I was supposed to write this story last week, but time got away from me. I have a lot on the go, and sometimes I have to decide what to prioritize. I am going to try and catch you all up on what has been going on.
I have made some changes recently, in the hopes of improving my health.
I have all but eliminated pop from my beverage list. I will still allow it from time to time, but Roy started this a little while ago, and I am supporting him. Even though Zevia is on the plan. I will still have pop with pizza, and sometimes at home, but we have reduced our intake. He has lost some weight. I have had improvements in my blood sugars, with this and paying more attention to what I am eating and remembering to take my medicine. Little changes add up to big results. My 3-month average was starting to creep up to a bad number. It was 9.6; 6 months ago. The doctors want is under 7. I am happy to say that the latest bloodwork had it down to 8.8. Yes, it is not where we want it to be, but my doctor was so impressed that she said not to worry too much about that awfully high number you see in the cover pic. It was my weight not that long ago.
I was participating in a 10 day, 30 photo challenge online when I took it. The camera did add 2 pounds ( really, it did). I took to my Facebook wall and asked what colour should I choose ambiguously for the challenge that day. Hot pink or Legendary Red. Hot Pink won by a landslide. I painted my toenails in pink, dug up the feather boa, and stepped onto the scale for a pic. I knew it was really hard to do, and sharing it was brave. I was scared, but for me and my journey, I needed to share this pic.
It will soon be amongst the 29 + other pics I took over those 10 days in an album or graphic soon. I want to have them all together, to show others what I am capable of. Take note of that ending of the last sentence. to show others WHAT I AM CAPABLE OF! I am learning more about myself and what I can do every day!
My weight is a concern to me. It is the highest I have ever been to, and I know I need it to change. With that in mind, I decided to reach out to a Health Coach, who was recommended by my Diabetes Case manager. I had a few things to check out for our first appointment.
I have taken on the Wellness Wednesday Project (WWP) as the Ambassador. I am trying to help people at work with contests, prizes and information. My boss offered this as something I could do when I asked him if I could write a blog for our workplace. I was going to be at work early in the morning for a couple of months, and I thought writing would be something I could do at that time. I cannot access my book online to work on it, there is only wi-fi in the mall, not in the call centre I work at. I am not able to work on it there, unless it is old school, pen and paper, on my own time. When I am not working on WWP, I do take the paper copy of my book in and edit or write stories for the Kit Sora Flash Fiction with Engen Books. In the last one I entered, I placed second with my story. I placed third recently in another one. They are fun, and I am glad I can enter them.
Rabbit hole. Sorry, I get distracted sometimes.
There is a point, though. 😉
I was researching the Health Coach idea in light of my own need, asking about options for a friend, and checking on what might be available for work. There are workshops, and that may be something that happens in the future. For now, I have some information and I am working on my own goals with her. I am able to meet with her for appointments and we are working on my sleep habits, first. I am not able to change them yet, but I am conscious of what I am doing that delays bedtime on work nights, and I am trying to do better. We are now lowering the goal from 5 nights a week to 2 nights a week, to see if I can find ways to sleep longer. 5 or 6 hours a night is barely enough to be able to function. I am managing, but not feeling like my best when I am following this sleep-deprived schedule.
In talking with her at my appointments, we decided that sleep is important enough as a foundation for achieving my goals that it should be the right goal to start with. I need to put a little more importance in my health and sleep patterns to live a healthier lifestyle. It will trickle into other areas, and I will have the energy for things that I want to do but am too tired to do.
Something I realized is that I am putting a lot of things in the way of going to bed, and I need to treat myself to the same level of importance by getting enough sleep every night. I am working on it.
Even though the scale is not being nice to me right now, I am making progress in my blood sugars, which is very important for a diabetic. Once I start getting the right amount of sleep, the scale will be nicer. I just know it.
The other thing I have done was start a weight loss support group tied in with #Tishspiration. I am trying to hold myself accountable. I am working with a small group to help them and myself, to stay motivated. I am getting great feedback, which helps me to know I am on the right track. It is good to have a place where friends are in the same boat with you, or as I shared in a gif, all kittens in the same roller coaster ride. Since it is a small group and kept secret, the people in it feel safe sharing what is going on. I am finding their stories inspirational to me. It is a place to share our journey, and I do think it is going to help us all, in one way or another.
