Sunday, 24 February 2013

Where I am at...

pic of me taken at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket
23rd Feb, 2013
Many of you know I have been eating gluten again for a while, now, & once I have had some blood tests which my lovely doctor has ordered but which I haven't "got around to doing, yet" I will return to a gluten free diet once more.

Why? Because I need to make some changes in my life!

For one thing, I am feeling so tired, and yet I am not sleeping well - or rather, I am not sleeping when I should! I go to bed, do all the things which are supposed to be "cues to sleep" but then I either toss & turn for hours or I do other things in order to distract myself from tossing & turning... Things like watching TV, going online, reading... the usual!

I am also having far more headaches than I did when I was avoiding gluten... I don't think either of these things are a coincidence, as I noticed a decrease in my headaches the first time I switched to a wheat-free diet back in 2010. I know that making the switch again will make a difference to my overall health.

I've had a really rough couple of years which takes it's toll on not only my mental & emotional health, but my overall immune system. It's been shown time & again, during studies, that the physical, spiritual & mental states of people have a close correlation. Well, apart from numerous minor ailments over the last couple of years, I've had 2 sinus infections in the last 6 months. I have suffered depression, & gone through a period where my only contact with the church I love has been the home group I attend every other Wednesday, which I make it to most of the time - except when I am not well... see above!

Then there's the fact that I do actually want to get healthier & lose weight, but right now I simply don't have the energy. I've noticed  that I don't have the mental energy, either, especially at the end of the day, when I am making choices about what to do & how to eat in my free time.

I know I need to lose weight as I am officially classified as obese. This means my knees & joints are under added pressure from the extra weight they are bearing. I recently saw an episode of "Embarrassing Bodies" which was about weight-related problems. The handsome, & very buff, Dr Christian has only 7% body fat... so he certainly did not suffer from excess weight! (In fact if anything his body fat is considered too little to be truly healthy). Dr Christian donned a body suit which added both size & weight to his frame, & carried out a series of tests which he'd previously performed at his regular weight & fitness level. I initially thought that the tests would not be that difficult even though he had the extra weight, because of his fitness & strength, but to my surprise he had difficulty walking any great distance without becoming breathless due to both the effort & impact on his joints which the added weight caused. This was an eye-opener.
Me (left) with Janine
23rd Feb, 2013
I've also been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome (PCOS). Additional weight is both a cause & an effect of PCOS. Weight adds to the body's inability to absorb insulin & insulin resistance adds to the bodies cravings for food & to the inability to lose weight. I am in a difficult starting place, and even my doctor has said it's going to be "very, very, very difficult" to get started, but she also said a little weight loss will make a huge difference to the condition & that once I start losing weight it will become easier. I am trying to cut out refined sugar, although I do still have cravings which result in me having slip ups in my good intentions.

Being insulin resistant also means I am predisposed to developing type 2 diabetes, which is something I do not want! I have read a lot about insulin resistance which is pretty much what type 2 diabetes is caused by & it can definitely be eased, if not completely reversed by losing weight. Diet is important in this, so I do most definitely need to make changes in my diet. I also want to exercise to improve my chances of both losing weight & getting fitter & more able to keep up with the demands of my job & life!

To sum it all up in a word, I am feeling "sluggish".

It's clear to me that I need to kick start some changes in my life. Poor immune system, lack of energy, lots of headaches, sleep problems, lack of motivation, difficulty organising myself, even poor memory compared to my previous abilities, have made me feel that I am far from being who I really want to be & I want to get back to being that person!!

I have done several things in the past which have helped. Losing weight is obviously an important thing I need to do. My health would benefit hugely, & we all know that losing weight means gaining energy, so, I am currently reading this book, "The Ultimate Detox" by Dr Sandra Cabot & Margaret Jasinska ND. It's subtitle is "2-Week Deep Cleansing Diet" it's described as a way to "restore your health & lose weight". My sister, Leigh, has recently done this cleansing diet & she feels more energised, is thinking more clearly, is sleeping well, & has lost weight. Of course she was nowhere near as heavy as I am when she started, but she feels so much better that I figure I will definitely see a difference. I've done cleansing diets before & felt healthier & stronger & more able to think clearly, & slept better, as well as lost weight as a result! What I really need to do to get started is be more organised each day so I don't grab the nearest snack or most tempting food available. I also need to get my head into a place where I can follow through on my good intentions.
The Ultimate Detox, which I am currently reading.
So, I am preparing at the moment - a) by reading the book & b) by purchasing some dietary items which will support me on this journey. I want to start in about a week when I will not be working (as the family I work for are in Hong Kong) & so be in a better position to cope with expected initial side-effects such as headaches, stomach discomfort, possible constipation, diarrhoea or nausea, aching, feeling like I'm coming down with something, or other possible symptoms of my liver & lymphatic system clearing out the toxins I've been gathering by my sedentary & indulgent lifestyle... It might not be pretty, but it will be worth while!

I will, of course keep my blog updated... and I might just pop in here to reread this post from time to time in order to prop up my determination to follow through on this course of action!


  1. It might surprise you to note I'm insulin resistant too. I was diagnosed 10 years ago... that first year was miserable to me. Cavings, temper tantrums, depression - I did not want to change my lifestyle.

    10 years later I'm over most of that, the cravings only linger when I'm "bad" for a lengthy amount of time. I eat well and exercise as much as I can!
    Sugar Busters is a good basic book to read to get used to the idea of simple carbs and sugars = problem. Then go from there... try to be careful of the fad diets. Feed your body, don't starve it.

  2. Wow! TK, I would never have considered you a candidate for insulin resistance... I am amazed & in awe of your ability to control your diet! You are so gorgeous & have such a slim figure! I relate to everything you mention as being miserable in that first year after diagnosis, & I have also had these, although there have been other contributing factors in my case. I plan to keep well informed & this cleanse I will start with is not one of the fads, it's by a well-regarded dietitian & a doctor who specialises in food as medicine concepts of diet. I will continue to read, try new recipes & work at improving my stamina, too... thank you so much for your support & for sharing your own experience! I really treasure the fact that you share this with me & that I know you're in my corner!