Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Little This And That Low-Carb Tidbits

I'm well on my way to my biggest month of traffic ever at the "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog expected to shatter 100,000 pageviews for the month of January 2007 before the end of this week. WOO HOO! THANK YOU to everyone who has visited my blog day in and day out over the past few weeks for this commemorative moment.

It's exciting that I will very likely surpass 1,000,000 pageviews by March 2007, less than two years since I began this little blog about my low-carb weight loss. WOWsers! What a moment that will be and I'm looking to celebrate in a big way. More on that later.

As has become a regular feature lately, I'd like to address a series of this and that low-carb tidbits that have caught my eye in the past week. THANK YOU to everyone who has shared just a piece of your life with me and I read every single e-mail that comes my way. Feel free to join the action by e-mailing You WILL hear from me with a personal response if you do.

Here's a little of what I've seen this week:

A regular reader of my blog read this blog post about my weight loss stalling out lately in my "30-In-30" Low-Carb Weight Loss Challenge felt compelled to encourage me. I most certainly was because she made some very good points about what I am doing by sharing these struggles. Check out out!

"I just read your blog entry about zero weight loss--hang in there, Jimmy Actually, I'm glad you're not losing weight. Guess why? Because that is so typical of so many of us on Atkins (don't stop reading--this will get better!).

Your 180-pound-in-one-year weight loss was great. But most of us get on the Atkins plan and don't lose anywhere near that much, and certainly not that quickly. The weight comes off in dribs and drabs and sometimes those plateaus look like we'll be stuck there forever. So why not cheat just a little bit? Or why not just forget the whole thing?

As your readers watch you struggle through losing these last 20 pounds, they'll see that Atkins isn't about a quick weight loss--it's about a lifestyle change. We've seen you eating too many rolls at restaurants, losing your job, being worried about your brother, getting a bad cold, being successful with your blog, and a host of other things. And we're getting to see how you cope with all of that in real life when you are no longer losing vast amounts of weight in a short amount of time.

One of your great gifts, Jimmy, is that you are real. I know you will figure out how to reach your goal, and in the process, bring along a host of other people for whom Atkins is a challenge, but a doable challenge. Thanks for being there!"

THANKS so much for those inspiring words. One thing I try to do here at my blog and in my book is be very honest about my own experience--sometimes brutally so. That's intentional and I wouldn't have it any other way. People need to know what they are getting themselves into and I don't mind sharing the good, bad, and ugly with them from my perspective.

That's just who I am and I won't change just to try to make livin' la vida low-carb more artificially attractive. There's enough positive about this lifestyle that people don't need me to embellish it in any way. The results speak for themselves!

Speaking of positive, there's an excellent column about sticking with your New Year's resolutions over the long haul in this Los Angeles Times, but it is somewhat ruined by the following ridiculous quote from a psychotherapist named Jonathan Alpert who wrote the column:

"Though promises of dramatic weight loss via the Atkins diet or diet pills are enticing, they don't speak to the moments when decisions are made — the times of stress, loneliness or boredom when one is most likely to reach for the Pringles or Häagen-Dazs."

Why do these supposedly intelligent people continue to lump the Atkins diet in with such truly dangerous weight loss methods as diet pills? It's amazing how they get away with such a comparison when livin' la vida low-carb is changing the lives of so many while diet pills are putting people in hospitals and keeping them fat. You can e-mail Alpert about his insane views at

There are real people out there who are hurting and looking for answers. Look at what this person wrote to me in a desperate plea for help.


I am 100 pounds overweight and I don't know what to do. I have no willpower at night and dread each day in this body. It takes a lot of energy to be "fat." Only, I don't lose the weight and just cannot believe this is ME.

I used to take good care of myself and am now getting concerned for my life. Can I share my daily diet dilemma with you?

Please let me know.

