Losing Weight

I’ve finally made peace with some things. For one, I actually do like clothes and looking good. I like looking good A LOT. I’ve been very resentful of the effects insulin resistance has had on my body, so I’ve been acting like a petulant two year old. Fortunately I read something that Liz Hurley said (yeah I know pearls of wisdom from Liz Hurley. Whoda thunk it?) Anyway, she said as she’s aged she’s had to stop drinking alcohol and that she goes to bed hungry every night. Hmph. Bottom line is, I probably would’ve had to change the way I eat with age regardless. Back in the day I could eat whatever and as long as I worked out it was all good. Those days are gone, never to return. 1200-1400 calories is pretty much my maximum if I want to get this weight off. No sugar, no booze, no grazing. This is pretty much the way I have to eat for the rest of my life. That thought used to depress the hell out of me, but I’m realizing that it’s not nearly as bad as the thought of never wearing a swimsuit or being able to shop off the rack at Anthropologie. Hunger is not an emergency, at least as long as it doesn’t make me pass out.

I’ve always had a curvy body, and I miss my waistline more than anything on earth. Insulin resistance has given me two things I never had: a thick waist and a belly. (I’ve made peace with the c-section pooch, despite being a PITA the Luke is worth it.) So if giving up sugar, booze and grazing will help me get my figure back I’m all in. This time, I’m in it to win it.

Canker Sore Relief

Up until a few months ago I had never had a canker sore in my life. I had no idea that the blasted things hurt so badly. I couldn’t even go to sleep, but I found this fabulous website:

http://dentistry.about.com/od/basicdentalcare/f/cankertreatment.htm

And honest to goodness, once I tried those remedies the pain was gone that night and the next day the canker sore was gone. Granted, I probably went overboard, but this is what I did. First: baking soda and salt rinse. I’d actually been doing this already, but I did it again. Next: peroxide rinse. Finally: even though it hurt a little less, my mouth was still killing me, so yes, I mixed liquid benadryl and milk of magnesia and used it as a mouth rinse. OMG

The pain went away instantly and I was finally able to go to bed. Does anyone have any idea why this would work, and for that matter who was the genius (or desperate soul) who discovered it?

Foam Roller for Back, Neck & Shoulder Pain

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I just realized when I read Monnie’s post about her shoulders bothering her that I never told you guys about this. These foam rollers will change your life. You know how your back gets when you’ve been sitting at the computer all day? All tight and sometimes mine hurts so badly it gives me a headache. Whit and I both have bad backs and our physical therapist taught us how to use these. You wouldn’t believe how much relief rolling on one of these will give you. Roll on it vertically and horizontally a few times and you will wonder how you lived without it. I think I’ve seen it at Target. We got ours from our physical therapist. Truly a life altering device.

Nimbus Lite Endurabead 18″ x 6″ Full Round Foam Roller.

Go Lean Cereal

Medium

This is a great cereal. Full of protein and fiber with only five grams of sugar. It gives me loads of energy and  doesn’t leave me starving in a couple of hours like most cereal. Unfortunately, it happens to taste like butt. The Crunch version tastes loads better, but is full of sugar, so it’s a definite no-no. Normally I’ll add a few dried berries (dried cranberries are little red nuggets of crack I tell you true), but this morning I was all out. Desperate for a flavor kick I added a few dashes of cinnamon–Yum! It gave it a little sweetness, and cinnamon also lowers blood sugar. Can I say, Yay?

Saw the Doctor Today

Thank you for your prayers and well-wishes. Apparently my hormones aren’t back, I seem to have a hormonal problem common to women in this stage of life. Fortunately  the treatment is relatively inexpensive and Goddess willing I’ll stop bleeding soon. Again, thank you all so much for your concern.

