Monster Leap

Wow, another monster leap in weight: 185.5 pounds this morning. I really thought my weight had kind of stabilized. I’m so surprised to see it still climbing! It’s like a monster growing inside me. Where will it end? How much can fat cells store? The machine estimates my body fat at about 15% now, so I’m not exactly obese yet. I probably have a way to go, but that means my total body fat has increased by more than 50% so far in the last three weeks.

I’ve got about a week to go now. I knew that my weight would increase, but I have to say I’m very impressed by the continuous gain. It doesn’t seem to matter much how I’m eating otherwise, my body is just in fat-storing mode.

My niece texted me yesterday and asked if  I would please, please, quit this, that she was worried that I would die. A business partner said the same thing – except he also pointed out that I’m a dumbass. And a nice lady in my office said that the bad thing for me is, that if I do happen to die while I’m doing this, then everyone will think I’m stupid, and no one will feel sorry for me.

Well, I’m not going to die. Not today. Maybe after 300 days on Coke, or a couple years – but that’s what so many people are doing to themselves right now. Look at your own sugar intake, and include fruits and juices. Do you have a friend or family member who is suffering from insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease? I am eating a lot of sugar, and it is bad for me – but I’m not eating that much more sugar than most of the people we love and spend our lives with. We should also be asking them to quit the crazy diet.

And, I’m not advocating any kind of crazy life where you don’t eat sugar. When I’m eating my normal Paleo diet, I still have ice cream when I want, eat dessert with friends, drink a beer or a milkshake – but I recognize those things as treats – not food.

21st Day of Coke drinking

184 pounds this morning – the 21st day. Sudden leap in weight after holding steady at about 182 for the last three days.. Nine days to go. Weird thing was that I weighed 188.5 when I went to bed. How does a person lose 4.5 pounds overnight? Exhaled water? Part of my soul escaping?
Really rough headache all day today. Who knows if that’s related to my new sugar addiction or not? For the first time, I went all day without buttoning the top two buttons of my jeans – just held the pants closed with the belt. Seriously, I’m gaining weight like a vacuum cleaner in a ball bearing factory.

I briefly ran out of Cokes mid-day in the office yesterday, but was in meetings and couldn’t run out for more Cokes. Thought it would be fine, but after about an hour of no Coke I started getting dizzy and angry and completely out of energy. Felt like I didn’t care about anything, didn’t care about the job, about people, about anything. Found myself picking up empty Coke cans from the zillion that are strewn around my office floor, piling in drifts along the walls, and trying to suck out the last drops of flat stale Coke.

Can’t believe how the weight goes up and up. I mean, I always thought this logically, rationally – that’s why I’ve been eating Paleo for twenty years – but now that I’m eating a real American dosage of sugar I’m astounded. I can totally understand the frustration of people who are trying to lose weight and can’t. My weight gain feels uncontrollable, like a monster living inside me, and the only difference between me now and me a month ago is the Coke.
And I don’t eat that much. You can scoff at me and say that normal people don’t drink ten Cokes, but the amount of sugar I’m ingesting is normal for half the country. Basically leaves no question about the root of our obesity and diabetes epidemic.
And it doesn’t have to be Coke. I want to make sure I’m emphasizing this: Fruit juice does the same thing. Organic, gluten-free, free-range, Jamba juice paid for in Bitcoin makes you gain weight the same as my Coke.

I went to the dermatologist today to show her the red scabby patch that’s developed on my arm over the last week or two. She asked if there had been any changes to my diet recently. How can I respond? Um, I’m an idiot and I’m gulping down Ten Cokes a Day for Science? It kind of forces my doctor to suggest that perhaps I shouldn’t drink so much Coke. What else could she say? “Oh, well, okay, but besides the Cokes, are you doing anything that might be bad for you?”
Only 90 Cokes to go. How bad could it be?

The Results are In!

181 pounds on the morning after the 15th day, for a 13 pound gain over 15 days. Could it be possible that I gain 26 pounds over the 30 days of Coke drinking? No way… Right? How should you think about this? If you only ingest, say, half of the sugar that I ingest (which would put you far into the group of Americans who eat the least sugar), would you only gain 13 pounds over a month? Wait, that can’t be right. Or could it? What about fruit? Fruit’s healthy, right? But what if the fruit and juice you’re drinking and eating only corresponded to, say… 1/3 of the amount of sugar I’m drinking. Would you only gain eight pounds over a month? Wait a damned second, now. You’re saying that just eating a little fruit and juice caused you to gain eight pounds in a month? Something’s wrong here. The world is upside down! Cats are sleeping with dogs! Next thing you’ll try and tell me is that eating fat doesn’t make you fat! That food cholesterol doesn’t turn into blood cholesterol! That doctors aren’t always right! That Diet soda isn’t that bad for you after all! Shut up! Shut up!

