Monday, June 11, 2018

Moving Forward


so much prep!  I haven't even looked at the menu for the next few days...I got hung up yesterday, due to having to substitute food I do like (roasted sweet potato) for food I don't like (avocado), and work around kitchen appliances and ingredients I don't have (slow-cooker, brisket). this morning's breakfast was easy, but now it's past time for lunch, and I still haven't looked at the menu!

the menu calls for leftovers of what last night's dinner was supposed to be, which I don't have, because I worked around the appliance dilemma by having all the leftovers for yesterday's lunch, and there were no leftovers from what I did end up making for dinner!  but I figured I could just use whatever protein I had on hand - which was ground turkey - and pick a recipe out of the book (chicken meatballs), add a vegetable, and finish up with a fruit of my choice.  no problem, right?  right...the turkey proved to be rather squishy, and fell apart in the pan, so I scooped each ball onto a baking sheet, and just put them in the oven where they are now.  it's 3:42pm - long past time for my lunch, which I planned to have at 1pm, but when I was actually ready to start the cooking, it was 1:45pm, and the food pantry opens a 2pm, so...I put the meatballs on hold and ran out the door, because I needed the extra food the pantry would provide.

at the food pantry, I scored a bag of tortilla chips, a box of pasta, a can of beans, and two mini chocolate bundt cakes for the teen; a large container of blueberries, a pack of strawberries, a bag of grapes, a bag of cherries, another pound of ground turkey, and a dozen eggs.  there was more to be had, but it was either off-plan (rice, canned soup, crackers, soda, mac & cheese, cereal, peanut butter, pastry, bread), something we don't eat (most canned goods, cherry tomatoes, artificial yogurt products, veal, pork, gluten-free tortillas, non-fat or artificial cheese products), items I already have (lettuce), or too close to rotting for me to want (green beans, onions, potatoes, blackberries).  we're going to freeze the blueberries, because there's a lot of them, but the rest of the fruit will be eaten!  I'll probably also cook up some hard-boiled eggs to have on hand, in case I run into another food dilemma.

Monday
7:30am - scrambled eggs; steamed spinach w/ghee; cantaloupe
3:45pm - turkey meatballs w/mixed greens and roasted red pepper mayo; green cabbage slaw; cantaloupe
7:45pm - frittata with onion, tomato, spinach, touch of lemon (juice & zest); roasted potatoes
5 water

I really wanted a late night snack last night, and almost had one, justifying it by saying, "well, it's all healthy, on-plan food..." but I resisted, knowing that I wasn't really hungry, I was just bored, lonely, or wanting a treat.  yay me.

Tuesday
7:30am - leftover frittata and potatoes
1:30pm - protein salad:  ground turkey, roasted red pepper mayo, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, celery, onion, grapes, slivered almonds, nutritional yeast on a bed of mixed greens; 1/2 banana, strawberries
7:45pm - grilled steak; roasted butternut squash w/steamed broccoli, garlic, & slivered almonds
6 water

such a treat to have steak, and it came out great!  also my first butternut squash!

Wednesday
9:30am - leftover veggies scrambled into eggs; cantaloupe
2:30pm - leftover protein salad on mixed greens
7:15pm - pulled chicken carnitas on romaine; cabbage slaw with ranch dressing
5 water

the carnitas were off the hook!  if I had thought about it, I would have swapped out the spices in the recipe for something more chicken-y rather than ones that seemed pork-y, but this whole cooking several foods at once, in different pots, on multiple surfaces is enough for me to handle at once...next time.

Thursday
8:45am - leftover carnitas with scrambled eggs, cantaloupe
1:45pm/2:45pm - leftover protein salad on a 'kitchen sink salad' (some of the leftover slaw with shredded carrot, thin-sliced cucumber, almond slivers, and cilantro) with a drizzle of ranch dressing; 2 hard-boiled eggs and another bowl of 'kitchen sink salad' drizzled with ranch.
7:15pm - ground turkey with onions, bell pepper, and coconut aminos; cauliflower mash; banana
4 1/2 water

I had two mini lunches, because I wanted more than I prepared for the first lunch, and I needed to cook up the eggs for the second lunch.  I'm definitely 'PMSing', because I almost got mad at my teen while watching him finish that mini chocolate bundt cake, but I remembered this is a choice I'm making, and finished my second 'kitchen sink salad'.  I definitely need a nap...

wow, I made it through week 1!  21 meals down, 69 to go!  I have no idea whether or not I can keep this up, but I'm certainly going to do my best.  I had a horrible dream last night that I was given a bag of candy, and happily began to indulge until I remembered I was 'eating clean' - I was all, "OH NO, I blew it after only one week, now I have to start all over!"  thankfully, I woke up and realized all was not lost, I'm still on plan, and had a healthy breakfast.  it happens with smoking cigarettes, sometimes, too...I'll dream that I'm smoking, and this horrible feeling will come over me, like I've ruined everything I worked for, only to wake up and feel so thankful it was only a dream.  I wonder what my subconscious is saying with these images and feelings?

Friday
8:30am - 3 hard boiled eggs with leftover 'kitchen sink salad'; leftover cauliflower mash with nutritional yeast
3:45 - two scrambled eggs, slaw with ranch
7:30 - chicken carnitas with salsa and onion in romaine leaves; cabbage slaw with ranch dressing; grapes
2 water, 1.5 seltzer

so I notice I'm backsliding.  breakfast keeps happening later than it should, which throws off the lunch I don't seem to be having at the adjusted time, either...leaving me wondering when to have dinner.  I feel like it's such a major accomplishment to have gotten through this first week that I can take a break, but I can't, because it's not about 'this week', or 'these 30 days', or even 'just through the re-introductions', it's a matter of getting with it in a way that forms new habits and relationships with food that can carry me through the rest of my life in good health.  I haven't made a meal plan for this week, yet, and I'm getting tired of spending so much time focused on it.  one day I feel like my body is responding positively to the changes, the next day I'm not so sure it's making any difference.  but really, it's only been 1 week.  how much can your body change in a week?  it's a slow process, and I'm doing my best to play the long game...I managed to quit smoking, didn't I?  7 or 8 years, now, and going strong!  it's just PMS week, and that's what's making it hard.  I can push through.

