Sunday, July 28, 2013
I love bread. My mother loved bread. With my mother - it was any bread. With me - it's the more "exotic" breads - any bread that isn't white and the more seeds and extras thrown in, the better.
I remember one Christmas my mother wanted to buy a bread machine for the two of us. I looked at her and said, "Are you nuts?! We'd both be so fat we wouldn't be able to make it through the door to go get more bread flour!" She thought about it for a moment and agreed. We both fought ourselves over bread and yet, at the time, I didn't realize how much I fought myself over a lot of things.
If left alone, I'd eat all the sweets I could. I had a sweet tooth that wouldn't quit and the idea of going without sugar was like giving me a death sentence. I didn't realize then that eating sugar was the same thing as a death sentence.
By the time I was away from the parental supervision, I had been deprived of so many things I loved that I became a rebel. "You can't tell me no now!" I gained weight as the news reported that genes were the blame for obesity. "Okay! It's my mother's fault! WooHoo!" I had given up trying to not eat sugar, fat, and salt, and no one was going to tell me that I could restrain myself - because I knew better.
Now - I've just discovered - without a doubt and irrefutably - that I can lose weight, I can't eat bread, regardless of how many seeds, what good grains it's made of, or how sugar free and fat free it might be. I can't eat it.
When I was diagnosed as pre-diabetes 2, which for those of you that don't believe in such a thing as pre-diabetes - it means that you do have a chance to change it so you are not diabetic if you change your lifestyle instantly. This means to lose weight (I think it was about 10%) and through a balanced diet, reduction of sugar, salt, and fat, and plenty of exercise and, of course, meds, you can put it off, possibly forever if you keep up with it. So I launched myself at it.
Unfortunately for me, at the time in a an area that was loaded with senior citizens all being diagnosed with diabetes 2, the diabetes classes that told you what it meant to have diabetes, how to change it, or live with it, etc., were all closing due to lack of participation either by patients or by leaders. I was really upset about it and my doctor let me out the door by telling me to stop eating potatoes. "I'm Irish - don't tell me to stop eating potatoes. They have to be in every meal I eat!"
One of the first things I learned was that potatoes were like little rocket ships that sent my blood sugar soaring out of control. So, because I was Irish, which meant I was probably stubborn, and I loved the things, I had to wean myself away from them. I'm still not totally without them, but I have cut them back from the biggest potato to the smallest potato I can find and also learned how to eat them with a carb that helps combat the fast burning carb of the potato. I am still working on not eating them at all and can make it for a couple of weeks without any, which is a lot better than the daily diet of McD's French Fries! (No - I still can't look at a McD's truck with the French fries picture on the trailer without having to fight myself to not go to the nearest McD's for the most French Fries I can buy.) Do you think McDs has a good marketing program? I definitely do!
And now I have confirmed for myself that bread does the same thing to me as those potatoes. Only I am refusing to try to find a combative slow burning carb to fight the fast burning carb of the bread. I am going to try to stop eating bread cold turkey. I know how hard that is going to be, too. I love turkey dogs, with the toasted buns. I love a tuna sandwiches with crusty bread and potato chips (of which potato chips are not allowed in the house, car, or my hand - pretty much eliminates them anywhere or anytime). But, yes, I still want them.
I'm not crying or feeling deprived, but I did cry when I discovered this fact in the middle of the night. This self-awareness came about when I weighed yesterday and was irritated at myself for not losing any weight. I knew what I had eaten. Today I weighed and lost 4 pounds in 1 day. I knew what I had eaten so I scanned my tracks. There it was! Bread. One day with it - no weight loss, one day without (yes, by accident) and I lost 4 pounds. No, I don't think that I will lose 4 pounds every day I don't eat bread, but I am more than aware at how much that food tracker is helping me! Yes, the food tracker that I have always hated!
So now, the food tracker has become a tool, the same as the fitness tracker and the scale that I see every morning. All they do is help me make adjustments that help my lifestyle, and my health, improve and when they don't improve, I can now go back and figure out why.
It's a bit like being a scientist on a project. You track EVERYTHING! Times, dates, changes, things you did, things that you didn't do. I think I learned how to do tracking after I had surgery and with all the complications from that, I had to track things for the surgeon. He was specific in what he wanted to see. So I daily tracked everything, food, which at the time was NO FAT, NO FRIES, NO CHEESE, NO DAIRY (EXCEPT 2% MILK) (I drank 1% for years and was okayed on that). He knew I am pre-diabetes 2 so it also meant low sugar/low carb. So I had to track every bite of food, which meant measure and weigh that food before consumed. I had to track my blood sugar levels (BSL) and when I tested and before/after what meal and he basically wanted fasting (before breakfast) daily. When I went to him for the followup one month after surgery, he looked first at my BSLs and said, "Wow - yours are better than mine!" Then he looked at the rest and said, "this is the best tracking I have seen." Everyday I had tracked my temperature, weight, food, exercise (which was a lot of wandering around the house. I was afraid I was going to wear out my carpet) and even how many times I urinated and the other so he knew my insides were working. He had me on homecare for a week and a nurse came and did my pulse, blood pressure, and listened to my lungs, my stomach, and checked my incisions. She reported directly to him, but she also quizzed me on my diabetes knowledge and how I was handling things and made sure I had an evacuation plan for hurricanes. I was cleared for everything.
