A Possible Direction

Yesterday and the day before I was at a conference.  I found myself eating a slightly low-carb diet over that period, mostly because I couldn’t control when I would be eating next and I knew eating fewer carbs would control my blood sugar during the day.  Today my fasting blood sugar was down to 136 – the lowest I’ve seen in a long time.

In the past low-carb diets have failed me, perhaps because I did them to the extreme.  No carbs at all, or very very few – like, under 20g per day.  In this case I ate probably 100g throughout the day and didn’t stress about it too much.  Maybe this is a direction.  Or maybe my glucose meter is malfunctioning because my house is freezing.

I know exercise is a key part of getting well.  I’m working 12+ hour days right now – sometimes over 15 hrs/day without much of a break as I’m learning new skills and covering for people who are out.  This too shall pass, but when I say I’m busy, I mean I’m really busy.

11 days into 2018 and I’m lost

I forgot how to do this.  It’s been a good 6  months since I followed any kind of structured diet or exercise plan and I don’t know how anymore.  I’m like all the other people in the world who say, “Yeah, I know I should exercise but I just don’t have time!”  Or, “yeah I know, but pizza is so good!”  In other words, I’ve become what some people might consider a resistant loser, but what I am calling “health challenged”.

I’m not sure what to do.

So I’m just going to be in the not knowing today because I’m too busy to think about it.  I’m sure being so busy is contributing to my health problems, though I don’t feel particularly stressed – just busy.  Anyway, I gotta go.  I hope to suck less tomorrow.

Daily Snapshot

I suppose it’s necessary to have a where-the-hell-am-I-now post, for the sake of comparison.  Oh and by the way, I’ve decided to curse a lot more in 2018.  Hope that doesn’t offend, but it if it does, too fucking bad.

Current weight: 210.8

Current fasting blood sugar: 164

2-hr postprandial blood sugar – don’t know, I just woke up.

Blood pressure: 141/90, heartbeats per minute: 82

What I’m eating:  Low fat, lowish carb, generally low-histamine, not counting calories and eating to satiety.  The lowish carb is not to induce a state of ketosis – it’s to keep my blood sugar under fucking 300.  I would like to increase carbs as my blood sugar drops over time.  Example: For breakfast I just ate 2 eggs fried in chicken broth (no additional fat), a bunch of random veggies (onions, garlic, brussels sprouts, mushrooms), a couple tablespoons of kidney beans.  For lunch I’ll probably have something similar, but maybe chicken breast instead of eggs.  I’ll be keeping fat around 30-40 grams a day on average, but not planning on counting anything at this point.

Exercise: Walking on a treadmill or eliptical during my lunch break, yoga in the AM for 10-15 minutes.

That’s it for now.  Gotta do yoga.  Learn to de-stress.

Happy 2018

Things have gotten worse for my health.  For that reason, I’m going to re-commit to this bloggy.  I’ve missed writing but was embarrassed to come back and talk about what has been going on.  But what the hell – here I am.

I’m now a big fat diabetic.  I stopped testing my blood sugar for a while because I just couldn’t deal with myself.  I was being avoidant.  Well, I’m done with that.  My glucose is solidly in the diabetic stratosphere, and I have trouble bringing it down now.  About a week ago I tested it a couple hours after a high-carbohydrate meal and it was about 350.  Yes, 350.  (For those unfamiliar with blood sugar ranges, that’s big fat diabetic territory.  A normal fasting blood sugar is under 100, ideally under 90.  Normal for 2 hours post-postprandial – after a meal – is under 140.)  I tested again an hour later (so 3 hours after eating).  It was still over 300.  An hour later it was about 270.  I got on a treadmill to bring that shit down as fast as possible.  Wasn’t wearing the right shoes.  Fuck my shoes.  Wasn’t wearing the right bra.  Fuck my bra.

I better watch it or the google bots are going to classify this as a porn site.

35 minutes on the treadmill, tested again and it was under 200…and it dropped to under 150 over the next couple hours.

This shit scared the hell outa me.  I’m now one of those diabetics that is going to need insulin.  Or dialysis.  Or a prosthetic foot.

I have since committed to a different diet – one that has successfully brought my blood sugar down in the past.  Your average low-fat diet.  Nothing special.  No one to pay for their secrets.  No brand name.  Just stop eating so much damn dietary fat.  I test fasting glucose and postprandial glucose and typically make graphs out of the fasting numbers for simplicity.  I look forward to this graph in a couple months… My fasting glucose is was nearly 200 a few days ago, and since then has started to drop.

I should probably track what I eat but I don’t know if I have the energy for that.

I’ve also started doing yoga and walking.  I plan on working up to running.

This isn’t a New Years thing – the timing is purely coincidental.

My doctor increased my blood pressure medication at the end of December because it had climbed higher – over 180/95, while taking 2 medications to control it.  He also added a blood sugar medication but because I’m a shitty patient I decided not to take it and instead try to control blood sugar with lifestyle.

I’m going to blog daily about this so stay tuned if you’re interested in what I’m eating, how I’m exercising, and whether I still have both feet.

Side note…the law of attraction might be a thing…but ignoring health problems doesn’t make them go away.  It just doesn’t.

I won’t lie, it’s hard for me to put this out there.  I feel like a loser and a failure right now.  I’m sure someone is laughing at me and I’ll probably get a mean email from someone telling me I suck.  I accept that.  I’m putting this out into the world, not because I need it for accountability.  Believe me, I’ll never again need external motivation to work toward better health.  I’m hoping that I can help someone else in the same place as me.  I know it’s hard to know who to believe…so I’m going to take you on this journey with me.  And I’m going to be honest so you know you’re not alone.

