Thursday, August 1, 2013

August news

Okay, business first.

August measurements (I did not take measurements in July, so these numbers are two months lost instead of the typical one).

Bust: 43.5" (0)
Chest: 37" (0)
Waist: 38" (-2.5)
Hip: 48" (-2.5)
Thigh: 26" (-3)
Calve: 20" (-1.25)
Upper Arm: 15" (-1)
Forearm: 11" (-1)
Neck: 15" (-1)

Total inches lost in two months: 12.25"
Total inches lost: 19.75"

My weight has plateaued in the high 240s - it varies between 247 and 249 and hasn't shown any signs of dropping.  I know why though; I've become very lazy with portion control.  I'm going to be stepping up my game in the next few weeks before school starts.  I've also been lazy with working out; again, going to step up that game before school starts.

Onto the fun.

My friend was here visiting last weekend and we went back-to-school shopping for clothes that (1) fit and (2) are professional enough to teach in.

Here's a little peak at what we found.

5 pairs of pants (including one pair of size 16 capris - they *almost* fit perfectly); 6 tops and one pair of really cute sandals (I can wear nice sandals to school in the fall).

Here's a pic of the size 18 jeans on - jeans that actually fit! :D

And then to top off the weekend, I found a size 16 little black dress that looks quite good (if I do say so myself).  I am going to a fundraiser this weekend and will be wearing it - I'll be sure to get a picture to show everybody!

Even though my weight is being stubborn, I am noticing how clothes fit differently (and that clothes that fit actually look and feel better) and being able to fit into sizes that are in the teens instead of twenties is a really good feeling.

When I started trying to lose weight I was wearing size 22 jeans from Old Navy's plus size department.  They had stretchy material in the stomach area and were the furthest thing from flattering imaginable.  And they were dangerously close to not fitting; realizing that the next step was buying size 24 jeans was a big catalyst to get my butt in shape.  Don't worry though; I've kept one pair of these jeans so that I can put them on and laugh at how far I've come; I'm planning an after picture in the jeans once I get to my goal weight - think I'll be able to fit both legs in one pants leg? :)

Perhaps even crazier, is the fact that I'm looking forward to going shopping again to find another pair of jeans and maybe some more tops before school starts.  Being able to fit into the things I want to try on in the fitting room is a crazy experience.

I'm not the weight I thought I would be before school started; but that's okay.  I'm going to challenge myself to see how healthy I can get in the next three weeks; I am planning to pretend like I am having to get to school by 7:15 in the morning (even if I don't actually have to) so that I get into the habit of waking up early, working out, getting ready and eating breakfast (and taking care of Owen!). 

And maybe I'll find some more cute clothes by the time school starts!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

June - measurements and goals

June measurements:

Bust: 43.5" (-1.0)
Chest: 37" (-2.0)
Waist: 40.5" (-3.75)
Hip: 50.5" (+0.5)
Thigh: 29" (+0.5)
Calve: 21.25" (-0.75)
Upper Arm: 16" (-0.5)
Forearm: 12" (-0.5)
Neck: 16" (0)

Total lost: 7.5"

My goals for this month,

Get my bloodwork done; I was supposed to do it about a month ago, but I didn't because I knew it wouldn't be good.  Now that I've lost some weight and am eating healthy, I need to get it done and evaluate where my blood sugar is.

Write my thesis (not health related, but it has to be done this month).

Get my weight under 245 pounds - this goal is a little lofty, but if I lose an average of 2 pounds a week, I can do it.

What are your goals this month?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May measurements

Normally, the goal would be to do this on the first Sunday of the month, but I just found the tape measure recently (as in this weekend when I was cleaning up the apartment - future me, it's in the drawer in the bathroom) as I consistently lose them and I'm pretty sure I'll find at least 3 when I start packing to move.  But, I digress.  I recently found the tape measure and I got my measurements done today.  In the future I will do this all together on the first Sunday of the month.

At the start of the month, I weighed 258.6 (this week, 257.0).

In case anybody has forgotten, here is my May pictures (I solemnly swear to do these every month - btw, I'm watching the Harry Potter marathon, are you?).

May 2013
And here are my measurements for the month.

Bust: 44.5"
Chest: 39"
Waist: 44.25"
Hip: 50"
Thigh: 28.5"
Calve: 22"
Upper Arm: 16.5"
Forearm: 12.5"
Neck: 16"

(and yes, somehow those seem worse to do now than writing my weight... can't wait to see those numbers go down too!)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Week 2 observations

So, I have been living my new life for about two weeks now, and I have been noticing and learning new things along the way.

