9 Week Update

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Yes, as usual I’ve been a little slack in posting updates, OK more than a little.  But hopefully you’ll forgive me for my procrastination.  I’ll do better, just wait and see!

Yesterday marks 9 weeks that I’ve been recommitted to the low-carb nutritional lifestyle.  I restarted at 267 pounds and weighed in at 248 yesterday, so I’ve dropped 19 pounds in those nine weeks.  I’m very encouraged by those numbers since I’ve averaged a touch over 2 pounds a week.  I’ve been ‘cheat-free’ the entire nine weeks and as a matter of fact, that’s the only way I’ve ever been able to be successful at losing weight.  It’s an all or nothing approach for me, maybe you can do moderation and if you can, well more power to you.  The ‘Just One Taste’ mentality has always gotten me into trouble so I just choose to not go there at all.

And the longer I stay on plan, the more momentum I build that in turn increases my chance of successfully reaching my goal.  And, no, even then I realize I won’t be able to go back to eating the foods from my ‘Super-Carb’ days.  If you notice I use the term Low-Carb Nutritional Lifestyle quite often, because I realize that it is just that, a lifestyle.  And I’m daily trying to hammer that into my head.  Creating some new healthy habits.

One of the most encouraging things at this point is that the pain in my joints, especially my ankles, is probably 80% better than it was.  Maybe from the pounds gone and maybe from lessing swelling and fluid around the joints.  Not sure what has produced the good results but I’m pretty darn happy about it.  Now I can get out and begin walking some.  It’s my kind of exercise and it’s good for relaxing the mind as well.  If all goes well in the next few months I’d like to resume hiking once again.  I love heading to the mountains for a day on the trails and that has now become a goal for me.

Another encouraging event was being able to wear a suit yesterday that I hadn’t worn in over seven months!  That’s the kind of stuff that really builds momentum for future success.  My jeans are getting somewhat baggy so I’ve actually been out looking at some new jeans and cargo pants and will probably buy a new pair or two in the near future.  Anywho, I just wanted to give everyone a quick update and will write again as soon as possible.

There Really is Life Without Donuts

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

After 3 Weeks….

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I said I felt like I needed 21 days of good clean LC induction to get me back on course.  Well, I’m happy to report that I’ve got that accomplishment behind me….and a little less behind!  I didn’t set any weight loss speed records but I’m happier than a pig in slop that my scale shows a 9 pound weight loss in those 21 days.  At least I ain’t in the gaining mode and my aching ankles have thanked me for that.  And I didn’t have to terrorize my Sunday-go-to-meeting-pants this morning in order to get in em’.  And my jeans have lost their attitude as well.

It’s a start….a darn good start!  It’s three weeks of momentum that I desperately needed to propel me into the success stream.  The sugar/carb cravings have pretty much subsided but the emotional temptations still try to rear their ugly head occasionally, but they’ll always be hiding in the most unlikely places.  That’s when I have to have a little chat with myself and remind myself why I’m doing this.  Not just to lose pounds, but to be able to wear clothes that fit and to get rid of joint pain and to improve my overall health.

What’s your tips for staying on plan?  How do you kick yourself in the pants and remind yourself why you’re doing this?

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

I’m Back! Hope You’re Still Here!

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Time to dust off the old notepad, knock down the cob-webs and start blogging again.  I’ve had several faithful friends and followers of this blog send me some really nice messages wondering when I’m going to start writing about my low-carb journey again.  That’s been a real encouragement so here I am to bring y’all up to speed on what’s been going on with The Former Donut Junkie since I posted last August.

I’m thinking I may try to shorten my posts a bit.  Easier said than done, as I have a tendency to ramble at times.  OK, most times.  Seriously, I’m not a doctor, scientist, nutritionist or other dietary professional and don’t have much of an interest in writing about the technical aspects of the low-carb nutritional lifestyle.  I’ll leave that up to lots of other extremely knowledgeable bloggers to which I’ll link to occasionally when I find something that interests me and hopefully you.  My interest is to write about my day-to-day LC journey in a fun, casual, lighthearted way because that’s just how I am in the everyday real world.

So, thanks to all of you that are still following me and I will be filling you in on all the gory details soon.   I’m really trying hard to keep things short and informative.  Miracles still happen.

There Really is Life Without Donuts

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

QuestBar — Finally a True Low-Carb Protein Bar!

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Someone on the Livin-LaVida Low-Carb Forum recently posted a link to receive 2 free QuestBars, a new low-carb protein bar.  I went to the QuestBar website and signed up for their trial bars and received them in a few days.  I’m always on the lookout for top-notch low-carb products.  I’ve always liked the idea of a really true low-carb protein bar which would be suitable for on-the-go snack and meal substitutes.  Sometimes I need something that packs easily and that I won’t have to worry about spoiling.  Problem is that most so-called protein bars are loaded with sugar and carbs and are just as unhealthy as eating a candy bar.  I have used the Atkins bars on occasion but was never a huge fan of them.

