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This Dairyholic/Grainaholic’s Month of Paleo March 5, 2015

Today marks my 30th day of eating Paleo. Woo!!! I’ve had a lot of surprises this month. Here’s my recap.

First, I learned to love a lot of things I either never liked before, or had never given much of a try. But given that I was someone who used to go through more than a quart of half-and-half a week (NO KIDDING), I had to figure some things out.

First off, was dealing with what to put in my coffee and tea. I tried coconut milk and almond milk. They were unacceptable. (in my drinks) Finally, I realized that all the joy had been sucked out of my caffeinated beverages, so I might as well just stop drinking them. The result? Not so much of a problem. I just stopped. Now, when I wake up in the morning, I just eat FOOD. And have some water. It’s fine. I’ve adjusted. Weirdly, I notice that I am, overall, MUCH MORE ALERT than when I was drinking caffeine. So there’s that. I realized that my coffee-and-tea drinking was a habit. A nice one. But it didn’t kill me to just switch to water. If you had told me this any time in the past few decades, I would not have believed it. I miss the ritual of coffee, the smell of it, the nice way that a warm mug feels in my hands. But I’ve survived that.
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Then, the issue of actual “drinking” milk. I was also a big fan of drinking a glass of milk, like, for pleasure. Lo and behold, I discovered that I also liked goat milk, which apparently some people on Paleo (or is it primal?) enjoy. I did feel a little cheatish though, in addition to feeling like Heidi, enjoying her grandfather’s goats’ milk up in the Alps. I tried a few almond milks. BLECH. Then, something in the super-fancy packaging of this Pop & Bottle brand caught my eye one day when I was at the little market near my office. Yeah, this tiny little 10 oz bottle cost $6.00. But I decided to try it, and YUM. I mean, YUM. I just hope I can figure out a way to replicate it. I’ll just save it as a special treat though, since I’m not eating desserts or drinking alcohol.

Oh, yeah?! What about dessert?? Well, I did indulge in birthday cake (twice!) during the month. The first time, I was pretty sure I would die if I didn’t get to have a piece. So after much agonizing, I did. It was delicious. The second time, at the end of week 3, I figured I would enjoy another piece for dear Mr McBody’s birthday. Totally different experience. I could TELL that it was “good,” ie. high-quality, but it just didn’t have that same delicious sensation. I had a couple of forkfuls and then left it. I developed a real fondness for eating fresh raspberries with coconut cream when I wanted dessert. But the need for daily desserts really reduced drastically.

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One of the best results, ever.

One of the very best things, though, has been the impressive reduction in my blood sugars. This number on the left is really the lowest I have ever seen it, since I began testing it in 2009. This was pretty dramatic.

I went to see my new doctor yesterday and had all my labs drawn. EVERYthing was in normal range, and especially my cholesterol and lipids were stellar. So there’s that.

But… how WAS it?! It wasn’t all easy. The first week was tough. After around 2-3 weeks, most of my craving for particular foods went away. But it was replaced by a strange sadness, like a mourning of the relationship I used to have with food. Which was, in many ways, like a love affair. I LOVED cheese. I LOVED certain kinds of desserts, and bread, and butter and so many delicious things.

The 30 Days are over. So now what? Well, yesterday I gave myself some sourdough bread with some real butter on it. It was… meh. I mean, I could’ve taken or left it. Today, I had a slice of homemade veggie pizza. Now that? That was pretty darn good.

Since starting on February 1st, I’m down more than ten pounds. This feels good. I’ve been trying to shed these pounds for the good part of a year, and this is the first time I’ve seen a steady decrease on a consistent basis in a long time. So I’m going to keep going. I might have a few non-Paleo treats once or twice a week, but I’m not going back to my pre-Paleo days.

This major re-setting of my food intake has been pretty dramatic. I’ve never eliminated so many different food groups ALL AT ONCE before. I learned that it didn’t kill me. Maybe quite the opposite. I’m feeling pretty alive.

 

Gluten Free? MOI? Sí. For the moment. February 8, 2013



fruit

I have never been one to want to restrict myself, food wise. I have loved considering myself an Omnivore (and still do). Yet recently, the arrival of my new awesome neighbor and her Gluten Free ways have caused me to reconsider. Reading her post on her GF life made me feel just a tad bit… curious.

