Just keep going…

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Someone asked me if I was going to stop Weight Watchers since I’m on the path to the bariatric surgery, and while I had the quick answer of “No” for her, I realize the more I thought about it that her question was a blog topic in itself. So, let me talk about that for a bit…

One of the questions I asked the nurse at the information session on the surgery was, “Do you have to lose a certain amount of weight BEFORE the surgery in order to be approved for the surgery?” You see, I’ve been watching the TV show called “My 600# Life” and while I’m not near 600 pounds, I’m still greatly obese so given that the people on the show are attempting to have the surgery done, I watch it with keen interest. And on that show, Dr. Now (Younan Nowzaradan, MD) always tells them that they must lose x amount of weight before he’ll approve them for the surgery. I didn’t understand why. I just assumed that it was a standard thing that anyone wanting to have the surgery had to do – in order to prove that you could stick to a diet plan and lose weight.

Of course, that does sort of display a paradox, doesn’t it? After all, if you can stick to a diet plan and lose weight, why would you need to have the surgery.

I understand now that it was those people on the show – because of their size – had to show Dr. Now that they could adapt and change because as I’ve been saying all along, the surgery is not the be all to end all. If I don’t work hard and stick to the plan, I won’t learn how to live, lose the weight and keep it off.

In any case, the nurse’s reply was, “No, you would just have to maintain your weight. Certainly not gain any.”

So that was one reason I decided to stick to doing Weight Watchers until I couldn’t do so any further.

The other reason is that I’ve had some success with WW so why stop now? Why get lax or lazy, slip into old habits now, after that success and potentially see all that hard work go to waste.

Despite WW being a plan that you can eat quite a bit of different foods so it’s not boring and you are better off to stick to it, it doesn’t mean that you can go “whole hog” and eat whatever you want. I have hardly had any pasta since I went on WW. While I accumulate points for an end of the week special meal, I find the idea of blowing all those points on some foods not worth it. And certainly, the limited points that one has for meals during the day, it’s often not worth it to have things such as potatoes and pasta. And while it’s an “easy” plan to basically follow, it’s still not easy to adjust.

You’re still limiting your food. Tracking your food. Measuring your food. You have to review all the labels, determine if something is too high in points…and you have to keep going.

So, the other thing is that since I’ve been on WW, I’ve learned to make better choices, and I’m to the point now where I feel pretty good about how well I’ve done up to this point. Sure, there’s a learning curve – just as there will be one (or many) after the surgery – but WW has helped me a lot also. I’ve cut way back on my pop (vice #1) consumption to the point where I rarely have it, and if I do, it’s usually as a treat because I have some extra points at the end of the day. I haven’t had potato chips (vice #2) since I started WW except a single small bag one time when we were out and I felt it wasn’t worth the 9 points.

So as I prepare for the pre- and post- surgery, a lot of things that I’m dealing with through WW is helping me to better prepare for my journey’s next path.

So, no…I won’t be stopping Weight Watchers even though I’ve decided to do the surgery. I will continue to do it until I’m told by the bariatric center that I need to stop, which could be the two weeks leading up to the surgery when I’m just on a liquid diet, or it could anytime before then. I certainly hope I have some more time on it – both as a learning tool but also, in all honesty, because I paid for 6 months and I’d like to get my money’s worth.

On Weigh-In Monday (yesterday), I lost another 4 pounds last week (and lost a daily point in WW), so I am now down a total of 14.2 pounds since joining WW, and 36.6 pounds since last August. So, yeah…I think I’m going to just keep going…

Blessings to all…

dani1

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Which way is the wind blowing?

I had intended to write this several weeks ago. In fact, I started it no less than four times. But, you know what they say about good intentions…

As it has happened so many times in my life, I have been thinking lately that I have absolutely no idea where I’m going in my life. What am I doing? Am I actually doing anything? If I am doing something, what the hell is it? Is it good? Bad? Indifferent? What?!

And I wish I had the answers, but as with the x number of times before that I have asked these questions of myself – well…the answer is:

I have no fucking clue.

