Monday, December 27, 2010

Coming clean

I've talked often about how weighing too often can be as dangerous as scale avoidance.  How the mentality of scale roulette can set in where I find myself eating to whatever the number-du-jour reads out when I hop up on the scale altar more than once a week.  Today, however, it served me very well to step on a second day in a row...

I weighed yesterday morning and was horrified to see 216.  I've been holding around 208-210 with an occasional stumble to 212 that has responded promptly to a day of clean eating.  This weight range has been bad enough, but at least I was maintaining rather than gaining. But seeing that number jolted me and prompted my post yesterday about recovery day #1 and returning to sane eating.  "Better" was where I was going.  And I really meant it.

I did do better, at least through the early afternoon - drank more water and had salad and vegetables as planned.  But I slowly ended up having several slices of leftover pumpkin cranberry bread, a piece of cranberry pie, potato chips...just more of all kinds of sh*t that remained in the house.  A couple of my sons' friends came over to watch football and hang out, and as they ate snacks (all of them lean muscle machines), I began noshing.  And noshing.  I didn't start this grazing redux until about 5:30, but once I got started I didn't stop until bedtime.

Still I thought I'd done BETTER because of the first 8 or so hours of the day, and all the water, and my most excellent intentions.  To verify my BETTER, I decided to get naked again this morning and "make sure" things were moving in the right direction.  Imagine my naked horror to get on the scale and see 216.8!

That did it.  I shot up a prayer, vowed to not beat myself up, and to knock off all of the insane eating.  I came to the blogs and something/someone directed me to Lucy's blog called Walking the Low Way Barefoot.  I love Lucy's blog, and in the last 6 months (back in July 2010) she's established a low carb lifestyle in an effort to improve her health as well as stabilize her Type 2 Diabetes.  She has a link on her sidebar to her "Day of reckoning" where she talks about what made her sit up and start paying attention to her health rather than basically ignoring it.  I could relate...

Here's a dirty secret of mine - I was diagnosed with Type 2 about 2 1/2 years ago.  I've never honestly owned or admitted it on my blog.  Or really in my life.  I was borderline at diagnosis but my fasting blood sugar was high enough to diagnose me with the disease.  I began tightening up my food, using South Beach as a guide for lowering my carb intake, and the following summer when I started this blog, all my numbers (Hgb A1C and fasting blood sugar) were in totally normal range.  The last Hgb A1C I had was January 2010, after my first knee surgery but prior to my second, and the # was 6.0.  Perfect for a Type 2.   This was while I was still under 200 (as low as 192) and doing pretty well with my food and exercise.
While I'm being honest, I also have high blood pressure for which I take 2 medications.  I would probably be able to come off medication if I made better food choices and got my weight down.

Since then - the quality of my eating has gradually disintegrated.  Anyone who reads my blog knows this.  Many excuses - no good reasons.   Denial?  Not exactly, because I've been aware that I've been ignoring not only my expanding waist line but my health. I've been aware of my lack of resolve, my increasing waist line, my decreasing energy level.  Sugar and simple carb consumption has become a daily practice, where for a long time at least I could keep it to a day or so a week.

A major truth is I'm ashamed that I have Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.  They feel like fat-people diseases, which they can be, but certainly aren't exclusively.  I don't want to have it.  Well, I have it and I'm not going to hide that anymore.  The way I've been eating for the last year, but especially for the last month is a slow form of suicide.  Yeah - that's dramatic - but continuing this behavior with eyes wide open qualifies.  I'm not REALLY trying to off myself - but knowing my truth and ignoring it is pretty nutty. I don't want to keep harming myself.  I deserve better.  And intellectually I know that it isn't shameful to have the diseases I have.  What is a shame is to have them and pretend I don't.

I'm starting Phase 1 South Beach today.  I'd been contemplating starting Weight Watchers this week, but first I'm going to save the money and use my well worn copy of the SB book as my guide.  Money's tight, and I spent way too much over the holidays - more addictive type behavior - so I'm going to see how it goes.  It's 4:45 today and so far so good.  I have a killer headache that always comes when I begin sugar detox. 

I'm not proud to admit all this stuff, but I know for sure that the truth can set us free.  The scale's message of a .8 lb gain in 24 hours today shattered the last of whatever has been holding tight within my psyche to keep a nice facade of "just a weight problem" rather than a serious health issue that left unchecked can shorten my life.  My life is too good to not fight for, and this is a fight in which I'm not powerless if I step up and face the foe.


