Friday, 22 May 2015

My Habitat Home: Ugly

260 lbs
 As my husband and I did our mile long walk we had a conversation.  I said "I know I'm not ugly!"  I know it sounded a little vain perhaps but my husband needed to understand, I never thought of myself as ugly, I thought of the fat as ugly.

There are celebrities that can pull it off and be completely beautiful.  I am not in that category.  It takes a certain amount of confidence and self esteem to pull it off and I never could.

At 260 lbs, I never felt beautiful.  My husband would tell me that I am but when you look like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man, pulling off beautiful is hard to do.  This photo, in the white dress... I hated myself that day.  I took one look in the mirror, I never told my husband that I hated how I looked t.he day we were married.  I never told my husband how it upset me that there was no way he could carry me over the threshold.  I did not feel like a young blushing bride.  I felt like a cow.

Me at 21, 175 lbs.
My husband loved me at this weight and I did not.  I knew who I was before this weight and I wanted her back.  I just could not achieve that while my husband wanted to continue bringing in fast food.  It took a disease for my husband to understand that I can't live like that.

I think my husband liked me at this weight because he did not have to worry if men were hitting on me.  Clearly, men were not.  I think he has confidence issues of his own.

Me at 18
As I went to pick up my daughter at the foot of the hill, it began the cat calls.  I knew it would happen as I said, I never thought I was ugly.  I studied broadcast journalism and that requires a certain look for women.  It's wrong, men can look like trolls and women really cannot.  You will probably never see a 260 lb woman on tv.  Let's not even get into the very popular weatherman that had surgery. Understand that I admire that weatherman so, this isn't a jab at him.  This is a jab at the sexism that this position holds.   Have you seen a woman that big in that position?

When I was young, I worked really hard to fit that image.  At some time I gave up on me and I gave up fighting for the dietary choices that I knew were best for my family.  It is so hard to have to always fight your family for the choices that you know are the right ones for your family.

Don't even get me started on how I feel about the food choices my husband puts in his face.  We could completely change his "hereditary" high blood pressure around.  He would never have that though unless he were dying of cancer right now.

It doesn't matter that his heart is fighting to pump blood and oxygen in his body.  He will stay on this pill so he can eat what he wants, when he wants.  I love him and to be honest, that mindset scares the crap out of me because the end isn't an old age death.

Anyhow, as I was saying before my rant,  being overweight never felt good. I never felt pretty or healthy.  The smaller I get, the more I feel like me.  I never felt like me when I was really heavy.

The self esteem issue is exactly why fat shaming is stupid.  Overweight people fat shame themselves without you.  Obesity has a psychological effect that is a lot like anorexia or bulimia in the opposite direction.  It is all done due to self esteem.  You wouldn't anorexia shame an anorexic would you?  I mean you could make the condition worse.
Me currently 190 lbs

Obesity is like that.  You fat shame which causes depression, eat.   Happy, eat. Sad, eat. With friend, eat.  Obesity is an emotional issue.  Try instead to say "Do you want to go for a walk with me?" and don't give up when they say no.  Ask every day.  But do not tell anyone how fat they are.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

My Habitat Home: Today's Check Up

Vegan "chicken" fajita
10.9 that was my beginning A1C.  That's bad, real bad, off the charts bad.  So bad, I was placed on insulin and a pill.  I was about to be placed on a cholesterol pill at this appointment.

5.9 that's good, real good.  That's normal.  That was the result of my A1C today.

My Dr. entered the room with a few students.  She looked a little bit giddy.  She said, "I've never had a patient like Shirley before."  She went on to explain all my medical history.

The talk revolved around me not being medicated for cholesterol.  She said, "We are looking at reversing diabetes with a vegan diet."

There it is boys and girls.  Type 2 diabetes can be reversed.  Now, I am going to be completely honest... I do not eat crap food.  We saw The Avengers Age of Ultron at the theater and I drank water and five pieces of popcorn.  I eat huge plates of veggies and fruit is eaten at every meal.  I did not cut out potatoes or berries.  I eat the high GI fruits and veggies.  I do not eat meat or crap food.  My blood pressure was good but it has gotten even better.

Here is the game plan:  We need to hit a blood sugar of 70 to get off the last med. today, I hit 94.  In a matter of weeks this is going to be it with the diabetes meds.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

My Habitat Home: Food Elimination

My blood sugars were well over 200 when I started.
I saw a post that suggested that diabetics should not eat potatoes and should only eat berries and no other fruit.  Say what???  I eat potatoes and all fruit.  The highest my blood sugar has been in over a month is 120.  120 is my cut off, you know, before medical intervention.  Any more than 120 and I am in trouble.

FYI my sugar was high because I ate meat.  I have eaten potatoes and it did not bounce me.  In fact I had a 70 carb breakfast and it did not bounce me.  You do not want to cut out fruits and veggies they have nutrition that your body needs.

