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The Shangri-La Diet => Progress/Updates => Topic started by: DirkVA on May 05, 2006, 08:26:31 PM

Title: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: DirkVA on May 05, 2006, 08:26:31 PM
Read the book yesterday. A veteran of much self-experimentation, I became an instinctive believer. It all just makes sense to me. Plus, there's something about Seth that not only makes me trust him but feel that what works for him will work for me.

I'm a 59-year-old male academic/musician. From a long-lived family of good, hardy constitutions, and having long been one of those thin people "who can eat anything," I have nevertheless put on a good deal of weight in recent years. I'm 6'2" and about 240 pounds. (What a colleague calls "fair, fat and forty," but I'm well over forty but fortunate enough not to look it). I've done Fit for Life (weighed 190 pounds and kept it off for a couple of years through being a pretty consistent vegan) but then went wildly omnivorous (initially because of hanging out with a non-vegan ...) and put on the pounds. Lost about 20 through a couple of bouts with Dr. Adkins, but we all know how that tends to turn out.

So I started this morning.

First nourishment was two tablespoons of ELOO at 10 a.m. What's all this whining about how disgusting it is? I found it very tolerable, especially considering the longed-for benefits. (Besides, I've lived in Spain. Olive oil flows in my veins.)

Sipped water all afternoon.

Went to a gallery opening at 6, with food provided by a famous restaurant, and had (I can hardly believe it as I type) four meatballs, three little pieces of cheese, and a glass of red wine. This instead of making a spectacle of myself over the great food, as many of my neighbors were doing. God, I hope this régime doesn't make me a self-righteous prig.

At eight, mindful of Seth's talk of the benefits of unfamiliar and bland tastes (oh yes, I want extra credit) I got four little spring rolls encased in tapioca paper. I looked at these pathetic objects and thought, "THIS is dinner? It'll never fill me up." I gave up half-way through the second one. Full. Happy. Ready to go home and read more Shangri-La blogs.

This is what I have been looking for. I can feel quite certain that it's the missing link in my relationship with food, food's relationship with my body, and my relationship with the way my body uses food.

Why are people moaning about how hard it would be to have to face oil or sugar water over the long haul? Hell, I'm happy if I can keep my set points set by doing this every day till I die and they lay out my remarkably trim corpse.
Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: mjohnson121 on May 06, 2006, 07:22:44 AM
Haha..enjoyed your post. LOL! Keep us updated with your progress.

-Mark
Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: DirkVA on May 08, 2006, 11:20:49 AM
Well, it's Day Four this thing really does seem to work.

I'm still watching/trying not to watch what I do and don't eat with great fascination.

For the most part I'm astonished at how little I eat before I get full. But I'm enjoying food very much, while already I find jeans and belts are getting looser. Yea.

I'm really, really thirsty a lot and need to have good water with me all the time (not touching the stuff in drinking fountains, e.g.). I don't know what is causing the great thirst, but it has to be better than huge, ungovernable appetite.

I was looking forward to saving money on food, as some say they are doing. But instead I'm spending far more, largely in my search for unfamiliar flavors. I'm finding that latter a tall order, since there aren't that many cuisines, etc. that I haven't tried before (and liked). I did stock up on herbs and spices at Whole Foods last night, so that may begin to do the trick as I try new and unusual combinations -- and risk concocting unpalatable messes, too!

Since I'm a big guy, I'm thinking I need to up my oil a bit. This morning, I got up to go to the bathroom an hour before I meant to rise, so I stopped off in the kitchen and downed a tablespoon. I had no breakfast. Then, when I started to leave for the office a couple of hours later, I saw the bottle and thought "Why the heck not?" I scarfed another tablespoon.
 
When I went to lunch, I ordered just a baby-spinach salad (that had nuts, dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes, etc. in it). It would once have been laughable that that would fill me up. But, as I dived into the delicious stuff, I began to look with horror on the large hunk of pumpkin bread that had come unbidden with the salad. When I finished the salad, I did more or less force down the bread, which I think is wrong. I've GOT to learn that wasting food is not going to hurt my body as much as overeating. I'm frugal by nature.

But at least now, when I listen to my body, there is a lot less static. So put me down as one of the hopeful ones.
Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: DirkVA on May 15, 2006, 07:28:36 PM
Ten days now, and I'm definitely succeeding.

I'm not weighing. My objectives are simply to do the plan and not to ride herd on my pounds. But the clothes continue to get bigger, and I'm finding all this very fascinating.

