Thursday, January 22, 2015

Things I Didn't Know

I know I've written about this subject in another blog entry, but this word "hyperinsulinemia" is destined, and rightly so, to come up again and again.

I'm addressing some of my food issues and my personal history with "disorderly eating" that almost took my life as I know it. As with alcoholics, people with food issues often have to hit rock bottom before being forced into a change. Rock bottom is not the same for everyone. This was one thing I came to know. I have to say "I was delighted to learn this, but at the same time I honestly didn't want to know it."

 Life teaches us many things...some welcomed and others "not so much." The time and money I spent dealing with my food issues could have filled a bank vault. I never paid too much attention until I graduated from high school. I was always athletic and could eat large amounts of food without gaining weight. I was never fat, never plump, but certainly not skinny. I was a competitive roller skater during my high school years and held a part time job after school and all day Saturday. I remember having horrendous hunger and couldn't wait to go to lunch. In the afternoon I would sometimes have a "low period", but there was always candy or something around, so I never felt faint or shaky.

As I look back to those years I was definitely "hyperinsulinemic", but this was managed with large amounts of food. I didn't eat much junk in those days and candy was never an everyday thing, but I could eat a very large sandwich with chips and a giant bowl of salad. I remember my mother criticizing the amount of food I could "put away." She was still into wanting to control my appetite, but since she worked out of the house I was free to take care of myself.

Hunger was always an issue for me. Today it is still an issue, but since I've controlled my hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance, I don't have what I called "I could eat the wallpaper off the walls hunger." I'm also very careful about "walk-by eating." Those early rules of sitting down at the table to eat and even to use good china, glassware and cloth napkins still holds to this day. Many of my other rules that I'll get into somewhere down the pike in this blog still hold true for today. For example, I shop from a LIST and don't buy anything that is processed.

That rule was a tough one during my "early days." There were times when I had to leave my shopping cart in the aisle and go "sit in the car" until my "unbalanced child-self" stopped bothering me. In the early months I didn't allow myself to go down certain aisles in the supermarket. The soda aisle fell into that category as did the cereal aisle. As for the bakery, I wasn't allowed to go there for at least six months and when I felt more control, I would only allow myself to read the labels. This was a great exercise for me because I hated to read the names of all the chemicals in the food. I'm petrified of chemicals in food, especially when I can't pronounce them. After reading the labels I would head back to the fruit department and purchase some berries.

The order in which I did this was important for me. If I had purchased the berries first, then I wouldn't have appreciated them as much. I really needed to understand that the bakery items had "chemicals." To this day I am turned off by this knowledge. When I first changed my eating I burned fat much too quickly. It literally fell off my body because of my level of exercise. It was not healthy and I suffered greatly from hypoglycemia, the reason being that my lean body mass was much too small. The lean body mass is our "fat burning machine."

 A person who is overweight is usually "over-fat". The scale weight is deceptive. For me, I went from a size 14 to a 6 in two months. I looked anorexic and felt terrible. My weight went from 155 to 115 and kept falling. For the first time in my life I was afraid of losing weight. I didn't know how to stop it from going down. Believe me, this was frightening.

The hypoglycemia presented itself like "anxiety attacks" and quite frankly, I was a mess. It took further research for me to understand what was happening and how to control it. One thing I found out was that I had to build my lean body mass while allowing the fat to keep burning. This is how athletes "who are healthy" manage to stay that way. I happen to need quite a bit of protein to stay stable. All of this depends on my exercise. There are foods that I stay away from completely, and others that I've come to like even though they were never favorites of mine. I do have a couple of video's on YouTube and I will transfer them over here, but not today.

It is so important to understand the relationship of the body fat percentage to the lean body mass. If one burns more lean body mass, the body will return to fat storage when the "diet" is supposedly over. You can see this all the time with programs that are advertised on television. Notice all the refined carbohydrates provided in those meals. Yes, the scale weight will go down, but this is the lean body mass burning off. This is why there is rebound weight gain. For me, I weigh around 150, but still wear a size 8=10 which is healthy for me. I walk six miles a day, mostly with my dog. If it snow, I have a treadmill.

I will never stop my lifestyle changes. Why would I? As for my "imbalanced child-self", I'd like to say she is a perfect little angel, but she is not. She still talks about the binge, but mostly in a sing-song way with me. She gets excited around the holidays and if allowed, would fill the shopping cart with all sorts of @#$%^.

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht
Clinical Medical Hypnotherapist
President and Program Designer
International Medical Health Writers Ltd.
Lincoln, RI
Amazon Author Page

Twitter Handle - ELIZRN

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