Wednesday, October 27, 2010

20 Years Ago

Twenty years ago today I said "I do" to my best friend.  It's hard to believe it's been twenty years!

We met in a stereo shop in Beaumont, TX.   I walked in and saw him sitting on a stool (he worked there) and something strange happened.  I got butterflies in my stomach and my hands started sweating.  It was difficult for me to concentrate.  I lost it.  I couldn't even stand in the same room with him because I was so nervous.  I'd never done that before!

I left but I kept coming back for a year.  We talked a little sometimes but we were both a little nervous around each other.  Finally his boss made him ask me out.

I went to his house for a party.  After a while he got a little hungry so we went to Burger King.  We talked and talked and the time flew by.  Before we knew it, three hours had passed and it only seemed like 10 minutes.

From that moment on, we belonged to each other.  Chuck never asked me to marry him.  It was understood.  I adore that man.  We don't go a day without talking several times.  We hate to be away from each other.  And he still gives me butterflies.

He sent me a sweet email this morning:

Twenty freakin' years! Wow. It doesn't really seem like it has been that long, and I really mean that.

Twenty years ago today I was in a panic. I will never forget that day. I don't remember parts of it because I was so nervous. Not the kind of nervous where I was thinking, "Am I sure I want to do this", but the kind of nervous where I was thinking, "Will I make a good husband?" "Will she love me forever?" "Where is my belt?"

Who would have thought twenty years ago that we would have two beautiful kids?

My life with you has been more than I ever expected. We have had good times and bad, and we have had prosperous times and not so prosperous times. But in the end it has always been you and me. And that is the way I like it.

I am looking forward to the next twenty years, my Love.

All of my LOVE, always."

Chuck surprised me with a set of pans that I've been wanting for a while. These are tri ply-clad pans (like All Clad) that America's Test Kitchen recommended as a best buy.  Tramontina 10 piece set! (available only at Wal Mart)
I didn't know Chuck was getting me such a nice gift.  I got him something that I know he wanted: Ammo Wizard.  It picks up the brass from his pistols off the ground when he shoots so he can reload.  No more bending over and picking up each one by hand.

OK.  So our gifts are not exactly romantic.  But they are both something we really wanted.  I'm thinking diamonds for our 25th. :)

We're planning a trip together to celebrate at a later date.  We're just so busy right now that we weren't able to get away.  That's ok.

Tonight Chuck is cooking Chicken Marsala in our new pans.  Can't wait!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monday Eats and Treats

Woohoo!  Made it through Monday which was sort of a big deal after adding that third Metformin pill.  There were some tummy issues that almost caused an emergency at Target and severe nausea.  But I made it.

Started the day off with a very tasty breakfast.  I found some hashbrown patties in the freezer and cooked them low and slow in a skillet sprayed with oil until they turned brown and crispy.  Topped that with a scrambled egg, hot sauce and cheese. Only 15 carbs!

I had to grab a few things at the pet store and Target so off to the store I went. It wasn't long before my stomach said that I should get back home quickly or become very familiar with a public restroom.  I opted for the former.

While I was at Target I found the candy version of the Flying Spaghetti Monster!  It was labeled as spaghetti and eyeballs but it looked so much like the monster that I had to bring it home.  The kids enjoyed eating the eyeballs, of course.
Got home and rested for a while before starting school with the kids.  We only did about half of their usual workload because I wasn't feeling so hot.  Fortunately, a lot of it they can do on their own.

I really, really didn't feel like exercising but my jealousy drove me to do it. Lyn at Escape from Obesity just announced that she lost 100 pounds.  I'm very happy for her but I also want to reach that 100 pound goal myself. Badly!  So, nausea aside, I exercised.

I did have to consider my near-scare at Target before deciding on which form of exercise to pursue.  If I went walking around the neighborhood there was a chance that things could go badly for me and the HOA would have to ban me from the streets.  Therefore, I stayed inside and danced away to Just Dance 2.  I got a good sweat going for 30 minutes then called it quits.  At least I exercised!

