Even The Up Weeks Are Down

I’m up 2.5 pounds this week, which is lame but also exactly as expected based on my experiences so far on keto. My weight-loss graph is, if nothing else, consistent. My consolation: At least this up week is lower than the last up week!

Still on target, still keeping my net carbs below 20 every day (I slipped up one day last week, but it was for a good cause, and still my net carbs were below 40). I miss fruit, but eventually will start to phase it back in when I get closer to my goal. Which is apparently going to take months and months to reach. *sigh* This slow weight loss thing – I don’t know how y’all do it, other than grim grit and determination. Good thing those are my wheelhouse!

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Downward Trend

It’s February and my fitness pals have mostly dropped off – nobody “likes” my MFP auto updates anymore, but I’m still here!

It’s a slooooow downward trend, but over the long term I can see that keto is working. I’m not super excited about the nonsense going on for the last 4 weeks, where every other week is UP, but if I keep my eye on the long-term trend I can see that things are happening that I like. This week I am down 4 pounds (sound awesome til you remember that last week I was up 2.5, so really it’s a pound and a half lost over the last two weeks, which is actually still really good!).

Starting from 12/26, my first day after vacation, I’m down 12.5 pounds!! Woohoo!! That’s the best I’ve seen in years! And, even though those alternating up weeks really bum me out, the program is so easy for me to follow that I sort of stick to it anyway on default because going off program is 1) more work because I don’t have any high-carb food around anymore and 2) not a big treat because I really like keto foods. I can easily treat myself within keto guidelines.

After years of VLCDs it’s a new thing for me to be content with slow, steady progress. I’d grown accustomed to big, fast drops from meal replacement programs, but I think coming to appreciate small wins is good for me. I guess it’s never too late to learn a little patience.

When I think about it, the last time I did HMR I struggled mightily to lose about 10 pounds and it took me something like 12 weeks to do it. I’m down 12.5 pounds on keto now and it has been 7 weeks. That’s the fastest loss I’ve seen in the last 5 years (ugh getting old sucks, avoid if possible!), despite the roller coaster on the scale. At least something is finally working! Now that I see the pattern I can be a little less despondent on the up weeks. Hopefully.

Lucky Number 11

I’m down 3 pounds this week. Last week I was up 2.5 pounds, though, so it’s a net drop of a half pound over the last two weeks. Total weight lost so far on keto is 11 pounds. I am trying to adjust to a mindset of “slow and steady.” If you know my history, you know this is new for me. I’ve always been able to drop weight fast when I stuck to a program, although the programs I’ve done in the past have always been fairly extreme VLCDs. Since this program is not extreme, I should not expect fast loss. Like I said, I’m trying to get comfortable with that. I am an inpatient person, I want everything to happen now.

Considering the meager number of calories I am deficiting each day, any loss at all is great. Most days I come in around my target calories – about 1960. For me, I consider this to be a maintenance value. Because my metabolism is so slow from the years of abuse, being able to eat that many calories and still drop at all (even if it’s only a half pound every two weeks) should probably be considered a victory.

Also, this past weekend my husband and I went on a weekend getaway to Portland and I managed to stay on program – no cheating whatsoever. That’s amazing! I’m shocked at how easy it is to find on-program food just about anywhere. The specter of the keto flu keeps me honest – I don’t want to go through that again so I do everything I can to not drop myself out of ketosis.

Keto Stops Working. As Expected.

I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but I didn’t think it would last. This week I’m up 2.5 pounds. It appears that the thing where my body stops responding to weight loss attempts has happened again. People get really explain-y to me when this happens, as if their theoretical diet knowledge trumps my years of experience with my body (and years of diet knowledge). Losing 200 pounds and working through diet after diet after diet to keep it off leaves an impact on the metabolism. Not a good one.

MyFitnessPal is probably sure I’m cheating on it by not entering everything I’m eating, but that is not the case. I had a slight wobble on Saturday, but otherwise I followed the program religiously and stayed in ketosis –  following a diet and exercise program is one thing I’m really good at. So here we are, 4 weeks in, and keto has stopped working. I’m disappointed, but not surprised.

I’m not sure what happens next.

Keto Week 3 – Oh There It Is!

Finally got the big drop I always expect and look for in the first week. Keto and my body is a weird combination. I’m down 4 pounds this week, that’s 10.5 pounds so far since I started.

