Thank you for dropping by!

I truly appreciate that you've decided to share part of your day in my world. I hope your time has been well spent and I've made you smile, laugh or think.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Post Whole 30

I did it.

For 30 days I followed the Whole 30 diet as discussed in "It Starts With Food."  My only cheat, towards the very end- a small piece of cake and a little scoop of ice cream for my son's birthday.

I wish I would have kept better track of the results- I didn't do measurements because I really wasn't a) convinced it would work and b) didn't want to be disappointed when it didn't.

Nice attitude, huh?

If you're a reader, you know how many times I've been down this road before!

I did sorta track my weight.  I didn't jump on the scale until I had started for a few days.  I lost 13 pounds.

I don't know about you, but for me 13 pounds in a month is fantastic.  I'm over 40.  I have the metabolism of a drunken sloth.  I already ate fairly decently.  There was nothing left to cut out.  I already exercised fairly regularly (well, more than most Americans!).

I tracked my calories for the first 21 days- I stopped because I found out what I wanted-- I was eating more calories.  I was exercising for less time.  I lost the most weight I ever have in such a short period of time.

I slept better.  My skin cleared up.  I easily dropped a size. 

So now what?  Well, this past week, I tried a variety of different things, as they recommend back into my diet.

Dairy made me ill.  Specifically ice cream and milk.  I had a little cheese on some potatoes and that seemed fine.  Yogurt also made me sick.  I mean sick, too.  Nauseous.  A little feverish.  It lasted about 2 days.

I tried pasta.  I couldn't eat more than a few bites.  My stomach immediately swelled up like a balloon.  The next day I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Very different reaction from the dairy.   I also had popcorn.  I thought I was okay.  I had it twice this week.  My face is broken out.  So maybe popcorn is okay once a month, but not 2-3 times a week (and here I always thought it as a nice "healthy" snack).  I didn't even try shredded wheat or oatmeal.

I had a cupcake- oddly that seemed fine!

I had an Oreo.  I can not begin to tell you how disgusting it tasted.  An Oreo.  It dissolved in my mouth and suddenly it tasted like I had a mouthful of oil.  I thought maybe it was a "bad" cookie (work with me on this- I've eaten them my whole life).  I tried to eat another- spit it out.

I think that was the most shocking to me-- my tastebuds have changed that much in just 30 days.  The cupcake- which was homemade did not taste that disgusting.  I think my days of processed foods are gone forever.  I was never a big Twinkie fan, so I think I'm okay and will survive!  And if I ever want to try again, I'm sure the thought of that nasty taste- imagine licking the recongealed fat off a roast-- will prevent me from every doing that again!

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

I've had a LOT of questions about this and many friends have started the program and had similar results (please share them below!).  Here are a few of the questions:

Wasn't it hard to cut out so many things?
No.  Not even a little.  The first few days I felt terrible but at no point did I ever feel hungry.  Never.  Not once.  I think because I was eating fat again, I felt full for the first time in a very long time.

How can you live without cheese?
I have been known to say that my life would have no meaning without cheese.  It does.  I think because of the fat, I didn't miss the cheese.  I was getting most of my fat from dairy, so that's what I was afraid of missing and what I craved.  Avocados, bacon, olive oil-- it all filled the void.

Since I've tried to reintroduced dairy and had such a bad, strong reaction, I'm done with it.  Maybe a little feta for flavor on a salad or parmesan on something with marinara-- small amounts of big flavored cheeses for flavor- which is probably how I should have been eating them all along and not as a separate food category!

But bread... you MUST miss bread!
Okay, I have a confession.  I don't like bread.  Some breads, sure- usually if I can cover them in butter or olive oil, but honestly not my thing.  I am not a sandwich fan.  Never have been.  I've always preferred soup or salad over a sandwich.  It just seems heavy to me (probably because it bloated me up?).  I also don't like beer.  Every once in awhile I'll have a nice red wheat beer, but if I'm going to drink, I'd rather have wine or vodka.  Beer makes me belch and pee-- sexy.

