Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Look Back at 2006: Facing My Fears

Happy New Year 2006A Look Back at 2006: Facing My Fears

I hit my weight goal in January at 142, but I wasn't able to hold that weight. As soon as I tried maintaining my weight crept up to 148. For most of the year I have hovered around 145.

I dyed my hair pink in January, but didn't like it. When it faded out, I went back to blue, and it is still blue.

February marked two years of working out, and March marked my two year anniversary on Atkins.

In March I met Brian and Susan from Virginia (pics). I know Brian from the CH Refugee forum.

I didn't receive a Vicki Box last year, so one person on the forum took it upon themselves to send me one so I wouldn't be left out, even if I didn't receive it until April.

I also opened a Flickr account in April and now have almost 650 photos! Check it out!

In May I ran the Bay To Breakers race, and not only made a new best time, but also a goal I've had my eyes on for a long time: I finished in less than an hour and a half at 1:29:44. That's unofficial time by my watch. Official time is a couple minutes more because of the time it takes to cross the start line. Here's some of my times from past races.

Our church did the 40 Days of Purpose this year. Not sure I learned a whole lot from it, but it does have a lot of good theology, so it's not a bad thing.

I started wearing a pedometer and it has made me aware of how easy it it to walk almost no steps in the course of daily life, and inspired me to walk more. I walk the last 1.5 miles to work fairly often, and I even started walking around Lake Merritt occasionally. I also signed up with Walker Tracker as a way to log my steps.

I briefly hit the 130s in June, only to bounce WAY up in July after my glucose tolerance test.

I also had my purse ripped off in July. A beautiful, warm, clear Sunday morning and someone snatched it and ran. Days like that I can't wait for heaven. I guess my purse being stolen was the reason for the extra Vicki box I received in July. :)

In August I attended General Conference in New York. Next year it will be in Oregon, thank goodness. A six hour flight each way is not my cup of tea.

Brad found me a used exercise bike just as old as the one I had, but some of the features (such as speedometer and odometer) still worked. So I got rid of my old one and now have the new one.

Speaking of which, the post I linked to mentioned giving blood. Here's the actual post about it. I got over my fear and actually started giving blood this year. I found out my iron level probably isn't too high, but what the heck, it can't hurt and actually does help someone. :)

I hung out a couple times with Brad, Davina, and Lisa this year, and it was fun. (September hang out pics)

I decided that if I was going to give blood, I need to make sure that I have no infections, so I started seeing the dentist after years of ignoring my teeth. I've had a couple regular cleanings now, a deep cleaning, and the first half of the oral surgery I need. The second half will be in January. I also have four cavities.

I started experimenting with various different recipes this year. All of mine are fairly easy because - well, if you know me you know I don't like to cook. :) These are all easy AND delicious AND healthy because they are all low-carb.

I visited Dad and Millie and April and Renato over Thanksgiving. It was an interesting time since my sister think fat is evil and carbs are healthy. I still managed to mostly stick to my diet while there so the damage was minimal compared to what it could have been.

I decided I wanted to check my blood sugar with lancets and a meter and strips. I can't afford full price for things, but eBay has everything. I've finally settled on sticking with the first meter I bought, the TrueTrack (photos).

If you look through the archive for November and December you will see several mentions of my meter saga.

As you may remember I have been seeing a podiatrist for the fugal infection under my nail for a loooong time. Well, this year I finally got fed up with it and opted to have the toenail permanently removed. Problem solved. As this year ends it is still healing.

I'm also still healing from a nasty cold. I can't remember the last time I was this sick. I think the toe surgery pushed my immune system over the edge. First I got three cold sores, and that was followed by a nasty cold that, as of new year's eve, I've still not recovered from.

All in all a pretty stable year (yay for stability!), but a year of facing my fears of the dentist and giving blood. I've avoided the dentist to avoid pain, and I fainted when I gave blood as a teen.

And what of God? Where does He fit in to an increasingly busy life that doesn't revolve around Him? Is He somebody I go to see once a week, like a favorite grandparent? Why? Shouldn't He be more like a Father I live with and talk to each day? After 10 years I've become too comfortable with Him. I've lost the passion I first had. It seems I only draw near to Him, ask for His help, in the middle of the storm.

Father, help me to include You more in my life. Remind me to talk with You more.

As each year draws to a close I write these little essays and try to sum up the year in a short title or subtitle. Some years are hard, with painful titles such as Losing Everything (2004) or Dark Night of the Soul (2000). Others hint at happier years, such as Year of the Cat (2002) or Blessed Stability (2005).

God bless the upcoming year.

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2006 book list

Livin' La Vida Low Carb by Jimmy Moore
Living the Low Carb Life by Jonny Bowden
The Ultimate Weight Solution by Dr. Phil McGraw
The DNA of Relationships by Gary Smalley (finished part not finished last year)
God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew
The DaVinci Code: A Quest for Answers by Josh McDowell
The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren (church study)
The Mormon Murders by Steven Naifeh & Gregory White Smith
Protein Power by Drs. Michael R. Eades & Mary Dan Eades
The Protein Power Lifeplan by Drs. Michael R. Eades & Mary Dan Eades
The Rapture by Tim LaHaye & Jerry Jenkins
Integrity by Richard Dortch
Dr. Dan's Super Weight Loss Plan by Dan Curtis & Scott Helvenston (got about halfway through)

Friday, December 29, 2006

What kind of meat are you?

What else? Except I do like veggies. :)

You Are Beef

You're big, burly, and maybe even a little stinky. And no one's going to come between you and a good steak. And you've probably never met a vegetable you like, unless fries and ketchup count.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Eggs - healthy or dangerous?

My sister is a die hard low fatter who uses only egg whites (usually in a carton). The yolks have fat and cholesterol and are therefore EVIIIIIIL. :-p But are egg whites a complete protein? Turns out they aren't. The yolk also contains protein and you need both for the egg to be a complete protein.

Eggs do not raise heart disease risk, as demonstrated by a study on eggs from Harvard University.

...the study of nearly 120,000 people found that those who consumed seven to 14 eggs a week had the same rate of cardiovascular disease as those whose consumption, on average, didn't include even one egg per week.

