Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Weekly Update, 8/4/10

I am...

Going back to my regular metformin dose.  On advice from my doctor, given my stable a1c number, I tried cutting my metformin dose back to one pill per day, taken in the evening.  After 3 fasting numbers that were much higher than I wanted to see (117, 120, 121) and a post-meal number I hadn't seen in a long time (158!), I decided to go back to my regular dose.  Guess that extra 500 mg just gets me where I want to be.  From what I read, when one cuts back on metformin, there's an immediate rise, followed by a gradual rise over a couple of weeks.  I figured that if things went up in just a week, I sure don't want to see where they end up after two.  (FYI, for this past week, 7-day fasting was 113 and 7-day overall was 119.)

Still reading Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life and now listening to Women, Food, and God.  Interesting books, these two.  From what I've read so far of Savor, I can now see what intuitive eating people mean when they say it's not the same as mindful eating.  Savor, it seems to me, is definitely written to people whose weight is affecting their physical health, although its principles can be extrapolated to anyone looking to be more mindful about their eating.  However, it is also geared toward people seeking a program and tips, because it does offer a sort of program.  Their program seems more geared toward those starting out on the journey, although even those just starting this program may have long ago--even before achieving morbid obesity--cut out "sugary sodas" from their diets.

One assumption that I'm finding kind of annoying with Savor is that everyone who is overweight is in ill health and is suffering.  I am currently considered, by BMI chart standards and waist measurement standards, "overweight." (Yes, I know, BMI is not necessarily the optimal measurement, but I think doctors and the like use it to answer the question, what "weight" is "overweight" over?)  I don't feel like I'm suffering (although who knows?  I might be masking my deep existential angst with too many nuts), and I'm enjoying good health.  I feel strong and vibrant.  Contrast this with Women, Food, and God, where the assumption is, weight is not a health problem...unless it is a health problem.

Women, Food, and God is not what I would have expected at all, given the title.  I had some reservations about reading it.  I'd say it's more of a spiritual than a religious book, which for me was a pleasant surprise.  Listening is a good way to receive this work, although sometimes I just zone out listening to Geneene Roth talk (she tends to speak in abstracts), and I find myself having to backtrack.  Her work reminds me quite a lot of Martha Beck's Steering by Starlight; even their voices sound alike!  I just finished listening to Part 1.  A lot of what she said about the "urge to bolt" and dreading the pain of anticipated (potential) bad things (that aren't happening...or aren't likely to happen in a long time, if ever) made me think to myself, "Oh, wow.  I'm not the only one who does that."  (Oh, and she mentions Pema Chodron, always a plus in my book.  I found her audio book Getting Unstuck to be particularly valuable at a time of my life in which I was feeling very stuck indeed.)

The question is, then, if I'm truly okay with where I am, then why am I bothering with these books at all?  Good question.  Part of it is curiosity, seeing if there are any new learnings or practices that I can apply to "sustaining" to make it come more naturally to me, other than the mechanical stuff I've already applied to how I eat.  (Which I think is why I felt a little disappointed by parts of Savor.)  Right now, I feel like I tread a wobbly, narrow, "just good enough" line of  healthy vs. not-so-healthy reasons for eating, if that makes any sense.  In WF&G terms, I still "use" food for non-hunger/nutrition reasons more than I'd like to admit: bonding with others, making myself feel better when I'm in a funk or bored, or even simply out of habit.  (I'm finding my food blog to be really useful in helping me identify these uses.)  I've gotten more "in control" of how I use food, but I want even better for myself.  We are all physically dependent on food, but does being mentally/emotionally dependent on it serves me?  I don't think it will for the long haul.  I know there are no guarantees, but I really want to learn all that I can to help me sustain good health.

Glowing (and *blushing*) in the Spotlight!  The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans' "Sister Spotlight," that is.  Thanks, Christie O., that was such a lovely surprise! (Did you know that she has a shiny new blog?  It's called  Average Moms Wear Capes, where Christie O. lets her cape flap loud and proud, and encourages others to do the same!)

Enjoying the fruits of Mr. Handsome-and-Handy's culinary creativity!  See Monday's entry on Pubsgal Eats for Mr. Handsome-and-Handy's "Chicken ala Jacques."  It's lovely!

Training!  Thanks to the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans' "Ask Coach Joe" article, I found a very doable-looking training plan, and he provided good advice for those training for half marathon distance. (At least for starters...I'm not looking too hard at those 10 milers near the end!)  It's one he wrote for Self magazine (click here to view).  I like that his plan has a day for strength and a day for cross-training built into it, because it meshes well with my fitness fickleness.  I don't think I've ever followed a training plan exactly, but I do like having a guideline.

So I skipped Pilates yesterday morning in favor of a run and a swim, because I hadn't gotten in a swim during the past week.  It was great!  My run was a new route, through the park near the pool I swim at, and out to the trail near the bay.  Where I saw this sign, which cracked me up and made me stop and take a picture.

This sign isn't as much of a non-sequiter as you'd think...  (There's a driving range behind the trail.)
...But then, I've got an active imagination!

I want to...

Keep gradually improving.  I want to stick as closely as possible to Coach Joe's plan and be ready for the 1/2 marathon.  There are a whole boatload of people doing this event, from what I've read, and my motivation to go was mostly social, so I'm not exactly looking to this event as a serious race.  Still, I want to be prepared and be able to finish it.

