bear by san

May 2015

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i believe in lager, cigarettes, and dope

Well, in amidst this anxiety and sense of being like a spider with everybody pulling on a different leg, there is some news I consider positive.

The last two times I've had my blood pressure done, it's been borderline high (a problem I've had since I was in my twenties, and which I have treated successfully before this with regular exercise). Unfortunately, I am exercising regularly, and my salt and fiber intakes are pretty good. Given a genetic predisposition to high blood pressure, alas, what this tells me is that the extra sixty-three pounds I'm lugging around really needs to come off.

Also, every ten pounds I can drop will do wonders for my climbing and my running times. And help relieve my poor abused spine and tendons and knees.

All this means I'm back on the Discipline again. So here's an elljay cut for people who find discussions of nutritional regimens triggery.

Basically, what has worked for me in the past is a combination of things. (Yeah yeah, exercise more. In any given week, I already swim, do yoga, hike, climb, lift, and run. What would you suggest I add?)

1) Radically restrict refined carbs. Brown carbs and potatoes are fine; white flour, white rice, refined sugar and so on, alas, get sent to the back of the bus. I can have them after significant exercise, and not otherwise.

Alas and alack, this includes beer. A moment of mourning, if you will, for the beer. (And pretty much all booze. Because of the way alcohol is metabolized, it goes straight to the belly.)

Also, I find restricting refined carbs is good for my moods and equilibrium (and PMS), overall. Pity I like them so much.

I also try not to go overboard on the saturated fats, though really, this meat of mine lets me know it's falling apart on me if I don't feed it a steak once in a while. (I suspect it's a side effect of the amount of muscle mass I carry: a couple of times a month, there's just not enough red meat in the world. I was vegetarian for a couple of years, and even with eating dairy and being pretty careful about my protein balance, I just couldn't keep it together without occasional dead cow once I started weightlifting.)

2) Shake up the calorie load. Given my size and activity level, I maintain on around 2600 calories a day. Theoretically, this should mean that if I cut 500 calories a day, I would drop a pound a week. Thermodynamics, however, is not my friend. So what I wind up having to do is restrict fairly seriously on some days and eat normally on others, and usually give myself one day a week when I eat like a pig. (Weirdly enough, I always register the most significant weight loss on the day after the 3000-calorie day. Which can be a bit like being a beta--you try getting 3K calories into yourself without eating sweets or too much saturated fat.)

Today is a 1600-calorie day. And I climbed yesterday. *sigh*

So hungry. And it's four hours to dinner time.

On the other hand, it's working. Two weeks in and I am down four pounds. Viva The Discipline.



ETA: If I somehow gave you the impression that I'm looking for diet advice, I'm not. But thanks for thinking of me.

Comments

There are people who swear up and down that having a high calorie day "jump starts" something and causes weight loss like that. I have found it to be true for me as well, but only if I was calorie-restricting for 4-5 days before that. It seems like a weird coincidence, and yet if I look at the numbers, there it is.
Yeah. I dunno what it is.

I really wish I could get by with a nice sensible 2100-calorie daily diet (seriously: on climbing days I should be burning over 3K calories, you would think it would be enough!) and still drop this weight. But apparently my metabolism demands I suffer to be healthy. :-P Oh, those famine-adapted Ukrainian ancestors.

(Of course, what I consider my minimum healthy weight is still ten pounds into "overweight," because our cultural standards are insane. And most recent studies seem to indicate that "overweight" is actually healthier long term than "normal." (scare quotes used advisedly.) And considering how much muscle I am carrying right now, I might be better off at 175 than 163. We'll see how I feel when I get there.)



Edited at 2010-01-19 07:46 pm (UTC)
Well, I can manage some sympathy for YOU having to give up beer; I can't relate personally to the loss of beer very strongly.

Not clear how thermodynamics requires the uneven schedule to make it work out for you? In general I'm sympathetic to the idea that variation might be better, but I have the impression you're making a much more specific statement.

3000 calories without sweets or too much saturated fat? Um. Yeah. Not an expert at this, but the top 10+ things that leap to mind do not qualify.

It'd sure be a lot of celery!

Is fruit more in line with "brown" carbohydrates, or with refined stuff, in your metabolism? (Um, not particularly related to the 3000 calorie section; a separate question.)

Fruit is fine. I can even get away with limited amounts of honey or agave nectar.