Although I disagree with their conclusion that saturated fat is the problem - I think carbohydrates are - this study demonstrates that cholesterol is not the problem. The more cholesterol you eat, the less your body will make, and the less you eat, the more your body will make.

I found the following on a bodybuilding forum.

TJ said:
Most of the amino acids are in the yolk, by eating just the whites your taking one of the most complete protein sources and making it a incomplete protein source. Egg whites alone are a terrible protein source, if you must separate them for cutting purposes you better combine them with another protein source to make it a complete source again.

Eating cholesterol does not raise your cholesterol this has been disproven years ago and done over and over again. If this were possible then all we would have to do is cut out bad cholesterol sources and start eating good cholesterol sources to improve out over all cholesterol right?

Egg whites in a carton should be viewed no different than white bread, processed, processed, processed!!! Read the side of that carton it does not say 100% egg whites they use all kinds of fillers and preservatives, mainly to give you less and charge you more.


From this post in this thread.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Death warmed over...

Calories eaten yesterday: 1240
Fat: 65g (50%)
Carbs: 39g (13%)
Protein: 68g (23%)
Calories burned in exercise: 90

Ug...very sick today. I took the day off work and taking the day off tomorrow also. After I slept about 12 hours I felt human again and knew I was up for the day and that I'd be able to do laundry. I washed the bedsheets, clothes, and a bunch of towels.

I took down the 2006 calendars and put up the two 2007 calendars I have.

Brad came over later bearing Nyquil and chicken broth (no chicken noodle soup when on a low-carb diet).

All my weight is in my belly. I wonder if I have a metabolic problem such as cortisol. No matter how much I cut back my calories and cut my carbs, I just keep gaining weight instead of losing. Some days I eat only one meal a day plus two or three snacks.

Breakfast is black coffee and two strips of bacon. If I work out I'll have a low-carb protein shake afterwards. Then I eat nothing for lunch; I just drink tea, Crystal Light, diet cola, and water. Then I have a good-sized dinner of meat, hot veggies, and salad. My normal bedtime snack for over two years has been a glass of wine and a cup of sugar-free Jello. You can view my food journal and see that I am not eating that much.

I can't wait until my birthday is past and I can work on my diet without having to worry about special occasions derailing me. The next special occasion is New Year's Eve. Brad will come over and we'll have champaigne, brie, and low-carb pizza.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

New Year's Resolutions, 2007

[edited]

1) To get my body fatr below 24%, even if that means weight gain. This is somewhat contradictory to my second goal, which is

2) To maintain my weight at or below 147. The lower that "below" is, the better.

3) To continue using the Our Daily Bread devotions at least 5 days a week.

4) Continue working out at the gym with weights and cardio.

5) Continue eating low-carb because it's the healthiest diet in the world!

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Crap...

I feel like crap today. This thing with my foot really seems to have knocked my immune system for a serious loop-de-loop. Usually my low-carb diet keeps my immune system strong, but there's something about the surgery that still has me feeling weak. I think I'm getting a cold so I'm dosing on zinc and vitamin C today.

I really think my foot's beginning to heal. Yesterday I saw the first signs that it's really healing and looking better. It's also not as tender to the touch. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, my high fasting glucose is also beginning to come down, though it is still not back to normal.

Pigged out before bed last night and still managed to have a blood sugar of 94 at bedtime. Woke up this morning and was 94 again.

Planned go to the gym, then realized I'd be better off skipping it and sleeping in. Tried to get Xena to get on the bed with me. Bad idea. I picked her up to turn her face toward me (she always wants to have her butt toward me). My Carmex was on the bed and something about it freaked her out. She went berserk and scratched the heck out of my arm. Stupid cat. She refused to stay on the bed and eventually ended up locked in the bathroom while I went back to sleep. I give them tuna last night and this is how I get treated. :-p

Here's pictures from yesterday's Christmas dinner at work. Click them to enlarge.

Brad

our table we ate at

me

me

me

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Day

Calories eaten yesterday: 1353
Fat: 70g (49%)
Carbs: 37g (11%)
Protein: 81g (25%)
Calories burned in exercise: 314

The low calories yesterday were because I overate Saturday and of course overate today because it's Christmas Day! But all low-carb foods and I feel much better for it.

Skip to the next paragraph if you're a guy. You've been warned. TOM came today. After something like two months of nothing, it came. Great. That explains my "blah" feeling today. Brad even asked me if it was "that time of the month" because I was acting so out of sorts. This also explains why I felt sick to my tummy today. I ran across the street to the gas station to get some diet 7-Up. *sigh* There's a reason it's called "The Curse."

Brad and I had a nice dinner at work, with plenty left over to pig out the rest of the day. I have pictures and will post them as soon as I get them downloaded to my computer and edited.

Perhaps I should briefly explain something about Christmas here. It's not the highlight of the year for me. The highlight is Holy Week and Easter. My blog becomes fairly faith-based during that time. But Christmas - it just doesn't thrill me.

Got a nice pair of pajamas from my sister with the Mutts theme. The shirt has a picture of the world with the Mutts' cat and dog peeking over. The text reads, "Saving the world one kitty at a time." I'll post a picture of me wearing them at some point. They are the best gift I received and I wore them to bed last night. The pants are medium and fit perfect; the shirt is extra large and fits perfect. My body is so out of proportion. I've got huge boobs and upper arms so nothing ever fits.

A pair of cute winter socks, a calendar, and a pair of workout pants that are the wrong style and need to be returned rounded out the gifts. And Eleanor gave me some sort of owl magnet in two parts that sticks together. The two parts are lined with felt where they stick. I have no idea what it's for or why I would want it.

I only got the calendar from Mom because she's going to pay for my teeth whitening this coming year.

I ordered more TrueTrack test strips today off eBay. 200 of them for $57. That's 28 1/2 cents per strip. Good deal! Fasting blood sugar is getting lower as my toe begins to heal. Last night I was 90 and this morning 91.

