Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Where Have I Been?

I have been busy. I didn't even do a "What I Ate Wednesday" last week! We are going on vacation to the Shine with Unschooling Conference on Sunday, and it seems my nearly every moment is taken up in preparations.

Last year, when we went to this conference, it was a LOT of work for me. This year, I have been determined to make it easier. Unfortunately, I think all the advance preps that I think are necessary to make it easier for me while we are there are tiring me out so much that I may not be awake next week!

Our family isn't a fan of big conferences, and all I know of are out of our price range anyways. The two events that we seem to have settled on as our yearly treks are ARGH (Autodidactic Radical Gathering of Homeschoolers) in the beautiful mountains of Eastern Tennessee and Shine in the Catskills here in New York. I think the problem with Shine is that ARGH somewhat spoiled me. Not the gathering itself, but the wonderful cabins complete with linens and kitchenware all at a super reasonable price! We pay more to go to Shine, and we get what they call a 2 room cabin which is really one room with a section with 2 bunks beds in it separated off by a curtain. The cabin is tiny, the bunks are tiny, there is electricity, but we really need to bring everything we need with us.

Note, Shine is a wonderful conference, and there really isn't anything like the state parks in Tennessee or Virginia up here in the Northeast. Shine is such a wonderful gathering that after it last year, everyone in our family went on and on about how great it was, and I was left wondering why it fell short for me, and I knew it was the work. The meal prep, the dishes, the cleaning, the trying to keep six people organized in a very tiny space. It wasn't that everyone else didn't try to help. It was more that those sorts of things are my responsibility in our family, and it was a lot. This year, I am hoping for it somehow to be a little easier. I shall see!

Now, about going away and food. ARGH and Shine are the most difficult times of the year for Diana and me, even more difficult than the holiday season. There are food events, with lots of different foods, and not much in the low carb category. Also, Diana loves trying ALL the desserts at potlucks. Even when we are not at group eating things, we are more limited in our food choices to what we have brought and feel like preparing (which is usually nothing.) In spite of these difficulties, I thought I'd give a few tips on eating better while vacationing.

1. Pre-portion snack foods. This helps so much! If things like crackers and nuts are in individual serving size bags, we eat a lot less.

2. Have a plan, but don't be slaves to it. I find it works best if I plan food for each eating occasion, and then we change everything and eat what we want when we want. Simply having the plan ensures that we have foods from all the different categories that we should be eating with us. Letting go of it, keeps us from feeling stifled while we are there, and lets us enjoy the flow of the actual event.

3. Cook some things ahead of time. This year, I am cooking all the meat that we plan on eating next week before we go so we only need to heat it up. I am also going to bake some healthy things like homemade breakfast bars that we can grab and go.

4. Limit eating in the car. We think of meals and snacks on the road as times to stop, get some exercise, eat, and then resume our journey. Eating in the car, just leads to mindless nonstop eating so we try to avoid it if at all possible.

5. Don't bring a lot of healthy treats with you. The truth is you are going to end up eating some less healthy treats. You are on vacation. It is going to feel like a time to make exceptions. We find that if we bring "healthy treats", we eat the healthy treats and then the less healthy treats too eating twice as much! It is better to just have the real treat and save the healthier treats for another time when we are more on track.

6. Don't use eating more poorly while on vacation as an excuse to give up all hope of eating better when you get home. This is probably the most important piece of advice. When you are home, make a point of going back to your healthy ways right away. Bring home the relaxation and new ideas from your vacation, but leave the less healthy eating habits behind.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friendship (My Problems with Intimacy)

I don't make friends easily. It is a deep truth of mine, but at the same time, I have said it so often that it has nearly become a platitude. Matter of fact, I think that I only ever become friends with people who won't let me go; I certainly don't make it easy for them! At the same time, I wonder if I am selling myself short. Diana is my best friend, and I was the one who fell in love, the instigator. Then again, if she wasn't who she is, one who holds on and loves really hard, it probably would have never worked in the end.

I like to spend much time alone, but there is the spark of joy that seems to only come from sharing times of rollicking conversation and fun with others, and it is something that I long for far more often than I ever manage to experience it. I was always on the outside as a child and young adult. The other girls thought me strange, and when showing my natural pragmatism, I was occasionally accused of being callous and uncaring. I built my walls higher and searched for connections that would give me the safety I craved in relationships.

