Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘energy’

Confessions of a self-loathing couch potato

lazy couch potato

lazy couch potato

Alright, I admit, self-loathing is a little strong. Let’s rather call it mildly dissatisfied and slightly guilt-ridden. That’s more like it.

Here’s the story:
When I was little, I was a bean pole. Straight up and down, I never battled to lose weight. (Of course, I was a child. Weight loss was far from my mind, just as it should be at that age – and now, but that’s a post for anther day). At some point in high school things started to change and even though I was far from fat when I got married, it wasn’t long before I fixed that. By the time I had Goldilocks I was a buxom 92kg! And let’s face it, no new born can be held responsible for ALL 38kg of her mother’s excess weight.

I lost the weight quickly after Goldilocks was born through the simple use of a lifestyle trick: cutting out gluten, lactose and sugar. (It turns out casein is the culprit rather than lactose, but again that story is not part of this one). When Red Riding Hood made her appearance, I’d hardly gained 10kg, and I lost it all pretty quickly.

Since then my weight has hovered around a mark roughly 5-10kg above my goal weight. It’s hardly been affected by how much I’ve eaten, and no amount of exercise seemed to change anything on the scale or my proportions. In fact, I was completely resigned to be a pear-shaped blimp with gradually expanding thighs and derrière. My favourite “chill protocol” was lying in front of the TV on the couch with a bag of potato or corn crisps (no wheat, please!), watching a movie with my man.

I really didn’t see the point of exercise since:

a – I always got sick as soon as I started a work out programme.

b – I was always far too tired to move a muscle.

c – No change occurred to my weight or shape.

d – I was close enough to my goal weight to be “comfortable”.

One day, quite by accident and without looking for anything on the topic at all, I stumbled across the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). I was intrigued and after lots of research, I decided to give it a go.

Almost at once, I was hooked. I was amazed at how my body changed shape. My skin started to clear up. My breathing and concentration improved. My tics diminished and, for the first time in my entire life, I had a flat stomach. (Not permanently, but I’ve never had a flat stomach at all, so I’ll take temporary flatness, thank you very much). I shed the 4kg I had to go at that time to reach my goal weight, and since then my body keeps changing (slimmer and slimmer thighs and behind) while my weight stays stable. My girls and I started having regular bowel movements, which I’m sorry to share, but seriously, if you only go every 8-10 days and then you start going every day, it makes a significant impact on your quality of life!

An unexpected side effect was energy. I was feeling drained at first on the intro diet, and my sister suggested I start doing Pilates. I did, and the next thing I knew I’d started training for a half marathon. I started doing Body for Life in my “spare time”, while I was making supper, running a bath, watching TV – that kind of thing.

I’m now seriously considering investing in Running Shoes (note the caps), and I can no longer sleep in at all. If I do (like I did today, only getting up at 6am), I am less productive and aching to strap on my trainers and hit the tarmac. I’m addicted! I feel great and I want to keep moving all the time.

Here’s the thing, though: I’m scared to stop. I remember my old ways, my lethargy and exhaustion. My low-grade depression and lack of motivation. I don’t want to go back. I’m so worried about turning back into that person that I’ll sometimes run, do Pilates AND train weights in one day, just to stay focused and energised. When I was sick a little while back as a result of a mould allergy, it took a force of will not to go for a jog and make things worse.

So, here’s my confession:

Hi. I’m Mama Bear, and I’m an addict. I love running (and weight training, and Pilates) – and I never want to stop! My couch is a den of vice and iniquity and I fear to touch it lest I become reinfected with sloth!

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SCD updates

We have officially been on the Specific Carohydrate Diet (SCD) for two weeks today. We haven’t been as strict as we should have been , but I’m working towards that as I get to know and understand the diet better.

Highlights

We all have more energy. Goldilocks can concentrate better. Red Riding Hood has made peace with the eating plan and is startign to like some of the food. Her tummy is far less bloated and she has only complained of a sore tummy once in two weeks. Goldilocks’ bowel movements are far more regular, as are mine. Papa Bear has noticeably more energy, and has only had a couple of naps in two weeks (as opposed to at least one a day). He also has had much better moods , which is saying something since this has been a particularly tough week in other ways. My skin improved dramatically, until we introduced the yoghurt they recommend. I will admit to buying it, not making it, but it is thick, organic stuff straight from a farm, which I think counts. I sure hope so.