Even though today's food is low-carb I've still been getting a rise in blood sugar from the natural sugars. The highest number so far today is 120, but I haven't tested often. I've also eaten way more artificial sweeteners than I should. Hey, it's Christmas! Tomorrow it's back to being strict again.

I'll be very interested to see what my blood glucose does when I carb out on my birthday. That should be very interesting. Only 2 1/2 weeks until my birthday! (Shhhh. I'll be 36.)

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Merry CHRIST-mas!


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Sunday, December 24, 2006

New Year's Resolutions, final tally

These are my 2006 resolutions from this post. Resolutions are in italics. My comments are in regular type.

1) To get down to 142.

I did hit 142. I just couldn't stay there. I've been at 145 for most of the year and am currently closer to 147. Still, I did make it, so this is a pass.

2) To maintain my weight at no higher than 147. When I do go above, to get stricter with carbs again and get back on track.

Pass. This is about the only resolution I did 100%.

3) Do more work with weights to increase muscle mass
OR
Get my body fat down to 23%.

Or both. :)


I have worked more with weights, but alas, no real gain of any muscle. And my last body fat test was 24% I believe. I'll mark this as a fail.

4) Continue eating low carb, but play with my carb and fat grams to better fuel my time at the gym.

I give up on this one. I keep saying I'll do this, but I never do. I just don't care anymore, but it gets marked as another fail.

5) To do daily devotions using Our Daily Bread at least 5 days a week. To use the Web site until they start sending me the printed version.

I did bad with this at first. Once the printed version came I did better, and sometime during the year, not wanting to put "fail" under this resolution I got serious and started doing it seven days a week. So a slow start, but a good finish. I'll mark this as a pass.

So that's 3/5. I think I need to lower expectations of myself.

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More on the TrueTrack & Aviva meters

First, I have a Christmas poem to share with you. Since it's already been published on my blog, I'll just link to it here. Please take a moment to read it. I think it's one of my better poems. I wrote it my first Christmas as a Christian, so it is appropriately titled:

My First Christmas

Ok, now onto other stuff.

Calories eaten Thursday: 1943
Fat: 103g (49%)
Carbs: 36g (8%)
Protein: 118g (25%)
Calories burned in exercise: 0

Calories eaten Friday: 1782
Fat: 85g (44%)
Carbs: 39g (9%)
Protein: 100g (23%)
Calories burned in exercise: 353

Well, after the TrueTrack and Aviva meters performed quite stellar testing a drop of blood from the same finger at the same time, they didn't do so well using different fingers at the same time. A few hours later I pulled them out and tested and the TrueTrack read 94 and the Aviva read 81. I don't ever get readings in the low-80s, so I tend to believe the TrueTrack. Geez Louise. Why can't they make meters more accurate?

Thursday night the Aviva said 85 and the True Track said 100. A 15 point difference and I tested from the same finger! Fasting glucose Friday morning was 96 on the Aviva and 104 on the TrueTrack, and that was from the same drop of blood on the same finger! I tend to believe the TrueTrack since my blood sugar has been running a bit high since my surgery.

Sunday fasting readings (same finger) were 91 (Aviva) and 99 (TrueTrack). Again, I believe the TrueTrack is closer to the truth. If you're looking for a meter, get the TrueTrack.

TrueTrack information
TrueTrack on eBay

Muliclix lancet deviceHere's my newest eBay offering:
Accu-Check Multiclix lancet device & 12 lancets *NIB*

It's a great lancet device, and the type I use. Please bid on it if you like.

Here's some blood test photos a friend took this weekend. I thought they looked very nice. Click them to enlarge. As you can see, I'm using my Accu-Chek Multiclix lancet device. :)

pricking my finger to test my blood sugar

drop of blood ready for testing

putting my blood on a test strip

Fasting blood sugar this morning was 99. I had black coffee and two strips of bacon for breakfast, worked out, and had a low-carb protein shake. When I arrived at work it was 102. I really hope my toe heals fast and that these high readings are just my body trying to heal the wound.

Made it to the gym today. It will be closed tomorrow and rain is forecast so I may not be able to walk the last 1.5 miles to work. Anyway, I did weight training, then for cardio I set a treadmill to the max incline of 15% and walked about 2.5 mph for 20 minutes. Then I walked flat at 3.5 mph for 30 minutes. FitDay says 314 calories.

I'm trying to cut way back on eating today to make up for overeating yesterday and for what is sure to be overeating tomorrow. For tomorrow I'm just putting up 3000 calories on FitDay. That should be a close approximation. I'll do the same New Year's Eve.

Brad and I have a nice low-carb dinner planned tomorrow - ham, salad, cauliflower mashed "potatoes," vegetable casserole, flax bread with Splenda-sweetened cream cheese "frosting," and sugar free chocolate cheesecake. Yum! To drink we have sugar-free blue raspberry martini mix, but we're mixing it with Perrier since we can't drink alcohol at work.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Is there a Santa Claus?

This has been around the Internet for ages; I found it here.

IS THERE A SANTA CLAUS?

As a result of an overwhelming lack of requests, and with research help from that renown scientific journal SPY magazine (January, 1990) - I am pleased to present the annual scientific inquiry into Santa Claus.

1) No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to to 15% of the total - 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.

3) Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc.

This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man- made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh - to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.

5) 353,000 tons travelling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

In conclusion - If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Birthday celebration

Found on the Internet:

Dear loved ones,

As you well know, we are getting closer to my birthday. Every year there is a celebration in my honor and I think that this year the celebration will be repeated. During this time there are many people shopping for gifts, there are many radio announcements, TV commercials, and in every part of the world everyone is talking that my birthday is getting closer and closer.

It is really very nice to know, that at least once a year, some people think of me. As you know, the celebration of my birthday began many years ago. At first people seemed to understand and be thankful of all that I did for them, but in these times, no one seems to know the reason for the celebration. Family and friends get together and have a lot of fun, but they don't know the meaning of the celebration.

I remember that last year there was a great feast in my honor. The dinner table was full of delicious foods, pastries, fruits, assorted nuts and chocolates. The decorations were exquisite and there were many, many beautifully wrapped gifts. But, do you want to know something? I wasn't invited. I was the guest of honor and they didn't remember to send me an invitation. The party was for me, but when that great day came, I was left outside, they closed the door in my face .... And I wanted to be with them and share their table.

