Tuesday, July 17, 2018


so on Sunday, I made a mess of myself, and on Monday I paid the price.  now it's Tuesday, and I'm going to try and fix it.

I watered the plants.

I did a sinkful of dishes.

I wrote a short story for The Sunday Whirl.

I cooked and ate a veggie frittata, and drank some water.

I did a whole bunch of other stuff that I didn't take the time to write down, or interrupt my day to record.

and now it's another day.

and I'm totally lost, out to sea,

sleeping on and off, an hour here, a few more over there

head stuffed and groggy, stomach in pain, blood sugar over 200

aches achy, and pains hurting,

the limp, the limp,

the headache and the gas and that taste in my mouth

the one that says

"you've done it again,

"you've made yourself Sick.

"you always liked that morning-after effect,

"and sleeping it off for three days before you were ready

to do it again."

and you've done it again.

and again

so many times

you've broken your pancreas

and now you need to figure out how to stop,

or how to do it differently.

finally feeling better

as of some time last night

thank goodness...

I'm So over That scene.

how can I seemingly have so much

less stomach

yet still have so much more?



it's that time of year, month, week

sex on my mind, 24/7

kama sutra, tantra, yab yum

you feel me?

all of it

for three days straight...

three days


if I could only Not be sick

for a bit

that would be good.

I feel like I haven't had a good day since I finished

the Whole30, but

I'm trying to get back to that


I was feeling

for a minute, there.

I spun out of control as soon as I let myself

based on the lack of will of others.

I'd rather be hungry than weak.

I know what I need to do,

now I just need to Do It

which has always been the Hard Part

for me.

but I don't ever want

my stomach

to hurt like that


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Sunday Whirl ~

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store, cabinet, lawn, shed, boat, minute, clock, turbulent, electric, lust, hand, pillow

something about buying a lawnmower at the store, and cutting the lawn, putting it in the shed.  minutes ticking away on the clock, he's coming on his boat as she notices her hand on the cabinet, surreal, dream-like.  in the room together, electric, overcome by lust, her hand, gripping the pillow...

     She stood looking at her hand, where it rested on the back of the wall phone she'd just hung up, after telling him how she was on her way to the store to get a lawnmower.  He would be here in less than 6 hours.  That was plenty of time for her to get the lawnmower, and mow the lawn.  So she might as well get started.  Shaking her head to clear the buzz, she headed upstairs to get dressed in some half-dirty clothes - not having showered, she didn't want to put on anything clean - yesterday's jeans, and the t-shirt she'd worn for a few hours the day before.  6 hours.  Plenty of time...  Dressed, her hair in a bun, she felt almost normal as she bounced down the stairs, keys in hand, and headed for the car.
     The drive to town was only about 8 minutes, which was 6 more than she needed to surmise that her head was elsewhere, and needed more than a vigorous shake to clear it - like a near-miss accident at the end of her own driveway, because she was zoned-out, with her head in the clouds.  "Must get a grip," she muttered to herself grimly, and shook her head again.  She managed the rest of the drive, and the subsequent equipment purchase, with less distraction, though still seemingly engulfed in a haze.  Having arrived back home and unloaded the machine, she made a mess of mowing but got it done, and made a home for the new lawnmower in the shed, after wiping it off to maintain it's cherry looks as long as possible.  How long, now?  4 more hours?  She could sit and watch each minute tick by on the clock...
     Where had he called from?  Some marina?  Like where they keep boats?  She knew he worked on a boat or a ship, though she was not sure which, nor what he did on the boat exactly, but the boat was coming to a town nearby, so he was stopping in for a visit.  This would be his first time coming to visit her at this address, though he'd certainly been to visit her at several others, in various towns.  She got out the sage, and began burning it's smoke into all the corners of the house.  He deserved a special kind of attention, and she had every intention of seeing to his needs while he was there.  She was cooking dinner, and would be showering and dressing closer to the time when he would be arriving, so she could be fresh.  It had been a while since they'd see each other, personally turbulent years for each of them individually, but between them, only ever this secret, timeless romance.  She stood looking at her hand, as it rested on the cabinet handle, frozen in the act of meal preparation as she fell back to daydreaming about that one time...
     And later, after the meal she had carefully prepared, and after her shower, during which she used the fancy soap, and the upscale facial cleanser, after she had washed her hair, and finished off with the high-end moisturizer, drying naturally as she brushed her teeth and tongue, after she had slipped into that dress, applied eyeliner, and lipstick, powder and oil...after the air around them had turned electric the moment she reached out to welcome him, hand lighting briefly on his arm, that momentary pressure, enough to engorge his lust for her, so perfectly curated for his seduction...after all that, after all the slow, delicate touches on the backs of necks, and on collarbones, fingertips roaming over lips and into mouths..when she had already removed her long, delicate earrings, and placed them in a small ceramic dish on her desk, with a shy little 'tink', as they were already stretching out each other's sighs on her bed, she noticed her hand, all twisted up in the pillow she had been gripping as he drove her body over a wave of pleasure he created within her senses.  She loved his visits, as they gave her the excuse she needed to summon her divinity, be worshiped, and allowed her to love him back, freely.

