Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

How I lost 65 pounds

December 31st, 2016

Weight loss

This graph would have been far more dramatic if I hadn’t been too embarrassed to weight myself at my heaviest.
 

It’s almost New Year’s and that means it’s time to make a New Year’s resolution. For many people, “lose weight” is their resolution this year, and probably was last year as well, and the year before that, etc. I hear you on that. So with that in mind, let me tell you how I lost weight, and am continuing to lose weight.

Before I say anything else, let me say upfront that I’m telling you my personal weight loss journey. None of this is a medical recommendation, I’m not a doctor. I’m not here to sell you anything, I’m not telling you what will work for you. If you’re looking for a magic solution you won’t find it here (or anywhere.) I’m not even going to post before and after photos. This is not a pitch.

End of disclaimer. Let’s start at the beginning.
 

I wasn’t always fat. In fact, I used to be a skinny guy. In college my weight fluctuated a lot, like many of us. For me it I entered college around 130 pounds and after some ups and downs left grad school at a just over 165. Add in some bad eating habits as I started my career, a messy romantic breakup, and a few years later I found myself at 235 pounds. Yikes.

Today I look at photos of myself from that era and it’s shocking. What did I do to myself? Well, let me give you some clear answers to that question, and then how I got my weight back down to a manageable level.
 

Packing on the pounds

The path toward fatness was pretty simple: I like learning how things work and I’m one of those types who likes making things, doing it yourself. And I liked pizza and beer. Well, guess what? Making pizza and beer at home is fun and interesting, but it also means you have an awful lot of pizza and beer to consume. Those empty carbs have to go somewhere, and in my case they tended to go into my mouth, and wound up as fat.

Breakups are always rough, especially if you care about the person you’ve been with and have a hard time being apart from them. I wasn’t the first person to gain weight after a breakup, and I won’t be the last. But in my case it wasn’t just overeating from post-breakup depression; all those empty carbs I was consuming were being shared across two people — now they were all going into me.

I kept thinking, week after week, month after month, that I had to take action. Somehow, I had to lose the gut and get back to a reasonable weight. Technically at 5’11″ I was over the line into the “obese” column on a BMI chart. Not good.

Could it have been worse? Yes, but it always could be worse.
 

The decision

I didn’t suddenly decide to lose weight on a New Year’s resolution. Instead I thought about taking action for a few years before I decided to actually do anything about it.

While I was thinking about how I should really lose weight I did go out and buy one of those “smart scales” that logs your weight online. It’s kind of silly, but I’m too lazy to chart this stuff in a spreadsheet or anything — more on this later. I also sold the beer making equipment on Craigslist.

For me the deciding factor to finally “Make Eric Fit Again” was pretty simple. I was scheduled to fly to Shanghai for a friend’s wedding. Aside from looking better, I also figured I’d have to be able to squeeze into seats on a Chinese airline meant for your typical Chinese citizen — in other words, not your average American fatass like me.

The first thing I tried was the so-called “juice fast,” a fad at the time. The idea is you don’t eat and only drink mashed up vegetables and fruit, so you’re getting all the nutrients you need and a little sugar. It’s essentially a very low calorie diet. This concept was popularized in the 2010 movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” I didn’t watch this film until later — I was surprised the film was so well received since it’s clearly a thinly-veiled infomercial for a specific brand of juicers. Despite the film, the concept still seems appealing, if not extreme in retrospect.

I did multiple juice fasts for various lengths of time. The longest I ever did was five days, the shortest was two. In all of the times I tried it, I did lose weight. But as time went on, it delivered diminishing returns. That’s a theme we’ll get back to shortly.

Juice fasts also aren’t something I was able to stick to for a long time, and I bet most people feel the same way. The trick to a diet is finding something that works for the long term. Diets aren’t a shortcut to losing weight, they’re a lifestyle change that you need to continue for the rest of your life; otherwise that weight will come right back.
 

Switching gears

So while I did lose weight, it was clear I needed a better method. My next weight loss experiment was to go low carb, but with a soup and salad approach. This isn’t terribly difficult if you work in downtown San Francisco where there’s soup and salad spots on nearly every corner. My initial thinking was that I’d refuse any bread and just go with the soup or salad on its own. I should mention that I’m pescatarian though that had little impact on this decision — I just wanted to eat healthy and figured, hey, vegetables are healthy.

I eased into this diet over time, adhering to it more strictly as time went on.

