Saturday, December 10, 2011

Visit With The Nutritionist

On Thursday, I finally had my visit with the nutritionist who specializes in dealing with diabetic eating plans. I signed up to meet with her months ago, but she was so booked up, she couldn't see me until December. Happily, she was worth the wait.

First off, I'm down another three pounds, making it 13 altogether since I was weighed at the doctor's (this is what I'm counting from). I've been losing about 1- 1 1/2 lbs a week, which the nutritionist was pleased with. My old doctor probably would've been like, "You should be losing faster, here take some drugs." This woman was very non-judgmental and supporitve, and appreciated that I've been losing at a steady (if slow) rate. We talked it over and decided to cut one of my med doses (the glimiperide)in half. I'm now taking two pills instead of four. I also expressed my concerns about starting Victoza and she understood why I want to put that off. She didn't try to push it on me, which I like.

For the most part, she approved of my day-to-day menu. She was happy to see that I eat a lot of veggies and lean meats, and that I don't rely too much on "sugar free" versions of cakes and cookies. She did make a few tweaks, though:

According to her, I've been eating too many carbs at breakfast and too few at dinner, so she advised me to reverse that. She suggested that I have cereal OR toast at breakfast and then add in something like brown rice or quinoa to my evening meal.

She also suggested that I eat smaller meals, more often, to keep my blood sugar from dipping, as it's been. So she has me eating basically every two hours (main meals with snacks).

She liked that I eat a lot of Greek yogurt because it's so nutritious and has fewer carbs than regular yogurt. However, she told me that I'm better off buying fat-free plain Greek yogurt and then add in fruit. She says that the "fruit" that's in yogurts is basically syrup.

She also told me that I'm not getting enough good fats in my diet and should include more things like nuts, avocados and olive oil. She recommended that I eat Kind bars as a snack once a day. They're nut-based bars that are diabetes friendly. I had them at the diabetes walk and liked them. They sell them in our office cafeteria, too.

This is really interesting: she noted that insulin can actually make you GAIN weight and therefore it's really important for diabetics to keep things even and pay attention to what we eat, when. Her plan is helping me space out the carbs so I don't hit those highs and lows -- and will help me lose weight, too.

Finally, she suggested that I try the 20 percent challenge. The idea is to increase your movemement 20 percent over a period of time until you're taking about five miles worth of steps A DAY. That's a lot, but if you walk around the office the long way, you can get in a few hundred steps. I've ordered a pedometer and per her advice, am going to start doing 2000 steps a day and then work my way up.

Overall, it was a really good visit. It felt good to know that I've been eating correctly, but she also gave me a lot of new, useful information. I'm looking forward to getting my pedometer next week and starting this new challenge. I like the idea of having something that keeps track all day ... it satisfies the obsessive in me, LOL.

If any readers want to join me in this challenge, let me know in the comments. It will be interesting to compare our journeys.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

10 Pounds Down!

My new scale arrived today and according to it, I've lost 10 lbs since I was last weighed a few weeks ago. Of course, I wish it were more; I'm very close to being in the 200s now, so this is frustrating. Still, I'll take it, especially since I managed to lose over Thanksgiving -- even after having attended three celebrations. Right now, I'm counting down my weight from when I was last weighed at my doctor's. I know that I lost a lot before then, but I have no idea what I weighed, say, eight months ago. I'm guessing in the upper 300s, which is so, so scary. It's kind of sad that I'm feeling "thin" these days just because I can do normal things like sit in a chair with arms and well, walk, but I refuse to hate on myself.

Bodies are weird because the last time I crossed over 300, I could barely move and was bursting out of my fat clothes. Now that I'm on my way down the scale, though, I guess I'm carrying it differently, because I can walk pretty easily and had to buy smaller clothing. I don't really get it, but hey, if I'm shrinking in any capacity, I won't argue!

Now that I know where I'm at, I'm prepared to make some more changes to my eating plan. I've been doing pretty well and generally eat non-processed foods, a lot of veggies, fruits and whole grains. But I know that I can still cut back on some stuff. I'm still eating a lot of bread. Granted, it's whole wheat, but I'm going to limit myself to two slices a day. The same goes for hummus. I LOVE hummus, but know that I need to watch the servings. I'm also going to switch over to only using low-fat dressings on my salads. I always keep the dressing on the side and only use a small amount, but I'm going to improve my salads by using oil and vinegar, or a fat free vinaigrette.

Part of my challenge as a diabetic is to make sure that I eat at regular intervals, so I'm going to keep low-fat, filling snacks like string cheese and wheat crackers or a pear on hand. I'm also going to drink more water.

Finally, I know I need to exercise more. I've been walking several times a week, but I need to do something more vigorous like the BowFlex or the elliptical at the gym.

I've been feeling really good and am so much more active than I was earlier this year. If I'm feeling light on my feet now, it's going to seem lik I'm FLYING as I lose more pounds. This is something to look forward to.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Salad Snob

Since I've been eating more salads and vegetable dishes, I've become rather "snobby" about my food.

In NYC we're very lucky because about half the restaurants and delis have a make your own salad option. For me, the perfect salad has a spinach or mixed greens base; a few different types of veggies in different colors, i.e. carrots, beets, cauliflower, cucumbers; a bit of fruit, usually orange segments or apple slices; some type of protein, usually chickpeas or cheese; a couple of olives; dressing on the side. I never bog down my salad with pastas or crunchy bits or croutonsand I use the dressing sparingly because I like to experience the taste of the veggies.

When traveling, though, you have to depend on the restaurant's idea of a salad, and even with a salad bar present, this can be disappointing. While upstate a few weeks ago, I often ordered salads and it was almost the same thing every time: a slab of iceberg lettuce, some tomatoes and croutons. Since I don't like large tomato slices (but I like salsa and tomato sauce and tomato soup, and yes, I'm weird in my pickiness) and can't eat croutons, my salad would end up being ... lettuce. Even when we went to a salad bar, all they had was lettuce and then hardly any veggies! There were some sliced carrots and tomatoes, but then everything else offered was some variant of a "salad" drenched in mayo, like potato salad, chicken salad, tuna salad ... you get the idea. I don't know if this is an upstate thing, a way to keep the cost down on ingredients, or if we're just very spoiled in NYC. But I couldn't wait to get home to have my REAL salads!

Sometimed a prepared salad will surprise me -- in a good way. The other night, we went to a cute pub near us that we frequent. I usually order some type of chicken, but this evening I felt like having something less filling. I ordered that night's special salad, which had spinach, onions, oranges, goat cheese and cranberries (I guess because it was Thanksgiving weekend). It was SO good -- just a little sweet, but not over the top.

At home, we make some great salads, too. Jon's sister gave him a Moroccan cookbook for his birthday and one of our favorite recipes is a zucchini apple orange and mint salad. The juices mix together to make a "dressing" and it's amazing. We brought it to our Thanksgiving dinner and everyone loved it. Last year, I put together a tropical-style salad consisting of baby spinach, hearts of palm, mangoes and goat cheese. I then served it with a fat-free raspberry dressing. I'm no cook, but it was delicious!

I'm still finding it kind of funny that I'm actually CRAVING salads and vegetables, enough so that I have favorite ingredients and preparations. If you're trying to lose weight and think that you have to live on "rabbit food," think again. If you experiment a bit, you might just put together a great salad that's healthy and is a main event at your meal.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Important Decision

Well, I survived the weekend of three Thanksgivings relatively unscathed. I had a great time seeing friends and relatives and didn't go crazy with my eating at all. I was a little worried beforehand that I'd feel left out when it came to avoiding huge mounds of mashed potatoes and sugary desserts, but food was just one part of the weekend. Most of my time was spent catching up with my loved ones, which is how it should be. The food was yummy, but was more of an afterthought.

It's been unseasonably warm in NY this holiday so I've done a lot of walking. I was feeling tired yesterday, but forced myself to get outside for a few hours because it was so beautiful out. I'm glad that I did! Jon noted that I'm having to stop fewer times when we walk and that my stride is getting quicker. I can almost keep up with him at this point.

Though I've lost enough weight to have dropped a full size in the past few months, I still think of myself as being a much bigger person. I recently ordered new clothes in sizes 4X and 5X ... and they're huge on me to the point that they look ridiculous. I ended up buying some other outfits in 3x, which look better and are more comfortable because they're not hanging off of me. Jon says that I look thinner in the fitted clothing, as well.

Because I am still very overweight, I'm at a stage where I'm a bit surprised when people notice the weight loss -- even though the compliments are much appreciated, of course. When I was decorating my friends' tree on Friday, my friend's husband was watching me hang ornaments and asked, "Have you weighed yourself lately? I can see from the side that you've lost a lot since we last saw each other." I explained how my scale won't register me yet and it's a goal of mine to get to a point where it does. He was like, "But that's stupid. My digital scale says 'error' all of the time. Just buy a regular scale!" He's right, of course. I'm seeing a nutritionist in a few days, though, so I'll get a very accurate reading there. It'll be an awesome way to end the year if I finally make it back into the 200s. And yes, I know, I need a new scale. I'm ordering one today, in fact.

Meanwhile, I've made an important decision: I'm going to hold off a little longer in starting the Victoza injections. Victoza is prescribed to Type II diabetics because it lowers blood sugar, but it also aids with weight loss. Now you may be thinking, "Is she crazy? Why is she not jumping at the chance to take this miracle cure?" However, I've put a lot of thought into this decision and feel that it's the right one -- for now, anyway.

1. My blood sugar does not need to be lowered at the moment. If anything, it's been dipping TOO low rather frequently. Next time I see my doctor I'm going to talk to her about lowering my insulin because I've had a couple of scares with my bs suddenly dropping. Victoza seems to work for people whose bs is high, even with insulin. I'm nervous that I could end up making myself seriously ill if I take it on top of insulin and Metformin.