I’m not getting any younger. The world is not slowing down. In fact, it feels as if it’s speeding up. I try not to have regrets, but it’s hard to not look back at my life and see the missed opportunities or changes. Whether I chose to ignore the signs, or simply wasn’t brave enough. I suspect it was usually the latter. Just a suspicion though…

In any case, today one of the more popular sayings is “as fuck,” as in I’m drunk as fuck or You’re as stupid as fuck. Though typically I think those younger kids are simply using “AF.” Okay, so…I had an AF moment hit me recently. As recently as yesterday, where I thought, I’m miserable AF. And, I have been the past several says. Off and on, actually, the past few weeks but mostly the past several days.

I know the “why” and I won’t be sharing it here. It’s personal to me, and me alone, and it’s no one else’s concern.

So, why am I mentioning it?

Because it’s only one of the things going on with me. And while it may not be the most prominent (but maybe it is), I also can’t ignore the rest. And that’s what I’m going to talk about in this post.

I’ve now been living back home for 8 months. There have been some adjustments. Cripes, what the fuck is with the TAX over here!?!  A friend said, “Oh I guess we’re all used to it.” when I complained about it. 13% on every stinking thing! Ridiculous!

“Free Healthcare” is a bit of a misnomer. I had to pay $300 in taxes to the Canadian Government for last year solely for a surtax on health insurance. The health insurance I had for 3 months. The health insurance that, while it covers doctor visits and some blood work, does not cover medications or dental. Of which I need the move coverage and cannot get private coverage of because of my weight/health.

But I digress…

So there have been some adjustments to living back home. But you know me…always looking at the glass as half full…

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Okay…Happy April Fool’s Day. Had you there, didn’t I?

In any case, the good things about being back home are that my mom, my family and my friends are nearby. I have people to “hang with”; I’m not so alone.

I’ve also been able to continue to work at my “former” job back in New York. My replacement did not work out – I tried to tell them I was irreplaceable but they didn’t believe me…

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So now I work remotely for the same office I’ve been at for 20 years, all from the comfort of my desk/bedroom in my home. In Canada. And there are many advantages to this, the least of which is simply rolling out of bed and sitting down to work. The disadvantages is that I feel I still have to get dressed – no working in my PJs for me. You know, in case I had a conference call. Then again, I need only be dressed from the chest up…

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Another change has been my health – specifically my weight, which you all know is the main reason for this blog. I’ve been on this journey for a while and I’m really trying to not be upset that I haven’t gotten to where I had hoped by now. I’m not going to make excuses, and I’m really trying to not dwell on it. What’s done is done and there is nothing I can do now about it.

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda, Pal…

Just before I left New York, I was at my heaviest weight ever in my life. For two months it seems all I did was eat like shit because I was stressed and panicking that I wasn’t going to be ready for my move. And I nearly wasn’t – I only made it thanks to many helpful friends back in New York that got me through it. But I was struggling. A lot.

People didn’t understand. It was a major life change. Even though I was moving back to my homeland – back to my hometown where I had family and friends – it was still a difficult transition for me. Many people didn’t “get it”. They couldn’t understand what the big deal was. Some did. One in particular really understood. He understood and didn’t make light of my situation. I appreciated that.

In any case, at that point I wasn’t going to concern myself with my weight. I needed to get through the move and adjusting to my new life. At the time, I wasn’t going to be working after November 1st and I would be out looking for a job in a market that wasn’t very good. So I had decided I would address my weight at a later date and prayed I would survive to get to that point.

Here it is 8 months later and I’m happy to say that along with some of the good changes I mentioned above, another is that I’ve managed to drop 33 pounds in that time. And while it’s not as much as I’d like, I’m just happy it’s gone. And in late February, I joined Weight Watchers. I really needed to be able to enjoy some foods but still be within a sensible range to drop the weight. I’m only down 10 pounds since then but I’m still within their logical range of 1-2 pounds a week weight-loss.

But all of that is just a precursor. I had hoped to be able to get on a rhythm and keep going – dropping all of the weight I wanted/needed to but I’ve come to realize that I’m not sure I can. Not that much weight. And frankly, I’m been around and around on this subject extensively – both on my own and with friends and family – and at this point, I’m still asking:

Which way is the wind blowing?

I haven’t been an advocate of the weight loss surgery. I always had it in my head that if I didn’t learn how to eat properly and lose weight before the surgery, it wasn’t going to be the cure all to end all. It wasn’t some magic pill. The people I know that have had it are evenly split on success vs failure.