  1. Ok, you got it off your chest. Now follow through with doing something about it! Plan your meals and only eat sitting down. NO SNACKING. Period. That's how I gained my last 10 lbs. It ticked me off completely. No more talking about, do it! :-)

  2. I have all the faith in you! You can turn this around. Time to put your health in the #1 position. It's easier NOT to, but not worth it in the end. Time to wage war and win. We're all here cheering you on!

  3. You know what? I am not convinced that "being fat" causes Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. In fact, I think it is often the opposite. But we get so caught up in the guilt and shame of "being fat" that we believe everything is "our fault."

    Take a deep breath and remember that it all starts with love. In fact, I am going to be guest posting on MizFitOnline tomorrow with a post about this very subject (love) and how being fat doesn't make us sick, sometimes it's being sick that makes us fat.

  4. Kudos to you for fessing up on here to something that has clearly been "brewing" for you! I think sometimes weight and eating can contribute to medical conditions and sometimes not. But IMO they are not fat people diseases and not shameful. When I was diagnosed with high cholesterol over a decade ago I was in a skinny phase of my yo-yo life and got a lot of comments like "How can you have high cholesterol... you're thin?"

    So guess what!? You and I are again in sync. I started PH1 yesterday. I know that SB works for me to lose if I stick to the plan. What it has never done for me, or rather I have never done for myself with SB, is maintain. Sigh.

    Okay... so here we go, you and I. We can, we will, do this. One day or one mouthful at a time.

  5. Wishing you well and thanks for your gut-level honesty. The only one we hurt when we're less than honest is ourselves. (Ask me how I know! Heh.) Hang in there ... I think there's a lot of us out here who are ready for a new start. Again.

  6. :O! Leslie! What a secret to be carrying. That must have caused you so much shame. I'm so glad you let the light shine on DM & HTN. They've lost their power to shame you now that the secret is gone.

    You know, DM really isn't caused by fat. Lots of fat people, really fat people, do not have DM. Your genes, propensity, etc, have to be right...or wrong...for weight to trigger DM's symptoms. I know what people think, but it's not true.

    I was a part of a research project a few decades ago and some of the findings discussed going into that project was how having DM causes carb cravings and weight gain--not vice versa.

    Anyway, girlfriend, we're kicking this to the curb, you and I. I certainly won't practice the "tough love" Debbie Dinner did in her comment. I'm in this boat with you--as my blog shows. :}

    In fact, the only thing that kept me from getting into the cherry pie this afternoon was the fact that I started that stupid "sane eating" food list link on my sidebar. chuckle. WHAT was I thinking with that!?!

    This post helped me to stop trying to think up a way that I could eat that cherry pie this evening. Thanks, Leslie.

    Here's to sane eating!


  7. Leslie, I both feel and know your shame - and commend you for coming clean. You've brought back a lot of memories of what I dealt with a hundred pounds ago. Those problems are non-existent now...I so hope that this is the turning point for you. Good luck - I am rooting for you to make a permanent change!

  8. Hi Leslie,
    It is not easy to share some of our secrets, and yet once we set them free, they cease to have power over us. Those of us who have to deal with overweight and obesity carry a lot of shame--about a lot of things. We take much too much responsibility for almost everything that we see as amiss in our lives. We are all walking this path, and need support. I have also thought about SB as a plan, but I read Barbara Berkley's "Refuse to Regain" today, and her ideas intrigue me, as well. I know I need to get tougher with myself. The weight can pile on fast if we let it. My best to you as you begin this new plan!

  9. [[[hugs]]]

    It is humbling to admit something that you would just really rather ignore. But it's time to stop ignoring .

    You know I'm a 12 stepper-off and on. right now on. I recommend you get out your Kindle, search for a book called "food for thought"-It is a Hazeldon meditation book for food addicts. download the sample. you will find something in there that helps you that helps foster some of what you need right now to get / stay on track. I actually have this book, but I forget about it, I lose it, I put it down and ignore it. It has helped me a great deal the last few days. I have the sample on my Kindle because it doesn't hurt to cover all the bases.

    I've found myself snacking standing up in the kitchen, nibbling here and there, doing things I never normally do. Somewhere in there I got swept up in a randomness gray fog of what I will allow myself to do. Black and white and structure is what I need rightnow so I can focus on what is behind all of this. This is that progressive disease 'cunning baffling powerful part' that we are experiencing.

    rambliing....hope it made sense

  10. I am sending you big hugs! I totally believe in you and I want this success for you so much. You are such a super nice person and you really deserve it. South Beach is a GREAT plan. You can do this!