I wrote this person back encouraging her to please share her story with me further and that I'd be happy to help. So far, she has not responded, but I am hopeful she continues to reach out to do something about her weight and health while there is still time. If that person is reading this right now, PLEASE DON'T DELAY! Start livin' la vida low-carb TODAY! It'll be the best thing you could EVER do.

One of the most popular topics of interest at my blog is the subject of loose skin. After I blogged about it again this week, the response was quite eclectic.

Here was a PRO response I received:

Hi Jimmy...

I've been reading your blog for quite some time and really enjoy it. While I don't adhere to a strict low carb diet, I do watch the overall carb intake. When I was in my late teens (18/19 yrs old) i weighed 325 lbs. :-( Through diet and exercise I lost 200 lbs and have kept it off for 5 yrs now.

Anyway, just like you I have the loose skin issue to deal with now. It's really upsetting actually. I would love to have surgery but I can't afford it--that is the only thing holding me back otherwise i'd get it done in a heartbeat. My extreme weight loss was definitely worth it but now I feel like a deflated balloon - it's been so hard on me emotionally so I can definitely relate to your latest post on your loose skin.

For me, it's been like 5 years and while the skin on my upper arms has tighted up and I no longer have the Bat-Wing look going on, my tummy and thighs are's horrible to be a 25-year-old woman with the body of an 85 year old! Arrrrrgh. I know I'll get surgery one day...even though now it seems like it'll never happen.

Anyhow, congrats on your weight loss and thank you so much for your blog. Its informative and i like reading the personal stories too. :)

THANKS for the note. But, there were some CON responses:

Hi Jimmy,

Please don't get surgery done. It's dangerous.

I'd just like to tell you that the loose skin DOES firm up. I'm about your height (6'3---give or take) and when I was at 220, I had the loose skin on the inner thighs/stomach/etc.

Fact is: unless you've got an unusually high amount of muscle...220 is still too heavy for guys our height. I'm about 202 now and the issue is greatly reduced.

Have faith. Drop some more weight and it will tighten up. With your iron discipline, it should be a cinch.

I'm still not buying it, but I am trying to lose another 20 pounds. So the jury is still out. I'm not holding my breath that things will change much because the skin just hangs and droops with stretch marks. EWWW!

Switching gears a bit, some of you have concerns about soy, but have you seen the latest research about it reducing the risk of ovarian cancer? Here's the study:

A study published in the January 8, 2007 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology finds that soy foods may lower the risk for ovarian cancer. Dietary factors and incidence of ovarian cancer were analyzed among 97,275 women from the California Teachers Study cohort. Those who consumed 3 milligrams of isoflavones (a phytoestrogen found in soy foods) per day had a 44 percent lower risk than women who consumed less than 1 milligram. There was no significant evidence linked to any other foods or nutrients with ovarian cancer risk.

What do you think about this? I know soy is quite controversial among low-carbers. So, does this new evidence strengthen your support for it or change your mind if you opposed it? Why or why not? I'd love to know what you think!

On a lighter note, one of my readers had an idea for me he enthusiastically wanted to share. Here's what he wrote:

Here's an idea for you--maybe a "Best Of Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" articles collection? What do you think? Keep up the good work, Mr. Moore!

Actually, it's funny I got this e-mail because I had been thinking of making this my second book in celebration of my millionth pageview. While it sounds like an easy book, it would still take compiling the best of the 1,500+ blog posts I have written over the past two years and adding some background information to make the book worthwhile to my readers.

I suppose my questions to you are: 1) Would you buy a book like this and find it useful as a reference tool?, and 2) How many posts should it include if I do decide to do this book? I was thinking maybe the top 100 posts and I'm willing to take your ideas for which ones should DEFINITELY be included among that list. Feel free to e-mail me your feedback at

Getting back to the e-mails, here's an intriguing one from a very regular reader.

