Atkins : Week 4 Results : -13.2 lbs : Yay!

Atkins20_20181014_Week4

One month in, trying to follow induction rules all the time, I have lost 13.2 lbs.  I’ve dropped from 217 to 203.8 lbs.

As you can see a plateau was hit pretty early on but I broke through.  I may have been getting carbs in a cheese and some other stuff.  I also upped my water consumption.  Hard to tell what caused it.  The thing to remember when your weight flat lines is that even though its not going down it isn’t going up either.

I do not anticipate this level of weight loss in month two.  My trailing one week daily weight loss average is about 0.37 lbs per day.   Thats 11.1 lbs a month.  I’m setting a slightly more conservative goal of 10 lbs over the next four weeks.  So in another month I hope to be at 193.8 lbs.

The graph’s linear trend line has stabilized.  It looks like I’ll be done mid march at this rate.  My goal still remains mid April 2019.

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The Overvalued Stock Market

The Economy is “booming” and Trump is busy tweeting victory laps but watch out the stock market is noticeably over valued.   This is simple math.   Price to Earnings ratios are “out the roof”.   The current P/E ratios for the major indexes are available from the Wall Street Journal.   The SP500 P/E is currently 24.40.   Historic data is available from many sources, I used Multpl.com.  The median SP500 P/E is 14.73 over the last 100+ years.

P = Price per share, E = Earnings per Share and P/E is the ratio of Price over Earnings.

Using x for the P/E ratio we get  : x = P/E.  Assuming an arbitrary and hypothetical stock price of $100.00 per share and a P/E of 24.40 would result in an earnings per share of :

x = P/E so E = P/x so plugging in figures E = 100 / 24.40 = 4.10 = E

So our hypothetical stock priced at $100 per share has an earnings per share of $4.10.  Now what happens if we keep Earnings Per Share constant and adjust market to historical market expectations of a P/E of 14.73 ?

x = P/E so xE = P and plugging in the figures P = 14.73 * 4.10 = 60.39 = P

So if the market expectations correct to normal P/E values this hypothetical stock ( and the stock market ) will drop by 39.61%.   That is a price drop from 100 to 60.39 is a 39.61% drop.

We have had several drops of this magnitude, and two greater, in the history of the markets.  The corrections of ’61, ’68, ’80, and ’87 were comparable.   The corrections of ’29 and ’07 were substantial more severe.

Does the above mean the market will crash ?  Not necessarily.  There are three basic ways out of this, over time.  First as illustrated above expectations return to normal and the price adjusts accordingly.   Second earnings increase over time and expectations normalize over time making for far less drastic impacts over a longer period.  Third inflation returns with a vengeance and the stock price never goes down in absolute dollars, earnings appear to climb due to inflation and price appears to climb as well but in current dollars a stealth correction happens.  Likely a combination of all three of these will happen.

Atkins : Week 2 Results : -8.2 lbs : Yay!

Atkins20_20180930_Week2

Here are the numbers.   After 14 days I’m down 8.2 lbs and heading into week three.   I had a good week if you look at total weight loss.  It was however discouraging compared to first week in that I had a few flat days with no loss and even one with gain.  That is to be expected though.  Just soldier on and victory will come.

I’ve been using recipes from the Atkins website for Phase 1 ( Induction ).  They are so good that I have had no problems staying on the diet.  My goal is to stay in the induction phase for 8 weeks and see if I can keep the rate of weight loss in this aggressive stage.  What I have read says you can stay in induction longer with good results.

I reused most of the dishes from last week but added the Burrito Beef recipe.   It was good but I found the beef a little dry for my preference.  I returned the shredded beef to the crock.  Then I took the balance of the can of green enchilada sauce, along with a full can of water, added 2x the dry ingredients, a chopped jalapeno, and some garlic powder.  I added all of this back into the crock and cooked for another couple hours.  I ate this as a bowl, adding some lettuce, a bit of tomato, onions, cilantro, sprinkle of cheese, sour cream, and Pain Is Good Jalapeno Pepper Sauce.

The graph’s linear trend line has moved farther out.  This is starting to look more realistic.  My goal remains mid April 2019 and currently the trend has me completing mid February.   I suspect the trend line will moderate even more.

Atkins : Week 1 Results : -5.4 lbs : Yay!

Atkins20_20180923_Week1

Here are the numbers.   After 7 days I’m down 5.4 lbs and heading into week two.   I am very pleased with these results.

I’ve been using recipes from the Atkins website for Phase 1 ( Induction ).  They are so good that I have had no problems staying on the diet.  My goal is to stay in the induction phase for 8 weeks and see if I can keep the rate of weight loss in this aggressive stage.  What I have read says you can stay in induction longer with good results.

Some of the dishes I have eaten this week are :

Beef Burgers with Feta and Tomato

Jamacian Jerked Beef Steak

Buffalo Chicken Wings ( I used full sized wings and next time I will do drumsticks )

A couple batches of chicken breasts which I put melted garlic butter on.  Very good.

Vegetables were bell peppers, salads, and broccoli.

Breakfasts were eggs or sausage etc.

The graph has a linear trend line which is likely not realistic.  There will be plateaus and likely a slowing in the rate of weight loss.  My target for goal weight is mid April 2019.

Lookout Below

Several years ago i followed a variation of the atkins diet. It worked. I lost weight. I started feeling so good I started riding my bicycle to work 7 miles each way. Then the rainy season began and I worried about my work laptop. I stopped riding. Then the office closed and I began working out of my house. The carbs were enticing and now I’m mostly on a carb diet. I’ve gained all the weight back and then some.

