I’m Still Here…

Overload

Photo by Chiara Marra

…I’ve just been dealing with some personal overload.

Some updates are in order:

First of all, I have managed to gain about 15 lbs since my last post. I’m not 100% sure about the cause(s), since I have been negligent in tracking all of the usual suspects, but I have at least gotten a handle on it, and have started back down. Unfortunately, due to the damage done to my metabolism by such things as wheat, sugar, and transfat (even after severely restricting all of those items for more than a decade — in particular, the half-life of mitochondrial damage by transfats is on the order of 7 years), it is far easier for me to gain weight than to lose it. I can easily gain more than 2 lbs/day, and not just “water weight,” either.

The primary suspects:

  • My VAMC doctor put me on a generic blood pressure medication. I noticed an almost immediate appearance of some cravings, along with significant weight gain. She told me it was just “water retention,” but the gain was steady. I have previously noted that my VAMC doctor is innocent of any clue regarding nutrition, but since I have no health insurance at this time, that’s what I’m stuck with.
  • I was trying some 85% cocoa as a “treat.” Unfortunately, the “treat” quickly became a twice-daily “fix.” I have cut that one out. However, since cocoa is supposed to have some health benefits, I am using a small amount of 100% cocoa powder in my morning coffee, which does not appear to trigger any cravings.
  • I’ve been consuming a lot of decaf coffee, and more than my usual amount of regular coffee. I don’t think that is a direct cause, but I generally add a generous dollop of heavy cream to my coffee, and I suspect I have some minor problems with dairy. I have cut the cream back significantly, and I have been using coconut milk instead at work.
  • I haven’t been sleeping very well. I think the solution to that problem is to arrange my schedule better, and just spend more time in the sack. I am going to quit taking a couple of my supplements (which I take for “cognitive enhancement”) for a while, to see if that makes any difference.
  • I’ve been overdoing it on my favorite dessert, which is heavy cream, strawberries, and sugar-free chocolate syrup. I’ve backed that down to once a week, and I am using coconut milk in place of about half of the cream — and I’ve reduced the amount by choosing a smaller cup to prepare it.
  • The new job/contract. While the work is mostly enjoyable, it’s been pretty challenging, and I’ve been coming home nearly exhausted every night. I wonder if maybe I’m getting that “adrenal fatigue” that I see folks writing about.

One of the immediate concerns is my blood pressure, especially since the cheap generic BP meds don’t have much of an effect other than making me gain weight. I suspect the ultimate solution for that is to get off my ass and start lifting weights again. Along with getting more sleep…

Another thing that has worked in the past is the intermittent partial fast, so I will be doing that once or twice a week.

I have vacation coming up soon, and I’ll be going on another cruise. I think that will help. Last time, I was able to lose a couple of pounds on a cruise. I think I’ll try to lose more than a couple this time.

Unfortunately, changing so many variables at the same time will mean that if there is any significant change, I won’t be able to pinpoint the cause(s) without further experimentation.

About Mr. N=1

I am co-owner of NEquals1Health.com, along with my wife, Georgene (Mrs N=1). Read more about me on Howard’s about page.

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