I have taken antidepressant medication (SSRI's or SNRI's) for 20 years now with great success (geez, can it be this long? since they invented Prozac, ca. 1987). There are no apparent side effects with this medication (EffexorXR 150mg/d) as far as daily life is concerned, though the psychiatrist who dispenses them to me explained that the drug is likely responsible for the last 30-40lbs. of weight gain I incurred about seven years ago – and also explained that the drug can make weight loss quite difficult.

The medication is not in question here, but my tendency to be depressive is. Yesterday I started back on Induction to get control over my sloppy low-carb pattern during the past few months. This morning in church some depression and anxiety fell upon me during the service, a situation that normally feels supportive and uplifting, and is continuing with me this afternoon.

I don't remember if I felt this during previous induction initialization periods, but my guess would be that going back on induction might well reduce my serotonin levels in a "new" environment of reduced carbohydrate intake. It's been a while since I invoked a strict Iduction period. The body does have to adjust, doesn't it? (and the mind as well, I suppose). It may be several days before I feel full of energy with normal mood, right? If nothing else, I can tell I'm already in mild ketosis through the feel in my mouth. That didn't take long!

Who knows, as a naturally depressive person, maybe the reason I've tended to be fat since I was 6 is my attempt to self-medicate with carbohydrates in the same way an alcoholic self-medicates with alcohol to mediate psychic pain. Just thinking...

Since I have never suffered from depression myself per se (my wife Christine take Paxil for her condition), I can certainly see how some people are more susceptible to it than others. We're all wired differently, so naturally our bodies react in different ways to various circumstances.

I encouraged my reader to seek natural ways to improve his serotonin levels like eating dark chocolate (like the delicious sugar-free ones from ChocoPerfection) and other stress-relieving techniques. It certainly doesn't hurt to do what you can to make your low-carb lifestyle as comfortable as you can until your body gets used to it. Again, I don't fully understand depression, but acknowledge it exists for some. Be encouraged that YOU are not alone. :)

It seems one of my newer readers just discovered this blog post I wrote a few months ago asking whether I looked like an obese man since my BMI shows that I am. Here was her shocking e-mail to and about me (you're not gonna believe it!):

Erm, you DO look overweight, Jimmy. Those pictures of you with your shirt off show the droopy skin. But front to back and side to side, you look overweight. My husband, who is a physician, experiences this all the time in his office. Parents come in worrying that their kid is too skinny, but by the charts the child is normal weight or slightly overweight. We've just gotten so used to Americans being fat that we no longer see what we're seeing.

My husband (the doctor) doesn't listen to his own advice and now has diabetes. It's not a good condition to have. Your body doesn't care how fat every other American is. It cares how fat YOU are. Jimmy, you already know how to lose the weight. Please quit rationalizing and just do it. Please?

OUCH! You know I had to respond:

WOW, that's what I call brutal honesty! LOL! Hmmm, pondering over your comments, I'm quite intrigued. I agree that people's perceptions about themselves are skewed downward in America, but if you saw me in person I think you would have a different take.

My arms are very skinny and you can see the bones in my hands! EWWW! My collarbone couldn't be more visible and I feel FANTASTIC!

All of that notwithstanding, I acknowledge I need to lose some more weight which is why I started my "30-In-30" and have set a goal to get down to 199. Is that gonna be low enough for my 6'3" body, Marilyn? Should I keep pushing for the recommended "normal" BMI weight of 165-170? That seems extreme to me.

I ask all of this truly out of sincere curiosity about what you think. So, if I'm "fat" now, then what weight will I no longer be fat? :) THANKS for the engaging conversation.

Here was her response back to me:

A little known truth--even a fat guy looks good in a good suit! But those pictures of you with your clothes off (eeek!) tell the story. Your arms may be sticks, but what counts is the fat around your belly.

When we lose weight, we don't do it uniformly over the whole body. In women, the last areas to release their fat are usually the hips and thighs. That presents no particular problem other than appearance. In men, however, the last area to release its fat is the abdomen, and that IS a problem. The technical term for it is truncal obesity.