Of course, relationships are never 100% safe. You don't control the other person. You can't ever know the other person completely either. I struggle for it though. I demand intimacy from those who try to befriend me. If they don't communicate enough, I back off, make myself invisible (I am good at that), leave them at the wayside. I don't trust easily. They could leave me at any moment. I want to know who they are so that I can feel close to them and not have to worry that at any moment they might declare that they never really loved me, that it was all just an illusion of my own creating.

I also have problems with any sort of difficulty within a friendship. I came to realize a few years ago that I think friendships are suppose to be perfect. Friends should never have disagreements. They should never share opposing views. They should certainly never argue. I thought an argument meant the end. I know where this comes from. My ex-husband and I didn't argue. One day, he just said he had never loved me, and loved someone else, and that was that. He wasn't open to any sort of reconciliation. When I fussed, he pretended, but he never really tried.

Now I have been told by friends, that a disagreement doesn't mean it is over. Wow! My gut instinct is to still think it is, to feel abandoned, to lose hope. I expect not only to know the other person so completely I can predict their every move, but also for them to be so perfectly in tune with me that they will never do anything to cause friction. I realize that my fears are limiting my connections, but they are very hard to let go of. It is so much easier to say that I don't need anyone else.

Of course, I don't want to go in the opposite direction either. Diana and I were talking just the other night, that in order to feel safe with another partner (we are polyamorous), we would have to feel that they were communicating well with us. We have both had past partners that just wouldn't talk, and then in the end, basically said that we should have known that they weren't happy and how to fix it. (And still even in the very end not exactly clarifying the situation.)

I don't know how to fix my intimacy issues, but I hope being aware of things that are issue for me will help me to moderate them or at least to communicate them to those I start to get closer. (I do tend to warn people right away about my need to know everything!)

This post was inspired by this thought provoking story: The Lion that was a Tree that was my Friend at Ladena Kaboom.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday

Breakfast - Scrambled eggs with cheese, coffee

Snack - Almonds with sesame seeds & dried fruit, coffee

Lunch - Turkey, leftover chicken and sausage from a kebob, mini whole wheat pita, iceberg lettuce, pickles, diet cherry limeade

Afternoon snack - Graham crackers with butter, diet blueberry lemonade

Dinner - Fish sticks, beets, mixed vegetables, diet blueberry lemonade


Evening snack - Piece of cake ice cream

I usually don't eat an evening snack, but we had this leftover ice cream (my favorite) from my birthday, and we all had a scoop this evening. It was delicious!

Photos courtesy of Diana *Bunnykissd* Bukowski.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

In the News: Apples May Be Good for Our Cardiovascular Health

The results of a new study by the Department of Nutrition at Florida State University show a relationship between regularly eating dried apples and both a reduction in LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol) and an increase in HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol.) The study was rather small, with only 160 female subjects.

Half of the women were randomly assigned to a group that ate 75g dried apples everyday for a year. The other half ate 75g dried prunes for a year. Several health factors were measured at 3, 6, & 12 months. The final results were that the woman who ate the apples had an average 23% reduction in LDL cholesterol and an average 4% increase (maybe not really significant) in HDL cholesterol. They also lost an average of 3.3 lbs (probably also not significant). There were no significant health changes in those who ate the prunes.

My take on this study? It was a small study. One hundred and sixty people is a really small sample in my opinion. Because the researchers were not setting out to prove that apples helped health, I think the results for this small group are still worth looking at, especially the reduction in LDL cholesterol. There are a lot of different nutrition things that have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, such as increasing your intake of soluble fiber, eating more fatty fish, eating more nuts, and using olive oil. If those don't work for you either because they are not viable diet options or they just aren't enough, I think adding a couple of ounces of dried apple to your diet each day might be something to give a try.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday

Today was not really a typical day. We most often (Diana & I) have bacon and eggs for breakfast, but we were out of bacon today. I had a particularly high calorie lunch, and then a small dinner. We went to the lake, and when we got back, I was feeling rushed and out of it so it was really hurried. Diana did a great job capturing photos for me though!

coffee, eggs, & sausage

more coffee and almonds with sesame seeds and dried cranberries

diet cherry limeade, kiev stuffed chicken breast, carrots roasted in the microwave

more diet cherry limeade, spiky biscuit


water, stir-fried chicken with vegetables

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Love Yourself Tuesday!

I think I have a love-hate relationship with myself. For the most part, I accept and love myself. It is complicated though. For one thing, I believe that I am who I am. I didn't have any choice much in my genes or my environment. I have choices in life, and I do the best I can in making the right choices (if there even is such a thing which is something that I highly doubt.) Therefore, why should I do anything other than love myself? I am all that I can really know.

