Monday 11 January 2016


Seems like a weird title for a post doesn't it but if you've suffered from it or know someone who has or does then you will have some understanding as to how debilitating this can be to a sufferer and those who suffer alongside them - it can literally fracture a family, a relationship, a person and can lead sufferers to a dark dark place where the only option that makes any sense to them is to take their own life.
But so many of us know this right? The death of Robin Williams bought the subject of depression to the forefront and for what seemed like the first time (certainly in my lifetime) depression became a topic that people openly discussed and for the majority of what I heard or read people seemed genuinely understanding of it, or were at least sympathetic to a condition that they had previously not given thought to or had thought of it as a mental thing we don't talk about.

I was 8 years old when I first attempted to kill myself!
With no internet back then my 8 year old brain was limited in its capacity to understand how to go about this act - thankfully! I think it went as far as "stop breathing" - I mean that's the gyst of it right? Just stop breathing! So my method went as far as tying a plastic bag over my head and laying on my hands. I can laugh about it now but deep deep down I can still feel that desperation that took me to that point.
Looking back I honestly believe I came into this world damaged/fractured/with baggage - call it what you will - and with a tenacious ability to absorb worry/stress/a belief that I was unloved and not good enough. I distinctly remember looking at the world as cold and heartless though I would not have been able to percieve it as that back then. Back then the world just sucked!
Obviously my attempt to "stop breathing" by way of plastic bag did not work, I think it's absolutely impossible for someone to kill themself that way because no matter how much you believe you want it, the survival instinct kicks in and you whip that bag of your head and then cry/scream/berate yourself for being so fucking useless that you can't even get that right.
It didn't work the first time, nor the second, nor the third and it slowly began to sink in that I was stuck here because I seriously did not have the knowledge to think any further. I did however decide one day that I was going to jump from my parents bedroom window, I think I had been fighting with my brother as kids do and any mean thing said to me would just flip me over the edge. So I climbed that window ledge believing this would do the trick - I could "stop breathing" - but my brother dragged me back in.
Looking back I think the jumping from the window experience was more about trying to show someone - my brother at this point - how much I was hurting, not an actual attempt to "stop breathing". I say this because although alot of the incident is a blur and my brother probably remembers it alot different to me bless him, I distinctly remember sitting on the ledge for an amount of time first - surely if I had meant it I would have just jumped?
I guess I should thank my brother for saving me that day because let's face it, had I jumped I don't think from that height it would have killed me, I think it's much more likely I would have broken legs or worse, broke my back.

I can talk about these things now and I have learned what it was that put my head in that place at that time. As an adult I can process things differently but as an 8 year old, 9 year old, 10 year old etc I just did not have that ability.
I should also say that not once in my attempt to "stop breathing" was it ever about a cry for help, it was never in the hope of being found and someone realising something was wrong and it was never to punish anyone. I didn't want help, I simply didn't want to exist anymore!

Tuesday 15 September 2015

Gluten intolerance / Celiac disease

So I thought I should do an update on my last post about the Gluten Free lifestyle I was hoping was going to sort out my stomach issues, I wanted to leave it a few weeks before updating because I wanted to know the results were consistent and not just a day relief.
The effects of cutting out Gluten were not as instant as I had thought they would be but there is no denying that cutting out Gluten has definitely helped to sort out my health issues.
My stomach has finally deflated and I cannot express just how bloody lovely it is to not look and feel 9 months pregnant every single day.
The pain in my stomach has gone completely and again I think only other sufferers would truly understand the relief I speak of.
My energy levels while not through the roof have definitely increased and I can actually think straight now - my mind does not always feel dead.
But the thing I've noticed the most and am hoping and praying that it's not a fluke and will return is that my depression has lifted. It's bizarre to think that a Gluten Free diet could do that but it looks like it has. I actually wake up and look forward to the day now whereas I used to dread it.
Don't get me wrong I still have Narcolepsy so I sometimes struggle to get going in the morning and I still need to nap throughout the day but I no longer feel as though my batteries have died by 11am.
Another plus is that I am regular to the toilet - excuse the yuckiness. This has been an issue for me for years and I've switched between needing to take laxatives to needing Immodium for as long as I can remember. I even tried the Colon Cleanse tablets thinking that was the issue and those things are not something I would recommend anyone take unless you can stay at home literally all day and all night - you get my drift.
What I have been taking since day 1 of cutting out Gluten is a probiotic. I did some research and learned all about the damage Gluten intolerance can do to the good bacteria in the gut and the recommendation was a Probiotic that has a minimum of 20billion bacteria.
I chose a product - based on reviews - from Amazon called "Physis Advanced Probiotics" which has 50 billion viable bacteria strains.
It is 100% vegetarian/vegan safe and is Gluten free.
I admit I was sceptical about this Probiotic theory, I mean it made sense but then so did all the other fads I've been tempted by in the past but I am pleased to say this stuff works.
No more laxatives or Immodium for me, this stuff combined with Gluten Free food has sorted out my IBS and I've just ordered my second batch of it. I think I will continue using this for a long time to come.
If you're interested in the product here is the link to the one I bought

Physis Advanced Probiotics

If you have any of the following symptoms and think it could be a Gluten intolerance either go to your doctor (I lost faith in mine so decided to go this alone) and make sure it's not Celiac disease or cut out Gluten from your diet and see if your symptoms improve, but give it time as relief may not be instant.

