9 Week Update


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

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


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


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

Starting Over: Week 1 Update


“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

Why Would I Ever Go Off Low-Carb?


Well, I’d go off low-carb for the same reason you and a ton of other people do.  And the fact is I’ve done it a couple of times in my 18 months of low-carbing.  Now before you go thinkin’ I’ve fallen off the wagon and turned anti-LC, you can forget it!  I’m a diehard LC adherent but just like you I get some thought out of nowhere one day and decide to try “just one bite” of something that is “off-plan”.  You know all too well what I’m talking about, but neither of us understand the reasoning behind such impulsive, whirlwind like decisions.  Problem is, we never stop with “just one bite”!  We end up staying with the “off-plan” foods much longer than we planned and find ourselves trying to pull ourself out of our self-induced departure.  But, I digress, for I don’t have the answer why us humans err, for if I did I’d be rich and famous….but I’m not….so there you go!

Anyhoo, I found this wonderful blog post by low-carb author, doctor and blogger Dr. Michael Eades entitled, “Low-Carb Battles in Your Brain,” when I got up this morning.  It is an outstanding piece, as is always the case with Dr. Eades and I highly recommend you click over there and read it, or at least bookmark it so you can read it when you have more time.  I won’t steal his thunder, but I just knew I didn’t want any of my LC friends to miss out on this outstanding piece that gives us a little better insight into the science behind falling off the wagon!  Enjoy!

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Diet Etiquette — Part 1 — Introduction


Diet Etiquette…or…How To Do Low-Carb Without Becoming a Social Outcast

etiquettenoun.  The rules governing socially acceptable behavior.

What, pray tell, is Diet Etiquette? I like to say it is “the rules governing socially acceptable behavior, in spite of the fact that you are dieting.”  It is a subject that doesn’t get very much ink or airtime, so I decided I needed to give it a shot here at Life Without Donuts.

Ever been to a dinner or luncheon where someone who is dieting has the woe-is-me attitude because there is not a single thing there that they can eat, therefore they feel compelled to infect everyone around  them with their own brand of doom, gloom, despair and agony?  Or, they are constantly going over their list of taboo foods, like anyone else at the table really gives a rip about their self-inflicted state of misery.

And then there is the know-it-all-diet-expert, who attempts to impose their ‘Perfect Diet’ upon everyone else, just because they read Dr. Somebody’s Magic Diet book and suddenly begin to speak as as expert on the subject of health and nutrition.  Little do they realize that an expert is in all reality nothing more than a former spurt!  They could have spoken with much greater authority and appeal had they only stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Oh, and a favorite of everyone are the Naysayers, Pushers and Enablers.  You know who they are, and if you can’t think of one…you just might be one!  These are the folks who insist that you have ‘just one bite’ or ‘a little bit of anything won’t hurt you’.  These are usually family members who have never been on a successful diet in their life, so they feel obligated to ruin everyone else’s chance of losing a few pounds.

If you’ve never had the tortuous pleasure of enjoying an extended evening of joy and mirth with one of these Diet-Dictocrats…then you, my friend, are without a doubt an alien from another planet!

I absolutely love the low-carb lifestyle.  As far as I’m concerned it is the easiest, healthiest, most effective nutritional lifestyle and approach to permanent weight loss and maintenance on the planet today.  Low-carb just works for me!  But let’s face it…it may not work for EVERYONE!  And even if it did work for everyone…EVERYONE doesn’t necessarily want to hear about it!  That’s where ‘Diet Etiquette’ comes into play.  We must use diet etiquette in social settings if we want to keep our present friends and ever hope to make new friends.  This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but over the next few posts I’ll be sharing with you some of my very own home-spun tips that should keep us all civil and hospitable at any event…and possibly even get us invited back again.

Diet Etiquette — Part 2 — I’m Hearing Voices, and I Think It’s My Food!

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie


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