Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Photos & more photos, and nutrition

Calories eaten yesterday: 1728
Fat: 86g (47%)
Carbs: 43g (10%)
Protein: 139g (34%)

Calories burned in exercise today: 321

Last night I stuffed all of my recent purchases in a garbage bag and took them all home at once. About 20 feet from the front gate the bag broke, dropping everything on the ground. By some miracle nothing was broken. I worked in piecemeal through the gate, across the courtyard, and settled for taking it up the elevator instead of the stairs.

When I got everything home I went into organization mode. I transferred the contents of my jewelry boxes into the new, bigger jewelry box I bought. I had to do a bit of untangling of my necklaces. The little handle on the bottom drawer of the box broke (that's what I get for shopping at WalMart) so that drawer no longer has a handle. It's easy enough to open from the sides, though.

I took the flatware caddy and cut the plastic straps holding the utensils, then washed them. When I washed them they were so colorful I had to take pictures.



I took my old silverware, washed them and wrapped them in a paper towel, then placed them in the area with the stuff for Goodwill. I haven't had a chance to take the mini backpack I bought and make it my new purse yet.

I got to bed rather late by the time I did all this and got my salad for today made.

Weight this morning was 146.8, so basically 147. *sigh* That's 5 pounds above my original goal of 142 (and where I could live with my weight). I'm just not happy when I'm over 142. Blood sugar was 86. Finally back to normal. It seems to go higher on days I sleep in.

Got up at my usual time of 9:30 this morning and headed to the gym after posting some new photos on Flickr (Lisa sent me some pics from our Saturday dinner out). I missed the bus, so I walked down to the 11 bus stop and just barely caught it so I still got to the gym at my regular time.

I was tired at the gym, but rocking all the same. I just took longer rests between sets on my weight training, and did 55 minutes of weights. I read Muscle and Fitness Hers on the way there and decided to try some of the exercises they recommended. It's time to get buff for summer!

I did take Creatine before going to the gym, but I doubt that would make my performance better. Probably just a fluke. I thought Glutamine did the same thing, but that was just once so this is probably just coincidence, too.

Then I did 15 minutes on the stairmaster and 15 on the elliptical (the type with moving arms). I got my protein shake from my locker and drank that while I finished up with 20 minutes of walking. I've decided to switch to whey protein shakes and save casein protein for nighttime, in keeping with what I was told at the bodybuilding forum. I have some ancient whey protein that's about 3 years old. 130 calories a serving, 20g of protein, and only 4g carbs. It came out a bit thin, so I need to add less water, and it tasted a bit funny but didn't make me sick so it's probably safe to use. I added 4g Glutamine to it, which could have changed the taste, so next time less water and no Glutamine.

Brad wants to go walking on Saturday. Since we will get a late start due to me being at church most of the day we will just go straight to Lake Merritt so we don't have to worry about darkness.

I go grocery shopping tomorrow so I will start with the cottage cheese before bedtime. The plan right now is to try to keep the calories in decent range by having only 1/2 an avacado on my salad instead of a whole, and having 6 oz. of meat for my evening snack instead of 8 oz., or maybe just having an ounce of pork rinds. The cottage cheese is 180 calories, so I need to cut about 180 from other places.

I have more pictures from last Saturday night. These were the ones on Lisa's camera. Click on any photo to enlarge it.

Brad with a beer

Brad being a homie

Brad being a homie

Davina is having fun!

Davina & Lisa
Davina & Lisa

me with wine
me with wine

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I need to stop buying stuff!

Bay To Breakers logoCalories eaten yesterday: 1840
Fat: 99g (50%) :)
Carbs: 41g (9%)
Protein: 140g (31%)

Calories burned in exercise today: 100

Whew. Well I'm officially well past broke again. At least Thursday is payday, but I have got to put a stop to buying anything I don't need and stick to the basics (like food).

Today I ran into San Francisco to check my mail. I stopped at GNC to buy Lean System 7, a diet pill I've heard good things about (and it was on sale!). While there I also bought some Chaser pills. These are supposed to stop hangovers. I'm planning to have a bit to drink on Friday (maybe too much), so if I do I'll have these at the ready. I want to feel good on Saturday. They also talked me into becoming a Gold Card member again.

Then I checked my mail and found a letter from Unilever, the company that makes Breyer's ice cream (they are a HUGE company that makes tons of products we all buy). I wrote them an e-mail last week thanking them for their Carb Smart ice cream. In the letter they included a coupon for a free carton. Tre sweet!

Then I hopped BART and came back to the East Bay and walked the last 1.5 miles to work for exercise. I started pricing digital cameras today. After five years it's clear my old one is no longer cutting it. I stopped at WalMart figuring they'd be the cheapest, and I'm pretty much sold on a good quality Cannon with video capability for about $200. 6 megapixels and a 16 meg memory card. Takes AA batteries (like my current one). I (obviously!) can't buy it at the moment, but I do need to get a new camera as soon as I have the money.

I also bought two frivolous items - a jewelry box (my necklaces are a mess and this will help me organize them), and a small backpack that I think I can use as a purse.

At work I found an e-mail saying that registration for the Bay To Breakers is open, so I signed up right away. I want a lower number and the price goes up the longer you wait. As it is it's $39 this year PLUS they are now charging $2 to have your race packet mailed to you (unless you want to run into San Francisco the day before the race to pick it up at the Greater Body Expo. I don't think so! So now it's $41 for the privilege of torturing myself with a 12k run. LOL! What a rip off! And yet they know that thousands upon thousands will pay the fee each year.

New for this year's race - everyone gets a chip that doesn't start counting until you cross the start line, so no more of the clock ticking away while you wait in the crowd to get started. This has been a long-standing gripe of mine - there are so many people that no matter how early you show up you have at least a short wait to get across. One more expense connected with this - I need a new pair of running shoes. I think my current ones are two years old.

More on the saturated fat issue. I found this at the diabetes forum:
also believe that when people eat mostly saturated fat, that eliminates much of the need for antioxidants. Saturated fat resists oxidation and becoming rancid, which lessens our need of antioxidants. What antioxidants we do get from our diet can be applied to free radicals from our environment and body processes. If one's diet is high in unsaturated fat, that increases our need for antioxidants because these fats react to a greater degree and produce more free radicals, with polyunsaturated fat, especially Omega 6, being the worst...(O)ur bodies make saturated fat. In the (paraphrased) words of Mary Enig, saturated fat is the most natural to our bodies. And something else Mary Enig said: we need saturated fat for the body to utilize the omega 3 fats.

So cutting back on saturated fat does not do a body good. My personal belief: if God made the fat, I'll eat it. If man made the fat, I avoid it (i.e. trans-fats).

Weight-wise I'm still afraid to get on the scale, but suspect I'm around 150 still, maybe a little below. This is my second day wear the WalMart jeans so they are stretched out, but they are much looser and sitting on my hips, so that's good. Brad says my tummy is a little flatter and my thighs are thinner.

Blood sugar was 85 this morning, so very good and in normal range for me.

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Photo courtesy Rhody Co. Productions.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Protein & Fat

Quinn's Lighthouse restaurantCalories eaten yesterday: 1321
Fat: 73g (52%)
Carbs: 51g (16%)
Protein: 91g (29%)

Calories burned in exercise today: 106

I was 155 last night, meaning my morning weight would be about 150. I pulled on my WalMart jeans this morning and they were a bit tight, but I got them on and buttoned. *sigh* Why won't this excess weight come off? It's been weeks since my birthday.

