Yea, baby, I got my mojo back!

Filed Under Slow Starts & Relapses | 3 Comments

After having two very difficult months for me personally, February and March, I decided that I would take some time during the month of April to “get off my own back”, so to speak. At the beginning of April I “belonged” to four different groups on two different weight lose online sites. I decided that I was spending so much time reporting what I was doing that I felt I had little time to do what I was supposed to be doing that I was reporting. Whew! So, I took a week off the last week of March and although I kept in touch with certain close friends, I needed to have some alone time to really think about what I was doing (or not doing) and what it was I really wanted.
First of all, I find that the competitiveness that exists in these group challenges to be more detrimental to me and what I am trying to do than you would think. You would think that it would motivate me to work harder, diet harder, etc. but it doesn’t. Maybe, it is my age but I don’t have the “fire in the belly” to beat out an opponent. Now, I am more than likely to say “Go for it!” or “If that’s what turns your crank…”. Party pooper. Maybe but I don’t care about “winning” in the same way. My definition of winning has changed.

Having said that I am glad that the “idea” of drinking more water rather than other beverages and making a concerted effort to eat 3-4 servings of fruit and 4-6 servings of vegetables every day were very good for me. Had I not joined in a group challenge to make a more concerted effort to drink 64-80 oz of water daily or get those “greens” in, I probably wouldn’t have done it on my own. (I am just plain weary from all the effort that I have put in this area of my life without seeing the kinds of results I wanted and half-expected)Also, I got lost in all of this group activity. Hey, I still had life’s problems to deal with. So, after very serious consideration, I bowed out of all but one group. It is on another site but I remain  at BLC because I have made some personal friends whom I chat with frequently and because there are many other “tools” that I like and I use a lot like the food log, exercise recommendations and the panel of experts available at a moment’s notice to customize my personal plan.

The group that I chose to stay with is called “Beck Diet Solution” after the book title the author, Dr. Beck, a noted Cogitive Therapist, who uses CT techniques help people lose weight and then keep it off. It is NOT a diet plan. It is a supplement, much like taking protein supplements or added vitamins and minerals. It does stress to choose a healthy food plan and to exercise so it complements what I am doing here.

To digress for a moment: I was never a fat child. I wasn’t a fat teenager and I wasn’t even a fat young adult. I really didn’t become obese until I was 30 years old. Everything changed that year for me. I am closing in on my 58th birthday. I have been obese almost half of my adult life. Besides gaining an extra 120-140 lbs, I also gained a “fat head”. That is where I need the most help. And, that is where the Beck Diet Solution comes in. The secondary title is “train your brain to think like a thin person”. That says it all to me!

I have been on so many diets that I have even educated some of the people I turned to for help. Things they didn’t know, I had learned from previous experience or had absorbed through the many different kinds of diets that I tried and which didn’t work for me (at least at the time).I will say that “Biggest Loser” is riding the recent and healthy wave of not excluding specific food groups but taking a very general overall approach to healthy eating and living. Eating healthy is not gimmicky. It is simply choosing real food with real nutrients that will nourish and build our bodies so they can perform as they were meant to perform. It is the kind of foods that when you read the label it says things like corn, salt and/or sugar or just plain corn. These are the foods I grew up on. Longe before chemists got into our kitchens and pulled all of the nutrients from our foods and left us with “engineered” food clones. Also, empty calories will not nourish our bodies and, ultimately, will be the catalyst of disease. Eating healthy is no longer for “tree huggers and tie dyed hippies”; it is essential for the sustainance of every person on this planet.

I never looked at the individual macronutrients of a food item until I joined Biggest Loser Club site. That is the breakdown of carbohydrates, total fat, protein, fiber and sodium that makes up everything we put in our mouths. So, why is that important? Well, if we are missing any one of these then our bodies become out of whack or balance. Disease happens.  It is important because the end goal every day is to eat a balanced food plan. They key word is BALANCE. As I strived to eat in a more balanced way, my body responded in a more balanced way. P.S. The human body’s natural state is one of homeostatis (or balance). If you allow it to do what it is meant to do, it will heal itself. Case in point. What happened to me is a perfect example.

Fifteen months ago, I went to my eye doctor for a routine annual eye examination. The eye doctor asked me point blank if I were diabetic. I said that as far as I knew I wasn’t. However, the way he asked me bothered me. I told my husband about this and so the next time he went to Walgreen’s he picked up a blood glucose monitoring meter for me. It had some sample test strips, the meter and the “pen” to take the blood sample. I “discovered” that my fasting(meaning I hadn’t eaten anything for at least 6-8 hours) blood glucose was 174 mg/dl (normal is considered in the 90s). I was shocked. I felt fine although I had noticed some blurry vision but I had attributed that to probably needing a new eye prescription.

