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! 🙂

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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 (https://www.facebook.com/myatkinsjourney/).

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

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).

http://dicktalens.com/fitness-is-a-skill/

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.

http://www.ehow.com/video_6561838_treat-tendonitis-shoulder.html

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.

http://www.ehow.com/videos-on_11638_physical-therapy-neck.html

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.

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!

http://robbwolf.com/2014/03/21/carb-reloading/

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.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/opinion/sunday/the-fat-drug.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

O.T. … Kinda: What To Do With An Entertainment Center

So, today is the day.  My son is moving out and I get to transform his room into my woman cave!  My new weight machine and all my weights will be moved in there (not sure if I should get those mats for the floor, since it’s a wood floor).  But before I can do that, I have an entertainment center, a long dresser, and a small-ish desk to deal with.  Aside from my training equipment, all my sewing/crochet/weaving (hopefully get started on learning that) and any other non-messy crafty things will be moved in there also (the wood carving will remain in the garage).  So, storage is a necessity. 

I found these links and need to share on both blogs.  I had initially thought of mounting the entertainment center on top of the dresser but I think that may end up being too tall (kinda making a china cabinet).

Anyway, here are the links (started this but got distracted as soon as he left the house):

http://www.bhg.com/decorating/storage/projects/revamped-armoires-for-small-space-storage/#page=23

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http://www.bhg.com/decorating/storage/projects/revamped-armoires-for-small-space-storage/#page=3

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http://lindycottagehill.blogspot.com/2011/01/magic-sewing-table.html

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http://mandishandis.blogspot.com/2009/07/cheap-entertainment-center-re-do.html

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http://smithsrus.com/chopping-down-an-entertainment-center/

My Daily Training Schedule

happy

O.k. Well, I guess I’ll be posting my training daily. Just so you know, I have been doing weights 3 days per week and (when I feel like it) cardio twice a week. Most of the time, this is Monday through Friday and I don’t do a dang thing on the weekends (this way you know when to expect these posts). They will be short and sweet with little embellishment. As I’ve stated numerous times, I log all my workouts into Fitocracy. I’ll do that first, then cut and paste into a post here.

That is what I have done already. All my training sessions since I signed up for Fitocracy on September 6, 2013 have been posted here (on the corresponding dates). Would you like to take a look at all of them? Well, you are in luck! I figured out some code and now there is a running list of all my training sessions at the bottom of my physical training page (I think the limit of the list is 100 so, when I surpass that, the posts are tagged “Training”). Guess what? It doesn’t look like I’ve been as much of a lazy ass as I occasionally tell myself! LOL!

Oh, and can you please send “good health” thoughts my way? Hubby’s coming down with something and I REALLY don’t need to get it (kinda hard to stay away from him).

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)

hercules_in_the_haunted_world-1962_2

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.

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!

http://www.muscleandfitness.com/news-and-features/galleries/training/6-habits-highly-effective-lifters

Altering Clothes As We Get Smaller

So, I think I’ve mentioned it before but hubby is losing inches along with me. It’s so bad (good) that our favorite shorts (yes, we both wear the same kind) are completely falling off of him and mine will once I lose a little more lower belly/hip. I love these shorts! They are cargo shorts we bought at Costco, so we’ll just have to hope and pray they carry them again next year so we can get some smaller ones. We both hate (and I mean HATE) wearing belts. So, I’ve been wracking my brain since yesterday to figure out how to fix these shorts so we can continue to wear them. I refuse to purchase all new clothes. To be brutally honest, it wouldn’t cost me that much. My clothing, like my actual menu, is very dull. I wear a handful of T-shirts, tank tops, shorts, and bounce between two pair of pants. But all of this got me thinking about how to properly alter all our clothing so we don’t HAVE to purchase new until we are ready for it.

For our shorts/pants, I turned to my favorite pair of pants: BDUs. While I don’t mind “cargo pants”, official BDUs have always been my favorite pants to wear. The pockets are roomy, they hardly shrink at all, and the fit is perfect if you are in any way curvy. Standard BDUs have adjustable waists due to the fact that it’s easier to make one pant that will fit multiple sizes than each individual size (and we all know that once a person finishes basic training, they tend to have lost weight). I have always hated tucking my shirts into my pants … always. I was going to pull up a picture of when I was little to show the one time that I did but even then, none of my shirts were tucked in. See? Dang … aside from some bangs my hair is the same!

me

Anyway, if you have never seen a BDU waistband, this is how the waist is adjusted:

khaki-f5201xx250-waist-v1

It’s just a strip of heavy duty grosgrain ribbon threaded through a belt loop. I don’t have any idea if I can get those belt loops at the fabric store or not (anyone know?). I don’t think it’s unsightly in any way but while Googling I found more stylish options.

On this page they discuss the style pictured and one that has an actual belt buckle. All three of these options require one waist adjuster on each side of the pant.
http://www.permanentstyle.co.uk/2010/12/reader-question-trouser-waists.html#.UoeAjuJCyz4

There’s also this option, using button hole elastic and buttons inside the waist band but the idea of have buttons gouging into my waist all day doesn’t make me jump for joy:
http://www.frugalupstate.com/crafts-diy/tutorial-add-an-adjustable-waist-to-any-pants/

Now, take a look at these Levi jeans:

http://denimhunters.com/az/detailsback

It’s one adjuster, in the back. I bet that would add a little volume to the posterior if you are lucky enough to have a flat behind (like me).

O.k. Now that I’ve went on and on about pants, here are a few links that discuss how to alter the rest of your wardrobe (Warning: you will need to know how to actually sew to do these):

At this link, a little over half way down, the user tcsewhat was a tailor and offers some suggestions:
http://artisanssquare.com/sg/index.php?topic=16795.0

This one goes into a little more detail about how to alter clothing (without tearing the whole item apart):
http://www.ehow.com/how_6012095_alter-clothing-size-18-12.html

And this one (starting about 1/4 of the way down) does discuss tearing the whole item apart:
http://www.survivalblog.com/2013/04/sewing-mending-and-altering-your-clothing-after-the-ball-drops-by-belle.html

I hope this will help you to continue on your weight loss journey without getting clothing-inspired depression.