Thermodynamics would suggest that energy out must equal energy in + stored energy. Sadly, this does not appear to work for me in a simple linear fashion. If it did, I could eat 2100 calories a day and be mildly peckish but lose weight. Alas, this does not work for me. So I have these days when I am ready to gnaw on the furniture....

Thank Dog for herbal tea.
A round of bloodletting and emetics to re-balance your humors?

In all seriousness? I have no recommendations, but I think it's cool that you're getting good results from your system. I'm being a lot more lackadaisical, but I'm getting out to the gym 3-4 days a week for at least an hour, and people tell me I'm looking a lot more buff, at least :-)
yeah. One has to find what works for one.
Do you pay much attention to your Omega3/Omega6 ratios? There's an interesting body of research on metabolic effects there.

I still think the most useful thing I ever did for my weight was get my body happier about everything else - cortisol is so very much not my friend. (Let's not even talk about the memory effects. Ngah.)
Heh. Yeah, I supplement omega threes. It's good for my skin and my moods.

Mmm. Cortisol. :-P
There is research supporting the "binge day" every week or two because it convinces your body you're not starving to death, and restores amino acid/hormone/etc levels to "yeah, we can burn the fat for energy, it's cool."

As far as everything else, I've got nothing advice-like to add, since you're already doing everything I'd normally suggest.

And, man, I hate having to give up booze, but it's time to do that again in this corner, too. *sigh*
Alas!
I tried discipline and apparently can't leave without simple carbs. Bah.
It's VERY HARD. On the other hand, whole wheat flour is legal.
This is basically what appears to work for me, too, just based on the last few months of losing weight without actively trying. I've had a very erratic appetite; mostly absent, but occasionally I end up consuming giant amounts in one go. That's alarming when it happens, but I don't feel overfull afterward, and the next day I find I've dropped more weight. It doesn't seem to matter what I eat on the Must Consume Entire World days, either. Other days, I try to stick to stuff that will give me a good protein/fiber ratio so my blood sugar doesn't get jerked around, which means eschewing a lot of refined carbs. I do best if I eat a little meat (inclusive of poultry and fish) every few days, too, but I don't need it all the time. Also, I've been hypervigilant about hydration, which probably helps. Herbal tea all day every day. I'm just trying to keep my body from rebelling more than it already has, but losing excess weight is an okay side effect as long as it doesn't happen too fast, I think. I have plenty of weight I could drop without being gaunt.

I'm sorry you have to go hungry. The nice thing about not having an appetite is I never notice feeling hungry, just sometime, if I'm careless, that I'm starting to feel irritable and faint.
The best diet plan I ever had was colitis, pneumonia, and a broken heart. All at once.

that was worth sixty pounds or so.
Well, good for you for continuing with the exercise and diet regimen.

It's so easy to wander into that pharmacological cat-in-the-hat game that begins with taking blood pressure medication... and a few months later, something else for the side effects and built up toxins... and then another couple a year later for some new symptoms and so on to the end.

Have you tried making chapattis? They're a lifesaver when you just can't take any more brown rice, thank you.
Mmm. And corn tortillas, and poori (it's whole wheat!) and wheat pancakes, and blini...

um yeah. *g*
I'd love to trade you half of your metabolism for half of mine! I cannot put weight on for anything. Takes me about five months to gain five pounds if I work every single bloody day to try to take in more calories, and after all that work, I can still lose it all in a single weekend of being sick. I've been trying to reach a higher weight for years (I'm under what the charts all say I should be at), and I simply cannot get up there. So, if only we could trade! Clearly no famine-adapted ancestors in my genetic tree.
My mom is like you. She's nearly sixty, and has just started being able to keep weight on. And now she complains about how she can't eat like she used to or her knees start to hurt....
Knowing what I do about the genetics of metabolism, I despair of nutritional science ever approaching the level of medieval alchemy (the practical kind, not the philosophical).

I'm guessing you've done more recent and deep research than I have, but last I looked hard liquor didn't convert to fat due to the effort of processing. Beer on the other hand is pretty clearly food.

Also, have you read about the metabolic function of brown fat? Might be worth looking into if you haven't. It's something I intend to experiment with as soon as the storms are done.
The brown fat thing: I dunno, I am clearly a cold-adapted creature (I keep my house between 55 and 65, and if it gets over 80 I'm nearly prostrated) and it doesn't seem to make any metabolic difference at all.

