Don’t Wait For The Middle Finger

white haired man in jacket with watch

Photo by Life Of Pix on

Young ones (well, anyone younger than me, aka 50 and younger), please don’t be like me.

I treated my body like it was immortal: nothing I did or didn’t do would have a lasting effect. Despite the little things (which just kept building up) I felt when I turned 30 years old, I kept right on rolling, downing that Crunch Berry cereal while doing virtually no physical activity. The scale didn’t matter, how my body felt didn’t matter, all I cared about was what goody I was going to put in my mouth next to drown out my emotions. I told myself I didn’t care what anyone else thought and I didn’t. The problem was, I just didn’t care, period.

I only looked in the mirror with “tunnel vision”, seeing only my face to put on tons of makeup (to cover up my blotchy skin and apply contour to my double chin) and fix my highly damaged hair but never looking at my body. I cannot remember ever looking at my body just out of the shower.

The year I turned 42 years old, after YEARS of warning signs, was the year my body stuck up its middle finger at me and said, “I’m done”. Thankfully, I have never had high blood pressure or high cholesterol but I became allergic to just about everything, I got sick if anyone looked at me funny, and I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Through diet and exercise over the past 8 years, I have reduced my A1C from 9.0 to 5.7 (my first ever fasting blood sugar was 400). I am very proud to officially no longer have type 2 diabetes and did it on my own.

Unfortunately, there is only so much proper (for me) diet and exercise can do after 42 years of neglect and abuse. Here is a partial list of the issues I am dealing with:

  • Allergy shots for the next 5 years
  • Gallbladder removal 7 months ago
  • Severe intestinal issues that were not resolved by removing the gallbladder. I am still undergoing testing to figure out what is causing this (upper endoscopy, MRI, so much blood work the technician knows me by name). Next will probably be scheduled for a colonoscopy (if none of the current tests reveal anything).
  • Just had a TIA (mini-stroke) in my eye last week. There was no permanent damage but this means more tests (went to the lab two days in a row this week and have 2 MRI scans next week), more doctors (in addition to my allergist, dermatologist, ophthalmologist, primary care, and gastroenterologist, I have an appointment with a neurologist and am waiting for a referral to a cardiologist) AND I had to stop exercising because that TIA could possibly lead to a full-blown stroke (can you say stress?).

To be brutally honest, I have no idea how much of what is still wrong with me could have been avoided if I had cared about myself earlier in life but now, I will never know. All I can do is hang on, say a few prayers, and do whatever I can to get through this so I can (once again) start over on my fitness journey. As soon as I am given some sort of clearance, I am hitting the weights and my neglected exercise bike (there will also be some digging in the yard going on, too, since I was not able to finish planting before this all happened).

So, you young whipper snappers, please. Take a good, hard look at your lifestyle. Take into account that you will not be in your 20’s forever. Our bodies age, whether we want them to or not. How old do you want to feel when you are 30, 40, or 50? Do you want to be able to do whatever you enjoy or would you prefer to get out of breath walking to the mail box? Do what is best (not easiest) for your health now so you do not end up like me.


Doctor Day! My Results Are In!

After 10 years, I am still med free and can officially say I no longer have type 2 diabetes!

A few months back, I went into the doctor weighing 207 with an A1C of 6.9 (normal is 5.6 and below). Keep in mind, I hadn’t been to the doctor in over 5 years and had been eating just about anything I wanted. His instructions were to lose 20 pounds and fix my diet.

So, I pretty much gave up all carbs during the day and ate whatever I wanted for dinner (but stopped eating almost all sweets of any kind, including sugar-free). The first thing I noticed was my desire for food began to lessen. I am now at the point where I may eat a meal and a half to two meals per day. I am just not hungry during the day but I eat something so I don’t get ravenous (and start shoveling any food into my mouth).

Today was my follow-up visit and I managed to lose 17 of the 20 pounds and brought my A1C down to 5.8! Do you see that? I am .2 above normal! It was so funny: he was reading through my blood test results, “kidney function is good, liver function is good, no diabetes … ” and I yelled, “WHAT?” (I think I scared him a little). The rest of the results were perfect. This time, his instructions were to keep doing what I am doing and mostly focus on my weight (I will mostly focus on what I put in my mouth and maybe incorporate some actual exercise if it ever cools off here in Central California).

There is one issue that it turns out I have had since I was 18: gallbladder. I had a CT scan in July and there was a gallstone. He asked about pain, I described the intermittent pain I get, and we came to the conclusion that I have had a messed up gallbladder for 30 years. I have gone to multiple doctors over the years for the pain but they all said there was nothing wrong (even went to the Emergency Room out at County about 15 years ago and after doing no tests, the doctor told me my pain was an ulcer). So, I am waiting for a referral to a surgeon. If I can get this taken care of, I will be even more unstoppable! 🙂

It’s Not About The Number On The Scale

This woman’s story it the perfect example for everyone to NOT rely solely on how much you weigh. It isn’t just about your measurements or your clothing size, either. It is a combination of everything, including just how good you feel!

“But You Will Look Like A Man!”

A Year Today – Cancer and Life

It has been a year today since my husband’s surgery to remove a polyp that turned into a cancer diagnosis. It has been one heck of a roller coaster ride. I spend my days alone, while he is at work, yet when he was in the hospital I was like a little child, lonely and weepy, eating everything I could get my hands on, drowning my sorrows in food. It was awful!

Then, when he got home, it was time to play “What can he eat?” It has taken a year for him to be able to eat the fattier cuts of meat without pain or it running right through him. With that year of food uncertainty, I let myself go. It didn’t click how bad it was until I stepped on the scale and it lied to me, telling me I was 201 pounds. I tried it three more times before I realized it was correct. June 3, 2015 (15 days before his surgery) I weighed 176. That was the last time I weighed myself until this month.

I am happy to say that not only is he STILL cancer free but he has decided to begin exercising to build up his strength! So, while we slowly figure out how low carb/keto he can go, I am taking it slow. Very low/possibly keto during the day, then a normal dinner together (which is much better now that there are no children in the house again). And this is my current favorite exercise (which I have already posted on my Facebook page, so sorry about the duplicate):

Kettle Bell Swings

I actually read about them in the “4 Hour Body” by Tim Ferris. I knew what a kettlebell looked like. Heck, I even carried one into the house when my son was moving but I had never looked into exercising with it. So, I stole it from him (well, borrowed it). I began lowering my carbs and exercising March 29th. Day one, I managed to do 20 kettlebell swings. That was it for the week. I was wobbly and sore. The next week, I did 26 swings. This week, I have done 30 on Monday and 48 today. Since March 29th, I have lost a whopping 2 pounds according to the scale but I have lost 10 inches all over my body!!!! My goal is to work up to 3 times per week with as many as I can do while still keeping good form. I can truly feel this all over my body (in a good way) so this is the exercise I am having hubby do. Thanks to the work he currently does, it won’t be too long until we will have to purchase a heavier kettlebell (since his first day he did 50, which was Wednesday … I need to write that down).

This exercise has not aggravated my carpal tunnel (which decided to flare a bit, thanks to writing a book) or a gem of a gangleon cyst that formed at the base of my right middle finger (no, I didn’t get it from overuse) OR my still-slightly-tweaky shoulder. I am hoping to take almost-before pictures tomorrow (kinda hard when I am alone). Not sure if I will post those or hold onto them to include with “progress” pictures.

I do have an entire folder of recipes to go through and share here (313 at last count) but if you want to see anything more immediate, please join me on Facebook. It’s so much easier to share there (

The “After” Myth

2015. So Far

This year has taught me a lot and it’s not even over yet. I have learned that, despite being alone for 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, I do not like being without my husband. I learned that, no matter how long I was physically away from my family, we still truly love each other and can have a wonderful experience through a very dark time. I have also learned that I can eat whatever I want as long as I accept that my body will hate me for it.

In May of this year, my mom was diagnosed with liver cancer. Stress, worry, and the fact that we are a 15 hour drive from my family felt like too much to bear. While my brain kept trying to figure out some magical way to manifest the money to make the trip, I went through bouts of hardly eating anything the entire day to eating everything in sight. Thankfully, my blood sugars did not react adversely to these binges.

A month later, after a colonoscopy, my husband was in an operating room, which was supposed to be a pretty routine surgery (removal of a polyp) but in the course of the surgery, they found carcenoid tumors. He was in the hospital for 4 days and I sat here, crying and binge eating anything I could get my hands on (while extremely thankful we had no sweets in the house). Between June 1st and August 1st, my mom was going through chemotherapy and surgeries while my husband was undergoing surgery, and tests that even the lab technicians had to look up, since they are done so rarely. Around August 1st, my husband got the “all-clear” (his tumors are non=aggressive and they saw no signs of more) but he will have to go in at regular intervals to make sure no more appear.