What did prove challenging though is that soups and salads aren’t necessarily low carb. Soups are often thickened with flour, which adds an enormous carb load — not to mention calories. Similarly, salads can have this “hidden carb” problem, particularly with sugary dressing or a lot of fruit. Not that I think anyone out there has gained weight from eating too much fruit, but in the spirit of the diet I tried to cut back on fruit to a limited degree.

It turned out that this approach worked quite well once I got in the groove and began sticking with it every day. A lot of healthy restaurants post nutrition facts online which is also very helpful. But I want to point out two important factors here that most dieters don’t consider. One, my version of low carb dieting involved eating an enormous amount of leafy greens. This means I got significantly more fiber than your average steak-devouring low carb dieter. Two, the initial weight loss slowed after a while. Why? The answer is pretty simple, and it applies to any diet.
 

Staying motivated

Let’s talk about motivation and diet. This is the most important part of this post in my opinion.

If you’re dieting you’re going to have to weigh yourself frequently to see if it’s working. Personally I’ve been weighing myself almost daily with a Withings smart scale that automatically syncs to the internet (hello, Big Brother) that I’ve owned for several years at this point. From there I can see that my weight loss has been very rocky, with many fits and starts, and plenty of plateaus on what’s generally a downward slope.

One odd thing about this is that jumped out to me after a while is the shape of the graph. The plateaus seem to occur at nice round numbers, pounds divisible by 5 or 10. I have the strangest feeling there’s a psychological element at play here, and if I’d measured in kilograms the plateaus would have occurred at kilogram masses divisible by five as well. But I have only anecdotal evidence to back this up.

The most pivotal discovery I made is that while the weight simply flew off when I started dieting, it dramatically slowed down the further I went. If you think about this logically, of course someone who’s super overweight would have an easier time shedding fat than someone who’s skinnier. After all, the amount of weight you can lose is a factor of your body fat percentage! We’re talking about a logarithmic scale here, not a linear one.

To me the logarithmic scale factor is important. In my mind, I want to see a nice steady progress towards the goal. As I continued my effort and saw diminishing returns, I started to feel helpless. Should I just go back to beer and pizza because I’m only losing half a pound a week instead of three? On the surface the question sounds absurd, but after years of effort… it starts to feel degrading.

At some point I started realizing that diminishing returns were inevitable. I found I had to accept that this wasn’t a failure at all, but rather an unavoidable artifact of biology.

Let’s break this down with an example. Say you weigh 500 pounds. In that case, losing 10% of your body weight means losing 50 pounds. Sounds like a lot, but 450 pounds is still pretty fat. It’s not a big change… if you’re that heavy you might not even notice. On the other hand, if you’re 100 pounds, losing 10% of your body weight means losing 10 pounds — the difference between 100 and 90 pounds is so drastic for a typical adult it’s potentially dangerous.

The point here is that you have to be realistic about your weight loss goals as you continue losing weight. If you expect a linear progression, as our minds are want to do, you will inevitably be disappointed. You MUST accept that your weight loss will slow down as it continues.
 

Exercise

The other point to consider is exercise. Depending on your goals, you may wish to build muscle while losing weight. Not all exercise is intended to build muscle of course, but if you want to do so remember that muscle weighs more than fat. This may give your scale the impression that you’re not losing weight as fast as you could, even if your muscle to fat ratio is increasing.

Personally I’m on my second rowing machine (I used my first one so much that I broke it) but I love the form of exercise. It’s something to do while watching TV or listening to podcasts, and it’s more physically demanding than riding a stationary bike.

A lot of people seem to be under the impression that exercise alone is a path towards weight loss. Technically that’s true, but I haven’t found it to be nearly as an important factor as diet. Unless you’re an Olympic athlete you too should probably focus more on diet than exercise.
 

Conclusions

In the end, my lesson here with weight loss is this: slow and steady wins the race. I know it’s not what most people want to hear but it’s true. Stay focused on the long term goal, try different methods and see what works for you.

The important thing is achieving the results you want. But you have to be flexible about your expectations in the meantime, because your pace can and will vary. Mine certainly did. 65 pounds later though, I’m glad I lost the weight. You will be too if you choose to stay the course. There’s nothing that feels better than bumping into someone you haven’t see in a while, watching them gasp, and say “Holy shit, you look great!” I always reply with “It turns out there’s something to that ‘diet and exercise’ fad after all.”