Instead, think about what you are putting in your face.  During my A1C we found I have diabetes and a fatty liver.  I had nothing else wrong with me at all.  Each person is different though.  You want to think about if you will gain weight or clog your arteries.

Not everyone needs to think of diabetes this way but a lot of people are cutting out real food unnecessarily.  Yes, to get your numbers down cut it out for a short time but once they are down and you can get off meds, eat a serving size (one small potato) and see what it does.

I got my numbers down by cutting out all breads and grains only eating fruit, veggies, nuts, and legumes.  When I was taken off the needle, I began incorporating oatmeal and a low carb tortilla shell because you need grain!  I mostly cut out meat but as you can see, my highest numbers are meat eating days.  In fact, I made sweet potato fries, way more than a serving, and I had low blood sugar.

Here is my challenge to anyone reading this blog, watch Forks over Knives on Netflix, think about what meals you make that do not have meat.  Think about eating real food that isn't ice cream and chips.  Challenge yourself to find meals you can easily make.  We are on a budget in my household and I have managed to afford a plant based diet.  This can be done.

Exercise... If you've never done it before, it will jump your numbers.  As you loose weight and gain muscle, it will have a reverse effect.  It lowers your sugar numbers.  When fat surrounds your muscle it does some sort of sugar thing.  When you exercise and build muscle, it crowds out the fat and the fat can't make sugar in your muscles any longer.

This is all stuff that I have researched heavily.  When I had almond flour pancakes with maple syrup (my 70 carb breakfast)  in two hours my sugar was 100.  It should have jumped really high.  It did not.  I called my health coach and she said it's reversing.

Don't be afraid to research your own body.  Don't take anyone's word that you can't change things and for God's sake! Don't be afraid to change your diet because you want gravy slathered, butter slathered, breaded meat.  If I listened to my doctor, who said it was unlikely I could reverse it, I would still feel like garbage.  Listen to yourself first.  When did we stop researching our body? When did we stop getting a second opinion?

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Happy at Homeschool: What About Socialization?

Let's just work on infuriating homeschoolers all over the world.  I went someplace where I mentioned that I homeschool.  Generally, I welcome questions but this is one of those questions that just rubs me in all the wrong ways.  What about socialization?  Really!  You're asking me if my kids are passing notes in class, whispering when they aren't supposed to, moving when they aren't supposed to playing with friends for only 30 minutes?  That's socialization? Really?

Because she is the show.
A two hour ice show couldn't
possibly have other people in it.
First let's settle all class issues such as note passing... I welcome that because that will go in a portfolio showing they write.  Moving during class, I welcome that too because you aren't supposed to sit on your bum for seven hours.  I welcome talking in the middle of class we have no behavior chart.  I do not shut off lights to get my kids to shut up.

My kids, that are homeschooled, are not bullied.  My kids, that are homeschooled, do not have to report to the office because they were bullied.  My kids, that are homeschooled, can learn naturally and don't have to be on a mad dash to learn before a test.

You know, because this was a
group event, it could be we were
the only people there.
For a second, let's pretend.  I keep my kids behind doors at all times.  They do nothing but stare at walls all day.  They are so bored  they can hardly contain themselves.  Wait,  I hope you don't really believe my kids or any homeschool kid is treated like that.

Sure, there are exceptions.  There are homeschool parents that abuse their children.  Funny, I was in public school living in domestic violence and I told an adult and no one did anything.  You can't blame domestic violence on homeschool just like you can't blame it on public school.  You can't stop psychotic parents you can help the children involved.

Because children don't hang out
What homeschool is actually like... We've done Girl Scouts, camping, going to the playground, ice skating, going out of our way to plan field trips for other homeschoolers, joining a co-op, bowling on and I I could go.

Because this is our own private
playground.  We are scared of
the public.
All of these things require specific behaviors and heaven forbid, play and socialization.  From now on, think before you speak.  Don't assume public school kids get to socialize because in comparison, they don't.  I've actually had to cut back on our activities because my daughter wanted public school.  There isn't enough time in the day to cart her to school have our fun and do what we want to do.

We trick or treat by ourselves
too. We never see other children
when we do this.
I'm quite relieved she will be homeschooled next year.  We can get back to doing a lot more of that socialization that homeschoolers apparently don't do according to the opinion of some.

And certainly, we never ever expose ourselves to learning opportunities with children just like us at the local news station.  I mean that involves socialization!  Why would an unsocialized homeschooler EVER do that?

 I'm hoping that you now see how silly it is to make the assumption that the kids aren't socialized. Honestly, every homeschool parent I know makes the effort to not sit back and do nothing.  We put a lot of effort and planning into what we do.  It isn't a mindless event.  You need a few extra brain cells to homeschool.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

My Habitat Home: So Busy!

