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Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

So much to be thankful for. So many loving family members, so much good health, so much good food and a roof over my head and my beautiful child and days filled with joy and love and silly arguments that end with kisses and sleepy mornings on the back porch and going home to a house filled with the smell of dinner and the sounds of family.

We've come so far, and we have so many new adventures to take on.

Thank you, God, for putting me on a path I couldn't predict.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Next Step

This past week, The Man spent many hours taking grueling written and physical tests for his next promotion as an instructor, and I'm so proud of him. Not because I know that he passed, because we won't know that for several weeks. I'm proud because of the dedication and commitment it took to get to this point - the years of work, the months of preparation, the hours of studying that he put in. Watching him teach is one of my favorite things - I love seeing the joy on his face and the way he interacts with the students, especially the young kids.

There are two types of rank in our organization - belts for students, which takes about two months to earn, and collars for instructors, which is much more difficult and can take several months or several years, depending on the level you are attempting.

When I first started this journey, I didn't even think about getting my black belt, let alone becoming an instructor. But the closer I get to my black belt, the more I think this might be my next step. I'm a little intimidated by the process, especially watching him, and my dad, and all the other instructors go through this week, but it's exciting to think about also.

He is encouraging me to do it, of course, but I know that if I am going to commit, I have to come to it on my own. The main thing driving me to the decision right now is the belief that teaching can make me a better student.

Friday, November 4, 2011

6 grain-free, low-carb weeks

12 pounds (to bring me to my December goal weight more than a month early) UPDATE: Make that 13!
2-3 blood sugar crashes a day
Urgent, post-lunch need for a nap and/or caffeine infusion
Adult acne
Bloating and irregularity
PMS-related moodiness and cramps (I'll need a few more months to know if this is permanent or a single-cycle fluke)

Clear skin
Normal hunger (not sugar-crash induced feed-me-now craziness), and the ability to feel hungry for a period of time without panicking
Looser clothes

Yep, I'm sticking with this. :)

I've been doing quite a bit of reading and research here:, and here:, and on the abundance of links to other studies provided on both. It all makes sense, but really the most important piece of research for me is my self-experimentation and finding how much better I feel.

At first I wondered why I feel so much better this time than I did the last time I tried a low-carb "diet" to regulate my blood sugar. Then I realized that my focus is different this time - the first time, I focussed narrowly on reducing my carb intake, and relied heavily on processed, soy-heavy supplemental and convenience foods. This time I'm doing my best to return to real, whole, fresh foods.