Like I wrote at the start, I am very busy these days. I am enjoying it as long as that is still a side effect, I will keep on keeping on!
This week’s Trust Your Gut is inspired by a recent challenge I participated in for 5 days. It was a Hydration Challenge. I shared a bit about it on my Facebook wall, which created quite a lot of comments. I shut down on commenting about it after it upset me about how vocally people were protesting how much water I was trying to drink to improve my health. For me, it felt like I was trying to do something healthy, and I was under attack. That is where the title is inspired by. #Watergate.
First of all, it brought to my attention how many people out there care about me, and are following my journey. Some of the people that commented rarely interact with me on a regular basis, but were alarmed at the goal I set for myself. I do appreciate all of the support I get with my online adventures, but I needed to take a step back to realize that people were not scolding me for doing something wrong, they were genuinely expressing their concern for my health.
My calculations were that I should e drinking 5 Litres of water a day to lose weight. I started working towards this goal right away. I actually never made it to the 5 Litres in one day. On the day of Relay for Life, it was hot, humid and I was participating in the Zumba on stage under the lights. On that day, I reached 4 Litres, and I was properly hydrated for the event. I was able to participate in the Zumba on stage, with no issues. I do believe that on that day, I needed the extra hydration. There were extraordinary circumstances.
Photo of a wave splashing in the Atlantic Ocean. Location Chimney Corner, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. Photographer Lisa Hill.
I took the concerns seriously and promised to check with medical professionals.
A person can drink too much water. The speed and volume of drinking water are factors in this being an issue. I am not drinking large volumes of water quickly, even on a Zumba day. My water bottle contains 750ml and I drink 2 of those in a Zumba class. One is mixed with a scoop of Biosteel, a sugar-free electrolyte booster. It’s like sugar-free Powerade or Gatorade. I drink it when I am working out, or feeling like I need an electrolyte boost. I buy it at GNC.
So on a Zumba day, I drink 1.5 Litres of water, but half of it is an electrolyte boosting drink. So the theory of too much water throwing my electrolytes off balance is not a concern when I am following this plan. I shared that I drink 3 cups of coffee a day, 3 Kcups in 4 runs on the Keurig. 3 full strength and one run through the second time. A litre of coffee a day. Coffee is a diuretic. I need more water to balance it. I drink 500 ml of water a day with my thyroid pill, as a requirement. I then drink my coffee. I then drink a 750 ml water jug. Sometimes more, and sometimes less.
Your diet can also contribute to the volume of water you are ingesting on a daily basis. Certain foods contain a higher percentage of water than others. It is also important to keep this in mind if you are eating a healthy balanced diet.
I sent an email about this to my diabetes case manager. I have not had a response. I did, however, ask my doctor about this.
My doctor advised that I should drink 2.5 litres, and that would be a healthy amount. Half of what I was aiming for. The good news is, it is a more realistic and therefore more achievable goal.
I do want to thank the people that expressed their concern. I am still working on drinking more water, as since the challenge I slacked off a bit because of the concern people expressed. I do make mistakes, and I can be wrong. It is what makes me human like everyone else. I appreciate my friends. Thanks for making me research #Watergate.
In Trust Your Gut this week, I’m writing because Something Has Changed! The Shrinker is working! The Shrinker must be working! I am not talking about the scale and the pounds here. I am talking about my metabolism. I feel real hunger again. It can mean different things. My activity level has not increased dramatically. I have started drinking the Shrinker to boost my metabolism. I am choosing to believe that it is what is happening. The only other option is that I am not eating enough. I can’t say I am totally convinced one way or the other on this. I do eat 3 meals a day. I have snacks. I don’t think that is the answer. Which leaves the possibility of the combination of foods I am eating as wrong. I am open to that also.
*Note* My apologies for being so late with this blog post this week. I was having a hard time collecting my thoughts, but I figured it out!