Do a Google search for truncal obesity. Two of the articles you will find are here and here. There is quite a bit of medical terminology to deal with in these articles, but the take-home message is that you have an elevated BMI, kind of squirrelly bloodwork, and the type of fat distribution that puts you at risk for cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes.

How much weight should you lose? If you're a female nurse and have a BMI of 25, you have 5 times the likelihood of developing Type II diabetes than if you're a female nurse and have a BMI of 21. If you're a female nurse and have a BMI above 30, your risk of developing Type II diabetes is 28 times higher. At a BMI of 35, it's 93 times higher. (Weight Gain as a Risk Factor for Clinical Diabetes Mellitus in Women, Annals of Internal Medicine (1995), Volume 122, Issue 7, pages 481-6)

There are all sorts of issues with the validity of BMI. There are all sorts of issues with cholesterol levels. And since you're neither female nor a nurse, the statistics in the article I just cited don't apply to you. But I'd suggest that you read the truncal obesity articles and think about them. Only you can decide what weight is right for you. But I'd like to know that you've considered all the factors before you decide that losing 20 more pounds plus some loose skin will be enough.

Shoot, I don't know. Reaching a BMI of 25 certainly isn't going to hurt you. Even if you get that loose skin removed, you won't fall below a BMI of 18!

You might measure your waist-to-hip ratio, check out what is a good level of risk that you could live with, and then lose weight to whatever that measurement is. It would be nice if "spot reduction" worked, but it doesn't!

There is obviously a lot of material for you to absorb from that PDF article and a lot of risk factors for you to consider. And you now have contacts in the nutritional/medical community to help guide your thinking.

Not a simple answer or a simple number, but I've given you enough blogging material to last for a very long time!

That you have and I'm listening to what you have to say. Let's just put it this way. If I lost the 20 pounds I am trying to right now to reach 199 AND get the tummy tuck surgery removing another 20-25 pounds or so of skin, then I will weight about 175-180 on my 6'3" body. That would be WELL within what ANYONE would consider "normal" (or even BELOW normal in the perception of most people!). I'll hit that 1-9-9 and then we'll go from there.

My reader wrote me one more time (long conversation we had!):

I Googled "ideal weight" and found this site, which is very interesting. Even more interesting is his discussion of the formulas used for calculating ideal body weight.

All of these would suggest that a weight of 185-195 for a 6'3" man is probably a reasonable number. Not that far from your goal of 199 pounds. I think the concern I expressed previously arises from a feeling that you have convinced yourself that it's okay to hover between 220 and 240 and are relying on a dream of surgery to take you down to 199. I could well be wrong about that, though.

Yep, you are. I have and will continue to strive for 199 and then will consider the skin removal surgery. We'll see how all this progresses in 2007.

I have noticed quite a bit of new visitor traffic lately from people who found my article about Manuel Uribe, the man who used to weigh over a half ton who is now livin' la vida low-carb. His story has been featured prominently in the media over the past few weeks and my blog post is at the top search results when you do a Google search for "Manuel Uribe."

Here's what one reader wrote to me when he found me:


I was so intrigued by your blog you wrote regarding Manuel Uribe.

I have a doctor who tells me that my health problems are from being overweight. However, he doesn't suggest any change or help me in any way.

I am 431 pounds and I want so much to "live again". I'm only 54 this year and I have been on disability for almost 9 years. My left knee is almost gone and my right knee is starting to really give me trouble.

Can you give me a suggestion as where to start so that I can shed at least 200 pounds? I have been thinking Lap Band surgery but I don't know if Medicare will cover that. Thank you for your time! God bless you.

It's a sad commentary that many doctors are overlooking obesity and simply want to treat the conditions that arise out of weight issues rather than the source of the problem itself. All that does is lead people like this to feel helpless and hopeless like nothing will ever work for them. It's such a shame people like this look to LAP-BAND and ignore livin' la vida low-carb.

