I followed up on her thoughts. “And, I see a lot of myself in you, because look how pumped up you are now. Then, later, you will probably crash again.” She recognized how she was using sugar as her personal speed, and comfort food. I could see it in her! She was way too amped to have not either just had a triple shot espresso or a whole lot of sugar. I hope she will discover the truth for herself. She indicated that her kids were starting to follow in her poor eating habits, and to gain weight. She felt the only reason she was not overweight was because of the huge role that caffeine and nicotine are also contributing in her overall lifestyle.
This whole process of waking up to how addicting sugar and sweets can be has changed my life. As another blogger so aptly put it, carbs are ‘pervasive, seductive, and addicting’. It’s a difficult path to stay forever vigilant – always winning the fight. The birthday cake often wins, especially when it’s your own children’s, and maybe you even made it! So this is why this is the third serious induction phase I have undergone. I had been, for the past few months, limiting myself with sweets and eating low-carb meals, but I was still overdoing it to the point of seeing an almost ten pound gain over this time last year, the last time I succeeded in Atkin’s.
Temptations: there’s always something like grandma’s famous pumpkin – chocolate chip cookies, your own amazing brownies that everyone wants you to bake, etc., and it gets really hard to not give in and partake! We have tools, though. We learn low-carb methods of baking goodies, or we find something to do our time other than to eat when we have no hunger. We choose a piece of cheese over cheese-nips. We make a low-carb cheesecake but don’t live to eat it.
So, even if the scale is not showing an eight or ten pound loss for me yet, I am confident that it will. I am already winning. I have converted my body chemistry over to a fat-burning machine. I am reaping the benefits of not irritating my nerve cells with the stimulant effects of sugar- thus healthier skin. I am not spending afternoons wading through low-blood sugar fogs, or rattling on at 165 mph monologues while simultaneously zipping around the house working on three different projects. I have leveled out. This is a benefits- side to Atkins that I had forgotten, and am glad to be re-discovering.
P.S. I have not been able to wear them for months, but my favorite jeans fit wonderfully today!!