Sunday, August 12, 2012
Five months ago, I ended a "friendship" with a man I met six years ago. He was in town for a conference, I was on vacation and painting the town red with my friends. We connected and went on several dates. He was an attractive educated, southern gentleman who opened doors and insisted on paying for everything. He returned to town a month later and we went on more dates. He wanted more, but I was still healing from a prior breakup. We settled for phone conversations because of the distance. The plans we made to get together again never materialized; trips to Vegas, trips to the east coast. The years rolled on. We dated other people, but stayed connected as "friends."
In March, I realized that the drawbacks outweighed the benefits of the phone calls and emails. I wanted cake, but I was getting crumbs. The "friendship" was no longer fulfilling and I was unhappy. It was time for this "friendship" to end. But before it could end, I decided to tell him how I felt and ask for what I wanted. It was a tough conversation, but everything was out in the open and I was satisfied that it was time to move on.
Then, mysteriously on Friday, I found myself connected to him on Facebook. I didn't even know he was on Facebook. Maybe when I synched my phone with my Facebook account, it sent him a friend request. Whatever. When he connected with me, I saw pictures of him huddled up with a woman. Not surprising, but Ouch. She wasn't even cute. Ouch again. I spent the weekend feeling miserable and reflecting on all the tough things I've endured in the last two years: job loss, moving from a house to an apartment, becoming a grandmother at an early age, missed promotions, unhealthy relationships and superficial friendships.
Now, given my circumstances, I need to reframe what it means to be successful and to exorcise the feelings I had buried under layers of fat. It's tough but necessary emotional work.
When I was young I dreamed of getting my degree, living a comfortable life in a big house on a cul-de-sac in the suburbs with my successful, handsome husband, prestigious job and well-behaved overachieving children. The classic pipedream of "having it all". LOL. I did get the degree--actually two of them, but I'm also a single empty-nester middle-aged grandmother living paycheck to paycheck in an apartment. Not sure how I got here, but here I am.
So how do I reframe my thinking? Well, after five months of unemployment last year I did find a job. It's not a big job and I'm slightly underemployed, but it's a decent, stable one in a good environment and I can pay my bills. Hey, who needs a house anyway? I don't know how to fix stuff, I don't garden and I hate cutting grass. I like the lock and leave lifestyle and my apartment is spacious and has nice amenities. My daughter and grandson are healthy and she's working hard to get back into college. Although I spent this weekend embroiled in a classic pity party, I do have friends who listened and offered support as I ranted over drinks at happy hour. Most importantly, I exercised and maintained a degree of control over my eating. I'm even planning to play softball this fall. I haven't played softball since I was a teen.
The remaining 27 pounds will be harder to lose because the pain of being overweight has diminished, I'm closer to goal and I'm dealing with these raw emotions that had been hidden under layers of fat. But, I'm still blogging, recording my meals and exercising. I haven't lost weight in nearly two weeks, but it's too early to declare a plateau. Right now, I blame it on monthly water weight gain and salty food.
Somehow, I've got to dig deep and find the strength to keep moving forward. Even if my progress slows down to baby steps, I've got to keep on keepin' on and have faith that everything will be all right.
Onward and downward.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Yesterday, I got the results of my fasting blood glucose and A1c. Both have dropped to normal levels! My blood glucose is down to 92 from 100 and my A1c dropped from 6.2 to 5.7. Needless to say, I'm elated but my work is not done. Now I have to maintain the habits that got me here. Although I'm no longer officially prediabetic, I know that if I don't take care of myself, that diabetes is just around the corner. For now, though, I celebrate. Yay for me!
Yesterday, I went shopping for a new pair of jeans. I was surprised to discover that I can already wear a size 12. I should've been dancing in the fitting room, but I wasn't. Why? Because of vanity sizing. I tried on at least half a dozen pair in multiple brands, Gloria Vanderbilt, Lee, Levi, JLo, Sonoma. I was a size 12 in all of them. Wasn't this my goal? To wear a size 12 pair of jeans? Why wasn't I celebrating?
Because the last time I wore a size 12 jean, it was a smaller size. That was 10 years ago. I realized that over these years, I've been going to the store, trying on my usual size and they would continue to fit. Since my clothing size hardly changed, I never panicked about my weight gain because I was able to rationalize "But I'm still a 14." Or whatever size I was in. Now, that logic is out the window. Yesterday in the fitting room, when I saw my reflection in the mirror wearing a size 12 jean, I still looked heavy. I didn't look or feel thinner. Also, the slimmer fit of the jeans, accentuated my thick waist, reminding me of the work that's still left to do.
Now I realize that when I get to my goal weight which is still 27 pounds away, I will probably be wearing a size 8 or 10, which is now yesterday's size 12.
Onward and downward.