Saturday
9:00am - three eggs scrambled with onion, red pepper, & broccoli; salad of romaine, spinach, celery, cucumber, carrot, red pepper, scallions, sliced almonds, with ranch
2:30pm - ground turkey on leftover breakfast salad
7:30pm - meat sauce & spaghetti squash
1.5 seltzer, 2 water, 1 cup coconut water (treat!)

Sunday
8:30am - 3 eggs scrambled with onion, tomato, broccoli; grapes
3:15pm - poached chicken with cucumber, basil, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, and cinnamon-pear vinegar on a bed of romaine & spinach, with slivered almonds, nutritional yeast, and garlic aioli
9:00pm - butternut squash soup, leftover chicken
5 water

so that's ten days down, 20 to go.  at this point, I don't want to cook, do dishes, meal-plan, any of it.  it's exhausting, and takes up Way too much of my time.  some of the people in the online forum (there's a group of us who all started on the same day) do all their meal planning and prep on their days off, but I haven't really figured out how to do that, yet.  I know it's not all that hard, but I'm working with almost 30 years of habit to the contrary, here, and the energy it takes to do all that has not become habit, yet.  I'm trying.  that's all I can say.  it's not rocket science, but it's new, and I'm doing my best to figure it out on my own.  I've eaten a number of things I'd never eaten before, cooked several things I'd never cooked before, and some of them were actually good!  I need to take the whole experience as a win, so far, because all in all, it is (holy crap, the teen ate the butternut squash soup I made for dinner last night, and admitted that it 'wasn't bad'!), and will most likely continue to be, I'm just over it at the moment, though I'll find my way to push through. 

I'm also in a crappy mood due to factors other than my ongoing dietary experiment, but I don't feel like addressing them here, now.  thanks for following along, I'll be at it for a bit longer, so hang in there with me, and I promise I'll get back to sharing all the dirty secrets from my past that my readers seem to enjoy so much.  blech.  just trying to keep it real...really.  I don't know how to be anything else. 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Food Journaling


Monday
so far today (I don't know what times, I didn't keep track) - 2 slices Italian bread, 2 munchkins, pasta/red sauce/mozz., lettuce/cukes/red pepper w/creamy Caesar, 2 choc. ch. cookies.
7pm-ish - burger on a bun, hot dog on a bun, a few more cookies.
 > 8 water

Tuesday
9am - banana
12:15pm - mixed greens/carrot/red onion/cuke/croutons w/balsamic vinaigrette dressing, 1 slice Italian bread to sop up excess dressing.
5:45pm - tortellini w/pesto
8:30pm - carrot & cuke w/hummus, 3 ch.ch. cookies
9 water

I had a hard time sleeping last night - between the full moon, and having to get up to pee every 5 minutes...maybe I should have left off that last glass of water before I went to bed!  I've been pretty sore and achy for the past few days, and I'm putting it down to the three days of excess in terms of alcohol - which I hardly ever drink, even though I didn't have that much - burgers, dogs, pasta salads, cookies, and potato chips.  I don't feel at all ready to take on this 'Whole 30 challenge', but I'm going to do my best anyway, and go to the grocery store today with what little money I have, because we need food.  I also need to make a menu plan for the coming week, in order to be at least somewhat prepared to start this challenge off right. I'm on page 140 of the book, and their 7-day meal plan is on page 196, so I've been skipping ahead to get where I need to go (I didn't really have to read the chapter on pregnancy and nursing, anyway, and I only skimmed the ones on medical conditions, and vegetarians and vegans).

Wednesday
2:15pm - 2 plain hot dogs (no bun)
3:30 - black beans/corn/red onion/seasonings, ch. ch. cookie
9:15pm - Caesar salad (romaine, bacon bits, parm, dressing, croutons), French bread pizza
12am - ch. ch. cookie
4 water

Today is my last day to prepare for the big 'lifestyle change' I'm planning - I went shopping yesterday, and I wasn't able to get everything on my list at Hannaford (my main grocery store), so I'm going to have to make a run to Sunflower (the 'health food' store) today to pick up some coconut milk, a jar of roasted red peppers, and some spaghetti squash...which is out of season, so I'll probably have to think up an alternative.  Unfortunately, there isn't enough money left in my checking account to cover another incredibly important expense, so I have to transfer some over from my savings, which is going to leave me in dire straits, considering the work opportunity I wasn't able to take advantage of this coming weekend due to single parenting - I simply can't bring myself to leave the teen home alone for a 10+ hour stretch, or make him come with me and have nothing to do for hours on end, then make him work 3 additional hours with me at another job.  I really hope my child support kicks back in, soon, so I can see this program all the way through - I hate relying on it for essentials, but work has been sparse, and other commitments have kept me from my 'full-on hustle' recently.  I feel like I have several full-time jobs, and in order to move through my day effectively, I can only do a few of them, which means they ALL suffer.  Sigh...living the life I chose!

Thursday 
12:15 - the last two chocolate chip cookies, yaaay!  considering I've been up since 6am, it's obviously not the best choice to be the first thing I put in my body, but at this point, I'm so hungry, I just want to EAT NOW and to hell with the rest.  also, I want them gone.  but this is the heart of what I'm aiming at, here - learning what a healthy relationship with food looks like, and making it a priority in my life.  it was a bit hard to tell the kid that we wouldn't be buying any of the treats we were accustomed to at the grocery store yesterday, but I only had so much money, I've been telling him for weeks that I/we were doing this thing, and that for 14 years, now, the majority of my food decisions have been based around his tastes and preferences, so for the next 30 days, I am going to be selfish, and make it about me for once.  that's it.  he gets it, and he also not only knows how to cook, he is well aware of the fact that I will Not be holding him to the same restrictions I will be observing - he is free to make his own choices, and I hope he will choose to pay more attention to the relationship he is forming with food, as well.
3:15pm - grapes
7:15 - French bread pizza, French fries, 1/2 pint Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Therapy ice cream.  how's that for a 'night before the cleanse' dinner?  I left it up to the kid, and that's what he wanted, so that's what we had.  I'm pretty full...but tomorrow, I get after it!
3 1/2 water


Tonight I made mayonnaise, which is a first, because I don't eat it, but I will this month!  I messed it up, though, because I used extra-virgin olive oil where I was supposed to use light, so...oh well, the taste is a bit strong.  live and learn.  with that, and some coconut cream - which I made by putting coconut milk in the fridge (So Good!) - I made ranch dressing.  I took a dive on clarifying the butter I had in the fridge and just bought ghee, and also made tomato sauce.  that'll help get me going over the next few days, and there's more to do, but all in good time.  just keeping my fingers crossed that I can sustain financially, because I'd hate to not succeed due to poverty!

