Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Update 3/31/09

Been exercising and planning my son's birthday party and dealing with all the unexpected stuff that pop up...so been really short on time lately.

In addition to my cousin joining me when I workout at the park, his girlfriend and my sister have joined us. My son comes too. I have another friend with 4 kids...and they might all join us too. So pretty kewl. :)

I'm not superwoman yet...but I've made some nice improvements! Little steps in the right direction, woohoo. I hope to get a video uploaded soon. I'm way behind on the videos! Need to set aside a day for that.

Oh ya, a big update as far as a weird health issue. I started getting strange heart palpitations. They happen when I'm angry, stressed, or tired. They also happen when I've had a lot of chocolate or caffeine.

It started with one big hard heartbeat that I could feel in my whole body followed by a few seconds of no heartbeat. It happened once in a while. Then it started to happen for a couple hours. Now for most nights, they go through the night and morning. It doesn't hurt. When my heartbeat pauses, it seems like it's hard to breathe. It's annoying. It started happening after I started to do a lot of jogging.

I saw my doctor yesterday. I have to wear a holter heart monitor tomorrow for 24 hours and get that evaluated. I also took a slew of lab tests yesterday. Seems like he might be worried about my thyroid. I have big cow eyes, so he's always worried about that anyway lol. I'll let ya'll know when I find out.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Update 3-23-09

I'm still doing "mostly" raw. With the economic situation it gets tough...but been trying to be creative.

I just discovered my local swap meet actually sells fruits, vegetables, and nuts at pretty good prices. They even claim it's organic. That would be kewl...but not sure if they just stick the stickers on regular produce haha. I got some stuff, even a few bags of acorns I plan to make some acorn flour with to use for mushes.

I have some friends who get fruits and veggies from this guy and they give me their extras. He doesn't really share where he gets the stuff from...but I highly suspect some of it may be dumpster dived. LOL. There's lots of stuff, even avocados. One time I got an entire box of avocados. The outsides were a little wrinkly looking, but when I cut them open they were green with no black spots whatsoever. I also get bags and bags of bagged greens and greens in sealed containers. Just about everything is labeled organic. I never know what I'm going to get, could be all squash for a week or all cauliflower.

It's actually pretty sad if this is dumpster diving stuff - because some days we get tons (like up to 8 big boxes)....we couldn't possibly eat it before it goes bad and we have to throw most of it away. So sad to think of how much stuff like this goes to the dump. My neighbors won't take any because I told them it could be from a dumpster haha. Well, one will but they are just a young couple and don't eat much. My sister and her hubby also gladly take some.

I've also picked up an exercise pal...one of my cousins who decided to put his money where his mouth is and try to get fit. He's been walking around the park with me and trying to get familiar with the exercise equipment they have there. It's been a lot of fun spending time with him.

I've been faithful pretty much with the daily jogs, doing at least a mile a day. Partway through the course I do some situps (up to 3 sets of 20 now - up from one set of 1 a couple weeks ago). I also do 3 sets of 10 of push-ups (on an elevated bar) and 10 pull-ups on a chin-high bar that I hang from with my legs extended out at a slant and on my heels. I also have gone from not being able to hang from the pull-up bar at all to hanging for about 5 seconds and even getting in a couple swings. My achy right shoulder has been the main obstacle. It really hurts. I think I need to start some special exercises to break up the scar tissue in my arm.

My sister has been wanting to come...and tried to tonight but she has some dental problems..an infection going on, that is making it hard for her. Hopefully she'll be able to get that worked on (expensive though!) and come out with me and our cousin.

I hope to put up a video soon of my starting workouts at the equipment - kind of to show where I began. It's really amazing to see how much progress you can make in a couple weeks.

As far as the CrossFit beginner plan - I have still been working with a weight bar with no weights on it as I'm not all that confident with my form. Not sure whether to remain at week 1 - I think I may and maybe next week put a little bit of weight on the bar if I feel I've got the form right.

That's pretty amazing too. I used to hate deadlifts. HATE THEM. My back and neck would hurt after doing them. But I've been pretty good watching videos and reading the instructions on the CrossFit site before I do a session and now they are actually enjoyable. Doing it with the correct form makes a huge difference.

I'm also really enjoying jogging with the new method. I bend at the knees and try to have my whole body slightly lean forward. I try to have my foot hit the ground underneath me and because my knees are bent, it's easier to be "springy." I don't strike with my heel, but try to have the mid and forefoot strike more...pretty much running on the balls of my feet. When I lean, my body is kind of in a "fall" and my legs act more like vaulting poles or like the wheels on a car instead of being pounded on or acting like a motor. I let gravity propell me forward.

I jog with very little steps and I'm not very fast, but I can go a whole lot farther with more comfort and enjoy the sunshine, the birds, the plants, the mountains.

In the past when I've tried to run regularly I've gotten shin splints, foot pain, head and neck pain. My spine is not formed right and is not naturally springy. I have no curve in my neck - so before my skull literally pounded on my rigid spine. I also don't have the curve in the back like I should...meaning a curve you would see from the side. Instead, my spine is curved sideways and I have a big extra vertebra at the bottom - kind of like a deformity. So it wouldn't "spring" like it should. That would give me a lot of problems.

