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Archive for the ‘on track’ Tag

Writing a Book   Leave a comment

So I’ve started a new project.  Well, that’s not entirely accurate.  I’ve restarted a project I began a few months ago but let fall by the wayside.  I’ve decided to write a small book about the basics of the Ketogenic Diet.

The aim for this book is to be a quick read.  Less than an hour.  If I can, less than half an hour.  I’m not worried about filler, just the basics.  I’ll include a list of resources at the back of the book that will allow anyone who wants more than the basics to keep learning.

I’ve been working on it for about 6 hours now.  Taking a break to give myself a little time to get refocused.  I’ve made a lot of progress.  Since it’s not designed to be long I’d guess I’ll be done writing by the end of the weekend.  Then I’ll need to edit it so the content is sharp.  Along with that I need to design a book cover.  I think I’ll go the easy route with that by just using the same image for the front and back of the book.  I’ll be creating it only as a Kindle book so I don’t think having a separate image for each makes the same sense as it would if it were a physical copy.

I’m finding that there’s a lot more to it then I imagined.  It isn’t as easy as just opening a word processor and banging out a book.  Logical progression is an issue as well as getting it into a format that Kindle can use.  Thankfully Amazon made researching all that and getting the tools necessary to do it really simple.  I didn’t even know this before today but they even have a free program to alow you to see what the book will look like on a Kindle simulator on your computer.  Having read a few Kindle books where I wondered why they formatting was so awkward, this just made it all the more odd. Why wouldn’t you use the simulator to know how it’ll turn out before you ever upload it to Amazon?  Maybe they did and it just turned out wonky anyway.  Guess we’ll see how mine goes.

When I get it published I’ll leave a link on here for the book.  I haven’t fully decided yet but I think that I’ll be offering it as both a Kindle Unlimited title and for $0.99 if you want to buy and keep it.  Don’t see charging more than that considering how short the book will be.

Along with the book project I’m finally completing, I had another idea I started a while ago but never followed up on.  I like doing this blog, and will continue to do this blog, but I want to try to reach more people in other ways.  So I contemplated having a YouTube channel to track my progress as well.  I even got so far as creating the channel.  Just never made a video for it.  So that’s on the agenda now.

Like this blog, the channel will cover both The Ketogenic Diet/Lifestyle, my progress with it, and also how I’m working to be a better person on the inside.  I don’t have a lot of experience with video production so I’m sure it’s going to look a bit amateur at the beginning but I’m thinking it’ll grow in production value as I grow along with it.

When I get my first video posted I’ll add a link here for people to follow.  Mainly today I just wanted to get a post out where I stated I was doing these things because accountability.

I turned 48 yesterday and spent a little time thinking about what I’ve done with that time.  I’ve led a good life so far but when I thought about it, it’s really been the last year that I’ve been most proud of.  I’ve made a lot of improvements.  Lost a lot of weight, both in terms of body fat and bad habits.  But I still see a path ahead of me where I’ll get better still.  I don’t know how the book or the YouTube channel will turn out, but the best part is that in just doing them I’m already better because I’ve tried to be better.  Although I’m hoping the success isn’t just in the trying, of course.

That’s all for now.  Time to get back to the book.  Thanks for coming along on the journey so far and I hope you join me on these new journeys.  Take care.

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Monthly Update   Leave a comment

So this will be my monthly update with pictures.  My weight as of this weigh in is 280.6 pounds.  My first weigh in for August had me at 285.4 pounds.  So I lost 4.8 pounds.  I’m pretty happy with that considering I did take a week off from keto while I was in Bellingham, Washington.

My body fat was 38.2% for a total of 107.2 pounds of fat.  At the August weigh in it was 39.0% for a total of 111.3 pounds. So I lost 4.1 pounds of fat.

My muscle mass was 27.1% for this weigh in, translating to 76 pounds of muscle.  For August it was 26.7%, putting me at 76.2 pounds of muscle.  So I dropped a little in that category.  Not surprising as all the exercising I did in Bellingham was simply walking.  Also, at .2 pounds lost this could be the result of the small inaccuracies in determining my muscle mass through electrical impedance, as the scale does.

That leaves around half a pound lost somewhere else.  Probably water weight.  I’m ok with all this.  The vast majority of my weight loss this month came from fat, which is exactly where I want it to come from.

My starting weight on this journey was 352.6 pounds.  My body fat was 52% and my muscle mass read 25%. But I’m guessing it was well under 25% as that’s as low as the scale goes for muscle mass, and it didn’t go over that until near the end of May.  So overall I’m down 72 pounds.  I’ve lost 76.2 pounds of fat.  So I can’t be sure what the other 4.2 pounds gained is.  Could be muscle.  Could be water.  I know going by the first time my muscle mass percentage did change I’m up a pound of muscle.  At the end of the day though, the most important thing I want to track is my current weight and body fat lost.

