Sunday, June 16, 2013

Revisiting an old stomping ground

We got home late Saturday night after our trip to the DR.  It was a wonderful trip - plenty of rest, sleep, healthy eating, reading, swimming, shopping, wonderful conversation and general with our daughter and her sweetheart of a soon to be fiancĂ© Cesar, and general hanging out.  We were tired and hungry after our long day of travel, and I will confess right here that at Atlanta airport last night (we had a relatively brief layover after all the rigamarole of Customs) Tom and I went to a McDonalds right next to our gate and ended up each getting a Big Mac meal for dinner!  I can honestly say I haven't eaten at a McDs in possibly 8 years or longer (and I hope that I don't again for that long), but it tasted great!   I know it was a calorie and carb orgy, but I enjoyed every bite and didn't feel one bit guilty.

This morning, I got on the scale to survey what "baggage" I brought home or left behind, and I'm tickled pink to report that my weight was 197!  That was a loss of 3.8lbs.  I was delighted, though not entirely surprised.  We ate wonderful food, much of which was fixed by our daughter and Cesar, but we really only had 2 meals most day, plus snacks here and there.  It was all healthy, freshly prepared either at home or at restaurants, and my blood sugar stayed steady and finally dipped to the high 80s for the last 3 days of our trip.  Plus, we walked miles most days and sweat buckets all days.

I think this is the first time I ever came home from vacation weighing less than when I left!  Today I've reflected a lot about this weight saga I've been writing for myself for so many years.  The loss this time around (22 pounds so far) has been slow, and I see that it's good for me that way.  Going more slowly and focusing on blood sugar rather that purely weight allows me to get comfortable at a lower weight, without somehow triggering old issues that invariably have sent me back up into the Everest region of poundage.  I don't have to see 200+ again, and I hope I don't.  All won't be lost, but I'd rather not have to go on that head trip ever again.  Time will tell, but for now I'm feeling good, and grateful!  And definitely lighter!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Am swimming again...

My URL is  I picked that back in 2009 because I'd spent many years not swimming because of my body and how I felt about it.  Mind you, I grew up swimming and have always loved to be in water, sluicing, skimming and slithering like an otter.  But I spent way too many years denying myself of this visceral pleasure for reasons of pride, ego, shame, self-hatred and disgust...the usual fat girl's menu of excuses and procrastination for not living life fully.  Poor fat moi.

I've written about all this so many times in 4 years.  I've had 2 separate re-entries into water arenas-one 3 1/2 years ago when we visited our then Peace Corps volunteer daughter in the Dominican Republic (actually I bought a bathing suit and wore it under clothes and never actually went in the water so it doesn't really count =| !); and the second about 2 years ago when I swam laps at my gym about 10 times before slithering back under my fat girl rock.

But.  BUT!  We are currently back in the DR, again visiting our daughter and her soon to be fiancĂ©, and I have put on a bathing suit and swam twice.  Once at a pool and jacuzzi at a beautiful beach condo community, and once at a public beach.  Upon donning said swimsuit, I even looked at myself in the mirror and thought, "I look fine."  Of course I am planning to continue the slow descent down the scale and look forward to looking better with time, but I am where, who, and what I am-and part of that includes loving being in the water.  I feel like I've finally given myself a pass for being an imperfect work in progress.  

Our visit has been great.  I continue to check my blood sugar most days, and it's ranging from 103-118.  Not as good ad when I'm home, but not too bad for vacation.  

Things are good.  No idea where my weight is now-the lowest I saw before we left was 200.8.  I'm still waited with bated breath to break into Onederland, but I'm confident it will happen soon.  And when it does, as previously promised, my blog friends will be among the first to know!  Adios for now ;-).

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Plateaus, the past, and progress

Happy Tuesday, blog friends.  I'm having an eerily quiet morning at work (knock on wood else shit shall hit fan) so thought I'd drop in for a brief update.

It's a happy Tuesday indeed for me because as soon as I get off, Hubby will drop me at the airport and I'm heading to Atlanta for a few days to visit my in-law family.  My FIL died in December, and so I'm mainly going to hang out with my mom-in-law, and of course see other family members.  And here's a kicker...I'm super excited to go!  I have none of my usual "less-than" feelings about being with all the skinny smart beautiful people this go round.  I'm just looking forward to catching up and spending time with them.  Also having a few days off from work, which goes without saying.