Three hours hauling wood in the snow, though....
All you need for further proof of "big boned" vs "not" is a photo of me standing next to my employer. We are the same height, but my shoulders are half again the width of hers, and I could fit her entire arm inside mine with plenty of room to spare. A bracelet that fits her wrist perfectly would practically be a pinky ring on me. It's good old-fashioned Irish farm stock vs. Russian ballerina.

(Which also explains why I drop weight on tour ... she hardly ever eats, so I find myself hardly ever eating, either. I lost almost 50 lbs within the first 6 months of working with her, and have managed to keep most of it off.)
Like you I pack a lot of muscle (and probably about 60 lbs too much).

I know from bitter experience I can't cut proteins back (otherwise I go all caveman hunter with a wild eyed gleam for red meat) but work better on restricting carbs - which I find easier to cut later in the day.

Working with nutritionists and personal trainers I've found that putting unrefined carbs in the morning and maybe a small side order at lunch and then mainlining protein (fish or meat) and salad or green veggies in the evening works for me.

One thing I did find that works really well is substituting lunch for a protein shake based around a high whey component. They're calorie light, come in chocolate, don't taste foul and are really very filling. *G* (and they should put me on commission).

Plus I don't get lightheaded and can quite happily keep to my exercise regime with a carb breakfast (porridge with dried fruit is a huge fave at the moment) protein shake at lunch and protein/salad in the evening.

I don't know what kind of cardio you do (though I am astonished at how much exercise you manage to fit into an average week!) but it rumoured high intensity interval training might help kick start dropping a few pounds too.

Good luck with the discipline.
Mmm, always interested in nutritional stuff - thanks for sharing. Good luck and good skill to you on the process.
Go you!
It is such a relief to read a large, muscular woman saying something as sensible as "I maintain on 2600 calories so I'll cut an average of 500 to lose weight." (The other day I read someone who is 5'10" or so and with a fairly large frame, though not muscular, talking about losing 12lbs a week on 800-1000 cal/day. And yes, her weight yo-yos.)

How are you figuring your goal weight? Just by where you look and feel good? Are you needing to allow extra weight on top of that for any newly-added muscle? One reason I'm asking is because I tend to assume any amount of muscle weight is good, but I don't know how much of an added load it is on your cardiovascular system. That is, does extra muscle weight *also* contribute to high BP, or only fat?

I really need to do some Disciplining myself, but I'm stolidly ignoring it until April; I have a much better idea of what's in any given Dutch food than in Taiwan food. Also, I eat lunch in a company cafeteria (though I do keep PB&J on hand here); the one here not only sucks but only has two options, while the Dutch one has more and halthier choices.

Good luck with your plan. It sounds painful but sensible and effective. And I'm convinced the need for dead cow varies vastly among individuals; my husband would be happy with beef five times a week (which is pretty much how he grew up) and has only reluctantly come to the idea that side dishes matter too. Whereas I do better on much less beef - but I do get to needing it now and then.
I figure I'll get to 175 and see how I feel. That's fifty pounds, more or less. (I was 226 this morning.)

If I'm good there, and my size 12 jeans fit, we'll run with it. If I'm not good, what's another ten pounds, at that point?

I can't handle anything under 1500 calories, and I can only last for two days on that. I feel sick and exhausted and get seriously crashy at that point. I mean, right now dinner has worn off and I'm peckish, but I'm not feeling awful. Feeling awful is not on. I am too busy to make myself sick.

Extra muscle weight is a cardiovascular stress, but it's also useful weight. And since I'm not going to quit climbing, I don't want to burn off muscle mass.....
I haven't started up with my diet changes for the year yet, but I need to. I'm glad to hear that the same sorts of things that work for me work for other people too. Basically for me -- I can have protein and vegetables, some cream and butter, a little bit of fruit, but that's about it. Cut out all the rice and bread and potatoes. (And yes, that include alcohol.) It's very restrictive, but OMG it works, I have so much more energy, I'm healthy, my moods are more even, yada, yada.

One suggestion for the exercise -- be more active during the day. Set an hourly timer on your phone or if you're always on the computer get workrave.org (PC) or Timeout (Mac http://www.dejal.com/timeout/). Spend 5 minutes every hour standing at the very least, or doing a round of pushups, easy weights and squats. Being active *all day long* and not just at the gym has been the key for me in terms of burning calories.

Best of luck with this and I look forward to hearing more about your progress.
I am a diabetic.

