Diet Change

Hi guys,

I have to apologise for me leaving you guys again. After my second job finished, I’ve been trying to put as many hours as I can at my first job so I have a bit of money coming in! Next week I’m working 8 days in a row >.<

But anyhow, I wanted to update you on how I’m doing. The past month has been quite stressful with worrying about money and family. I’d fallen off the wagon a bit and generally feeling quite crappy and sorry for myself. The thing is, I wasn’t bothered enough to do anything about it. Then, I just happened to want to go to Costco as I hadn’t been in over a year/two years and I saw a diabetes cookbook. Don’t ask me what drew me to it, especially as it focussed on the story of the author’s type 1 diabetic child (I’m type 2), but it really resonated with me.

I decided I was going to go low carb. I’m on day 3 so far and I’m feeling generally OK. Yesterday was the “new diet blues” where you’re constantly ravenous despite eating (I blame my body craving sugar) but I’m already seeing results which is nice. My blood pressure is down a bit, my blood sugars have fallen slightly and I’ve lost a kilo (though I did put 3 on in a month and I know that weight fluctuates daily but it’s just nice to see the scales go down!).

One thing that has confused me though, is what macros to actually use. I know I wanted to go low carb, but not enough to go into ketosis (I struggled really badly on the Cambridge Weight Plan which focussed on staying in this) so I knew I wanted to start on about 90g carbs. The hardest part after was trying to figure how much protein and fat to eat. A lot of advice leads to having higher fat consumption, which I have really struggled to get my head around. I’ve used a couple of macro calculators and some were telling me to eat 100g of fat! Personally, I would prefer to focus more on protein but there are warnings not to go too high or you won’t lose weight. What’s a girl to do?

So I’m going to experiment. I’m using MyFitnessPal to log my foods and macros (username is YzzyBella if you want to be friends). My current macros are: protein 30% (115g), fat 47% (82g) and carbs 23% (90g) with my calorie goal at 1558. It might be all wrong, any dietician looking at it might think I’m crazy but I’m going to see how I go for the next week and adjust if necessary. Obviously if my blood sugars, weight and blood pressure are rising, then it’s not working for my body and I’m going to have to look again at my macro distribution. Luckily I’ve got the equipment to monitor it daily so also if it falls too rapidly, I know to visit my doctor and look at my medication too. I have to admit that I haven’t done an insane amount of research on macros and this diet. I previously have dabbled low carb before about 4 years ago and I think it worked well for me but then I went to start Slimming World and forgot all about it. If you have any advice, please leave me a comment as knowledge is key, right?

Until next time.. x

I’m back! Update

Hi everyone,

It’s been a long time. A really long time. I apologise! My life has been quite the rollercoaster with work going a bit insane, moving & just being crazy disorganised.

So what’s new? Well, I’m very nearly discharged from the hospital for my diabetes. With work, I was just grabbing food whenever I could, binge eating as I had no idea when I would have time to eat next and drinking an awful lot of sugary drinks to give me energy, which was then followed by massive sugar crashes. I know I was burning myself out but when you’re working with family, sometimes you don’t know how to say no. So the result of this was at my yearly check up in June 2016, the nurse was really worried about my HBA1C (blood sugar level over the past few months) as it had increased rather than decreased. I was given gliclazide, a blood sugar monitor for the first time and a referral to the diabetes clinic. My blood sugars were ranging from 4.2 to 15 and I was all over the place. Though my blood sugars came down, I was a bit of a mess to be honest!

When I visited the clinic in January 2017, the nurse I was with suggested that maybe I try the newest diabetes drug (SGLT2 inhibitors) Farxiga, which prevents the kidneys from reabsorbing the sugar and instead is passed through urine. I recently posted on my instagram that this medication has suited me so much better. Instead of my blood sugars jumping all over the place, I’m now usually around 5-7mmol/L and my energy levels are so much better.

To give you an indicator of how bad it is, the target for HBA1C is 48. In September last year, my result was 98, which is scarily high and more than double the target figure. The gliclazide lowered me to 78 and in May, I hit 60. I have also lost around 4kg (all my doctors now weigh in kilograms opposed to stones and pounds so I’m trying to make the conversion!) which is around 9lbs. My total weight loss from my original start weight is currently at 1st 5lb which is about 8.5kg. It’s been really slow progress but this scare has given me a huge kick up the backside.

I saw my diabetes nurse at the GP the other week and as my blood pressure is now at around 102/77 (before it could hit 147/112 – 120/80 is ideal I think) so she said we’ll monitor my blood pressure as I lose more weight as my medication will need to be adjusted. I literally can’t wait as at the minute I’m taking around 7 tablets for my diabetes and blood pressure, 1 for my hayfever and 2 supplements for hair and energy (I have had quite a lot of hair loss recently due to stress) so less tablets would be more than welcomed.

Current stats:

CW: 93.4kg or 14st 9lb
BMI: 35
Body Fat: 43.4%

Alongside that, in a couple of weeks I will be down a job. I’m now preparing myself for the drop in income by tightening my belt and so I’m getting full swing into meal prepping and researching my shopping list first – so these will be back! I will be looking at weight loss on a budget and keeping tabs back on here to keep me accountable.