Stopped at WalMart on the way to work and bought some scented candles, glass bakeware, a Clorox bleach pen, hand soap, gum and mints, flatware (I was so in need of basic knives, forks, and spoons), and 2 1/2 pound wrist weights that fit around the thumb. I figure they'll be good for providing a little arm workout when I'm walking.

I checked the diet section and they had good deals on whey protein, and all of the whey powders were low in carbs and sugar. The ready-to-drink shakes I use are a mixture of whey and casein proteins; a pure whey protein might be better after my workouts. Whey is quickly absorbed while casein takes several hours to be absorbed, and after a workout, quick absorbing protein would be the choice.

A lady on a bodybuilding board also told me to eat a cup of cottage cheese before bed since the casein protein in it would protect my muscles while I slept. I'm going to buy some this week and I'll just have to play with my calories a bit so the cottage cheese doesn't push me over my daily limit. So far the only thing that comes to mind is to cut my avocado from a whole to a half, but that won't cut enough calories, so I'll have to find more elsewhere to cut. The cottage cheese will push my daily carbs up a bit, but shouldn't do too much damage. It has about 8g carbs per cup. I was also told to buy Greek yogurt and mix a 1/2 cup in my protein shake. Hell, regular yogurt should work also and it's cheaper.

Of course I was told to eat "healthy fats," but not to eat bacon. I think they are in the mindset that saturated fat is evil. Oh well, I'll just ignore that and keep eating my bacon. I hope everyone who reads here knows by now that saturated fats are only bad when coupled with a high-carb diet. On a low-carb diet they are harmless. I was also told to eat more eggs whites than yolks. Not only do I hate wasting food, but egg whites aren't a complete protein without the yolk and the yolk has all the vitamins. So I'll keep eating my yolks. :)

Slept in this morning until about 11 a.m. I really needed that. I was just plain tuckered out from the weekend. And last night as I got ready for bed, Xena jumped up on the bed without any prompting from me! I think she is getting her little kitty mind around the fact that I won't let Abby bully her off the bed. Abby is not the only cat in the house and they have to share the bed just as they share the food bowl and litterbox. For her part, Abby has learned that trying to chase Xena off the bed will result in Abby being chased off the bed.

Blood sugar this morning was 95. I need it to come down a bit more, but at least 95 is under 100.

Eleanor and I are on for dinner this Friday! She'll pick me up at 5:30 and we'll have dinner at 6. We're going to Quinn's Lighthouse and I am sooo drinking a bunch of wine! I can eat Atkins-friendly with some substitutions. :) This is a very late b-day dinner for me. I bought some 65% cacao dark chocolate truffles today for dessert after that meal. It has about 20 net carbs for a 1.8 oz. serving. Not low-carb I know, but a little treat for me. :) And I'll share them with Eleanor, too.

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Photo courtesy Quinn's Lighthouse.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Monday, Monday

Calories eaten Thursday: 1792
Fat: 88g (45%)
Carbs: 59g (14%) :(
Protein: 106g (24%)

Calories eaten Friday: 1449
Fat: 51g (32%)
Carbs: 29g (8%)
Protein: 129g (36%)

Calories burned in exercise Friday: 181
Calories burned in exercise today: 287

Yes, I know it's Sunday, but it's my Monday, and I had my usual busy weekend. A little too busy. I didn't get to rest Saturday so I am tired today. I should have skipped the gym and slept in, but since when did I do the right thing? I feel hung over this morning, but I only had two glasses of wine yesterday (one glass of Merlot and one glass of plain old red table wine), so there must be something else going on.

I think I might just be tired from a long and busy weekend. I'll sleep in tomorrow, do the mail run on Tuesday, and miss one workout. I'm too tired and need to play catch up on my sleep.

Friday I got my stitches out from the oral surgery. I was going to walk around the lake, but it was threatening to rain so I went to the gym and walked on the treadmill for an hour instead. Brad came over in the evening.

Saturday I had church and then Brad, Lisa, Davina, and I went out to dinner. Then we walked around the neighborhood and I bought some sugar free chocolate. Bad idea. I ate too much and had the nice gastrointestinal distress going on. I put on a ThermaCare heat wrap and took a Vicodin so I could get to sleep.

We also stopped at a bookstore and I found a day-at-a-time calendar of sleeping kittens on sale. In the absence of a decent day-at-a-time diet calendar, I'll go with kittens.

Today I struggled through 45 minutes of weight training, 30 on the recumbent bike, and 20 minutes walking on the treadmill. I tried running 1 mile at 5 mph (12 minute mile) at the start of my exercise session, but I literally had no energy and had to give up! :(

Blood sugar Friday morning was 89, Saturday it was 92, and this morning it was a whopping 106! When will it go down? I hate all these stupid surgeries giving me high fasting blood sugar.

I have some pictures from the weekend to share. Click on any of them to enlarge them.

Matching teapot, cup, and saucer
matching teapot, cup, and saucer

Me drinking Merlot on a Friday night
me drinking Merlot

Me drinking Merlot on a Friday night
me drinking Merlot

Davina and Lisa at dinner on Saturday night
Davina & Lisa

Brad drinking beer
Brad with a beer

Davina and Lisa eating their meals
food - dinner with friends

Me drinking wine
me with wine

Welcome to my life!

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Book review: Dr. Dan's Super Weight Loss Plan

So this author's publicist sees my reviews at I get an e-mail saying she'll give me a free copy of the book if I promise to write a review on Amazon. I figure, okay, no problem. I like reading diet books and if I get a free one just for writing a review after, cool.

So I say yes and the book arrives and I'm flipping through it and I am not impressed with some of the claims the book makes.

First, the co-author claims that women can "bulk up" if they use high weights at low reps (pg. 12). unless they are taking testosterone or steroids. I've used high weight and low reps and only have a little muscle tone to show. Certainly no one would call me bulky!

Dr. Dan writes about BMI, body fat, and lean mass (pgs. 35-43). All good stuff and worthy of discussion. Thumbs up. Too many people focus on BMI when body fat percentage is an important part of the equation.

He then spends a great deal of time on weight lifting exercises. Nothing wrong with that, and if you want to get into weight training, the book is worth the price just for that. He believes in a mixture of high reps with low weight and low reps with high weight. When you can do 15 reps at a given weight, that's your start weight. Then add a bit of weight for each additional set.

The exercises have lots of drawings to show how to do them, and some of them can be done at home with minimal equipment. Others require a gym. He spends very little space on aerobic exercise, so this isn't a good book if that is your primary interest.

This book is less about weight loss and more about strength training and getting fit, but I don't suppose titling it "Dr. Dan's Super Fitness Plan" would sell as many books. If weight training and fitness are your goal, this is a good book. But for weight loss I feel there are better books. In fact, if you want to lose weight, get this book for the weight training, find another on aerobics, and another on nutrition. While Dr. Dan has a bunch of nutrition information, it's not much different from The Zone diet (Dr. Barry Sears). If you choose to eat as Dr. Dan outlines, you'd be better off with The Zone book, though both plans have way too many carbohydrates for my taste. Carbohydrates aren't necessary for life (fat and protein are) so I try to keep them low. Why make what isn't necessary the basis of a diet? I'd rather eat what my body needs, and what will prevent me from getting diabetes in the future.