In truth, that didn't surprise me because in the last few years all close their doors to me. Since I wasn't invited, I decided to enter the party without making any noise. I went in and stood in a corner. They were all drinking; there were some who were drunk and telling jokes and laughing at everything. They were having a grand time. To top it all, this big fat man all dressed in red wearing a long white beard entered the room yelling Ho-Ho-Ho! He seemed drunk. He sat on the sofa and all the children ran to him, saying: "Santa Claus, Santa Claus" .. As if the party were in his honor!

At 12 Midnight all the people began to hug each other; I extended my arms waiting for someone to hug me and ... Do you know ... No one hugged me. Suddenly they all began to share gifts. They opened them one by one with great expectation. When all had been opened, I looked to see if, maybe, there was one for me. What would you feel if on your birthday everybody shared gifts and you did not get one? I then understood that I was unwanted at that party and quietly left.

Every year it gets worse. People only remember to eat and drink, the gifts, the parties and nobody remembers me. I would like this Christmas that you allow me to enter into your life. I would like that you recognize the fact that almost two thousand years ago I came to this world to give my life for you, on the cross, to save you. Today, I only want that you believe this with all your heart.

I want to share something with you. As many didn't invite me to their party, I will have my own celebration, a grandiose party that no one has ever imagined, a spectacular party. I'm still making the final arrangements. Today I am sending out many invitations and there is an invitation for you. I want to know if you wish to attend and I will make a reservation for you and write your name with golden letters in my great guest book. Only those on the guest list will be invited to the party. Those who don't answer the invite, will be left outside. Be prepared because when all is ready you will be part of my great party.

See you soon. I Love you! Jesus

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Winter Solstice, and the Aviva meter

Calories eaten yesterday: 1695
Fat: 96g (53%)
Carbs: 29g (7%)
Protein: 119g (29%)
Calories burned in exercise: 106

Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. It actually happens at 7:22 pm eastern standard time (December 22, 00:22 UTC). Thank God because it is getting dark way too early. I am so happy the days will get longer from here. And I really can't wait until daylight saving begins (starts in March in 2007!).

The early darkness only effects me on weekends. I work second shift so it is always light when I get up, and always dark when I head home from work. There are no windows in my office. On the weekends I notice the early darkness much more acutely, and it always tweaks my head.

my new Accu-Chek Aviva meterMy Accu-Chek Aviva came today! Yay! It only has 10 test strips, but hopefully the box of 100 strips I ordered isn't too far behind. The 10 should give me some preliminary information as to how accurate it is. (Click the picture to enlarge.)

I ran the control test twice (should have read the instructions first maybe!) and that came up fine. I then pricked myself and used the same drop of blood to run a test on both my TrueTrack and the Aviva. I got a 100 on both! They weren't even off by a point. So very early preliminary results say that this might just be the right meter for me. It has 7, 14, and 30 day averages, and allows you to flag results. It doesn't seem to have a morning average, though, which is what the TrueTrack tests, just an overall average.

I know the 100 reading on both meters is a bit high; I was 105 this morning! I'm hoping it's just because my toe is healing and that it will go back to normal once that's done. Of course, I have oral surgery in mid-January so that will mess up the results again. :-p

The meter same with an Accu-Chek Multiclix lancet device. Since I already have one I'll sell the one that came with this in the box the one I bought came in, along with the two lancet drums that came with the meter (12 lancets).

I like the log that came with this meter. It has breakfast, lunch, and dinner readings like the OneTouch log I've been using, but also a bedtime reading, something I've had to write into my current one. I like to test right before bed and right after I get up, to see how Dawn Phenomenon effect my blood sugar. For example, last night I was 88, but had jumped up to 105 by this morning.

The drawback is the Aviva log is too large to fit in the pouch the meter came with. I may have to pull out the organizer I bought at WalMart if I want to use this log.

No exercise today at all. I got tired of waiting for the bus to the grocery store, so I called Brad at work just to tell him I would probably be late. Because he is training someone who can hold down the fort, he actually left work, came and got me, and took me shopping, then drove me home, I unpacked the groceries, and he drove me to work. Two hours early, but better than having to come in by bus and fight the weather. With the weather the way it is I may not have been able to walk the last 1.5 miles anyway.

Tonight I have to cook the dishes for Christmas dinner, and then I need to cook up the ground chicken so I'll have enough meals for next week. Next Sunday I'll bring in one or two of the dishes to work, and then the remaining dish(es) on Monday. It'll be a great low-carb Christmas dinner!

In the "how stupid can I be" column we have this anecdote from last night:
I thought I could get away with one load of laundry last night, but when I got downstairs to the laundry room I could tell it wouldn't all fit in one washer. No problem. I filled two washers about 3/4 of the way. I figured I could dry them in one dryer, just add an extra 25 cents for an 10 extra minutes. I went down when the dry cycle was finished (with the extra time for the extra clothes) only to discover one washing machine of clothes still sitting there. I had only put one load in and not both! I took the dry clothes up to the apartment and came down with more quarters for the second load. It cost me $1.25 and 45 minutes of time; I didn't get to bed until nearly 3 a.m. :-p

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What part of Christmas are you?


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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Carbs, surgery follow-up, and more on meters

Calories eaten yesterday: 1707
Fat: 90g (50%)
Carbs: 39g (10%)
Protein: 119g (29%)
Calories burned in exercise: 94

Last year during the holidays I cut my carbs back to about 40g a day and that took away my cravings. I find myself cutting carbs and calories now to try to get my recent weight regain back off, and once again I have no cravings at about 40g. It is great! I'm hardly tempted by all the cookies and other carby foods around here. I'm also allowing myself a "taste" of forbidden foods (usually 1-3 bites). Knowing what something tastes like will often take away my craving for it. After all, it's the taste that makes it worth eating, and every bite after the first is the same, no?