I’ve been back on keto for a few weeks now owing to using the second weigh in of September for my monthly check in.  So the October check in will represent a smaller time window.

Right now I’m averaging 9 pounds a month.  A lot of that is due to a huge weight loss near the beginning of the year.  So I expect that number to drop.  Lately I’ve been around 4 pounds lost per month.  Based on that it’s looking like my weight loss for the year will be just under 90 pounds.

That’ll put me within 12 or so pounds of my initial weight loss goal.  I used 230 pounds for that goal because I wanted to wait until I was 230 to narrow down what I thought would be a healthy weight for me.  So when I hit that mark I’ll have a new goal to reach for.  It’d be easy to speculate what that would be now, but I’ll resist the urge.  The only prediction I’ll make right now is that I should be hovering around whatever that will be by around mid year 2019.

This makes me very happy.  In two days I turn 48.  I’ve been this heavy for at least two decades of that.  To think that what I took around 28 years to gain, and held for nearly two decades more, could be wiped away in a year and a half.  Amazing.

When I reach that point there may be other health decisions to make.  The most obvious being the real possibility of loose skin and what I’ll do about that.  But that’s a concern for 9 months from now.  As for right now, I’ll just enjoy my victories and keep plugging away a day at a time.

The progress pics are below.  The Superman tee is the current weigh in pics.  The blue t-shirt and red shorts are last month.  And I’ve included the first pic for overall comparison.  See you next month.

Fasting   Leave a comment

One of the cool things about the ketogenic diet is that it has a similar affect on your body to fasting.  Notice I said similar, not same.  That’s a very important distinction.  While you can get a lot of the benefits of fasting by living a ketogenic lifestyle without actually going without food, the only way to get all the benefits of fasting is of course to fast.

And that’s where another benefit of the ketogenic diet comes in.  By reducing your hunger pangs, when you do decide to fast to get all the benefits, it becomes a lot easier.

The logic is simple on this one.  When you live a ketogenic lifestyle you’re constantly in a state of ketosis.  Now if you want to be nit picky, yes, there may be times when you fade a little in and out of ketosis but for the most part you are in ketosis.  What does being in ketosis mean?  That means you have a higher level of ketone bodies in your system.  And where do you get ketones from?  Ketones are derived from fat in the liver.

So if you are in ketosis you are running your body off of fat.  Now on a regular day you are ingesting fat to power yourself.  Even if you’re on the ketogenic diet to lose weight you’d still be taking in a good amount of fat.  But what happens if you don’t take in extra fat?  Or food at all for that matter.

Since your body can already use fat for fuel your body goes looking for fat.  And as mentioned in previous posts, you have plenty of that in your system even if you have a low body fat percentage.  So your energy needs can be maintained strictly by your fat reserves. From 16 hours (the shortest period you’d want to fast) to days, depending on how much of a reserve you’re carrying.  And during all that time your body is being powered from within, you’re receiving all the benefits of fasting.  And when you do eventually decide to go back to consuming food you’ll go back to getting most instead of all the benefits.

This has been a really brief discussion about fasting and ketosis.  If you’d like more information on the subject I highly recommend reading The Ketogenic Bible by Jacob Wilson and Ryan Lowery.  They cover the topic in much better detail, along with a lot of citations to the latest research.  You can get as in depth as you want from the information provided.  I’ll include an affiliate link to the Kindle version of the book below, just click on the picture.  If you’d like a physical copy, I’ve had that before too.  It’s a decent sized book, which is why I prefer the Kindle version.

That’s all for today.  Hope you’re having a great day and hope to see you again soon.

Quick Update   Leave a comment

So the internet at my house is down, yet again. Still haven’t heard what’s wrong but the last two times this happened it was because someone was digging and cut the cable and it took a few days to fix. I’ll find out for sure tomorrow.

Because of this my scale can’t upload my weigh in this morning. If there’s one thing I’m not fond of with my scale it’s that you have to use the app to see your results after the weigh in disappears. I wasn’t being mindful of that this morning and only caught a glimpse before it went away.

Based on that glimpse it was either 282.8 or 282.5 pounds. So I’m either .2 or .5 pounds lighter. I don’t have the other measurements to tell me better how much was fat loss/gain or muscle or water. So once the internet is back up I’ll post that.

I’m ok with this as I spent three days bed ridden this week due to a flu or something. Could be another keto flu I suppose as payback for going off keto for my vacation. So I was actually happy to see that I lost weight. I had actually thought the number would go up.

I’m doing this from my phone at work. I live in a rural area and my cell connection isn’t great but I’ll try to get back to posting daily soon. Take care.