This time, no problems. Again, what a great difference good form makes. It's amazing.

Oh yea, one more weird thing. I've actually GAINED at least 4 pounds. Which is odd because finally I have tons of people telling me I look like I've lost weight - at least a couple times a day now. Also, my clothes are looser. My shorts used to be really tight and now kind of hang. My doctor gave me an article on body composition, to illustrate how that can happen - because muscle can displace fat and muscle weighs more than the fat did.

Also, this weekend I was browsing a store with mirrored walls. Once in a while I would look up and catch a glimpse of myself and be surprised because I would expect more pudginess...but there's a lot less now and almost seems like looking at another person.

Anyway...that's my update. Sorry haven't done more - been busy exercising and planning a birthday party! :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Exercising my butt off...literally!

Sorry I fell behind a couple days on blogging. I've been very busy starting up my new exercise program. I started the beginner Crossfit program - which in itself is very easy but I've decided to do some walking or jogging every day in an attempt to get off Glucophage. Yesterday I refilled less than a month's supply of Glucophage and got some new strips for my meter...$60!!!! WITH insurance. Ya, that's gotta go. It's much better than the $250 per month I was spending before when I was doing insulin and syringes - but I'm determined to get it down to just the testing strips. Send me good vibes!

I've also become very determined to re-learn how to jump rope so I've been doing that quite often as well.

I've been scouting new walking/hiking/jogging locations as you can see in this video on my YouTube channel: Scouting Exercise Locations

As many of you know, I was inspired by Gayle Jordan's story here. I mentioned her in one of my videos. Imagine my excitement and happiness when she responded! Here is her response:

Of course I had to respond to her. Here is my response:

And you can bet, I've been working on my pull-ups!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

How can insulin make you fat?

We all know insulin is a hormone and escorts sugar into cells to be burned for energy.

However, not everyone knows that insulin has multiple functions. Some that can make you fat or make it easier to gain/retain weight. Some of it's other functions:

1) Signals for carb cravings.
2) Signals for fat to be retained and not be burned for energy.
3) Forces fat cells to convert blood lipids to triglycerides.
4) Speeds up aging.
5) Etc., etc., etc....insulin has MANY functions and most of them are not fully understood.

The more insulin there is...the worse these things can be. If you have insulin resistance you often have excess insulin in your system but your body can't use it to get glucose into cells...but it might be able to still be used for the above functions. This insulin can be from your own body producing it or insulin you inject.

If your body still produces insulin, your insulin levels increase when there is glucose in the blood from carbohydrates, when protein is ingested, or there is circulating adrenaline (stress, exercise, etc.).

Muscle cells and fat cells are effected by insulin's levels...and they make up about 2/3 of all our cells. So insulin has a BIG effect on our health.

Blood sugar control is a sign of how much sugar we have in our bloodstream. However, diabetes is much more complex than that. I personally have been around people who regularly inject excess amounts of insulin while eating tons of carbs and sugar. Yes, they may have a 4.5 HbA1c...but that insulin is making them gain or retain weight and who knows what else. So it's better to try to watch your diet and try to limit how much insulin you need from meds.

When I was diagnosed, I was told by the nurse, "Oh mija (little girl), I'm so sorry. I would rather have cancer than diabetes."

However, as diseases go...I think diabetes is pretty nifty in that you do have some control over it. I know the above stuff may make you feel like - omg, what the hell am I supposed to do then? But if you exercise, even just a little each day, it makes your cells produce more receptors so that you can use more of the insulin that's in your system.

Insulin degrades once it has been docked onto a cell receptor. So the more receptors you make, the more insulin you degrade or burn up.

Diabetes - I am going to beat you!

I am very happy with my diet. I can live with "mostly" raw food. It makes me feel good and I allow myself leniency.

My problem is that 1) I want to eat fruit, 2) I want to eat "regular" food occasionally, 3) I don't want to take the metformin anymore. How to do that? Exercise? So that's what I'm trying.

I was inspired by Gayle and Graham who I've talked about in previous posts.

Gayle is an awesome inspiration - someone who kept trying and trying until she found something that worked for her - CrossFit. CrossFit stresses functional exercise - exercise that benefits you daily and makes you able to climb, jump, etc. She looks like a whole different person now.

Graham is incredible and funny. He has made tremendous strides in improving his fitness. He went from barely able to stand up to jogging - in about 22 days! He realized if an alien were to come from outer space and try to abduct him - he was too unfit to get away!

So that got me to thinking. What kind of emergency situations am I fit enough to get out of? In my previous video I mention what if a building were on fire and I had to climb down...or what if a bear came after me and I had to climb a tree - would I be able to climb? No!

Also, recently a man fell down a large mine shaft around here. He happened to catch a beam on the way down, and kept himself on the beam for a couple hours until he could get rescued. Good thing...because it was another 150 feet to the bottom I hear. What if that was me? Splat!

