Saturday, April 24, 2010

Skip the Breading

After the Huey Lewis concert 4-23-10

I did not plan on having a cheat day yesterday, and I really didn't.  (My next one is scheduled for Mother's Day). Last night was more of a "relax the rules meal," but since it didn't even include any SUPER bad stuff, it didn't seem fair that I even indulged...(after I tell you what it did to my blood sugar. LOL)  Let me explain. I was perfect with my diet plan for the entire day.  Mike and I had plans to go out to eat before the Huey Lewis concert, which I was fully aware of, but we were going to the buffet at the casino and I knew there would be plenty of low carb stuff for me to eat there.

Before we left, I was really starving (bad sign). I checked my blood sugar (because I am a freak like that) and it was 73. I was actually on the borderline of feeling sort of shaky and weak. That's not how you want to feel when you're headed out to a pig trough buffet...LOL

We got there, and I started with a salad. Fully low carb... eggs, cheese, vegetables and cold shrimp.  I followed that up with a piece of salisbury steak and some broiled shrimp with some sort of crab stuffing on top.

I would've been fine had I stopped there!  But husband had to corrupt me. Mike came back from his third trip to the buffet to rave about all the wonderful things I was missing, and the new delicious shrimp selections they had brought out to the buffet. I went back to the shrimp section and saw some new delicious items that hadn't been there before.  I relented and filled my plate with coconut shrimp, battered shrimp and one large stuffed shrimp...oh yeah and some scallops in some sort of cream sauce.

Yep, not the most low carb choices, considering all that breading, but I had deluded myself into thinking it was "not that bad" because I wasn't having bread, potatoes or dessert.  Mike, meanwhile, had his usual 4 plates of food with no concern for starch or carbs, AND a large piece of peach pie with whipped cream.  This will become important later.

So I finished off the shrimp and we headed over to the convention area for the concert about 7:15.  About a half hour later, I realized how full I really was. UGH.  Yuck.  Indigestion and heart burn!

The show was great though, and I was happy that after the first half we all charged the stage and went up to the front. I was jumping up and down a lot which helped my overly full stomach somewhat.

We got home around 10:00, and I couldn't WAIT to check my blood sugar. Of course, it has been nearly 3 hours since we had eaten, so it wasn't going to accurately reflect how high it HAD been, say an hour after eating, but at least I could get an idea.

I was appalled at my reading...146!!! And that was 3 HOURS after eating! Now, remember what Mike ate??? His blood sugar was 102! NO FAIR!  I guess he has a much more efficient pancreas than mine.

What does this little lesson teach me?  I am very sensitive to carbs, and when I eat them, my blood sugar will stay elevated for a long time. Elevated insulin = weight gain. Of course, 146 isn't "outrageous," but it's higher than I want it to be. (and who knows what it had been right after eating?!?!!? I shudder to think...)My goal is to keep it within 70-120 at all times.

This morning it was back to 71...but I still had the barfy, food hangover feeling!  I was glad I had to run a loooong run...plenty of carb stores to use up! 

I had a great 10 mile run and probably burned 1,000 calories, so no harm done... but next time I go to a buffet I am going to skip the breading!

Friday, April 23, 2010

22 Weeks and Race Update

I am now 22 weeks, as of Wednesday, and feeling great!

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you about the Fitger's 5K! We did that last Saturday. I was pretty nervous beforehand considering it was the first race I've done since last November and I had NO idea what I would be able to do.  I got this cute new shirt online that says "Got Baby."  It's pink and very fitted...I ordered a small since most smalls are usually too boxy for me and I wanted it to be snug, like a racing shirt.  I was actually shocked at how SMALL it was, yet somehow I managed to squeeze into it...haha  I got quite a few comments on it prior to the race, people asking where I got it, etc. I joked with Mike that I wanted people to understand why I was slower than normal.

Seriously, prior to this race I had a perception that I'd slowed down considerably due to the pregnancy, yet when I got out on the course I was able to keep up about an 8:40 pace (about a minute slower than my usual 5K pace) . I was happy with that! I was sort of far back at the start, but set my watch once I got through the crowd and crossed the starting pad thing so I would have an accurate time for myself. Since there was chip timing at the race, (and about 1600 people) I thought I didn't have to worry about trying to get up to the front.  I finished my first mile in about 8:40, got to the second in 17:35. There was a wicked hill in the third and final mile, AND the last half mile was an uphill grade. You could see the finish arch about a half mile ahead but BOY was that deceptive, it felt like it took forever to get there!

I crossed the finish at 26:30, about 3 minutes slower than my personal record, but hey, I am pretty far into my pregnancy so I was thrilled!  The clock time said 27:30 I think. Later on the website, I discovered the chip times were NOT posted, which I couldn't understand and was greatly bummed out by - but what can you do??? I am sure most people would say "big deal, who cares about one minute," but that little minute WAS a big deal to me!

