Sunday, March 18, 2012

Testing blood sugar levels is ruling my life right now

Just plugging along here. It's been a bit of a stressful month surrounding the type 2 diabetes. I've been on 500 mg Metformin ER for a week now. For the first three days, I gained seven pounds, then it all went away over the next three days. I've been testing my blood sugars like mad. Nothing I do seems to make sense when I interpret it through my glucometer. Then someone suggested that I was trying to do too many different things, and to give the Met ER a chance to start working. I'm still getting used to how it makes me feel. I spent a few days feeling nauseous and dizzy. Now the dizzies are there till late afternoon and the nausea only appears once or twice a day. It reminds me of when I was pregnant! I can't seem to exercise when this dizzy. I lose my balance easily and I'm clumsy all the time.

I tested my blood sugars before and after eating every meal, after certain macro-nutrient combinations, after cardio exercise vs strength training vs Pilates. It's obvious I'm mostly dealing with high morning blood sugars, and if I don't eat but do cardio exercise in the morning, the blood sugar only goes up from the morning wake-up numbers. A lot. Sometimes, eating in the morning helps my blood sugar comes down faster, but only if I eat a small amount of protein with a very small amount of fibrous vegetable and a little bit of fat. Like under 10 gm protein and 5 net gm carb and 15 gm fat. That's a poached egg on a bed of sauteed spinach and a big cup of coffee with heavy cream...175 calories. And doing cardio doesn't seem to help in the mornings, but Pilates does. And so does weight training. I seem to be able to do more cardio later, like after lunch and dinner.

I still have a lot of situations to test out. It's all making me a bit mad, but I'm coming to understand the importance of keeping the blood sugar numbers down. I really can't go over 20 gm of protein, 5 net gm of carbohydrates and 15 gm of fat at a meal. I'm sensitive to all of it. This is really helping me cut back how much I eat. I can have up to four of these tiny meals a day, spaced out every four hours. It doesn't help me at all to save calories for later in the day for a bigger meal. I have to let go of my beloved big dinner!

I'm just figuring a lot of this out. I hope living like this will help the rate of weight loss to pick up momentum.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Swimmin', swimmin', just keep swimmin'...

No, I didn't take up swimming. That requires a bathing suit. Not ready for that. Just letting you know I'm still here, I'm still working the wellness strategies toward my goals. I've lost two more pounds, down to 293. A pound a month, that's all we get.

Let's see, what can I report on now...

I got a new glucometer this week. I started testing my blood sugar levels again, since I'm supposed to go see the doctor soon. This is why I quit using one after my first year as a type 2 diabetic...all the constant testing! Once in the morning after I get up, then 1, 2, 3 and 4 hours after eating something. I spent the day fasting yesterday and all my readings were over 120. They're supposed to be under 100. So now I'm concerned that I will have to go on Metformin. I struggled with feeling like a failure for a couple hours, but I'm over that now. It was only one day of testing. And it was a day after I had indulged in pizza and root beer (not something I do more than once or twice a year). So now I'm back to my Paleolithic/ketogenic ways. I'll try fasting once again next week and see if my numbers are better. A friend turned me on to Blood Sugar 101, which has very good advice for those seeking to manage bg on diet and exercise alone. It's been my experience that the diabetic community does more to support each other than the medical establishment has ever done. I think they're more knowledgeable too!

I've been hampered with my fitness routine lately. I started the Venus Index workout a few weeks ago and really love the workout I'm getting with it. I'm starting to see definition in my deltoids, my sons can really feel my biceps (wish I could see them!) and I'm now wearing a size 22 in my upper body (almost there in the lower body too!) It's all good! But then I really hurt one of my quads and had to take a break from lower body stuff for a week, then got sick for a week, and now my shoulder is sprained and I can't move my left arm. It's not from poor form. I was just greatly fatigued after workouts and I engaged in activities that put me over the edge, in both cases. I should be back to the full workout routine by next week...Pilates, VI and rowing/walking. And no more wrestling with the 14-year-old! Not good for Mommy!

I'm about to start gardening. It's a communal thing, at a friend's house. A group of us are getting together to work this garden. I'm starting the tomato seeds over the weekend. I usually get my "beyond organic" veggies and soy-free pastured eggs from Fresh Edibles Farm, a local CSA. But there are some items they don't grow, so I'm going to plant some fava beans (because I actually love the leaves for salad), edible amaranth greens, kai lan, and dandelions. Yes, dandelions, on purpose. 'Cause you know I go nuts for the greens! I think I want to plant some black-eyed peas. I like them when they're young, in a salad with tomatoes and red onions, dressed with olive oil and a little apple cider vinegar, some Greek oregano and a little sea salt. I've also got some seeds for a variety of zucchini that puts out more blossoms than zucchini. I wonder if I can put together a recipe for fried zucchini blossoms using coconut or almond flour. If it turns out, I'll post it in the recipe section.

