Continuing My Cure!

Beginning My Journey of IF (Intermittent Fasting)


An image of candy in a bowl
An image of candy in a bowl

I began this journey on Sunday, December 11, 2017.  A couple of weeks before that I had one of my few bouts with depression when it hit me that my daughter and her family, including my two precious and adorable grandsons, had only six more weeks until they moved out of the US to Papua New Guinea as Wycliffe Bible Translators.  It will be over two years before I see them in person again.  That was so depressing that I did what I usually do for comfort – eat!  I ate half a bag of MM’s which tasted great and made me feel better until I tested my BGLs (blood glucose levels).  It was into the 500’s which was a wake up call.  I immediately got online and read about high blood sugars (hyperglycemia) and it really scared me.

I was so mad at myself that I would do this.  I realized if I didn’t get my blood glucose levels under control, I may not be here when they do get back in two years.  I made up my mind right then that I would change and do something about this – get my sugars under control and also my weight.  Even thought I had been eating much better during 2016 and had lost 30 pounds, I had gained 6 back and I was still morbidly obese – my BMI was over 40 and I was stuck in a wheelchair because of my weight, back pain and deconditioned body.

Luckily my blood pressure was okay, and my heart was ok as far as I and my cardiologist knew.  I wanted to keep losing weight, along with getting my blood glucose levels under tight control.  My daughter had never knew me thin and in shape (I became overweight during my pregnancy).  I want to be thin and healthier and hopefully out of this wheelchair when my kids return on furlough in two years.

I determined to be more strict with my diet and start my water aerobics again in 2017 since I have access to an indoor pool year round.  I began to research and read more about controlling diabetes and losing weight.  Then I ran across an article on Dr. Jason Fung and his book “The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended”.  I downloaded the book to my iPad and read it.  He described helping his patients actually cure their diabetes through intermittent fasting (IF).  Many had lost weight and got off all of their medications in a few months.  I was definitely intrigued by this and his research.  He described his experience with intermittent fasting and that of some of his patients.  He also compared IF to bariatric surgery.

My previous diabetes doc had encouraged me to consider bariatric surgery; however I have a bone marrow problem in which I produce too many platelets and abnormal ones at that.  This make me a clotting and stroke risk.  I had actually had a stroke after a previous elective surgery to repair a large hernia, and while I was fortunate that I did not have a lot of lasting damage, I had decided to not plan on having any more elective surgeries.

So when Dr. Fung said this about fasting:

“If you do not feel well for any reason, you simply stop fasting.  It is entirely reversible within minutes.  If you wish to stop fasting for several weeks for personal or medical reasons, then you may do so. If you want to indulge during the Christmas holidays or during a summer cruise, you can do that as well.  Simply get back on the program once you are finished. 
Compare this to bariatric surgery (sometimes called “stomach stapling”).  It has helped many people lose a lot of weight, at least in the short term.  But this surgery has tons of complications, almost all of which are irreversible.  And you cannot simple reverse the surgery itself.  It’s permanent.  if you are doing poorly, that’s simply too bad.  Fasting, on the other hand is completely within your control; you may fast or stop fasting anytime you wish.”

So fasting is basically like bariatric surgery
without the surgery!

I have had friends to have bariatric surgery and they had some serious complications requiring additional surgeries.  I definitely did not want to chance this.

After reading Dr. Fung’s book, I did more research on intermittent fasting, finding lots of resources and downloaded and read another book on IF.

“Intermittent Fasting – Yes to Carvings! Lose Weight, Gain Muscles & Get Lean the Easy and Enjoyable Way”

An image with graphic text Facebook
An image with graphic text Facebook

Then I looked into support groups on FaceBook and found the “Wefast Intermittent Fasting Community “which is a closed group, but I asked to join and was quickly allowed to join the group.  I read the various discussions and began to learn more about IF and then began asking some questions myself.  Everyone was very helpful and of course knew much more than I did about fasting.

I started my version of IF on a Sunday and tried some fasts of 12-18 hours and lo and behold I realized I could do this and not be ravenous during the fasting period.  I would fast from dinner to lunch the next day with no problem.  I continued to read more about IF and ask additional questions.

I especially had questions about how much of my insulins, both short and long acting, I needed to take.  I would talk with my regular physician about this but I don’t see him until January 13, 2017.  One of the members of the fasting community was a doctor himself and he began to take me under his wing and suggest what I should do about my medications.  Doc Manny (Dr. Manuel Lam)  even made up a schedule of fast/non-fasting days for me to follow.  Dr. Lam has become my FaceBook friend and is helping me with lots of my questions about what to eat and how to keep my blood glucose levels from dropping too low.  I’m so thankful to have his help.