She said that eating gluten-free made her feel better. And right AWAY. I thought, damn, I’d like to feel better right away. I’ve been having some aches and pains recently and I don’t know if it’s arthritis or what the heck, but I’d like to feel better. How soon right away I asked? Like a day? A week? She laughed.

So I thought, I’ll give it a try. See what happens.

I stopped with the gluten.

And guess what happened? On one hand, a bunch of nothing. And on the other hand, a LOT.

I have to say, I don’t feel appreciably different. There might be a 10% reduction (or am I imagining?) in my joint discomfort. I very much could be imagining this. So I don’t think I have any appreciable gluten sensitivity or allergy. I don’t think it harms my body. I mean, it doesn’t feel noticeably better or more awesome after 16 days. SIXTEEN DAYS straight!

But the very act of saying, This X thing is not for me, has had an unexpected effect on my mind and my behavior. And that’s always interesting.

A couple of weeks ago, Juniorette developed some very scary health issues which resulted in my taking an o-dark-hundred flight up to her college, and then spending countless hours in the hospital emergency room with her. I was as stressed and upset as I’d been at any time since the day she was born.

I’d say that if this had taken place before my GF pledge experiment, I would have probably eaten everything in sight at that hospital.  I would have ravaged the vending machines and prowled the fast food or basically anything I could get my hands on. All in order to tame the wild, hysterical terror that there was something seriously amiss with my child’s health.

But for some reason, this Decision I’d made to be gluten free was stronger than I had ever anticipated. I had promised myself. I had really not even told many people. But I didn’t want to break it for the sake of emotional eating.

After our sixth hour in the emergency room, they brought a tray in that was meant for her. She didn’t feel much like eating. You can have it, Mommy. There was an industrial hamburger on a puffy white bun. A week prior, I would have inhaled that thing faster than you could say JackSh*t. But that.. bun. I texted my friend. She answered: Just the burger no bun?

Well, duh.

I cut it in half. I gave half to Juniorette and I ate the other half. Without the bun. I think that little morsel of protein helped me not keel over wailing on that hospital floor. Through that and the many hours that followed.

When the crisis was over (and whewww her situation was not as serious as I’d feared, and her prognosis was good), I did not fall upon the neighborhood bakeries like a wild animal.

This was the first time in a very long time (ever?) that I did not face a very, very, very upsetting situation without the comfort of food.

I have learned a lot during this little Experiment. I learned:

  • I survived the Thing anyway, without the emotional eating. Maybe even stronger and better.
  • I don’t really need or miss Gluten. However, doing without it did not do miraculous and awesome things for how my body feels. (well, except for point #4 below)
  • Therefore, after my first month of GF is over, I will re-introduce it into my life for Very Special Occasions, like once a month. Pizza. The occasional beloved mac and cheese. That sort of thing.
  • Decreasing the gluten also helped me drop certain poundage I’ve been carrying around since – oh, how long? Since August of 2011. I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to coax this poundage off my body and the GF seems to have done the trick. So YAY.
  • I think it’s going to have a positive effect on my diabetes, just because of the sheer decrease in carbs consumed. And that can only be a good thing.

My Sixteen Days without Gluten have been very interesting. To say the least. It has been pretty effortless. I intend to continue. But I realize that gluten doesn’t really make me sick so I’m not gonna be all dogmatic about it. I don’t want to be rigid. I can pretty much avoid it most of the time. I have become a good friend of the brown rice and the sweet potato. Which I was anyway, but a little more so now.

dinner

 

Day 6 #NHPBM: Taking the High Road November 6, 2012

 

Day 6 – Tuesday, Nov. 6

News-style post
OR
Write about a time you had to take the high road

The only news I care about today is the election, but I’m too anxious to write a news style post, so I’m going to choose the “high road” post. But in order to do that I wanted to be really sure what that meant. I Googled it and found:

You may have faced moments when you want nothing more than to react loudly when somebody pushes your buttons. Taking the high road will keep the peace. It’s the best way to handle conflict and maintain your own moral high ground.

I’ve had my buttons pushed a number of times regarding my diabetes. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed that I realized that there are deep seated prejudices regarding especially Type 2 diabetes. When I began to participate in message boards and other diabetes communities, I read several posts from people (who either had Type 1 or had children with Type 1 – actually more parents of T1s) who were scornful and/or disgusted by any resources going to people with Type 2 diabetes. I quickly came to realize that many people view Type 2 diabetes as the kind that “fat people get” or people who just eat like pigs and bring it on themselves.

I felt that way myself.

