October 24, 2003


Still not many changes to report.  :)  I haven't lost any more weight, but I'm still combining proteins and carbs and feeling great.  The main reason there isn't change is that I haven't been exercising.  I don't have any excuses beyond personal challenges in other areas (mostly husband who's sad about being laid off and feeling like he can't get a break anywhere) seem to take all the wind out of my sails to the point that I can't find the motivation to do what I need to do, like exercise. 

I have made a really positive (I guess) change.  Yesterday marked a month since I've had any candy, cake or donuts, or really any other (good) sweets.  It's been hard, I won't lie, not because I'm craving them, but because I miss the good feeling that came from eating them and feeling like I was doing something for myself.  It was a really quick, easy and cheap way to feel better for a few minutes right away.  I have a very, very blessed life filled with miracles, but that doesn't mean there haven't been incredible challenges along the way.  Now is one of those challenging times and it's then that I most miss that easy way to feel better.  I could spend 79 cents on a Krispy Kreme doughnut and spend a nice 10 minutes far away from troubles and feeling wonderful for a while.  I haven't found anything yet to replace that.  I have wonderful things in my life, but man, that was such a quick and effective fix.  Yep, I miss it. I did have 1/2 of a chocolate chip cookie during this time, as well as a Rice Krispie treat (almost no fat), but I balanced them both with protein and made sure I had very little carbs in the 2 hours around the time I ate them.  A month.  Wow.

Joe is visiting and the first thing he went to in the grocery store was the Krispy Kremes (those of you who don't have this brand of doughnuts around don't understand the power of this Satan in Sugar Coating).  He bought 4, ate a couple on the ride home (that car was quite enclosed, I tell you) and now there is one in a bag on top of the refrigerator mocking me.  I've been strong, though.

Another change I've made that surprised me by its non-effect is that, for the most part, I'm off of caffeine.  I really thought I was addicted since I've had diet sodas and sometimes real sodas for amost my whole life, as well as iced tea.  Also a month ago, I accidentally bought caffeine free diet Dr Pepper and found that I couldn't tell the difference in taste (I can in Coke and Pepsi, in a big way, as well as tea).  I started buying it and haven't had any tea and I can't really feel any difference at all.  I thought I'd have some cravings or symptoms of detoxing, but not even a little bit.  I just feel the same.  I've been out 2-3 times during that period and had a diet coke (with caffeine), but I didn't feel any rush or anything when I had it.  Unless the Dr Pepper folk are lying about it being without caffeine, I guess I'm just not particularly sensitive to it.  I can't imagine that any people making something as faboo as Dr Pepper and Red Fusion could possibly be liars. 

I also have a few questions to ask anyone out there who has been here and left, so to speak.  If any of you reading this have lost more than, say 40-50 pounds, whether you kept it off or not, could you please drop me a line answering the following questions:

How much weight did you lose?

How long did it take?

How did you do it?

Did you keep it off?

If so, how long has it been since you lost the weight?

Did you have sagging skin from your weight loss?

Any hints?


October 9, 2003


Not many changes to report.  Monday was a week since I started combining foods seriously from the Insulin Resistance Diet and exercising.  I haven't gotten to exercise the last 2 days, so I'll have to make that up over the weekend instead of taking that time off. 

I'm having incredible luck with the protein:carb ratio balancing.  I've lost 3 pounds since I started and I feel just wonderful.

I haven't had any really severe cravings, but I do have a feeling of missing the things I just don't eat now, like candy, doughnuts and such.  I've been careful to combine everything I eat and I don't really feel a sense of deprivation at all, just... missing them as a comfort measure.  When the kids are going batshit or things are tense from Eric still not working, it's easy to just shove something in my mouth and feel good for a few minutes and now I have to actually deal with the situation instead of getting my "reward" or my anesthesia over the situation at hand. 