My problem with Dr. Dan's nutrition information is he feels a need to take a swipe at low-carb diets.

You know, I have this theory: if you can't tout your diet program without knocking down another to make yourself look better, your diet probably isn't worth my time. I stumbled across this in the chapter on nutrition:

I get patients and clients on an almost daily basis who have "been on Atkins" for months or years. Frankly, I have yet to see one that was fit and in good condition; they are mostly plump, bloated [um...carbs cause bloating] and out of shape [and this is the fault of the]. Many have lost weight with Atkins, gained it back, lost it again, and then gained back even more. This is the inevitable consequence of loss of lean muscle mass and lowered metabolic rate. If you really enjoy eating very low carbohydrates for prolonged periods, you feel healthy, have energy, reach your ideal body weight and stay there, and are lean and fit [he thinks these are impossible], then I have no objection to Atkins or any of the other carbohydrate-restricted plans. However [you knew that was coming didn't you?], it is interesting to note that the finest athletes do not eat that way. Enough said. (pg. 162).

It seems this book was written when Atkins was very popular and Dr. Dan does his best to dissuade people from that approach. I'm knocking off one star from my review just for the section quoted above. It seems it was written at the height of the low-carb craze, but seriously, to ask a low-carber (me!) to review a book that bashes low-carb probably wasn't the best idea!

He goes after low-carb again a little later: It is impossible to take weight off and keep it off if you are not able to eat your favorite foods. favorite foods were all refined carbs, not allowed even on your plan, Dr. Dan. What do you suggest I do?

He continues, You have to have a diet that you can stay on now and forever and enjoy. So avoid those extreme diets that deny you whole categories of food. Oh, gee. Here we go again. Low-carb is NOT no-carb, Dr. Dan. Low-carb allows a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and doesn't deny any "whole category of food," so it is a lifetime plan, for me and many other people. How can I believe anything he says when he doesn't bother to do the slightest bit of research on what low-carb is, yet writes about it authoritatively? What else might he have said that is also wrong?

But he's still not done. Experience has shown that very few people can stay with a dietary approach that denies them the foods they enjoy and are used to. But most overweight people are "used to" foods that made them overweight. So even on your plan they have to give up the foods they are "used to."

I have a radical idea - instead of trying to let overweight people eat the foods "they enjoy and are used to," how about those of us who are overweight get "used to" a new, healthy way of eating and liking foods that are good for us? It's amazing how good vegetables can taste once you are "used to" eating them. Once this occurs, it's easy to stick to any diet.

Dr. Dan claims his diet is not low-fat, and yet in his example of a 200 pound person he expects them to only eat 67g of fat a day. That's pretty much low-fat in my opinion, and your food won't taste very good limiting yourself to that amount.

Kudos for him on the amount of protein recommended - he says to shoot for 1g of protein per pound of body weight. While this might seem extreme to some people, it is safe and necessary to build muscle (again, he focuses on weight training, and protein is essential for this).

Kudos to him for recommending supplements. I think everyone should take a multi-vitamin/multi-mineral supplement no matter what kind of diet you eat - low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie. It is hard to get enough vitamins from the food we eat today because the soil is depleted, we are less active than our paleolithic ancestors, and we eat more carbohydrates than they ("enriched" foods are the worst because they have everything good taken out and then a few things put back in).

Because we need less food and the food we eat isn't the high quality our ancestors ate, supplements are a good idea for everyone today.

Again, if you are looking for a good, basic fitness program, then the exercises in this book will help you, and the carbohydrates allotment won't be extreme because you'll be working it off. But if you are looking to lose weight and keep it off there are better books.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

It's my Friday!

Calories eaten yesterday: 1923
Fat: 108g (53%)
Carbs: 49g (11%)
Protein: 124g (27%)

Calories burned in exercise today: 322

Blood sugar this morning was 101. Blah. I can't wait until it gets back down to normal.

Part of the putty they put on my teeth and gums to help the stitches heal came out this morning. I think I swallowed it with my bacon at breakfast (!). The rest is still in; just one small part came out. Last time the dentist said not to worry if the putty came out, and all of it is coming out tomorrow anyway when they take out the stitches. Once they take everything out my mouth will be sensitive to hot and cold for a while. The heat sensitivity should go away within a week; the cold sensitivity will take about a month. Fun fun.

Made it to the gym today. I did 45 minutes of weights, 30 minutes of cardio on the crossramp elliptical, and 26 minutes walking on the treadmill. It really tired me out so I had a Diet Rock Star energy drink when I got to work.

Still no word on tomorrow's activities (hang out with Brad or dinner with Brad, Lisa, and Davina). I guess I'll update here on Sunday.

I have the unsweetened baker's chocolate so I'm going to make the Dixie Diner low-carb devil's food cake this weekend. It calls for the frosting being whipped up heavy whipping cream topped with strawberries, but I think I'll use cream cheese mixed with Splenda since it's thicker. I could also top it with sugar-free chocolate chips, or mix them into the batter. That'll be my potluck offering. I could also make vegetable casserole.

I need to cut back on the supplements. The creatine I'll only take on gym days, and the glutamine is a powder, so no trouble there. Same with the Dexatrim - it disolves in water (and actually does curb appetite). And once the Relacore is gone I won't buy more. That's six pills a day. I don't want to stop the pyruvate because it's good for low-carb diets and also has calcium in it, something lacking in my diet. I don't want to cut out the carnitine either, but may have to choose between the two. I have to keep up with the SlimQuick until it's all gone, so it's best to cut back on the pyruvate or carnitine - at least skip those in the morning when I take the bulk of my pills including all my vitamins (which I'll never stop taking).

Vitamins are muy importante. Everyone should take them since our soil is so depleted and we don't burn or eat as much as our ancestors. In case you wonder what I take, I get subsidized Kirkland vitamins through my employer. I take the Kirkland Daily Multivitamin Pack. That has six pills in it. It has 100% of just about everything. I also take an extra Kirkland B-50. It really gives me energy and since B is water-soluble, it's very hard to OD on. Of course, I also take my medication (one small white pill).

You may have noticed my calories have gone up in the last week or so. I'm trying an experiment to eat a bit more and see if maybe my inability to lose is related to eating too little rather than too much. I'm using FitDay and staying under the number of calories it says I burn per day. I don't want to gain!

I just got an e-mail about the last Left Behind book coming out in April. This one is called Kingdom Come - The Final Victory. A lot of people think I'm stupid for actually liking this series, but what's wrong with it? It's Christian fiction (some would contend bad Christian fiction). But I think a lot of people lose sight of the fiction part. You don't have to believe in a pre-trib rapture to enjoy the books. Here's my Amazon Listmania list of all the books in chronological order.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wacky Wednesday

Calories eaten yesterday: 1998
Fat: 113g (53%)
Carbs: 45g (9%)
Protein: 143g (30%)

Calories burned in exercise today: 91

As you can see from the links on the right, I now have the 2007 book list up. I'll move it in a few days to January 1, but it will be marked today for a while. I'll add to it as I read more books. I finally finished Dr. Dan's Super Weight Loss Plan yesterday. Next up is The Step Diet, which I may or may not finish depending on how good it is. It comes with a free Stepometer that is a piece of shit. I'm much happier with my Omron pedometer. I'm waiting for the newest edition of Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution to come out. It's scheduled for March.

