Thursday, May 7, 2015

I've shrunk!

I guess we've all heard that this happens with age, but somehow I didn't believe it had happened to me until I visited the dermatologist yesterday and they measured my height. That's happened before, although rarely, but I guess this was the first time I ever asked for the results. The result is that I'm an inch shorter than I used to be!

Beginning to shrink all over, too -- which is a good thing. I've now finally passed that 10 pound mark, and looking forward to much more. It's a slow process, and while I keep seeking that perfect combination of calories in and exercise out that will get my metabolism rolling, I don't think I'm there. It's ok, but it could be better. I'm maybe averaging 1.5 lbs per week, and I'd be happier with 2. But still. I'm happy that it's moving in the right direction after all these years  of frustration.

Finding that sweet spot is tough. I seemed to hit it a few weeks ago, but then when I tried that hormone reset diet it seemed to slow down, and stay there. Too few calories are as bad as -- or worse than! -- too many calories. Without the right balance, the body will sense that it's getting too few calories and will slow the metabolism to protect itself. To keep this from happening I alternate daily calories a good bit -- some high calorie days (such as last Saturday) followed by a really low calorie day. The high calories keep the body happy, the low calories balance it out. The rest of the week I also vary the calories daily, but not to that extreme.

I've been having a lot of medical tests lately, all routine stuff, for my new doc to see what's going on inside. Everything so far has been perfect, which is not something everyone can say at age 72! Even my cholesterol is down, which keeps the docs happy. My doc in Georgia urged me several times to go on statins, and of course, I refused point blank. I do not do pharmaceuticals if I can at all avoid them. Instead, I went to natural substances such as red yeast rice, which is the natural substance on which statins are based. Other than that -- and spices -- I've done nothing. I eat all the things not generally allowed on a cholesterol diet: eggs, butter, cheese, steak and such.

My blood sugar also is way down. For years it's been creeping upwards slowly, reaching around 108. That's a concern for someone who has a family history of diabetes, yet docs have never shown any concern for it. This last test, it was down in the low 90s. I don't think simply being mostly off sugar for these past couple of months did it -- I think it's much more than that.

Lots of this comes down to herbs and spices. I've written before here of the benefits of adding turmeric and cinnamon to one's diet, and I'd also include ginger in that. I add all three to my morning smoothie and have for a couple of years now. The ginger is fresh, and lately the turmeric is fresh too since I've found it at a local Asian food store at an affordable price. I think these things are largely responsible for the overall changes, good changes, more than anything. Yes, I take care of the body in other ways as well, but I eat pretty much what I want as long as I take in sugar and grains in small doses.

One thing that wasn't good in this recent bloodwork was the white blood cell count, which is back to being way low as it was before I left Brookings 5 years ago. This new, young doc, who I really like, will test it again in mid-May to see if it's still that way or if that was an anomaly. I eat things to boost the immune system, including yogurt and probiotics with a particular strain of bacteria that is helpful for this, but I'm certainly not as good about it as I was for awhile 5 years ago after the first issue with this. Could this be the cause of my fatigue? I don't think it's just age and too much activity.

Oh, well. Can't worry about it. I think that if I'd had some terrible disease 5 years ago, as the hematologist suggested was possible, it would have progressed to a point where it would be noticeable, and that hasn't happened.

Today is cattery day -- off to play with the gatos.

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