One really good thing is that I was dreading this season for a really dumb reason.  Fall is by far my favorite season of the year, but in particular, here in Sacramento, our local grocery store, Albertsons, gets in huge boxes of Apple Hill apples for 50 cents a pound.  These things are basically picked up right off the ground and shipped off without the usual waxing or sitting around in warehouses forever.  They are so very yummy and I was afraid I was going to have to only have one or two in the season if I was low carbing in the traditional way.  With this diet, you not only can have apples, you don't have to combine apples.  You just can't eat more than a half cup or a medium one in a two hour period.  In fact, you're encouraged to eat 2 servings of fruit every day, so that will be a welcome addition for me after months of considering fruit to be the bad guy.  Now I just have to limit the pumpkin pie, but I can deal with that.  Apples, pumpkin pie and roasted turkey are my favorite foods for this seasons.  Two outta three ain't bad!

I swear, this diet is like having the best of both  worlds. 

Not craving, but I fondly miss a few things.  :o)  Such is life.

Anyway, not posting for a day or so doesn't mean I failed and I'm skulking in shame.  I promise, if that happens, I'll skulk publicly. 

So far so good!  I can hardly believe it's going so well and I'm very, very excited!


October 3, 2003


I got Dr Phil's book today, which I plan to get into over the weekend.  My friend, Karen, sent it as a birthday present, for which I am enormously grateful.  I'll let you know how it goes.  I've been doing 20 minutes a day on the exercise bike, which wears my ass out, but I can already see progress.  On Monday, I had to totally stop every 5-6 minutes and breathe heavily for a while.  Now, I slow down to about 8-9mph 2-3 times during the 20 minutes.  Monday, I made it a mile and a half and now I make about 3.  Today, I knew I could legitimately not exercise since the book recommends 3 times a week and I'd already done 4, but I did it and felt good about it. 

Yesterday, I took the kids to the cheapie theater to see "Finding Nemo" and decided to splurge and have popcorn and skittles with my diet coke.  Like the book suggested, I used the splurge to see what happened when I didn't combine foods and what happened was... nothing.  I felt fine.  I came home and ate some cold chicken for protein and no symptoms whatsoever, which is bizarre for me.  Lately, when I eat all carbs or high carbs, I get really hypoglycemic-ish and feel like total crap.  To not have any symptoms at all tells me that the combining is really working to normalize my sugar and insulin levels and that I'm definitely on the right track.  I also did an extra 20 minutes on the bike to help compensate for the splurge. 

I still feel great.  I don't have the massive surge of energy I expected from the exercise, but I do have a feeling of greater well being and physical comfort.  Checked my blood pressure again last night and it's still comfortably sitting in my norm:  118/68.  It's going great and I'm eager to get this weight off and be a reasonable size again.

Regardless, I do know that the food combining is a system I plan on using forever.  It just makes sense and feels better than anything has in years. 

Have a great weekend,

October 2, 2003


Note:  My daughter-in-law, Sandra, shared this link with me  which is to a whole thread of info on The Insulin Resistance Diet, for those who are interested.

September 30, 2003


OK, I've got to clarify some thing I goofed upon re-reading the vital parts of The IR Diet.  First, it's not 35 carbs combined to 14 protein grams.  It's 30 to 14 grams.  Not a severely critical difference, but in the interest of accuracy, I wanted to clear that up.  Also, rather than eating every 2 hours, it's every 3-5 hours.  Two hours is the window you have to eat enough protein to balance the carbs.  It's preferable to eat them at the same time, but recognizing that sometimes you can't do that (having dinner at someone's home, etc), they created this window of time during which you can eat the balance of protein to carbs. You can eat proteins on their own without adding carbs and you can eat veggies (all but corn and potatoes) without linking them to protein.  Apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries and grapefruits don't have to be linked with protein, but they are limited to no more than a 1/2 cup serving every 2-3 hours. 

Absolutely nothing is eliminated on this diet, you just have to watch the serving size and always balance it with proteins to keep insulin levels stable. 

I started this on Thursday and I feel WONDERFUL.  I've had no hot flashes or sweats at all.  I'm not craving anything at all.  Sometimes, I've had generic need to just munch mindlessly and then I just nibble on some mixed nuts or salad mixings.  I'm sleeping well, although having weird dreams, which is always fun to work out. 

