Saturday, January 26, 2008


Here's the story: My pulse felt a bit fast this morning, and maybe I noticed it a bit yesterday too. Then I went to yoga today it felt even faster, and I wasn't doing anything but just puttering around the house. I finally looked into it and clocked my pulse at 128 (!!!!!!!!!) and, even after sitting down for awhile it was still like 95, which is WAY higher than I've ever had it when I was starting to go out of balance before and needed a dosage decrease. I finally decided to call the doctor office -- the answering service people, you know -- because it was starting to look a bit questionable, like do I go to the hospital or what?? The doctor was very good and called me back right away. He said he could prescribe one dose of a beta blocker (which he said would sort it out), but as I wasn't enthusiastic about that if he didn't feel it was absolutely necessary, he said I should be fine, as long as I just take it easy for today and just monitor it to make sure it doesn't get worse.

Going forward, I'm not to take my medication for 3 days, then start up again, but at the lowered dosage. He bumps it down in half-dosage increments. The highest I had it (in October, I think, when I started this lifestyle shift) was 112/100 mcg on alternating days. With this lowering I'm down to 88 mcg every day.

My goal for the end of this March is to get it down to 75 mcg every day. I'm already half way there. I may be able to exceed that expectation even. This is my biggest desire, and the reason I entered the 90-day fitness challenge I've been participating in: to reverse this "irreversible" condition. And I'm doing it. As far as I'm concerned today, if I did nothing ELSE but get off these meds, that's FINE with me. Of course I think the increased fitness contributes to the healing, not only the dietary changes. I've made huge strides in that area over the last month, and I'll blog about that soon.

I am slowing the detox for the next few days while I get the heart rate down a bit. I just plan to eat vegan for the next few days. Then mid-week, assuming I'm stabilized, I will increase my raw intake again, to continue the process.

I've not been too into being regular with this blog lately, but plan to get back on it soon. In the meantime, know that I will keep you updated on developments.

In a nutshell, I'm still struggling with staying 100% raw, but I seem to be progressing at the rate that I should be progressing at nonetheless (any faster and I would need beta blockers). So everything's working out just fine and as it should be.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

From mourning to morning

I have been going through some really heavy emotional stuff over the last few weeks while taking part in this F.I.T.S. 90-day Challenge. My DH and I had a big talk the other night. I was discussing my own frustration with myself about not being able to do everything "perfectly" as I want to. He said it gets annoying living with someone who's "always" down on herself. I can see and respect what he's saying, although I did have to remind him that I'm not "always" down on myself: I was really proud of myself for doing the yoga competition earlier in the month, and I'm proud of myself that my fitness level really has jumped tremendously over the past few months. I'm proud of the fact that I've lowered my medication twice. And my yoga practice is stronger now than it was when I did the competition just a few weeks ago.

But it's the diet that I struggle with so much, the finality of it, what I've always been looking for. And the more I think about it and look at it from every angle, the more I'm starting to recognize that I can't turn back, that I absolutely have to do this, and that I absolutely will do this 100% of the time, and that time can't be further than just around the corner; because when I'm not doing it 100% of the time I can TELL that I'm killing myself slowly. Anyone who is not a raw foodie who's reading this (yes, there are a few!) will probably think that's a crazy thing to say. But when you feel yourself going perpetually forward, health-wise, when eating simple raw food, and then you feel it immediately and tangibly go backwards when you don't, there just ain't no mistaking it.

So I'm in mourning, really, because I'm realizing that I have to forgo my entire culture, and that's a tough thing to do. People just don't get it, so I'll probably inadvertently have to be more distant with some people. Which isn't necessarily what I want, but if you're on two different paths, and one path tends to derail the other, what do you do?

Also, there's my love of world cultures. Food is such a huge part of all cultures, and to no longer be able to participate in this way literally makes me want to cry. I did cry the other night to Gary. The fact that it's practically an impossible thing to do, but that I KNOW that I must do it, it's almost indescribable.

And then there's also the fear that no one else is doing this around me. For my life to change so dramatically is a frightening thing. Of course I want to get better, but if you transform your life it transforms your relationships too. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but it's scary.