Since I never felt like I needed the home care, it did one thing for me. It proved to me that I did know what I was doing and it was good. My meal planning and actions were great. She asked me where I had gone to classes. I told her it was a lot of research on my own - some trial and error, but mostly pulling up my own boots. I felt like a champion when she left telling me I should be a trainer. Can't afford the classes to become certified, but thanks for the confidence building.
So the moral of the story, for me, is use those trackers for tools. They don't hurt you! If you can't stand to look at them, then there's only one reason for that hate - you don't like yourself because you don't want to know what you are eating. Sure I came up with all kinds of reasons for hating the food tracker, but it all boiled down to I didn't really want to know what I was eating. Even while losing weight, I didn't want to know what I was eating.
Not any more! I use that tracker everyday. And no - it isn't perfect even now, but it's getting there because I have learned that going to the store and taste testing is very hazardous - and I've learned to not be afraid to tell the server that very same thing. I'm learning a lot of things from that Food Tracker tool and I don't hate it any more. I love it!
Friday, July 12, 2013
I have to tell you about the chicken we made for dinner tonight. It came out of the oven so good, that we talked about the food on our plates and made plans for another run to Walmart.
While in the Walmart Super Store the other day we bought Tyson's chicken. There were two whole chickens sealed in individual bags and then sealed in an outer bag to make them sell at two chickens. We paid 98 cents a pound for them which made them cost $8.00 and change. We brought them home, washed them, dried them with a holy tea towel I use for such occasions and then we stuffed their insides with some salt, pepper, and one got fresh basil from the garden, while the other got fresh rosemary from the garden. We added Emeral's seasoning to the outside, sprayed them with Pam and shoved them in the oven.
They roasted in the same pan at 375°F for 1 hour and 45 minutes, expecting to roast them for 2 hours total. We had to look twice because the scent and aroma was overpowering and delicious. We based them with their own juice both times. When they came out, we let them sit for a few minutes, couldn't wait any longer and destuffed them, dissected them and I ate a breast and wing. I removed the beautiful skin as I haven't eaten chicken skin in years as it was always too fat and gross for my tastes. I did try one piece that was well done, all the fat was melted away from it and it was seasoned. Yes, it was great, but that was all I ate of it.
We have a pot of soup stock already on the stove and we are going to make cabbage soup using what stock we have already created with the juice from the pan. To do that, we poured all the juice from the pan, let it sit until the fat lifted to the top. Then we removed all the fat and added the cabbage. We bought cold slaw mix from the store as it's a quick and easy way to make cabbage soup. It has some carrots in it and a bit of purple cabbage, too.
We were so impressed by the flavorful, healthy, and cheap meal we made we are going to buy another set of chickens at Walmart. Haven't had a great meal like that in so long, it was super. And to sit there and discuss it was another rarity as we never do that.
Two winners tonight.
Have a great one!
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Hi! I have recently experienced something that I feel everyone should know so they can use it as needed. It's a health issue.
A few weeks ago, I went to the doctor on a routine visit and mentioned that I felt like I had a balloon inside my stomach that would blow up and deflate in rapid succession. He asked a few questions, palpated my stomach, and checked out my gallbladder area. I went in for an ultrasound of my gallbladder and found out the thing was impacted with stones and infected even after several doses of cipro (antibiotic). He sent me to a surgeon.
My surgeon removed the ailing and nearly dead and missing organ by robolaproscopy. Now I have five incisions that are healing nicely with DermaBond. I have stitches inside that will melt away, too. But the best thing is that I am rid of the GB.
The worst of it is, the GB had been dying and had been infected for years. Why didn't I say something earlier I was asked by more than one doctor. I ended up with my primary, one of his associates, my surgeon, one of his associates, and a GI specialist plus one of his associates. After the removal of GB, my system went offline. I threw a stone they couldn't get fast enough before it disappeared into my digestive system and along the line it clogged up my pancreas which gave me pancreatitis for at least one day. Not a good thing to happen because that can kill you. So I had antibiotics and antifungals poured into me for two days until the antifungal was pulled because it made me sick. I was getting anticoagulants in the stomach area, insulin in my arm because they screwed up everyday on taking my blood sugar levels at the wrong time and then when I was finally aware of what was going on, I discovered they were giving me my full days worth of meds in one dose instead of two as required by all but the hospital pharmacy and nursing staff. If you are supposed to take two pills, one in the am and one in the pm, do not let them give you all of it at one time. This is why my bsl would be 72 at one point and the next time they checked, 5 minutes after eating instead of 2 hours after or right before, my bsl would be over 200 and I'd get the insulin.