I got a new doctor when I moved back home. Of course, one of the first things she asked me was “Have you considered bariatric surgery?” and we discussed it briefly. She mentioned that it take up to a year before they will even do the surgery so that you get on a weight loss plan and learn to eat properly. You also have to see a psychiatrist, which I supposed is to figure out what someone’s triggers are for why they are the size they are. And let me tell you, a few episodes of My 600# Life is enough to get you motivated for sure. And I’m not even near 600#s but it’s an eye opener, especially on the “denial” part.

So she referred me to an information session that was to be in early February. My mother went with me and we were disappointed to find out that it was more for a 6 month liquid diet, not the surgery. It turns out that about a half dozen others in the room thought they were also there to hear about the surgery. Not great organization by the Bariatric Center, that’s for sure. In any case, they moved us all to the list for the bariatric session and that is going to happen on April 9th.

I can tell you that since I first spoke with my doctor about the surgery, I have gone from “I’m going to do it!” to “I’m not going to do it” to “I’m really going to do it!” to “I don’t really want to do it!” and where I currently sit…

I’m leaning towards “I really NEED to do it!”

After all these months, while I have had some success, this is not new. I have had success before. And invariably I don’t. And I gain it back. And then some. Then the next thing I know, I’m ballooned up like a humpback.

And I’m tired.

And while I still am quite aware that it’s not the miracle “cure”…I need the boost. I have zero energy most days. The pain in my feet is constant, to the point where some days I can’t walk because my toes feel as if they are being crushed.

And the idea of “missing out” of many things if I were to have the surgery, I’ve thought about it a lot lately and realize that there would be so much more that I would miss out on if I don’t do it.

I stood in line at the store today.  The person in front of me was buying adult diapers. And a thought hit me.

I would never be able to buy those.

And you know why? Because they don’t make them in my size. And you know why? Because no one my size lives long enough to need adult diapers.

So I’m still looking up as much as I can about the surgery that is done here in Ontario and will get more information at the session on the 9th. If I do it, it will be a huge adjustment. The first 6 months of nearly a complete liquid diet with maybe only teaspoons of jello and other soluble foods and in very VERY small quantities. No eating out. No splurging on popcorn at a movie. No chicken Parmesan (my fav!)…

but the alternatives are what?

Possible slow weight-loss but only IF I can work hard and to date, that hasn’t exactly been my forte. The surgery gives me no other choice. What the surgery will give me is rapid weight loss, potentially getting off nearly all of my medications including my diabetic medications, and renewed energy.

I mentioned knowing people that have done the surgery. Some have had success. The biggest one is my cousin who had the surgery 5 years ago and high recommends it. But I know others that have had it and it hasn’t been successful. Of course, the caveat is that it isn’t the surgery that wasn’t successful – it was the people themselves.

Remember: it’s not the magic pill.

And there are risks. It’s major surgery. There can be infections. Complications. Death. Thankfully that’s not a high statistic – I think.

So while it will still mean that I have to work hard and stick to the strictness that is required, it will also allow me the ability to drop the weight quickly and hopefully get me to a place where I can walk through the grocery store without feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck.

I would never advocate for doing it or not to others – whether I am successful with it or not. It’s a personal choice and whatever someone decides is up to them, and them alone. Whatever someone chose to do would have my support 100% because only they would know what is true to their hearts on what they need to do – for themselves.

I’ll keep you posted on what decision I make, but for now…here’s to more success!

Blessings to all…

dani1

 

I’m baaack…did you miss me?

Hello my peeples!

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I know it’s been some time. The usual “tune” to this blog is that I can, and do, often go some time between writings and I have apologized for that. Often. In this case, I do have a better excuse than not having anything to say, or I simply didn’t feel like writing…

I have had a significant change in my life.

Those that know me, already know this but many of you may not. So…I have moved back to my homeland Canada, back to my hometown in Ontario. I moved in late July and have been busy settling in, taking care of legal matters, and at the same time, have continued to work for my employer training my replacement (remotely). I’ll be doing so until the end of October, at which time I am officially unemployed – for the first time in a very long time.

In any case, the last several months (more prior to the move), have been challenging – both mentally and physically.