Well, I began reading about diabetes. I got the book “Complete Guide to Diabetes” by American Diabetic Association. I also began testing myself daily, sometimes 4-7x daily. I wanted to know as much about this disease as I could. I have a very strong family history of diabetes although I suspected that many of my relatives simply were misinformed about what the disease wasand,especially, how to manage it successfully on their own. Instead, I would hear about “cheating just a little” or having to take an extra pill. What none of them really understood is that this is the “Mother Lode” of diseases. It puts you at risk for heart disease, certain types of cancer, blindness and nerve damage to your extremities.

When I joined Biggest Loser Club online, my morning fasting blood glucose was 146 mg/dl. For those who are unaware of what this means: I was baseline diabetic. That was the average I had been able to “maintain” for several months after that initial “surprise”. By the third week of following the balanced food plan and exercising that BLC promotes as I could (I have a lot of joint problems); my blood glucose dropped down into the teens and one time it was 97 mg/dl.

However, due to some unforeseen personal circumstances, I had to drop my online subscription. I floundered for three months this past winter. I managed to maintain the weight that I had lost but I was seeing myself slipping when it came to the kinds of foods that I chose to eat. I tried to keep handwritten food logs but I found myself less willing to go that next step in managing my blood glucose. I wasn’t gaining but I also wasn’t losing and I was still medically obese and now my morning fasting blood glucose readings were in the “pre-diabetic” stage of 116 mg/dl. (Note: prediabetic is between 100 and 146 mg/dl)

Well, the act of rejoining BLC online site this winter re-energized me initially but this time things didn’t seem to motivate me in a way that last June did. I wasn’t sure what was wrong. I really couldn’t pinpoint it. I was sloppy with my food choices. There was a “War of the Roses” within me but I just couldn’t seem to call a moritorium on it. I managed to work myself up to 30-40 minutes, broken down in smaller units, walking on the treadmill. At times, I would do a work out dvd. This time, everything seemed to be twice as hard as I remembered it being just nine months before. I wasn’t sure what was different except that I was under a lot of pressure fiancially. I was also “suffering” from S.A.D.D. Yes, even here in the deep South. The more overcast and cold the days were, the more I wanted to hibernate.

I “crashed” emotionally the last week of March. Breaks were few and far between. I was hurting from all of the worry and anxiety that I was feeling. My chronic sleeplessness was putting me at a very low ebb mentally and physically. Although I had been a member of the Beck Diet Group, I was not following the book at all. The Diet Coach is very patient. I am sure he must have wondered where is she going with all of this? I was struggling really hard to find myself, my motivation; hey, my mojo!  I was familiar with the book since I had read it when it came out back in 2007 but now I remember that I thought it was much ado about nothing. It all seemed so “common sense”. Well, pride goeth before the fall. I had to pick myself up and just crack open that book for one really good, long and hard look at it. After all, people were maintaining weight lose for years by working these techniques.

By the time I was psychologically ready to diet, I had a lot more confidence that this time I would see the kind of results that I had seen for brief periods before but also that I had hope that I would continue to see  right down the number scales until I was no longer obese, then overweight and just plain need to lose a couple pounds. In upcoming journals, I will share with you what is working for me and what isn’t. As Austin Powers would say, “Yea, baby, I got my mojo back!”

Addendum: By the way, I went to see my eye doctor again in the past couple of weeks. Once again, he asked me (very concerned) if I had had any vision troubles, headaches, high blood pressure, etc. I said, “No, I hadn’t”. I really hadn’t. I just needed to reorder new contac lens. He exclaimed on my follow up visit that I had the eyes of a 40 year old, they were healthy and there was definite improvement in my vision. I was seeing 20/20 with my contacs in place. Since I wanted to make sure I was hearing him correctly, I asked him to repeat himself.  Okay, good news always sound even better the second time around.

This was after making a concerted effort to eat 3-4 servings of fresh fruits and 4-6 servings of fresh vegetables every day during the month of April. It was the last group challenge I participated in. Boy, am I glad I did. Also, another “good news” to report. My morning fasting blood glucose reading is 97 mg/dl and it was 104 mg/dl two hours after eating an evening meal. (Experts want it to be under 135 mg/dl after 2 hours of a meal). This may not prove anything to you but to me it says that we are what we eat.

Stay tuned for how I rethink what I wanted to accomplish when I first started this blog a few months ago. Things have changed. We’ll see just by how much.