Happy New Start!

Happy New Start!

It’s been a couple of months since I posted here.  If truth be told, it’s been a couple of months since I was really on Slow Carb.

October through December saw the culmination of my business failing.  It had been on the cards for some time, and I’d been struggling to keep the ship afloat in a sea filled with icebergs.  From November onwards, I just didn’t have the strength to battle with work and keep focused when I came home in an evening, so Slow Carb suffered during that time.

I started on the Slow Carb Diet just a month or so before the wheels started coming off my business, so I managed for 6 months and lost 3 stone (42lbs, 19kgs).  There was no way I could allow myself to have wasted all that by piling the weight back on.

I went in to it with my eyes open though.  I set myself a limit.  I could continue flaunting my slow carb diet so long as my weight stayed below 18 stone.  In fact, I was amazed at how slowly I gained weight.  On 4th November, I weighed in at my lowest weight of 17st 4lbs.  My weight today is 18st 1.8lbs.  In 2 months of being “off plan” I put on less than a stone!

Considering how quickly I know I’ll be able to shed that, I think that’s amazing value!

This is the week that I’m back on plan.  I’m very fortunate that I found a solution for my customers, so the majority of my stress and grief with the business is behind me.  It’s a near year, and for me, a new start in so many ways.

The Slow Carb Club has floundered during the last few months also, I haven’t been able to give it any attention, and as a result people have drifted away.  I’m hoping that New Year’s Resolutions will see some people returning, and in fact we’ve already got a few messages to that affect.

Time to focus on not being fat 🙂

Life! Don’t talk to me about Life!

Life! Don’t talk to me about Life!

Life is really really tough at the moment.  I won’t talk about why, but this is turning into the most difficult year of my life and I’ve had a few shitty years in the past.

When dieting, it’s so easy for life to get in the way.  Whether it’s a birthday, an office party, depression, stress, trips away, there’s always something lurking ready to sabotage your progress.

Last night I deserved a beer or two.  I really really deserved a beer.  Trust me, I earned those fucking beers.

My plan was a couple of beers, maybe 3 tops.  I knew though, that if I started the evening off with a beer, my Beer Demon would result in DRINK ALL OF THE BEER, OMG NO MORE BEER, GET MORE BEER, DO YOU THINK THAT HOMEBREW IN THE GARAGE FROM 2003 IS DRINKABLE?  So I stuck to my normal routine of wine with dinner, and then had some beers once I was settled in front of the TV.

You’ll be amazed to discover that the Beer Demon still visited, infact the bastard forced me to stay up way past my bedtime and decimate my supply of cold beer.  It was good though, I enjoyed those beers in a sort of “oops, there goes another one” kind of way.  Of course, my head didn’t thank me today!

Deep breath now…. I regret the beers.  There, I said it!  It was a slip that I shouldn’t have made, and whilst I enjoyed them, they weren’t worth it.  I’m mad that life got in the way and convinced me to sabotage progress that I’ve made.

I need to remind myself, I don’t deserve anything, I choose things, and last night I chose to be bad.

What do you do when life throws shit at you?  How do you keep it from interferring with your diet?  Tell me in the comments.

 

Weigh yourself every day

Weigh yourself every day

In the 4 Hour Body, Tim Ferriss is very clear that you should only weigh yourself on the morning of your cheatday.  His logic, “that way madness lies” is an entirely reasonable generalisation.

I’m a bit of a rebel though, I weigh myself every day.  I’ve only skipped 7 days since I started slow carb back in March, I’m so anal about it, I’ve taken my scales to hotels, and even camping.

What can’t be measured, can’t be understood, so I measure obsessively.  I found that it was particularly helpful in the early weeks, especially when combined with the Epic Weight Loss Spreadsheet.  I weigh myself before my shower in the morning, and then update the spreadsheet at some point during the day.  This routine keeps my diet in my mind throughout the day and keeps me focused.

I’m fortunate that my weight loss pattern during the week is very very predictable.  Obviously I put on weight post #faturday, but I also put on weight on Monday as well.  Tuesday and Wednesday I lose and by either Thursday or Friday I’m back to pre-cheatday weight.  Friday and Saturday tend to be the days when I drop weight for the week.

Of course, Tim’s right.  For many people weighing yourself every day and seeing the peaks and troughs would be a real mind fuck.  I won’t lie, seeing a peak on a Friday when I’m on course for a really great week can be soul destroying, but I’m able to rationalise that as “eh, life, fuckit” and move past it.  So for me, the benefits of daily weight tracking far outweigh the infrequent downsides.

Maximise your odds of WINNING Slow Carb

Maximise your odds of WINNING Slow Carb

I found the first 9 weeks of Slow Carb frankly rather easy… or maybe I should say, the losses week to week were so predictable that motivation was easy.  Every week saw an average loss of 2.5lbs (~1kg), so the obvious benefits kept me totally focused on what I could and should eat.

Summer, and more importantly excuses to celebrate over summer (long weekends, camping trips away, birthdays) saw predictable blips and my tragectory slowed as what seemed like infrequent “bad” weeks had to be recovered from.

This is where I started to struggle mentally.  I still believed in the Slow Carb approach, but a week with a couple of extra cheat days thrown in can easily end up with you feeling you’ve been stuck at a weight for months.  In fact, it took me 10 weeks to shift my last stone, so it’s not even “a feeling”, it’s reality.