Been researching hot alcoholic drinks for the holidays. It looks like the easiest (remember, I'm all about easy) would be a sort of mulled wine using orange spice and cinnamon teabags. I found that recipe on the Web site of a tea company. The recipe also calls for sugar, but I figure I can substitute Splenda. It's just too cold to have my favorite of pina coladas. I am constantly cold. I got a hot buttered rum recipe I intend to try this weekend. If I like it I'll post it here.

Had my follow-up at the podiatrist. I am cleared to not go back anymore! Yay! If I need an appointment for some reason I can set one up, but for the first time in years I walked out his office today without having to make another appointment. :)

He said my toe is healing quite well. The nail bed is rising up a bit now that there's no toenail pressing on it. Hopefully it will rise up more and be totally flat eventually. He said to continue soaking my foot twice a day until the end of the week and then I can go to once a day. I can stop soaking it when it stops draining. By next week I shouldn't wear the gauze at night to let the nail bed air out. He said the toenail really had been the problem and that it came off quite easily last week. He admitted that we had tried everything and it just wasn't working. I'm still not glad I did it, but I'm sure I will be when it heals.

The second half of my oral surgery is set for January 18, a Thursday. I'll get the day off work and one of the newbies here will fill in for me. (We just hired two new people.) I wonder if my slightly elevated blood sugar levels will get down to normal by the surgery. I will monitor to see how the surgery raises it.

My Ascensia Elite XL monitor kit arrived today. Since I found out about Dr. Bernstein's new recommendation after I bought this, I'll hold onto it unopened for now. Once I get the Accu-Chek Aviva and give that a try, I'll figure out what to do. If the Aviva is accurate, I'll hold onto it; if not I will sell it back and open the Ascensia and give that a try.

In the end I'd like to have two meters - one I use on a daily basis, and one to use if my regular meter gives me an odd reading, to double check. So far I am very happy with the TrueTrack. It seems to give "true" readings. ;)

Here's a picture of my kit that I took last night. Click on the photo to go to its Flickr page to see a larger photo and read the notes.

my blood sugar testing kit


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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Surgery: blood sugar & the immune system

Calories eaten yesterday: 1533
Fat: 79g (48%)
Carbs: 41g (11%)
Protein: 105g (28%)
Calories burned in exercise: 118

soaking my footHere's one part of what I have to do twice a day - for 10 minutes I soak my foot in warm or hot water with Epsom salt, then put antibiotic cream in the hole where the toenail used to be, place gauze over it, and tape it in place.

Cindy came up with an interesting observation about my blood sugar being high lately. She said it might be connected with my recent surgery, and directed me to a post by Dr. Vernon discussing trauma from surgery and high blood sugar.

I was curious, so I ran my fasting blood sugar numbers before and after the surgery. The results were indeed interesting. I have nine days of data from before the surgery. Average morning blood sugar - 87. Lowest reading was 79 and highest was 94.

In the six days since the surgery my average is 101! The average was about 103 yesterday, but I has a good fasting reading today and that brought the average down. Lowest reading since surgery was 93 (this morning) and the highest was 118.

This toe surgery has also compromised my immune system and I find myself suffering from something I haven't had since I began low-carbing 2 1/2 years ago - a cold sore. Yike! I thought I had seen the last of them, but there it is - a white sore on my lip. Yuck. I'm treating with Carmex during the day and some Abreva at home that's past its expiration. I don't want to buy more Abreva because it's expensive and this cold sore is the exception, not the rule. I used to get them all the time, but not anymore, all thanks to Dr. Atkins. :)

By the way, if you do get cold sores, Abreva really does work great. It's just expensive as hell. If I remember right it's about $15 for a tiny little tube.

Anyway, I'm trying to nip this problem before it gets worse. I'm sure it's because the toe issue is putting my immune system under a lot of stress.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Calories eaten yesterday: 1217 (after the boatload of calories I ate Saturday, this doesn't even start to make up for it)
Fat: 59g (45%)
Carbs: 37g (12%)
Protein: 81g (27%)
Calories burned in exercise: 375

My metabolism really is super slow. Yesterday and today my hands were ice cold all day, even when indoors in a heated room. I seem to take after my Mom on this - she was always complaining about being cold when I was growing up. Now that I'm grown up my metabolism has dropped through the floor and my body can't even heat itself well! Contrast that with someone like Brad who is always burning up. That's why eating a "normal" amount of calories causes me to gain weight. The last time I had my resting metabolism tested it was only 1610, and it's probably gone down in the year since then. Unfortunately, my gym no longer offers the test so I can't have it redone, even if I had the money.

Blood sugar before bed last night was 91. This morning it was 99.

The meter and test strips I sold last week on eBay went out today, and I have another eBay item for sale - an Accu-Check SoftClix lancet device and 25 lancets. (listing) (photo) I'm really happy with the MultiClix lancet device, so I don't need the SoftClix. The MultiClix really does seem to be the most painless way to test.

The post office was a zoo today. Everyone was packing and shipping. I thought it was bad last week; last week was a cake walk in comparison! I sent my Vicki box, the One Touch meter, and a diabetes organizer for my Dad.

Due to having to run into the City, the only exercise I got was walking the 1.5 miles from the BART station to work. FitDay says 118 calories. It took me 39 minutes because I veered off to make a stop at WalMart on the way. I was running out of gauze, tape, and antibiotic ointment in my first aid kit due to having to soak and dress my toe twice a day every day. :-p

Brad wants to walk around the lake twice on Friday, weather permitting. I am so up for that. I need the exercise.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Update on Dreamfields, meters, and my surgery

December 16, 2006 Dreamfields pasta experiment. Total carbs eaten - about 15g and no more than 20g. Two servings Dreamfields pasta (10g), low-carb tomato pasta sauce (about 5g), 1 can Diet Rite cola sweetened with Splenda (less than 1g).

First bite: 5:15 pm, blood sugar - 89.
5:45 pm - 122 (I get my highest reading a half hour in)
6:00 pm - 121
6:15 pm - 90 (I'm back in normal range 1 hour in)
6:30 pm - 95
6:45 pm - 112 (I soaked my foot due to my recent surgery. Could this have caused my blood sugar to go up?)
7:00 pm - 112
7:15 pm - 105 (heading down again)
7:30 pm - 118 (WTF?!?)
7:45 pm - 119 (WTF again?!?)
8:00 pm - 126 (How can it still be going UP?!?)