Joel from MST3k Halloween costume

October 31st, 2015

Joel from MST3k costume
 

This year for Halloween I’m just another face in a red jumpsuit: specifically, I’m Joel from Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Much like last year’s costume, this is one of those where you either get the reference or you don’t. If you were watching a lot of Comedy Central in the 90′s (or you had friends that did) you probably remember the show where a silhouette of a guy and his two robot pals sat at the bottom of the screen, watching unbelievably terrible movies and making wisecracks the entire time. That show was Mystery Science Theater 3000, or MST3k for short.

The costume itself is remarkably simple: it’s a red jumpsuit I got from Amazon with a Gizmonics patch I bought from Etsy hastily sewn on. The hard hat (which Joel wears in the intro to the show) is a cheap yellow hard hat from Amazon. I found the “G” logo from Google Image Search, printed it out, and hot glued it to the hat.

A more advanced builder than I might have made a Tom Servo and/or Crow T. Robot puppet to go along with the outfit, and indeed many folks have done exactly that. Instructions are a quick Google search away for those with a lot of spare time on their hands.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got movie sign!

Poorly Drawn Robots In Space

July 25th, 2015

Poorly Drawn Robots In Space screenshot Poorly Drawn Robots In Space screenshot Poorly Drawn Robots In Space screenshot Poorly Drawn Robots In Space screenshot Poorly Drawn Robots In Space screenshot

Yes, I had to resort to taking these screenshots with my phone.
 

Recently I started poking around an old hard drive I found and uncovered a treasure trove of old selfies, homework, and even a diary listing the first time I ever kissed a girl (January 13th 2000.) Among other historic artifacts was a game I made for a computer science class during my junior year of high school called Poorly Drawn Robots In Space.

Of course, this had nothing to do with whatever so-called “assignment” I was supposed to be doing for the class. I liked making games more than learning about for loops or whatever, and besides — you try telling a 17 year old what to do. Go ahead. See how that works out for you.

The game is your typical Lode Runner knockoff: you walk around avoiding the bad guys and collecting keys to get to the exit. There’s a total of three levels.

When I found the game I was shocked: it still actually runs! So I put the whole thing up on GitHub, ugly source code and all.

Keep in mind the game is for Windows only, and some of the colors are screwed up because it was designed back when 256 colors was the norm. Oh, and there’s no sound. Extract the .zip and run robots.exe.

Download here

Controls: Left/Right to walk, Ctrl to jump
License: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

One weird trick to induce lucid dreams and out of body experiences

February 23rd, 2015

What if I told you that I have one weird trick to help you have a lucid dream and/or out of body experience? This particular trick has been well documented elsewhere, but if you don’t want to read an entire book I’ll give you the quick version here. Also note that this is intended for weekends or non-work days in general, because it requires sleeping in a little.

 
What’s the difference?

Now you may be asking what the difference is between a lucid dream and an out of body experience. In the former it’s like a traditional dream, except that you’re lucid enough to do what you want — it’s not just a passive dream experience. Yet all the normal weirdness of a dream still applies.

In an out of body experience you typically start by “waking up” but soon realize that your surroundings are a little off. This is known as a false awakening. For me at least these out of body experiences don’t feel like a dream, yet are recognizable thanks to suffering from dream-like continuity problems. Additionally, physical things that don’t usually work in dreams (mirrors, light switches, etc.) will often function to some extent. In many ways it’s like a lucid dream only more grounded.

There’s no real yardstick for determining whether an experience is one or the other. Dreams, lucid dreams, and out of body experiences can and will blend together along a spectrum of consciousness. For the rest of this post I’m just going to stick with the term “lucid dream,” but I’ll be referring to a variety of conscious sleep experiences.

 
Cut to the chase

So here’s the trick: wake up around an hour or two before you normally would. Use this time to read a book, check Twitter, or anything else that requires little effort and won’t wake you up too much.

At about the time you’d normally wake up, go back to sleep. Ideally you should be a little tired at this point, but more or less fairly alert. You’ll probably have trouble falling asleep, which is a good sign — focus on keeping your mind clear of distractions. Any meditative exercise will do, my favorite is slowly counting your breaths backwards from 100.

Now comes the important part: relax. At this point your brain will take you directly from being awake to being in a dream, so it’s important not to let anything that’s about to happen startle you into waking up. For some folks this will take a bit of practice.

The first thing that will happen as you transition into sleep mode is you’ll hear a buzzing, almost chainsaw-like sound that fades in and out. Even though it’s all in your head it can sound both loud and real. Don’t worry about it, it’s natural and happens to everyone.

Next, you’ll see a series of images float into your mind’s eye. You might see people, animals, etc. Sometimes they’ll be a little scary, but again it’s all in your head. The images will slowly start to move, and then *POOF*! You’re in the dream world now!