Not Being Hungry Anymore   Leave a comment

If I had to share what I think is the biggest benefit of keto with you, surprisingly I wouldn’t say the easy weight loss.  It tends to be the reason most people do.  They have pounds to lose, usually a lot of pounds to lose, and they’ve heard about how successful people have been dropping those pounds on keto.  It’s the original reason I started.

But having been on the diet for well over a half a year now I’d say the number one benefit is not being hungry anymore.  I used to be a slave to my hunger, now I’m not.  How did this play out in every day life?

Well before on a glucose based diet I couldn’t go very long without getting hungry.  And the longer I went being hungry the worse my food choices would be when I got a chance to eat.  As an example, if I got hungry at work I’d have a certain period of time before I could do anything about it.  On my job I can’t just stop doing what I am doing and go get something to eat.  I have to wait until the next break or possibly after work to get something. After work being the worst case scenario.  If I got hungry an hour or two before work ended I’d be spending from that moment forward until I got in my car wanting food.  What’s the quickest way to fix that problem once I was off the clock heading home?  Stop at a drive thru.  And of course at that point I wasn’t thinking about what would be the healthiest way to deal with these hunger pangs.  I wanted easy carbs and I wanted them now.

This is what led me to gain all that weight.  The quickest and easiest ready to go carbs, that travel well, all tend to be bad for you.  And making it worse is the fact that these carbs don’t keep you sated for long so the cycle begins again.

Now I’m keto.  Things are totally different.  If I look back at the times since the beginning of the year when I was hungry they all revolve around the times when I was back on carbs.  Mainly my week off I just took, or my regular, monthly day off from keto.  Other then that I just don’t feel hungry.  Ever.

Using the work example, as I don’t ever feel hungry I’m not experiencing cravings on the way home.  So it’s easy to make it back to my house to cook a proper meal.  A meal I’m cooking not in response to a craving but because I know it’s time to nourish my body.  And when you’re making your meals revolve around nourishing your body, not stopping your cravings, you make better choices about what you eat.  The better you choices, the better your body.  This creates a cycle, too, it’s just a good one to be caught up in.

This is a very important point to bring up about the keto diet, or what I prefer to think of as the keto lifestyle.  A lot of people associate it with weight loss.  And certainly it’s great for that.  My monthly average weight loss from when I started is still nearly 10 pounds a month.  But if you associate keto with just weight loss it’s easy to assume that once you’ve lost all your weight there’s no longer any benefit to being in ketosis anymore.  And that’s simply not true.

So even if you have low body fat, or even ultra low body fat, if not being a slave to hunger and having hunger pangs all day is a good thing in your book you should try the ketogenic lifestyle.  Not having hunger pangs all day also adds other benefits to your life.  When you’re not focused on how hungry your belly is you can spend that time focusing on other things.  Also, the main reason you don’t have the hunger pangs anymore is you have plenty of energy already.  Hunger is your bodies way to tell you it needs more energy.  Fasting is also way easier when you naturally don’t feel hunger pangs.  I’ll cover all of these in greater detail over the next few blogs.  That’s it for now.  Hope you’re having a great day and take care until next time.

 

Blog Update   Leave a comment

Sorry for the no posts over the last week.  As noted in my last post I was on vacation.  I had intended to spend a little time each day blogging but it didn’t happen.  I had a week to spend with friends and get things done and I used it for that.  While I do apologize for my absence I’m sure you all can understand why I won’t apologize for making time for friends.  I hope you wouldn’t apologize for that either.

Having said that we are well behind on my weigh in progress and for my first post back I am going to fix that problem.  Going into the vacation I was a bit worried about one thing, how much weight I’d gain back.  The reason being, I decided to go off keto for my time in Bellingham.  I felt this would make it easier on my friends who I was visiting.  I’ve worked hard since January 1st to take the weight off and I wasn’t happy that this would cause some of it to come back.  As with most fears, the actual events were certainly less scary than the fears themselves.

The first weigh in of the month I weighed in at 285.4 pounds.  I mention this because I decided to go off keto a couple days prior to flying out.  I’ve had keto days off since the beginning of the year and never reacted poorly to them.  The past few months I’ve been really low carb and was worried that introducing a lot of carbs all of the sudden might make me sick. I didn’t want to waste any time on vacation on that.  So I started a little early, and did feel a little off.  Mainly felt a heavy feeling in my stomach and a bit tired.  Nothing too bad.  This was before my Monday weigh.  As such I had already gone up in weight.  On 08/13 I weighed 288.8 pounds.  I hadn’t even flown out yet and I was up over 3 pounds. More fear creeped in.