So alcohol- you miss that!
Yes. You caught me.  This surprised me more than the Oreo tasting nasty.   I am not a big drinker.  I think it's because the weather is getting nicer and my husband and I like to have a glass of wine on the patio in the evenings.  We had friends over about a week into it and it sucked to sit there and drink tea.  One of my best friends was back from Africa this week, so we shared a little wine.  About halfway through one glass, I was tanked.  I guess the benefit of this-- I'm a cheap drunk now!  I tried a little hard cider last night and I actually felt my heart racing from the sugar.  Of course, I'd had popcorn right before- after managing my sugar for so long, my poor body was freaking out, I'm sure.

I think a drink a week is more than enough.  But it definitely impacts me and I'm aware of it.

What on earth are you eating?
My typical breakfast isn't typical any more.  I usually have eggs- an omelet, fried, scrambled, poached, boiled- you name it. I like eggs.  I have lox quite a bit, too.  The kids love it.  They kids are also liking having eggs from time to time, although I have not converted them (and I am debating this.... ).   Potatoes are okay- this isn't Atkins.  I am trying to lose weight so I don't eat them often.  Today, I went to breakfast with my daughter.  I had 2 poached eggs, ham and hash browns.  I used the hash browns like I would toast.  When I want something carby, I eat potatoes.  They have a lot of recipes for "skillet meals"- healthy hamburger helper stuff.  I will throw an egg on top of it.  Sounds gross, but fills me up easily to lunch.

And speaking of lunch... for lunch, I have salads or leftovers from dinner.  I use balsamic vinegar for my dressing, but I've made homemade mayo (takes 5 minutes) and I can make a nice ranch dip if I want.  I usually put a protein (leftover from the night before, boiled eggs or a nitrate free deli turkey), mixed greens or ice berg lettuce (love it), for a crunch peppers or carrots or celery or cabbage, and I like to add nuts and for sweet I toss on some fruit- apples or pears or dried fruit- even oranges- and then I top it was a few chopped nuts.   Because I'm eating a larger breakfast, I don't need too much at lunch

For dinner, very little has changed.  We have chicken, fish, steak, shrimp- pretty much anything.  I like to cook so this is not a big deal.  We have a side of a veggie and I make homemade applesauce (I'll put my secret recipe below).  Or two veggies.  Or cauliflower rice (I'll put that below as well).  Or a potato if we have some.  Pizzas and pastas are for when babysitters come over or my hubby has to throw together something when I'm working late. 

For dessert, we have a Zoku popmaker (very fun and useful) and I made up my own "drumstick"- coconut milk frozen, topped with chocolate coating (made with coconut oil) and rolled in chopped macadamia nuts.  Yum.

But what do you eat when you go out?
It hasn't been too hard.  The oddest places have the best options.  It's easy to get a meat or fish entree with veggies for a side.  Red Robin, which I love, was nearly impossible to find something that didn't have chips or cheese or something on it.  Same with Tropical Smoothie Cafe.

I still think it's weird.  Don't you think it's weird?
I feel fantastic.  I think continuing to eat food that makes me feel ill is weird.

I really hope my friends who are doing this also comment on how they feel.  It's like someone flipped a switch on.  Trust me, once you get through the first week YOU WILL NOT GO BACK.  I cannot emphasize this enough.  I do not miss feeling bloated and ill.

A few tips that I have:
  • Keep a bowl of boiled eggs (if you like them).  They are an easy to grab food for when you are hungry and they fill you up.
  • Kale chips are great for when you want something crunchy and salty.
  • You're going to have to cook.  Plan it.  Make extra for leftovers.  
  • Nuts are delicious.  Buy them in bulk.  

