Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Building momentum

I've been grain and dairy free since Monday at dinner! Things are going pretty well, except for a little nagging hunger, which is totally unfounded since I've been eating between 2000 and 2300 calories per day. I'm trying to ignore it for now... I know I've eaten enough. I noticed tonight that my congestion is clearing up and I'm thankful for that!

I've also been working out and that seems to be going well. I've had a little trouble figuring out what to do on a day to day basis, but it's going okay so far. I'm hoping that I'll get a couple new pieces of exercise equipment for my birthday, and that should help me vary my routine a little.

Tonight's workout was: 5x5 front squats, from 45 to 70#, and 15 clean and jerks at 55#. It went okay. I do miss crossfit.

I also got clearance from my doctor for my dental work, but not without a lot of trouble. Perhaps I'll post about that later. For now, it's off to bed.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'm not going to give up

Well, in my last post I said I was going to eliminate grains and dairy again. And... I did. But I only lasted 4 days. How lame!

I think the big problem was that I tried to do it without much resolve and at the wrong time of the month. It's now a better time of the month again and I want to give it another go. I have some grains and dairy planned into this week's meals, so I plan to start this weekend.

I also started working out again today. Tonights workout was as many rounds as possible (amrap) in 15 minutes of: 10 squats, 5 push press (35#). I got eleven rounds, and I can tell I'm going to be sore tomorrow. But I'm welcoming it, or at least that's what I want to do. I'll see how I feel tomorrow.

Aaron and I have a trip planned in August to hike the South Sister in Oregon, so it's necessary that I start working out again. I've got 4 months to get in reasonable shape so that I can make what appears to be a demanding hike.

I also had another wake up call last week. I went to the dentist for a consultation for some procedures that I want to have done under sedation. Part of that is that they hook you up to this machine that monitors your vital signs... they look for specific markers to see if you are a healthy enough candidate for sedation.

Well, my blood pressure was high, and I couldn't get it to go down no matter how much I tried to relax. It's been high at the doctor's office too, for about the last year. If I want to do the sedation I have to get clearance from my doctor and/or get on medication to lower my bp.

I hate this. I am pretty anti-medication, especially for things that can be taken care of with lifestyle changes. And I am so mad at myself for letting my health decline this far. I guess mad isn't the right word... it's hard to explain. If I was mad, I would have the motivation to make the change, but I still feel a little apathetic about it. I'm more embarassed about the high blood pressure thing, and still don't feel that the whole situation is motivating enough to get me to act.

All I could think when I left the appointment was, "well, what is it going to take for you to wake up and realize that your health is in decline and you could suffer some serious consequences if you don't actually act and make a permanent change?"

The truth is that I am overweight, technically obese, I have insulin and blood sugar control problems, high blood pressure, and am largely sedentary and haven't been eating healthy lately. So, if that's not enough of a wake up call... what?

Anyway, so the changes I've made immediately (yes, tonight) are that I'm exercising (in training for this hike), and I'm reducing my carbohydrate servings and increasing my veggie intake. That's what I'm concentrating on for now.

I found some interesting articles today... I'm glad this stuff is finally coming out in mainstream news, but it's definitely not new information!

Added sugar increases heart risks (the last paragraph is priceless!)

Dual studies vilify sugar and salt in US diet (salt is debatable, and I could write another post on that issue!)

Subbing 'bad carbs' for 'bad fats' ups heart risk (again, some debatable content, but interesting)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Giving up grains and dairy, take 2

I have spent the last several weeks trying a more traditional foods diet. I started out doing pretty well, sticking to cultured dairy products, sourdough bread and soaked grains, but I soon slipped back into my unhealthy habits of overeating grains and allowing myself pretty much whatever I wanted.

So I can officially say that I feel better without grains and dairy. But that doesn't make avoiding them any easier. I mean, soaked cracked oats with lots of pasture butter and honey is a darn tasty thing to eat.

One of the biggest things I notice when I'm eating grains and dairy is that I am hungry almost all the time. I will get hungry within 30 minutes of finishing a decent sized meal. I want snacks all the time. I am really susceptible to giving in to cravings.

Here is a list of things that reappeared or became worse after I started eating grains and dairy again:

  • appetite
  • puffy face, swelling in ankles, legs, and hands
  • joint pain (knees and hips)
  • headaches daily
  • hypoglycemic symptoms
  • sore throat, especially in the mornings
  • congestion in ears, nose, and throat
  • sinus pain and congestion
  • earaches
  • itchy ears/infection

And I think my moods were more unpredictable and maybe even out of control at times. Okay, I know they were.

I had a couple thin buns today with lunch, but as of dinner tonight I'm going back to meat/veg/starch (primarily in the form of sweet potatoes, but also some red potatoes). Honestly, it can be really difficult to eat out when I'm eating this way. It's hard to get enough meat for a satisfying meal. It's hard to avoid dairy. It's hard to avoid vegetable oils (another thing I try to stay away from because of the really high omega 6 content), and it's hard to avoid dairy. Ordering a burger is like this, "I'd like a double/triple this, leave off the cheese and mayo, add bacon and guacamole. Oh, and wrap it in lettuce instead of a bun". And then when you get it they've left off everything but the cheese, which has melted onto the burger.

But, it's worth it if I'll feel better. Besides, we are trying not to eat out more than once a week, so maybe it will be a little easier this time.

Now, on to iodine. I'm still taking 2 drops most days of the week, but I've increased my thyroid medication from 1/2 tablet back to 1 tablet. I was on the lower dose for a couple weeks and at one point I started to feel my depression coming back, and I wasn't thinking quite straight. It really started affecting me in some bad ways, so I went back to the dose I was on before and I'm feeling lots better.

So, I'm getting back on board with my diet. I'm on a pretty slim supplement regimen right now, but I'm feeling good about it. The only thing I really need to get moving on is... moving. Exercise is next. I'm thinking about doing the CrossFit on ramp curriculum at home. Since I have about 8 or 9 months of CF under my belt from last year, I'm pretty comfortable with most of the exercises... I just need to build up my strength again. Rest assured, I'll be posting about that soon enough.