But why didn't I tell them when I was having problems. I never knew I was having problems. I thought I was getting old and I ate something that my system didn't like, such as red onions. Love those things - but would I get sick from eating them. Who remembers to tell their doctor stuff like that. I just didn't eat any onion except sweet onions because they didn't give me the problem.
I don't know of anything else that would cause me a problem to think that maybe something inside was going out. I often think of myself as a droid with parts to be analyzed and attended to as Data on Star Trek. I know I used to have a lot of GERD. But when I lost the 45 pounds, the GERD stopped and I was never so happy as to have that happen. I pictured it as a gage on an engine with a red zone. I must have reached the red zone in my weight and that was how my body was letting me know that, "Hey! We got a problem and need to dump something to release this pressure or we're going to go Chernobyl!" I started paying attention to things going on inside. What was my body trying to tell me. Not once did I feel like my body was telling me to go talk to the doctor about the GB.
Now I picture my control center (brain) as having a group of tiny controllers (like people) inside there turning knobs, flipping switches, and making adjustments for this, that, and the other. So when they removed that GB, those controllers started hopping because things were going offline and I was getting too much of this, too little of that, or didn't need something at all, perhaps needed something else I had never needed before. There was a lot of screaming and yelling as they jumped from one system going haywire to another emergency and back to the first one. Finally, things were managed sufficiently to settle me down and the emergency was over. Then it was merely maintaining me long enough to figure out what was needed in proper amounts and at proper times. Once the controllers got the systems back in order and everything doing what it was supposed to do properly, they took a break then sat down and had a meeting to determine what had happened and what was done and what should have been done. The thing that came out on top was lack of communication.
Nobody had communicated to me that the GB was acting up, dying, and falling apart. The controllers just kept making adjustments to take care of the breakdowns, the uneven service, the other problems that it was creating as it started adhering to my liver and making a mess of the area.
So bottom line is, ask your doctor for an ultrasound. They don't hurt. They are not unpleasant, they don't even cost that much and if that is an issue for you, ask what the cost is before consenting to doing it so you're in sinc with that, too. Why worry about that.
They can tell what's going on with your GB through an ultrasound. I could even see there was a problem when I was allowed to see the picture.
So now I've got more of an awareness of my body and what's it trying to tell me. If you don't pay any attention to your body, stop and listen. It might be trying to tell you that something is no longer working, or breaking down and if you don't let it get fixed, it's going to kill you.
I was told I was about 1 week away from death. When I got home from the hospital after six days of hospital life that wasn't bad, but not the best fun I've had, I found two ladies in my community had died in their sleep. A third one died two days after I got home. I would have been number four had I ignored it any longer and to tell the truth, I don't even know why I mentioned it at all as it didn't hurt, it just felt weird to have my stomach blow up and collapse in rapid succession twice. Who would think that is a GB?
When I realized how easily it was for them to look at my GB, I wondered why they don't just do it around 40, 50, and 60 as a general basis. I believe in proactive medicine, not wait for the disasters to come along and force issues. Now it's gone, I feel better, still have to go slow and can't do a lot of exercise as it has to heal for 41 days and I've only done about 16 of that. So while I feel much better, have a desire to get out there and pump iron or swim, and look better than I have in a few weeks, I'm not ready to be let out of the corral yet. That's the hardest part for me now. I love the diet I'm on - Low Fat! Trying to mess that with Low Carb is sometimes difficult, but I'm losing about 1 pound a day and that's what I'm liking a lot.
So just a suggestion, when you go to your doctor next time, ask for an ultrasound of the GB, especially if your 40 or older. I doesn't hurt, cost much, and can save your life! Give it to yourself as a birthday present. You'll be glad you did.
Nothing's nicer than to have the doctor tell you, "There's nothing wrong!"
Have a great one!
Monday, July 08, 2013
I have never liked blogging. I guess I never felt my life was interesting enough to do it on a daily basis and besides that, I worked for years in security and the think you would do is post something online about yourself for any reason. So with that, my life of blogging is far and few between posts. I'm still very unsure of what to put down and notice that some do daily blogs. Good for points - at least - and for me, somewhat revealing although I enjoy most of the posts I see.
But I have no come around to where I may attempt a daily blog. I've also noticed that some do a theme like blog on a daily basis. My day for date, my quote of the day, etc. I might find that easier to do than come up with something new and different everyday, but at the same time, I'm not a person that can focus on something like that, so might not be able to do the theme type blog.
I guess my journey has come from no blogs for any reason to a daily blog thought and planning stage.
Still don't have a firm plan, but I'm at least planning as opposed to just refusing. It's good for points anyway.
Have a great one!
Thursday, July 04, 2013
Seems they've done it again, changed things. I like the changes, just wish I could find them faster, but maybe with time.
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