Fact:  There is no healthy protein bar, low-carb or otherwise, that tastes as good as a Snickers, PayDay, KitKat or whatever your favorite candy bar might be!  That is an unrealistic expectation.  So does that mean you’re trying to prepare me for another poor tasting protein bar?  No, not at all, matter of fact both myself and my wife really liked the taste of the QuestBars.  I’m just wanting you to know they don’t taste like a candy bar, they taste like a healthy, natural protein bar should taste.

We halved both the Vanilla Almond Crunch and the Peanut Butter Supreme and ate them on the same day so we could compare notes.  They both had a very pleasant flavor and a nice firm, chewy texture.  My wife liked the Peanut Butter Supreme the best.  She expected that I would like the Vanilla Almond Crunch the best since I’m a vanilla fan-boy and not a huge fan of peanut butter.  Surprise:  I actually gave the Peanut Butter Supreme a slight edge in taste over the Vanilla Almond Crunch.  They both have a very good flavor and I would not turn down either one!  Right now these are the only two flavors available but I have heard that other flavors are being developed.

The other thing I really like about these bars is what they DON’T contain!  Their ingredient list is probably 1/3 of conventional protein bars and I can actually pronounce all the ingredients.  Wow!  They are sweetened with Sucralose, which I don’t have a problem with, while some folks may not particularly like this sweetener.  What really excites me is there are NO sugar alcohols!  So that means no worry of digestive distress!

The bars have a great protein/fat/fiber balance and I felt like they kept me satiated for quite a long time.   I wouldn’t use these on a daily basis, but for a quick out-the-door breakfast or a lunch-on-the-go, I think they’d fit the bill nicely.

The cost is about $1.99 each and they are only sold online.  That may sound like a lot for a protein bar, but keep in mind these are true high quality, low-carb, protein bars with natural ingredients.  So, in my opinion, the extra cost is worth it…just for what you aren’t getting….chemical conglomerations full of sugar!

Now, just so you know, I don’t work for QuestBar, nor am I in any way financially benefited by reviewing their products.  The two bars were free but that in no way effected the opinions I have expressed about QuestBars.

There Really is Life Without Donuts

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Rewind — “Willpower Doesn’t Work! Strategy Does!”

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Rewind — This is a post I wrote nearly two years ago and after going back and reading it again I felt like it needed to be shared once again.  It’s even more relevant to my situation today than it was at the time of the original post.  Let me know your thoughts on it and your ideas you use to implement successful strategies into the low-carb nutritional lifestyle.

Willpower Doesn’t Work!  Strategy Does!

First of all, eating low-carb means you don’t go around hungry all the time, unlike low-fat/low-cal.  Matter of fact, eating to fullness is one of the keys to success of low-carb in contrast to calorie counting and portion control with so many other diets.  I can say that, for me personally, the satiety factor was one of the most appealing points of the low-carb nutritional lifestyle.  The one thing that stuck in my mind was when a friend who had been extremely successful with his low-carb weight loss told me, “this is the first diet I’ve ever done that hasn’t left me going around hungry all the time.”

Willpower, as related to dieting, implies that it is the power of one’s will that is the force used to resist eating restricted food and/or super-sized portions.  Now most of us know just how strong our dieting will, or resolve, is until hunger is gnawing at your backbone and we are standing face-to-face with the forbidden fruit.  It’s when that double chocolate donut is staring us down that we become weak-kneed and our will power goes out the window.  I’ve experienced it dozens of times and so have you.  And I am weary of the advice of the skinny folks who always get preachy with their “you just need to use a little willpower” line.  Fact is, plain and simple, I don’t have any willpower when it comes to sugary, carb-laden treats.

So, what’s the answer?  How do we win?  If willpower doesn’t work, then what does?

Strategy, strategy, strategy!  Just like in real estate it’s location, location, location.  I can’t emphasize STRATEGY enough!  It can’t be said enough and most of all it can’t be practiced enough.  Strategy has helped me to win over many a donut.  And strategy will help you to win over the foods that tempt you the most.  So, what is this strategy thing Former Donut Junkie?  I’m glad you asked.

First of all, you already have a low-carb plan.  That plan is either Atkins, Protein Power, South Beach or some other flavor or variation of low-carb.  The plan is basically the science behind what makes low-carb work accompanied by a “list of legal foods”.  It’s imperative to know what foods are permissible if you are to succeed.  And most of us have the “list” memorized just like we memorized our multiplication tables in elementary school.  It’s not the “list” that’s the problem.  It’s the “how-to” stick to that “list” that throws most of us a curve.  Strategy is that “how-to”.  You have a plan, now you need a strategy to implement that plan.  Actually, we need several strategies.  Let’s talk about a few.