  • bloating or abdominal (stomach) pain
  • flatulence and a noisy stomach
  • weight loss
  • tiredness and fatigue, which may be a sign of iron deficiency anaemia or folate deficiency anaemia
  • tingling and numbness in your hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy)
  • vomiting (usually only affects children)
  • swelling of your hands, feet, arms and legs caused by a build-up of fluid (oedema)
  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis - Itchy blisters or bumps on scalp, buttocks, elbows and knees but can present anywhere. (For me I get this along the insides of my fingers and until literally just now I did not realise what it actually was). 

Wednesday 19 August 2015

Gluten intolerance

I was diagnosed with Narclepsy approximately 15 years ago, I was diagnosed with IBS before that and Fibromyalgia approximately 12 years ago.
For the past several years I've really battled with depression which I believe manifested in childhood, I've visited the doctor various times about both the depression and severe severe fatigue but I've always been fobbed off with it being a symptom of my conditions blah blah blah. In fact if my doctor has ever offered further advice it's always and only been to lose weight - if I go about fatigue it's "lose weight", headaches? "Lose weight". Joint pain? "Lose weight". I've had blood tests to check iron levels etc which were within range and I've had Cholesterol tests which while were high ("Lose weight) also had high ranges of good cholesterol.
So for years I've accepted this constant fatigue, tiredness, depression and other symptoms as part and parcel of my "conditions" and learned to well......get on I suppose.

For the past couple of years though I have noticed a pattern emerging whenever I eat certain food stuffs. Mainly bread. It seems that whenever I eat bread or pasta I immediately bloat up and get excrutiating stomach pains and if I continue to eat it another day then the fatigue will be so bad I literally cannot think or concentrate - I feel like a zombie.
So recently I decideed to google "why does bread make me bloat" and what I found totally astounded me. I kind of guessed that I must have an intolerance to it but I never knew what this intolerance to the ingredient 'gluten' was actualy doing to my body.
I googled the symptoms of Gluten intolerance. I will list them below and the ones highlighted in red are the ones I suffer pretty much on a daily basis
  1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation.
  2. Keratosis Pilaris, (also known as 'chicken skin' on the back of your arms). This tends be as a result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.
  3. Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.
  4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis.
  5.  Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance. 
  6.  Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS or unexplained infertility. 
  7. Migraine headaches.
  8. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pin point the cause of your fatigue or pain. 
  9. Inflammation, swelling or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips
  10. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and ADD.
So, you can imagine my surprise when I see that I can check 8 out of 10 of those symptoms.
Having done further research on symptoms and diagnosis it seems that Gluten intolerance is actually very common and extremely debilitating if a sufferer continues to attack their body with the stuff.
I attempted to read a medical article on the different stages of harm that is inflicted on the adrenal gland of a sufferer but it became a load of mumbo jumbo after about the ninth page.

Further research has me convinced that I definitely have an intolerance to Gluten and quite possibly Dairy and chocolate (judging by the heart palpitations I get after eating it).
I figured I'll just cut out Gluten from my diet and see what happens - easy eh!  Well apparantly not - I was not aware of the amount of foodstuffs that contain Gluten - check it out

