Friday, August 23, 2013

Behind the scenes

I've been sick and exhausted and fat for a long time - since a hysterectomy threw me into menopause about 8 years ago, I've been suffering.  The black hole of depression almost did me in.  For the last 5 years I've been searching and looking for a way out.

I went to doctors hoping for a diagnosis and a pill of some kind that would help.  Maybe hormones.  I also thought I had fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue symdrome.  TW put me onto the clue that my thyroid may be messed up.  But all my tests came back 'within normal ranges' and I didn't REALLY want to take any more chemicals anyway.  I was depressed and just felt sick and I ached and I was exhausted and it was ugly.

Before menopause I was always active, always fairly healthy (barring drugs and alcohol HA HA so not funny).  But I was always happy in my own skin. 
This is the picture I submitted to the online dating site where I met Jeff, it was 2002 and I was 145 pounds
Menopause threw every one of my systems into acute distress.  Hormones - yes yes, estrogen, testosterone, but ALSO insulin and adrenaline and thyroid function.  It all went south and I don't know if you've been there, but I could tell my body was fighting something.  I felt poisoned and just OFF.  I decided to tackle these issues from a nutritional standpoint.  Something I was putting into my body was killing me.  I researched the holy fuck out of my symptoms - not just on medical sites, but also on forums and personal blogs of people who had actually had the same symptoms and their data on repairing their bodies.  End-user data, my favorite kind.  Because I do not trust the FDA.

My research all led to the same place.  And, I just two months ago quit eating ALL forms of sugar.  ALL of it.  Anything that my body turns into glucose (besides vegetables).  I no longer eat bread.  Or pasta.  Or rice.  Or any kind of grains whatsoever.  No starches - no beans or corn or potatoes.

Within one week my body felt better.  I was sleeping better.  In a month I stopped having hot flashes.  My skin is better.  My eyes are brighter - my energy is through the roof.  I walk at least 2 miles a day, more often I do 3 or 4 miles a day. 

Changing what I was putting into my body has been transformative.  In two months I have done this:

No, it isn't difficult.  If you ate a tomato and that tomato gave you painful hives, you would have no problem not eating tomatoes again.  Sugar (glucose) causes unbearable inflammation in my system.  Grains/pasta cause stomach cramps, bloating and gas (you're welcome).  I eat protein and veggies.  I am at almost zero carbs per day, I would say less than 50 grams, and that includes ketchup and the 1/3 of a dark chocolate bar after dinner (what??). 

Jeff and I in Sweden, 2011 FAT FAT FAT
Jeff and I when we started dating, 2002 (big yards of beer)
It isn't just about the weight.  Let's face it - I'm 52 years old, I'm not going to be buying a bikini or trying out for a Real Housewives show.  I'll tell you what the best part is.  My body has stopped fighting itself.  I'm CALM.  My brain is MUCH calmer.  My depression is so lifted that I'm thinking of talking to my doc about weaning off the Welbutrin.  I'm not all bloated and inflamed and there are no more aches and pains (other than you know, bad knees and hips).  I'm not fucking exhausted all the time.


When I say I eat protein and veggies, ha - I'm not talking a boiled chicken breast and lettuce.  I eat sashimi.  Bacon cheeseburgers with no bun, but more avocado please.  Tri tip steak with asparagus or Brussels sprouts.  If we go out to dinner, I just ask for the steak & veggies, hold the tater.  I can't even begin to describe how I don't feel deprived.  Because starches/grains cause me so much distress, it's easy to not eat any of it.  I'm planning on going to brunch this weekend and getting eggs benedict.  Just, no bread.

If you want to research this for yourself, I can give you some starting links:
Mark Sisson's 'Definitive Guide to Grains'
The website the above link takes you to is CHOCK full of info.  But you must do your own research.  Use the search feature on that website, but also GTS! (Google that shit) - nobody can find your answer but YOU.
The book 'Wheatbelly' - grains are creepy stuff

If you are suffering, keep researching.  Keep looking.  My answer may not be YOUR answer.  Don't stop trying. 


  1. Looking good Gladys! What a change you've had in the last few months, "new" pants, no alcohol, getting that FOO shit under control! You've done so well. It makes me smile ;). Good for you.

