Tuesday, January 17, 2012

what's working

This day is the last of my second week on the PPC, and the diet is flowing in a comfortable groove.  Hunger has not been any kind of problem, and urges to eat forbidden things have been completely manageable.

I wake up generally alert (not brain-foggy), i pee, weigh myself, and go make a cup of coffee.  The progress has been steady, the only "complication" being the inflammation radiating from my right knee (the one i injured a half-dozen years ago) after the unusual stress i gave it last Wednesday.  I may have to re-think that dance class.... 

On the other hand, THE KNEE PAINS ME LESS THAN IT USED TO.  How THAT is happening is an intriguing puzzlement.  Is it merely diet-related (cutting irritants that had been on my menu list before), or could the strengthening of the muscles surrounding it (the tabata sprints on the stationary bicycle) have something to do with stabilizing the joint?  Can't tell you -- wish i could!  My original instinct, to wait till weight loss stalled before adding in exercise, was probably the right decision, but it's too late now -- i'll have another chance to see what happens in Step 2, when i add back some of the foods i eliminated.

I already knew enough to eat most of my carbs for dinner rather than load up at breakfast -- the latter helped me gain a few pounds last summer.  By the way:  the very word "breakfast" is not used as it once was, and i feel a need to point out a few things!  :-)  Breaking one's fast doesn't mean eating within a short period of time after waking -- i think we have cereal commercials to blame for the confusion.  Break-fasting, etymologically, is eating for the first time after a period of abstention, which for most people is after their night's sleep.  Okay?  Make sense?  So the old saw "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" may be taken from the rubbish-heap and reanalyzed for importance -- for people who do LOOOOONG fasts, there's no doubt that the first meal they eat after it is crucial.

But i digress -- i'm a life-long linguaphile, and hate sloppy mis-use (don't get me started on "goes" and "says"...). 

What works!?  :-)  A high-fat-and-protein breakfast, WHEN I'M PROPERLY HUNGRY, is what works for me.  Having my husband around is a difficulty (sorry, baby) when it comes to this point, because he's primed for eating at "mealtimes" rather than "by his stomach" -- or perhaps he just gets hungry sooner than i do!  It's easy to get out of the pattern of "eating to hunger," but it's important for MY body.  Bacon and eggs (or something with a comparable nutritional profile) will stick to my ribs for HOURS.  There have been days when all i wanted after it was a snack before bed.

You see, when your body is accustomed to functioning on fats and ketones, and if you have excess body fat, once your dietary energy has been burnt off your cells seamlessly move to burn stored energy instead.  Hunger isn't about an empty stomach -- it's about fuel usage and accessibility.  For a comprehensive look at why we get hungry, J Stanton's series of articles ought to receive a Pulitzer prize!

After breaking my fast, i wait until my meal has cleared my stomach, then go for the walk/tabata sprints, depending on which i did yesterday -- anything which challenges your muscles (sprints) shouldn't be done EVERY day; lack of rest (rest is when the tissues recuperate and get built up again, stronger than ever) is why all those fit 30-somethings keel over from heart attacks while out running, you know.  Add to the mitochondria-enlivening and neurotransmitter-encouraging effects of exercise, the appetite suppression of it, and you've got something worth getting off your backside for.  (Pardon the grammer here -- that sentence was aiming for impact.)

When eventually hungry again, i finally indulge in a dinner with judicious quantities of carbohydrates.  This plan is what my body responds to -- yours may vary, but if you're doing it differently and it's not working for you for weight loss, reconsideration might be in order.  There's a good rodent study supporting the efficacy of late-day carb intake, but rodent studies should ALWAYS be accepted with a grain of salt -- there are significant differences in their little metabolisms.

During the course of the day, i take various supplements.  Some are taken with meals and some on an empty stomach; some are scrupulously taken separately and others together.  A lot of minerals, particularly, seem to compete for receptors and absorption, so to me, HOW can a single multivitamin give an across-the-board good result?  The things i take are influenced by my particular health challenges, so they're not to be recommended universally -- and it's taken YEARS of experimentation to reach the balance that seems correct.  If your body is undamaged, you may not need supplements at all.

As i said in earlier posts, i'm sharing what works for this middle-aged body in hopes that some other woman may find it instructive.  With all the contradictory advice out there, people often have no idea what might help them.  The point here is, THIS IS NOT HYPOTHESIS, or even theory -- this IS WORKING RIGHT NOW on my perimenopausal, thyroid-challenged, clinically-overweight (bmi 28) body.  This is the most effective regimen i've ever found.


  1. So given the timing of when you came off what, you don't attribute less knee pain to no gluten? However it is happening, I'm glad for you.

  2. oh, i dumped gluten LOOOONG ago. (i cheat very seldom, because i don't find it's worth the discomfort.) i did it mostly for the sake of my thyroid, because at that time i wasn't having any knee pain unless it was injury-related. but half a dozen years ago i REALLY injured one (knees aren't designed to bend sideways!), and ever since it has never been perfectly normally pain-free again. :-) i determined that rice is okay for me, because it didn't make my knee worse, like oats did.

    at the end of the first week on the PPC, i still had the low-grade knee pain. that night, i attended the class, and the same evening i noticed some inflammation. i treated it with a lovely hot bath the next day. i waited another day, then started the tabata sprints, and THAT evening i noticed a reduction in pain, still in the presence of inflammation. weird -- that's me all over! :-/

    i anticipate that when i add dairy or nightshades back in, one or both of them will cause an increase in the pain again -- but that's the purpose of an elimination diet! as with most grains, i'll juggle if the "treat" is worth the physical distress.

  3. Good for you, you've got the right attitude!

    I'm feeling very good off gluten, I don't think I'll be much tempted, as I hate those joint pains, they make me feel old and sad. But we're going on vacation, so it will be a challenge.

    Still hoping you get to eat chile!