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.
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.
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?”.
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.
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.
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.
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…
[“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”.
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.
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!?
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.