 Friday
today's the day!  I got up once in the night, but I went to bed a bit early for me, and woke up hungry this morning.  breakfast is supposed to happen within one hour of waking (I was up at 6am, and it's now 7:22am), and I've planned to make a spinach frittata with fruit and a 'healthy fat'.  here I go ~
8:15 - frittata w/red onion, tomato, & spinach; grapes; almonds
1:30pm -'protein salad' of ground turkey, homemade mayo, salt, pepper, lemon juice, sliced grapes, celery, red onion, slivered almonds, on a bed of baby lettuce, with homemade ranch dressing; banana
7:15 - beef with homemade tomato sauce; spaghetti squash
5 water (I decided to start counting the water to get a more accurate idea of how much I'm drinking, in 14 oz. increments, which turned out to be even more than I thought!)


I feel amazing - so proud of myself for doing this!  which is apparently a feeling I should hold on to, because according to the 'timeline', tomorrow and/or the next day I will feel 'hung over', and for the next few days after that, I will want to murder everyone and everything, so...yaay?

Saturday
9:30am - leftover beef w/tomato sauce; scrambled egg
2:45pm - leftover protein salad in bell pepper; carrot, celery, & apple slices w/homemade ranch for dipping
7:45pm - chicken with roasted red pepper mayonnaise;  roasted potatoes; green cabbage slaw
7 water

Sunday
tired, brain foggy, tummy in distress...yup, I just want to go back to bed and skip today.  I got up once in the night, and woke up an hour earlier than usual (5am).  I still haven't eaten (8:30am), and I don't want to.  bleh.
9:15am - small amount of leftover dinner (chicken, potatoes, pepper mayo).  I feel gross and pukey.
1:45pm - leftover meat/sauce; scrambled eggs; carrot & celery sticks w/ranch; grapes, slice of apple
7:15pm - spicy beef; roasted broccoli & cauliflower; bite or two of cabbage slaw 
5 water

so there it is - a full week of food journaling.  I guess I've done pretty well so far, these first few days...I feel good, I'm committed to the process, and I'm staying connected to other folks who are using the same guidelines via the Whole30 website forums.  I haven't been snacking between meals, I've been having meals - 3 per day, sitting at the table - and cooking up a storm.  I've discovered some new tastes, increased my menu options, burned the veggies once (ate them anyway), and discovered that steamed spinach is pretty gross (why would you do that to spinach?  I prefer it raw!).  my rough eczema patches are already clearing up, though my right toes are still kind of itchy most of the time.  I think my body is starting to adjust to the increased protein and fiber, and hopefully has begun the process of learning to use fat as energy rather than sugars.  I want to say I feel less bloated, but I'm not sure on that one.  hey, it's only been 3 full days and one meal, so far, which means there are still 80 meals, or 26 2/3 days, and several mood swings to go.  While I should be past the 'hangover' phase, I may be in the 'Kill all the things' mode, or having moved through that to the 'I just want a nap' chapter.  next, I'm expecting to transition into 'NOOO!  my pants are TIGHTER' mode before I get to 'The hardest days', so we'll see how it goes (if I can even manage to keep myself in food). if you've been following along, I'm curious as to your thoughts and feelings about my journey thus far, and look forward to your insights, criticisms, and congratulations.  see you next week!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Whole 30 'Experiment'



                                   
above is the list I made for the 'yes' foods and the 'no' foods that were/n't part of my 21-day detox last summer.  as you can see, it's a pretty restrictive list, but it wasn't bad once I got used to it.  I felt really good, in fact, noticing increased energy, better sleep, less tinnitus and skin issues, fewer aches and pains...

since I went to the doctor on Monday, and she told me the pre-diabetes I was ignoring was actually diabetes (I guess each doctor interprets the numbers differently?), I decided that was the sign I was waiting for to light a fire under my own butt, and get my self/life/eating habits/lack of exercise in check. I guess I was waiting for something more dramatic, like collapsing in public and needing to be rushed to the hospital via ambulance, or something, because simply having her say the word to me feels sort of anti-climactic.  it's not like I have any real symptoms that can't be attributed to simply aging - I feel the same as I always do, which is admittedly not as good as I used to when I was younger, but I am staring down the barrel of turning 50 in less than a year.  I just shrugged and told her that I wasn't interested in taking any prescription medications, that I'd just lose some weight, and start moving more.  I know I can do it, because the detox was pretty rough, but I got through it on my own, so this time, I'm going to use The Whole 30 as a guide to help keep me on track.

I have A Lot on my plate, right now - figuratively speaking - as I know we All do, but I cracked the book open when I got home from getting my blood work done this morning (Thursday), and read through page 13.  not enough progress to be patting myself on the back, yet, but it's a start, and I DO - like all of you - have other things I need to do with my time.  right now, I have some urgent and important paperwork to attend to, but I also need to eat something since all I had after 'fasting' since 10pm last night was a banana at 11:30am.  here it is an hour later, and I'm nursing a headache, so I'm guessing that paperwork is going to have to wait until after I've fed myself something for lunch!  but I came to this page to hold myself accountable by keeping a public food journal, so here we go:

Thursday
11:30am - banana
1:15pm - cream of tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwich
6:45pm - carrot & hummus
7:00pm - tortellini, marinara, and Parmesan
8:30pm - 4 home-made chocolate chip cookies (I use 1/2 the sugar called for in the recipe)
8 - 10 cups water

