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

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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

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

Mama Always Said…

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……“Life is like a box o’ Protein Powders, you never know what you’re gonna’ get!” Ain’t that the truth.  I don’t know about you but I’ve tried several protein powders over the years trying to find a good one.  Maybe you’ve had better luck than I have but I’ve wasted my share of bucks on quite a number.  Protein powder is just one of the important components of my low-carb nutritional lifestyle.  Now maybe you’re a purist and don’t touch the stuff and that’s fine.  But I use it in some low-carb baked goods and of course ya’ gots to have protein powder to make a protein shake!

I was so glad to find a nice thorough review of Nature’s Best Perfect Isopure Protein Powder this morning from St. Louis Low-Carb Examiner, Amy Dungan.  Amy is a long-time successful low-carber that has her own blog, Healthy Low Carb Living.  Amy gives all the details of Nature’s Best Perfect Isopure including flavors, ingredients and nutritional info, so I won’t be repeating that here.

What I need are the trusted opinions and reviews of people like Amy.  The real-world evaluation of taste, texture, flavor, mix-ability and last but not least, the condition it leaves your gut in!  Try and get all those right in a protein powder….nearly impossible.  According to Amy, Nature’s Best Perfect Isopure tastes great, mixes easily with no nasty-gritty lumps, and get this….it don’t leave you feeling like you’ve got a demon in your gut who needs some serious deliverance!  I’ve tried the cheap powders and just like most of you have ended up throwing most of them away.  So, it wasn’t a good buy after all.  Some of them it was the taste that got me…or lack thereof.  Some of them left more lumps it was like trying to take a dose of Metamucil.  And worst of all was the stomach upset…to put it politely.  Bloating, gas, diarrhea…you know the drill!

Let’s all face it, most of the time you’re gonna’ have to pay to ride.  So, for a good quality protein powder you’re gonna’ have to lay out a few bucks.  Now, Nature’s Best Isopure Protein Powder is by no means one of the most expensive protein powders out there, but it’s certainly not in the bargain basement either.  Have I tried it?  No, not yet.  But you can bet your sweet bippy I’ll be trying it.  Thing was, I’d seen it in the stores and even read about it online, but didn’t want to drop another fifty bucks on another protein powder to fill up my trash can.  But I’ve just added Nature’s Best Isopure Protein Powder to my shopping list for when I need more protein powder.  So, check out Amy’s review and see what you think.

There Really is Life Without Donuts

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

So, You Couldn’t Find Me In the Obituaries…

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That’s because I’m still alive and kickin’.  For those of you who are still following me on your blog reader, I apologize that I’ve so neglected my bloggin’.  So, what’s the story you ask?  It’s been seven long months since I’ve posted an update, so I’ll try to bring you up to speed on what’s been going on in my low-carb world.  Actually, I’m gonna’ try to give you the Reader’s Digest version (I’m bad about being way too long winded at times….OK, most of the time).

I can sum up the last seven months in one word.  Struggle.  Not a struggle losing weight, but a struggle staying “on-plan”.  When I’m “on-plan” I can lose weight.  On July 1st of this year I just passed my 3 year low-carb anniversary.  The first two years I stayed “on-plan” really well, but the past year has been quite the challenge.  I can’t nail down any one particular cause, however, I feel like there have been several contributing factors.  Some of which I can change and some of which I may not be able to change.

I lost 65 pounds total doing low-carb in the first year and a half or so.  No, I haven’t gained it all back.  I have however put back on about 25 pounds of it.  And now I’m starting over, again!  I’m being totally open, transparent and honest here folks.  I’ve had multiple restarts over the past seven months.  The good news is I’ve not given up and I’m still trying to make low-carb a lifestyle.  As a matter of fact, I feel like my nutritional thinking has indeed improved since the low-carb knowledge I’ve gained always comes to mind with every food decision I make.  Even though I’ve made some poor eating decisions I still know low-carb works for me…when I work it!

Van Crouch once said, “You’re not finished when you’re defeated…you’re finished when you quit!”  I’ve thought of that so many times.  The good news is, I’ve not quit.  I’m getting back up and trying it again.  I cannot blame my temporary defeat on anyone but myself.  I hate the blame game.  I’m once again taking the information I’ve armed myself with over the past three years and reinforcing my determination to succeed at the low-carb nutritional lifestyle.

Why am I telling y’all all this?  Why am I spilling my guts about it to the world?  I feel like it helps me to write about it, but I feel like it helps some of y’all who are also struggling with staying “on-plan”.  I never want to portray myself as the poster child for low-carb weight loss.  We all need to realize we’re all human and all subject to the same weaknesses and temptations.  So, I’ll be telling you more and talking to you about the whole subject of “struggling”.  Like I said, I don’t want to wear you out with a long winded post.  Matter of fact, I think I would be better off writing shorter posts more often than trying to write a novel.  Feel free to leave your comments and I’ll write again soon.

There Really Is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Yogurt….It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore!

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Count me in as a yogurt fan-boy!  I’ve always loved the stuff but after starting the low-carb nutritional lifestyle I saw that most of it contained too many carbs to eat very often.  And out there in the low-carb community there’s as many opinions as there are low-carbers as to whether yogurt is a permitted food.  The disagreement comes about because the label on most whole fat unsweetened yogurts shows 11 carbs per cup, but some say that’s not really the ECC (Effective Carb Count) because the active bacteria cultures in yogurt convert the lactose (milk sugar) into lactic acid and therefore should not be taken into account in the nutritional analysis.

Well, much to my pleasure award winning cookbook author Jennifer Eloff posted an article entitled ‘Include Yogurt on Your Low-Carb Diet’ this morning on her excellent Low-Carbing and General Health News blog.  She does a fantastic job of debunking the yogurt myth and giving us the facts from the scientific studies.  I’m not going to requote it all here, so be sure to click on the link and check it out for yourself.  It’s a very informative and worthwhile read!

Dairy is one of those things I love and wanted to somehow make it a part of my low-carb nutritional lifestyle.  Now of course milk can’t be a part of it since it has so much lactose but that’s OK, there are other dairy products which fit in very well.  Jennifer even talks about hard cheese being a healthy product…and I love me some seriously sharp cheddar.  I also occasionally eat some cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, cream cheese and kefir.  Lots of choices out there.  My dairy milk substitutes are almond milk or coconut milk.

Now back to the yogurt story.  Just be sure you eat the whole-fat plain yogurt if you’re low-carbing.  Sounds uninteresting and blah, you say.  Use some Splenda, stevia or one of the other many natural sweetener blends out there today to sweeten it to your taste.  Flavors….you can use one of the myriad of wonderful flavors of sugar-free syrups made by DaVinci or Torani.  Or add some berries, fresh or frozen, another great low-carb value.  Or some flax-meal or slivered almonds.  Or a little no-sugar-added coconut.  Lots of choices out there.

And one of my favorite yogurts is Greek yogurt.  It’s much thicker, richer and creamier….heavenly it is!  Try it sometime and you’ll see what I mean.  And yogurt is a great addition to low-carb protein shakes too.  Well, that’s enough of my raves about the wonders of yogurt.  Let me know what your favorite way to eat yogurt is.  I look forward to hearing from y’all!

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

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