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Primal Journal (gottaluvalab)

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  • Primal Journal (gottaluvalab)

    Well, let's see if this journaling for the public thing works.

    Yesterday was not so great a day mentally and my mood spilled over and affected the physical overly much, so I'm looking for a way to keep myself accountable no matter what's going on in my head--because of course I feel better both mentally and physically if I hold myself physically accountable.

    Some background basics healthwise: At the moment I'm a bit of a mess. Forty-one, 5'5, 265 (down from 290ish prior to a couple acute illnesses, some unpleasant drug side effects, and going low-carb back in mid-November, but now stalled). Female. Lifetime yo-yo dieter and emotional eater. Diagnosed diabetic in November with a fasting blood glucose of 350-something--walked into the doctor's office with depression, fatigue, and immune system concerns, but wasn't exactly surprised by the diabetes (though I was--and still am--terribly upset). Mother and numerous 2nd degree relatives are diabetic. Blood pressure at last doctor's visit, 180/90. Also diagnosed with "fatty liver" through poor liver values and ultrasound. I haven't decided what I think about cholesterol readings yet, but they're neither diabetic ideals nor total disasters, so I'm just going to wait to worry about them, I've got bigger problems right now. Medications: Taking citalopram 20 mg (aka Celexa, an SSRI--seems to work to some extent, if only as an elaborate placebo effect); glipizide XL 5 mg (stimulates insulin production--not sure if it's "working"/right dose yet); lisonpril 20 mg (an ACE inhibitor for high BP--worked so well at first I felt dizzy on standing, now self-readings are high again--appointment in two weeks). Primary health goal would be to get off all medication--but if I can't, I can't, esp. where the blood pressure is concerned--it's a pretty strong family trait. I believe in both science and common sense, and I hope to abandon neither.

    Lifestyle/interest background: High school English teacher, so of course I do a good deal of reading and writing. I love my job, though it's definitely my job and not my entire life. Despite lack of fitness, I am a fan and participant in outdoor activities, and until the last two years I was fairly active in my daily life (one of those "healthy fat people" until it all caught up with me). I have two 100 percent amateur-trained retrievers, one yellow Lab with accomplished hunt test titles making the occasional field trial appearance, and a younger flat-coated retriever working on a senior hunt test title; I hope to run her in field trials as well. I can't say I hunt, because I have a hard time hitting anything, but my summer goal is to get my shooting competent and become fit enough that I can spend the better part of any day in a pheasant field next fall, and drag the gear a few miles into the marshes in the winter for duck hunting. I love to cook, especially baking (*sigh*), and I love and am reasonably knowledgeable about a great glass of wine. I am single and straight, personally conservative but tolerant of any and all lifestyles that make a person happy and don't infringe on others' personal happiness; my family is wonderful but far-flung; I have wonderful supportive friends who know and mostly understand me, though the diabetes has been a challenge to that with my "best girlfriend". My main stressors these days are my health and finances.

    Food related info/beliefs/goals: I'm going for mostly primal, though I do have some oat bran and some brown rice in the cupboard that I'll use up but not replace, and some super-thin whole rye crackers I indulge in with excellent cheese, and a bag of wild rice that I'll probably replace when it's gone. I do eat dairy, particularly stinky cheese, Greek yogurt, and kefir; I use cream in my coffee; an actual glass of milk is very rare and doesn't always agree with me. I love a glass of wine, but I've had to make that very occasional due to the liver issue. My freezer right now looks excellent to me: venison, grass-fed beef, and some high-quality free-range organic chicken, but I'm not above the bag o' frozen chicken breasts if I'm low on funds. Most of the seafood I eat is canned oily fish, as I am way too picky about fresh fish and can't bring myself to buy most of the old frozen or tasteless farmed stuff available in the grocery store. I have eliminated HFCS, I've happily and painlessly kicked the diet soda to the curb, and I've almost eliminated other artificial sweeteners as well (hard to give up the hazelnut syrup in the once-a-week Starbucks...I may keep this as a treat). When I eat only my own food and don't go to a restaurant or friend's house to socialize, most of my carbs come from dairy, nuts, a little bit of not-quite-daily fruit (half an apple, half a pear, a cup of berries), and a half teaspoon of honey here and there; my blood glucose stays in line best when I keep carbs from these sources under 15 for the meal or snack and under 60 for the day. Honestly, I don't count vegetable carbs--they are small and annoying as far as the math goes, and seem necessary. I don't eat more than 15g whole grain no matter what, and if it's less than that I round it up to 15 to count; I do the same with sweet potatoes or peas or beans if I have them, which has been very rare.

