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Ideal Protein Diet - Week 6 - Kicked Out of Ketosis

Updated on February 2, 2013

Don't Let This Happen To You

19 grams of carbs and 13 grams of sugar
19 grams of carbs and 13 grams of sugar

Another Bout With Carb Withdrawal

Greg and I decided to move back to Buffalo, NY. This was the result of a fitful stay in South Florida where we went broke just paying our medical bills, dental bills, rent, utilities, gas for my almost 40 mile round trip to work, etc., etc., etc. Every day of my life here I imagined that I would be killed in traffic on the insane I-95 between N. Miami where we live and Fort Lauderdale where I work. We’re happy to be heading home where we will have a support system to help us do things we cannot do for ourselves. For instance, it took me six weeks to figure out how to put the futon back together. I have a son-in-law who could have done it in six minutes.

I thought my pain would get better in the warmer climate but, much to my surprise, it has not. In fact, it’s worse than ever. I hope to continue the Ideal Protein diet in Buffalo although a friend mentioned that there is no local distributer. I’ll charge a month’s worth of food before we leave and then I’ll have to either travel to Rochester or find another way to get it. I don’t want to stop something that seems to be working. I’ve made a commitment and I’m ready for anything. I’ve learned all the lessons that being heavy and being in pain can teach me. I’m ready to put those lessons into practice. I’m ready to go from the chrysalis stage to the butterfly stage.

I decided to try this diet after speaking to one of Dr. Rick’s patience who lost 60 pounds. When I met him he looked young and wiry like a greyhound. He showed me his license photo and the face looking back at me from that photo looked more like a bull dog. I looked at the photo then back at Thomas and couldn’t help but say, “This photo looks like it is your father…not you.” I started to see myself from the outside and realized that it had been quite some time since anyone was surprised by how old I was. It used to be that people guessed me to be 15 years younger than my actual age. I used to take it for granted and respond, “Good gene pool,” but lately…I haven’t needed that quip. Now I’m beginning to see it in the mirror again…a youthful face that does not look like I’ll be developing jowls any time soon.

This was not a good week. My pain returned from wherever it went and I did not lose weight. The best Dr. Rick can figure is that my two nights where I took a dose of Nyquil threw me out of ketosis. This would also explain why I had three days of suffering like the first week. I have been so careful not to touch carbs because I didn’t want to go through that again. Then, quite by accident, I used what I’ve always used when I can’t sleep due to coughing…I took Nyquil. It turns out there are 19 grams of carbs and 13 grams of sugar in one dose and I took it for two nights. I was kicked out of ketosis, had to suffer the DT’s of carb withdrawal for three more days, and lost only 9/10 of a pound while I stuck to the diet all week long. I was ready to quit. After Greg scraped me off the wall I railed like a mourner and swore up and down that I would stop this crazy fool diet and go back to eating normal food. Greg reminded me that I have lost 16 pounds in 6 weeks, my clothes all fit better, my face is no longer swollen and lumpy, my pain level has decreased - even considering that it was worse than the last few weeks, and I look slimmer.

On the way to work I spoke on the phone with my cousin Kathy who also told me that I should at least give it until the end of February. She knows I’ll be under a lot of stress because of our move back to Buffalo. Kathy and I had been going to Weight Watchers together since the 1990’s. We would weigh in and go out to eat. What the hell, we’ve had a week to lose the weight why not treat ourselves? I cringe when I think of those days and what I know now about weight loss. My body was never going to let go of the fat…it only ever lost water. Kathy reminded me of how difficult it was for me to lose one pound. She told me to stick to it and follow it to the letter.

Then I spoke to my daughter Renee. She gave me the same good advice and by this time I was, although begrudgingly, back on track. When I got to work I contacted Dr. Rick and let him know what happened. We went over everything I put in my mouth for the last week and then I remembered the Nyquil. CRAP. As careful as I had been a dangerous dose of sugar got into my body by way of medicine. I put away the cough medicine and bought some sugar free cough drops instead.

