Book club book

I meant to post this yesterday, but thinks got out of control. Sorry about that. The winner for next time around is . . .

Julie Czerneda‘s A Turn of Light.


I’m looking forward to it. There are talking toads. This harkens back to the sense of wonder fantasy that I have always loved and we don’t see that much of anymore. Spread the word and invite anybody who wants to, to join us. Our next discussion day is April 13th. Mark it on your calendars!

I also crossed the halfway threshold on my weight lost. It’s take me almost 2 years to get here. But at least it’s coming off and so far, staying off. I actually want to lose/need to lose more than my goal weight, but I figured an initial goal weight that wasn’t screaming terrifying. Just . . . terrifying. At least I’ve made it halfway. I’m right now managing to lose at the rate of about 1.5 lbs per month, give or take. As the weather improves, that might improve since I can actually get outside and walk more, as opposed to using the elliptical.

Thanks to everyone on the good wishes regarding my uncle. I very much appreciate it.


  • Adrianne

    Hooray!!! I’m reading TURN right now!!! And it’s delicious! Wonderful! But then again, I always love Julie’s books.

    Congrats on the weight loss! I’ve been trying for 3 years, and I lost 15#, but I keep gaining it back every summer. Hopefully this year will be different?

    • Di Francis

      I’m not entirely sure why it’s staying off. I’m just trying to stay away from bad food more and I’ll admit that after giving up aspartame and soda, my urge to eat sweet things and bad carbs like chips has changed.

      • Adrianne

        I gave up on bad food years and years ago in an effort to ease my migraines. (It helped.) I did very well on the South Beach diet for about 10 years. And then I hit menopause. It’s much harder to take weight off now and harder to keep it off.

        • Di Francis

          That’s one of the reasons I am trying now. I don’t know when menipause will hit, but I know it will get worse.

          I had a bad bad bad diet coke problem. Quit 8months ago now I think. I’m also prediabetic, so now’s the time to get it done. Plus I just want to feel better. I’m not really calorie counting, or doing a lot of portion control. I assume I’d lose faster if I was, and maybe I’ll have to. What I am trying to do is not eat emotionally, eat when I’m hungry and not when it’s “time,” eat only as much as I’m hungry for and not necessarily a typical meal, and so on. So sometimes if I’m not all that hungry, I eat a bowl of cereal. I eat, though, because I know not eating is stupid. Anyhow, I’m hoping not to gain ever. I really want to get lower down so I don’t have the sugar/insulin issues looming over my head. I’ve lost 32 lbs now. And it’s funny, because that’s taken me the better part of 2 years. But I have a friend doing the “ideal me” diet and has lost almost 40 lbs in 8 weeks. I hope she can keep it off. I know I wouldn’t be able to because I hadn’t changed anything. So the whole lifestyle thing is what I’m working on, but not very systematically. But I have discovered that I no longer like just about any sort of fast food. Not that I loved it before, but now it’s revolting. I honestly don’t know why. But it makes me sick to my stomach. Now it can’t be the fat, because I will have fattier meals here and there–like fettucine alfredo, for instance. But something about that food is awful. Which is a good thing. I’m wondering how much has to do with the way my body has changed post-aspartame.

          I don’t know, I’m babbling. I don’t really have anyone to talk to about it though, and you showed some small interest, so I unload. Don’t run away screaming! 😀

          • Adrianne

            Run away screaming when I’ve lured you onto my favorite topic? Never!

            On the pre-diabetic front, there is a supplement, GlucoSynergy which took me from having-to-eat-every-two-hours-even-at-night to nearly-normal-blood-sugar-control. It has three very helpful ingredients – gymnema sylvestre, vanadyl sulfate, and chromium picolinate in it. All of which are proven to help with diabetes (and hypoglycemia.) Amazon has it and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

            Fast food is scary. It’s so far from being real food that I wouldn’t touch it even if I weren’t wheat/dairy/soy intolerant. They purposefully engineer it so people will over-eat. And it’s loaded with things that make you sick – high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, hydrogenated fats, preservatives…. It wouldn’t surprise me if you’re reacting to one or more of those.