And the recipes (no specifics):

Crockpot Applesauce (for advanced cooks only--kidding)
Cut up apples (I use one of those divider things).  Leave on the skins.
Throw them in the crockpot.  If you have some fruit that has seen better days (shriveled peaches or strawberries... blueberries that are starting to look like raisins...), throw that in, too to mix it up.  We use pears as well.
Top with cinnamon- about 2 T (I like cinnamon). For fun, throw in some cardamon.
Depending on the apples, add a little water.  If they are soft apples, add about 2 T, if they are crisp apples, add about 1/4 cup.
Put the crockpot on low and come back in a few hours.  Mash down the apples or leave them in slices.
Serve them either hot or cold.

Cauliflower Rice
Grate a head cauliflower into rice size pieces.
Saute half a diced onion in olive oil.
Once the onions are soft, add 2 T or 2 cloves of minced garlic.
Saute until the garlic is soft.
Add the cauliflower pieces.  Saute until the cauliflower is slightly browned.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Kale Chips
Wash and dry a head of kale (either curly or flat leaf will work).
Cut into chip size pieces- smaller is a little better.
Toss with sea salt and about 1/4 cup olive oil (it will seem like a lot).
Bake on foil lined baking sheets at 400 for 20 minutes.  Halfway through, toss/turn the chips.
Store in an airtight container.
(I know you think this is gross, but my kids can't get enough of these.  Oh- and unlike the applesauce which will make your house smell delicious, this will make your house smell like farts).

Have fun.  Give it a try.  It might work for you.  It might not.  It is working for me.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Wardrobe Malfunctions

Tuesday I flashed my client.

Not a Full Janet, mind you.  It was more of a JCPenney lingerie catalog flash.

I had on a shirt that had a V neck, wrap around neckline.  One of my favorites.

I also have been shrinking.  No complaints.

I guess because I have been at this weight loss thing for the past year- okay 15 years- it never occurred to me that it might actually be working this time.

Well, oops.

I made a quick turn and my client- a very lovely gentleman, my age,  that I have worked with since my first year and with whom I fortunately have a close relationship- goes "Um, Lori.... a little exposure there... not that I mind..."

And there it was.

My bosom.

In the V.


Now, had it been a different client, I may have been freaked out.  But this client has known me through thick and thin.  He also had a great sense of humor.  So when I was excited that my shirt was too big, so was he.  Probably for different reasons.

A win-win.
What can I say?  I work hard for my client satisfaction scores.

I'm still not quite at the point that I want to buy a new wardrobe.  It just seems surreal that this is working....  could it be that I am actually losing weight?

Plus, most of my clothes are more in the finally-fit versus- too-loose-to-wear zone so I think I can swing it a few more pounds.

Six years ago I grabbed a dress off the rack at Target and assumed it would fit.  It was a bit narrow.  I left it hanging with the tags on.  They I put on more weight, rather than drop a few.  So it continued to hang in my closet.

I purge my wardrobe fairly often.  My 6-8's were sad to get rid of... then the 10's.... then the 12's... and then most of the 14's... all donated or given to friends.  When I lost weight 7 years ago, I got rid of all the bigger sizes.  Then I gained it back and was mad when I had to get new clothes.  In fact, that dress was one of the last non-fat-girl-store clothes I bought.  I think the only reason I kept it was that it was in the back of the closet and I missed it during the last purge.

I wore it Thursday.

I also have refused to get rid a fantastic red silk suit/dress that I bought at Talbot's after college.  I bought it a few sizes bigger because they didn't have it my size.  I meant to take it in.  I sew. Well, no worries about that-- I grew into it.  And then out of it. 

I pulled it on Wednesday.  I wouldn't wear it out in public, but I could fit it over my butt.  With effort.  And a little funky dance.

And the Snoopy t-shirt that I have on.... I honestly didn't know that it was supposed to be a long shirt that fell over my hips. I bought it, realized after that it was a "snug fit" and then relegated it to sleepwear.  I'm still sleeping in it, but it looks like an entirely different shirt.