The hardest part for me is still the "extra credit" efforts to eat new flavors all the time. Using the herbs and spices, I have concocted some almost inedible dishes (and I'm usually considered a very good cook). The taste was certainly unfamiliar, but eating unpleasant food is not one of my goals. So that part still needs a lot of work.
Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: MAK on May 16, 2006, 02:50:36 AM
I love reading your blogs.  I have only been on SLD for a week and it's working for me.  I do 2 tbsp of oil and 3 tbsp of sugar a day, alternating them.  I also have a couple of lbs off, will weight on Thursday.  I have always been a fan of variety in my meals, so I'm not struggling with that.  I do have a little problem with sleeping but hope that will even out when my body gets use to eating a lot less and no cravings.
Keep up the good work with the writing, they make my day!
Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: janjan on May 17, 2006, 02:43:34 PM
Hi, I enjoyed your posting-------------I'm courious about how you take the oil---just with a spoon or is there a way to pour it down and NOT taste it..................I wonder if the addition of salt would compromise the effectiveness. 
Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: Denise on May 17, 2006, 02:48:20 PM
Seth's said that he doesn't think salt is a recognizable set-point flavor.
Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: Victoria on May 17, 2006, 03:05:42 PM
I'm still watching/trying not to watch what I do and don't eat with great fascination.

Very well put.  I am trying to be nonchalant about my lack of appetite and lack of interest in food, yet I am consumed by my lack of appetite and lack of interest in food and keep running to the computer to post about it.

And I wouldn't worry about becoming a self-righteous prig.  I've been down that road before, during my Dr. McDougall very-low-fat-vegan diet, and also during my Richard Simmons Deal-A-Meal low-calorie diet.  No one was as virtuous and self-denying as I.   :oops:  Fortunately, the Shangri La Diet is so weird, I don't think I'll be able to tell anyone what I'm doing until I've lost at least 20 pounds.  (Sorry, Seth.)
Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: DirkVA on May 17, 2006, 06:23:05 PM
JanJan: I just dump it in an old tin measuring spoon and eat it. I have no aversion to it at all, so I'm lucky. I just think of all those calories that are going down that will keep me from a far larger number of calories.

Victoria: Your first paragraph reflects my feelings -- or some of them -- exactly.

I am in my second day visiting, as a guest, on the campus of Georgetown University. Lots of parties (it being commencement week). I am being treated to the most amazing food choices. I feel as though I'm eating everything in sight. But when I look at the variety and amounts of food I've eaten, I realize that I have greatly reduced my intake, and that the calorie content must be comparatively modest.

For one thing, the very consciousness that Victoria mentions is rather new to me. I now tend to be conscious (and not in some puritanical, self-flagellating way) of everything I eat. So I feel I'm eating more than I am. I used to eat on automatic pilot.

I buy the proposition that some have put forth that conscious eating has some spiritual benefit. Food is a blessing and should be enjoyed -- not just absorbed.

This "diet" (oh, how I hate the fact that, for understandable marketing reasons, it has to go under that name) has helped me begin to bring together all my beliefs and aspirations where food are concerned.

I'm one of those who is deeply grateful to Seth -- and to all you my fellow travelers.
Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: leloo on May 18, 2006, 02:44:10 AM
DirkVA, are you noticing that you're enjoying the food more as you eat it?

I know I am. It's not just being concious of what the food IS, it's the whole experience around it. Even the simplest of foods are more tasty, and I find that although I'm eating far less, I'm concentrating more on the textures, aromas and flavors of my food as I eat it. I'm not just wolfing it down as fast as possible and going back to whatever my "more important than being healthy" daily routine was.

I'm going to guess that it's also assisting with the weight loss - the slower you eat your food, the more time the stomach has to say "enough".

Fellow Traveler in getting healthier,

Leloo Dallas Mul-tee-pass



Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: DirkVA on May 18, 2006, 08:26:37 AM
Yes, I know what you mean.

Another benefit of conscious eating (in which I'm still a beginner and inconsistent) is that I also eat less when I follow it for the following reason: If I am sitting, say, at the computer eating cheese, or nuts, or anything else, I can consume quantities without even knowing it. But if I think of going and getting some cheese or nuts or whatever while I'm at the computer and then ask myself if I want to abandon the computer for food, consciously consumed, the answer is usually NO. I want the food in the BACKGROUND while I do something else, but I don't want to abandon the something else for conscious eating.

That tells me that I wasn't really hungry after all (if staying on the computer or with a book or listening to music is more important to me than eating), and that I should not eat then.
Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: Wonderwoman on May 18, 2006, 09:06:02 AM
LOL if the diet works for a lot of people they'll have to do a south park episode where everyone's being a bunch of arrogant bastards and chugging elvoo out of a bottle :D
Glad to hear you're having success. I started last night.
Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: DirkVA on May 18, 2006, 11:05:05 AM
Sorry, Wonderwoman, I don't see that even as a joke.

Why should we become arrogant at the same time we're becoming healthier in other ways? That would really undercut the whole point for me. Do you find Seth, who has maintained this program in his own life over an extended time, arrogant? I'd have thought just the opposite of him, and I hope for the same from the rest of us.