I’ve been eating fewer carbs and more protein. I cannot eliminate carbs completely. I start losing control of my hunger and my sugars when I do that. That is something that makes THM different from protein-based diets like Atkins. I need the balance. I learned today that Keto may be similar to THM. I might look further into that.
I plan some prep cooking on Sunday. It is the best way for me to stay on the plan. It is hard work to live a healthier lifestyle, and that is why it is hard to keep myself motivated. All I can do is my best when I feel up to it, and the rest will fall into place.
Now I am asking myself, what step should be next in my journey? THM experts say to start with one thing, and when you master that one thing, build upon it. I am having such success with the Shrinker, it is time I got serious about my beverages. I am not giving up wine. I am having WAY too much fun learning about different wines, and searching for “the one.” I drink my coffee black, and I also have a lot of fun reviewing the coffees that I try. I am going to go back to the THM basics for this one. I am talking about Good Girl Moonshine, aka GGMS.
With the Shrinker, the oolong tea, cinnamon and cayenne pepper are working together to increase my metabolism. Since I seem to be hungrier more frequently, I can assume that the fuel I am putting into my body is being burned up more quickly. That is what I am hoping is happening. The GGMS has a different recipe, and therefore a different method to how it works.
GGMS in its basic recipe, is water ginger, apple cider vinegar, and optional sweetener of choice. I use Swerve. It is Erythritol, and it does not leave an aftertaste in your mouth. It does leave a cooling sensation, which is different, but not unpleasant. I notice it more when I bake with it, rather than when I put it into my beverages.
People use a variety of different additions to the basic GGMS recipe, to make it their own. My own personal favourite is the Black Cherry Berry Celestial Seasonings tea. I add 4 tea bags to every batch, which is about 1 tea bag for every 500ML of GGMS. That was all I needed to make this beverage tasty.
Apple cider vinegar can have an effect on your teeth. It can weaken your enamel. I have talked to my dentist about it, and as long as I am using a straw, which THM recommends as well as a glass drinking container. It is also important to have water after, to make sure your mouth is rinsed out. You can brush your teeth after rinsing with water if you are really concerned about the enamel on your teeth. I don’t always brush, but I do rinse with water (which most of us do not drink enough of anyway) and because it is supposed to be helpful to losing weight, I don’t spit it out, I drink the water. I am just adding to the benefits this way.
You can find the Shrinker and the GGMS recipes on the Trim Healthy Mama Website, under the Recipes page. Check it out! I can honestly say that I know I feel better, and I start the scale going in the right direction when I am following the plan. If you are more curious, I recommend their books as well. They have several out now, and that includes recipe books. One thing I have yet to try in my healthier lifestyle is to make a recipe that includes okra. That is something I plan to figure out when I get a chance. Trying new foods is an adventure, and I love spaghetti squash, so I’m up for trying new foods on occasion. Sometimes I am surprised, and I like them. Do you eat okra? Do you have any tips for me? Leave a comment below, and it may help me get over the nerves of trying a new food.
Trust Your Gut is Starting Fresh this week! As you might know, if you read my Blog post yesterday, I had a bit of bad news, and I was struggling to deal with it. I was upset and had my moments to deal with it, and like I wrote yesterday, I focused on the good things in my life, rather than dwelling on the bad news. I am happy to say that it worked. Did it ever!
The old me would have dwelled in the negativity. The old me would have scrounged the house for junk food or anything that remotely resembled junk food. The old me would have wallowed in a pity party for one, and she might not have even let a new day snap her out of it.
With that one story yesterday, I changed my attitude. I had 4 pounds of ground beef in the fridge, and a whole chicken, all ready to cook. When I am trying to do better, I plan to cook, and sometimes the food spoils before I get to it. I decided yesterday was going to be a cooking day.
Roy, my husband, does not always like to eat on plan with me when I am making healthy food. It is challenging, as sometimes I have to cook different things. Sometimes we compromise, like when I make spaghetti sauce, he has regular pasta, and I now prefer spaghetti squash. I really do, because I do not get sleepy like I do after eating regular pasta. I like eating food that is healthy and tastes good. Trim Healthy Mama, or THM, is a plan that has an abundance of recipes for making healthy food that tastes good.
