Signs of Healing

Fasting has been a challenge for me this month. I think the weather and the disruption to my normal routines has been to blame. So I am always looking for the positive NSV to celebrate.

Yesterday for Valentine's dinner I had more carbs than usual. Which I had planned ahead of time. Gluten-free breaded fried chicken! Part of a yummy biscuit! Several pieces of toasted and buttered french bread with beef marrow and mushrooms - fabulous. And I know there were hidden sugars in some of the sauces/dressings. It was a great meal.

As expected my weight has shot up a few pounds, carbs make me hold onto water like crazy. But! Less than 12 hours after that meal I was in ketosis. A low level but still!  I am so pleased. This is a great sign of metabolic health and flexibility. NSV for sure.

I really think my cells are hitting their stride and using ketones/fat for fuel very readily. Yay cells!

Parties can be rough

Today was a wonderful birthday celebration for my mother-in-law.  I feel so blessed to have her in my life especially now that my own mum is gone. The party itself was really a mixed bag though.

There was food with sugar everywhere.  There were 2 cakes!  Tons of cookies. We actually forgot to serve the ice cream there was so much there. Things tasted weirdly sweet to me. My favorite grain free crackers were there.

I didn't want to eat at all but it was so hard being surrounded by all that food.  The smell of it. Since I was helping throw the party I could not simply go to a corner farthest from the food. I ended up snacking for 3 hours. When I wasn't hungry. I am not sure how many crackers I had. 6? 8? maybe 10 or 12? Ugh.

On the plus side, I did not have any sweets or breads. I ate a few plain shrimp and some almonds and brazil nuts. Some swiss cheese, a bit of chicken salad and olives and peapods. So mostly in plan. All of my ketogenic artichoke dip was eaten up. It was very popular. We have tons of olives left over. Which will not go to waste!

I am so glad it is done. I guess I did pretty well all things considered and the birthday gal had a great time which was the goal. Now I need to figure out my game plan for the week with an early valentine's day restaurant meal on Wednesday.


The past 6 months

When I think about the past six months I feel a sense of pride. I made many changes some worked out and some did not. I am happy I have lost 52.5 pounds and have had so many non-scale victories. 

My lower inflammation levels have made many things better in my life. In general, I feel more confident about my health and future. I am also experiencing higher energy and that is wonderful. I am also seeing how weird the food-emotional connection can still be for me after all these years.

The past 6 months have certainly not been easy and some days it has been dreadful. But then some days have been fun and successful, so perhaps normal life has continued on...

I don't know if the goal I set last August 1, to lose 100#, is reasonable for me and my body but it should be interesting finding out. I have not been that small in 30+ years. Right now, I am doing my best to celebrate every victory, every good choice, keep moving and trying to not take anything personally. 

I am happy with right now and I am also looking forward to August and seeing where I am then.

A bit easier and updates

I think my fast this week was a bit easier. Yay! I went over half a week - 95 hours. I hit the official half week time at 5am and I wasn't going to eat then. I spent way more time at home near my kitchen due to the weather this week so the fact that it was easier at all is amazing.

Current goal is to eat just the right amount for me over the weekend. I had Himalayan for an early dinner. It was a big meal and had a few more carbs than I usually eat. I hope it doesn't spark cravings and I hope to relax into my eating.

I need to decide if next week I am going to do another half week fast or if I want to do a week of alternate day fasts. I wish we came with a guidebook so that I would know the 'right' thing to do for me.

I had a couple of new lows on the scale. 
Down 52.4 pounds!

The Science is Sound

The first part of January was devoted to my first extended fast. I went 9 days. It was interesting. I never reached that fabulous euphoric state that some people report. Maybe shorter fasts will now be easier. I hope so. I am 52 hours into a half week fast, my mind does seem a bit quieter this time around.

In regards to my overall goal of healing my hyperinsulinemia I would like to shift my eating times to earlier in the day.  The theory is without changing the foods or quantities that I eat, the earlier I eat the lower the insulin response.

It is a good idea but hard to implement. I feel the least hungry at breakfast. Culturally, evenings are the time to join with friends and family and eat a meal. Evenings are the times when my brain demands that I eat.  Such a cranky mind I have. Sometimes if I eat at the beginning of the day it seems to turn my cravings on for the rest of the day. I want it to work but the times I have attempted it have not gone so well. It makes simply not eating look easier.

My relationship with my scale

There exist many differing opinions about how or if to use a scale. I am not here to convince anyone to step on a scale if they don't want to... I can only speak about what works for me.

At this time in my life I must weigh daily. The only time I don't is when I am traveling and do not have access to a scale. Over the years I have noted a very distinctive pattern to my behavior, if I don't weigh myself -- I gain weight.

If my goal is to get more healthy which includes losing weight then I have to step on the scale and record what I see. If I don't I fall into complete denial within a week. My scale is a objective tool I use to remain awake and aware. This is key for me, I need to pay attention and I need to pay attention daily. The scale is one way to do that.

Since I graph my results like the big data nerd that I am I do not pay too much attention to any given day. My interest is the trend, am I trending down? Then I try to be patient and cheer myself on. If I don't like what I see in my numbers over several days or weeks then I use that as a reason to shake things up and try something different.

It can be hard to see it as objective information all the time but I keep trying. Yet another part of me in progress.

Checking Metabolic Health

I had some carb-loaded food, potatoes and bread, and any sugar that was snuck into the food, this weekend at a German restaurant. 

I took advantage of this occurrence and measured my blood glucose 2 hours after my meal as a proxy to assess my metabolic health.  Two hours post eating my reading was 141 which is on the high end of normal. That was nice to know. The next day that I was carrying an extra couple of pounds of water weight from one carby meal but I was still in moderate ketosis. This may be due to the timing of the meal, it was lunch not dinner. Time of eating does make a difference to insulin response.

I am fortunate in that I am not a type2 diabetic and I have never had the high blood glucose numbers that many T2D struggle with, however I did notice my numbers creeping up over the past few years to the high end of normal. This is one of the reasons I made my big way of life change last August. 

I think of being at the high end of normal as a sign of my hyperinsulinemia - my average insulin levels trend higher than a person with a 'normal' insulin response. Although I do not enjoy pricking my fingers at all for these tests I find them very motivating. They inspire me to make the lowest carb choices I can the majority of the time. My body does notice.