    Exercise-related: I'm a weakling and a train-wreck, but far better off than I was just a few months ago. I much prefer to take a brisk walk to almost anything else; I'm at about a half hour at a reasonable clip in good weather (a little over two miles), and my goal is to work up to an hour of walking daily no matter what other exercise I might do. I have seriously struggled with shin splints, now and all my life every time darn time I've started a new walking regime, and I now find that my toes fall asleep--I am desperately hoping this is shoe-related and not a diabetes complication. My inclement weather and "serious workout" exercise has been 1/2 hour trudging up and down on a step bench in front of the tv (I say "trudging" but I kind of like it). I'm looking to increase the height of the bench and work up to 45 minutes, but for now 1/2 hour on the basic level is plenty until I get myself exercising daily more consistently. I'm just beginning to add light dumb bell work and body-weight exercises like squats with an exercise ball and pushups against the wall. I am frustrated with how weak I am. In high school, I was a starting varsity soccer player for four years, and I do remember what it feels like to be strong and fit--but I have little idea how to get there from here. Suggestions on this welcome!

    What I will track daily:

    Weight: (lbs)

    Morning Blood Glucose:

    Exercise: (if done, what kind)

    Food: (brief comment on whether primal and diabetes-friendly ideals met)

    Mental state: (smiley face, frowny face, or other)

    Today so far and what I have planned:

    Weight: 265

    Exercise: planned--shovel snow, afternoon, and step and weight work in front of the TV during "Lost" tonight.

    Morning Blood Glucose: 123 (this is the highest it's been in the morning in over a month, and unacceptable, which spurred me to begin this journal)

    Food: Given the BG number, I think I need a day that is green-leafy and incidental carbs only--so far so good.

    Mental state: I think I'm working on a smiley-face day.

    Subsequent journals will be much shorter--but it feels good to get it all out on the table, and since today is a snow day (!) I had the time.

    Suggestions and similar experiences welcome!

  • #2

    glad to see a journal for you :-)


    • #3

      Alright, end of the day seems most logical time to report, so here's the first complete day:

      Weight: 265

      Morning Blood Glucose: 123 (Gak)

      Exercise: Shoveled snow; 35 minutes stepping in front of tv

      Food: Fine--the meatloaf was maybe "not quite ready for Primal Time" with the oat bran to help bind it, but I'm determined to use that darn oat bran

      Mental state: Eh. Felt fine, but not terribly ambitious. I'm going to try to make a "neutral" face smiley--don't know what it will look like. :l


      • #4

        Snow day--yippee! Slept in; reading this morning.

        Exercise and activity goal for the day--

        *shovel again (it's v. light)

        *walk in the snow with a dog (roads are bad--1 mile with 1 dog is a realistic goal, I think)

        *some serious housecleaning this afternoon

        *some strength stuff and 30 minutes stepping in front of Hill Street Blues tonight (DVD--love it)


        • #5


          Yesterday's stats--

          Weight: 265

          Morning Blood Glucose: 111

          Exercise: 35 minutes stepping, generally active day

          Food: Fine

          Mental state:


          • #6

            Evening--today's update--

            Weight: 265 (grrrrr--very plateaued)

            Morning Blood Glucose: 90 (that's pretty good for me)

            Exercise: none (skipped it in the morning b/c my drive into work was going to be a hassle; worked late, and had dinner at a friend's and stayed late)

            Food: Not totally primal (lentil soup and super fatty stinky cheese at dinner--and a couple bites of wonderful sourdough), but fairly "safe" diabetes-wise (checked to be sure--not low after dinner, but not a total spike either--lentils in moderation aren't a disaster, and if I keep the bread to a bite or two it doesn't seem to matter in the evening--mornings I can't look at bread)

            Mental state: kind of flat, a couple times a little weepy.

