"Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food." Hippocrates

"One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three-quarter keeps your doctor alive." Hieroglyph found in an ancient Egyptian tomb

"It is a matter of common knowledge that any processing that foods undergo serves to make them more harmful than unprocessed foods." McDonald's Corporation legal statement, shown in the documentary Supersize Me.

“Control the oil and you control entire nations; control the food and you control the people.”~ Henry Kissinger

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A bit of history & a new start

I struggle daily with the weight problem. I quit seeing the food counselor about my food problem/addiction over 2 years ago. While seeing him, the scales creeped up even higher. Yikes. I became angry with him when I was working a 2nd shift job and he "demanded" that I quit sleeping in until 9 or 10am every morning. The fact that I worked evening shift and was only getting 8 hours sleep anyhow didn't matter. (He thought that was being lazy). I became angry when he "poo-poo'ed" the idea that food could be an addiction. And then there was the fact there was only 1 chair in the entire waiting room that I could sit in & it was always occupied by a thin person. :( I'm not able to stand for a long time--and he always ran late even though I had the first appointment after lunch.

Needless to say, it's easy to feel like a total failure. I miss the OA meetings. The accountability of the HOW program worked for me. Actually it's been the only thing I can say ever really worked for me. Until now.

I have pondered and played with the idea of the lap-band surgery. My Dr wants me to have gastric bypass. Deep down inside I know that it won't work for me. It is nothing more than a tool and like everyone else I want to see it as a "fix". I am terrified of weighing 500 lbs. I figure at my present rate of weight gain, I will be there within a year. Walking is almost impossible. I forced myself to take step after step trying to get into my work place until it got to the point I couldn't do it any longer. I am not able to walk more than 200 ft and I have to stop and "rest". I now ride my mobility scooter into work. (I work at a university and the parking permits should be called "hunting permits". I wish I could measure the distance between parking spots and my office). This is my prison.

So I guess it comes down to two choices really. (1) Losing weight is really hard. (2) Being fat is really hard. Which one do I choose? I have struggled with (1) and lived under (2) for so long now. I cannot go on like this. I am killing myself slowly with the food. I have been diagnosed as a diabetic. My body is breaking down. I can only shop with a scooter. I am not able to walk Wal-mart or any other store. I hate my life like this.

I decided to choose (1). I have been seeing my Dr monthly for weight loss. I need the accountability. I don't know why for me, getting on that scale monthly with the accountability and facing those demons actually works for me. God give me the strength to do this. I cannot go on like this.

So what made me finally decide to give in? Well, I was reading in my health benefits package from work that the lap-band surgery approval now requires that you do a 1-year Dr program BEFORE you are allowed to have the surgery. Does that mean that in one year I am going to have the surgery? No, actually that is not the plan for me. Obviously they want some major life changes before they approve the surgery. And I want those changes too. I do not think surgery is the answer. If I can't learn to change BEFORE, then nothing after will help me.

I feel like this hard-core case stuck in this prison of a 400+ lb body. What makes me eat these excess calories? What will it take for me to break out of this prison?

I have been following a "diabetic" diet for the last 6 months and have lost 24 lbs. I should be thrilled! But it's 1LB a week. My Dr is thrilled. She said that is all she is asking from me...1LB a week. Losing it slowly and safely and keeping it off. She would be thrilled if I would do low-carb, but I'm a vegetarian. And that is really difficult to do when you don't eat meat. However, technically in the last few years I have became a pescatarian, which just means I still eat vegetarian + I eat fish now. I haven't restricted my carbs to any extreme since losing the weight; just the calories mostly. I am allowed 2 "starchy" carbs per meal. But I find that the bread & potatoes are my true weaknesses. Somethings never change. :) I have given up most of the sugar and learned to like my occasional sugar-free "treats".

Now I've decided to cut out the bread and potatoes. I call it a "Low-er carb" diet. I would prefer the 2LB weight loss a week. I have a really long way to go!! Based on a 2000-calorie diet, which should be the average American's diet, you eat about 300 grams of carbs a day. That's about 2-3 "starchy carbs a meal. Two carbs servings are translated into 2 slices of wheat bread, 2/3 cup of pasta or rice, 1/8 slice of fruit pie, 1 small(!) serving of McDonald's french fries. That being said, how many Americans do you know that only eat 2000 calories a day? And only 300 grams of carbs? Seriously...how many do you see eating at McDonald's a bun-less burger & small fries? Sadly as Americans, we don't eat alot of produce at all. It's usually what goes to waste in our fridges. But not the boxes of Little Debbie snacks!

My biggest gripe with low-carb diets (other than missing the starch!) is the planning. It really does take time to eat healthy. Those drive-thru's and potato-as-a-side restaurants are soooo easy to order from. I think of it as mindless eating. We just eat it and say: everyone eats this way and I'm still doing better than "so-and-so". Maybe it's time I became accountable for my life. We (Americans) eat this way every day and act like we're going to live forever. I'm beginning to see my mortality and the diseases I have because of my 40+ years of unhealthy eating habits. Maybe I should say 20+...because I sure didn't eat like that when I was growing up.

Maybe becoming diabetic is sadly what I needed to make these changes. So I'm going to try sharing my weight loss here again. Even if no one ever reads this, I need the space to journal and sort out some of the feelings and frustrations, celebrate the small victories, and who knows...maybe just 1 person will stumble upon my blog and I will inspire them to make their own changes.

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