My BGLs stayed pretty high at the beginning, but now they are coming down except for my usual morning highs.  I even broke a fast yesterday for my sister’s and I to have our annual “holiday sister’s luncheon”.  We traveled to a great restaurant at a vineyard (Wiederkehr’s Weinkeller Restaurant) and had a wonderful meal together.  Then I went back to fasting.  I must admit last evening I did have a couple of moments of slight cravings, but I drank some bone broth and ate a spoonful of coconut oil twice and I’m back to no hunger today.  I will fast today and tomorrow be back to eating low carb, whole food.

Today is day 11 of my IF journey and I’ve had several fasts and am moving to alternate day fasting.  I weighed 260 on December 11 and today I weigh 252.8., that’s 7.2 pounds.  I’m excited about this and encouraged to keep this up.  I still have a long way to go, but now there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.

Comments

Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.

– Shirley

 

Curing My Diabetes!

Will this Cure Me?


An image of a woman walking dogs
An image of a woman walking dogs

This week I decided to cure my diabetes.  This disease has disrupted my life over and over and I have suffered lots of pain, frustration and even fear over the years.  Plus treating it has been pretty expensive both money wise and time wise.  I discovered a book by Dr. Jason Fung titled “The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended“.  Dr. Fung claims that intermittent fasting (IF) has healed many of his patients.  I read this book and the testimonials of many of the patients who lost weight and got off all their diabetic meds and normalized their blood sugars.  It was very encouraging and I decided that I wanted to try this approach myself.  The one statement in Dr. Fung’s book that made up my mind is that

 

“…fasting is just like bariatric surgery without the surgery”

Continue reading “Curing My Diabetes!”

My weight loss journey continues

It’s all about Food


image of fresh, gluten-free sald
A fresh, gluten-free salad

Well, its been a while since I’ve blogged my journey.  As I continue eating the “whole30” way, and researching this way of eating (WOE), I am more and more in favor of this WOE.

I’ve managed to keep to my 26 pound weight loss (gaining back around 4 pounds from my high of 30 lost), even during the stress of selling my home and moving to a new home in a new town.  Although the stress of living out of boxes and not having a functional kitchen has stagnated my progress for weeks at a time, I’m still determined to stick with it because of the many other benefits of eating this way.

Why do I want to stick with this plan?

I’m finding that when I cheat too much or fall off the wagon and begin eating fast food and more processed food, that my pain and swelling increases dramatically.  I can cheat just a little with no major problems, but too much wheat, sugar, soy, etc.,  and my body starts rebelling.  My blood glucose rises and my joints and muscles begin to ache.  Once again, I find I cannot sleep at night because of the discomfort.  A few days of pain and I’m very willing to go back to eating whole and unprocessed foods.

My diabetes doc has been extremely happy with me also; especially for losing 30 pounds the last time I weighed in his office and he has lowered my insulin doses twice to help me avoid lows (lol! this seems so funny for me with my history of high BGLs).   My ultimate goal is to go completely off the insulin injections and I really believe I can do that if I persevere.

Continue reading “My weight loss journey continues”

Success – Weight is going down!

Weight loss Success


Since my last post, I’ve been doing so well.  After the 10 pound backsliding gain, I’m doing great with losing that.

This morning my scale sat at 261.2 pounds, very close to that 257 I had reached before the holidays.

I’m keeping up with my breathing exercises.  I’m doing them at least once a day.  I also actually went to the gym and did 35 minutes of weight training.  Just a little and a very light workout.  2 sets each on about 5 different weight machines and 5 minutes on the treadmill.  I was using the lowest or next to lowest weights on the machines.  The treadmill was sitting at #1 for resistance.  That tired me out and also made me very sore.  So sore I had a fibro flare-up that evening the next day.  I may try to go to the gym again on Saturday but I’m waiting till I get over the flare-up.

The main reason I’m wanting to do some weight training is to help with sagging skin.  I’ve been watching “My 600 lb life” and “Skintight” every night and the sagging skin after major weight loss is really worrying me.  I want to lose about 138 pounds by the end of 2017 with a final goal weight of 145.

With my bone marrow disorder making me a clotting risk and my previous stroke after surgery, I really do not want to have surgery to remove excess skin.

I’m aiming to go slow, at around six pounds a month.  I would like to be at 200 by the end of 2016. That’s 83 pounds this year –  about 6.9 pounds a month. And then lose the rest during 2017.