Yesterday, I had another client sit there, staring at me.  My boob was still in my shirt, I should add. She was newly married to a long term client.  She kept staring and I finally asked if she had a question.  She said "You look radiant.... what's up?"  and I told her what I was doing.  She said she was going to ask if I had lost weight but she hadn't really seen me enough, so she thought maybe she hadn't noticed.  She wrote down the name of the book.

My parents are even ordering the book.  They've known me for a long time, so if THEY see a change...

But with all this great fun stuff happening, the reflection in the mirror still makes me sad.  I'll put something on, it will be loose, I'll be feeling all excited and full of myself and then I'll turn and see myself and think "Crap... there's a long way to go...."
But this time it's working.  I'm getting results.  In one month I've accomplished more than I did in six. More than I did in a year. 

And a few more boob flashes and I'll be shopping.

Just a few more.  Because let's face it, it's kinda fun ;)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Three Week Update on the Detox

I swear, it sounds like I'm in rehab or something...

Okay, so three weeks down and how am I feeling?

Freakin' fantastic.  No joke.  I slept for 7 hours straight last night.  SEVEN.  Let's see, Saturday was my son's birthday so it's been, um about 10+ years....

Last week was my "special" week so while my face isn't entirely clear, compared to more recent past "special" weeks, it's quite nice.  And no cramps.  And, well, without getting too detailed, let's just say it was normal.  Which hasn't been the case since I turned 40.  Enough on that.

I also lost 3 pounds last week.

That has NEVER happened.  I always gain 2-5 pounds that magically disappear.

So, in total, I'm down about 11 pounds.  In three weeks.  That's what I lost in the 6 months before joining Weight Watchers and the 6 months I was in Weight Watchers.  I gained 5 doing Crossfit this summer (but didn't change my size). 

And did I mention I'm about a size and half smaller than I was the last time was at this weight?

I had a friend a few years back who weighed the same that I did (it was before I had my daughter- so about 8 years ago).  She was in a 6.  I was in a 14.  I was stunned.  I can squeeze back into 14's (it's not pretty) but I'm 25 pounds heavier.

Screw the scale.

I put on a t-shirt that I'm wearing in my cover photo on Facebook.  The sleeves that were tight in the picture are now loose-- well, they are normal.  That was 2 months ago.  I wore a skirt Thursday that was almost falling off. I joked with my parents that I kinda hoped it would- an embarrassing story with great bragging rights!

I'm looking at my summer clothes that will go into storage in a few weeks and thinking maybe I should just donate them?

In the book it mentions not cheating during the 30 days.  After that, it's not restrictive whatsoever.  For celebrations, they encourage you to partake.  Since I'm already sold on the lifestyle (did I mention how soft my skin is in the past 10 minutes??!?!), I thought why not try a little piece of cake with 1 scoop of ice cream?  It was my son's birthday.  It was a small piece and a small scoop.  Next week, I was going to "test" it for a day, why not this week?

I almost puked.

No kidding.

It hit my stomach like a rock.  And let's just say, it has not been nice to be around me today, I'm a tad... um... flatulent.

Looks like dairy is out for me for the long run. To be honest, I already knew this before I started.  I just didn't realize how bad it was making me feel until I took it out.

Goodbye ice cream!  You would think I would be sad, but considering how bad one little scoop made me feel, I'm fine with it.  I'm still bloated 24 hours later.

So, to recap, I have increased my caloric content and reduced my workout time and my supposed calories burned.  I switched from a cardio focused workout to a weight lifting/cardio burst interval workout.  I feel energetic.  I am more alert.  I am sleeping more soundly.  My skin is changing.  I'm not hungry late at night.  And I have lost 11 pounds.

I'm not sure if this will get all my weight off, but I have to say, getting my hormones working normally and building muscle-- I'm not sure how it won't? I should end up at my natural weight within 6 months, based on everything I've read.  The weight loss will slow, without a doubt.  I will get bored with eating clean, I'm sure.   After years of measuring, weighing, tracking, aerobicizing, spinning, etc, etc, this feels like the Rosetta Stone for me.  Whatever was going on with my body, this has definitely started to correct it.