Friday
8:30am - 1 ch. ch. cookie
3pm - banana
1:40pm - 1 ch. ch. cookie, 1/2 cup milk
between 7pm & 11pm - 2 bowls pasta w/marinara & parm, salad with balsamic dressing, 2 slices bread, 1 ch.ch.cookie
8+ water

Saturday
12:35am - potato chips
1:30am - pasta, red sauce, parm
10:30am - 2 store-bought pb cup cookies, 1/2 cup milk
1:30pm - potato chips
5:15pm - salad:  mixed greens, carrot, red onion, cucumber, parm, croutons, creamy Caesar dressing.
9:30pm - plastic cup of wine (classy!)
8+ water

Sunday
1am - pasta, butter, mozzarella; 2 cookies
11am - slice of Italian bread
between 12:30pm & 10pm - glass of wine, pasta salad x 2, cheeseburger on a bun, buffalo chicken w/cheese sauce x 2, bun
10:30pm - doughnut & munchkins
11:30pm - pasta w/pesto & mozzarella.
> 8 water

so there it is - proof that I eat like crap.  to be fair, I don't usually eat some of this stuff, but a friend brought the chips & cookies over, so we ate them.  and we went to a barbecue yesterday were there was so much yummy food, I chose to enjoy some of it, knowing that in just a matter of days, I'm going to be restricting my diet.  I still need to read more of my Whole 30 book before the 1st, so I have a better handle on what I mean to be doing, but I'm up to page 23, and have been eating all the food that I can't have during the 30 days just to get them out of the house!  I know - it's a real sacrifice, protecting myself from all those cookies, chips, cheeses and pastas...oh, and the cheeseburgers!  I had the one cheeseburger at the barbecue yesterday, and it was so good, I wanted another one all day/night long, and was still craving one by bedtime.  it made me think how insidious whatever it is that's floating around in my gut is - how my systems are so used to the 'garbage', they actively desire it even though my rational mind knows it's unhealthy.  I also thought about how pleased I've been that the teen seems to be eating more salads lately, until I thought about the fact that it's less about the veggies, and more about having a base to hold his dressing and croutons!  when I mentioned it, he said he'd eat salad without the dressing, but I've yet to test that theory, so we'll see how that goes, and if he chooses to join me in my food journey over the next month or not.

more to come, stay tuned ~

B*tches don't know about my...


Diabetes affects how our bodies use blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is vital to our health because it's an important source of energy for the cells that make up our muscles and tissues. It's also our brain's main source of fuel.  To understand diabetes, first we must understand how glucose is normally processed in the body.

Glucose comes from two major sources: food and our liver.  Sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, where it enters cells with the help of insulin.  Our liver stores and makes glucose - when our glucose levels are low, such as when we haven't eaten in a while, the liver breaks down stored glycogen into glucose to keep our glucose levels within a normal range.

Insulin is a hormone that comes from the pancreas, a gland situated behind and below the stomach.  The pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream where it circulates, enabling sugar to enter your cells.  Insulin lowers the amount of sugar in your bloodstream - as your blood sugar level drops, so does the secretion of insulin from your pancreas.

In prediabetes - which can lead to type 2 diabetes - and in type 2 diabetes, our cells become resistant to the action of insulin, and our pancreas is unable to make enough insulin to overcome this resistance.  Instead of moving into your cells where it's needed for energy, sugar builds up in your bloodstream.  Exactly why this happens is uncertain, although it's believed that genetic and environmental factors play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes.  Being overweight is strongly linked to the development of type 2 diabetes, but not everyone with type 2 is overweight.

Researchers don't fully understand why some people develop prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and others don't. It's clear that certain factors increase the risk, however, including:
  • Weight. The more fatty tissue we have, the more resistant our cells become to insulin.
  • Inactivity. The less active we are, the greater our risk. Physical activity helps us control our weight, uses up glucose as energy, and makes our cells more sensitive to insulin.
  • Family history. Our risk increases if a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.
  • Race. Although it's unclear why, people of certain races - including black people, Hispanics, American Indians and Asian-Americans - are at higher risk.
  • Age. Our risk increases as we get older. This may be because we tend to exercise less, lose muscle mass, and gain weight as we age. But type 2 diabetes is also increasing among children, adolescents and younger adults.
  • Gestational diabetes. If we developed gestational diabetes when we were pregnant, our risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes later increases. If we gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms), we're also at risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome. For women, having polycystic ovary syndrome - a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and obesity - increases the risk of diabetes.
  • High blood pressure. Having blood pressure over 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels. If we have low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol, our risk of type 2 diabetes is higher. Triglycerides are another type of fat carried in the blood. People with high levels of triglycerides have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Our doctors can let us know what our cholesterol and triglyceride levels are.
Long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually. The longer we have diabetes — and the less controlled our blood sugar - the higher the risk of complications. Eventually, diabetes complications may be disabling or even life-threatening. Possible complications include:
  • Cardiovascular disease. Diabetes dramatically increases the risk of various cardiovascular problems, including coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke and narrowing of arteries (atherosclerosis). If we have diabetes, we're more likely to have heart disease or stroke.
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy). Excess sugar can injure the walls of the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that nourish our nerves, especially in our legs. This can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward.  Left untreated, we could lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs. Damage to the nerves related to digestion can cause problems with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. For men, it may lead to erectile dysfunction.
  • Kidney damage (nephropathy). The kidneys contain millions of tiny blood vessel clusters (glomeruli) that filter waste from our blood. Diabetes can damage this delicate filtering system. Severe damage can lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, which may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
  • Eye damage (retinopathy). Diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the retina (diabetic retinopathy), potentially leading to blindness. Diabetes also increases the risk of other serious vision conditions, such as cataracts and glaucoma.
  • Foot damage. Nerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet increases the risk of various foot complications. Left untreated, cuts and blisters can develop serious infections, which often heal poorly. These infections may ultimately require toe, foot or leg amputation.
  • Skin conditions. Diabetes may leave you more susceptible to skin problems, including bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Hearing impairment. Hearing problems are more common in people with diabetes.
  • Alzheimer's disease. Type 2 diabetes may increase the risk of dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease. The poorer our blood sugar control, the greater the risk appears to be. Although there are theories as to how these disorders might be connected, none has yet been proved.
  • Depression. Depression symptoms are common in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Depression can affect diabetes management.
Type 1 diabetes can't be prevented. However, the same healthy lifestyle choices that help treat prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes can also help prevent them:
  • Eat healthy foods. Choose foods lower in fat and calories and higher in fiber. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Strive for variety to prevent boredom.
  • Get more physical activity. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day. Take a brisk daily walk. Ride your bike. Swim laps. If you can't fit in a long workout, break it up into smaller sessions spread throughout the day.
  • Lose excess pounds. If we're overweight, losing even 7 percent of your body weight - for example, 14 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds can reduce the risk of diabetes.  Don't try to lose weight during pregnancy, however. Talk to your doctor about how much weight is healthy for you to gain during pregnancy.  To keep our weight in a healthy range, focus on permanent changes to our eating and exercise habits. Motivate ourselves by remembering the benefits of losing weight, such as a healthier heart, more energy and improved self-esteem.
Sometimes medication is an option as well. Oral diabetes drugs such as Metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, others) may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes - but healthy lifestyle choices remain essential. Have blood sugar checked at least once a year to make sure type 2 diabetes hasn't developed.

