Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wake up call

I'm always trying half-heartedly, on and off to lose weight. I have an elliptical machine, we belong to the YMCA, sometimes I count WW points, sometimes I eat only local, fresh earth grown items. Sometimes I plan out meals a week or even few weeks in advance to control portions, calories and budget. Sometimes (like last night) I'm too tired and I give the kids something nutritious and cave in to the baked Lays that have been calling my name.

Then sometimes, like today, I get a wake up call that says "THIS IS SERIOUS DAMMIT!" You see I have a horrible family history of heart disease. My maternal grandfather died of a heart attack, my maternal grandmother had her first heart attack at 62, my own mother in her fifties. My sister died of a heart attack two years ago at only 40 years old. After my sister died I saw my doctor and was diagnosed with mild high blood pressure. Not enough to take medicine but enough to freak me out....for a few months. Then back I went to my old habits and 10 more pounds came with me into the new year.

Today another sister went to the doctor for migraines....her blood pressure was so high (high blood pressure is anything over 140/90 - hers was 222/124) he immediately did an EKG that showed that she has recently had a heart attack. She had a heart attack and didn't even know it!

So now my grandmother, mother, all my siblings and even one niece are on medicine to control blood pressure. If I don't do something RIGHT NOW. I will need it within a few years.

3 comments:

fostermama said...
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fostermama said...

I have similar issues with diabetes. My mother and a first cousin have it, and I have a horrible relationship with sugar that is always bordering on the diabetic.

I gained a bunch of weight quickly when I was 22, and didn't work on trying to do anything about it til I was 26 and started gaining more weight. I went on a very restrictive diet that required lots of work to prepare food, and it worked incredibly well for 6 months. I lost all the weight and felt great. But I couldn't keep it up when my schedule changed and my stress level went up.

Since then, I've tried 3 other times to lose weight. I was told by an acupuncturist 2 years ago that I was "pre-diabetic" and it scared me, so even though we had our first foster baby I decided to try that same diet again. Hah! But each time I failed I got more intimidated about trying again.

I have always eaten decently healthy meals if I/we cook. But I've always eaten crappy snacks and when we had Niblet we ate ice cream for lunch and dinner for a few months. :P My weight went up 40 more pounds to the highest it's ever been.

Now, I'm doing something that's working pretty well for me. Since February, I've been limiting my extra-meal eating to nuts, veggies, and fruits. No brownies, chips, sodas, etc, etc. Meals I can eat as much as I want of whatever I want, so I don't feel deprived and hungry. I've even started allowing myself to take a bite or two of a dessert that FosterMommy's eating.

It's working slowly (5 lbs/month, about) and I suspect I won't keep losing if I don't get some exercise in there at some point soon, but it's so reasonable that it feels infinitely sustainable. I'm actually happier eating like this than all uncontrolled.

Not saying what will work for you, but something will. Something that feels reasonable and sustainable. Maybe with an initial period that's more intense so you can get some results right away. And find some quick 'n' easy meals you can make those nights when the Lays are calling. Something you can pop in the microwave and call it food, when you need to.

Lots of luck. I understand well that fear of screwing up your health in a permanent and significant way but feeling overwhelmed to try and stop it. It feels good to know that at the moment I'm reducing my risks rather than increasing them. I hope you make it to that point soon.

Evelyn said...

My dad's doctor told him "medication now or death". Well, being my dad he couldn't do as told and went on the Ornish diet to reverse heart disease instead. It has worked a miracle for him and he is still not on BP medication years later.