First, I'm going to address diabetes and weight.  I went from 260 lbs, at the time of my dr. visit 240lbs, to being 192 lbs. so I have lost almost 70 lbs.  Wow!  I have been taken off insulin and am only taking one medication that is a pill for diabetes.  I walk or exercise three times a day.

My daughter is an ice skater so we were spending a few weekends doing practice and I am a hop, skip, and a jump to skating on my own without showing the wall massive amounts of affection.

We have been going to the park frequently.  This has been helping me out a great deal as far as weight loss goes and it helps  keep my sugar in check.

And then, we had our very first camping trip as a family.  I would like to say we are done being busy but that isn't the case at all.  I now have portfolios for homeschool to finish, a garden to weed, a garden to plant, an A1C to test my blood sugar once more, and I'm certain there is more stuff going on I just can't think of it all.

Other things I've been up to is making a lot of meals for my family to reduce food waste and for quick and easy meals.  Soon maybe I'll post a few recipes.  In a nutshell, This is all I have to say for now.

Friday, 13 March 2015

My Habitat Home: The Signs

 I've just about always had long beautiful hair.  This isn't a vanity thing, I just really love my hair.  It's one of the few things I've always loved about myself.  Imagine my horror to find it was thinning.  That was my first sign but I really did not think it was health related.  I just thought, 'Well, you're getting older.  These things happen.'

Then, I started to wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and I was always so tired I could barely homeschool my boys.  That's pretty much the end of the line for me.

At that point I scheduled the appointment and was diagnosed with diabetes.  I went back to being a vegan.  My original weight, the first time I went vegan was 260 lbs.  I had gotten down to 220lbs.  I want to make clear that weight took a long time to come back and only 20 lbs came back.  So, I lost 60 lbs, gained 20 of it back, and lost that 20.

Before, my diet had quite a bit of breads and I had not eliminated oil.  I do eat nuts, flax, and avocados.  Oils that I have eliminated do not happen in nature, man made them that way.   I  pretty much stopped eating sugar after the first round except on birthdays bread is now the problem because it turns into sugar.

I have been taking b12, plant based omega-3, and a multi-vitamin. (I haven't eaten fish since 14 because I am allergic so I was probably deficient).  The result of all this, my blood sugar has dropped drastically, I am now 218 and my clothes are falling off of me.  My hair is coming back in.  I need to say that I have not eliminated the sugar in fruit.  Fruit is so important for the vitamins and nutrients and with normal sugar levels, carbs.

My husband purchased Forks Over Knives cookbook for me.  I've gotta say, I love it!  I can't even tell you how many vegetarian books I own and they all add egg and well, I'm allergic to egg.  Forks Over Knives has no animal product at all and that is fantastic!

On to my own creation... I am a cheesecake addict.  It's hard to say no to cheesecake.  I truly love Toffuti cream cheese.  What you do is grab two tablespoons of  powdered Stevia add a little milk of your choice.  I use Silk Coconut milk because it has fewer carbs compared to others I have looked at.  Add a little vanilla and mix into the Tofutti.  I cored some strawberries and even my husband and kids loved it!

You can also make a ground nut and date crust to make a full cheesecake.

Friday, 27 February 2015

My Habitat Home: Fighting Me Fighting Heredity

My great grandparents all had diabetes, my grandparents all had diabetes, my parents had/ have diabetes, I have diabetes.  I know what you're going to say, "Stop eating those cakes!"

Easier said than done when you have been overweight your entire life and part of it was because you were not taught healthy food choices.

It then becomes psychological.  People say mean things to you, you eat.  Happy, you eat.  Watch a movie, eat.  Food becomes comforting even though the damage it does takes a toll.

You grow up, lose most of the "baby weight", get married to a man that loves garbage food and forget loosing that weight.

There are so many branches to this tree and I feel like I get lost in it.  I have been fighting myself for the past two weeks.

I've gone vegan once more.  My cholesterol is high and my sugars were high.  I've brought my sugar down with a low carb, oil free, vegan diet.  I will be taken off insulin soon, my numbers are that good.  I have a little more work to do before I begin lowering my dose.

It's expected that my cholesterol will follow suit.   The cholesterol is actually more serious than the diabetes.  I think I was on a road that leads to a heart attack or stroke.  I've lost 15 lbs in two weeks.  I can't give up my diet this time.  Now, it's life and death and 40 is too young to leave my babies without a mom and my husband a widower.

My husband has finally gotten it through his thick head that I don't need the pop, pizza, garbage in the house.

Other news, I'm wishing the snow would melt for good so I can garden.  I've been so consumed with all this I haven't even thought much about growing food.   I need to think about it more than ever.  I do know I need straw bales, especially if I want to avoid the neighbor's dog from pooing on our food.