Monday, May 21, 2018

"Hard to Kidnap"



in my last post, I talked mostly about my own journey with weight.  notice I didn't say 'struggle' or 'battle', or 'gain' or 'loss'.  that's because I try and be intentional with language, and I choose to believe the energy of our breath pushing words out of our mouths creates intention, and we need to be mindful of that (just so with typing them, because it's almost - but not quite - the same energy).  for instance, if you say you're 'fighting' a thing (like cancer), that implies conflict, and that there will be a winner, and a loser.  if you say you're 'dancing' with it, or 'moving through it', that implies a partnership that can be beneficial, or a place you can get to where you've finished with it.  you see?  so I mention this because I'm not a person whose weight has see-sawed due to dieting, or because I've made multiple attempts to change the shape of my body, as I really haven't, other than that time I wanted to fit in to my prom dress (see last week's post), and one flirtation with a late night infomercial product because my relationship was falling apart, and I thought weight loss might be the key to keeping 'my man' from leaving me (in retrospect, that's not the kind of man I want anyway, so...yeah).


as someone who used to be slender, and is now fat, I can see the different ways the world treats the two ends of that spectrum, and that's the original reason I wanted to talk (post) about my experience with my own body, and its increasing size.  as a skinny teen, it was easy to get people (read:  boys and men) to give me, and do, any number of things for me because they thought I was pretty, and they probably thought they could get me to bestow sexual favors on them.  I mean, that's generally the reason the guy at the pizza shop will slip a pretty young girl a free slice or a soda, or the guy driving the ice cream or chip truck will toss you a free cone or a bag of something.  how about all the alcohol I drank for free, or the pot and hash I smoked at parties?  all the drive-in movies I got taken to?  it was because those dudes thought they could have their way with me if they got me drunk or high (many of them did), or they thought I'd have sex with them in the back of the Pinto while James Bond fought for his life hanging off the side of a hot-air balloon (that was a regretful evening). sometimes, when you're conventionally attractive - or in my case, 'exotic' enough to pass - the men of the world seem to think you owe them something, and that something is a piece of you.  but a fat chick?  forget it.

at first, I think my tendency towards weight gain was almost a reaction to that - a way to literally insulate myself from the unwanted advances of men, and the contempt of other women.  my mother was not a slender lady when I was a teen, and she would berate me for being so covetously slim ("how dare  you be a size 3, I was never a size 3, I was born a size 9").  my high school best friend and I once bought the same bathing suit, and when we showed up to work looking like twins, we teased each other as to who looked better in it - of course, I joked that I did, because my boobs were bigger than hers, to which she replied "your boobs are all fat!"  ouch.  and she shouted it.  at the pool.  at the summer camp we worked at, in front of all the kids and other counselors.  later that day, one of the male counselors got one of my 6-year-old campers to ask me to catch him as he jumped into the pool, and to pull my strapless bikini top down when I did.  live and learn, ladies...never wear a strapless bikini top when swimming with sharks.  I was tired of being picked up in the school hallways by football players, and used as a human ball for a game of catch.  as a small, pretty girl, no one listened to me, or took me seriously.  I was expected to stand there and look...well, pretty, for other people's consumption.  I wanted to have some weight in the world.  I wanted to be substantial.


after I did start putting on some weight, my dad and I were out shopping for shoes in the mall (he loved shoes, boots especially), and I tried on a pair of boots that fit my feet, but were too slim for my calves. they bunched down at my ankles, ruining the look, so we didn't buy them.  he berated me for putting on weight, because he said if I wasn't careful, my body would "get all out of proportion".  never mind the boot-maker assuming someone with my size feet should have legs that skinny, but I haven't been able to wear high boots since then.  I simply don't bother to try them on, because I know they won't be made to fit "my proportions", and won't go over my fat calves (it's cool, I'm happy with my low-rider Frye Harness boots, which are probably the last pair of boots I'll ever buy, because they'll last me for the rest of my life).  my mom had similarly unkind things to say - if she didn't hate me enough for being skinny, she sure as hell hated me for getting fat.  one could say that my parents were just concerned for my health, and wanted me to maintain what is considered to be a healthy weight for a person my height, as they were both in shape, once - my dad having grown up on a farm - but through a rich American diet, lack of exercise, and smoking habits, they both filled out quite a bit.  as a parent myself, I caution my son against making the same mistakes I do with diet and exercise, but if I'm not walking my talk (literally), what good will it do him?

a friend that I met in my late 20's once gave me an earful about how society equated 'fat' with 'ugly', and while I don't remember what either I, or the other woman sitting with us, said to her that made her feel like she had to reeducate us concerning that particular idiom, but I took it to heart because she was (and is) right.  from boyfriends telling me I was putting on weight, to being told by guys that they didn't date fat girls, to not having been asked on a date - or having had sex - in more than a decade, where would I come up with the impression that I was unattractive?  from being the girl who could smile coyly and ask for a free whatever and get it, to becoming the woman men don't make eye contact with because I might misconstrue it as interest, and even to the guys who DO want to make eye contact (and more) because they have a fetish to which I fit the description...why would I start to feel like the size of my body may be the reason I will spend the rest of my life alone?  I wish I knew that the last time I had sex was going to be the last time, because I would have enjoyed it more, paid more attention, or picked a better partner - not that I have a lot options, but that guy and I actually had feelings for each other once, back before I was so fat.  in retrospect, it feels like the mercy fuck it probably was. 


