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Calorie Deficit and Blood Sugar Control


Friday, January 04, 2008

I started my New Year's Resolution the day after Christmas: to gain control over EVERYTHING I put into my body! At only 31 years old, I've acquired a handful of health conditions that pretty much disappear if I diet and exercise right, but will put me in the hospital if I don't. I have low blood sugar, gluten intolerance, and the valves in my right saphenous vein no longer work. If I eat a lot of sugar and gluten, I bloat, and for a 6' tall woman, that can be a lot of poundage in one bloat. If I get more than 10 pounds overweight and don't work out at least twice a week, I start to collect blood clots and live in frequent pain. Luckily, I can control all of this myself if I live right. No drugs, no hospitals.

First, I went on a detox. I went low-carb. Ok, now, before you condemn me for doing this, I know what I'm doing and I know about folic acid and why we need our grains. But on Christmas Day I was 200 pounds and just days from entering the hospital if I didn't drop a few! So I researched Atkins, with a few modifications: though it says to eat liberally of all meats and hard cheeses, that much fat and cholesterol makes me feel horrible, so I'm substituting a lot of that with soy milk and tofu, and counting the few little carbs I get from there. The other allowable carbs are coming from TONS of green vegetables, like broccoli and zucchini. So that's fairly healthy. When I'm only 10 pounds overweight, I will add back in the starchy fruits/vegetables, while still omitting ALL the processed sugar and refined carbs.

GONE are the gluten and sugar. I lost 10 lbs in a week. Also, while logging my calories on Sparkpeople, I noticed I EASILY stayed within my calorie range, even while working out and massaging up to 5 clients a day (which burns 300 calories per hour, for someone my size.) Plus, there is no more glucose bounce.

Plus, in school we recently started studying reflexology. Ok, believe what you will, but I've seen the proof in it. And when another student rubs the spots on my foot corresponding to my stomach and pancreas, it really does help out my insulin levels.

Now having control over my blood sugar, I am amazed how far I can go and not get dizzy and shaky. I can massage all day, then still hit the gym AND stay within my calorie range for consumption! This has been my goal for so long!

There is one drawback though: all this week, I've actually ended up in a calorie deficit: 1500 calories consumed, subtract 3 massages (900 calories) and a 1,000-calorie workout leaves a negative 400 calories... plus however many calories my body needs to maintain its normal functions. And everything has been functioning fine, thanks. But yesterday, I hit a wall. I got out of school and had only one client to massage, then busted out a 1,300-calorie workout (1600 calories in all) and ended up staggering out of the dressing room, STILL not feeling at all hungry. My brain was a little foggy, and I realized I had just plain reached empty. I don't think I've ever before done that, without hitting insulin shock. While driving home, I counted the calories I had eaten all day... 800. I wondered at how I was still standing, with my blood sugar intact.

So here is a whole new consideration. I used to use my blood sugar levels as a tool to measure when it was time to stop exercising and start eating. Now that my blood sugar is level, I have to start actually using my brain and reason with myself about what a good workout will be on the calories I've eaten. Last thing I want is to slip into starvation mode and stop burning!
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