I gave up at this point. Too hungry. Will try again at some point and try to control all variables. But overall it looks like Dreamfields sucks for a low-carb diet.

Last night my blood sugar was 100 before bed (after stuffing myself with way too many low-carb treats after the Dreamfields experiment). This morning it was 118! Yike! And after my workout I came to work and tested and it was 115. What is going on with these horrible readings? Do I need to have a lab test my fasting glucose again?

Accu-Chek AvivaI found out the article about Dr. Bernstein's recommendation of the Assencia Elite meter is outdated. He now recommends the Accu-Chek Aviva. I have some money from the sale of the OneTouch Ultra 2 in my paypal account, so I used that money to buy a meter and test strips. Click the photo to enlarge.

My work out today was pretty hard and long. I've gained weight and my fat jeans are now hard to pull on, so it's time to get serious. I did the standard 45 minutes of weights and 1/2 hour of cardio. Then I only had 12 minutes for the treadmill, but I decided to also walk to work, so 32 additional minutes of walking there. FitDay says 375 calories burned. This will be my only gym day all week. Monday is another mail run into the City, Tuesday is Helen, Wednesday I see the podiatrist for follow-up to my surgery last week, and Thursday is the weekly grocery run. Maybe Brad and I can go walking Friday. That would be nice.

I also need to cut back on food and eat A LOT less. I certainly need much less food that my stomach thinks I do, and even less than I think I do. Pray for me. I don't deal well with hunger.

toe bandageSurgery-wise I'm healing. My toe still looks horrible, but this is a traumatic injury to the body and it will take a while. This is a picture of what my toe looks like with the bandage on. Click to enlarge. The latest photo with the bandage off can be found here. This is less gross than the last one. And please remember, most of the time it doesn't hurt.

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Church follow-up

To follow-up on my church, a couple points.

1) I go to a church where the next closest one is 400 miles away. We are the only church in all of northern California. The next closest church to the north is in northern Oregon and to the south there's four churches in the L.A. area.

2) I go to a church that meets Saturday. We are not SDA. We are Seventh Day Baptist (SDB). I firmly believe in the Saturday Sabbath. That's the reason I work Sunday-Thursday - so I can have Sabbath off. Sunday morning is prime gym time for me, and then I go to work.

church potluck3) Our church is tiny - average attendance each week is about 25. This picture (click it for the full size version) is from a few years ago, but it should give you an idea of our size. We do potlucks every week.

I do the bulletins each week (Pastor Steve helps, too), count the attendance (which is why I know the average), am the church clerk, and administer the Web site (that's how I taught myself HTML). I feel strongly that in a small church everyone has to do their part to make everything run smoothly. I used to write for the denomination's quarterly Bible study guide.

They are not bad folks. They just don't know how to deal with me. Most people in this denomination are raised in the denomination. Our church (like many of churches in the western U.S.) has more "outsiders" coming in from the outside. Some of the "outsiders" in my church have been there for so long that they've melded in quite nicely. Jane married into the church many decades ago, and Anita has been there a couple decades as well.

I'm more like a hillbilly than a city girl. I was raised by parents that never taught us kids to bathe or brush our teeth. These are basic skills but I have had to learn them as an adult, which let me tell you isn't easy. I still don't bathe as often as most people. I finally got to where I brush my teeth once a day. I've been known to go 10 years without seeing a dentist. I don't keep my house very clean (I am a true slob). When the church folks came over to my apartment I had a LOT of cleaning to do so it would be presentable.

I work in the kitchen because a) someone needs to do it, and b) it gets me away from everyone and the chance that I'll do or say something wrong.

SDBs just don't do things like dye their hair blue or have a strange diet. Unless you are one of the folks who observe the food laws - then it's okay. We have several people in our church who do this, though it's not one of our doctrines. Me - I love the "unclean" foods such as lobster and pork.

They've put up with me. They know I eat pork rinds and drink alcohol. As these are considered issues of conscience and not doctrine, I'm not doing anything wrong. They disagree, but for the most part they don't say much.

Becky had the most shocked look on her face the week I first dyed my hair blue - but to her credit she didn't say anything. When I first went on Atkins people would tell me I could eat their food because it was "good carbs" - brown rice, lentils, etc. It took a while to get across to them that I avoided anything high in carbs; the glycemic impact didn't matter if the food was still primarily a carb. They bring and eat their carbs, good and bad. I bring a dish I can eat, sometimes a snack for myself, and usually eat Jane's salad, even though she puts apples in it.

They've put up with my belief in headcovering. One guy tried to talk me out of it, but gave up when he could see that I'd thought it through and could argue my side as well as he could argue his. If someone questions it it's usually a kid. I don't push my belief on the people there, and for the most part they don't push theirs on me. Again - it's a matter of conscience, not a doctrine.

So really, it's not them; they are your normal average church folk. I'm the mutant in the way I was raised and the way I currently live. I won't fit in at any church so church-hopping would be pointless.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Mutants, meters, and muscle

Calories eaten Thursday: 1516
Fat: 75g (46%)
Carbs: 39g (11%)
Protein: 91g (25%)
Calories burned in exercise: 247

Calories eaten Friday: 1869
Fat: 98g (50%)
Carbs: 48g (11%)
Protein: 113g (26%)
Calories burned in exercise: 197

I'm a mutant. No really, I am. I don't fit in anywhere except with other mutants. The people at church all know I'm a mutant. I'm uncouth and say the wrong things. I'm not big on everything being sparkling clean. I follow the "10 second rule" when I drop food. I touch food (they believe touching is bad, even if you just washed your hands). I dye my hair weird colors. I eat a strange diet because I refuse to stuff myself with carbs. I'm sick of being an outsider simply because I don't follow all their prim and proper rules - act like they think I should, never say anything wrong, dye my hair natural looking colors, and eat a diet of carbs, carbs, and more carbs. Metabolic and weight issues don't matter. Eating low-carb simply isn't normal.