But then there's that quote, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you," and I believe that, and I think that's what we're doing here. I am seeing that I have to relinquish the power of the senses, because they have me in an absolute stranglehold. I don't want that habit anymore. But breaking free of it is like being thrown into a pit of fire. It's agony ... the toughest battle I've ever fought in my life. And I think for most people you don't realize how hooked you are until you try to stop.

But I'm part way up on the side of a mountain. To one side it drops out underneath me into an unspeakable abyss, and to the other side is ascends arduously and painstakingly into the heavens. Which path to take? Up or down? I don't really have a choice, now, do I?

But hopefully if I take the path to the heavens, somewhere up there the mourning will change to morning, and I'll be free.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Medication lowered again!

I went to the endocrinologist yesterday and got my lab results from the blood draw I had at the end of December. I have felt my pulse slightly racing now for some time, so strongly suspected I was due for another decrease, and, sure enough, my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is still on the low side, meaning I've already got a lot of thyroid hormone in my system. The last time it was measured it was .06, and this time it was .14, whereas it should be at least .5. I'm overjoyed at these results because it does indicate that the lifestyle modifications, not just my doctor's over-dosage, are making the difference. I am now officially below a dosage that I had to have raised some six months ago. And I have been far from perfect on my lifestyle modifications too.

Also of interest was the fact that my adrenals, with the addition of the DHEA, are now way normalized. In fact, the level that is the reference range is like 8-11, and I'm now at 23! My doctor seemed a bit perplexed that the addition of DHEA could have had such a positive impact, as he had suggested it more as something to tide me over while he ordered another type of cortisol test. With those results, he is no longer saying that I'm going to have to stay on adrenal support for life. He said I might need it for six months to a year, but probably not a lifetime.

I did tell him, although not in great detail, about the changes I'm making in my diet. He seemed supportive from the standpoint of wanting to continue to measure everything regularly, as we don't know what the effects will be. I told him that I have heard of people having their thyroid medication lowered repeatedly after implementing these dietary changes.

I've been in somewhat of a bad place, food wise, lately, and have been doing a lot of work conquering my demons. These results are exactly what I needed to fully convince me. I'm starting over with renewed dedication, starting with a one-day fast today (maybe two: I'll see how it goes).

This is not an easy process, but I'm getting to the point where I just don't want to do battle with it anymore. I just want to accept it and move on, and heal, as I know I will. I know the more dedicated I am to this lifestyle, the faster I'm going to make that progress.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Focus for peace

I have had a roller coaster of a last few days. My yoga competition was on Saturday, and Friday night my studio paid for me and the other participants from our studio to stay in a hotel in San Jose, which is about 50 miles away. The San Jose studio paid for everyone to go to dinner, and, as I blogged about before, I decided to go because I thought they were going to go over pertinent details of the competition. As it turned out, the only pertinent information they had for us was that the women were to compete after the men, and we should be there by 10:00 a.m.

I went into a lion's den for that!

I had brought and drank my multi-banana/lettuce smoothie in the car ride down, which is normally quite satisfying to me, but not that night. I drank the whole thing and still felt hungry (or something!). Then we get there and find out this dinner is in basically a high-class pizza joint, and, to make a long story short, I gave in.

I wasn't the only one who was incredibly bothered by this dinner though. They gave us a tiny salad, way more pizza than we could possibly eat, then desserts like cheesecake and apple pie (of which I had a bite, but didn't otherwise indulge). It was ludicrous! I mean, some of the people at that competition are world-class athletes, and you're feeding them that before their big day??? My friend sitting next to me said, "Man, the pizza just keeps following me!" I felt the same way. We all agreed that like 5 of the salads would have been perfect. My stomach was a bit of a mess that night, but, fortunately, I recovered by morning.

Saturday I had performance nerves so bad that I could only drink my orange juice in the morning, then I didn't eat again until about 3:00, after it was over. That night we went to a party in San Francisco, where a friend of ours proposed to another friend. I had wine and Chinese food, already feeling somewhat defeated from the night before.