I felt embarrassed and ashamed to have done such harm to my body and felt like I was unworthy of any sort of kindness or attention. Indeed, the same week that I was diagnosed, I attended a solo performance by a woman who had had Type 1 diabetes since childhood. She depicted an alarming/hilarious scene in which she is woken up to have her blood tested by an anxious mother several times a night.  Sitting in the audience, I was thinking, oh wow, there’s my people!

And then she said, “I have Type 1 diabetes! Not the kind that people who eat tons of cheeseburgers get.”

I wanted to crawl underneath my theater seat and die. She was talking about ME, of course. I furtively looked from side to side to see if anyone was going to throw me out of the theater. Of course nobody had a clue what was happening with me.

But that was the beginning of seeing the bias that is out there. The conventional wisdom is that Type 1 diabetics are innocent, and that they have done nothing to “bring it on” themselves. And that Type 2s are to blame for their (our) conditions.

Since those early days I have learned that behavior and lifestyle are only partial factors in Type 2 diabetes. There are some elements of truth in that perception. But a lot of it is based in genetic predisposition, something that none of us can control. There are people who are very inactive and who eat fabulously unhealthy diets, who will never ever get Type 2 diabetes. And there are normal-or-underweight people who run marathons who might.

It’s been hard for me to not feel defensive and attacked when people make “type 2” remarks. And they do it all the time. Sometimes I feel like attacking back. Because honestly, I feel like I am doing the best I damn can.

But then I have to take a deep breath and take the highest road I can find.

Bottom line is, it’s good for ALL of us to make healthier food choices and to be active in our lives. Right?

This is Post #6 (WOW!) of National Health Blog Post Month.

Other bloggers I’ve discovered this month:

• Jess at Team Awesome writes about being thankful. http://www.talesfromteamawesome.com/2012/11/weekly-weigh-in-32-nhbpm.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

• Lorraine climbs on her health activist soapbox

http://thyroid-hope.blogspot.co.uk

 

 

Big Blue Test: IT WORKS. October 25, 2012

 

I’ll never forget the first time I did the Big Blue Test. It involves taking one’s blood glucose, then exercising for 14+ minutes, then taking it again. Simple. I first did it the first year I was diagnosed with diabetes. I had never done this particular before-and-after test before, and I remember my blood glucose going down a LOT after exercising. It was such an eye opener and it was THE thing that helped me make the direct connection between activity and health. MY health.

Last year I was fortunate enough to participate in the Big Blue Test video promoting exercise for people with diabetes. It was so much fun, such and honor, and to this day I do not fail to get goosebumps when I hear that song.  This year’s video is pretty darn cool, too!

The deal is that every day between now and November 14 (World Diabetes Day) – you can take the test at the Big Blue Test site. You don’t have to have diabetes in order to help people with diabetes! Each test done will mean a donation toward much needed supplies for people with diabetes.

This morning I put on my BBT T-shirt. I tested, then got on the elliptical in my garage for 22 minutes, then tested again. The drop isn’t as huge as it was the first year, BUT that’s because I ate an apple with peanut butter less than an hour beforehand and I can tell you that without the exercise, it would have been a lot, LOT higher.   So YEAH exercise, and YEAH Big Blue Test.

Please join me!!

on the elliptical

Ta-daa!!!

 

 

 

Changing Goal Weight??????? June 8, 2010


Vintage bathroom Scale

Originally uploaded by totalrod2

So I’ve been virtually at the same weight for almost a year now. YAY.

And now that it’s been a year, I’ve been pondering/musing/obsessing over the idea of changing my goal weight. Ie, trying to lose the “last ten.”

I have some major ambivalent feelings about it. But it’s been on my mind a lot. It’s sort of like declaring a major, you know? It’s a commitment. And it’s not something I want to commit to unless I am sure.

Why do I/would I want to do this? Well. A few reasons. One, I’m beginning to realize that I’m not quite as fit and trim as I used to think I was. I mean, for much of the past two decades I would have DIED of HAPPINESS to be at my current weight. In fact, it did not even seem remotely in the realm of possibility. In fact, it did not even seem possible to weigh what my driver’s license says. (which is 13 pounds more than my current weight)

But now I’ve been hanging out here for a year. It’s good. It’s fine. I wear clothes that range from size 4 to size 12. (and yeah, I fit into all of them. How crazy is that) Also clothes that range from size S to L. I’m within a “normal” BMI. But that’s the thing. I’m very close to the ceiling of that range. Once or twice I’ve come close to hitting my head on it.