You'll notice as you mouse over any off site link that a Snap preview box comes up. This is a new feature I installed just this morning. Let me know what you think. It's called Snap Preview Anywhere and I think it will make this site that much better. It shows a mini preview of the page the link goes to so you can see where you're going before you click!

My Parastroy and Candistroy came today! I'll start with the Parastroy tomorrow. What little information about "how to take it" that comes with it didn't say anything about special dietary needs, so that's good. I might get some Senna tea, though, like my friend recommended. I'll take the Candistroy after the Parastroy, then do the GNC Complete Body Cleansing Program, and finish up with the Colonblow.

Today was grocery day. I would really like to make low-carb root beer floats with Brad this weekend, but with Rocky Road ice cream instead of vanilla because I'm not a vanilla fan. So yes, I did buy Carb Smart ice cream, and also found a six pack of diet Hansen's root beer. I also found the Safeway brand of diet cream soda. I bought it because I don't remember the last time I had cream soda. It's been a long time.

I also bought ground chicken (and cooked it up), organic eggs, organic heavy cream, unsweetened baker's chocolate, one box of South Beach breakfast wraps (Saturday treat), bagged salad, strawberries, and various salad veggies. I still have to cook the whole chicken I bought last week. Hopefully I can do that tomorrow night or Friday. We'll see.

Blood sugar this morning was 95, so still a bit high, but under 100 at least. I checked myself on the Aviva meter as well and that gave me 105. :-p

Plans for tomorrow - hit the gym, go to work, and top the day off with laundry (and maybe get that chicken cooked). Friday isn't decided. I'm having my stitches out that afternoon. In the evening I will either hang out with Brad, or possibly go out to dinner with him, Lisa, and Davina.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

2 hours at the gym? Yep!

Calories eaten yesterday: 1961
Fat: 111g (53%)
Carbs: 49g (10%)
Protein: 135g (29%)

Calories burned in exercise today: 334

My weight is about 150. How the hell have I gained 5 pounds?!? I hope this is bloating because how can I have gained 5 pounds of fat?!? *sigh*

Brad took my boxes from work to home - the boom box I bought and the Netrition order that came in. He has keys to my house so all he had to borrow was the elevator key. I bought a bunch of low-carb pina colada mix, several packages of sugar-free chocolate chips (good for putting on low-carb ice cream and when I bake sugar-free cheesecake), and some Dixie Diner packages of low-carb pizza crust mix, donut mix, and devil's food cake mix (I want to make that one this coming weekend!).

Blood sugar the last two mornings has been totally normal - under 100. 85 yesterday morning and 94 this morning. How can my blood sugar return to normal so soon after surgery? It stayed elevated much longer after the toe surgery.

Spent an obscene amount of time at the gym - pretty good considering I nearly rolled over to go back to sleep! I was there 2 hours and did 45 minutes of weights, a half hour on the elliptical (the type with moving arms), and another 30 minutes just walking on the treadmill. Whew! Am I tired!

Bought more Dexatrim Max 2-O today. It's one of my favorite diet supplements because it really does help curb appetite (one of the few diet products that does anything close to what it claims). I bought some Creatine at the gym (Apex brand) and while the woman was getting it out of the locked cabinet I saw that the Xenadrine they had been selling for $40 was in the 1/2 price bin. Well, I can't turn down a 1/2 price sale, so I bought a bottle. It's almost expired, so I started taking it right away. They had two kinds; I got the NRG, which is the same kind I bought before.

Creatine is supposed to be good for gaining muscle, which is something I have a hard time doing. That's the same reason I'm taking the L-Glutamine. Both are supposed to help protect and build muscle mass.

Yes, I know diet pills aren't magic, but I could use a little help. I'm already eating right and exercising. I'm not expecting miracles.

Hmmm...Lord Chubalot brought up in a blog post that my gain might be from my birthday binge. He might be onto something. I went back in my FitDay journal. The last time I stepped on the scale was the morning of my birthday (January 11 - the day I binged) and I was 145 then. And here I am two weeks out and I'm around 150 (haven't taken an official weight, but I can estimate based on non-official weights). I have been strictly on plan since my b-day. Even when I go out to eat (like last Friday) I get Atkins-friendly fare such as a bunless burger and veggies instead of the potato dish.

Called Eleanor since she promised to take me out to dinner for my birthday. I asked about this Friday, but she can't, so we tentatively set it for next Friday. I think we are going to Quinn's Lighthouse. I can eat low-carb there just by doing some substitutions.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Random thoughts for Monday

Calories eaten yesterday: 1585
Fat: 83g (49%)
Carbs: 43g (11%)
Protein: 112g (29%)

Calories burned in exercise today: 320

Blood sugar was 85 this morning. Since that was normal I didn't believe it and ran some more tests. On the second and third tests the TrueTrack gave me 75 and 90. I pulled out the Aviva and it gave me 105. Yike - those are some wide ranging numbers!

Here's the picture of my current belly bloat. You can click to enlarge it. Isn't this scary? I really hope doing the cleanses will help. I bought some Acidophilus today just to make sure I don't accidentally kill off all the good bacteria in my body.

Went to the gym today. My gums are still hurting me a bit from the surgery, and after how horrible and tired I felt Friday and Saturday I didn't want to overdo it. I did 45 minutes of weights (Woot! I love weight training!) and then walked on the treadmill for 40 minutes between 3.5 and 3.9 mph (2.55 miles). To get in a little more exercise I walked the last 1.5 miles to work. :) Hopefully I can get to the gym again tomorrow. Blood sugar after all this working out was 106.

I'm trying to increase my calories lest I was eating too little to lose weight. I'm also working on trying to cycle calories a bit so I'm not eating the same number of calories every day.

I'm also wondering if maybe I need some carbs with my post-workout protein shake to build muscle. It wouldn't have to be many carbs, of course. I found some Muscle Milk with 22g of protein and 9g carbs. That might work without pushing my total too high, and would only be necessary on days I do weight training. At any rate, it's something I'm thinking about.

Here's some other recent photos I've taken. Click any of them to see the full size.

The brochure the periodontist gave me after my surgery

Leftover stuff after my oral surgery
oral surgery stuff

Obese woman on bus with large See's candy bag.
woman with See's candy on bus

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Whew! What a long weekend!

Calories eaten Thursday: 1733
Fat: 91g (49%)
Carbs: 46g (11%) :(
Protein: 77g (18%)

Calories burned in exercise Friday: 404
Calories burned in exercise Saturday: 0
Calories burned in exercise today: 117

Wow. The oral surgery Thursday really messed with my blood sugar. Monday through Thursday my fasting blood sugar was 83-85 - normal readings for me. After the surgery, when I woke up Friday morning, it was 109! The morning reading jumped 24 points over Thursday morning's 85! Wow. My Saturday fasting reading was 101, and this morning's reading was 112. I know it will come down again. It will be interesting to see how long that takes.