            I hate it when I'm like that. Took refuge at a friend's house to watch junk tv and have a leisurely dinner and simple adult conversation--it distracted me well enough, but it doesn't fix the problem (but I'm not sure what my problem is, anyway, so I'll take distraction). They also have pug puppies, which will alleviate the distress of almost any mental disorder!

            I successfully ran a veritable gauntlet of pizza, junky bread, sugar cookies, celebration cake, and a huge buffet counter of potato-based soups (don't ask) at work today. I should be proud of myself, but I'm just irritated.

            My dogs are bored, and maybe I am too. The 7 year old, who is such a good, low-key guy most of the time, tore out of his (expensive) soft crate (ruined it) and got hold of a box of garbage bags and had some sort of shredding party. I don't think he ate any of them, but he shredded and fluffed and strew streamers of plastic all over the house while I was out this evening.

            I think my exercise tomorrow is to walk the dogs in the am no matter the weather, and take them for a good off-lead run and maybe do some pattern blind work on the snow-covered soccer fields and wear them out in the afternoon.


            • #7

              Today's stats:

              Weight: 265

              Morning Blood Glucose: 87 (probably b/c I forgot to take my meds yesterday until early evening and there was prob some overlap this morning--this number is unusual w/ no exercise the previous day)

              Exercise: Played with the pooches--will exercise in front of television tonight before bed, modified squats and pushups and 1/2 hour stepping. Right now I want to read for a few hours.

              Food: Quite primal and very low carb, but for the oat bran binding the leftover meatloaf. And ketchup. I'm assuming ketchup isn't primal.

              Mental state: Eh. The kids were nuts. TGIF.

              I'm estimating my calories at between 1800 and 2000/day, though I've been resisting strict counting and purposely lowering them as long as I'm keeping low-carb and exercising more days than not.

              Apparently that's just not a plan that's going to work. I've lost weight before (first-rate lifetime yo-yo-er)--and prior to this, the pounds would be coming off with this sort of plan. Perhaps I'm just getting old. Perhaps it's the diabetes. Perhaps it's the diabetes medication (quite possible). Perhaps I'm fooling myself about calories and should weigh and measure and keep a log, but I've been a champion calorie counter since middle school.

              Weight loss is a priority right now. My plan B is to eat fewer calories and keep more specific track of them. (If someone can convince me this isn't necessary, go for it!)


              • #8

                I did exercise last night--pretty casual, but I feel it this morning. One of local stations shows that great old show "Emergency!" and I love working out in front of it, for some reason. I did modified squats and pushups, some arm stuff with the dumb bells, some ab stuff with the exercise ball, and a whole lot of stretching.


                Weight: 265 (argh!!!)

                Morning Blood Glucose: 104

                Exercise: Planned--a whole lot of housework, a good long walk with the dogs, and if I indulge in the Olympics I'll do tonight what I did last night (those squat things are tough--must be good for ya&#39

                Food: Several months ago I lost my mind in the grocery store and bought a 15 pound ham for cheap--I'm going to be baking ham today, and eating it for a long, long, long time (and pawning it off on friends)

                Mental state: Well, three hours in I'm doing pretty good.


                • #9

                  Weight: 265

                  Morning Blood Glucose: 101

                  Exercise: modified squats, modified pushups, arm stuff with dumbbells, a couple of ab things (very hard--need to put more effort into those)

                  Food: Fine

                  Mental state: Fine, a little flat. Seriously lacking motivation. Winter blahs? Don't say D supplements--taking more than might be healthy (depends on what internet site I'm reading at any given moment!), and next time I fill the pill box I'm actually going to back off!!!