Today, after yet another faux pau I quietly took my plate into another room at the church and finished eating alone. Then I started cleaning up. I like cleaning up - it's an alone job. But even in this I make faux paus - today I threw out what was left of Jane's salad and Jane said I shouldn't have. In my zeal to combine things so I can get the dishes washed I've done things like put tomatoes into Becky's salad and she gets mad at me because the tomatos were watery and would make the lettuce wilt. Only one person has thanked me for cleaning up every week - Pastor Brent. No one else notices or cares.

Quite simply, I can't do anything right. Why am I even there? I'll never fit in at any church. Pastor Rick Warren said that every church has its black sheep that doesn't fit in. I know who that is in my church - me.

In every church and in every small group there is always at least one "difficult" person, usually more than one. These people may have special emotional needs, deep insecurities, irritating mannerisms, or poor social skills. You might call them EGR people - "Extra Grace Required." (The Purpose Driven Life, pg. 149)

My item on eBay sold quickly - the very next day. Yay! I did find one problem with my listing - I actually only had 125 strips, not 150. I put in a different box of strips (with an eariler expiration date) so that the buyer would receive 150. I hope she doesn't notice. :-p Anyway, the meter and 150 test strips are sold and will be mailed on Monday when I do my city run to mail the rest of my Christmas presents out - the Vicki box and a diabetic organizer for Dad.

Moderate exercise can bring high blood sugar down. My blood sugar was 99 Friday morning, up from 89 the night before. I had coffee and my vitamins but no breakfast. 3 1/2 hours later it had crept up to 102. So I jumped on my exercise bike for a 1/2 hour and that got my blood sugar down to 93.

I got another compliment at the gym on Thursday. :) A couple guys were doing heavy lifting with free weights and one of them told me I was working out hard - I was curling a 20 pound dumbbell at the time - and I showed him my biceps and he asked if I was on steroids! What a nice compliment. :)

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

More on TrueTrack, OneTouch, and my surgery, take 2

toe bandageTo the left is my toe all bandaged up. Click the photo to enlarge. For the picture after the bandage came off, click here. I promise it's not a total gross out. :) I have to soak it in warm water with Epsom salt for 10 minutes twice a day, put antibiotic ointment on it, and then cover it with a bandage. They said my portion of the cost will be $48. That means the total cost is about $245. I go back next week so the doctor can check it.

It's draining and bleeding a bit, which the doctor says is normal. He said the stuff he put on to kill the root is poison so my body will flush it out.

It hurt a little, but not too bad. All the medicine I took beforehand helped. And once the shots were over it was easy because I couldn't feel anything. I did get a little lightheaded after the shots so they leaned me back in the chair and gave me some water to drink. I was feeling better by the time the doctor came in to do the procedure. So it's all over and wasn't too bad. Thank God for Vicodin, Ibuprofen, and Advil.

I've decided that the OneTouch Ultra meter I have is a piece of shit. It consistently tests me low. I know what my fasting numbers should be (88-90) since I've been tested before at a lab. The OneTouch always has me below that (great numbers - I wish they were true!). The TrueTrack seems pretty accurate. It gives me fasting numbers between 79 and 105, but usually in the mid-80s to high-90s range.

Consequently, I'm trying to recoup some of my money by selling my OneTouch and a bunch of test strips on eBay, though I doubt anyone will buy them even at the deep loss I'm taking. I listed it on eBay.

Anyone out there want a slightly used meter and 150 test strips? $75 for the whole shebang. That's like 50 cents per strip and a free meter!

I recently read an article about the history of blood glucose meters. One of the items in there is an interview with Dr. Richard Bernstein. He said, "The LifeScan products were always mediocre in terms of accuracy. And they still are, but don't quote me. The Elite is the best one, the most accurate on the market. The Elite has been the best since the first Elite came out."

Well, OneTouch is put out by LifeScan, so this was just confirmation of what I'd already figured out - the OneTouch sucks.

Ascensia EliteHe mentioned the Elite being so much better, so I hopped on eBay and typed "elite" into the search box. Up came the Ascensia Elite. So yes, I ordered yet another monitor. I opted for the Ascensia Elite XL. Click the picture to enlarge. It has a 120 test memory and a 14 day average, which the regular Elite doesn't have. I promise this is the last meter. Whether or not the Elite is accurate, I'm keeping the TrueTrack. It's basic, as is the Elite, but at least I know it's fairly accurate.

My weight is up, which means I've got to get serious about eating A LOT less calories. I was starting to get the gain off when I went and messed up yesterday by eating everything in sight. It was all low-carb, but still. :-p My blood sugar was 111 before bed and had only come down to 105 this morning. So it's time to get serious. After working out my blood sugar had dropped back into the normal range at 89.

Yes, I did work out today. I did 45 minutes of weights and 35 on the stationary bike. FitDay says I burned 247 calories. I couldn't do any other cardio exercises because of my toe. I think I will try walking around the lake with Brad tomorrow provided it isn't raining.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Top 10 low-carb blogs of 2006 - and I'm one!

Jimmy Moore named this blog - Carbohydrate Addict - one of the best low-carb blogs of 2006. We came in number 9. :) Thank you all for making this blog what it is!

Click here to read his post and listen to the Podcast. You can click "play in popup" to listen right away on your computer, or download to iTunes.

If you are unable to listen, a full transcript is available.

Here's what he said about me:
The #9 best low-carb blog is "Carbohydrate Addict," formerly known as the "Stumbling to Bethlehem" blog located at stumblingtobethlehem.blogspot.com. It's run by Victoria who has lost over 60 pounds on the Atkins diet and is one of the most passionate followers of this way of eating that I know. She doesn't mind stirring up debate on the topic of low-carb living, especially when people challenge her on just how unhealthy her diet is. Victoria stands strong knowing that livin' la vida low-carb has transformed her into the beautiful person she has become today. She never backs down from a fight because she is armed with the facts and experience of living the low-carb life!

Thank you for the kind words, Jimmy!

