I went through my old blog posts on Sunday and I realized that I haven’t updated the “health” category since around the beginning of August. So here’s some updates.
When I started this whole diet back in May I was sitting at about 318lbs. As of this morning, I am sitting at 278lbs. I’ve been hovering around the 280lb mark for about a month now, so I’m starting to wonder if I’ve hit what my doctor called my “natural weight”, that is, the place where the fat loss from my low-carb, high-protein diet stablizes and I stop seeing a change on the scale. I’ve visibly lost a lot of bulk though — in fact, I really need to buy some new jeans and shirts because it’s all starting to look baggy — for a while I was wearing 4XL stuff, now I’m putting on my old 2XL-Tall stuff and it looks good.
I’ve also put on a bit of muscle, and since muscle is denser than fat I assume that’s one of the reasons the scale hasn’t gone down further than it has — I’d be interested to compare today’s body-fat percentage to the one from from that first doctor’s appointment half a year ago. Certainly I’m in much better shape than I was: my endurance is way, way up compared to where it was in the spring, although I suppose that’s as much a function of getting back into a regular practice schedule as anything else.
I’ve had the CPAP machine for about four months now, and that has made a huge difference. For one thing, I don’t wake up half a dozen times a night — I lie down, turn on the machine and I’m generally out cold for seven or eight hours. It’s funny, but I seem to have a bit of a learned-reflex thing going on — putting on the CPAP mask and hitting the “ramp” button apparently triggers some kind of Pavlovian response which tells my body to sleep; I can go to bed earlier or later depending on the situation, but once I’m down and the machine is going I’m generally asleep inside of five minutes.
I also wake up feeling rested and without a headache… which is something I a didn’t realize was normal until a couple of months ago. I always assumed that the headache was just a pre-caffeine thing; turns out it was a brain-cells-starved-of-oxygen thing. Caffeine promotes blood oxygenation and stimulates the central nervous system, so that makes sense that my pre-CPAP body would have been that much more dependent on my morning coffee as a way of trying to compensate for the effects of the sleep apnea.
Getting on CPAP doesn’t mean I’ve stopped drinking coffee, though. Because of my no-sugar diet I’m drinking it unsweetened these days, and because of that I’ve switched from my old “American” light-roast, maximum-caffeine coffee to a darker, more flavourful French roast, both at home and at the office. I find that, without my old two-sugars habit that I’m experiencing a lot more subtlety of flavour in coffee, so I’m actively experimenting with varieties of beans and roast to see what I can find. (I’ve recently had a couple of Italian roasts that are so mellow I didn’t even feel the need to put cream in them!)
So there we are — my weight is down, my energy levels are up, and I’m finding it a lot easier to be active. I’m planning, now that we’ve got a second car, to be out to fight practices a lot more often; we have a local SCA fight practice every second Wednesday that I’ve been attending religiously, but now I’m planning on driving down to a Monday night practice about 45 minutes away on the alternate weeks. I figure having at least one fight practice each and every week will be good for both my health and my prowess… and if things get quiet on the occasional Thursday night I might run over to another practice that I know is about an hour and twenty minutes away.