Monday, October 22, 2012

trying to hold back this feeling

We survived our move to the Pacific Northwest! Barely. I am still playing catchup with mounds of homework, laundry (mostly linens from post-flea-bombing. yeah, we have a flea problem in our new home! score.) and blog ideas! I feel like I left off this blog mid-sentence, and that is not a great feeling. 
But, no more!
The kids are in bed, laundry is still spinning, homework is, well, what's one more night? 

I want to tell more of my story post-insulin resistance diagnosis. After my initial meeting with my doctor, the one before all of the blood work that proved his hypothesis - I have moderate insulin resistance, and poly-cystic ovarian syndrome as a byproduct of that insulin resistance - I went home and looked up the diets he had mentioned, and immediately began the "four day jump-start" for The Flat Belly Diet by Prevention Magazine. I was incredibly discouraged and terrifically saddened by his assertions, and I stayed feeling that way for about two days. There were a lot of tears, a lot of head-hanging and whoa-is-me-ing. 
And then it clicked, and my sad feelings began to transform into something infinitely more productive. 
I had just been given an explanation! A reason for the ever-packing-on pounds despite four triathlons and being in the best shape I had been in since I was eighteen. A reason that I was craving carbs all of the time. 
And a reason that I should wake up to that fact, stop the carb cravings in their tracks, and reverse the effects of a completely reversible diagnosis! I had been given my power back! And I sure wasn't going to waste it. 

Once the test results came back in a few days after my epiphany, I was called back into my doctor's office, this time to meet with his nurse practitioner. A test result follow up wasn't high up on good ol' doc's priority list, apparently. I wasn't too disappointed.
But when into the office walked a thin and beautiful woman, I couldn't help thinking to myself, "Oh great, here comes Skipper to lecture me on eating green leafies as if I couldn't bury her in a bike race. Ease up, Mary Ann. I get it." 
...I know I sound like a huge jerk for admitting that. But when you are vulnerable and sitting alone in a doctor's office waiting to hear someone tell you over your medical chart that you need to drop some LB's I don't really think your heart is ready to be in a super charitable place. At least mine wasn't. 
Just in case you didn't catch that.
What Tanya (her actual name) ended up doing, though, was sitting side by side with me at the small table in the room and going over BMI's, blood sugar tests, PCOS implications, and real life diet suggestions in a very natural and kind way. Once I understood what my test results really meant, and how insulin resistance was screwing up my body, my plans for another baby, everything, she broke down a diet that was so easy to remember AND implement that I will be forever grateful. 
Here is what she said (well, the gist of what she said, at least):
"You can't give up carbs. Your body needs carbs to function. Carbs are not evil. However, your cells are rejecting insulin, a hormone, that attaches itself to carbs in your blood stream, and it is leaving excess insulin in your blood stream, along with carbs that have no where to go. So here is the best thing I can tell you to do: you need to count carbs. You should have 30 grams of carbs at breakfast, 35 at lunch and dinner each, and 15 twice a day for snacks. Here is how you count total carbs: Take total carbs of a given serving, subtract grams of fiber (located directly under total carb count on food labels) and that gives you your total grams of carbs per serving. Keep exercising and stick to that, it should help." 

It was as I was meeting with Tanya that I was about to begin my 19 credit semester at school, so I knew that exercise was going to have to take much lower priority for the next three months. But I decided then and there to implement her carb-counting system into my life and see what happened. I took with me a few principles from The Flat Belly Diet but otherwise dropped the strict nature of the food plan, instead adopting Tanya's 30-15-35-15-35 carbohydrate system. 
And that is what I have stuck to since then.
Honestly, exercising during that 19 credit semester went even worse than I had anticipated, and I have yet to get myself on a really great schedule with exercise again, what with all of the Life-In-Turmoil garbage I have had going on these past few months. So basically what I am telling you is that by counting carbs like Tanya showed me, I have dropped the weight. Exercise can only help this picture, of course, and I did it as often as I can, but it was more like twice a week instead of the five or six times/week I was clocking during race training. 
I really miss the Super Hero feeling that exercising gave me!! I need to hit the gym!
I am not going to claim this system as a cure all weight loss method for everyone, but I will say that it completely opened my eyes and has helped me in the weight loss I keep going on and on about! I still have a ways to go, but I have been dying to share how I really have accomplished what I have so far. And there it is!

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