If South Park wants to satirize someone, I'd suggest the people who arrogantly refuse to help themselves.
Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: Wonderwoman on May 18, 2006, 11:24:09 AM
 I didn't mean that anyone was arrogant, it was a joke based on what you said and a past episode they did about hybrid cars. I don't find anyone here arrogant, including Mr. Roberts, nor would I be arrogant about a successful weight loss program. Sorry, I'm new here and I guess I should've kept my mouth shut, I was just trying to join in the discussions here.
Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: Will on May 18, 2006, 01:16:00 PM
I knew what you meant Wonderwoman, I saw that episode of South Park.  It was pretty funny.  I guarantee that they would make an episode of this diet if it explodes in popularity.  The whole counter intuitiveness of the diet makes it ripe for parody.    :P 

Headline in the SouthPark Newspaper, "Fat man drinks gallons of oil, loses 100 lbs!"  Cartman immediately grabs a quart of 10W30 from the garage....

It is always dangerous in written commentary to know when someone is making a joke, I'm sure DirkVA didn't realize that is what you were intending.

Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: mjohnson121 on May 18, 2006, 03:51:27 PM
Agreed. Even Seth mentioned the "danger of humor on the internet" or something to that affect.

Words...I tell ya! :)

-Mark
Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: DirkVA on July 07, 2006, 04:01:36 PM
Hi, folks. I haven't dropped out. Far from it. But deaths (two) in my close family and attendent issues almost as difficult have been going on. Also huge developments in recent weeks in my career (good ones) have been keeping me from posting. But not keeping me away from SLD. (I thought it important to testify that SLD basic routine can be kept up during the greatest stress.)

I have been consistent in continuing the oil and as many of the extra-credit principles as I could manage to keep up during all that has been going on. I have also continued to read the postings here. The thing that makes me feel I need to take a little time to share my progress with you is that, with all the great variety of experiences with SLD that I've read here, no one seems to be having my combination of effects. Each of the things I'm getting is being got by somebody else, but not in my combination.

As I said from the start, I was not going to be weighing myself much. Instead I have gone by the way clothes fit, which was immediately encouraging. I was fortunate enough to have an immediate and drastic reduction of appetite, and this has remained present (with a few non-worrying blips) throughout. I still find it very hard to estimate how much food to order, because food still appeals to me IN PROSPECT as much as it ever did. But once I start eating, I find my capacity remains greatly reduced.

I also have experienced the liberation that many have spoken of: food plays a much lesser role in my life than before.

My fairly mild eczema also improved right away, as others have said about themselves. Then it got the worst it has ever been! And now it has totally gone away. Go figure.

So I've felt thinner, I've felt lighter, I've felt happier.

But I haven't lost any weight.

In two solid months of following this faithfully and being very happy with the way it made me feel, I have lost zero pounds. In fact, when I finally weighed, I weighed several pounds more than what I had estimated my starting weight to be -- but that is unreliable.

Clearly something is wrong. I'm as sold on the diet as Stephen E. (who has lost several turkeys during the time I've been doing this) but have as sorry weight loss as "Diarist." Reading today about a guy who has lost 25 pounds during the time I've lost nothing really hurt. But then he's 30 years younger than I am, which has to be a factor.

I don't have time or mental energy, with all else that's going on, to be very diligent in pressing the enquiry of what's going wrong in my body or to try a lot of experiments to find remedy right now. But I'm a bit bummed that I've faithfully done the régime as advertised, and while I haven't given up hope by any means, I still am about 50 pounds overweight -- just as I was on May 5.

I'm 59 years old, 6'2" tall, weigh (alas) something over 240 pounds.

As I say, I can't strive much more with this until things settle in my life, but any advice will be gratefully listened to.

Best to all of you.
Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: CarolS on July 07, 2006, 04:16:53 PM
Sorry to hear of your losses. 

Sounds like your ezcema had an 'extinction burst' however odd that sounds.

Why don't you keep on doing what you are doing?  It sounds like you have good appetite suppression.  Maybe your body just needs some more time to lower the set point below your current weight.  I wish we could measure what our setpoints are before during and hopefully after reaching our goals.  After those initial couple of pounds in the first few days, it got really slow for me - before SLD.  SLD is pretty slow too, for me.  I have lost a total of 10 lbs over 3 1/2 months.  That is less than 1 lb per week.  I bet you will start to lose and lose quickly. 
Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: Seth Roberts on July 07, 2006, 04:31:19 PM
DirkVA, could your estimate of your starting weight be too low?
Title: Re: New guy in Charlottesville
Post by: DirkVA on July 07, 2006, 06:32:54 PM
Yes, Seth. As I said, my exact starting weight estimate was unreliable, but not drastically so. I have never weighed myself and found the number to be 244 in my whole life -- until last week. While I can't give you the exact numbers, there is clearly something wrong when I've eaten drastically less for two months and not lost weight. Clearly my set point is remaining high despite dogged adherence to the basics of the diet.

But thanks, CarolS. I agree that I should continue. I meant to imply that intention in my last post. Why shouldn't I continue? I don't understand why anyone would give up on this when it's so easy. (Two of my friends have come back from vacation and said, "So obviously I've been off the diet." WHY? I don't get it.) Since I don't for a moment think the claims of this system are fraudulent or that all the successful posters here are set-ups, I have to keep hoping. (Though I had hoped to be down to about 215 by now. Boo-hoo.)