Friday, July 31, 2009

Day 26 quick update

Friday July 31
Starting weight: 309
Today's weight: 276.5

I figured the dramatic loss from the previous day was from being out in the 103* heat trying to get stuff done. No surprise I gained a half pound.

Oh well.

I think I'm still on track to get below 265 in the next two weeks. :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 25: effects of heat exhaustion?

Thursday July 30
Starting weight: 309
Today's weight: 276

So yesterday the temperature in Seattle was expected to soar from mid 90s to the low 100s, breaking records. I saw a news article talking about a load of air conditioners being trucked to the home depot, so I went to see what they had. I didn't have high hopes.

Evidently I arrived just after the truck did and while most of the AC units were claimed, there was one that was returned. It worked fine (and was one of the larger, stand-alone portable units instead of the in-window jobbies) it just was missing its duct and window insert.

So I said I'd take it off their hands if they threw in a length of duct and some, um, what's that kind of tape?

But throughout the driving and carrying this 95 pound machine and hooking it up and all that, I started to feel nauseous and woozy.

Come to find out it was 103. This big swede isn't accustomed to it. Christ, it was hotter than Tucson!

I think the 3 pound drop (largest drop in a couple of weeks) could likely be due to sweat and energy consumed during the heat, my body attempting to stay cool.

Another 11 pounds to another big personal milestone I'll tell you about when it happens. :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day 24: 30 pounds.

Wednesday July 29
Starting weight: 309
Today's weight: 279

Thirty pounds.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day 23: A new milestone

Tuesday July 28
Starting weight: 309
Today's weight: 279.5

29.5 pounds lost. That scale has never seen me below 280. I can't fucking believe it. The diet is supposed to make one lose between 20 and 30 pounds over 40 days or so - I'm well on my way to losing 50 pounds. If that happens I'll be around 260 - the lightest I've been since before starting at Microsoft nearly 15 fucking years ago. (I know my mom reads this blog but the swearing is staying.)

Damn Microsoft and its free soda program. Damn myself for thinking rice and corn were valid side dishes.

The lightheadedness was really bad at work yesterday. Sitting upright at my desk was difficult. Fortunately I have a job where I can work from home (and an understanding boss).

Our Dr writes and says have extra fruit - half an apple or handful of strawberries per meal more - to get my blood sugar back to normal. I'm going to call my primary care physician (not our HCG diet dr) and get my blood pressure average, then go to the drug store down the street and use the blood pressure machine. I don't know what that will tell me anything but I'll bring it up with our dr at my appointment on Thursday.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 22 - Lightheadedness, radio musings

Monday July 27
Starting weight: 309
Today's weight: 280.5

I like mileposts, makes me feel like I'm really doing something. This is the lightest I've been since I got back from India nearly ten years ago (except for one stretch when I got down to 265 due to pharmaceuticals but immediately gained it back).

I'm looking forward to the day the scale says 279. Might be tomorrow.

The lightheadedness is actually getting worse. I'm going to contact my doctor and figure out what the fuck to do. I don't want to eat a spoonful of pure sugar or drink a glass of orange juice, which are some of the recommendations online.

I was listening to the radio on my way to work. A guest on a morning show mentioned that his doctor recommended eating nothing all day, then a large balanced meal in the evening. Interesting. He lost twenty pounds in a few months.

Sounds a lot like "steak day" - which is when, after the injection protocol, if at any point you find you're two pounds over your goal weight then you have a steak day. The purpose is to maintain a steady weight as long as possible. This will help maintain your "set point" and your body will try not to let you gain weight or lose weight. The longer you maintain a single weight, the easier it will be to keep it.

So "steak day" - you eat nothing all day except for lots and lots of water. At dinner you eat an apple, and a very nice marbled steak. This resets your body to start letting go of weight instead of packing it on. Not certain how that happens, though the books describe the process, I've just forgotten.

Day 21 quick update

Sunday July 26
Starting weight: 309
Today's weight: 281.5

I thought this was posted yesterday. Looks like it disappeared in the cloud. Oh well.

I've been noticing light-headedness more and more. I suspect it's a product of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia?). Standing up from a crouch gives me a head rush.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day 20 quick update

Saturday July 25
Starting weight: 309
Today's weight: 282

With exactly three weeks to go and 27 pounds lost, I'm more than halfway to my goal (260). The remaining 22 pounds should be a trick.