Later I started to get dinner ready when I realized I had absolutely no oil in the house and no currants for the dish I was going to prepare.  I think I could have gotten away with no currents but I needed the oil.  I was going to attempt to make a recipe from the new issue of Cooking Light for Maple Glazed Chicken over Brussel Sprouts Slaw.  Confession: I've never had a brussel sprout in my life.  They've always smelled too nasty.  Even the raw ones. 

Since I couldn't make my dish and wasn't feeling too great anyway, Chuck picked up Burger King. I was able to get a Whopper Jr and a side salad and stay within my carb range.

Breakfast: hashbrown patty with egg and cheese
Lunch: leftover Mongolian Beef and a little bit of rice
Dinner: Whopper Jr with cheese, mustard only and a side salad with a little Ranch (no croutons)
Snack: a few cashews

Wow, no fruit yesterday.  That's not good. Oops. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

One Pill Makes You Larger and the Other One Makes You Small

Sorry, my dear blog, for neglecting you for a week.

Last Sunday (October 17th) I began taking another Metformin pill bringing the count to two per day.  For 3 days I felt terrible.  I didn't want to get out of bed or do anything.  I felt nauseous, had a headache, and wanted to just lie in bed.  Thursday I started to feel better which is good because the rest of the week was super busy.  Rachel had a class at the museum about the Day of the Dead and a speech for her Gavel Club which she was freaking out about. She did great, of course.

Friday we went to Hermann Park as a family. It was my way of getting exercise in the disguise of fun.  We walked by the reflection pool, fed the ducks and pigeons, watched a man run his RC submarine (very cool), took the kids to the playground, found a geocache, and road the train around the park and zoo.  It was a great day.

Saturday was clean the house day since I had been out of it for so many days.  The house was starting to suffer.  I did some cleaning but Chuck, bless his heart, got into the cleaning groove and worked hard all day.  What a guy.  It was greatly appreciated.

Sunday we spent the day geocaching.  I can't tell you how happy I was to feel "normal" again.  I was happy, slightly energetic, and back to having adventures.  No headache or nausea. No fatigue.  I was tired after our 8th cache find but it was a good kind of tired.  One I had earned. A peaceful tired instead of a drugged exhaustion.
While out geocaching Charlie found a giant praying mantis. So cool.  I have missed these adventures.

To get to our last cache we had to do some heavy bushwacking by a bayou.  This was the most difficult cache I've ever done.  We had to jump a creek, hike through weeds as tall as me, get wrapped in thorns, find our way through a very thick forest then find our way back.  At one point I found myself in a some tall weeds up to my head and they all had bees buzzing them. I slowly made my way through trying not to disturb them.  Even after I took my shower I found thorns sticking out of my leg.  But we got our cache!  Eight total for the day. We ended the day with Chinese food. Perfect.

I love geocaching because we always get to discover places we never knew existed. Yesterday we were introduced to a small cemetery that contains some of the founders of a nearby town.  It also had 6 civil war veterans.  I never even knew it was there.

Driving School Update: Chuck called them last Monday and "had a talk" with them.  He told them that not only will that man never be Rachel's instructor again but he will also never be in the same room with her.  They assured him that this would never happen again.  Problem solved.

Last night I began taking yet another Metformin for a total of 3 per day.  I am a little nervous about how I'm going to react.  The reactions are usually not immediate so I'm waiting.

I've been reading up on the meds I take.  The birth control pills warn that I may gain weight and the Metformin is supposed to help me lose weight (among other things).  There is a war going on.  I'm hoping the Metformin wins.