First - and maybe most important - is that I don't have any guilt about eating anymore.  Before, even when I did have something that was healthy, I felt guilty every time I ate.  I was overeating and then feeling stuffed and guilty when I finally finished.  Because I felt so guilty, I would starve myself between meals, waiting to eat until I was so hungry I didn't care what I ate or how much I ate.  Because I was so hungry, I would overeat, and the cycle would start again.

Now, I plan out all my meals in the morning and I know the snacks I plan to eat throughout the day.  Honestly, most days - I plan too many snacks, but I'd rather have too many options than not enough.  I'm starting my day with breakfast, everyday.  Depending on when I have breakfast, I'll have a small snack before lunch and then another snack before dinner.  And then, I even have room in my calories to have a small "dessert" (fruit).  Because I know what I'm going to eat when I start my day, I don't feel any guilt about sticking to my plan and eating throughout the day.

I didn't even feel guilty when I went out for Cinco de Mayo with my friend last night; I had way too much sodium for breakfast and lunch, but compensated by drinking lots of water.  I drank a lot of water with dinner and then another 500ml when I got home before bed.  Of course, my weight was elevated this morning, but instead of letting it derail me, I planned a super low sodium day with plenty of water and fruit and a long walk.  And I feel great about my food choices for the day (and I'm looking forward to getting my berries and whip cream for dessert).

I'm learning about appropriate portion sizes (like, did you know that an appropriate portion of lean protein is only 3 ounces?  I got 6 appropriately sized portions of chicken out of two chicken breasts that I bought this weekend).  I'm still eating boil-in-a-bag brown rice, but I'm measuring it out and only eating one portion and saving the rest for later.  Fruit and veggies though, I pretty much let myself eat however much I want.

I realized just how much fat I was eating; even in the form of seemingly healthy fats (like olive oil).  I made a fantastic salad dressing today out of honey, dijon mustard, and balsamic vinegar - absolutely no oil required!  And I saved half to marinate my asparagus for dinner, which was fantastic, by the way.  This is what I like about tracking everything I plan to eat in sparkpeople before I start my day (I update if I change anything throughout the day, but it gives me a starting point).  That way, I can see right away if I'm going to go over my daily allowances of any macro nutrients, and make changes accordingly.  And tracking in the morning as I eat breakfast is way easier than tracking throughout the day as I eat.

I feel so much better.  I'm sleeping awesome at night and I've had very little acid reflux (it was so bad a year ago, that combined with stress I was throwing up 4 or more times a week).  I'm looking forward to getting rid of acid reflux once and for all, without medications.  Because I'm eating more often, and fueling my body with healthy things, I don't get hunger headaches anymore and my brain seems to be functioning a little better (more clear headed).  I took my blood pressure last night and it was [almost] normal for the first time in a long time.  I'm looking forward to lowering my blood sugar and hearing a doctor say (hopefully sooner rather than later) that I don't have insulin resistance anymore.

Working out isn't just a high for me, eating healthy is too.  Every time I eat something that I know is good for me, I feel empowered and excited to keep going with eating healthy.  I love getting to go to bed at night and rest my muscles, but I also love waking up still sore from my workout the day before.  Those things combined, make doing the "right" thing everyday inherently reinforcing, so I keep doing it.  I haven't cheat since I made the decision to eat healthy (I don't count my Sunday splurge as a cheat because it was planned and I made relatively healthy choices, all things considered).  I haven't binged and I haven't eaten something I've said I wasn't going to eat.  That's two trips to the grocery store with no bags of potato chips bought (incidentally, I love Trader Joe's because they don't carry the crap I'm addicted to - and yes, it is an addiction).

I've always said I like eating healthy foods - but I'm finding out it's really true.  I love fruits and veggies and I'm excited to keep trying new things and new ways to eat them.  I love my food co-op I tried last weekend, and I signed up for a new round this week - once I've tried a few baskets I'll blog more about them and show you some photos of the produce that I've gotten.

I feel energized to keep going; obviously what I'm doing is working (I lost almost 3 pounds last week), and even though I know this is going to be a long journey, I've broken down what I want into manageable goals.  This feels permanent and sustainable because I'm going about it in a completely healthy way and I'm 100% committed to getting healthy, and I'm excited to keep going and reach my goal weight!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Goal setting

Obviously, goal setting is super important to what I am trying to do.  So I thought I would sit down and explain where I came up with my numbers and also think about [for myself] what my goals along the way are.

My current long-term goal is 155 pounds.  I didn't just pull this number out of thin air; according to a lot of BMI calculators, this would put me right in the "healthy" category as opposed to "overweight." (Some calculators still put 155 at a BMI of 25, overweight).