At this halfway point, I will say it's been tough watching my friends eat things I can't. Not that my stomach grumbles and my brain says "I'm starving!", rather, envious of the flavor. I miss the flavor of foods. Sausages, cheese, chocolate, whisky, popcorn. K and I went to see Harry Potter last night and I missed my regular treat of a small popcorn. The dr warned me to avoid trigger situations like that, including my company's usual 4:30 Friday happy hour in the bar in our building. So I've had the luxury of working from home these past three Fridays.

Three weeks from today, we move from the extremely strict diet to a 3 week transitional diet, monitoring our weight and forcing our hypothalamus to create a "set point". However on that transitional diet, while we must avoid starch and sugar, there are some things we can do. We can eat larger portions of meat for example, and enjoy wine or liquor in very small quantities (no beer).

Some friends are having a BBQ on that day. It'll be perfect. Something to look forward to. And not to get a big head about it, but it'll be nice to show off my new, 50-pounds-lighter self to my closest friends.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Day 19 quick update

Friday July 24
Starting weight: 309
Today's weight: 283.5

If I lose another 20 pounds in the next three weeks, I'll be skinnier than I've been since 1995 (260 lbs), when I started working at Microsoft, making decent money, lots of free food and soda. Not knowing any better.

My ideal weight due to my size is off the fucking charts (they all stop at 6'4", I'm 6'6" or so), but I think I found it at some point to be 220.

So I can't believe I wouldn't get down to 260 this round, then maintain that for six weeks, then another 20-40 pounds in a second round. I would be positively slender.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 17 quick update

Wednesday July 22
Starting weight: 309
Today's weight: 285

Who-hoo! I like two pound days.

Also, I can stop lying to people about my weight now. Or start telling everyone I'm at 265. Whatever. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 16 quick update

Tuesday July 21
Starting weight: 309
Today's weight: 287

Michael showed me a trick. When building muscle on your upper body, he notices a few guys at the gym build their biceps, triceps, and shoulders (anterior and posterior), totally ignoring the forearms and the middle shoulder muscles. Which just looks weird. When you think about beefy meatheads who have shoulders up to their ears, these are the guys.

But when you think about large, strong men - what makes a shirt hang well - and what makes the most visible difference is the middle shoulder muscle. So I've been focusing on everything, and not forgetting those shoulder muscles and the forearms.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Day 14, quick update

Sunday July 19
Starting weight: 309
Today's weight: 288.5

Yesterday the scale said I was up a pound so I didn't feel like updating. Now it's back down a pound and a half, so this roller coaster is getting frustrating.

Also frustrating, we bought a rather expensive scale with a precision of .1/pound instead of .5/pound, but we both found it to be unreliable. It'll say 288.2 on the first go, then 293.8 on the second. With the old scale at least it stayed within a half a pound. We're taking it back to the store.

Grilled steak yesterday, which was awesome. Only at a quarter of it, which kind wasn't.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Day 12: Twenty pounds. This calls for a celebration

Friday July 17
Starting weight: 309
Today's weight: 289

Last night I made Vietnamese Pho (beef noodle soup) with Miracle Noodles, very lean beef, onions, cilantro, basil, garlic, and limes on the side. As a change from the normal piece-of-fish-and-vegetable meal we've been having, this was an amazing treat.

But it was all well within the diet protocol, so I'll make it more often.

It may come as a shock that I'm not really very fitness-oriented. I detest calisthenics and abhor the idea of some germ-ridden, other-people's-sweat-covered, douchebag-filled, loud-you-call-this-music? and I-can't-believe-I'm-paying-money-for-this gym.

I tried to hit the treadmill to lose weight but of course it didn't do anything. Because with cardio exercising, you only really lose the weight while you are exercising. However with weight training, you're training your muscles to burn energy all day long, after you're done exercising.

So I bought some hand weights yesterday (5s through 15s). Amazon is shipping a full-body weights workout video today.

Michael laughed when I showed him the weights. "Honey, you're gonna very rapidly need much heavier weights than those."

grrrr.... fine.

Day 11 quick update

Thursday July 16
Starting weight: 309
Today's weight: 291

Down another half pound. I like the trajectory but not the velocity. Found out Xylitol has 10 calories in each package, switching to Stevia.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 10 update

Wednesday July 15
Starting weight: 309
Today's weight: 291.5

Our scale has a precision of half a pound. Normally when I weigh myself I do it three times. The first time it's invariably half a pound below the second and third times, so I go with those. Today they were all 291.5, so... cool.