My Eating

One thing I am doing is eating healthy.  I’m trying to eat lots of cool salads, fruits, no white bread, lots of vegetables and I’m adding things like hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, spirolina and dried cranberries to my salads and using olive oil as my dressing.

I’m also purchasing eggs from veggie fed hens and free range hens, drinking almond milk and V8 juice and water.  I’m using turkey bacon and very lean meats too.

My dinner of rice and veggies, squash, salad and multi-grain garlic toast
My dinner of rice and veggies, squash, salad and multi-grain garlic toast

Tonight I’m having chicken with small potatoes, onion, seasonings and rice cooked in my crockpot with veggie broth. I have left over squash and onions to go with it.

Things to help with sagging skin after weight loss

I’m researching things to do to help with sagging skin.

  • Lose weight slowly
  • Weight train to keep muscles under your skin
  • Be patient even after weight loss and give your body at least 2 years to tighten the skin naturally.
  • Stay hydrated
  • Use creams (I’m using a special cream for pregnant money to avoid stretch marks).
  • Eat healthy and give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs.

The one thing I have going for me is that I never did get stretch marks during my pregnancy which is a good sign.  But I’m 62 years old which is not good.  I’m looking into essential oil therapy and I’ll let you know how that goes.

Deep Breathing Technique

I wanted to share some videos of the deep breathing technique I’m using.  I only use the first exercise because of my physical problems.  I’m hoping to add more of the exercises as I lose weight and can move easier.  Here’s some YouTube links you can use to learn the techniques from Greer Childers:

There are several other videos on Youtube you can check out.  Just look for Greer Childers, bodyflex, or oxycise.

Comments

Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.

– Shirley

One step backward!

Healthy salad

Two steps forward, one step Backward – my life!


I know my last post was so positive, however, I managed to blow it once again.  The holidays got to me and I did a backslide.

Actually instead of losing, I managed to gain back up to 269 – instead of losing.  I did catch myself after several weeks and modified my diet, so I’m now at 266.6 and on my way down again. Continue reading “One step backward!”

My ongoing weight loss journey through deep breathing!

Losing weight by breathing


Yes, I’m continuing my journey using deep breathing for weight loss.  I’m still at 20 pounds lost.  However, I’m only doing one deep breathing exercise per day (a set of six).  And I’m keeping this weight off.  This is so exciting for me.  I’ve never been able to lose weight and keep it off this long.  And all this with just one set of deep breathing exercises.

 

Researching

I’m continuing my reading and researching how to lose weight by breathing deep and keep finding new articles to read.  This has encouraged me and reaffirmed to me that deep breathing will definitely work for me.

Some of my online finds are as follows:

Amazed

It truly amazes me that I can lose weight doing these deep breathing exercises.  Since I am handicapped and use a wheelchair almost all day, I have been searching for some ways I can lose weight sitting here in this chair.  I found out about this deep breathing pretty much by accident while surfing the web.  It caught my attention and I began to read and research the possibility that this might work for me.  Then I decided to purchase the book by Greer Childers (in the list above).  When I got that and began reading it and seeing the different exercise she teaches along with the breathing techniques, I decided I would try at least the first exercise that I can do sitting in my wheelchair.  I was so surprised to find out that it worked for me.

Actually, the breathing technique isn’t as easy as it seems.  It is work and I’m tired after I do a few of them.  I’m finding that doing them twice a day or more truly helps me to lose weight.  I’ve already put myself on a more healthy diet through the Whole30 plan and found that works for me too.  Now I have a successful exercise plan to go with it.

Comments

I encourage questions an comments and you can leave them below. – Shirley

NOTE:  This post contains affiliate links, which when clicked and a product is purchased, I receive a small commission (with no additional cost to you).

Prednisone – handling this strong medicine as a diabetic!

Corticosteroids and Your Blood Glucose


Image of pill bottle and pills, copyright Microsoft
Image of pill bottle and pills, copyright Microsoft

Prednisone is considered to be a corticosteriod(which mimics hormones produced by your adrenal glands) and is used to reduce inflammation from many illnesses, like vasculitis, myositis, and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and others. It is also used to suppress your immune system as in helping to reduce rejection of organs.

Corticosteroids can be taken via mouth, inhaled, in creams topically or by injection.

The synthetic cordicosteriod Prednisone is a very effective anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant drug. However, this strong medicine can have several undesired side effects, especially if you are a diabetic.