While it may not seem that moving back to your hometown is significant to some, keep in mind that I haven’t lived here in nearly 20 years. And a lot has changed during that time. I’m also leaving a job I’ve held for nearly 20 years, and now have to find a new one (at my age!) in a city that – unless you are capable of working in a tool & die/automotive-type industry, a physical labour (<—note the spelling; I am in Canada now) job or a part-time job so they don’t have to pay you benefits – this city doesn’t have a lot to offer someone with my experience. I have been looking at the job market for over a year just to see what was “out there” and I have to say, it’s slim-pickings for sure.

And don’t even get me started on having to relearn the metric system! Though, if I’m honest, I’m not sure I learned it well enough before I moved away! 🙂

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So my life has been in a bit of chaos the last several months. Packing up to move back here meant I had to deal with some challenges I’m sure any of you who have ever moved have faced: what to keep? what to donate? what to throw out? where did I get this? why do I have this? And then the physical aspect of packing. And as you all know, being on my feet and doing physical things is a huge challenge for me. And this was a doozy.

By the time I left my empty apartment on my last night in New York, as I headed to my hotel, I cried. I cried a lot those few months. But I cried that night because it was finally all over. All of the pain it took me – mentally and of course, physically – to get through it was finally over. I’m grateful to those friends who helped me get to that point. I couldn’t have done it completely alone, and despite the help, I was still physically and emotionally drained. And so the tears flowed.

But I was also reminded of how being this size impeded everything I did in preparing for the move. The physicality was a huge barrier for me, and there were times that I cried even more because of the pain I was in. My feet. My lower back. My legs. Everywhere. It was a constant reminder of just how out of shape I am. It was a slap in the face and a “you’re a fucking idiot” every time I took a step. I was an emotional wrecking ball and there were times, I admit, I wasn’t sure I could get to the finish line.

Some legal things I had to deal with when I finally arrived back “home” didn’t help either. They weren’t anything physical I needed to deal with, but mentally, I wasn’t yet healed from the few prior months, and I honestly questioned if I had made the wrong choice in coming back. But I really knew I hadn’t. It would have happened eventually, and actually should have happened years ago – after my divorce.

But I survived.

I always do.

So here I am, 72 days after my move back home. I’m settling in. It’s been some adjustments, and I still feel a bit out of sorts sometimes. Like I’m not really living here; I’m just visiting. I’m sure that will pass soon enough. In the meantime, I’m working, helping my mom here and there, spending some time with some family and friends, and preparing to find a job.

I haven’t done any writing and I need to. I’m trying to help a director friend with getting the word out on a project of his. I’m finally finished dealing with the last of matters I had to deal with for moving back here. Things are looking up. Sort of. Kind of. I mean…you know I can’t just be completely positive and say things are going great. Besides that rarely being true, I am a bit superstitious and don’t want to jinx myself either.

Regardless, I made the decision earlier this week that I needed to buckle down more on the weight loss issue. During the months prior to moving, I really wasn’t thinking of that at all – I simply had too much else going on – so I ate indiscriminately. And it showed on the scale. But I was allowing myself that reprieve. Since I’ve been home, I’m eating more veggies and way less “take out” but I didn’t feel I was being serious enough, so I made a few adjustments and so far it’s been a good week.  I’m still not physically able to do much, but getting one thing more under control is helping.

So I’m happy to report that I am down 5.8 pounds (ugh…2.63084 kgs – see it sounds like more in non-metric/imperial measurements anyway!) since Monday. Mind you, I did detox one day earlier in the week but that didn’t do much. And I’ve been dealing with an infection which required me to drink a lot of water (and stop the detox drink) in order for the medications to work better. But I haven’t snacked as much, have had more salad/veggies (and less meat), and even less soda pop.

So, yay me!

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If this move has taught me anything (besides, cripes Dani are you some sort of pack-rat??!), it’s that with my body being so out of shape, there are so many other things that I just cannot do. And that has to change.

I will be honest and say that I’m really tired of saying “this is it!” or “I’m back on track” only to fail. But I’m using that term only because it gives a sense of how I feel, not that I’m necessarily failing. At least, I’m trying NOT to feel that way. Because it’s going to take a long time, and it’s going to take a lot of hard work, and I’m not going to be perfect at its execution, just like I won’t be perfect when I reach my ultimate goal.