Gluten Free Foods
Foods to check Gluten Containing Foods
Cereals & Flour Corn, rice, rice flour, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, teff, quinoa, sorghum, soya flour, potato starch, modified starch, potato flour, gram flour, polenta (cornmeal), sago, tapioca, cassava, urid flour Some natural grains can be milled with wheat, barley or rye which means they can be contaminated, so check the label. Flavoured savoury rice products, oats.  Wheat, bulgar wheat, durum wheat, wheat bran, wheat rusk, wheat flour, wheat starch, modified wheat starch, wheat protein, rusk, semolina, couscous, barley, barley malt, barley flour, rye, rye flour, triticale, kamut, spelt.
Breads, Cakes & Biscuits
Products specifically labelled as gluten free, including breads, biscuits, crackers, cakes, pizza bases, rolls and flour mixes Meringues, macaroons All breads and rolls, chapattis, biscuits, crackers, cakes, pastries, scones, muffins, pizza made from wheat, rye or barley flour
Breakfast cereals Products specifically labelled as gluten free, including muesli, oats (if tolerated), rice porridge, millet porridge Buckwheat, corn, malted breakfast cereals, oats not labelled as gluten free. Wheat-based breakfast cereals
Pasta & Noodles Corn pasta, rice pasta, gluten free pasta, rice noodles, rice pasta   Canned, dried and fresh wheat noodles and pasta
Fruit & Vegetables All fresh, frozen, canned and dried pure fruits and vegetables. Fruit pie fillings, processed vegetables like cauliflower cheese, potato products - oven, microwave and frozen chips, instant mash, waffles Vegetables and fruit in batter and breadcrumbs or dusted with flour. 
Dairy Products All cheeses, all milk (liquid & dried), all cream (single, double, whipping, clotted, soured and crème fraiche), buttermilk, plain yoghurt, plain fromage frais Coffee and tea whiteners, oat milk, fruit and flavoured yoghurt/fromage frais, rice milk, soya milk Milk with added fibre, yoghurt and fromage frais containing muesli or cereals
Meat, fish & eggs All fresh meats & poultry, smoked meats, cured pure meats, plain cooked meats Meat pastes, pates, sausages, burgers, if the meat is in a sauce- check the sauce is gluten free! Meat and poultry cooked in batter or bread crumbs, faggots, rissoles, haggis, breaded ham
Fish & Shellfish All fresh fish and shellfish, smoked, kippered and dried fish, fish canned in oil or brine Fish in sauce, fish pastes and pates Fish in batter or breadcrumbs, fish cakes, taramasalata, fish fingers
Fats & oils Butter, margarine, lard, cooking oils, ghee, reduced and low-fat spreads Suet, vegetarian suet  
Savoury snacks  Homemade popcorn, rice cakes, rice crackers, gluten free crackers and pretzels. All plain nuts and seeds Dry roasted nuts, pretzels, potato and vegetable crisps Snacks made from wheat, rye, barley
Drinks Tea, coffee, cocoa, fruit juice, squash, clear fizzy drinks, wine, spirits, cider, sherry, port, liquors, gluten free beers, ginger beer Drinking chocolate, cloudy fizzy drinks, hot chocolate, cola Malted milk drinks, barely waters/squash, beer, lager, ales, stouts

This is going to be harder than I thought since realising alot of the foods I eat are Gluten rich.
I'm determined to do this though - I am sick and tired of this awful pain and fatigue. Maybe it is even the cause of my Fibromylagia, in which case it may see an improvement there.
I'm quite excited to see how this pans out, today is my first day Gluten free and I'm checking everything I eat because just cutting out the bread and pasta (the food I know causes me inflammation) isn't enough, I have to remove ALL Gluten from my diet - for life!!  

Monday 20 July 2015

this dieting crap is crap

I think the absolute lack of blogging speaks for itself when it comes to how the "diet" is going - basically, it isn't.
I returned from a couple of weeks in the sun full of good intentions - that vitamin D has a lot to answer for - and it did start out well. All rubbish went out the fridge and cupboards replaced by loads of cut fruit and veg, I weighed myself and even told my hubby what the damage was (I have never in 25 years of marriage divulged that information to him).
So what was the damage? Well, certainly not the 220 lb I expected thankfully but still not good at 214lb.
I actually thought I'd done well in the first week so was initially shocked at a 1lb gain. But then I had to take a realistic look at what I'd eaten and although my meals were very healthy I'd been to the cinema twice and had been out for an Indian meal, suddenly that gain wasn't a shock.
I haven't weighed myself this second week yet as I forgot today but tbh I expect a gain.

Today I started insanity again! I'm feeling a tad more determined this time to see this one through because I really do miss it when I'm not doing it and this time I want to see results for my efforts.
So today was fit test day and while before I would have knocked myself for results that I consider not to be good enough but now I'm just seeing them as room for improvement - so here they are.

Switch kicks - 71
Power jacks - 30
Power knees -59
Power jumps - 19
Globe jumps - 6
Suicide jumps - 9
Push up jacks - 11
Low side oblique - 39