But I reached back to this person with some hope:

THANKS so much for writing to me today. Let me tell you how proud I am of your courage to admit you are in a spot you don't want to be in. That's an all-important first step to getting the weight gone and getting healthy.

I used to weigh an unhealthy 410 pounds in 2004 and as able to lose 190 pounds by following the Atkins/low-carb approach. While Manuel Uribe and myself have found success on this way of eating, I certainly encourage you to do what you feel like you can stick with over the long haul.

Go read a book about low-carb first and learn what this way of eating is all about. That's a vital first step before you try implementing any changes. Then follow that plan exactly as prescribed. Finally, keep doing that plan for the rest of your life.

YOU CAN DO THIS! It's not too late to do something about your health and I urge you to make this commitment serious and GO FOR IT! It will change your life forever just like it has for me. God bless you, my friend.

Please contact me anytime you have any questions or concerns. Take care!

Finally, I was thrilled to see the following comment from a regular reader of my columns posted at my sister site CarbWire:

Hey Jimmy, been following you via Carbwire now for quite some time and today is the day I decided to finally do something about my weight. I'm going to join the low carb revolution! Ireally enjoy your podcasts too! Keep up the good work!

YIPPEE! YAHOO! WHEEEEE!!! That's so awesome! Can you tell I'm excited?! :D This is a remarkable way to live a happy and healthy life, I can't imagine why EVERYONE wouldn't at least try it once to see how it could improve their life like it has mine. CONGRATULATIONS on making this fateful decision to begin low-carb!

That's all for now from my e-mail box, but I'm always here to offer a listening ear or a helping hand to you as you are livin' la vida low-carb! Please don't hesitate to e-mail me your questions and comments and I promise to respond as soon as possible. So let me hear from you, okay? Talk to you soon!

1-22-07 UPDATE: The feedback to this post has been flooding in. Here's just a little:

Hi--great blog!!!

One comment on the whole soy issue--as a breast cancer survivor, I've researched many supplements and foods that are healthy for women. It is unclear, but very possible, that soy consumption increases the effects of estrogen levels which causes breast cancer in many cases (including mine).

Both soy and flax are among those supplements that might increase estrogen's effects (especially for women on birth control pills or taking hormone replacement therapy). Women wanting more info can visit

Just thought I'd throw that out there as a caution. Keep up the great work and healthy blog :)

THANKS for the info! Another one of my readers agrees that I've still got fat to lose and that I should avoid having the skin removal surgery that I want to have done. Here's what she wrote:

Dear Jimmy,

I hate to be brutally honest, but I'm afraid I have to agree with the doctor's wife who made so many brutally honest comments about your excess skin. I've seen lots of shows on the Discovery Channel of people who have had the surgery to have excess skin removed after losing 100 or more pounds. One woman had lost about 400 lbs after having a stomach reduction, and she had a tremendous amount of "excess skin" on her trunk, legs and arms.

I put the words "excess skin" in quotes, because when they cut into her "skin", they had to keep cutting, down, and down and down. About 4 inches deep, the doctor says "When we get down the the fascia, we'll see how much weight she's really lost". (The fascia is the thin membrane that separates your skin layer from the organs underneath) Now, we already know how much weight she'd lost - somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 lbs. What he was trying to avoid saying on camera, since he knew she'd be watching it later, was more along the lines of "We know she's lost 400 lbs, but when we get through all the subcutaneous fat that's still here, we'll be able to see thorugh the fascia and know whether her organs are still surrounded by pockets of fat".

He ended up taking a strip of "skin" off of her that was about 6 or 7 inches thick. I'm sorry, but that wasn't all skin! You could SEE that there was a thin layer of skin as he cut into her, but the yellowish stuff he kept cutting down through to get to the fascia was fat.