Thomas Edison has one of my favourite quotes:

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So I am going to fail.

But I am going to keep on…keeping on. Until I find the way that will work, and achieve success!

Thanks for your patience, support and most of all, your love.

Blessings to all.

Love,

Dani

 

I don’t know what the hell I’m doing…

This actually isn’t the posting that I started a week ago and didn’t get back to finish and post. But I feel that this post should take precedence over the other right now.

The title says it all. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

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Maybe before it seemed like I knew, or I actually maybe I did know…or more likely, I was delusional enough to think I knew what I was doing, but I’m come to the conclusion that I really have no idea. Not one bit. Not a single iota.

And I’m frustrated as all fuck.

For people who have weight issues, the struggle with trying to lose it can be overwhelming, daunting, frustrating, maddening and sometimes…all of those things at the same time. It’s also confusing. Unless someone is going to strictly eat just, for example, salad all the time (which apparently eating the same things all the time – even though they are healthy things – ISN’T healthy (!) – trying to figure out what is good for you to eat versus what isn’t, isn’t always that easy.  Add legumes to your salad, they say. What the fuck is a legume? Eat oatmeal in the morning with some berries – this is very good for you. Unless you eat the wrong kind of oatmeal. What’s that now? Did you know that prepackaged instant oatmeal, even if organic and contains NO sugars or flavoring – is something you shouldn’t eat?? The why’s can make you nuts. I know they do to me!

Throw in things such as physical impediments such as my nerve-damaged feet, lack of mobility and over all exhaustion, it can make losing weight even harder.

I know some people are thinking that if it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be worth doing. Or that if it was easy, everyone could do it. All valid thoughts. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that despite our good intentions, and our willingness to try, what we want to happen isn’t necessarily what does happen.

I stumbled upon a video on YouTube that was shot over a year ago of an actor friend who was doing an interview against bullying (you’ll find the post I wrote about that video in the archives). In the interview, this friend mentioned me – and this blog. He went on to say how brave it was to do this, and for me to decide that I needed to save myself. My life. And you know what hit me as I watched him say those words:

That I’ve wasted a year.

I am no better with my health now than I was at that time; maybe I’m even worse. So I’ve lost nothing but more precious time. And I’m a year older. And sure, I haven’t given up and I keep trying. But at some point, my body – my life – is just going to say “Time’s Up”. I will run out of time.

But I’m not saying all of this to whine about how hard it is to lose weight. Okay, maybe a little. It really wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t bitching about something, right? But it’s also about just how overwhelming it can feel. How helpless. Despite knowing what I have to do, why can’t I just do it? For fuck’s sake…why!? And I don’t have the answers. I can’t find the answers. Even talking to my therapist, I’ve not gotten any answers as to why I can’t just do it. Even when it severely affects every fucking thing I do – or limits what I can do – it’s never enough to just be able to do it.

I can’t follow a diet plan for very long. I can’t record my food for a full day. I can’t eat well for an entire day. And even if I manage a day, or two…it doesn’t last. Invariably, I mess up. And sure, I get back up and try again. And again. And again. And I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I’m tired. Mentally and physical. But mostly I’m tired that I’m not getting anywhere.

So that would suggest I’m not trying hard enough. And you can bet your behind I’m not. No ifs, ands or but(t)s about it.

But the entire point to this post – yes, I know…all that yammering and I still haven’t even gotten to the point!…where I’m going with this post is now let’s add in yet another thing to make my trying to lose weight even harder.

Diabetes.

Up until a few months ago, I’d been doing twice-daily injections of Byetta which is NOT an insulin – it’s only to help regulate my sugar and keep my A1C in check. On top of that, I take Metformin daily. But I got into a period last year that I got lazy about taking my meds. I admit that it was a colossal brain fart and quite stupid but as with everything else I do, I messed up and now I’m paying the price. A doctor visit a few months ago showed my A1C which was at 6.8 the last time I was there about a year ago, skyrocketing to 11.3. So she put me on insulin. Oh yay!

