14 August, 2009

My Crusade

Well folks—
I restarted Scattershot so I wouldn't feel obligated to post all politics all the time—then promptly posted 5 political articles. Go figure.

BUT, today I'm departing from that and posting something that has been consuming my waking hours for several weeks. I think I can safely post about it now without jinxing it.

First allow me to say that there's absolutely NO wake-up call like a diagnosis of diabetes. None whatsoever. Nada. Nothing.
The prospect of blindness. Liver damage. Amputated feet. Kidney failure. Heart failure.

For years, I'd try to diet—but would keep eating the same old junk food—just less of it. So, I was hungry all the time and I wasn't losing weight. I’d feel deprived and, sooner or later, would stop dieting. Then I would pig-out and end up GAINING weight. Eventually, I just quit trying. And I kept on eating all the wrong things.

Well, shortly before that fateful diagnosis hit me upside the head with a 2 by 4, a friend’s doc told him to eat 5 times per day to lose weight. I decided to try it. I began eating vegetables and fruits and whole grains and such for the first time in my adult life. And I didn’t lose weight. Rrrrrrrrrrggggghhhhhh!
Still, for some reason, I kept at it—who knows why? Maybe one reason was—I wasn’t hungry and I WAS eating right, at least and at last.

So, then I got the diagnosis and I panicked. Lucky for me, my doc sent me to a nutritionist who congratulated me on my move toward healthy eating and explained what I was doing wrong. All I had to do was tweak my diet a bit and the pounds began to fall off. Hey! I was onto something here!

So far, I’ve quit taking the blood pressure medications I’d been on for years AND I’ve quit taking the diabetes med my doc put me on about 5 weeks ago.
I’m eating right, swimming at least once per day and walking most days, as well [another first in more years than I can count.]
One thing that helped in the swimming department was the move, a couple of years ago, to a retirement community. I hadn’t worn a swimsuit in decades—because I would be faced with all those 20-somethings worshiping the sun whenever I headed to the pool. Here, though, almost everyone looks just like me! So no more avoiding the pool out of self-consciousness. The fact that the pool is about 3 blocks away helps too.
And, today, I received another major surprise. During today’s walks [first to the pool and later to my park’s maintenance office] I found myself walking fast! THAT’S a first in years and years.
I wasn’t pressing myself to walk faster—I just did it! It felt completely natural!
Right now I’m restraining myself mightily. If I’m not careful I may just break my arm patting myself on the back.

And—here’s the proof of the pudding:
1] I’ve lost 24 pounds [from 236 down to 212] in—what?—about 5 weeks. My goal is 135 pounds—maybe even a few less than that—we’ll see.
2] Though I’ve quit the blood pressure meds, my bp hovers around the 130’s/80’s range—a marked improvement even from the levels when I was taking 3 meds to keep it under control.
3] My fluid retention has dropped dramatically—though I’ve stopped taking the diuretic. OK, OK, yes, I’m taking dandelion root now but, hey!—it’s not nearly as strong as HCTZ AND it is high in potassium, which the HCTZ was leeching from my system. So, that’s a Good Thing.
And [4] **drum roll** my blood sugar level hit 78 yesterday! SEVENTY EIGHT!
For those who may not know—70-90 is normal. And my starting level was 154!

So—today I’m claiming my bragging rights—in case you hadn’t figured that out already. =)


Dave Dubya said...

All Right!!! Well done.

Steady as she goes. Beware of the crash and rise yo-yo syndrome.

Since I retired, I have been losing 5-7 pounds a year. That was my gain rate while working.

My shepherd mix Lucy Jean sees to it that I walk every day. Bless her heart. Now if I take as good care of myself as I do my dog, I'll probably drop 15-20 lbs. per year.

two crows said...

hi Dave--
congrats to you, too, on your loss.

yep, I'm planning on being careful and not allowing the yo-yo to take effect. I'm not thinking of this as a diet. it's a change in habits. in fact, that's why I kept at it even though I wasn't losing weight.

I don't have a dog. Jake-the-cat-that-allows-me-to-share-his-house wouldn't tolerate that.
still, I do walk to the pool every day and to the office most days.
to be brutally honest, I might start carting again after I reach my target --or, maybe not-- we'll see.

Ramonas Voices said...

Well, congratulations! I hope you've talked to your doc about dropping the meds. But it sounds like you're on the right track.

So let's see. . .Walk, walk, walk. I walk at least a mile a day, most often more.

Eat five times a day. Yep, I do that--and then some.

Eat healthy. Aw, you've got me there. I'm Bad. . . I don't drink and I don't smoke, but my eating habits are downright embarrassing for a kid my age (!) I'm fine when life is calm, but add any stress and I'm reaching for chocolate and ice cream. I dropped 20 pounds last winter but it's coming back. I can't afford to have it come back. I still need to lose a good 30 pounds.
I look for whole grains and I do love veggies and fruits, but I still eat more processed foods than is healthy. But I'm working on it.

Keep us posted on your progress. And how about passing along some hints on keeping full? I tend to eat even when I'm not hungry, just to be doing something. Especially when I'm working in my office. I haven't been able to combat that yet. (I know, I know--don't take food into my office. But I can see the refrigerator from my desk.)

LeftLeaningLady said...

That is so incredibly awesome. You are doing a fantastic job of taking care of yourself and you should be very proud of yourself.

I am trying to eat better and exercse more also so I know how hard it is. So far I have not gained any weight, but my husband has lost 12 pounds. :-)

Keep up the good work!

two crows said...

hi, Ramona-
thanx for checking out ST.

yep, I told my doc I'd quit the bp meds. not so much the diabetes med, not yet anyway. but my levels are so low I'm not worried.

I used to keep cheetos and candy under my desk. THAT'S how bad I was!
I got into such habits back when I weighed 120 and never gave em up till 6 weeks ago -- at 236.

in fact, right now [and for 2 more days] I'm eating more calories than I had been. a friend tells me that's how to get off the plateau I've been on for the past week. I hit 211 and stopped cold. maybe writing about the weight loss DID jinx it?

two crows said...

hi LLL--
hee hee! I've heard of sympathetic pregnancy -- but sympathetic weight loss is a new one.

the exercise has been harder for me -- till recently.
I keep an xl spreadsheet that details what I eat, calories, what exercises I do and my weight, bp and sugar levels.
just being able to write "both" [swimming and walking] in the exercise column keeps me honest in that dept. same with the foods I eat. and seeing my numbers go down feels SO GOOD! =)

keep up the good work -- you'll catch up with your husband yet!

two crows said...

oops, I missed one, Ramona--
I used to eat when I wasn't hungry, too. I called it 'mouth hunger' as opposed to 'stomach hunger'.

I can't say for certain, but I think it might be because I was eating only empty calories. you say you eat fruits and veges, so maybe that's not the reason for you but I was the biggest junk-food-junkie you've ever met.

since I've been eating healthily, I'm rarely hungry, now. and, if I do feel a twinge, well, I'm gonna eat again in an hour or so [I eat every 3 hours] so I know I can hang on till then.

mebbe some of this'll help?