The authoritative response from the doctor regarding skip days was thus:

You do not need to skip a shot unless you feel like you are hitting a pleateau and developing a tolerance. Just stay on them straight through and we can see how you do.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 9: Backwards progress...

Tuesday July 14
Starting weight: 309
Today's weight: 292

Gained half a pound. I had a feeling it was too good to be true. Damn water loss. Also I was hungry yesterday, probably due to the diarrhea.

Well, that and the "skip" day. Let's talk about the skip day briefly. The reason why the protocol is only 40 days long is because eventually your body develops an immunity, or resistance to the HCG hormone. To delay that immunity you're suggested to skip an injection every 7 days. I haven't gotten a clear answer to whether that's a good idea or not.

K was miserable yesterday - some of her aches and pains that had previously been alleviated have returned, along with the lethargy and nausea. She's emailed our doctor to ask what is the final authority on skip days. Good idea or no?

Further updates when we hear back from the doctor.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 8: quick update

Monday July 13
Starting weight: 309
Today's weight: 291.5

Heh - I've lost twenty pounds in one week due to the HCG diet and rounding.

I wonder how much of this recent weight loss is due to the diarrhea. Lots, probably. I'm probably due for a weight-loss plateau.

Speaking of which, the diarrhea is under control. I think the pepto had something to do with it. The gout is 90% remedied.

This diet has been a medical roller coaster. The logey-ness caused by loading, gout caused by hcg, diarrhea caused by gout medication, constipation caused by hcg, etc etc.

Day 7: Couch time.

Sunday July 12

Starting weight: 309
Today's weight: 293

I'm not certain if the Colchicine, which was prescribed to combat the worst gout of my life, has also made me drowsy, but it's definitely given me the diarrhea.


So I spent most of the day on the couch, drowsy, sleeping on and off. The rest of the day.. well.. I don't need to draw you a picture.

Leftover spaghetti was nice.

I wonder how many calories Pepto Bismal has.

Halibut and salad for dinner.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Day 6: Much improvement! pt 2

Saturday July 11

Starting weight: 309
Evening weight: 295

After weighing in and feeling pretty good, K and I got some coffee and went swimming. Breakfast is not allowed on the diet, so I've been enjoying a macchiato and K's been drinking americanos. We sweeten them with Xylitol, which makes a palatable coffee beverage, but it's definitely no whole-milk latte with honey or sugar.

We jumped in the lake and swam for about an hour, full of energy. My foot bugged me a little but I ignored it. We got out and weren't even the slightest bit hungry, but we needed to eat before we hit Ikea so we went home.

Lunch today was half a can of tuna each (specifically Whole Foods Tuna, not albacore, that's too fatty). A handful of tomatos and an apple.

We met up with our friends and went to Ikea. That took a good four hours and despite our friends having snacks at the Ikea restaurant, we were good and not at very tempted. I'd say the temptation was because I like Ikea swedish meatballs, lingonberry sauce and gravy.

But we were fine until we got home and cooked spaghetti. Half a pound of lean ground beef mixed in with some garlic and onions, browned, then mixed in with tomatos. This we portioned over Miracle Noodles and enjoyed something that bore a pretty damn good resemblence to spaghetti. Not perfect. No parmesan cheese, no garlic bread, no red wine, but it was a nice treat.

And not to beat a point into the ground, but while it was nice we simply weren't very hungry.

Gout recovery is up and down, interestingly. In the morning it's bad. During the day, walking around, it seems much better. Then relaxing on the couch at home before bed? Bad again. Hmmmmm........

I weighed myself in the evening just to see. Very interesting results. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 6: Much improvement!

Starting weight: 309
Today's weight: 297

I know I've been updating this blog in the evenings but today I had to jump on with the great news.

I was disheartened yesterday by a lack of progress but today I had to weigh myself like fifty times to make sure the scale wasn't lying to me. Two more pounds! A total loss of 12 pounds in 6 days.

The gout is mostly gone now too, just a dull ache around my ankle and on the top of my foot.

Caloo calay, bitches!

(more to come this evening)

Day 5: No improvements

299. Loss of a half pound. Disappointing. However there are things one can do if they find their weight loss plateau, but I think it's way too early to consider this a plateau.

Went to the doctor for the gout treatment today. Though he had never heard of the HCG protocol, but was supportive of the idea. He prescribed Colchicine for this attack, and liked the idea of cherry fruit extract going forward, but had no opinion on the nettles. He said once this attack is over we'll do a baseline uric acid test and see what happens.