First she told me that I need to get my daily glucose testing to under 150. To start with 15 units of insulin – injected at night before bed – and testing my blood levels in the AM before I eat breakfast. I was to increase the dosage by 5 every 4 days until it got steady before 150. The only problem is that it rarely went below 150. The first reading after starting it, my reading was 278. Gradually over the next 14 days it went down to 161. But still too high. From then it fluctuated up and down as I continued to up the dosage as instructed. Finally after a month I managed to keep it under 200 but still would have days of up in the 180s.

I finally contacted my doctor again and said that I was now as injected 70 units (remember I started at 15) and did she really expect me to keep going up by 5 every 4 days because at some point I would be injecting an entire pen of insulin each night. Now keep in mind that all during this time I still couldn’t figure out what I was doing right or wrong. The levels seem completely random. It was frustrating and mind boggling. Talking with a few diabetics, NONE of them had any idea why their own went up or down – it all seemed random to them as well. Not to mention that my doctor then said, hey, keep it under 180 but 140 would be best. What? Make up your mind!

The doctor then said she was switching my insulin. It’s supposed to 1) be less in volume even at the same dosage and 2) spread out the insulin slower throughout the day/night. I don’t know if it’s strong or not. I do know that I did my first injection this past Saturday night (I will say that the pen used for this insulin made injecting 70 units much smoother ie: less blood) and since then my sugars levels have been ridiculous high. Including 287 this morning. I haven’t been that high since I started with insulin!

Clearly I need help with figuring this all out but again…it’s so frustrating, overwhelming and I feel completely helpless. Not to mention a lot stupid.

So that entire oatmeal thing I mentioned…oatmeal has a lot of good-for-you things. In fact, when I was working with Maria, she wanted me to eat it most mornings (though not the instant stuff). Oatmeal regulates blood sugar, is high in fiber so it’s good for filling you up and taking care of your tummy. And it may help reduce the level of insulin needed to be injected. But it’s got a lot of carbs. But apparently it has a lot of good carbs – it has what they call a low glycemic index. BUT, what you have with your oatmeal obviously matters. Just as piling your salad with a bunch of crap that isn’t good for you, putting stuff in your oatmeal isn’t either. I normally use a small banana or some blueberries which are supposed to be good. But then there’s the oatmeal itself. Apparently instant oatmeal = bad. You’re supposed to cook it on the stove – which is inconvenient (sure, say lazy if that is what you’re thinking) for me to be before I go to work (I barely can get out of bed to get to work on time, let alone be up early enough to sit and eat a cooked breakfast!). So I went out of my way to buy the organic, vegan, no sugar or salt added, whole grain hot oatmeal instant packages. It’s just rolled oats. That’s it. No additives. No nothing. No flavor! And now I’m hearing that it’s not good for me.

Holy fucking hell!

So all of this up and down, and all over…oatmeal. Just fucking oatmeal. Can I eat it or can’t I? So imagine then, trying to not only eat healthier to lose weight, but trying to do so by not eating too much of this or that – just say no to high carbs, high sugar, high fat, high calories – and then add in trying to eat in a way that your healthy eating doesn’t mess up your glucose as well. Or knowing if what you’re eating, while high in carbs, isn’t actually bad for you because it’s the “good carbs”??

Like I said…

Frustrating as ALL FUCK.

So while I obviously can’t throw in the towel and say “fuck it” or I could actually die from this, I feel like the added pressures of trying to know what to eat that won’t mess up my sugars, on top of trying to figure out how to eat healthy and lose weight…

There are a million books out there all claiming to be able to help someone like me know what to eat or not eat. It’s like when I was a teenager and trying to figure out which maxipad I should use, trying to find information that will help me, not overwhelm me, seems to be nearly impossible. As someone who has done a lot of research on self-publishing on Amazon, and am in a lot of writing groups, I see people put out books left and right – in only a few weeks no less – on every subject under the sun. So it makes me a bit gun-shy to just go into Amazon, search for a diabetic and dieting book, and feel confident the person who authored it even knows what the bloody hell they are talking about. Even a book by the world-renowned Mayo Clinic has reviews where their high-carb recipes are questioned as “are they really healthy for a diabetic?”.

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Am I overthinking this? Probably. I do that often enough. But I don’t know how not to either. I remember how crazy it was to just try to follow a meal plan like the USDA Food Pyramid.

So yeah…

I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

My frustration level this morning has me on Defcon Level 4 “Orange”. Near tears and felling heavy in the chest (among other places). So excuse me while I go look at videos of puppies and kitties so calm myself.