I'm still in a small amount of pain. Brad and I went grocery shopping Friday night shortly after I'd taken a Vicodin, which made me tired and a bit loopy. I did buy Vicodin from the dentist Thursday, but it's more for when I need it in the future for painful procedures - other dentist appointments, other doctor appointments - anything that I know will cause a lot of pain. I still have a few pills left from the first half of my oral surgery, and since they make me tired I prefer to take Ibuprofen and Advil during the day.

The dental office called me Friday morning to see how I was doing. Since I was snoozing I was upset at the rude awakening. I told them I was fine.

I've been really hungry lately. I wonder if it had to do with the oral surgery - my body is trying to heal and needs energy, so it's making me hungry. It worked on Friday. I ate my salad before Brad and I went walking and then bought a snack bag of peanuts and gobbled down those before we walked.

After having to leave the park and cut our walk short due to darkness, I asked for more exercise by walking around the lake. That turned out to be a mistake. It was too much exercise too soon after the surgery. I made it, but I knew I'd pushed myself too hard.

By that time I had given up trying to count calories for the day, so we went to the New Zealander restaurant. I like going there because they will allow me to make substitutions for the potato dish that comes with every meal. I had black coffee (I was super tired after all the walking), a glass of Merlot, a cheeseburger (no bun), a side salad, and broccoli and cauliflower instead of potatoes. I put mayonnaise on top of the burger. Yummy!!!

When we got home we had dessert, finishing off the rest of the low-carb ice cream, and we both also ate more. I made pina coladas, using up the rest of the mix in the process (I have more on order). I also had more wine, which proved to be one too many.

I felt horrible Saturday. The combo of the overexertion on Friday and too much wine coupler with the surgery was just too much. I somehow got through church, Sabbath School, lunch (no one wanted my eggplant lasagna), and the business meeting. The BJC material (Word doc) has arrived, so I took the packet home to read it. I was glad to get home.

I mentioned to Brad about my distended stomach. I'm so bloated in that one area that even my fat jeans won't fit. I've gone up more than a full jeans size, but just in my tummy. He wondered if I might have picked up a parasite and recommended Parastroy. I pooh-poohed the idea, but did some research Saturday morning, and when I got home from church with my usually-big brown skirt fitting extremely tight, I got online and decided to buy both Parastroy (3 week program) and Candistroy (2 weeks?). This bloating can't be real fat so I've got to try something. The company I bought these products from is right here in California and promises fast shipping to California addresses, so hopefully I'll have it later this week. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I also have a GNC Complete Body Cleansing Program (7 days) that I bought a while back (I got a good price on two and already used one), and ColonBlow's colon cleanse program (1 day). I'll finish with that one. I'll let you all know if this aggressive program works. I'll start as soon as the Parastroy arrives and I can look over the material that comes with it.

Brad came over Saturday night and I fed him the leftover lasagna, and he brought brie. I ate about 5-6 ounces worth! It's just so good I can't stop. I sent the rest home with him and told him to bring it next Saturday. I can't trust myself with brie in the house. I don't keep cheese or nuts in the house because I can't trust myself. I only had one glass of wine Saturday because of overdoing it on Friday.

I felt so bad Saturday that I decided to skip the gym today. I slept in until 11:30, had a good breakfast of bacon and eggs, and came to work. I walked the last 1.5 miles from the BART station for exercise. My ancient boom box has finally given up the ghost. The cassette decks still work, but the radio is dead. The thing is around 20 years old - I've had it since high school - so I decided to buy a new one. I stopped at WalMart since they have good prices and it's right on the way to work. I found a boom box with a cassette deck, CD player, and AM/FM radio for about $35.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dentist Day, take 8

Calories eaten yesterday: 1705
Fat: 98g (53%)
Carbs: 42g (10%) :(
Protein: 113g (27%)

Calories burned in exercise today: 75

Had the second half of my oral surgery this morning. This time it was the whole left side of my mouth, so I can currently only chew on the right side. I took two Vicodin and some Ibuprofen and Advil before going in. Also a couple of my Xanax tablets for anxiety. It helped, plus this guy is really good and knows how to 1) numb yourgums with the gel, and 2) inject the lidocaine so it hurts as little as possible. He gave me several shots to numb me up real good. After that I couldn't feel anything.

My blood sugar was 85 this morning - nice and normal. I had a very low-carb breakfast of bacon and eggs and black coffee. By the time I got the the dentist I was a bit freaked out and my blood sugar was 95. After the lidocaine I took my blood sugar again. It was hard because my hands were shaking so bad from the adrenaline in the shots. I was 101. When I got home from the surgery about 1:30 I was back down to 88. Now we will see if the surgery will elevated my fasting levels.

It was a long appointment. We started between 9:30 and 9:45 and I got out of there about noon. :-p

On the way back from the dentist I stopped at the health food store to pick up the L-Glutamine I ordered. I also bought two cans of sugar-free Hansen's root beer. I'm thinking about making a root beer float on Saturday night, just using chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla. Hey, it can't taste bad. I also bought some chocolate Soy Slender soy milk and some pyruvate (yes, this store had it). Hey, it can't hurt, might help.

Exercise today was walking the last 15 minutes home from the bus to get home on one bus instead of two, and then later I jumped around on my mini trampoline for an hour. Abby doesn't seem to care when I jump on it, but Xena is still freaked out by it.

I heard back from the new editor of the Helping Hand. He said he won't ask me to write until Spring, but may ask me to do an entire quarter at that time, and was I willing? I of course said yes. Not only do I enjoy writing, but that would be a good chunk of change. I hope he doesn't mind if I share his letter with you.

Hi Victoria,
It's so nice to hear from you. I do know you've written some wonderful devotions in the past and it has been my intent to ask you again. It's interesting timing because just this week I have completed assignments flowing in for the 2007-08 curriculum year. I expect later this Spring I'll be making new assignments and I do hope you'll still be willing. I would probably ask you to write a whole quarter's worth (13 weeks of daily meditations). Do you think you'd be willing to take on that much writing? I'd give you AT LEAST a 6 month deadline if you said yes. I don't know what the topics are yet as I'm actually a little over a year ahead of deadline but if I had a tentative yes from you, then that would be great.
Thanks so much,

So there you go. I'm promised an assignment later. :)

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Diet pills and supplements for weight loss

Calories eaten yesterday: 1866 (I was starving!)
Fat: 110g (54%)
Carbs: 38g (8%)
Protein: 133g (29%)

Calories burned in exercise today: 117

I hope you all like the new layout. I got really tired of the parchment paper background and did some investigating and then playing with my template. I swear if I had to look at that brown any longer I was going to scream. I was also really tired of the sidebar being on the left. I did my best to make everything reader-friendly. The best part is that now that I know how to change all the background images I can custom tailor themes with the backgrounds I have.

My carbs will be a bit higher the next several days. 1) I'll be taking Airborne to fight off any colds that might result from my surgery tomorrow, and that stuff is 1 carb per serving, and I need to take three servings a day. 2) I bought more Dexatrim Max 2-0. It really does help curb my appetite (one of the few things I've tried that works), but it's 3 carbs per serving. It's also expensive, so I keep my servings to one per day.

