Monday, January 31, 2011

MONTH END CHARTS






 One of the things I track is the average weight for each calendar month.  It is not a moving average - I just take my scale weight each day of the month, add them together and divide by the number of days in the month.  It gives me an idea of the overall trend.  Here are my monthly average weights since I started tracking in February 2009:

155.0 - February 2009 - Starting Weight
150.9 - March 2009 - lost 4.1 pounds
148.3 - April 2009 - lost 2.6 pounds
145.8 - May 2009 - lost 2.5 pounds
142.6 - June 2009 - lost 3.2 pounds
141.5 - July 2009 - lost 1.1 pounds
141.6 - August 2009 - gained 0.1 pound
141.9 - September 2009 - gained 0.3 pounds
141.7 - October 2009 - lost 0.2 pounds
140.5 - November 2009 - lost 1.2 pounds
141.2 - December 2009 - gained 0.7 pounds
141.4 - January 2010 - gained 0.2 pounds
143.9 - February 2010 - gained 2.5 pounds
143.8 - March 2010 - lost 0.1 pound
143.6 - April 2010 - lost 0.2 pounds
140.1 - May 2010 - lost 3.5 pounds
140.8 - June 2010 - gained 0.7 pounds
139.5 - July 2010 - lost 1.3 pounds
141.6 - August 2010 - gained 2.1 pound
 142.3 - September 2010 - gained 0.7 pounds
143.2 - October 2010 - gained 0.9 pounds
143.3 - November 2010 - gained 0.1 pounds
144.2 - December 2010 - gained 0.9 pounds
144.4 - January 2011 - gained 0.2 pounds




The chart below shows my BMI.  The number is going up, but that's okay, because I am putting on muscle and losing fat.






Here are all my charts showing my body measurements:


Sunday, January 30, 2011

IS DIET SODA HEALTHY? - MARK SISSON - MARK'S DAILY APPLE

A recent blog post from Mark Sisson:

Before I begin, I want to make something clear: this is not your standard definitive guide to whatever. I’d like to be able to issue a proclamation regarding diet soda that stands the test of time immemorial, but I cannot. Research is still in its infancy, and exactly what diet soda does to those who drink it – if anything – is incredibly confusing. The one thing I can say with any certainty is that, while it’s unfair to say it will kill you or give your unborn child prenatal tumors or make you impossibly obese, you’re probably better off without diet soda. It tastes weird, the list of unpronounceable ingredients is too long for my comfort level, and I’ve seen one too many unsuccessful dieters that seem to live on the stuff.

There are two things to consider when making any conclusions about diet soda’s place in a healthy diet. Do the ingredients used in diet soda pose a threat to your short-term or long-term (or that of your offspring’s) health? Is it a kind of sugary methadone, impeding healthy eating by making it harder to kick the desire for sweet things in your mouth because, well, you’re constantly putting things in your mouth that mimic sugar? Let’s dig in.

First, the ingredients. What goes into a can of your average diet soda?

Carbonated water, some sort of food coloring, and preservatives like potassium benzoate are all innocuous enough. Nothing to worry about there. You won’t see Mercola issuing dire warnings about Caramel Color No. 76 anytime soon. It’s the other stuff that interests (or worries) us: artificial sweeteners and (to a lesser extent) phosphoric acid. Let’s take a look at the two major sweeteners in popular use, aspartame and sucralose. Are they dangerous?

Aspartame gets a bad rap. High dose rat studies implicate it as a carcinogen, but in exceedingly large amounts. A can of diet soda a day probably won’t give you cancer. Would I avoid it as a pregnant mother? Yes. Would I be wary of drinking several cans a day? Yes. The basic takeaway is that while the clinical evidence of immediate danger upon normal ingestion of aspartame is lacking, inconclusive, or unclear, the vast amount of anecdotal evidence from people linking aspartame to headaches, migraines, panic attacks, and other maladies gives me great pause. I mean, the stuff tastes horrible, and that’s enough for me, but some people appear to have real health issues with aspartame. Not everyone, obviously, but some do. If aspartame appears to give you trouble, don’t let PubMed convince you that it’s harmless. It may very well be safe in the amounts we typically consume in the majority of people, but you can’t ignore your own experiences.

Also known as Splenda, sucralose is a popular sweetener that’s often called “natural” because it’s the product of selective sucrose chlorination. It’s 3.3 times sweeter than aspartame and 600 times sweeter than sucrose. It seems to have less of a disgusting aftertaste than aspartame (it’s all foul to me, though). Like aspartame, most of the studies reporting negative effects used insanely high doses of sucralose. I’m talking doses in the area of thousands of Splenda packets a day for months on end. I’m no fan, but I don’t think normal consumption of the stuff will kill you. There was a study that found normal doses (between 1.1 and 11.1 mg/kg per day; recommended maximum daily dosage is 5 mg/kg) of sucralose negatively impacted the gut flora in rats and lead to weight gain, although a later review called the study’s results into question. I’ll pass, but thanks, expert panel. There’s also the fact that sucralose is usually combined with something called acesulfame-K (potassium), another sweetener that many researchers think needs more toxicity tests. My take? Studies showing negative effects may be overstated or misguided, but why take the risk for that weird chemical aftertaste? Just avoid the stuff to be on the safe side.

And then there’s phosphoric acid. Here’s how the story supposedly goes: phosphoric acid, which soda makers use in place of pricier citric acid, leaches calcium from your bones and reduces bone mineral density. Is it true? Well, it’s become pretty clear that foods containing dietary phosphorus – like meat, dairy, and other “evil” foods – strengthen bones, rather than leach from them. But phosphorus isn’t exactly the same as phosphoric acid, which epidemiological studies have connected with loss of bone mineral density and osteoporosis. One in particular found that only colas (both diet and regular) were strongly associated with loss of bone mineral density. What do colas have that other diet sodas largely do not? Caffeine plus phosphoric acid. A more recent controlled trial found that only fizzy drinks containing caffeine resulted in increased calcium excretion; phosphoric acid content exerted no effect, either alone or in concert with caffeine. I don’t think we can implicate phosphoric acid just yet.