Anyone who has read my blog for more than a year or so recalls my trepidations of being with this bunch - I have always gotten along with them famously.  They have always been welcoming and loving with me, and I've always known it was genuine.  But my feelings of fatness and shame always became magnified to the nth degree when I was with them (once I'd entered the endless struggle of disordered eating after my 3rd child was born), and so every encounter with them has been a mix of wonderfulness on the outside and shame and self hate on the inside.

My recent journey that began at the beginning of March, when I fully accepted and owned out loud my Type 2 Diabetes and determined to best it in every arena possible has begun to seriously change me.  I've talked about testing my blood sugar daily, changing up my foods, seeing how different foods affect the blood sugar, lost some weight, plateau'ed for a few weeks and then began losing again, and haven't gotten discouraged when one number (blood sugar) or another (lbs) weren't what I wanted or thought they should be.  Somehow I've stuck with it and am feeling some confidence, for the first time ever since the weight struggles ensued, that I can stay the course and slowly get really better.  And thinner.

It's weird, because I find myself thinking how strange it could be to be in a much slimmer body.  I'm already about 15 pounds down and in different sizes.  I'm soon going to get to the place I got to about 4 years ago, and then began to slowly regain.  Obviously in one way or another I wasn't ready to move into a thinner version of who I'd become over the years...maybe scared, or uncertain of what it would be like or how it would change my core self. I don't know - I hear my possible over-thinking about this, but I realize that I never felt those feelings before.  If I don't take this slowly, and settle at various places in order to find a comfort of some kind at new emotional stops along the way, I may run scared again, and head back up the scale.

The aforementioned plateau really bugged me for a bit, but deep down I thought it was okay.  I knew I hadn't changed anything to make me stop losing weight, and my blood sugar numbers were still decent, so I kept on.  THIS IS NEW BEHAVIOR FOR ME.  And it's fueled by new acceptance of myself and my reality at this stage of my life.  I cannot wait for my next round of blood work in early June, because I know it's going to be great!

My weight this morning was 201.  What I was calling spittin' distance was 204.  This is more like lickin' distance.  I don't know if it will happen while I'm there, because I will enjoy myself and not be restricting my intake.  I will test my blood daily, and make decisions about what is worth slowing my progress for and what isn't.  The way I'm feeling, there won't be much that will seem worth it, but I know that more than just my warm fuzzy feeling right now will play a role in my behaviors. Like emotions, frustrations, fabulous menus and being out of my usual surroundings.  But if I pay attention to my heart, my gut, and my blood sugars, my behaviors will be true choices, and not coping strategies.

Have a good week, guys!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ordinary days....

....are sometimes harder than extraordinary days!  It's actually been just about 2 months since I set on my mission to arrest and reverse the Type 2 diabetes that has been nipping at my heels for the last several years. Two months in, and things continue to go well.

I'm still checking my fasting blood sugar every morning, and it's ranging from 89-116.  I'm trying to figure out what causes it to be higher some random days, and so far haven't really discovered a culprit.  I've had about one day per week where I stick to my food plan (mainly low carb, around 40-60 gms/day) until dinner, and then I have a few things I leave out the rest of the week.  Brown rice, a potato, a small bag of fritos, a small tube of M&M minis...and my blood sugar seems almost better the next morning - below 100 - when I'm sure it will be a higher.  Other times, I'm sooo "good" and on plan that I'm sure the reading will be great, and it's in the low 100s.  Hard to draw a bead on at this time, but overall I'm really doing great.

Also, my weight is coming along nicely.  I'm down 14 pounds plus from my worst weight prior to getting into the ring with my worthy opponent, which is awesome.  I'm within spittin' distance of Onederland for the first time in several years, and Heaven knows I hope it's my last time having to cross that line!  My motivation remains strong overall, although I have moments where I just want to eat.  Usually, these moments do not involve even one molecule of real hunger...rather they seem to be rooted in boredom, feeling squirrely, or just unidentified angst.  These are the hardest times, as they've always been, but with the Type 2 being successfully beaten back by my hard work for now, I am able to tough them out.  Or at least eat something that isn't stupid.