                  Had a pretty lazy day yesterday. I baked a gigantic ham--it was beautiful, and now I'll be eating ham for a very long time, even with half of it packed back up in the freezer. I spent too much time at the computer, finished one book I started over a month ago and set down for some reason, began reading a book I should have read in high school, messed around with the dogs a bit in the house and back yard, and worked some obedience/precision obedience with the young one, but didn't go for a walk with them (roads are pretty icy, and between it being difficult and my old lady fear of falling, I keep putting it off--bad).

                  Blood sugar was a little higher than it should have been (approx. 150 fasting, 180 peak) all day after breakfast, probably because I spent most of the day on my butt. I also don't think the body weight/dumbbell exercising is as good for controlling it as slow cardio--I'm going to have to think about doing that for 1/2 hour daily no matter what other exercise I do.

                  My house is a wreck, but I think I'm going to read for a while this morning. Tonight and tomorrow I really need to grade papers, so this is my chance.


                  • #10

                    Morning Fetcher luvr!! hahaha LOL

                    I just read your whole log. Seems we have stuff in common. I am in my 40's, my husband is a truck driver so I am home alone alot and that gets me in trouble especially if I drink too much wine, cause then I eat too much!

                    I want to thank you for your support yesterday and would like to recipricate (spelling?) that.

                    you mentioned shin splints get botersome, might I suggest you include a good daily stretch for those and possibly it could be your shoes causing them. Most people get them when they get started and I think eventually if you keep trudging at it, they will go away. When my running shoes get warn out I start getting shin splints and that's when I know it's time to get a new pair. You can get more info on them at runners world or cool running .com Hope this helps cause shin splints hurt! and you don't want then to keep you from that daily walk! My walks eventually turned into the C25K program and that helped me learn to run again. at first I felt like some big fat blob running down the road, but it helped my fitness increase quicker. Walking is awsome exercise and very good for your back.

                    i look forward to getting to know you better! Have a nice day


                    Primal Since 10/2009


                    • #11

                      I think I've got the shinsplints under control, though I've been doing more stepping than walking b/c of the weather, so who knows for sure... Shortening my stride helped, changing my shoes helped, I think balancing on a wobble board and doing some ankle exercises helped... hard to say. I sure hope they don't come back when the weather clears and I resume a daily walk.

                      My toes falling asleep when I exercise is really annoying, and I think contributed to the shin splints problem this time around. A friend who is a personal trainer suggested it might be a back issue. That makes a lot of sense--I've had occasional back problems ever since I was a teenager (when I was, relatively speaking, pretty active and fit, in a Strong Like Plowgirl way).

                      Eh. It's difficult to be old and fat. But I'd rather not be dead, and I'm trying to get un-fat, so there's not much else I can do, huh?


                      • #12

                        You are doing great! and you ain't old......

                        I had that happen to me after my motorcycle accident I would get on the elliptical and both feet would fall asleep, I said something to the chiropractor and he did this thing called active release technique and deep tissue work and it finally went away. It was a muscle deep in my pelvis that had tightend up around a nerve. Once he released it, ah did I ever feel better.

                        or maybe....your laces are too tight? our feet swell a little during exercise. just a thought!

                        I want the weather to clear up soooo bad myself. I hate cabin fever and we have seen more that enough winter weather here in NC. Blech!

                        Primal Since 10/2009


                        • #13

                          Hi BLady--I thought about laces, too--they're fine. Some sort of back/nerve issue does make the most sense--perhaps as I get myself in shape things will adjust. A chiropractor will have to wait, though.

                          I'm pretty sure I'm just going to read until I fall asleep, and I haven't exercised today, so I'm just going to do the stats and let it go. It's been several days since I took a day off, I guess. Part of me thinks perhaps I'm double-posting my morning stats, but I'm too lazy to double-check--I just need to date it from now on.


                          Weight: 265

                          Morning Blood Glucose: 101

                          Exercise: none

                          Food: Went out for Indian with the BFF and her little girl and her crazy (as in talks back to the voices) uncle (who is sweet and funny), so I had a spoonful of rice and a few bites of the bread; otherwise, fine. The rest of the day I ate almost nothing but fatty ham and green leafies. I don't know how I'm going to choke all of that ham down--may have to put more of it in the freezer.