Okay, but remember: we’ve got to be careful when analyzing a food’s worth by singling out one of its constituent parts for good or for bad (although diet soda is by all definitions not food, it is a consumable whose stated purpose is to help dieters lose weight by avoiding sugar). Let’s judge diet soda on that. It may be technically safe to consume, but does it do its “job”? Does it help us lose weight by replacing our sugar intake with non-caloric sweetener intake and reducing cravings?

By most accounts, no. If you look at the literature, diet soda has repeatedly been shown to correlate with weight gain and increased incidence of metabolic syndrome:

One study found evidence of a linear dose-response; the more diet soda people drank, the more likely they were to be overweight or obese. As Sharon Fowler, the author of the study, puts it, “for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese.”

Another study, which I covered a couple years ago, analyzed the diets of more than 9,500 men and women between the ages of 45 and 64 and found that drinking diet soda was associated with a 34% higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome – the perfect storm of high triglycerides, belly fat, insulin resistance, and obesity that’s so popular nowadays. This was an even stronger association than the one between the “high-meat, high-fat” Western diet and metabolic syndrome.

Authors of both studies speculate that diet soda drinking just extends the life of sugar cravings, rather than eliminating it. In this scenario, diet soda doesn’t regulate the desire for sugar; it increases it, and diet soda drinkers are simply replacing those empty calories with real sugar. This makes sense, and I think it’s part of it, but a couple other studies suggest that something else is going on entirely independent of caloric intake:

The dietary habits and weights of a homogenous group of middle aged women were tracked for a year. Regardless of initial weight status and inexplicable by “food consumption patterns,” users of diet soda were more likely than nonusers to gain weight. They didn’t eat markedly different from non-soda drinkers and yet they got fatter. It continues…

A more recent study broke rats up into two groups. The first received ad libitum oral doses of water sweetened with the maximum Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of saccharin, aspartame, cyclamate, and acesulfame-K (the same formulae used in commercial sweeteners), while the second group received plain water. Both were given ad libitum access to standard rat chow (which usually resembles the SAD: a disgusting mix of vegetable oils and sucrose). While caloric intake did not change between groups, the rats given non-caloric sweeteners experienced greater increases in bodyweight. The rats apparently weren’t driven to eat more because of confused satiety signals, and yet they still gained more weight. What gives?

Are diet soda drinkers eating more actual sweets to make up for the missing calories? Are their satiety signal hormones being altered by some chemical additive? Or is something in the diet soda actually causing weight gain independent of caloric intake?

We simply don’t know. We do know, however, that our bodies respond to everything they encounter. You lift a weight, you send a message to your body (build more muscle, make bones denser, establish neural pathways for movement!). You put food in your mouth, that elicits a response, even before the food hits your gut, as with the carbohydrate mouth rinse that increases athletic performance. It may be that introducing artificial sweeteners directly to your gut (bypassing the tongue) doesn’t affect subjective satiety or satiety hormones, but that’s not how we drink diet sodas. We taste them. With our tongues. And there is a decent amount of (mixed) evidence that certain artificial sweeteners in certain situations in certain individuals can actually elicit hormonal responses from taste alone, leading to hunger that isn’t really there and perhaps even insulin to handle dietary glucose that was never actually eaten. The details of any effect artificial sweeteners have on our hunger hormones are still being teased out, and the subject demands a dedicated post sometime in the future – so stay tuned for that.

In the end, diet sodas contain potentially harmful chemical additives and phosphoric acid that may or may not leach minerals. The majority of people who drink them to lose weight are unsuccessful, and most epidemiological evidence and some clinical evidence has linked diet soda intake to increased obesity, even irrespective of caloric intake. It may be that tasting sweet stuff without a corresponding caloric dose is throwing off our satiety signals and messing with our normal hormonal response to food, or perhaps relying on fake sugar just makes it harder to give up the real stuff.

Of course, whether they have a place in your diet is up to you. Maybe you’ll buck the trend and lose more weight and experience greater relief from sugar cravings with diet soda. Maybe you have one every few days and no more. If you’re a dedicated diet soda addict, maybe experiment with slowly eliminating it from your diet. Drink a bit less than usual and see how you feel. Try to save your 80/20 allowance for something a bit more fun, like maybe a high quality full-fat ice cream or a hunk of super dark chocolate (which actually has some nutritional merit, like good dairy fat). I’m gonna say that ideally you ditch them altogether, mostly because they seem to reinforce bad habits in most people and because the long term effects aren’t fully known.

Whatever you do, don’t start a diet soda habit after reading this post!

JANUARY 30 - WEEK 98 RESULTS

Today - 45.4 lbs. of body fat and 98.4 lbs. of lean mass - 31.6% body fat
One week ago - 46 lbs. of body fat and 97.8 lbs. of lean mass - 32% body fat
Lost 0.6 lbs. of body fat, gained 0.6 lbs. of lean mass and body fat decreased 0.4% 

I tracked my food on fitday two days this past week, but I did not look at the totals until the end of the night.  I ate on-plan on the days that I did not track.

Here is a chart that shows my week of food and the average for the two days that I tracked:




Today is my weekly measuring day. In the past 7 days:

I lost 0.125" around my neck
I lost 0.5" around my midriff
I lost 0.125" around my waist

Here is what I have lost so far, since starting to lose weight in February 2009:

Neck - 13.75" to 12.25" - down 1.5"
Bicep - 11.75" - no change
Forearm - 9" - no change
Bust - 38.25" to 35.75" - down 2.5"
Midriff - 32.25" to 29.75" - down 2.5"
Waist - 31.5" to 29.375" - down 2.125"
Navel - 38.25" to 32.5" - down 5.75"
Hips - 42" to 38.375" - down 3.625"
Thigh - 24.5" to 22" - down 2.5"
Calf - 14.5" to 13.5" - down 1"





BODY COMPOSITION

AT THE BEGINNING OF WEIGHT LOSS 2/22/09

158 lbs.
35" waist
13.75" neck
45.5" hips
28.0 BMI
0.556 waist-to-height ratio
0.769 waist-to-hip ratio
44.8% body fat

