It only matters what works for you.

Archive for September, 2012

When a bad choice is a good thing.

We call them learning experiences.

I’m still doing hcg. That means that all my food is supposed to come from an extremely limited set of choices.

Last night I ate something I shouldn’t have. I really shouldn’t have because not only is it not part of my protocol for hcg, but it’s something I already know I’m allergic to. I’m not quite sure why it’s even still in my house, except for that fact that it’s tasty and convenient.

It was a good learning experience though. Because I’ve been so completely clean about everything for over 2 weeks I can be certain that any change is directly related to what I just ate.

I woke up feeling completely hung over. I feel fuzzy headed. My balance feels off. My joints aren’t as happy as they were yesterday. I’m not thinking as clearly. I’m not as smart and energetic as I was yesterday. A pretty dramatic reaction for a single dietary diversion, don’t you think?

I woke up thinking about fresh fruit.

If I hadn’t made that not particularly clever choice, I don’t think I ever would have been as perfectly clear as I am now about what a really, really bad choice that item was. It makes me wonder what other very, very bad choices I’ve made dietarily that I also never noticed.

I’m not sure how I would have noticed them. Food reactions can be so subtle. A little ache here. A little fuzzy brain there. How can you tell if you just didn’t sleep quite right, or if it’s the incoming weather system? Did you not drink enough water? It could be anything.

So I guess I’m glad I made a bad choice so I could see so very clearly the effect.

The question is, can I keep the knowledge clear enough in my head going forward to not make the same mistake on purpose again?

Getting clean

Sometimes dieting isn’t about losing weight. It’s about making a healthier change just to be healthier.

I’ve been really driven to do this latest round of hcg, but to do it differently.

It’s my 4th round. My 3rd this calendar year. I don’t have a whole lot of lasting weight loss to show for it, but I’m actually ok with that. I’ve learned an awful lot. I’ve learned that I need more protein that provided for by the protocol. I’ve learned that my body needs a much lower dose of hcg than was prescribed. I’ve learned that I need to supplement both progesterone and cortisol to make up for what my body can’t do right now.

This time I’m working on using more intuition in what I actually eat. Not letting myself get so hungry even if it defies the protocol.

Do you know there isn’t any good research on how many calories a person can lose at once? As compared to the amount that your body will down-regulate your metabolism? We know that the body will do both things. That has been proven under laboratory conditions. But there don’t seem to be any guidelines for figuring out where in that see-saw your own body will fall.

I’ve had pretty good losses. I’ve also gotten cold, depressed, tired, and listless. It’s only for 3 weeks after all. Worth putting up with for the results, right? Maybe it isn’t necessary.

Every time so far I’ve white-knuckled my way through being hungry to stay within the exact recommendations of the protocol. I’ve worried extensively about the precise food choices. This time? I’m not doing that. I’m listening a little more to what my body asks for.

There are 2 kinds of requests from your body. One kind says “I’d like to dive head first into that chocolate cake right now.” You can be fairly sure that that message isn’t coming from the happy, sane part of you. It’s really asking for a shot of heroin to jack up your brain cells and drug your mind. We should probably not listen to too many of those messages. Except on special occasions.

The other kinds of messages say “You should really get out the juicer and make another green drink, which you hate the taste of but is oooooh so good for us.” “Another lightly buttered rice cake would be really great right now.” “Lets have the orange instead of the grapes.”

Those messages I think we should really be listening to.

That’s my position on this round of hcg. It’s cleaning out my eating habits. Again. And this time I’m using it to listen instead of ignore messages from my body.

Except for the crazy ones about chocolate cake.

Sweaty sheets aren’t sexy.

Especially when they happen while you were formerly blissfully asleep, and now you are sweaty and disgusting and awake.

For years and years I have had issues with waking up sweaty. I’m not talking about the predictable side effects of 100 degree temperatures. I’m talking about sleeping in your own bed with a perfectly reasonable ambient temperature and still waking up drenched. I always thought I was just really sensitive to external temperature. Or something. It wasn’t until I also started researching the secondary effects of adrenal fatigue that I found out they are related.

Wait, what? Why didn’t anyone mention that before?

Great question. I don’t know. I don’t know why I didn’t find it before. I don’t know why googling about night sweats gets you a list of very scary possibilities and down at the bottom a brief ‘oh, and it could be hormone imbalance’.

You know how I feel about that.

I found this information recently. The site is commercial, selling a supplement about which I have no opinion having not really looked into it. The information is clear and concise, and that’s why I’m linking to it:

Hormonal imbalances associated with progesterone deficiency are also directly tied into the health of the adrenal glands.

When your body is under stress and needs more cortisol, the body may have to direct more of its resources (pregnenolone and progesterone) to make that cortisol.  This causes two more problems. 

First, a percentage of progesterone is being used to make cortisol.  You can NOT make cortisol without progesterone.  The adrenal glands literally steal the progesterone, which leads to lower levels of progesterone.  This throws off the balance of progesterone to estrogen. This affects fertility, PMS, hot flashes, night sweats.  This is significant problem for women in pre- and post- menopausal stages, when hormone production becomes highly dependent on the adrenal glands!

Secondly, it reduces the available pregnenolone that is needed to produce DHEA, testosterone and estrogen which means it produces less of the anti-aging hormone (DHEA), testosterone and estrogen. The adrenals simply don’t have enough resources to produce enough cortisol and our sex hormones and a major reason for low testosterone for both men and women and a main cause of loss of libido.

Remember all that trouble I was having with my legs swelling that I didn’t understand? Now I know its estrogen imbalance. Progesterone is the side that gets rid of the swelling, estrogen causes it. Estrogen is stored in the fat cells, of which I have plenty. If all my progesterone is trying to create cortisol, then it isn’t doing any progesterone work…

The endless cycle.

The bottom line, for me? I started taking some OTC progesterone. It is very readily available as creams, and it has made a truly amazing difference in my life.

And my sleep. Now that I’m on progesterone regularly, and the cortisol, (and dhea, because they are all a team) no more night sweats. How simple was that?