BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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What a Check Up

It’s been a long time since I actually looked forward to going to the doctor to discuss my lab work, but today that changed. You see I’ve been working on improving my nutrition and increasing my activity level, and it’s paying off.

The whole reason I started this blog way back when was to hold myself accountable for improving my health, but it didn’t really pan out that way. Over the years I’ve had ups and downs, and ups again when it came to the numbers on my bathroom scale. I’ve always known that I need to lose weight, mostly for my health, but also for my looks and my state of mind. I don’t want to be lugging around a body that struggles to do the simplest tasks. I want good health, energy, and a cute wardrobe that I feel good wearing. I’m on my way to achieving all three of those goals.

You see, a few months back I started noticing a few new issues with my body, issues that concerned me. I started to imagine a quick decline leading to all sorts of unpleasant consequences, and for what? Pizza? Chocolate? Cheeseburgers?

I know, I’ve been down this health kick path before, but for some reason I’ve been able to keep on keeping on for almost six months, with the most noticeable result that I’ve lost nearly 50 pounds. Yes, I’ve lost weight before, and it felt good, but it didn’t last. I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently.

In the back of my mind I’m a little nervous that soon I’ll hit a point where the subconscious voice in my head says, “Ok hotshot, you’ve gone far enough, now it’s time to stop this nonsense and scarf down some donuts with a milkshake chaser.” Do I want that? No. But I am a little worried that old patterns will manage to reestablish themselves. HOWEVER… I have some tools this time around that I didn’t have previously.

First, I have the extreme motivation of being truly concerned for my own well-being. Hip pain, nerve damage, pain in my feet, and an increased risk of developing any number of illnesses is a pretty strong driving force. The little phrase, “Is it worth it?” has been doing an excellent job of helping me keep any cravings I might have in check.

Speaking of cravings, I haven’t really had too much of an issue with them. I’m eating wholesome food, and I’m rarely hungry. When I do crave something, I can usually find a snack that doesn’t damage my efforts. Applesauce, carrots with hummus, and grapes are a few favorites. I also enjoy a cup of coffee with flavored creamer. Yes, it’s a little splurge, but I’m striving for improvement and balance, not instant results and perfection. Learning what works for me and how to fuel my body without depriving myself has been a game changer.

In the past I’ve done Weight Watchers (a few times) and Jenny Craig. I’ve tried the Pritikin Plan and given the South Beach Diet a go. I even briefly attempted to “eat right for my blood type.” The issues I had with all of these approaches are A) I never really completely bought into any of them (they all seem too lockstep and sort of cult-like to me), and B) I was always thinking about food. Seriously. Always. What could I eat? When could I eat? How much could I eat? It was constant, and the more time I spent thinking about food, the more I wanted to chuck whatever plan I was attempting and just EAT, which made losing weight an extremely frustrating exercise in self deprivation and self pity (poor me, I’ve been working so hard so I deserve this ice cream), leading to self sabotage.

For the first time I can remember, I’m enjoying eating healthy foods, and I’m not constantly thinking about my next meal. I eat real food, but I track it all. I don’t count calories, but my little app does, and it provides me with a visual snapshot of where I am with my daily intake. Again, I don’t obsess over it. I do get on the scale every morning, which is new for me. I’m okay with it wiggling up and down a little, because I can see that the overall trend is downward, even if there are a few days when my weight increases. Of course the graph tracking my daily weigh-ins is motivating too.

Besides losing weight some of my non-scale victories include:

  • smaller (and cuter) clothes
  • no extender on the airplane (seriously, this is a huge victory)
  • excellent lab results and a happy doctor (whom I really like and respect)
  • increased energy
  • a mom who is delighted that I’m taking control of my health
  • a son who has also decided to make healthier food and movement choices
  • a more positive outlook on my health and future

I can’t guarantee this change is permanent, but I hope it is. I know several people who have made significant improvements to their health that have stuck, and many of them have been my age or older. I know it can be done, and I’m confident that I can get through the upcoming eating season without too much damage. Every day is a new opportunity to begin again, so slip ups aren’t forever. I’m just going to keep at it one day at a time.


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And Now This…

Well hello. Long time, no see.

My apologies.

I could give you a list of excuses, but let’s just not do that, ok?

Frankly, I haven’t had the writing mojo lately. I haven’t had much mojo at all lately, if I’m really honest. My house is a mess, my body is worse, and my get up and go got up and went. And then I went to the doctor.

You see, I’ve had a difficult year. Nothing bad has happened. Not. One. Thing.

My son is fine, my sweetheart is fine, even the dog is fine. Thank goodness.