ONE MONTH AGO

144 lbs.
31" waist
12.5" neck
39.625" hips
25.6 BMI
0.492 waist-to-height ratio
0.782 waist-to-hip ratio
33.6% body fat

ONE WEEK AGO

143.8 lbs.
30.5" waist
12.375" neck
38.75" hips
25.5 BMI
0.484 waist-to-height ratio
0.787 waist-to-hip ratio
32% body fat

TODAY

143.8 lbs.
30.125" waist
12.25" neck
38.625" hips
25.5 BMI
0.478 waist-to-height ratio
0.780 waist-to-hip ratio
31.6% body fat

Since my heaviest weight in February 2009, I have lost 14.2 lbs. on the scale, 4.875" around my waist, 1.5" around my neck and 6.875" around my hips.  I have lost 25.4 lbs. of fat and I have gained 11.2 lbs. of lean mass.

In the past month, I have lost 0.2 lbs. on the scale and I have lost 0.875" around my waist, 0.25" around my neck and 1" around my hips.  I have lost 3 lbs. of fat and I have gained 2.8 lbs. of lean mass.

In the past week, I have lost 0 lbs.on the scale.  I  have lost 0.375" around my waist, 0.125" around my neck and 0.125" around my hips.  I have lost 0.6 lbs. of fat and I have gained 0.6 lb. of lean mass.





MY NEXT GOAL

143 lbs.
30" waist
12.25" neck
38.5" hips
25.4 BMI
0.476 waist-to-height ratio
0.779 waist-to-hip ratio
31.2% body fat

To achieve this, I need to lose 0.8 lbs. of fat.  I need to lose 0.125" around my waist and 0.125" around my hips.

MY ULTIMATE DREAM GOAL

130 lbs.
26-1/2" waist
12-1/4" neck
37-1/4" hips
23.1 BMI
0.421 waist-to-height ratio
0.711 waist-to-hip ratio
25% body fat

To achieve this, I need to lose 12.9 more lbs. of fat and 0.9 more lbs. of lean mass.  I need to lose another 3.625" around my waist and another 1.375" around my hips.

If I reach this goal, I will have lost a total of 38.3 lbs. of fat and gained a total of 10.3 lbs. of lean mass since my highest weight on February 22, 2009.  I will have also lost 8.5" around my waist, 1.5" around my neck and 8.25" around my hips.

Friday, January 28, 2011

FAT MICE AND THE LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS - TOM NAUGHTON

The latest blog post from Tom Naughton, the maker of the movie Fat Head:

In a Weight Watchers discussion group, someone recently posted this advice:

The key to successful weight loss is simple mathematics . . . ingest fewer calories than calories expended in a day.

That second part of that sentence is, of course, correct. Your body won’t tap the energy reserves in your fat cells unless the energy is needed.  You have to expend more than you ingest.  But that doesn’t mean successful weight loss is all about “simple mathematics.”  Biological systems aren’t simple.

Unfortunately, too many people grasp (again, correctly) that gaining or losing weight requires an imbalance between the energy consumed and the energy expended, but then take a leap in logic and conclude that:
  1. Consuming additional calories is the root cause of becoming fatter (as opposed to a response to storing more calories as fat).
  2. Everyone who becomes fatter is either eating more or moving less than before.
  3. Consuming fewer calories will automatically lead to a lower weight and less body fat.
In other words, they think it’s about simple mathematics, just like a savings account.  To dispute any of these conclusions, we’re told, would be to ignore the laws of thermodynamics. So let’s see how that contention holds up in the face of controlled research.

In a study published earlier this year, researchers conducted two experiments, each lasting three or four weeks, in which obese mice were divided into two groups: a control group that ate freely (ad libitum) and a calorie-restricted group. In the first experiment, researchers first recorded the average caloric intake of the mice when they were allowed to eat freely, then limited the calorie-restricted group to 95% of that intake. In the second experiment, researchers observed the on-going caloric intake of the mice allowed to eat freely, then limited the calorie-restricted group to 95% of that intake. In other words, if the mice eating freely ate more, the calorie-restricted mice were given more food … but they were still eating 5% fewer calories than their freewheelin’ cousins.

A legitimate criticism of many diet studies is that the researchers relied on food-recall surveys or diet journals to determine how much people ate. Those methods can be notoriously inaccurate. Realizing this, the researchers on this study elected not to allow the mice to keep their own diet journals. Instead, the researchers precisely measured and recorded how much each mouse ate — even going so far as to examine the little critters’ cages and subtracting any bits of food they found from the food-intake totals.

In both experiments, researchers took precise before-and-after measurements of weight, lean body mass, and adipose-tissue mass. In the second experiment, they also used infrared sensors to track locomotor activity levels (”moving around” to us laypeople), and measured oxygen consumption and carbon-dioxide output to calculate how much energy the mice expended. I’d say that’s about as precise as a diet study gets.

Now, according to Jillian Michaels and the other leading experts in thermodynamics, there are only a couple of possible outcomes for these experiments:
  1. The calorie-restricted mice, who were prevented from making little pig-mice of themselves, ended up weighing less and were leaner.
  2. If the calorie-restricted mice somehow ended up fatter, it could only be because they were far less active than the mice who ate freely.
Yup … if you get fat, by gosh, it means you’re either eating more or moving less. Now let’s look at the actual results:

At the end of first experiment (four weeks), the calorie-restricted mice weighed a teeny bit less than their free-eating counterparts — the difference was not statistically significant, but it was there. However, the calorie-restricted mice also had 68.5% more fat mass, and 12.3% less lean mass.
Being put on a diet made them fatter.

At the end of the second experiment (three weeks), the average weight for both groups was virtually identical — it was also virtually identical to their baseline weights. But the calorie-restricted mice had 43.6% more fat mass and 6.4% less lean mass than the free-eating control mice. Once again, being put on a diet made them fatter.

Well, clearly, those fat little calorie-restricted mice must’ve spent too much time sitting around watching reruns of The Biggest Loser while their free-eating cousins were whipping themselves into shape by running on the big wheel, right?