2. Victoza makes many people feel queasy and ill, at least for a while. I have too much to do and can't afford being sick right now. It also curbs your appetite to the point where many people need to remind themselves to eat. Since I'm already having to do this as I'm getting full so easily these days, again, this seems like it could be dangerous. I need to remind myself to eat frequently so that my bs doesn't drop ... and the last thing I need is for me to be vomiting up my food as my bs drops even more.

3. Victoza is a relatively new drug. It's only been on the market as an FDA approved substance for about two years and the longterm side effects are unknown. Studies have also shown that it can cause thyroid cancer. The unknown aspect of it makes me a bit nervous. I'd like to know how it might affect me down the road.

4. In reading reviews, several people have complained that it was a "miracle" drug at first because it curbed their appetites and they lost weight quickly. But after a few months went by, it stopped working, they felt hungrier than ever and the weight came back.

5. My doctor stressed that I don't really NEED Victoza, that it's just a possible weight loss aid worth checking out. If I needed it, I'd be on it already. I mean, I didn't question having to inject insulin because I knew it was necessary, and I haven't hesitated before taking any of the other NECESSARY pills that I'm on. I'm already taking about a dozen different things and I'd rather not take anything extra if I don't have to.

That said, I'm not against taking Victoza in the future. If I'm weaned off insulin and my blood sugar starts rising again, this seems like it could be a useful medication. If my weight loss continues to be glacially slow and my thyroid meds stop working, again, Victoza seems like it could help. But for now, I believe that it has the potential to hurt me more than help me so I'm waiting to use it. It's easy to just grab any "miracle" cure that's out there, but I also think it's very important to do research and weigh (no pun intended) the pros and cons. I'm open to changing my program, but for now what I'm doing is working.

P.S. I just ordered my new scale! It weighs up to 440lbs, so I should be set. Hopefully, it will arrive within the next few days.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and this year, in particular, I have many things to be thankful for.

1. My health. It's been a trying year in terms of that, but I'm feeling good and am taking steps to be even healthier. I'm very grateful for my team of doctors, who've been amazing.

2. My husband. For the past two years, Jon has had to care for me after I broke my leg and then as I dealt with having diabetes. He's cheered me on the whole way and has been patient with me during the tougher times. I'm very lucky to have a wonderful man in my life.

3. My family. I've had my ups and downs with my parents, but they're basically good people who have raised me to be an interesting person. We've been in a better place lately, too. I also have fantastic in-laws. Our Thanksgiving today was so much fun and it only reinforced what a wonderful family I have. And I have an awesome cat, too!!!

4. My friends. I have so many close friends who are like family and who've gone out of their way for me. Sometimes I doubt my friendships, which is a bad habit on my part, so I need to remind myself that I have some great people in my life.

5. My weight loss (so far). I'm now a size smaller than I was a couple of months ago. I've gone from a 4X to a 3X, so I'm still huge, but less so. It's been fun digging out stuff from my closet and wearing it as if it's new. I found a pink cashmere sweater that I'd purchased last year. They didn't have my size, but I ordered it anyway, hoping I'd shrink into it. I finally have! I'd love to be a 2X by January -- and I'd love to finally be at a weight that my scale will register. That's a goal in itself.

6. Being able to walk again. Between my surgery and extreme weight gain, I could barely walk a block last winter. Now I can walk a few miles and actually enjoy it! I've also begun wearing cute shoes again. Up until recently, I was wearing nothing but sneakers, but I'm back to wearing dressier footwear. I like looking polished.

I'm also lucky because I get three Thanksgivings this year! Last night, my friend invited me over for a pre-holiday dinner; then tomorrow, we're going to a friend for a post-holiday brunch/tree decorating session. It's been fun, but dealing with holiday food has been a bit of a challenge. I think I'm doing okay, though.

My friend made a point to keep the pre-holiday dinner light. I brought hummus, cheese and grapes and she then served veggie soup with blue corn chips and salad. Nothing was too heavy or unhealthy and the dinner was a nice way to kick off the holiday weekend.

Today was a bit tougher because we went to Jon's aunt and uncle. His aunt is an amazing cook and always serves a ton of food. I was careful; I didn't overindulge on appetizers (even though she served this amazing striped five-flavored cheese!) and took little bits of the dishes. There was turkey, of course, plus a broccoli/spinach casserole, meatballs and zucchini/apple salad that Jon made. I stayed away from the potatoes, stuffing and bread. I took seconds of the spinach/broccoli and turkey, but ended up leaving most over. For dessert, I took one gluten-free cranberry chocolate cookie. And then this is where it gets tricky: Jon's aunt presented me with a box of sugar free pastries: a mini cheesecake, Napoleon and mini cream puff. She wanted me to feel like I could fit in since I'm diabetic and I didn't have the heart to tell her that I just don't keep sweets in the house. My dessert is usually Greek yogurt.

However, I ended up "needing" the desserts. Lately, my blood sugar has been dropping really low, right into a dangerous zone. I need to speak with my doctor about adjusting my insulin, but obviously, I wasn't going to reach her today. Anyway, when I tested after dinner, my sugar was in a good place: 122. But when I came home a couple of hours later, it had dipped down to 60 and I was getting the shakes. So I ended up eating the cream puff and some cereal to get it back to normal. Even though it was sugar free, it still had a carb-y cake shell and it did the trick. Sometimes diabetes is very weird. Most of the time, I stick with low-sugar, low-carb fare, but a carb-y treat sometimes helps knock me back to normal. It's a constant balancing act. I should probably keep a carton of orange juice in the house.

Tomorrow, we're going to the diner for breakfast, so I'll be in good shape. I'll get an omelet and whole wheat toast, which should keep me going for a few hours. I've come to appreciate diners because they have so many options for me.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Catching Up And Still Losing

Whew! November has been a really busy month, but everything is going well. I've been on the thyroid meds for a few weeks now and am definitely feeling the difference in my weight; I now feel a lot lighter on my feet and all of my clothes are hanging on me. Even getting off the couch is a lot easier as I no longer have to heave myself up. More and more people are noticing the change. I still have such a long way to go, but for now, I'll be thrilled when I hit the 200s again. If I think too far ahead, it feels like I'll never lose, so I have to celebrate how far I've come in just a few months.

We just got back from a short vacation in upstate NY and I'm very proud of how I did in terms of eating and exercising. We didn't do tons of walking because we were up there for a friend's wedding, but we did do some: we explored Rochester -- which is a really nice city, by the way -- and went up to Niagara Falls. I especially enjoyed walking along the river in Rochester. We did about two miles, but it was relaxing. In the past, I would've been complaining about back troubles, but I didn't have any this time around, which was a relief.

As for eating, I indulged a little bit, but didn't follow my typical pattern where I go a little crazy on vacation. I had some great food, like barbecue in Rochester, but watched my portions and frequently checked my blood sugar. I "cheated" one time when I had a couple of spoonfuls of Jon's chocolate Oreo cake (and boy, was it worth it!), but didn't overdo it -- and managed to keep my blood sugar stable. Even at the wedding, I mainly ate vegetable crudite and fruit. I gave myself permission to have a small piece of wedding cake, but after taking two bites, I didn't even want any.

It's been wonderful to feel so much better physically, but I'm also feeling good mentally these days, which I think is equally as important. I've been trying to figure out what's changed in my life; I think it's important to keep track of the things that are positive so that I can keep up with that behavior. I'm pleased that I seem to finally be moving away from using food as a means to fill an emotional hole and I want to continue with that. Anyway, here are some of the good changes I've made:

1. I'm seeing doctors more often. I still have a fear of them, but getting a proper diagnosis and the correct meds has made a HUGE difference in my life. To other overweight people out there -- don't be scared to see your doctor. I know that it can be trying, especially when a doctor is judgmental, but it's worth it to find a compassionate, capable doctor who understands what an obese patient has to deal with.

2. I see a therapist. Yes, taking care of your mental health is important. I was a little resistant to the idea at first, but it does help to have someone to talk to. She helps me put things in perspective and find a new way to view problems. I'm still a worrier, but not like I was a year ago.

3. I found something new to do that I enjoy. While I was out with my broken leg, I began making jewelry -- and fell in love with it. Most of us work really hard at our jobs, but having an outside interest is a way for me to escape from the stress of work.

4. That said, I'm enjoying my job again. I came very close to quitting last year, but am glad that I stuck it out. This was out of my control, but the change of office helped, I think. I've made some new, good friends and look forward to going to work each day. Even though the job can be stressful, I'm trying to concentrate on the things that I like about it.

5. I'm trying to foster closer relationships with my friends and family. I've been working harder than ever to keep in touch with the important people in my life. It's hard when we're all busy, but having good friends is what keeps me sane!

6. I'm exercising. Not nearly as much as I should be, but walking is great for my body and mind.

7. I cut out most junk food. I eat a lot of veggies, lean meats, yogurts, fruits -- but almost no processed foods or sweets. This is something I plan to do for the rest of my life.

As I've said before, food is only one part of my life. I'm glad that I'm learning to love the other parts again.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I See London, I See France...

How can I tell that I'm losing weight? My skirt fell down around my ankles ... in the middle of my office!

I was walking down the corridor when, all of a sudden, I felt a little breeze and well, there was my skirt on the floor. Two women happened to be walking by just then and were like, "We didn't see anything." I quickly pulled it back up and laughed about it, but man, that was embarrasing. Thankfully, I was wearing a very long shirt, so I didn't expose too much. For the rest of the day, I held onto my skirt while I walked so it wouldn't slip again. I guess I should donate it to Good Will.

Still, out of all the problems to have, this isn't a bad one. I hope that more of my clothes will be falling off of me very soon -- though not in public, please.