It won't be easy.  It's not like I'm not working at it.  I sweat at the gym (i just accidentally typed "swear"- that, too!).  Except for the cake and ice cream, I've stuck with it.

And it is working for me.  It might not work for you.  Your blood sugar may be completely fine.  Mine was still testing normal-- for the average pool of Americans, but not for me- it had crept up over the years.  You may be fine with dairy.  I very clearly, am not.  I'm interested to see what happens when I try to eat grains- I have a feeling I'll be fine, but who knows? Maybe not.  I certainly didn't expect such an immediate reaction to dairy after less than 3 weeks of not having any.  And it was a BIG reaction.  I certainly had a headache and nausea when I cut out grains- maybe it is an issue?

This is my experiment on me.  I'm not a doctor in the least.  I simply know that traditional diets didn't work and were demoralizing ("Well you MUST be doing something wrong...."  or "Sure, you track what you eat....").  I'm a smart girl.  I kept looking.  I knew there were no more calories to cut from my diet ("just eat 200 calories less a day"--- sure, and then what?)  I had no idea I would have this type of result so quickly. 

All I can say is you would have to feel like I do to understand why it is not hard to stick with this.  It's the best I've felt in 15 years.

Three weeks ago I would have told you this was about the scale.

It's truly not any more.  I realize that my obesity was a symptom, not the disease.  I am so grateful that I had friends that shared this with me.

But you can't wing it.  You can't sorta try it.  You have to read the book and do it if you want the results.

And I have no clue if it will work for you.  I've had a lot of emails about this.  I'm not an expert.  Get the book. If it makes sense to you, give it a try.  If you don't exercise and eat fast food 5-6 times a week, this probably is going to be too much.  If you've seriously tried everything, this might be it.  Or not.

Read the book.  Check out the website.  If you've got 30 days, try it.

Whole 9- "It Starts With Food"

I'll give a final wrap up next week and then you keep posted from time to time on how I'm doing!  I also have another blog that focuses on weight loss which I have a link to on this site.

Thank you to everyone for your support!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Thoughts from the Playground...

Apparently, the Chicago school teachers are on strike.  I don't know why.  I do know that the 2 main issues that ran on all the national news shows were:

How are parents going to find daycare on such short notice?
How are the kids on free lunches/breakfasts going to eat?

Not about the strike issues (I think it's about health insurance costs increasing), not that kids will miss instructional days.

Daycare and free lunches.

As I've written many, many times in the past, I think public schools have become more and more responsible for distributing social welfare programs than education.  I'm not sure if I'm entirely opposed to this either.

I would rather that schools have free lunches than parents receive welfare benefits that can't be directed for their actual welfare.  Serving a kid breakfast and lunch- which you know they actually get- is fine with me.  The largest demographic under the poverty line is children and I find that horrifying.  Free lunches can't be traded in dark alleys for drugs.  They can't be cashed out to buy cigarettes.  They feed children.  So, to be honest, I'm okay with that.

Our school district also provides vision care, dental care and vaccinations through various county and private organizations.

Not bad.

Public schools may actually be the best way for government to provide benefits to the most needy and those who can't simply "get a job" as many people like to assume- you know, the children.

I'm also okay with therapeutic services being offered for children with disabilities.  It saves a parent from hauling a child all over town, trying to compete for private programs-- it makes us all better as a society to care for those less fortunate.

I'd rather see a school offer it than simply sending out checks to people.

But with that said, can we at least make sure the schools are funded properly to do this?  And can we also make sure that education actually DOES happen?

The last 2 weeks at our elementary school, parents have been complaining about the classroom sizes in fifth grade.  The 5th grade has 37 kids per class.

Wow.  That's a lot of kids.