Nope. According to the study data, there was no difference in locomotor activity levels between the two groups.

The calorie-restricted mice ate less, they moved around just as much, but they ended up weighing the same as the mice allowed to eat freely, and also ended up with more fat and less muscle. Oh, dear me … did these mice find a way to violate the laws of thermodynamics?

No, heck no, for the thousandth time, NO.

The researchers didn’t take body-heat measurements (too bad), but reported that the calorie-restricted mice expended significantly less energy: 5% less overall, and 20% less while at rest. Simply put, their metabolisms slowed down, even though they were just as physically active.  No laws of thermodynamics were violated in the process.

I once sent a link to this study to someone who insisted that according to the laws of thermodynamics, weight gain is caused by eating more or moving less, period.  His reply was something like, “That doesn’t prove anything!  I’m not a mouse.  I’m talking about people.”

Well, I agree that mice aren’t little furry people, which is why I’m not concerned when this-or-that food is shown to trigger cancer in mice.  (Mouse chow probably wouldn’t agree with me either.)  But remember, we’re talking about The Laws of Thermodynamics here.  They don’t apply to one species, but not another.  If mice can become fatter without eating more or moving less, yet somehow avoid violating the laws of thermodynamics in the process, then so can people.

The researchers were at a bit of a loss to explain why the calorie-restricted mice grew fatter, but I’m pretty sure we can rule out gluttony and sloth. They suggested perhaps the mice were reacting to the stress of a limited food intake.

“Reacting,” of course, means something hormonal was going on. (It wasn’t thyroid hormone. The researchers checked.) Perhaps the calorie-restricted mice produced more cortisol. Perhaps evolution geared the mice to respond to the threat of starvation by accumulating more fat, even if it means sacrificing lean tissue.

The point is, they didn’t get fatter by eating too much, and they didn’t get fatter because they decided to expend less energy. They began to expend less energy (in spite of being just as active) because they were being hormonally driven to accumulate more fat, even on less food.

Doesn’t that sound something like the process described by a best-selling science journalist who supposedly doesn’t understand that his hypothesis would violate the laws of thermodynamics?

(Click here to go to the article and see the comments by other readers.)

JANUARY 28 - DAILY REPORT

MY WEIGHT

THIS PAST DAY

Today - 45.5 lbs. of body fat and 98.5 lbs. of lean mass - 31.6% body fat
Yesterday -  45.1 lbs. of body fat and 98.5 lbs. of lean mass - 31.4% body fat
Gained 0.4 lbs. of body fat, lost 0 lb. of lean mass and body fat increased 0.2%

THIS PAST WEEK

Today - 45.5 lbs. of body fat and 98.5 lbs. of lean mass - 31.6% body fat
One week ago - 46.6 lbs. of body fat and 97.8 lbs. of lean mass - 32.3% body fat
Lost 1.1 lbs. of body fat, gained 0.7 lbs. of lean mass and body fat decreased 0.7%

THIS PAST MONTH

Today - 45.5 lbs. of body fat and 98.5 lbs. of lean mass - 31.6% body fat
One month ago - 46.1 lbs. of body fat and 96.7 lbs. of lean mass - 32.3% body fat
Lost 0.6 lbs. of body fat, gained 1.8 lbs. of lean mass and body fat decreased 0.7% 


MY BODY COMPOSITION

144 lbs.
30.125" waist
12.375" neck
38.75" hips
25.6 BMI
0.478 waist-to-height ratio
0.777 waist-to-hip ratio
31.6% body fat

MY NEXT GOAL

143 lbs.
30" waist
12.375" neck
38.5" hips
25.4 BMI
0.476 waist-to-height ratio
0.779 waist-to-hip ratio
31.1% fat

Theoretically, to hit this goal, I need to lose 1/8" from my waist.


MY FOOD

Yesterday, I did not track my food on fitday.  I ate a normal breakfast, lunch and dinner, except for eating some fresh coconut, along with the coconut water, and then I looked it up on fitday and found out I had about 20 extra net carbs.  grrrr


MY EXERCISE

Yesterday, I rested.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

67.1% OF THE FAT LOST - 109.7% OF THE MUSCLE GAINED

Right before I started Atkins, this was me:

158 pounds
70.8 pounds of body fat - 44.8%
87.2 pounds of lean mass - 55.2%

This is me today:
143. pounds
45.1 pounds of body fat - 31.4%
98.5 pounds of lean mass - 68.6%

This is my dream goal (we'll see!)
130 pounds
32.5 pounds of body fat - 25%
97.5 pounds of lean mass - 75%

So that means that, so far, since February 2009:

I have lost 67.1% of the body fat I set out to lose.

I have gained 109.7% of the muscle I set out to gain.

The last time I posted about this was yesterday, and the numbers were 66.8% and 110.7%. Progress!

My pounds of body fat are at the lowest they have been since starting Atkins.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

66.8% OF THE FAT LOST - 110.7% OF THE MUSCLE GAINED

Right before I started Atkins, this was me:

158 pounds
70.8 pounds of body fat - 44.8%
87.2 pounds of lean mass - 55.2%

This is me today:
143.8 pounds
45.2 pounds of body fat - 31.4%
98.6 pounds of lean mass - 68.6%

This is my dream goal (we'll see!)
130 pounds
32.5 pounds of body fat - 25%
97.5 pounds of lean mass - 75%

So that means that, so far, since February 2009:

I have lost 66.8% of the body fat I set out to lose.

I have gained 110.7% of the muscle I set out to gain.

The last time I posted about this was two days ago, and the numbers were 66.3% and 108.7%. Progress!

My pounds of body fat are at the lowest they have been since starting Atkins.