Today, I met with the diabetes educator. She and my doctor want me to start yet another drug called Victroza. It's an injection and is supposed to aid with weight loss by making me less insulin resistant. Sounds intriguing, but the big side effect is nausea and lowered blood sugar. I can deal with the second; my doctor will just have to adjust my other meds to even things out. But I hate the idea of being nauseous for an extended amount of time. She suggested that I try it for a few days and see if I can tolerate it, so I'm going to begin when we return from our vacation next week. No sense in messing up our trip. If I can tolerate it, though, and the weight comes off, it'll be worth it.

Meantime, I've started training for the New Year's Walk. I'm trying to increase my speed, but ended up doing something weird to my foot. It feels like I pulled a muscle. I'm resting it tonight, but really hope it feels better by the weekend. It's supposed to be gorgeous outside and a friend is coming to visit. I figured that we could take a walk around the neighborhood and then go to the movies.

So that's my life in a nutshell at the moment. Things are good and I'm optimistic about the future.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Time For Some R N' R

For the past few weekends, I've been running, running, running. Between the jewelry show, various parties and charity walk, it's been non-stop activities. It's been a lot of fun, but tiring nevertheless.

This weekend, I finally got to relax -- and it was wonderful. We saw two movies (In Time and Paranormal Activity 3), I watched episodes of the series SWITCHED AT BIRTH online and we went for a nice walk today. I got some exercise, I got to hang out and spend some quality time with my hubby and I got to slow down for a while.

Next month is gearing up to be another crazy one, but I'm looking forward to it. The New Year's Midnight Run in Central Park is right around the corner, so I need to start training for that. It's only four miles, less than the diabetes walk, but I'd like to complete it in 80 minutes (doing 20 minute miles) and be able to do it without having to stop for breaks.

I still can't speed walk, but my pace is picking up. I'm also getting stronger. When we walked up the hill near our house today, I made it up to the top without stopping and it felt a lot less steep than before. It took me by surprise, but in a good way. I have two months to prepare for the Midnight Run so I should be able to achieve this goal. I just hope it doesn't snow that evening -- but that one is out of my control!

Meantime, I'm meeting with the diabetes educator this week. I'm interested to see how my weight is and if the thyroid meds are working. I feel like I've lost because my clothes are hanging on me, but I was way off the last time. I'd like to get a new scale, so if anyone reading has recommendations for scales that have a higher weight limit, I'm all ears.

I'm so happy that it's fall, especially after being so sick this summer. It's great to go out each weekend and enjoy the crisp air and sunshine, and falling leaves. I'm getting out and taking in the world and not letting life pass me by.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thinner Body, Thicker Skin?

One of the internal things that I really need to work on is dealing with confrontations. I'm getting better, but most of the time I'm a complete wuss when it comes to handling sticky situations.

Take today at work, for example. I made a mistake on something. I miscommunicated when it came to getting across some information and told someone that something was OK when it wasn't. Now I have to go back and fix things. This isn't a huge mistake -- mind you -- it's more of an annoyance than anything, but the involved are going to rightfully be pissed off when I explain my blunder.

This shouldn't be a big deal, but I spent all day worrying about it and what I'd say. My stomach was tied in so many knots that I could barely eat lunch. I still don't have much of an appetite. And I still haven't corrected the issue because I was frozen with fear over facing the inevitable confrontation between myself and the person I'd wronged. I'm going to have to do it tomorrow because time is running out.

Anyway, the logical part of me knows that I'm making a bigger thing out of this than I ought to. Everyone makes mistakes and I'm usually on the ball when it comes to my job. The WORST that will likely happen is that the person will get huffy with me, chew me out a bit for screwing up and then let it go. But the emotional part of me just hates the idea of not being liked, of not being perfect, of being perceived as "bad."

I'm trying to get to the root of WHY I'm so sensitive about this sort of thing, why I so hate the idea of someone being angry with me. It's weird because I can take constructive criticism fine; when I was shopping a novel, I got over 100 rejection letters, but I was OK with that. I guess it's the idea of it being personal, of it being a measure of my character that gets to me.

This post may seem like it's not weight related, but in a way I think it is because disliking myself was a big part of what led to my eating disorders. These days, I'm pretty happy with myself and my life, but it's hard to break a habit -- like berating myself for not being perfect. I still do it from time to time, only I no longer starve myself or binge to gain control and avert my feelings.

The good news is that I didn't use food to comfort myself. I talked to friends, confided in my cubicle mate and am now blogging. It's actually kind of interesting that I LOST my appetite from the stress -- that's a new one for me! But I know that tomorrow I have to face the music and that the person will be upset with me. It won't mean that I'm a bad person and that she hates me; it will mean that she's temporarily annoyed and I will learn from my mistake.

I hope that as I become more confident with my body and feel like I can take on more challenges that my mind will follow. Being a wimp will only get me so far!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Day After

The walk ended more than 24 hours ago, but man, my legs are stiff! This morning, my ankle was throbbing as I hobbled down the block to the bus stop. It doesn't hurt anymore, but I still feel as if I'm 80 years old when I heave myself out of a chair.

It's all good, though. Hurting because I can barely move my fat ass down the street sucks. Hurting because I completed something physical that benefits a great cause is totally worth it.

Meantime, I'm finding that my tastes are changing drastically. I haven't given up carbs, but I eat fewer of them and am much more mindful of the type I eat. In other words, I no longer have white bread, white potatoes or white rice; instead, I have whole wheat or brown rice.

Anyway, while I still have bread or bread-like products like corn tortillas, I'm not craving them as much. Yesterday for instance, I treated myself to Uno's veggie pizza made on a five-grain crust. I haven't had pizza in months, so I was really looking forward to it. But it was just meh. I could take it or leave it; it wasn't like, "Oh, pizza, how I've missed you!" Tonight, I ordered chicken enchiladas in corn tortillas ... but I ended up eating just the chicken and leaving over the shells.

It's amazing how we can train our bodies to do things -- to walk further than we ever anticipated, to completely overhaul our eating habits, to function more efficiently, both mentally and physically. The beauty of being human is that in many cases, you can change those things about yourself that you want to improve; you can always start over. I've been given many chances to turn things around and am grateful that I'm getting yet another.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Outside Interests

I've been very open about my struggles with weight loss, a broken ankle and diabetes, but once in a while I like to add a fun post. In this case, I feel like showing off a little and discussing some of my outside interests. For me, this journey involving my health doesn't only concern me losing weight. It's about me becoming a more compassionate, well-rounded person in general and part of that is finding things to keep me happy outside of food.

For the past year, I've been finding more of those things. I've made a point to take on projects and challenge myself. I'm definitely a lot happier when I do such things and am less inclined to binge to fill a hole.

Anyway, here are some photos and links to my life outside of weight loss:

My online jewelry store on Etsy

Pics of some of my jewelry:

Songs from my album FLUTE PATH

Step Out Walk For Diabetes

Today was the 5-mile Step Out Walk for diabetes. It went really well. I trained so much for the event, but I never feel quite ready the day before I do any of these walks. Still, once we got to South Street Seaport, I was ready to go and I maintained that energy all through the walk. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and I loved taking in the view as we marched over th Brooklyn Bridge.

I've done walks for suicide prevention, the March Of Dimes, leukemia, autism, but this time, I was doing a walk for something that affects me so I had even more motivation to complete it. Plus, this was the most I've walked since I had my ankle surgery, so I felt as if I were beating two health issues.

Over 3000 people participated, which was great, especially since so much money was raised for the American Diabetes Association. There were people of every type there: kids, babies, elderly, even two guys who did the entire walk on stilts! The atmosphere was festive at Pier 17 and everyone was dancing as a live band played.

Still, there were reminders of how deadly diabetes can be and that hit home for me. There were several teams walking in honor of a loved one who'd died from the disease. There was one guy who was blind and had obviously lost his sight from diabetes. There were several people in wheelchairs or who were limping because diabetes had robbed them of their ability to walk. Scary stuff. I admired these people for going ahead with a major walk and at the same time was thankful that I'm in decent health -- for now, anyway.

I really need to keep my health intact now; that's the trick. Between the diabetes and my thyroid issues, I feel like I'm juggling six balls in the air, but my blood sugar, liver, vision, legs and heart are all in good shape (knock on wood). Walking today in the bright sunshine reinfornced for me how fortunate I am to be healthy when just months ago, I was steps away from being in the hospital.

That said, I'm already thinking about the future and what I'm going to do to stay well and stay steps ahead of my disease. Eating is going very well. I'm still enjoying a lot of vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Today' menu was a little odd because I had three power bars during the walk, but that was necessary to give me energy. The rest of the time, though, I've been staying away from treats and have been having yogurt for dessert.

I'd also like to continue walking. I have a bad habit of doing a big walk and then slacking off, but I won't do that this time. I'm already looking into the next walk and am planning ahead for the spring. We have a big wedding coming up in Nigeria, believe it or not, so I want to be in good shape for traveling to such an exotic place.

But today was a great way to get going! I'm proud of the work I've done since getting diagnosed, and was happy to celebrate in such a positive environment.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Something Very Personal

Today I feel like writing about something very personal and perhaps a little controversial: babies.

As of now, I don't really want children. I LIKE children. But I just don't feel my biological clock ticking or whatever other maternal urges most women have. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I have so many things going on with my body anyway. Right now, I can't have a baby, anyway, so maybe I'm unconsciously blocking out the idea. I do know that having kids is a HUGE responsibility. I have so much respect for my friends who are moms because they have to sacrifice so much. You have to be ready to do that and with my health issues, I don't think I can give all that a kid needs. That would be unfair to the hypothetical child.

I'm fortunate because everyone in my life has supported me. My husband is understanding and my parents and in-laws haven't bugged us about grandchildren, which I really appreciate.

Still, whenever I find out that a friend is pregnant -- as I did today -- I have mixed feelings. 99 percent of me is soooo happy for the parents-to-be! It's great news and so exciting, and I enjoy hanging out with my friends' kids. I want the best for my friends and if having kids is it for them, then I'm right there supporting them.

However, part of me also feels a little sad. There is the realization that I won't see my friend as much and that our relationship will change. I also start to question myself, wonder why I don't feel maternal and why I didn't so more to improve my weight and health earlier. I also worry about dying alone and not having any family later on in life. I worry about disappointing my husband.

I know a lot of couples who are childless and happy and most of the time, I am, too. When I think about whether I want kids *right now*, my honest, honest answer is no. If we decide to adopt or use a surrogate later on, there are other options, but at this point in time, I'm not ready for the responsibiity. I'm just trying to "own" it and not let my other friends' decisions dictate my on life. I've been guilty of this before; I have a bad habit of comparing myself to others and wondering if I'm "normal" just because I have a different opinion or way of doing things. But really what is normal? I need to remind myself that I have plenty going on in my life that is good. My friends won't think less of me if I choose to not do exactly what they're doing, and even if they do -- so what? I can't have a kid just to fit in. That would be so unfair to everyone involved!

I realize this post is kind of rambling and doesn't have much to do with weight loss, but I sometimes need to sort out my feelings. Again, I'm justifying myself to you readers, but this is *my* blog.

I'm looking forward to eventually meeting my friend's little one when he or she is born. Meantime, I'm going to continue doing things that make me happy and keep me healthy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Update And Interesting News

Had a very positive visit with the endicronologist last week. All of my numbers are down, including my blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure and liver/kidney values. Also, my A1C (the three month blood sugar average) went from a scary 13 to a 9. 7 is normal, but I'll get it there the next time. My doctor says that she never saw an improvement like this before and that I should be proud of the work I've done.

Unfortunately, my weight stayed about the same, despite the overhaul in my diet and the training for the walk. BUT there's a good reason ... apparently, I have an underactive thyroid. It actually came up in my last blood test, but my doctor didn't want to put me on too many pills at once, especially since my blood sugar was in an emergency zone. However, she says I've probably had thyroid problems for years. This would explain why I gain weight so easily and the only time I ever lost a significant amount was when I was training for the 20-mile walk and logging 90 minutes on the elliptical several times a week. I've started taking medicine for the condition; hopefully, my body will start functioning sometime soon. I'm glad that my health has improved from my last visit, but it's frustrating to know that several of my organs need pills to work properly.

It does help to know exactly what's going on with my body and to be able to take the proper medication to correct it (it's pretty amazing how a few pills can get you back to normal). Still, when it comes to my weight gain, I'm not blameless. Yes, my metabolism really is messed up right now, but my thyroid didn't make me eat entire cartons of Ben & Jerrys or full boxes of cereal during my past binges. It didn't force pepperoni pizza down my throat!

Now that I'm exercising, eating better and taking meds to keep my body in check, I'm looking forward to everything finally working as it's supposed to. I'm not expecting a miracle, just good health.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sweatin' It Out

I felt badly about being so unproductive yesterday so I went to the gym tonight and did 20 minutes on the elliptical and then 15 on the bike. I broke a nice sweat and felt really good afterward. I plan to go to the gym more often, even if it's just for 40 minutes a few times a week. For now, I'm hoping that it'll build up my strength for the walk. Altogether, I did about three miles worth of stuff tonight so I was happy with that.

The last time I went to the gym, I was literally exhausted just from walking across the room. Tonight, I felt so much stronger and capable. I'd planned to do 15 minutes on the elliptical, but I was having a good workout so I added five minutes. I wanted to use the treadmill, too, but it's almost impossible to get one in the evening. I've been walking a lot, anyway, so it's not like I missed out.

This upcoming week is going to be crazy! I have my doctor's appointment on Thursday. I have a jewelry show on Saturday and then on Sunday, we're hosting a party for Jon's 40th. So far, about 35 people are attending. Aaahhhh!!!! I still have so much to do before both events, but I'm trying not to stress about it. Going to the gym is the perfect way to help keep my sanity intact.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Little Bit Of Nothing

I think the cleaning marathon got to me because I completely CRASHED this afternoon. I took a nap on the couch, then awoke with the intent to go walking with Jon -- but just couldn't move. I felt as if a block of lead were holding me down.

On the one hand, I'm disappointed in myself because I really do need to keep up with the walking. The diabetes event is three weeks away and I want to enjoy it. I don't want to be whining or in pain the entire time because I didn't train enough. However, my body was obviously trying to tell me something because I haven't crashed like that in a couple of months. I have been doing a lot between walking, cleaning, preparing for my upcoming jewelry show and well, working full time, so I guess I needed a day of rest.

The trick to lving healthfully, though, is to keep at it. Sure, I might have had a bad day today, but I can't let tomorrow become another one. I'm already planning to walk or go to the gym after work. And I'm already at a point where I can comfortably walk three miles, so the five mile event doesn't seem that daunting. I have to keep reminding myself that this isn't a race; it's a walk to raise money for people like me -- people who have diabetes. Plus, I'll be with a nice group of friends. Perhaps we'll be the last group to cross the finish line, but if it's a nice day, we'll just get that much more fresh air.

I'm trying not to be so hard on myself. I can't be the perfect model of fitness every day, especially when I'm not feeling 100 percent, but I can keep doing the best that I can.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

What's Your Number?

I'm going to do something on this blog that I'm sure you've noticed I've yet to do -- actually give a number for my weight. So here goes ... taking a deep breath ... right now, I'm around 300 pounds. Yikes.

To tell you the truth, though, I'm not 100 percent sure of what my weight is at the moment because my scale only goes up to 300. But it won't weight me; it keeps saying "Error" so I'm assuming that I'm just over the limit. If I lean forward slightly, it weighs me at around 296. When I weighed in at my doctor's back in August, I was 318 on her scale. I know I've lost weight since then, enough that people are starting to notice, so I figure I'm now in the low 300s. I'd REALLY like to be under 300 by my visit next week. I don't think it's impossible, but it will still be a challenge. I'm trying to prove to her that I don't need gastric bypass surgery. I have a feeling that I'm going to have to really stand my ground on this. But I don't want to lose too quickly. As long as I keep losing, I'll be happy.

The scary thing is, this is me in "better" shape than I was for most of this past year. I'm guessing that I weighed around 350 last winter. I mean, I could barely walk and had difficulty fitting into regular sized chairs. Even movie seats were a tight squeeze. And of course, I got sick.

I'm not happy being so overweight -- still -- that my scale won't acknowledge me, but I have to remind myself of all I can do now. I can easily walk a few miles; even if I have to take a few stops, I can get it done -- and I ENJOY walking. I can fit in chairs with arms and even booths at restaurants; this is no longer an issue for me. I'm sleeping better and have so much more energy! So yeah, being at or slightly over 300 sucks, but it sucks a lot less than where I was not too long ago.

I've been eating really, really well and have kept my blood sugar stable. I think what I need to do is eat less -- even of the healthy stuff -- and exercise more. I got plenty of that today! We're cleaning our home for an upcoming party and I spent hours mopping, scrubbing and carrying piles of books from one room to another. The place is shaping up and I'm spent, but in a good way. I plan to do a long walk tomorrow in addition to more cleaning. I love the fact that I have enough energy to actually make my weekends productive.

I've been embarrassed about my weight for a long time, but I've decided that I'm just going to own my number -- or as close to it as I can get until I'm weighed next week, anyway. 300 is transient; I won't be here forever. Plus, more than the actual number on the scale is the fact that my health is slowly improving.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Part of the "fun" of losing weight is encountering those odd, little milestones that you didn't even realize you needed to pass until you actually get to them. Happily, this is happening for me more and more.

One occurred at my office. Back in June, we moved to a different building in lower Manhattan, and like most offices in New York, you have to pass through a security turnstile to enter. However, I couldn't fit through the main turnstiles; instead, I had to go through the wider wheelchair entrance. Since it took us two weeks to get our ID cards, I kept having to ask the guard to buzz me in. I obviously wasn't in a wheelchair so my reason for needing that entrance was clear, and it was kind of embarrassing. Thankfully, the guards were kind and noone gave me a hard time.

Eventually, my ID card was processed and I could come and go through that entrance as I pleased. Still, I wondered when I'd be thin enough to fit through the main turnstile. Then last week, the wheelchair gate broke and the guard told me I'd have to find another way out (on a side note, I'm curious what they would've done for someone actually in a wheelchair). The only way was through the main bank of turnstiles. I was like, "Crap, I'm going to either get stuck and the fire department is going to have to come and rescue me like a beached whale, or I won't be able to escape from my office." But I took a deep breath, prepared to squeeze through ... and I fit! It wasn't even that tight a fit; I could get through with my purse at my side.

What's kind of funny is that this week they've removed the turnstiles and have installed newer, wider gates near the elevators instead. Still, I got the chance to find out that yes, I can make it through those particularly narrow turnstiles. One milestone down!

Meanwhile, Jon and I went to see Wicked (which was really good, by the way) with some friends this past weekend. I arranged a dinner near the theater and planned to take the E train, which would drop us off about a block away. However, the E was running on the F line and the closest stop was three blocks away. In the past, this would've upset me. I would'v bitched about having to walk for that longer distance, but this time, I didn't care at all. Jon even suggested that we switch to the local so we could be a block closer, but I was like, "That's silly." So I got some extra exercise in and had a great evening to boot.

I still have many milestones to go: getting under 200 pounds, being able to shop in regular-sized stores, not needing my seatbelt extender on a plane, feeling the confidence to try something like ziplining without having to worry about a weight limit ... the list goes on and on. But even with these smaller milestones, I'm already experiencing a much-improved quality of life. It can only get more exciting from here and I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Water's Edge

I just got back from a great evening with friends. One lives close to where I work in lower Manhattan, so I walked to her place, and then she and I and our other friend went for a walk along the river. They recently built a park there with flowers and benches, so it was very pleasant to stroll through it. Plus, the weather was perfect: sunny and breezy with a chill in the air - just the way I like it.

I was a little frustrated because I had to stop and rest my leg a few times (the three miler I did this weekend affected me more than I'd thought), but my girlfriends were patient and I still managed to get a lot of walking done. I figured that we'd covered about a mile, but when I clocked it, it came out to 2.3 total for me. Not bad!

Later we had dinner at a cozy Italian place on Front Street. I haven't had a lot of Italian since I received my diabetes diagnosis so I wasn't sure what I'd be able to eat but it was fine. I had an arugula salad with shaved parmesan, dressing on the side; broccoli rabe with pepper flakes; and then chicken and sausage in a brown sauce with potatoes and spinach on the side. I had one bite of potato, but left the rest. The remainder of the meal was delicious and chock full of veggies. What I liked, too, was that the portions were human sized. There were about four oz of meat on the plate, just enough to fill you up. However, it wasn't a huge dish with enough food for three people, as is often the case at restaurants.

My friends commented that I look good, which was really nice. I still don't think that the weight loss is so obvious, but I think I just look healthier in general. Everyone who has complimented me so far has remarked that I have more color in my cheeks. I know now from seeing my friend's wedding video that I looked deathly pale earlier this summer so I guess the contrast is noticeable.

I think the change is also from me changing my eating habits. I'm finally eating the recommended portions of fruits, veggies and whole grains and it shows. My skin has cleared up and I no longer have dark circles under my eyes. I don't look like a zombie -- all good!

My friends agreed to join me in the diabetes walk, so we now have a whole team with six people. It's going to be fun! It's a month away now so I need to step up my training. This weekend I plan to do four miles and I also want to return to the gym. Ideally, I'll be able to finish the walk without taking breaks, but that might be a tall order for me with my leg issues. More realistically, I'd like to complete it in two hours. Either way it'll be nice to have Jon and my friends by my side. I'm not happy to have been diagnosed with diabetes, but hey, let's make this walk a party!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Greek Feast

I really love Greek food and eat it often. But though I loved having the real deal when we were in Greece, I wish I'd eaten better.

While there, I had a lot of fried chese, fried zucchini or items baked into phyllo dough -- all delicious, but not exactly healthy. At the time, I didn't know that I had diabetes, but I'm sure that this didn't help.

It'a a shame because Greek cuisine offers so many healthy options: grilled meats, fresh vegetables, salads, protein-rich beans, olive oil... and in general, the food isn't drenched in sauce.

Since I've been diagnosed with diabetes, I've been eating a lot of Greek food, the "right" way. There's a new Greek restaurant near us that has really great dishes. We went there last night after our walk and movie. I had grilled mushrooms, a Greek salad with the dressing on the side and grilled chicken with horta, which is a spinach/escarole mix. Everything was fresh and delicious and I like that they offer Greens as a side dish. It was a very filling meal, but not fattening at all, and it kept my blood sugar very even.

Last night, I slept well and now I'm up at 9 a.m. - ON A WEEKEND -- doing stuff. I don't feel bloated and am having happy thoughts about our dinner out. It's a nice change from those days when I've had "food hangovers."

I probably still think about food too much, but as someone with a history of eating disorders, I imagine that I always will. Still, if I'm going to have food on my mind, it might as well be healthy, happy cuisine rather than binge-inducing junk, right?

Slowly, but surely, I'm finding ways to enjoy food, feel full and control my weight/diabetes/binges at the same time. It definitely makes life a little sweeter.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

One Foot Forward...

It's about a month and a half until my diabetes walk and the training is going well. Today, Jon and I did a three mile loop around the neighborhood. The weather was great and it felt really good to be moving; the hills are getting easier to conquer and I'm having to stop less often. I feel like I'll be very prepared for five miles by the end of October if I keep this up. I'd still like to get some more speed in my walking. I can comfortably go about two miles an hour, which is rather slow. I'd like to get up to 2.5 miles and hour so I can finish the event in two. I doubt that the friends whom I'm walking with are going to want to wait all day for me.

My eating and weight loss efforts are going well, too. More people are noticing the weight loss. My friend Karen says that she can see it in my face. I still can't tell so much, but my clothes are getting kind of baggy. I ordered some new fall outfits in a size below what I'm wearing now so that I can shrink into them.

Even though I know I'm fat, I sometimes get a wake up call as to how large I really am. This happened when a friend posted video clips of her recent wedding. It was a beautiful occasion and I felt attractive that day; I was wearing a new dress that fit well and got a lot of compliments. However, when I saw myself on screen, I couldn't believe how HUGE I was! Not only that, but I looked bloated and deathly pale. Granted, my diabetes was out of control at the time, so that probably contributed to it, but I was still surprised. This was when I believed I looked good! Still, I know I've lost weight since then and Karen commented that the color is in my cheeks again. Plus, another friend sent me a photo from last week's party at Scott's and save for my double chin, I didn't look bad.

Honestly, though, I'm not obsessed with my looks. I know I'm not a beauty queen, but figure I'll look better as my health improves. Meantime, I'm enjoying this newfound energy that I have. After feeling so sluggish for months and months, actually wating to DO stuff is kind of a novelty. Today I woke up and finished a necklace I've been working on. We then went for our walk and finished off our evening with dinner and a movie. And now I'm writing a blog entry! Just a few months ago, I would've spent the weekend in bed or on the couch watching TV, but I got a lot done today -- and felt as if I were part of the world. Even when I was at the party last week, I had more energy and more of a sense that I was a part of things.

I have some friends who wake up early to go to the gym or to clean their homes, or to do whatever, and I never really understood that. I still like to sleep in on weekends, but no longer sleep the entire day away. I have much moe of a desire to get things done and to live my life rather than waste it.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Singing The Truth

Had a great day today at the Tanglewood jazz fest in the Berkshires, MA. We spent the morning listening to two bands (one we loved; the other was a bit weird and experimental), then went to here an Afro-funk singing group called "Singing The Truth" this evening. They were amazing. They had everyone on their feet and really interacted well with the audience.

This made me think of how much I enjoy performing. I've always been shy, though less so in my adult years. My ultimate dream -- which is more of a fantasy -- is to have the lead in a Broadway show. I'm a decent singer, but I can't act or dance, and I'm probably too old at 37, so realistically, this isn't something that's going to work out.

Still, I've found other ways to satisfy my inner ham: I love doing karaoke and I played flute with a band. Being up on stage and having an audience cheer for me was the greatest feeling. I liked making people happy and it made me feel good to know that they appreciated my talent.

As much as I like performing, though, I often have trouble letting go, especially when I'm in large groups. I'm not what you'd call the life of the party, especially since I don't drink often. Even before I was diagnosed with diabetes (now I can't drink at all), I couldn't stand having more than one drink. Believe me, I tried. I tried in college like everyone else did, but after about two wine coolers, I'd get a burning sensation in my stomach and my entire arm would go numb. My dad is also unable to drink so I seriously think it's a genetic defect. So I'd have my one wine cooler and call it a night.

A good many of my close friends aren't big drinkers either, but some are, as well as some of my co-workers and I'll admit, I often feel left out. When they're sober, I fit in fine, but when they start to get drunk and they're all giggly over some inane thing, I don't get it. It's as if everyone were handed the rules to a game or some subcultural and I never got the memo. I envy them for being able to let loose -- and part of me gets angry with them for entering a "world" that I don't have a pass to, especially now. I have a great imagination and can act silly without much alcohol, but I know it's different when you've had a few.

Anyway, when I perform, this is MY chance to become that different person and to let myself go. As I was listening to these women tonight, I was thinking about that and how I really need to start some new project that involves performing. I'm thinking of maybe recording a new album with some vocal tracks. I put out a flute album a few years ago, but this would be a new challenge. I'd also like to sing live. It's one thing to do karaoke in front of a few friends, but it's different when you have to interact with a pianist and orchestra, and the crowd isn't necessarily friendly.

I have a long way to go until I lose enough weight to no longer be considered obese, but I can work on my confidence along the way. I may not be able to go crazy at parties, but I can still stand out in a different sense.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Equal Footing

I love traveling with Jon, but I often feel as if I'm holding him back. He's very active and has recently lost a lot of weight, so he wants to go, go, go. I, on the other hand, still have mobility issues. I'm a lot more active than I was a few months ago and definitely a year ago, but it's still difficult for me to hike or go boating, or do any of that outdoorsy stuff that he loves. Right now we're on vacation and he really wanted to go hiking or boating today, but it was 85 degrees and about 99 percent humidity outside, so I turned him down. I could tell that he was disappointed.

What's frustrating is that I feel like I'm always a step behind, even during the times when I've been in better shape. When we went to Moab in 2003, I trained for that trip and could do the simple hikes ... but didn't feel up to doing the tougher walks through the rock formations. In 2006/2007, I was in pretty decent shape as I'd lost a lot of weight and was training for that 20-mile walk. Still, when we were in New Zealand, I didn't feel up to climbing a glacier and jumping over crevasse. I did a lot of other things, like hike and walk around some interesting geothermal parks, but I was still disappointed in myself. Jon reminded me that I did accomplish some difficult hikes, but I wished I could do more. I mean, how ften was I going to be in NZ and get a chance to climb a glacier?

Then in 2008, when I began to gain a lot of the weight back, we went to Florida. Jon went swimming with manatees on an eco tour, but I didn't want to squeeze my ass into a wet suit. Instead, I sat on the boat and watched him have a great time. Happily, a bunch of manatees came up to us, but again, I felt disappointed that I wasn't able to participate more.

And now we're away and again, I feel that nagging sense that I'm not doing enough. For the record, Jon never pressures me or makes me feel bad about my limitations, but it's frustrating to me that that they're there. I want to be lean and spry enough that I can hike or climb glaciers or sit in a canoe without having to worry about my joints or my circulation or my blood sugar.

Still, I'm appreciative of the fact that I have been a lot of places and try to concentrate on that instead. Maybe I didn't climb the glacier, but I did hike alongside it on the trail. I did get to see the manatees in their natural environment. I made it up to the top of the Parthenon in Greece, even though it was a very difficult walk for me. I know that a lot of people want to travel and can't, or don't, or won't, so at least I'm *trying* to live my life the way I want.

Today was a little weird because we went to the Poconos Garlic Festival in the morning. I figured that there would be at least some foods I could eat, but everything was crap -- sweet or fried or greasy or drenched in sauce. I was *really* on track: I had a couple of cheese curds, a pickle and little tastes of Jon's garlic funnel cake, garlic cookie and chocolate-dipped garlic. But I stayed away from all the junk. Because I ate so little, my blood sugar ended up dropping to 60. Yikes! I found it rather annoying that my body reacted to me NOT eating the unhealthy foods.

I guess the point of this post is that I'm doing the best I can, and I have to remember that. I might not be up to hiking in hot, humid weather, but I can now walk two miles pretty easily. And I may not be the fittest or most adventurous traveler, but I make a point to try new things. One day my body will catch up with my spirit and then hopefully, Jon will finally have a traveling companion who can keep up with him.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Size Matters

I'm getting thinner -- and what's weird is that I didn't realize just how much I've been slimming down.

In the past, I'd start a new diet or eating plan, and then become obsessed with the number on the scale. Sometimes I'd weigh myself a few times a day and then let it dictate my mood. This time, though, I'm avoiding the scale and going by appearance/clothing size instead. I was weighed at the doctor's a few weeks ago, and will see her in a couple of weeks when I will get weighed again on the same scale. So far, this "experiment" is working; I at least have an idea of my size, but am not consumed by it.

I also haven't been obsessed with eating, at least not with calorie counting. I now have to be very conscious of what I put in my mouth because my diabetes limits what I can eat somewhat, and I am determined to keep my blood sugar down. I had an eye exam last week that thankfully went well and the doctor said that I have better than 20/20 vision. But -- and this is a big but -- he stressed that in order to keep my eyes healthy, I need to carefully monitor my blood sugar. I really, really don't want to lose my sight, so any cravings are tempered by the thought of the diabetes making me blind in the future.

That said, I'm eating a lot and I'm eating well. I basically cut out all junk, including diet sodas. I eat a large salad with most meals and lots of healthy, lean meats, veggies, fruits and good proteins. The few carbs I do eat are "brown," such as whole wheat bread or whole grain cereal. I snack on low-fat cheese, almonds, yogurt and if I really want something sweet, sugar free Jell-O. I eat whenever I'm hungry, but watch my portions. I don't feel deprived and my cravings for sugar, which I can no longer have in large quantities, have subsided.

I like this way of eating because my menu is free of junk. Whenever I followed plans that involved counting calories or points, or whatever, I'd "work" the system so that I could have sweets. I'd allow a certain number of calories for a cupcake or exercise for enough minutes so that I could splurge on a cookie. Yes, I was sticking to the number of alloted calories, but I was wasting them on foods that aren't nutritious. I believe that things should be done in moderation so if I go to, say, a wedding and indulge in a piece of cake, it won't be the end of the world. But I'm not going to eat cake just because it's available -- especially if I can make a better choice. In a way, I like having to keep track of my blood sugar because my meter tells me right then and there how healthy my meal was. If I ate something that caused a spike, I know right away and make sure that I'm more careful at my next meal. My meter keeps me accountable.

I've also been walking several times a week. I'm training for that 5-mile walk that we're doing in October, but I'm also falling back in love with walking on its own. I can comfortably do about 2 miles at the moment, but I'm working my way up.

I've been following this plan for about a month now and can already feel the differences. I'm sleeping so much better, which for this lifetime insomniac, is a welcome blessing. I have more energy and am in a better mood. I used to spend my weekends sleeping, but now I want to the movies or take a walk or see friends. I even cleaned our apartment this past weekend when we were hiding out from Hurricane Irene. It was a disaster area, mainly due to me not having energy for months on end, but I cleaned up a good portion of the clutter. It felt good to get rid of the crap and matched what I'm doing for my body: cleaning up the mess.

I've been so happy with the internal changes that I've been experiencing -- sleeping better, having more energy -- that I haven't really thought much about my appearance. But the other day at work, one of my colleages suddenly said to me, "You know, you've lost a lot of weight, like 30-40 pounds. I can see it all over." Of course, he said it in front of everyone so I was a bit embarrassed. Still, it was sweet and especially appreciated coming from him since he's had a gastric bypass. However, it was very unexpected. I really didn't think that I've reached a point where my weight loss is noticeable so I was completely taken aback by the compliment.

Then when I was cleaning out my closet this weekend, I came across a cute pair of denim capris that I'd purchased online at the beginning of the summer. I think I got them for the 4th of July because they have little stars embroidered on the pockets. Unfortunately, they hadn't fit me at the time, so I threw them onto my growing pile of clothes and planned to send them back. Yesterday, out of curiosity, I tried them on -- and they fit. Really fit, like they're comfortable and look nice on me. I couldn't believe it. Just last month, I could barely pull them up over my thighs and now I can wear them.

To be honest, my success scares me a little. I've been successful at losing weight before, but have always failed. Now I have this bigger thing hanging over my head -- my diabetes -- so I really have to concentrate on keeping my blood sugar at a good number. Maybe, in a weird way, my diagnosis will turn out to be a positive thing and will be what helps me get my health back on track. Wouldn't that be ironic?

By the way, check out my diabetes blog: How Not Sweet It Is

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Roll With It, Baby

First, the good news: my blood sugar was down to 89 this morning -- a new low! It would be great if it could settle in the 80s or 90s, and I can keep it there.

I'm still doing well with food. Jon cooked a diabetic lamb curry for me tonight. There ARE plenty of things that I can eat that are low in carbs and fat; it's just a matter of changing some ingredients. We got the recipe from a great Web site called D-Life

Meantime, I signed up for the Step Out Diabetes Walk, which is on October 23. It's five miles, so I need to begin training in earnest. I can do about two miles now, with some stops, but I want to be able to do the five miles in about two hours. Right now, it would take me about four, which is way too long. Jon and some friends are joining us, so it'll be like a little party as we cross the Brooklyn Bridge!

The bad news is that things are still shaky between myself and my parents. On the one hand, they jumped at the chance to take me to a doctor's appointment this week, which I appreciate. It's good to know that I can depend on them. But my mom and dad are still in freak out/lecture mode, respectively. My therapist is always urging me to let their comments roll off my back, but it's difficult when it's my parents. I feel like I'm confident in most areas of my life, but they still know how to push my buttons and make me crazy. I wish I knew a better way to deal with them without having to cut them out. I feel like half this blog is a rant against my parents and I hate that. Most of the time I manage to stay positive -- even after I broke my leg or got this latest diagnosis -- and most people will tell you that I'm a generally optimistic person. But my parents have this way of turning me into a blubbering, fucked up, 12-year-old mess. If I can ever get over that, that will be my biggest victory of all.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Be Prepared

When I was younger, I was a member of the Girl Scouts. Our motto was "Be prepared." It's been about 25 years since I was a part of that organization, but that sentiment holds true when it comes to a weight loss plan -- especially when you're a Type II diabetic like me.

I've now become obsessed with reading menus. I love Menu Pages (check it out online if you're in NYC) and enjoy checking out new, interesting restaurants. Now it's especially important for me to read through them because I can decide beforehand what I want to eat. Lately, I've been going through the menus of our favorite restaurants in the city to see which items are diabetes friendly. Happily, most have a few choices for me.

We spent last night at my in-laws so I made a point to be very prepared for the visit. I had my in-laws pick up some foods for me at the grocery store, then got the name of the restaurant where we'd be eating dinner. I then went online and checked out that diner's menu. Once there, I ordered a spinach salad with grilled chicken and an egg white omelet with spinach (no fries or bread). Everyone else ordered cake for dessert, but I had berries with cottage cheese and some herbal tea. I was pleased because I managed to keep my blood sugar low the entire day and I got to enjoy a nice, healthy meal with my family.

Today, I woke up with a nice, low blood sugar number: 97! We then relaxed and swam in my in-laws' pool. I'm not the greatest swimmer, but I treaded water for about a half hour. I actually feel this in my legs; they're a little sore from the pedaling motion. I like walking, but on a hot day like today, swimming is my favorite exercise.

I haven't weighed myself since my last doctor's visit a couple of weeks ago, but I can tell that I've lost weight. I see it in my face and my bathing suit has become huge on me! I always lose weight on top first, so the top part was hanging on me and I had to keep pulling up the straps. I'm debating whether I should buy a new suit before the season ends.

Tonight we had dinner in one of our favorite Afghan places, Bamiyan. I had a grilled chicken kabob, stewed pumpkin and brown rice. "Dessert" was then giner tea. I find it kind of amusing that my idea of dessert has changed from being chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate to fruit, sugar free Jell-O and tea. In fact, I haven't had anything chocolate in about three weeks. I think that's a record for me.

I was nervous about going away for the first time since getting my diagnosis, but being prepared definitely helped. So the next time you know that an activity is coming up, do what you can to control what you eat: brin snack to the movies or a party or make sure that there will be food that fits into your particular plan.

Oh, by the way, I have a new blog that focuses on my diabetes journey:

How Not Sweet It is: Type 2 Diabetes Blog:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thanks, And An Update

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who's shown me support as I deal with my diagnosis. I got some nice comments on this blog and have had a lot of help from friends and loved ones, as well as my doctors. It's made things easier to deal with and has given me a lot of hope.

The good news is, I'm doing pretty well. My blood sugar is now down in the 100s (it even hit 96 the other night) and my doctor is pleased with my progress. My vision is blurry, most likely from my bs dropping so far and so rapidly, but I'm seeing an eye specialist in a few days. I can function with some over the counter reading glasses, though. I'm no longer (literally) dying of thirst, I'm sleeping better and am less fatigued.

Meanwhile, I've completely overhauled my eating: I'm having a lot of whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean means and low-fat dairy. For snacks, I have hummus or sugar free Jell-O. I eat every couple of hours and I don't feel hungry or deprived. I don't even miss sweets that much. When you fear that eating a piece of cake will make you sick, it loses its appeal!

I've been walking a lot, too. I've recruited some friends to do a five-mile diabetes walk with me this October and am starting to train. I walked for two hours around Chinatown the other day and this past weekend, Jon and I walked to the movies. We used to do this route often, but hadn't in over a year. It felt good to be outside again and I realized how much I missed walking into town.

Things are also okay between myself and my parents. Jon and I visited them last week, and I think that once they saw that I wasn't completely falling spart, they calmed down about my diagnosis. I explained how it can be controlled and how it was screwing with my metabolism. My mom has a weird idea of what I can and can't eat, but I explained that the eating plan isn't nearly as restrictive as she thinks. We then went for Persian food and I got a salad and chicken kabob with a little hummus on the side. My parents were like, "But it comes with rice!" I told them, "Just because you get rice on your plate doesn't mean you have to eat it. Duh." For the record, I didn't even get rice; I just asked them not to give it to me.

This weekend, we're going up to my in-laws so I called ahead and asked them to pick up some stuff at the grocery store. A key element in dealing with diabetes is planning ahead, I'm learning. So I always check menus ahead of time and make sure that there is food I can eat. I'm still figuring out what causes my bs to spike, but there are some great recipes online for diabetics.

Anyway, everything is okay here, if not perfect. I'm actually going to start a blog about my diabetes so you can follow me there, if you're interested. Thanks again for reading and for boosting me up during a tough time.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Truth Hurts

I just told my parents about my diagnosis. I wasn't planning to say anything, but then my mom specifically asked if I'd been to the doctor. I know them so well, they acted exactly like I expected: my mom broke down and my dad basically blamed me for making myself sick.

It's one thing for me to put the responsibility on myself, but I was hoping for more of a show of support, some, "I know you can beat this!" or "You're strong, it'll be OK," something like that. My in-laws were very cool and supportive, but they're both overweight, so they understand how tough it is to lose weight and deal with obesity.

Stress makes your blood sugar go up and mine's been lowering all day, so I really don't want to mess up the pattern. So know what? If my parents are going to lecture and weep over me, I'm just going to tune it out.

I'm Mrs. Thighs And I'm A Diabetic...

Okay, feel free to tell me, "I told you so," that my parents' cries for me to see an endocrinologist were valid. I just found out that I have Type II Diabetes.

To be fair, I made the appointment with the endo MONTHS ago, back in April. She was booked and I didn't feel sick. I didn't have any of the classic symptoms for diabetes so I wasn't too worried.

Once we got home from Greece, though, everything fell apart. I came down with back-to-back colds from hell and became ridiculously thirsty. We're talking unquenchable thirst. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I wanted to jump into a vat of strawberry smoothie because I was craving ice/fruit juice so badly. I'd drink and drink and drink, and still felt dehydrated.

Then, of course, I needed to go all the time. Urgently. And if a bathroom wasn't right there, I, well, came close to having some disasters.

Next, my vision went wonky. I've always had 20/20 vision, but it was blurry for a few days. I couldn't even watch TV because the picture was too blurry.

By now, I suspected that something was very wrong, but wasn't sure who to turn to. I knew I had this appointment coming up, plus, our job had been bought out by a new company so I was between insurances. Meanwhile, I was doing the exact wrong thing and drinking tons of fruit juices and sports drinks. I felt like I wanted to die. Finally, I asked for help from my friend who has diabetes, and he basically saved my life. He gave me a list of foods to eat and avoid, and I followed it for a few days ... and began to feel a little better. I could deal with my issues. I could function. We even went to the Poconos for a weekend, where I swam and went boating.

Still, I dreaded seeing the doctor because I knew my diagnosis was not going to be good. I just wondered how bad it would be.

It was bad. My blood sugar was over 400 and they considered me to be an emergency case. Therefore, I'm on insulin and various other meds, and I have to take my blood sugar four times a day. My bs is now down in the 200s, so the meds seem to be working.

They also told me that my metabolism is completely fucked up and that even if I don't eat, I won't lose weight efficiently. I liked my doctor because was wasn't judgmental about my weight, and was very encouraging about my future. The team hopes to have me off of the meds and insulin in two months.

Physically, I feel fine, though a little tired. Emotionally, I'm all over the place. I can't help blaming myself for making myself sick since my weight definitely plays a part. On the other hand, I'm trying to stay positive. That I don't actually feel sick is a plus and my bs is going down. All I can do is follow my doctors' orders and I'll hopefully be fine. Taking insulin and bs numbers really isn't bad; it doesn't hurt at all. And the meal plan seems reasonable.

I'm also planning to do a 4.8 miles walk for diabetes in October. That seems like the perfect thing to do for both my disease and my leg. The route goes over the Brooklyn Bridge so we'll get to see some awesome views of the NYC skyline.

What's really nice is that many friends have been so supportive. I've heard from a lot of people, who've cheered me on. Then again, I haven't heard from some people, which is disappointing. If I knew my friend was having a major health crisis, I'd make a point to reach her, but I can't change people's priorities.

I'm still trying to figure out how to tell my parents. I think they should know, but my mom is going to get all cry-y and freak out. I really don't want to deal with her blubbering. My dad will be more normal, I think.

Sorry for this slightly incoherent entry, but my mind is all over the place. I will keep everyone updated.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Greek Freak Out

Greetings from Santorini! Right now, we're in a beautiful hotel that overlooks the caldera. We spent the day on a boat touring the islands. It should've been paradise, but for me, there was a big issue ... the steps.

All of the towns in Santorini are up hundreds and hundreds of steep, uneven steps that have been built into the cliff. You can walk, ride a donkey, ride a motorbike, or if you're lucky, get a cab or bus. We've mainly been using public transport, but there are some areas that you can only get to on foot ... which means climbing up and down these steep stairs.

I've been pushing myself for the past week and it's catching up to me. This morning, we walked to the cable car which takes you down to port so we could catch our boat. Jon said that it was a "short walk" through town to get it to it. But that "short walk" was about a mile up and down over these steps. Adding to this was the fact that I hadn't slept well and hadn't yet had breakfast when we did the walk. Plus, it was hot out. I completely freaked out. I sat down on a stoop and just burst into tears. I feel really stupid about it now, but at the time, I was in pain and frustrated.

I did make it to the cable car and relaxed for the rest of the day. In the evening, we went to the town of Oia to watch the sun set. We spent several hours just hanging out at a cafe and made friends with some cats. Later, to get to the main square, we again had to walk over a bunch of steps. Only after having relaxed all day and eaten, it didn't seem as bad. I was able to enjoy the scenery and the town and not think about them so much.

Tomorrow is our last full vacation day before we begin the trip back home. I hope that when I get home, I'll be stronger and all of this physical stuff I've been doing will have paid off.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

All Greek To Me

We're still in Greece and are having a great time. Right now, we're on the island of Crete, which is the largest of the Greek isles. We spent the day exploring the ruins at Knossos and then went to a small museum.

My walking still isn't great, but this trip is giving me a lot of opportunities to be active. Many come up when I don't plan on them. For instance, yesterday we took the Athens subway to the port where we caught the boat to Crete. But what we weren't told was that the entrance to the port was about a mile and a half from the actual boat. So we walked and walked and walked ... and I was feeling pretty good. I stopped every few minutes and was glad I was able to do so much.

Then I looked at my watch and realized that the boat was about to leave in 15 minutes and we were still nowhere near it. At that point, I gave in and hailed a cab. Had I had more time, though, I would've been able to complete the distance.

The day before was spent in the mountain city of Delphi. The bus dropped us off in town and we were told that the ruins were .5 K away. But that was .5 K away from the edge of town -- and the bus station was all the way across town. Again, I ended up walking much more than I'd planned -- on mountain hills, no less. We must've covered a few miles, at least, and by the time we were through with the ruins and made it back to town, I was wiped. My legs hurt and I felt like I was about to pass out. Still, I took a nap on the bus and kind of hobbled to dinner later that evening.

Today, I was proud of myself for hiking all over the ruins, which were pretty vast. The good thing about ruins is that there are always a lot of rocks and walls and large pieces of old things to sit on. So I'd climb a staircase, then sit and enjoy the view. I got to see everything there, but I took my time and enjoyed myself.

I can't say that I've been eating very well. I thought that Mediterranean food was supposed to be healthy, but much of it is fried. The cheese pie, spinach pie, zucchini appetizers ... all fried. I don't like fried too much so I'm getting a little tired of it. Unfortunately, I don't eat fish, so I have to make due with meats and vegetarian stuff -- and it seems like a lot is baked or cooked in oil. Portions are also HUGE, like ridiculously so. I don't speak any Greek so it's difficult to negotiate on an order, so I'm just trying to not eat too much and then walk a lot. I can't tell where my weight is at, but I do feel like I'm getting stronger. I still need Jon's help sometimes when I encounter steep, uneven stairs, and I can feel the lack of strength in my left leg; but I was able to make it around much of the ruins today without help.

Tomorrow, we're heading off to Santorini. I've always wanted to go, so I'm excited. I was nervous about doing this trip, but am glad that I've been able to do much more than I thought.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Greetings From Greece!

Wow, it's been a long time since I've written, but a lot has happened in the past few weeks.

First, there was the craziness with my job situation. My magazine was bought out by a new company and there are a lot of changes. Many people lost jobs. However, I was lucky and received a promotion! FINALLY! It feels really good to get some respect at my job where I work my butt off. I'm sorry that some people lost theirs or received pay cuts, but I'm proud that I've moved up.

Meantime, my jewelry business is going well. My last fair was successful and a lot of fun, and I've been invited to a third fair in June. If things keep up, this could end up being a profitable side business.

As for my weight loss efforts, well, they haven't gone as well as I'd hoped, but they haven't gone badly, either. I haven't gone to the gym as much as I'd planned. However, I've been watching what I eat and have stopped eating when I'm full. I also made an appointment with an endicrinologist for August. I don't like to blame my weight on anything other than myself, but I do suspect that I have a hormonal or thyroid problem. If I do, I need to get it fixed.

Right now, as you've probably guessed from this post title, we are in Greece! We flew into Athens yesterday and will also be visiting Delphi, Crete and Santorini. I was nervous about walking around the city with my limited mobility, but I'm doing pretty well. I even managed to hike up to the top of the Acropolis this morning! It was a long way up, about a mile vertical, with steep hills, but I took my time and stopped every few feet. I enjoyed the view and before I knew it, we were at the top!

I'm glad I did this because yesterday, I was seriously feeling like a Freakish Fat Girl. The seat on the plane felt so tight and I just about made it into the plane's little bathroom. I couldn't put the seat tray down so I had to keep my food on Jon's tray. The nice, but annoying flight attendants were all concerned and were like, "Are you okay? We can bring the food later?" and making a big deal of it when I just wanted them to put their attention elsewhere. Then our hotel room in Athens has this weird, little bathroom with a huge sink that juts out. I was having nightmares back to our hotel in London where I couldn't squeeze into the bathroom to get to our shower, only in this case, I was afraid I wouldn't even be able to get to the toilet -- but I was able to squeeze past and get in. And then this morning, getting in and out was even easier. Hopefully, after all the walking I've done today -- about two miles -- that squeeze past the sink will be even less.

I know that regular-sized people don't encounter these types of problems ... but in-shape people do enjoy things like hiking up mountains and traveling and walking around cities, so it feels good to be doing that.

I think that Greece is going to kick my ass, but as Jon said, I've probably been underestimating myself since I had my surgery. If a country is going to whip me into shape, it might as well be a place that's as beautiful and interesting as Greece.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lessons In Forgiveness

Part of my journey in regaining my physical and mental health is learning to deal with things from my past. Not just deal with them, actually, but to put them away and move on. I've clung to certain things for a long time and I'm finally figuring out how to let go.

One of the toughest things I had to endure was bullying at the hands of my babysitters' kids. Because both of my parents worked, I'd stay with families who could watch me before and after school. Most of the time, though, the kids in the household would resent having other children around to take up their parents' attention. In almost every home, I was teased and bullied, and because I was so shy, never stood up for myself.

The last home I was at was the worst. I ended up there after meeting one of the girls and her older sister on the bus. I was only in the first grade at the time, but they were nice to me, even though they were both older. When I found out that their mom ran a babysitting service in her home, I begged my parents to let me stay with their family. They agreed and I was thrilled.

At first, things went well. I loved being in a home with my new friends; even better, one of the girls from my second grade class was also staying there. I enjoyed being around a group of what seemed like nice kids.

Unfortunately, things quickly went downhill. The older sister, who was five years my senior, started making nasty comments at me. At first, they were pretty benign, but as time went on, they got worse. She also recruited her younger sister and my classmate to gang up on me. They'd constantly "correct" me or call me names; it never seemed like I could do anything right. They lectured me for boasting about my grades, made fun of me for being Jewish, calld me an "Igpay verde," green pig in Pig Latin.

I stayed at that home for three years and by the time I was 10 and the older girl was 15, the abuse from her turned physical. One time, she held me down and yanked off my skirt and then had some of the neighborhood boys walk under my legs -- when I was in my underwear. Another time, she held me down and tried to feed me dog shit. There were other things, too, that I'm not so comfortable writing about. But she also made fun of me for being fat -- which I wasn't at that age. After enduring three years of these girls telling me how much I suck, pretty much on a daily basis, I hated myself. Their words and actions stayed with me until adulthood.

I finally left that home at the end of fourth grade. I just couldn't stay there anymore, so I begged my parents to let me just stay home by myself. They were a little wary, but agreed. I remember feeling like I'd been let out of prison. The next year, the third girl -- the classmate -- apologized to me for everything they'd done. She explained that she and the younger sister were scared of the older girl and teamed up with her basically out of self-preservation.

Anyway, the other day on Facebook, the younger sister sent me a kind note. She told me that she felt blessed to have had me in her childhood and asked if we could be FB friends. I've heard of nostalgia changing people's perspective on the past, but wow, was her vision of our time together different than mine! I was moved by her sincere note, though, and after sleeping on it, wrote her back. I came up with something positive to say and said that she could be my FB friend if she wants.

Part of me is a little freaked to know that I'm now two degrees from the older sister via FB. However, I feel safe in knowing that she can't do anything to me. For one thing, I'm certain that I'm now bigger than her. I doubt that we'll ever come face to face, but if we ever do and she dares to touch me, I will kick her ass! Being fat DOES have some advantages, LOL! But more important than that, I've finally reached a point where I like myself -- and nothing she could say would change that.

I'm proud of myself for taking this step and letting the past go. I'll never forget what happened, but I think I am ready to forgive.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Holidays And Catching Up

Just finished a crazy week -- no wonder I crashed on Friday night! After attending my friend's bridal shower and then visiting my grandmother last Saturday, we had our Passover seder on Monday; I then helped another friend with wedding plans later in the week. It was fun seeing so many people, but I was happy to enjoy a quiet Sunday today.

I'm going to be honest, I haven't been so great about going to the gym. But I have been doing well with my eating. At Passover, I took only one serving of meatloaf, spinach souffle and stuffing, and I didn't even finish it. For dessert, I had one small piece of Passover brownie and one macaroon. Oh, and I had half a glass of wine. That was it. We were supposed to go to a second seder on Tuesday, but I decided to not attend. I felt badly cancelling on the friend who invited us, but I didn't want to do two big dinners in a row, especially since I had the bridal shower the weekend before. I stand by my decision and figure that we can see the friend on another day.

Later in the week, I went to my friend Amy's to help her address wedding invitations. She also served Passover food, but it was all very light -- beet salad, homemade guacamole and matzah, fresh vegetables, cottage cheese.

We don't really observe Passover (yes, I still eat bread; I'm a bad Jew), but I've been careful all week. I actually haven't had that much of an appetite, probably because I've been eating less.

Mentally, I'm in a good place. I have my second craft fair next weekend and am looking forward to selling some more jewelry. I've been working on new pieces all weekend and can't wait to show them off. Physically, I could be better (I know, I know, working out will help), but I'm sleeping a lot better these days and feel less lethargic. We had a half day of work on Friday, so I went home early with the plan to take a nap; instead, I ended up finishing a book and making four pieces of jewelry that evening. On weekends, my instinct is to hibernate, but I've been forcing myself to go out, even if it's just to see a movie. We did that yesterday and then today, I made some more jewelry and cleaned.

Right now, I'm going to enjoy the salad and chicken curry that Jon cooked for me. I like Sundays because it means that it's the start of a new week, and another chance for me to start clean and healthy. Here's to a happy Easter/Passover to everyone and to you having a healthy week, as well!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

More Than Words

I just had the strangest, shittiest week and it only got more bizarre today. Not sure what it is ... maybe it's all of this rain?

Anyway, it looks as if my job is in serious jeopardy. We're being bought out by another company and the rumor is, about half of us will be out of work. Some reps from the new company had interviews with everyone over the past couple of days and I believe that I impressed them, but I'm trying to stay realistic. The good news is that Jon's work is going well so we're fine; if I lose my job, I'll find something else to do and it won't be the end of the world. But I'm worried not just for myself, but for my co-workers. I also know that a lot of people have already lost jobs because of this move and I feel badly for them.

This weekend, I prepared to get my mind off of things by relaxing and enjoying my friend's bridal shower. I arrived over an hour early so I went to the bagel shop next door to get some breakfast. It was nearly empty and very quiet, so I sat and read. For the first time all week, I was actually having some fun.

Then this man barged in right around the time that the two workers were in the back, checking on the bagels, I guess. This meant that I was all alone. I figured that the man was just a customer, but then he turned to me and growled, "Hello, FATSO." I knew that he was addressing me.

I tried to ignore him, but he went on a rant about how I was a fat piece of shit and a waste of space, and how I don't love God. Obviously, he was crazy out of his mind. Still, it scared the hell out of me. I just sat there, frozen, because I didn't know if he had a gun or knife on him, or what. He just kept screaming at me, taunting me about my weight and daring me to call the cops. Finally, the workers came out from the back and threw him out. They explained that he's basically the neighborhood Crazy and that everyone just ignores him.

Breathing a sigh of relief, I went next door to the place where the party was being held, but the man's words kept echoing in his head. Yeah, he was loony-tunes, but his insults still hurt. It was like all I was to him was a fat person and that angered him enough to barge into the store and yell. I try not to be hard on myself, but having him telling me how gross and useless I am was kind of like a demon spitting all of my insecurities right into my face. It also occured to me while he was ranting that if he did have a gun and shot me, that the last words I'd hear would be someone calling me a fat piece of shit.

I like to find the purpose in things, a reason for why things happen, but I can't come up with any for this. I'm trying to stay positive and remind myself that he didn't have a gun and didn't hurt me in any way. Plus, he's crazy and has apparently fallen through the cracks of the system, while I have not. Maybe this was supposed to be a test -- a test to see if I could deal with insults coming from someone who doesn't matter? I don't know.

Now I'm home, snuggled into my bed with my cat and my book, as the rain hits our window. My husband is in the next room and that man is probably wandering the streets in the bad weather. I can't let someone like that take away my dignity. It's hard, but I'm going to talk myself into moving past this.