I weigh 10 lbs more than I did on my wedding day. I was hardly SKINNY on that day. I was like, regular.

I still have something of a spare tire. I still can grab large handfuls of belly fat, wayyyyy more than “pinching an inch.” I know that belly fat of any kind is not good for one’s health, and especially for diabetic people. So I think the less of that I have, the better. It’s never gonna be flat and i’m never wearing a bikini again. (those days were over 35 yrs ago)

Is it health? (a little) Is it vanity? A little. Is it a combination? Yeah.

That’s what I’m struggling with. I have problems with vanity dieting. Which I have said before. At the same time, I cannot deny the pleasure of shopping for and finding cute clothes that fit me. So vanity has become a weird part of my life.

It is weird when people MY HEIGHT come in to Weight Watchers. They weigh the same as me. Or LESS than me. And they are all, “UGH! GROSSSS! HOW DID I EVER GET TO THIS POINT!?” We are trained to be supportive of every member no matter their height or goal, as long as it is within the Healthy Range. But inside I am cringing and thinking, this person will never have faith in me. How can I be a leader or role model when they are so freaked out to be MY weight? I don’t say a thing. I support them. But still.

I’m never going to be at the bottom of the range. I don’t know if I will ever even be in the middle. No, I don’t think that’s in the cards either. But if I could get my head just a little fraction of a distance away from that ceiling, it would probably be a good thing.

The thing is, I’m nervous. (as if you couldn’t tell) I’m afraid of upsetting the apple cart, tipping the boat, you name it. I’ve actually gotten pretty comfortable with maintenance and I am afraid to get back onto the weight-loss road again. What if I fail? What if I try to lose and end up GAINING because I’ve put too much pressure on myself? What if I can’t do it? And my head goes smashing through the ceiling AND the roof?

All these things make me ponder. Should I let sleeping dogs lie? Should I make peace with my belly fat? Should I Go For It? (losing the last ten)

I know that people will probably have all sorts of ideas about this. And at the same time, I know that the only person who can ultimately answer this question is me.

 

A Hand Up May 27, 2010

So my little downward spiral continued to have its way with me until I landed with a huge THUNK this morning and ended up sobbing my brains out in my car. I guess you could call that a pretty “rock bottom” point. I really felt unbelievably hopeless, helpless and also shocked that I had gotten into this state, so quickly.

This was set off in part by my taking my blood glucose this morning and finding it HIGHER than it has been since I was even diagnosed. This stunned me. Then I went to the lab to get my blood drawn for my appointment this week. I was mortified. Here my endocrinologist came to my SHOW last week, and I’ll all woo-hoo-look-at-me!! Poster Star Diabetic Patient!! OMG how BOGUS can I be?!?!?

I sent off a flurry of desperate texts to a friend who sent me a ton of support which I could only partially receive given the pit of self-loathing sludge I was drowning in. But I did hear a little bit of it and of course the one thing I heard was, “If this was me you would not be beating me up,” or something along those lines. It was so true.

I made my way to my trainer’s gym. He asked me how I was when I walked in the door. I burst into tears. We spent the entire session stretching out my incredibly tense and misaligned body. Which was necessary. He was also extremely kind to me. Which didn’t hurt either. After I finished there, I felt like I reallllllllly needed to sweat, so I went up to the gym and killed the AMT machine (elliptical-thingie) on level TWENTY (the highest) for 30 minutes. The sweat felt good, really good.

Briefly ran into my spouse. Who had read my blog post from yesterday and offered to 1) support me in going to bed earlier so I am not so freaking EXHAUSTED and 2) take a walk with me early in the morning.  Now that’s what I call spousal support.

Went to work. Brought my new ball which is going to function as my new chair. We’ll see how this goes. Allegedly sitting on a ball is a hundred times better than a chair, and burns a lot more calories. My DirectLife was not WILDLY impressed, but I do think the little green spikes were higher than my chair-sitting hours.

Went to Weight Watchers. I sort of slunk in there, feeling like, WHO THE HECK ARE YOU to be doing this, when you are so completely messed up?!? Well. I’ll tell ya.

A member came in. She had gained (less than me). She burst into tears. Then she told me about the VERY BIG THINGS she has been dealing with lately. I said to her, “If this was one of your dearest friends in this same situation, would you be beating them up and berating them?” (Hmm, sound familiar?) I gave her some Kleenex. I almost started crying myself. It was the biggest mirror ever. In fact, it turned me right around. When she left later on, I felt like she was going to go home and be nicer to herself.

