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Getting Healthy

October 11, 2010

I have to admit something from the start here. I was torn about writing about this kind of thing on my blog. I don’t particularly like reading about other people’s diets and weigh loss and other “health” issues. But I decided that this is an important part of my story right now and that it might be helpful to others. So I’m probably not going to write much more about the food and exercise and weight-loss thing (conversation and questions are most welcome in the comments box). 😉

I’ve been in a bit of a slump these last few years – probably caused by a combination of burn-out (due to over-extending myself), health issues and spiritual withdrawal (for lack of a better word). I’ve had a big year of changes and wanted to share some of those with you here.

I started getting serious about exercise last summer (though I fluctuated a lot in consistency until this Spring), in fact, it was at about the same time I started getting serious about daily Mass. I’ve lost about 20 pounds since then (a very slow, gradual weight-loss) and feel a lot better on the whole.

I’ve had bad stomachaches on and off since I was a kid and bad heartburn regularly for at least the last ten years or so. The stomachaches generally hit 2-4 times a month, but last fall they got the point where it was pretty much every time I ate. This was going on for a few weeks before it occurred to me one day that when I ate a quesadilla on a corn tortilla, I generally felt better than when I had one on a flour tortilla. I decided to try dropping wheat from my diet. It was an astronomical change within 24 hours. All the stomachaches and most of the heartburn disappeared. So, now I am gluten-free in my diet, including receiving a special low-gluten host at Mass. That’s been a really beneficial discovery and I’m very grateful to have figured it out!

It did, however, set off one other health issue that was also somewhat elusive. I tended, naturally, to substitute bread and pasta with things like potatoes and white rice. Early this spring I started getting a variety of more elusive symptoms that turned out to be a blood-sugar problem. It turns out that I was often reaching for a quick “fix” to feel better (mostly carbs and sweets) which was making my blood sugar roller-coaster about in an uncomfortable (and sometimes embarrassing – in the way of over-emotionalness) way! So I’ve dropped most sweets and refined carbs and that’s gotten much more under control.

The doctor also explained that exercise is a really helpful piece for controlling blood sugar. That advice was just what I needed to get more consistent about walking (or other forms of exercise), though I have yet to figure out how to keep that exercise consistent during the winter.

I’m still figuring out how to keep my diet reasonably balanced while keeping it within these parameters. I always keep some very dark chocolate around (I tried going completely without sweets for a few days when this diagnosis first came up and that was not a happy thing for me!) I’m still pretty bad about eating enough vegetables and some days it seems like I just sort of graze my way through the day on small servings of cheese, nuts, yogurt and gluten-free granola.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2010 12:23 pm

    Thank you for sharing. During the winter months, when the weather is not suitable for walking, you might want to try Walk Away the Pounds. You can walk 1 to I think 4 miles, depending on how much time you have available. I have been trying to exercise consistently for the past 1 1/2 years due to blood-sugar issues, but have had no luck finding a consistent routine. Thank you for the inspiration and good luck.

    • October 11, 2010 1:13 pm

      Thanks Christine! I probably should have mentioned that getting my own iPod really helped get the exercise moving because having music and audio books available is really motivating!

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