But wait. Maybe everybody’s body is different. Maybe some people’s bodies are made to eat grass, and some are made to eat bread and some are made to eat meat and some are made to eat wood chips, and some are made to eat salads. Everybody’s different! The normal human body chemistry doesn’t apply to you! There is no normal! There is no science! Nothing can be known! Hooray for chaos! Hooray for Coke!

First Half Done

I’ve enjoyed 150 Cokes over the last 15 days. I’ll get the total first half weight gain when I weigh in the morning, but as of this morning I was up 11.5 pounds. Measured my body fat yesterday and it was up to 12% – not too high, really, but still 3% up from where I started at 9%.

Friends have expressed concern about what could happen to my health while I’m doing this crazy stunt, but I want to point out again that the amount of sugar I’m consuming is no more than what half of all Americans consume every day. The caffeine, at 350 mgs/day, is no more than three or four coffees, and I usually drink that much coffee anyway.

No, my health is no more in danger than that of many Americans. I’m gaining the same kind of weight that half of Americans are already struggling with. It’s normal.

Also, I’m not doing anything that is outside the realm of normal human behavior, and, as long as I lose the weight afterwards, my health should be as good as ever, maybe better. Here’s the theory:

In the 200,000 years of evolution of anatomically modern humans, the one predictable thing about food supplies was that they were unpredictable. And there were no refrigerators. An animal would be killed, there would be a temporary abundance of food, and the only way for people to store that food would be to gorge on it and store it as fat to last them a few more days or weeks until they got another animal. Same with vegetables. Vegetables would ripen, people would gorge. The group would move to an area with available food, gorge on it, and then have to store that food as fat until they found another food source.

That’s why our bodies evolved the insulin response that makes us fat. When we eat a lot of food, especially a lot of sweet food, our insulin goes up and our fat cells store fat. The difference is that our Hunter and Gatherer ancestors would then have to fast for a while. We never fast. We’re constantly gorging. Constantly fattening.

So, this may actually be good for me.

Eight Pounds of Weight Gain and Holding

My weight has been holding steady at 176 since Saturday, so I seem to be stuck here, or paused here. Maybe this is it, who knows. I’ve got more than two weeks to go.

One of the most curious things has been my fasting blood glucose levels. First, I was surprised to find that it was relatively high before I started the diet. Just on my normal Paleo diet, I had expected to have low glucose readings, but was surprised to find high 90’s, right on the border of pre-diabetes. Then, when I started drinking Cokes, the glucose readings immediately dropped down to low 80’s, a normal reading, and have been gradually going back up since then.

A Paleo friend of mine just bought a glucose monitor and, guess what – his glucose reading was also high 90’s, so he got online and found that it’s actually fairly common for Paleo people to have higher readings when their carb intake is below a certain amount, or after a certain amount of time. I’m not sure I understand the science yet, but it seems to have something to do with a difference between the brain’s need for glycogen while the body is in ketosis, vs muscle and organ needs for glycogen. The brain needs more, and so the level of blood insulin, or apparent insulin resistance, appears to be higher. We’re still investigating, but that could explain the actual drop in glucose levels immediately after I fell so hard off the Paleo Diet.

In regards to the lack of recent weight gain, my wife says that my skinny body is not meant to gain weight, so it doesn’t matter how much sugar I’m eating, I shouldn’t expect to gain more. I think that my body’s refusal to gain more weight over the last four days has to do with the fact that I’m just not eating as much food as I did before I started drinking all this Coke. I’m full all the time, basically. I can go without lunch all together, my dinners are smaller, sometimes I have to really force myself to eat an egg for breakfast after I’ve already had two Cokes.
But I have to start drinking the Cokes early because the last few days it’s been a real challenge to drink all ten by dinner time, and I don’t want to drink them at night because of the caffeine.
So, today I tried hard to get back to the same amount of food I ate before the Cokes. I can’t just drink Cokes all day, right? That can’t be good for you…
Drinking all this soda has made me super aware of all the sugar drinks around me. It seems like everybody I see has a big plastic bottle of some kind of sugar drink in their hands, and I’m like, ugh, I feel you, man…
On the other hand, I’m completely addicted, and craving my first Coke when I get up in the morning.
Tried to run this weekend and failed. Felt too heavy and my legs hurt, so I bailed five minutes in and came home and had a Coke.