Anyway, it felt wonderful being done with the race, milling around in the finish area in the morning sunshine.  I was flooded with endorphins and remembering why I love racing.  I saw several people I knew and chatted with them while I was looking for Mike. It took me forever to find him.  He came in around 22:30 and was not happy about it, since he was hoping to beat 22 minutes. I thought he did great though! The shirts were pretty cool, too.

I felt like I was on a high for the rest of the morning. We went home and talked for a while with my mom, who had come over that morning to watch Macy for us so we could run.  She said, "Oh maybe you can take a nap later" and I told her "naw, I never get to take naps." Well, once my runner's high wore off, I was really wishing for a little rest time, but I blew it because I wasn't tired while Macy was having HER nap.  Oh well. Then, I felt like I was useless for the rest of the day. That run really took a lot out of me!  I mean, I know it was only 3 miles, but I pushed myself really hard and it sorta kicked my arse...haha

The next day I was feelin' it... shins were on fire, hamstrings tight and painful!  Once I got moving though I felt much better.

Now I feel super pumped and motivated for the half marathon, which is ONLY 2 months from tomorrow! Holy did that sneak up on me!!!  I didn't do a long run last weekend since we had the race... but the weekend prior to that did the 10-miler.  I think tomorrow I am going to go for 11!

I had my 20 week ultrasound on Monday (I was actually 21 weeks, 5 days, but that's when the appointment happened to fall). It went pretty well, however the baby was "folded in half" (lol) and they couldn't get all the measurements they needed. I have to go back on May 11th to repeat some of them. It was fun getting to see her flop and kick and flip around in my belly for 45 minutes, though! Also, they couldn't get a good 3d pic because the placenta was partially covering her face.  Maybe we will get some better pics next time!

Well, time to hit the treadmill.  Have a great day!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fat is Not the Devil

We watched "Fat Head" last night.  Or, I should say I watched it, while Mike dozed off next to me.  It's not that he wasn't interested... he was just so exhausted from traveling for work all day.  Sooo... tonight we're having a repeat performance of the second half.  LOL

It was awesome.  It's all this stuff I've been proclaiming for years... fat is not bad, not even (oh the HORRORS)... SATURATED fat!!!  Guess what??? We ate saturated fat for thousands of years and were lean, fit and healthy. It wasn't until the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago that we started getting fat. Our bodies are made to eat animal fat.  What's poisoning us and making us obese are all these hydrogenated vegetable oils, refined carbohydrates and processed crap.  It ain't beef. Seriously, we'd be much better off if we went back to eating REAL food, real fats... stuff like BUTTER, meat, coconut oil and LARD. (I know some of you are cringing... but just give me a minute...)

Guess what causes heart disease and high cholesterol?  It's not FAT as you have been brainwashed to believe.  It's stress, smoking AND... (drumroll) refined carbohydrates. YES, carbs. The type the government tells us to eat 6-11 servings of per day.  Do you really think the government has your best interests at heart when they're in the business of commodity, serving special interest groups and satisfying the powerful interests in the dairy and grain industry?  Grain, corn, wheat and the like are commodities. There's money to be made.  The goverment wants you to believe fat is evil and refined carbs are GOOD FOR YOU.  Did you know Cocoa Puffs bear the stamp of approval from the American Heart Association as a heart healthy food? WTF???

Ok, I know I am all over the place here... so let me try to break this down.  Here are some of the facts presented in "Fat Head." (Taken from the blog

No-Bologna Facts

There’s never been a single study that proves saturated fat causes heart disease.

As heart-disease rates were skyrocketing in the mid-1900s, consumption of animal fat was going down, not up. Consumption of vegetable oils, however, was going up dramatically.

Half of all heart-attack victims have normal or low cholesterol. Autopsies performed on heart-attack victims routinely reveal plaque-filled arteries in people whose cholesterol was low (as low as 115 in one case).

Asian Indians - half of whom are vegetarians - have one of the highest rates of heart disease in the entire world. Yup, that fatty meat will kill you, all right.

When Morgan Spurlock tells you that a McDonald’s salad supplies almost a day’s allowance of fat, he’s basing that statement on the FDA’s low-fat/high-carbohydrate dietary guidelines, which in turn are based on … absolutely nothing. There’s no science behind those guidelines; they were simply made up by a congressional committee.

Kids who were diagnosed as suffering from ADD have been successfully treated by re-introducing natural saturated fats into their diets. Your brain is made largely of fat.

Many epileptics have reduced or eliminated seizures by adopting a diet low in sugar and starch and high in saturated animal fats.

Despite everything you’ve heard about saturated fat being linked to cancer, that link is statistically weak. However, there is a strong link between sugar and cancer. In Europe, doctors tell patients, “Sugar feeds cancer.”

Being fat is not, in and of itself, bad for your health. The behaviors that can make you fat - eating excess sugar and starch, not getting any exercise - can also ruin your health, and that’s why being fat is associated with bad health. But it’s entirely possible to be fat and healthy. It’s also possible to be thin while developing Type II diabetes and heart disease.