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A Whole 30!

I'm pretty done with writing down everything I eat for a bit - since I'm doing the reintroductions, now, I'll only post about the foods I'm reintroducing.  I did legumes yesterday, so I'll be back to 'regular Whole30 rules' for the next few days while I evaluate my reactions.  the hard part is, I woke up with a scratchy throat and a very slightly upset stomach the morning of my reintroduction, before I even ate anything.  naturally, I find that confusing, but am still doing my best to pay attention to what's happening with my body.  for instance - I feel a little sniffly, and have been coughing and sneezing a bit...is that because I caught a summer cold (why my throat is scratchy)?  or is it a reaction to the beans? to be honest, I don't really think it has anything to do with the beans!

I went to the doctor's office today to check my weight - guess what?  I LOST 30 POUNDS!!!

several days later, and once again out of food.  I mean, there's food, but there's very little meat, barely any veggies, and enough 'off plan' food to fill in the gap, but I'm not eating it.  nope.  no pasta or dairy for me, thanks.  and it's HOT so I don't want to cook anything.  now that my Whole30 is over, I've basically stopped eating...yesterday I didn't have breakfast, had eggs with some leftover slaw for lunch, and two raw carrots with pesto for dipping for dinner.  I haven't eaten yet today, and it's 4pm.  I was 'supposed' to reintroduce non-gluten grains yesterday, but I didn't, which is odd, because I was kind of looking forward to a big bowl of brown rice, but again - it's too hot to cook, so I didn't.  sigh...now I'm thinking this program may have triggered my mild eating disorder issues, and adding that into my lack of funds, I may be in some trouble in the near future in terms of my diet and health.  I'll try to work with it, but it would also be nice to lose a ridiculous amount of weight really quickly the way I used to when I was a dumb kid.  you'd think I might have learned something, but alas...dumb kids apparently grow into dumb adults.

and then I went grocery shopping, and cooked a meal with all the leftovers.  Brussels sprouts, red onion, butternut squash, ground turkey, tomato paste, veggie broth, herbs and spices.  it wasn't great, but it was good enough.  I thought I should go back to writing down what I eat, I feel a bit out of control now that I've taken a week to "ride my own bike" as they say.  ugh, and I'm quoting their stupid catchphrases...  I even chose to take a bite of the teen's pie that he made, even though I haven't finished the reintroductions.  it was only okay, and not worth it, so I was able to just have that one bite, but it did make my sugar cravings go instantly through the roof.  I do have cravings from time to time, but much like when I was pregnant, I can't identify what it is I'm craving, so it's hard to satisfy, and I'm willing to forgo the effort.  I'm obsessed with my belly, now, and spend time massaging the fat while I flex the muscle underneath, wondering 'if I get slender, will I have excess skin?'  so I'm trying to remember to engage my abdominals as much as possible.  I still haven't been able to get myself to exercise, which is probably the key to climbing out of this post-challenge low I fell into...the key word is Balance, I think.

from my facebook two days back:

going through a lot of 'feels' since I'm not using food as an emotional crutch just now. I have to face up to the fact that I'm alone and lonely, and why, and what that means in a larger sense. it kind of sucks to know that I'm an unlovable kind of person, and figure out how to move forward with that awareness without chocolate ice cream, cheese, & pizza. the phone never rings for a reason. no one stops by for a reason. no one invites me out for a reason. on another hand, it's fine that they don't, because I don't really want to hang with most people, anyway. pretending to care is exhausting, but a lack of human contact can be lethal, I hear...where's the balance?