Maintain good health.  I realize there's a belief I've been sort of clinging to, in spite of the evidence to the contrary.  I think part of why I may eat too much or when I'm not feeling hungry is because I worry about going hypo.  It makes sense to monitor blood glucose levels when I'm working out hard, but the thing is, there is no evidence to support that I'm at risk for this.  My blood glucose levels have been within a reasonable range for the last year and a half, and I'm only taking metformin, which-when taken without other diabetes meds-does not cause this.  (Insulin and insulin-producing oral medications do this, so if you're on those, this does not apply to you!  Read more about hypoglycemia here.)  I think it would be good for me to figure out the balance of waiting until I'm feeling hungry vs. the practice of eating smaller meals more frequently, so I won't eat too much and have my blood glucose levels get out of range.  I am probably eating too much food.

Be ready for the Lompoc Triathlon!  The excitement is mounting!  I received my registration confirmation on Monday!  Woo hoo!!!

Sponsor Lori!  Did you know that Lori at Finding Radiance is using her cycling super powers for good and is doing the metric century "Camp Challenge" ride on September 12?  (I think most of you read Lori's blog, so this probably isn't news, but I was excited about her doing this!)  It supports Double H ranch in Lake Luzerne, which provides services to children who have life threatening illnesses and their families.  Read all about it here.  Way to go, Lori!


Lori said...

Thanks for the shoutout - that is very sweet!

This sentence "The question is, then, if I'm truly okay with where I am, then why am I bothering with these books at all? "

I asked myself almost the same exact thing. I realized this last month that I actually have a pretty good relationship with food and myself. Why the need to find something wrong or assume that there has to be something wrong?

Learning new stuff is good, but sometimes it causes over thinking or over analyzing.

Pubsgal said...

@Lori: You're welcome! I think it's so cool that you're doing fundraising for a charity race!

"Learning new stuff is good, but sometimes it causes over thinking or over analyzing": ding! ding! ding! That's so me. I tend to get carried away there, especially when I'm in situations in which I feel like a newbie. Same thing happened with wedding planning and pregnancy/babyhood, two major things about which I didn't even know diddley-squat. You know what's really funny? I took a look at my weight chart, and looked back to where I was lowest (about 6 pounds lower than I am now), and I was asking and thinking nearly the *same things*. Except it was more, "how do I know when I'm done trying to lose weight?" (I had also taken a hiatus from tracking last summer, and was training for a tri, isn't that funny?)

debby said...

Can I jump in with a big AMEN to you guys' conversation! Been thinking the same thing. Yes, I do want to be the best I can be, and continually improve. But am I causing myself MORE ANGST by reading about how to improve. I mean, I have to analyze, yes, that applies to me. No, I already addressed that/am over that. Oh, maybe I AM anxious about that. Oh, I didn't realize I was sad/glad/angry/hurt by that. Aghhh.

Oh, and then there's another classic line for my collection: "I might be masking my deep existential angst with too many nuts"

C'mon, Pubsgal. Don 't keep a secret. When is your book 'Pubsgal: The Secret LIfe of Nuts' coming out? You could be on Oprah. And then me and Lori could be on saying, we knew her when...

Foodie McBody said...

fascinating duo book review. Guess what!! Because of you I am reviewing both of these books on my blog soon! Funny that you're finding Savor a bit irritating. I am finding the opposite. I'm finding WF&G kind of annoying and I'll say more when I write my review. And I'm LOVING Savor. Ha ha. But I also pretty much Buddhism so I think I have a different view of "suffering." It comes on so many levels.

Kat said...

I am reading women, god and food right now too. It has been a long time since I read a Geneen Roth book and I am enjoying it. Now I want to check out Savor!

Pubsgal said...

@Debby: LOL! (Sorry, Juice, I could not resistI can just picture the book cover.

@Foodie: I can't wait to read your thoughts on these books. I'm still not sure why I'm favoring WF&G over Savor at this point, because I *love* Thich Nhat Hanh and his teachings on mindfulness. I think I'm probably feeling overly sensitive to stuff that I suspect was written by the doctor who is the co-author, because the tactical recommendations kind of read to me like doctor-stating-the-obvious-to-clueless-patient. (The cut sugary soda thing, for example.) I'm not sure if WF&G would be holding my attention as much if I had to read it in a book, frankly. Hearing Geneene Roth reading it is pretty compelling, even though I do tend to zone a little in the more abstract parts (as opposed to the "storytelling" parts).

South Beach Steve said...

Pubsgal, thank you for your comment on my blog today. My brother has really gotten himself into a mess, but hopefully he will pull out of it.

I think you made the right decision on the metformin. It sounds like you may already be at the sweet spot.

Brooke said...

interesting information on the books :) i suppose WF&G would tell me to be happy with what i've got - if only it were that simpel!

Krystal said...

I keep giving my self reasons why i don't just get up and go exercise. Yea i have kids, but my hubby doesn't leave for work until 8:30 (we live 3 min away). Time to just get up at 7 and get something in. Looking at everything you did really made me want to re-commit to myself. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hmm, sounds like I need to add Women Food and God to my reading list (but then only read it when I'm feeling alert!). LOL

(Debby, I did that LOL just for YOU! 'Cause you know I HATE that term.)