This is the easiest diet I’ve ever followed. I know that’s not the reputation keto brings, but for me, with all the other ridiculous extreme programs I’ve followed in my life, this is easy. I eat meat, full-fat dairy, veggies, whole eggs, nuts, and dark chocolate. Most of these have been off-limits to me on most other programs I’ve done. The only thing I miss is fruit, but when I’m missing fruit I just stuff a little more cheese in my mouth and I forget it pretty quickly. And eating in a restaurant is easy on this program. That’s not something that’s ever been the case on the other diets I’ve followed.

Keto isn’t my long-term plan, btw. I am very aware that eating like this isn’t going to be healthy for me long-term (colon cancer in a direct maternal line to me, I’m very aware). My plan is to follow keto long enough to drop the excess weight I’ve gained over the last 3 years, then transition to a healthier, moderate low-carb plan where I can eat more veggies and fruit on top of my healthy proteins and fats. In fact, over the last week I’ve been modifying my intake to include more fish and poultry and less red meat. Red meat was easy in the beginning, but I need to make it a once-in-a-while thing for me. Except for bacon, I eat that every morning with my eggs.

But that’s all getting ahead of myself. This week I’m just happy to have finally seen the kind of drop I was expecting at the beginning.

That’s a First!

Guys, I want to tell you something but I want to make sure you’re sitting down first, and also that you don’t freak out but instead just laugh like I am. I had my weekly weigh-in this morning. Are you ready?

I gained 9 pounds this week.

RIGHT?!

That’s crazy! How is that even possible? How much of Cake Mountain did I shovel into my face to make that happen?!

It’s definitely a record! In my life, I’ve never gained 9 pounds in a single week, and honestly there’s just no math that makes it a feasible result. I have changed NOTHING in how I ate this week vs the last 3 or 4 months. Nothing.Yes we had a three-day-weekend but I didn’t go on a full-scale cheesecake rebellion or anything. I didn’t do anything different.

I got off the scale and got back on again a time or two just to double-check and yes, I have indeed gained 9 pounds this week.

You know what changed? I went off a medication I’d been on for a while. That’s the only change in my life, and the reason was to reduce migraines – the medication was causing migraines that I couldn’t stop with my Rx medications for them.

You know what else? This completely vindicates the basic premise of the Obesity Code book: it’s not about calories in vs calories out, it’s about chemistry and hormones. I drastically changed my chemistry this week and my body reacted boldly and swiftly.

Wow. I have no idea what’s next. I have no idea if my body will settle back down or this is my new weight now.

Temporary Setback – Happy Anyway

I was up a pound and a half this week. This was not a surprise, honestly I was surprised it wasn’t more, considering how I ate last week. That’s the thing about the term “cheat day.” It’s not plural! Ha!

It’s already coming back down though, as I expected, and I’m not concerned by it. *shrug* Some weeks are just more celebratory than others. Yes – that’s the word I am going with – celebratory!

I have decided to modify my “no snacks” rule, because I have been getting migraines almost every day for over two weeks recently. A couple of days ago I realized that the 7 hours between lunch and dinner are usually when those start. So I’ve started having a small snack – usually a piece of fruit and some nuts – about halfway through the afternoon stretch. No migraines the last two days. So that may be a thing I need to do to keep my head out of the migraine trap. I will continue to monitor to see if this causes my body a problem on the scale.

Regardless, my gain this week hasn’t thrown me down the depression hole, weirdly, and I can only say that the thing I noticed last week – where I don’t feel deprived so I don’t feel resentful about my life so I don’t get mad when I don’t see a loss – seems to be holding. This feels pretty amazing after over a decade of feeling resentful about my restrictions and getting pissed off about my body not doing what I want when I was trying so hard and giving up so much. Giving up sugar and flour have been easy for me. Getting back healthy fats has made it completely worth it.

Oh – one more thing. I’ve modified my workouts at bit since I became a convert of The Obesity Code. I’m not killing myself anymore. I do yoga, I go for walks, I lift a bit. But I’m not killing myself with high-intensity, hardcore, feel-like-I’m-dying workouts every day anymore because why should I? I’m getting great results without doing those things. Some days my schedule means I can’t fit in a workout and I don’t beat myself up about it now. I used to think exercise was 20% of weight management (and food/intake was 80%). I now agree with the book that exercise is about 5%, and my recent modification to my regimen seems to bear that out. Exercise is a “nice to do” for me now, not a “beat myself up & feel bad if I don’t” activity. Since I’m not planning on doing a body-building or weight-lifting contest anytime ever, this is fine for me.