The Bitch is Back

It appears that my worst nightmare may well be true. Yep, fibroids, which killed my baby in 2002 and I had surgery  to remove, later that year may well have grown back. I’ve been in denial for about a year about them, because this time they’re behaving differently. Last time they were subserosal, that is, in the uterine wall, and while they hurt like a SOB, I didn’t have abnormal bleeding. In fact, despite all my various and sundry fertility problems, I’ve been as regular as a clock until last year. I suspect that this time they’re submucosal, that is, in the uterus itself. And yes, this time I’ve got bleeding. Crazy bleeding. My Midol week has turned into a Midol month and then some. 

I’ve been in denial for a minute, because I really don’t want to deal with this right now. For one thing, it’s going to cost a grip, and if you’ve been reading this blog, you know I don’t have health insurance. On the other hand, I can’t continue bleeding this way either. I’ve had to give up my exercise routine because I’m literally light-headed and dizzy much of the time. I do skull-crushers for my triceps. It would be a shame for that colorful term to become a reality. 

I’m going to see a gyno on Tuesday. I had planned to return to my gyno in Huntsville, but with these type issues going on, I thought it would be prudent to find someone here. I’ve heard good things about her, but man, she’s expensive. I thought about going to a clinic, but my gynecological history  is crazy complicated and I think I need someone who’s very sharp, so I’ll just have to pony up the cash. 

I’m saying all this to say that if in the coming weeks I sound crazier than usual, just keep in mind that I’ve more or less been bleeding since March 23. If you believe in a deity  of any kind, or if you don’t, please pray for me. I’m not ashamed to admit, I’m scared to death. 

 

Agave Nectar is the Hotness

Agave Nectar

I have long been on a quest to find a sweetener that doesn’t taste like butt, and yesterday I finally discovered it in Wal-Mart of all places. I’d tried agave nectar before, but it only  came in these little straws and cost the earth so I left it alone. They  were too much trouble to deal with. Well, it still costs the earth, but I discovered  it in an easy-to-use squirt bottle. Agave nectar is great for those of us with insulin issues because it’s a low glycemic index food. It’s 90% fructose so your body processes it much more slowly than it does table sugar. Yep, no insulin spikes. Even better, it’s considerably sweeter than sugar, so you don’t have to use as much. I literally use just a couple of drops in my morning  cup of tea. Better yet, it doesn’t have a nasty after-taste like artificial sweeteners. I’m delighted. It is still pricey, but since you use so little, I still think it’s a good buy. (My husband pointed out that agave nectar is used to make tequila. Be my luck he’ll start fermenting the stuff.)

I’ve also been supplementing with  cinnamon. I get it at Wal-Mart, and it also has Chromium. Both supplements help process sugar. Fair warning, take it with a full glass of water, you really don’t want to burp cinnamon. I think it’s really helping a lot. 

I’ve been following the Insulin Resistance diet as well, and I’ve lost ten pounds. Essentially, any carbs I eat must be eaten with at least half as many grams of protein. Also, I can never have more than 30 grams of carbs in a meal. So, if I eat something with 30 grams of carbs, it must also have 15 grams of protein. It’s working really well, and I like it a lot. Continue reading “Agave Nectar is the Hotness”

Maybe There Is A Satan After All

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Someone asked  if I believed in Satan. I said no, though now I’ll have to reconsider. I’m in the store yesterday looking at popsicles since I’d promised some to The Luke. And what do I see? This, yes, Fleur de Sel Caramel ice cream! Read the description:

Fleur de Sel caramels covered in a chocolaty coating blended into caramel ice cream with caramel ribbons and French sea salt accents. Crisp, salty nuances harmonize with rich, creamy caramel for the ultimate combination of sweet and salty. 

Sacre Bleu! If that isn’t demonic, I don’t know what is. Just designed for some poor perimenopausal woman going through Midol month. Not content with aliases like Lucifer and Beezlebub, Satan had to acquire a new name. Just call him Haagen-Dazs. Please note, I rebuked Satan and did not purchase the afore-mentioned demon spawn ice cream. Though I do acknowledge lusting after it in my heart. 

 

The Eight Most Underrated Health Trends

I found this over at FitCysters and thought it was phenomenal. Deadlifts are the one exercise I’d literally get off my deathbed to do. Remember, work those big muscles to failure. Burns fat, utilizes insulin. I usually pyramid, meaning that I’ll do 15 with my 8 pound weights, then 12 with my 10s and 10 with my 15s. 