Try this little experiment. Using your fingers, pinch up the skin on the back of your hand. It's maybe an eighth of an inch thick, right? That's how thick actual skin IS, pretty much over your entire body. Now, pinch the skin on your belly. Can you even get ahold of a thin layer on your belly like on your hand? If you can pinch more than that on your belly, or your legs, you're not pinching just skin, you're pinching fat too. To be fair, there's actually a thin layer of fat under the skin on your hands too. No matter how thin your hands are now.

If you had as little fat under the skin on your midsection as you do on your hands, you'd be literally nothing but a skeleton with muscle and a few organs under your skin. We all have some fat under the skin, it's just a matter of how much there is. Remember the old "pinch an inch" commercials? How much do you pinch when you pinch your belly skin? Unless you have a very odd pocket of air around your midsection, that is indeed fat on there. You're not going to get rid of ALL of it no matter how much weight you lose, unless you literally starve yourself to death.

As brutally honest as it may be, and as sorry as I am to have to agree with the doctor's wife, what you have around your midsection isn't just skin. I hope you don't take this as some sort of "Let's bash Jimmy Moore" rant. On the contrary, you've done a tremendous job of losing a huge amount of weight, and you've even managed to lose more of it in the last few months. Both accomplishments are very worthy of commendation - you've done remarkably well! Congratulations!

But like the doctor's wife, I have to agree that you still need to lose more. I don't know so much about the stuff she was quoting about your continued risk for diabetes and heart disease at that particular BMI, especially given your low carb diet that isn't likely to ever raise your blood sugar high enough to qualify you as a diabetic and the blood workup that showed you had fluffy LDL, but there is still more there that you could lose. Getting down to the 185-195 range might be a little too low though, I don't know. I think mostly the BMI and ideal height-weight charts have figures that are far too low for anyone who has an ounce of muscle on thier bodies.

Speaking of muscle, I know from reading your posts that you do time on the elliptical machine or treadmill just about every day. But what about resistance training? You say your arms are downright skinny, which indicates to me that you don't have a lot of muscle in your arms and possibly not in your shoulders, judging by the photos on your site, but that may depend a lot on how large your frame is--if you're small framed and actually have a lot of arm and shoulder muscle, please forgive me for speaking of that which I know nothing about.

But that's not really what it looks like to me, so I'll continue on, just in case it does apply. You know of course that muscle takes a lot more energy to maintain than fat does--I don't mean just maintenance time on the resistance machines, but as far as how many calories it uses. (even though we don't count calories on low carb, it's still somewhat of a factor in our weight loss)

You're a guy too - and guys find it a lot easier to build lots of arm and shoulder muscle than females do. So in theory, it should be easy for you to stick to the low carb eating plan you've been using for the last few years, and lose a lot of the weight around your middle just by building up your upper body muscle. This may cause you to actually gain weight initially (muscle weighs more than fat), but as you build muscle, it'll maintain itself on the protein you eat, and body fat will need to be converted to glycogen to cover the rest of your caloric needs.

You're probably thinking that your legs are strong enough and you don't need to build up your leg muscles, but treadmills and elipticals only go so far to build leg muscles. Depending on your walking style, the treadmill and eliptical may actually build buttock muscles a lot more than leg muscles. So you could even do some of the leg muscle building resistance machines, if you don't already, because the more muscle you can build on your body, the more calories your body will take to maintain that muscle, hence the more calories it will need to take from fat stores to keep you going.

The general rule of thumb when it comes to muscle building is that you work the same sets of muscles only every couple of days, not every day, but if you go more than 3 days without working those muscles, you're losing ground. A little bit of discomfort between workouts means that you've damaged the muscles, but that damage is a good thing, because as the muscle works to repair itself, it builds more muscle. A little damage to those muscles is a good thing, lots of damage isn't--I don't want you to be in serious pain!

Sorry this is so long, and I'm really not trying to be rude by agreeing with the doctor's wife. Just putting in my own 2 cents, based on the things I've seen.

