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August 15, 2016

Monday Moron Medical Monitoring, Session 5: The Big Fat Stall

So I'm stalled as far as weight loss. I may or may not be down two or three pounds over two weeks -- when the weight lost is that low, it could very well just be variations in how hydrated one is at any particular time.

So I though I'd try to write myself a psych-up about this, a positive spin. And if anyone else is stalled, maybe this will be of comfort to you, too.

First, even though my fat loss over two weeks has been either trivial or nonexistent, I have to say I feel better all around. I know I'm healthier, even if I'm currently stalled in actual fat loss.

I realized a while back that my own criterion for whether I "feel good" or "feel bad" is very, very simple. Excluding outside influences -- obviously, being sick will make one "feel bad," as will stress and conflict, etc. -- the only real difference between feeling good and feeling bad, for me, is how much energy I have.

High energy, I feel good. Low energy, I feel bad. Very simple.

Since I've been mostly in ketosis I've had much more energy.

I don't know how many of you have this problem, but I had such low energy I didn't really want to move. If I was sitting in a chair and someone asked me to get up to get them a drink, I actually felt a little resentful, because the action of getting up draws a fair amount of energy (as far as trivial movements go), and I was short on energy I resented the request to expend what little I had.

Now I'm just doing a lot more. If someone asks me to go somewhere, my first instinct (and my usual answer) is "Sure, I'll go." Whereas before the answer was almost always "No," and even when I said "Yes," it was begrudging, and what I really wanted to do was plop my ass down on the bed and just rest.

This impacted stuff like simple housework, because if you are low on energy (and therefore always conserving energy), ordinary tasks that don't have to be done immediately don't get done. They just keep getting put off. Until your apartment is in such a state that you're finally prompted to act.

On that score, I finally went after some long, long, long delayed Spring Cleaning. I had the energy, I didn't mind it all that much, and I feel mentally clearer today, just being able to look around and see the face of a long-absent friend called "The Floor."

The thing about having higher energy is that it's like getting a $10,000 per year raise. Yeah, you're psyched when you first get the raise. You notice the raise, and enjoy the raise, for two months.

But then what? Then you just now forget about the raise, as it's no longer a raise, it's just your routine salary.

And if you don't look back and try to be mindful that you used to be paid $10,000 per year less, you're not going to be thankful about it anymore.

I think metabolic energy is just like that. I don't really notice I have higher energy now. When I think about it, I do notice "Hey, I'm not always complaining about how bad I feel anymore," but I don't think about it enough. I got a very big raise in my daily allotment of physical energy, but I've forgotten that I got that raise, and now just go day-to-day thinking I've always felt this level of energy.

But I haven't. And I have to be mindful of that.

By the way, on Friday, I had sushi. With rice and with that super-sugary eel sauce. It knocked me out of ketosis immediately.

I definitely did notice my ass dragging Saturday, and it was only mid-day through Sunday when I got the first bit of pink in my ketostrips that I started to feel better again (and started to feel like really cleaning).

I don't think the fall in energy, or then the increase in energy Sunday, was psychosomatic. I think it was just my body going into glucose-burning/high-insulin/low-blood-energy mode, and then, having eaten clean all day Saturday and Sunday, getting back into fat-burning/low-insulin/high-blood-energy mode.

So these days without any external validation for your efforts: I guess try to think about all the health and wellness benefits you've stopped even noticing because they're just a part of your common daily lived experience now. Try to notice those again.

Oh, and of course plateaus and stalls are inevitable and numerous. They're going to keep coming, every 4 or 5 or 8 pounds, like clockwork. Your body can only shed so much weight before your hypothalmus decides to state a metabolic intervention and slow it all down.

However, if you stay at that resistance point long enough -- that is, if you don't give up out of frustration, go off-regime, and start gaining weight again -- I think your body will eventually "learn" that the stall point is your new "normal" weight, and that therefore there's nothing particularly dangerous about dropping another five pounds. And so if you stay on-regime in the stall for a few weeks -- two, three weeks -- your body will re-set what it considers your "normal" weight and allow you to vary plus or minus five pounds around that zero point. Then you can push it down five pounds again.

Then, of course, you'll stall again, as you must.

But you just keep on keeping on. Your hypothalmus will give in and accept the new normal eventually.

So -- tell me about your GAINZ, brahs.

Or, alas, your stallz, if you're like me.

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posted by Ace at 04:59 PM

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