I honestly hate, loathe, detest, abhor taking all of these meds.  It bothers me to no end.  I feel like I'm on life support or something.  Broken.  Even though the doctor said I will probably have to remain on these for the rest of my life because of the hereditary factor, I am still hoping that I will be able to beat this with exercise, good eating habits, and weight loss.  Time will tell.  I'm not giving up.  And if that doesn't work, maybe I'll at least accept it by then. :)

The great news is that I'm feeling like "me" again.  I have hope. I'm not depressed.  I'm ready to plan some adventures.  I'm optimistic about getting in shape.  I'm not as tired.  One odd thing is that I have no sweet cravings anymore.  Oh sure, occasionally I get a small dark chocolate square but I'm not going after the sweets like before.  I'm not very hungry at all, actually. So maybe this will work for the weight loss after all!  I'll keep ya posted. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Take a Hike

Oh, how I wish the weekends lasted all week. :)

I've been working on getting in my exercise quota even though some days I feel so sleepy I don't want to crawl out of bed.  I'm not sure if it's the medicines or what.  I thought I was supposed to have more energy, not less.

Thursday I decided to recruit the kids to suffer exercise with me.  We just went to the front of the neighborhood and explored and then went to the playground and enjoyed the swing sets and the light, fall breeze.  It was a good time and I got about 30 minutes of exercise.  That's nothing compared to how I was exercising before but it's a start.

Warning: Rant Ahead. Thursday night Rachel was scheduled to drive at the driving school.  There is one old guy she hates to get because all he does is talk about how much money he has and how smart he is and he also makes the girls run errands for him. Never the guys.

Well, Rachel got him as her driving instructor that night.  7:30-9:30pm she was going to be with him.  When we picked her up she was upset.  She said the guy degraded her for being homeschooled, wanted to know what Chuck and I do for a living, said he felt sorry for her because she got no social interaction (which is a load of $%&#*!!), said that she needed to be talking to boys on the phone, wanted to know what religion she was, had her calculate his salary while she was trying to drive at night just to test the math skills of the poor homeschooled child, asked her what she wanted to do when she grows up then told her she shouldn't or she'd never own a big house, etc.  It went on and on.   When it was the boy's turn to drive they just talked about football.

Rachel was very upset which made Chuck very upset but in a different way.  He was ready to beat up an old, insecure old man.  Today the driving school will be hearing from a very protective father who is more than a little angry. :)

Friday Chuck and I took the kids to a Fall Fest put on by our homeschool group.  It was a lot of fun.  There were even snacks there that I could eat without guilt!

After the festival, we took Charlie to my mom's.  She met us halfway to pick him up since she lives a couple of hours away.  Rachel didn't get to go this time because she said she needed to work on her speech for Gavel Club.

On the way home we stopped and got Just Dance 2! Woohoo!!!!
This game is so much fun and really burns up the calories.  Plus it's funny to watch each other try to do the dance moves.  I love this game!

Friday night Chuck took Rachel and I out to Red Lobster.  I was a good girl and read the nutritional info online before I went so I'd know exactly what to order.  Shrimp and steamed broccoli and iced tea.  Perfect.

Then it was off to the Halloween store to try on masks and hats and have fun.  We got the kids their costumes: a phantom with glowing eyes for Charlie and a hippie costume for Rachel.

Saturday we went on a hike at Brazos Bend.  I can't remember the last time we went out there.  It's been way too long.  We hiked for 3.5 miles and enjoyed the leaves falling.  The wildlife wasn't very active that day and the park was very crowded for Astronomy Day.  We did see a few picture-worthy things:
The obligatory alligator.
Ibis choking back a crawfish.
Weird seedpod.
The cypress fashionista wearing the latest fall colors.  Very nice.
The black crowned night heron sporting a lovely monarch butterfly chapeau. Tres chic.
I've missed our hikes and adventures.

Rachel has been asking for pizza from a local pizza shop for a while so we finally got it for her.  Pizza is a dilemma for someone trying to watch carbs like me.  But I remembered that I had some low carb pita bread so I just scraped the toppings onto the pita.  Tasted great and I got to have pizza too!

Sunday I had a tough time getting out of bed.  I felt exhausted before the day even got started.  Chuck suggested I stay in and get some rest but I needed to get my exercise. Plus I hate to waste a weekend by sleeping.  I want to do something.