When I heard parents complain about this and what they should do-- I very politely said "Keep that in mind when you vote.  What did you think was going to happen?"  And then I often get a dirty look.

I voted for our Republican governor and I would again.  Yes, he cut the crap out of education.  He cut the crap out of everything.  He said he would.  He said there was no money.  There isn't.  The opposing candidate had some very interesting numbers and figures.  I work in finance.  I went with the straight shooter.  I knew what was going to happen.  I didn't like it, but I also know there was no way in hell anyone was going to vote for a tax increase when we have 15% unemployment.

Our property values have dropped, so the revenue from real estate taxes bottomed out.  We don't have a state income tax, so our state is dependent upon sales tax and real estate taxes for the bulk of its revenue.  And, of course, an assortment of gaming, corporate, energy, etc... The sales tax dropped as tourist revenue declined.

No one wants to pay more in taxes.  Everyone wants services.  It doesn't work like that.  If I walked into a store and wanted something I would have to pay for it.  There's been a lot of talk about running government like a business lately; well folks, that's how businesses work.

On the way out of dropping off my kids this morning I was speaking with a friend of ours who is a fireman.  His son is in one of the giant classes (the classrooms aren't designed to hold that many kids, either).  I joked that some day people are going to call the fire department and their house is going to burn down because they all voted to cut "big government."

I'm against government waste.  I just don't think adding teachers so my kid can get an education is wasteful.  I don't think feeding a poor kid is a waste.  Feeding his parents who could work....well, not so much.

In a country where 47% of the population doesn't pay federal income tax yet have public schools available, public safety, strong borders--- something is wrong.  We have it very good in this country and yet people continue to complain and want more. And they don't want to pay for it.  Half of those in that 47% actually THINK they are paying taxes.

When the lead story of a major teacher's strike is about daycare in lieu of education- because that's what education is apparently these days-- I am terrified.  That's what we consider it.  Babysitting.

I don't know what the strike is about- I'm sure it's wages, health insurance, classroom sizes-- my husband has 47 kids in nearly all of his freshmen and senior classes this year-- and I know nothing about Chicago Public Schools.

I do know that as a society we are failing. We are the Roman Empire- concerned with ourselves and not the community around us.  What's in it for me?  The teachers are striking- egads- what an inconvenience to my day!  (And I do understand that it put many families in a bind financially- I don't mean to make light of that- but honestly- THAT'S the lead on the story??).

We were on the verge of an economic collapse 4 years ago based solely on greed. Did everyone forget?  Eleven years ago people were trying to kill us.

Now we're greedy and fighting among ourselves like pre-schoolers going after the last cookie.

We are forcing schools to raise our children then complaining when the government interferes.

We want religious freedom, but only for our own religion.

We want privacy, but only if it applies to our lifestyle.

I feel like a live in a schizophrenic society where everyone simply wants and no one does.  Which isn't true because I have many friends, of all religions, political persuasions, economic stature who do a lot to make the world a better place.  I even married one.

But here's a thought people.... it's something I read on the internet the other day....probably from George Takei...

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

(And I'm kidding... I know it was JFK)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Whole 30

This past Monday I started a detox program (for lack of a better term) for the next 30 days.  I promised I would give a progress report on how I'm doing.

Still sorta sucking, but I am seeing the benefits already.

I've cut out processed sugar, grains, dairy, beans and caffeine.  I guess caffeine wasn't required, but I figured, why not. I had a glass of green tea yesterday and rambled like a loon.  I think it impacts me more than most people.

Before you get all "Mama Bean you need to eat a balanced diet...."  trust me, I am.  I am eating fruits, vegetables, proteins-- all good.  I am getting fiber from the fruits and veggies.  This isn't a bacon-bacon- and more bacon diet (not that I wouldn't love that).  My breath doesn't stink.  I don't have gas.

I am, however, very tired, still.  I don't look radiant quite yet.  And I'm well, a little pissy.