Unfortunately, my mom was not so lucky. They were finally able to shrink the tumor enough to do surgery and discovered it had not only damaged her liver too much but had spread. On August 18, 2015, one more beautiful star was added to the heavens. She was a beautiful woman who, despite the trials she dealt with throughout her life, always had a smile on her face and love in her heart. Due to our distance, it had been too many years since we had seen each other. With normal life events getting in the way it becomes so easy to say, “I’ll visit next year” (which was our original plan). My husband had not had the chance to meet her and now he will only in the stories we share with him. We drove down there for her memorial service (non-stop, which I really do not recommend if you are not accustomed to driving that distance without sleeping) and I saw not only my immediate family but some of my family from Mexico who I had not seen in 33 years. It is amazing how, despite that many years apart, it was like we had never been separated. We laughed, cried, hugged, and loved together. It truly was beautiful, despite the sadness of our reason for reuniting.

I am still reeling from the emotional roller coaster of this year. I have gone from 176 pounds up to 186 (possibly closer to 190 but I stopped stepping on the scale for a while) and now, am back down to 176 pounds. My body has been extremely angry with me this entire time. As I binged, my lower legs would bloat so bad it hurt to walk. I had extreme intestinal issues and my kidneys actually hurt (all this without blood sugar spikes). When I stopped eating, my blood sugars would eventually dip to dangerous levels, with me becoming so exhausted that it took all my energy to eat anything. Thankfully, those days were rare. I’ve come back from Arizona a little sick. I keep telling everyone I’m just allergic to California but I’m pretty sure it’s the massive amount of smoke in the air. You could see it as a light brown layer all across the valley as you were heading out of the mountains. The first night home, I had to use my inhaler for the first time in about 6 months but thankfully, none of my extraordinary allergies have returned. I am on the mend but the emotional toll this year has taken has me still quite exhausted. I think it’s time for lunch (Del Real Chicken Asado, shredded cheese, sour cream and jalapenos). Thank you all for being here. 🙂

Get Keto Quick … I Mean Get Rich Quick Schemes

I just received a message from someone on Facebook about a fantastic line of products that will get you into a state of ketosis in 3 hours.  From the little I read, you drink two of their drinks (two separate products), eat their “special treat”, then subsidize the rest of your calories with meat and veg.

O.k.?  Well, if any of you have read any of my blog (at all), you can receive the same results in just a little more time for the one time low, low price of … FOOD!  No gimmicks, no special drinks, no special bars to buy.  Just buy some meat and there you go!

I will not tell you the name of the product (or the name of the person who sent me the message) but just do me a favor, everyone.  Remember these words: There are no quick fixes for better health.  It doesn’t matter which eating plan you decide to embrace.  It took us quite a while to ravage our bodies.  For me, it took 42 years to put my body into shut-down mode but it only took 12 months to recover (see that?  Not another 42 years or even 42 months … only 12).

If you truly feel the need to embrace some quick fix fad, go ahead.  I will still be here when you get back, posting recipes and occasionally being a human and posting words I type.

Quick Update

As I’ve said before, I flew off the rails once I discovered my fish/seafood allergy was gone. Well, life (my subconscious, the gods) have a funny way of throwing me back on the rails. As I’ve noted before, my husband has had health issues that coincided with not only my type 2 diabetes diagnosis but my first go at Atkins. It was the “New Atkins New You” version, though which version does not really matter. HE did not eat low carb and when I look back, I think I shoved even more carbs in their diet (my son was still with us then) because I did not want them to feel deprived (like I did at the time, having not only given up sugar and carbs but all seafood too, which we lived on at the time). Well, 5 years later, we have a bit of a diagnosis (we’ll know more in a week or two) but the initial diagnosis for my husband’s ill health is gluten intolerance (or allergy). They did biopsies Monday for celiac disease. Well, having almost no gluten free foods in the house, I’ve gone lower carb. lol In two weeks (this is how much I was eating before), I’ve lost 5 pounds. I can feel that most of that was water but the better part of this story is I have begun to exercise again!

One morning last week, I walked into the back yard, looked up at the beautiful blue sky, smiled and stretched, then realized my shoulder didn’t hurt! I’ve been working on my shoulder this entire time, paying attention to how it’s positioned when I did anything (from sitting here at my computer to cleaning the house). I just didn’t realize how good a job I had done on it until that morning. So, I moved my barbell out of the garage, hauled some of my weight plates into the back yard, and now am working out in the fresh air (early enough in the morning so I don’t burn myself on the sun-baked metal).

So, I have begun tracking my workouts on Fitocracy AND am tracking my food on MyFitnessPal (the good, the bad, and the ugly … why not track everything so I can see it all), have updated my stats and posted a new picture from last month (being girly in the apron I sewed, at 181 pounds). I’m not rushing into dropping my carbs too low because at this point I think my head would explode. I need to find foods for my husband. It’s truly amazing how many foods out there contain wheat that really shouldn’t (Knorr Chicken bouillon granules and Kikkoman Soy sauce, just to name a couple of the most surprising ones). I’ll be experimenting with various gluten-free mixes to find things that will satisfy him, so we will be eating those together. I’ll also be trying out some of the more complicated recipes I’ve posted (I was a boring eater, pretty much eating the exact same things week after week).

Four Things Nobody Tells You About Successful Weight Loss

I know I just told someone that this way of eating was like a marathon but I was wrong (and Dick Talens was right). You need to read this article.

Four Things Nobody Tells You About Successful Weight Loss

The Brutally Honest 6 Reasons You Are Still Overfat

See, this guy … this is what I like to see. He is the kind of guy who doesn’t look for a politically correct or sensitive way to say things. He just says it. The meme he includes in the post pretty much sums up his way of thinking:

You really should read this post!

50 Fat Torching Tricks for 2015

Most of the time, I don’t like lists like this but since this one was from, I thought I would give it a read.  I like it!  Obviously, there are some tips that don’t apply to those going low carb but too many of the others can help, especially if you have been low carbing for a while and/or exercising for a while.  We all can use a little variety in everything we do.  It keeps our journey fresh.

My favorite is #15: Add Some Caffeine but there really are too many great tips on here to list the ones I like (I will tell you this: I HATE green tea!  I’ve tried multiple times to like it but no matter how I prepare it, I can’t stand it.  So that one is definitely out for me).  There’s one tip that I think needs to be expanded on: #6: Start Your Day Off With A Balanced, Larger Breakfast. I really think this depends on you and your body. There are days when I’m fine with just my coffee until lunch time and others when I’m ravenous as soon as my feet touch the floor in the morning (these are the mornings when I’m thankful for the bacon I already cooked the day before or the salami all sliced up and waiting to be devoured).

Secrets From Your Personal Trainer – Give It a Year to Lose Weight

This really is the secret to long-term success: give yourself time.  If you don’t see immediate progress, give it more time.  Some people (like I have mentioned before) see tons of weight come off immediately (or at least it seems that way) while others have bodies that are more stubborn than some.  See, my initial frustration at my lack of weight loss was why it was so easy for me to quit back in 2010.  Once I changed my focus from weight loss to better health, I developed the patience to persevere.  So, read this article for a bit of a true reality check.  🙂

It takes more than a few tries to get through these stressful interruptions while still exercising, still eating right and still taking care of yourself. You’ve got years, decades, maybe even a lifetime of ingrained habits to contend with. Think about how long you’ve been:

Cleaning your plate
Stress or emotional eating
Sleeping until the last possible moment, rather than getting up and exercising
Stopping for fast food on the way home because you’re too tired and too hungry to make dinner
Eating out because you don’t have anything to make for a healthy dinner
Not even knowing how to make healthy dinners
Sitting for hours a day, leaving you with a stiff, achy body that feels too much pain or discomfort to exercise
Dealing with fatigue or lack of energy with caffeine or energy drinks rather than physical movement

How Your Body Responds To Exercise – The Oatmeal

I have wasted … I mean thoroughly enjoyed this man’s comic strips!

The 2015 Version Of You – Setting Goals

And another fantastic bit of wisdom shared by Elliott Hulse. I’ve never really been a goal setter. No, that’s not true. I’ve never set big, life-altering specific goals for myself. I set small ones all the time (like finishing a project) but I have always found it difficult to not only figure out “what I want to be when I grow up” but how long it should take to get there and what specific steps I need to take.

That’s where I find myself now. I am now, at the age of 46, truly looking at my life and, by attempting to define who I am at this moment, doing my best to figure out what direction I want my life to take (basically, who and what I want to be when I grow up). I’m going much deeper than the typical New Year’s resolution (which I don’t do).

So, this blog post by Elliott has come at the most opportune time!

Update: January 3, 2015

Well, before the recipe post-fest commences, I thought I would give everyone a proper update. My stats have been updated, reflecting my weight and size gains since August.

In case anyone is unaware, I injured my shoulder when I re-started this journey in August of 2013. I hadn’t lifted weights since high school and immediately envisioned myself becoming Arnold Schwarzenegger (wow … I spelled his last name correctly the first time) at his prime. I lifted too heavy, improperly, and tweaked my shoulder. I tried working around it but eventually (August of last year) it became so painful I could barely move my arm. So, as I always do, I self medicated. I stopped moving my arm as much as possible, took ibuprofen, and learned to knit (even knitting for extended periods of time was hurting the dang shoulder).