I'll be going to some conferences for work soon. They're in San Francisco. I've made plans to stay in a hotel 1.5 miles away so I can walk to the conference and back every day. My hotel has a gym, but I don't like to use those. I'm packing my Pilates band, ring, 2, 4 and 8-lb balls, mats. I am sticking to my eating plan during the conferences. Not drinking alcohol either. Probably won't be testing my bg during the conference meetings, but I can still track that in the morning and after dinner.

Staying on track, feeling good!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Doing great...except for the part when I'm not

I'm feeling sorry for myself at the moment. I have a wicked head cold. Or allergies. Or both, I can't really tell. It comes and goes. At the moment it's here. I've been sneezing all day. I tried to exercise, but whenever I bend over to touch my toes or try to do a planky sort of thing, I start sneezing again. And then sometimes I cough.

I'll spare you the details on what all this is doing to my bladder!

I'm down to 295 lbs. Well, not today, but that's the new low. Remember, my experience on the bathroom scale is like a ping pong ball, but the new recent low is 295. I'm happy for that. Clothes are looser in interesting places, like my upper back, my axillary breast tissue (TMI?), my shins, even my feet. I used to wear 11WW, then went to an 11W, and now I wear 11C. Very cool! I can start wearing normal width shoes soon!

No weight gain during the holidays (yeah!) and no major parties coming up in the near future. The Paleolithic eating plan is working well for me. Since it's so cold (for dieting Californians, which is like all of us, 50-degrees F feels cold), I'm drinking a lot of my bone soups with lemon juice. I just made another one yesterday with the carcass of a free-range turkey. Mmmmm! It's nice with some chopped spinach or collard greens floating around in it, sort of like having miso soup. (I can't have I miss it!)

Up until Christmas, I was going to Pilates for five classes a week plus a private session. I'm getting my joints, quads, hamstrings, glutes and lower back ready for my next big push, a 12-week figure weight-training challenge. The diet is going to get tightened up too. My goal is to push myself harder than ever for three months in order to drop as much weight as possible to get past as much of the type 2 diabetes and PCOS insulin resistance and weight loss issues as possible. I'm hoping that losing another 20+ lbs. will make it easier to lose the rest of the weight. I have a big goal, to get below 200 lbs by the end of 2012. At the end of Feb 2013 my COBRA health insurance will no longer be available to me and I have to go out to find my own. And I don't want to be turned down for anything because I'm too fat to cover.

(Divorce, the gift that keeps on giving!)

So anyways, other things are changing for the better...most notably, my legs are getting better looking. I have had issues with red necrosis between my mid shins and ankles, and issues with swollen ankles. I spent way too much time sitting for too long. The doctors never could do anything about the necrosis and I was afraid I was eventually going to lose my lower legs because of the diabetes. I kept being told to lose weight and exercise (duh!) and to wear compression stockings. Well, the stockings only seemed to make the problem worse. As did sitting for 20+ hours at a time on my overseas flights. I finally quit flying and sitting for hours and hours at a time (makes it hard to get work done though). I quit using the compression stockings. I started massaging my legs regularly, plus the weight loss and exercise, and I take two baby aspirin a day. I have also read that getting adequate micro-nutrients might have been an issue, so I'm taking more of that stuff too. And the necrosis is starting to go away! I've struggled with this issue for over 20 years. I weighed about 250 lbs when it first started happening. So maybe by the time I hit that number on the scale again, it'll all be gone. And I can wear dresses again without having to wear boots or opaque stockings with them (although a guy did give me his number when I was wearing the boots with a dress last month).

Okay, that's enough for now. I need to give my bladder a little bit of a break. I just ate and orange and it seems to have upset the balance of nature!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I might need to unfriend you...

...but it's not you! It's me!

I just figured out last week that I am a social-eating/drinking enabler. A few of my really good friends and supporters helped me figure it all out (Molly, Sheri, Lori and Beth - love you!!!!)

"What are you going to eat? I kinda want an appetizer, but not the whole thing. Will you split it with me, Georgia?"
"Okay. Order whichever one you want."

