13 Weeks: Week Seven, In Which We Whine

Yeah, I’m doing a Taubes-inspired low-carb diet and high-intensity training, and this week I’m not particularly happy about it. So there. Follow me here at PJ Lifestyle or at the 13 Weeks Facebook page and see if “bah, humbug” is a weight-loss strategy.

So, it’s week seven, past the half-way mark in my 13 week experiment. Let’s hit the objective data first: my weight loss continues. I hit 275 this week for the first time in quite a while, and I’m settling down to very exactly 1.33 pounds a week. My glucose also continues to improve with a linear best-fit trend of about 1.5 mg/dL per week — which means, practically, that my glucose is often near normal even early in the morning when it seems to be highest. I could wish the weight loss was a little faster, but honestly the eating plan I’m on has really been very benign, very easy to do. In general, but I wasn’t going to whine until the next paragraph.

Okay, it’s the next paragraph. As you may recall, I was set to have a colonoscopy last Monday, and yes, thank you, everything came out all right. I don’t have to do another one for ten years. Starting back on Friday or Saturday, though, my big toe started to hurt. Right in the metatarsophalangeal joint, which is to say, where it meets the foot. It got inflamed and swollen, with a distinct red patch right over the joint. Monday, did the procedure; toe was still hurting, but I was, how you say, impaired. Finally thought about it, looked it up and decided I was having a gout attack, my first. Started taking the official jungle medicine cure for all things orthopedic: 800mg of ibuprofen 4× daily. And called the doc because, after all, I’m not a real doctor.

Went to the doctor, told him my history, said I thought it was gout, and how I was treating it.

He said, “you’re right. Fifty dollars, please.”

If it keeps recurring, there’s more stuff to do, but a lot of times it doesn’t. Gout basically is caused by uric acid precipitating out in a joint, and I’ve been on a high protein — and therefore high uric acid — diet, plus I was dehydrated from the prep. (When I said “everything came out all right”, I meant everything.) Still, it’s Friday night and my foot is basically healed.

I’ve been very successful at staying on the eating plan, but not as successful about the heavy weight lifting part, so I’ve adapted. I got some heavier kettlebells, and I’ve been doing the Tabata protocol with kettlebell exercises, including a lot of kettlebell swings. in fact, I got up Thursday morning, sore toe and all, and did a heavy workout.

Went to the office.

Realized my body was talking to me. It was saying, quote, “What the F**k was that!?”

All day Thursday, my arms were tingly and tired. Friday morning, it was the muscles of my inner thighs, the adductors and gracilis. AND my shoulders and arms. What this demonstrates, of course, is that the kettlebells, especially kettlebell swings, really do get a lot of different muscles groups.

Went to the office, and there was Christmas coffeecake waiting. Yes, I did resist, helped in no small part by knowing the last time I broke training with some wheat, I was sick for days. But it sure looked good.

The last thing I’ve been noticing this week is that I seem to spend a lot of time thinking about food. Where to get it, what to eat, did I record it? I’d like to be able to, say, get a McDonald’s breakfast on a hurried morning.

What’s the point of all this whining? Besides the pleasure of complaining in itself? Well, as I see it, it’s this. As I said last week, the thrill of the eating plan is pretty much gone. The original spectacular rate of loss has settled down to something close to what would be predicted by the calorie deficit alone. Which is still fine — I’m eating bacon and eggs, and chicken, and steak, and big salads, and I really don’t feel hungry. My blood sugar is looking much better, but that’s a fairly abstract thing to notice too. And after seven weeks, it’s now a matter of just keeping on.

This week, I’ve got Christmas coming up, of course, but I’m going to be very careful about the wheat after the way Thanksgiving went. I have the week off, and two more heavy kettlebells coming, and time to actually get to lift. Oh, and I got a Withings scale — it transmits your weight over WiFi. I’ll have a review of it next week.

It should be a good week.