Skinny Therese

Adventures in Shrinking My Fat Ass

Blinded by the Light…and Saved by Vitamin D

On Thursday February 11, 2010 I caught the worst cold I have ever had.  I suffered from such intolerable sinus pressure and watery eyes that I had to close the shades in my apartment because the sunlight was too painful to my eyes. I am a person who usually LOVES sunlight, so this is unusual for me. By Monday morning I was so sick that I almost fainted in my living room at around 3am. I went to our new doctor, Dr. Finlayson here is Chicago and told him of my symptoms. I had a fever, head congestion, cough, headache, weakness, and body aches. I had at that point taken 4 different kinds of over-the-counter cold medicine and nothing had worked. I was lucky. Dr. Finlayson practices something called “integrative medicine.” This type of practice takes the best of Western and Eastern medicine and combines them to treat the whole person. Instead of just dispensing drugs and performing surgeries, as most doctors do, integrative medicine practitioners do something truly radical: they ask you questions and determine if your lifestyle has something to do with why you feel so crappy.

I told Dr. Finlayson that I was hesitant to take antibiotics because I am currently trying to restore the good bacteria in my body in order to aid my digestion. He agreed that this was a good idea and didn’t seem like he wanted to proscribe anti0biotics. So he did three things: he took 5 vials of blood for lab tests, wrote me a prescription for some cough medicine with codeine so that my cough would not keep me up at night, and gave me a dose of 100,000 units of Vitamin D. Three hours later I felt much better, and the next day, I was back at work.

Apparently, most people are seriously Vitamin D deficient. If you are lacking certain Vitamins and minerals, your body is not able to function properly. Because the only good source of Vitamin D is sunlight and I live in Chicago and it’s winter, I have zero Vitamin D in my system. My immune system was seriously compromised by my lack of Vitamin D and it was unable to fight off this infection. Once my body was re-infused with Vitamin D, my immune system kicked in and I was back to work the next day! Amazing. By the way, Vitamin D is cheap, has no weird side effects and is available without a prescription so you don’t need health insurance to get it, which is cool since 50,000,000 people (roughly 17% of the US population) doesn’t have health insurance. (Of course, most people don’t have access to the 50,000 unit Vitamin D pills that my doctor has, but if you take the regular 5,000 units per day, you won’t need that mega dose, because you will not be as sick.)

So three nice clean, plant-based meals, 30 minutes of exercise, lots of water and one Vitamin D soft gel per day should lead to excellent health. Get on that people, because disease is expensive and neither the United States Government, nor Pfizer gives a rat’s ass about your health. It’s all you.


February 19, 2010 Posted by | General Health, Nutrition | 1 Comment

Sarpino’s Pizza and Other Stories

Part One:

On Thursday, I had a ridiculous pizza craving, which is unusual for me because when I have “cravings” they are usually for sweet things. Anyway, I indulged my craving with no apologies. Why not? Once I know that any craving that I am having is genuine, i.e. not stress or depression induced, I always indulge it. Usually it amounts to an extra snack – a handful of nuts or a glass of soy milk. I ordered this fantastic pesto pizza with sun dried tomatoes and fresh garlic and spinach. It was delicious and I have no regrets. I skipped my evening snack and then went right back on program on Friday. Then Saturday we got a call from a friend of my husband’s who wanted to have dinner. We love her and hadn’t seen her in forever, so of course we couldn’t refuse. We went to the greatest Mexican restaurant (Adobo; it’s up near Second City, for those familiar with Chicago) and while I managed to resist a Mojito and most of the chips ( I stopped at 2), I ate half of an appetizer, but only ate half of my entree – veggie butternut squash enchiladas with black beans. It felt really heavy and I literally thought that my pants were going to burst open when I stood up to go to the bathroom.

I accepted that I was not going to lose weight this week and was even certain that I would gain so – I had accepted it and didn’t feel bad about it at all. However, when I stepped on the scale this morning at the JC center, to may astonishment I had lost 3.2 pounds! I am at 201.2, a stones throw away from my Valentine’s Day goal of getting under 200 pounds! If I hit 198.5 pound next week, I will have lost a total of 40 pounds. My husband was sure that I would be down today due to the fact that he has noticed my rapid loss of inches over the last few weeks (he monitors this through the use of a very accurate scientific measuring device – his own hands). I have been mired in a series of mini-plateaus for the last 2 months. Two weeks with no or minimal loss followed by a 2-3 pound loss the third week. A pair of jeans that fit me perfectly on New Year’s Day are now so loose that I will soon have to give them away. In fact, one of my projects this week will be to go through my entire closet and try on each and every item to see what still fits and what is so loose that it is not even worth keeping. I’ll find a Good Will that will pick all the stuff up. This will also help with my visualization. For those who are familiar with the Law of Attraction (which has been working pretty well for me weight loss-wise), it’s good to prepare your environment for the inevitable receipt of whatever it is that you want. If you want to be thinner, you have to start acting like and feeling like a thin person. For me that means no more shopping in Plus Size stores and getting rid of clothes that are too big for me. Next month I will replenish a few necessary items – bras, jeans, etc – but hold off on replacing my wardrobe completely as my total 100 pound weight loss will likely require several shopping trips over the next few months and I just don’t have the kind of cash required to go shopping every month.

For this week, I will do some really intense cardio and Pilates everyday. Also, I will really focus on the visualization techniques that I have learned over the last few months.

Part Two:

I think it was Marilu Henner who said that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who can talk about their poop and those who cannot. I fall into the first category. I am lactose intolerant and I do not digest cheese well. The problem is this: all of the most delicious Jenny Craig food had cheese in it. So, lets just say that I am having…a problem. But the one dairy item I have never had a problem digesting is yogurt. So Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis has convinced me. I will take the 14-Day Activia Challenge! Basically the claim is that if you eat Activia Yogurt everyday for 2 weeks, like magic, you’ll  be regular once again! The thing is, this yogurt is filled with probiotics. These are live microorganisms that help your digestive system break down food. Probiotics occur naturally in your small intestine, but because we are so unhealthy these days and because antibiotics are over-proscribed, we have successfully killed off many of the essential microorganisms needed to properly digest our food! According to the best medical authorities, probiotics can be very helful for lactose intolerant people. Because lactic acid bacteria actively converts lactose into lactic acid, ingesting probiotics may help the lactose intolerant folks comfortably digest dairy products.

So we’ll see. I started this yesterday. By the way, their low-fat Cherry yogurt is sublime!

So aside for the fact that I had to sit through that really gay Super Bowl Pre-Game Show on Sunday, I had a pretty good weekend!

February 8, 2010 Posted by | General Health, Nutrition, Weight Loss | 2 Comments