With any luck, the transition from being fully awake to your body being asleep will leave you in a fully lucid state. Congrats!

 
How it works

Many lucid dreaming books explain the same technique. Technically it’s called a Wake Induced Lucid Dream (or WILD) because you’re inducing the lucid dream from a fully awake state. But most of the books leave out one key detail: this type of dream induction only works in the morning hours.

Why? Let’s look at this sleep diagram from Wikipedia:

First note that dreams can only occur in the REM cycle, which is marked in red. As you can see, the time between when you fall asleep at night and the first REM cycle is over an hour long — most of us can’t maintain consciousness that long while asleep. But as the night progresses, the REM cycles get longer, and you can go (as the diagram indicates) directly from being awake into REM.

Waking up an hour or two before your usual time deprives your brain of that last extra long REM cycle, which means that when you finally sleep again, it will almost certainly jump straight into REM and thus a dream. The only tricky part is maintaining consciousness during the transition.

Having any dream right before you wake up makes you far more likely to remember it. If you’re serious about lucid dreams, keeping a dream diary will also help build your ability to recall any and all dreams.

 
 
By the way, if you’re wondering what to do in a lucid dream, just explore! You may be amazed by what you find hidden in your own mind. For a strange experience, try looking at your hands for a minute. Shoot me an email when you find out what happens — as they say, “You’ll never guess what happens next!.”

Assassin’s Creed Halloween costume

October 31st, 2014

Nothing is true,
Everything is permitted.

     – The Creed

 
Assassins. Seems like they’re everywhere these days, murdering it up. So for Halloween this year I made my own modern-style Assassin’s Creed costume.

The white hoodie is pretty much standard as far as assassins go these days. The felt patch on the hood is a tribute to Connor Kenway’s patch in AC III. It’s clipped on with safety pins.

And for good measure I’ve got dual hidden blades.

Costume

My hidden blades use a pair of telescoping drawer sliders from a local hardware store. The “blade” is made from a freebie paint stir stick painted gray. It’s held to the slider with fishing wire.

For the wrist straps I bought some old belts at Goodwill, cut them down to size, and bolted them to the opposite side of the slider. I glued a couple excess pieces of belt to this side for extra grip.

The blades pop out with a flick of the wrist and can be held in place with a finger.

Hidden blade Hidden blades

 

And of course we have an Apple of Eden. You can’t really call yourself an assassin if you don’t go around collecting artifacts from the First Civilization, so I made this one by dremeling out the lines in a styrofoam ball and painting it.

The apples vary from one game to the next, this one’s more or less like the one Ezio found in the second game.

Apple of Eden

 

And that’s all there is to it! If you spot anyone dressed as a Templar, please let me know.

What I learned from my HyperCard middle school digital portfolio

November 15th, 2012

In middle school we were all required to build a “digital portfolio” of our work. They taught us HyperCard so we could link each essay we wrote and our photos into a personal HyperCard stack. It was a portfolio that “we’d add to until we graduated” because computers were the future, or whatever.

But what really happened is that HyperCard was discontinued and most of our essays and photos were saved in unreadable formats. Even the floppies themselves that we’d saved our data to were obsolete. After a couple of years the project was scrapped and never spoken of again.

What did this all teach me? Here’s what I got out of it:

  1. If you’re going to work with technology, you have to keep your skills sharp. Today’s computer skills are tomorrow’s distant memory. It might sound cliche but it’s true.
  2. Care about your digital data? Then keep an eye on it. Make backups. Don’t keep it one place. Data can become unreadable for many reasons.
  3. Not all change is for the better. HyperCard was an app that made it easy to create your own software. (Remember Myst? Built in HyperCard.) There’s nothing like HyperCard these days that novice geeks can pick up and play with. Good ideas can be forgotten.
  4. Paper is still hard to beat for longevity. But then again, do you care about the reports you wrote in your seventh grade social studies class? Not sure I give a shit.

There you go. Sometimes the lessons we learn aren’t the intended lessons; but they’re still valuable nonetheless.

30 days without wheat: the end, and looking back

December 7th, 2011

Now that I’ve had some time to reflect on my wheat-free diet, I thought I’d post the results.