Now while I was in Bellingham I did eat whatever I wanted, but I kept it in reasonable amounts.  As an example, the first night I was there I went to McKay’s for trivia night.  This was an old weekly ritual we had when I lived there over a year ago.  Clearly we spent a lot of time there as one of the bartenders said he missed me and was happy I was back.  This made my day.  Food options at McKay’s are limited and definitely not keto.  I had a couple slices of pizza, some cheesy bread, and cinnamon sticks.  But I didn’t go crazy and eat a whole pizza or drink a ton of alcohol.  I enjoyed myself but kept it in boundaries.  The other bit of balance I brought with me was the commitment to get in a lot of walking each day.  I easily doubled my usual walking time every day I was there. And unlike here in Alabama where it’s mainly flat land, Bellingham, Washington State is hilly as all get out.  So twice the time and twice the difficulty.  I did this every day I was there, without exception.

The week went by pretty quick and I arrived home mid evening on this past Tuesday.  I had been fasting from a few hours before bed on Monday.  I had coffee, and a packet of Nomatic Keto creamer (35 calories of MCT Oil and fiber) but nothing else.  After relaxing for an hour at home I knew the time of accountability had arrived.  I walked into the bathroom with a small amount of trepidation, ready to survey the damage.

And then the scale made me realize I had been more worried than I should be.  I weighed 295 pounds.  After a week of carbing up and not worrying about food choices I hadn’t even gained a full 10 pounds.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t happy I’d put on nearly 10 pounds, just happy it wasn’t the 15-20 I feared it might be.  The story gets better.  I had told myself I would do a 48 hour fast. I still had another day of fasting to go.  After I was done fasting I’d weigh myself again to see what the results were.

I fasted all day Wednesday, went to sleep, and Thursday morning I carried out my usual routine for weighing in on Mondays.  I stepped on the scale and to my surprise I only heard one beep.  Now the scale I use from Greater Goods (affiliate link below, just click the image) syncs via wireless to their server and then an app on my phone.  The first beep means the weigh in is done, the second means the results have been synced to the server.  By the time I looked down to see what was going on the screen was already blank.  So I stepped off and stepped on again and this time when I heard the first beep I looked down and the screen said 284.4 pounds.  That was the problem.  The scale has automatic user detection.  It does this by figuring out which user is within 10 pounds of the weight.  As I had weighed in at 295 pounds on Tuesday my scale didn’t know it was me.  I got a glass of water, took my shower, got dressed, and then looked up how to tell the scale I’m me.  After figuring that out I went back in and told it I’m User 1 before weighing in.  This time it would have detected me anyway as I weighed in at 285.2 pounds due to the water I had drank, and most likely absorbed while showering.

The second number is the one I’ll use as it’s the one that was recorded into my log.  So I started out at 285.4 with 39% body fat, or 111.3 pounds.  After everything was said and done I was at 285.2 with 39.1% body fat, or 111.5 pounds.  Basically after all that I found myself back where I started.  Not bad for a week plus break from keto.

I’ve had a few days since then.  I’m back on keto now.  I’ll weigh myself in as usual on Monday morning and we’ll see how the numbers hold.  As for right now I’m pretty happy with it.  I realize now, as is often the case, I worried too much as it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  Most of the gain was water weight that I quickly purged via a fast.  It also reminds me that even if your diet isn’t great if you can just get out there and exercise you can tip the balance back in your favor.

That’s it for today’s check in.  Now that I’m off vacation I want to go back to trying daily posts.  We’ll see how that goes.  But as I’ve learned from the last week or so I’m going to just roll with things and not worry so much about consequences as worry is a no win game.  Hope you’re having a great day, and see you soon.

 

Momentum   Leave a comment

So I’ve been waiting until I get home at night to try and post and there’s one drawback to it. I keep nodding off before I post. My momentum has stopped because I’m sitting in bed doing nothing that requires energy. It wouldn’t take a lot to fix this, just a little movement. That would create enough momentum to keep me going.

How big can a little momentum be? I’ll answer that question with one of my favorite trick questions. I can give you $1 million right now or I’ll give you a magic penny that doubles in value every day that you can’t spend for the next 30 days. Which do you choose? Most people would give me a quizzical look and say “the million bucks, obviously”.

Here’s the reason it’s a trick question. While the penny is literally as close to nothing as you can get in US currency it does have value. Double that value every day for 30 days and that lowly penny becomes over $5 million dollars. If you take the million today you’re getting less then 20% of the money you could have if you were patient and waited for the momentum to build.

How does this relate to life? Well a lot of us will avoid doing small things based on the faulty premise that because the “penny” doesn’t have much value why bother. But even a penny doubled over time can have amazing outcomes. I’m not saying if you can do .01 push-ups today you’ll be doing over 5 million by the end of the month. I’m saying that if all you can do today is a penny’s worth of work do it and try to build on it tomorrow with the momentum you’ve created. Who knows how far that will take you? I do know if you do nothing you’ll stay where you are. Take care.