I should have known that this would work.  I was very food-sensitive as a kid.  Not highly allergic to anything in particular, but I had reactions to chocolate and dairy a lot.  I thought I had "grown out of it."  It's not looking that way.

I have lost a LOT of water weight just this first week.  I can tell, if no one else can.  It's like I'm deflating.  I am peeing like I'm pregnant.  No, it's not fat loss, but that's really not what this is about.  It's about correcting my insulin levels in hopes that this is what my issue is.

My clothes are noticeably loose.  I had tightened up after Crossfit, but was hesistant to buy new clothes.  I can wear clothes a size too big-- no problem.  It makes me feel thin (regardless of the size, of course!)  I have a feeling in 3 weeks, that won't be an option.  Especially where the weight is coming off.

My hips, stomach and upper arms are shrinking.  Clothes that were tight or fit last Saturday are looser.  I have on a t-shirt and the arms are loose.  They were tight the last time I wore it. I  put on a t-shirt for my tap class on Thursday and it easily fell over my hips and butt.

I'm tracking what I'm eating in my food journal and here's the interesting part-- it's the same or more than the Weight Watchers points.  My fat is higher.  Yet, the weight is coming off-- again, I know it's mostly water weight at this point.

It's a bit freaky, honestly.  It's enough to keep me motivated to keep going.

This isn't something designed to keep doing.  At the end of the 30 days, I reintroduce foods back in, one at a time.  The ones I react to, I will avoid (not necessarily eliminate entirely, but know that there are consequences to eating it).  The ones I have no issue with, I will put back in in healthy portions.  If I had to guess, sugar and dairy are gone.  I don't think I have an issue with gluten.  I honestly don't eat enough bread and pasta to make it an issue.  I do love ice cream.  And yogurt.  And all things dairy.  But we'll see.  

I always joke that I'm the 2%-- no, not the wealthy folks, but the 2% that always have a reaction to medication.  When the studies say "2% of the population developed a rash from taking...." I will get a rash from holding the bottle.  Any time my doctor prescribes something I ask "What are the side effects?"  She'll go through them.  I plan for them.  And it's not suggestive illness, either.  I'll have a reaction, read the label and TADA--- "Less than 1% of people tested, suffered from intestinal gas...."

So it's not a surprise that I might be sensitive to food.  When I was a kid I was told that I had a sensitive system.  I was the baby who could projectile vomit across a room.  Apparently, not a lot has a changed.  I just turned the puke into belly fat, which caused more imbalance, etc, etc.

I should also point out that at no time have I ever tested negatively for any imbalance.  My blood sugar has crept up over the years- but I'm still normal.  When I was having "girl issues" a few years ago, my gyno tested me and said I was still in the normal range, but clearly something was going on. She also pointed out that normal is determined by quantifying 80% of a population.  Normal didn't necessarily equal healthy.  Additionally, I could have started out at the 20th percentile and moved to the 80th-- still normal, but not for me.  This is why I keep all my blood tests and compare year to year.

At this point you might be thinking "Mama Bean, it's calories in, calories out." 

And I will say, it's not looking like that.  It's looking like maybe it's the type of calories that my body types needs and uses is the issue.  Maybe it's the fact that staying in shape and losing weight are 2 very different things.  Maybe it's because I don't have a history of bad eating habits and not exercising that I can correct to see huge weight losses.  Maybe all that cardio I was doing was actually making it even harder for my body to drop weight.

I am focusing on building muscle by doing interval training.  I keep my heart rate up for 30 minutes while I do back to back reps at a fast pace, with some slow, heavy weights thrown in.  I get my cardio now my lifting with bursts of running.  I am burning almost the same amount (from my heart rate monitor) as I do about 45 minutes into a cardio class.  Per my monitor, my cardio health is improving.  I think it's the bursts.  When I can get back to Zumba schedule wise, I will go because it's fun.

I am hopeful that with building muscle and lowering my sugar intake I can reset my metabolism.  And then I can determine what the right balance is for me.