To Brazos Bend again.  This time we hiked in the woods.  No pictures this time because we went without camera.  I played the role of Sacagawea except not very well.  I got lost.  Oops!  Finally Moses (Chuck) took over and led us back to the promised land (the parking lot).  In all we hiked for a little over 3.5 miles.  I packed snacks so we had a nice lunch under an old oak tree.  It was a wonderful day.

It is so nice to go on a hike and get sweaty, go home to get cleaned up then go out to eat.  You feel so relaxed after all that.  This time we went to Carabba's.  I tried looking up nutritional info before we went but I started feeling down that I couldn't order what I really wanted and just sort of gave up.  I went out and had a good time and got whatever I wanted which included a mixed drink and a few bites of dessert.  I figure I'll give myself a once-a-month treat so I don't go insane thinking about what I can and can't have. 

I'll admit that I did feel guilty about eating some pasta.  I have to remind myself that I'm not changing my eating to lose weight (though that is a plus) but to live. No guilt over the occasional indulgence.  Heck, even the book that is supposed to be my basis (Insulin Resistance Diet) says I should have the occasional indulgence.  So no more guilt.

It was a great weekend.  The beautiful weather and hiking makes me excited about the camping trip to the Frio River we're taking in a couple of weeks.  Can't wait!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

French Oven Beef Stew

Tuesday went way better than Monday.  I'm hoping it only took 1 day for me to adjust to the metformin.  The tummy threatened me a few times but everything ended well.  Yeah for small victories! :)

Breakfast: 1c. Cheerios and 1 cup milk, coffee

Snack: (I was on the road) beef jerky and some Special K herb crackers

Lunch: 1/2 a Jazz apple (the best apples ever) and leftover fried chicken piece on sugar free wheat bun with pickles, mayo and mustard.  Watch out, Chik-Fil-A.  This was incredible.

Snack: (on the road again) a few bacon cheddar crackers in the shape of mini Texas-es (what is the plural of Texas?) and string cheese

Dinner: French Oven Beef Stew and 1/2 a biscuit
Fall is in the air so beef stew is perfect.  Plus I got a huge London broil for $6.  Time to use it.
Even though the original recipe calls for cooking this in the oven, I prefer to toss everything in the crockpot.  It is so nice not having to worry about cooking in the evening.  The meat is so tender you can cut it with a spoon.  A dull spoon.

The recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks (no, it's not from America's Test Kitchens) called The Recipe Hall of Fame Cookbook.
If you want to print out the recipe and try it yourself (which I highly recommend),  click here.

Snack: 4 small sugar free chocolate mint cookies and a glass of milk.

I can see that I need some more fruit in my diet. That's one good thing about keeping a journal of your eats: you can see where you are lacking. 

It was a pretty good day except I felt like I was on the road a lot.  But that's ok.  Still very tired in the afternoons.  I took one more day off from walking because I was scared to death the tummy would plan an attack when I was away from home. The horror!  This is one of those times to play it safe. :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Best Fried Chicken I Ever Ate

I have been promising to make fried chicken for a while (read: years) and finally decided to do it for the family yesterday.  Of course, I chose to do it on the day that I got slapped with a full range of side effects from the metformin.  I found that I can run pretty fast to the bathroom.  Enough said about that. :-/

So, the chicken starts out in a buttermilk brine.  This will keep your chicken moist inside.  It really does work so don't skip this step.

Then the bird gets rolled in some seasoned flour and set aside to rest while the oil heats.  Fry in batches with the lid covered for 10 minutes; flip and cook 7 minutes.  Done!

I made mashed potatoes and gravy and biscuits and green beans.  I just had a chicken breast and some green beans since I'm watching the carbs now. It's hard to feel like you're missing out on anything when the chicken was so freakin' fantastic.  Seriously.  The best and crunchiest I've ever had.  The recipe for Extra-Crunchy Fried Chicken can be found here.  And, of course, it's from America's Test Kitchens. :) 
Boneless, skinless chicken breast. Extra Crunchy.