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

More on TrueTrack & OneTouch, and my surgery

Calories eaten yesterday: 1967
Fat: 114g (54%)
Carbs: 45g (9%)
Protein: 131g (28%)
Calories burned in exercise: 109

Xena & AbbyFirst, something totally off topic. Brad bought me these stuffed cats. The Xena cat (gray) even has a belled collar just like the real one, and Abby (orange) has no collar just like the real one (though you'd never get a bow on her!). They are so cute I put them under my Christmas tree.

Did some more comparison testing between my TrueTrack and One Touch meters. Last night they were pretty close. The TrueTrack (TT) was 73; the OneTouch (OT) was 75. This is the only time I've seen the OT reading higher. Usually the TT is higher.

This morning the numbers were once again close: TT was 87; OT was 81. After I worked out the number went haywire. I expected a rise since working out makes the liver dump more glycogen into the blood, but my TT said 113 and the OT said 92. That's a 21 point difference! I had lunch around 6 pm and the readings were closer again: TT=76 and OT=70.

The TT does seem closer to the lab values I get for fasting glucose. The labs come back in the 88-90 range, and my TT pegs me between 81 and 94. So far the one morning reading I did on the OT came out to 81. I know that can't be right. Can the cheaper meter really be more accurate?

I think I finally discovered my glucose spike. Everyone says test one hour after for the highest reading, but by then most of the spike is over for me. Before lunch at 6:05 pm I was TT=76 and OT=70. By 6:40 I had spiked and my numbers were TT=127 and OT=110. Geez. I only ate about 10g of carbs. That's a 40 to 50 point jump. A little over an hour after eating I was back down to 85 on the OT. I didn't use the TT.

The ten strips than came with my OneTouch meter are gone and the ones I have on order won't be here for a while. I stopped by a drugstore and asked about OneTouch strips, explaining I only had two left (I actually had three left, but I miscounted). Anyway, the only type they had was the gray box, mail order type. The woman at the counter talked to the pharmacist and he said to go ahead and sell it to me. Whew! And it was under $11! Wowsers! I'm guessing maybe that's because it's mail order instead of retail? I don't know, but that's hella cheap!

My toe surgery is tomorrow. I'm having the toenail on the big toe of my left foot permanently removed. I've been treating it for ages and it's just not getting better. I'm taking the day off so I may or may not be around. If I'm not around I promise a post anyway. I like a keep at least one post "in the wings" at all times so that I can post something even when I'm not really around.

I plan to dose up on Vicodin, Ibuprofen, and maybe some Advil, too. And take 1 or 2 of my Xanax tablets to calm me down. I make no apologies; I'm allergic to pain and the shot they give to numb to the toe is going to hurt like crazy.

After the appointment I'm getting a ride home and plan to sleep it off. I'm supposed to only miss one day of work, but Brad said to let him know if I want Thursday off, too (my Friday). Brad said he's willing to do another 12 hour shift, and I know Lisa would more than likely be willing to do another 12, too. We'll see how I feel.

Made it to the gym today. I did 45 minutes of weight training, 30 on the crossramp elliptical, and 11 walking on the treadmill. FitDay says I burned 275 calories. I did the lateral pulldown for the first time in forever, and I was so much stronger. I could do up to 90 pounds and still control my movement (no jerking or leaning back). Yay for me! The blah part is I've gained about 5 pounds from my "eat to satiety" experiment so the weight-assisted chin up is harder than usual.

I'm going to be really good until my birthday. I'll cheat a bit on Christmas Day and New Year's Eve - no calorie counting those days, but only low-carb foods. More or less I'll treat those days the way I treat Saturdays.

Other than that, I plan to be good until my birthday. For my birthday all bets are off and I will eat off plan and enjoy every minute and every bite. Hey, you only live once and even cavemen sometimes stumbled upon honey and would eat until drunk from the sugar.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Glucose meter accuracy?

Calories eaten yesterday: 1789
Fat: 94g (49%)
Carbs: 40g (9%)
Protein: 133g (31%)
Calories burned in exercise: 275

My One Touch Ultra 2 meter arrived today. It's cool and has lots of bells and whistles. But now I am wondering how accurate my TrueTrack is. The first time I compared them I got just about the same results. But when I compared them the two times after that I got very different results - about 10 points off. The TrueTrack gave the higher reading. I will compare them again later. I am still stuck with the TrueTrack for now because the One Touch Ultra kit only came with 10 test strips. I have more on order but they will take a while to get here, unless I try to buy some from the store. :-p

I do have the money for that because *sigh* I went and cashed another check I told Dad I wouldn't. It's Christmas. I have to pay for the shipping of a bunch of gifts, and I didn't have a gift for Renato or someone else. Damn, I hate the commercial side of Christmas. Why can't we just celebrate the Savior's birth instead of acting like the three wise men on crack cocaine?

I bought a Macy's gift card for Renato when I went to Macy's about my watch. This time instead of having me pick out a new watch someone there took some links out of the one I brought. (This is the one Millie gave me that was too big, so I returned it and ended up with another one that was too big.) I ain't a small person. Are people really that fat today?

Two other items also arrived today - my Accu-Chek SoftClix lancet device with lancets and the TrueTrack material that didn't come with my kit - control solution, the check strip, and the owner's booklet. By the way, I used the control solution and check strip on the meter and those tests came back fine, so I don't know why it's giving me readings all over the map, or why it's so much higher than the One Touch. I'm inclined to believe the One Touch since it's a much pricier and higher quality meter.

I ran into the City today, checked my mail and mailed a bunch of presents. I still need to mail my Vickitim her Vicki box this year, but she neglected to post her address on her bio. So the box still sits in the living room, waiting to be mailed. At least the ones for Mom and Bill, April and Renato, and Eleanor are all off. Because of the City run my only exercise today was walking the last 1.5 miles to work. At least it wasn't raining here. It was trying to rain in the City.

Re: Dreamfields - Someone suggested running the same test without the wine. I was planning on doing the test anyway, so I'll eat JUST the pasta with the sauce and Parmesan cheese and then test my blood sugar frequently over the next couple hours. I'll try to do that Saturday since that's my cheat day to eat foods I normally avoid during the week - only low-carb foods, but not all healthy.

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