But the good thing about losing an update is that I can make it better this time.
I have my 6 week post-op appointment on Thursday, but because it's at 9 a.m., I won't have time to take video tomorrow. So I did that today and I'll upload that after this goes through.
I've been pretty clear about my diet in my Mommy Makeover review, but not in this review. So I'll go over it now, so that I can explain my current state.
I'm vegan--so no animal products whatsoever (including honey). I also eat no extracted oils or sweeteners (no olive oil, no sugar, no agave nectar, no maple syrup, no brown rice syrup, etc.) This is not to say I eat no sweets, because I cook everything from scratch, so it's easy to sweeten things with dates or other fruit whenever I want. I also don't drink juice unless it's part of a green smoothie or a blended salad. The idea is that all the fiber is present in the foods we eat, to slow down the insulin response. Occasionally I have done a green juice cleanse, which obviously removes fiber. Two of my children are gluten-free (it's a test because of neuropsychological issues) and the third is mostly (by default). My husband eats no wheat but is not strictly gluten-free. He just avoids bread and stuff because it makes him gain weight. I'm even stricter for myself, but will get more into that later.
So my family is on this diet for a few reasons. First, because we've read research that it should be cancer-protective, as well as protective from other diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc. Second, because my husband has Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), which is an inherited disease that eventually destroys the kidneys. I do not have it, so our children each have a 50% chance of having it. His mother is down to 50% function, and his mother's mother has been on dialysis for over 7 years. High blood pressure affects the kidneys very negatively, and my husband is able to maintain a healthy blood pressure because of this diet. PKD makes it extremely difficult to maintain a healthy blood pressure and his little brother (early 30s) is already on blood pressure medication just to maintain a blood pressure even higher than my husband's, because he eats a less healthy diet. Medication is less effective in maintaining healthy kidney function than a naturally lower BP. So that's a huge deal for us. He also has to maintain a low protein diet because of the PKD, which is easy on this diet. I eat more protein than he does because of my workouts, but not much. It's still much less than most builders, and sometimes it's too little, so I have to be careful of that.
Another huge reason I'm on this diet is to control my acne. I have terrible adult acne, which covers my face, back and chest, when I'm not careful. That's the reason my diet has been the strictest in my family. On this strict diet, I had very little acne compared to not being on the diet, but if I cut out all grains and serious starches (like sweet or white potatoes), I could keep my acne minimal. None on the back or chest and only a little bit in the face. I was convinced this was hormonal, because it disappeared while I was pregnant. It could, however, also have been immune-system related.
Recently, I started on birth control pills full-time to see if it might affect my acne. Also to stop having my period. After six weeks or so, I stopped having my period and it was totally worthwhile for that alone, so I continued, even though it had no effect on my acne. It has now been six months, however, and it appears to have worked! I can now eat starches without getting acne!!!! I've tried several times during these months and it had not worked yet, but I guess it just took six months. This is fantastic, and I'm so extraordinarily pleased! :D There is only one negative to this, and it's weight gain.
Traditionally, I have always been about ten pounds heavier when I eat starches (often more, but never less.) I have also always had a weight problem. I was a chubby pre-teen and an overweight-to-obese teen. I grew up in restaurants and adore food. All kinds of food. And I cook. Very well. So it's kind of hard to get away from. But when I got on this diet for health's sake, I got down to a healthy weight. Not my ideal weight, but a healthy weight. To get to my ideal weight, I had to work out and eat less than I want. So I always eat less than I want (but I want to eat constantly, so that's not strange.) I was also a sedentary child, and never really worked out unless someone made me. The army made me when I was in, but I broke all the time, because I grew up sedentary. Once I got out, I went to a health check at my work, and they looked at me seriously and said, "You are overweight, and you need to start exercising." My diet was pretty healthy then--not perfect, but better than average--but I never exercised. I am 5'8" and I weighed 142 pounds. A lot of people will look at that and say, that's a healthy weight. But the health screener tested body fat and cardiovascular health and cholesterol levels and such. It was not a healthy weight for me. I was borderline obese and overfat. Numbers can lie. I am fine-boned and had no muscle.
I took them seriously, and I started working out right away. The next day :). That was the start of my health transformation: 2002.
Anyway, a lot of stuff has happened since then, including three children and, now, my surgeries. Oh yeah, and I'm knocking on 40. I am not in the best shape of my life now, but I am the strongest I've been in real terms. My ideal weight for looks is about 128 with this level of muscle. I got up to 135 a week or so ago because of the starches, and dialed down the amount of food I was eating significantly, because I don't want to be 138 just because I'm eating starches again. Normally at this level of restriction, I'd get into the low 120s (not a healthy weight for me) but because of the starches, I'm at 133 now. I've stopped gaining weight but have not lost anything since the first day, so I've not lost anything in a week. I'd like to get to 130, but that may be impossible with starches and, quite honestly, I'm not ready to give them up yet! It's been so long, and I love oven fries and oatmeal.
So, I'll see if I can get down to 130 slowly; otherwise, I'll probably resort to limiting my starches again and hope I can lose that way. Currently, I eat two starches per day (during dinner, which is my only meal,) but I'll limit it to one first, and then to every other day if that doesn't work. If it still doesn't work, I'll think of other compromises I'm willing to make. Psychologically, it's impossible for me to live on one meal per day in the long-term, but without any childcare right now, working out more than I do now is not possible. (Not that working out makes up for me eating too much--it totally does not. But it might mitigate one starch per day.) But right now, everything is up in the air. We don't even know where we'll be living next spring and are seriously considering moving to Sweden, where my husband is from. We cannot really afford to live here in the Bay Area any longer, without any childcare help (and we can't afford to use daycare.)
If we manage to move to Sweden next spring, everything will change (because the children will be in school, instead of homeschooled and with me 24 hours/day) and I may finally get to be the gym rat again that I so love to me. Seriously, y'all, I love hangin' at the gym, LOL! I love my pole fitness way more as exercise, but I just love being in a gym. It doesn't even have to be a nice one! If we move to Sweden, I'll try to get a job as, like, a towel-washer or something in a gym, though I'll likely have to go back to school to retrain as well. I'll probably try to do a fitness-type of thing. Nutrition or personal training, that sort of thing. Then I can get that towel-washer job!
Okay, that was a crazy long update.