However, I really do think that once I get down to 155, I'll want to keep going.  Not an unhealthy amount, but it would be nice to be square in a healthy BMI range without having to worry that one day off plan would send me into overweight territory.  I think I want to aim for 135 being my eventual goal weight; but for right now I want to focus on being healthy.  Once I get to 155, I'll reevaluate and see whether I'm happy there, or should keep working on losing weight.

One of my first big goals is obviously getting out of the 200's.  I cannot wait for that day when the scale says 199.  This will also mean that I will be more than half-way done with my weight loss goals.  But, 199 is a long way away (61 pounds as of this morning... well, that doesn't sound too terrible), and I want to celebrate smaller goals on the way down to keep me motivated.

The first short-term goal I have is to lose 25 pounds.  This would put me at 249; closer to 200 than 300 pounds (let me tell you, when I was gaining weight, that realization that I was closer to 300 than 200 was not a happy day).

After that I want to lose 54 pounds; a goal weight of 220.  For some reason I have 220 stuck in my head as a time where I wasn't thoroughly disgusted with my body.  (And 220 is closer to 200 than it is to 250, so that's always a good thing).

My weekly goal is to lose between 1 and 2 pounds.  That may not sound like a lot, but it's a manageable goal that I think I can meet easily each week.  If I lose more than that (and I hope I will once my metabolism gets going), then great!  But as long as the scale is lower (even if it is by just 1 pound), I will be happy.  Also, I know that I have a lot going for me in that I am 22.  I really really hope that once I lose the weight, I don't have to worry about excess skin (but that is not an excuse for staying heavy!).  Being young is a huge help for this, and also losing weight slowly.  People who are a candidate for the surgery lose 50%+ of their body weight, if I weighed 135, I would have lost 50.7%.  Hopefully, by losing weight in a slow, healthy way, I can avoid having to have surgery (because I've seen pictures and heard about it, and it does not sound like something I want to do!).

There are 18 weeks between now and the start of the school year (when I will hopefully have a teaching job).  If I lose an average of 2 pounds a week between now and then, I would weigh 225 pounds.  A huge difference!

There are 35 weeks between now and my 23rd birthday (and the start of the new year); if I kept up with my weight loss, I would weigh 191 pounds on my birthday!  That is exciting and super motivating.

And in one year?  I could be at 157; almost to my goal weight.

Breaking it down slowly like this helps a lot.  It is manageable.  It is possible.  And it will happen.

I think people who say that this isn't about getting thin are lying; of course it is about getting thin.  I am not healthy at the weight I am; when I lose weight my cholesterol and blood pressure will be lower and I will reverse the insulin resistance.  But do I imagine what my new life will be like being thin?  Hell yeah.  I can imagine what it will be like to go shopping and buy clothes in normal stores; I can't wait to buy clothes!  I imagine sitting in the airplane seats not thinking they are too small and not worrying about encroaching on the stranger sitting next to me.  I can imagine what it will be like to be thin; to be a healthy weight and to not worry that my weight will hold me back.  Hell yeah, this is about losing weight and being thin.  But as much as I want to be thin, it's also about not worrying about lifetime of Type 2 diabetes or a lifetime of blood pressure or cholesterol medications.

For me this is about losing the weight, being thin, and being healthy... and doing it all in a healthy way.

Only 12 more pounds to go until I can officially say I am closer to 200 than to 300 pounds.  Let's go!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

So this is what they meant..

...when they said you lose a lot of water weight first.

Because I have cried a lot in the last week.  This must be what they're talking about right?  Or am I the only one christening workouts and healthy dinners with tears?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Stumbling blocks. New day. New plan.

Yesterday, I spent a lot of time driving around and while I was driving I got to thinking a lot about my weight and what I am and am not doing right. I spent the weekend looking at inspirational weight-loss blogs and wondering why my blog is all about me failing.

The end of the semester is coming, and with it my anxiety, the loss of my short-term memory, and a strong urge to binge eat. I was doing well, I was keeping up with jogging and I was walking 3 miles everyday when Owen and I were in Houston. I came back from Texas weighing 261 pounds, something I was very pleased with because I knew I had not made good food choices the last few days there. However, stressors in Houston (family) and stressors when I got back from Houston (migraines and school), I’ve binged more in the last few weeks than I have in a long time. They aren’t full-out binges, I don’t eat all the food in the house. But, they are still binges and I need to acknowledge them as that. It isn’t normal to sit and eat through an entire bag of chips for a “snack”. And as I sat there reading all those inspirational blog posts, I wondered why I leave the store with all healthy things in my cart - fruits and veggies and chicken sausages and whole grains… And a bag of chips. And I wondered why I go home with all my fresh, healthy foods and sit down to eat the bag of chips. Not a snack size bag, but a full-sized bag of chips. I hate myself afterwards. I always do, and yet I still do it again.