                          Mental state: Just fine, thank you.

                          On the agenda for tomorrow: eat ham, clean the house, grade papers, and exercise. And eat more ham. Also will be trying to bake some not-granola granola-type bars for breakfasts this week.


                          • #14

                            Weight: 267 (good god, I hope that's ham salt...)

                            Morning Blood Glucose: 105

                            Exercise: took the dogs for a good romp this morning

                            Food: Not exactly primal... Breakfast, ham and coffee; lunch, ham and coffee; dinner, 1/2 a ham sandwich, heavy on the ham, and coffee; dinner no. 2 (now there's a failed weight loss statement if I've ever seen one...) 2 glasses wine, half a dozen corn chips, pollo ranchero hold the rice and avoid the beans (wine is officially verboten, but I am allowing myself a couple glasses once a week while I get used to the idea of being a teetotaler)

                            Mental state: smiley face day, but only b/c I made sure to distract myself constantly with friends (kind of avoiding "real life" a bit)

                            So, I've been mulling over the low carb/primal stuff. It makes me feel good sometimes, and other times not. Part of my dissatisfaction is physical, and part is mental. Perhaps more mental, but that's still important.

                            I'm willing to make it a general lifestyle, but the idea of not being able to eat certain things that are part of the general culture and which I enjoy is very much bothering me. Under general circumstances, I'd say, "Hey--I'm better than 80/20 on food--I'm probably 90/10, so screw it, I'm doing what I want."

                            The complicating factor is the diabetes. I am considering asking the doctor what he would think of adjusting medication so that I can have that rare bowl of oatmeal, or 1/2 c of brown rice, or cheat pizza slice, or banana or pear or what have you, etc. when the occasion called for it, without worrying about my blood sugar doing long-term damage. I'm 41--I'd like to live another 50 years, and I'd like to actually LIVE it.

                            So I had two conversations about it with the two people I trust the most to have my best interests at heart. Friend One says that I need to seek more guidance from my doctor about what is reasonable to expect of myself in terms of dietary restrictions, and to ask what he thinks is physically and mentally healthy, to follow his guidance, and if I can't eat much I can't eat much; suck it up, and so be it. Food doesn't mean much to Friend One; ideally, it merely fuels the body and mind; he lives on whey protein, chicken, and brown rice when he is mentally healthy, and pizza when he is not. Friend Two says that I have become obsessively puritanical and self-denying, that it is neither physically nor mentally healthy, that she's been reading the interwebs for me, and that I should accept that I need to go on insulin and eat what I want. Food means far more to her than it does to me--and I love food.

                            Neither of these responses satisfy me. I don't think there's an answer that will.

                            I need to lose a hundred pounds and make sure I have lots of healthy muscle so that perhaps I can live the way I want to, but at the moment this does not seem realistic. I am not happy.

                            On the bright side, I put half the remaining ham in the freezer and gave the rest to Friend One.

                            Exercise tomorrow will be shoveling snow, to begin with. We are socked in, and I have another snow day tomorrow.


                            • #15

                              Morning of 2/16 ramblings.

                              Happy to report that my weight this morning, after drinking copious amounts of water before bed, was back to (sigh) 265, so it seems the decision to give away the delicious salty ham after three days of indulgence was probably wise.

                              Upon reflection, Friend One's advice seems wise and balanced. I think the root of my trouble with his advice is that I am not, by nature, wise and balanced; I'm not knocking myself--just saying--rather than wise and balanced, I am bright and impulsive and emotional. Eh. I've thought about it enough for a while, just need to let my thoughts percolate.

                              I keep staring at the 10 inches of snow on the driveway and the 4 feet of icicles that need to be knocked off the gutters. There's my workout. Having a hard psyching myself up to it.

                              I think I'll keep reading "1984" for a couple hours first--somehow I created a huge Brit Lit gap in my education, and I'm trying to rectify it. It's a great book, but I'd be having more fun reading it if it were fiction...

                              This whole winter thing sucks. I want to train dogs!!!