Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A year off track...

In August of 2006, I started doing the low-carb thing. And, I was quite successful. I stuck with it for a year and lost 85 pounds. However, the longer I was on the diet, the slower the progress seemed. For a while, I tried carb cycling. It too worked well at first but then my metabolism adjusted and progress slowed to a halt again. I wasn't gaining weight, but I wasn't losing any either. Being that I felt pretty good physically, it was oh-so easy to slide farther and farther away from a healthy lifestyle. It has been about a year since I basically gave up low-carb.


On 08/13/2006, I weighed: 336
On 07/08/2007 my weight was: 251
In 329 days, I lost: 85
My goal is to weigh: 236 (top of healthy % body fat range)
At a low weight, I was 15 pounds from my goal weight.

During the first few months off of the diet, I gained a whopping 20 pounds. However, I then began working 50% of my time in Paris, France. In Paris, I ate everything that looked good but I was forced to walk 4 to 10 miles a day. Each 2 week trip, I'd lose 5 to 10 pounds. Then, I'd come back home to Kentucky for a couple of weeks and gain it all back. As of July, my business travel to France has ended. And, I have since been gaining at an alarming rate. I'm now up to 288 pounds, 37 more pounds than I weighed a year ago.

My feet are now starting to hurt sometimes. Yesterday, I realized that the clothing purchased this year is starting to get snug. I'm horrified by the idea of pulling a box of my "fat clothes" out of the attic. It'd almost be easier to just buy more clothes. Buying new clothes would be a form of denial. I could do so due to things wearing out and lie to myself about getting fat again.

It sounds so simple to just go back on the diet. But, why is it so hard? I can think of a hundred pathetic reasons to wait before getting back on a diet. For example:

  1. I should wait until after the holidays.
  2. I should eat all of the carby foods in my house so that they don't go to waste.
  3. I need my wife to go on the diet with me or else I'll be too tempted to cheat.
  4. I like sweet things.
  5. I like baking breads and preparing carby foods.
  6. Carby foods are so much easier to make.
  7. Carby foods are so much cheaper.
  8. ....

I could keep going but the reasons get more pathetic as the list grows. I realize that I have a problem. I know that I am addicted to carbs. The more carbs I eat, the more I crave. The more I crave, the more I eat. It's a vicious cycle. The irony is that I know when I remove virtually all carbs from my diet that the cravings mostly go away. So, why is it so hard to make the leap?


gd said...

A vicious cycle, indeed! I've been on and off this train too many times to count. Currently, I'm on a bad habit of cheating during the weekends, then dieting during the week. I know I'm lucky that I haven't gained weight, but I *also* know that cheating means getting back on plan is that much harder. It's like I'm experiencing those really tough first-days-on-a-low-carb diet every week!

Good luck! Let's both try and get back on that low-carb train to a healthy weight!


P.S...I think it's so gutsy of you to come out and say you've been off plan. We are all human, and none of us really wants to admit when we're not perfect!

Anonymous said...

Hi Daron, I came across your blog today. I have an answer to your question.. "Why is it so hard to make the leap?" It's not, you just think it is... it's not even a leap, more of a little froggy hop over the low carb side. You can do it, you already have and you know all your excuses are pathetic! Comeon!! You already know all those yummy recipes! Think like Nike shoes.. Just do it. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Big Daddy D.,

I can so identify with you as I fell off the wagon too not too long ago. I also found it really hard to get back on but am now back on track with a vengeance. Instead of starting off again in a great big leap, why not take baby steps first? Start slowly reducing the number of carbs you take per day until you are in full force again. Less daunting that way. Just a friendly suggestion from someone who enjoys your blog.


Amy Dungan (aka Sparky's Girl) said...

It's tough Daron. I've been where you are at plenty of times. Sometimes it's mental, sometimes it's emotional, sometimes is our enviroment. Whatever it is that makes it seem so difficult, we just have to work past it. I still struggle at times, but as long as you never quit trying, your a success in my book.

sweetbabies00 said...