So, until next time.. x

Quick Update

Hi guys,

Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. Work had gone crazy hectic which I wasn’t expecting (so much for January blues!) so the 60-70 hour work weeks have pretty much ground my life to a standstill. 

I’ve had a consultation at the hospital and been prescribed a new drug which has a side effect of weight loss. It’s only been about a month and although I look a bit skinnier, my scales have stayed the same. Not sure if this is due to me recently taking up swimming again or the lack of home cooking (I’ve unfortunately had a few weeks where I’ve eaten out for every single meal – ridiculous I know!). 

Leading onto my budget. I’ll be honest, I haven’t really had one the past six or seven weeks. Everything has kind of been ticking over and my eating out bill has been considerable but my credit card bill (I put everything on it) is less than expected and I’ve just booked a mini break away at the end of March so it can’t be too bad. I’m hoping for things to die down a little bit so I can focus on myself before the rush of Mother’s Day and Easter so I can blog a bit more and take a closer look at my finances. 

On the whole, I think I’m ok. The long weeks are dragging me down and for some crazy reason I decided this was the best time to start a CIMA unit so all in all, I’m surviving. I hope you’re all well and I’ll see you (hopefully!) soon.  

Until next time.. x

Hospital Update – November 2016

Hi guys,

Hope you’re all well. As I mentioned in my last post, I was referred to the hospital by my diabetes nurse and I had the appointment last Thursday. Originally, I didn’t quite understand why I was being referred – my nurse mentioned that “there might be a third type of diabetes” – I can say that after this appointment, I’m pretty sure she was wrong.

I headed up to the hospital and they took my blood pressure, current blood sugar levels, weight and height. I then saw the specialist diabetes nurse who then explained that the reason why I was referred was because I wasn’t exhibiting classic diabetes symptoms. I have also been diagnosed with high blood pressure and she had asked if either had been fully investigated, which I was honest and said I had a bunch of tests done when I was about 18/19 but all I remember being told was that I had PCOS and when I wanted to try for kids, I should be re-referred back to them.

Having this appointment was actually really useful. Since my diagnosis about 4 years ago, I hadn’t actually had everything fully explained to me and what the tests were and what the preferred number ranges were and how I compared. After going through my health history (though they didn’t seem to have any details before my move in 2011, which is when I did all those tests – very reassuring!), she then explained that because I didn’t have all the symptoms and my results didn’t seem consistent, she thought that maybe I didn’t have full on diabetes – that it was possible that something else was causing my blood sugars to rise to look similar to it but that it was a symptom rather than the cause.

She then asked the endocrinology nurse to come see me and basically because I have had eczema since I was a baby and had been prescribed steroid cream (e.g. hydrocortisone, elocon) to help during flare ups and infections (more so when I was younger; I tend not to use them that often now), I may have something called Cushing’s Syndrome. This is basically a build up of cortisol in the body and my symptoms seemed more in line with that.

This made sense and so I’m going to be under investigation and hopefully will have a better idea if I’m affected by this or not in about a month or so. I have done a few blood tests and I have to do two 24 hour urine tests (not fun, I can tell you) and submit those to my GP this week. I will probably do a more detailed post on Cushing’s Syndrome as it is something that I hadn’t heard of until last week and on reading about it, it seems difficult to diagnose.

So all in all an eventful appointment. I have a follow up appointment with the diabetes nurse in January. She has asked me to do blood sugar readings twice a day (rather than just before I drive) so she can see how I’m doing as when I took the monitor in last week, the readings were a little sporadic. I was really nervous to go but I’m glad I did as the hospital nurse seemed to have a lot more time for me and was willing to go through everything I wasn’t sure of and reassuring me that what I was doing was right. It was a nice change from the blind panic of my annual check up at the doctor’s a couple of months ago.

So, until next time.. x

Health Update – October 2016

Hi guys,

Sorry for the standstill in posts. I’ve been working my butt off (unfortunately at work rather than at the gym) and barely had a minute to myself.

Today I thought I’d give an update on my health situation, especially as I am due a hospital appointment early next month. My weight has been pretty steady the past two months, despite the eating of junk/restaurant food when I’ve been working 12-14 hour shifts so I’m guessing being on my feet for most of that time has put it on an even keel. The diabetes nurse I saw in August said my weight has dropped since I last saw her about 15 months ago – I think I was about 15st 8lb and now I’m around 15st.

My blood pressure is good but unfortunately due to the aforementioned bad eating, my blood sugars have gone up despite the good news everywhere else. So she has upped my Metformin to two tablets twice a day and after speaking to a specialist at the hospital, she has also prescribed my gliclazide tablets. Unfortunately this and a blood glucose monitor was prescribed to me over the phone so then I had to wait for another appointment to actually show me how to use it and the side effects as I have to ensure that my bloods don’t fall below 5 or I’m not able to drive.