On Sunday I felt like a truck had run over my emotions, so had some more cooked stuff, even ice cream with my son (aaaaa!). But I did figure out how to get the video Gary took of me competing into YouTube. I have to say, although I was nowhere near as good as some of the participants who have had steady, daily practices for years, I think I did ok for only training hard for about two weeks (most spent months).

At 5:45 on Sunday I decided to stop being so down on myself, and took myself to the 6:00 p.m. yoga class, which is just what I needed. The teacher was talking about how he's doing an 8-day cleanse, which is basically 811rv except he's having a cooked broth each morning too. Everyone in the class was like, "Wow! 8 days of nothing but that???" And here I am thinking I'm gonna try to do a lifetime of it, and thrash myself mercilessly because it's a eensy weensy bit difficult. It really put it all in perspective, and I told the teacher, Tim, that I'm doing that cleanse too, starting tomorrow (minus that broth, of course). It seemed the forces that be were looking out for me in getting me to that class. It was difficult, and I drank about a gallon of water (after my imbibing the night before), but I felt emotionally recharged in an extremely fortuitous way.

In sorting this whole experience into logical sense, what is apparent to me is that I am at peace when I am focused. Sometimes it is hard to stay focus, like when someone wafts pizza in front of you and you're feeling hungry (and left out), but the focus is what I need to retain. I am getting good at recognizing when I've lost my focus, and I'm getting better at getting it back faster. Looking back at my experiences over the last few months of really trying to transition, I'm seeing that my off-day experiences are getting shorter and shorter. From 5 days, 4 days, now 2 days. Used to be (years ago) that if I was strong on a raw diet and then went off, it would be months before I could muster the will to try again. So I have to say I'm making progress, even if it's still all such a bother.

I've been spending the little time I have on the Fruitarian Fitness 90-day challenge logs, which is why I haven't been posting here as much. I'll try to keep this updated from time to time though.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Thank God for New Year’s Day!

Olivia Newton-John was right, you know
I woke up this morning with my head chock full of 1980, singing away to the Xanadu soundtrack. How odd. So I thought I’d get out some cheese of the non-dairy variety and put it in my blog. You see, it occurred to me that, in order to get off of cooked food and to survive the temptations long-term with this lifestyle:

You have to believe we are magic
Nothin' can stand in our way
You have to believe we are magic
Don't let your aim ever stray
And if all your hopes survive
Your destiny will arrive
[And] bring all your dreams alive
For you

And that’s what it’s really all about. It’s such a head trip, this whole thing. I’ve been slipping and sliding all over the place since I last posted. You don’t even want to know. I have almost felt compelled to skate thin ice at the end of the year. It’s annoying, but I know I’m not alone in this strange psychology. I’ve had a few “on” days and a few more “off” days. Here’s a YouTube video which pretty much sums up my reality:

Now, my problem’s not really a weight one (although have I ever in my life thought I was thin?? Last time was maybe when I was 10 years old). But I’ve definitely got the “food issues” thing going down. Whether it’s really an “issue” or whether I’ve just made it one, who really knows. But the reality is that I’ve got a health problem that I think this diet would fix, or at least improve, so no matter what my “food issues” are, that is still my reality.

The test of endurance
Saturday is my yoga competition. That photo above is me practicing one of my poses for my family members when we were in Lake Tahoe just before Christmas. (Sorry about those extra feet in the pic.) Well, I just found out attendance at the pre-competition dinner is mandatory (or at least highly recommended) for all competitors, as the format of the competition will be explained. I was originally thinking, and posted some time back, that I might just “do the best I could” at this dinner. I was even at one point thinking, screw it, I’ll just eat the dinner.

The last few days, however, being so dietarily haphazard, have taught me that I cannot do that. I will attend, but if I’m starving and eat nothing and suffer gravely for several hours, so be it. I cannot afford to give in. Why?

Because New Year’s Day is one of the most powerful days of the year, where we are given a mental clean slate, a get-out-of-jail-free card, if you will. This day has a powerful momentum that radiates as long as you cling to it. If I were to just eat that one cooked meal, it might be until January 1, 2009 until I could re-harness that energy. So I will make it through that dinner, no matter what.

Here’s another reason: Does that pose look very comfortable to do with a bad stomach? :-)