About a month ago, I realized I was no longer waking up every morning with shoulder pain (only roughly 4 times per week), so I started slowly trying to test the waters. That’s when I realized I had greatly decreased my range of motion. I could not lift my elbow to shoulder height and forget bringing my hand around to my back (I had switched to bras that hook in the front … tried wearing my old one and the pain in my shoulder was excruciating). So, I have spent the past month slowly working my shoulder. I move it just enough so I have mild pain, making sure I don’t go past that point (August was when I got frustrated and impatient so I just grabbed the pull up bar and hung from it, sending a shooting hot pain through my shoulder). As of yesterday, I have actually been able to lift some weights AND almost assume a full-blown push-up position with little discomfort!

So, this quite possibly will be a New Year for me! My weight machine has been so lonely. 🙂

Update – July 15, 2014 – Blood Sugar Success

Well, this past week has been busy and full of experimentation.  My typical physical training went out the door, due to the weather and my improved mental state (and physical).  When we bought this house, there was so much that needed to be done (and only a month to complete it before we moved in) that we focused on the main areas of the house (you know, the areas that we did not want to move furniture to finish painting).  So, that’s what we did.  I worked like a mule.  We had to rip out carpet, deodorize and seal the floors (dogs were allowed to do their business anywhere they pleased), scrape as much paint as we could, prime and paint, plus clean like crazy!  Heck, I had even managed (by the skin of my teeth) to get a garden in that year.  Well, it’s taken me 2 1/2 years to build my strength (and health) back up but I have to say, our house is finally on its way to being our “home”.  Two weeks ago, I focused on the kitchen.  I’m still in the process but pulled up the linoleum in 2/3 of it (still have to deal with the area where the fridge is) and now I’m focusing on the kitchen cabinets and finishing painting (figured I should do that before making the floor in that area pretty).  With my brain, though, I’ve also managed to get the basic structure of our front yard in place (all that I need to do is add to it, now) AND we pretty much have a working (as in cat-urine carpet pulled up, everything rearranged to enable us to work without catching anything on fire) garage.  All this I logged as yard work on Fitocracy, since there is no listing for “scraping paint”.

On the blood sugar front, I decided to test what I can and cannot eat.  I started testing with crackers (Wasa Sourdough, which only have 9 carbs total per cracker) and not only did my blood sugar not spike, I didn’t gain an ounce.  Then, Friday came (and so did the biggest test for me).  Pizza.  As in real New York style pizza, crust and all.  I ate 2 slices that first night, then 2 more the next day.  Guess what?  My blood sugar went from 89 pre-meal to 91 post-meal! Can you believe that?  I bet you CAN believe that since Friday, though, I have gained 4 pounds!  😀  It was worth it to see that, eventually, I will be able to incorporate more carbs into my diet without solely focusing on my blood sugar (for those who may not recall or were not here then, in August of last year, bell peppers spiked my blood sugar).

So, as of this morning, I am at 170.4 pounds (still a loss of 41 pounds) and despite the bloating and intestinal discomfort (this time both hubby and I are constipated, since I bought him a ton of bread, too) I feel fantastic!  I am thrilled that this is my turning point.  It has been just about a year since I refused the meds my doctor wanted to give me went low carb/keto.  It’s been about a year since I cut my carbs so low that some days I was lucky to take in 10 grams.  So now, I think my main focus can shift to weight/inches lost and strength gains.  I’m one happy and grateful woman!

What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

Look what I found! This is a fantastic interview with authors Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D. & Stephen Phinney, MD, Ph.D.

Fitness Is A Skill article and another mini-update

So, after a month of inactivity and a week of stretching/strengthening my shoulder, I did my first weight training this morning. I feel great, though my muscles already are a bit upset that I did more than sit in the chair all day. My shoulder isn’t sore at all and I think that’s because I altered my training to cable/machine only. I’m putting all free weights aside until I’m sure my shoulder is fully recovered. I’ve updated my Physical Training page to reflect the cable versions of the exercises. My weight is up (I think … can’t remember what I logged last time) but I’m bound and determined to bring that back down. I’ve been a scarfing fool and, after really thinking about it, I think I would consider myself a binge eater. When I like something, that’s all I eat until it’s gone (or I want to puke just thinking about eating it again). Both hubby and I are that way. When we discovered Del Real Chile Verde, that’s all we ate for 4 days straight. That’s just one example. Another was pre-made hamburger patties. They were so easy and we could make our own Mc Doubles, so we did, they tasted great, and that’s pretty much what I lived on when I started this in August of last year. Now? I have 5 patties in the freezer, taunting me to eat them before they get freezer burn, but the thought turns my stomach! AND that’s where I come to Russel Stover Sugar-Free candies. I bought some because I wanted an occasional sweet treat. Well, as of yesterday, I was averaging 4-5 per day PLUS all my food. Of course, I didn’t log them in My Fitness Pal, because “I was only eating a few”. Well, that few sure totaled up! 110 calories and 13 total carbs EACH. So, obviously, if you multiply that by 4 or 5 then add that to all the other “real” food I was eating … I’m surprised I’ve only gained a few pounds! I’ll go grab the tape measure as soon as I post this and update my stats (since it’s been forever since I have). All I know is I weighed 172.2 this morning and size 14 jeans are still a little loose.

And that brings me to this article. Though he’s speaking of fitness and training, this also goes for what we choose to put in our mouths. It’s not about motivation or willpower. It’s me, sitting here, listening to the call of the candy (which is within arms reach) and telling it no. That’s a conscious decision I’ve made, since yesterday I started my day with willpower and became depressed and paced around the house like a caged lion until I binged on candy (and just about anything else I could get my hands on).

A Month Of No Training

It’s been approximately one month since I stopped all training (weight and otherwise). Once Spring sprung, it was like getting slammed into a wall. So, I had decided today was the day. Of course, I was up at 12:30 AM due to my allergies but I digress. I went back to bed with the intention of beginning fresh once I got some sleep. Well, one lift of the weights and my dang shoulder tweaked like anything. So, for at least a week, I’m solely focusing on my shoulder.

In addition to these movements, I stumbled onto two more videos today that I will incorporate into my daily routine. Hopefully, a week will be enough to regain some pain-free mobility in my shoulder.

Now, this one requires the use of an exercise band. I don’t have one but have quite a few heavy duty bungee cords.

And this one is simply stretches for the neck. As I was sitting here, watching the video and doing the stretches sitting up, there was slight discomfort, so I guess that means these need to be done also.

Although I’m happy I began this journey to better health, there are times I wish I would have done it sooner. Sometimes, I just feel like an old fart.

Fiber and You (Leptin Resistance)

So, this isn’t a talk about poo (I’ve already done that one). This is something else. Out of curiosity, I clicked on one of those paid links Facebook is now including on our home pages about the one weight loss secret for women. I sat there, listening to one of those annoying 3 minute “videos” that you can’t pause or turn down just so I could find out what the guy was preaching about. He finally (I swear, it must have been 2 minutes and 40 seconds into this thing) mentions Leptin resistance. Well, me being who I am, I hit Google. It turns out, there is such a thing and it sounds like it goes hand in hand with insulin resistance.

So, after reading about all the whole grain, less meat suggestions, I stumbled onto a study about some fancy shmancy African mango seed extract (The effect of Irvingia gabonensis seeds on body weight and blood lipids of obese subjects in Cameroon) that, according to Natural News (Reversing leptin resistance naturally), is supposed to help. My initial reaction was, “Where can I buy this stuff NOW?” until I read the entire study. The study shows fantastic results regarding obesity (more inches lost and vastly improved blood panels over those on the placebo) but the first line in the Discussion section is what got me:

The soluble fibre of the seed of Irvingia gabonensis like other forms of water-soluble dietary fibres, are “bulk-forming” laxatives.

So, it’s not the extract itself but the water-soluble fiber? Well, if that’s the case, then why pay all that money (I saw some bottles for well over $20 for 150 pills)? Why not just get some psyllium husk or Metamucil (if you can’t spare the calories) or increase our intake of foods that naturally have more soluble fiber in them? Here is a list of low carb foods that contain more fiber for you caloric buck:

Collard Greens
Nuts (especially Almonds) and Seeds
Psyllium (or Metamucil)
Brussels Sprouts
Chia Seeds (still need to buy a Chia pet)

I recently started a nut eating run (stumbled on some at Walgreens, ate some every night, then went to Costco and BAM! They have the best nut mix with no peanuts EVER!). This has pretty much been my evening snack for the past week and I have now dropped down to my low weight again. I’m thinking, since reading all the above, that it may be from the fiber (and other goodness) of the nuts that finally broke my stall. I hope so. I hope this isn’t some fluke of a thing but I feel better, my bowels are almost too happy, and I have lost inches despite being a lazy-ass and playing a video game for a week.