Speaking of diet pills, I also bought more SlimQuick today. The package says to take for one month and I realized that one bottle won't last a whole month. I also stopped at GNC to check on Pyruvate (more further down), and I saw that they had Xenadrine NRG (review). This is something I eyed at my health club. GNC had it on sale so it was cheaper so I bought it. I won't use it until I finish with the SlimQuick regimen, though. I also bought more Slim Mints today. I don't think they help me lose weight, but they are a reasonably good sugar-free mint, so I carry them in my purse.

Now about the Pyruvate I mentioned. I came across the following in the diet book I'm reading right now, Dr. Dan's Super Weight Loss Plan (a review is eventually coming). His anti low-carb bias aside, this may be a good natural metabolism booster for people on low-carb diets.

Pyruvate is a substance that was patented for use in weight loss. The mechanism of its action is somewhat complicated, but basically pyruvate is one of the substances that is formed when the body breaks down sugar. The idea is to force the body to use up energy in order to metabolize the pyruvate. However, this only works in the absence of carbohydrates in the diet. It is really not practical or effective for someone who is eating a reasonable diet and exercising (pg. 228).

When I read this I scurried down to GNC. I eat very few carbohydrates; this could help me! They didn't have it in stock, but said they do carry it, so I may be able to get some in the future. They called around but no other nearby stores had it.

Of course, there's also a flipside to the pyruvate idea.

My oral surgery is tomorrow at 9 a.m. I have a much better chance of a shorter wait by getting in earlier. I'm taking the day off work. The L-Glutamine powder (review) that I ordered from the health food store came in, and I need to pick that up. It's a straight shot down Broadway from the dentist. Then I need to do laundry, and Brad and I are going grocery shopping after he gets off work.

Oh, to answer a comment on yesterday's blog entry, yes I have had my body fat measured. It's hovered right around 24% for probably a year now. My weight training hasn't seemed to effect it. And while I look slim in the picture, I'm a bit above that weight now. I was 142 there, a weight I wasn't able to hold. I usually hover around 145 and right now I'm around 150 due to all the crap I ate on my birthday. Trust me, I only wish I looked like that picture right now.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Changing topics...

Calories eaten yesterday: 1693
Fat: 97g (53%)
Carbs: 35g (9%)
Protein: 123g (30%)

Calories burned in exercise today: 328

Well, Blogger ate my entire long post, so now I have to retype the whole thing. *sigh*

Now a lot going on here. I didn't get to the gym today. I had my monthly meeting at the church and walked up the hill (10 minutes) and then walked to work from the BART station (33 minutes).

I am SO hungry today. On the way to my appointment I stopped at a convenience store to see if they had my favorite Pepsi Jazz flavor (they didn't) and bought a 2 oz. bag of jalapeno and cheddar pork rinds. They were yummy, but added 280 more calories to my menu and did little to kill my hunger. I need to think about adding peanut butter into my menu again. And all this despite have a bigger-than-usual breakfast: 2 thick strips of bacon, 1 fried egg, and since I was still starving, 1/2 a raw cucumber.

I think I've still burning through liver glycogen from my birthday binge. Some people can get into ketosis within a couple days; with me it can take up to five days. I know the liver can supposedly only store two days' worth of glycogen, but it's always taken me five days to show even trace amounts of ketones on the ketone strips. My body just seems to be really good at using the ketones instead of peeing them out. With my carbs as low as they have been, I've been thinking about buying some strips and checking. But it may not do any good, according to this article:

Many people falsely believe they cannot or are not losing weight because the ketones drop to a lower level. The Ketostiks, used to measure the ketones in the urine, are no longer showing the purple color on the test strip. However, weight loss continues with or without the ketones being present. The spillage of excess ketones in the urine disappears on the low-carbohydrate diet after the body becomes accustomed to using dietary fats for energy instead of glucose. This usually occurs within a few weeks on the diet.

Anyone know if that's true?

To change the topic...
I've been mentioned in a Swedish article on low-GI diets. I received this message on this Flickr photo:

Nice that you loost weight!

You look very nice. I added your photo to a small article I wrote about loosing weight since I wanted something about Atkins also, although the article is about GI. The article is in swedish: GI-metoden och GI för nybörjare.

I can also be inspiring to see a beautifull woman who has lost weight.

Thanks for using creative commons!

Best regards

I don't know Swedish, but go check out my photo in the article!

I wish I looked like that photo right now! I weighed myself last night to get an idea of my weight without having to take an official morning weight, and I am still about 5 pounds heavier from my birthday binge. My fat jeans are still tight, and my WalMart paint splattered jeans, usually fairly easy to slip on, are also tight. Never mind trying to squeeze into any of my Old Navy jeans right now!

And to change topics again...
April is already thinking about getting a new dog. Bogie just died and she already needs to replace him. she has it narrowed down to two dogs at the Humane Society and one Burmese puppy breeder. I am dead set against breeders - they bring more dogs into a world where thousands are killed each year for lack of the good home. Both of my cats are "mutts." Abby is a rescued street cat, and I got Xena at the county shelter when she was just a baby.

And changing again...
My blood sugar readings have been great, back in line just in time for another round of surgery this Thursday. I was 87 last night and 85 this morning. I'm looking forward to seeing how the surgery effects me. I'll let you all know my results.

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Monday stuff and more photos

Calories eaten yesterday: 1278
Fat: 66g (48%)
Carbs: 18g (6%) (Woot!)
Protein: 112g (36%)
Calories burned in exercise: 323

I think I finally figured out why my blog hits have gone up so much lately. It's new-years-resolution syndrome - all the people who swear they will lose weight this year. It's the same reason my gym can be almost unlivable at this time of year. The gym will die down by the end of February. I wonder if the jump in blog hits will last even that long.

Lots of people find me while looking for information on the Carbohydrate Addict's Diet. Here's a Jonny Bowden's book Living the Low Carb Life. It profiles 17 diet plans including Carbohydrate Addict's and my chosen plan, Atkins. That way you can see the pluses and minuses about each diet and choose the plan that is right for YOU.

I've noticed something as I look around at the new people at the gym - they never venture into the weight room; they stay in the cardio room as if that's going to help them lose weight. It won't, of course. Only time will tell whether they will wise up and realize that weight loss is about more than cardio, or whether they will drop out and go back to their sedentary lifestyle.

Since today is a holiday here in California (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) I couldn't run any errands so I went to the gym again. I started off with a mile of running (12 minutes at 5 mph), then 40 minutes of weights, 30 on the elliptical, and ended with 5 minutes of just walking on the treadmill. I am wiped out! Whew!

Well, I'm desperate again - and please don't post comments to criticize me - but I am once against turning to diet pills. I went to Walmart and got a bottle of SlimQuick ("the female fat burner") (review) and a bottle of Relacore (controls cortisol) (review). I'll give kudos to the SlimQuick at least for the recommendations in the booklet that came with it for advocating a high protein, smart carb diet, and the exercises it gives include weight training with cardio.

I'm not expecting miracles, but my weight loss is at a total stall despite a clean diet and regular exercise. FitDay says I'm burning more calories than I'm eating, and yet my weight remains stable. In fact, cutting back Friday and Sunday made up for my overeating on Thursday and Saturday, or so the chart says.