Health Update

My metabolic health kind of sucks right now.  I went through a period there where I gave up on it – wasn’t measuring blood sugar or blood pressure, stayed off the scale, and was just sort of getting by, focusing on other aspects of my life.  It became so hard to manage after a while, and the things that had worked in the past (low fat) were no longer working.

To drop my blood sugar and weight at the beginning of 2017 I was following Weight Watchers and ate pretty much the same things every day – white rice, chicken breast, apples, grapes, watermelon.  Since then I have tried over and over to repeat this ridiculous restrictive diet because it made my hot flashes go away, I felt amazing, and my blood sugar returned to the mid-80s (fasting).  I can’t do it anymore though.  My appetite and drive to eat has increased – probably doubled, if such a thing as appetite can be quantified.  I assume I was missing lots of key nutrients and part of me is unwilling to go back to that semi-starvation state.  Such is the pattern of dieting:

Restrict food –> lose weight –> realize you can’t continue eating that way –> regain –> blame self

Only I’m not blaming myself because I know this is why most diets fail.

I’ve now regained my weight, my blood pressure is high (still on two meds and still high) and my blood sugar is back in the diabetic range.

I’m tired of it all.

Meditation

I have been meditating for several weeks, about 15 minutes each morning.  I’ve been following the general recommendations – to sit, follow your breath, and when thoughts arise gently acknowledge them but return to focusing on the breath.  After a weekend of watching Kyle Cease videos I’ve changed how I’m doing this.

Kyle Cease is an amazing combination of stand up comedian meets Tony Robbins.  Transformation presented with humor.  He recommends sitting for much longer periods of time (like, 1-2 hours) and when your thoughts come up, they’re not something to be resisted. Resisting them is like telling yourself you’re doing something wrong, which is why people probably hate meditation.  Kyle says the first 10-15 minutes of meditation are going to be chaos – your brain spewing a bunch of thoughts and ideas, but that it will quiet down after that.  But most people only meditate for 10-15 minutes so they don’t get to that place.

Today I meditated for 30 minutes – just sitting quietly, accepting whatever came up.  If some thoughts came up I would follow them a bit, send them love, and then continue to see what comes up.  He was right – after about 20 minutes my mind quieted down.  I felt like I could have done another half hour.  Maybe an hour tomorrow.

A New Direction

I took a pretty long break from this blog, in part to determine what I really want to do with it. I’ve loved writing here and communicating with others on the health-seeking path, and it’s made me feel proud of certain things about myself – my love of science and data, my aptitudes for writing and problem-solving.  The only problem was that I wasn’t having a lot of success as a result of endless supplements, dietary changes, lab draws and analysis.  It was a lot of work and not much payoff.  I started this almost 6 years ago with some extra weight, high cholesterol, some depression and some fatigue.  I now have an autoimmune condition, high blood pressure, and I still have the high cholesterol and the extra weight.

I did have a health breakthrough this year, which resulted directly from the words of a dear commenter on this blog, Christe, who suggested I try Culturelle Probiotics to address histamine intolerance.  I tried it and after the first dose I could feel a difference in my mood.  To this day I take Culturelle (aka L. Rhamnosus GG) – twice a day is better than once a day – and as long as I do, my mood is pretty great.  Fatigue gone.  Depression gone.  For this I’ll always be grateful.

I never shared here what I did just prior to that breakthrough.  I wrote on a piece of paper, “I am committed to feeling amazing every day.” I put it on my wall at work, where I would see it whenever I looked away from my computer.  Less than a month later I started taking Culturelle and feeling amazing every day.  After decades of struggling with depression and agitation.

Coincidence?  I thought so at first, but I’ve since been drawn into YouTube videos (audios, actually) created by Esther hicks and Abraham on the topic of the Law of Attraction (LOA) – the universal law that says like attracts like: You attract what you focus upon.  With this blog I’ve spent a lot of time focused on disease.  And disease has persisted – even worsened – with this attention.  So I’m done with that.

(Here’s a pretty good intro to the Abraham-Hicks teachings.)

Instead I’m focusing on what I do want.  I want health, vitality, fun, adventure, freedom, love, community, purpose.  I want to help others find these things too.  I’ve been meditating – the easiest way to align with your “inner being”, according to Abraham-Hicks, and have started attracting into my life things I want.  I’ve stopped working so hard at everything (though I’m still spending too much time on my 2 jobs).  My inner-conversation is changing from one in which I’m someone that needs fixing to one in which I’m choosing what I want in life.

I’m asking myself questions I haven’t dared to explore in a long time:  What do I really want?  What do I really want to be experiencing?  Sure, we all want money, but if I had it what would I use it for?  What am I hoping to experience?  I’ve always prided myself on being a “realist” – as if being less cheerful and optimistic was somehow a badge of honor – a way to avoid disappointment or brace myself for a let-down.  I’m done with that too.  I now choose to care less about reality and more about possibility.

I’ve started exploring photography again – a former love before my spirit was crushed by criticism.  I’m stronger now.  I’ve stopped following health groups on Facebook and listening to health podcasts.  I’m focusing solely on what feels better….what feels better…what feels better.  When I forget I bring myself back as soon as I can.

I’ll probably continue to explore this new direction here on this blog.  I expect I’ll lose some followers and gain others.  That’s all ok.  Really, everything is ok.