But first, let’s recall the ground rules:

  • No wheat. This means no wheat-based breads, tortillas, beer, etc. The food selection process would be based on a combination of common sense and reading labels.
  • Try to maintain my caloric intake. I didn’t want to skew the results by intentionally “dieting” here. I decided to throw away flour tortillas and buy corn tortillas, get sugary (but fresh and in season) fruit for snacks, drink wine instead of hefeweizen, etc.
  • Continue existing exercise routine. of light-moderate cardio for 30-45 min/day.
  • Allow myself a one meal exception for the entire 30 days (a pizza event I already had planned.)

Based on those rules, I had a few potential results in mind to look out for:

There were two main factors I was looking for in this experiment: weight and the more difficult to quantify general “feeling.” Theoretically lowering your blood sugar should cause both weight loss and lethargy. Giving up something as addictive as morphine shouldn’t be pleasant either. But there was also the possibility that I’d “feel” healthier if wheat is linked to inflammation and joint pain.

Simple enough, right? Almost! One thing I neglected to account for was that I might eat wheat by accident. On two occasions I took a single bite of a desert before realizing it had wheat in it. I only mention this because sometimes these diets can be trickier than expected.

I also did a terrible job weighing myself for the first 10 days, something that I don’t think skewed the results much (as you’ll see shortly) but I could have done a better job and keeping track in the beginning.

So, how did I do with sticking to the rules? To put it simply: not bad.

Avoiding wheat was never all that difficult. I take serious issue with the idea that wheat is “addictive” because I simply didn’t find this to be the case at all.

Now on to the results.

As for weight? Zero difference. I made up for the carbs in other ways, and I still weigh what I weighed a year ago.

That said it does seem like wheat is “empty calories.” It’s easy to eat a bunch of bread, pizza, etc. compared to say a bunch of cheese or vegetables. You can keep eating bread without feeling full and that’s not a good thing. Thing is, you can do the same with chips and fries. Carbs are easy to snack on because they don’t make your stomach feel full, so eliminating wheat might be enough for some people to lose weight.

At the 10 day mark I did feel “really lethargic,” which I thought might be a result of the promised lowered blood sugar. But that feeling quickly went away. Compared to my attempts at low carb diets in the past, I now suspect it was unrelated to diet.

I can’t say the diet really made me feel any better or any worse. It was so easy to stick to that I considered going a few more days for the hell of it, but ultimately decided to return to wheat so I could sum up my experiment.

But the diet was not a total loss! There was one positive result that I did not expect. As I wrote at the 20 day mark:

There is one positive change that I didn’t anticipate. My skin has never looked better. I’m starting to think I might have been wrong about my acne. Could it be a simple wheat allergy? Or is there another variable at play here?

Guess what? Now that I’m back to wheat the acne came back and my skin took on a reddish tint. Now again, this couldn’t have been due to a lack of carbs because I ate foods with corn and potatoes in them. So what caused this? Does my skin have a wheat gluten allergy?

A few minutes of Googling suggests this is within the realm of possibility. Could our fetish for bread is the reason us European-blooded folks have such terrible skin?

Soon I’ll embark on another “30 day” journey. Not sure what the theme will be yet: check back and find out soon.

Do you get canker sores? Read this.

November 27th, 2011

Time for another gross health-related post!

It used to be I’d get canker sores once a month, often more. They come with a subtle pain that never quite goes away in your mouth. Nobody should have to endure this, and if you get canker sores I might have the solution for you.

The problem started when I was a teenager and all the conventional “cures” didn’t help much. Topical ointments taste bad and can’t reach the back of your throat. Peroxide mouthwash stings like crazy and takes a few days of use to work.

When I was in college I got frustrated and started searching for a better solution. Turns out, there was a ridiculously simple answer: switch toothpaste.

The theory is this: most toothpaste contains sodium-sulfate based cleansers, also known as “SLS.” These naturally derived cleansers are really powerful — so powerful they may irritate your mouth.

Fortunately there’s a few toothpastes out there containing other formulas. The cheapest and easiest to find is the Biotene toothpaste, which you can buy at Safeway and Target. My favorite is Squiggle, which you can find at Rainbow and other health food stores. To me, Squiggle has a better taste and texture, but they both work equally well. Both Biotene and Squiggle contain fluoride and a second natural cavity fighter, xylitol.

So if you get canker sores, find a toothpaste without SLS and try it for a while. (If you use mouthwash, make sure you get one that doesn’t contain SLS either.) It doesn’t cost much to try this for a while and see if it works for you.

30 days without wheat: the first 20 days

November 19th, 2011

What a difference ten days makes.

Ten days ago (more or less) I told you about my 30 days without wheat diet self-experiment. I decided to try going for a month without eating any wheat at all. No breads, crackers, pizza, wheat beers, etc. for a full 30 days.