Saturated fat and cholesterol help produce testosterone. When men limit their saturated fat, their testosterone level drops. So, regardless of what a famous vegan chef believes, saturated fat does not impair sexual performance.


Remember the whole "SnackWells" low fat/fat free craze of the 90's? I totally bought into it.  There was a period of time in the early 90's when I was fanatically obsessed with keeping my weight at 120 pounds.  This was not easy. In order to do it, I ate a steady diet of nutritionally devoid, junk carbs that coverted quickly into sugar in my gut because they were labeled "low fat" or "fat free."  I had no clue I may as well have just sat down and eaten a bowl of ice cream, which would've had the same effect. These foods had nothing good in them and were complete junk, but I ate them because I had been brainwashed to believe fat was the enemy, the root of all evil.  My diet consisted of low fat cereal, granola bars, pretzels, low-calorie bread, no-yolks egg noodles, fat-free Doritos "WOW" Chips (remember those, made with "OLean?") fat-free pudding, spaghetti-o's, SnackWells sandwich creme cookies, SnackWells brownies, fat-free cheese and bologna, Malt-o-Meal, SnackWells mini chocolate chip cookies, and, of course, fat-free frozen yogurt.  I made sure I kept my fat at 10% of my daily caloric intake. I did not exceed 1,000 calories per day. I did 45 mins of StairMaster or brisk walking per day. And, oh yeah, I popped pills like Xenadrine, Ripped Fuel or Dexatrim.

I was constantly irritable, depressed, anemic, lethargic and exhausted.  I was able to maintain my weight for about 18 months...but I was constantly living in a state of deprivation which drove me to binge on delicious, satiating, fatty foods from time to time. Slowly, I began to gain weight, and I could not figure out why.  (my insulin levels were spiking and packing my fat cells full because they didn't know when they'd get another dose of fat). I struggled harder to watch my fat grams, but still the weight was creeping on.  I couldn't understand it.   

This went on with me feeling totally out of control... something that had plagued me since the age of 9 when I first began battling my weight problems.  I hit my all-time high weight of 185 pounds in 2000.  No, I was not pregnant... and hadn't been for the past six years!

The next three years were a constant struggle to get the weight off. I tried many different things. In 2003 when I met Mike, I stumbled upon the Atkins diet and decided to give that a try.  Now, I know many people give Atkins a bad rap... but it really did work for me.  I lost 20 pounds pretty quickly, started running and lost even more.  Eventually, I got myself down to 125 lbs.

I've been bouncing between 120-125 for the past couple of years. During that time, I'd go back and forth with the low-carb thing.  I knew it worked best for me, yet sometimes I would stop doing it and go back to my sugar-eating ways.  Whenever I'd resume sugar and grain consumption, I'd again start feeling like crap again...tired, lethargic, depressed.  Once I went back to low carb, adequate protein, no sugar, clean eating... I would feel awesome.  I would feel so much better, did not feel deprived, my BRAIN worked better (your brain is mostly made up of fat and cholesterol - IT NEEDS IT TO FUNCTION). Hello? Maybe I needed to start paying attention!? ow-fat= feel like garbage, no energy; fat and protein= feel great, lots of energy, no cravings.

Let's review: FAT by itself does not make you fat. Fat and protein TOGETHER, do not make you fat.  Sugars, starches and refined carbohydrates combined with fat...MAKE YOU FAT.

Also, eating saturated fat doesn't give you heart disease. Try finding a study that supports this. I have known this since reading a book a few years back called "UltraMetabolism"  High cholesterol levels are directly correlated to the amount of sugar and refined carbohydrates in your diet.

Remember how your grandparents ate "REAL" food? Stuff they grew in the garden and canned, animals they raised and slaughtered... eggs and milk they got from their own animals? That's what we need to get back to.  Let me be clear: meat and dairy should come from QUALITY sources, and should not be processed crap... stuff loaded with nitrates and preservatives is NOT good.

I found this phenomenal website about 5 years ago called This woman is amazing, she has maintained her weight for going on ten years through low carbing, has awesome cholesterol and low body fat, is super healthy and helps others live low carb. I went back to her site and started relearning what had worked for me in the first place.  I dropped 5 pounds in one week by cutting out the crap once again and was back down to "fighting weight."  During my pregnancy this time, I have been doing the "maintenance" phase, eating mainly protein, lots of vegetables, eggs, dairy, soy milk, seeds, nuts and some fruits. Recently I started having oatmeal in the morning and found it does not raise my blood sugar.

Remember my recent post about the blood sugar monitoring?  I have been doing it about a week now and it's been interesting and fun to see how my blood sugar reacts to different foods. If you watch "Fat Head," you will learn that excess insulin is what makes people store fat and put on weight. As long as you keep your blood sugar levels in the optimal range, you will not gain weight/store fat.  It's that simple.