Carb Reloading

I’m not sure how “normal” my thinking is. I’ve always been a “what if” kind of person. If you have looked at my website (wouldn’t blame you if you haven’t … it’s still pretty pathetic) or my other blog, you can probably see a ‘theme’ of what ifs: What if you lose your job? What if there’s a natural disaster? What if, for some reason, you can’t purchase what you need at a store? I believe in food storage. Over the years, I can think of at least 3 times when, if it hadn’t been for my food hording … I mean food storage, we would have starved (extended unemployment). So, when I began this Keto journey, it was a blessing and a curse at the same time. What kinds of foods do I have stored? Nothing I can currently eat! If we were in a true survival situation, there would be no way for me to get in the fats and protein that I currently live off of and that makes me angry at my body. I’m also currently “stuck” at this weight and have been playing around with my carb amounts, so when I read this article this morning, I actually let out a sigh of relief. I know that what she is saying is basically what Dr. Atkins himself suggested, even in his original book. In his books, you start out really low in carbs, then slowly bump them up as you get closer to your goal weight. My issue is, I feel like I’m in this delicate balance, since I don’t really have a goal weight. I have a goal fitness level/clothing size/blood sugar/measurements/etc. As much as I love this way of eating, I don’t want to HAVE to eat this low of a carb amount all my life (nor go back to my pasta with a little meat diet). Just knowing that someone (though a generally healthy non-diabetic someone) was able to transition into a much higher carbohydrate consumption while remaining fit, cut, and healthy has eased my mind quite a bit!

Not Quite O.T. – “The Fat Drug – How humankind unwittingly joined an experiment on antibiotics and weight gain.”

You really should read this. It’s listed as an opinion piece from the New York Times but the fact that “we” have been experimenting with antibiotics causing weight gain in animals AND humans since the 1950’s is interesting, to say the least. I have been seeing article after article bashing the “Paleo diet” for this and that. The one thing I always loved about it (though I don’t follow it due to lack of resources) is the push toward natural meats. This, right here, would be a fantastic reason to do our best to lessen our reliance on factory farmed meats.

February 2, 2014 Update – Let’s Talk Poo

Not only is it Groundhog Day (I guess we get to see 6 more weeks of Winter, which is fine with me as long as it involves more rain … California) but it’s Superbowl Sunday (which has absolutely no significance to me whatsoever except the television will NOT be on at all today) AND the day I finally have the time (and proper amount of sleep) to post my update (funny, as I was uploading my stats I realized all this year it was still 2013 to me).

I somehow managed to lose a little more weight from last week’s weigh-in (dropped .6 pounds) and this brings my to the subject of poo … bowel movements.  Last week’s massive weight loss was from eating WAY too many Mc Donald’s Mc Double cheeseburgers in one sitting and I’ve been paying for it all week.  Not only that but one day I got on a complete tangent (I can’t remember which blog post it was) but I forgot to eat.  Yes, I forgot and ended up with the shakes by 2 pm, when I ate one hard boiled egg (I had to finish my research and post my blog, don’t you know).  Needless to say, I scarfed as much as could around dinner time to bring my calories/fat/proteins into alignment and, when that didn’t completely get rid of the shaking, ate too many carbs (I ended up eating roughly 52 by the time my shakes subsided, more than double my normal intake).

Thus began more intestinal distress and bloating.  I went from 179.8 to 184.6 to slowly dropping down.  Not only did the scale jump around like it was on a trampoline, so did my bowels.  Whenever I have really loose stool, the next day it’s as if my body says, “Now that they are empty, I’m going to hold onto your stool for dear life.”  So, I rubber band between really loose to constipation and everywhere in between until things are normal again.

I’ve tried psyllium husk but even at small amounts (since I eat so few vegetables) it keeps this roller coaster going.  What I discovered (but obviously forgot this week.  Thankfully it popped in my head this morning) was finding the vegetables that I enjoy and only eating small amounts every day.  So, let’s say the serving is half a cup, then I’ll eat about 1/4 cup, just to keep things running smoothly (you can’t tell me I’m not eating enough fat @ 65-70% of my calories).  So, in my fridge is a batch of BLT Cauliflower Salad with more eggs and bacon plus no tomatoes, since I didn’t have any.

So, if you are like me and have intestinal discomfort from time to time, try to remember to eat SOME veggies every day.  Your body (and toilet) will thank you for it!

New Weight Training Program

I’ve added a new weight training program to my Physical Training page. So, why am I doing this? Well, because I’m bored. I’m bored and tired of having to remove exercises from my training because of my shoulders. So, while I was trying to work myself into training mode this morning, I stumbled on an article posted on Fitocracy. I have enjoyed every article I have read on T Nation but this one got me really excited. Why? Well, let me tell you. 🙂

Bodybuilders have always held a special place in my heart. I have never sat there, looking at Arnold, thinking, “I want a man like that”. I have always thought, “I want to look like that!” Not really (I LIKE looking like a female) but I love muscles. I always have. I read Muscle and Fitness, watched Pumping Iron (and Pumping Iron 2), read up on supplements, etc. and that was all in high school, when women in the weight room were frowned upon by all those manly football/P.E. coaches (fast forward 30+ years and almost 100+ pounds and I finally began weight training). So, when I started seriously thinking (that’s the key term) about implementing weight training, I ran across Arnold’s book, “Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding” at a thrift store. What luck! I paid $4 for this massive book! I read it cover to cover, then wrote down all the exercises I needed to do, … that was in August of 2012 (remember, I didn’t actually start any weight training until August of 2013)!

In August of 2013, I took another look at the exercises and training schedule and knew I would burn myself out (or hurt myself) if I went from absolutely no movement whatsoever to that. That’s when I found Omar Isuf on You Tube. His basic program was perfect, and still is despite my shoulders. I am much stronger and more fit than I can remember being. Now I feel like I need to step it up a notch.

So, I found this article today: Reg Park’s Three Phase 5×5 Program. So, who is Reg Park, you may ask? Well, not only was he the hunky Hercules throughout the 1960’s (check out this picture from Hercules In The Haunted World from 1961)


BUT he was Arnold’s inspiration for becoming a bodybuilder. AND, if I can’t yet workout like Arnold, then why not work out like his mentor? So, beginning today, I am beginning Phase One of Reg Park’s Three Phase 5×5 Program (if you are interested in reading the article or checking out phases two and three, please visit this link).

Reg Park’s Three Phase 5×5 Program

Phase One

45-degree back extension 3×10
Back squat 5×5
Bench press 5×5
Deadlift 5×5

Rest 3-5 minutes between the last 3 sets of each exercise.

Train three days per week for three months.

The only special equipment I do not have is anything to do the 45-degree back extension on but I will! Remember that first video I posted regarding my shoulder stretches/exercises? Remember the stool he made? I will use that and hook my feet underneath either the drawers or bottom of the desk we have in the garage (It’s a big, metal, heavy 1960’s behemoth). So, now that I’ve spent the entire morning on this, it’s time to get busy! I’ll post updated stats tomorrow morning.

Shoulder Injuries

Well, I think I have to accept that my shoulder issues are not going to go away on their own.  As I mentioned before, this week’s second weight training session went fine, with normal muscular pain which morphed into tendon pain in my right shoulder, then (since my left shoulder felt left out) the pain switched to my left shoulder and is still there.  I’ve known for a while that it was tendonitis but thought that if I just went easy with my range of motion (don’t do anything heavy over my head, basically) that it would improve over time.  I was wrong, so now I have to do something about it if I ever want to gain the strength I envision.

Disclaimer: This doesn’t surprise me, though it does irritate me.  I am, after all, 45 years old and have pretty much lived in front of a computer since I purchased my first one in 1998 (well, before that, when I would do whatever I could to learn about them.  Heck, I learned typing on the first incarnation of a Macintosh computer).

So, now, I’m sitting here, with my horrible desk posture, trying to figure out how to fix this NOW (I wish it could be that quick).  Before today’s workout, I did this stretch.  Now, I didn’t have the stool setup so I just leaned over the arm of the couch (the bungee cords were in the garage, where my weights are).  They all just about killed my shoulder!  I lifted my arms above my head as far as I could without excruciating pain.  So, I’ll either hold off on doing this or just NOT raise my arms so high.

I’m going to do these every day (they suggest two times a day to start with).  These are the best stretches I’ve seen for shoulder pain yet (and I’ve been looking off and on for about 4 months).

I’m not sure if I’ll wait to add this (depends on how I deal with these stretches) or do these in conjunction with the stretches.  These are basic exercises to correct posture.  The way I’m looking at my shoulder pain is that my entire upper body is the problem, not just the shoulders.

And then I’m going to throw this one in, since bad posture includes my neck.

Since I was able to get my entire weight training in today, I know I didn’t do anything to aggravate my shoulder (good thing) so I SHOULD be able to continue working out while doing all these stretches/exercises too.

Ask Yourself About Your Progress

I have seen so many people who truly expect the miraculous when it comes to diet and exercise.  That WAS me back in 2010.  And, occasionally, I find myself with a slight tinge of … envy(?) when I see someone who weighed about the same as I did this go around (August) who, in just two months has lost 30 pounds (or some other number that is much higher than mine).  The only thing that keeps me grounded, sane, and on-plan is to remind myself this isn’t about weight.  My journey began (and always will be) about focusing on my health and well-being.

