Friday, December 4, 2015

November Progress Report

This “progress” report would be more aptly termed a “lack of progress report.”

It’s been nine months since I started this journey of trying to reclaim my health, lose weight and become more fit.  I’ve had my ups and downs but largely have made great progress.

I’m down over 150 pounds, all my bloodwork is good, and I feel great.  I haven’t used an asthma inhaler for many months.  And I’ve gone from ten medications every morning and walking with a cane to one medication and managing a light jog for two mile stretches.

And yet, I am not happy right now.    Basically, all of the fabulous weight loss and health benefits took place within the first six months.  The scale hasn’t moved much in the last three months.  It goes up and down, no matter how I adjust my diet and exercise.

I’ve been going up and down by ten pounds since August or September. Obviously, I know how to lose weight.  I lost 150 pounds in 6 months.  But this endless plateau is killing me.

Additionally, I started developing NEW health concerns which I believe were related to the way I was eating.  I not only gave up gluten but ALL grains, and I limited my fruit intake to a few berries or an apple 3 or 4 times a week.  I limited high glycemic vegetables as well.

I basically lived on quality, organic protein and greens.  You’d think eating a pound or two of raw spinach and kale everyday would keep things moving through my digestive tract, but NO!  I developed constipation and a quite painful anal fissure that bled all the time and caused me pain that was sometimes extreme.  Dealing with this and then not losing weight on top of it really started to influence my moods and overall attitude.

And so after nine months of strictly following the Paleo approach to eating I have decided to make some changes that will hopefully get the scale moving down again AND heal my painful issue and its causes.  Merely adding some fruit to my diet and taking over the counter stool softeners did nothing to solve the problem.  I tried most of the remedies you read about and none of them worked.  It’s time for change once again.

Starting right after Thanksgiving, I began a new routine  -- when I get up in the morning I prepare a hot drink made from the juice of one lemon, some freshly grated ginger and one tablespoon of molasses.  I then drink green tea throughout the day to keep my fluids up, add antioxidants and release fat.  (Drinking 5 or more cups of green tea a day is said to help your body release fat.  At this point, I’m so annoyed by the plateau that I’ll add anything to my regime if there’s a chance it may help.)  

I added gluten-free grains, legumes, nuts and high glycemic veggies back into my diet in controlled amounts.  Some mornings I have a bowl of oatmeal with flax seed meal, dried fruit and a sprinkling of chopped nuts.  OR I just have a plate of raw fruit.  I do now also allow myself gluten free pasta and brown rice with dinner but NOT on the days that I have oatmeal for breakfast.  I’m trying to keep a good portion of my diet raw and not go overboard with the cooked carbs as they are triggering for me in terms of overeating.

I’m also feeling like my system became too acidic with all of the animal protein I was eating so I have cut back on that as well, at least until the scale starts moving down and I am feeling better.  I gave up coffee when I first started this journey because I like it light and sweet and that will not help with weight loss.  I’m sticking to that and only allowing it as an occasional treat as I can’t stand artificial sweeteners and I’m avoiding dairy as well.  I miss my coffee but everything has its price and if I can reach my goal I will view the lack of coffee as a small sacrifice.

I have only been applying these dietary changes for a short time and I am already feeling better.  My system has become more regular.  The fissure is still there, but it’s not bleeding as much and I can almost feel it trying to heal itself.  I really don’t want to go back to my gastroenterologist for surgery. I healed my other health problems through diet, exercise, sunlight and fresh air  - - so I want to give myself a chance to heal this the same way.

I started this journey on February 9th, the day after my Birthday.  I had goals in mind in terms of what I wanted to accomplish within one year with health, weight loss and fitness. It seems unlikely that I can manage to be at the goal weight I had in mind by my birthday.  It would mean that I’d have to lose 50 pounds within the next three months and that is highly improbable.  But I am not giving up.

I generally weigh myself towards the end of the week. I realize that adding bulk back into my diet may cause a temporary weight gain so I have decided not to weigh myself for a few weeks.  Hopefully, after a period of adjustment, I’ll start losing again.  If not, I will tweak my diet and exercise until I find a way.  When I post my December progress report we’ll see if I’m back to losing weight.  I certainly hope so!

Much thanks to those who have supported me on this journey.  Very often the right thing to do is often the more difficult thing to do.  That is certainly the case for me here and while I am tenacious enough to do this on my own the bits of love and encouragement here and there have certainly helped more than you will ever know.

 I will try to keep up with this blog a little better

Love and Blessings