You want to keep your blood sugar between 70-120 ideally.  Many people consume WAY too many simple carbs and are elevating their blood sugars all the time.  A baked potato might jack your sugar levels up to 200!

So far, nothing I eat regularly has raised mine over 100.  I found a couple of things I need to be careful with though: eating 2 sugar-free puddings with Reddi-Whip raised it to 127, but on a different day I had one pudding with no Reddi-Whip and it was only 95. I am pretty sure it was the Reddi-Whip. Even though the label says it has less than a carb per serving, it still contains sugar. (And if you're like me, you can't help tipping the can back and squirting some into your mouth...haha)  Also, tonight I asked Mike to get me some sugar-free hot chocolate from the store.  An hour after 2 cups of it, my blood sugar was 131! Another hour later it was down to 87, which indicated my pancreas was very effective at releasing insulin to mop up the excess sugar.  It's funny though, because the label says "no sugar added." Still, sugar alcohols can have an impact on glucose levels, too.

Back to "Fat Head." It's great, if you haven't seen it, you should. The guy goes on a high saturated fat/low carb diet... LOSES weight and lowers his cholesterol. How do you explain that???

The other day at work, I was eating a hard boiled egg, which I often do.  One of my co-workers glanced over at my pile of peeled eggs and said, "You're going to eat THREE eggs?" I laughed... and responded, "Yeah, I just might," to which she responded "How many eggs per week do you eat anyway?"

I had to laugh... eggs have really gotten a bad rap.  Remember when this nonsense came out a while back saying you should only eat 3 eggs per week or something? It has since been rescinded... eggs are NOT the enemy, they are a perfect protein food, and they raise levels of GOOD cholesterol!

READ ON if you want to learn more about eggs!

For many years now, eggs have been vilified as a bad food because they have a high cholesterol content and thought to promote heart disease. It is true that eggs contain cholesterol - approx 215 mg per egg - and saturated fats. But the truth is that the cholesterol you consume in your diet has little effect on your blood cholesterol level. Most of the cholesterol in the body is produced in the body.

Many studies have shown that egg consumption is not related to the risk of coronary heart disease or stroke in men or women. In fact long term studies have shown that there is very little difference between people who consume a lot of cholesterol in their food to those who ate much less. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that siginificantly reducing your dietary cholesterol consumption will only lower blood cholesterol levels by an average of 1%!

Eggs cholesterol will not build up in the body the way it was once thought to do and it is a safe, and heart healthy meal if eaten in moderation. However eggs can become problematic if the cholesterol inside them gets oxidized. This can happen if the eggs are cooked at high temperatures where the york is broken as in frying or omelets. The cholesterol in eggs should not become oxidized if boiled or poached.

In summary, eggs are not the villain. It is an excellent source of protein and a useful addition to a low carbohydrate diet. Eating eggs for breakfast will help to keep hunger at bay for hours and reducing craving for sweets in the mid morning.

By the way, the last time I had my cholesterol checked, which was about a month ago, it was 155!

I guess the moral of the story (and all this rambling I have been doing) is that you have to do what works for you. Since I've been "dieting" since the age of 9 and have done and tried everything from fasting to the cabbage soup diet, I am thrilled and empowered to have FINALLY found a lifestyle that works for me where I do not have to feel hungry, irritable or deprived.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

21 Weeks Pregnant...Weigh-Ins and Getting Ready for the Race!

Today I am 21 weeks pregnant. 21 down, 19 to go?  That seems like a lot...

I don't know why I have to be so impatient about everything. I have a lot of trouble living in the moment, I constantly look ahead to the future and have a great deal of difficulty enjoying the present.

At work, I have a calendar where I am counting down the weeks and days to the baby's birth. I keep hoping I will go early. I mean, not so early that the baby won't be healthy - but maybe at say 37 or 38 weeks when she's already full term and there's no need to drag it out any  Well, I can hope, I guess!

The fear of the unknown scares me, that and being out of control.  Not knowing. Being unaware of what my body will do.

I weighed myself this morning, something that always gives me a great deal of anxiety.  I took the scale out, brushed it off (it always collects dog hair, lol) and whispered to it, "Please be my friend. Please be my friend." I did. I truly did.

It was decent.  I have now gained a grand total of 7.5 pounds at 21 weeks.  I am feeling especially triumphant because I am doing significantly better than I did during my pregnancy with Macy, even though back then I still ran almost daily and tried to eat healthy. I just wasn't as strict about food as I am now.  When I got pregnant with Macy in July of 2007, I weighed 11 pounds more than I did when I got pregnant with this baby.  Also, when I was 21 weeks pregnant with her, I had gained 15 pounds, (I've only gained half that at this point) and with Macy I went on to gain a total of 28...still in the "healthy range" but a bit too much for someone as small as I am. When I look back, I can see I was lax about a lot of things. I didn't really realize the importance of diet and how much it affects body composition - I pretty much thought as long as I was running my three miles per day, it wouldn't be a big deal to grab that cherry turnover  in the breakroom at work, hit up Burger King for lunch or have a late-night snack of a giant bowl of some ridiculous low-fat cereal that was probably spiking my blood sugar to the moon and back.  I didn't know then what I know now about the importance (for me) of watching my carb intake like a hawk.