Dani

 

Are you a “Foodie”? I’m not. No Really.

Contrary to popular belief, not all obese people love food. Let me clarify that slightly:  I don’t love food.

Yes, a small portion of obese people are so due to illness or disease, but the majority of people who are obese are so likely because of two things: 1) eating far too much (especially foods that aren’t good for them) and 2) limited or no exercise at all. Our bodies need “fuel” (food) but as with our gasoline tanks on our cars, there is a limit to how much fuel we should be putting in there (consuming), particular if we are doing nothing to burn off that consumed fuel in order to be replenished later.

Over-eating is a major problem for most. Improper food choices is another. Lack of exercise doesn’t help at all. Singularly, while not good, isn’t nearly as bad as the disaster that is combining all three. Major no-no.

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So as part of my self-deprecation in the past, I was always quick to “clarify” myself whenever I was in an instance that involved food. I remember times when I would say, “I know it doesn’t look like it from looking at me, but, I really don’t eat that much.” or “It may appear from my size that all I do is eat, but I really don’t like food that much.” Of course, most of the time I was met with skepticism. Why I felt the need to excuse myself to anyone, I have no idea. I think perhaps it had to do with the fact that so many times people simply judged me on my looks, so their assumptions must have always gone directly to “she must eat a lot” or “I bet she eats all day long” or “I bet she hides food under her bed”…well, you get the picture. So what are the odds that anyone who would think such things would believe my clarifications? I’m considering probably nil.

So, I’m declaring that…

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[“Foodie” is defined in one definition as: A foodie is a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and alcoholic beverages. A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger.]

There are some circles that consider “Foodie” to mean the person is stuck-up and pretentious about food but by my use in this post, I am simply meaning anyone who loves food enough that they love to prepare and cook it and really enjoys eating it. Some who might watch cooking shows or talk to other “Foodies” about food as if they were discussing the latest Mets game or episode of The Walking Dead (both of whom I personally love). So when I talk about Foodie, I want you to understand exactly what I am not.

Yes I do over-eat. I also under-eat. I eat poorly or I don’t eat at all. None of these is of any help to me whatsoever.

I went so many years where I skipped breakfast, often times lunch as well. Then by dinner I’ve be a stark raving mad woman starving for food. And then I’d over-eat. Many see this as “bulimia”.

[ “Bulimia” is defined as: insatiable overeating as a medical condition, in particular:  a) an emotional disorder involving distortion of body image and an obsessive desire to lose weight, in which bouts of extreme overeating are followed by depression and self-induced vomiting, purging, or fasting. or b) an eating disorder in which a large quantity of food is consumed in a short period of time, often followed by feelings of guilt or shame.]
The second bullet point more describes me. I have never, however, caused myself to purge after eating or over-eating. That doesn’t lessen the disorder; it’s merely a small piece of it.

For the past couple of years I have gotten better with trying to eat breakfast and lunch, even if it meant only something small – at least I was eating. But I’m not really very good at it sometimes. It doesn’t help either that my thyroid medication that I have to take in the morning means I can’t eat for a couple hours before I take it and I can’t eat at least a half hour to an hour after taking it. Or that the twice-daily injections I have to give myself (before breakfast and before dinner) means that once I do the shot in the morning, I have to eat within an hour.

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So I not only still struggle with eating properly, I also struggle with making sure I actually eat. The shots help because it forces me to eat something for breakfast, but most mornings, I just don’t feel like eating. I don’t think in those cases that I’m bored (as I might be a night and end up snacking) or that I’m not hungry because I normally am (but those hunger pangs I’ve learned to ignore and that they eventually just go away), I simply just don’t really care for the act of eating.

I know that sounds utterly strange coming from someone my size. Especially when invariably to do it – more so in the evening after work – I tend to over-eat. Though again, since I started these daily shots, they help with suppressing my appetite. But if someone could just invent one pill that can be taken daily that gives me all the vitamins, nutrients etc I need to survive – I could really go for something like that.

As a single person who never liked to cook to begin with (when I was married for 8 years my then-husband always cooked because he was a Foodie), it’s even harder to get any enthusiasm for spending the time and energy to cook meals that I simply don’t really enjoy. It always seems like a lot of work for so little reward.

