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Monday, January 11, 2016

It's a Whole New World!

I haven’t written in so long, I don’t know if anyone will read this.

The reason is, the whole motivation for my writing the blog is no longer there.  Wheat Belly has changed my life.

I have been eating wheat-free since April 2015, except for occasional accidental or negligent contact.  When that happens, I have a fairly immediate response – a bad headache like I have had for years.  However, when I do not eat wheat, I no longer have headaches, except maybe an occasional sinus headache.  That is major, folks.  I had chronic headaches for 30 years and before I read Wheat Belly, I was beginning to wonder if I was going to be able to continue to do my job.  It was bad.  Now, no more headaches!  If I do have exposure, I have a headache for about 2 weeks, so that is a very good motivation.

I recommend your reading Wheat Belly, even if you don’t have obvious symptoms.  My appetite is about 1/5 of what it used to be.  I eat all the fat I want to.  I actually try to eat grain-free, not just wheat-free (what the Wheat Belly author recommends), but occasionally will eat some other gluten free grains.  But only for a splurge.  Eating grains will impede weight loss and also has many other negative effects.  I also eat mostly sugar-free, although occasionally was eating ice cream or some other non-grain-containing dessert.  Now I am learning to make desserts with xylitol or the sweetener from Wheat Free Market.  Neither cause a rise in blood sugar, which is the key to weight loss.  Anything that provokes an insulin response tells your body to store fat.  So that is the goal.  Even fruits and foods like sweet potatoes cause an insulin response, so I have to eat them sparingly.  I eat very low carb, except for an occasional splurge, so that my blood sugar remains stable.  All this is explained in Wheat Belly Total Health.

It took a while for my body to respond to all this by losing weight.  I had a lot of healing to do first.  Now, I am almost back to pre-hysterectomy weight.  (After my hysterectomy, I could not lose weight to save my life, no matter what I tried to do.)

I feel very confident that this will be a year of steady weight loss.  This is a way of life for me, not a diet.  I don’t have any worries of falling off the wagon.  The headaches make sure of that.  But seriously, once you get off wheat for a few weeks, you lose your craving for it for the most part.  I found a bakery in Dallas that makes Paleo bread.  That allows me to have an occasional sandwich, which helps when I need something quick.  I eat a lot of nuts, avocados, eggs, sausage, bacon, meats and salads.  I am working on trying new things as I get to feeling better.

The other news I have is that I have now had double knee surgery.  I had a knee replacement on my left knee and they scoped my right knee to clean up a meniscus tear on November 17, 2015.  They also injected some kind of gel to help with the arthritis in my right knee (I wasn’t to the point of needing a knee replacement, but it was moving that direction).  He said he hoped to give me 3-5 more years on that knee, but I am hopeful that my dietary changes will keep me from ever having to do that.  I am coming along quite well in my recovery.  The type of pain I was having before the surgery is gone.  I still have stiffness in the surrounding muscles and ligaments, etc., and I am still doing therapy to regain full range of motion, but I am feeling so much better.  We moved in December and I am still working on getting things put away (it is slow going because of recovery).  I had a long list of things I wanted to get done this weekend, and although I did not near get them done – and did not expect to – I never lost motivation or quit working on my list (except for occasional times of rest, of course).  Pain no longer holds me back.

There are still back issues to contend with, but I had an epidural injection on December 31 and it is pretty settled down right now.  I believe as I continue to lose weight and strengthen weak muscles, it will get better and better.  If not, that will also have to be addressed.  The way I am eating should allow inflammation to get better and better.  Let’s just say, I feel better and better all the time.

I am doing a little exercise – the recumbent bike, walking and some weight training to strengthen certain muscles.  My motivation for exercise is no longer to burn calories, and it never will be again (calories are not the issue – blood sugar is; and I mean that for everyone).  My motivation is to strengthen my body so it can do all I ask of it.  I want to grow strong so that I can handle whatever comes my way.  My quads had grown quite weak in the months (or years) before the surgery.  I had become more sedentary because of pain and really could not do a lot.  But now I can and I am slowly working on strengthening them.  I remember a number of years ago I used to be able to do 195 pounds on the leg press.  Right now I can only do 108 pounds.  Part of that is from the surgery and part is from the atrophy that occurred over the last few years.  But I will get it back!

So that is what is going on with me.  I have renewed hope and a desire to get back into life, the more I heal.  It’s a whole new world!