Colchine was a good idea because it doesn't have the weight gain (especially in the face) that Prednisone has.

So to sum up. The first couple days I felt logy and unhappy so I didn't do any exercising. The next two days the gout attack has kept me from exercising seriously. I'm really looking forward to it - maybe Sunday.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 4: Recovering from gout

Starting weight post loading: 309
Yesterday: 300.5
Day three: 299.5

So the gout was pretty bad, still. Borrowed a walking cane from my sister in law. I'll probably stay home from work again tomorrow (Friday).

I only seemed to lose a pound, probably because there was no exercise let alone walking yesterday. More walking today, but gimp-y. More peeing today than yesterday.

Lunch was leftover halibut and tomatos. I've decided to drop the Wasa as much as possible if I don't feel like I need it, along with the Zevia. Later I had an orange.

Dinner tonight was half a breast of chicken and some salad, a late night snack of cherries.

One interesting thing is I never really cared for cherries before, would prefer other fruit. But with the limited diet (and probably the fact alcohol isn't numbing my taste buds), cherries are THE MOST DELICIOUS THING FUCKING EVER.

I hope my ankle gout gets better - K and I are going out with some friends to Ikea on Saturday and I'd hate to be stuck in the middle of the maze of affordable Swedish crap and lose my ability to walk.

Interestingly enough, despite the gout, my energy level has skyrocketed and if I could exercise, I would.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day 3: The worst gout of my life

Starting weight post loading: 309
Yesterday: 304.5
Day three: 300.5 (I'm peeing a lot. I suspect most of this loss is water.)

Day three started at around 6 am. My right ankle was starting to be a bit sore over the course of the previous day which I attributed to a misstep at some point. But awake and needing to use the bathroom, my ankle hurt so badly I thought I had sprained it.

The pain was like a white-hot shackle around my ankle. I could not put any weight on it. I crawled downstairs and crawled into the bathroom. Standing was excruciating. I guess I could have sat down, but I'm a man, dammit.

Crawled on my knees upstairs, woke up K and had her get me some pillows and ice. She also brought up Aleve and a supplement that contains Tumeric and Nettle. I took those and the ice helped okay, then I went back to sleep.

Later K went to the store and bought cherry extract, nettle capsules, and cherries, though cherries aren't necessarily on the diet. I stayed horizontal throughout the course of the day, staying home from work, and occasionally going to the bathroom despite pain while standing.

Over the course of the day the pain dissipated a bit, allowing me to make small steps.

I've had gout before - a few times since turning thirty. It usually presents itself as a circle of pain on the side of the ball of my foot, like the picture of gout on wikipedia.

Uric acid turns to painful crystals in lower extremeties. Gout in gout-prone individuals (hereditary), or due to diet (mushrooms, clams, oysters, mussels, red meat and alcohol - sorry, lovers of mushroom burgers, fried clams and beer). Cherries and nettles are supposed to re-absorb the uric acid and crystals into your bloodstreams.

Gout-prone individuals are prone to a massive gout attack in the first few days of the diet. K says that our dr should have considered that when I mentioned my gout to the dr. There's a medicine that can be prescribed to help avoid it, though it has side effects.

Now it's the evening and I've taken some more pain pills, and can almost imagine walking upstairs to bed.

Food notes: Lunch was yesterday's leftover lean steak and cherries. Dinner tonight was lovely wild-caught halibut with a little key lime juice we brought back from Florida :) It is sometimes hard to remember to eat - almost have to force myself to eat. No hunger pangs or alcohol cravings at all.

Cherries are not allowed on the diet. So I've cheated on my third day. :( But I avoided other stuff - the Wasa cracker, the Zevia soda, so I don't feel too badly about it. I'm going to have another batch of cherries before I go to bed.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 2 of Very Low Calorie Diet

Got up this morning. Weighed myself - 309 yesterday, 304.5 today. I assume a lot of that is water. I am trying to avoid extrapolation at this extremely early stage - I don't expect to lose 4.5 pounds a day for 40 days. :P

My thighs are starting to be pretty sore from the injections.

Coffee this morning was a double shot macchiato with Xylitol. K had an americano with a tablespoon of steamed milk. She liked that a lot more than I liked my macchiato, so I think I'll start that tomorrow.