Brad found an old Christmas card in his car that he forgot to give me. It was from my sister. It had pictures of Bogie in it and said, "You need to come here for Christmas sometime. Bogie misses you. :) Love, April, Renato, Bogie" How sad to think this was mailed before his death! :(

She also wrote, "P.S. You look great - Good work! But don't lose anymore weight." Ah, if only she knew. I am hardly too skinny at 145+ pounds and 24% body fat. Still, I'll take the compliment.

Blood sugar is doing well. It was 92 last night, 83 this morning, and 100 after my workout today. Last week's morning average was 92.

Drank a lot of water yesterday trying to get the carb bloat off. Today my fat jeans are still tight on me. *sigh* I'm continuing with the water today.

I'm adding veggies back into my diet today. I'm having a big salad with cucumber and avocado on it. I'm leaving the tomatoes off to cut back on the carbs.

Here's some random pics of me I haven't shared here yet. From Friday-Sunday there was a lot of picture taking and uploading. Click any photo to enlarge.

Low-carb egg nog, made from scratch
low-carb egg nog

Random picture of celery and cream cheese in front of my TV
celery & cream cheese

Xena licks my face with her sandpaper tongue - ouch!
Xena licks me with her sandpaper tongue - ouch!

Me drinking wine
me drinking wine

Gazing into my wine
gazing into my wine

This is what happens when you forget you put the communion bread in the oven
burned communion bread

And this is how it should look
communion bread the way it should look

A rare sight - Abby cleaning Xena
Abby cleans Xena

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Weekend update & birthday photos

Calories eaten Friday: 1212
Fat: 48g (37%)
Carbs: 14g (5%) (Woot!)
Protein: 109g (37%)
Calories burned in exercise: 556 (Woot!)

Ok, weekend update time. Friday blood sugar was high. Even though it was only 92 when I went to bed, it had risen to 109 by the morning. I'm sure this was related to eating high-carb Thursday. Saturday and Sunday it was 98 and 95 respectively - higher than normal but at least under 100. Hopefully I can get things stabilized because I have more surgery Thursday and I want to see how that will effect my blood sugar. I suspect it will go up for several days until I get all healed.

I baked the communion bread for church Friday. I burned it the first time (photo) and had to do it over (photo). Then Brad came over and we went hiking along some trails in Oakland. It would have been more fun if I hadn't been so cold. We've been having a cold spell here lately, with lows often below freezing. If it rained we'd have snow, but so far it's clear and cold. I actually had to pull out my warmest winter coat.

Anyway, we hiked for about 2 hours and left because darkness was closing in (actually it overtook us and we got out after dark). Well, I still had energy - remember the tons of carbs I ate on my birthday! - so I asked Brad if we could walk around Lake Merritt, which is lit. So we did that. All together just over 3 hours of walking. I made a new high step count - 24,584 (11.25 miles)! :)

24,584 steps - 11.25 miles!

After we got home we had something to eat and he helped me take down my Christmas tree. The apartment seems much less crowded now.

I ate very little - no breakfast, 5 1/2 oz. of ham for lunch, and 16 oz. of ground chicken for dinner. No veggies.

Saturday was communion at church and then Brad came over and we hung out. I ate way too much and I need to stop buying the Carb Smart ice cream. It's just too good.

For the purposes of my FitDay journal I posted 3500 calories for my birthday on Thursday, and the usual 3000 for Saturday.

Today (Sunday) I went to the gym in the morning. I ran for 1 mile on the treadmill (12 minutes), then did 45 minutes of weights and 30 minutes on the elliptical (the kind with the moving arms). Tested my blood sugar when I got to work and it was 111. Heavy exercise always raises my blood sugar.

Now even my "fat jeans" are tight. I had to check and make sure they were my fat jeans because it was a real struggle to get them over my fat ass. I don't need a scale to tell me I've gained from too many carbs on Thursday and too much food on Saturday. So today I'm drinking lots of water (I've drunk very little liquids the past two days), and cutting the carbs way back to get the carb bloat off. I'm also cutting calories to make up for the excess Thursday and Saturday.

Since I pigged out Thursday and Saturday (though to a lesser extent), I'm doing another mostly meat day with no veggies. I'll add some veggies back in tomorrow. I need to get back on track, and a day of mostly meat is the fastest way to do that. I took a couple magnesium tablets this morning to make up for the lack of fiber and of course I take a multi-vitamin/multi-mineral tablet every day in my vitamin packet.

Tomorrow is a holiday so I can't check my mail like I planned to, so I'll go to the gym again. Tuesday I have an appointment, Wednesday I'll do mail, and then Thursday is grocery shopping and laundry and I have the day off work because I have round two of oral surgery that morning. Thursday will be a busy day!

Here's some pictures from my birthday. Click them to see the full-size version.

Eating a low-fat cinnamon chip mini loaf from Starbucks
me on my birthday

Eating a cheeseburger WITH the bun
me on my birthday

Eating a cheeseburger WITH the bun
me on my birthday

Me with birthday cake
me on my birthday

Eating birthday cake
me on my birthday

Drinking Diet Cherry Coke
me on my birthday

Did I eat all those fries?
Did I eat all those fries?

Eating birthday cake
me eating cake

High-carb blues
This is what happens when I eat high carb

The birthday card Brad gave me. The inside reads, "As we get older, we should limit ourselves to just a couple glasses of wine on our birthday."
the birthday card Brad gave me

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Losing Bogie, take 3

It is with a heavy heart I inform you that my sister April called me Saturday night to tell me that Bogie had passed away. She last checked on him sometime after midnight, and when she got up the next morning he was already in rigor mortis. He was 11 years old and died of cancer. In October of 2005 he was given 2-4 months to live. He outlived that prediction by a year.

It doubly worse because April told me that Monday is the seventh anniversary of Bacall's death. Bacall was Bogie's sister and died when she got out of the house and was hit by a car.

Bogie was named after Humphrey Bogart and Bacall was named after Lauren Bacall. My sister is a fan of old movies.

I found some pictures of Bogie on my computer and uploaded them to Flickr. Click to see the full-size version.

Me & Bogie (when I had my natural brown hair)
me & Bogie

Bogie sitting
Bogie sitting

Bogie in his dog bed
Bogie in his dog bed

My sister loved that dog more than anything else in life. He was the ring bearer at her wedding, with the pillow and ring tied to his harness.

August 10, 1995 - January 13, 2007

Rest in peace, Bogie. I hope you are playing with Bacall at the Rainbow Bridge. Your Mommy will never forget you.

Just this side of heaven is a place called the Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to the Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together...

~ Author Unknown

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Why low-fat diets don't work

Quite simply, they don't work because

1) You feel deprived; fat tastes good and our bodies crave it because it is necessary to life.

2) You feel hungry. Protein and fat satiate - they keep you full longer than carbohydrates ever could, no matter how "complex" they may be. Any diet that restricts fat is likely going to make up those calories with carbs, which leave you with swinging blood sugars and constant hunger.

3) Low-fat diets don't address the carb addiction most people have, and therefore don't take away the cravings. Yes, carbohydrates are addictive. Grains trigger the pleasure center in the brain the same way drugs do.

Here's what prompted my post, an example I came across on the blog of a low-fat dieter. (All spelling mistakes are in the original.)

The picture of the fried chicken sandwich on the billboard screamed, "Look at me, FB...I'm DELICIOUS!!! come want KNOW you want me..."
"Oooh" said my Eyes. "You DO look delicious. I didn't have much to eat for breakfast today, so..."

