Sunday, July 21, 2013

On the Road Again . . .

 Not sure how the title will fit this blog, but let’s get started!  Background first, since I haven’t blogged in a bazillion days . . .

Over the past couple months I’ve been on yet another “road to health” that has left me with mixed emotions.  Yeah, I’m losing weight, and I’m more active, and I’ve given away every piece of clothing that is too big. This meant two trips of boxes and bags to our local family homeless shelter, as I found several bins of “just because” clothing on shelves in the garage while doing my summer cleaning! But . . . I’m fighting a very real feeling that this isn’t the health program for me.  I don’t like the road I’m on for a number of reasons.

I won’t go into the details, or badmouth the program, as many love it and are true blue fans.  That’s ok for them, but it isn’t feeling right for me, and quite honestly, I had to talk myself into it in the first place. I haven’t been 100% committed, although I have followed it faithfully, hoping that I would find myself in that state of near Nirvana others spoke of while taking this particular road to good health. (It didn’t happen; more energy and euphoria continues to elude me!)

So I thought about what does feel right ~ frequent small meals that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates, exercise daily, stay clear of sugary treats and junk food ~ and decided that I will wean myself off of the program and instead trust myself to make healthy choices on my own.

Novel idea, I agree!  I know my strengths, and weaknesses, quite well.  I know that in the past twenty-five years I have been unable to maintain any kind of weight loss program on my own. I’ve needed incentive to stick to it ~ other people to commiserate with, and usually paying big $$ for food and/or supplements.

(Little FYI ~ I never had a weight problem until I quit smoking 26 years ago.  Do I have a compulsive personality?  Yeah, I think so.  However, I draw the line at picking up the smoking habit as a mode to weight loss!  Some roads I simply will not take again!)

But, alas, this past was before I changed to my new primary care doctor, who has left no stone unturned in making sure I get healthy, come hell or high water.  Our first conversation was 75 minutes long last January.  I was in tears: I pretty much hated her and never wanted to see her again.  She told me I was depressed, and I didn’t believe her until I started a medication for depression.  She was right, I got really depressed when I gained 10 more pounds in a month!

In the meantime, she had ordered blood work that came back leading her to believe I was on the road to self-destruction. (I guess my “road” title is working out) She said, “Get some weight off, NOW!”  I cried some more and blamed the medication . . . so, she changed it and told me I had three months to bring down my cholesterol and blood sugar numbers before I’d be put on more medication.

Well, the new depression medication was amazing.  I didn’t know I was supposed to be happy, and was surprised to discover that I liked being in happy mode. Hmmm . . .

There were a few other medical alerts during the spring: suspicious moles (I had a chunk of my cheek removed due to skin cancer, which was sewn up beautifully!) and problems suspected in my bladder and kidneys (had a couple unpleasant procedures, and then had a kidney stone blasted to smithereens, as it was too big to pass without surgery).

I lost a few pounds on my own, but heard about a “miracle program”  (I know, where was my brain you wonder??) and I was enticed with the magic of dropping more weight quicker and being in a state of “Optimal Health” so I signed up and got started in May.

Within a week, since I had a re-check appointment with Dr. Kill Joy (not her real name), I was half hoping she would tell me I couldn’t do the program.  She snickered when I told her what it was (first time she has cracked a smile) asking how I liked the food (I personally think it’s pretty awful!) and agreed I could stay on it, as I was already losing weight and she was happy to see that.  However, she ordered further blood work to be sure my numbers were where they were supposed to be. 

My blood pressure had been high the last three times, however in all fairness, two of them were prior to medical procedures and I wasn’t too alarmed.  Dr. KJ was, naturally, and told me to stick to a low sodium diet, buy a blood pressure cuff and record readings at least twice a day.  Luckily, this food program made it easy to track the sodium, but it was still a challenge to stay below 1500 mg per day.  And, my blood pressure continued to be in the “you’re not dead yet, but you’re in danger” zone, so the doctor required me to start blood pressure medication.  The first one made me dizzy, despite the fact I was on ½ of the dose.  However, the current one is working well, with no dizziness.

