Soccer practice–a whole new experience

Juliana has shed about 22 pounds from her highest weight.  I suspect she will lose 30 more, so she’s still carrying around a lot of excess weight.  Nonetheless, however, she can run faster than she ever has before and has a new level of stamina.  She just started soccer practice for the fall American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) season.  She was astonished by how much energy she had.

On a low carb eating plan, she can run hard the whole practice, and not worry about depleting her limited available energy.  Why is this so?

Carbohydrates require insulin to be processed by the body.  But insulin is also the fat storage hormone–it directs the body to store energy as fat.  In Juliana (and other people who can’t tolerate much carbohydrate), eating more than a minimal amount of carbohydrate causes so much insulin release that most of the energy in the food she consumes gets sequestered in fat cells, rather than being available for Juliana to use on physical activity.

This explanation of fat sequestration robbing the individual of usable energy made a lot of sense when I read it in Gary Taubes‘ “Good Calories, Bad Calories.”  (See: Taubes, Gary (2007-09-25). Good Calories, Bad Calories (Kindle Locations 7584-7587). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

It explained Juliana’s history of not wanting to move–I went to great lengths to keep her physically active.  It wasn’t just that she loves to read (although she does), it was that she had very little energy to move because her body was storing most of it as fat.

This year is her first soccer season ever at a normal energy level.  She is jazzed!

Juliana ditches the baggy t-shirts

For as long as I can remember, Juliana has been uninterested in clothes.  She hated shopping.  She hated trying on clothes that I ordered on the internet.  Her grandmother loves to shop–and Juliana refused to go with her–she wanted the same boots she had last time, just in a bigger size.  She also wanted nothing clingy.  I like close-cut t-shirts from the Gap, she hated them.  She wanted baggy “Life is Good” t-shirts.

Then she started eating low-carb.  She discovered that she liked the shirts they have at REI.  I bought her some, she loves them, and she wanted to buy some more.  She chose shirts that were not tight, but they were form fitting–a far cry from baggy.  I explained that since she was steadily losing weight we should wait to buy her more clothes–I thought she would probably go down a size in not too much time.  She said, no, the smaller shirts won’t fit on my shoulders.  I explained that even though she might not realize it, she was losing weight all over.  It’s obvious when your pants are too small or too big, you have to change sizes.  It’s not as obvious on top–you can wear a too-small or too-big shirt.  I could see the wheels spinning in her head as she took in this information.

The next day, she brought me a stack of shirts and announced:  ”These are too big.  They are like jackets.”   (She has never cleaned out her drawers before now of clothes that didn’t fit–I always did that).  She’s very thrifty, so she is glad that I can wear her too big shirts.  I am also thrifty, but I’m happy to spend money buying her new, smaller, cuter clothes that she clearly feels great wearing.