Progress Report – 10/28/2016

Well, it was a crappy week. Like I mentioned in my last post, I had a binge episode on Tuesday evening, and I spent the last three days attempting to right the ship. I wasn’t very successful. I gained 1.1 pounds, bouncing back up to 270.7 pounds. But, considering the week I had, I’m not very concerned. It’s been an emotional, trying time for me. A Thursday evening session with my counselor brought some encouragement and affirmation to my soul, which will launch me into this week with a renewed focus.

Monday I start the LCHF plan in earnest. I’ve been weaning myself off carbs for the last month, and it’s high time I commit and begin reaping the benefits of ketosis.

For now, I’m recovering from a rough week with a weekend trip out to Denver to visit a couple of my best friends in the world. 80 degrees, sunshine, and a round of disc golf at the #5 course in the nation will do my soul well.

Binge-worthy

Welp, last night was a train wreck. I came home from work super depressed (yay, post-breakup wreckage!), and I ate. Boy, did I eat. Here’s what happened:

  • Soup (planned dinner)
  • 1/4 sleeve of Ritz crackers
  • 10 piece chicken nuggets from Burger King
  • Large onion ring from Burger King
  • Lean Cuisine personal pizza with extra pepperoni and cheese
  • More pepperoni and mozzarella cheese sticks

Dang it.

I’m posting this to bring it into the light. I kept my tendency for binge eating in the dark for years. I spent two years in therapy to deal with Binge Eating Disorder. In fact, the eating disorder developed in the wake of a very similar relationship situation. In my heart bingeing is wrapped in shame. I’m not living like that anymore.

So, here it is, in all its glory. I’m back on the wagon today. The IF and low-carb plans are in full effect.

When do you struggle? What steps do you take to avoid the temptation to indulge during emotional moments (whether that’s with food or something else)?

Oh carbs, how I love thee

I love carbs. I regularly crave potato chips, Oreos, and pizza crust. In fact, I crave just about everything that even hints at the presence of sugar.

In college I survived on a steady diet of Mountain Dew, soft serve ice cream, and rice (preferably with sesame anything).

Enter “the betes.”

That’s right – I have type II diabetes, and it sucks. I give myself two insulin shots each day (before lunch and dinner), and test my blood glucose three times each day. I send my reports to my endocrinologist and diabetes nurse every Friday. It’s a pain.

So, I’ve decided to start weaning myself off carbs and starches. Goodbye Oreos. Goodbye Mountain Dew. You gave me diabetes.

I started off easy – I stopped “treating” myself to cookies and doughnuts. Seems pretty obvious, right? So, I did that for a week. Next, I switched from brown rice to wild rice. Wild rice has half the carbs, and it tastes pretty fantastic. Last week, I attempted to keep my mealtime carb intake to a max of 30g. I say “attempted” because I was only successful with about half my meals. I generally kept my carb intake to 45g per meal, and one meal skyrocketed to about 100g thanks to a low blood glucose reading (high 40s) and the intense hunger that followed. So, we’re back to that goal today. I want to be successful in that goal before I move to more strict goals.

“Who are you? A disciple of Robert Atkins?” Not quite.

A Diabetes Primer

I’m going to do this fast. You ready? Diabetes = insulin resistance. Here’s how it works:

high carb intake –> fat is stored in the liver –> fat is stored in the pancreas –> cells become resistant to insulin –> more sugar is left in the blood stream –> the pancreas is forced to pump out more insulin –> beta cells in the pancreas can’t keep up with insulin production –> “the betes”

Diabetes, then, is not primarily a disease of high blood sugar, but a disease of insulin resistance. Reason dictates, then, reduced/eliminated intake of carbohydrates leads to less fat stored in the liver, pancreas, and beta cells start firing again.

When I was first diagnosed with diabetes I was told I would have it my entire life. “It is a chronic, degenerative disease. It is irreversible.” However, recent studies have shown type II diabetes is, in fact, reversible. The key is how we view the core cause of diabetes.

We like things simple here in the US. We want our potatoes freedom-fried, our candidates with catchy phrases, and our diabetes treatment straightforward. More sugar in your blood? Pop a little insulin in there, and boom, Wilfred Brimley gets his pay check. This keeps us from that pesky behavioral change and allows us to continue eating the food we crave.