I spent the three days out of ketosis feeling hungry and out of sorts. I wasn’t exactly craving carbs or sweets just dissatisfied with what I was eating and not placated by the sugar free Jell-O like usual. I was struggling and this was before I realized what had happened with the Nyquil. I thought I was just sick of the diet and ready to try something else. Damn brain…it recognized it’s drug of choice in the medicine and made me crazy. This happened on the weekend which is usually easier because I am distracted by fun things. For the first time since I started Ideal Protein I ate an Ideal Protein omelet with salsa and I still felt hungry. I just felt hollow…I was afraid to cheat because I DIDN’T want to go through the carb withdrawal. I thought I would rather gnaw off my own arm for the protein than go through another three days of withdrawal. Little did I realize the reason I was hungry and suffering was that I was thrown out of ketosis by the Nyquil. Don’t let this happen to you.

This week I read a quote that I liked. It got me thinking about the connection between prayer and meditation. “Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.” Soren Kierkegaard.

When I first started to practice yoga and meditate back in the 1990’s I had an unusual experience that made me understand how deeply the meditation was changing me. I was not looking for signs nor did I actually feel that I was changing but one day as I raced from work to an early morning class a young girl ran a stop sign and I almost hit her car. My usual response would have been to throw my car into park, jump out and scream a stream of curses at her. I would have been frightened and fear generally came out as anger…anger for being so weak that I felt fear. Instead, I threw my car into park, ran toward the car and before I knew what I was doing I asked the young woman if she was okay. She was shook up, the same as me and it was obvious she hadn’t had enough sleep and was racing to class too. I got back into my car and wondered how that happened. I thought I was going to yell and carry on like lunatic…that was always what I did but instead I was concerned about her. I was dumbfounded. I realized that the act of meditation was changing me.

Now, I am praying every morning to St. Jude and St. Gemma. I’m not sure why but this is working the same as the meditation. When I am repeating the prayers after my initial conversation with both saints I know now that this is the Christian/Catholic version of a mantra. You think about the meaning of the words but gradually you just say them in your head and they all flow together. Not like inattention but more like becoming the prayer. I think that if I try to stop my morning prayers I’d miss it just like I missed meditation when I stopped. Why did I stop? For the same reason I stop all good habits…it’s easier to fill that time with bad habits.

So this week I made a commitment to stretching and yoga in my prayer to St. Gemma. I did this because I was reminded of a joke that I was told once.

John, who was in financial difficulty, walked into a church and started to pray. ''Listen God,'' John said. ''I know I haven't been perfect but I really need to win the lottery. I don't have a lot of money. Please help me out.'' He left the church, a week went by, and he hadn't won the lottery, so he walked into a synagogue. ''Come on, God,'' he said. ''I really need this money. My mom needs surgery and I have bills to pay. Please let me win the lottery.'' He left the synagogue, a week went by, and he didn't win the lottery. So, he went to a mosque and started to pray again. ''You're starting to disappoint me, God,'' he said. ''I've prayed and prayed. If you just let me win the lottery, I'll be a better person. I don't have to win the jackpot, just enough to get me out of debt. I'll give some to charity, even. Just let me win the lottery.'' John thought this did it, so he got up and walked outside. The clouds opened up and a booming voice said, ''John, buy a lottery ticket.''

In my case, I keep asking for relief from my pain but I’m not doing the logical thing. I know I feel better when I stretch but I’m sitting in bed asking for a miracle. Finally, I realized I need to do the equivalent of buying a lottery ticket…doing my part. It’s difficult to get back into the habit of creating more pain to help eliminate pain. Yes, I do these stretches and cry because the pain is so great in my legs that have been sitting like logs and petrifying for the past six months to a year. I’m back on track and, as predicted, feel better. Whether it’s the prayer or the stretching I am grateful that I have opened my mind to the prayer experience.

These days Greg and I spend a lot of time telling each other what we want to eat now that we are both vested in these weight loss diets. Greg wants to eat a whole package of Chips Ahoy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies or six chocolate snack pies. I lust after a baked potato with butter AND sour cream and a vat of Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk. We also talk about how we will be careful with food from now on; once we can eat things we will be sensible. I can have potatoes but not every day and ice cream, which I really shouldn’t have because it triggers my reflux, will be replaced by Rice Dream or sherbet.

Greg told me that he stays motivated by remembering a comment someone made to him after he lost weight last time. He was standing around a bar with his friends John and Ron. As the night wore on, John squinted at Greg and said, “Why is it you are the only person I know who looks better now than he did 10 years ago.” It’s true…10 years ago Greg was very over weight and looked 10 years older than he does now.

