Friday, December 9, 2011
So I have found a magical formula, a balance of what I take in and what I do that helps me:
1) Feel healthy
2) Be productive
3) Slowly but consistently lose weight
Of course these are not conclusive results because I have only been at it for three weeks, but here it is:
1) No wheat or dairy
2) Limited concentrated sugars (I have a weakness for dark chocolate, and for honey, but I indulge within reason)
3) Limited starch
4) No caffeine at all (not even decaf coffee)
5) Thyroid medicine (T3 + T4)
6) Adrenal support herbs (licorice, et al)
7) Cortisol Manager*
8) No strenuous exercise **
*At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, this supplement has changed my life. It helps me switch off at night, but it isn't a heavy, dopey feeling. I can get up in the middle of the night to help the kids if I need to, and then I can come back to bed and go right back to sleep. Basically I feel like this is undoing the harmful parts of what happened to my sleep when I had tiny babies. I don't wake up in a panic at 2am anymore, but if I set my alarm for 5am or 6am to get up a little early, I can. And if I want to sleep until 7am or 8am, I can do that too. I feel like it's my choice how I sleep, rather than a game of roulette. And with so much good sleep, I wake up rested. I haven't been through that exhausted-yet-wide-awake torture since I started taking it.
**I know, right?? I found out the other week that when your adrenaline/cortisol situation is all whackadoo like mine is, strenuous exercise actually makes things worse -- it triggers a cortisol response, which then locks down your fat and doesn't allow your body to burn it (because the body thinks I am running from saber-tooth tigers, so it has to hold onto that fat because who knows when I will get to eat again, with all that running). Who knew, right?? It does explain why my efforts at losing weight for a wedding last year were completely unsuccessful, and why I lost five pounds over Christmas last year when I gave up exercising for a few weeks. I never put it together, though, because who would ever think that exercising less would help me burn fat?
I am actually used to the eating plan at this point, and while occasionally I have to have a "gluten free" version of an old favorite, for the most part I don't even miss bread or cake, etc. I find that I am eating a *lot* of protein... like, a *LOT* of protein. I actually feel a little guilty about it because it's such a Western thing to do, but it works? I ate two tilapia filets today for a midmorning snack, which is about 40g of protein. Wow. But it was good. I am a huge fan of fish these days.
A great advantage to the new eating plan is that when you are not eating grains at all, it can actually be challenging to get all your calories for the day. So a few times a day I will just wantonly drizzle extra-virgin olive oil on whatever I am eating, and man, I love that. I would so much rather have olive oil than bread. In fact, that's a weird development (which perhaps I commented on earlier?) -- wheat and flour seem gross to me now, like eating glue or paste. Instead I spend a lot of time craving grilled fish and zucchini, and curry. Oh, curry. I want curry all the time. The exception to these healthy-cravings is when I am very stressed. Then, I still want sweet squishy cakes and mac 'n' cheese. But the cravings pass quickly enough, and I can still hunker down on a bar of dark chocolate should the need arise.
The weight loss so far has not been shocking in itself -- just a few pounds -- but the shocking part of it for me is that it has been steady, and it has continued at its normal pace in spite of Thanksgiving. Weird, right? I will happily accept weight loss of only a half pound a week, when it keeps marching on. At this rate I'll be at my goal in a year. Since I had Norah, I haven't been able to steadily lose weight on any plan at all, and I think taking the slow road is the way to go.
So that's where I am right now -- oh, that, and neck-deep in essays to grade, catching up from a week of no childcare. It's still within possibility, though. Again, slow and steady wins the race.
(On a side note, are happy blog posts boring?? Where is the angst that drives my writing??!? I will have to dig deeper, I suppose. :D )