The problem is, we’re treating the symptom, not the cause. It’s like using Head-On to treat the flu. You remember those amazing commercials – “Head On, apply directly to the forehead. Head On, apply directly to the fore head. Head On, apply directly to the forehead” (I’m not kidding). But the headache isn’t what’s causing the flu. Your antivaxxer cousin is. Okay, not really (hopefully). But it makes sense, right? A topical cream (or whatever the heck Head On is) isn’t going to cure your flu.

So, to reverse insulin resistance we must reduce our carb intake. For a time, we may even need to eliminate it entirely. Short term pain for long term gain – the antithesis of American values.

Of course, along with the reduction in carbs we have weight loss, increased energy, and an improvement of our overall health.

So, what’s keeping you from making better choices with your carbs? What is your favorite carb? Can you go without it for a day? A week? Let’s do this in community, my friends!

Progress Report – 10/21/2016

Well folks, I’m officially in the 260s! Of course, I only lost .9 pounds, but hey, it counts, and I’m proud of my progress. I weighed in at 269.6 this morning. This is the first time I’ve been in the 260s since the summer of 2012, and man does it feel good.

I struggled a lot last weekend. My cheat meal (Friday night) turned into a cheat weekend, complete with massive amounts of carbs, higher-than-normal blood glucose numbers, and a 3-pound gain on the scale. So, I played catch-up the entire week. But, I worked it all off and then some.

For those of you keeping score at home, I’m a bit behind on my plan to hit 250 by Thanksgiving. I now have fewer than 5 weeks to lose 19.6 pounds. That’s an average loss of 3.92 pounds per week. Let’s just call it an even 4. That’s a pretty tall task.

So, I need your help and encouragement! Tell me your success stories. What changes have you made that have increased your quality of life? I’m not talking just weight loss stuff here; tell me about any changes that have improved your overall health and well-being!

Let’s make this a community effort!

Where I’m Going

So, you’ve read where I’ve been. I’m dealing with some serious health stuff here. While weight loss is one goal, it’s not my primary focus. Dealing with my diabetes diagnosis is the biggest thing weighing on me (see what I did there?). Therefore, cutting carbs is absolutely necessary, and weight loss is a fantastic byproduct.

Goals

I started this journey weighing in at 292 pounds. As of Friday I’m down to 270.5 pounds. For those of us who don’t math good, that’s a loss of 21.5 pounds in about 2 months. Not bad, right? But I’m not stopping there. A friend challenged me to get down to 250 pounds by Thanksgiving. Challenge accepted. Thanksgiving is just under 6 weeks away, which means I need to lose an average of just under 3.5 pounds per week. That’s intense.

Here’s my motivation. Remember that whole diabetes thing? Well, I contacted my diabetes educator/nurse to let her know about the weight loss and my lower carb intake. I have experienced quite a few blood glucose “lows” lately (those seriously suck), and I was getting a bit concerned I was taking too much insulin, not to mention the fact I’m only eating 2 meals per day. She consulted my endocrinologist, and they decided to lower my insulin dose. A lot. 2 weeks ago I was taking a total of 185 units each day, split into 3 separate doses. As of Thursday I’m taking 100 units of insulin split into 2 separate doses. That’s a 46% decrease.

Hell. Yes.

I was pretty skeptical of the whole IF thing. But, I really can’t argue with the results I’m getting. IF has allowed me to feel more satisfied on fewer meals and calories, and the type of calories I’m consuming – protein and fat instead of carbs – is directly affecting my body’s ability to process the carbs I am eating.

My ultimate goal, determined together with my doctor, is 200 pounds. That’s a total loss of 92 pounds, and 70.5 pounds away from where I’m at today. That seems insurmountable. But, then again, the idea of dropping 20 pounds in 2 months seemed ridiculous, too.

So why not go for it? Do I get hungry? Yup, especially in the morning. Am I drinking a lot more coffee to make me feel a bit more satisfied in the morning? Yup, but coffee actually feels like a wonderful treat now, in addition to the necessary vehicle of morning caffeine.

That’s where I’m at. It’s not easy. It’s forcing me to develop self control and discipline in an area of my life were, honestly, I thought it impossible. Here we go.