I tackled the exercise bike twice yesterday, twenty minutes a time.  It was murder, but in a good way.  I had to stop every 5-6 minutes for 5 or so seconds at a time.  My arms really surprised me by getting super sore during the work out.  I thought they were just following the handles back and forth (see the photo of the bike below to see what I'm talking about), but they were getting really achy about halfway through each work out.  I could feel my heart rate was up within just a couple of minutes of starting.  It is hard to get it below 10mph, so it starts out at a pretty brisk ride.  I managed 20 minutes and about 115 calories, 2 miles each time. 

This morning, I worked out again and it was much easier, reminding me that it has always been easier for me to work out in the mornings before eating rather than later in the day.  I'll likely go for another 20 minutes later tonight.  I feel wonderful.  I have resisted exercising for so long because I really, really hate it, but I feel significantly better after just a day of doing it, so I can only imagine that as rumored, this is a really, really good thing.  I am a little bit sore, but not anything that is particularly uncomfortable.  Something tells me that I'm really going to feel it with tonight's work out.

The main thing I've felt is an enormous sense of control and peace about this process and I've never felt that before.  No cravings.  No feelings of compulsiveness.  Nothing more than minor reluctance to exercise and a great sense of accomplishment afterwards.  No palpitations or weakness.  Just the overall feeling than I really can do this.

I also lost 2 pounds since Thursday!  Yayy!

I'm eager to see what things are like by Spring!


PS:  If anyone is interested in the book "The Insulin Resistance Diet," you can get it for around $13 used at amazon.com or half.com.  It retails at $14.95, but it's been worth a million to me!  I feel wonderful!

September 29, 2003


Just checking in to tell you how wonderful this book is I'm reading ("The Insulin Resistance Diet").  It doesn't really have much new info in it since the insulin resistance issue has been covered by Atkins folks, Heller folks and lots of other carb watcher folks.  The interesting concept is in the blending of complex carbohydrates (and simple ones as well on special occasions) with proteins (ratio of no more than 35 grams of carbs per 14 grams of protein) to keep the insulin from spiking, plus eating something every 2-3 hours to maintain glucose levels and keep the insulin from vacillating wildly.

One of the symptoms they gave of insulin resistance that really surprised me was skin tags and I've developed several of them, not to mention that all of the other symptoms read like a textbook description of me.  I've been using this since Thursday or Friday and can already feel the difference.  I'm not craving hardly at all and I feel full most of the time.  There have been a few times I've had to snap "NO" at myself a few times, but overall, I feel find and physically, so much better.  No more hot flashes, diaphoresis, shakiness, fatigue or basically feeling unwell.  I'm feeling so much better now and the good thing is that I could easily eat like this forever. 

Other wonderful blessings have come to help me along!  My buddy, Georgia, told me her mom was selling her exercise bike and I bought it for $20!   It's a very nice Vitamaster Comfort Air that works out your legs and your arms and of course, working out your large muscles is what burns fat the fastest, so I'm all over that.  There's no impact to my feet, so the plantar fasciitis shouldn't be a problem and if you look behind the bike, you'll see the very nice (folded) treadmill that I can use as soon as I've lost enough weight to not have the plantar fasciitis be a problem any more!

I'm all over this exercise bike idea.  I start today, probably as soon as I finish this post!

Other really cool stuff!  My pal Karen told me she was sending me something from half.com as a late birthday present and I found out this weekend that it's the new Dr Phil book!  I'm SO excited and can't wait for it to get here!  Now I can tackle the physical with the Insulin Resistance book and the psychological with Dr Phil's book!  I'm just tremendously into this for the first time in forever.  Yayyy!  Happy harvest to me!  Thanks, Georgia, Karen and everyone else who has offered such great support!  I already feel wonderful and it seems like really soon to be feeling this successful.  I haven't lost a single pound yet and I already feel like I have this licked!  My goal is to get in the neighborhood of 140-150, where I seem to look my best and to stay there for the rest of my life.  That means losing 80-90 pounds one pound at a time, which I am thrilled to leave behind in my footsteps.  I'm tired of the weight being used as excuses for so many things.  Once it's gone, it won't be able to be the scapegoat for anything any more.

