Sunday, May 10, 2015

Forgiving myself

This should have posted last Monday because I set it up on a schedule, unfortunately, I never hit the "Publish" button. Since I haven't been back for a week, I didn't even noticed it didn't post. Oh's week old news.


I've been on and off diets since I was 14 years old. I've lost varying amounts of weight each time, from the ten pounds when I was fourteen, 97 pounds when I was forty-three, or 85 pounds I lost when I was fifty-four. I remember each grueling diet, each day being a struggle, and every diet was a hard-fought battle. I also remember each subsequent re-gain of the weight and the depression, embarrassment and self-hate that went with it. 

I'd like to think my weight doesn't define me, but that's simply not true. It controls my life. When I'm fat, I'm uncomfortable in my own skin and it shows. I'm not only weak physically, but my personality changes. My ex-spouse told me several times that I change when I gain weight. He said when I was thinner, I was nicer and happier. When I gained weight, it was like I became a different person, and not in a good way. As much as I despise my ex and hate to ever admit he could be right about anything, he had a point. In my defense, it makes sense that when I'm at a healthy weight, my attitude would be better than when I'm extremely overweight. 

Now that I'm older (60 in August), and I hope a little wiser, I feel differently about myself. Instead of hating myself for all my failures at maintaining a weight loss, I'm looking at all the successful weight loss attempts I've had in my life. I lost the weight, which is only part of the battle, but that alone is still a pretty amazing accomplishment.

This time around, I'm not beating myself up if I slip and don't have a perfect day. Well, at least there's not as much self-hate and self-condemnation as in the past when I've slipped. I guess I've finally accepted that I can't be perfect every second of every day. I'm human and I will fail sometimes. 

What I'm attempting to do this time around is when I fail, to not take it as the end of the world and the end of my attempt to lose weight and get healthy. I get right back in the game, and I track EVERYTHING. Even if it was a bad choice and takes me over my daily Points, I track it.  If you've ever attended a Weight Watcher meeting, you've heard this:

The secret is track, track, track. Track every lick, sip or taste. Drink all your water and when you feel up to it make sure you exercise. Take it slowly, one day at a time. 

Those are words to live by, and it's where I am right now. Tracking my food, drinking water and exercise. Although my week hasn't been perfect, it was still a good week. I'm still working on it, working on me. I'm taking it slower this time, I'm not running a race. 

Of course I'd love to be thinner and healthier right now, but that's not how I should play this game. And if I stumble and fall, which I'm sure I will, I'll get back up, brush myself off, and most importantly, I'll forgive myself. I'll move on and not dwell on the failure. I'm in it for the long-haul this time.

Weight Feb. 23, 2015:              235.0

Weight today, May 10, 2015:   216.0

Loss:  19 pounds

Sunday, May 3, 2015

I love my new 30-year old doctor!

I had my physical on Friday. I was apprehensive since I had to establish as a new patient with a new doctor. My last doctor, which I adored, moved to a clinic that's an hour and a half drive from my house. My regular clinic is about a 10-minute drive. I decided it just wasn't worth the drive to stick with my old doctor.

There's something to be said about a young doctor (she's 30). She graduated medical school in 2013 and finished her residency in 2014. At first she was a bit standoffish, but that was probably because of the email I had sent her when she canceled my first appointment five weeks ago and rescheduled for last Friday. I wasn't happy, and her response was rather curt. Not a good start for either of us.

Fortunately, after we started chatting, she warmed up to me and me to her. She's pretty cool. She had already read through my entire medical history and knew all about me, which was really nice. She pointed out that two medicines I take now can affect my liver and recommended we change one of them. She listened to my concerns, and answered my questions with very knowledgeable answers. She knows her stuff. She's obviously very smart and was very easy to talk to. In other words, I'm very happy with her. Moral of this story, give the young doctors a chance. They may surprise you.