After the meeting, I met with another good friend.  She asked me how I was doing. Amazingly, I did NOT start sobbing my face off. I told her. She listened. It was so good. She told me some stuff back. We pledged to support each other. Once again, honesty (especially in the hardest times) rules.

I am so very very fortunate for my friends and community. The church I (occasionally) go to has a prayer that says “we are weaving a tapestry of love we call community” and that is how I feel about the people who are surrounding me and holding me up on this journey.  Thank you.

 

Does This Vacation Make Me Look Fat? April 6, 2010

I’m home!! I got home from Costa Rica around 1am and if I don’t write a post now, I think it will be weeks before I have time to sit and do it. Things are crazy (again!) just as they were pre-vacation. Tonight is my solo performance show, and next week I begin a brand new job. Whewwwwww. So much for laying back in the slow tempo of Central America – I’m back in the USA again and back to the insane pace of life.

Being on vacation was wonderful, and relaxing, and rejuvenating. But it was a totally different environment and pace than I was used to. For one, I did not have my scale with me (thank goodness!) which gives me constant feedback. I use it to stay on track here at home, and without it, how would I know what was what? I wasn’t super worried about it, because I knew that even if I came out of the vacation a few pounds up, I could get back to it quickly enough. Still, I was curious.

One one hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if I lost weight because:

  • I was sweating buckets every day. Without even moving.
  • I was getting SOME exercise – walking to the beach, to waterfalls and the like.
  • I was not eating a single thing between meals.
  • The meals were what I would consider very healthy – protein, beans, vegetables, a lot of fresh fruit. Our host was an amazing chef!

BUT I wouldn’t be surprised to gain weight because:

  • I wasn’t doing ANYthing near my regular workouts. At one point I ran about 4 steps and then quickly gave that up. It’s like running in a steam bath. I couldn’t deal.
  • I didn’t swim at all like I’d hoped because the ocean was, although gorgeous, brutally rough.
  • The food was incredibly delicious and I often went back for seconds.

It was really, really hard to gage where I was. I couldn’t really use my clothing as a monitor because all my summerweight clothing, I bought last year before I got to my goal weight. So it was all pretty much hanging loose on me anyway. I couldn’t tell by looking at the mirror. I really had no clue at all. And you know, normally it wouldn’t MATTER so much but I do have this WW job you know, and I didn’t want to come home and have to battle back down to my range. So I would’ve preferred to not gain a whole bunch. I felt healthy. I felt good.

One measure I was able to take was my blood sugars. In the first part of the week they continued to be up because I think I was still dehydrated. I wasn’t able to drink as much as I would’ve liked to, so it took a few days for that to stabilize, but by the end of the week I was in a good place. I have to say it gave me a small bit of comfort to be able to measure SOMEthing objectively.

One thing that I noticed was that I felt more comfortable in my body than I ever have in a hot climate. Before, when I’d gone on a beach vacation, I’d felt awful in a bathing suit, disgusting when I sweated, and extremely unfit. On this vacation, I took a 5 mile trek through the jungle (to get to the waterfall, yay) and it was like… piece of cake. I took one hike to this eco-lodge up a very very steep hill, and it was like… no problem. I felt comfortable clambering around and never got huffy puffy or anything. That felt GOOD. And sweat didn’t bother me like it used to.

I used to be one of those people who was completely sweatophobic. It made me sick. But now it’s just…. water. And it doesn’t bother me. It’s really OK. Maybe because sweat during my workouts is a good thing – a very very good thing. I’ve made friends with sweat! Yahoo!

So when I left on my vacation I was 5 lbs “down” because of my dumb dehydration problem at the marathon. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to maintain THAT because it was mostly water weight anyway. In fact it was ALL water weight. This morning when I weighed myself I was 2 lbs up from that weight, so 3 lbs down from the day before the marathon. OK! I’ll take that! I hope I’ll be able to maintain that because it’s a number I can be very happy at.

So that’s that. Interesting, huh? It’s funny how things change when we don’t have our regular landmarks and ways of checking in. But I felt good about what I was doing overall. I’m eager to get back to my regular workouts. I’m glad it’s not 90 million degrees here. But it was also good to get out of routine and realize there are ways of staying healthy that look and feel different.

 

 
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