my weight gain, like many others, has to do with the natural aging process - moving less, stress, lack of sleep, giving birth, slowing metabolism, lost muscle mass, hormonal changes, and the aches and pains that put limitations on the amounts and kinds of physical activity I can comfortably engage with.  there are also the poor eating habits that result from poverty - the cheap pasta that keeps me going at a dollar a box when cauliflower is six dollars a head.  I have chronic back issues, and the 'helpful people' who like to tell me that losing weight will alleviate that issue didn't see me carrying 50 lbs. bags of carrots/turnips/onions working on that one farm, or bent over harvesting veggies on that other farm, or standing for literally tens of thousands of hours on the concrete floors of every retail establishment I've ever worked in, the trucks I unloaded, the equipment I hauled back and forth to every gig, the boxes I packed and lifted for every move of not just mine but my friends and family, the cords of wood I've chopped and stacked, etc., etc., etc..  they didn't see the metal-framed window that fell on my foot and crushed the joint of my big toe on my right foot that made walking long distances (and wearing high-heeled shoes) a thing of the past.  all they see is a fat chick, which obviously indicates weak abdominal muscles, a lack of core strength, and a lack of self-control with food.  what they don't see is the strong woman who shouldered more burdens than she was physically able to bear, until she finally broke herself.  do these 'helpful people' tell skinny folks with back issues to lose weight, I wonder?

so, in my almost 50 years, I've gone from a deliciously chubby baby, to a pudgy-shamed kid, to a skinny-shamed and sexually predated teen, to a fat-shamed adult, ending up as the lonely and unloved hermit-whale of a middle-aged woman I am today.  we live in a time when there are YouTube channels dedicated to telling us what disgusting excuses for people we are (women and men) for being fat.  there are countless articles on countless sites happy to help steer us in the right direction should we choose to lose.  we have our primary care providers suggesting that every single issue we have is related to our 'morbid obesity', we have liposuction, body-sculpting, 1001 fad diets, boot camps, fat camps, weight-loss surgery, an ever-growing list of fat-centric television shows, and the list goes on.  you know what we don't have?  people of all shapes and sizes loving themselves.  I love myself...I'm not sure why, given all the negative feedback I get from society, including having to pick out the chairs in the library that I fit into...but maybe it's because I know I'm smart, and funny, and have great hair, even though I'm not considered to be attractive anymore.  but not everyone is able to get there by themselves, and we need to be more supportive of each other, no matter what we look like.  this stands true in Every area of our lives - not just our weight


sure, I over-eat.  I eat when I'm sad, which happens every now and again.  I eat when I'm lonely, which happens a lot.  I tend not to eat all day long, and then eat everything in the house for dinner.  when I'm mourning a death, I tend to go for butter, for some reason...not on it's own, but I'll eat overly-buttered toast & pasta.  I have an unhealthy attachment to ice cream, so I tend not to buy it - when I did the detox last summer, and I examined my earliest memories around food, one of the oldest memories I have is going to Carvel with my grandfather.  it brings to mind the time in my life when everything was perfect and about me, and has to do with feeling secure, loved, protected, cherished and being the center of my kind and generous grandfather's attention, so of course I turn to ice cream when I need to feel loved.  there is no one else in my life giving me those feelings anymore, and knowing that there never will be again leaves me with very few other ways to access that kind of wholeness and calm.  none of these habits are healthy, but all of them can be changed with due diligence.  it's just more work that I hardly have the energy for, let alone the money to afford the healthier fare.  the truth is, I don't even try most of the time.  I mean, what's the point?

lol - I'm comparing myself to Fat Bastard from the Austin Powers movies!

shouldn't I just be fabulous and live a full life anyway?  shouldn't I just buy myself some pretty plus-size outfits and rock that shit, rather than go around in stretchy leggings and cheap sweats?  there are some seriously gorgeous fat chicks out there, I'm just not the kind of woman to put that much effort into looking good!  the styled hair, the make-up, the fancy clothes, the accessories...it's more work than I care to do.  but for low-maintenance ladies like me, the laid-back look tends to leave me looking frumpy.  so what's the answer?  lose weight?  buy better clothes?  not care?  put in the effort?  I've got a doctor's appointment today, so let's just see what they say to me before I end this rather long post ~

the doctor said hypothyroid and diabetes.  she also said Pap and Mammogram.  she also said losing weight and adding exercise wouldn't help anything (but keeping the weight off might), and I should take some prescription pills.  I said no, if I can quit smoking, I can lose weight and exercise, too.  I mean, I lost 15 pounds last summer without really trying - I modified my diet in order to try and detect a food sensitivity, the weight loss was just a bonus side-effect of the detox - and I've kept it off so far without any change in lifestyle.  in this case, though, I think it's worth it to make a real commitment to that lifestyle change, because I may want to be around to see my kid make good on all the hard work he's been doing in school, and get himself all set up as a functioning adult in the world before I kick off.  maybe I'll make sure to document the journey, in case anyone is interested.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Let's Talk About Fat, Baby


ok, so it's Monday again, and I'm going to get back on track, here.  I said last week that I was going to talk about fat-shaming, and my personal journey with weight, so here we go ~

Tuesday...

Wednesday...wow, on a roll!

aww, chubby baby cheeks!

