Mar 20, 2017

Two year anniversary!

Yeah, here's me and my weird diet again.  But today I marvel over this: in two years I have not had so much as a lettuce leaf of vegetable, not a grain of sugar, stevia, aspartame, or any other kind of sweetener.  No bread, cereal, rice, potato.  No vitamin supplements, none of the "health foods" we're supposed to need.

I eat meat, eggs, and cheese.  Only.  That's it. 

I do drink a couple of morning decaf coffees, and I feel MUCH healthier without it.  Same for an occasional sip of good Scotch.  My goal over the next year is to really get rid of the coffee--the longer I go on this pure fuel, the more my body objects to any plant food, and coffee is a plant food, much as I hate to admit it.  But otherwise, I am happier than I could have thought possible with this way of eating.  The hubs does it too (except he still has his corn chips and beer).

The road was not always smooth.  That first year, my body had a lot of healing to do.  First, the thyroid issues--thyroid removed back in 2001 and the synthetic meds hadn't worked for years.  Took six months to find a doc to prescribe natural desiccated thyroid hormone instead of the awful Synthroid.  Then there was the heart thing.  Try telling somebody you have a heart condition that is NOT related to a daily bacon habit.  Ha!  But the heart docs (all of them) told me it was not diet--that it was "an electrical problem, not plumbing".  Got that fixed last fall, and it's been smooth sailing since then.

I gained weight!  No shock there, right?  Except most people who eat this way lose weight, not gain it.  What???  But after decades of obsessing over my weight, it was a real eye-opener to discover I wanted my health more than I wanted size 6 jeans.  To gain 25 lbs of pure fat when you've spent your whole life working out for hours and eating "clean" in order to fit that Perfect Image...it was a shock. But I kept eating meat--sometimes 4 or more pounds a day--trusting those veterans of this path when they said my body was tending to inner healing before it addressed the "small matter" of fat loss.  Talk about facing your fears.  But they were right!  At the 1.5 year mark, I verrrrrry slowly began to lose fat...I mean like a lb a month or so.  Now I can wear those 6's again--even at a heavier weight, because I have more muscle and a better shape.  In the meantime, I learned to honor my health and forego my vanity.  Huge.

The best thing?  I never think about food.  I plan meals, I buy groceries, I cook all the meals except for Hub's morning eggs.  (I'm not much of an egg cook, so he prefers to do it himself.  :~P )  But until my belly growls, I seriously don't think about food.  I can sit next to someone eating a big gooey desert...and it just doesn't register as food to me.  In fact, a trip through the grocery store bakery (needed burger buns for in-laws) makes me a little sick from the smell.  That used to be my favorite smell!!!  So strange.  When somebody says, "Oh, I could never do that", my first thought is, "I didn't think I could either."

It's not will-power...it's a physical change from the body using carbs for fuel to it using fat and meat for fuel. Essentially I stopped putting sugar in my gas tank.  My cholesterol dropped 40 points in the first year, my super-low iron and vitamin D levels came up to normal, and my triglycerides are spectacular.  All without meds or supplements.

And apparently, my body likes its new fuel just fine.  Here's a Pinterest board with recipes: https://www.pinterest.com/zerocarbhealth/
And for the curious, there's a website that helps discuss the basics:
http://www.zerocarbhealth.com/
There's a facebook group, too...that's where you get help when all of it seems too weird and daunting--I mean it IS a way of eating that flies in the face of everything we've ever heard about nutrition, and some of these folks have eaten this way for decades.  That helps.
Okay, no more links. 


A couple of non-scale victories:

1. My bra size didn't go flat when I lost the weight.  How weird is that?  And my measurements--the boob/waist/hip proportion was suddenly that of a woman instead of the flat, straight boy figure I used to have at this weight.  Yeah--I never had curves before.  Seriously.  Now I do, and I'm not sure what I think of that.  We're not talking Dolly Parton, but I didn't have to start wearing my training bras again at least.  :~P

2.  Grocery shopping and meal planning.  Oh my.  Sooooo easy.  Shopping is fast--meat isle, eggs, bacon, dairy.  A quick trip to get beer and chips for the spousal unit, but then home.  Meal planning is pretty repetitive, but neither of us seems to care.  Beef, pork, bacon, chicken mostly.  Eggs, bacon, shrimp, gourmet cheeses, interesting combinations of all of the above.  Did I mention bacon?  I make an occasional left-over bowl that I call Cluck-Moo-Oink Salad.  Food is no longer comfort, entertainment, or bonding at holidays.  Food is fuel now.  That's it, and that's not a sad thing at all.  I'm too busy living my life.  (Bacon!)  My mom-in-law throws a roast in the crockpot when we come to visit, and can't believe how easy we are to feed now.