Ask Yourself About Your Progress

6 Habits of Highly Effective Lifters from Muscle and Fitness

Most of the time, I toss these things aside (well, I read them first, say to myself, “Yeah, right” then forget them). This one, I actually agree with (all of it). They even talk about the benefits of fat in your diet! The first slide talks about carrying exercises. I am no fitness guru so I had to look some of the exercises up (thank you, Google). One was called a farmer’s walk. It showed the guy with special handles on barbells that you lift, then carry around. My first thought was, “Heck. Load up a wheel barrow with concrete blocks or bricks!” (which is what I was doing for the first few months after we moved in here). AND for all you who have been shoveling snow, you’ve all been getting quite a workout with no extra equipment required!

BUT what struck me was the carb cycling. I think that is what has changed my weight loss/fitness for the better. Since I finally got back on track (after the great Christmas cookie binge of 2013), I haven’t been consistent with my carbohydrate intake. One day I might get in 10 (at the most … I refuse to give up my dairy in my coffee) and the next I’m right there around 20.

I’ve also started basically doing this with my exercise. I’m adding a little more weight until I can’t handle it, then dropping it down so I can complete my sets. Also, swapping my standard cardio for digging in the dirt (after the second day, I was amazed at how much my stomach, shoulders and biceps hurt from throwing those shovels of dirt) has actually lengthened my cardio times. I went from doing 20 minutes, then dying, to 30 to 40 minutes before my muscles give out BEFORE my lungs. I’m loving that aside from my added strength, I’m seeing physical progress in my yard. I know I have a before picture of that stupid mound of dirt somewhere … I’ll find it then do a video or just take an after picture when I’m ready to build the raised bed.

Anyway, take a look at their suggestions. I’m so surprised!

January 10, 2014 Update

Well, now that we are over a week into the new year, I figured it was time for me to take a look back at my progress since August of 2013. As much whining as I have done, to see the numbers in black and white is uplifting, especially on a day when I have to rest (very sore muscles and a cough coming on … I sure hope it’s just allergies). I’ve recently reconnected with some Atkins friends who I met back in 2010, at the birth of my blog. It’s so lovely seeing how everyone else is doing and to know that these struggles are not uniquely mine. I want to thank anyone who reads my entries. The Lord knows I’m not expert on anything so I appreciate you reading of my struggles and stumbles all these years.

One change I have implemented over the past week is focusing more on net carbs instead of total carbs. I think my body is finally able to properly deal with them (since, for dinner last night we made chicken fajitas and I ate 2 of the Sol Del Oro tortillas and my morning blood sugar was 83 (and I have had no intestinal discomfort).

So, here are the totals (and this is one reason why I have been so thankful I have been so determined to keep records all this time):

Weight: Down 27.2 pounds (based on my weigh in of 211 at the end of July 2013 at the doctor’s office)
Chest: Down 2 inches
Waist: Down 3 inches
Hips: Down 3 inches
Upper Arm: Down 2.5 inches
Thigh: Down 4.5 inches
Upper Belly Roll: Down 7 inches
Total Inches lost: 22
Morning Blood Sugar: Down 90!

I’m truly amazed (and thankful) with the difference I feel both mentally and physically. It shows what a slippery slope it is for me to NOT keep track of everything. Without some sort of accountability, I will cheat like a kid who hid their Halloween candy from their parents.

For you Atkins friends who may be reading this, the changes since 2010 are astounding!

Weight: Down 36.2
Chest: Down 7
Waist: Down 11
Hips: Down 9.5
Upper Arm: Down 3.5
Thigh: Down 7.5
Total Inches Lost: 38.5
Morning Blood Sugar: Down 322 (I was 405 on my first day)

January 4, 2014 Update

This week has been good but kinda “meh”. Hubby worked Monday and was off the rest of the week, so I let exercise slide a bit. I didn’t have set “cardio” days (usually Tuesday and Thursday). The weather here … I usually don’t talk about it this time of year because everyone else is freezing (I’m in Central California) so on my weight days, I’ve been heading out into the yard and digging. See, the person who lived in this house before us “redesigned” the back yard. During the redesign process, he built up a mound of dirt. I always wondered if he did that to add a landscape feature until we began tearing it down (I want to grow food out there and it’s kinda hard to do on a hill). That’s when we discovered he built the mound of dirt as his mini-landfill. Every piece of garbage he found around the property he buried there, including the concrete slab he broke up. To say we were angry is an understatement. We dug down about 4 feet below grade and still were finding crap. So, we decided we were going to level that out and build a raised bed on that spot. That’s about the time I found out my blood sugars were out of what (got sick) and began my Keto journey. I refuse to let another year go by without growing any food, so my cardio this week has been flinging shovels of dirt across the yard and moving (even more) chunks of concrete. As of this moment (since I’m still angry and we don’t have a truck) those chunks of concrete are bordering the fence line. I want to say they look like pavers but in reality they look like chunks of concrete someone threw there. At this point, I don’t care but I will get this done! If I have to completely forgo my meringue dancing, I will if that means we can grow food this year. I have some heirloom Cherokee tomato seeds that have been calling to me for a year!

Other than that, my blood sugars have been fantastic! I posted yesterday about those low carb tortillas. I only had that one and threatened my sons life if he touches them (grin). I also made that first batch of tortillas I made into chips and he helped me finish those off, so either today (probably not) or tomorrow I’ll start work on figuring out how to make a corn tortilla that has less carbs than standard ones and does not have eggs in it. I’ve always hated the idea of the many tortilla/wrap recipes I have seen because they are little more than stiff crepes and, as I said yesterday, I am a tortilla snob. If I want an omelet, I’ll make an omelet. If I want a tortilla and can’t have one, then I will do without.

I’ve posted my stats and there aren’t any dramatic changes but there are enough changes to make me happy. My weight training is going well (as long as the neighbors aren’t burning something toxic in their fireplace). I’ve been able to add more weights to some of the exercises and even been able to do some shoulder work (tendonitis). I have also noticed that my allergies are less severe. When this all began (2010) I had to stop using everything that had any kind of scent, most body care products that had ingredients I couldn’t pronounce (I tried some face cream by Clinique and immediately got welt on my face) and had to wear a mask in public due to the extreme amounts of perfume women feel the need to drown themselves in. Well, the other day, I didn’t even smell/react to a perfume cloud we walked through in the store! I really hope this means I’ve turned a corner.

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and you know you’ll hear from me soon! lol

Biggest loser damage…. and mini journal entry.

This is a great post from “Living Atkins Every Day” about the influence of the Biggest Loser on our mental health and weight loss. I can’t agree more. When I hear of people who first start Atkins (or any low carb way of eating) and they lose massive amounts quickly, I’m happy, envious, and furious with my body for not doing the same thing. When I quit in 2011 due to hubby’s health issues, I wasn’t too sad about it. I was hardly losing any weight. I started at 220 pounds March 22, 2010 and ended at 200 on September 23, 2011. It took me that long to lose 20 pounds! All the while, I was on the Atkins discussion boards, watching the weight fly off of everyone else. Right now, I’m happy with the pace of my weight loss. I now know what my body likes to do. I know if a loss lasts more than two days, it will stick. If not, then it will eventually. Then I will stall for about a week or so, until my body figures out I’m not starving it and it’s o.k. to let go! I’m also hoping beyond hope that my slow weight loss will allow time for my skin to tighten up a bit so I don’t end up looking like a flattened water balloon once I’ve reached my goal. I actually had one person in October who, after I told her I had lost 15 pounds since the beginning of August, respond with shock and exclaim, “That long?”. Yes, that long! That’s how long it took me to work with my body and rid my diet of everything that was elevating my blood sugar (unlike her, who is an insulin-dependent type 2 diabetic who had just ordered chicken fried steak with biscuits and gravy).

Speaking of goals, I don’t think I’ve ever discussed my weight goals. I don’t have a clue. I figure 150 is a safe weight goal but it’s not really about weight. I want to be (and look) fit. The one woman I had pictures of when I was in high school was Rachel McLish. Google her. She won Ms. Olympia in 1980. What I love about her is she was able to get muscular but still remain feminine. That was before the push for women to lose so much body fat (for muscle definition) that they stopped having menstrual cycles.

O.k. Here’s the link to the article:



Usually, when I say the word water, I make a face and say the word like a little kid agreeing to do something they don’t want to do.  I am not naturally a water drinker.  As a matter of fact, I typically have to force myself to drink any.

Well, I wanted to tell you how I force (yes, force, especially now that the weather has cooled) myself to get in any water during the day.

First: There has to be ice in the water.  No matter how cold it is coming out of the tap, it just doesn’t taste right.

Second: In the beginning, I added a little salt and the squeeze of about 1/8 lime. It was still quite warm when I came back full bore and this was very refreshing. That is, until my teeth started hurting. It seems they couldn’t handle the added acid.

Third: I drink my water with a straw. When we had that awful day driving to Fry’s electronics with nothing to drink, on the way home we picked up some 44 ounce sodas (mmmmm …. diet Mountain Dew). I liked the cups, so that’s what I started using for my water. I managed to drink three of those every day without thinking about it too much. Well, even though I was hand washing, the Styrofoam didn’t hold up so I went back to my 32-ounce thermos mug. I could barely finish 2 of those. Then, I came across a posting on Reddit where many said they drank more with a straw. So, in that little hole on the top went a straw and I was up to 3 of those a day (I need a bigger mug … I actually get lazy when I’m in the middle of doing something and don’t want to get up just to fill up my water).

