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by
Charlie Martin

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August 17, 2013 - 8:00 pm
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I been contemplatin’.

shutterstock_137226314

That’s a fiction character talking — I don’t know much about him, frankly he just popped into my head right now, but he’s an older man, unschooled but wise, from the South, wearing faded denim overalls that weren’t faded when he bought them. I can’t really see his face yet.

He popped up when I thought of what to write today on my continuing efforts with diet and exercise. Which turned out to be as much about my mind as my middle. Like him, I been contemplatin’ — where I am and what I’m doing and in particular what to say today about diets and such.

After a couple of promising weeks, it’s clear that either I’m still on my plateau or, if you like, that my plateau broke and I immediately hit another one, about 3-5 pounds down. This is frustrating. I haven’t done the hard-core slow-carb diet, and the wimpy version I’ve been doing hasn’t led to a lot of weight loss. Nor has doing the tabata etc.

Still, my blood sugar is stable, if a touch too high, but I’m not having the hypoglycemic episodes, and that’s good. Some combination of things — Pomodoro Technique, a new boss at the day job who actually listens to me instead of telling me to sit down and shut up, the new columns — has got me writing more than I really ever had, and every day of that I learn more about how to write through little blocks and struggles. And I have lost a good solid 30 pounds and I’m clearly keeping it off.

And you know, a year ago I was contemplatin’ too. My mother had died the previous January, just a couple days before her 77th birthday, and she was 20 when I was born. I was looking at my 57th birthday and realizing she’d died at 77 and my father had died not long after his 69th birthday and I didn’t like the way that subtraction worked out. And I’d lost a lot of time to my long struggle with depression, that kept taking me out of the fight to do what I really wanted, and had reduced me to doing what I needed to do to get by, to survive.

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All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
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Charlie,

I've been following your weight loss struggle and would like to share some info with you (as I'm sure many others have).

After years of the low fat dieting is a disaster. I discovered the low carb/paleo diet along with walking 4 mi per day which led to a weight loss of 40 lb. Unfortunately I gained the weight back but I knew that low carb was the way to go and tried losing weight that way again. However, I could not seem to rekindle the magic that allowed me to lose the 40 lb.

In January of this year, I decided to combine the low carb/paleo diet with Weight Watchers Online so that I would have a feedback mechanism to track my eating. Basically, I eat low carb, but use the WW online tracking. It has been an amazing success. I have lost 63 lb since Jan. 1. The feedback has allowed me to make the small adjustments to my diet that allowed me to drop the weight. I'm quite surprised at how well this is working. It is a plan I could stick with my whole life, and I was one of those people who had nearly lost hope.

(BTW, I have no affliation with the WW organization.)
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, I'd slacked off on the food diary. That may be something I'll bring back for the next 13 weeks (which, by the way, will complete a year.)
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, backing off on dairy was one of the adjustments that helped my weight come off.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've enjoyed your articles about your journey. At least you are on the path, I don't seem to be able to get started. Things that worked in the past, don't anymore. But I am healthy and just vain but apparently not that vain. Keep up the good work.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
One night a German monk was leading my Buddhist meditation group. He talked about how hard it had been for him to stop 'being a good soldier'. I'm from a German American background and that cultural tendency was readily recognizable in my family - my German born Grandmother particularly even used that phrase. But one of the great benefits of Buddhist practice for Westerners is just that - letting go the inner soldier, workaholic, the one who is never good enough. Certainly, there are moments when we must be relentless, but always in moderation. ;-) Perhaps now is the time to just do some contemplatin' and let what is next emerge.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Heh, for a minute I thought you meant this comment for the Buddhism post. Yeah, that seems to be the theme this week,
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks for sharing your thoughts regarding this topic. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Hang in there. Life gets better.

Shane, http://www.pearsonbitman.com/
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
You know, on second thought, this looks like comment spam. What do you guys think. The blonde is kinda hot though.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Plateaus are an article of faith in the weightlifting community. The wrestling community as well. There is some truth to it at the margins, but I think you are a long way from there. My advice: Start adding in some heavy lifts and put some muscle on your frame. Muscle burns calories, so if you want to lose fat, start by adding muscle.

There's an old joke that an unconditioned person can lose weight by picking their nose. Now that you have made progress, it's gonna be a little harder. But if you try the right program, meaning, lifting heavy a couple of times a week with a focus on compound lifts, combined with cardio a couple of times a week, you will do fine.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Congrats, Charlie. Your writing is so prolific these days I thought you'd quit the day job. Mine is less so - I bounce around between stories and articles. OTOH, I have always worked best through some kind of spontaneous multitasking.

You have achieved a lot. Probably you miss your parents as well. Somebody told me that we always carry them around with us. I am lucky enough still to have my mom. I believe your weight loss will pick up again, perhaps with more exercise. And, I think feeling more positively about it well reduces daily stress, and reduces the urge to snack. You're a fairly awesome dude, and a very open one.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Regarding plateaus, I don't know that Science supports it - however, whenever I hit a weight that I, at sometime in the past, maintained for a while, I stall out for a while.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've heard this from others, and certainly 270 was a weight I stayed at for a long time going up. i'll have to research this more.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Reading this made me very happy. I hope this new way of looking at yourself prevails over time.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is amazing how we always focus on the negatives instead of the positives. 50 people can give us a compliment, but we remember the 1 person who criticized and take that to heart. So let's reiterate the great things you have done.

You have done the following:
- lost weight and kept it off (the amount does not matter it's the fact itself)
- stabilized your blood sugar
- stamped out GERD
- kicked IBS to the curb
- looked at various methods objectively in regard to yourself and what your body is telling you
- inspired any number of people to try their own version of your experiment and very likely saved a life or two along the way

What haven't you done?
- hit an unspecified weight goal (Which isn't even a real "not done" as you may simply be paused along the way. You haven't returned to your pre-start lifestyle which means it's merely a fact.)

I'm pretty sure the successes outweigh the "not accomplished yets", but I may be wrong about that.

Don't stress about plateaus. At the very least, give yourself time. Your body has been living one way for over 50 years. It may take a little longer than a few months for it to figure out how to adjust to a new way being before being ready to let you progress further.

So far I'm going with - you are doing great. Keep it up!
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Top longevity researcher interviewed said immunology is most significant longevity factor. Some immunological genetic patterns can impact the plaque (cholesterol) & reactivity of adipose tissue macrophage (if prone to T helper pro-inflammatory phenotype).
Only you, your physician (& soon Obamacare) know if your are taking psycho-phamacological drugs; yet many promote weight. Then too, the individual response to statins is suggested by many patients provoke weight gain.
The clinically healthy blood pressure of 105/60 should not be overlooked when experiencing episodes of "llow blood sugar". With age diastolic ortho-static (postural change) low blood pressure is common cause of feeling unsteady & faint headed.
When over ~50 years of age the diastolic (2nd number) reading is safe to be the inverse of youth (when a high 2nd number is not good) because diastolic helps sustain the pulse pressure (measured as the numerical difference between 1st systolic & 2nd diastolic ). Endurance trained athletes trend to higher diastolic numbers ( in low mid 70s) than general population (in mid 60s).

48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Haven't had orthostatic hypotension or syncope; my recent hypoglycemic syncope was sitting down and sitting still.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
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