  2. Wow, Gladys, you not only look great, you feel great too! (I hear ya about the bikini body-not gonna happen!)
    Sugar and I don't get along at all. If I wanted to eat a donut, I'd have exactly the symptoms you're describing within 30/45 min. unless there's a load of protein upfront. Sick, right? Classic negative reinforcement. I'm going to look at the links you suggested-I need some diet help here because I'm loosing weight again. I'm not a big eater, more of a grazer and I love fruit and vegetables. Meat here is expensive and just doesn't have the flavor or consistency it use to have. (Agri-business, I'm sure.) I should look into splitting a cow and pig with some friends from a local farmer: It'd have to be better than the stuff at the store and better for me. I still can't walk because of the foot and I miss it terribly-I've always loved walking. I'm suppose to make an appointment for an orthotic-how's THAT for OLD-so hopefully, I can get back into it.
    Gladys, I'm so pleased for you. Thank you for the info. Thank you for being you. I need help too and I'm gonna start with your links. It's great to hear you sounding so well!

  3. CONGRATS and you look MAH-velous! I'm so glad you've found something that works for you. I've also been struggling with the carbs, but I also need exercise to be sane. I've been buying meat from a farmer who pasture-raises her chickens, cows, sheep, and pigs. It's more expensive, so I eat less meat. You can taste the difference in the meat of an animal that was outside in the fresh air walking around. I also get my veggies from that farmer in the summer. My advice; before you plunk down your money, go and see the farm for yourself. Look at the animals. Do they look healthy? Are they actually outside?

    It seems like so many people I know are struggling with wheat and grain issues--is this because of genetic tinkering?


  4. where's the *like* button on here? : )

    Q's Sis

  5. You look great! Your discoveries make a lot of sense. I ate two pieces of focaccia two days ago and my abdomen looks like like I'm somewhere in the 2nd trimester. It's miserable. I'm also in the throes of mistrust with the traditional medical community. I feel I've been poisoning my system with my modest number of prescriptions. Been doing herbal teas like damiana, raspberry leaf, etc., to help with what I had believed was peri menopause. The change in how I feel and what my body does has been pretty significant.

  6. You guys - I just wrote another post too. Bess - I stupidly ate pasta about a week ago (cravings still) and seriously, Jeff was thinking he was going to have to take me to the ER I was in so much pain.

    Pasta has ALWAYS made my stomach bloat like crazy. But since I stopped eating wheat, I guess my system thought we were out of the danger zone and stopped making the mucous (gag) that was "protecting" my system - anyway, NEVER AGAIN. Yes, I can happily live a life without lasagna. No, I'm not going to try and make gluten-free lasagna.

    I firmly believe there is a nutritional solution, or at least a BOOST, that can be found for every ailment. I mean, I don't think quitting wheat and sugar can CURE bi-polar or autism - what I think is that without the underlying inflammation and agony that wheat causes, maybe the rest of whatever disease is there would be a bit easier to handle.

    The government of this country is not interested in keeping the people healthy. I would venture to guess that the government would rather that we were sick, tired, and compliant. If people find out they can mitigate and sometimes CURE things like diabetes by simply changing what they eat, there will be no money going to the FDA or the AMA or et set er uh.

    I don't know why it took me so long. I have been on the trail of nutrition being the key for years. I started eating whole foods 2 years ago. I just never put it together that GRAINS, which are pushed on us and pushed at us (cheerios helps heart disease. Oatmeal helps heart disease. wtf??) are actually what was killing me.

    I can't wait to get off my antidepressants. I just don't want to do it like I usually do things, all of the sudden without research. I'm sleeping better, but I still take Ambien - it just wasn't working before. Now it works. I want to be OFF it.

    reading reading reading...

  7. I hope to be off the antidepressant this time next year. I've tried to quit it before, and I know I need to make it a slow go if I don't want to end up in the psych ward or hospital with horrible withdrawal side effects. Two weeks ago, I quit taking the birth control pill, which led to a hideous migraine the likes of which I had never had before. I really don't want to bathe my system in pharmaceuticals any more without research and attempts at using shit that is not man-made.