It’s now been 20 days since I started the diet, and 10 days since the previous post.

The diet so far hasn’t been terribly difficult to stick with. As much as I love getting sandwiches at local favorites The Sandwich Place and/or Clare’s Deli, I stopped thinking about these dining options entirely. Substituting corn tacos for wheat burritos was a refreshing change, and you can’t go wrong with corn arepas (they’re delicious.) Plenty of Asian and Indian food is wheat-free. Honestly I wouldn’t have a problem eating nothing but sushi for the rest of my life.

It also seems I’ve inexplicably begun eating smaller meals. Somehow fruit and cheese started becoming my default breakfast recently. For reasons I can’t explain, everything else seemed disgusting all of a sudden. I started craving more rice and potatoes at lunch and dinner.

The scales, however, don’t show a lot of meaningful change. I’m starting to think carbohydrates are more addictive than wheat, since if I remove one with my diet I just add more of another.

There is one positive change that I didn’t anticipate. My skin has never looked better. I’m starting to think I might have been wrong about my acne. Could it be a simple wheat allergy? Or is there another variable at play here?

My “cheat meal” is coming up, and I feel somewhat bad about doing it. I want to push myself further and see what happens after a completely uninterrupted 30 days. On the other hand, it might answer whether there’s a link between acne and wheat, at least for me. Also, I never say no to a pizza making party. NEVER.

30 days without wheat

November 6th, 2011

Could wheat really be bad for you?

While reading BoingBoing the other day, I happened across a post claiming wheat is addictive, responsible for many health problems, makes you fat, caused the Holocaust, etc.

Some of the claims are really out there. But let’s assume for a moment that there might be a grain of truth to his assertion that wheat is bad for us. Certainly at my last job I gained weight when I switched from yogurt for breakfast to the free bagels they were always giving us.

That’s where I start thinking he’s on to something — those bagels never once made me feel full. But the yogurt? Always. The bagels contained more calories than the yogurt and less nutrition. So why did I keep eating them? I’m not really sure. I tried switching to healthier breakfasts, but the temptation of bagels was difficult to resist.

The Experiment
I decided to make a pact with myself: avoid wheat for 30 days and document the results.

Why 30 days? A short TED talk by Matt Cutts explores this simple concept: try something new for 30 days. It can be anything, from training for an athletic event to writing a novel. It can also involve removing something from your life — like wheat.

Additionally, the BoingBoing post specifically mentions that four weeks without wheat should be enough to convince yourself that wheat isn’t wonderful.

There were two main factors I was looking for in this experiment: weight and the more difficult to quantify general “feeling.” Theoretically lowering your blood sugar should cause both weight loss and lethargy. Giving up something as addictive as morphine shouldn’t be pleasant either. But there was also the possibility that I’d “feel” healthier if wheat is linked to inflammation and joint pain.

Here’s the ground I set for myself rules:

  • No wheat. This means no wheat-based breads, tortillas, beer, etc. The food selection process would be based on a combination of common sense and reading labels.
  • Try to maintain my caloric intake. I didn’t want to skew the results by intentionally “dieting” here. I decided to throw away flour tortillas and buy corn tortillas, get sugary (but fresh and in season) fruit for snacks, drink wine instead of hefeweizen, etc.
  • Continue existing exercise routine. of light-moderate cardio for 30-45 min/day.
  • Allow myself a one meal exception for the entire 30 days (a pizza event I already had planned.)

Results: First 10 Days
Yesterday marks 10 days since I started the wheat-free experiment. I didn’t eat any wheat during this time; I also ate a lot more corn-based products than usual.

Here’s the results.

Weight: a bit tricky to judge. Even though my scale has wifi (what a strange world we live in!) I haven’t been as rigorous as I should have been at weighing myself at the same time every day. Still, I think there’s enough data to say with certainty that I haven’t gained any weight.

Feelings: just as predicted, I’ve been feeling really lethargic as one often would on a low-carb diet. Although unpleasant, it also gives me hope. After all, I’ve been going out of my way to NOT cut carbs; if my blood sugar is causing this reaction there must be another reason for it.

Addictiveness: every now and then I find myself craving a pizza or a sandwich, but once I remind myself that I can’t have it the feeling moves on to another food. So I’m having a little trouble buying into the idea that wheat is as addictive as morphine when I’m able to avoid it so easily.

So far, these results are marginally promising, but not very conclusive. I’m going to monitor my weight more thoroughly for the next 10 days and see if there’s any meaningful results.