I felt really down about that, I was trying really hard and being generally good, but I just didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere, because the metric that I was measuring my success by wasn’t moving quickly.

How did I change that feeling?  By measuring more things of course! The more metrics I record, the more chance that one will show something good.  I might be disappointed that I only lost 0.5lbs this week, but if I lost an inch off my beer gut, that totally changes how I feel about the week.  That makes the week a WIN!

The Epic Weight Loss Spreadsheet that I complete daily gives me other areas that can give me a win too.  I added a BMI column, which is colour coded to “Very Severely Obese”, “Severely Obese”, “Moderately Obese”, “Overweight” (OMG I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL I’M OVERWEIGHT!!!), and “Normal”.  OK, I only get a couple of these wins over the whole course of losing weight, but I’ve got my eye on that Overweight BMI and I want it so BAD!  I was over the moon when I became Moderately Obese, because, that’s just like… “a bit” fat not “holy shit where did all the swimming pool water go” fat.  Even dropping a whole BMI digit can feel like a win, “woop woop, 31.97 BMI, 1 closer to Overweight!”.

epic_weight_loss_spreadsheet_-_google_sheetsI also gave myself a few fist bumps when I got the “Current Trend” line back below the “Goal Loss” line a couple of times.  Unfortunately that little shit doesn’t look like coming back down any time soon :(.

My starting weight was 21st 0.3lbs, so this mini win doesn’t work so great for me, but you can give yourself a fist bump when you hit a stone lost, AND, “OMG I’M IN A NEW STONE BRACKET! MY WEIGHT NOW STARTS WITH 17 NOT 18 FUCK YEAH!”.  That week’s a win for sure!

You can also keep an eye on your % to target.  I noticed today that I’m 41% of the way there, the last time I looked was 33% so that leaves me feeling pretty awesome.

…and finally for the weight based wins, if you weigh yourself every day (and you need to be a certain sort of person to be able to cope with doing that), any day that you hit a new low is a win.

I don’t track fat percentage, but I should.  Every 1% fat loss is a huge win, fist bump time!

Don’t forget about clothes.  My sister bought me a couple of t-shirts for my birthday, they are an XL.  HAVE YOU ANY IDEA HOW LONG IT’S BEEN SINCE I WORE AN XL ANYTHING?!?!  I even had to get my mum to alter all my shirts because they looked like tents.

Track all these (and it’s easy!) barely a week goes by without some sort of BOOYA moment.

  • Tape Measurements
  • Weight
  • New ALL TIME LOW (Weight)
  • BMI
  • Spreadsheet Trend Lines
  • Stone, 10lb or 5kg Brackets
  • Fat Percentage
  • Clothing Sizes

I’ve not touched on exercise, it’s just not something I’m doing at the moment, so I would just be rehashing other people’s words.

I really want to hear your suggestions (including specific exercise wins), let me know in the comments (or Reddit comments) and I’ll add them to the post and give you credit and a high five.

Are beans necessary for Slow Carb?

Are beans necessary for Slow Carb?

I identify as someone who follows the slow carb diet, but I don’t entirely, not really.

We all adapt diets to suit our needs and desires.  For example, cutting things out that we know will lead to overeating.  For many on the slow carb lifestyle, that’s nuts.  We also add things in that we’re not technically “allowed”, but we’ve found don’t have a negative affect on our weight loss (or maintenance).  I suspect though, that the biggest difference is in foods that we’re encouraged to eat, but that we don’t particularly enjoy.

I’m not adverse to beans, I particularly like them in my Sausage, Chorizo and Bean Casserole, but I struggle to add them to a meal just for “the sake of carbs”.  That means that actually the majority of my diet is closer to keto, than slow carb as I can often go a whole week without eating carbohydrates.

On Sundays I often spend all day on a hillside flying rc gliders.  On those days I never skip breakfast, but that will be all I eat until the evening, and my body’s reaction to coming off #faturday, half starved and the mild exercise can be pretty unpleasant.  The symptoms suggest ketoflu, which would make sense.

Most Sunday’s though, I don’t suffer from ketoflu, so either I’m a special snowflake that can transition relatively seamlessly, or something is keeping me on the wrong (right?) side of ketosis.  I don’t know whether the former is a recognised possibility, but that’s my current theory.

…and I don’t notice any additional hunger from the lack of slow carbs.  I’m hungry when I get home from work whether I eat a salad, or bean based stew, and it’s something I am able to manage in either case.

So for me at least, beans aren’t necessary, but when they’re in something delicious, happy days!

Habits and Happiness

Habits and Happiness

Last night I took a link out of my watch strap.  I’ve lost so much weight that even my wrists are getting skinny!  This week I should finally get into the 17stone bracket.  Pretty damn happy about both of those things 😀

I’ve not been happy though, and that’s messed with my routine, which ultimately must have had some affect on my Slow Carb adherence.

I find that even a short period of neglecting my good habits results in me actively revolting against them.  This blog has been a great habit for me, it helps me keep focused, but just a few days of depression resulted in me ignoring it for 2 weeks.  I was dreading coming back to it, yet the minute I did – with the plan just to write a tiny blog post about my watch being too big – I felt myself slip easily back into the habit of writing.

I wonder what I can do to help prevent this.  “Man up” and “Get on with it” are clearly bullshit answers, even Tim says that willpower is overrated.  I know that if I can push myself back into the habit that I will feel better for it, but still my body and mind rail heavily against it.

Do you experience issues like this?  How do you address them?  Share in the comments!