I know. I know. That’s probably a sacrilegious statement right there to those of you who love food, but for all my struggles with eating or not eating, cooking or not, what to eat or what not to eat, it always comes back to one basic fact: I just don’t like to eat.

Now, to contradict myself slightly, I’m in no way indicating that I don’t like some foods. I have my favorites for sure. But as you might imagine, most likely none of my favorites are very good for me. So when faced with only eating foods that are good for me, I’d rather opt out of not eating at all. On top of rarely feeling energized though to cook, it was always so much easier to just skip it or find something much easier. And we all know that “easier” usually means “junk”.

Sad, I know. Troublesome? you bet. Illogical. No damn doubt about it (say that fast 10 times!).

My profile on this website says I’m an enigma. I wasn’t kidding. If you don’t think you understand me and can figure out everything I say or contradict myself about, can you imagine what it’s like to be inside my own head!?

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But despite all of this, I am trying. I’m trying to order out/in less. I’m trying to cook more healthy meals. Preplan them to address issues of exhaustion when I get home – another excuse I use to not bother cooking and ordering something unhealthy to eat. But I’m trying. And I have been trying to find ways that I can learn to like good-for-me foods that normally I wouldn’t by finding alternative ways to cook them. And I’m a fussy eater. Just ask my mom.

But I am trying.

Another area of struggle is that I’ve always likened the feeling of fullness with over-eating. Even now, when I’ve eaten a healthy meal, along with plenty of water (which really fills me up), that fullness I feel often leads to guilt because it feels the same as when I over-ate something I shouldn’t have. I am not always able to shake the feelings of guilt or shame that I’ve done something wrong even though logically I know I didn’t just because I ate.

Despite all of this, another valid reason I don’t like to eat is that most foods – those good or bad for me – bother my digestive system. I also have ultra-sensitive taste buds that have gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. Fussiness aside, there aren’t many foods that don’t bother me. And without entering the TMI zone, basically things like the following bother me – but some not every time:

  • anything spicy. And my level of what I consider spicy tastes like nothing to most of you.
  • actual flavor of something may not taste good to me. E.g. brown rice to me tastes like burned leather
  • food with too much tomato sauce (the acid from the tomatoes)
  • some dairy. while I’m not lactose intolerant, the older I get the more milk products bother me. But also butter, mozzarella cheese. Things that are higher in fat.
  • certain spices. I usually eat only oil & vinegar dressing because while I only like Italian dressing, most have spices in them that I don’t react well to
  • meat that contains too much fat.

And my Achilles Heel:  Pepsi

Now before all of you write me and expound all the problems with Pepsi, I’ll save you the trouble. I know exactly how horrible it is. From the sugar prospective. Empty calories. Outrageous carbs. Basically if I could list one thing that no one, let alone an obese person should consume, it’s Pepsi.

But here’s the kicker: While I may not be in love with food, I’m addicted to Pepsi.

The other kicker: It makes me feel horrible. Sluggish. Bloated. Tummy distress.

And yet I struggle with not drinking it more than I struggle with just about anything else in this quest to lose weight. I never thought of it as an addiction before. It didn’t seem comparable to other addictions like drugs, alcohol or what not. But the truth is, that’s exactly what it is. And as a Type-2 Diabetic, I absolutely must get away from it. Not just to lose weight but also because my body is battling the insulin, the sugars and everything else and it’s screaming at me to do something.

To. Just. Stop.

If I had to say, this is the hardest part I’m facing. It terrifies me that for all the bad I know it brings, I can’t simply stop. And I need to.

What’s completely asinine about it though is it is one of the things that while it tastes great to my taste buds, it quite literally can make my stomach heave. But no matter how bad it makes me feel or my body reacts to it, I just don’t stop.

So as I keep this train moving, that is the one thing I need to work the hardest on.

I’m already working on eating three proper meals a day, taking my meds, walking as much as my stupid feet will let me, making sure I get enough sleep, keeping the stress down…but this last one is a doozy.

So with the ending of tonight’s post, I am asking a special sort of support from whomever believes in the power of prayer to please say a prayer for me to finally lick this enormous road-block. For those who don’t prayers, perhaps just sending me some good juju would work also. I thank you in advance.

Blessings to you all.

Dani