I’ve mentioned before how crucial Vitamin D is and how I just recently discovered that I’m deficient. Get that checked. It’s important. I drink green tea, but had never heard of matcha green tea. I must investigate it. 

I’ve been using foam rollers for quite some time now, my physical therapist hipped me to them more than a decade ago. I would probably be on some crazy painkiller without it. I eat lots of apples, it’s the one fruit I don’t have to combine with a protein on my Insulin Resistance Diet, and they’re a convenient snack. I also take cinnamon and chromium to help lower my blood sugar. 

 

  • The Mediterranean Diet: Why this way of eating isn’t the standard pyramid is beyond me. Year after year, study after study this pattern of eating comes out shining and yet still doesn’t seem to catch on.
  • Side Planks/Tabletops: This exercise is phenomenal for engaging the abdominal muscles and for enhancing stability. It is especially helpful for those with bad backs as this won’t allow you to use your back to aid breathing.
  • Apples: Yup, plain old apples are loaded with flavanoids, quercetin, pectin and other flavanoids. They are not as sexy as the Goji or Acai berries but they are still an underrated food.
  • Foam Rolling: More and more gyms carry these fascia release devices but through my observation, people still don’t use them. When used correctly, foam rolling can help reduce trigger points, improve tissue quality and enhance mobility.
  • Matcha Tea: This powdered form of green tea is one of the highest grade teas available – packed with antioxidants and chlorophyll. It is also versatile, making a great addition to smoothies and bars.
  • Wall Angels: This is an exercise that most people should do – especially if you sit at a computer most of your day. Standing up – back against a wall – head, shoulder blades and tailbone touching the wall, back of arms against wall at shoulder level, bent 90 degrees – slide arms up while keeping them in contact with the wall – without arching back or letting tailbone lose contact with the wall. Repeat for 10-20 reps daily. This will help stretch some likely tight muscles and help strengthen the deep and underused muscles in the upper back.
  • Vitamin D: In the news quite a bit, but again doesn’t have the sex appeal that a fat burning supplement might. It is also overshadowed by fish oil supplementation. There is a compelling reason for most people to supplement with this vitamin/hormone – especially for those in northern climates.
  • Deadlifts: The hardcore lifters wouldn’t dream of excluding this all-around gem of an exercise but it is surprising how many people eschew it – even personal trainers. It does take more practice to perfect and form is more crucial on this one than most others, but when used properly, it doesn’t get much better as an overall strength builder.
  • My Virtual Model

    I’ve hanging out over at Prevention Magazine. Did the My Virtual Model thing, and while the model doesn’t look exactly like me (there’s no button for back fat or c-section belly) I think it’s a pretty good representation of how I look and how I’ll look after losing 33 pounds. Thus far I’ve lost 2 inches off my waist (Take THAT! Dr. Oz!) and about three pounds. I bought a new pair of exercise pants in my usual XL, but they were too big. I think though that they just ran large. I haven’t had a chance to take them back yet. 

    I spent most of the day playing outside with Luke and that’s HUGE. Normally I get too tired and feel like crap. So, I know that my workout regimen is defeating this insulin crap. Remember, I’m not doing anything that hard. Weights three times a week, Cardio three times a week, Pilates twice a week. I could probably go without the Pilates, but I love it so. 

    Also, if you have insulin issues, be sure to ask your doctor to check your Vitamin D levels. Mine was nearly non-existent. That’s not surprising those of us who are melanin-enhanced have a harder time making it. It also doesn’t help that I slather myself with sunscreen whenever I do happen to be out in the sun. Anyway, it can be a contributor to insulin issues. I don’t think it’s coincidental that black folks have lower levels of Vitamin D and higher levels of diabetes. Remember: Calcium, Vitamin D, Fiber and Omega 3s are all essential in whipping insulinaemia, and don’t forget to lift weights!!!