I’m not going to do it anymore. I'm not going to set myself up for failure and then wonder why I failed. I'm not going to put things in my cart thinking that I will be able to control myself, I’m not going to let my emotions go grocery shopping for me. I need to do it was a clear head. I’m tired of looking in the mirror and hating what I see; hating that I haven’t been honest with myself. Hating that I’m only half committing myself to what needs to be a full-time job. If I am serious about losing weight, I need to do it 100%.

I recently signed up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) in Spokane and I'm really hoping that it ends up being a good thing. It is very affordable and it’s a way to get food that I should be eating without going to the grocery store; if I don’t go to the grocery store, I can’t buy unhealthy things.

I am also going to stop looking at a restaurant as a chance to “cheat”. Going out should be about being with my family and friends, not about how badly I can break my diet. I'm tired of going out with friends and then waking up the next morning feeling awful about myself, wishing I had made it made a better choice, wishing that I haven't gone out all. I love healthy foods, I'm not sure why when given the chance I turned to unhealthy things that I know I shouldn’t be eating instead of healthier options on the menu. I have plans to go out with the other grad students this weekend – to sushi. And instead of seeing it as a free-for-all (and eating the oh-so-good fried rolls) and instead of caving to pressure and ordering the same cheap rolls as everybody else, I’ve looked at the menu online and have planned what I am going to get. I am going to order an expensive meal, but a healthy one. One that I know I will like and one that I know will be good for me. And I’m going to enjoy being out with my friends and the fact that somebody else is preparing and cleaning up after my food, instead of worrying about and feeling guilty about what I am eating.

I know that losing weight doesn't come without an emotional sacrifice. You certainly don't get to be 275 pounds without carrying a lot of emotional baggage with you. There's a lot I haven't written about, about my weight gain, about my self-image both before and after I was heavy, but suffice it to say my story is no different than a lot of other women out there. I had crap happen in my life my and I turned to food to fix it. There's nothing I want more right now – except maybe a job – than to reclaim my life and to be able to live without my weight holding me back. I don't want every decision I make and every waking moment to be wrapped up in my weight. Whether it something I don't feel comfortable doing because I'm heavy, or a decision I have to make because I'm trying to lose weight.

One of the things I'm good at, is planning. I love making lists and I love planning things; it’s something I especially like to do when my anxiety gets out of control because planning things helps me to feel in control. And so today yesterday I went to the office store and bought a bunch of different colored sharpies and a new calendar and I sat down last night I planned my workouts for the next month. Workouts every day, using my elliptical, using the things I have in my apartment, and using the outdoors. I recently had to cancel my gym membership because I really can't afford it right now, and I know that I wasn't using it as much as I should've been. That doesn't mean I'm not going to work out, I have a very nice elliptical machine and I have lots of workout videos. I also have a dog who needs to go on walks. I have workouts planned every single day for the next 30-odd days. I'm doing the 30-day-squat challenge, and the 30-day-ab challenge while mixing in cardio and various other things. I know that by eating right and by getting active, I can make a difference in my body.

I know that this is a journey of trial and error, and I've definitely made a few errors along the way, but I'm finally ready to step up and take charge of my life. I can imagine what my new life will be like. I can imagine feeling confident in my body, being able to go shopping at the mall with friends and go to the same stores that they do and actually find clothes that fit and look good. I can feel what it would be like to ride horses again; it's not something you ever forget. When I reach my goal weight I'm going to seriously look into purchasing a horse; I don't care help how broke I am, it's something I need to do for myself. I can see what my new life will be like and I know I want to start living it, but I've been so scared to start.

No longer.

I'm ready to start living.

(Follow my daily progress and workout/food plans at my new facebook page: A Dog for Katherine is Losing It)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Radical change

In full disclosure, I'm writing this post a week before I intend to post it.  If I fall through, I won't post this and you won't be reading it (so me writing that is a bit of a moot point).

For the people who are linked to this blog from my main blog, welcome.

I'm officially outing myself.

I am more than 100 pounds overweight.

I am bigger than any of the female contestants on the Biggest Loser this season.

I wear a size 22.

I have pre-pre-diabetes (insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome).

And regardless of how I got here, I am the one who is in charge of changing it.

I am incredibly stubborn.  Anything I chose to do, I can and will get done.  But losing weight?  There is so much crap wrapped up in why I am so overweight, that mentally this is something I struggle to overcome.  I finally feel like I am ready to move on.