Well, this time I know better, and I am keeping in mind that grabbing a little of this and a little of that here and there ALWAYS comes back to haunt me. I am not a total drill sergeant, of course. I have my once-a-month "treat days" and on the weekends (Fri, Sat, Sun) I relax a bit and allow myself to have sugar-free pudding, Jello and other baked goods I usually make using low carb/low sugar ingredients. This keeps me sane! The rest of the time it's good protein, low carb and whole foods.

Last night, I went to an event with my husband to honor the volunteers who work at his agency.  The banquet room was decorated very nicely, each table was littered with brightly-colored candies and (OF COURSE) my very favorite Reese's mini peanut butter cups wrapped in the most beautiful pastel foil you can imagine!  There were also small Hershey bars in baby blues, pinks and yellows.  There was a whole pile of them right in the middle of the table.  I wanted some SO bad.  I imagined myself taking one, then another, then another... I knew I couldn't stop at one. LOL So, I didn't have any. Yay me.

Mike also purchased a pizza from some fundraiser and brought it home for dinner last night, along with thick, doughy cheesy bread. It was torture to not eat it, but I didn't. I knew I had to weigh myself today, plus I JUST had a cheat day 5 days ago!!!  It was pretty tough cutting the pizza and distributing it to everyone, but once I had it all put away I was fine.  Talk about iron willpower, huh? hahaha

So, this Saturday is the Fitger's 5K race!  I'm really excited, this is the first competitive running event I've done while being pregnant.  I've been running every other day lately, including a long run on Saturdays, so I feel pretty prepared. I also ordered a REALLY cute shirt I found online... it's pink and fitted and says "Got Baby?" (in the whole "got milk" fashion) I would love to have it arrive before Saturday so I can wear it during the race, but I doubt it. If nothing else, I can wear it for the half marathon, since I will be good and pregnant by then!

Have a great rest of your week!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fun with Blood Sugar

I've been strictly back on plan for three days since my free day last Friday.  I feel good - plus I can tell the water I retained from all the sodium consumed Friday is gone.

I bought a blood sugar monitor.  No, I am not diabetic. I just thought it would be interesting and fun to monitor my reaction to different foods.  Hailey says I "need help."  LOL!!

The gold standard for diagnosing diabetes is an elevated blood sugar level after an overnight fast (not eating anything after midnight). A value above 140 mg/dl on at least two occasions typically means a person has diabetes. Normal people have fasting sugar levels that generally run between 70-110 mg/dL.

I did my fasting blood sugar yesterday and then again this morning.  It was 68 yesterday and 70 today.

I also tried it Saturday afternoon, after 2.5 hours of not eating, and it measured 42.  I think it was an error... I looked it up online and it said "call an ambulance and immediately start drinking syrup." haha!

I find it fascinating how different foods cause spikes in blood sugar levels because of increased insulin production. I also think Mike is a freak of nature because for some reason he can eat "bad stuff" but his body is extremely efficient at mopping up the excess glucose.

Sunday night, I had a burger with sugar free ketchup (no bun) then tested my blood sugar 1.5 hrs later. It measured 71. Mike ate 2 burgers and a brat, along with 3 white, doughy buns - and his blood sugar  an hour and a half later was only 98. Fascinating,, right??? It is my guess the same meal for me would've jacked mine up to 150+, but I am not feeling brave enough to experiment with what "bad food" does to my system. I will save that for the next "fun" day.

Your body likes to maintain glucose levels within a very narrow window, ideally 70-110 mg/dL.  It will rise after eating a meal of simple sugars or carbohydrates. When this happens, your pancreas secretes insulin to "mop up" the extra sugars in your blood.  However, your system becomes inefficient if you routinely eat simple sugars and processed carbohydrates which will spike your blood sugar... i.e. white bread, pasta, potatoes, enriched flour, candy, processed food, basically just about anything prepackaged. You eat the sugar or starch, your pancreas secretes insulin to soak up the excess in your blood, you experience a "sugar crash," you want more and eat more, you produce more insulin but it doesn't do it's job efficiently and you're left with all this excess floating around in your blood. This creates a vicious cycle where you eat carbs, have a high, crash, crave more, eat more and the insulin spikes go round and round.

Eating protein and slow-burning carbs does not spike your blood sugar or lead to sugar crash. I try to avoid any food that will elevate mine.  Excess insulin in your blood stream = weight gain.  It's that simple.

Excess protein does not cause weight gain.  Protein isn't used for energy, it's used for muscle repair, cell maintenance and body systems maintenance, things like hair and nail growth...etc.  It is virtually impossible to "store" protein. I try to get one gram of protein daily for each pound of lean muscle mass I have. I believe that is a good standard. Some people who are body building get more, some less. 