I like to look in the mirror at myself, naked. I realize I am odd in this, especially among women, especially especially among women who are on the large side of average. When I look in the mirror at myself naked, I see beauty. I do not see flaws or imperfections. I see this glorious body that does so much for me and allows me to continue existing here on this earth in this life that I know for a bit more.

Diana knows this vain part of me. She revels in it. She sees my beauty too, but she says it is easy to see beauty in others. I disagree. I think it is far easier to see beauty in this body that I know than in anyone else's body. I feel sad that Diana cannot look in the mirror at her body and see beauty like I do when I look in the mirror and see mine.

(And in case she is wondering, she is beautiful, but that is not what this is about.)

I wish that all women out there will love their bodies today. I wish that they will all see their beauty. I wish, if necessary, a paradigm shift in their minds allowing them to know that they are beautiful. Seeing our beauty starts with ourselves.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Keepin' It Real

Anti-perfectionism. It is something I strive for.

It is not easy for me. My family is a family of perfectionists. We are also quirky and accepting and a lot alike each other. Still there is an under current of perfectionism. We are smart and capable in our heads. It is hard I think for all of us to accept that we are not perfect. (Note, this is just my observation, not a judgment or necessarily fact. Even I am capable of over-generalizations.)

We are not unique in this by any standard. I have written before about how entrenched perfectionism is in our society. I think it comes through so easily in media and in the connections of modern technology. I also think that modern technology contains the seeds that may some day do away with so much perfectionism. I intend to do my part.

I have failed on my 30 day trial of using Diet Power again. I do think this program is a good tool. I did use it to successfully lose a lot of weight. I have kept that weight off for several months now. I am not sure exactly why it is so hard to persevere now. There are complications in my life, but there are often complications in my life. Perhaps it is because I am healthier, and it no longer feels like a life or death issue. Perhaps I am experiencing growth in other areas. Perhaps I just let little things get to me and then don't get right back on track. Anyways, that is the fact.

I am not perfect.

I will keep on sharing though! I am really enjoying being back in the blogging groove. I do intend to keep striving to eat healthy. I may or may not lose weight. I hope you enjoy sharing my journey!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Size Doesn't Matter

One thing that is really near and dear to my heart is the issue of fat acceptance. I like the term size acceptance better because I think fat is a derogatory term in our culture and because I feel that it is definitely a relative thing. Where do you draw the line?

In high school, I weighed around 130, and I knew I was fat. I thought I was so fat that no one would ever want to date me. For most of my adulthood I weighed around 235 pounds, and I knew I was fat. I thought I was so fat that no one would want to be my friend. Then I went up to 320 pounds for a few years. For those years, I knew I was fat. I couldn't walk very far without getting out of breath. I had trouble getting in and out of bed. My back ached on a regular basis. At any gathering, I knew I was the fat one. The odd thing was that I no longer thought that no one would want to date me or to be my friend. Even though I weighed more than at any other time in my life! Even though my health was definitely suffering in a way that it had not been before. Something had changed. I had learned to accept myself.

Now I am back at around 235. The weight that has stuck around most of my adult life. I actually feel thin! It is funny because I suppose most people, especially people who don't know me, label me "fat," but inside myself, I know that I am not fat like I was before. For the most part, I feel great! My back rarely aches. I can jump into and out of bed. I sleep easily and rarely snore. I can walk wherever I want to. These are very good things.

The point is that I was labeling myself fat at 130 and 235 and 320, and now at 235, I am not labeling myself fat. I am just me. I have a certain amount of body fat. Most people would say too much. I choose to not use the fat label because I don't want to draw a line. I do not want to have to decide when I am no longer fat. My low weight is 115. I am one of those people who still has a chubby stomach at 115. Will I be fat at 115? Do I want those of my daughters who have more body fat than some people think they should to be labeled fat? Yes, I could tell them to reclaim the word. I would rather just do away with the word as a description of a human being.

I have a daughter who is underweight by the definitions given out by medical science. People notice that she is very thin. She has occasionally been judged for being very thin. She has never been judged to the extent that those of my daughters who are on the other side of the spectrum are judged. This is in spite of having a dangerously low bmi. It seems that being at risk of death from anorexia is preferable in our society to having 20 pounds of "extra" fat even though the health risks are less by anyone's standards.

