Sunday, January 4, 2015

Back to the Damn Numbers

Last week, I was ending my year with no numbers.  I loved the lack of stress associated with not dwelling on numbers.  However, there were a couple of numbers my doctor was worried about.  Namely, my liver function and my hemoglobin A1c.  I did my six-week re-draw of my liver function and it's all good.  We have no idea why it was so out-of-whack, but it was at that one moment in time.  Now, it's well within the normal ranges (at the moment in time that it was drawn).

My hemoglobin A1c is high normal, but I'm an obese, middle-aged, half-Mexican female, which greatly increases my risk of diabetes.  Blah.  The one surefire way to lower my A1c is to change the way I eat.  Hence the fucking numbers game again.

Jay and I started the FAST Metabolism Diet last week.  I was super excited to do it - the recipes all sounded yummy and there was the promise of a lot of loss very quickly as our metabolism got sorted out again.  It started out pretty well.  We both had low-grade headaches for days as our body adjusted to no sugar, no caffeine, no anything good.  We gutted through.

The brown rice recipe at the end of day two made me sick.  The smell of it nauseated me and it was all I could do to get some of it down.  When I make brown rice, I make it with water, rice, some salt and that's it.  Her recipe called for garlic, onion, celery, veggie stock, carrots, and oh yeah, some brown rice.  Her proportions on the recipe were wrong, so we ended up with brown rice soup. (1/2 c brown rice to 4 c veggie broth?  Even my non-chef ass knew that was cattywompus.)  The chicken and broccoli that was supposed to go with the "brown rice" was excellent, but I didn't get my serving of grain down that day because I literally could not stomach it.

Phase 2, which is Wed/Thurs and primarily lean proteins, no fruits/grains, was hard for me to get through.  We had received an amazing fruit basket for Christmas and we had piles of fruit just begging to be eaten.  Thursday was a day we had to go into town and our "eat every three hours" wasn't going to work unless we stopped to eat or brown bagged a lot of stuff.  We "cheated" and went to Qdoba - we left off all the "bad stuff" and had the food on our approved list.  Mostly.  We did not opt for a naked burrito, so we broke the rules by having a tortilla (gluten is verboten on this diet) and brown rice (also verboten during this phase of the diet).  By Thursday, we both still had headaches and had a fuck it all attitude.  Amazingly, after we ate food that our bodies were used to, our headaches went away.

It was in Phase 2 that we started altering the recipes to fit us better.  One night we had green chili rubbed steak with asparagus.  Loved it.  The next night, we had cajun chicken with asparagus.  Both had "approved" ingredients and both were foods our body could handle.

Phase 3 is the least restrictive of the diet and we have done okay with that.  We can eat all the fruit, veggies, grains, protein we want.  Since we eat 35 meals per week on this plan, we had a cheat night last night at the hockey game and went all out.  We had nachos and fresh donuts and a soda each.  Jay had a chili dog (I stole a bite of it - to die for).  We figured one out of thirty-five wasn't too bad.

I woke up feeling like a million bucks this morning. Jay did not.  He had acid reflux really bad in the middle of the night and his gut was not happy at all.  His gut flora has already adapted to the new diet, while mine has been slower to adapt.

I cannot express to you how much I hate, hate, hate living my life in three-hour increments.  The biggest complaint in all of the reviews I read of this diet was the cost involved.  I absolutely agree.  We've spent a lot of money on foods that we normally don't eat, so it's like restocking the pantry all over again.  The recipes provided sound amazing, but the spice combinations are just too much.  My stomach can't handle them.

I was absolutely ready to throw this diet out the window, but then we did our measurements today.  We took initial measurements at: neck, R arm, waist, hips, R thigh, and R calf.  Today, we repeated them and we've both lost some combined inches.  We've lost just enough to do this torture again for one more week.

We are going to adapt the recipes to our tastes and keep some gluten- and dairy-containing foods in our diet because we don't want to alter our gut flora as drastically as this diet would do.  Just one or two meals out of our thirty-five, we'll feed our happy bacteria food instead of going on probios.

If I were to rate this diet, right now it would be a three-star diet.  We have seen some improvement, but the financial and emotional cost is barely worth it.

The worst part is I'm back to the fucking numbers and the stress associated with them.