Side effects of Prednisone Use

There can be many side effects when using Prednisone, from mild to severe:

  • Irritability and nervousness, mood swings
  • Chipmunk cheeks and buffalo hump (on the back of the neck)
  • Depression, even suicidal thoughts
  • Blurring of eyesight and even cataract development
  • Thin skin and easy bruising
  • Bone thinning
  • Excess hair growth
  • Increase in your susceptibility to infections
  • Appetite increase and weight gain
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Elevated blood glucose levels.

Reducing the Impact of Prednisone on Your Body

Chipmonk Image
Chipmonk image

Here are some things to do to lesson the impact of prednisone on your diabetic body:

  • Use less salt to help reduce fluid retention and help avoid higher blood pressure.
  • Try to eat a more balanced diet to help avoid excess weight gain.
  • Reduce sugar intake, add more protein and fruits and vegetables.
  • Reduce calories consumed and increase exercise
  • Add calcium and vitamin D to your supplements for your bones, and potassium for blood pressure.
  • Take your prednisone with food to help avoid stomach ulcers.
  • Also avoid drinking alcohol for the same reason.
  • Taper off your dosage of Prednisone when you are finishing treatment to avoid cramps, body aches and other side affects.

My Experience with Long-term Prednisone Use

In the past, I have used short term dosages of steroids and corticosteroids for my asthma and other mild illnesses; however when my problems with vasculitis and the formation of leg and feet ulcers occurred, I began long term use of Prednisone.  By long term, I mean months (so far, over six months).  While I realize that I really need the anti-inflammatory effects of the Prednisone, I am not happy with my chipmunk face, weight gain, trouble sleeping, blurred vision and some other side effects I am experiencing.  I’m also not pleased with the increase in my blood glucose levels.

I’ve really tried to work on keeping my blood sugar levels under control to improve the healing of my ulcers (something my doctor has reiterated over and over).  I’m reducing consumption of bread, sugars and other carbohydrates; and increasing my protein, fruit and veggie intake.  I’m also checking my blood glucose several times a day to see if I need to inject additional insulin.  As far as exercise, that is pretty much impossible for me to increase with my feet ulcers and my back issues and I’m in a wheelchair most of the day.  My goal is to keep my blood glucose readings below 200 and closer to 160 and so far, I’ve been successful.  I plan on really tightening up on my diet this next couple of weeks to speed healing of these ulcers.

Comments

Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.

– Shirley

 

Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Its the Apples Dummy!


We have all hear the saying:

An Apple a day Keeps the Doctor Away”

 

Well instead of an apple a day, I take two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (ACV) before a large meal.  The pectin in apples is an insoluble fiber that induces a feeling of fullness.  Apple Cider Vinegar does this also.  By drinking water with a couple of tablespoons of ACV, I can get a feeling of fullness from the fiber.  It also helps me to not binge eat at night – a failing of mine when I get too hungry. Continue reading “Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day Keeps the Doctor Away”

Why I eat Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil Has Had a Bad Rap!


Yes coconut oil is a saturated fat, which is bad, right? Not always.  In the case of coconut oil, the saturated fat takes the form of lauric acid, which is a medium-chain fat that metabolizes more easily into energy and does not store as fat.

Image of coconut, copyright Microsoft.
Image of coconut, copyright Microsoft.

As for coconut oil being a saturated fat; all saturated fats are not equal.  Some saturated fats like coconut oil are found naturally while others are manipulated into a saturated state through hydrogenation.  This is a process where hydrogen atoms are added to the oil to arrive at the end product which is a thick, rancid oil that has a longer shelf life.  They are sometimes called trans fats.

Coconut oil is powerful because of its lauric acid and medium chain fatty acids.

The composition of coconut oil elevates the LDL levels and prevents atherosclerosis.  This helps repair slow neural pathways and can improve cognitive functions and memory. Continue reading “Why I eat Coconut Oil”

Obsessed with my Liver!

Here I go again about the liver!


Image of liver in body
Image of liver in body, copyright Microsoft

I might seem to be somewhat obsessed about my liver (lol!) but the more I read, the more I become concerned about my “Fatty Liver Disease”.  According Dr. Sandra Cabot, fatty Liver can:

  • Ruin your health
  • Make you overweight
  • Stop you from losing weight
  • Make you diabetic
  • Cause cirrhosis and liver failure.

Well, folks, I don’t have good health, I’m extremely overweight with a BMI of 49, its almost impossible for me to lose weight, I’m already diabetic, and while I do not have cirrhosis or liver failure – that’s in my future if I don’t do something about it.  We only have one liver and when it fails, the only solution is a liver transplant.  I certainly do not want to come to that stage. Continue reading “Obsessed with my Liver!”