The month of February was not a good month for being healthy.  I would do everything right Monday through Friday afternoon, and then blow it on the weekend.  Once I had one bad day, and I saw the high number on the scale, I would blow it the rest of the weekend.  I was binging (not full-on binging, but still binging).  I haven't binged in years.

I know I was self-sabotaging.  I was afraid that just like every other time I've attempted to lose weight, that this wouldn't work either, and because of that fear I was blowing it for myself.

I've also learned that saying "no carbs" just makes me want to eat carbs that much more.

I'm finding a balance.  I'm limiting myself to whole-grains and vegetables that have carbohydrates instead of refined carbs.  But the trade is that I am working on eating more veggies and working out more.

Something has possessed me to try running.

I have never been a runner.  I joke that if I try to run, I trip and fall because I am a klutz.  I would tell you that in my entire life I've never been able to run.

And this is a reason that I think elementary PE really screwed me up.  I was always the slowest runner in every gym class I've ever taken.  Even when I was a healthy weight.  I have asthma that was way worse as a kid (I used to have to breathe into a nebulizer machine every night).  Of course I wasn't going to be able to run easily.  By the time I was in high school PE I was making excuses not to run, because I thought I couldn't.  But what I'm finding out, is that it isn't actually all that hard to run jog slowly.  And I don't hate it as much as I thought I would.  In fact, dare I say it, I kind of like waking up and going for a jog.  But thanks to physical education for years and years I never thought this would be something I could do.

I was talking with a friend the other week about her running, and she was saying how she ran when she was stressed.

I know another friend who lost a lot of weight running.

I think runners look good.  It's an exercise that uses your whole body, and that shows.  Somebody who runs is fit.

I was watching the Biggest Loser the other week and Danni was running a mile with Sunny.  And it dawned on me that there was somebody who a few weeks ago was almost as big as I am, and she was able to easily jog a mile.  (I'm watching this week's episode right now and she's jogging as I type...)

I love the idea of getting up early to go for a run before I have to start my day or at the end of a long stressful day.  I like the thought of being that person.

So what's stopping me?

Well, pessimist-me said, you don't know how to run.

So, like any good nerd would do, I, quite literally, googled "how to start running."  I found this great article online which basically said: get off the couch, put on your tennis shoes, leave the house, and go run.

Huh, is it really that easy?

Turns out it is.  Owen and I went running jogging-in-slow-motion for the first time yesterday.   I brought him with me.  You see, he is my prop.  When I can't run anymore, I slow to a walk and I look like a person out walking their dog instead of somebody trying to run.  I figure when I can run for long bursts of time and look like I know what I'm doing, I'll let him decide if he comes or not.

So today, I got a little more serious.  I told people I went jogging (they were all flabbergasted) and I told my mom that I want to go to her special shoe store where they find shoes for you based on how you walk and your needs (I hurt today, but it's mainly from old broken shoes instead of workout pain).  I ordered an armband for my iPhone (it will fit over my case on the phone - which by the way, I have no idea how to take off...) and I ordered these really cool attachments for my iPhone ear buds so they will be "running" ear buds.

I cried when I realized I needed to order the arm-band extender.

I downloaded a new app for my iPhone (miCoach - I'll review it once I get used to it).  It downloads workouts to your iPhone and will coach you through them and track your pace and progress.

If you're reading this blog post, it means I completed the first set of workouts (5).

If I didn't complete them... Again.  Moot point. :)

I have a lot of goals.  I have a lot of things I want.

I want to look considerably better at my graduation from my Master's program in May than I did at last year's commencement (I hate looking at those photos).

I want to look more toned and look good in interview clothes when I go to Texas in April so that I make a good first impression.

When I start my first job, I want to be able to wear clothes like the other teachers instead of clothes that don't fit my body and don't look good.  I want to be able to squat and kneel and do all the things I need to do as a teacher (including chase kids!).

I have signed up for NBC to email me when they are holding Biggest Loser auditions for next season.  By the time I get that email, I want to not fit their criteria anymore.  I want to get that email and laugh at the fact that I thought that may have been my last choice.  I want to know I was able to do this myself.

And as always, in one year I want to not be making weight loss goals anymore.  I want to have "staying healthy" goals.

There's a website where you can set your body type, height, and other features and plug in your current weight and your goal weight and it lets you see how you look at both.  This is my picture that was created.


The image on the left is my highest weight, the image on the right would be if I lost a total of 119 pounds.  I literally have an entire person to get rid of.  I'm working on getting actual photos of myself to put up, and measurements and whatnot so that one day I can be one of those people you see on Pinterest with a before and after photo that links to my blog.  Which means I need to get going before Pinterest becomes obsolete!