I think you are eating things(or not) for the wrong reasons. Corn, rice, beer, heavy starch stuff converts to sugar very quickly in the body. Stay away from all corn products. Wery wery bad. (I gave up potatoes about a year ago. Almost never eat rice)

I eat oats in one form or another every day. Oatmeal keeps your chlorestoral down, keeps wrinkles from forming, helps deny nicotine craving and I bet it would do your ironing for you.


You are apparantly doing a great job excercising, not sure that is your problem tho. As I recall, it is blood pressure. Perhaps some form of soothing Yoga? Meditation for sure. If you manage to tell your body that you don't really need to excersise so much, perhaps you wouldn't need to fuel your body so much.

Beth and Judy do slow excercising, (yeh, an excitable pony can be um er) but on the whole they aren't swarming up walls.

Is there a horse you could borrow (or rent) for a short time? You could feel the difference in muscle use.
I reluctantly came to the realization this month that the only way I'm going to lose those last thirty pounds is if I give up the beer, so I feel your pain.

I haven't quite gotten there with carbs, yet, but I've still got some exercise to step up before I have to consider drastic measures ;)
The whole-grain thing isn't as bad as you think, especially if you are a filthy hippie like me.

But man, I miss beer. I can HAVE a cupcake if I work out first. Beer is pretty much just off the menu.

Since I use alcohol as a muscle relaxant (bad neck and shoulder) this means I'm sore all the damned time unless I am hugging my heating pad.

La.

in the denial camp

I've seen a picture & do not believe you weigh 6O pounds too much. Is this from some schlock BMI chart? Of the same Wii sort that tells my 30 lb. 4 year old daughter that she is too fat?

Given what you actually look like and the amount of exercise you get, that number is insane.



Re: in the denial camp

Heh. If I went by the actuarial charts, I weigh closer to 80-90 pounds more than my healthy weight, by I ignore those.

I am quite fit, and I carry a lot of muscle. But I also carry a fairly significant amount of weight that doesn't do much except weigh me down, stress my cardiovascular system, and act as famine reserves. (Since I am a fairly tall, muscular, large-framed woman, I think I carry it pretty well. But the blood pressure is gonna be an issue in a few years if I don't do something about it now, I have four diabetics in my immediate family, and my chosen sport--climbing--is like cycling or marathon running in that every pound you're not using to move you is a pound that damages you when you move. So this is strictly weight loss for health reasons. Although I do have some really nice corp-goth clothes I wouldn't mind being able to wear again.)

I weigh 226 pounds, currently. I'm aiming for somewhere between 163 and 175, depending on how I feel when I get there. That's not exactly skinny, even on me. I'm not sure I've ever been carrying this much muscle at my fighting weight, so I'm not sure what my fighting weight will turn out to be. I do know 155 is too skinny under any circumstances.

I've found after a year or two of eating less (brought on after a meatbolic slowdown at 40), I simply can't eat as much as I used to, which I hate since I like to eat.

On the plus side, I'm 10% over the weight I graduated college at.
There are many, many comments here, and I'm probably repeating someone because I'm busy this morning and don't have time to read them all. Anyhoo, the reason you experience this extra weightloss:

Starvation (restricted calorie uptake for an extended period of time) equals the body burning everything but fat (this includes muscle). Plenty (eating like a beta) equals an end to that starvation, so the body relaxes and allows you to burn up your fat reserves.

They found this out when trying to refeed the Holocaust survivors. They found that they had to refeed at really high rates (3k and sometimes 4k a day) to actually get them to store fat and gain weight.

Anyway, that was my nerdiness for the day, back to housework.
I've been using nutrimirror to track my food. I'm surprised how hard it is to get enough iron, and how much extra I need to eat on the days I work out.

But, maintaining a 500kcal deficit does work for weightloss for me, and mostly I've been keeping my muscle mass up.

Good luck with the project.
I use fitday. *g*
It's the hunger that's sometimes the hardest when you're dieting.

I find that drinking (not booze :)) helps me out here. Especially richer drinks. Tea and coffee.

And like you, my focus is on my future stroke (naturally high cholesterol) and ancestral type 2 diabetes.

Good luck!

Catherine
Ahhh, yeah, that future stroke. I have accepted that it is inevitable. I would like it to happen when I'm 83, and be completely catastrophic. I think pitching over at my desk sounds nice.