According to the Mayo Clinic:
Ideal insulin levels:
Blood sugar level before meals: 70 to 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
Blood sugar level two hours after meals: less than 180 mg/dL (10 mmol/L)

From eMedtv:

There are a few different reasons why insulin causes weight gain. Probably, the most significant reason is that insulin reduces the removal of glucose (sugar) through the urine. With uncontrolled diabetes, the body cannot use (or store) glucose properly, and glucose is lost through the urine. This means that you can consume more calories than you need, and your body cannot use it or store it as fat as well as normal. As soon as you correct the situation with insulin, all of a sudden, your body can access the glucose in the blood. Any excess glucose is not lost through the urine; it is stored as fat. In this sense, insulin is not really causing the weight gain; it is simply correcting the problem (high diabetes) that once allowed you to eat more than you needed.

Secondly, insulin can cause episodes of low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). Hypoglycemic episodes are very frightening. People who have experienced hypoglycemic episodes due to insulin may be more likely to overeat in order to avoid future episodes. This overeating can lead to weight gain.

Thirdly, some people feel that as long as they take insulin, they can eat whatever they want. While it is true that if you know how to appropriately adjust your dosage, insulin can be used to control blood sugar no matter what (or how much) you eat, insulin does not prevent weight gain from eating too much.

Lastly, it is thought that insulin itself may cause weight gain. It is not clear as to how or why this might occur.

I had a protein drink with a tablespoon of peanut butter about an hour ago, and just now checked my blood sugar.  It was only 95.  That's the highest I've gotten it up so far! LOL

I think it's empowering to know how different foods affect glucose levels. Maybe if I checked mine after eating some decadent treat like a Peanut Buster Parfait, it would be an eye-opener and I would not be as compelled to repeat the experiment.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cheat Day Update and the LONG run!!!

C'mon, self.  You knew you couldn't do it.  You knew you couldn't cheat in moderation!

So I told you about my decision to have a "revised" cheat day yesterday, and I guess it was SORT OF revised.  I still went overboard  a little, but no harm done. I had my breakfast paired with chocolate, then got ready to go to court for work. I am in court every Friday from 12-3, so no eating goes on then, unless I am very discreet about it.  I was FULL after breakfast, and stayed that way for six hours.

When I got out of court at 3 though, I was ravenous and my mind was firmly focused on food. I drove directly to the gas station and bought a big grab bag of Cheetos Puffs. Mmmmm.  Then I went home and baked my shrimp in the oven. I could hardly wait for it to cook, so I had some Doritos while I was waiting. LOL

After I finished the shrimp, I had more Easter basket candy and some of those Klondike bars. Some= 3. Hey, they were small!

After that, I told myself, NO MORE. Cheat day is officially over.  It was 4:30 p.m. Instead of eating and eating into the evening, I decided to cut myself off then. 

It's funny how when you're eating (or overeating, in my case) and not really thinking about it, your stomach doesn't get a chance to send that message to your brain that you're full. I'm sure you've all heard the old saying "it takes 20 minutes after you STOP eating for your brain to catch up with your stomach." I believe this is certainly true. I was feeling fine and comfortably full when I STOPPED at 4:30, but about a half hour later, I was downright uncomfortable. And no, I am pretty sure I didn't need that third Klondike bar!

A little trick I often use when I am eating my favorite foods, is to allow myself a small amount (say, one slice of pizza). Oftentimes, the taste is so good that my MOUTH always wants more, even though I don't "need" it.  So I will say to myself, "you can have another piece if you REALLY want more, but first you have to wait 20 minutes. If, after 20 minutes, you seriously and honestly feel you NEED another piece, then you can have one." 

This tactic prevents me from engaging in impulsive, runaway eating behaviors and also shows me I CAN BE SATISFIED with LESS.  That was a profound realization for me, that I could control my intake of food. I have to tell you, when I have this little dialogue with myself, 90% of the time when the 20 minutes have passed, I don't WANT more.

As for cheat day, yeah, I felt a little ill from about 5-8 as my stomach tried to settle down from being shocked by chocolate and carbs.  It's funny, when I eat like that, I get EXHAUSTED!  It's like my body is working overtime to rid me of all the salt, preservatives and other yucky stuff. I was gulping water like there was no tomorrow.  I went to bed at 11 and DID NOT get up to pee... (I do EVERY night, 1-2 times usually) which tells me I was mega-dehydrated from all the sodium.

I guess I still like cheat day, and will probably do it once a month. It's funny though, I don't know what is worse... the torture of deprivation I sometimes feel when I get fixated on a certain food and feel I HAVE to have it (i.e. Cheetos, peanut butter eggs, breaded shrimp) OR the nasty feeling of way overeating and feeling like garbage.  I do know that it kickstarts my program every time I do it and I wake up the next day more commited and motivated than ever to work hard at my health and fitness. It also keeps me from feeling like I can "never" have this or that, and seriously I see no REAL harm in doing it once a month.  I always go right straight back to my strict plan the next day. I think my next cheat day will be 5/9/10, that is one month from yesterday and Mother's Day... we always go out to eat - maybe I will get a big piece of Key Lime Pie!