Search & Destroy! The first strategy is to search your house for ALL the foods that are not on your “list of legal foods” and destroy them.  Well, you could give them away.  But the Search & Destroy just sounds a bit more militant and that’s what it’s going to take to win.  At any rate, getting rid of ALL the tempting foods will remove them from your sight and you won’t need any willpower to resist them, cause they won’t be there to talk to ya!

Make a Grocery List! And stick to it!  Don’t go to the grocery store just to “look around”, especially when you initially start low-carbing.  In other words, you’re removing the temptation by not even looking at it.  And if you haven’t noticed, on low-carb you will rarely ever go down the “inner aisles” of your super-market.  You’ll be much healthier if you stick to the outer perimeter of the grocery store.  Vegetables, meat and dairy — whole, real foods!  Now isn’t that simple?  And it’ll keep you out of a lot of trouble too.

Plan Ahead! OK, this is a big one!  As a super-carber I was so used to just picking up whatever “food-like-substance” I wanted and shoving it down my throat — totally impulsive and emotional eating.  That will NOT work with low-carb.  You’ve got to PLAN!  What I mean is that you’ve got to decide not only what you’re going to eat today, but for the next few days, so you can buy it and have it on hand.  If it’s frozen, you need to lay it out to thaw.  You’re trying to prevent going to the kitchen and looking around for “something” you can eat.  Cook ahead of time.  Have it prepared or have it ready to prepare.  And you can even keep low-carb snacks on hand just in case you get caught in a situation where you need a little something to eat until you get your meal prepared.  You get the idea.

Don’t Party Hungry! We all worry about what will be served in social situations — especially parties and dinners.  Most of the time we have a pretty good idea if there will be enough low-carb food there to survive on.  If I have the slightest inkling that there won’t be, I just simply eat before I go.  I’d rather fill up on some good burgers or steak beforehand and not face the temptation of the sugary, carb-laden treats.  It’s amazing how repulsive cake can look if you’re full of good low-carb food.  And all the time, your friends will be going around wondering how you can have that kind of willpower.  Secretly, you’ll know it’s not willpower at all…it’s strategy!

Get Some Support! It’s unlikely that you’ll find a lot of folks in your world who will celebrate your new low-carb nutritional lifestyle.  What you will find is the world seems to be filled with naysayers.  What to do?  Join an online low-carb support forum.  I don’t know of any better than Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Discussion.  You’ll find it’s friendly atmosphere is only exceeded by all the helpful folks who will be more than happy to answer your questions, encourage and inspire you.  I can’t say enough about the importance of this strategy that I have previously blogged about.

Conclusion. OK, there’s five strategies to get you started.  There’s lots more that you can come up with on your own and I encourage you to do so.  You’ll find that the more strategies you have, the easier is the road to success.  Let me know in the comments below what strategies you use that have proven effective.  I look forward to hearing from you.

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Going It Alone

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A lot of us grew up watching The Lone Ranger.  Uh-Oh, I just revealed my age!  Anywho, one thing I’ve learned is that I’m much more likely to succeed at living the low-carb nutritional lifestyle when I’m not trying to be a lone ranger.  The encouragement, camaraderie and support of others increases one’s ‘stick-to-it-iveness’ exponentially.  Wow, I can’t believe I just used all them big words in one sentence!  If you have a spouse, relative or friend who low-carbs with you then that’s great.  But the fact is many of us don’t always have someone around us who is low-carbing.  So, what do you do if that’s the case?

I thought you’d never ask.  The answer is to join a low-carb social network.  Social networking seems to have exploded in popularity.  Let me recommend Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Discussion Forum.  I’ve been a member since April 2008 and it has been a great blessing to myself and thousands of others who’ve adopted the low-carb nutritional lifestyle.  You’ll meet a diverse group of friendly folks who are willing to encourage you in your journey.  They’ll help you answer LC questions, find LC resources and tons of yummy LC recipes.  And you’ll develop friendships with people of like goals.  People who are willing to listen when you’re having a bad day and are there to applaud your victories as well.

So, don’t try to be a lone ranger low-carber.  Come on over and join the discussion.  You’ll be soooo glad you did.

There Really is Life Without Donuts

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Eggs Don’t Deserve the Beating They Get!

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That’s right.  Eggs seem to always get a bad rap.  The egg is an integral part of almost every low-carber’s nutritional lifestyle, however contrary to popular belief they’re not the only thing we eat.  There’s bacon of course!  Ha-Ha!  Just couldn’t help myself.  No, really it seems people in general have an egg-phobia, mostly due to the unfounded fear of the small amount of cholesterol found in nature’s own health food.

Anyhow, Dana Carpender just wrote a post entitled In Defense of Egg Yolks over at her Hold The Toast blog.  She goes into great detail with a detailed nutritional breakdown of the egg.  I think you just might come away with a totally different view of eggs and especially the much feared egg yolk.  So, click on over and give it a read.  Then go fix ya’ some eggs n’ bacon!

There Really is Life Without Donuts

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

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