My oldest son is home for awhile now (the one who had the Guillian-Barre Syndrome in January), and we've been playing tennis a bit!  I was an avid player for years but once I started back to work full time when my youngest started 5th grade, I gradually drifted away from tennis to the point where I hadn't picked up a racquet in about 5 years!  It's been awesome, though excrutiatingly humbling, to begin again.  And great exercise, I might, because I chase the balls I hit all over creation.  That burns some calories, let me tell you.  Little by little I'm getting my mojo back with the racquet, and my inner Venus has been awakened.  Who'd'a'thunk??

That's it for now...I've been busy and out of blogging mood, but rest assured I will be here to announce when I cross over into the single century in the weight realm!  Also, I plan to update more often, but life has a way of altering the best of intentions.  In the meantime, it feels good to still be hanging on to this streak!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Surrender to win

Brief post today, but I have to share my ELATION about my type 2 journey.  I had a good weekend - lots of exercise, clean eating, connections with friends...all stuff that would be great on its own.  But I had a huge surprise this morning.  Actually a shock - my fasting blood sugar was 90.  Ninety!  That's entirely in the normal range.  Not borderline range...NORMAL.

Don't worry, I know I'm not normal and never will be.  But I've been diligent and committed in the last 6 weeks (since my Ground Zero experience), and the number has come down steadily.  It's always going to be up and down, but I know at a deep level that it hasn't been at a normal number, even for a day, in a very long time.  VERY.  My Hgb A1C was proof of that.

I can't know for sure because I was too afraid to know.  Too ashamed to own a "fat person's disease" (in my mind only), too ashamed to go into a store with a prescription for a glucometer because "they" (the pharmacy staff?  people in line?  WTF?) would know I had a problem.  Like anyone couldn't look at me and suspect I was a walking mass of simple processed carbohydrates, not that what anyone else thinks matters. Except it does, of course.  But taken to the extreme, that shame and denial was keeping me sick, sluggish and sloppy.  Hmm - the 3 S's of denial?  They fit for me, which may just be a topic for another post.

My greatest shame/fear has become my greatest asset.  This is a widely discussed phenomenon in AA.  As long as denial, shame, fear, terror, self hatred, etc. keep us stuck in negative drain-circling behavior, nothing can change.  I sit here today and tell you that I didn't have a light bulb moment.  I didn't hear a message emanate from a burning bush.  I wasn't aware of hitting a bottom, because I'd been dwelling on the bottom (and feeding there) for so long.  I'm beginning to suspect that the grace of God has something to do with this, because I couldn't do it for my whole life.  I know that I was able to get and stay sober by this same grace, but had begun to suspect that was all I'd get, and that I'd have to muster up the where-with-all to get healthy and lose weight on my own.

I'm not going all religious here, but I do believe in a spiritual reality(that I call God) that moves among us and is present always.  This is my many years in AA coming through.  I've seen devout agnostics and atheists relieved of the obsession for alcohol after years of devastating drinking, without any concrete belief in any specific deity or doctrine.  And of course, many who are devout in their beliefs as well.  But my current state just couldn't have come from me, because I've been trying, wishing, hoping, and praying for a lifting of my food obsessive behaviors and drives for years.

Another AA saying I've heard a lot over the years but never felt it apply to me, even with my long-term sobriety, is "Surrender to Win".  I didn't even get what it really meant, but I do now.  Accepting (and surrendering to) my type 2 diabetes has given me tools and capabilities I didn't have before.   I see it as a gift, just like my alcoholism has been a gift.  All I can say is that I'm grateful.  The type 2, or I, may all go to hell in a hand basket tomorrow, but for today I'm good.  And happy to be in awe of a fasting blood sugar of 90!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Motivation for moi

Quote from an unknown recovering person:  "IF YOU KEEP DOING WHAT YOU'RE DOING, YOU'LL KEEP GETTING WHAT YOU'RE GETTING."  I know that's true!

Good morning!  Thank you for the helpful comments to my Monday post.  I'm still hanging in, and continuing the learning process of how food affects my blood sugar, energy level, and definitely emotional balance!  It's a never ending story, for sure.

I don't have a lot more to report right now except that I had my lowest fasting blood sugar this morning since I've started paying attention and testing...102.  From a medical standpoint, below 100 is the goal, so it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling and a huge shot of motivation when I saw that this morning.  Of course this is a number that fluctuates constantly, so it won't ever be always "good" or "bad".  But the trend is definitely moving in the right direction.  I'm actually already excited for my June blood work to see how my HgbA1C has been affected (or if).