With the greatest respect for someone who shows us daily what low carb is all about--THANK YOU!

Again, I can appreciate where all of these comments are coming from and rest assured I am already in the process of working on losing more body fat as I resolved to do at the beginning of the year and to increase my resistance training which I admit tailed off in 2006. THANK YOU for caring enough to share this with me. I'm a big boy, so I can take criticism. Bash away! :D

Speaking of that woman who said I had more weight to lose before I even think about having an abdominoplasty, she responded today as well:

Whoa! Lots of blogging done last night! So you are going to try to lose more weight? Great! This is ONE time I'm glad to be wrong! (Don't tell my husband I ever said that!!!) Happy Monday!

THANK YOU again for your comments because I'm taking them in the manner they were intended. If you didn't care, you wouldn't have said a word!

Finally, I got an awesome first-time comment from a new reader who has yet another perspective on this who obese vs. skinny debate. Check this out:

Dear Jimmy,

I have been reading your blog for the last three months since I started the low-carb way of eating. Not until today have I felt the need to talk to you, but I could not let today's post go by without comment. I refer to the email that expressed an opinion that you were still "fat."

Frankly, I don't think it is anyone else's business but yours. No one knows what it is like to be in your skin. No one knows how hard you have worked to lose the last 180lbs AND KEEP IT OFF!!!

You may choose to lose more weight, or you may not--it is entirely up to you. All I know is you are healthier today than you were when you carried all that extra weight, and what you have achieved you should be, and CONTINUE TO BE, proud of.

I have never been morbidly obese, but I have been overweight--20kg heavier than I am today. I am sure that the same person who pointed out your imperfections would probably think I could still lose some more weight.

Even though I am now in the "healthy" weight range, I still have visible fat on my hips and thighs. Others, of course, encourage me to eat all those processed carbs because I am "too skinny" now anyway. No one knows what it is like to be in my skin so it's no one's business but my own.

I want to shift those last 5 kilos so I have spent the last 4 weeks with carbs under 20g a day, calories around 1200 and exercising like a madwoman and for my efforts I have lost .6kg - I think that is ONE POUND!!!

But I take solace in the fact that the same happens to you and you never give up. You know what you want and you working towards it every day. I celebrate that the scales are at least going down without hunger and deprivation.

Life is an adventure, a challenge, exhilarating and disappointing. Our bodies belong to us, and we choose what we do with them. You and me Jimmy, we're doing the right thing!! Let's keep it up--and let THEM eat cake!!! All the best.

LOL! I LOVE this person's perspective on this. It's what I've said before--I AM healthier than I've ever been and I am VERY proud of what I have been able to do about my weight. Why else would I put myself out there day in and day out talking about this sensitive subject?

We need people to stop enabling the overweight and obese to continue in their same bad habits time and time again. If we can get people to at the very least to do SOMETHING about their obesity even if they don't get all of the fat off their body, then we would be doing a lot better as a country with this epidemic, don't ya think?

Just a little more to ponder as you start this new week. :) Oh happy day!

1-22-07 UPDATE: Carol at "Kudos For Low Carb" had a comment about strength building that contradicts what someone else had sent to me. Here's her comments:

Hi Jimmy,

I just wanted to make a comment on the following from a letter you received:

"The general rule of thumb when it comes to muscle building is that you work the same sets of muscles only every couple of days, not every day, but if you go more than 3 days without working those muscles, you're losing ground."

That part about going more than 3 days without working your muscles and you'll lose ground just is not true. I don't know who wrote that or what, if any, credentials in training that person might have but they are incorrect. I've read literally reams of material on weight training and muscle, not to mention putting what I've learned into practice.

Generally, if you're actively weight training on a regular basis of at least two 30 minute sessions a week and you're making progress, you can take a break of 3 to 6 weeks and not lose muscle strength or size. And I have the log book to prove it. I've had to take long breaks, (once four months during pregnancy,) due to illness or injury and came back to lift even heavier than my last session right out of the gate.

