I am back in full time to get healthy for real mode. After years of being “insulin-resistant” or “pre-diabetic” which comes with the PCOS, my sugars started climbing a year ago. First I was just barely in the diabetic range, the next test was higher, and my most recent was really alarming. I needed to make a lot of changes; I don’t want to end up needing insulin, and so this time I gotta make the changes stick. I’ve started out slowly, adding in new goals as I conquer the one before. I started out with meal planning, getting back in the groove, and cooking again; we were eating out an awful lot. I was SO tired, which is likely a result from the really high sugars, it was so hard to get up and cook. I ended up using a groupon for a subscription to emeals at a massively reduced price. I am not able to really use it as intended to make my life super simple. They give you a weeks worth of menus (and you have lots of different types of menus to choose from) along with the shopping lists and lists of staples they presume you have, and so on. But in the clean eating plan I’ve been using, there hasn’t been a whole week where my family would actually eat every meal. Still, I print them out each week and pick and choose and merge them with some family favorites, so it has made meal planning somewhat less challenging. I tend to get overwhelmed with my collection of recipes otherwise. After that, I started logging my food. I’ve been using My Fitness Pal for that (the iPhone app is great, it lets you scan UPC codes, makes it very easy for things with UPC codes =)). I gave up Pepsi again, and along with that, anything with simple processed sugars, for the most part. This is STILL hard. I swear, I felt like I was going through the 5 stages of grieving. Over Pepsi! Then I added exercise. I wouldn’t say that I have conquered that entirely. I am mostly using my treadmill, because it’s what I have in my home. I find it hard to walk much longer than 25-30 minutes, not because my energy gives out, or my legs are sore, or my motivation lags, but because my lower back starts to really hurt. But I am still exercising, the best that I can. Right now I am working towards “clean eating” which is a phrase that I suppose is over-used and thrown around a lot these days. To me clean eating is eating the best and healthiest options from the food groups, in as natural of a state (before I cook it) as possible. I (want to) choose whole, natural foods and seek to eliminate or minimize refined foods. Processed foods are anything in a box, bag, can, or package, but unrefined foods can also be found in packaging. I am willing to buy packaged foods as long as they have few ingredients, and those ingredients are basically whole, natural foods. I am fine with unrefined / natural sugars, such as honey and (real) maple syrup, at least for those in my family; I am avoiding sweeteners as much as possible, or using them in a minimal way. When you have been heavy (lets just say it, fat, fat, fat!) for so long and made changes and lost and gained and lost and gained, its hard to pin point what my starting weight is. I decided to go with my highest most recent weight, which is 30 pounds down from my heaviest, but I’d maintained that loss a long time. My lap band has been gone for 15 months; so it’s all on me.