I guess I was a bit of a chubby baby, because I remember my mom talking about my 'pulkes' (Yiddish for chubby thighs), and there is a picture somewhere among the family archives that sends her into shrieking giggles and exclamations of "You were Delicious!!!" whenever she sees it.  it is a cute picture, because chub on a baby is adorable, and squishably sweet, but thankfully I developed into an average-sized child, if a bit on the short side...ok, not a bit, I'm short, plain and simple.  as a kid, I only remember there being one incident in elementary school where a couple of us less-athletic kids were running around the field during recess in an attempt to improve our chances at getting better times in some upcoming gym test, or race or something, and one girl, huffing and puffing with the exertion complained that we couldn't improve much due to us all being short and fat.  several of the girls immediately repeated the phrase 'short and fat?!' in incredulous tones, as none of us wanted to be labeled as such, including myself, as most of us weren't.  just then, my 'friend' Laura stepped to me, poked me in the stomach and said, "Stop sucking it in, you are so short and fat!"  even though I don't believe it to have been true at the time (seriously, 'pudgy' is about as far as I'm willing to go as far as the elementary school years were concerned, because I was a perfectly average-sized child), it still hurt, and obviously I still remember the slight to this day.

12 - does this piano make me look fat to you?

15 - friend edited to protect her innocence (lol, sorry dear!)

by the time I was in high school, at 15 years old, I had developed a mild eating disorder, which is sadly not out of the ordinary for teen-aged girls.  at some point during that year, a girl who was considered athletic approached me in class for who-knows-what reason, and asked me what size clothing I wore.  I responded that I wore anything from a size 0 to a size 3 - I'm 5'2", people, I might have been skinny, but I wasn't emaciated, either.  she glared at me and said, "You probably think you're fat, don't you?"  surprised by how she knew this, given the fact that I didn't quite know it myself until she mentioned it, I kind of smiled and chuckled nervously while replying, "Yeah, I do!"  she glared harder, stating, "I hate girls like you!" and stomped off back to her own desk leaving me standing in the middle of the room bewildered at what had just happened, and wondering why she had approached me in the first place.  to be honest, she might have done me a favor, because it may have given me my first clue to the facts that I not only wasn't fat, but that if other people noticed how skinny I was, then maybe I was too skinny.  not that I was doing anything too far out of the ordinary to achieve that size or weight - I just wasn't eating as much as I probably 'should have' been.

17 - not too fat, and not too thin, but feeling big as a whale, and seeing one in the mirror.

by the time I was a senior in high school, at 18, my mom took me shopping for a prom dress, and while the size 7 was a bit snug, the size 9 was too big, and I needed to make a decision about which one to buy.  Mom thought I should get the 9, because it was an expensive dress, and she cautioned that if she paid for the 7, and I didn't slim down, it would be a waste of money, and I'd have nothing to wear to prom.  I shook my head no, and insisted on the 7, assuring her that I would slim down, and also because I thought a size 9 was 'too big for me to be' - an indication that I was way too fat, and needed to get my weight in check.  we bought the 7, and I began to diet and exercise in earnest.  by 'diet', I mean I deprived myself of food, choosing to eat one tiny box of raisins during the day, and probably a small amount of whatever was for dinner each night.  by 'exercise', I mean putting on three sweatsuits, going into the bathroom and putting the shower on full blast as hot as it would go to steam up the room, and doing about 100 sit-ups, jumping jacks, and jogging in place until I was exhausted.  my sole focus was fitting into that the dress, and looking great at prom, which I did.

18 - at the prom in my size 7 dress.  lol, what a couple of dorks!

19 - at college, 15 pounds lighter than I was at prom (not that you could tell, under that coat)

in college, I was so nervous about gaining the 'freshman 15' everyone talked about that I actually lost 15 pounds, but I honestly think that's where my concern for my weight stopped.  I could say that I don't know why or how it happened, but I can also say that I started taking LSD, and that my concern for a lot of frivolous things stopped, so that may have had something to do with it, who knows.  I don't remember feeling concerned about my weight until several years later when a boyfriend said something like, "Even my mom has noticed that you've put on weight," like it was some sort of indication that I was no longer 'girlfriend material', which was fine, I guess, because that dude was a douchebag to me, anyway, though his mom was always nice.  there were plenty of other guys who seemed to think I looked just fine, so I dated them instead, and went right on not caring about my weight.  there was a time in my mid to late 20's that I was training regularly in the martial arts, and the guy I was dating was into macrobiotic cooking, so I was in the best shape I had been in for years.  But he graduated and moved away, and I had gotten so used to him doing all the cooking that I didn't eat very much for several weeks after he left, and I lost a bunch of weight again.  it was a few years after that when I playfully said to my next boyfriend (a Big fan of fast food and donuts) that he must not like how round my belly seemed to be getting, and he replied that it wasn't my belly so much as the fat under my chin he didn't like.  well, that stung a bit, but it was true that I had been gaining poundage and going up in sizes at an alarming rate, at that point, but it wasn't until we broke up that I experienced my next significant weight loss due to depression, and not having a partner who was into eating crap food all the time.  and who wants to cook for themselves, anyway?  I sure don't.

25 - feeling like a cow in leather.

26 - holding my jacket out so the camera won't show my fat stomach

30 - my chin gets too fat for my boyfriend

at 34, I got pregnant, and everything changed.  I ended up unemployed and homeless, so I was pretty food insecure, not really knowing when or how I would eat each day.  I took what meals I could get, when I could get them.  I drank a lot of smoothies, and ate at one particular friend's house pretty often, as I could get the welfare office to give her food vouchers for feeding me regularly.  I somehow managed to stay healthy enough to grow and deliver a similarly healthy baby, though he came a few weeks early, was rather small, and slightly jaundiced (I was still a smoker back then, and while I did manage to cut down significantly, I didn't succeed in quitting entirely until several years later).  when my water broke, and my midwife admitted me to the birthing center, they weighed me in at a whopping 198 pounds, and all I could think was, "Get this baby out of me before I hit 200!"  it made me think of that time back in high school when I was weighing myself constantly, and my brother said to me, "One of these days, you're gonna to break 100 pounds, and when you do, you're gonna freak out." I laughed at him and said I'd never weigh 100 pounds, and here I was at nearly 200!  I lost about 20 of those pounds in the delivery room, and through the magic of breastfeeding, quickly lost the rest of the pregnancy weight and more before my son turned 2.