Fourth: I bribe myself. No matter what else I’m drinking, I have my mug-o-water next to it. If I want another swig of coffee,tea or soda, I need to drink some water first.

That’s it.  Now, to practice what I preach and fill up my water mug.  Happy Drinking!

October 25, 2013 Stats

Well, still coughing but I’m able to do more. My sleep pattern is still off. Two nights ago, I learned a lesson. My cough syrup’s dosage is 2 teaspoons. Well, I didn’t want to walk all the way (my house is 800 square feet) to the kitchen, so I grabbed the medicine cup from another medication. I slept hard and woke up 30 minutes before hubby had to leave for work. After waking up enough to be able to read and do math, I ended up taking 3 times the dose! No wonder I slept so hard! I won’t do that one again!

My birthday was this week and hubby got me the best birthday present: rib eye steaks (and my own copy of Diablo 3)! He barbecued them over mesquite charcoal and basted them with butter the entire time they were cooking. I’m telling you, they were the best steaks we’ve ever eaten! I swear, they were the beef equivalent to turkey because that was the first night in a long time that we both slept through the night! He’s so good to me! I’m also very proud of myself. This is the first year since being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes that I did not cheat.

My stats are done. I’m down a pound and 2 1/2 inches since last week. One thing I noticed while laying in bed coughing was when I tighten my stomach muscles, I can actually see a bit of them! LOL!

Anyway, I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. I will (I’m going to make that sauerkraut … wish me luck!).

The Roll of Low Calorie Sweeteners in Weight Management

I can’t tell you how many times throughout the years that I have heard (read) that studies have shown a blood sugar spike when low calorie sweeteners are used.  Most of the time, I didn’t read the studies cited because, to be brutally honest, they were too long, too technical for my state of mind at the time, and frankly, I didn’t really care (obviously, this was pre-diagnosis).  Well, no, that’s not true.  Before I discovered I had type 2, I refused to use any artificial sweeteners (added chemicals, you know).  I figured it was better to use as much natural ingredients as I could.  I used mostly honey and unsulfured molasses (with cane sugar thrown in for good measure).  Then, today, I read this:

The researchers found that GLP-1 secretion was increased by 43% with the LCS-sweetened beverage compared with the carbonated water in those with type 1, but not type 2 diabetes.

Did you read that? Type 1, not type 2 diabetes! I did not see any differentiation in any of the headlines (or paragraphs) I have read all these years. Now, I know that certain types of artificial sweeteners CAN have a negative blood sugar response in some people (sugar alcohols) but it’s nice to know that (despite the observations of my own blood sugar reactions to Splenda and the occasional Aspartame consumption) that I should have read the dang studies all those years ago!

Maria Kang and the “What’s Your Excuse?” Controversy

I, as you can see, tend to have a strong opinion. This “controversy” that is sweeping through the local (and now national) news is a disturbing example of what is wrong with this country. People (mostly women) are up in arms over this photo.

And what is wrong with this photo?  Women are viewing her as being judgmental.  Does this photo REALLY show that?  I don’t think so!  I think this photo shows what can be accomplished with determination and the proper nutritional and fitness education designed for your body.  This photo was originally included on this page from her website.  Apparently, the controversy began last year and has since resurfaced.

Maria Kang recently posted her non-apology for this photo on Facebook:

I’ve been getting an influx of new followers, emails and comments (on my profile pic) recently. Some saying I’m a bully, I’m fat-shaming and I need to apologize for the hurt I’ve caused women. I get it. SO here’s my First and Final Apology:

I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won’t go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two business’, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. I won’t even mention how I didn’t give into cravings for ice cream, french fries or chocolate while pregnant or use my growing belly as an excuse to be inactive.

What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It’s Yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn’t create them. You created them. So if you want to continue ‘hating’ this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life. You can either blame, complain or obtain a new level of thought by challenging the negative words that come out of your own brain.

With that said, obesity and those who struggle with health-related diseases is literally a ‘bigger’ issue than this photo. Maybe it’s time we stop tip-toeing around people’s feelings and get to the point. So What’s Your Excuse? – Maria Kang

And THAT is what is wrong with this country. There is an ingrained lack of personal responsibility that is disgustingly prevalent throughout most age ranges. This isn’t reserved for the young or those in their 30’s. I see it in people who are much older than I am and it makes me sick. Do I blame my Buddha belly or type 2 Diabetes on genetics or age or anyone else? No, I blame it on my lazy eating and lack of physical activity. Did you see that? It was my thoughts and actions that brought me to the point where food was killing me. It wasn’t the massive amounts of advertising geared toward children when I was young. It wasn’t the fact that I preferred to play video games than exercise (yes, I was awesome at Pong!).  It wasn’t the fact that I, too, would routinely eat just french fries for lunch in high school because it was the cheapest “meal” there. It was all me, baby! I decided my body was god-like and I could do whatever I wanted to it without any repercussions. The result was ultimately being over 100 pounds above my ideal weight, developing too-numerous-to-list allergies, asthma, type 2 Diabetes, sciatica, tendonitis, and issues with my ankles, knees and hips.  All this and I’ll only be 45 this year.  I’m telling you, when I decide to do something, I do it right!  Well, August was my wake-up call and I’m taking charge (and responsibility) for my body and my mind.  I will not now, nor ever, blame anyone else for my actions or lack of action.  My health, happiness and future are in my hands.  I refuse to give up control to any other entity and neither should you.  So, stop with the excuses and the blame game.  Take action or shut the hell up and let those of us who want to improve our lives get on with it.

Thanksgiving And An Awesome Man

I know, it isn’t Halloween yet but it was just Thanksgiving in Canada and one of my friends posted about his Keto Thanksgiving meal.  Actually, I think I originally found him on reddit (/r/keto) and he was generous enough to “friend” me on My Fitness Pal.  My mouth started to water when he mentioned green bean casserole (aside from candied yams, which are definitely out, is my all-time favorite holiday recipe) but at the bottom of his post he included a picture of himself 1 year ago.  You know, when I see every day that he is “this close” to losing 80 pounds since April of this year, I am excited for him but nothing compares to seeing the difference 80 pounds can make!  He looks like a much happier, healthier, completely different person!

Fun Drug for the Plague :)

I just have to share. I have a cold (yes, I’m still whining about it). Last night was the first night I slept over 2 hours in close to two weeks and THIS is how I did it. Nectar of the gods! LOL!

So, Who Am I and Why Am I Here?

I am a married 40 something over-weight type 2 diabetic who intends to remain med free. That is pretty much all those pages up there, rolled into one sentence. Of course, if you want more information, just click on the pages above. I’m brutally honest about myself. I’ve been heavy as far back as I can remember (my first double chin was in 4th grade). I was resigned to remain that way until 2010, when I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes. I began Atkins, lost 10 pounds (got off my meds though my doctor didn’t know about it), thought my blood sugars were under control since I wasn’t gaining any weight, so I fell off the wagon. At the beginning of August 2013, I went back to the doctor. I was wrong. So, I embarked on Atkins again but this time I could not control my blood sugars (amazing what happens when you continue to test yourself, huh?). While desperately searching for the cause of my blood sugar swings, I stumbled upon the nutritional Ketogenic diet. It has been a life saver (literally).  So, check out the pages above (see some awful pictures of me) for more information. On my stats page, you wil find my weight, measurements, and fasting blood glucose reading for the day and here you can find my physical training schedule.  I recently update the About 1972 Atkins page to include a snippet about the first week (Level 1) AND the menu included in the original book.

October 4, 2013 Stats

Well, good Friday morning everyone!  Boy, has this been a fun week.  I told you last week about weighing 199 for the first time in YEARS!  Well, I held that weight until Tuesday (can you believe it lasted that long?), when I woke up with a chest cold.  That day, I shot up to 201.  I searched online for illness and blood sugar numbers (that morning, my fasting blood sugar was 67 … lowest ever, which according to what I read is abnormal when sick.  Usually blood sugars rise) and stumbled on this article “6. A cold virus could make you fat. Could you blame that extra 15 pounds you’ve gained on the cold you got last spring? It may not be a far-fetched idea.”  So, I didn’t really flip out.  Until this morning, when I stepped on the scale and it said 198!  I’m still sick but I’ve turned the corner (didn’t wake up at my normal time of 3 am last night) and I’ve blown through my frozen chicken stock!  I have to cook more! After reading up (and getting great advice on Fitocracy), I haven’t exercised since Monday. I slept when I needed to and did things around the house that I could manage. That’s it. Heck, last night was the first night when I felt good enough to cook!