Fifth day

Well, today, the fifth day of 10 Cokes a day, started with a surprise: my weight dropped a pound! And my fasting blood sugar was lower than it had been since I started measuring, a week ago, at 93 mg/dL. Who knows why. The human body is such a mystery.

I’m going back to the doctor tomorrow, who will be going over the results of my physical with me; he’s a little concerned about my total cholesterol level, but I’m more concerned with the ratio of HDL to LDL, and mine’s fantastic. I’m sure it will be an interesting talk.

Today I switched to Cherry Coke and noticed it has 150 calories per can instead of 140. I’m finishing number 10 right now. Not much appetite for food again today. Had trouble eating lunch. Maybe that is part of my weight loss

One Week Down, Six Pounds Up!

I have just completed the first week of Ten Cokes a Day! I feel great. I drank 70 cokes over the last seven days, and if you count this morning, I’m up to 73. My weight, when I rose this morning, was 174. That’s six pounds gain in seven days. Pretty good, but I think I can do better. I think my body is just starting to get the hang of this. The actual Coke drinking is easier – I just drink Coke after Coke all day instead of water – and I feel like my body is tolerating the sugar better. My fasting blood sugar is now holding steady in the low 80’s.

If I continue at this rate of weight gain, I could gain 24 pounds this month. Let’s see.

I wanted to tell one more thing about my visit to the doctor’s office to discuss my cholesterol. As the assistant was updating my history, as I sat in the examination room, and after she had noticed, but not mentioned, that I had gained probably 8 pounds by her scale, she was asking, “okay, so nothing’s changed, no medications, you don’t smoke…”

“I was thinking of starting smoking,” I said.

She didn’t know I was kidding, and asked why I would do that. I explained that, now that so few people are smoking, that when I see a smoker I really think it looks cool.

“I don’t think that would be a good idea,” she said. “It’s really bad for you.”

I told her that obviously I didn’t mean non-filtered cigarettes, and that I would probably just try lite cigarettes, like Marlboro lights.

“You should talk to the doctor about that,” she said.

Then I said that, since I was already fifty years-old, that by the time any illness or disease set in, I would already be really old, so the timing was perfect.”

“You should really talk to the doctor,” she said. “And also, there’s a lot of air pollution already, so it would just be that much worse.”

Then I pointed out that since smoking decreased lung capacity, I would actually be breathing in less oxygen.

“I don’t know,” she said. “You should talk to the doctor about this.”

And then I forgot to talk to the doctor about it since we were having that uncomfortable conversation about high cholesterol and Paleo dieting. And I called back after the appointment to ask about it, but the doctor was busy and has not yet returned my call.

I’m just glad he’s not my surgeon, because a good rule of thumb is to never piss of a surgeon right before he operates on you.

Happy Halloween! Have a Coke and smile!

Sixth Day

Yesterday, the sixth day of ten cokes a day, I went in to the doctor to review the results of my physical from last week. A staff member weighed me and put me in a room and took my blood pressure. She then noticed something curious. “You were just here last week…” she said, and then took me back to the scale to weigh me again because she thought she had made a mistake. I’m assuming that’s why she weighed me twice, anyway.

My weight, as I measured it that morning, was back up, to 173, or five pounds heavier than when I started. My blood sugar was 86. Except for an all-day feeling of fullness, I don’t have any other symptoms.

The doctor, who, I think, seems like he’s trying to do a good job for his patients, sat me down in the office to discuss my crazy high cholesterol numbers: Total cholesterol: 359. HDL: 112, the highest he had ever seen. But the LDL, at 231, is what he wanted us to focus on lowering. His suggestion was to reduce fattening foods, and what he meant by that was red meat, sausage, fats, “processed” foods. But those are my main food groups, and I don’t believe those are “fattening.” I believe high carbs, sugars, and grains are fattening, but when I started to explain some of this he seemed a little offended and asked if I was trying to educate him. I was really just trying to see if he and I were compatible. Like a first date, touching on politics and religion. He did say that he himself lost 40 pounds on a low-carb diet, but that all patients were different and it didn’t work for everyone. I guess.