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Insanity Max30

I may as well start this by acknowledging a huge, bad, fat fact - it's been over 3 months since I last posted.
I don't know why - this blog was intended to be a journal of my weightloss journey so why I feel I cannot post when I'm floundering I don't quite understand.
Well, I'm floundering! At  least I WAS floundering, right on the abyss of wanting to lose weight but having zero motivation, zero energy and a staggeringly huge appetite.
Surprisingly (considering what I've been throwing down my gullet) my weight has not fluctuated to a great extent, I'm still lighter than I was at my heaviest (you see how I put that) but I haven't lost a teeny percentage of what I'm supposed to be aiming for.
I guess we've all been there - going from extreme motivation and determination to gradually convincing oneself that we really don't mind the way we are and that we should just learn to accept our body the way it currently is.
Well I was accepting my weight and body shape for the last 3 months, hence the mammoth amount of food I have consumed. I'm coming out the end of that particular self harming tunnel though and it's down to a couple of things
1) I happened across a new 'dietbet' challenge run by Tony Horton and I paid my $30 to enter before I had time to think what I was doing let alone time to talk myself out of it and
2) I go on holiday in 6 weeks and I had a very rare moment of deciding I was going to buy new clothes for the occassion. I'm one of those people who never ever buy clothes because I convince myself there's no point because I'm dieting and they won't fit me in a few months - 23 years later I still have those old clothes, which incidentally are coming back into fashion which would be a good thing if they actually fit me. So you see I kept all my old clothes and very rarely buy new ones unless I need a new pair of elasticated yoga pants for gardening or a fleece to hide my bulk.
But I digress - whilst looking at the clothes (online of course, I'd never humiliate myself by looking in changing room mirrors) I suddenly realised I didn't know what size to order and the thought of wasting time buying something the wrong size just made me all anxious.
So I decided enough was enough (this was yesterday by the way) and suddenly had an urge to work out - yes, I really did just say an urge to work out - so I found myself doing Day1 of Insanity Max30 with Shaun T.
Anyone who reads this blog will know what a fan I am of original Insanity - that work out is amazing and definitely my all time favourite, but each workout can take 1 hour and I'm reluctant to do that right now so I tried the new Insanity Max 30 - each workout is 30 minutes long whish is so much more doable.
Firstly let me just say DAAAAAAMN! I was expecting it to be much easier than Insanity - WRONG! If I had had the energy to write down my Max out figure it wouldn't have been much more than 1 minute - that's ridiculous.
I did Tabata power today and again DAAAAAMN! I'm having to modify every move right now which I never did in Insanity, I don't know if it's because I'm a year or so older or whether I am the unfittest I have even been in my life but I seriously struggled. Wake up call or what!

Once I've completed the first week of Insanity Max30 I'll do a review up to that point and then continue to post updates and progress reports thereafter - I finally have something health/weight related to talk about.
BTW my goal according to Dietbet is 8lbs in 4 weeks - I'm aiming for 10lbs!

Thursday 22 January 2015

I never expected this weight loss journey to be as simple as going from A to B but I seem to be detouring to every other letter from C to Z and I'm beginning to feel like a complete loser. Why on earth am I so flaky when it comes to weight Loss! I mean its hardly rocket science is it, I don't even have to stop eating all the things I love like chocolate etc, I simply have to stop eating it every day. So why the heck do I give in to temptation so easily?
Yesterday I did relatively good - a healthy breakfast and a healthy cooked meal at night but then I spotted 'master of taste American style brownie' ice cream in the freezer and I knew from that point I was fighting a losing battle. At first I just had a quarter of it and put it back ( a total first for me) and then later on I had a late bath to divert my mind from it. All was well - until I got out of the bath and in some weird automatic mode went and got the ice cream and finished it off in bed!!

Nutritional information for this ice cream informs me that I ate around 1000 calories and approx 68g of fat. Great.....just bloody great!
Note to self: when you next go food shopping do not convince yourself that you'll ration it this time - it hasn't happened the last 10 times and next time won't be any different.

While I'm whipping myself I may as well be honest and say that the 5/50 challenge was well and truly blown out of the water on roughly day 5. I can tell myself that it's down to lack of time but that's an outrageous over statement - it's easy to find time. I may as well just admit to myself that I'm either lazy or flaky or just not committed or even a combination of all three.
I love the idea of working out and I really want to start running again but getting the motivation to get going is proving ridiculously hard. Do they sell it in shops I wonder!!

Weight loss this week - 2lbs.

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Exercise - oh boy!

Week 1 weigh in - a measly 1lb lost. Yes, I know it's better than nothing or eek - 1lb on but I had hoped for maybe a tad more.
I guess I should have been ready for it though because we had a 2 day power cut due to atrocious storms and I have to admit that I ate whatever was easy to eat during a power cut - basically rubbish.
Combine rubbish eating with no exercise and I guess I should be grateful for the 1lb loss.

I have the exercise front under some sort of control now. I want to begin running but I need to build my lungs up to it after the chest infection so I've begun a 5/50 challenge that my sister drew my attention to.
It's basically a commitment to 5k of exercise a day for 50 days, this can be anything from walking, running, swimming, cycling etc or a combination of them.
5k is certainly a doable distance isn't it, my problem is going to be remembering to do it every day, I'm only on day 2 and I almost forgot today lol.
I'm also going to introduce a squat and a crunch challenge on Monday just to add some interest. The squat challenge I've chosen is this one

I figured this one would be less boring than the same old squat day in, day out. The technique for these squats is available here at 'Well-girl'.

The crunch challenge will be this one

Again, I thought this would be a bit different to the usual crunch or sit up and would also work on the waist which is always an issue for me.