I did things backwards today (excitement from being 198 or just fuzzy-headed), so I will be doing my stats after I post this.  Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

Low Carb Chicken Broth

If you don’t know how to cook (or didn’t grow up with the “use everything more than once” principle) this recipe is for you.  Well, it’s not really a recipe.  It’s more like instructions.  I woke up with a chest cold (it’s been REALLY windy here lately so I was hoping it was allergies … nope!) and pulled a gallon Ziploc bag of this out of the freezer.  My favorite broth is to use the bones from a rotisserie chicken.  I don’t have to doctor up the broth so much that way.  Otherwise, when I de-bone the chicken thighs, I just throw the bones in the freezer (usually in sandwich bags) until I have enough to make a broth.  Now, I usually make enough for an army (well, almost).  I have a 10-quart stock pot I make my broth in.  I don’t add any veggies, since if I want to make soup with this I can always add veggies then (btw, kale is FANTASTIC in soup).  And the best thing about this over bouillon is the chicken fat is still in there.  Just season this with whatever you like (garlic, black pepper, red pepper flakes, turmeric, etc.).  I’ve gotten pretty lazy over the years, though.  I usually end up seasoning the broth with dried bouillon or paste soup base.  Just read your labels!  I have found too many paste soup bases that contain sugar.  The last time I was sick to my stomach, the only thing I needed was this (my usual before was saltines).  I just simmer until the water has reduced by at least 1/3, strain, then once cool, pour into gallon Ziploc freezer bags and toss in the freezer. 

September 27, 2013 Stats

Well, good Friday morning everyone!  I think, after what seems like forever (actually, I consider September 16, 2013 my starting date on Keto since I have officially been in Ketosis since then), my body has officially adjusted to the Keto diet.  My blood sugars have only been over 100 twice: Once after eating some bell peppers with dinner (chicken fajita) and last night after eating some avocado yet both of those readings were around 110!

Now, for the bigger news (for exact numbers, check out my stats page).  I am down to 200.  Yeah, I know I’ve been there before a couple of times the past three years but this time is different.  I’ve been 200 for 2 days in a row!  As long as I’m not stupid (get dehydrated, eat flax meal) I should stay this weight for a few days (then hopefully get lower … that’s only happened once since 2010).

AND I’ve lost more inches (some spots that haven’t moved since this last round started in late July).  Overall, I’ve lost 3 inches since last week and I can SEE the difference (even though my hubby’s pants fall right off while I still have too much rear end for that to happen).  And I have yet to have a sugar low.  No desperate grab for anything to raise my blood sugar since September 16!

Exercise: I’ve made huge milestones on that front too!  Yesterday, I did my cardio (Core Rhythms Merengue Madness which I have been doing since the first week) and I lasted 43 minutes!  The only reason I stopped was because the muscles in my legs were angry, not because it felt like my lungs would explode!  Just to refresh memories, when I started doing cardio I lasted 10 to 15 minutes.

Before I end this post, I would like to tell you I added a very basic About Keto page.  Yes, it’s very basic.  But I would also like to point you to a resource that has been wonderful: Reddit (actually it’s /r/keto).  Yes, I know it’s been around quite a while but I’m a little slow on the uptick.  So, this is my go-to place for questions/rants/whatever.  It’s amazing seeing the progress so many people have made!  Maybe I’ll have hubby take some current pictures when we get back from Fry’s (he gets to finish building his computer today).  This time, I’m taking beef jerky, some pork rinds, and LOTS of water!  😀  Have a great weekend, everyone!

When You Think You “Can’t”, Read This

I’ve constantly fought my “I can’t do that” demons.  What a wimp I’ve been!  Check out Barbie Thomas’ story:–abc-news-health.html

Doctor, Low Carb, Weights, Anger

I need to find a new doctor.  I started seeing him because he was there for the birth of my husband (yeah, he’s that old).  The whole family goes to him.  But after today, I need to find a doctor that will support the changes I’ve made in my life.

So, the first words out of his mouth are, “Your blood sugar is out of control”.  Me: “I thought I was doing so much better than when I was here in July!”.  Him: “Well, your average is in the 160s.”  Me: “What does that mean?  Is it lower than it was last time?”  He looks … “Yes but we need to put you on medication.”  Me: “Oh, man.” Him: “Well, you don’t have to do anything if you want to go blind and lose limbs!”

I explained that I had been doing so good, read off my morning and evening blood glucose readings for the last few weeks and didn’t understand how my a1c could still be so high still.  I told him my exercise schedule (2 days cardio, 3 days weights) and he snapped, “Why are you lifting weights?  Have you ever seen a skinny weight lifter?”  Me: “But I’ve lost 8 pounds in 6 weeks!” Him: “Oh.” Now comes diet.

I told him I started on Atkins, then switched.  Before I could even tell him anything else, “So, what do you eat for breakfast?” Me: “A couple of eggs with some cheese”.  Him: “And lunch?”  I think for a minute … Him: “Is it really that hard for you to tell me what you eat for lunch?”  Me: “I’m down to about 20 carbs per day.” Him: “What? Do you eat potatoes, rice, oats, bread?” Me: “No.”  Him: “Well, we need to get you on a 2000 calorie/day diabetic diet.”

This is the third time he’s tried this one.  Let me show you just the two sample breakfasts they give:

Sample One:

2/3 cup Apple Juice (Apple Juice – 100 % Apple Juice- No Sugar Added – 29 g carb)
1/2 cup oatmeal (Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oatmeal – Hot Oatmeal – 27 g carb)
2 slices Toast (Ezekial – Sprouted Grain & Seed Bread – 30 g carb)
1 soft-boiled egg
2 t. margarine (NEVER!)
1 cup 2% milk (Borden – 2% Reduced Fat Milk (8 Oz) – 12 g carb)

Sample Two

1 cup Orange Juice (Florida’s Natural – Premium Orange Juice Most Pulp No Sugar Added – 11 g carb)
3/4 cup Corn Flakes (Kellog’s – Corn Flakes Original – 18 g carb)
2 slices Toast (Ezekial – Sprouted Grain & Seed Bread – 30 g carb)
1 poached egg
2 t. margarine (NEVER!)
1 cup 2% milk (Borden – 2% Reduced Fat Milk (8 Oz) – 12 g carb)

So, he actually thinks it healthier for me to either have 98 grams (Sample One) or 71 grams (Sample Two) carbohydrates in a single meal than to continue with the way of eating that has already showed an improvement in my daily blood sugar readings?

That was it. He handed me two boxes of Januvia samples and wants me to come back in 3 months. I left sobbing. It’s not like I expected him to grab my hand and tell me what a good girl I’ve been but I did expect some kind of acknowledgement that I had worked hard and improved my health. Once I got home, I called the office back to find out what my a1c numbers were. July was 8.3 and last week’s was 7.5. That still didn’t make sense until that word average popped out on my computer screen. Average … so what was it really? I don’t give a shit about the average … I want to know what the actual number was last week (She couldn’t see any other numbers on the report). I want to know exactly how much of an improvement I made in 6 weeks. I guess I could do some Algebra but that will just irritate me. HA! I did it. So, my true a1c from last week was 6.7 … a 1.7 decrease in 6 weeks and he wants me to fundamentally change everything that has worked?

I am upset, sad, and angry.

What is Wrong With “Normal” Foods?

I may not be the most “natural” eater (I do use supplements and Whey protein, after all) but I don’t understand some of the ingredients that are “must haves”. I’ve been reading (yes, mostly reading since I’m so out of shape) about health and fitness for most of my life (We recently started watching “The Shield” from the beginning of the series and right there in the 3rd or 4th season was Cory Everson and I just about died. I looked at my husband and exclaimed, “Wait until I show you who that is!”. Then I dragged him to the computer and showed him her Ms. Olympia-era pictures.) So, that proves how long I’ve been reading! Anyway, it seems like every two to three years, a magical, miracle food shows up with claims that it will revolutionize your fat loss, your muscle gains, your health and wellness, or some other claim. Most of them I either wanted desperately (who wouldn’t want an easy, no exercise needed fat loss supplement?) or totally discounted because the claims were just too outlandish.

One of my favorite pieces in Muscle and Fitness magazine (I truly hated “Muscle and Fitness Hers”) was just inside the back cover when they would bash themselves for the stories published in the past about everything from exercise, food/supplements, and clothing fads. Who doesn’t still giggle at the brightly colored spandex, headbands, and mullets?

Well, now that so many people are either going low carbohydrate in one way or another (or gluten free), I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes with the latest miracle foods: flax, quinoa and chia seeds. I typically just bypass those recipes just because they include the “it” foods of the day (yeah, I’m such a rebel).


While I have done my best to include flax in my diet (I can’t pass up the Omega fatty acids since I am unable to eat any seafood). I hate it. I tolerate it as long as I can’t really taste it. The first full-blown recipes I tried were MIMs – Muffin In a Minute. The first one was a cinnamon muffin. It was awful! I hated the flavor and boy, did it bound me up! The next one I tried was a chocolate muffin. That one tasted great and, since I had that intestinal issue with the first one, I sliced it and didn’t scarf the entire muffin in one sitting. My mouth’s initial reaction: What flax meal? BUT if you are on a low carbohydrate diet, have you looked at the nutritional breakdown of the basic muffin? Whether you do net carbs or not, one muffin contains 12.7 grams (9.3 grams fiber). If you are limiting your carbohydrate intake to 20 grams per day, you just blew most of them on one muffin! I think I’ll stick with adding it to my protein powder shake. Plus, with it adding only 3 grams carbohydrates (3 grams fiber) and 3 grams of protein in two tablespoons per day, that’s not bad!