I tossed the steamed green beans with a little of Newman's Own Light Sesame Ginger Dressing.  It really gave it a nice flavor.  The kids even ate it. *shock!*

I had grandiose plans to take the kids walking at a nearby nature park before I started dinner.  That was not an option after the metformin decided to play volleyball with my GI tract.  Oh my lord.  It didn't hurt but was not fun.  I earned some frequent flyer miles to the bathroom.  Things slowed down by the evening but I'm a little worried about today.  I have to take Charlie to his Lego Robotics meeting and I am hoping that things don't get started up again.  Always an adventure.

I weighed myself yesterday so I could start keeping track again.  I still have that pesky 10 pound gain but I'm sure I'll lose it quickly.  VERY quickly if metformin keeps playing with me.  Not a fun way to lose weight.  I know, I know.  That's all water weight.  My vain side still enjoys seeing a drop on the scale.

It's still early in the game but carb/protein combining has not been difficult at all so far.  I've been keeping the carb count within the limits (30g per meal) and still getting a bit of 70% cocoa chocolate from time to time when I need a sweet.  I have noticed that my sweets cravings have almost vanished.  I also eat much, much, smaller meals since eating every 2 hours.  There's no desire to overeat because I know I'll be eating in just a little while again. I've been told that this insulin resistance diet really does work (not just for folks who have IR but others as well) so I am very anxious to see what the scale says next week.  No calorie counting.  No carb counting except to make sure I don't go over a certain amount.  So far, so good.  Now.....if the energy will only return. :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Old Dog + New Tricks= Frustrated Dog

Well, hell froze over last week, in case you didn't know.  My mom actually went to the doctor.  The same doctor that diagnosed my plethora of problems.  She drove for 2 hours just to come stay with me and I took her the next day.  It has been 39 years since her last exam by a gynecologist.

At first she was not going to let the dr. examine her but he finally talked her into it.  Blood pressure was high (150/100) but everything else checked out ok.  I told her to fast so maybe he would have her bloodwork done while we were there.  So that got done.  She had to do the glucose test like I did.  Weird thing was that she fell asleep immediately after taking the sugar juice.  It was like she literally could not keep her eyes open.  We're still waiting for the test results.  That all happened on Thursday.

Friday was a busy day from the time we got up until we went to bed.  Rachel had two meetings to go to on the other side of town (1 hour away) and that evening we went to Chuck's parents for dinner.  It was a good dinner with lots o' carbs.  I had some pork loin, a little bit of sweet potato and some green beans, passing up the corn and macaroni and cheese.  Rachel had baked a cake so I had a couple of bites of that but did not finish my slice.  Not sure how that works out on the old carb chart.

Saturday I was just exhausted.  I'm having a real tough time with energy and sometimes it gets to me.  I start feeling a little down wondering if I'll ever be back to normal and have energy again.  It gets so bad that the thought of cooking dinner almost brings a tear to my eye.  I know!  I wonder if it's the new medicines.  I thought I was supposed to have more energy.

I have been walking like prescribed.  I have read in several places that strenuous exercise (especially long sessions of exercise) will cause low blood sugar and should be avoided.  One bit of information said that I should carry glucose tablets if I am going to be doing long exercise sessions.  I'm trying to figure out how this applies to 5k races.  I'm guessing that half marathon training is out right now.  Not that I have much energy for that.

I'm also learning that there are many sugar free items at the grocery store.  I tried Pillsbury sugar free brownie mix. Yum!  11 carbs for 1/12th of the recipe.  But the sugar substitute made half of the family sick.  Same with the sugar free cake mix.  So that's not going to work out.

I'm making a few mistakes here and there but overall I think I'm doing very good with this.  Especially considering that this is a big lifestyle change.

One thing that I don't like and have not adjusted to is the fact that I need to eat every 2-3 hours.  I feel like my entire day is scheduled around food.  I worry about going on hikes like I used to because I'm afraid it might overlap dinner time or lunch time or something foolish like that.  I pack snacks in advance so I don't have to worry about them.  I have to pack food whenever I'm going to be gone for a few hours.  I never leave the house without some sort of food with me.  It's a little crazy.  I'm having a tough time adjusting to that part.