31.4% - A NEW RECORD LOW FOR BODY FAT PERCENTAGE

Right before I started Atkins, this was me:

158 pounds
70.8 pounds of body fat - 44.8%
87.2 pounds of lean mass - 55.2%
35" waist
13.75" neck
45.5" hips

This is me now:
143.8 pounds
45.2 pounds of body fat - 31.4%
98.6 pounds of lean mass - 68.6%
30.25" waist
12.375" neck
38.5" hips"

This is my dream goal (we'll see!)
130 pounds
32.5 pounds of body fat - 25%
97.5 pounds of lean mass - 75%
26.5" waist
12.25" neck
37.25" hips


The last time I posted about this was yesterday, and my body fat was 31.6%.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

31.6% - A NEW RECORD LOW FOR BODY FAT PERCENTAGE

Right before I started Atkins, this was me:

158 pounds
70.8 pounds of body fat - 44.8%
87.2 pounds of lean mass - 55.2%
35" waist
13.75" neck
45.5" hips

This is me now:
143.8 pounds
45.4 pounds of body fat - 31.6%
98.4 pounds of lean mass - 68.4%
30.375" waist
12.375" neck
38.5" hips"

This is my dream goal (we'll see!)
130 pounds
32.5 pounds of body fat - 25%
97.5 pounds of lean mass - 75%
26.5" waist
12.25" neck
37.25" hips

The last time I posted about this was 6 days ago, and my body fat was 32%.

66.3% OF THE FAT LOST - 108.7% OF THE MUSCLE GAINED

Right before I started Atkins, this was me:

158 pounds
70.8 pounds of body fat - 44.8%
87.2 pounds of lean mass - 55.2%

This is me today:
143.8 pounds
45.4 pounds of body fat - 31.6%
98.4 pounds of lean mass - 68.4%

This is my dream goal (we'll see!)
130 pounds
32.5 pounds of body fat - 25%
97.5 pounds of lean mass - 75%

So that means that, so far, since February 2009:

I have lost 66.3% of the body fat I set out to lose.

I have gained 108.7% of the muscle I set out to gain.

The last time I posted about this was two days ago, and the numbers were 64.8% and 102.9%. Progress!

My pounds of body fat are at the lowest they have been since starting Atkins.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

64.8% OF THE FAT LOST - 102.9% OF THE MUSCLE GAINED

Right before I started Atkins, this was me:

158 pounds
70.8 pounds of body fat - 44.8%
87.2 pounds of lean mass - 55.2%

This is me today:
143.8 pounds
46 pounds of body fat - 32%
97.8 pounds of lean mass - 68%

This is my dream goal (we'll see!)
130 pounds
32.5 pounds of body fat - 25%
97.5 pounds of lean mass - 75%

So that means that, so far, since February 2009:

I have lost 64.8% of the body fat I set out to lose.

I have gained 102.9% of the muscle I set out to gain.

The last time I posted about this was three days ago, and the numbers were 63.4% and 113.6%. Progress!

My pounds of body fat are at the lowest they have been since starting Atkins.

JANUARY 23 - WEEK 97 RESULTS

Today - 46 lbs. of body fat and 97.8 lbs. of lean mass - 32% body fat
One week ago - 47.1 lbs. of body fat and 97.9 lbs. of lean mass - 32.5% body fat
Lost 1.1 lbs. of body fat, lost 0.1 lbs. of lean mass and body fat decreased 0.5% 

I tracked my food on fitday one day this past week, but I did not look at the totals until the end of the night.  I ate on-plan on the days that I did not track.

Here is a chart that shows my week of food and the average for the one day that I tracked:




Today is my weekly measuring day. In the past 7 days:

I gained 0.125" around my bicep
I gained 0.375" around my midriff
I lost 0.25" around my waist
I lost 0.25" around my hips

Here is what I have lost so far, since starting to lose weight in February 2009:

Neck - 13.75" to 12.375" - down 1.375"
Bicep - 11.75" - no change
Forearm - 9" - no change
Bust - 38.25" to 35.75" - down 2.5"
Midriff - 32.25" to 30.25" - down 2"
Waist - 31.5" to 29.5" - down 2"
Navel - 38.25" to 32.5" - down 5.75"
Hips - 42" to 38.375" - down 3.625"
Thigh - 24.5" to 22" - down 2-1/2"
Calf - 14.5" to 13.5" - down 1"




BODY COMPOSITION

AT THE BEGINNING OF WEIGHT LOSS 2/22/09

158 lbs.
35" waist
13.75" neck
45.5" hips
28.0 BMI
0.556 waist-to-height ratio
0.769 waist-to-hip ratio
44.8% body fat

ONE MONTH AGO

145.4 lbs.
31" waist
12.5" neck
39.5" hips
25.8 BMI
0.492 waist-to-height ratio
0.785 waist-to-hip ratio
33.4% body fat

ONE WEEK AGO

145 lbs.
30.75" waist
12.375" neck
38.875" hips
25.7 BMI
0.488 waist-to-height ratio
0.791 waist-to-hip ratio
32.5% body fat

TODAY

143.8 lbs.
30.5" waist
12.375" neck
38.75" hips
25.5 BMI
0.484 waist-to-height ratio
0.787 waist-to-hip ratio
32% body fat

Since my heaviest weight in February 2009, I have lost 14.2 lbs. on the scale, 4.5" around my waist, 1.375" around my neck and 6.75" around my hips.  I have lost 24.8 lbs. of fat and I have gained 10.6 lbs. of lean mass.

In the past month, I have lost 1.6 lbs. on the scale and I have lost 0.5" around my waist, 0.125" around my neck and 0.75" around my hips.  I have lost 2.6 lbs. of fat and I have gained 1 lb. of lean mass.

In the past week, I have lost 1.2 lbs.on the scale.  I  have lost 0.25" around my waist and 0.125" around my hips.  I have lost 1.1 lbs. of fat and I have lost 0.1 lb. of lean mass.




MY NEXT GOAL

143 lbs.
30.25" waist
12.375" neck
38.625" hips
25.4 BMI
0.484 waist-to-height ratio
0.783 waist-to-hip ratio
31.6% body fat

To achieve this, I need to lose 0.8 lbs. of fat.  I need to lose 0.25" around my waist and 0.125" around my hips.