Today I proclaim my stance. Size doesn't matter. A person is a person. I choose to blog about weight loss because losing weight has helped me to have better health, and I think I might have some positive things to say that could help others who are choosing to give a weight loss path a try. I am not judging anyone based on their size or saying that weight loss is necessary to health in any instance. I can only talk about me and what I know.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Philosophical Musing or Something Like That

Wednesday I was all set to start a new feature on this blog. It was to be called "What I Eat Wednesdays." Diana was taking photos of all my food, and I was going to post them at the end of the day. I was quite excited because it was a challenging day. We had a date that evening with Joseph, and would be either eating out or getting take out, and I still wanted to keep my eating in line with my 30 day trial goals.

Unfortunately things did not turn out as I planned. Diana photographed my modest breakfast and my morning snack, then at noon, I had a gallbladder attack. It wasn't as bad as some, but it was bad enough so that I was in no shape to go out that evening, and my calorie total for the day was only 802 calories. (I made up the difference by eating a bit more the next day. Hopefully my metabolism will stay in line.)

I thought though that this would be a good place to keep track of my gallbladder issues. Many people are now recommending that I have my gallbladder taken out, but I still have some reservations so I thought I would keep track to see just how much it affects my quality of life.

So on Wednesday, May 11, I had gallbladder symptoms from noon to 2:30 p.m.

Hmmm...not really any philosophical musings in here today, but I am happy to be healthy enough to write this update!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Quick Update!

Today was easy peasy! I had a lot of calories left this evening and had a tasty dinner of garlic puffs and cheese ravioli. I weighed 229.6, and Diet Power recommended 1367 calories.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 6 with Sunshine

Today has had a few difficult moments.

This morning, I got up much earlier than I usually do. Getting up at 5:40 a.m. is not too bad, especially when there is a blue sky and the sun is rising. (I love sunrises!) On the other hand, I am quite sleep deprived at the moment and getting up that early definitely gets my usual eating plan out of joint. I felt irrationally hungry all morning, and then after lunch (a rather ordinary lunch!), I felt ill. All my meals were earlier than usual which makes me worried that I will be super hungry this evening and have no calories left.

Anyways, I am enjoying the weather this day and listening to some music. Lia is out rollerblading in the sunshine. Es is working on her "drawing from life" skills, and Josie is bouncing between them. Ant is sleeping after staying awake all night, but I have some job applications ready for him to fill out when he wakes back up.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sundays

Sundays are a long day for the Faerie Gardens family. We get up early and head into Syracuse for church. Well, technically it is not church. We go to the May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society, and this particular UU group seems to be very fond of using the term "society" right down to changing the lyrics in some of their hymns.

Why do we go to this church so far away from our home? We are a very mixed family when it comes to religion. Diana, Esme, and I identify as pagan, and even between the three of us, we accept different truths about the universe, and have different beliefs. JoAnn and Lia, on the other hand, identify as Christians. While Diana, Esme, and I were for the most part happy with our family's eclectic celebrations, Lia and JoAnn wanted to explore religion in a deeper way. They requested to attend on a regular basis a church that would accept both those with Christian type beliefs and those who are homosexual.

Diana and I spent last summer trying out a few churches, and this was the one that best met our needs. Probably the deciding factor was when they started a teen pagan group that Esme was interested in. Antonio chooses to not attend church with us and enjoys Sundays as his time alone at home.

This week, in honor of Mothers' Day, we made a couple of other stops, visiting both my mom and Diana's mom. Esme needed to stay at church late to do child care during a meeting so that worked out quite well. We also made typical stops at Wegmans and the library, not arriving home until around 4:15 or so.

Being out and about for so long was very helpful in eating less. Today I weighed 231.2 lbs. Diet Power recommended 1271 calories, and because for most of the day I didn't have access to food, it was definitely the easiest day yet. I also think I am adjusting (which is typical for me) so that eating this way seems normal. It will be exciting when Diet Power recommends higher calorie amounts, and it will feel like I am eating lots for a few days (probably in a week or two.)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day 4

I haven't been as healthy as I would like today.

I have had an overall good day though. I took a nap (which is very odd for me!) I did my usually things, laundry, dishes, reading, selling. I forgot to write until now!

Diet Power recommended 1222 calories today, and I stuck too them. Now, I very much need to go to bed!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pain & Zucchini on a Lazy Sort of Day

Today feels like it has been both longer and shorter than ordinary days. I have not accomplished even most of the ordinary things that I do most days.

I have had a lot of pain today. First it was my right ankle and foot, then my left hip all around, then my left thigh. It was very distracting! It has been a long time since I have had such roaming nonsensical pain like that, and I wonder if it is from changing my diet. I will soon be over the change period. I can't wait for that!

