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Today is January 28. A year ago, that was the day I began nearly six months of what I defined as abstinence within the Overeaters Anonymous framework. At the end of that six months, the pressure to continue abstinence was overwhelming, and the “white knuckle” approach I had adopted was failing. Then it became epic in failure. I see now that I had never kicked the drug, I just replaced it with versions that were marketed as healthier. I have since seen the light. As Dr. Robert Lustig puts it: “the corn refiners want to say that HFCS is the same as sucrose. The thing is, they are right. They’re both poison.”

As of today, I am one month into the no-sugar no-grains methodology. I decided to stop just listening to the advice on Vinnie Tortorich‘s podcast, I actually followed it. I have taken it to somewhat of an extreme for now, entering a completely ketogenic state. I did so because my metabolic brokenness was so severe for so long, I need a reversal to bring about  hormonal balance.

So how am I doing?

I ran a 5k yesterday which was not a PR, but was a bit better than the pace I was running before the Rehoboth Half Marathon. That is with almost no run training since that event. So, my energy is solid.

I check my blood sugar a lot. I have been between 75 and 89 most of the time. The highest spike I have seen is 101. I have seen as low as 65 post workout, and at that time I felt great. This is significant. I was seeing numbers all about 120 the last time I was checking. When I got near 100, or below it, I had the shakes, felt weak, and responded with high sugar binges. I couldn’t imagine even SEEING a 65, let alone seeing it while I felt awesome. Last year at this time I was able to confidently say I had the specter of Type Two Diabetes in the “managed” category. I may have called it “reversed.” Today, I am bold enough to say I absolutely am CURING it, whether or not the AMA recognizes that word as an appropriate term. There is a lot that the AMA wouldn’t like about me right now, but when my full lipid panel next month shows improvement (and it was never bad anyway), I will be officially off the mainstream radar.

I’ve sampled a few sweet things in small bites to see how it felt. Yeah, I’m not nearly as interested as I used to be. I’m much more in tune with how my body actually works when it’s not in constant chaos.

And, as much as this metric is a terrible single number to refer to, which is why I saved it for last, there will be some of you asking the usual “WELL HOW MUCH WEIGHT DID YOU LOSE?”

OK fine. Since the day after Christmas, 20 pounds even.

Beyond those numerically driven changes, I can say I am more focused, more driven, happier, calmer, more patient, less anxious and fearful. I sleep better. All of these things have been changing over the last two years, but I am having that feeling like you get when your ears pop. You’ve heard your surroundings all along, but you didn’t realize how muted the sound was until the ears really get cleared. I’ve been doing better for some time, and the effects have been seen. But I am telling you, I’m not just better right now, I’m fantastic. I’m doing excellent. I’m not quite firing on all cylinders yet, but I’m at that point between 90% better and 100% better. I’ll take 90 every day of the week compared to how I used to feel.

The last 10% will be a fun ride, and life long, as I continue to drop weight, and delve into more advanced “bio hacking” as I fine tune nutrition, exercise, and some intangibles that fall under a vague umbrella. Mark Sisson calls it “the primal connection,” Vinnie calls it “putting life into living,” a mystic would call it spirituality.

Thanks for your support, friends. Thanks for sharing my struggles and victories. There will be many more to come.

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4 thoughts on “One Month Update

  1. I’m very interested in this process you have going. I’m wondering if you could give a sampling of what you DO eat. I think many of us eat things we don’t even know have sugar or grains in them. We are so… brainwashed about food. What it says on the front of the package and what it truly contains is not, hardly ever, the same, but consumers think “oh yes, the industry HAS to tell us the truth!” We’re trying to eat healthier too, but still fall back on some packaged foods – do you eat any packaged foods or is this mostly a “natural”, Paleo kind of thing?

    • I can’t say my first month has been the best, as I need to get more green vegetables. So I won’t say it has been ideal. But I do describe it as “low carb paleo plus high fat dairy.” Meat. Full fat cheese. Heavy cream. Avocados. Spinach. Peppers onions and garlic. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, cauliflower. Lentils once, but not often. For ketosis, at is more important than protein, so i am not eating boneless skinless chicken. Butter, olive oil, coconut oil, eggs eggs and more eggs. Almond butter. Almonds, macadamia nuts. Occasionally a nut mix. Nuts have more carbs than one thinks, and they are easy to overdo. I’m almost completely off artifical sweeteners, though I may use real stevia from time to time. No more of the mislabeled truvia from the store. Total nightmare. And, one square of 85% dark chocolate a day. Couple grams of sugar, but not much. When I think that sends me back into cravings, it will be gone.

  2. Congrats on your progress. Mostly I’m pleased that you’re feeling better — the twenty pounds is just gravy. I’m doing low carb/highish fat as well and will stay there for eight weeks when I will add in time and amount controlled carbs. I am hoping this type of program will be a good compromise for me — as I am not ready to dive into the full-on ketosis approach quite yet.

    I have to admit I have scaled back the endurance exercise to increase my chances of success. But I’m still lifting weights twice a week and doing shorter cardio four times (Nike+ kinect video game on the Xbox and walking). It’s going well — I am feeling less frantic about food and my mood has lifted (which is saying something as winter can be tough). Unfortunately, my weight lifting has been more of a challenge with the diet — but I want to give the program I’ve chosen a chance. Oh — I have lost 6.6 lbs since Dec 31. Considering I lost not a single pound in three months of 1200 net calorie days (all below 180 g carbs — so far from the typical low calorie approach) leading up to this change, I am pleased with my progress. Of course, I was able to train distances up to half marathon without issue on that diet — but decided I needed to weigh less to be comfortable.

    Congrats again — I’ll be following along from home. 🙂

    • Awesome! Yeah, I am becoming very open minded to the paleo approach to exercise. I still want to do emdurance events, but I will be paying a lot more attention to Ben Greenfield and Mark Sisson on the exercise front, I need to start lifting soon. I am considering so many things. My bowflex, insanity dvds, yoga, olympic free weight lifting. Maybe all of it.

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