As long as you're healthy (have no muscle diseases), eat adequate protein and remain otherwise active, you won't lose ground if you take short breaks from strength training. Many people find their muscles need a longer recovery period between sessions than the usual recommendations of two or three days for maximum results.

I know you have issues with strength training. You're not alone, many folks dislike it. Some people seem to have an allergy to iron and steel. ;) You might want to consider some alternative strength training approaches such as isometrics, Pilates, or Bar Method, which build muscle without free weights or weight machines. Also, the book 'YOU: On A Diet' has an effective strength building program that involves no weights, no equipment, and you can do it in your living room or anywhere. Or mix one whole body free weight or machine session a week with one or two alternative methods. Variety helps stave off boredom and lack of motivation we all deal with from time to time. And muscle adapts quickly. You really need to mix up your routine at least every 8 weeks to make optimal progress.

Studies show even elderly people as old as 90 can build muscle and strength with as little as one or two 30 minute strength training sessions a week. You're young, you should be able to achieve progress with a few short training sessions a week, which is easier than you think. A lot of people read muscle magazines or get a gung ho trainer and think they have to work out like the bodybuilding pros. That's fine too, if you have the stomach for it. But it's not necessary for good results for the average person looking to get fit.

You also might want to check out HIT or high intensity training. The program advocates less reps at higher weights and rest periods between session are a minimum of five days. Mike Mentzer was the architect of this style and built an impressive physique with it that won him a Mr. Olympia title. I've tried it and prefer it to long sessions of high repetitions.

Okay, that was more than one comment! Blah, blah, blah. I do go on. Best of Luck with your goals!

Carol at Kudos For Low Carb

GREAT ANSWER, Carol! I appreciate your expertise.

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Blogger Kevin said...

Jimmy, my personal (admittedly unprofessional) take on this is that you need to have the skin removed, and you should stop beating your body up by tring to lose more weight. You know that the extra weight is all that skin, don't make more of a mystery out of it than it is. For whatever reason, the fat under the skin won't come off by dietary means, so don't try to make it. Meanwhile, your body cannot reach a proper metabolic balance with all that "mass" still hanging around - the body's "metabolic balance guage" is confused by it. That is my intuitive guess. It scares me to hear you talk about pushing your body to more weight loss, when you know that that's not really the problem. Just my humble opinion.

1/22/2007 1:26 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

*raises hand* Oooh ooh pick me. I love these posts :) I also have the attention span of a hyper flea... but I love these posts.

Connie Bennett actually covers seratonin/carbs in Sugar Shock (my lunchtime reading today). And bless her she has an index. It is chapter 11, "Sweets Can Sour Your Mood." And pretty much she agrees with the emailer to the extent that doctors understand what is going on at all. Chromium can help as well as upping good fats and some ammino acid supplements can help even things out. I'm betting people on Connie's Yahoo! group could offer more help.

Personal experience: being on an SSRI has helped me cut my disturbing sugar consumption level down considerably. I think before I was main-lining sugar to try and make up for low seratonin levels (and because I have a killer sweet tooth). I'm currently down to a little sugar in the peanut butter I buy and some dark chocolate (cheating moments aside). And I'm thankful to low carb for keeping my weight stable in the face of what should probably be a significant medication induced weight gain. I'd love to loose my last 30 lbs (already down 50 lbs and stable for around 5 years) but I'm ok with feeling healthy and not loosing ground. I know I could do Kimkins or look into CRON to speed things up but my current plan is to stick with low-carb, get better taking time for resistance training, and then seeing where my body wants to go from there.

(PS - Jimmy I'm sorry if you get these comment notifications two or three times... Blogger takes me through the verification process several times before I get the comment moderation message).

1/23/2007 10:05 PM  

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