Dr. M and the six month checkup

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This past week I had to check in with my cardiologist.  Last summer, I checked in for sinus surgery only to find that my blood pressure was 263/195, so up I went to ICU for a week.  Apparently, I have some kind of issue where my body is resistant to efforts to restrain my blood pressure and then proceeds to hike my blood pressure up even more.  There’s a big long story behind it which I don’t feel like sharing so back to checking in with the cardiologist…

My cardiologist, Dr. M, is a pretty awesome dude.  He’s very energetic, positive and sticks to the point.  Dr. M really won me over at “contrary to what you hear about the medical profession, my goal is to never see you again.  You seem like a nice person but I really want to get you off the meds and never need to see you in a medical situation again.  I want you to get things under control.”  When I left his office six months ago, I had a plan.  I was going to exercise, eat right and blow him away with a 50 pound weight loss in six months.  Fast forward to last week…I gained 26 pounds.  From the second that my hyper little nurse said “step on the scale”, I knew it was all downhill from there.  I was fuming.  I believe my exact words were “damn shoes, of course I’d wear the heavy ones today.”  She didn’t even acknowledge me speaking.  By the time Dr. M came in, I started in with the whole I’m exercising, I’ve made big changes and yet I gained weight.  He asked how my eating was and I admitted that I don’t eat the greatest but I’m exercising, doesn’t that count?  He said that yes, the exercise is probably what kept me from gaining more than 26 pounds.  I told him about trying Paleo, going gluten free, etc.  Dr. M looked around and said “I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with those plans but it’s really about burning more calories than you’re taking in. Do you understand that?  You can try anything that you want, but you have got to understand, you have to burn more calories than you eat. That’s it.”  He gave me my paperwork and I asked when he needed to see me again and he said “I don’t.  There’s nothing else I can do.” 

Do you understand what that means?  He’s given up on me.  This wonderful doctor who saved my life in September 2013 has done all he can.  I get it though.  His practice is full of patients who swear they listen to him and yet he obviously can see that they’re not.  How could I even defend myself against being bigger than I was 6 months ago AND my blood pressure elevating again?  I couldn’t.  I had failed.  Dr. M is very passionate about being a cardiologist.  Six months ago, he sat with me and explained all about a healthy heart and what we, yes – he said we, need to do to have a healthy heart.  I was stoked at that appointment and he was stoked that I was stoked.  Then I walked out of there and blew it all off. 

I wanted to run back into his office and beg him to see me in six months, that this time I would have lost weight but why should he believe me?  Between me and Dr. M, he had made a bigger effort than I had.  I was disgusted.  Not at my weight but that I had burst his balloon.  Now I’ll just be another patient to him.  I won’t be his success story.  But stop! Collaborate and listen!  (Couldn’t resist.)  I can be his success story.

I emailed my nutritionist and told her what happened and how upset I was.  I let it all out to her.  She emailed me back and gave me a huge pep talk and chewed me out, both of which I needed.  I woke up the next day at 5:30am and did yoga.  I meditated and decided no more promises six months into the future.  I will focus on today.  One day at a time.  And you know what?  I’ve lost 7 pounds since that appointment but besides that, I’m tracking my food intake and focusing on what I’m putting in my body.  I’m going to hang in there and keep trying.  And someday, I’m going to show up at Dr. M’s office as a success story.  I just know it.

Boobs

Boobs.  I have them.  I hate them.  They are of no use to me.  My boobs have always been big but since I’ve gained weight, well, they’ve taken big to new proportions.  Now I’m not Beth the Bounty Hunter big (frankly, those things should be illegal) but I’m big enough.  I have never owned cute little bras from Victoria’s Secret.  I always think it’s comical when I walk into that store, a saleslady approaches me with “are you interested in a bra makeover?”  I always respond with “you’re not ready for me, now where’s the lotion?”  A bra makeover?  And I’m always asked by a little thing whose head is smaller than one of my boobs.  I would love a bra makeover by you!  Because I want you to head to the bar with your friends after work discussing the freak show that you measured today. 