Next is quinoa. I have not tried it and probably will not (no, I take that back. I tried an ancient grain tortilla with quinoa, amaranth, flax and other grains I can’t remember. It was alright but the carbohydrate count was still too high for me). Quinoa is the magical Andean grain that will give you everything you need to stay healthy, right? Well, yes, as long as that’s pretty much all you eat. If you look into the diet of those who have been eating it the longest, you will see this is a staple of their diet (little meat, whatever vegetables they can get, and quinoa). Well, it was until it was more expensive for them to eat it than to sell it. Now, their health is beginning to suffer because this miracle grain is a “must-have” for those who are in with the in-crowd. Another thing to consider is the nutritional content of quinoa. Yes, it has 8 grams of protein per cup of cooked quinoa but in that cup of quinoa is also 39 grams of carbohydrates.

The next is chia seeds. Every single time I see this in a recipe, the song from the Chia Pet commercial goes through my head. I had never considered this a food because of those dang commercials. I thought it was interesting, but that was it. That is, until I began reading about it. I’m intrigued, especially since this (and the flax) I can grow here (which is always a bonus for me). I tried growing maca but I guess everything about my region is wrong (I’m in Central California). I really like plants that have more than one purpose (more edible/medicinal parts) and all I’ve been able to find on leaf usage is as a medicinal tea. If anyone has any more information, I would love to see it. From what I read, it’s suggested that you only consume 2 to 3 Tablespoons per day but it gives a powerful nutritional punch! In two Tablespoons, there are 12 grams carbohydrate (10 grams fiber) and 4.7 grams of protein. It seems hefty on the carbohydrates but with all the other nutritional benefits, this one just may be worth it! Here’s a great article on the health benefits: I haven’t quite jumped on the band wagon but it can’t hurt to buy a chia pet if it’s majorly on sale! 🙂

After writing all of this (and second guessing myself on chia seeds) I really think it’s important to get as much of our macros (protein, carbohydrate, fat) from as much whole food as possible and make the wisest choices for ourselves. If I could eat seafood, you can bet your bottom dollar I would rather have salmon over this stuff any day of the week!

Can You Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

This article supports the answer I got when I asked if type 2 can be cured.  The answer I received was, “My suspicion is that it is like high blood pressure.  When you’re heavier, your BP may cross into abnormal ranges but be normal at lighter weights.  I believe type 2 diabetes is similar in its action.  In survival situations, many type 2, especially if it occurred late in life, will be improved simply due to dietary restrictions and increased activities of daily survival.  The word “cure”, however, is too strong.  If you gain weight or become a couch potato, it will come right back.”

Hot Weather and a Mistake

Yesterday morning, it was beautiful.  I got up, wanted to eat before exercising (I wasn’t sore so I wanted to make-up for my lack of anything on Thursday) but everything sounded disgusting (blood sugars were fine).  So, I exercise.  We decided to take a drive (2 hour round trip) to get some major computer parts (we’re building one), so I quickly eat something, buy my legal crack (Sugar-free Rockstar) and we’re off.  We didn’t take any water (we can get something when we get there) but dear Lord!  It was 100 degrees and dry!  Within 30 minutes, my lips were chapping.  I downed a bottle of water when we got there, waited until we were almost home to get anything else to drink, then, when we got home it was time to fix dinner.  I was going to “cheat” (have Dennison’s no bean chili) so I quickly checked my blood sugar.  OMG!  It was 55!  Never, even when on meds, has my blood sugar been so low!  The strange thing is, it didn’t “feel” low.  No shakes, no weakness … nothing until after I started eating.  A few bites in, my head felt fuzzy and I had a hard time focusing.  What an idiot I was!  I am up 2 pounds (thanks to dehydration) and now I’m beating myself up.  Thankfully, we don’t usually leave our cave so I’ll have plenty of time to prepare for our next road trip but today I’ll chock up to a lesson learned (and the perfect example of what NOT to do)!

Low Carb, Exercise and Diabetes

I have put off REALLY exercising until now.  I wanted to make sure my diet would support it without becoming cannibalistic.  After calculating how much protein, carbs, and fat I need for a normal day (and how to compensate for added exercise, especially weight training), I have a set schedule that I want out in the world.  This will make me even more accountable.  So, here it is.

Mondays: Ab Doer (which burns about 4 calories per minute), plus this routine: BEST Beginner Muscle Building/Strength Program: Day 1 Full Body plus cool-down walking (basically back and forth in my driveway) for 20 minutes.

Tuesdays: Ab Doer plus Cardio (I’m currently rotating between Core Rhythms Latin Dance, and three different Tae Bo videos) for as long as I can (got up to 18 minutes yesterday but working up to at least 30 minutes).

Wednesday: Ab Doer plus this routine: BEST Beginner Muscle Building/Strength Program: Day 2 Full Body plus cool-down walking for 20 minutes.

Thursday: Ab Doer plus Cardio (I’m currently rotating between Core Rhythms Latin Dance, and three different Tae Bo videos) for as long as I can.

Friday: Ab Doer plus this routine: BEST Beginner Muscle Building/Strength Program: Day 3 Full Body plus cool-down walking for 20 minutes.

Saturday: Ab Doer

Sunday: Not a dang thing.

Now, because I had to make room in the garage (it’s a functional single-car garage, so had to move the rototiller, various tools and mower out of the way), I didn’t start my weight training on Monday.  I figure I’ll do this setup for at least two weeks, then switch the muscle building routines around so I don’t get bored.  I currently only have a barbell, 2 7.5 pound weights and 4 25 pound weights.  My eyes were opened wide when I tried using the 7.5 pound weights and I couldn’t do it.  So, today I did this strictly with the barbell.  What an eye opener!  The inner-me is a manly man but it turns out I’m a weakling.  I can’t wait to change that!

Due to my really low carbohydrate intake, it was recommended adding carbohydrates 30 minutes to an hour prior to exercise (to feed the muscles).  I’ve been looking online for sugar free pre-exercise foods and there is a lot more research I need to do.  Today, I just had breakfast (leftover mushroom pizzas) and worked out 30 minutes after eating.  Then, I had a scoop of protein powder (I bought a 5 pound container Twin Labs sugar free Vanilla protein powder in 2010 … yup, still have about half and that came in handy last night when I realized I had not had enough protein).  Since all I lifted was 10 pounds, I figured I didn’t tax myself enough to need any more.

If anyone’s interested, I’ve started using My Fitness Pal.  Until I get a really good nutrient content book, this was the only way for me to really see what I was doing right (and wrong).  I’m putting everything I eat and drink in there (forgot about Rockstars … need to fix that) and will be putting all my exercise in there too.

Blood Sugar and Low Carb Diets

I just found an interesting website.  I went to it (via Google) looking for what exactly are normal blood sugar levels.  Here’s the link to that page:

Anyway, look around the site. There are some recipes for goodies that may be missed when going low carb and other interesting facts/figures.

Here’s the main site:

August 23, 2013 Stats

So, as you can see from various postings throughout the week, I’ve been focused on trying to add variety to my menu and life.  And now, after two weeks tomorrow and not really seeing a movement of my measurements I really need to exercise.  I have so many excuses (like now, with all the wildfires, there’s a lot of smoke in the air) but with every week I come up with a new excuse (my shoulder hurts or intestinal discomfort or whatever).  My life currently revolves around this computer (will be my son’s laptop as soon as his new hard drive arrives) and food (figuring out what to have for meals).  That’s pretty much it.  I think I mentioned using the gifted-to-me Ab Doer.  Well, it hurt my shoulder so I whined myself into not using until it’s healed (which was about 2 weeks ago but I still haven’t touched it).  The whine going through my head is: “I don’t want to” with an image of a little kid crossing his arms.  That has to stop if I ever want to be healthy.  It’s not like I can go work out in the yard for exercise (the smoke really is an issue there).  So, today (because I have it), is Billy Blanks’ Tae Bo.  I like that I don’t have to roll around on the ground (hard wood floors and no exercise mats of any kind).

The Health and Fitness Industry Is Dead (And That Includes You, Paleo).

I have not checked out the rest of this guy’s website but this article hit home. This last time I went to the doctor, he (again) recommended the South Beach Diet.  I read about it and saw so many comments about how it is nothing like Atkins (but it is).  The same goes with Paleo, when you really look at the basics of it.  When Paleo first came out, it was the Caveman diet (though I don’t see many making those comparisons).  It was “eating as our caveman ancestors did”, aka hunter/gatherers.  It WAS hardcore, only eating what grows without agricultural influence (basically, row crops).  One thing that was eliminated when Paleo came about was grains.  Wild grains had been harvested for thousands (millions?) of years, and consumed by cavemen.  Rice, wheat, and oats have grown (and still are) in the wild.  Even cultivated corn originates from a wild plant.  My point is, though I would love for the pounds to melt off my body by simply changing my eating, I need to focus on health (physical and mental) or this will happen to me again.  This is really a great article.