I am still drinking the Shrinker 5 days a week. I need to make some GGMS for the weekend. I need to have something other than pop to drink. I like the Shrinker. The last batch I made did not get consumed quickly enough. I have a glass pitcher with a spout to make it in. That is another plan for the weekend. If it is easily accessible, I am more likely to drink it. I have shared the recipes before, and the originals can be found at the THM website, under the recipes tab. There are also quite a few food Bloggers for THM, and Pinterest is loaded with THM recipes.
I cooked all of that meat last night. I took my disappointment, frustration, and discouragement, and turned into something productive. I cooked 1 pound of the beef and made Hamburger Helper for Roy. He had that last night for supper and today for lunch. I cooked the other 3 pounds together. I cooked it with a package of onion soup mix. (So good!) I scooped about a pound and set it aside for Big Mac Salad. I took the remaining 2 pounds and made Cheeseburger Pie. Before I started this, I used my favourite rub to get the chicken in the slow cooker. You can find it here. Tonight, we will be eating chicken for supper. It is ready to go! Roy will probably make a chicken sandwich for work tomorrow.
I have leftovers to heat and eat, for the next few days. I am proud that I did something productive last night. I needed to distract myself, and I did just that. Most of what I made is on plan too, with a few compromises for Roy to have something to eat as well. All in all, I think I am on my way to snapping out of the winter blues as a result of it. It is lighter in the morning and the evening, and it is making a difference in how I feel. Bring on Spring! This is why I called this week’s story a Fresh Start! I am ready to get things going in the right direction again!
Trust Your Gut this week is going to focus a little on Type 2 Diabetes. Sometimes, I don’t feel well. When that happens, I take a guess at what is going on.
Let’s take today, for an example. I stayed a little later after work to run to the grocery store and to get some wine. Then I got a ride home. I shovelled the driveway, steps and walkway. There wasn’t a lot of snow, it wasn’t heavy, and it wasn’t too cold or windy. Half an hour later, I come inside. I take off my layers and am I glistening. Yay me for doing some exercise. Then I noticed that I was perspiring from my scalp.
That is not good. I had a reason, but from my scalp usually means a low. So I was going to treat it, but I thought, well I should know how low it is so I know how to treat it.
It is a good thing that I Trust My Gut. I wasn’t having a low, my blood sugar was high! I was surprised and glad that I checked. I knew I didn’t feel confused. I wasn’t weak, or faint. I was a little out of breath from exercising with the snow and shovel.
The lesson this week is that it is ALWAYS better to check first. I could have been adding to the problem, instead of solving it. I did have carbs at lunch, and that was what was going on. So it makes sense, even though I thought that it was the opposite. I had been exercising, and I was overdressed, so I was really warm.
Tonight I am going to make burgers. I am craving burgers, and this way I can control what I am eating. There is no extra junk in a burger if you make it at home, just a tasty meal that helps to avoid the lazy route of getting fast food. Now don’t get me wrong, I am still working on the plan, but sometimes it is good to have a regular meal. I got some buns, and cheese slices. I haven’t made homemade burgers in a while. I also grabbed frozen fish burgers last week, and I will keep 2 buns for the last 2 fish burgers. Just to have something different to eat.
Cheeseburger pie and Big Mac Salad will always be in my meal rotation, now. I have decided to make taco salad for SuperBowl Sunday. We ate chili last week, and I suspect the Nacho Queen (yours truly) will make some nachos over the weekend. I love to have a plate of nachos as a meal. When I don’t know what I want, there had better be nachos I can make. I am eating the blue corn nacho chips these days, sometimes even the organic ones if they are on sale. They are great with an avocado dip I get as a treat sometimes. I go on kicks and eat them every other day sometimes, and other times I go a month or two without them. When I have all the ingredients, it is an easy, filling meal to make.
Well, I am off to make supper, Roy will be home soon. I want to get ahead of the prep cooking someday and get some cheeseburger pie in the freezer. It is a really good idea to have it ready for that next burger craving when you don’t want to go off the plan…