covering that third (or quarter) of the day

We’d ordered a new Casper mattress to replace our aging memory foam. That mattress we’d picked up for a song on Amazon six years or so ago – around $600 for a King; it’s technically still under warranty, but there were issues from the beginning, mostly with heat. The Casper promised to help with heat issues, be a bit bouncier and better for happy fun times, and so on – and cost much less than comparable mattresses. Not quite the bargain we paid for the Amazon no-name  memory foam, but (just) under a grand with discounts. And there’s a 100 day trial. Continue reading “covering that third (or quarter) of the day”

Doctor update, and the challenge.

I had a routine follow up with my primary care doctor. Blood pressure was good, pulse was 84, weight (clothed) was 490.2 so I’ve crept up about 10 pounds since the initial drop in weight following the big drop from water pills in January.

My doctor says that aside from the weight (and the a-fib) I’m pretty darned healthy for my age. That if we can bring the weight down it will help reduce the impact of the a-fib.  She ordered a blood tests prior to my next visit in mid-May. I brought up possible allergies, but she was dismissive of that. She recommended 5 days a week, 1 hour a day of swimming for cardio (to help the joints) and 20 minutes, three times a week of weights. she’s concerned about my metabolism being low. She also recommended 4-5 small meals a day.

My post-visit meal was at Carl’s Jr. Once I can break the sugar and carb cravings I should see some real progress, but at the moment it’s a big hurdle.


So, life with atrial fibrillation is not as scary as was the prospect of life with “congestive heart failure.” But it has had an impact. I’m more paranoid about getting out of breath, and the heart racing.  I’ve only worked out a couple of times since I got the clearance to do so. My eating is better, and I’m researching the heck out of nutritional options, but in practice it’s not yet much better. The hardest thing is having that voice in your head saying “is it safe?” that may be doing more harm than good.

After more than a month of tests, drugs, and follow ups, I went to the hospital for an electro-cardioversion (“Clear!” *zap*). It worked…for forty seconds or so. Then back to irregular beats.  It may have had some effect; my average heart rate seems lower, and the variance is, more often than not, narrower. But I can definitely feel, or think I feel, those moments when the ticker is less than optimal.  it is intimidating.

I’ve learned that a-fib is increasingly common among people my age and older, and “nobody ever dies from a-fib.” It’s a warning sign, but treatable. One of the treatments: lose some damn weight. The more the better.

We’re leaning toward going with something along the LCHFMP lines (low carb, high fat, moderate protein). Vinnie Tortorich pushes a variation called NSNG (no sugar, no grains). Abel James pushes a variation called the Wild Diet (a form of paleo that’s also low carb and low/no sugar, but pushing hard on the quality of everything – grass fed, organic, non-GMO, etc. – low on simple carbs, but plenty of healthy veggies.) Abel’s podcast tends to be fairly upbeat, but his book’s first chapter is a bleak, lengthy diatribe against Big Food’s various ingredients of evil.  I’ve also been subscribing to Nutrition to the Edge by Karl Pilz, who advocates extremely high-fat, moderate protein, nearly no carb for a regular state of ketosis. Vinnie notes that ketosis doesn’t automatically equal weight/fat loss, and fat loss doesn’t require ketosis.

Bottom line is that a lot of what we’ve been reading and listening to comports with our own experiences when we’ve lost successfully: when we’re not giving in to sugar and simple carb cravings, we tend to do pretty well.

I’m about to hit another birthday. I’m still in my early fifties, but I’m not getting any younger. But you wouldn’t necessarily know it by viewing my food choices. Those need to grow up. I also read/hear that for the “hunter type” (ADHD) the lower consumption of simple carbs and sugars should help a lot with concentration and focus.