UPDATE (1 week after first writing this post):

So I did it.  I stuck with running for more than one week.  In fact, I have gone jogging/running/speed-walking/whatever-you-want-to-call-it a total of six times since I first decided to try running.  I'm able to jog for longer periods of time and am able to catch my breath easier.  I like the running app I'm using, it starts out nice and easy so you don't get overwhelmed by what you are trying to do.

I have new running shoes that I was evaluated and fit for... I don't like them.  Not yet at least.  With the Tourette's, I wear really really crappy shoes.  I'm going to tic.  That's a given.  If I'm wearing shoes with support that don't break and mold to my feet, it hurts when my feet tic.  If I wear crappy shoes with no support, it doesn't hurt so bad because the shoes bend when my feet bend.  The running shoes I got have a lot of support, I need it.  My feet are in shock right now at having to use shoes that have a great deal of support, and even though they felt good in the store, they hurt like hell now to wear.

I'm sucking it up when I go running now, and I'm going to start wearing the shoes on my rest days to continue breaking them in.  I think once my feet get used to them, they will make a huge difference.

Yesterday, I weighed in at 259.4, which puts my total lost right now at 15 pounds.  My goal weight is 155 pounds; that's what the BMI calculators say is a healthy weight.  My first short-term goal is to lose 10%; 27 pounds.  That's the first big milestone where they say you make big improvements to your overall health (lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, lower risk of type 2 diabetes - all things I am concerned about).  Only 12 pounds to go!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Letting Go

I've had to let go of a lot of things over the years.

The hardest though, was letting go of the sense of self that I had before Tourette's.  The person who I thought I was going to become didn't exist anymore.  I struggled to find a new sense of identity, a new understanding of who I was.

I have it now.

I am a person with Tourette Syndrome.  No, it doesn't define me.  But it explains who I am better than anything else can.  I am strong and stubborn.  I am not readily embarrassed.  I have an extremely high pain threshold.  I'm able to multi-task like a champ.  I have to work harder than a "normal" person for anything I want to achieve.

That part of me?  It doesn't need fixing.

When I go to a doctor the first thing they see is "Tourette Syndrome".  They then ask about medications for it and question my decision to be medication free.  They hear me ask them about remedies for severe muscle cramps and turn around and offer me tic meds instead.  They hear me list the homeopathic pills that control my migraines as well as prescription medications ever did and cut me off, asking, "But are you on any prescriptions?" 

They see this part of me as needing to be fixed.  If I'm ticcing, then clearly there is something wrong and I need medication.  Clearly, I want to not tic anymore.  Obviously, I want to just be "normal".

But this?  The ticcing and migraines and chronic pain and exhaustion and making a fool out of myself every time I go out into public?  That's who I am.  I've let go the person who I thought I would become (through a long grief process that took a lot of years to work through) and I'm happy with who I am.  I have a good life.  I don't need to "fix" something that isn't broken.

But in their endeavors to fix something that didn't need fixing in the first place, the doctors caused a condition that I had no business having in the first place.  Something, that without the pills I never would have had to live with.  They gave me metabolic syndrome.  Insulin resistance.

The pills made me gain weight and due to that weight gain and what the pills were doing to my body, my metabolism slowed down.  Now, it's hard for me to process carbohydrates and because of that my body has to produce more insulin, which raises my blood sugar and results in weight gain.

I never would have had to even know that, if it weren't for these doctor's and their "cures".  The doctors aren't the ones who suggested I get the blood draw to test for an insulin problem, I was.  I am the one who sought out and endocrinologist and I am the one who asked for these tests to be done.  How much longer would the doctors have waited before coming to this conclusion by themselves?  How long did I wait in silence, knowing something was wrong, but trusting the doctors?  How long did I gain weight knowing there was something not right, but not knowing what I could do about it?

This?  This I don't think I will be able to let go.

I'm certainly not ready to now. 

How do I move on from feeling betrayed by doctors who supposedly knew more about my condition than I did?  How do I move on knowing that no doctor will ever apologize for what they did to me?  No doctor will ever be held accountable for poisoning my body with prescription pills.  No doctor will even broach the subject with me.  They think that you should be happy if your tics are gone, even if you are overweight.  They think that it is better to be obese than it is to have Tourette Syndrome.  What kind of person would chose a disability over being thin?

But that isn't a choice I was given.  I was simply told to take the pills.  There was no discussion, nobody once said, "Maybe you should try something else if you're gaining this much weight."  Nobody even once said anything about my weight gain.

My general practitioner did this winter - I have borderline high blood pressure, but in a doctor's office it skyrockets to the point that you would think I were having a stroke.  I despise doctor's offices and I get stressed and anxious just thinking about it.  As my doctor and I were discussing this, she made the fatal error of saying if I lost weight it would probably help my blood pressure.