Concerns

It is so much work. I feel like all I do is cook and wash dishes, and my business is taking strain. It’s worth it, of course, but not sustainable and this week I will try to prepare all the food in advance. My skin (and Goldilocks’) started to break out a little bit two or three days ago. I am waiting to see if it clears up, in which case we can put it down to die off. If not, the milk allergy is a problem and we’ll have to find different yoghurt.

Over all, it’s not as difficult as I thought it would be to implement now that I’m getting the hang of it. I expected that not having starch would make us hungry but it hasn’t – except for Goldilocks, who is eating more than her dad! Everyone has lost a little bit of weight. The girls have (thankfully) picked some of it back up, but Papa Bear and I are losing gradually, which is all good. We are also saving a little bit of money, rather than spending more, which is a blessing and a surprise.

SCD, here we come!

Alright, we’re ready. On Saturday we went shopping and bought everything we need for the SCD Intro Diet. This is supposed to last for three days (give or take a day), and it cost us R164. That’s really, really good for three days for our family, so I think perhaps it won’t last as long as I’m hoping. But some of that stuff will last longer than three days, like the eggs, so we’ll see.

I spent most of Sunday (the bits where we weren’t at Church), preparing for the diet. I have given my family their “last meals.” (Pies and crisps. I know. Don’t judge me). I have cooked up a gigantic pot of chicken-and-carrot soup, 36 meatballs, 8 bowls of grape jelly and a dish of purèed carrots. I also have 40-odd eggs in the fridge, just waiting to be breakfast!

Now, I don’t know how long this lot is supposed to last, but it feels like about two days’ worth. Except the jelly – that’ll get us through today only. Again, we’ll see. The intro diet is supposed to take between two and five days, so we’ll re-evaluate on Tuesday night and decide what to do next. I foresee another full day of cooking in my future, though.

Here’s what I hope to achieve from all of this preparation:

  • Fewer headaches (especially for Goldilocks and me);
  • Fewer stomach cramps (especially for Goldilocks and Red Riding Hood);
  • Better concentration (esp. Papa Bear and Goldilocks);
  • Fewer mood swings (all of us);
  • Better skin (mainly me);
  • Fewer allergic reactions (all of us but especially Papa Bear);
  • Fewer nightmares (Red Riding Hood);
  • Better sleep (all of us, but esp. Papa Bear and me);
  • More energy (the Big Bears again); and
  • Better focus.

When I list these like this they really don’t seem that serious. One might even wonder why we’re bothering with such a strict diet and lifestyle change. But the thing is that the headaches are really debilitating at times, leaving the girls in tears and me wishing I could get away with tears! The girls spend a lot of time doubled over in agony at their stomach cramps (and their relief is our demise as they expel the offending bubbles. Sorry to share but this journey is important to me and I need to remember as much of where we started as possible so that when I look back I can see real change).

My skin breaks out all the time. It’s painful and decidedly embarrassing, given that I really am too old for this kind of thing. I’ve even had to cancel client meetings because of my skin (or headaches, or tummy troubles). Papa Bear and Goldilocks battle to concentrate and often Papa Bear’s not even here, despite being physically present. He also battles terribly with hay fever, and his hay fever, tiredness and tummy troubles have kept him out of meetings and appointments, too. Not being able to concentrate affects us all and I imagine things can only improve if we have better moods and better focus.

My vision for the outcome of this new eating plan is that we will have energy, joy, focus, time (because of better sleep and better planning), success (because of more confidence and fewer canceled appointments), and all-round awesomeness. I know the beginning is very tough indeed, and I don’t expect it to be easy, but I am looking forward to the long term results. I’ll keep you posted.

Back on track.

Apparently it takes hitting the bottom to get back up again. My skin is bad, with a couple of unsightly cysts and outbreaks. I’m unreasonably tired, my hair is dry and falling out, and I smell … hmmm … unattractive. I have little motivation to work or do house work, or even home school – all essential aspects of our lives. Seriously vital: without me doing these things our little family ceases to function. It’s better than it was at the beginning of the year, when I couldn’t motivate myself at all. I have started supplementing again, and cut back a little on sugars.