I woke up at 8 this morning, later than I have gotten up in weeks! I'm serious, I was sleeping off the food hangover!  I rolled out of bed with a grim and gritty determination. I knew I had some serious running to do today and was feeling nervous about it (and also a lot like a fat slug. LOL). I made myself my standard protein drink with no frills - (sometimes I throw a tbs. of peanut butter in there but NOT TODAY) got my iPod charged up and dressed up in my running gear. It's a beautiful day today - sunny and 65... was about 50 when I left but still I warmed up so much after about the first 2 miles I had to take one of my shirts off.

This is the longest run I've done probably since last season - 10 miles, and it went extremely well!  I ran 5 to my turnaround point and then had to stop for the bathroom (that's one annoying thing about pregnancy - you feel like you have to pee all the time even when you don't, lol) hurried up at the bathroom, did not lollygag and got back on the road. I ran all the way home without stopping and DID NOT WALK AT ALL! I was so proud! Oh wait, I did walk up one steep hill on the way home, but that was it.

My legs are really sore right now.  Mike asked me yesterday what I had planned for today and I told him "run 10 miles and then be useless for the rest of the day." LOL  It's so nice out though I'm going to try to resist the urge to lodge myself on the couch with Lifetime. haha.  Macy is taking a nap, so I think I will rest a bit now and then go back outside when she wakes up.

Well, I'm almost 21 weeks pregnant and I can still run 10 miles... I think I will be in pretty good shape for the half marathon, it's only a little over two months away!  There will probably be a lot of potty breaks and no record times, but I am going to do it come hell or high water!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Revised "Cheat" Day

Well, it's starting to happen again.

I'm getting that "itch," that thing where I find myself daydreaming about food that is not on my plan at all times and feeling resentful because "everyone else" gets to eat what they want.

I've tried satisfying it in various ways, working around it, trying to cheat without REALLY cheating... and it's not working.  So it's time.

I haven't had a "free day" in FIVE WEEKS.  The day I had my amnio was the last time, and that was one of the days where I ate myself sick with chee-tos and ice cream sandwiches.

So, it's that time again!  However THIS time, I am going to attempt a "revised" cheat day.  A day where I allow myself a few things, but I do not eat myself into a food coma.

Last night, my mind kept wandering to food.  What did I want??? A creamy, frosty Oreo cookie Blizzard?  Dairy Queen fish sandwich with onion rings?  To ravage my Easter basket, which thus far has been virtually untouched?

I did my tactic of "thinking the food through."  I imagined a full-on pig out day and what it would do to me. Sick, depressed, barfy.  I don't want that.

Ok, how could I do it better?  I stopped off at the grocery store and perused the ice cream section, because something cool, rich and creamy that sits in a freezer has been on my mind a lot lately.  I bought some sugar free fudge bars and also some No Sugar Added Klondike bars.  I feel it's more manageable than the scary half gallon where the serving size is a half cup.  Who the hell eats a half cup of ice cream???

Then I stopped off at the frozen fish section.  Some of you probably think fish sticks are gross, but I've been hankering for them for weeks now.  LOL  I checked all the boxes for carbs and sugar in the breading.  Not horrible.  In the end, I decided on some breaded popcorn shrimp.  I decided I could bake them in the least a little better than fast food fish!

I woke up ravenous this morning.  I ate my usual breakfast of a protein drink with 1/2 tbs. peanut butter and then had some Special K Pure Protein cereal. I have been experimenting with it (it has 9 grams net carbs and no sugar) but I don't think I will buy more because it is like any other cereal to me - I just want more and more. It is made of wheat and oat bran and I actually like the taste even though most people would probably say it tastes like sawdust... or particle board... haha.  I ate it yesterday morning (3 servings... a serving is 3/4 cup) along with my protein drink (cereal was 300 calories and 27 net carbs... when I put a 3/4 cup in the bowl alone it was pathetic...LMAO) and this meal kept me full for SIX HOURS.

So after my breakfast of cereal and protein drink, I dug into my Easter basket and had 2 mini peanut butter eggs (180 cals, 18 carbs) and a section of Dove dark chocolate (200 cals, 9 net carbs).

I'm sitting here typing this, and feeling a little ill... and it's only 7:45. HAHA!

We will see what the rest of the day brings.  I am planning on doing a long run of 8-10 miles tomorrow, so  I am sure I can't do TOO much damage. I will let you know how "revised" cheat day goes!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

20 weeks and Still Running

Yesterday I hit the 20 week mark in my pregnancy.  I can't believe it is halfway over already!  In some ways, it seems it has been going on forever...but in others it's like it's flying by.