I hope it doesn't sound like I'm complaining...even though that's probably what I'm doing.  I am very thankful that this was caught and explains my battle with the belly and other issues.  There are just some things that I'm still struggling with such as eating all.the.time.  They're small meals but still.

Last night I got so frustrated with my weight and feeling so tired, etc. that I started my Metformin a few days early.  I was afraid to start this medicine because of the side effects.  It's Monday and so far so good.  I woke up a little nauseous and have some mild stomach discomfort but nothing terrible like I had read.  That's good!

Well, it's time to eat again and I need to go for my daily walk.  I'll be checking in with y'all later.  Have a good Monday!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Testing the Waters

Tuesday was both my dad and father-in-law's birthdays.  It's weird because my mom's birthday is February 13th and my mother-in-law's birthday is June 13th.  It's not hard to remember. :)

I can't believe my dad turned 71 yesterday.  He certainly doesn't look it.  He's the most active person I know.  He spends all day outside clearing brush, mowing, or finding some project to work on.  My parents live on the same 10 acres where I grew up.  I had such a great time at that place finding solitude by the pond, riding horses, playing with my chickens, or exploring at the creek in the woods. It's a shame that it's two hours away from where I live now.

Chuck's dad wanted to go out for his birthday.  I was a little apprehensive about going out to eat just yet but, hey, no cooking! Plus it's his birthday.

We met up at Saltgrass Steakhouse.  I think steakhouses are going to be pretty easy for me.  I got the seared ahi tuna, grilled asparagus, and a house salad (minus croutons).  It was great and I didn't feel deprived at all.  I'd say the toughest part was passing up that Shiner Bock bread that they bring out.  Well, I did have one thin slice with dinner but that's allowed.  I think I may have messed up a little because I was eating the marinated cucumbers that came with the tuna and realized that they tasted sweet and sour.  That sweet had to come from somewhere and I don't think it was stevia.  Oh well.  Still not too bad.

After dinner Chuck and I got home and immediately started making armadillo eggs.  It turns out that I can have 3 of these and still be in my carb range!  Woohoo!  As long as I use the Kroger small canned biscuits.  We finally got them all made up so Chuck could bring them to work on Wednesday and they went over great.  Success!

Tuesday was also a great day for walking.  The cool weather.  A slight breeze.  I couldn't ask for anything more (except that I was hiking in the hill country with my family).  The doctor requires that I walk 15 minutes per day.  I gave him 20 minutes.  I like to exceed expectations. :)

Later I had to take Charlie to his Lego Robotics meeting so Rachel and I had two hours of doing nothing.  How about another walk?  We went to a local park and walked and laughed and walked some more.  We saw turtles and a young bunny rabbit that wasn't afraid of us at all.  It was so cute!  We walked for 45 minutes and covered over two miles.  I wish I would have worn my Garmin to get an accurate mileage count.  I know I walked over 3 miles total yesterday but not sure how much.  I got in over an hour of walking! YEAH!!

I had been having times of feeling very down lately.  Even before I went to the doctor.  I think I may have mentioned it in a post or two.  Yesterday there were times when I felt so happy and energetic.  I was happy overall most the day but the energy was such a nice change.  I've missed it.  I was bouncing off the walls sometimes and then I'd be lethargic then energetic then tired.  Maybe on my way back.  Oh, I do hope so.  I'm so ready.  And this is before I've even started taking the medication for the insulin resistance!  I've got high hopes.

I am gaining some confidence that I'll be able to go out with family to restaurants, make great recipes, and still live within my boundaries.  No more vapor lock.  I just need to step out and try some things from my America's Test Kitchens book and not be so afraid of doing something wrong.

Anybody have any low carb brownies recipes? :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


As you could tell by my last post, I was sort of out of it.  It was a lot to take in at once.

I read my Insulin Resistance Diet book and the symptoms of insulin resistance seemed to describe me except for a couple of the symptoms.  My cholesterol is fine and there are a couple of other things that are just fine. :)

1. Fatigue.

2. Brain fogginess and inability to focus.

3. High blood sugar.

4. Intestinal bloating – most intestinal gas is produced from carbohydrates in the diet, mostly those that humans cannot digest and absorb.