I have the same things going on. I think it all has to do with looking forward to something. If I have a goal in mind or a outfit, or a vacation, or seeing someone I haven't seen in a while. Anything in mind, I keep on track, if not, I don't. Nothing to moviate me.

October said...

For me, it was just getting through the first two weeks. After that it's like riding a bike ... especially when you find others to journey along with you (yay other bloggers!). I've been referencing your recipes for a few months now and you've helped me to stay on track just by what you've written in the past. Best of luck!!! I know how hard it is to come back after eating "normal" for a few years. I thought it would be very very difficult, and it wasn't! LC has the bonus of making you not as hungry and removing cravings after only a few days.

PJ said...

I know.

After my initial weight loss, in the last 18 months, I've lost about 30-40 lbs. Unfortunately I have lost that weight -- plus more, OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Because every time I "do some carbs" I end up off plan for a month. It takes physical misery before I finally get my act together again. Now I look back on the last 18 months and think, "If I could lose 40 pounds about 4 times, imagine... maybe I could have lost 160 lbs." It's just tear-jerking.

My last blogpost had a comment that was comparing highcarb foods with alcohol; I thought it was insightful.

Nina said...

I don't know. It IS easier and cheaper and so on to eat carby foods. They taste good. But, of course, they make you feel bad. And they make you fat. It's easier with support, too, and these days I feel like I'm battling my husband every step of the way. It all just gets a little tiresome. And I've been traveling a lot lately, too, and thus eating with other people, and it really does get a little annoying to keep saying, no, I don't want Italian because there's not much I can eat; no, I don't want Mexican... and so on.

At some point, I think you just have to push past the excuses and just do it; there isn't another choice ultimately. But it is just NOT easy.

Sara E. James said...

totally know where you're coming from. I'm on my third serious effort with low carb, having lost 25 lbs on it before and gained it all back and more after going back to college where it was "too hard" to stick to it.

now that you've been honest with yourself, I think you should make a new list - all the benefits you experienced on low carb. Maybe reviewing that every day for awhile will help you keep going.

Wishing you success! Remember, it's about a lifetime of eating, not just a quick trip. You can do it!

cleochatra said...

I really believe it is hard to make the leap because the brain loves the chemical highs it gets from influxes of carbs. Carbohydrates are so like a drug in many ways.

I know that, like PJ, if I'm off-plan it takes me waking up ill every morning before I finally clean up my act.

Even still, by 3pm in the afternoon it is awfully easy to conveniently ignore feeling dizzy and ill for needing a handful of chips.

We jones. We crave. We need that fix. It's out blood sugar, it's our brains, but it's our lives, too.

The good news is that we have choices. They may be unexciting, and they may be underwhelming, but we usually ignore our freedom of choice until it is removed from us. Then we realize all too late what choices we could have made, should have made.

Now is the perfect time to choose to make the rest of the year a beautiful one. Emerge next Spring as a new you, and spend this New Year's Eve not steeped in regret but celebrating how far we've all come this year because of the choices we have made towards living happier, healthier lives.

Welcome home, Daron! In more ways than one.

Anonymous said...

One day-at-a-time... I hate saying that cliche, but it's true. I've had to start over many times, the key is not to give up, but to pick yourself up and start over the next day or even the next meal. This isn't true just for us low-carbers but for anyone who's trying to diet or change a pattern.
Good luck.

Judy said...

You know I can sure sympathize with your predicament. I have been off the low carb wagon for a few months myself. Carbs are really addicting so don't beat yourself up too badly. We both just need to start again and not look back. Good luck to you. Judy H

sparco said...

Conventional wisdom suggests that the week before the event you must consume as much carbohydrates as humanly possible, but I have found that instead of carbo loading to the max in the final week one should eat only protein.

Anonymous said...

Just found you thru google search-am myself in month 3 of a low carb diet and massively in need of motivation. I personally have an end date in mind then a rest for maintenance than another low carb session next spring. Am worried I'll have trouble restarting for session 2. What did get me started this time was a buddy who reminded me how great it feels to see that scale go down every week- she's right- huge motivator. I have lost 40 lbs in just under 3 months- only low carb can do that my friend!!!
Get going!! join me!!