Friday, January 08, 2016

Happy Fucking New Year

The waiting room at my internist's office
It all started this week with my doctor appointments. Since I knew we'd be home, I scheduled a mammogram and a follow-up visit with my general practitioner, who's an internist. May as well start the year off with a fresh health baseline, right?

The mammogram appointment was yesterday and I got an all clear - I always knew my boobs were worthy of a passing grade - and today I went to see my regular doctor to follow up on my September 2015 visit.  I also wanted to have a few new things checked out - my left ring finger that's crooking before my eyes, and I have a pain in my right elbow.

Remember how just 8 days ago I wrote about my health in #37 of my year-end meme?

Well, I spoke a little too soon, because January 8th will now be remembered as the date I got news I wasn't expecting and wasn't at all thrilled hearing. The report I got back from my blood work revealed results that demand I make some very big changes in my life. 
My doctor wanted me to lose ten pounds before I saw her again, and I did, so she was happy about that, but it's not enough. She wants more. 

Being a 48-year-old generally healthy fatty isn't going to cut it anymore.  I need to be wholly healthy and I have to lose weight. And I must exercise. Even just a little. The bike riding and walks that Ed and I have done in the past has to move from occasionally to regularly.

My doctor, a fit flame-haired Czech, understands the struggle. She comes from a family of fatties, even though she herself has a smokin' figure. She said she knows how hard it is to make good choices - she mentioned people bringing donuts to the office, donuts that call her name, loudly - but said she usually says no because she's already had breakfast. She said, "I want that donut, I really do. But I choose not to have it." 

It's going to be hard. And I'll tell you right now, I'm going to hate every fucking minute of it.  And you'll probably hear about it.  The changes to the eating won't be nearly as challenging for me as the exercise. That's just never been my thing.

Even when I was younger, I hated to move more than necessary. My brother and I would play catch - yes, catch, I even had my own really awesome leather baseball glove - but if missed the ball and had to go walk to get it, I'd be annoyed. When doing chores, I'd opt for the inside chores (because it was cooler inside) and trade my brother the ones that involved too much activity.  I'd do two of his for one of mine, that's how much I hated physical labor. I was a cerebral child and I'm a cerebral adult, manual labor is for other people.

To this day, when carrying groceries into the house from the car, I load myself up like a pack mule so I don't have to make more than one trip. I hate to park far away from any establishment. I about have a heart attack when walking in New York City with my friends Marlaina and MacG - seriously, they're fucking speed walkers. And if I have to make more than one trip because someone who was incompetent caused me to go back and forth - oh, like trying to find the doctor's office in a giant medical compound because the girl who gave me directions left out something important, like the building number - I get seriously irritated.  And it's not because I'm incapable of walking - hell, I walked all over Italy like a native - I just don't like it. And to have to do it as exercise, instead of for a purpose, like to get from point A to point B, is torture.

But that shit's gotta change. So, here's the plan:

MOVE
The plan for moving is to walk. It's the easiest thing to do and I don't need any special equipment.  I've got two legs and an iPod. Nothing else is needed. And I've got Ed - he said he'd help me with the exercise part.  And in the areas we can pull our bikes out, we'll do that, as I much prefer bike riding.

SIMPLIFY
The plan for food is to simplify. No sugar - meaning no added or obvious sugar. No white stuff - white bread, potatoes, rice, etc. No fast food - unless it's a grilled chicken salad. No lattes or my favorite General Foods International Italian Cappuccino drink. No Diet Coke - that's going to be a hard one. No junk food. No Dunkin' Donuts. No cheese danish at Starbucks. I don't want to use the trendy buzzword of "clean", but it seems like it's going to be sort of like that.

STOCK UP
What I will eat are fruit and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, Greek yogurt, lean protein, etc. The good thing about the food part is that I like almost everything. In fact, I love good food.  I grew up on it, never having anything packaged or frozen.  I don't have any food allergies and I'm not a picky eater, so there won't be many obstacles for me. There are foods I don't like but they're not essential nutrient foods that will be a problem if not eaten.