5. Sleepiness, especially after meals.

6. Weight gain, fat storage, difficulty losing weight – for most people, excess weight is from high fat storage; the fat in IR is generally stored in and around abdominal organs in both males and females. It is currently suspected that hormone production in that fat are a precipitating cause of insulin resistance.

7. Increased blood triglyceride levels.

8. Increased blood pressure. Many people with hypertension are either diabetic or pre-diabetic and have elevated insulin levels due to insulin resistance. One of insulin's effects is to control arterial wall tension throughout the body.

9. Depression. Due to the deranged metabolism resulting from insulin resistance, psychological effects, including depression, are not uncommon.

10. Acanthosis nigricans.
The symptoms for low thyroid were also right on:
• Fatigue and weakness

• Low basal temperature ( cold intolerance)

• Dry and coarse skin

• Hair loss

• Cold hands and feet

• Weight gain

• Insomnia

• Constipation

• Depression

• Poor memory, forgetfulness, dementia

• Nervousness and tremors

• Immune system problems

• Heavy menstrual periods

The symptoms for PCOS were scary accurate:
Infrequent menstrual period and/or irregular bleeding

Infertility because of not ovulating

Increased growth of hair on

Acne, oily skin, or dandruff

Pelvic pain

Weight gain or obesity

Type 2 diabetes

High cholesterol

High blood pressure

Male-pattern baldness or thinning

Darkened skin on neck, arms,
breasts, or thighs

Skin tags

Sleep apnea

I didn't even talk to the doctor about the skin tags I had removed!  One was so large it required a stitch or two. I have trouble with dark skin under my arms, elbows, knuckles, etc.  The pelvic pain may explain my sore hips when running. 
I'm glad I went in but I'm still in a sort of vapor lock about how to move forward.  I have to plan 6 meals per day!  Three of them are main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and 3 are snacks.
As of today I am on Vitamin D 3 times per day, iron once a day, 2 baby aspirin, and 1 thyroid med.  This Friday I add another thyroid med and the following Friday starts the fun with Metformin.
A typical snack for me is a boiled egg, cheese and crackers, a sugar free yogurt, a few nuts, or some beef jerky.  I have to be able to have non-perishables that I can bring with me in my purse when I leave the house.
I have also started walking. I'll be adding some strength training and taking things slow.
I really do appreciate the comments, support, and suggestions.  I still plan to make new yummy recipes but I'm trying to learn how to balance things so I link my carbs and proteins. No more than 30g of carbs per meal/snack must be linked to a minimum of 14g protein.  One carb serving is considered to be 15g and one protein serving is 7g.  Vegetables (except corn and potatoes) are unlimited.  Fresh apples, plums, pears, and a few other fruits do not count as a carb because of the type of sugar in them and the way the body reacts (according to the book).  I do not have to count the carbs in legumes or dairy either.
I'm more optimistic than I was over the first few days.  I'm learning that there is nothing that I have to give up but I do have to be careful of the portions.  For example, Chuck and I made super yummy tacos and refried beans while in Tyler.  I could have two tacos and some beans.  I was not deprived at all!  For breakfast I had a homemade biscuit, two eggs, and a piece of bacon.
Slowly coming out of vapor lock and learning how to work all of this.  I guess this means I won't be having that slice of pecan pie at Thanksgiving nor will I be raiding the kids' Halloween loot.  Probably for the best anyway. :)
One interesting thing that came out of this was Dr. Wheeler saying how Native Americans have problems with insulin resistance.  I told him that I had Indian blood but I didn't realize how much until discussing it with my mom.  My great grandfather was Indian and all down his line.  There are still several Indians with the last name of Parfait in Louisiana from the Chocktaw and Houma tribes.  Pretty interesting stuff!
I'm looking forward to getting rid of these nasty symptoms and getting back to a "normal" life.