Wednesday, August 18, 2021

the final sprint to the finish line

"Everything that has a beginning has an end," the Oracle tells us in the Matrix movies. Of course, if you're a Hindu, you take that thought further: every ending is a new beginning. In Hinduism, the cosmos is a churning moil of constant creation, destruction, and creation again. I take a deep lesson from that as I find myself, finally, at the end of a ten-week-long journey through the Newcastle Diet. The diet is supposed to shock the body out of diabetes through rapid weight loss in a short amount of time. Since before my stroke, when I weighed 128 kg (282.2 lbs.), to my last weigh-in, which put me at 102 kg (224.9 lbs.), I've lost 26 kilos (57.3 lbs.). But if I'm honest, I have to acknowledge that 9 of those kilos were lost in hospital, before I started the Newcastle Diet. So, really, Newcastle helped me lose 17 kg (37.5 lbs.), not 26 kg. In terms of my BMI, I've gone from 37.4 (obese) to 29.8 (overweight). Another 2 or so BMI points, and I'll have accomplished Newcastle's goal of getting me down 10 BMI points. Am I no longer diabetic after ten weeks? I doubt it, especially given how often I violated the 800-calorie limit, but at a guess, all my numbers are a lot better than when I started.

And here we are, at the end. I've got today and tomorrow, and then I move on (after a cheat day) to the next phase of my existence. 42 hours, as of this writing, will take me to 8 a.m. Friday morning, at which point I'll wake up, weigh myself, take my BP and fasting blood-sugar measurements, and record my final numbers for Newcastle. After taking those Friday-morning measurements, I'll be free to go nuts for the day, eating a wonderful lunch prepped by my coworker's wife, then a nasty-awesome pizza for dinner with my buddy JW,* and quite likely some blood-sugar-ruining sweets for dessert (Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, here we come!). The finish line is finally in sight, but every ending is its own beginning.

To that end, I'm done eating for today. I admit I had some extra nuts and dark chocolate (72%) last night (well, it was after midnight, so technically this morning), and I had my final shake on Newcastle this morning... and that's it. I had originally intended to bring some chicken breast with me to the office—to be eaten with a final Paris Baguette salad—but I forgot it, and that morphed into the idea of just fasting until the very end. The bird in my fridge can wait. So: nothing but fizzy water for me until Friday morning; not even a shake tomorrow. SlimFast, what's left of it, will be drunk only on cheat days until I run out, and then I'll buy no more.

Once I start keto, I'll be making my own food for almost all my meals. Meal planning has never been so important. Keto will not just mean abandoning SlimFast shakes; it'll also mean no more Paris Baguette salads. Keto sweets (so-called "fat bombs" and such) will be reserved for non-cheat weekends; during the week, I will be sweets-free. Three days of the week will be fasting days; I have no idea how easy or harsh that schedule is going to be, but I'm gambling that being able to consume up to 2000 calories on eating days will carry me over, and the comforting thought of cheat days twice a month will supply me the morale I'll need to survive this new lifestyle with sanity intact.

That's the plan, subject to later revision. Just another 42 hours. A long walk tonight, a walk up twenty flights of stairs tomorrow, and we're golden.


*Whatever his faults, JW has been a faithful friend this whole time. My other friends here on the peninsula always have this or that excuse for not meeting, usually pandemic- or schedule-related, but JW has almost always been like, "Let's do it!" whether I've suggested walking somewhere or eating somewhere. And there he usually is, maskless for our distance walks and raring to go. He may sometimes act like one of Job's comforters, but at least he's been there. It's something I said when my mom was sick: presence matters. As an introvert with relatively few close friends, I'd say that the friends I do have matter to me greatly. I'd like to see them more often, but getting together is difficult.

No comments: