Archives for posts with tag: diet

Happy merry joyus belated Kwanzanikuhmiss!

I’m not even Christian, and I still vote for sticking with Merry Christmas. Dirty heathens trying to mess up my simplicity.

Kidding, kidding… sort of…

I’ve been sick for almost a week now. We went to Granny’s place on Saturday for the in-laws’ Christmas party. It was, you know, one of those days. I got to spend 5 hours in a car with my favorite cousin-in-law for a 2 hour drive because she took a wrong turn and we ended up near Canada before anyone noticed. It was easily one of my all-time favorite road trips. Good people, great laughs, and zero sense of urgency.

But, because the universe needs balance, I also had the honor of seeing the sister-in-law who hates me, and seems to take some miserable pleasure in reminding me of that whenever she can.

Bare with me for a second as this train goes dangerously off track.

What the heck is with my in-laws not appreciating a single thing Granny gets for them as Christmas gifts? First of all, you know why she buys you socks, pajamas, thermal underwear, blankets, mittens, etcetera? Because she loves you and she cares whether or not you’re cold in the winter. Dude! She loves you! You’re in your twenties and you’re lucky enough to still have a Granny, much less a Granny who bakes apple pies, sends you hand-written birthday cards, and calls just to ask how you are. That’s awesome in and of itself!

Okay, she didn’t get you that Nikki Manage CD you put on your Christmas list. Who cares? She loves you enough to buy you adult-sized footy-pajamas with a butt flap, and you’re getting bent out of shape because the butt flap wasn’t hiding the life’s work of a two-bit alcoholic who fancies herself an artist? There are worse things!

Listening to the spoiled brat that is the make-believe 22 year old tell her Granny, “Oh, thanks, Granny. Apparently you’re too old to read now?” made me allllmmmmooooosssssttttt regret that vow not to kill.

And she’s not alone. Other than kids under ten, I honestly can’t think of anyone who didn’t complain about what Granny bought them.

Again, you have a granny who cares enough about you to buy you adult-sized footy-pajamas with a freaking butt flap — A FREAKING BUT FLAP– and you’re going to slather a nasty smile on your face and tell her thanks while directly implying that she’s old, broken, stupid, and uncaring?

Girl, I will drown you.

Note 1: People didn’t even complain in whispers and sympathetic glances. One male cousin even said, “Oh. It’s cute how you think I’m going to wear this. Thank God you included the receipt.” Because his new shirt was blue instead of grey. Who does that?!? And he’s straight!

Note 2: I don’t give a flying fig if I misspelled Nikki Manage’s name. She’s not worth the Google search.

One of Granny’s Christmas gifts to us was several pounds of homemade, handmade candy. One of my mother’s gifts to us was several pounds of vegetarian tamales. So what did we do when we got back home? Lived on nothing but tamales and candy for a week.

And man, could I feel it.

Looking back, it seems kind of strange that it didn’t occur to us, “Oh, we’re not feeling so hot, maybe we should go buy some real food. You know, like vegetables? Or that our not feeling so well could be in any way connected to our diet.

We ate. And ate. And ate. And it was glorious.

We’d decided that Christmas was going to be our final hurah. We ate chips, cookies, cakes, doughnuts, and hot chocolate like we haven’t in years.

An hour later we fell asleep sitting up.

On a whim, I checked my fasting blood sugar this morning for the first time since June. 281.

Yikes.

Remember how in June we found out that I was no longer diabetic? Then I stopped watching what I ate as much and started focusing on my anxiety issues? What was the worst that could happen? I mean, it’s not like I was diabetic anymore, and I was being relatively healthy without really caring about the particulars.

Surprise!

I have to give us a little credit, here. We didn’t even say anything when the numbers came across the talking glucose monitor. We just started throwing away anything in our house that didn’t strictly fit into the diabetic diet from a year ago. 281 is bad. 490 was worse. We have no interest in slipping back into old habits.

I’m going to eat like a kid and move like a kid, right? Well, kids with no ground rules might pig out on sweets during the holidays. But now that we’re past the holidays, I can be past that behavior.

Part of me is glad. Being diabetic was the one time I’ve ever really eaten how I should. It was easy– we just didn’t have that stuff in the house. I felt great. So I’ll just go back to it and we’ll see what happens. The identity of “diabetic” gives me a structure to work in. It lets me explain my socially awkward behavior in a way which doesn’t have social consequences. No, I can’t share your birthday cake. No, I can’t have bread, tortillas, or rice with every meal, or eat carb-loaded protein bars for breakfast. I’m diabetic.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Next to blindness, diabetes is the best thing that ever happened to me. Welcome back, old friend. 🙂

(But seriously, what’s up with ungrateful twentysomethings these days? Jesus.)

New Year’s resolutions are flawed. If you make a New Year Resolution, you’ll fail. Instead, recognize that every day, not just January 1st, is a day for change, growth, and reflection. It doesn’t matter if you ran last Tuesday. It doesn’t matter what you had at your last meal. It doesn’t matter what you’ll do tomorrow. Today, right now, is the only thing you can influence. Choose wisely.

Second, resolutions take resolve. Resolve is bullshit. Instead, make a choice. Decide to be someone different. Decide to be your truest self. Anything less is a lie.

Resolutions make me raise my eyebrows. I’d never want to be part of the 99% who’s resolve seems to somehow fizzle out by the middle of February. I’ve never before made a New Year’s resolution– but I am the kind of person who tends to attack life-changes with an almost predatory viciousness. I became a vegetarian in the middle of a meal and never looked back. I became a runner less than a week after having my second eye surgically removed, and I ran two miles on day one. When I do something, I’m all in. Period. I never give less than my best. Which is why the last year’s been especially difficult for me.

I began having bizarre symptoms of an unknown medical disorder starting in the middle of December 2013. I would become extremely disoriented, I’d begin speaking another language without realizing it (which is weirder by virtue of my not knowing it than by my doing it at all; I study languages in school,) and I was losing several seconds of time many times a day. By May it was so bad that I woke up passed out in the middle of an intersection. That’s when I knew it was time to go to a hospital.

Over the next few months I heard that it was a sinus infection, a week later it was a viral infection, then it was an unknown form of diabetes, then it was pancreatic cancer, then it was back to being diabetes. There was one point where I was on 19 medicines– more than half of which were designed to treat the side affects from the others. And every time I was given new meds or a new diet, my blood-sugar climbed higher, and higher, and higher. But what was interesting was that when I was between old and new meds or when I ate like a normal healthy person (which is my custom) my sugar would plummet to about 125. A lot better than 490. And I had literally no symptoms of diabetes. I subsisted primarily off of vegetables and nuts. I wasn’t in the habit of eating pizza and cake how most vegetarians would. But I did have an excess of desserts between May and October. I had basically given up on eating right and focused exclusively on not dying. I was awake so rarely while on diabetes meds that I wanted as many calories as I could get and as fast as possible. I practically lived on desserts and junk food. Still, even at my unhealthiest, I was easily five times healthier than any other American I know. That tells you something about how I was eating pre-diabetes diagnosis.

Anyway, the long story long is that the diabetes piece ended up being figured out by complete accident. Someone at Temple, actually, was watching me eat and asked if I was diabetic. The conversation continued, she mentioned a super rare form of diabetes, I took it to my doctors, and bam. Ten months of suffering was over in a flash.

I began reintroducing sugar to my diet and moving more. I gained a full ten pounds while incapacitated; now I have to get back into the healthy patterns of running, rowing, and weightlifting. My muscles have deflated. My stomach’s bigger than it’s ever been. I can hardly move I’m so lazy and lethargic. I have as many psychological barriers to learning to move again as I do genuine physical ones.

But I also have a fierce determination. One of our priests said last week, “We all shake our heads in amused wonder as we watch your boundless enthusiasm for slaying any obstacles foolish enough to stand in your way.” I was touched. That reminded me that although I’ve been sick, although there have been times when I had no idea how much more I could take, I took more. I cut back where I needed to. I did my own impossible. And I’ll do it again.

A while ago I signed a contract with a personal trainer to work with me every day for twelve months. It’s a large financial burden. It’ll be an even larger time-commitment. Half of our time will be spent on diet and nutrition, half of our time will be spent on building muscle and shaving off my ten or fifteen pounds of fat. All of our time will be spent getting me back to a place of health and wellness. I’ve already signed the contract. There’s no going back. And I can’t wait.

I’ve also decided to cut desserts out of my life. Just like I cut out meat all those years ago, it’s nothing for me to do the same thing with sugary cakes, cookies, pies, breads, muffins, and even alcohol or coffee drinks. I have those things so rarely as it is that it won’t make a big difference. But I’ll feel better. And that’s what counts.

My rule for the last while has been that I won’t have dessert unless it’s made by granny. This rule also encompasses the Aunties, who, not unlike the harpies from folklore, will flap around my head and badger me with deliciously tempting, home-made, sinfully tasty treats whenever we see each other. Then granny has to send us home with boxes and boxes and boxes of the things like we were going to a warzone and broccoli was the enemy. It’s a family that shows their love with food. What can I say?

But it doesn’t hurt anyone for me to just say no thank you. Granny and the Aunties will still love me, my boyfriend can still gorge himself on all the sweets he wants (without gaining an ounce. Skank.) and the world will be good. They all know I’m diabetic. Their treats are even becoming sugar-free and progressively tinier. So it won’t be a bumpy transition for me to simply avoid the sweets and keep near the fruit, instead. I’ll still have something sugary, they’ll have shown me their love, I won’t get sick, and everything will work out for the best. I’m already considered a health-nut. This really won’t change things.

So, my New Year decisions, not resolutions, are to work with a personal trainer 6 days a week and check in with them on the 7th; to no longer have dessert, even when it’s made with love; and to just find something to smile about every day. Even bad days can have good moments.

What about you? What are your decisions?

Happy 2015!

I’m no longer interested in thinking weeks or months ahead in order to try and sort out how it is that I’ll lose twenty pounds between now and the end of the world. I’m focusing on today. Right now. What can I do in this moment, with this meal, to be a happier, healthier me?

I’m not fat. I’m skinny-fat; that peradoxical boarderland between committally healthy and a food-loving fatty. I love to hate to run. I do half-assed body-weight exercises on my living-room floor in a sad attempt at building muscle. I’ve read dozens, maybe hundreds of books on health and wellness. I know what to do. But I’m somehow unmotivated to do it.

That’s been changing lately. I’ve found myself eating right and exercising more. I’m not sure if the scale’s dropping quite yet, but I feel better and, maybe it’s just my imagination, but my clothes seem a heck of a lot more comfortable.

I’m a blind, gay, health-loving Buddhist. I have no idea what all I’ll write about on this blog. I might just use it to post once a month about my cats (Poptart and Toaster,) or about my sardonic whimsicality. We’ll see.

But one thing I do know I’ll write about is my weight-loss journey. I’m sick of feeling inferior. I’m sick of feeling like I’m not doing my best.

I’m going to lose twenty pounds. I’m going to do my own impossible. And along the way, who knows? Maybe you’ll see some funny stories about me and my crazy life. Stay tuned.

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