My work was rewarding, my class was one of the finest I’ve ever taught, and I enjoyed the way our team organized our teaching this year. Even our new administrator surpassed my expectations, so all the work boxes were checked.

So, what then?

What’s been holding me back? Zapping my energy and motivation?

I’m not sure, but I think that having my son go off to college was a little harder for me than I anticipated. Silly, really. He was in the next suburb. The one where I work. I saw him about once a week. And there were nice things about having an adult only home, like no dirty socks in the family room, and no dirty dishes all over the house. But in truth, I didn’t adjust very well.

If I’m totally honest, I think I was a little depressed, and since old habits are hard to break, I went back to my favorite method of self-medicating, food. So. Much. Food. And not the good kind, either, At least not usually.

And then, somehow, I managed to miss my bloodwork. And I missed it again. And again. Until the doctor’s office refused to authorize my medication and I had to go in. I did. And it wasn’t good.

My healthcare provider (who happens to be a PA, and a damn good one) called our appointment my “Come to Jesus” meeting, and he laid it on the line for me. Damn. So now, again, I have to start over. Have to. No choice. No excuses. Sad or lonely or whatever, too bad. I have to get this done.

I don’t want to weigh what I weigh.

I don’t want to become an insulin dependent diabetic.

I don’t want to have to buy two airline seats.

I don’t want to have low back pain from just walking around.

I don’t want to have to pay a premium for clothes that fit and look nice.

I don’t want to take so many pills a day.

I don’t want to huff and puff when I exert myself.

I don’t want to hold back my sweetheart or my son.

I don’t want to be embarrassed to be in family pictures.

I don’t want my mother to worry about me.

I don’t want to shorten my life.

I don’t want to be stared at.

I don’t want to feel less than.

I don’t want to feel incapable.

So yes, I HAVE to. So I will. Again.

It’s time. Time to pull myself up by my bootstraps and get going. I have some positive steps already in place and more planned. Writing more is one of them. Accountability, baby. So if you’ll indulge me (and so many of you have, over and over), here we go again.

I know I’m not alone. I know we all have challenges we face, and things that we ought to do, but find difficult. I hope you’ll join me in trying to refocus on what’s important, so we can all improve our quality of life, for ourselves, and for our loved ones.

 


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When an All Time High Feels Like an All Time Low

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting my doctor for my quarterly check-in. We get together regularly (honestly, it’s more like three times a year) to look over my latest labs and talk about all the lifestyle changes I need to make. It’s super fun.

Yesterday was a particularly fun visit. I just knew it would be, after all, I’d been under the weather for weeks on end, leaving me feeling lethargic and lazy. Exercise? Phooey. Fruits and veggies? Screw ’em. Even taking my daily medication got to be a chore that I started to ignore on a fairly regular basis.2073005_Broken-Piggy-Bank-Savings-Business-700

Not good.

SO not good.

The first sign of trouble was at the scale.

The digital readout displayed a number I had never before seen on a scale with my own eyes. Oh crap. Apparently the combination of zero exercise and seemingly unlimited amounts of sweets does not go unnoticed by that contraption. Go figure.

Then there was the blood pressure.

Gulp.

Yeah, I guess the medication does work best if you actually get it out of the bottle and into your body. It works even better if you don’t sabotage it at every turn.

Now mind you I still hadn’t seen the doctor, this was just the prep. The good news is that my doctor rocks. He is kind, compassionate, has a sense of humor, and isn’t all judgy (yes, I know the proper word is judgmental, but I like this one better). Still, he is my doctor and it’s his unenviable task to tell me what a horrible job I’m doing taking care of this one and only body that I have.

He did it nicely. He did it with numbers. The numbers on the scale, the numbers from the blood pressure cuff, the numbers from the labs. Yes, folks, some of my numbers have actually set new personal records (not ones I was aiming for, by the way).

So here we are again, only this time I’m starting from even further away from “healthy” than I’ve ever been. I don’t want to do this. I want to eat, drink, and be merry. I don’t want to think about vitamins and blood pressure and steps taken and reducing risks of heart disease and diabetes and cancer and blah, blah, blah whatever else. I don’t want any of that burden, but for better or for worse, it’s mine.

Oh boo hoo, poor little old me. I know, get over it. I got myself into this fix, so I have to get out of it. Besides, I don’t actually have diabetes or heart disease or cancer (my poor Dad, of blessed memory, had to contend with all three of those). What I do have is another whack in the face with the giant two by four of reality. The reality of the situation is that I’m doing myself a grave disservice by ignoring my health (pun intended, sorry). I need to snap out of it and take care of myself the way I deserve. So, on we go to attempt number 8,413, or, as I like to call it, time to crawl out of the gutter and climb onto the victors’ podium.