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I'm melting

Since starting the South Beach diet last August, Woof and I have each lost over 10% of our body weight. We've not been terribly strict about it, going off diet when we go out of town, and sometimes getting special treats, but what we have done has been Good Enough.

I would like to hold tight at this weight for a month or two, to give my skin time to shrink a little and my body time to start re-adjusting its setpoint. In January, when the heavy-eating season is over, I'll go back to Stage One.

The reason for the diet was Woof's diagnosis of diabetes, followed by scary blood clots in his legs. His blood sugar numbers are good now, at high-normal. Woof's cholesterol was never terribly high, but his HDL/LDL ratio is much better now, too. My blood sugar is also normal now, after 5+ years of hovering in the prediabetes range.

I'd like us both to continue with it, though, mostly because I can already feel benefits of being slightly less bulky. I have better range of motion, and my knees don't hurt as much. I want to get more tummy out of the way. It's kind of exciting to fit into some of my old clothes again, and a great excuse to get new ones, woohoo!

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State of the Woof

Woof is home and doing fine, but he worried me last week by spending the night in the hospital. He had a DVT -- blood clot in the vein -- in his left leg; actually, a few of them, all clustered in the upper calf and behind the knee.

His leg was painful, and still aches. But the danger was that the clot could break loose and lodge in his lungs or other places where it shouldn't be. He got blood work and heparin injections, and they sent him home the next day with Lovenox and Coumadin and a diet plan. He got more blood work done this morning, before work, and was cleared to stop the Lovenox already, yay!

This is especially worrisome because he was recently diagnosed with diabetes. I have been pre-diabetic for years, with consistently borderline blood sugar readings, but Woof never had anything worrisome until a few weeks ago. I think the stresses of the last few months, on top of a pretty serious bout of pneumonia last fall, just overwhelmed his body.

So now he needs to get exercise, get enough sleep, and eat right.

What makes the "lose weight" part extra challenging is the need to balance the coumadin diet (very low in vitamin K) with the diabetic diet. No more than one cup of lettuce per day! Oy.

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Behold the Power of Salad

A few months ago, Woof and I instituted one small change in our diet. We made it a habit to include raw produce with every meal. This meant making sure that breakfast included fresh fruit, and that lunch included salad or carrot sticks or the equivalent. And we start every dinner with a salad.

That's it. We didn't remove anything. We already use mainly whole-grain breads and cereals; we already avoid soda; we already take fish oil supplements. But we didn't count calories, reduce fat, reduce carbs. Just... added salad.

Last week I saw my doctor for my semi-annual check-up. My GP monitors my cholesterol and glucose levels every six months, since I am overweight, sedentary, with a family history of diabetes and heart disease, and pre-diabetic glucose levels.

Heh. They were pre-diabetic glucose levels. Just got the lab results from last week, and my fasting glucose is now below 100 mg/dL. My A1C is below 6%. I am officially no longer "pre-diabetic"!

Also, my total cholesterol has fallen, since six months ago, from 206 to 179. My LDL is waaaaaay down, my triglycerides are down, and my HDL is markedly up. The ratios of HDL to triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL are all great, in the "ideal" range.

I am still sedentery, still overweight -- but now I am a salad-eater. Go ye and eat salads! They make a difference.

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Fat Rant

So I'm reading the news today, looking for Dave Carroll's appearance on the Today Show. I scroll over one of those true stories about weight loss that are supposed to be inspiring. And I get angry. Wonder why? Read a quote:

Darren often found himself overindulging at meals out of boredom or for other emotional reasons. His daily intake consisted of five sausages, three eggs and buttered toast for breakfast; a large serving of macaroni and cheese with chicken nuggets and chips for lunch; and pot roast, several dinner rolls and four scoops of ice cream for dinner.

"Between meals, snacking on candy or beef jerky and washing it down with a couple cans of soda was common," Darren said. "It got to the point where eating was automatic."

The guy eats like Michael Phelps, of course he's going to gain weight.

How many of us "normal" overweight people eat like that?

Yesterday was an unusual day for me, in that I was away from home for most of the day. My breakfast was an apple fritter bought at a gas station, my lunch an Italian sub sandwich and two bottles of sweetened tea. I also got home late, and so cooked up a quick but relatively fatty "breakfast for dinner". I was kind of afraid to check the calorie content of those three pancakes and a sausage patty! But, I still took in only about 2250 calories over the course of the day, which is less than the 2415 I'd need to eat to maintain my weight, according to helpful weight-loss sites.

Heh. If weight loss were a simple matter of consuming fewer calories than you expend, I'd be a stick by now.

How about you? How many calories do you need to eat just to maintain your weight? If you make a true and fearless count of calories in the food you ate yesterday, is it less than that amount? Tell me, are you losing weight?

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