Friday, May 25, 2012

If it looks like a pig...

"Corn sweetener" IS HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP.  This New York Times article clues us in.

This is further proof that we need a strong educational system that teaches citizens to think for themselves and to evaluate evidence critically.  This sort of verbal shell game is common.  We must have an educated populace that knows when someone is lying to them.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Weight loss blogs

I just did a search for "Catholic weight loss blog" and came across a couple nice ones.  Here are some reviews.

Mary's Nest is a lovely blog by a woman in Texas.  She's really had it with the starvation dieting that passes as acceptable these days.  She's getting her spiritual life in order with some friends and writes about it. 

Take Back Your Temple is a Christian weight loss blog.  Some interesting ideas.  So far I've only read a few articles, but I liked what I read.  This one is about how a woman made a breakthrough in her weight loss when she learned to budget money.  I also read "Fruit for food, Leaves for medicine."  That article quotes the scriptures for ancient advice on nutrition.  I'm definitely going to read this blog. 

The Light Weigh is a program of Catholic weight loss.  The main crux of this is that people are obese for emotional reasons.  I'm really not sold on this concept.  while I think that there are emotional reasons why people eat, I'm more convinced that the high caloric density of the foods we eat are much more to blame than our psyches.  It's mentioned on a lot of Catholic weight loss blogs, so I thought I'd mention it here.  I'm skeptical about this one. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Endometrial Hyperplasia and Squamous morules

Since Miriam's birth in 2009, my periods have been out of whack.  I was nursing Miriam until she weened herself at 6 months.  All the books said that it can take up to 2 years before periods are normal after a birth, but mine never got back.  When I did bleed, the flow was heavy and lasted for weeks instead of days.  I had no pain.

The doctor wanted to put me on Provera pills for 5 days every 30 days.  "We'll do a pregnancy test.  If it's negative, you do the 5 days of Provera then have a period.  That way, if you are not ovulating, your uterus can empty out.

I was hesitant to do this for more than a couple of months.  "If my body can regulate my hormones so well to give birth and nurse," thought I, "then certainly it will come back to normal."  Well, that was 2010 and it didn't.  I saw my primary and she recommended an ultrasound to figure out if I had PCOS or some other problem that was interfering with proper function.  

The lining looked thick and there was a small "polyp" seen.  I freaked out because of that word, "polyp" means a pre-cancerous lesion if you are talking about the colon.  My doctor assured me that this is not the case with the endometrium, but he wanted to do a biopsy of the endometrium.

I got those results this past week.  "Hyperplasia without atypia" was the diagnosis.  He said that, if it doesn't go away, there is a good chance it would turn into cancer.  He said that that was only if I didn't try doing intensive Provera for 3 months and a big bleed to clean everything out.  I've taken the Provera since Monday, but no bleeding yet.  Any information I find online mentions that women bleed after they finish the Provera, but that's for the 5 day cycle, not the 3 month one.

I'm getting really nervous, but I've felt some cramping.  A period is on its way.  I cried in my husband's arms last night.  I feel abandoned and discounted because I'm obese.  I feel written off.  It's hard to say exactly why, but I know that my feelings are not baseless.

I'll put an update on this post when I finally do bleed.  I'm sure some other woman wonders when the hell she will start bleeding too.  If you are her, don't worry.  Eat your veggies, enjoy the sunshine, and be positive.  DON'T read internet articles before bed (or any time really) because it will drive you insane.  I'm praying for you.  If there is an addendum to this post then I'm out of the woods.  Right now I am not and I'm scared.  I know what you're going through and I'm praying for you.  Chin up!

If you googled the following, this should come up.
Provera treatment hyperplasia when will I bleed?
When will the heavy bleeding stop?
Treatment with provera for hyperplasia

May 26,
Two weeks since beginning the pills. No bleeding yet but some cramping and rumbling down there.  LOTS of mood swings.  I cry at the drop of a hat and have all sorts of unrealistic negative thoughts.  I know they aren't real.  This is like PMS on steroids! 

I called the doctor to see if this is all normal.  He says that it is.  Not to worry.  The bleeding will begin within the 3 months and may be quite heavy.  I just need to wait.

May 27
Spotting!  It's beginning.  I'm so relieved.

June 3
Well, it was just spotting and has remained just spotting, so light, a panty liner is more than enough.  I think that tide might turn soon.  Gosh I'm irritable, so pissy.  Everything just annoys me.  Urgh!

June 6
Flow has finally started, along with cramps that are like preliminary labor.   This is not like a regular period, it increased slowly and will probably get pretty heavy.  It took 3 1/2 weeks for the bleeding to really begin.  I'll write more if it stops before the three months are up.

My bowels have been really crazy.  Some constipation, lots of gas, and pain from the gas, culminating in monumental poops that lowered my weight by about 3-5 pounds today!  Man, these fake hormones are tough.  I need to keep on plant based eating to get my body in balance again.