In the morning is the start of Atkins Mark II for me. I’d like to lose 70 lbs and drop from 219 to 150lbs. By my math that should take 28 weeks or 7 months. By the time tax day rolls around i hope to be skinnier.

As always reality may not match theory.

Giddyup.

Until

Many Goals
Many Hills
Many Giants
Achieved, Conquered, Fallen

No Mountaintop
No Satisfaction
No Rest On Laurels
Always More Beyond

Running Toward Chalk
Doing What Needs Done
Till I Either Fall
Or Catch The Sun

Until, 1/1/2018

In Defense of the FBI

In defense of the FBI they were dealt a dead mans hand.  That isn’t to say they are innocent.  When charges, serious charges, of illegal activity are levied against one of the two candidates for president of the United States of America what safe course of action is there ?

There is no safe path.  If they decide to wait until after the election to pursue an investigation they will be charged with complicity and supporting one candidate over the other.  But on the other hand if they pursue an investigation of one of two two candidates for president they will be charge with sabotaging that candidate to assist the other.

Trump has done a lot of business with Russia, many did the same.  After the fall of the Soviet Union there were a lot of business leaders who took advantage of the opportunity.   Did Trump cross any lines ?   Did he break any laws ?   The jury is still out on that.  The special prosecutor Mueller is working on finding that out.  So far he has produced some indictments, but as yet nothing rising much past lying to the FBI.   He may have something yet to come.

Hillary on the other hand has essentially admitted, as the FBI pointed out via Comey, that classified material was mishandled.  The upshot of the defense of the action was she did not realize she handled it inappropriately.

The fallout from Hillary’s actions as Secretary of State is what ensnared the FBI in the current political battle.   Its very possible that some agents, and leaders, had political views that effected their judgement.

The solution to this mess is for each party to make sure they don’t send out dirty politicians from their primary elections, or at least none so dirty that actual criminal scandals cloud the general.  Vet the nominees before they become nominees.  Of course that might result in no politician ever being qualified to represent either party.

A Unpopular President ?

On a trip to the store yesterday I noticed the newsstand.   Lots of articles about how unpopular Trump still is, all the things he does wrong.  This sentiment matches the general view of CNN/ABC/CBS/NBC/etc. and a large number of internet news sources.   To listen to this all no one can still to this day figure out how/why he won.  How does such an unpopular guy win ?   The views of the average trump supporter are never presented because they are simply unpalatable to these entities.

But the reality is he did win the presidential election.   Its true he lost the popular vote, but he only lost it by two percent.  It was 46% for Trump and 48% for Hillary.   Those percentages show a nation that is pretty evenly split on if they prefer Trump or Hillary.

What happened, and is continuing to happen, is that approximately half the nation is no longer listening to “the press”.   They are doing this because the views being expressed in the press no longer represent the views of the nation.  Somehow the traditional press now present the views of half the nation.   What is being proclaimed as the fringe few, the right wing nuts, etc. is apparently not fringe at all.  It may be unacceptable ideas and views to the other half, but you simply cannot call 46% of the nation fringe and the other 48% mainstream.

This started many years ago.  It started with the death of the “fairness doctrine” which allowed Rush Limbaugh onto the nations airwaves.    It continued with the advent of Fox News.   The internet age has now arrived and its continuing.   Rush Limbaugh was mocked, Fox likewise, as are most of the right leaning websites.   This last election has been blamed on fringe ideas like white supremacists or Russians.

The traditional press is grappling with the reality that these views are actually acceptable to 46% of the people.  What is clear is that they have, contrary to the banner of objective journalism, chosen a side almost universally in the national debate of ideas.

Morality of Special Needs Trusts and Benefits

A question one undoubtedly will ponder about Special Needs Trusts ( alternately Supplemental Needs Trust ) is about the morality of the instrument.   This may not be pondered until the trust is actually funded.  It may be pondered by the trustee, by the beneficiary, by anyone who has knowledge of the trust.

The question naturally arises because the Special Needs Trust allows a person to have a very large amount of assets available for their benefit and still qualify for means tested government benefits.  It can look like a loophole, or gaming or exploitin  g the system.

This thought arises due to the juxtaposition of two competing ideas.  The first being “welfare is for the poor” and the second being “disabled need care”.

The key distinction is to realize that a Special Needs Trust doesn’t exist because clever lawyers found a way to exploit a miswording or nuance of the law.  The Special Needs Trust exists because Congress decided to create it in statute.   It was created because the disabled require more care than the non disabled.  They will have spending needs that are higher than those of the non disabled.  They should not be placed at a disadvantage because of that.  Further those little extras that someone can provide to a disabled person while they are alive that will help offset the difficulties of a disability should be able to persist even after the benefactor ( usually a parent or grandparent ) passes away.  The mechanism for that higher level of care is through the private funding of individuals on behalf of the disabled person while still letting the disabled person maintain means tested benefits.  Further Congress has in the last few years expanded the idea by the creation of 529 Able accounts, which in many ways function like a prepackaged Special Needs Trust.

The creation and utilization of a Special Needs Trust is following the intent of the congress, and the president who drafted and signed the laws into existence.  Its done for the benefit of those with disability to allow them to benefit from our societal belief that the disabled need care, even state care, and yet at the same time allow them to have a life style above that of mere subsistence.