34 - just 4 months into my pregnancy journey


35 - one week post birth (no, that's not the child's father, that's the Rabbi)

37/38 - getting my goddess on

but eventually, the breastfeeding ended, and I kept eating like I needed all those extra calories, and my weight went up and up and up.  I blogged about it back when I was just a baby blogger in 2009, when I was 15 pounds less than I am now.  the biggest I got was up to 255 last summer, but in trying to deal with a different medical concern, I ended up doing a 'detox' which had the lovely side effect of trimming me down 15 pounds in 3 weeks time, which I talked about (below the video) here.  so I'm still a great big fat ass, and I'm still unhappy about it, even though I (still) have all the tools I need to be able to deal with it properly.  my question to myself is - when?  what's it going to take for me to finally realize that we only get one go round on this planet, we only get one body to do it with, and I've pretty much reached my halfway point if I haven't missed it already (less than a year until I turn 50).  there's more to say on this subject, but I think that's enough for this week, so I'll do a part 2 next week.  I hope you choose to follow along!

40/41 - feeling pretty, until I saw the picture!

43/44 - the kid took this one.  I think the blurriness makes me look slender!

49 - last month, looking like a beached whale...how much bigger can I possibly get?!  ugh, I probably shouldn't even put that energy out there.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Crazy Train


well, I went off the rails again, and now I've lost the momentum I managed to build up (what momentum?  you may ask yourself...) by posting once a week, and following a thread that connected each post to the next.  it's kind of pathetic that 2 1/2 days without power and a brief illness could push me so far off kilter.  on the other hand, I randomly decided to attempt to rearrange the furniture, which is Way out of the ordinary for me, because I tend to only see one way for the furniture to go, and that's where I put it, and that's where it stays until I move again.  now, it is well known that I move pretty often, so maybe it has something to do with my not living anywhere long enough to see other possibilities, and now that I've lived in this house for coming on 4 years, I had an idea, so I went with it.  while it's not the greatest design idea, it could still work given a few tweaks, and the real positive result of the action is that it helped move some energy in such a way that I was able to get a lot of work done this weekend.  I still haven't made it to the grocery store, but we'll be going today (soon), and I haven't made it to the bank to make some deposits so I can pay my bills.

ugh...it's several days later, again, and now I just want to scrap this crappy post altogether, and skip it for this week because it's stupid and fruitless.  I mean, I was posting on Mondays, then I didn't finish a few posts on Monday, so I posted on Tuesdays, then last week I posted on Friday, and here it is Thursday already with nothing posted this week so far.  again, I don't have much to say, other than I'm a hot mess, as usual.  the furniture rearrange hasn't quite worked out effectively, because the (antique Chinese lacquer with cloisonne top) stool I gave myself to sit on while working at the vintage chess table (I tried using it as a desk) is too hard and hurt my butt.  so I'm back to my computer desk where there isn't enough room for my notebook full of lists, or the paperwork I need to be paying attention to, but there is a comfy office chair.  I've had a decent amount of work this week, so while that's something worth doing, it hasn't paid all that well, which is disappointing.


so what to say?  why say anything?  because it's my way of organizing myself?  because it gives me a record to look back on and determine how far I've come?  to see what I've accomplished and failed at?  to force myself to sit here and see the task through because it's what I've decided I need to do?  just for me - to be clear, I like when people read and respond, but they hardly ever respond, though I can see how many read.  blogger is kind enough to not only tell me how many people are reading my blog, but from what towns in what countries, too, so I have a decent idea of who my local stalkers are, and who's spreading the gossip.  it's fine - I put it out there, and pretty soon, I'm going to post a 'wish list' and/or a tip jar, so if you're using my words to jazz up your own life, or write your own stories (or simply enjoy this blog), feel free to compensate me by sharing your monetary success earned at my expense.  it's truly the least you can do.  why do I think people might be plagiarizing my work?  because it's happened before.  there was a website where I used to share my photography until I found out they were just using my images for their own purposes.  so - I put myself 'out there', hoping for recognition of my skills and talents (and possibly hearing from kindred spirits), while running the risk of having my work stolen, and used by more nefarious characters than myself for their own intents and purposes.  c'est la vie, non?


sigh...I really haven't got a thing to say this week, but I keep trying.  what's more interesting?  talking about my personal, ongoing battle with social media?  the condition of my house, and my dance to keep up with my ideal of what it should be?  my personal relationships in terms of my mom/family, the teen, my handful of friends, my acquaintances?  my relationship to food/exercise/health?  I often want to share pictures of what my life looks like, but I have no device with which to do so - I mean, I have an actual camera, but shooting film results in the expensive process of having it developed, so I don't really go there.  I would love to get back into the darkroom and refresh my skills with an art I used to love, but that too costs in terms of darkroom fees and such.  I can sometimes borrow the kid's hand-me-down iPhone, but he then has to email me each shot individually, which isn't awful, but does get tedious.  maybe one of these days, I'll have enough steady cash flow to consider joining the modern age in terms of handheld devices...one never knows.  I don't even have a stereo, and that somehow seems more important, though I hear people just listen to music on those all-encompassing devices, nowadays.  the fact that they're 'all-encompassing' seems intrinsically problematic to me, which is the main reason (aside from financial inability) I don't have one.

I really should be doing something much more worthwhile with my time right now, like filling out that paperwork, transcribing for money, proofreading for money, washing my hair, doing some dishes, sorting some of the clutter that's been messing up my flow for most of a year, stretching/exercising/going for a walk, or doing something better with the living room furniture.  oh, and then there are the many creative projects I have sitting on a shelf that may never see a completion date unless I skip back a few weeks in this blog and remind myself what I wrote about that particular personal problem.  I'm considering eating some food, as well, because that's a thing that should happen on the regular, right?  and now that the weather has changed, my left foot has begun swelling up the way it does in the summer lately, which reminds me that the doctor's office called to tell me that it's time for me to come in so they can tell me I'm fat again, and that every complaint I may have stems exclusively from that, which is a blog post in and of itself.  oh well.  enough procrastinating the other stuff by doing this, which is a kind of procrastination itself when it's just a rambling post like it's been the past two weeks with no agenda, no direction, and no artistic flair.  send me all your money, and have a good week - I'll do my best to be back on Monday with something worth posting.  thanks for coming along for the decidedly bumpy ride!

next week:  fat shaming and my personal journey with weight