You'll hear about it when I'm in the trenches, I'm sure.  Meanwhile, it's been two hours and I need to go find something to eat after giving that exercise bike its first work out.

I'm on it, folks!!


September 23, 2003


Big update

We have now passed the point of this whole thing being a choice any more and that's how harvest time works.  In the Spring, I planted having a lean, strong, healthy body.  It's what I wanted to manifest in my life this year.  Inspired by my quest, Eric planted that he wanted to stop smoking.  Not long after that, he was laid off, the stresses started and we both decided it was a bad time for us to be making those kinds of demands on ourselves amidst such trying personal situations, so we regrouped and refocused our energies on prosperity and financial stability.  We figured his layoff was telling us that rather than dealing with the ongoing instability in his career field, that we should be directing our attention to finding a more steady source of ongoing income.  It's hard to change the year's plan in midstream, akin to plowing under a whole garden and replanting just before Summer hits.  When harvest came August 1st, Eric was employed again and our finances were tight, but we had enough to go on and were at least up instead of down.  I was still fat and he still smoked.  When I got to harvest, I felt I was in a good place to start losing the weight over the Winter when the focus is on the internal rather than the external.  I started the Fatastic Journal yet again and half-heartedly started on my way, always knowing that if I failed, I could start again some other time down the road, tra la.

Ironically, on Saturday, days before the second harvest when Deity steps in to help us along in getting the things we will need to keep us safe and sustained for the Winter and hopefully, give us lessons and evolution that can take us through the rest of our lives, I got a really big message.  Twice a year, we have a wonderful program via our Department of Waste, where you load up your curbside with major stuff you want to dump and the city comes along and scoops it all up.  Since our garage is a major depository for anything that is broken or  in any way discarded (normally, we can't put large items into our trash dumpsters), I took the opportunity to purge the pit and get rid of a ton of crap. 

Eric took the boys out to the park to keep them out from under foot and I made my way about 1/4 of the way through, which was about an hour and a half into it.  It was about 88 degrees out, so although it was warm, the weather was agreeable.  I was making really good progress and it was great to work without distraction.  I got a very respectably-sized pile of crap for the dumping and was in the process of putting all of Eric's materials for his company in one place.  I bent over to pick up a small box of cable and felt/heard a loud fluttering in my head and started sweating profusely.  My heart was pounding all of a sudden and my head felt like every blood vessel in it was exploding at once, so I got to a chair that was here in the garage, sat down and took my pulse.  160 bpm.  I'd been feeling fine even 10 minutes before.  I thought, "Shit, I'm going to stroke out right here in this nasty garage.  How poetically just."  I sat for a while and felt my pulse rate slow down quite a bit, although the headache was still pinging around and I was still sweating.  I got up and tried a few more boxes and almost immediately felt like crap again, so I went in to plop onto the couch, feet up and cool cloth on my head.  Felt better maybe 20 minutes later and tried again.  Same thing, so I gave up.  Eric came home about 30 minutes later and I told him what happened and asked him to move the stuff into the garage that was in the driveway (to make more room for me to work). 

Eric was a little cross because he has always had this major fear that I would die from some fat-related condition and he'd be left not only without his wife, but with a hoard of kids to take care of on his own.  I did understand immediately why he was being so bitchy and unsupportive about it, but I was really needing some cuddles and reassurances.  From the beginning, I'd had "high blood pressure" in my head, even though I've never had a problem with that and have no family history of it.  Eric picked up David to watch the kids and we drove to a drug store so I could check my blood pressure, which turned out to be 138/96.  It's not horribly, terribly high, but for one thing, my blood pressure runs close to dead anyway with the norm being around 108/80.  Another thing to consider is that by the time I could check the BP, it was around 2 hours after "the event," so no telling what it was when it spiked (if it spiked).  Other things to consider would be that when I was in LA  a month ago, I had something similar and I know it was glucose related and not BP related.  I hadn't eaten dinner the night before because I got too busy, went to an early morning event where they had only bagels and OJ and so I had some because I was starving and almost immediately went into some serious diaphoretic crap with the sweating, clammy horrible headache near passing out coma thing.  So it's possible that what happened Saturday was sugar-level related in addition to BP related.  Also to be considered is that I took a mild diuretic Saturday morning, but hadn't had nearly enough water, so it could have been simple dehydration from even the mild physical activity I was doing in high 80's heat. 