MY ULTIMATE DREAM GOAL

130 lbs.
26-1/2" waist
12-1/4" neck
37-1/4" hips
23.1 BMI
0.421 waist-to-height ratio
0.711 waist-to-hip ratio
25% body fat

To achieve this, I need to lose 13.5 more lbs. of fat and 0.3 more lbs. of lean mass.  I need to lose another 4" around my waist, another 0.125" around my neck and another 1.5" around my hips.

If I reach this goal, I will have lost a total of 38.3 lbs. of fat and gained a total of 10.3 lbs. of lean mass since my highest weight on February 22, 2009.  I will have also lost 8.5" around my waist, 1.5" around my neck and 8.25" around my hips.

Friday, January 21, 2011

34 YEARS AGO TODAY - JANUARY 21, 1977 - IT'S A BOY!

This is me on January 20, 1977, the night before my firstborn was to arrive.  I was 21 years old, two weeks overdue for delivery, and had not had even one contraction.

After seeing my doctor and having an x-ray, I found out that the baby was breach and huge, so I checked into the hospital to prepare for a C-section in the morning.

I was so scared!

And just a little irritated that I was not going to get to use all the cool things I had learned at Lamaze class!




Barry Alan was born at 9:12 am on January 21, 1977.  He weighed 9 lbs. 5 oz. and measured 21" long.

This is his first photo, which was taken by his dad in the hall the first time they met.

Because he was long overdue and big, he did not really look like a newborn baby.  Plus, he was delivered by C-section, so he did not have that "fresh squeezed" baby look.






This is the first picture of Barry and me.  I think he was a couple of days old here.

I had a rough time with the surgery, and I was probably not up to having a picture taken right away.

Back in the good old days, they did not kick you out of the hospital within hours of giving birth.  And, because of surgery, I got to stay a whole week.


 The day we were ready to go home, I remember thinking, "What are they thinking?  Are they really going to just let me walk out of here with this baby?  I have no idea how to take care of him!"

This is the first photo of Bill and Barry.  It was taken at our home the day we got out of the hospital.

I also have a strong memory of seeing a cat walking into my living room.  My first thought was, "Why is there a cat in my house?"  Before Barry was born, my cat was my baby.  While I was in the hospital, I forgot she existed.




Here is Barry today, along with his lovely wife, Laura, their daughter Annelise and their son Will.

Happy Birthday, Barry!  I love you!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

63.4% OF THE FAT LOST - 113.6% OF THE MUSCLE GAINED

Right before I started Atkins, this was me:

158 pounds
70.8 pounds of body fat - 44.8%
87.2 pounds of lean mass - 55.2%

This is me today:
145.4 pounds
46.5 pounds of body fat - 32%
98.9 pounds of lean mass - 68%

This is my dream goal (we'll see!)
130 pounds
32.5 pounds of body fat - 25%
97.5 pounds of lean mass - 75%

So that means that, so far, since February 2009:

I have lost 63.4% of the body fat I set out to lose.

I have gained 113.6% of the muscle I set out to gain.

The last time I posted about this was yesterday, and the numbers were 63.7% and 110.7%. Progress!

My pounds of lean body mass are at the highest they have been since starting Atkins.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

63.7% OF THE FAT LOST - 110.7% OF THE MUSCLE GAINED

Right before I started Atkins, this was me:

158 pounds
70.8 pounds of body fat - 44.8%
87.2 pounds of lean mass - 55.2%

This is me now:
145 pounds
46.4 pounds of body fat - 32%
98.6 pounds of lean mass - 68%

This is my dream goal (we'll see!)
130 pounds
32.5 pounds of body fat - 25%
97.5 pounds of lean mass - 75%

So that means that, so far, since February 2009:

I have lost 63.7% of the body fat I set out to lose.

I have gained 110.7% of the muscle I set out to gain.

The last time I posted about this was yesterday, and the numbers were 62.7% and 108.7%. Progress!

My pounds of lean body mass are at the highest they have been since starting Atkins.

32% - A NEW RECORD LOW FOR BODY FAT PERCENTAGE

Right before I started Atkins, this was me:

158 pounds
70.8 pounds of body fat - 44.8%
87.2 pounds of lean mass - 55.2%
35" waist
13.75" neck
45.5" hips

This is me now:
145 pounds
46.4 pounds of body fat - 32%
98.6 pounds of lean mass - 68%
30.375" waist
12.375" neck
38.875" hips"

This is my dream goal (we'll see!)
130 pounds
32.5 pounds of body fat - 25%
97.5 pounds of lean mass - 75%
26.5" waist
12.25" neck
37.25" hips

So that means that, so far, since February 2009:

I lost 63.7% of the body fat I set out to lose and gained 110.7% of the muscle I set out to gain.

Last time I posted about this was 2 days ago, and the numbers were 63.2% and 104.9%.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

62.7% OF THE FAT LOST - 108.7% OF THE MUSCLE GAINED

Right before I started Atkins, this was me:

158 pounds
70.8 pounds of body fat - 44.8%
87.2 pounds of lean mass - 55.2%

This is me now:
145.2 pounds
46.8 pounds of body fat - 32.2%
98.4 pounds of lean mass - 67.8%

This is my dream goal (we'll see!)
130 pounds
32.5 pounds of body fat - 25%
97.5 pounds of lean mass - 75%

So that means that, so far, since February 2009:

I have lost 62.7% of the body fat I set out to lose.

I have gained 108.7% of the muscle I set out to gain.

The last time I posted about this was yesterday, and the numbers were 63.2% and 104.9%. Progress!

My pounds of lean body mass are at the highest they have been since starting Atkins.

I SLIPPED ON THE ICE AND GOT HURT AGAIN

I tore a tendon in my shoulder in December and I have been in physical therapy and not allowed to do my weight lifting.

Last night, on my way out of physical therapy, I slipped on the ice and wrenched my shoulder really severely trying to catch myself. The pain was exquisite, and I was sure that I had severed my tendon or dislocated my shoulder. It hurt all the way from the top of my shoulder to the ends of my fingers, and my thumb was going numb.

