Friday, 29 April 2011

Look on the Bright Side and Dukan week 10

Enjoy your life.

Because life is ephemeral.

Just like these blooms captured around our garden, it will fade away.

The cycle of birth, death and rebirth is fixed in the seasons and is a sure, steady reminder that nothing stays the same, the only real constant is change.

Just remember: You get exactly what you settle for.

If there is nothing we can do about change, then, might as well enjoy the ride, correct?

The Springtime flowers, brief though they may be, are glorious.

Love, true love, however, is constantly changing, developing and undying and even if it burns down to just a small hidden flame, it is still there. It still exists.

So love deeply, whatever or whomever you choose as you heart's desire. But give it all you have. It's one of the best things about being human, and being alive.

When God was passing out Lives, why did I have to stand in the "Seriously Complicated, Mostly Unfulfilled, Often Stressful but Ultimately Character-Building" queue? I'm guessing I was busy reading a book and wasn't paying attention....

I didn't post last Friday, I had a week before of seriously bad food choices, stress, complications and emotional eating. I could have blamed it on 'hitting a plateau', but, that's not honest. I went overboard on sugar and fat and carbohydrates and just didn't want to bother forcing myself to get my trainers on and go for a walk, and well, it showed. Nothing budged. So, nothing gained but the weight stayed the same, last week.

THIS week, however, I saw improvement, real and right there on the scales.

THIS week I buckled down and started walking with a friend every evening for an hour. She is a little fireball, being Brazilian, and will walk for hours at a rapid rate if allowed. I have to make sure I am well warmed up and have taken Paracetamol before we meet up or I'm limping halfway through. Still, it's great exercise, I've lost another kilogram and my clothes are now seriously loose on me. Its fun, taking things out of boxes which I have not been able to wear since 2004-2005 and finding they not only fit well, but are in some cases actually no longer tight. Hurrah!

In a few more kilos, I will be down to the lightest weight I have ever been here in France. I forget exactly how light I became, I'll have to go dig it out from my old Blog.

The very biggest differences this time around are I have a handle on my depression, I no longer feel vulnerable and completely alone. I refuse to allow myself to be taken advantage of again. I know I face challenges, but, I have skills and methods to handle them now. My health is improving, I am well-ensconced in the way of life here in France and my daughters are having a joyous childhood. And, I like myself. I'm proud of what I've achieved. For once I can say 'I am happy in my skin!' These are things mere money cannot purchase.

Plus... this time around... I have hope. I live in hope.

Everything happens, and everything doesn't always have a reason for WHY it has happened, but, happen it will. Once I accepted that, life seemed a bit less mean. Life seems now to be just that: a life. I can do with it as I choose, it is all my doing, no one else's. I am making this journey alone, regardless of who is around me. I will enjoy this life to the fullest extent. I hope all of you will as well.

It's your choice.

In Hope. x
Have a great week, Kitty x

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Good News at the end of week Eight on Dukan.

I've been ridiculously busy this past week with a plethora of different bits and pieces in my life, ends that needed tying up and off, little tasks that just had to get done. The Lion's Share has been accomplished, all the while sticking to my resolutions I made to myself earlier in the year. So, I feel slightly successful. Not Hilary climbing Everest successful, but more like 'keeping nutritious meals on the table while the house stays clean & tidy and the girls don't argue' successful. Far better than some silly mountain anytime.

I had the results of my blood tests come back and I discussed them with my doctor. Based partially on the diet I am following, partially on the (now) daily exercise I do, partially upon the weight loss and probably partially upon just dumb luck; my diabetes appears to be in complete remission. So I have been taken completely off the diabetes drug Metformin I was taking. This is exciting and thrilling for me because, as long as I stick to what I'm doing, I'll be one of many who have managed to conquer Type 2 diabetes. I'll have more tests done in the summer to make sure I'm still on track, but, heh, I have to tell you - I feel like a different person. Diabetes can really cause such an impact upon so many areas of your life: moods, rationality, vision, nerves, increased chance of strokes, heart and kidney disease; the list goes on and on. So often, people show no symptoms at all until damage has been done. I'm so lucky mine was caught early and treated.

The next couple paragraphs of this might not interest you unless you yourself are diabetic or if you have a family member or close friend who suffers from this affliction.

The blood test I had in the Autumn showed my HbA1c Glycated hemoglobin was within the normal range of 4.0% - 6.0%. Mine was 5.4% so I went from two Metformin a day down to one a day. January's test was 5.3%, so the Metformin was cut in half again, one pill every other day. Now this latest test has a result of 5.2%, still very much normal so that is why the diabetes medication has been dropped completely.

My blood pressure is good at 130/70 and my triglyceride levels have fallen from 1.41 g/l to 1.02 g/l. I still need to bring down my HDL cholesterol, so I've decided to try achieving this by cutting down on the beef I eat. Steak haché is so quick, easy and delicious, but, I've been buying the budget brand and the saturated fat level is around 15%. I need to cut back until I can afford to buy the 5% fat beef. I think if I can do this it should impact the HDL. I'm not getting saturated fat from any other source in my diet.

So, I'd say after two months on the Dukan Regime, my health has improved, my energy levels are really good, I don't feel hungry or 'snacky' during the day and the weight keeps coming off! My youngest daughter remarked yesterday, as I came down the stairs, "Mummy! Oh! That's you? I saw your legs and 'taille' coming down and I thought you were Mwanda!" Mwanda is her nickname for her 13 year-old sister. No, I have not slimmed down to pre-pubescent, but I don't need to wear baggy sweatpants and men's t-shirts any longer and I guess both girls are quite astonished at my weight loss progress. Their encouragement keeps me going. I want my family to be proud of me.