Where I’ve Been

13322203_10100695987522859_6184094153817042092_nThis picture was taken 27 years ago. Cute, right? I mean, how did my folks know I was going to be such a rock star musician at such an early age? Wait… never mind.

This is the last memory I have of being small. Sad, right? Not really. I’ve always seen myself as a big guy, so I don’t really see the “slim Clayton” as something I lost at a certain point of my life.

 

I weighed in around 250 in high school. When I got to college I ballooned up to 270ish, and maxed out at 305 a few times. Thank you Mountain Dew, “grilled cheese Wednesdays,” and platters of brownies that we somehow managed to sneak out of the dining center.
52547_10100257312421279_1463667317_oThis is me in 2012. I’m sitting right around 300 pounds in this picture. I’m being interviewed by my pastor about my recent trip to China in front of 500 people (x 4 services). I can’t see past my belly when I look down. I’m embarrassed by my appearance, especially when I glance back at the shot of me on the giant video screens.

 

 

 

 

Fast forward to mid-August of this year (2016 if you’re a Star Fleet researcher sifting through the Earth archives). I’m tipping the scale at 292. A long-term relationship has ended (basically – more on that in a future post, or, maybe not), I hate my job, and my life is in shambles. I can’t eat, can’t sleep, and can’t stand the person I’ve become.

Let me back up for a moment. In 2008 I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Type II Diabetes, here’s the basic synopsis – Clayton’s fat; Clayton’s body is resistant to insulin and/or has stopped producing its own insulin (damn you, pancreas!); Clayton’s fasting blood glucose level should be below 100, but it’s at 365 when he’s tested. Cue the hand-slap from the doctor. I start taking pills and insulin. Earlier this year I was taking so much insulin my endocrinologist (second hand-slapping doctor with a significantly more direct approach to dealing with me) switched me to U-500, a type of insulin 5x more concentrated than standard insulin. Clayton feels more shame. Clayton begins blogging in the third person.

Back to August. I lose about 15 pounds in 4 days, primarily due to my inability to function as a normal and newly single human being. The relationship begins its death throes, Clayton starts eating again, and he’s up 10 pounds. Now it’s mid-September, the final breakup conversation happens, and Clayton is back to his unintentional fasting plan.

Once the initial shock of the sudden change of my relationship status wore off, initiating the oh-so-fun anger and depression stages of grief (whoever conducted that research was a genius), I decided to take control of my eating habits. I already had some momentum going in the right direction. I was down to 275 pounds, and my manzierre (or bro if you’re more of a Kramer person) was down to a solid A-cup.

A friend of mine introduced me to the idea of intermittent fasting (IF) and the 16/8 plan. Here’s the basic premise – The body’s process of digesting the food we eat lasts about 12 hours. If we don’t eat anything for longer than 12 hours, the body begins burning its fat stores. Every hour after that 12 hours expires is another hour of pure fat burned (more on the science of behind this in a later post). So, I figured, what the heck; why not give it a try? I started skipping breakfast and decreasing my carb intake.

So, that’s my story.

Oh, you want to know how it’s going? You’ll just have to wait for my next post!

Drop It Like It’s Lott

Hi. I’m Clayton. Yup, that’s me with the fishing pole. I know what you’re thinking: “Wow, I can’t believe what an avid outdoorsman he is. I bet he’s wrestled a bear!” I know, right?

I’m overweight. Fat. Obese. Pleasantly Plump.

You know what? I’m sick of it. So, I started this blog. I have two separate purposes in doing so:

  1. I want to bring my struggles into the light. John (ya know, the Bible John) said, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” I know, I know, I got all Jesus-y on you. But his words are true. When I keep my struggles in the dark, I’m alone. I struggle alone. I eat alone. I grieve alone. I hate myself alone. That’s dumb. So I’m not doing it anymore.
  2. I want to be an encouragement to other people on similar journeys. I know plenty of people struggling with food addiction, and I’m certain there are plenty more I don’t know. So let’s walk through this together.

In the coming days I’ll post various stories of my struggles with food – physical, emotional, spiritual, and, well, everything…ual… I hope you’ll join me on this excursion into becoming better versions of ourselves.