  11. Hi Leslie, sorry to hear about your health struggles and more, about your avoidance of dealing with them. Of course, not all people with Diabetes type 2 and Hyptertension have weight problems (I've had some genetic htn only diagnosed after losting 90 pounds!) but if yours only came on after the weight gain it can probably be successfully managed with weight loss. That's just the truth. Weight can kill. Many diseases that we think of are really food in disguise and they're deadly.

    So the most important issue, more important even than losing weight, is acceptance (I know you've heard that word before!) of your diagnoses and treatment of them. Manage your care, then handle the weight issue in its own time and your own way. But those two things can't really wait.

    I'm sorry I haven't been on here as much - I'm publishing my book very soon!

  12. Good morning Leslie,

    I hope you feel lighter after sharing your secret. It is nothing to be ashamed of and now the power it had is also gone.

    I'm sending good, healing thoughts your way. You will find a way to deal with this. As a fellow avoider, I know the deal. SB sounds like a good place to start.

    We are all here for you. There is no shame attached to this. It is a physical malady that you are going to address. 2011 is the year.

  13. Wait! Shame?? What shame??? For goodness sakes woman there's nothing to be ashamed of here!! You have diabetes and high blood what! Meaning, it's not something to be ashamed of...just something to take control of, which you can certainly do, and I know you will. I don't know if you remember or not, but back when I started my blog a year and a half ago, I had roaring diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and was on meds for all 3. Just dropping a few lbs took me off ALL the cand do it, too! And I've probably been tempting fate this month with my stupid eating and putting back on some lbs, so if I'm not careful I'll be back on the meds. No bueno. Time to get our tugboats headed upstream....wanna' tie 'em together? :)

  14. I'm rooting for you my friend!

  15. Well I of all people are glad that you are at the very least acknolwedging your diabetes. I can't tell you how many people I know who have Type 2 diabetes, I've tried to help them with meal plans, grocery lists, etc., for them to just say "its too hard" and go back to their old ways.

    Sadly having high blood sugar doesn't really "feel" any different, but it causes damage over years and years, and by the time you have symptoms of problems, its too late to reverse the damage.

    SB is the way to go for Type 2 - because I can take insulin I have much better control over my diabetes.

    I'll be your biggest cheerleader and I'll help any way I can! Hugs!

  16. Is it the overeating during the holidays or the approach of a new year (or both?) that always makes us sit up, take notice, and start anew? In any case, I'm right there with you, sistah. (incl. the high bp.)

    Here's to a better 2011! :)

  17. Hi Leslie!

    The shame - I know how you feel. My boss has even said (to my face) "well that's how you become diabetic II (too much sugar)" Can you believe that! I've tried to "educate" her-but she refuses to accept any type of teachings from someone so low on the career totem pole (she's a successful engineer: writes for publications, magazines, etc.).

    Whenever the diabetes diet issue comes up w/her & she wants to ram her nonsense down my throat, I have to remind myself of something the bible says, which is (I'm paraphrasing) : don't get in an argument w/a fool or you become one yourself!

    Anyhoo-you are a wise and brave woman to face the facts. What makes eating low carb not so hard (for me) is that there really are lots of options and over time eating "low sugar/carb" will be your NORMAL.

    My only advice to you...just do it! Eat whatever you have too to stay on track w/the low carb lifestyle. I actually went through stages, like the stages someone goes through w/losing a loved one! Anger...bargaining, depression, reflection, etc. It has been a wild ride and one I couldn't have done without the support of my husband (he has adopted the low carb lifestyle too). He has also gone from a size 52" suit jacket to a 46"!!! Amazing.

    You can do it Leslie-it will take time. And please give yourself that time. It will be like learning to walk all over again (yes, this means you will stumble and may even fall flat on your tush!)...but you just steel yourself w/that determination and fight that is deep within your soul, you get back up and do it'll see w/each time you get up, you'll go further and further.

    P.S: Saturday night our family went out to Ruby Tuesdays and had a large ribeye steak, mashed "cauliflower", grilled asparagus and all the salad I wanted from the salad bar (w/REAL ranch dressing-no low fat stuff for me!)....Delish!

    Oh, one more thing. You've got to check out "Blood Sugar 101" - this woman is AMAZING.

  18. Hi (again)! One more thing. Here's an interesting article from the LA Times. Just copy n' paste the url in your browser:,0,5464425.story?page=1

  19. Leslie you have been carrying such a burden by keeping that secret. I am so glad you have decided to put your health first.

    When I decided to focus on my health and not my weight it changed everything for me.

    Dr Oz says to think of what we eat as a prescription for our health and then ask ourselves if what we are about to eat is something our doctor would prescribe for us. That saying has stopped me in my tracks more than once!

    The first 48 hours of sugar detox are the worse but it is smooth sailing after that!

    You can do this!