After I got my BP checked, I came home and researched High BP on the net and got some good info.  I haven't had any kind of recurrence since then, but felt really, really low energy and a little cottony Saturday night and through Sunday.  I was better yesterday and definitely better today, but just tired from not sleeping much lately.  I'm definitely keeping track of things and will be checking my BP twice a week.  I've ordered a book that I'm eager to dig into called, "The Insulin Resistant Diet' that balances out carbs with lots of low fat protein, which I know is the type of program I need. 

I all honesty (and this I would not monkey with and fool myself), I feel that what happened was a strong message that I don't have choices any more.  I really have to do this and have to do this now and seriously and continuously until I'm at a healthy weight.  I don't think I'm going to have any further problems like I had on Saturday.  Yesterday and today, I have had very little appetite, which is wonderful.  I've been eating because it's time to eat or my energy is getting low.  Other than being tired, I'm feeling pretty good and today, even walked for an hour.  I'm sure I'll pay for it tomorrow with the plantar faciitis, but it felt good to put out the effort.  I am working very, very hard to come up with the money for a stationary bike or elliptical rider, which is something (unlike my treadmill), that I can do with Nathan around and with minimal impact to my feet. 

You're really going to see some remarkable stuff now, because once I seriously get on board with doing something, I'm a pretty formidable force and Saturday scared me enough that I NEVER want to feel that way again or have another second of suspecting that I might actually die because I love potato skins and doughnuts. 

So I'm all over this now.  No worries, folks.  I'm going to do what needs to be done and you're going to see it happen.  No more glucose problems.  No more BP problems.  No more choices about when it happens or if it happens.  No more excuses are good enough any more.  

So that's where that is.



September 16, 2003

I'm watching Dr Phil's weight challenge and it's possible that he's an idiot.  Maybe that's why I'm depressed.


September 16, 2003

Thank goodness my butt has lots of padding to make that resounding thud of me falling off the wagon this weekend not hurt quite so much.  I'm back on as of yesterday and so far, I haven't really seen any results other than a slight depression.  It's always been the case that I don't deal well with deprivation and not being able to eat when and what I want.  Immediately, every other place where I'm depriving myself comes under a microscope and I fall into depression.  Basically, I like myself much, much more when I'm not dieting. 

I tried walking for exercise and paid dearly the next morning when my plantar fascitis when into high gear. I could barely walk for a couple of hours and still, days later, if I am in one place for over an hour or so, when I start to walk, it hurts like hell.

I need an exercise bike.

September 12, 2003

How fun and inspirational to hear your success stories!!  Thank you so much for e-mailing them to me!  It's also wonderful to hear of people doing well on low-carb foods. 

I have determined that being on a diet ("changing one's eating approach," "revamping one's food goals"... screw it, it's a diet whether it's life long or an hour long) is like duct taping a bitchy 4-year-old to your leg and hauling it everywhere you go.  "Can I have a cookie?"  "No."  "How about some chips?"  "No!"  "A doughnut?"  "NO!"  "awww, come on, just one?"  "I said no!"  "I'm thinking POTATO SKINS!"  "I'm thinking NO!"  "Ice cream?"  "NO!!"  "Very small candy bar??"  "NO, STOP ASKING!"  "...croissant?? "NO!!!"

I'm going to be honest and say, "This sucks." 

I'm remembering now why I shun this sort of thing.

Which is also why I'm on the verge of being a candidate for that dreaded question, "When are you due?"

I am thinking about something Dr Phil once said. He was speaking to an otherwise healthy obese woman who was contesting his stance that being overweight is a health risk.  After detailing how much harder her heart would have to work to pump blood through her heavy body, she countered by saying that she would rather live seventy years and eat what she wants and not stress about food than live 100 years and always have to be conscious of what she eats and deny herself the food she loves.  He responded, "You might change your mind the night before your 70th birthday."


Right now, living a life focused on eating right in order to be a certain size had just better be worth it.



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