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
I work out at a community center in a suburb of Kansas City. While I'm there, I enjoy people watching because the membership is so diverse. The indoor track overlooks the gymnasium and goes around the pool, weight and cardio machine areas, making it easy to observe what other people are doing. Randomly listed below are a few of the more interesting scenarios I've observed during my workouts.
1. An Asian couple teaching their young child to play badminton.
2. A woman in full hajib attire going down the slipper slide in the swimming pool.
3. A dozen high school aged black boys shooting hoops while their girlfriends look on.
4. An attendant walking on the indoor track alongside a young man who appeared to have suffered from a stroke.
5. A group of 10 year old boys dunking a basketball into a lowered rim on one side of the court.
6. A slender, fit, woman appearing to be in her late 70s and wearing a turban, sprinting down the track and, later on, lifting weights.
7. A blond man built like an Adonis working out with dumbells and unintentionally distracting half the women in the gym.
8. An old man in street clothes on a leg extension machine.
9. A 225 pound teenager chewing gum, talking on her cell phone (yech) and pedaling slowly on a recumbent bike.
10. A slender man sprinting like a deer around the track.
11. An east Indian couple opting to walk indoors in their street clothes because it's 107 degrees outside. She is wearing traditional attire and has a long, black ponytail.
12. A slender 16 year old girl working out with her 400 pound mother.
13. A 30 something man with a large hairy chest, big huge biceps and skinny chicken legs doing hammer curls.
14. A 4'6" elderly Asian woman walking around the track with a towel wrapped around her neck.
15. A group of Latino children playing under the wading pool's "waterfall".
16. A middle aged Caucasian man wandering through the weight area carrying on a conversation via bluetooth, except I couldn't see the bluetooth.
17. A 5'10" 120 pound Caucasian "woman" with a prominent nose, Adam's apple (?), and glasses working out with weights alongside a personal trainer.
18. A 5'7" 100 pound anorexic-looking Caucasian woman pedaling furiously in a spinning class.
19. A Somali woman wearing a hajib standing alongside her 12 year old daughter while she works out on an abdominal machine.
20. A young, special needs woman with cute blond pigtails and a big belly, repeatedly doing a basic step on a bench. Her t-shirt is tucked into a pair of black sweatpants that are hiked clear up to her chest. When people walk past her, she smiles and says "hi."
21. A man in a wheel chair using a handpedal stationary cycle to get his workout in.
Seeing the folks from all ages, races, ethnicities and walks of life keeps the gym scene interesting.
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
This morning when I got dressed, I pulled a pair of size 14 pants out of the closet and put them on. I was surprised to discover that they are starting to get baggy!
These pants are supposed to be part of my "thinner" wardrobe. When I restarted SP in January, most of my clothes were size 16W, 18, 1x or 2x. I relegated my size 14s and 16s to the back of the closet. Then, around April or May, I had to put my 16W's and 18s away and wear my 14s and 16s. Then my 16s got baggy and I had to go shopping.
Now, the size 14 pants that have been a part of my wardrobe for at least 5 years are starting to sag. Oh, I can still wear them but the only thing keeping me in them is my waist. Once the waist band sags to my hipbone, they'll have to go.
I have not weighed less than what I weigh now in more than seven years. Still, I'm 11 pounds heavier than what I weighed at my high school reunion 9 years ago. Soooo.... here we go.
Onward and downward.
Monday, August 06, 2012
Tomorrow, I am visiting my doctor's office to get my fasting blood sugar and my A1C level tested. For the uninitiated, these are the tests doctors use to diagnose diabetes or monitor pre-diabetes. In January, I learned I was pre-diabetic. My fasting blood glucose was 100 and my A1C measured 6.1. Doctors diagnose diabetics when the A1C measures 6.5. In April, after being back on SP for three months, I got my A1C retested. It had risen from 6.1 to 6.2.
Not coincidentally, April was when I started to get serious about exercise. Before April, my exercise regimen consisted of pedaling on my stationary cycle for 10-15 minutes three or four times a week. I would also take a half hour walk once or twice a week. Not bad for someone who had been inactive, but apparently it was not enough to decrease my A1C level.
I incorporated strength training into my exercise regimen. I started lifting weights twice a week. I increased my cardio to 30-45 minutes 4-5x a week. This is the workout I did 95% of the time between April and July. I also started making smoothies in the morning, which increased my fruit, vegetable and Omega 3 intake. Hopefully, these changes have been enough to decrease my A1C level.
Still, I won't know until later in the week how my body has responded to the improved diet and increase in exercise. I am hopeful that since I've dropped more than 20 pounds since April that my levels have decreased. Right now, I am not on any prescription medication for pre-diabetes, but if my A1C level hasn't changed with diet and exercise, I'll probably end up on some sort of medication. Yech.
Regardless of the results, I know that I have to continue improving my diet and to exercise at least 150 minutes a week.
Onward and downward.
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