June 7
Passing clots/tissue the size of a quail egg every 30-45 minutes.  I had to go home yesterday because I bled through my clothing and was having severe cramping and felt terrible.  I got home and showered and slept for hours.  It's so tough.

June 10
Bleeding is getting lighter.  Instead of soaking cloth diapers by the dozen, I can go to pads and maybe even pads for sleeping.  Cramping is gone.  My womb is very tired from all the contractions, it feels almost bruised.  Clots are much smaller and not every time I use the bathroom.  So, it's like giving birth.  About 5 days of labor and delivery then a regular menstrual bleed.  At least, that is what is is for me.

September: another biopsy, finding of squamous morules.  Doctor says that these are found in the company of cancer or pre-cancer, yet no such cells were found in my biopsy.  Doctor suggests a D&C to scrape out all tissue in the uterus and analyze them.

October: NO ABNORMAL CELLS, NO ATYPIA.  The squamous morules must have been caused by the treatment itself, NOT by cancer or pre-cancer.  The doctor said that the study I found was just an anomaly, but evidently not.  It was me! Maybe it's you.  Here is what I've found.

  • my abnormal periods happened after the birth of my child.  Obviously the two are linked!  It wasn't a condition that was developing over years (cancer), it was a condition that was the result of hormonal shock from birth
  • my periods became absolutely normal after the intense provera treatment
  • I was very depressed and had thoughts of suicide during provera treatment, does this mean that I respond normally to the hormones?  THEY SUCK.
  • Plant-based eating helped to restore the periods.

Fat 2 Fit Radio

Starvation seems to be the method of all the commercial weight loss programs out there.  Anorexia is the goal of gastric bypass surgery.  This is insanity!  No, really, if you are anorexic or starving yourself for "health", I do believe that you are nuts! 

Fat 2 Fit Radio is an amazing podcast and website that is dedicated to sanity in weight loss.  The whole premise is that one needs to eat above their basal metabolic needs in order to lose weight.  Go to the site and check it out.  Starvation is not the answer.  Undereating is not the solution to overeating. 

My BMR is 2189 calories per day.  That is how much my body needs if it were in a coma!  I need to eat above that in order to be healthy.  That means that, in order to not slow my metabolism, I need to eat about 2200 calories per day.  I will lose around 1/2-2 pounds per week, depending on activity levels.  Today I'm eating vegan so I just can't get those calories in because I'm too full.  Tomorrow morning is my splurge breakfast of scrambled eggs and cheese with toast.  Those extra calories will help me keep my calories up.

My weekend splurges have left me feeling a bit sick on Monday and Tuesday as my body recovers.  I think I need to take it easy.  This weekend we're doing pizza with salad and fruit (or dairy bar) on Saturday night and we'll grill some red meat on Sunday.  Maybe the dairy bar will be Sunday if it's not Saturday.  In any event, I'm not going nuts this weekend.

Weight 313.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Good Shepherd

This past Sunday was the Catholic celebration of "Jesus, the Good Shepherd."  It's interesting that so many of the heroes of the bible were shepherds and how often the consumption of lamb or sacrificed beef is mentioned with respect to God.  Indeed, Abraham was asked to sacrifice his own son as though Isaac were a ram. 

We humans have been given reign over the earth just as God has dominion and responsibility for the universe.  Since we are made in the image of God, we have a special power over and sensitivity to our world.  While Dr. McDougall asserts that human teeth are those of a herbivore and Dr. Esselstyn strongly asserts that meat and dairy consumption are the source of heart disease, it seems clear in scripture that animal husbandry and meat consumption were indeed part of our ancient diet. 

How then do we reconcile that to killing other creatures, using the milk that was meant for their young, and the cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis that results from consuming animal protein? 

The answer?

If we keep animals with care as Jesus is the Good Shepherd.  If we are good shepherds too and look after the needs of the animals and care for their needs, we will be unable to eat them in the quantities that we currently do.  Indeed, Americans consume 1 million chickens per hour!  If we kept chickens in ranges instead of pens, fed them grain and veggies instead of ground up chickens and animal byproducts, made sure they were dead before processing their carcasses, and let them grow in the sunshine, they would be expensive.   Indeed, the reason we associate poultry with special occasions and holidays is because it has traditionally been a very expensive meat to produce.  It should be expensive!  It should be eaten rarely.  Chicken can only be cheap if we factory farm! 

The answer is to eat according to the natural process of growing and harvesting healthy food.  If we need to keep animals so close together that microbes are a significant problem and we need to pump the animals full of antibiotics, then we need to not have them be so close together.  The answer is responsible and humane farming, NOT antibiotics. 

As it turns out, Isaac wasn't sacrificed by his father, Jesus was sacrificed by His.  Is this a call to veganism?  For many monks and lay faithful it is.  For others it is a call to action, awareness, and seeking out humane alternatives to supermarket meat and dairy.  Either way, if we eat like Jesus did, we must eat fewer animal products. 

BTW, My blood pressure is 118/80!  Lowest since I was in High School!