So, I am attempting CrossFit at home. I started the 12-week beginner program on Monday. I've been running everyday and adding in the program exercises.

My first goals are to be able to do a push-up and pull-up with good form. I can do neither. I would like to eventually be able to do 10 push-ups, 10 pull-ups, and 100 sit-ups.

Today I went to the track and it was being used for a track meet. I had been running around my neighborhood, but there are a couple of dogs that are almost escaping their yards wanting to come after me. So I have been looking around at other alternatives.

Yesterday I went to a park not to far from my home and found some nice outdoor equipment. I also attempted a pull-up. Not pretty!

Here's a video of the visit to the park:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

My Grocery haul this week - staying in a budget

Groceries for three on a budget for four days. I am a 75% raw food diet eater, my 7-year-old son eats "normal" food, and my husband likes mostly vegetarian but won't eat poultry, is tired of fish, and hates cucumbers, cilantro and some other vegetables, haha. I gotta make 3 different meals sometimes!

This is what I got for $105 (including a $10 can-opener - hubby broke the other one). I'm trying to feed my family healthy wholesome foods, as much organic as possible. I show how I figured out my shopping list and tried to keep under budget.

If you have more tips - PLEASE let us know!

There are two parts below:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Omygawsh...what an inspiration!!

Over a year ago I started to follow a girl named Gayle on YouTube. She was starting to do Alli pills like me.

In her videos she was funny, bubbly, and would do crazy things. The first video I saw, she had done a little silly dance and then jumped fully-clothed into her swimming pool. I can't find that one. She must have deleted it. So I have to show you the second video I watched Gayle in:

She lost weight with Alli - but then she gained it back and then some! She tried everything - Kangoo jumps, long-distance walks, personal training, organic healthy eating. She even got into the running for The Biggest Loser - and was in a Biggest Loser commercial. In spite of her perseverance she would lose weight and then gain more back. To see more of her videos go here: http://www.youtube.com/user/fittness02

In the meantime I started eating raw food and lost my first 30 pounds. During that time Gayle had gone silent. She was depressed from not making it onto the Biggest Loser show, feeling it was her only chance to lose weight. She was also dealing with negative attitudes from people around her. She would be trying to psyche herself up on the video and then someone would call her a fat ass or something else rude.

She posted again in August of last year. She said she felt like a hypocrite because she would start and fail and start and fail. I was able to relate to that because I had to try a million things before I found something that worked for me. At this time she was going to try Weight Watchers, the old tried and true.

On November 2, she recommitted again and started to do Body for Life and doing a home fitness weight loss program.

Later in November, Gayle decided she needed to find a gym. She wanted a gym that would "kick her ass." So she did a Google search and found a gym with a "funny" name called Compound Crossfit that had pictures of people getting their asses kicked, haha.

She called them and asked if they would train a fat person haha. They said yes. They invited her to come for 3 free sessions. She decided to go although she knew couldn't afford the $150 a month for membership.

That Monday she reported back to her YouTube members. She had gone to the class, and had her ass kicked but she she wasn't sore. She wasn't sure how effective it was. Plus she was upset because they had told her she would get 3 free classes. But at the end of the class they started to talk about money.

She asked if she could sign up for a month because she couldn't afford it with the economy the way it was. They said no, they only did 6-month contracts. However, they told her she could do drop-in classes for $20 each. In this video said she was just going to do it herself then.

I don't know what happened. She never explained, but suddenly she's posting videos about how much she loves CrossFit and everyone should be doing it. The pounds were just melting off of her.

Here is a pic she shared of when she started CrossFit:

Then the videos kept coming. Suddenly she is doing rope ladder climbs, push-ups, olympic weight lifting, etc.

Then she posted this video. Fellow crossfitters had invited her to do a 6 mile run. She was nervous because she didn't think she could do it. CrossFit workouts aren't that long and she didn't think she was conditioned enough. Amazingly she did it without stopping and didn't WANT to stop! Her reaction is priceless. Watch the video. Plus, she's beginning to look like a whole different person.

Okay so that started to really get my attention. While my diet rocks. My exercise part does not so I've been trying to find something to get this stubborn fat off.

Then she posts this video. Check it out! She does pull-ups! Her belly is GONE. She has lost at least 65 pounds!

So I can't afford the $150 myself...but I've looked into CrossFit and find there are a lot of people doing it at home. CrossFit is actually a website that posts a "Workout of the Day." And gyms and individuals do the workout, or a scaled down version for newbies. Then people can share with others how they did.

So, I'm going to start the 12-week beginner program and see how it works! Maybe I need a drill sergeant and will end up going to a gym. But I'll try it on my own first...and maybe try to hook up with other home crossfitters.

I started a free community site on Ning if anyone wants to try it. I tried to compile links and organize the CrossFit info for beginners. I'm going to start it on Monday. My sister and a couple neighbords might try it too and post their workout logs online. If any of you are interested, the site is at: http://crossfitpals.ning.com/