Through the Kitchen Window

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been conspicuously absent from my usual spot these last few months. For that I apologize. And I also thank Ronda for hanging in even when she wasn’t sure what was happening, and for always being supportive, a friend. I think the worst is over, and I’m now ready to share what’s been going on.

This morning I'm excited and I'm also so proud of me. It's been exactly four months since I started, not by choice, on a new eating plan for my health. My blood pressure was over 225 (stroke and heart attack range) and my sugars were all over the place raising concern over my kidneys. So I was told, in no uncertain terms to lose the weight, or . . . well . . . the alternative wasn't an option.

Although my family knew about this when it happened, I mostly kept it to myself. I’m not good at putting this kind of thing “out there” really. Partly because the chance of failure is high for someone like me, who has never had a successful diet for whatever reason. Also, because this was serious. This wasn’t going to be about losing weight to look better, this WAS about losing weight to live.

So I went into my “scared place” and felt sorry for myself for the first month or so of this new eating / diet plan. I did warn the family and my close friends to look out for mood swings and lashing out, and heads being bitten off. At one point, Anthony, my youngest, said to his sister: “I’d rather have a fat happy mom that a skinny b*tchy one.” But I wasn’t in a position to make that choice anymore.

I started this all on 28th January and yesterday, just three days over the four month mark, I weighed in at 50 pounds less (yeah really!!!) with my blood pressure hovering in the 118 - 125 range for the past month and my blood sugars within normal range, for a diabetic.

To say I'm proud is only part of it . . . I'm shocked, surprised, in a bit of disbelief in fact, but oh so happy with me. And on the plus side, I’m no longer subject to mood swings because of feeling deprived and hard done by!!!

I was one of those who didn't diet because it never worked for me. I'd stay on for a couple of weeks, drop five or six pounds, then decide it was going so well, I could "afford to" cheat . . . and then it would snowball and I'd gain it all back and then some. The yo-yo effect, I’m sure many of us are familiar with. So, for the past ten years or more, I mostly never bothered but slowly watched myself get bigger and bigger until I was well over 300 pounds and my health was at serious risk. Oh I’d dabble in this new fad or that one, but usually I didn’t even expect it to work. I can quote you chapter and verse on almost every diet out there. But I can also quote you all the various trendy reasons why they won’t work.

It's funny that you know all along the weight will ultimately do a huge number on your health but you can ignore it and then one day, some guy with an MD and some other letters after his name tells you "enough, if you want to be around to see grandchildren, you HAVE to do this."

And you just do . . .

I won't say it's been easy. Just ask Bubba and my kids. For the first couple of months I know that it was like living with the monster mom. Some days I didn't even recognize myself for how deprived I was feeling and how b*tchy I was to everyone because of it. Not to mention that the nausea (yes, you CAN go into withdrawal from food, I’m living proof of that) and dizziness was playing havoc with my concentration and energy levels. There were a lot of things I didn't do anymore cuz I "couldn't be bothered." When you feel hard done by, when you have no energy from feeling ill all the time, lots of stuff falls by the way-side, even stuff you love normally love to do. There were many times I’d find myself thinking the same thing as Anthony. I never felt this bad when I was eating whatever I wanted, this can’t be good for me!!! But, the worst of that is over. My body has become accustomed, for the most part, to the new way of eating. My brain may not have, but the body isn’t protesting anymore. The results are helping the brain say: “Yes, I miss eating that pasta, but I DO like the effect that not eating it has had.” As much as you never get used to not eating the things you love, I think I can say I've done that. I can see Bubba shaking his head so I'll admit I still get that deprived feeling sometimes, but it's not so often anymore . . . I hope. And I’ve learned too, over this past four months, how to allow myself to still have the odd, tiny treat, and it will be enough for me.

I didn’t do it by myself. Besides my family and friends, there was a diet doctor I had to check in with religiously every two weeks, and he was not impressed with just a pound or two down. That part was the tough part. I don’t go to him anymore. While he got me on track diet wise, after almost three months of seeing him, it was time to address my health issues with my general practitioner and start adjusting my meds, so I go to the wellness centre run by my general practitioner. There I have access to a nutritionist, a dietician who specializes in diabetics (she is one herself), nurse practitioners, a consulting pharmacist, several other doctors as well as my own, and countless other health professionals. I check in with them every two weeks now, for me, this is imperative. I need to have that responsibility factor. But on the upside, I’m taking a lot less meds, and that’s a good thing. My health is on the mend and that was the goal.

As a good friend of mine, Kevin, so often says, this isn't about getting (or giving) advice, or even wanting pats on the back (well, ok, I'll take pats on the back . . . *laughing*). This is just about me and getting on track and feeling good about myself.

And I’m back.


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