 new day
around 10am - leftover Brussels sprouts/onion/squash/turkey/sauce with some black beans added in.
2 water

now here's something interesting - we went to this show last night at Levon's, it was Paul Green's 'farewell concert to Woodstock', with his show band that he's been on tour with for the past 10 days.  some of those kids have been his students for 5 years or more.  it was really emotional for all of them, and it was a great show.  there was A TON of food there!  at some point (after I ate the banana I brought with me), I decided I was going to eat some of it.  there were salads, but they either had dressings I couldn't identify, or cheese, or croutons...there were lots of cheesy pastas, and cookies, and brownies, too.  one family brought pulled chicken, and I thought, "oh I can have that!  with that other family's rice and beans."  so I did.  earlier in the day, we were supposed to meet a friend in Kingston for lunch, but she got held up, so we just hit the salad bar at the grocery store instead, and I put corn on my salad, and bought a bag of blue chips to spontaneously reintroduce non-gluten grains.  I think, like with the beans, I felt a bit bloated and gassy, and possibly even itchy, so I can take it easy with that. 

after I ate the chicken and the rice & beans, the gloves came off and I had some ziti...and then some Caesar salad.  then a few meatballs, and some more pasta, and a cookie.  then another cookie, and a brownie.  I kept telling myself it was a special occasion, and it was, but that's no excuse to lose all self control.  honestly, on the thread in the Whole30 forums where a bunch of us who all started on June 1st have been chatting, at least two people talked about going nuts at 4th of July barbecues, and it made me feel like, "gosh, I haven't gone off plan once, haven't even had a square of super dark chocolate to celebrate my victory, I'm going to let loose a little," and it turned into an all-out binge.  I brought home a tray of food, even, and had a chunk of that pie the teen made, because I'm off-track and running wild, now. 

new day
around 12 noon - scrambled eggs with red onion & spinach
slice chocolate pie
sunshine sauce with chips & veggies
1 seltzer, 1 water

ugh, I feel like crap.  I feel like I slept all day, and I might just as well have.  what a waste!  I could sleep through another day, too.  I'm tired and bloated, and itchy, and full of cravings...I feel like I gained 10 pounds (sshhh, don't even say that).  there's this mucus way up back in my throat, almost like post-nasal drip...

Monday, July 2, 2018


1:30pm - leftover spaghetti squash & meat sauce
5:15pm - 1 1/2 scrambled eggs
7:00pm - spaghetti squash & meat sauce topped with nutritional yeast
9:45pm - almonds and apple slices
5 water

12 noon - protein salad with ground turkey, roasted red pepper mayo, lemon juice, salt & pepper, celery, slivered almonds, onion, scallion, apple on romaine and spinach
6:30pm - Orange Sesame Chicken and Broccoli
6 water

gotta be honest, I've been up since 6am?  or earlier?  and I haven't eaten yet, and it's 11:49am, and I just tested my blood, and it was at 116.  I think the doctor is either full of it, or the Whole30 works that well.  or maybe my insulin production isn't so bad after all?  let's just see what happens during the re-introductions, and going forward.  I have lots of energy, though, and I feel great!  and when my stomach was upset yesterday, I did the energy-moving-thing I do on my belly when it's grumbly, and I noticed distinctly less belly...I dunno...maybe.

I finished reading the book - through to the end.  and the re-introductions, and here's what I have to say.  I think I'm gonna go Really Slowly on re-introductions.  like, maybe just keep eating Whole30-ish, and approach things as I am presented with them.  I made it through the "I am so over this" stage, and I'm coming out of "The scale (and mirror) are calling...", because they certainly have been.  I'm going to make a long list of the 'non-scale victories' I achieved on the last day or so, and I think it might be worth it for me to have a plan past day 30, too.