It was late, and the door locked behind me, so I could not get back into the doctor's office. My phone was in my car, so I could not call for help. I could not get to my car because the parking lot was solid ice.

I stood there holding my arm and feeling slightly panicky for about ten minutes, banging on the door every minute or so.

I finally started walking across the snow, so I would not slip again, and then a woman in scrubs came out the door. I yelled to her to stop, so she would not fall on the ice, and I told her that I had fallen and was hurt and needed to get back in.

She told me it was too late to get back in, and that the phones had been turned off, so I could not call them.

She then walked away from me, got in her car and drove away.

I walked across the snow, got in my car and drove home, and I iced my arm a few times before bed.

This morning, my arm feels better, but not as good as it did before I fell.

The doctor's office called me this morning and told me that they will deal with the woman who did not try to help me.

I have PT again tomorrow, and they will assess my shoulder and see if I have done more damage.

Not happy.

Monday, January 17, 2011

63.2% OF THE FAT LOST - 104.9% OF THE MUSCLE GAINED

Right before I started Atkins, this was me:

158 pounds
70.8 pounds of body fat - 44.8%
87.2 pounds of lean mass - 55.2%

This is me now:
144.6 pounds
46.6 pounds of body fat - 32.2%
98 pounds of lean mass - 67.8%

This is my dream goal (we'll see!)
130 pounds
32.5 pounds of body fat - 25%
97.5 pounds of lean mass - 75%

So that means that, so far, since February 2009:

I have lost 63.2% of the body fat I set out to lose.

I have gained 104.9% of the muscle I set out to gain.

Last time I posted about this was yesterday, and the numbers were 61.9% and 103.9%. Progress!

My pounds of lean body mass are at the highest they have been since starting Atkins.

32.2% - A NEW RECORD LOW FOR BODY FAT PERCENTAGE

Right before I started Atkins, this was me:

158 pounds
70.8 pounds of body fat - 44.8%
87.2 pounds of lean mass - 55.2%
35" waist
13.75" neck
45.5" hips

This is me now:
144.6 pounds
46.6 pounds of body fat - 32.2%
98.0 pounds of lean mass - 67.8%
30.5" waist
12.375" neck
38.875" hips"

This is my dream goal (we'll see!)
130 pounds
32.5 pounds of body fat - 25%
97.5 pounds of lean mass - 75%
26.5" waist
12.25" neck
37.25" hips

So that means that, so far, since February 2009:

I have lost 63.2% of the body fat I set out to lose.

I have gained 104.9% of the muscle I set out to gain.

Last time I posted about this was 17 days ago, and the numbers were 64.5% and 92.2%. Progress!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

IS IT INHUMANE TO EAT EGGS?

61.9% OF THE FAT LOST - 103.9% OF THE MUSCLE GAINED

Right before I started Atkins, this was me:

158 pounds
70.8 pounds of body fat - 44.8%
87.2 pounds of lean mass - 55.2%

This is me now:
145 pounds
47.1 pounds of body fat - 32.5%
97.9 pounds of lean mass - 67.5%

This is my dream goal (we'll see!)
130 pounds
32.5 pounds of body fat - 25%
97.5 pounds of lean mass - 75%

So that means that, so far, since February 2009:

I have lost 61.9% of the body fat I set out to lose.

I have gained 103.9% of the muscle I set out to gain.

Last time I posted about this was January 11, 2011, and the numbers were 59% and 102.9%. Progress!

Also, my actual pounds of lean body mass are at the highest they have been since starting Atkins.

JANUARY 16 - WEEK 96 RESULTS

Today - 47.1 lbs. of body fat and 97.9 lbs. of lean mass - 32.5% body fat
One week ago - 47.6 lbs. of body fat and 96.6 lbs. of lean mass - 33% body fat
Lost 0.5 lbs. of body fat, gained 1.3 lbs. of lean mass and body fat decreased 0.5% 

I tracked my food on fitday three days this past week, but I did not look at the totals until the end of each night.  I ate on-plan on the days that I did not track.

Here is a chart that shows my week of food and the average for the three days that I tracked:




Today is my weekly measuring day. In the past 7 days:

I lost 1/8" around my neck
I lost 1/4" around my bicep
I lost 3/8" around my midriff
I gained 3/8" around my navel
I lost 1/8" around my hips
I lost 1/4" around my thigh
I lost 1/4" around my calf

Here is what I have lost so far, since starting to lose weight in February 2009:

Neck - 13.75" to 12.375" - down 1-3/8"
Bicep - 11.75" to 11.625" - down 1/8"
Forearm - 9" - no change
Bust - 38.25" to 35.75" - down 2-1/2"
Midriff - 32.25" to 29.875" - down 2-3/8"
Waist - 31.5" to 29.75" - down 1.75"
Navel - 38.25" to 32.5" - down 5-3/4"
Hips - 42" to 38.625" - down 3-3/8"
Thigh - 24.5" to 22" - down 2-1/2"
Calf - 14.5" to 13.5" - down 1"




BODY COMPOSITION

AT THE BEGINNING OF WEIGHT LOSS 2/22/09

158 lbs.
35" waist
13-3/4" neck
45-1/2" hips
28.0 BMI
0.556 waist-to-height ratio
0.769 waist-to-hip ratio
44.8% body fat

ONE MONTH AGO

143.4 lbs.
30-1/2" waist
12-1/2" neck
39-1/2" hips
25.5 BMI
0.484 waist-to-height ratio
0.772 waist-to-hip ratio
32.8% body fat

ONE WEEK AGO

144.2 lbs.
31" waist
12-1/2" neck
39-1/8" hips
25.6 BMI
0.492 waist-to-height ratio
0.792 waist-to-hip ratio
33% body fat

TODAY

145 lbs.
30-3/4" waist
12-3/8" neck
38-7/8" hips
25.7 BMI
0.488 waist-to-height ratio
0.791 waist-to-hip ratio
32.5% body fat

Since my heaviest weight in February 2009, I have lost 13 lbs. on the scale, 4-1/4" around my waist, 1-3/8" around my neck and 6-5/8" around my hips.  I have lost 23.7 lbs. of fat and I have gained 10.7 lbs. of lean mass.

