Monday, April 8, 2013

Surprising results

It's been a few days since I've posted.  I've been in a procrastination mode and I'm not exactly sure why.  Last week I had no school because it was Spring Break for my college and the week before that it was Spring Break for the school district I work in.  I'm always bouncing around like a pinball from here to there with so much going on that I guess a little leeway was before me and I took a mile.  We all need to take it easy sometimes, though.  Given how crazy, stressful and other lovely adjectives the last couple of years have been, it's not surprising that sometimes all I want to do is veg out.  Now I have to bust it to get some reading done for my classes this week.  And when I mean reading, I mean an entire novel and several textbook chapters.  Bleh. 

Oh well ;-)  On to my surprising results.  With the weight gain that had come on, I have had to adjust to changes that occur when that happens, just like I did when I had lost so much weight so fast.  I am on a steady downward trend with my weight, which I'm super thrilled with, but it's a much different experience than it was on Optifast.  Duh to that!  Everything is a much different experience given I was dropping weight in crazy amounts.  45 pounds down the first month will never happen again, I'm sure.  Now I'm focusing on a very healthy weight loss of 1-2 pounds a week, although I actually am losing more than that but my expectation is not 10 pounds a week any longer.  One of the things that happened when I was on Optifast was that my type 2 diabetes seemed to go into remission.  My blood sugar numbers were always fabulous and even dipped too low.  But being at a heavier weight has meant that I have had to add a little bit of medication back into my system to help keep the numbers normal.  I accepted that, although begrudgingly.  With the help of that medication, my numbers are normal. 

So anyway, it was time for me to refill my prescription.  I was supposed to pick up this medication, along with another one, this past Friday.  But when I went to the pharmacy, they only had one ready and it was not the one to help with the blood sugar.  They made a mistake and said it would be available today or tomorrow.  I was understanding, mistakes happen sometimes, but I went into a little bit of fear because I thought to myself, "Oh no, what do I do now?  It's not like I can just buy a pill at Walmart."  I just reminded myself, though, that I can do what I have been doing - weighing and measuring my portions, writing everything down that I eat and continuing to be honest.  Even when I don't want to be because perhaps I didn't make the best decision, I still would diligently track everything.  It's amazing, actually, how much freedom there is in that in a weird way.  Actually, three ounces of protein is a lot when you really have balanced meals.  Since I'm doing Weight Watchers now, I'm not being crazy with counting calories.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying counting calories is crazy.  It's just that, for me, that sort of action makes me feel so anxious, like I'm the food police or something.  With WW, there's just points.  I still measure out or weigh what I'm eating, but it's just much more breathable for me.  So I spent the weekend paying more attention than ever to planning out my meals really well, always aware of what I was choosing to see how it would affect my blood sugar.  I still had fantastic and delicious meals, but they were portioned out.

What was absolutely amazing to me was that, every time I checked my blood sugar, it was normal.  It's not as if I didn't have any carbs with my meals because I'm forbidden by my dietitian to go low-carb.  As a diabetic, I need a certain amount of carbs for energy since that fuels my body but it's the right kind of carbs that makes the difference.  Now, my numbers were on the higher side of normal, but make no mistake, they were normal.  My numbers should be somewhere between 80-120 if I haven't eaten anything in four hours and they were always in the range.  I almost didn't know what to make of it, until I started looking at my log where I write down my numbers.  With the medication, my blood sugar is on the low end of normal or just below normal.  Without it, it's on the upper end of normal.  What that has shown me over time is that weight does make a difference.  I know we all know this ... doctors have been telling me this all my life, of course.  But I could definitely see something tangible in my own body.  With continued weight loss, I can see that my need for the medication will be reduced, if not eliminated, just as it eventually was when I was doing Optifast.  When I started, it took a while for my diabetes medication to be eliminated, but it eventually was. 

This is really encouraging to me and maybe to other people as well.  My weight loss has been a hard-fought battle that I have won sometimes, lost sometimes but that I have not given up on.  It's been hard because people definitely regard me differently at a higher weight than my lowest when I was on Optifast.  My struggles with medications causing weight gain coupled with the frustration of that and chronic pain brought back some struggles I have had with emotional eating.  Yet, I'm not letting it be the victor, I promise that.  Yes, I have gained back some of the weight I worked so hard to lose.  That has been humiliating, painful and has made me feel very sad.  When I have talked about how I really feel about it, down deep inside, I am left with a lot of tears.  Those that have been obese, morbidly obese or some other label of overweight know the pain I'm talking about.  You know all too well.  But, like all scrappy fighters, I have gotten up and refused to wave the white flag.  I am reminded of Sylvester Stalone as Rocky when I think of my fight.  I have these images of him in the ring, just jacked up from the other opponent pummeling him but, dang it, he is still in there fighting.  I am not where I used to be and I can honestly say there's more to that than just the words.  It's a different world for me now.  I may be in pain, but I fight through it to get my exercise in.  I can see the benefits of being careful of what I'm eating.  And, as much as I'm working on the outside, I'm focusing on the inside, too.  That place is just as important.  If the inside gets healed, so does the outside.  One foot in front of the other is how I'll get there, especially with the amount of support I have from those that have loved me no matter what. 


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