Also, I'm wearing a pair of pants today, just out of the dryer, that after 2 hours of wearing, are so baggy that I might run home and change, because they look ridiculous.  Like pajama pants.

That's it for me now - have a good Friday eve!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Hungry Monday

The title says it all.  I'm hungry.  HUNGRY.  And I finished lunch only about 45 minutes ago.  I feel so "empty stomach" hungry that I checked my blood sugar, and it's 110.  Pretty decent for 45 minutes after a meal.  And not too low in any way.  So I guess I'm just hungry.

Some days are just hungry days.  I've been doing very well with food and exercise.  Since the day I had my blood drawn, I've lost 9 pounds - a little over a month ago.  Now, a few of those pounds had found their way back onto my Rubenesque body in the weeks before, so on My Fitness Pal, it looks like I've lost only 5.  But trust me, it's 9 with change, as my digital scale weighs in tenths of pounds.  9.4 to be exact.

I've been trying to stay very low carb, - averaging 35-60 gms per day.  If you're comparing that to Atkins Induction, it sounds high.  Compare it to my usual diet prior to attacking my Type 2, and it is paltrier than paltry.  I'm hearing some comments related to "are you losing....?'", which is nice, of course.  I'm in pants I couldn't wear at all, and just bought a couple new cheap pairs at Kohl's in a smaller size.  It's all good.  Yes?

What is happening is what frequently has happened in the past when I began successfully changing things up and dropping weight.  My head is getting squirrely.  Specifically my thinking.  Like squirrels are literally running around up there messing up my circuitry.  I'm wanting to restrict eating to "move this along", but know that is wrong with a capital WRONG.  Or, I want to have a free day and "get back on" tomorrow.  Or go lower on carbs. Or give this whole thing up.  Or fast for a day.  Lots of highly intelligent thoughts, si?  And as an addict of the first order, I know this is where the dysfunction and disordered eating is percolating - tapping my shoulder and trying to woo me over to the dark side.  As in chocolate (preferably not that dark!) and assorted edibles over which I'm truly powerless once they enter into my mouth.

This is like early sobriety when things being settling down, and one is starting to feel much better, and beginning to believe that "maybe I can do this".  And then the thought of a drink buzz, or a nice little journey to oblivion for awhile begins to pop up.  It's destructive thinking, and it can quickly lead to destructive drinking.  Again.  I finally made it through that a couple decades ago with the booze; but I haven't made it through in my quest for recovery from food addiction, overeating and obesity.  YET.

There are some differences this time.  My blood sugar meter is with me most of the time, and when I've had an occasion off-plan indulgence, I check my sugar to see just what the "treat" afforded me in terms of screwing with my sugar.  Seeing a high blood sugar is a lot more concrete and hard core than just wishing I hadn't just eaten whatever it was I ate.  It's like, reality, man!  More than that, by some miracle, I'm willing to check the number, rather than just be afraid of it.  That is still amazing to me.  Somehow, I now get that the number is what it is or (as I've paraphrased) it ALREADY is what it is and not knowing doesn't change it or make it go down.

I feel that I am present in the arena with the type 2 now, and I'm not going to let it betray me, beat me and erode my health.  I'm not fighting and invisible unknown enemy - I am able to monitor its whereabouts and take action to beat it back.  This has become more about Type 2 diabetes than losing weight, oddly enough.  The glucometer doesn't lie.  Sometimes the scale does, or gives me numbers that I can explain away by recalling a salty meal, being bloated, etc.  All the retained water in the world is not going to change my blood sugar.  And being faithful in using the meter and getting the blood sugar down is so far affecting my weight.  So far, so good.

My eating disordered mind still scares me.  I can't suddenly ignore it, or the voices it generates will eventually lure me back to disordered eating.  But I feel I have more tools now to stand up to my crazy ass mind.

This probably sounds like gobbledy gook, but it makes sense to me.  And even moreso as I sit here and write about it.  I had no intention of posting today, but as my hunger was roiling and I was contemplating eating something I'd regret, it seemed a good idea to write about it.  And believe it or not, I feel better for now.

Lastly, I can't say how wonderful it feels to wake up without regret in the morning.  This was an early reward in sobriety for me, and now with my diabetes journey to this point.  Absence of remorse on a daily basis is a great way to start each day.