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HELSINKIKNIGHTS's Recent Blog Entries

I Hit My Goal

Friday, September 26, 2014

I have hit my initial goal of losing 40 lbs. It's been 6 years of ups and downs, but it feels good to have achieved it finally. Now I've reset my goal to the next 20. It's a weight I'm comfortable at and once it's reached, I'll decide where to go from there.

At the moment, I'm grieving the death of our 5 year old corgi, Arthur. This was not supposed to happen. He was supposed to live a long, full, healthy life. Instead he started having seizures in March and died on Sept. 11 from an undiagnosed brain illness.

It's been a tough 12 months. My husband was out of work for half of last year and I had emergency dental problems at the beginning of the year that maxed out our new insurance and meant I had no money for the expensive tests for Arthur. I turned to a fund raising campaign on the internet, which was ultimately unsuccessful. I am extremely grateful to the complete strangers who pitched in and distraught at the friends that just ignored our troubles. I haven't asked anyone for help since my father walked out when I was 21, leaving me holding the bag, forty years ago. I was amazed by the lack of response. Anyway, it's over now and I wake up every morning thinking it will be a good day, but it's not.

In order to improve my health, I'm totally off grains again, eating mostly veg, dairy and a bit of meat. Feeling better already physically and loving how the pounds are flying off.


Getting Fit

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Living at 8000 feet as I do, it's difficult to gauge any improvement in fitness. I usually exercise indoors due to the condition of the dirt roads and my balance issues. However, now, on a return trip to Scotland, I've discovered I have improved greatly since my last trip in May. Walking around town is easy and so is taking a long walk on the beach.

Despite the chilly wind, or maybe because of it, I raced along the beach at a fast clip, thoroughly enjoying myself. I also got to stop and inspect tide pools, help rescue a stranded skate and collect shells, rocks and sea glass. I didn't get tired, no shortness of breath, no aching joints or muscles.

I still have 25 pounds to lose before reaching my current goal, but my recent dietary changes and weight loss, along with consistent gentle exercise have made a huge difference in my fitness and, I'm very happy to say in my balance. I didn't stumble at all on the beach, nor did I have trouble negotiating uneven ground. Giving up grains has been the best thing I've ever done for myself.


Solutions Found

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Since joining Spark People in 2008, I have lost 35 lbs. In the past 10 years a total of 65. I have 25 more to go to reach the goal I've set for myself for the end of the year. After I reach that goal, I'll re-evaluate and decide if I want to lose more. I know my goal weight is a comfortable weight for me, a weight where I am happy with my appearance and health. But I might be able to do more. Who knows?

Right now, I owe my current success to my decision to finally walk away from the food that makes me ill: grains. All and every single grain. No wheat, no oats, no rice, no spelt, no millet, nothing.

I have suffered from a myriad of health problems in the past 10 years, most of them self-induced, because I couldn't give up grains. I love bread, I love rice, I love oats, but none of these things love me. From both my parents, I inherited the metabolism and blood type of the true nomad. And now that I've started eating like one, the pounds are melting off and my health problems are a thing of the past.

No more joint pains, no more bleeding gums, no more sugar swings. I was on only a few meds, but now I'm off most of them. I've been able to greatly reduce the amount of thyroid medication I take as well. I expect to be able to drop even more as the weight continues to fall off.

I exercise gently on the treadmill, if I push myself, my body goes into panic mode and I pump out too much adrenalin and cortisol and I gain again. I lift weights. I do core exercises.

I haven't given up starches, but I now eat those which are healthy for me. Sweet potatoes with butter. Plantains fried in butter. Mashed potatoes made with butter and whole milk. I eat fish, lamb, grass-fed beef, buffalo and game meats. Chicken is long gone from my diet and my finger nails no longer break and peel. My hair is thicker and stronger. Olive oil is the only oil I use. Real butter has a reasonable place in my diet and I realized it was the butter, not the bread I craved. I eats lots of vegetables too and now, I actually like them. My sense of taste is no longer dulled from eating things that make me ill.