No shit.

As though I don't care about my weight.  As if I eat myself into oblivion every night.  As if I binge and don't exercise and don't care about how I look or feel.  When the truth of the matter is, I eat the same amount as any person.  I don't exercise as much as I should, but how many college students do?  Off of the pills that were dulling my senses and making me tired I exercise way more now.  I was being as healthy as I knew how to be and doing everything I knew how to do, it just didn't work.

And she had the gall to act like my weight was a revelation.  As if just pointing it out would solve my problems.

I don't get what the deal with doctors is.  They'll discuss anything candidly with you until it comes to your weight.  No wonder we have an obesity epidemic in this country.  If your doctor won't discuss it with you and bring it up, than maybe it isn't really a problem.  My doctor acted ashamed that she had to talk to me about being overweight, as though it were a taboo subject that she didn't want to broach.  That shouldn't be how it is.

If they're so ready to find a "fix" for my tics (something I maintain needs no fixing), then shouldn't they be just as ready to help me find a fix for my weight?

I'm angry and frustrated.  I'm so mad that this is my fight now and I wasn't the one who put me in this position to begin with.  I was 15 and clinically depressed, of course I was going to take whatever pills the doctors and my parents told me to take.  When I was 17 and they put me on migraine preventatives, even though I knew the pills were making me gain weight I was terrified to stop taking them.  I was terrified of the migraines I would get without the meds.  But you know what?  I'm on homeopathic supplements and doing fine.

I wasn't capable of making those decisions for myself at that point in time.  And the people who were making those decisions made the wrong ones.  Yet, somehow, it is my job to fix it.

So, no.  I'm not ready to let go yet.

Thursday, January 31, 2013


Damn Atkins is making me crave things.  All I want is sweets and breads and anything that's a carb.

I'm not having them though.

I'm staying strong.  For the most part.

I'm prescribing to the idea of 90/10 - 90% of the time is hardcore Atkins and 10% of the time I can splurge.  For example, I had some brown rice this week at Chipotle.  But, I didn't have beans or the tortilla, and I had the lowest-carb salsa (medium in case you're wondering). 

Tomorrow night I might allow myself some carbs; it depends how my weigh-in goes in the morning.  I have an excel graph where I've plotted out how I envision my weight loss trajectory going in a healthy way that has all of my weight lost by this time next year.  Obviously, it would be better if it were quicker, but I'll be so happy to lose anything, I'm okay keeping at it for one year.  I'm on track for where I wanted to be at the end of January.

My goal is to be at 220 by my graduation in May.  It's a little extreme, but so is this diet.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Day 1

Seven months ago I wrote this.

Seven months ago I thought my life was beginning.

Seven months ago I would have said in seven months I'll be so much closer to reaching my goal.

To being healthy.

In seven months I have accomplished nothing.

I tried.  I worked my ass off all summer.  For nothing.  I'm embarrassed to read some old blog posts talking about how much I was at the gym.  About how many hours I was working out.  About how heavy the weights were that I was lifting.  But it was difficult to keep up with that when the school year started and I was seeing no changes on the scale.  So I stopped.

This week I've been to the gym twice.  I have plans to go 3 times next week.  I'm not going to kill myself overdoing it, especially because of the next step of my plan.

I'm going full-blown Atkins.

My last post said I was waiting, waiting for an answer from doctors.  I have my answer.  Insulin resistance.  Otherwise known as metabolic syndrome.

On one hand, I'm glad to know I'm not crazy.  I'm glad to know that the reason I haven't lost weight doing the right things is because it's 5x harder for me to lose weight than a "normal" person.  And because of that I can't just do things the right way most of the time, it has to be the right way 100% of the time and then some.

On the other hand?  It's another diagnosis and I've been prescribed more meds to take because my blood sugar levels are too high.  I don't have prediabetes, but it's dangerously close.  If I don't get this under control, the next step is prediabetes followed by Type 2 diabetes.

I realized today while I was in bed thinking before I got up that a diagnosis of diabetes means never again will I have freedom eating what I want to.  Every food decision I make will be clouded by the fact that I have diabetes.  Insulin resistance is completely reversible through exercise and weight loss.  It's possible my body really doesn't tolerate carbohydrates well; maybe I will never be able to eat carbs again without spiking my blood sugar and worrying about what it will do to my body.  But if I am healthy, if I don't have insulin resistance, I can splurge once in a while.  I can go out with friends and eat what I want to, as long as I am careful the rest of the week.  I could have ice cream without doing dangerous things to my body.  I wouldn't have to be 100% careful 100% of the time.