COOK SMART 
I will also have to make changes in the way I cook, like cutting down on the use of butter as a fat for 
sautéing and cooking. I use olive oil all the time, but I also use butter, and that part I need to limit. Also, I will have to watch the canned foods I use since they're high in sodium.  In the truck, although I buy plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, I rely on canned goods because they're easy to stock and they're always available in a pinch. I've even resorted to using jarred pasta sauce because it's quick and easy. But many of these conveniences have added sugar and salt that I'd like to try to stay away from. So I'll be phasing those out.

DOWNSIZE
The biggest change with my eating will deal with portion sizes. I come from a family of giant portions. And no, my whole family is not fat.  My parents were always thin (although my mother is a bit of a butterball now, but she's 73 so I'm cutting her some slack), my brother is thin, my aunts and uncles are thin, my cousins are thin, my grandparents were thin...hey, wait a minute...could I be the milkman's kid?? OK, what I'm trying to say here is that although my family always ate big, for some reason it didn't cause them to be big. OK, I must be the milkman's kid.

Seriously though, I will limit portions sizes on the things that need limiting. I might OD on a head of cauliflower, but I don't think that's going to cause too much of a problem.

You know, even as I write this I'm not convinced I can do it. It's overwhelming and really feels like a daunting task. And the commitment? It's a big one. I always begin great, but I peter out. But now if I fail, I'll be doing it in front of tens of thousands of readers.

But you know what?  Failing doesn't even scare me. I'm not afraid of failing. It doesn't break me. And sometimes I think that might be a bad thing, because I think if you're afraid of failing you try harder so you don't fuck up.

I'm a very confident person, always have been.  And I've always liked myself, so I never felt as if failing at something had to do with me being the reason for the failure.  I never get down on myself. Even though I've failed miserably at dieting so many times in the past, I just kept trying thinking one day I'd get it.  Something would click.

While I was in the doctor's waiting room I read a TIME magazine interview with Adele where she was talking about how being a mother has given her purpose and how it makes her feel and she said, "He makes me so proud of myself, and he makes me like myself so much. And I've always liked myself. I've never not liked myself. I don't have hangups like that."


And I thought to myself, that's me. I've always liked myself, I've never not liked myself, and I don't have hangups like that. I've always felt beautiful, no matter what size I've been, and because I've always been healthy, I never gave the health thing a thought. But isn't that always the case?  Why think about something that's not a problem?

Well, you don't. Until it becomes a problem.


The doctor asked me a bunch of questions today, taking notes as I answered. Then asked, "When did this start?" - meaning the pain in the elbow, and the finger pain - and I had no idea. I said, "I really don't know. I'm never sick, I don't worry about anything, and I haven't documented any kind of changes because they haven't been significant enough for me to notice.  Until now.  So I guess I'd have to say sometime in the last year? Maybe six months?"

That's as specific as I could get. And that's why we're here.

I'm not turning this into a weight loss blog.  And I promise that you'll never see ONE recipe that includes kale. But I will write about what's going on. I got a real wake up call, a loud one, and it's time to take action.

I'm going to try to turn the sarcastic title of this post - Happy Fucking New Year - into an actual Happy Fucking NEW Year.

It seems fitting now, the word I chose in my 2015 year-end meme to represent 2016.

BLISS. That was my word.

When I looked up the meaning of the word, it said "perfect happiness, complete joy".

I think if I can make some progress with this, I have a pretty good chance at perfect health happiness and great body joy.

Monday is D-Day, folks.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: Smart And Talented
2014: Who?
2013: Doing A Complete 180
2012: Apple Is My Life. I’m Living It To The Core.
2011: Men (And One Little Man) At Work
2010: Miss Me Like It’s Forever
2009: Speak Already!
2008: On The Hunt
2007: Cash For Life
2006: Nice Melons
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

1 comment:

Belledog said...

You'll do fine, Salena. Portion control is the big one. And make it into a YEAR of getting healthy; longterm picture.

I hate getting my car doors banged up, so I always park as far to the outside of parking lots as possible and relish the walk in. It's a little exercise, which is enjoyable, and the car thanks me.

Look forward to hearing more of your road to cleaner eating. Good luck! Hope the beloved cottage cheese is still on the approved list. (More sodium than one thinks, but it's not like you eat it every meal. Plus, a fruit delivery device, and lots of protein.)

Alma swore by "no white stuff" and loved steamed veggies. Which are more delicious than one would think , when they are fresh.