8:00am - leftover meat sauce with spinach
7:15pm - leftover turkey protein salad with romaine & spinach
3 water

so remember I said I needed to be more fit for some upcoming plans?  remember that I said I was going to make that my 'July challenge' since I did Whole30 in June?  and I've been noticing that I'm restless in the morning, like I want to move, but I'm not sure how.  maybe sun salutations, because it's where I always begin when I want to start exercising, and where I usually stay until I stop doing it one day, for whatever reason.  maybe something else, then?  maybe just one week of yoga, and a second week of something else..?

79 meals down, 11 to go - or possibly a few more.  I'm PMSy again, so I've been pretty hungry...and I'm just about out of food (how does that keep happening?).  gotta get to the store today, I guess, or maybe not.  I still have a butternut squash, some dates, 3 potatoes, garlic, a whole cauliflower, a tomato, a cucumber, some red bell pepper, 2 lbs. of beef, 2 lbs. of chicken, and 1 lb. of turkey, a tiny bit of broccoli and squash, some celery, romaine, spinach, and most of a bag of radishes...there's a whole cabbage, there's a lemon and a piece with a bit more squeeze in it, a lime, what's left of an onion, and half an apple.  there's pesto sauce, roasted red pepper mayo, salsa, green beans, and some veggie broth, and another whole container of veggie broth in the freezer, not to mention two more bags of veggie scraps to 'soup', and a can of tahina.

let's see if I can translate that into some meals...butternut squash soup, green salad, protein salad, cauliflower mash, tomato/broccoli/squash frittata, sunshine sauce, chicken salad, cabbage slaw, and beef sausage patties.  well, those aren't meals, they're dishes, but they're dishes I can mix and match to create meals with, so, it looks like I have some cooking to do (after I acquire an onion and some more eggs, with the last of the household cash)!

I am so screwed for money right now, but I did manage to get a few things at the store to carry me through the next few days.  I have no idea how or what we're going to eat next month, but...one thing at a time, here.  I made 'sausage' last night, which is just beef with some spices in it, and I'm going to make cauliflower mash (and possibly caramelize some onions) to go with it for breakfast.

9:00am - beef sausage with cauliflower mash and caramelized onions
2:45pm - chicken salad (chicken, cucumber, basil, parsley, olive oil, coconut aminos, lemon juice) with salad of romaine, cucumber, radishes, carrot, celery, spinach, red bell pepper
8:15pm - 'diner breakfast' for dinner (sausage, potato & carrot home fries, scrambled eggs) 
4 water

no yoga this morning, I'm still down over yesterday's loses, though they're really not that bad, all in all.  in terms of work, I lost a crazy client who was more hassle to work with than was financially rewarding, and the check she wrote for the fee we had agreed for her to pay for the work I did was only $1.25 short (I'm just hoping it clears).  but I learned a lot in the few short days I worked with her.  being asked to take a step back from a particular local business I've been extremely supportive of over the years was a bit of a kick in the ass, but it's time I did that anyway.  I've been falling all over myself on their behalf, at times to my own physical detriment, and that needs to stop for awhile.  a little distance is probably a Very good thing, in this instance, and I'll find a productive way to fill that space in my day in a way that is more beneficial to me than to someone else.  I look forward to the opportunity to reserve some of my energy for my own endeavors, rather than constantly giving it away to promote others.

9:30am - tomato, broccoli, sweet potato frittata
4:00pm - protein salad of ground turkey, roasted red pepper mayo, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, with green salad
9:15pm - lunch leftovers; 1/2 an apple, almonds
5 water

omg, can you tell I'm totally done with this?  I mean, I don't want to be, but I do - I want a break from the rigidity of the program, but I'm happy to keep eating this way as much as I can.  the first thing on the list of reintroductions is legumes, so I think I'm going to have some peanut butter and beans on July 1st, and see how that feels.  beans are certainly cheaper than meat, and a less expensive way to get protein, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that I react well to eating them again.