In the past month, I have gained 1.6 lbs. on the scale and I have gained 1/4" around my waist and I have lost 1/8" around my neck and 5/8" around my hips.  I have gained 0.1 lbs. of fat and I have gained 1.5 lbs. of lean mass.

In the past week, I have gained 0.8 lbs.on the scale.  I  have lost 1/4" around my waist, 1/8" around my neck and 1/4" around my hips.  I have lost 0.5 lbs. of fat and I have gained 1.3 lb. of lean mass.




MY NEXT GOAL

143 lbs.
30-3/8" waist
12-3/8" neck
38-7/8" hips
25.4 BMI
0.482 waist-to-height ratio
0.781 waist-to-hip ratio
32% body fat

To achieve this, I need to lose 1.3 lbs. of fat and 0.7 lbs. of lean mass.  I need to lose 3/8" around my waist.

MY ULTIMATE DREAM GOAL

130 lbs.
26-1/2" waist
12-1/4" neck
37-1/4" hips
23.1 BMI
0.421 waist-to-height ratio
0.711 waist-to-hip ratio
25% body fat

To achieve this, I need to lose 14.6 more lbs. of fat and 0.4 more lbs. of lean mass.  I need to lose another 4-1/4" around my waist, another 1/8" around my neck and another 1-5/8" around my hips.

If I reach this goal, I will have lost a total of 38.3 lbs. of fat and gained a total of 10.3 lbs. of lean mass since my highest weight on February 22, 2009.  I will have also lost 8.5" around my waist, 1.5" around my neck and 8.25" around my hips.

Friday, January 14, 2011

THE UNIVERSE WANTS ME TO "IF"

Well, that might be a slight exaggeration.  Actually, I ran out of eggs yesterday and I forgot to go to the store, so there was nothing to have for breakfast.

I have been thinking about trying Intermittent Fasting (IF) again for couple of weeks, and with nothing in the house for breakfast, it seemed like a good time to jump in and start.

The last time I did this was back in the summer of 2010.  I had been on a long stall for about eight months, and when I started IFing, I immediately started losing weight. After a while, I guess I just got tired of doing it and I quit.

There are lots of ways to IF:
  • Just skip a meal now and then, or every day
  • Eat normally every day, then fast one day per week, or every other week
  • Eat within a certain "window" now and then or every day
  • Plus other ways that I have not heard of yet
I have tried eating breakfast, skipping lunch and eating dinner for a few weeks in a row.  I have also tried eating in a five-hour window every day for a few weeks in a row.  The latter is the one that I was the most comfortable with.

If you want to learn what IF is all about, look to the right and click on "Intermittent Fasting" in the sidebar under "Labels".  There are some articles written by others that explain what it is and how different people are using IF.

I was nervous to start again, just because I didn't want to be hungry.  Doing Atkins, I am never hungry, and I've gotten used to that.  Here was my experience today, my first day back on IF:

My breakfast this morning
I was truly not hungry after skipping breakfast this morning.  Bill skipped his, too, and did not seem to mind.  We planned on going shopping at Whole Foods Market around 10 am, and on the way there, I mentioned to him that I was not even hungry, and he said he was a little hungry.  I guess my brain must have been listening to our conversation, because, within about five minutes, I started feeling pretty hungry.  At least, I think I did - it's been so long that I sort of forgot what hunger feels like.  It's like a pain, right?

At the store, I passed by the samples of blood oranges and guacamole with corn chips.  I even passed by the sample of Seeduction Bread, which is a favorite of mine.  I never buy it - I just take a little taste now and then.  Bill, however, was eating all the samples in sight.  Even so, I found it easy to turn away from the foodlets.

On the way home, I suddenly started experiencing the worst bloating and gas pains in my stomach.  I'm not sure why that was happening, but it lasted around 30 minutes.  When I got out of the car at home, my stomach was actually distended.  I went to the bathroom and felt a little better.

I left the house to go to physical therapy for my torn shoulder tendon, and I realized while I was there that I was freezing cold.  I remember being that way all the time when I was eating low calorie and low fat.

I got back home at 2:15 and started cooking!  By 2:30, I was eating three scrambled eggs in ghee, three slices of thick sliced bacon, home cooked pumpkin with Stevia, cinnamon and ginger, and about 1/2 oz. each of macadamia nuts and pecans.  I also had 10 grams of dried, unsweetened coconut.

I then made hot cocoa made with non-sweetened almond milk, Hershey's cocoa and Stevia.  It was pretty good!

Around 5 pm, I pan sauteed some beautiful, fresh tilapia in ghee, and when we were done eating that, I made a salad with my homemade dressing, romaine, avocado, tomatoes and parmesan cheese.  I also had another ounce of nuts.

At 6:30 I made my Flax Seed Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, and ate two of them.  I finished them up right at 7:30.  So I finished my last bite right at five hours, which is what I planned.

After I put my food onto fitday, I found out that I had eaten this:

2224 calories
175.6g fat (71.1%)
101.9g protein
59g total carbs
29.8g fiber
29.2g net carbs, of which 12g came from veggies
2468g sodium

Whoa!  That is more than I usually eat by eating three meals a day!  I did not keep track of the numbers as I was eating.  I just wrote it all down as I ate it, and I just now put it on fitday.  I am surprised how much I ate.  I don't know if I have ever eaten this much in one day!

The fat is high.  And, I recently heard from Robb Wolf of The Paleo Solution that I should be eating around 1 gram of protein per each pound of total body weight.  Others, like Mark Sisson of Mark's Daily Apple, have said to eat 1 gram of protein per lean pound of body mass.  So Robb says 145 grams of protein, and Mark says 97 grams of protein.  And Atkins says between 71 and 149 grams.  I only got 102, so according to Robb, I am short, according to Mark I am over, and according to Atkins, I am right in the center of recommendations.

The only thing I came in "good" on was carbs and fiber.  I even got my 12 veggie net carbs.

Well, I am done eating for the day.  I'm going to do it again tomorrow.  Maybe I won't eat so much!