Thursday, December 13, 2007


I was just writing on Rob's blog and had some realizations.

I nearly had an anxiety attack this week.

It's the perfect storm, really- pre-finals are this week, it's the second week of the challenge and my weight did not hold onto last week's low, the Hardcore Fat Loss plan is basically a notch above my fitness level so I get lightheaded when I do it, it's the first week of the 12 Days of Fitness extravaganza, I've been pressuring myself to get my e-book done (haven't touched it in over a week), and one of my forum friends nearly had her marriage fall apart.

Deep breath... I have to tell myself to keep breathing. I also discovered this video on Joe Vitale's blog yesterday, which helped quite a bit when I was lying awake this morning, unable to sleep from the boulder sitting in my gut.

It's called "A 15-Minute Miracle," and it's true. Take the time to watch it and you won't regret it.

So, I'm breathing. I'm persevering. I'm telling myself the famous phrase, "I love you, I'm sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you," and I'm meaning it. I'm telling it to God. To Jesus (hey, we're celebrating his birthday in a week and a half, and that dude did so much for the human race it's not even something anyone should be able to brush off). To my problems. To myself, my body, and my inner self. I've created my reality, I need to take responsibility for it and deal with it. And I will. I am.

The scale was already down .5 a pound from Monday. I plan to see 145 before the end of next week. I'll see what I can do, behavior-wise, to keep the pressure off but still work toward winning the challenge.

Boy, a month has never felt so short!

In other news, I was referred to an eye-opening article this morning dealing with insulin and it's interaction with high fructose corn syrup. Here's an excerpt (you can read the whole thing here):

And then the third reason that exercise is important, which is somewhat not well known, but I'm trying to evaluate this at the present time, is that it actually helps detoxify the sugar fructose. Fructose actually is a hepato-toxin; now fructose is fruit sugar but we were never designed to take in so much fructose. Our consumption of fructose has gone from less than half a pound per year in 1970 to 56 pounds per year in 2003.

Norman Swan: It's the dominant sugar in these so-called sugar-free jams for example that you buy, these sort of natural fruit jams.

Robert Lustig: Right, originally it was used because since it's not regulated by insulin it was thought to be the perfect sugar for diabetics and so it got introduced as that. Then of course high fructose corn syrup came on the market after it was invented in Japan in 1966, and started finding its way into American foods in 1975. In 1980 the soft drink companies started introducing it into soft drinks and you can actually trace the prevalence of childhood obesity, and the rise, to 1980 when this change was made.

Norman Swan: What is it about this, it's got more calories than ordinary sugar weight for weight hasn't it?

Robert Lustig: No, actually it's not the calories that are different it's the fact that the only organ in your body that can take up fructose is your liver. Glucose, the standard sugar, can be taken up by every organ in the body, only 20% of glucose load ends up at your liver. So let's take 120 calories of glucose, that's two slices of white bread as an example, only 24 of those 120 calories will be metabolised by the liver, the rest of it will be metabolised by your muscles, by your brain, by your kidneys, by your heart etc. directly with no interference. Now let's take 120 calories of orange juice. Same 120 calories but now 60 of those calories are going to be fructose because fructose is half of sucrose and sucrose is what's in orange juice. So it's going to be all the fructose, that's 60 calories, plus 20% of the glucose, so that's another 12 out of 60 -- so in other words 72 out of the 120 calories will hit the liver, three times the substrate as when it was just glucose alone.

That bolus of extra substrate to your liver does some very bad things to it.

Wow, huh? I want to do more research on this guy Robert Lustig and the stuff behind everything in the article, because he makes some pretty bold claims regarding sugar, insulin, and the food industry (it's a bit conspiracy-theory-like). However, I understood what he was talking about in regard to liver damage, especially in the light of the research I just did regarding metabolic syndrome. That light shed is that one of the theories regarding why metabolic syndrome is such a high risk for those with abdominal adiposity (belly fat): "Rebuffe-Scrive et al first proposed that adipose tissue in the abdominal area was the biggest risk factor for metabolic syndrome due to its potential to release fatty acids into the liver, decreasing the ability of the liver to clear insulin." This is due to the liver's enzyme for fat, lipoprotein lipase, being decreased. To add salt to that wound, LPL activity is increased in the fatty tissues. Along with that, without exercise, the liver's glycogen levels are topped off and not reduced, which causes extra glucose to be changed into VLDL (the extremely bad cholesterol). So basically, obesity in the gut is the worst kind and is only exacerbated by the body. It boils down to a little bit more than calories-in versus calories-out (although that still plays the majority role).

That whole last part may not have made any sense to you, as I'm still working it out myself. However, it's a chain reaction thing, and there are always so many factors involved it's not even funny. So, it all comes down to personal responsibility. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WAY YOU LOOK. YOU decide to eat the vegetables vs the doughnut. YOU decide whether you're exercising today or not. What your body does with that is its business. The only thing you can control is your behavior.

Just understand that insulin is only your friend after exercise and first thing in the morning. Otherwise, we should all work on keeping it down as much as possible. Deal?

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