3.  Energy.  Not a manic, vacuum-the-sidewalks, hyper energy, but a constant ability to do what the day sets in front of me.  And the endurance to keep doing it 'til it's done.  The last week has seen me out in the yard, hauling rock, digging beds, putting up fencing, weeding and cleaning, bending and stooping.  I'm tired at the end of the day, but not wiped out like I used to be.  I take an occasional nap on the weekend, I like to sit & read or do hand sewing.  But when there is work to be done (isn't there always?) I don't suffer over it. I actually clean my house now!

4. Lastly: I'm calm and clear headed.  Without drugs.  Ha!  I used to be one of the most high-strung individuals you'd care to meet (or care not to meet).  So tightly wired that I had ulcers at the age of four--yep--good ol' peptic ulcers.  Nowadays, I still have ups and downs, but a mishap or frustration (ever dealt with insurance companies?) doesn't send me into a tail spin of anger or depression.  I'm calm, my memory is better, and I can really appreciate the little things of life instead of running around searching for the next Serotonin Fix.

Old timers of this path call it "The ZC Zen".  Who knew?

Okay...no more about the weird diet.  I had to crow about it because it's amazing to me that I've done this for two years, and have no intention of ever eating any other way.  Ever.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled program.  Peace, y'all.





11 comments:

  1. For me, this is the best ZC success story I've read! I've just finished the first week of my 2nd attempt on this WOE and your blog just really spoke to me. Congratulations on your success and thanks for sharing your story.

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    1. I'm so glad, Lisa--I know most folks won't consider such a drastic change, but when it works, it works! Hang in there this time--get on the other side of the hard stuff, and you'll find health benefits you didn't believe were possible.

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  2. The diet sounds interesting. Whatever it takes to be healthy! This diet seems to be working well for you.

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    1. It is! And I don't post these updates to imply anyone else should do this, but it seems unheard of by so many, I thought it would be good to at least offer a glimpse of something that is healthy, something that goes against conventional wisdom. :~)

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  3. Hi...You sound like a really cool, together, interesting person! I was attracted to our similarities.....I had my thyroid removed about 25 years ago by an over excited doc at a teaching hospital. I didn't have cancer, but a swelling, and a history of cancer (melanoma) so he was a little scalpal happy. Wouldn't do that today. Anyways, I found you on ZC and love reading your story! You express so well the many attributes of ZC. My own tale of woe being on it for 6 pure months, then a big move and off for 3, and now back on it for 3 never to depart again! Do give up the decaf, even a little caffeine can screw with your cortisol (whatever that is!) I have done ZC both times with no coffee and love the taste of water/and fizzy water. I am surrounded by head scratchers who think my food choices are insane....:( Very sad! But I've been a lonely black sheep most of my life having done many alternative things (Gerson Therapy for cancer, physic surgery, other strange diets, and going to Burning Man 10 times!!) BTW, what type of thyroid replacement are you taking? I am on naturethroid. Weight loss is very slow, but the body seems to be re-shaping! Love your dolls, I was an art teacher in a previous lifetime! Puppets were my fave for all grades!! Long live ZC! Marilyn Bloom (Walnut Creek, California)

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    1. Hi Marilyn. I'm on naturethroid too. I have to pay a doc out of pocket--she's a naturopath who doesn't take Tricare ins.--but it's worth it to find one who will treat this the way I need her to, with an eye toward symptoms rather than blood tests. We may well be moving to Tennessee in the next several years (after hubs retires) and I will have to start the search all over again! I've always wanted to go to Burning Man. Cheers!

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    2. Here's some "fat" to chew on!! http://www.livenaturallivewell.com/blog/?tag=decaf
      though I'm sure you have done the research! I'm a complete coffee addict, as well as sugar, and it's made a big dif in my ZC life to just drink water. Good luck! Be fun to have paths meet one day! A vacay to San Fran, we live nearby!! A freezer full of steak awaits!

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  4. So glad you are doing well on your diet. Your husband too. I don't think fried pork chops are what you are talking about, but I sure do love those. Could eat them everyday. So wonderful to feel good and be able to do the things you need to and want to.

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    1. Fried pork chops are definitely what I'm talking about! Just not breaded. :~P Fry them up in a skillet with butter, and let's eat.

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  5. This is a great article! I'm researching this WOE for my husband who has trouble digesting fruits and veggies but wants to lose weight. He loves meat of course :-) Our biggest issue is we do like to have beer and whiskey. I know when he does start this he will have to cut alcohol out completely until he gets to his goal weight. I'm not sure if I will do this Zero Carb WOE or not because I seriously love my morning black coffee and not sure I could give it up. I am excited though for my husband to start this (starting after a BeerFest in May that we already bought tickets for) Thanks for sharing your journey! I seriously never heard of this WOE until I started googling "all meat diet" to try and help my husband lose weight without eating veggies since he can't. I came across the blog "My Zero Carb Life" and that's where I found the Facebook group.

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Thank you for taking time to comment! I love hearing your perspectives and ideas.