Blood Sugar Diet – 2 weeks in

I lost very little in the second week but a total of 7 pounds in two weeks is nothing to sneeze at, as my mother would say.

The best thing is that my clothes are fitting comfortably and it’s been a while since I could say that.

To fit in with a social event, I upped my calories to 1500 yesterday and burnt off 400 ish on a walk/run so still a decent deficit. My biggest victory was making the decision to do that, planning what I was going to eat and sticking to it. Anyone who has a history of blowing a diet in anticipation of a social occasion will know how satisfying that was.

So onward to weeks 3 and 4 and seeing where they will take me. Though I’ll always be mindful of numbers on a scale, (can’t crack that habit of a lifetime), my goal is to have a healthy (ish) waist measurement.

The NHS says 31.5 inches for a woman. No, sorry, not likely to happen. In fact it says I should run to the GP because of my huge risk of dying. For the record, my GP isn’t concerned. It’s hard to know who to listen to. (Edit: 88 cm is 34.7 inches – which was obviously rounded up 9 years ago and down recently.)

The waist to hip ratio that would indicate my body fat isn’t going to kill me soon is under .85. This is a possibility but only if I can keep the weight on my hips that I usually lose. We’ll see. The ‘ideal’ ratio is not on the agenda unless I want to weigh less than I did when I was 11.

That leaves aiming for a waist that measures less than half my height. This seems possible as I’ve achieved it in the past and especially now that my most recent height (measured at a hospital appoinment) has me a whole centimetre taller than I thought I was. Somewhere in the vicinity of 32.5 inches would be a monumental achievement and would only be ‘true’ first thing in the morning, but we will give it a go.

Here’s what the NHS was recommending 9 years ago. 

BSD Day 10 – Cholesterol

A few years ago I found out I had slightly raised cholersterol but, everything taken into account, it wasn’t going to do me much harm. However, I was fascinated because my diet seemed very healthy and, at the time, low fat. After much internet searching, I came across a study on raised cholesterol in people who drink coffee brewed without any filters. As a longtime cafetiere brewer who drinks at least two large mugs of coffee every day, I decided to start pouring my brewed coffee through a filter into my mug.

A few months later I had another blood test and got that dreaded call from the surgery to say the doctor wanted to speak to me. Amusingly, it was to find out how I’d managed to drop my cholesterol so dramatically, so I told her about the filters and I didn’t think about my cholersterol again.

That is, until a routine full blood count about 8 months ago for a completely unrelated reason revealed  startlingly high cholesterol – way beyond what my previous highest level had been and high enough to get me an appointment with a lipids specialist at the local hospital. I have a feeling alarms rang and lights flashed when they entered my numbers into a computer.

So off I trotted to the hospital (almost literally; it’s a mile walk through the countryside from my house) for my appointment. First I got measured and weighed only to be told I was a whole centimeter taller than I’d spent the last 40 years saying I was. I promise I haven’t grown but I decided to go with it. Why argue?

Then, I spent a good half hour with a dietician who had apparently never met anyone so in tune with her diet. (Read: a little on the spectrum about keeping records. It’s a family thing, unlike cholesterol.) Anyway, after a quick run-through of my diet, we ended up talking about what her mum could do about her menopausal symptoms.

When I finally saw the consultant, she was a little bit taken aback at my high numbers with no family history of heart disease or high cholesterol. She also asked about my diet and I got to share my brilliant coffee story. I was very relieved to hear her say that she didn’t really want to start me on statins (I’d done some reading about women and statins) and was more interested to see what I could do via diet alone. Apparently, if you’ve been able to change your cholesterol levels with diet alone then you can’t have the familial problem, but I remained a bit of a mystery.

Even though my diet was very healthy, on reflection, I’d been completely taken in by the “high fat dairy is better than low fat dairy” argument. We’d also been eating very low carb and our protein (much of it meat-based) was higher than it needed to be. For the past seven months, we’ve halved the protein portions in our meals and I’ve gone back to eating low and non-fat dairy and getting my fat from olive oil and some nuts and seeds.

Tomorrow is my follow-up fasting lipids test so I’ll know in a couple of weeks what effect the diet has had. Stay tuned.

This may not seem Blood Sugar Diet related but it bangs on about full fat dairy being fine and the  myth that low fat dairy has more sugar and carbs than high fat dairy is repeated frequently on the BSD800 website forum. I’ll blog about that when I get my blood test results.


Paying Attention – Depression & Weight Loss

A mildly depressive personality is the flip side of some great blessings in life. I don’t want to stop being creative or visionary. Therefore, I have to put up with the fact that sometimes my mood will dip below “fed up” and into a place that I’d rather not be.

I’m also very very lucky that the dips rarely last more than a few days and I can wake up one morning feeling absolutely fine. Today I feel almost absolutely fine. Don’t know why and I don’t want to put too much energy into figuring it out. Generally, life is exactly as it was yesterday and the day before so I’ll accept the brighter day as a gift and get on with it.

The one thing I do want to talk about is weight and depression. Many people (ie doctors) feel that weight loss is a “normal” sign of depression. Well let me tell you (and them), sometimes it’s the opposite.

As soon as I start sleeping nine hours a night and finding that I must feel full all the time, I know it’s time to pay attention, pull back, draw in and take the pressure off – whatever that pressure is at the time.

There was a time when I’d have said that weight gain is a symptom of depression but now I realise that it’s a result of not paying attention when things are sliding. Usually, when I start feeling low, I don’t go near a scale or give a thought to what or how much I’m eating. The result is that I am thrown way off the healthy and sane path and right onto the crazyiness of the gaining and losing pendulum. hmmmmm.

Of course, depression is only one of many many life situations that have caused that in my life. So what’s going to be different this time, now that I refuse to get on the pendulum? I guess, no matter how I’m feeling, I’ve got to figure out how to get of the house, walk to do errands, eat to full but not crazy full. I may not be able to lose weight during a darker time but I can do everything in my power not to make weight gain a “symptom of depression”.

This is different. Thinking new thoughts is like trying on a style of clothes that you’ve seen in the shops but thought could never work for you. I’ve just tired on something and I think it fits.

I’ll walk around in it for a while and see how it goes.