"Geo, I wanna have a dessert, but I don't want to be the only one who has one. Are you going to get one?"
"Sure! I was just thinking I'd like something to go with my coffee."

"Why aren't you drinking? Is water the only thing you're going to have? Well, that's no fun! Are you on medication?"
"Oh, um, no...I'll have a gin and soda."

For some reason, I can't stand my dietary ground when I'm with friends and we go out. I don't quite know why, but it ends here. If you want to go out with me because you want to eat what you want to eat without being questioned, I'm here to tell you that you are free to order whatever you want off the menu. You won't get any judgement from me! I just can't eat that.

You wouldn't ask someone with a strong peanut allergy to split a pb&j with you. Well, I'm here to tell you, if I eat something with you in order to support you, my ass will swell to gargantuan proportions. And they don't make an epi-pen for that!

If you find that I can't stick to my plan when I'm with you (and The Paleolithic Plan has been working so well - despite the summer of social eating and very little exercise), then you have my permission to remind me that I'm on a Plan and that you don't need me around to enable your off-Plan eating choices. The holidays are coming and I have a few food-centered social events coming up that I want to spend actually talking to people and not feeling like crap later for having too many Christmas cookies that I don't even like.

(But don't stalk me when I'm in the buffet line and try to embarrass me out of making poor choices. Show some restraint!)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I really love eating well

I've been avoiding eating out as much as possible for months. But sometimes, I throw caution to the wind because I just want to go out and have a nice meal with special people. Tonight, the special people were my boys. I love them so much. We don't get to spend a lot of time together because we've all got our stuff to do. But tonight, it was Farmer's Market downtown, the weather was perfect closer to evening, and I wanted to walk around with my boys and enjoy one of the pleasures of small town life for which I'm cultivating a fondness.

We ate at Crush Kitchen + Bar, a local eatery that strives to adhere to the idea of building their menu from locally available produce (in fact, most of their produce they grow themselves) and having nearly everything made in-house. ("Except the gelato," we were told.) It's really nice to know that even in my small town I can find a restaurant that will provide me something really good to eat that supports my healthy lifestyle choices. We ate well!

I blurred the edges of my Paleolithic diet just a little. I started with the fried squash blossoms. The boys each tried one and then I ate the other two. YUM!!! So light, filled with ricotta and drizzled with a little chili sauce. (Not like my grandmother's...she always stuffed them with feta and dipped them in egg and flour before frying. Her's were MUCH greasier.) For dinner I ordered the full plate of roasted beets on a bed of arugula and topped with chopped raw almonds and a few bits of goat cheese. Beautifully dressed and lots of herbs too! So good! Not too far off the Paleo path, and I easily came in on target with macro-nutrients and fiber for the day.

We were too full for dessert, but I fully intend to go back for it at a later time. Maybe next Thursday we'll buy some cucumbers and tomatoes at Farmer's Market and eat them on the street then end up at Crush for some dessert. I read about their zeppoles from the menu and while I'm not much of a dessert eater...well, here's what the menu says. You read and decide what you'd do:
Zeppoles Italian donuts filled with vanilla bean pastry cream rolled in orange sugar on a bed of bittersweet orange chocolate ganache.
Duh!!! Guys? Can I have mine with the French press coffee?

After dinner, my youngest and I walked around downtown a little. All the vendors were packing up their pop-ups and putting away the produce. We had missed it all. But it was worth it. I got to spend a couple hours of quality time with my sons. We had good meaningful conversation, laughed some and ate well. Plenty of joy points for the day!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

This video is looooooong, like an hour and a half, but if you're a sciency/mathy sort of person, you'll find this very interesting...or rather, eye-opening and shocking. Made me rethink about how much I was doing to help protect myself and my sons.

Sugar wasn't all that important to me, but I was indulging my kids. As of now, we're done with sugar at my house! And we're totally ramping up the fiber too!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Check out my home gym!

My older son and I spent a few days cleaning and rearranging things in the garage. I finally have a dedicated gym for us to use! No more fighting cobwebs to get to the treadmill.

In the garage I've got the treadmill, elliptical cross-trainer, weight bench with bar and weight set, step bench and risers, Pilates mats, a kettle bell and hand weights. My youngest uses the punching bag to practice taekwando. Still room to park the car!

There's additional equipment in the backyard. That's my rowing machine. I like using that early in the morning. TV and DVD player will be moving out there soon so I can do workouts in the fresh air.
An important part of working out is the cool down. I think it needs some potted plants.

And then there's pain reliever for the muscle aches. But that's at the end of the day.

Anybody feeling achy?