Seeking Community Support for My Personal Weight-Loss Goals
Weight has fluctuated a bit over the past few days. Was back up around 200 and now back to 197. Difference seems mostly to be water retention and whether I've eaten recently or not.
It feels noticeably better with 8 pounds gone. I definitely feel "lighter" as I move around going about my day. It might all just be be in my mind, but my joints (especially my knees) feel a little less creaky from the reduction in weight.
I'm looking forward to getting rid of the remaining 8. I realize that this is a process which needs to happen over time to be healthy, but I'm becoming impatient at how I've plateaued for several days. I liked the daily downward momentum and hope it resumes again soon.
One good thing about being on this program is that PP.com is doing its share to keep me preoccupied and distracted from temptation. Jason and I had another dawn-to-after-midnight session yesterday creating more of the new content I've been hinting at recently. I'm excited for the day we'll be able to share it all with you…
I've had a number of folks both here in this Comments thread, as well as via email and PM, mention that they're joining me in dialing their weight loss efforts up a notch. If you're one of those people, how is your progress coming along?
Day 10 (yesterday) log:
- exercise: day off
- meals: day off (fasting day)
Day 9 log:
- exercise: 40-min bike ride (hilly)
- breakfast: raw fruit smoothie
- lunch: tuna sandwich on gluten-free bread
- snack: 2 hard-boiled eggs
- dinner: chicken & vegetable stir-fry with brown rice
One aspect of this I forgot to mention is measurement and how that interacts with motivation. Using pounds as a metric can be frustrating, especially as muscle seems to be heavier than fat, and water can change things around. Its super healthy to drink water, so sometimes measuring pounds can encourage you to stop drinking water for fear of demotivating yourself.
So I found that it was also good to measure my waist with a tape measure. Of course its less exact than pounds, but in some sense, the tape was always my real goal, not a particular number of pounds. For me, it was getting to 32.5 inches, down from 34 or so. I would measure every 3 days, along with the weight, and as long as you do it in a consistent way (i.e. after breathing out, while relaxed, at the same place on your body at the same time every day – say before breakfast) it worked for me.
That way I didn't worry so much about pounds – as long as I didn't start adding inches, that's what I cared most about. And the more muscle I had, the faster my fat got burned, and the better I looked, even if I ended up not losing any weight for a while.
Thanks for the update Adam. It is interesting to follow your progress with you.
One thing you mentioned stood out to me in particular:
It might all just be be in my mind, but my joints (especially my knees) feel a little less creaky from the reduction in weight.
I would bet this feeling is not just in your mind, but is a feature of cutting out the gluten. Your systemic inflammation is likely lower. (One marker of this can be measured with bloodwork as CRP – C-Reactive Protein).
As I've been slowly getting closer to my 30-year mark, I've noticed a much bigger difference in my own neck and back stiffness and pain with regards to what type and quantities of carbs I eat. When I eat gluten for a couple days, my neck will be very sensitive and sometimes ache for days following.
Years ago, when I lost a significant chunk of fat doing a ketogenic diet, an older friend of mine was impressed by the results and asked me to help him try it. After a couple weeks, I checked in with him and he had lost a few pounds, of course, but what he was really excited about was that his chronic back pain, which he'd dealt with for many years, and taken pain meds for every day, was gone. He said even if he never lost another pound, it would be worth it for him to keep eating that way just because his back pain was gone.
I was just at the beginning of my education about gluten and inflammation at that time, and have since found through self experimentation that I usually have little to no negative repercussions from eating "Paleo" (or "noninflammatory" or "Primal" or whatever you want to call it) carbs, whereas the fallout from eating grains, particularly gluten, is pretty bad. So I don't think a person has to be ketogenic to reap these benefits, but gluten free is huge.
I'd be interested, once you reach your goal weight, to see how you feel if you reintroduce gluten. I'd wager that some of the creakiness would return to your knees, despite being at a lower body weight.
Lisa tells a moving story of a life transformed by wheat elimination:
About 3 years ago I was struggling with crazy inflammation: moderate at times, but also spiking and leaving me barely able to walk.
I was turning 40 and felt 90. Doctors diagnosed me with “fibromayalgia” and “Auto Immune Disorder–Etiology Unknown” and gave me pain pills and steroids, which I tried but the side effects were terrible. I knew they weren’t the answer, but I had no idea how to figure out what was wrong.
I basically suffered for years until I found your book. Within a week–days, really–of staying away from wheat, my pain was gone. My stomach issues, which had plagued me for several years, as well: gone.
I climbed a mountain on my 43rd birthday with my two daughters. Two weeks prior (before I found your book) I could barely climb the stairs. At the top of that mountain, I cried like a baby, so thankful for the chance to do this with my girls and live a full life again. Sometimes I can’t believe I feel this good.
I now row on my rowing machine 1500 meters a day, and will do more as times goes on. It feels great: no joint pain, no trigger points. I could go on and on here, but all I really need to say is thank you.