I’ve learned a few things on this road trip to health. 

First, although I should have been prepared for this, I am more fully aware of my limitations as I flounder in the 60’s. Nothing comes easy, everything takes twice as long as it used to, and half of what I used to know I’ve forgotten. 

Second, I’ve found myself scared into submission.  The focus has shifted from “I wish I could lose weight” to “I have to lose weight” if I want to enjoy a certain quality of life.  Lately, I like the fact that I can easily bend over to pick beans in the garden, or paint my own toes.  Simple pleasures, but I’ll take them.

Third, I have two daughters planning weddings in the not so distant future.  I really want to look good in those family photos that will hang for posterity on the family room wall.

Oh yeah, and if I eat right, exercise and take care of myself, maybe I can keep a few of those prescriptions out of my life a while longer. 

There has never been a better time for me to reward myself with good health, so I’m on the road again . . .


  1. My favorite post in maybe ever. I loved this. Funny, true and underneath everything, nicer to you than ever before. I'm so grateful that you're working to be as whole as you can in these next decades because my next decades would be so sad and empty without you. I'm also deeply proud of you for your persistence and your honesty with yourself and in your writing. Reading this post has made me want to read more of you. Love you!

  2. It is great to see you on blogger again.

    No path is right for everyone, and by searching and not giving up, one can find what works for them. It sounds like you are on your way. Depression is a terrible thing and allows one to put up the barriers to success. As you have gotten that under control and with your determination, I am sure you are on the road towards a happier life.

    I am looking forward to seeing pictures of you at your daughters' weddings. You will look and feel fabulous!

  3. I've missed you. Good job getting going. I need a jump start too!

  4. First of all, welcome back. Oh how I have missed you!

    Your honesty in this post made me want to reach out and hug you. You have a way of saying things that just makes me love you all the more. I'm glad you are going to Dr. KJ. I guess we all need a doc like that. I'm glad you took her advice about the meds. Now as far as the diet goes, I guess the promises do make me send up a bit of a red flag. It is working, but maybe it is not for you. I guess if your doc was really concerned about the healthy nature of the diet, she would have made you stop it, or suggested it anyway.

    Hang in there. It is hard to eat the right way. I don't know why, but it is.

  5. I didn't see this post until today, even though it's been several days since you wrote it. I signed up for The Old Reader once Blogger got rid of my friend, Reader. The Old Reader has been down for days, and now it's back up, and I got to read this just now! I'm glad you are "on the road again," even if it's a hard road. Are we going to get together in October and hear all about it? I sure hope so! You have my sincere wishes that everything comes together for you, Sandi. And welcome back to the Blogosphere! :-)

  6. Dear Sandi, what comes through loud and clear in this posting is that you are being good to yourself. Taking care of your body while listening to the deep center of your being where Oneness dwells means that you are truly on the road to contentment. I am so glad. So happy for you that you are finding the way to good health. Losing weight can bring out amazing results and you know that now and are committed. Your story is inspiring. Peace.

  7. Sandi it's been one heck of a tough summer at my end but hearing about depression makes want to reach out. Sometimes the meds make it worse. Not every one feels better from drugs. I am hoping you will get less sad and strive ahead again. You so much specialness to offer to so many and you are loved as past post point out.
    Halloween is once again approaching as is a meeting with Djan and others. I pray you' ll be okay again and be there to share. They are a great bunch to be a part os and some have had it rough too.
    Please be well :) HUGS ,,,

  8. Sandi - How did I miss this? Maybe I was on my blog break? Anyhow, I think health is a state of mind and a willingness to make some sacrifices. You've got to be determined! I hope by now you've established a good relationship with DR KJ and can talk with her openly and have your questions answered. I tend to think that daily exercise is SO important. I know you're busy with school and probably exhausted by end of day, but even if you only walk around the block, it will be beneficial. Just being outdoors in a quiet environment can work wonders. Hugs to you - keep trying!


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