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

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

Starting Over: Week 1 Update

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“The second day of a diet is always the easiest…because you’re off of it by then!”

Don’t we all know those words all too well?  Most of us who struggle with our weight have been on more diets than we can recount and lost enough pounds that we should be totally gone from the planet by now.  Well, the good news is that I whizzed past day two like it never existed when I restarted my low-carb nutritional lifestyle again.  So I thought I’d post an update after completing the first week.

What I’ve typically found is that if I can eat clean for three days straight it gives me the momentum to keep on going.  All us dieters have all have multiple starts and restarts and that’s not necessarily a bad thing and I’ll tell you why just a little later.  Some restarts lasted and some bit the dust so quick it was pathetic.  I’ve found that the times I’ve started or restarted a diet and been successful at it, I’ve had a really solid motivational factor behind it.  In July ’07  I got serious about the low-carb nutritional lifestyle because…I was tired of hurting!  I knew I needed to drop some pounds but that hadn’t been enough to motivate me.  It was when my feet and ankles hurt so bad I could hardly bear to walk that I said, “enough is enough”.  Pain can indeed be a great motivator!  So I stuck with low-carb until I dropped 60 pounds.

But as I stated in an earlier post the last six to nine months have been a struggle for me to stay on plan.  You know the drill.  You begin to allow a bite or two of things that aren’t really that bad, then you allow more and more off-plan foods until you begin to put a few pounds back on.  Recently I could feel the pain start to return to my feet and ankles so once again I decided enough was enough!  And so I cleaned up my act and started induction all over one more time.  I’ve had several false-starts in the last nine months but I feel really good about this one.

So, how am I doing with my first week behind me?  I’m glad you asked!  I had a very, very good first week back on plan.  I’ve eaten very clean.  Induction foods.  And I was handsomely rewarded for it when I stepped on the scale this past Sunday morning.  Down 6 pounds in the first seven days!  Now as everyone knows that rate of weight loss can’t be sustained for the long term, but it’s a great motivator to keep on the straight and narrow right on into week two.  That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

What’s Happened to The Former Donut Junkie?

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Well, I know that’s a question many of you have been asking, so I thought “I’ve kept these poor folks in suspense long enough.”  OK….it’s really way too long!  I just realized it’s been nearly nine months since I’ve updated my blog.  That’s not a good thing for a blogger since most folks give up on ya’ after such an eternity of being MIA.  I know most of you are wondering if I’m still doing low-carb and even more of you are wondering if I’m still The Former Donut Junkie indeed.  Or have I returned to my old way of life, “fallen off the wagon” as some may say?  Uh…to be truthful there’s not an easy yes or no answer to those questions so I plan to take some time and tell ya’ what life has been like the past nine months or so.

No, I’m not hangin’ out at donut shops like I once did in my previous carb-overloaded life.  And I’m still working at the low-carb lifestyle which I believe so much in and worked so well for me.  So look for a post or two real soon with all the gory details.

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

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