So, I have been trying to remember to take them. On days where I work my second job, I find this a lot harder as I’m forever running about and next thing I know it’s bedtime so trying not to be patchy so when I go for my appointment next month, they don’t try and prescribe me more medication as they don’t see an improvement because I’ve been too busy to make sure I’m caring for myself. Yes, I know it takes a few minutes but I suck at it for some reason.

Hopefully it won’t be too much bad news when I go and see the specialist at the hospital. I’m going to try and kick start my healthy eating (starting with trying to stick to 3 meals a day rather than 1 humungous meal just before bed) and drinking lots of water. Two basic goals I’ve really been struggling with but it needs to be done. The amount of tablets I take is actually quite worrying and forgetting to take them isn’t going to help decrease the amount so it’s back on the wagon for me.

On another note, any handy tips for someone who doesn’t have time to food prep anymore? I work between 70-90 hours a week at the minute and barely have time for laundry, never mind a nice lie in. Any hints would be much appreciated!

Until next time.. x

September 2016 Budget & Goals

Hi guys,

Well a crazy end to August so apologies for the lack of posts!

Today I’m sharing my budget for September. I am going to be paying my credit card debt off in full as usual and I’ll be fully keeping track of what I’m spending. This month will be my clearing-out-bad-habits month (aka housekeeping) so from October it will be looking more normal. I have grouped all the mini bills into categories for simplicity this month but future budgets will have a more detailed breakdown.

Background: Our bills are quarterly and shared between me and my housemates and I don’t pay rent in lieu of looking after the house and sorting all the admin for my housemates so don’t think I’ve omitted these by accident! I pay nearly everything on credit card so I can get my rewards but have to admit I’ve been also dipping into my account on a number of unexpected expenses recently including visiting my Uncle in Hong Kong before his passing, lending some money for an emergency and I was probably a bit over budget when I was in San Francisco back in April! So this month I will be clearing the slate so that the money I put on my credit card will be sitting in an account until it needs to be paid.

Groceries – £200. I’m going to try and start cooking more at home. This number might be less as I’ve been working 60-70 weeks recently so fitting in shopping and the actual cooking time may be a problem! I’ll see how this month goes and adjust accordingly. This also includes some groceries for my ex as I’m helping him get back on his feet.

Petrol – £150. I’ve increased this amount recently due to my second job. I have to travel an hour each way and they want to increase my days so hopefully this will be an accurate estimate.

Spending Money – £70. To cover odds and ends. I work pretty hard so I don’t restrict myself to much on odd treats here and there.

Eating Out – £100. It’s my sister’s birthday this month and I’m meeting up with a few friends when my schedule allows for the first couple of weeks for dinner.

Kindle/iTunes – £20. I love reading and playing games to de-stress after a long day so I have a separate little budget for this.

Short Term Savings – £500. This is divided into different regular savings accounts I have. I want to build up my emergency fund a little more before diverting all my savings to a place of my own.

Additional Pension Contributions – £110. I’ve recently been worrying about planning for retirement so I have started contributing extra to my workplace pension and setting up my own private one too.

Pet Insurance – £33. I contribute to two of the family dogs’ pet insurance. They live at my parents’ house and I just like to help out a little.

Paying off Debt – This forms just over 42% of my income for this month. Which admittedly is quite high even for me! This is a culmination of a series of emergencies I’ve had to pay for in the last few weeks. From next month I’ll be totally debt free.

September Goals:

  1. Walk at least 5,000 steps a day, with 2 of those days being over 10,000. (Let’s start small!)
  2. Lose five pounds – I failed at the losing weight last month so I’m striving to try better!
  3. Get my eyes checked – I keep forgetting to go to the optician’s for my yearly check up and I’ve noticed recently that with the increase in computer usage, my eyes seem to not be focusing as quick.
  4. Clearing my debt so I can start putting money towards a house deposit
  5. Achieving my professional goal this month of organising staff and completing all my paperwork.

So that’s it for this month. My next post will be a little more weight loss related (kind of!) and I’ll be doing a health update in the next couple of weeks after my check up appointment. Let me know what your goals are for this month!

Until next time.. x

Goals for August 2016

Hi guys,

Yep, I know there’s just about 3 weeks of August left! I’m a bit slow on the blogging side as I had a heavy work week but that’s no excuse, right?

So! August goals. I have a few meals out & a visit to Newcastle to see one of my school friends I haven’t seen in around a decade as well as our usual family meal out on the bank holiday Monday at the end of the month. I’m not expecting miracles but I’m hoping to lose at least 4lbs. I’ve been sitting pretty at 14st 12lb since the beginning of August which I’m happy with as I’ve eaten so bad recently but we need to get a shimmy on now!

Goals

  • Lose 4lbs by 31st August
  • No juice, no fizzy drinks – just 2-3L of pure H20
  • Try walking home at least once a week (will be a struggle with hayfever and heavy work bags but we’ll try!)
  • Draw up a monthly budget for September and update bank totals
  • Start planning my next adventure away

I’ll give you a goal update at the end of the month. Hopefully I’ll hit them all 🙂

Until next time.. x