Wheat can be crippling.
What is it about wheat that can so profoundly impair muscles, bones, and connective tissue, the body parts we need to carry out activities like walk or climb a mountain? Here are a few reasons:
1) The gliadin protein of wheat induces increased intestinal permeability that allows foreign substances to gain entry into the bloodstream. This is the first step in autoimmunity, the body’s immune system attacking itself. While it’s worst in people with celiac disease, it applies to everyone else (though varies in intensity, depending on haptoglobin 2 genotype; see http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/09/14/0906773106.full.pdf).
2) Wheat germ agglutinin–The lectin protein of wheat, in addition to its direct toxic effects on the intestinal lining, can also enter the bloodstream. Even in microscopic amounts, it is highly toxic and causes joint, connective tissue, and cartilage inflammation.
3) Anti-transglutaminase antibodies–We know that the gliadin protein of wheat oddly resembles the transglutaminase enzyme of the intestine, a situation of “molecular mimicry.” Celiac disease is diagnosed by a positive test for an antibody against transglutaminase, which cross-reacts with (deamidated) wheat gliadin. BUT there are emerging data that the antibodies generated against transglutaminase may also be responsible for inflammation in other organs even in the absence of celiac disease. This may especially involve joints, brain and nervous system, and liver.
4) The amylopectin A of wheat, the “complex” carbohydrate responsible for the high blood sugars of wheat consumption, triggers glycation of cartilage tissue that leads, over time, to brittle cartilage, then arthritis. (This part of the process of wheat-induced joint dysfunction is not reversible, however, so likely did not play a big role in Lisa’s case.)
In addition to being a perfect obesogen and perfect bowel-toxic food, wheat is also perfectly crafted to impair your joints, muscles, and connective tissues. Get rid of it . . . and climb a mountain.
I started a new discussion specifically on gluten-free eating/living, for those who want to share more about the challenges, logistics, how-to, etc. Come join me over there if you have experience or questions about going or being gluten-free.
First off, Adam, I'm impressed with how things have been going for you so far. Definitely check in several months down the road about whether this has been a sustainable set of changes for you. I hope so.
I'm wondering if you've felt hungry, and if so, how you've responded.
You have done at least one fast day. Did you experience hunger or low blood sugar? How did you deal with it, if you did?
How do you figure out that you've eaten enough BEFORE you realize you're full or overfull?
Like many Americans, my relationship with my body's hunger cues is historically fraught with patterns of indulgence and deprivation. I would like to retrain myself so that I'm not at either of those extremes, but I'm not clear on what lies in the middle or what that looks/feels like.
I'd love to hear yours or anyone's thoughts on this. When you are hungry, do you respond right away? If you delay eating when you are hungry, at what point do you eat? How do you keep from going too far, to where you're feeling "starving" and the primitive brain steps in to demand a quick fix at any cost (fat, sugar, calories, whatever is the quickest fix, and way too much)?
I have a hard time tuning into my body's signals sometimes — again, as a product of American culture and a generation of girls who were encouraged by the media and other role models to do what amounted to chronic yo-yo dieting…which I believe totally interfered with the normal development of being able to read my own body's hunger/fullness cues.
I remember, as a preteen and teen, throwing away my lunch and eating only my apple because the other kids called me "fat" and "ugly." (For the record, I now understand that I was neither.) I was soooooo hungry by the time I got home from school that I'd eat ice cream with a spoon straight out of the container while standing in front of the freezer. Or I'd have several slices of fresh bread in rapid succession, to boost my rock-bottom blood sugar and quell the hunger pains and growling noises in my stomach.
I'd be much healthier now if I could get more fully in touch with what those cues really mean. I'm wondering how "normal" people handle them…"normal" meaning, someone who wasn't conditioned, as I was, to ignore those cues from a young age.
Would love feedback on this if you or anyone has some.
How is everyone doing with their dietary and lifestyle changes? Is it time for some reporting in?!? Share your successes to help others stay motivated!! Share your difficulties to get a pick-me-up from your PP cheerleaders…
Thanks for the check-in. Reminders like yours really help me stay mindful of my goals.
And that has been extra important for me recently, as behind-the-scenes work here at PP.com has snowed me under for the past few weeks. Lots of 7am to post-midnight days working with Jason on new content development.
So naturally, both the focus and discipline needed to stay on a weight-loss regime take big hits when work becomes this demanding. I'll admit to a few too many "cheat" days in the past 2 weeks, and if you listen to my recent podcast with Robb Wolf, you'll find lots of good rules I've been in flagrant violation of recently (lack of sleep, very sedentary days in front of the computer screen, etc).
But, all that said, I hopped on the scale this morning and saw that I'm at 199 lbs. So I'm still under the psychologically important 200-lb threshold.
I had hit 196 about 2 weeks back. Now that we've just passed a big development deadline, I hope to be able to ramp back up my efforts and get into the low 190's within the next 2 weeks.
Thanks again for the check-ins!