I love food.  I love good food.  I love trying new things and going to good restaurants or cooking good food.  I don't want to have to worry every minute of every day about what I'm eating.  I want the freedom that comes with being healthy; so for now I'm willing to sacrifice that freedom.

The doctors recommended I go on a low carb diet.  They're sending me information in the mail about exactly what they want me to do.  However...  I do everything to the extreme.  If my problem is carbohydrates; that my body can't convert them to energy without spiking my blood sugar which in turn causes weight gain, then why don't I just cut carbs all together?

Atkins is hard core.  For phase 1 (which I'm planning on extending from 2 weeks to 4 weeks (or maybe longer) to maximize weight loss), I don't get fruit, startchy vegetables, or any grains.  I'm supposed to eat around 20 grams of "net-carbs" a day (fiber doesn't count).  What I'm quickly finding out, is that everything has carbohydrates.  I'm allowed to eat a lot of protein and basically as many veggies as I can (8 cups a day between salads and cooked veggies).  I went shopping with Owen yesterday and stocked my fridge with all sorts of non-startchy vegetables (fennel, zucchini, green beans, lettuce, radishes, squash...) and lots of proteins.  I can have cheese in small amounts, and if there is one thing that rivals my love of really good bread.  It's really good cheese.  I think Owen and I may venture to Trader Joe's one day to check out their cheese selection.  If I have to give up bread, I'm going to enjoy my cheese.

I'm a good cook.  In fact, were things different in my life (no "calling" to be a special ed teacher and no Owen), I think I would have ended up in culinary school.  I may love good bread and sweets, but I trust in my ability to make a meal from just a protein source and veggies.  I love eating vegetables, and I am going to use this time on Atkins to explore different vegetables and different ways of cooking them.  I know I can cook and I know I can cook vegetables in a way that I will want to eat them.  But I also bought an Atkins cookbook because I have never consciously cooked low-carb in my life.  Once I run out of what I know, I know I will be happy to have some inspiration for new meal and snack ideas.

Day 1 on Atkins (aka: the day my life really begins): 265 pounds.  110 to go.

Breakfast: super cheesy scrambled eggs with a smidge of sour cream.  3 eggs with 2 oz of cheese; I think tomorrow I will try with just 1 oz of cheese (I only get 4 oz a day).

Lunch: 2 small hamburgers with cheddar & pepperjack cheese (1/2 oz of cheese on each) & salad (dressed with olive oil, half a lemon, and parmesan cheese).  I also had some club soda with the leftover lemon; the meds the doctors have me on are making me nauseous.  (My salad ended up being my afternoon snack as the meds I took right before lunch made me so nauseous I didn't want to eat for a while.)

Dinner: pan fried green beans (with garlic & lemon) and steak with olive tapenade.  Yum! 

I'm having more club soda (with lemon) now as a preventative to settle my stomach as I had to take the second pill after dinner.  There's no rhubarb in the stores now; I forgot to check the freezer section in the store.  If I can find rhubarb, I can cook it down - Atkins says with artificial sweetener, I'll probably use honey or agave because I don't like eating the artificial stuff - and eat it with heavy cream for "dessert".

Day 1 was a success!  Here's to.... a lot more.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I am still waiting to hear back from the doctor on the results of my lab work.  They are suspicious of two things:

1) Insulin resistance - it's basically pre-pre-diabetes.  There wouldn't be anything medically to do in this case; but it would be helpful to know if I am insulin resistant.  This would mean it would be 5x harder for me to lose weight than an "average" person; so for every 2 pounds I lose, someone putting in just as much work would lose 10.  Another way of looking at it would be that for every one month somebody puts into losing weight, it would take me 5 months to lose the same amount of weight.  Sucks, right?  But at least I would know that the fight I am in for would be that much harder.  I would know that to see big numbers I would have to wait 5 or 10 months instead of 1 or 2.  It would suck, but knowing that this is what I am up against would help.

2) Some kind of thyroid problem.  I'm predisposed to thyroid problems as they run in my family (and while they aren't genetic in the way that they are passed down, if somebody in your family has a thyroid disorder it means that your genetics are such that you are more likely to have a similar disorder).  This would be good news in the way that it could help with my weight loss, but it would likely mean a lifetime of medications.

or 3) A combination of both things.

I should have heard back from the doctor last week, but still no answers.  I am calling (again) tomorrow morning, hoping that somebody somewhere has answers.

My weight has been fluctuating between 267 and 269 for the past few weeks.  Back to the gym tomorrow now that my schedule is figured out and my health is under control.  I figure it is better to start working on good habits now, even if I don't know what the doctors know yet.

Waiting, waiting, waiting...