I did do some reading today. I finished reading The Sky Inside by Clare B. Dunkle and was quite please with it. I also grilled out for dinner making a tasty and low calorie feast of chicken breasts and zucchini. I am feeling for the most part satisfied.

Today, I weighed 232.4 lbs., and Diet Power recommended 1189 calories. This was the easiest day so far to stay on track, but that might just have been because I let other things slide.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Poison Ivy & Day 2 of the Diet Power Trial

In our family, we are poison ivy experts! We live on three acres that seem to be mostly populated with the stuff. We have it in all of its forms, vines, bushes, & plants. No matter how careful we are, we succumb to its affects on a somewhat regular basis.

Last year, at this time, I had it bad. I was trimming some new growth that included some juicy baby poison ivy plants, and my face, particularly my eyes, got sprayed. The four weeks that followed were definitely four of the worst weeks of my life. During that time, I learned about the value of hot water in treating itchiness.

Hot water is the most effective method to get rid of itch. What you do is you put the part that itches under a stream of water that is comfortably hot and then slowly turn the temperature of the water up until it is just barely bearable. What happens is that all of the pain neurotransmitters will be fired off, and there will be none left to cause itchiness (which is really just a slight pain) for awhile. How long? Usually about two hours although your results may vary. What do you feel? First you feel an unbearable itchness, and then a wonderful release! You will know when it has worked.

I am thinking of this now because I currently have a poison ivy rash on both my ankles. Yes, I have been careful, but spring is the most difficult time! Not only are there ton of shoots coming up which you have to really watch out for, there are still dead vines about full of the oils that cause the reaction. The rash I have now was probably acquired from bare sticks or vines. I did indulge in a short time of sitting in the woods blowing bubbles a couple of weeks ago. I am pretty sure that that must have been when the contact occurred.

I am doing the hot water treatments four times a day, and pretty much keeping my discomfort at bay. It is nothing like last year when my entire body was itchy, and my eyes were swollen shut.

Today, it was again for the most part easy to stick to the 30 day trial. I weighed 233.0 this morning, and Diet Power recommended 1188 calories. I have eaten most of them already, but have enough left for a drink and a mint before bed.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

An Unexpected Visitor and Day One of the Diet Power 30 Day Trial

Today is day one of my 30 day trial of using Diet Power both as a recording device and a point of calorie control. Today I reset my diet, and the program recommended 1221 calories. My starting weight is 234.6. For the most part, it has been easy to use the program and stick to the calorie amount.

This day has been anything but typical though! It seemed to start in an ordinary manner, cuddling with Diana and getting ready to read a little of my book before I got up. Then shortly after Diana got out of bed, at around 9:30, the phone rang. A friend of Diana was in Fulton and wanted to visit. We are always happy to see Robert so we gave him the OK, but it was a little weird because I am always anxious about unexpected guests. I am not social at heart, and just in general, wandering away from my routines can cause a lot of anxiety.

Diana hopped in the shower, and I hopped up and headed into a variation of my morning routine. Josie made biscuits for breakfast, and Ant made coffee so I washed dishes and cleaned and listened to morning chatter and mostly kept everything running smoothly.

Biscuits are generally not on our approved breakfast list, but by the time we ate, it seemed appropriate so I started the day with a treat and kept on track from there. Dinner tonight features baked sweet potatoes. Yum!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Return of the 30 Day Trial

When I started this blog, I was using the 30 day trial method of making changes in my life. For the most part, I was pretty successful.

Then I got bogged down with a trial that just wasn't working for me. It was the exercise walk everyday. I was torn up by anxiety of walking outside for 30 minutes a day. Note, I love walking, but I do have some agoraphobia issues, and they came out in full force!

Now I have realized that although "The Long Walk" is one of my big goals, I do not need the 30 minute exercise walk to get me there. There are lot of other training models that work better with my mind and abilities and that is what I have been doing the past year, and I am happy with that.

What lesson did I learn? First of all, I learned that I need need to learn from my failures. I need to let me be both the scientist and the subject of those types of experiments in my life. Second, I think I learned that I need to not plan things out too far in advance. I am much more a "go with the flow" sort of person.

I just found myself realizing that I am at a point where I think I would like a few personal challenges of the 30 day trial variety so I am starting here. My diet has fallen apart into an on and off thing that is ultimately going to lead to weight gain. On top of that, with the gall bladder disease, I am feeling insecurity and fear every day about everything I put in my mouth if I am not sticking to a plan with guidelines to keep me healthy. The problem is that there is a point when while on plan I need to ride out an uncomfortable period, and I have not been successful at pushing past that point the last few months.