it's sort of anti-climactic, this last day of Whole30. mostly because it's not over, because the reintroductions take another 10 days... I feel like there should be a party at the end, a cake and silly hats or something, but the truth is closer to 'nobody gives a shit that you just did this thing'. 'whoopie, you didn't eat or drink any bread or sugar or legumes or dairy or alcohol for a Whole Month, Good for fucking You!' is what I imagine people I know to be saying to me right now. it's a good thing I did it for me, then, huh? I'm going to list my non-scale victories, now, to get over it:  fewer blemishes, improvement in rashes or patches, fresher breath, flatter stomach, clothes fitting better, rings fitting better, less bloating, more defined muscle tone, less joint swelling, feeling more confident in my appearance, less stiff joints, less painful joints, less stomach pain, less diarrhea/constipation, less gas, less heartburn, less chronic pain, less chronic fatigue, less shoulder/knee/back pain, recovering faster from injury or illness, improved body image, improved self-esteem, healthier relationship with food, practicing mindful eating, improved cooking skills, more nutrition in my diet, feeling generally more productive, energy levels are higher and more even, new healthy habit to teach my kid, and learned new recipes. seems meh. maybe I'm just meh. I really want to get on a scale...

how am I going to feel if I didn't lose any weight, even though that's not suppose to be what this is about?  it was about 'improving my numbers'.  I won't know what effect this all had on 'my numbers' unless I have another round of bloodwork done, which isn't up to me, it's up to my health care provider and my insurance company, so I can't even ask until Monday or Tuesday, but I certainly will ask.

9:15am - cauliflower mash scrambled eggs
1:00pm - small bowl of butternut squash soup
7:00pm - taco beef, lettuce, salsa, onion
9:15pm - small bowl of butternut squash soup with ground beef and cauliflower mash
2 water, 2 seltzer

I DID IT!!!  YAAY ME!!!  😁

now, for those reintroductions...I am going to reintroduce some legumes, today, and see how that goes.


9:30am - leftover ground beef with green salad and homemade pesto, and CHICK PEAS!  (I love chick peas, let's see if they love me back...)
2:30pm - scrambled eggs with leftover ground beef and cauliflower mash; handful of chick peas; 1/2 apple with PEANUT BUTTER!  (I love peanut butter, let's see if it loves me back...)
8:15pm - ground turkey/cauliflower mash/BLACK BEANS mixed into butternut squash soup
5+ water

I feel a-okay, but a bit gassy...maybe a bit bloaty?  not sure, but keeping an eye on it.  food pantry tomorrow, thank goodness, we're out of everything!  the teen has some money put away in the bank from his Bar Mitzvah, but I hate borrowing from him for a number of reasons, two of which are I don't know when I'll be able to pay him back, and it's only a couple of hundred dollars...but I'm not stressing.  nope.  everything's going to work out ok!  thanks for riding along ~

Monday, June 25, 2018

the Whole6

9:00am - leftover protein salad, leftover Melissa's Chicken Hash
1:30pm - leftover protein salad on romaine and spinach with red pepper sauce
9:45pm - ground turkey with sweet potato, slivered almonds, salsa, romaine, spinach, salt, pepper, coconut aminos
6 water

10:15am - leftover ground turkey w/sweet potato, slivered almonds, salsa on spinach
4:30pm - 5 hard-boiled eggs; green beans with homemade pesto
10:00pm - leftover ground turkey/sweet potato/almonds/salsa with romaine; grapes
2 water, 1+ seltzer

I guess I was so excited to get the eggs right, I ate them all instead of saving some!  oh well...I know I've cooked them properly before, which is why it was so frustrating to suddenly get them wrong twice in a row, but boiling the water first (and letting the eggs warm up on the counter while waiting) seemed to do the trick!

11:15am - spinach, red bell pepper, onion frittata
8:30pm - 2 hamburgers, one sweet potato 'bun', romaine leaf, roasted red pepper mayo; roasted potatoes
3 water

so I seem to be screwing up the '3 meals a day' thing, as well as eating within an hour of waking up.  my water consumption has dropped, too.  I'm a bit tired of all the food - I just want to Not eat for a day or two, but that must be one of the lessons.  in order to keep the machine functioning, it needs the proper fuel. 

10:00am - onion, red bell pepper, broccoli frittata
4:00pm -  2 bowls of salad
8:30pm - 5 hard boiled eggs
4 water

is it me?  or can I eat an extraordinary amount of hard-boiled eggs at a time...

8:45am - standard breakfast frittata
4:30pm - ground turkey on salad with rstd. red pepper mayo
8:30pm - same
4 water

I think I get it:  take one day, cook three different proteins, make a sauce, make a big salad, slice some veggies, done!

