Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Diary of the Guinea Pigs: Day Three

<< Day One

Day Two/Three:
Yesterday the caffeine headaches started. Pain medications (over the counter or otherwise) are not allowed in the study (they negatively impact metabolism) but being accustomed to headaches and not using pain medication, it was manageable. It was a strange headache though. It seemed to start in the middle of the skull and then sort of rotate out towards the edge and then travel around the brain in a circle.

There was a lot of food again. The scrambled eggs at breakfast were not the greatest, but with a little salt and smashed between the whole wheat English muffin, it was okay. It could have used ketchup. Mmmm...ketchup (none of the meals include it).
Stepping out of class to do breath bags (or worse yet, doing them in class) is a bit embarrassing and a hassle, and yesterday we forgot to label the time on three of the breath bags. Guinea pig fail.
Got home late (9pm) from a long day of classes, followed by a mandatory student organization meeting, and then had to pack for the eleven day stay at the facility. Exhausted, bedtime came immediately.

Got up and checked into the facility by 6:45am, had breakfast and unpacked everything so the room felt more like home. Found out there is a whirl pool tub here, so totally going to try to take advantage of that (there's no bathtub at home...yet). Then headed to class. It's only a few blocks away. It would have been awesome to be able to buy a house in the city near the campus, instead of so far away. Oh well.
Around 10:45 am got hit by a MASSIVE HEADACHE...and holy shit...the level of tired was unreal, lasting from the final class of the day (Wednesdays that means noon) - where staying awake was ridiculously difficult - all the way to getting in the car after work to get to the facility in time for dinner and to officially begin the in-house stay. No naps allowed, even if there was time for one.

Today's food was...meh. Peanut butter and toast for breakfast, with the perpetual container of yogurt/sugar/oil. The slick on the surface getting no more appetizing. Lunch was a ham salad (with greens, cucumber and tomato), heavy on the ham, with bread and, of course, the yogurt and fruit. Perhaps some of the persistent sleepiness this afternoon had to do with the massive calorie hit trying to be digested. This body is just not used to all of that food at once...but tomorrow is the first day of decreasing them (either by 20% or 40%), least digestively speaking things may return to normal. Still all of the wheat and milk though. Ugh. The glass of milk at dinner tonight was GIGANTIC. Do adults actually drink this much milk with meals? Dinner was salmon and brown rice with peas. Not so terrible. But after about four more meals over the next week and a half, and then again for the second part of the study, it'll be awhile before salmon touches these lips again, to be sure. Tomorrow is back to the same menu eaten on Monday, by the second full round of meals this will be tiresome. Bacon would be nice. And eggs with ketchup. or hot sauce. And apples. Apples are greatly missed. And celery. Who knew celery could be a thing missed...?!

While it would be nice to have a nice double gin on the rocks, at this point if it was between coffee and gin, and only one was allowed, coffee would win. The only thing about this study that sucks is the lack of those two things. But whatever. It's all of 4 weeks (total) out of life, and it's worth it not to have to pay loans on a Semester, which would take a whole hell of a lot longer than 4 weeks, and cost money, instead of save money.

The interesting thing though...
Since Monday, when the daily calorie intake got ramped up by this "regulation" period before they start the "real" part of the study, this body has shed three pounds. A pound a day. This makes no sense from the preservative of what "they" tell people about how calories work. By any measure the amount of calories being eaten should be a maintenance amount, unlike the next ten days, when it will be a weight reduction amount. But hey, beggars can't be choosers.
The woman who is in charge of the program sits at the table during breakfast, and we've asked her about the whole 'too few calories vs too many calories' thing, and she has an interesting perspective on how the body decides when and how to use calories, based in DNA, and works much the same way animals DNA works to dictate when to eat and get ready for winter and lean times, and when not to. Additionally, the lines between too few calories (which puts your system into starvation made and makes you gain weight), the right amount of calories to lose weight, the right amount of calories to maintain weight, and the amount that causes weight gain, are very narrow in many cases. And varies so much from person to person based on fat versus muscle composition, age, gender, weight, height, activity level; so many factors that, while a calorie intake of 1800 (which is a maintenance recommendation for women, generally) is helpful as sort of an idea about a good calorie intake, it is clearly highly variable. No easy answers.

*deep sigh*
Well, that was a bit of a tangent, wasn't it. There wasn't time for that. There are textbooks with bookmarks, sitting on a shelf, flapping their pages in this direction.

Tonight bedtime is at 10:30pm, no exception, no tv, no electronic devices...just laying there until sleep arrives. The only allowance for leaving the bed is for bathroom visits (there is a full bathroom attached to the room), other than that, no leaving the bed until they knock on the door in the morning at 6:30.
All of this control from an outsider makes it feel like being a kid in military camp or something. Or being in a psychiatric ward...

To tomorrow, may it be headache free and may what little pep that exists in this step find its way back to these feet.


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