Then I mentioned this blog, and my 10 Cokes a day, but he was in a hurry by that point in the meeting and didn’t have much to say for or against, except acknowledging that he had seen these kind of stunts on the internet. My words, not his. I want to emphasize that I think he’s a good doctor and a smart guy, but it may be hard to go through years and years of medical school and come out paleo.

Fourth Day

Fourth day, and I’m feeling fine and singing the praises of the sugar drip. I get it now. I was actually craving the first Coke of the day, and could hardly wait to finish my weight measurement and fasting glucose test to crack it open. I finished the second before breakfast, and then I wasn’t even hungry. Just fed the kids and finally, out of some sense of adult responsibility, made myself eat some eggs and burger before I left for work. And then, at work, I sat happily drinking Coke after Coke all day. So good. Never felt bloated, but again, at far past lunch I kind of had to make myself eat protein, but only had one hot dog where I normally have two. Instead of hunger, I craved Coke.

Also, my body seems to have adjusted to the new diet. This morning’s weight was 172.5 lbs, just a half pound more than yesterday, and my fasting glucose level actually improved, to 102mg/dL, from 104 the day before.

Had a burger for dinner, and the result is that today I actually ate less food, not counting the Cokes, than I normally do. It’s like a Devil’s Diet. Have I accidentally stumbled on some crazy health regime? Who needs food when you have Coke? So much more efficient, so much more pleasurable. I’m imagining the time savings and increased productivity if I had a little backpack that dispensed cold Coke to me all day.


Pre-diabetes! After only two full days of drinking ten Cokes a day, this morning’s measurement of my fasting blood sugar level showed that I had crossed the line into pre-diabetes! So exciting! 104mg/dL! For a week before, my fasting blood sugar measured consistently at 97mg/dL. So, that’s insulin resistance. Pre-diabetes is insulin resistance, and doctors consider full-blown Type II Diabetes to begin at 125mg/dL. Actually T2D also has to do with when the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin to handle the massive amounts of blood sugar now needed by your cells, so you end up with a lot of extra glucose floating around, and that’s rough on the old bod.

What else? Weight was 172 this morning. That’s four or five pounds of gain in two days. Water weight? Time will tell. Blood pressure further elevated at 142 over 91, but my pressure is usually a bit higher in the a.m., so that’s just something to watch.

In other news, I’ve discovered something that 7-Eleven and McDonald’s have known for years: Coke goes down easier with ice. The Coke drinking is pretty hassle-free now; I just keep an iced glass of Coke by my side like a best friend and keep the refills a-coming. (Like a best friend who’s an enabler, an evil best friend, a frenemy.)

Had to make a grocery store run this morning because I woke to find I was out of Coke. Bought nine twelve packs of Coke, and mixed in a Vanilla Coke and two Cherry Cokes. I’m going to have fun on the way down, damnit. I also took some pictures of the soft drink and juice drink aisles – so colorful and happy and attractive… and HUGE! My kid loved it. He had never been down those aisles before. It was like taking him to a beautiful enchanted forest of bright colored drinks, like Candyland in bottles. See attached beauty pix. And now that I’m drinking the Koolaid, I’m tempted by all the wonderful sugary drinks to try! How wonderful! A new world!

A few new followers have been commenting that drinking ten Cokes is different than drinking fruit juice. It’s true. Juice may have some vitamins that Coke doesn’t have, Coke may have some phosphoric acid that orange juice doesn’t have… but what we are concerned about here is how much it affects your insulin level: The Glycemic Load. Glycemic Load is the glycemic Index of a food combined with the amount we’re ingesting. The short answer is that orange juice has nearly the glycemic index that Coke has, and they both have high glycemic indices. Fruit juice of any type raises your insulin level and worsens insulin resistance. But, what’s worse is that while people generally know that Coke is bad for you, fruit juice and all the fruit drinks that say “healthy,” “organic,” and “natural,” fool people into thinking they’re not as bad, and we therefore drink more of them.

It doesn’t matter to your insulin and blood sugar if the sugar is natural or refined, fruit sugar or corn syrup, natural or added. It will give you insulin resistance. Juice and fruity flavored drinks and Gatorade are just as bd or worse than Coke.

You know when you give blood and the doctor then gives you a glass of orange juice? It’s not for the vitamin C. It’s because nothing gives your blood sugar a quick boost like a glass of juice. Or a Coke.