With a boyfriend who rather frequently takes us out to eat, and a vacation on the horizon in June, I need to get this under control to feel healthier and more secure in my digestive health as I approach the summer. So, starting tomorrow I will embark on a 30 day trial. The challenge will be to record all my food in Diet Power for 30 days and to stick to the calorie recommendations they give me. (One of the best things about the Diet Power program is that they change your recommendations based on your weight. I love the fluidity of the program, and it also meets my belief that it is healthiest if our food intake varies from day to day.)

Of course, I will report on my progress here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Catch Up!

In the last couple of months, I have started many posts for this blog, in several cases writing many paragraphs before saving and never returning to them. Ending blog posts or conversations or relationships even are not things that I am particularly good at.

This blog keeps calling me though. I would say that of all my blogs it is my favorite, and the one I think others are most likely to get useful information from.

Since I doubt that I will ever finish all those entries without endings, I thought I might ramble a bit here about some of the topics that I felt compelled to write about even if I don't really flesh out the topics. It is a starting point.

One thing I have wanted to do was an update on health issues where Diana and myself are concerned. I will start there.

The pluses - Diana lost 46 lbs. last year. She also lowered her fasting blood sugar from 150-160 to 115-125. She has more energy. She can for the most part wear clothing from the regular ladies' section of stores. She also finds it somewhat easier to select foods and portion sizes that help her to stay healthy.

The negatives - She still struggles to avoid high carb dessert type foods in the evenings, and although she moves a lot more than before (simply because it is easier and she has more energy), I would classify her as very sedentary. Her A1C is still in the borderline danger zone, and she'd like even lower blood sugars. She thinks if she lost more weight those things would even out, but after a lot of extra eating during the holidays, it has been hard to get to a place of steady weight loss this year. She has pretty much plateaued moving between 180 - 189 but is not breaking the 180 barrier. There is a part of me that wants to say that maybe this is what she is meant to weigh. (She is 5' 2" like me.) But I think we are both pretty certain that losing a bit more will be get her other numbers to the place where she will be able to minimize the risk of any diabetes complications.

Plan - For now, she is doing her best to make good choices without feeling deprived. This year, I have been plagued with health problems of my own, so my use of Diet Power to record calorie totals has not been regular. Hopefully as my health stabilizes, I will continue that and be able to assist Diana in her efforts. As the weather warms and the snow melts, increased activity will also be part of the plan.

Now for me!

Pluses - I lost 85 lbs. last year. I lowered my fasting blood glucose level from 140-150 to 95-115. I have a lot more energy, so much more that in some ways I feel like a different person.

Negatives - I have a history of gall bladder disease, but up until last month, I had not had an attack in 9 years. Well weight loss is a trigger for gall bladder problems. I did not lose weight super fast but still the gall bladder problems have returned. I am determined to not have my gall bladder out if I feel that there are any other options. So I am back to using diet to keep it under control. This means I need to eat a very low fat diet, and I need to watch the total volume of food that I eat at any one time. Of course, I need to eat a low carbohydrate diet too due to diabetes. This leaves me feeling that no food is safe, and that I am hungry all the time.

I am lucky. After several attacks, (I kept telling myself that it was just a fluke and I'd be fine), I returned to the method that enabled me to get it under control 9 years ago, and I now seem to be doing OK. It has been a very exhausting struggle. The past few weeks just seem like a blur of pain followed by a blur of starvation followed by a blur of exhaustion and only today am I feeling anything at all like my old self!

Similar to Diana, I have not lost much weight this year, only around 5 lbs, and most of that due to the starvation part of my recovery. I am hopeful that now that my energy levels are better, I will be able to see how I can make more weight loss happen.

This is the place where I suddenly want to stop writing even though I know that I have not really ended. I also want to write about fat acceptance. That is so important to me, and since I have been losing weight, I worry that people will get the wrong idea about my opinions from reading my blog.

I have wanted to write more about perfection, and how it can create a landslide effect that hurts us all.

I have wanted to write a lot more entries about positivity, passion, and play because those are the things that often fill my days.

I have wanted to write some "what I eat" entries because I get a lot of questions about that.

I have also wanted to go back to making menu plans because I love routine (except when I hate it.)

Oh, an entry or two or three or maybe even four about my daughters might be called for too!

Those things will have to wait...