Since the begining of the year, I’ve eaten chocolate (lots!), and had red wine (just a few small glasses). I’ve eaten starches and not exercised since Christmas, when I pretty mush reset all the good work I’d done until then.

Miraculously, I weigh only 59kg, which I attribute entirely to the wonderful GR2 weight management programme.

In fact, despite a lack of motivation, I have been working – very hard. With an average of 5 hours’ sleep each night, I know that without the great supplementation I get from GNLD, I would be very sick indeed. Right now, I’m taking Beta Guard (good for detoxing), Acidophilus, Salmon Oil Plus Omega 3, Tre En En, Carotenoid Complex, Stage 6 (assists with elimination, if you follow my meaning), and Vitamin C. Considering the amount of work, lack of sleep and very hot February weather, I have more energy than one would expect, and I’m very grateful to Tre En En for that.

Peanut Butter. In chocolate. Evil. Delicious.

Peanut Butter. In chocolate. Evil. Delicious.

So today is Day 1. I’ve tried to start again a few times this year, but the headaches have held me back from completing the programme. I started with vitamins, and about an hour later I had a small bowl of sunflower seeds. Two hours after that was a light snack of popped brown rice (sort of like organic Rice Crispies but lower GI).

Lunch was a small portion of ground beef with onions and garlic, two rice cakes and a green salad. More green salad for dinner.

Sadly, I’ve had both a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup AND a cup of (utterly delicious) coffee. So here’s my plan: tonight DH and I can finish the brewed coffee and all the chocolate and halva in the house. Tomorrow we’ll start for real, and this time stick to it.

Thumbs held!

How I’m doing it.

I must admit that I’m not following the Candida Diet to the letter. I was, but I felt so terrible that I knew changes were necessary. For starters, I switched on day 3 from the broth version of the diet to the green salad and veggies version. Much better. I also allow myself brown rice to help slow down the Candida die off and manage blood sugar.

GNLD. Supplements for LIFE.

GNLD. Supplements for LIFE.

Instead of whole garlic, I’m taking GNLD’s Garlic Allium Complex. Instead of psyllium husk and bentonite clay, I’m taking GNLD’s GR2 Programme Appetite Reducer, a very gentle yet effective fibre source, and I use Stage 6 to help with elminiation. This is great for getting and staying regular, and taking the “gunk” out of your system. I use GNLD’s Carotenoid Complex (great for immunity), Tre En En (AWESOME for energy) and Omega 3. I’ve been taking a lot of high potency Vitamin C, as well, which also boosts immunity and helps with skin conditions. I’m taking Vitamin B for stress, and it’s the one Vitamin B people on a Candida diet can take safely. Last but very far from least, I’m having a lot of Acidophilus Plus. Awesome for gut health.

For food, I’ve pretty much been sticking to spinach, courgettes, celery and sunflower seeds.

Every morning I do Pilates with my girls, which is doing wonders for my back, joints, and flat abs. This week I started Body for Life as well. I feel a little bit of new-workout-routine tenderness, but nothing seriousness.

This week I have also reintroduced coffee, which is ill-advised (apparently), but very very nice.

It’s been four weeks, and I feel great. I’ve gone from 68kg to 62kg, and my stomach is really flat now. I have energy, my joints are less painful (significantly less).  Christmas is looming and I hope I can stay strong, but I think it should be okay.

Candida?

In 2005 I was preparing for my second maternity leave. The company I worked for hired a temp to replace me while I was away, and my job was to train her. A talented and likable lady, she soon found her niche with us. She was on a very strict diet when she started, and explained it was  because of her Candida problem. I learned that Candida has many symptoms besides the obvious, embarrassing ones. Symptoms such as:

  • exhaustion;
  • joint pain;
  • bad breath;
  • body odor;
  • skin problems;
  • foggy brain;
  • depression and more.

I was curious, but, heavily pregnant, I didn’t pursue it at that stage.

Now, 6 years later, with the same symptoms, I thought I’d give it a try. Everything I’ve ever found online about Candida diets has been conflicting. Finally, this month, I found this site: http://www.thecandidadiet.com/. I’ve just started on stage 1, and for these first few days I’ve had a headache, but I already have more energy and a flatter stomach.

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