My wife is a hero to me. We’ve been married now for 27 years, and she’s stuck by me through thick and thin. And, as many of you know, there’s been more thick than thin.
You see, when I was at my heaviest, I had no independence. None whatsoever. I could basically move around, but not very well. Going up the one flight of stairs in our house was a chore. And yet, she stood by me. She took care of me. She took care of the kids. And, she stayed by my side when I was thicker than that nice bacon that I envy so much.
When I started to lose the weight, I got to the point where I could move around and be helpful again. And, as I got thinner, like the thin cuts of bacon that we admire, she still stuck by me.
Then, I started riding my bicycle again. At the time I started riding, I would blow spokes on my bicycle that would lead to flat tires. And, she would chase me down and pick me up, wherever I was, so that I could go to the bicycle shop to get the tires fixed and the spokes replaced. But, I continued to lose weight, and I quit blowing spokes, but she still stuck with me.
I’ve now ridden 22,500 miles over 5.25 years, and she still drops me off for my longer bike rides. I have much more independence that I used to, but I still rely on her to get me to the places where I ride, and I often rely on her to pick me up after a long ride. I still don’t quite have independence from her, which is a good thing since I’m married too her.
However, that’s not entirely why she is a hero to me. You see, she resists collecting data, and cluttering her mind with the data like I do. This makes me envious of her. In my job as a computer programmer, I spend my days dealing with data. Lots of data. But, she resists collecting it. She uses a smart phone now, but it really took some salesmanship on my part to get her one. She still prefers writing things down on pieces of paper. If I write something down on paper, I usually can’t even read it the next day, as I’ve never had good penmanship skills. So, I admire her data independence. I rely on computer systems and automated systems; she has the freedom that I seek.
“Can I eat this way, without counting calories, carbs, etc.?”, is one of the questions that is often asked by people beginning a low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat Ketogenic diet. You see, for years, we’ve been told we need to count everything. If we followed a Calories In / Calories Out diet (CICO), we were told that we needed to religiously and accurately track all of the food we ate, the calories consumed, and the calories burned during the days and nights. Other diet plans had us tracking points. When I was on the Atkins Diet when I first started losing weight, I would count my net carbohydrates religiously.
Of course, keeping track of all this data can lead to unneeded stress. So, we return to the question. Can you eat this way, without keeping track of data? Can you get into Ketosis, and obtain Nutritional Ketosis or become Keto Adapted without tracking data? These are very common questions.
Well. The answer is obviously yes. On this day, in the United States, we celebrate our Independence Day. You too can celebrate independence from data. Once you know what types of foods you should eat, and what types of food you shouldn’t eat, you simply eat the foods you can eat. Once you are used to eating the foods that don’t have the carbohydrates, mix in some protein, and consume the rest in fat everyday; you don’t have track any of the data the rest of us do.
Some may argue that you won’t be as effective and efficient as they are if losing weight is their goal. I’m a huge collector of data, but I must say that I’ve never used most of the data that I collected in my day to day decision making as too what I consume or don’t consume, or how I exercise or not exercise. I’m looking at the people like my wife, who aren’t collecting the data, and I’m liking the independence that I have.
When I ride down the road on my bicycle, and I see cows grazing in the field, or pigs slopping in the mud, or sheep grazing in a pasture, I’m kind of envious as I’ve never seen any of them collecting data to maintain their healthy physiques. It makes me wonder why I’d have too. I must admit that I admire their data independence.
So, on this day where we celebrate independence, look at the data that you collect, and I encourage you to become independent. Give up the stress. Will weighing this morning really effect what you eat today? Will a higher fasted glucose reading really change how you eat today, or will you use a lower reading to justify making a poorer decision? Will a higher blood ketone reading lead you to eating more carbs than you normally would? If so, maybe you should consider giving up the collection of data.
I’ll probably still collect data tomorrow, because I collect. That’s what I do. But, for the most part, I’ve lived to become independent of the data. I the independence is gained as we gain confidence in what we eat over time. Maybe we call collected more data as we started, and became more independent as we progressed.’
Either way, I challenge you to look at the data and consider becoming independent of it. Throw the scale away. Don’t worry about the blood glucose levels or the ketone levels. You’ll probably find that most of it won’t matter. You’ll continue on your journey, and be just fine. There are plenty of people out there doing it that way.
Just be awesome. Eat correctly. Move around. Lift heavy things. And, you’ll become a hero. Just like my wife. Celebrate your data independence day.