Tuesday, October 7, 2008

T's story

So.... here's my scenario.

I'm 36 and overweight but I'm also athletic. I've run 5 and 10ks. I play tennis on a regular basis. In fact I made a t-shirt that said fat jock. My challenge is that I will got three weeks exercising regularly and then get thrown off because of work and don't exercise for the same amount of time. Like stef, I also love food. Thank god I live in the Bay area because people talk about food the way other cities talk about sports. You have more loyalty to your butcher than your football team.

I'm actually tearing up reading stef's story because it is parallel to my own. Up until about two weeks ago, my health stats were decent. I mean I'm not marathon runner but I was fine at every physical. Then I went to the eye doctor. Yes the eye doctor found tiny hemorrhages in my eyes that indicated diabetes. DIABETES? WTF? And that's where my own judgments and prejudices came into play - Isn't that for like old fat people? I'm not THAT fat. I have to keep telling myself this is a medical condition, not a punishment for bad living. The truth is, I'm scared shitless. I'm scared about going blind. I'm scared about getting my limbs amputates and I'm scared of living in a world without desserts. I'm REALLY scared about Splenda.

As I told stef, when we were starting up this blog, everything I know about diabetes comes from Steel Magnolias. So yes, I have these images of me getting a really bad haircut and dialysis and having my mother give me her kidney and marrying Dylan MacDermott and marinating 50 pounds of crab claws (seriously I know this movie well). Tonight is the first night of my diabetes management class. And I will be getting answers. As an added kicker, the blood tests also said that I had high cholesterol.

I'm also on medication to control my blood sugar but -- like my co-blogger -- I'm not all that comfortable mentally knowing that I'm relying on a drug to keep my health in check.

As it says in the blog title. This is a lifestyle, not a diet. The things I am trying to do I am trying to do for good. Not just until I lose X number of pounds. Unless contradicted by my diabetes management class, I am doing this slowly. There are many things on the list to do but here's what I commit to do immediately:

1. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. There's a lot of mindless eating I do and it's primarily starch. The thing is, I love to eat fruits and veggies and I rarely put junk food in my body. But I do use quite a bit of butter in my cooking and do rely on the white flour.

2. Exercise three times a week.
This shouldn't be hard. I love exercising. But an exercise routine is so easily derailed. I think of the challenge as the activation energy. If I have enough activation energy to exercise regularly and get over the "I'll go home first and then never go to the gym at all" mentality, then I will have more energy overall. I do know there's a positive feedback cycle of the more you exercise and eat well the more it becomes second nature and easy.

If I get those two things in place, I hope everything else will come together like the portion control and the protein especially. Stage two also includes more whole grains and less white flour but baby steps.

This blog is good for me because I'm a talker. If I SAY I will do things, it makes it a whole lot more likely I will do it. I like having stef as my blogging buddy because she has walked this road and know it's tough.

One other thing, this is a judgment free zone. I was telling stef, one reason I wanted to start this blog and NOT tell everyone about it is because I want to share my struggles and triumphs without having the people in my life turn into the food and exercise police. For all of you out there, share your triumphs and struggles and stories, but please no "shoulds."

Tonight: I am going to the diabetes management class. I am desperately hoping they are not telling me to go on Splenda.

P.S. THANKS Stef!!!!!!

1 comment:

Stef said...

So much of what you said echoes my own thoughts and feelings. (And since I just found Steel Magnolias on sale for 5 bucks at Target, I am totally rewatching soon.)

I'm very curious to see what you will learn in your class tonight, please share. My dad is a triple threat - hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes, and I know I have high risk factors for all 3. I also can even tell on a day-to-day basis when I'm having blood sugar issues based on how I feel, so I definitely want to learn whatever you'll be learning.

One major thing I want to learn from you and from our blog-commenty friends (meet my friend Emily, especially!) is how to make homemade cooking more a part of my life. I'm really not confident in the kitchen - it was Dad's kitchen growing up and I really regret that they never taught us how to do anything more than boil water. Since I'm not very confident, I'm not very creative, but I swear I can be taught! So I hope you'll also share the methods you find for incorporating more produce and better ingredients into your meals.

And - word. No judgment here!