I just got back a couple of days ago from a concert tour in China with the DePauw Chamber Singers “plus cello.” It was an amazing experience, about which I’ll write more and post some photos. Beijing, Wuhan, Hangzhou, Nanjing, and Shanghai. Absoultely incredible.
Before I get the photos downloaded, I’ll mention that I was surprised to see that my previous post, “229.5 and falling” received more attention than I expected. Lovely comments from Terry and Emily (who is writing in amazing detail these days about holding the cello bow on her blog), a couple of emails, and a mention on Jimmy Moore’s “Livin’ la vida low-carb” blog, which I consider to be “the mother of all low-carb blogs.”
And today I stepped on the scale and wow!–I’m down to 219.5. It was quite easy to eat a low-carb diet in China. Our meals were served family-style, at round tables with lazy Susans in the middle. I ate lots of meat and veggie dishes, and only small amounts of rice and noodles, sometimes none. And we did tons of walking during the tourist-adventure portions of the trip, so I got plenty of exercise.
No refined sugar, no flour, very few starchy vegetables. Lots of “real food”–eggs, dairy, meat, fish, and fresh vegetables. Lots of walking (although my exercise commitment has not been as steadfast as my dietary one). My goal was to be down to 230 (from 263.5) by Christmas. 229.5 today, with 3 days to go! Final target, derived from the BMI charts, is between 170-180, so there are 50-60 pounds still to go. I’m a third or a bit more of the way there, so here’s a pat on my back.
Jimmy Moore’s low-carb blog, which if sometimes a bit hysterical in tone nevertheless constantly supplies encouragement and loads of excellent links, and Gary Taubes’ increasingly influential book Good Calories, Bad Calories, have been major supports. As has been my (self-diagnosed) OCD streak.
Some folks on low-carb diets eat a lot of “low-carb” ice cream, muffins, sugar-free candy, etc. The sweet-tooth, sugar-high addiction was a big part of the problem for me–stress eating. So I just plain gave up dessert items (with an occasional planned exception, such as Thanksgiving Day and probably Christmas Day). I didn’t want to do anything that might reinforce those old cravings, plus there is plenty of debate on the safety and efficacy (in terms of blood sugar reactions) of the sugar substitutes. I will say that the holiday season is a very difficult time in this regard, with so much temptation to resist. “No virtue without temptation,” I read somewhere recently. Evidently!
Ate at Cracker Barrel that is, for the low-carb menu. And just to make sure that it’s really OK, I searched the Human Rights Campaign website. HRC’s March 2003 “Lawbriefs“ [pdf] says CB’s board unanimously approved the addition of sexual orientation to the company’s non-discrimination policy.
Nevertheless, I don’t think I’ll apply for a job any time soon; my DePauw gig pays better, I’m sure. And what would be the fun of a job without tenure, where you can tell your boss off without getting fired? Even better, we have included “gender identity and gender expression” in our policy for years now (something I’m proud to have had a hand in). DePauw is one of the best employers for LGBT people in Indiana, or the entire country for that matter.
Meanwhile, my blood sugar, which had been bopping up above the “this is diabetes” number of 126 on occasion, has been pretty consistly under 100 since I gave up bread and potatoes and everything with sugar in it and started walking a lot (a resumption of strength training is next on the agenda). Some of my vegetarian friends are, well, horrified by the carnivorous aspects of my Atkins-based approach, but everyone is happy that I’m losing weight and the blood sugar is under control.
I’m reading Gary Taubes’s Good Calories, Bad Calories, which is beyond being just the buzz of the (new-to-me) low-carb blogosphere. It’s as if the golden tablets had been discovered, or a Youtube video of Jesus walkng out of the tomb materialized. “We are vindicated!” seems to be the general reaction. Taubes first became a low-carb hero with his 2002 New York Times Magazine piece What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?. More on all this in another post.