Lunch was delayed due to a meeting. Normally during a noon-2pm meeting if I haven't eaten I'll start getting really hungry, and then run off immediately to find something quick to eat. And that usually means fast food, high fat and low nutrition.

Today, however, I wandered back to my desk and lazily prepared my lunch (the leftover halibut, lettuce, tomatos, put some apple cider vinegar on that mess, cut up the apple). I was pretty full by the time it was over, surprisingly.

I'm telling myself that the HCG is releasing thousands of calories from my fat stores. I hope that is true despite scientific studies on the internet to the contrary. Anecdotal evidence from other blogs and vlogs is encouraging.

Day 1 of Very Low Calorie Diet

Weighed myself. At the doctor's office I weighed in at 306.5 but on Monday 7/6/09 I weighed 309. Great, I gained 2.5 pounds during the loading phase. Oh well.

Injections have been interesting. On day 2 of the loading phase my wife (K) hit a small vein and had to put on a band-aid, though I've been lucky and have had hardly any bleeding. However the thighs are starting to be pretty sore.

We prepared for lunch half a can of tuna, a handful of tomatoes, an apple, and a piece of Wassa cracker.

Regular espresso drinkers, we have to experiment to find a morning wake-up that fits the bill. Monday we both tried macciatos, which are a shot or tow of espresso, with a tablespoon of milk frothed up. Bitter as hell with no sweetener, we'll try something different the next day.

So in reference to my previous post where I said I wasn't going to be cruel and eat a big meal in front of K, when lunch time rolled around, I was NOT hungry in the slightest. My coworkers are eating pizza and burgers and I just don't care.

When I got home from work I was a little hungry. I cooked up a package of Miracle Noodles and put garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika on them. It wasn't the same as noodles. Especially without any butter or parmesan cheese, but I ate 'em and washed 'em down with Zevia root beer. Both the noodles and the soda were approved by our doctor but interestingly, Kevin Trudeau says "no" to ice cold drinks or carbonated beverages.

For dinner we had 2 oz of poached halibut. Another questionable choice. One section of the workbook said wild caught halibut was okay for phase 2, another said no. Well, we won't make that mistake again, and stick to definates, but that plus some lettuce and tomato, a Wasa cracker and an apple and we were fine.

Leftover halibut for lunch the next day.

Starting HCG - loading days

Background: my wife was researching detox diets to counteract what she fears was a flouride poisoning when she was prescribed Cipro (!) for a staph infection. She was referred to a naturopath who gave her a slew of tests to determine her overall chemical balance.

The doctor also suggested that she try the HCG diet to help balance out all her chemicals, and potentially prevent some serious adverse affects from the Cipro poisoning.

And since I'm such a nice guy I decided that if she was going to eat a seriously low-cal diet, I'd naturally do the same thing, because of the following reasons:

1. We both could stand to lose weight. I'm 80 pounds overweight for my height, according to the federal government, but I'd be happy losing 40-60.

2. It would be really unkind for me to enjoy a nice steak dinner with baked potato and green beans and a beer when she's eating a thimble of white fish and five cherry tomatos. More on that later, as it turns out.

3. The diet is supposed to reset your metabolism and energy level. We'd both been trying to be more outdoorsy and adventuresome, but then we get tired and crave protein and probably eat too much red meat and fried chicken as a result. I'd like to have more energy without the powerful desire for bad stuff after.

4. Alcohol. While she's trying to avoid alcohol for a number of reasons, I enjoy it very much. So if I can go 43 days without a drink in the phase 2 portion, that'll mean something to me personally.

We started the "loading" phase on Saturday, July 4th, which was interesting. We gave ourselves our first injections in the morning, then a huge breakfast, lots of snacks, and bbq salmon and tri tip in the afternoon, then pizza before dinner. No issues, but I felt full all day.

The next day, Sunday, we injected ourselves then went to a restaurant for breakfast. Bacon, eggs, pancakes, hashbrowns, coffee, juice. I could not possibly finish the pancakes, I was so full. Later in the day we polished off a bag of potato chips. For dinner, several pieces of oven baked chicken and a huge salad with goat cheese and walnuts. Lots of fat. For dessert, rum cake.

Sunday was interesting because we were basically forcing ourselves to eat. I was very unhappy with the idea and very full. I was not hungry. I wondered if the HCG had already started to release the expected 2500 calories from my obvious fat stores. We were exhausted and logey the rest of the day despite not really doing much of anything.