"WAIT!!" yelled my Brain, "You are on a diet!!!!! you'll be sorry if you eat it - keep looking at the road! isn't that a cute little baby over there in the carriage?"

By this time I had passed the humungous picture tempting me and things began to quiet down when my Mouth chimed in with, "I'm beginning to salivate. I want to feel that juicy, crunchy chicken tantilizing my tongue and I want to feel it NOW, do you hear me, Ears?"

"NO!!!" said my Brain, "Don't listen to Mouth!!!!" Aren't you happy that you lost the weight that you did?! you may gain if you have it!!! You're doing better these days!!!! Don't you WANT to be thin?!!!!!"

"Oh God, I want that sandwich," said my unrelenting Mouth that was salivating even more than before.

At the red light my Eyes gazed down at my Stomach and said, "Your clothes will get tighter and you'll feel depressed if you give in."

"I don't CARE!!!!!!!!!!!!" growled my Stomach, and the light then turned to green. "Neither do I," said my Eyes as if this whole thing weren't their fault in the first place.

I began to steer the car in the direction of the restaurant, much to the immense relief of Touch and Taste as they cheered the others on.

See what I mean? Who wants to live with cravings like that?

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

It's my birthday!

birthday roseWeight this morning: 145
Calories eaten yesterday: 1627
Fat: 88g (51%)
Carbs: 44g (11%)
Protein: 104g (27%)
Calories burned in exercise: 84

Settle in. This is a bit of a long post.

I'm testing my blood sugar frequently today since this is my first carb binge since getting my meter, so today's post will include what I ate and times and results of blood sugar testing.

9:00 - Get up.

I woke up really hungry this morning. When I tested my blood sugar I discovered why. My blood sugar was only 79, about 10 points lower than normal. As you can see from my numbers, I was on plan yesterday.

Breakfast was coffee with heavy cream and sugar-free sweetener, and a peanut butter sandwich on low-carb bread. Worked out for 1/2 an hour on the mini trampoline.

Then I got ready to leave. Tested my blood sugar before I left (about 11:40 am) and got 93. I missed the bus so I walked down to the 11 bus. After checking the schedule I realized I could get in some more steps by walking to a bus stop further down. Eventually I caught the 11, got off at Fruitvale, went to the bank to deposit Dad's check, and ran to Safeway and bought four jalapeno poppers and two "shrimp purses" (some kind of shrimp filling in a won ton wrapper and fried). I stopped at McDonald's hoping for a McFlurry, but their machine was broken. I ate the jalapeno poppers and shrimp purses while waiting for the bus.

Caught the bus and got off at Taco Bell and had a Crunchwrap Supreme. Another favorite bad food. Yummy. Then I walked down to the Mom and Pop Mexican place (authentic Mexican food; I used to eat there all the time) and got a chicken quesadilla. It was huge (really two quesadillas) so I ate only half and gave the other half to Brad when I got to work. I had a diet Coke to drink.

Got back on the bus and transferred at Eastmont Mall. Even though I was then on the correct bus to get to work, I got off at the BART station so I could walk. Stopped at the snack stand at the station and bought a package of Twinkies (yum); I ate one and gave the other to Brad at work.

Made a couple stops on the way to work, first at McDonald's to get that McFlurry I wanted. I ate it as I continued on my way. (I ate the whole thing - yikes!) Then I stopped Starbucks and got a small sugar-free Cinnamon Dulce Latte (the milk has lactose, but they used sugar-free syrup). I also got a low-fat cinnamon chip mini loaf. I split it half and half with Brad at work.

At work we had a little party and I had one piece of cake. It was a wonderful chocolate cake that Lynn had melted marshmallows over for topping (!). What was she thinking?!? The marshmallow would not adhere to the cake, so it kinda sucked. At least the cake itself was good.

By the time I punched in at 3 pm I already had over 13,000 steps (about 6 miles)!

The burger joint next door closed at 5 pm so I went over there about 4:30 and got a cheeseburger and fries and a chocolate shake. I ate the fries (oh my gosh they gave me a LOT!) and sipped the shake and saved the cheeseburger for later. I'm totally stuffed. Brad did bring me the McGriddle I asked for. I'm also saving that for later. I have laundry tonight so I'll be up late.

I also have to bake the communion bread tonight (this Sabbath is communion), and Pastor Brent asked me to serve the grape juice. I said that we usually had one person serve both and he said that he was just going to have people come forward to take the bread, but have someone serve the juice. I happily assented to serving the juice.

Blood sugar results during all this were interesting. I couldn't test between leaving home and getting to work, of course. After I got to work I started testing. At 3:24 I was 126, at 4:24 I was 156, and at 4:55 I got my highest reading of the day: 160 (!). By 5:29 I guess second stage insulin had kicked in and I was down to 131. At 7, after sucking on a chocolate milkshake for a while, I was back up to 150, and at 7:45 back to 131. Oh well, it will come down to normal when I quit the carbs again. Thank God I'm not diabetic so that my body can handle these occational carb assaults.

At about 8:20 I ate the cheeseburger I had set aside, and a half hour later I was only 94. The protein and fat are probably helping to keep my blood sugar from rising too fast and I guess my insulin is finally doing it's job. That's my first normal reading since I started eating high carb today.

About 9 pm I pigged out on like three pieces of birthday cake since I only get to do this once a year and I'm darn well going to enjoy it! :) I don't have more than a bite or two of cake when other people have birthdays. This really is a once a year affair. I left one piece of cake for Lisa. I didn't get a chance to test until 10:20 and I was up to 128.

I'm thinking of doing a very low-carb day tomorrow - basically meat and eggs and perhaps a protein shake for the walk Brad and I will do. Supplement with magnesium to make up for the fiber. Saturday I can't count of course, and Sunday I can maybe do meat/eggs/protein shake again. That should get me back on track and back to my normal healthy lifestyle.

I have pictures that I hope to get up on Flickr by tomorrow, but putting them here may take a bit longer since the weekend is almost here.

Brad gave me a blue shirt and a pair of blue fuzzy socks for a present. He also said he's going to drive me home tonight as a present. I'm not totally happy because I depend on getting my step count even higher by pacing while waiting for the bus. Oh well. I've done well with my steps today and hope to do even better tomorrow.

My sister gave me two presents. I opened one. It's a low cut brown shirt. It's medium and fits perfectly, but far too immodest for me. It's the kind of thing April would wear, but not me. My family sucks with gift-giving.

I got a check today from my employer - reimbursement for my chiropractic appointment. Every little bit helps! I talked to Lupe and they do indeed cover the massage I have after my adjustment as "physical therapy." So that's good because I couldn't afford it out of pocket and I feel it works in conjunction with the adjustment to keep my shoulders from flaring up.

As you'll notice, I'm learning the value of labeling my posts, though I'll still continue to tag them for technorati also. Labels are just an easy way for you or me to find posts with related topics. I don't have a lot of low-carb labels and such because I write about those every day (so not every post is or will be labeled), but I will be labeling posts that cover events such as birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, as well as posts relating to faith. I went a little ways back in time, but I'm not going to label any further back. I'll just go forward from here.

Now that my birthday's over I need to take my Christmas tree down. Hopefully Brad and I can do that tomorrow night after our walk.

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