In the last two months on the Dukan Regime, I've lost 13kg/ 2 stones/ 28 pounds.

Apparently it takes six weeks of doing something on a daily basis to make it into a habit. I'd say I've now got the walking down to a 'habit' and certainly the method of eating comes without a second thought. Yes, I DO cheat, now and again, but I always account for it in my daily food diary and either plan for the 'cheat' by eating less before or eating less afterwards. Or by doing a lot of physical activity to make up for it.

I have finally sorted out CPAM, my medical coverage, so, this is why I was able to do the flurry of tests. The kinésithérapeute finally was able to help with my left Achilles tendon so that is much better. Yes, I do have to take pain medication but at least I can walk with barely a limp, huge progress. 

I guess I am simply just thankful for so much right now. My children are all happy and doing well at work and at school. I feel calm, centred and happy to be living where I am. I do have moments of joy in my life. I have loved and been loved in my life with a fierce intensity. We are safe where we live and no longer feel a constant threat from unwanted persons impinging upon our life. I feel such gratitude towards the person and the situations that have brought us to where we are right now. Thank you so very much. Please accept my thanks on behalf of us all.

I send out joy, hope, love and light to all. Have a wonderful week.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Dukan week Seven or Pardon My Apparent Lack of Creativity.

I mean what surer sign of Spring than a Frappuccino?

No, just to reassure you, my town has not yet arrived in the 21st century by acquiring a $tarbucks, no. Do not fret. A petit noir is still 1.10€ - 1.20€, cafés still insist on boiling the milk past scalding temperature if you ask for a crème. Life is still normal here.

My week on my regime has been fraught with ups and down, lots of downs, rather like my life right now. I stressed out mid-week and cracked open the Christmas Cake tin. This is the fruitcake I have which is still maturing from year BEFORE last, 2009. I unwrapped the buttercloth covering, still redolent of the heavy Bacardi soaking the cake had received, then gorged on a HUGE slice of the moist, fragrant love-stuff. (In case you are wondering, it was awesomely good, whoa.) Then I had a slab of marzipan, just to top off the carb fest. I do a nut topping on our family's Christmas cake, the girls aren't too fond of either Royal icing nor Fondant, let alone marzipan.

I've spent a lot of time feeling really down in the dumps of late. I feel tossed about by the whims of circumstance like flotsam jettisoned into the Universe's emotional ether. Well, something like that but said better.

So, not much progress because of cheating, a 'hormonal plateau' plus feeling too depressed to get out and walk 30 minutes twice a day. On a positive note: I haven't yet completely lost my sense of humour, I do attempt to look at my situation and find things to be amused about. I also know I am far better off than millions of other people. I try to count my blessings each day and be grateful for not yet having shuffle'd off this mortal coil. Slings and arrows, I've got 'em. Outrageous fortune: missing.

So for the 'Money Shot' (a term which I did not know until last year when it was explained to me.)

I'm taking that at 87kg. Still reducing, just not in any kind of rapid sense. Still, the end result is what counts. My clothes fit better, the smaller stuff.

My doctor says I've reduced a bit over 12kg since the last time he weighed me in his office. He has halved my heart medication. I have a blood test tomorrow to check on my cholesterol, iron and blood sugar, I should have the results sometime next week. That will let me know how this regime is impacting my health. I'm sure it's favourably since my blood pressure was down to 130/70.

I'd really like to post something other than my weight updates. This must be mindbendingly boring for anyone who reads this. Sorry. I'll try to become inspired. It's just hard right now to express myself due to general ennui.

Sending you all best wishes for a lovely weekend and week.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Spring Flowers and end of Dukan week Six

These are the lovely flowers planted in the town square, behind are the flower pyramid boxes in front of the Church.

They lift my spirits every time I walk by them, so, at least twice a day on my walks. I always stop and smell the flowers. :)

My woodland walk gave me this lovely leaf the other night. A sweet thing to find for some precious memories I keep from that same spot. I adore Springtime, walking down this path, listening to birdsong, watching the season change, the leaves appearing on the trees. Each day I watch the blush of chartreuse green flush the trees away from the drab brown and grey of winter. It brings me great peace, this place.

This is me, VERY early in the morning; My, don't I look chipper!? (Just keeping it real, folks!)
Why am I smiling? The scales look pretty OK this week, that's why!

I'm down to 97.5kg. Only a shift of 500g down from last week, but, that's a pound, so, I'll take it!
And, I've got the beginnings of my hourglass figure back. Only the beginnings, mind you, but, still. Small steps.

Next week I'm not expecting a lot because, well, I'm out of cash to buy food for myself, I only have enough for the girls and Restos du Coeur finished last week, so, my diet will most likely suffer, a bit. But never mind, I know what I need to do to get back on track afterwards. The girls will always eat well and nutritiously, that's my main concern.

CAF decided to cut my cash by 7/8ths. No idea why and no letter explaining the change but I just checked on the site and I've got less than 100€ coming on Tuesday. Heavens above, I just have to laugh, no use getting stressed as that doesn't help a thing. Assistance Sociale on Monday morning, obviously.

Life in France.... It's always something, isn't it?