My diet is going good. Since the pre-diabetic scare from my bloodwork (which my doctor discussed with me at length--and my weight), I'm seriously watching what I eat. I'm tracking my food, trying to stay away from added sugar, which is difficult but not impossible. I bought a blood glucose meter at Walmart. They have a cheap version, but the test sticks are a little pricey. Since I'm not actually diabetic, insurance won't cover any glucose testing supplies. I'm a little surprised how high my glucose is after fasting overnight. It was 117 (the goal is 110 - although the ADA recommends 70 - 130 mg/dl). Before bed it was 98 which is good. I'm not sure why it actually went up so high overnight. It's something I'm monitoring and have no intention of getting full-blown diabetes.

My doctor strongly recommended exercise to get keep the diabetes away (in addition to healthy eating, of course). I can't think of anything that would push me back to the gym on a regular basis more than the threat of diabetes. I wrote a post several months ago, I think it was called A cookie or my foot, or something like that referring to too many sweets and bad eating can lead to losing a body part because of diabetes. That's a reality now, and one I'm taking very seriously.

Today is supposed to be another gorgeous spring day here in the Pacific Northwest. Sunshine and 70 degrees. I love spring. It's my favorite season. It's like waking up from a long, dark, cold dream into bright sunshine and flowers. Happy days!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Happy Friday!

I had every intention of coming back here and posting every day, but it was a rough week! After my bout of pneumonia, I've been a lot weaker and tire very easily. I just don't feel 100% back to myself. Just walking up one flight of stairs at work took everything out of me. Each day I get a little better, so I'm definitely one the mend, but it took a lot more out of me than I realized.

I was off work yesterday and today on planned vacation time. I'm not really on a vacation (I wish!). Yesterday was my company's annual awards banquet where there honor a small number of employees nominated by their peers as outstanding, exceptional employees. My best friend of 20+ years was one of the thirteen people that received the Legend award (from a company of 13,000 employees). I was invited as one of her guests so had the pleasure of an evening at the Four Seasons in downtown Seattle (fancy!). It was very fun, and I was super excited for her. She's an amazing person in general, and I'm so blessed to have her in my life. Of course, it wore me out to the point where I collapsed in bed when I got home at 11pm.

My diet and exercise hasn't been great this week. Mainly because I've just been too tired to care. Just getting through the day is my ultimate goal. I haven't been bad, just not as conscientious as I need to be in order to lose weight.

My weigh-in at Weight Watchers on Monday was great due to being so sick. They even asked me if I'd been sick when they saw my weight loss for the week of 6.8 pounds. I didn't tell them that I was actually down 10 pounds a couple days before but my appetite came back last week. They gave me my 5% charm, for my total loss of 12.4 pounds. I'm sure not winning any races this time around. But it's not a race, it's my life.

I have my annual physical today with my new doctor. I'm not thrilled about this doctor but the choices were rather limited. She just finished her residency last year, and I'm pretty sure she's not even 30. Everyone keeps telling me that's good because she's up to date on the latest treatments and technology. I've already had one encounter with her I didn't like. After waiting for my appointment with her for a month, the soonest she had an opening, she canceled on me for "personal" reasons. Okay, I accept things happen, but I had to wait another five weeks to get another appointment.

This is the thing that really bugged me about this new doctor. I did blood work and she sent me an email that said my numbers were all normal. I looked at them online and disagreed. My fasting glucose was 119. Even I know that's really high. They had also labeled the test "Random Glucose". I emailed her back and told her that wasn't a "random" test, that I had fasted as instructed. I told her I wanted an A1c test. She emailed me back and said I was right, if fasting then it was high and ordered a hemoglobin A1c test. I had the A1c test done, and it came back like this on the results: 6.2 (High). This is pre-diabetic, which is very, very bad. I expected this since I had been on a big sugar, eat whatever I wanted binge for months. I'll be sixty in a couple months. I know you can get away with bad behavior when you're young, but once the age thing catches up to you, you lose your free pass to good health. Now I have to get serious, no excuses!

Today it's back on the high road for me. Tracking food, making good choices, and I think a nice, slow walk is on the schedule too. The sun is out, and it's a beautiful day. Life is good.