10:15am - onion, sweet potato, broccoli scrambled eggs (3); veggie broth
3pm-ish - banana; protein salad (beef, celery, onion, grapes, rstd. red pepper mayo, drop of pesto, squeeze of lemon, salt, pepper) with lettuce & spinach in bell pepper
10:30pm-ish - a few bites of protein salad...
3 water

reevaluating my commitment to getting this done.  spent some time meal planning, looked through my book some more - for recipes, to refresh my memory on how to do the re-introductions, and found there's a conclusion I'd like to read on the last day or so.  soon after I started the Whole30, I thought I might take the month of July to get in shape a bit, because I have reason to need to increase my endurance, given some upcoming plans.  so I think the newer way of eating, mixed with some moderate exercise might really give me a push in the direction towards better health, don't you?  a friend suggested a few places to ride my bike, because an old foot injury can make long-distance walking uncomfortable for me. 

1:30pm - turkey protein salad on romaine and spinach
6pm-ish - leftover turkey salad
8:00pm - spaghetti squash & meat sauce
4 water

oh, I'm so tired of the cooking and eating!  and cleaning! that's the treat I'm going to give myself at the end of this - a fast!  I over-indulged on food Sunday night, and my belly paid for it Monday morning.  not feeling my best, and almost screwed up a job, but managed to save it at renegotiated terms.  I had an unexpected guest late Saturday night, and it threw me off this dimensional reality for a day or more, maybe still ~  ~  ~

well, that's the weekly report, just a few days left, and a few more after that...hang in there, I've got poetry and summoned a god so far, let's see what else manifests before I'm through!

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Tiger Blood?

10:00am - leftover meat & tomato sauce;  leftover butternut squash soup
3:30pm - onion, tomato, broccoli frittata on spinach; grapes; almonds
8:45pm - ground beef sauteed with butternut squash and onions in tomato sauce; salad of romaine, spinach, carrot, cuke, garlic aioli
5 water

today's insight:  since I don't plan my meals in advance (unless I put more effort than you would think necessary into it), I don't tend to have anything ready when it's time to eat.  when I finally figure out what I can make with what I have, I'm ravenous, angry, and not thinking straight.  by the time the food is done, I scarf it down like a pack of hyenas that waited none too patiently for a lion to finish its meal.  I'm like a scavenger in my own kitchen because I don't feel like I belong there, and I still haven't figured out how to make it mine.  that's my challenge this week - create a workable menu plan for the next several days, and make it more enjoyable to be in the kitchen.

tonight (Monday), I made 'veggie scrap' soup for the first time, which is crazy, because I've been thinking about making it for...20 years?  a dear friend once teased me while watching me cut veggies that she was going to make soup out of my compost, and I took that to heart - I started cutting less off my veggies, and I wondered whether or not you could actually do that.  turns out, you can!  a while ago, I started saving my clean carrot and potato peels, bell pepper ribs and ends, squash skins and ends, outer layers of onions, celery tops, basil stems, etc. (no broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage though - I hear the taste is too strong), and keeping them in a bag in the freezer.  many times I ended up actually composting the scraps for lack of motivation and/or knowledge of what to do with them, but not this time.  this time I checked five different websites and consulted a professional chef before I finally took the plunge.  it was really, really simple to do, and now I have two large containers of 'veggie scrap' soup!  not sure how it tastes, yet, but it smells pretty good!

10:00am - leftover beef/butternut/sauce with spinach; carrot w/pesto dip
4:00pm - scrambled eggs; sauteed potatoes (hash browns)
10:00pm - turkey taco bowls with cauliflower Spanish rice (http://www.wholesomelicious.com/ground-turkey-taco-bowls-cauliflower-spanish-rice/)
5 water

I strained my back (again) on Tuesday morning while - get this - brushing my hair!  so I'm kind of down for the count for a minute, but I'll bounce back...I always do.  I've had some good fortune in the form of monetary kindness from both friends and strangers, too, so it makes the pain just a little less...painful, and helps keep me moving forward.