I eat the way I've always loved to eat. Small amounts of several different things at each meal. And I've added fermented foods to my diet. Blueberry yoghurt and ground flax seed is my new delight. I made my own sauerkraut and it's not bad. So different from the awful stuff I got served from a jar as a kid. I may even try Bubbi's pickles soon.

In Mongolia, where vegetables and grains are almost unheard of unless you live in the capitol city of Ulan Bator, the staple diet is meat and fermented beverages. The average cholesterol level of Mongolians is 178, acceptable by anyone's standards. I expect mine will be edging in that direction at my next checkup, now that the inflammation I suffered from is a thing of the past.

Giving up grains is not for everyone, but the "experts" in the US have become a victim of the "one size fits all" mentality that's encouraged by big business. Never has, never will. So I gleefully ignore their advice and listen to my own body, making my decisions based on what I know is healthy for myself.

And luckily, there is this wonderful place called Spark People where I can keep track of my progress, get new exercise ideas and peruse tons of useful recipes when I need something new on my plate.


Progress is Super!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Today is Day 22 of my new exercise regimen. Even though I've lost only one pound, I can now fit back in to a large top, rather than an XL. Out of the 22 days, I've met my exercise goals 10 of the days, met them half way on 5 days and not missed a strength training session. I've had two down days, one from total exhaustion and muscle fatigue the first week and today, because of a cold and the nasty weather. Still, today, I'm climbing stairs and thinking of ways to move around a bit more.

I haven't been as successful with my wheat and chocolate goals, but I've stayed off enough to drop the pound and cut down on water retention. I'm adding in more foods that reduce inflammation and making sure I get my vitamins at least every other day.

All in all, it's been a good 22 days and I definitely miss getting outdoors for my walk. Back to it tomorrow, if all goes well.


New Goals: Day 12 and Day 3

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Twelve days ago, I became disgusted with my lack of progress in losing weight. Tracking exercise here didn't seem to be enough to make me do it. There was always an excuse. Yes, I have a busy life, but so do millions of others, so...

I found a website of calendar pages, printed out several blank ones and numbered each day. It just so happened that I was starting on a Sunday, so it worked out perfectly. Each day my goal was to hike 2 miles and then to lift weights 3 times in a seven day period. Each day I succeed gets marked off with a big red X. So far, I've met all my weight lifting goals. Travel, exhaustion and a closed hotel pool led to missing one day of cardio, time and weather another. Two days, I got in half my goal amount, so out of 12 days, I met my cardio goal 8 times. Much less sporadic than before.

Now that the weather is turning almost directly to winter here, I've ordered some exercise videos and will substitute an hour of Zumba for an hour of hiking. Later, snowshoeing will take over at least a few times a week, if I'm lucky.

After giving myself several days to work on my exercise goals and finally having any travel off the map for the time being, I moved on to my nutrition goals. No chocolate and no wheat. The older I get, the worse chocolate bothers me, so I've set myself a goal of no chocolate for 7 days, then a small amount on the 8th day, if I'm truly desperate and back to 7 days off. So far, so good, 3 days in.

I'm horribly sensitive to wheat and anything that is high in sulphur, which includes most foods. Unfortunately, foods high in sulphur are really good for weight loss, but it completely stops my program, if I'm constantly doubled over in pain, which is what happened to me in 2008. Little did I know that several vegetables that I now love are extremely high in sulphur.

So, I'm back to no wheat and very little sulphur for the time being. My goal is no wheat for 30 days. My food will exist mostly of potatoes, celery, carrots, white meat chicken & turkey and almonds. All low or no sulphur foods. I can also eat pork, but the only way I like pork is in all its high-fat variations... bacon, sausage, etc., so I limit my intake. I also toss in some cheese and fish on occasion, although they are still high-sulphur foods. They are also things I can't get by without most of the time.

I'm on Day 3 of no wheat, feeling surprisingly well and having no cravings. That's saying something for me, so my main goal is to make it last.

Fall and winter are always my best time of year. Things slow down, the constant static disappears and I can think, relax and focus on my many goals.


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