Friday, July 27, 2012

My Wake Up Call

Yup, I've been a baaaaad blogger!  I deserted my page, and you, and I offer my apologies.  I've just had a wake up call that's grabbed all of my focus and energy.  With fibromyalgia (and I imagine, with any chronic illness) those things are in short supply to begin with.

I have medical coverage for the first time in over three years - hooray!  Which translates into doctor visits, of course.  Those visits have been informative, with my learning that I've gained more weight than I want to accept. I knew that I'd gained weight, but the reality left me with my mouth wide open in shock.  Oh, and I discovered that I have high cholesterol and am pre-diabetic. Definitely a wake up call.  A very loud wake up call!

Of course, dealing with western medicine, the first option given me was to take medications.  I have a resistance to that; I don't like taking them.  Chemicals!  I'm already surrounded by chemicals and toxins in my everyday environment; in the personal care, household items and foods that are fraudulently claimed to be safe. And if, with my limited resources, I have struggled to lessen those things as much as possible - why would I want to swallow half a dozen or a dozen different medications when every single one of them would have side effects that would create new problems?
I have agreed to take one medication - Lyrica.  It's not a pain pill.  It does nothing directly for my fibro related pain; for pain caused by disintegrating discs, by my congenital foot deformity or arthritis. But, it does help with the burning sensation of neuralgia; it does help with sleep (sleep disturbances can be a major thing with fibro, increasing pain levels and incidences of fibro fog) and even seems to help with my moods.

For my high cholesterol and pre-diabetes, my Doctor has agreed to let me address them via aggressive diet and lifestyle changes.  I'd already started making some of those changes on my own, so I now have further incentives, lol.

Those changes include eating (something healthy, of course!) every three hours and this is, for someone prone to skipping meals, a huge challenge.  For someone who spent the first forty years of her life dieting, it just feels wrong to be eating so often! 
An example of a meal that I won't be eating, lol!
I've started out by cutting sugar consumption by more than half.  Avoiding things like white rice/flour/potatoes and foods high on the glycemic index. Incorporating more fresh fruits, veggies, fish and legumes.  All of which are proving to be a challenge for someone on a food stamp budget.  Not impossible, but the learning curve is pretty strong.  Keeping a food diary is helping.

And then there's the physical part!  How does someone with chronic pain AND multiple non-visible physical disabilities move their body; exercise; without being overwhelmed and felled by pain?  No stair climbing, jogging, aerobics, weights.  No long walks, no jumping jacks, no weights.  No kayaking, softball or volleyball. There's not a whole lot left, but I'm working on it!  Oh, and I'll toss in a complete lack of funds here too - for those of you wanting to share that yoga, etc. would be perfect.  But hey, if you want to donate funds for a class or DVD, we can talk!

A lot of changes; a lot of learning new ways to be in my body and changing how I treat my body.

I'll be writing some posts about those changes.  What I'm doing and how - both with my diet, shopping habits and with my body.  I'll even toss in some great recipes as I discover them.  And I have!  Good food still exists! 

I'll leave you with this recipe that I discovered in an old magazine for diabetics.  I made it for a picnic recently and it was a hit with everybody - and not one person knew it was low in fat/calories!  I'm just going to have to make sure that I share each one that I make, because it would be too tempting to eat the entire thing myself.  It's that good!

Luscious Lemon Cheesecake
1 graham cracker, crushed, divided
2/3 C boiling water
1 small pkg Sugar free lemon jello
1 C 2% cottage cheese
8 oz fat free cream cheese
2 C thawed sugar free whipped cream
Spray non stick cooking spray lightly into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate. Sprinkle 1/2 of the crumbs onto the sides of the pie plate.
Stir the boiling water into jello in a large bowl until completely dissolved.  Pour into a blender container.  Add cheeses, cover and blend on medium speed until smooth.
Pour into a large bowl and gently stir in whipped cream.  Pour into your prepared pan, smoothing the top.  Sprinkle the remaining crumbs around the outside edge.
Refrigerate about 4 hours or until set.
Makes 8 servings and leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator.
Per serving: 100 calories, 2g total fat, 10mg cholesterol, 11g carbs, 5g sugar