8:00am - leftover turkey/cauliflower rice on romaine
3:00pm - protein salad:  ground beef, celery, onion, slivered almonds, grapes, romaine, spinach
9:00pm - Orange Sesame Chicken and Broccoli:  https://www.instagram.com/p/BN5HcwKga76/
5 water

8:00am - eggs scrambled with onion, tomato, spinach; leftover cauliflower Spanish rice
2:00pm-ish? - protein salad:  ground turkey, roasted red pepper mayo, lemon juice, salt, pepper, sliced apple, celery, onion, slivered almonds on romaine
5:30pm-ish? - leftover protein salad
9:00pm-ish? - a few hard boiled eggs (they fell apart, so, not sure how many...3?)
2 water

so that's the 'official' 2 week mark - 14 days - and I am SO tired...I fell asleep in the evening while watching a movie, and had an hour nap.  I've been breaking Whole30 'rules', like eating in front of the tv, and snacking while cooking (a small handful of almonds while making my protein salad).  I've been having cravings, and I messed up the '3 meals a day' pattern on Thursday because I met a friend for a picnic in the park for lunch and lost track of time, so I just ate when I was hungry, and called it a win for having prepared something in advance to bring along.  I've cooked hard-boiled eggs twice, now, and both times they came out a mess.  I like hard boiled eggs, so that was pretty disappointing, and also, I can't afford to waste food, but now I'm determined to try again, and get it right.

according to the Whole30 timeline, I've entered the 'I Dream Of Junk Food' phase - or rather, I'm supposed to be coming out of it - and last night, in my dream, I was at some sort of retreat where I absent-mindedly grabbed a few french fries, and then a few small pieces of crusty bread.  after the two or three fries, I had the shocking realization that I had just broken my promise to myself, and was struggling to determine whether or not to start over, and then did the same absent-minded bread-grab, (mmm, french bread crust) and got all mad at my lack of self-control.  it was a relief to wake up Friday morning and realize, once again, that I hadn't actually eaten off plan, but that I had, in fact, woken up at my regular time - around 6am - and fallen back asleep until around 10am.  wow.  good thing I didn't have anywhere to be...really looking forward to that 'Tiger Blood!' that's supposed to kick in for the next week or so, and help me ride this journey to its end...I sure could use it.

1:15pm - leftover protein salad and cauliflower rice in a bell pepper
4:30pm - sweet potato hash with scrambled eggs (https://nomnompaleo.com/post/19886925277/sweet-potato-hash-with-fried-eggs)
9:30pm - burger with sweet potato bun, roasted red pepper mayo, lettuce; 1/2 burger on romaine leaf w/mayo; salad w/mayo
5 water

8:30am - frittata w/onion, tomato, broccoli; leftover salad w/roasted red pepper mayo; banana
4:15pm - 2 stalks of celery, 1/2 cucumber, roasted red pepper mayo
9:00pm-ish? - ground beef & ground turkey with steamed broccoli & carrots
4 water

what a mess Saturday was!  I got off to a good start, having a decent meal at the proper time, but I was quickly derailed by a picnic that I had neglected to meal plan, or prep for, in advance, as well as the arrival of my mother in the midst of said picnic.  I was pulled between the house, where mom was, and the river, where my friends and our kids were.  as a result, I didn't eat a proper lunch, and when dinner time (finally) rolled around, I had nothing ready for the two of us - the teen and I - to say nothing of the teen's bestie, or my mom.  so I whipped some crap together, and called it a meal.  and now, I still have no idea what to do about breakfast for the four of us, and I can't even begin to think about lunch!  why am I so bad at this?  definitely did not get enough sleep, either (gave Mom my bed, and I'm on the chaise for the next few days)...

9:30am - frittata with onion, red bell pepper, and broccoli
2:45pm - protein salad:  ground beef, onion, celery, apple, slivered almonds on mixed greens
9:00pm - Melissa's Chicken Hash:  chicken, slivered almonds, sweet potato, apple, spinach (https://whole30.com/2017/04/melissas-chicken-hash/); cherries
3 water

getting there!  more than halfway through this 'experiment', and doing fine, according to Mom's glucometer...I didn't have a 'control' number to compare against before I started the Whole30, but my readings since Saturday have all been fine, and Mom told me to tell my doctor to 'stuff it'.  😄

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.

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.

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!

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.

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?

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.

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!)

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

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

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).

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!

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!

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?

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

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:

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

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

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

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.