I am motivated by the way I looked when we went to the basketball game on Friday. I put on a pair of black slacks and a top and looked at myself in the mirror. For the first time in almost a year the person looking back at me did not look grotesque. I recognized her as me…the old me…the flirty me…the confident me. I said to Greg, “Not for nothing but I look damn good.” And I meant it. He smiled and agreed. I’m also motivated by the fact I can actually move again. I’m no ballerina but I’m no longer Quasimodo either.

Another interesting thing occurred to be this week. All this time I have been blaming my body for trying to trip me up on my diets. This week I realized it is not my body but my brain! The sugar and/or carbs in the food trigger the release of endorphins and dopamine in the brain. So my body is the servant of my brain after all. My brain wants the release of endorphins and dopamine and the sugar gets it just that. My body is rejecting the foods in physical ways such as reflux, indigestion, nausea, breakouts, bloating, etc. but my brain won’t stop until it gets what it wants. The brain is saying, “Tell her you want ice cream.” And my body is saying, “That’s not a good idea, I’ll have a bad reaction, I already have too much fat and there is too much pressure on my joints.” But my brain says, “I NEED you to tell her that she wants ice cream, get the stomach growling.” My mind is holding my body hostage for the food. Now that my brain is free from the substance abuse of the food they are working more like a team. Now when I sit down at a table filled with things I can’t have my brain isn’t going wild because it NEEDS sugar…it lets my body make good choices that will not hurt it.

I can compare this again to alcohol. It used to be that when someone would offer me a drink I’d just accept. Once my brain got a surge of alcohol sugar it told my body to keep drinking until my poor body ended up retching somewhere and sick for two days. So all this time I blamed my body and it was really my brain. I always thought it was my mind that was the good one. Now I realize that my body has been trying to warn me with all these horrible symptoms that my evil mind was trying to kill us. My brain is the pusher…who told me over and over not to worry about it because we will feel SOOOOO fabulous.

The fat I’m losing is not only the kind that is marbling my thigh meat…it’s also strangling my heart, cushioning my liver, intertwined and mingled with all the things inside of me that I cannot see. Now that I envision it all I see how horrible I’ve been to my body. No wonder it is in such agony…I’ve been a bad guest in this mortal coil.

Next week there WILL be a loss. I am determined to stick it out. I’m writing this a few days after my weigh in and I’m back in ketosis and feeling no hunger. I am sleeping well again and have more energy. I sincerely hope I will not have to go through withdrawal again. For once, my neuroses is working FOR me…I am going to make sure I don’t slip up and I WILL check all things that go past my lips. I’m already feeling like I lost more fat. The scale will be the judge.

Food Ideas:

Sautéed Mushrooms

1 tablespoon olive oil

5 scallions, chopped coarsely

1 Bell pepper coarsely chopped

1 clove garlic crushed and minced

1 Eight ounce carton of white or baby portabella cleaned and trimmed.

½ cup fat free chicken stock

1 teaspoon Worchester sauce

½ teaspoon thyme, crushed in your fingers to release flavor

Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare scallions, pepper, and garlic while preheating the oil in the frying pan over medium heat. Quickly sauté for about a minute. Add the cleaned whole mushrooms and quickly sauté for about 3 minutes. Add stock, Worchester sauce, thyme, salt, and pepper. Lower heat and cover, until liquid cooks down. The original recipe called for white wine instead of chicken stock. This is wonderful with steak or any type of beef.

Baked Tilapia

8 ounces of fresh or defrosted tilapia

2 teaspoons of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Light dusting of Old Bay Seasoning

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, rinse filets in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Rub oil on both sides of fish and lay in a baking dish. Salt and pepper and dust in Old Bay Seasoning. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the fish flakes with a folk. Serve with fresh lemon juice.

Sautéed Green Beans

1 large bag of thin frozen green beans

1 tablespoon olive oil

Lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in wok or large frying pan and CAREFULLY throw in bag of beans and stir fry until unfrozen and warm. Salt and pepper to taste and squeeze lemon over beans and serve with Tilapia.

Stirred Eggs & Ham

2 extra-large eggs (I use organic)

4 ounces of very lean ham, diced

2 teaspoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ teaspoon oregano, crumbled in fingers to release essential oils

Heat oil in stick free frying pan. When pan is hot throw in ham and lightly brown. Break eggs one at a time into pan and let them set for a few seconds until you see a little white forming. Stir with a wooden spoon. Salt and pepper and add oregano.

Variation: add chopped bell pepper and/or scallions. Put these in the pan first and cook for about a minute before adding the ham. The peppers will be crisp but cooked.


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