So, to answer the burning questions that would be on my mind if I were wondering how I was doing:
What if I get pregnant?
Atkins recommends that if you get pregnant, you immediately increase your carb intake to a high enough level to come out of ketosis, but maintain the same distribution of carbs (mostly vegetables and full-fat dairy, and then in descending order nuts/seeds, berries, yogurt, legumes, other fruits, starchy vegetables, and small amounts of whole grain). You work closely with your doctor to be sure to gain enough weight.
So, how’s about that, anyway?
Well, apparently the reason my broken wrist kept getting worse instead of better is that it’s not broken. I have De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, which is a form of thumb/wrist tendinitis that women in their 30s and 40s sometimes get, usually by picking up their children under the arms a lot (not my case, obviously). Blessings to my new orthopedist. I had my first cortisone shot last Friday and a check-up in 4 weeks, at which time hopefully my wrist will be healed enough that either I won’t need another, or one more will do it. (Two shots cures 95% of cases.) Unfortunately, (1) holding it immobilized with a fracture brace for so long caused a cyst to develop and (2) now that the left wrist is improving, I think I do have a mild case in the right wrist also. Ah well. So the long and short of it is, “playing dangerously” as a friend called it is on hold until I get the word on surgery next month.
So I’m not quite clear on where you started from …
I started at 232 pounds, even. I am 5’6½” so that put me in the “severely obese” BMI range. I wore a size 18 pants and size 14 shirt. However, I am ridiculously healthy in every other measurable way–both my primary doctor and my first orthopedist did extensive panels of bloodwork for various reasons. Other than slightly low blood pressure, most people would kill to have my numbers.
According to BMI standards, my healthy weight is between 116-156. The thinnest I’ve ever been since I reached my adult height is about 155. When I weighed 155, I wore a size 6/8 top and size 10 pants.
And now you are …
Six full weeks in. 220 lbs. even. Currently between size 16/18 pants, size 12 shirt. I’ve gone down a bra band size and also lost half a shoe size. I’ve also lost ¼” off my chest, 3″ off my waist, 2″ off my hips, an inch off my thighs (average) and 1 1/8″ off my upper arms.
According to the new, more reliable body-composition scale I got, of the last 6.3 lbs. I lost, I actually lost almost 8 lbs. of fat and gained about 1½ lb. of muscle and 1 lb. of water. My muscle weight is almost within a healthy range now, although fat is still way too high and water way too low.
So what have you been eating?
This week I’m at 40g of carbs per day, which let me tell you, is so much that I don’t know what to do with them all! Anyway, so I’m now up to eating all dairy as long as it’s full-fat; nuts and seeds; berries and cherries (and I could have melon if I wanted, but I don’t like it); and legumes. (On top of the tofu, seitan, tempeh, fish and shellfish, meat and poultry, cheese, eggs, and non-starchy vegetables I started with.) Oh, also wine and liquor.
I’m still eating two eggs (usually hard-boiled) every morning for breakfast, although I think later this week I might try doing one egg with Greek yogurt and berries. Lunch is usually leftovers from the night before, or else tuna salad on lettuce with tomatoes and cucumbers, or else a previously frozen Gorton’s fish filet (the not-breaded kind–grilled tilapia or grilled salmon) with vegetables. Today for the very first time, I had a freezer meal–it was channa masala. This is because last night I didn’t feel like cooking, so instead we had veggie burgers (me without a bun) with cheese and salsa, green beans, and salad. Anyway, for snacks today I have cherries and also roasted flavored nori (have I mentioned yet how addicting it is? yes, it’s a pre-Atkins addiction) and for dinner we’re having a cauliflower-tomato-and-cheese casserole and salad.
I’m also up to the point where I can drink diet soda if I want–I drink Zevia, which is sweetened with stevia and sugar alcohols, so the carb content is a bit higher than most diet sodas (on the plus side, it doesn’t have aspartame). And certain pre-jarred sauces and marinades–mostly Thai or Indian curry sauces–are within the range of what I can eat now. More importantly, I can now eat a lot more vegetarian proteins than I could, which is nice. I have a serious legume addiction.
We actually went out to dinner twice this weekend because my mom had sent us a Red Lobster gift card for our anniversary. I had the special, which was peppercorn-crusted tilapia. It came with a side of broccoli, grilled shrimp and tomato relish over linguini, but I got them to give me asparagus instead of the linguini. And I had a Caesar salad and didn’t eat my croutons.
Then after we saw Midnight in Paris we had to go eat French food, didn’t we? I had scallops baked in a cream sauce with prawns, grilled asparagus, a house salad, and we shared a smoked salmon appetizer. But I mean, come on–you can’t have dinner at a French restaurant whose desserts have been voted best in the city and not eat one, can you? I had a tart that was fresh pears set in whipped almond paste and it was amazing and not too sweet. I’m glad I ate it; it enhanced my weekend. (Just sayin’.)
Which brings me to the next point. After six weeks of almost no sugar, I really can’t stand sweet things (and I’m the original sweet tooth). I try Expat’s food occasionally, and I’m always shocked how sweet it is. And despite being the original potato addict, French fries don’t appeal to me that much anymore (I had one tiny taste of my mashed potatoes at the French place and decided they weren’t worth it.) Neither does bread, unless it’s really good bread. (I did have half of one of those cheddar biscuits at Red Lobster, and that was great. I skipped bread at the French place.) But most things that I try, I can barely stand one bite because it’s so sweet.
For meals out, in any case, mostly I’ve been doing the same sorts of thing I eat at home–Thai or Indian curries, and salads. Also, sashimi, or else sushi rolls made with cucumber instead of rice and seaweed.
I am starting to wonder if I’m getting close to my carb limit–none of the foods I eat are triggering cravings or blood sugar crashes, but I’ve been losing weight very slowly. If I don’t lose more this week, I might freeze at the 40g. level for a week or two. Atkins does anticipate that your final ACE (err, I think that’s Atkins Carb Equilibrium?) might be anywhere from 40-120g/day, and of course the amount to keep losing weight needs to be less.
My goal is to lose 5% of my body weight every 6-7 weeks (see, that makes the goal smaller each time–11.7 lb the first round, then 11 this round) and I’ve just about hit 5% after 6 weeks and a day. At this rate, if my math is right, I’ll hit my goal (150) in late spring of next year, if I don’t get pregnant of course. Which I’m hoping to, but that’s another diary.
See you in 4 weeks when I’m back to eating all the food in the world except the “never ever” foods (white flour, potatoes, corn, bananas, skim milk, etc.).