I have to say my pregnancy has been fairly easy so far.  I have the usual gripes many women have...getting up in the night to pee just like clockwork, trouble sleeping, getting winded carrying Macy up the stairs, being exhausted at the end of the day and dealing with this dry, itchy, flaky skin...but overall that's about it!

It's so nice to NOT be nauseous anymore...anytime I feel like complaining about my "symptoms" I remind myself how nice it is to not feel sick. 

My running has been going well.  I must say it is more difficult than it used to be of course, but I am simply proud I am still able to do it.  I run 4 days per week, usually about 45 minutes at a time...and then on one of the weekend days I will usually go on a long run depending on the weather.  Then, 2 days of the week I do P90X and on the seventh day I rest!

I have a couple of races coming up, and they're going to be here before I know it!  The Fitger's 5K is NEXT WEEKEND already!  I am a little nervous but not too bad.  It bums me out somewhat that there's no way I will beat my personal 5K record of 23:46, but that's ok.  I am going to do my best... in my head I have a goal time but I am not going to tell anyone just in case I fall miserably short of it...LOL

And then, just 10 weeks from now, Grandma's Marathon festivities begin...which is the third weekend in June.  I am running the half marathon and will be around 31 weeks pregnant then.  I have no idea what I will be like ten weeks from now.  Mike keeps telling me not to worry, that we're doing it for fun and to do it together - but I find that hard to believe coming from a man who is so wildly  I told him I will be happy if I can pull off ten-minutes miles. It's something I really want to accomplish though and I will be proud to say I ran a half marathon while 7 months pregnant!

The food thing is still a daily battle...sometimes it is really like torture to resist all the goodies that surround me, especially at work.  The fine ladies in my building often bring in delicious, home-baked goods, and especially after Easter there was plenty of candy laying around.  I was successful at avoiding it but it's always a struggle and I'm often jealous of the people I see eating these goodies with reckless abandon...particularly because many of them are just naturally skinny! Life isn't fair, is it?

My next doctor appointment is a week from Monday, which is when I will have another ultrasound to check the growth of all the baby's parts.  I think this is going to be a fun one because they do it in 3D!  Can't wait for that. 

Weight gain so far: 7 lbs. Not bad for halfway through!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Thinking the Chocolate Through

I hope everyone had a nice Easter!

I really enjoyed my 3-day weekend and can't believe it's time to go back to work already today.

Saturday night, Mike and I went to the basement and filled the Easter baskets. I was having MAJOR chocolate cravings. Meanwhile, Mike was popping a little of this and a little of that into his mouth every time I turned around. Whoppers Robin's Eggs, Cadbury eggs, mini Reeses cups, solid chocolate eggs and my absolute favorite, the Reeses Peanut Butter egg.  I was REALLY struggling... it was like 9 p.m. while we were doing this - always the time of night when I want something sweet and usually hit the sugar free Jell-o to get me through.

I lowered my face over the bag of peanut butter eggs and inhaled the sweet and heady scent of chocolate.  It was making me crazy!!!  I wished right then and there I could go on a food rampage.

Then I did a little technique I often tell my clients about, "thinking the use through."  It's a tactic to use when you are having an urge to drink or use, where you think beyond the immediate gratification of using what you desire to the "after effects."  You look at the big picture/end result of your behavior, not just the beginning part that always brings good feelings.

I stared down the chocolate and imagined myself having a buffet of Reeses, Whoppers, Swedish Fish, Raisinettes and Cadbury Eggs. I thought of how exquisite those first few bites (when your brain releases 70% of the dopamine associated with the pleasure you feel when eating a delicious food) would taste and how the chocolate would feel in my mouth. Then, I imagined what would happen next. Encumbered by guilt, I would continue to ravage the leftover candy bags until my stomach was maxed out and my resolve was completely crushed. I'd carry the leftovers upstairs, get a drink of water and regroup. Perhaps I'd find some ice cream in the freezer and try my hand at that. I wouldn't stop until bedtime. I'd hobble to bed and cradle my swollen belly as my sugar-shocked brain reeled and nausea rocked my body. I'd sleep restlessly as my blood sugar spiked and plummetted. Then, I would wake up feeling like death.

This didn't happen.  I finished filling the baskets, had some sugar free Jell-o (not as satisfying by any means, but it was SOMETHING) and went to bed.

I woke up Easter morning and watched in amusement as the kids retrieved their baskets.  Once again, all the candy looked irresistible. Once again, my brain rationalized, "C'mon, it's EASTER! Live a little!"

I had found myself some 71% cacao dark chocolate by Dove, which has only 9 grams of sugar per bar. I decided I would allow myself a bit of candy so I could partake in the festivies and not go out of my mind. Throughout the day, I had 2 Dove bars, one mini peanut butter egg and 6(mini, like little Whoppers) Robin's Eggs. Total calories and sugar spent: 540 cals/35 grams sugar.  Not bad!!!

Through careful planning, I was able to control myself, not get crazy and enjoy a few treats.

Much better than waking up with a bellyache and a sugar hangover.  I feel great today!