Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How to Get Your Legs to Shut Up

Before I launch into a discussion about diet, can anyone answer the question of how the Real Housewives of Orange County get their legs so delightfully shiny before they go on camera? Is it Vaseline? Coconut oil? Perhaps Korres Body Butter with a tangy yogurt scent? My dream is to have shiny legs all the time. The first step, however, is to get my legs to stop talking to me. I of course am referencing the dreaded blebs of subcutaneous fat that speak in either a wicked whisper or an insistent yell, depending on how much extra adipose tissue one is carrying.
The bleb I mentioned in an earlier blog post is the tummy bleb many women acquire after carrying one or more tiny humans in their tummies for one or more times. It is what it is: I’m not judging the bleb. I neither praise nor condemn it. But I for one am tired of hearing it complain. One tummy bleb is enough; I don’t need other parts of my body trying to get my attention.
With this goal in mind, one month ago I “cleaned” up my diet to lose weight and get more energy. Sounds like a late-night infomercial, no? LOSE WEIGHT! GAIN ENERGY! However, by eating less you really can achieve this. It’s a no-brainer. Specifically, I cut out all grains—bread, pasta, rice, doughnuts (they really deserve their own category, that’s how delicious they are)—and most sugars. My sister Katie has had great success following the Paleolithic Diet, also known as the What Would a Caveman Eat diet.
"Drog, does this spear make me look fat?"

Here’s what you CAN eat: fruits, vegetables, grass-fed meat, fish, roots, and nuts. I have added a few key items to this list to keep my life joyful, namely sugar-free frappucinos, good cheese (occasional), and Greek yogurt, plus a small dose of refined sugar now and again. I call it the “What Brendan Fraser Would Eat” diet (I’m sorry if you don’t get my Encino Man allusion; please see Google and Wikipedia). You CAN’T eat salt, refined sugar, dairy, grains, and processed oils. Naturally processed foods are out too because they contain sugar, are high in sodium, canola and soybean oils, and refined grains. Most fats are your friend, contrary to popular belief.
Pauly Shore's finest hour

My legs and arms have stopped talking to me. My hips and backside have quieted down. I’ve lost a total of five pounds so far; after I fit into my favorite jeans with a little room to spare, I’ll continue with my lifestyle changes. Everyone seems to have a baseline weight at which they plateau; I’ll be content after I get there.
The central idea behind the Paleo Diet is that the human species was not meant to eat grain. We became an agricultural society after we got the whole hunter-gatherer gig down. Men burned a lot of calories running after (and from) their dinner, and women stayed svelte by foraging for nuts and berries—the primitive version of the side dish, if you will. I recently read this Internet article (it may be total bull crap, who knows) that grains have actually adapted their forms to AVOID being eaten. That is, they are hard to digest on purpose. The diagram of an average grain glowering at me through his hard-to-digest bushy eyebrows was truly haunting!
All I care about, however, is keeping my weight down and my blood sugars stable. As a type 1 diabetic, both are hard goals to reach: I have to eat to correct occasional dips in blood sugar, even when I’m not hungry, and my blood sugars are often all over the place.
            Initially I didn’t get the positive results I had anticipated. I’m still waiting for my body to adjust to my new diet of meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.  For some unknown reason, my blood sugar numbers are not improving. So, while I am feeling better in other ways, inexplicably my higher blood sugars are vexing me both mentally and physically.
One possible explanation is my stupid liver. It releases sugar for my brain when it thinks it is not getting enough. Glucose is the primary fuel that powers our brains, and when the brain doesn’t function well it could put all your other organs in jeopardy. To which I respond, “Calm down, liver! Can’t you be happy using my stored fat for brain energy?” These entreaties fall on deaf ears, however, as my liver counters by faithfully pumping out more sugar that I need like a hole in the head. Hello Liver, perhaps you haven’t met Pancreas? He receives disability payments in the form of insulin that I manually pump into my system on an hourly basis. Anyway, it’s all too complicated for a brainless organ like you to understand. Just stop it will all the sugar, Liver, or else I’ll drink a lot and piss you off.
            Back to the Real Housewives and their beauty secrets. I want to know how they get their legs so nice and shiny. Is my obsession with the Real Housewives and their shiny legs a direct consequence of my brain not getting enough glucose?  
"The secret to shiny legs is..."