Weekly Digest 25 1/18/19 – 1/24/19
The week felt pretty much like an average, uneventful week. I wish I could point to something exceptional and say “ah ha! Look at this great thing!” ..but I really can’t. I did ok on my diet –not great, but just “ok”. I did “ok” on my exercise – not great, but just “ok”. In the end, I lost two pounds this week. It’s not much, but it’s reasonable. It doesn’t make up for the weight gain from the months of prednisone, but it’s a start. I feel like I am slowly clawing my way back to an even footing.
Each week, a major take-away for me seems to center around that critical moment when I decide what to eat – whether or not to have that snack that might be a few too many calories. Or whether or not you get on the elliptical – and how hard you push yourself during your exercise routine. The lesson, I keep saying, is to constantly push myself to make the right choice.
Part of that being a “take-away” is that I recognize moments in my week when I did NOT make the right choice. Where I chose to have a little extra snack – and even though I may stay within daily calorie limits, it still contains too much sugar, or fats or starches …or something bad for me. It still ends up being an unhealthy choice that impacts my weekly progress.
The bottom line, is that I, like everyone else, struggle to make the right decision. It’s almost impossible to do it EVERY time. Maybe what I have become good at is making a poor decision in a good context and hence minimize the damage.
The months of struggling with prednisone and gout have brought even my decision-making efforts into sharp relief. All you can do is continue trying to make good decisions, and stick to the plan. And if I am honest with myself, with you, and with my diet, then eventually I will make the right decisions often enough to where I look back and cannot point to a single lapse for the week.
It’s all about the spreadsheets…
Daily, I face a series of critical decision moments. My day could probably be mapped out with a Gantt chart showing each critical decision moment, and be accompanied by a project management product lifecycle diagram illustrating the decision process and outcome. That would actually be pretty funny, and very “me”. It’s what happens when you give a geek a modicum of skill and some free time. You never know what you’ll get out of that, but chances are it will include a spread sheet and power point presentation.
Why so introspective this week, bro?
I am approaching the day on which I had targeted as my goal day for having lost 200 pounds. But the gout and prednisone have put me seriously behind schedule and made hitting that benchmark unlikely. Despite that, I have been giving it a serious effort to hit that goal or come as close as I can. But as I write this over the weekend, I feel that familiar pain creeping in to my foot – and realize as it starts to slightly swell, that the gout is back. Again. I will be back in to the doctor, and we will likely boost my daily allopurinol dosage. But I have to be honest with you …feeling that familiar ache feels like defeat. I know that I can’t let it be…but it’s what it feels like.
A more reasonable view:
Allopurinol is usually given in doses from 100mg to 900mg. We started me at 100. So it’s entirely possible that I would need a larger dose. And this process of adjusting the medication is normal – and it’s how you arrive at what an acceptable dosage is for your particular biologic profile. So really, I knew this might happen …I just hoped it would not. And I was feeling serious fatigue from battling gout. I still am. It’s impact on me is likely greater psychologically than physically. I won’t be taking prednisone this time …I am done with that. We’ll be treating it with ibuprofen and lots of water.
My intake throughout the week was good as far as the raw numbers go. I was between 1400-1550 calories per day all week. Several days included some snacking that wasn’t the best choice …instead of vegetables and hummus, I might have chosen peanut butter and an apple, or popcorn, or a peanut butter sandwich. Too much peanut butter across the board. That’s the area where I need to improve. The meals themselves have been good – I am very satisfied with my progress there. It’s those damn snacks. Peanut butter, cheese, crackers. It’s sabotage in a jar.
I did do a cleanse day this week, so I had one day where my intake was minimal. I usually start a cleanse day about 7pm the previous night, then go through to 7pm the next night and then have a light meal. The whole fasting concept is not the easiest thing for me to get my head wrapped around. I usually feel like my body needs more fuel and so the liquid supplements for this type of activity generally don’t do a ton for me. Everyone is different! I’ll keep tinkering with it to see if I can arrive at a better method to pull off intermittent fasting.
This wasn’t as great as it could have been this week. I was on the elliptical 4 days this week, and did free weights one day. So I exercised 5 of 7 days. I feel like I need to up my game a little bit here and do a little bit more. Spending so much time inside over the winter means I am also not getting as much ancillary activity either. So I need to supplement with a little more elliptical time.
My concern is that even having a mild gout flareup will throw my body into protective mode and shut down all weight loss progress again. I hope I’m wrong about that, and it’s just an unfounded concern. You can never tell …but without prednisone, I hope that being vigilant about diet and taking advantage of being able to exercise, when I can, will help me have a productive week. Will I hit my goal? …unlikely, but I will still try. Even if I don’t hit it exactly, I’ll will eventually hit it. It’s a good plan, we’ll stick with the plan.
So this week will be the coldest of the year thus far, here in Minneapolis. Tuesday will see a high temp of -7 and Wednesday will see a high of -14. That’s right …minus fourteen degrees Fahrenheit. This calls for tea. Were I not on a diet, I would also say it calls for biscuits and double devonshire cream. Stay warm, my Minnesota friends. It’s going to be dangerous out there.