            Congrats on losing 32#! That’s fabulous! Like you, I wish your friend the best. But in my experience, the people who change their habits are the ones who keep the weight off.

            I may have asked you this before, but can you add adriannem as your friend on lj? I can’t post there for some reason.

            And if you want to pester me about diet/exercise questions, you can always send me email. I’m not a pro, but I’ve been studying it for 30 years now. adrianne at indra dot com

            • Di Francis

              Feel free to tell my why the weight is coming off or what my body is up to. They put me on Metformin to help me process sugar better for losing weight. I’d like to get off it. The thing is that my fasting sugars are below 100, but my A1C is elevated. I also have thyroid issues and am on thyroxine. After reading a bunch about aspartame, I realized that it may have been having a serious effect on me in a lot of ways (metabolic syndrome) for decades. So Im’ being rabid about avoiding it to see if it helps. What I wonder, though, is how much garbage is stored in my fat and how long before I can be clear of it. If it’s going to wait for me to be thin, then I may be dead first. I don’t ever anticipate being thin, incidentally. It’s not my goal. Comfortable in my clothes and body, and able to physically do the things that I want to do is where my goal lies. And also the not getting diabetes thing.

              Right now my goal is pre-pregnancy weight. Though keep in mind, I gained almost no weight for either pregnancy. I gained after. But at least I can remember something about what I felt like at that weight, so it’s my initial goal. After that, I reevaluate and look at the sugar numbers and all ther est and just keep trying to get healthy.

              I added you on lJ. I had to turn off comments because I was getting tons and tons of spam. I’m wondering if I can turn it back on again. I think I will to see what happens.

              • Adrianne

                Aspertame is a neurotoxin among other things. It wasn’t good for my migraines. It took me about a week to detox, and a friend whose habit was more entrenched than mine took 2 weeks. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it took you longer due to the quantity you absorbed when you were drinking diet coke.

                Here’s the kicker with sweeteners: when your body tastes sweet, it kicks up insulin to absorb the sugar you just ate. Only with non-sugar sweeteners, there’s no sugar to absorb, so your blood sugar tumbles, and you over eat to compensate. This is true of all of them, aspertame, saccharin, xylitol, stevia, etc. Sweeteners are a fabulous way to gain weight. By exorcising the aspertame from your diet, you probably have dramatically reduced that insulin yo-yo, which would explain a lot of your weight loss.

                There’s a new book out, _Fat Chance_ by Lustig, that talks about how dangerous fructose is, and how it packs pounds onto people. So don’t use that either.

                If you haven’t read it, _The South Beach Diet_ book was recommended to me by my doc years ago. Agatston is a cardiologist who wanted to improve his patients’ blood work. He talks a lot about how sugar affects metabolism, and sets out good rules and nice recipes for improving diet. I mention it because it took me 15 years to get all the sugar out of my diet, and in those 15 years, I did incalculable damage to my health. Agatston gives you a way to measure your sensitivity to sugar, so you can save yourself from sugar damage. Recent research has proven that a heart healthy diet is also a diabetes prevention diet.

                It sounds like you’re doing an excellent job of dropping weight. I think your goal to stop losing when you feel healthy is a good one. If you’re like me, you’ll discover you’re pretty lean by the time you feel well. Fat is a dangerous problem. It not only stores all kinds of crap, but visceral fat generates it’s very own collection of toxins, and it wears out joints prematurely. You don’t want to be anorexic, but getting down to slim and fit will dramatically improve your health now and in your later years. I’ve spent much too much time visiting relatives in retirement/assisted living/nursing facilities these last few years. I notice that the people who are overweight are the ones who end up immobilized in wheelchairs.

                Here’s an article on visceral fat:

                I need to drop about 20# to get to my ideal weight (10# above 10% body fat, 5# below bike racing weight). And it’s frustrating. But every time I pick up a 20# object, like my hiking backpack or my groceries, I feel how the weight makes my back/hips/knees ache, and I think, “This would be so much easier if I weren’t already carrying 20# of fat.”

                Thanks for adding me to lj!

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