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Ugh.  Boobs.  I’ve never been able to pull a cute little lacy number out of the bargain bin for $7.  The only thing worse than wearing these massive sand bags is trying to dress them.  My bras involve non stretch, heavily starched straps that I believe are made of cables that you see holding the Brooklyn Bridge up and underwire that I’m pretty sure is made of recycled helicopter blades.  Now that I’m older and have experienced many years of what bra not to get, I pretty much have it down to a science.  I march into the store, head back to the bras, find the one with a cup size that is large enough to hold a head of cabbage with no stretch material to be found on it and that’s the one I take into the fitting room and end up taking home. 

My boobs are a major hindrance to my exercise regimen.  Right now, I’m focused on walking because I really want to walk 5k’s this summer.  Outside of walking, I’m working my arms with some strength training and dabbling in a little yoga.  Yoga and boobs do not mix.  I’m twisting and stretching and my boobs are being smashed up into my throat.  The instructor says “relax and breathe.”  Relax and BREATHE?  The two are NOT mutually exclusive at this juncture!  Hell, my lungs have just dropped down into my ovaries waving a white flag yelling “WE SURRENDER!”  My thighs are laughing at this mess because at least I’m not blaming them this time. 

I once tried sit ups on an exer-ball.  Laying down went great.  Sitting up, yeah, that didn’t happen.  I did 10 reps crunching about 3 inches and rolled onto my side.  Jumping jacks?  That day was not pretty.  Laying on my stomach and doing reverse push ups?  Considering my front half is already 3 feet off the ground, there wasn’t a whole lot of room to go in reverse! 

Boobs.  They are a constant reminder to me that I have entirely too much body fat.  Too much body fat on my chest.  Around my heart.  Limiting my air intake.  My lungs have not fully expanded for years leaving me at risk for fluid in the lungs.  So I’ve been working on taking big, deep breaths to fully inflate my lungs.  I’m going to start doing a lot of chest presses – with this chest, I should be able to chest press a Chevette – but for now, I’ll work with 10 pound dumbbells.  I tried push ups but my knees are really hurting me lately so I’ll settle for the chest presses.  I must, I must, I must shrink this freaking bust!   

I’m hungry…so why are my #@!%& pants still tight?

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Anyone who has ever dieted has been there.  You’re exercising like a banshee, you’re making your body do movements it hasn’t seen in 15 years, you’re living on watercress and freaking lettuce roll ups and after three weeks of this hell, you’ve lost five pounds and you’re still struggling to get into your jeans.  What gives?!?  So I asked my doctor, “yo doctor, what gives?”  (I become philosophical when speaking to my doctor, so try to keep up with the lingo).  His answer was simple:  the body doesn’t like change. 

I have spent years teaching my body that it needs 3,000-5,000 calories a day.  And French fries.  And nacho cheese.  And everything else that shouldn’t pass through my liver.  Now I’m changing it up and my body is wondering what the hell happened.  I have trained my body to believe that it has to keep me alive by processing this crap in a bowl and now I’m throwing spinach, baby carrots, and zucchini at it and it doesn’t know what to make of it.  But it will learn.  It has to start over.  That’s the price I pay for the abuse I’ve put my body through.  Let this be a lesson kiddos.  If you live on Mt. Dew and Twizzlers or whatever junk is kiddy crack these days – you will pay the price. 

I’m still following the motto “food is medicine.”  It is making a huge difference when I make my meal choices.  When I’m faced with options such as fried chicken or oriental chicken salad…I take that salad because my body needs the nutrients that come from that salad.  It wants to bend that salad over and show it who its daddy is – yeah, take that spinach and kale, can you feel it baby!!!  Say my name punk!  I am a wholehearted spinach junky and my nutritionist said that is common when you start eating well, you awaken deficiencies and pretty soon, you’re craving good eats! 

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Another mission of mine is to get better at meal planning.  I don’t always make the best choices because I’m always eating dinner on the fly so I’m looking for ideas on how to make meal planning attractive so that it seduces me into wanting to meal plan.  The hubs did comment the other day that he doesn’t mind that I’m not the best housekeeper but he would like me to cook more.  I promised him I’d work on that.  Dammit.  Sometimes I speak without thinking;)

How do you meal plan?  What are your secrets to making dinner time an organized mission so that your family eats healthy?