Friday, June 24, 2011
Four-ish years ago, my friend, partner, and now (as of a year ago) husband moved in with me. The day he did, I went vegan, figuring it couldn't hurt, and would probably help. At least, we could save on groceries.
Plus, you know, I had been diagnosed with diabetes, and I hated the whole metformin thing, hated measuring food, hated turning control of my life over to a bunch of doctors and dietitians. There I was, busy as all get-out, mid-doctoral coursework, and the doc wanted me in there once a week. I tried for months but it was just too much for me. I was stressed out, constantly, and felt chained to various desks at 4 different locations, since I wasn't 'just' a doc student - but also a research fellow at 2 locations, and a research assistant. When you're up all hours finishing off that research paper, you (ok, I) tend to reach for the easiest thing: pizza deliveries, bags of chips, all that. Even though I love to cook, there was no time to do that, and exercise had become confined to walking between bus stops on my hours long daily commute. Still, I was aware, and scared. I was tired all the time. I wanted change, knew my diet was dangerous. Perhaps I wanted more than anything to turn back the clock and unsay that diagnosis, which can lead to blindness, amputations, and more.
So, when Mike moved in, I went vegan overnight, and learned to cook a whole new way. To my amazement it wasn't hard, and the great surprise was that it was a lot of fun, delicious, and anything but deprivation. We ate super well, and still do. With his presence, I looked up from my computer and began to have a real life apart from my work. For so long, even before I began my doc studies, my life was work. I had worked hard to get to this place, academically, but at the same time, my health was declining. That happens when you don't look up. Maybe it's one of those Murphy's Law things, a corollary to work taking all the time allotted. You know, if you don't take time to balance your life, you pay the price. Dread visions of myself, too ill to defend my dissertation... having to quit the program due to health. And still having student loans to pay off! Uh, no. Not acceptable, not in the least acceptable.
So then, we married last year. As a gift to ourselves, we used wedding money to buy an elliptical trainer. We became active in sparks... and then we began going to a gym, and running. (running? me? yeah, me).
I'm a little stalled out right now because I'm on deadline. I'm trying to hold the line, at least maintain my weight, while teaching full time and finish my dissertation. My job is at stake, so everything else is on hold, and I do mean everything. Mike is right here with me, cooking wonderful food, being there to listen - everything.
This is a long way 'round the block to tell you my good news. Today, I went to a doc for a checkup. She asked me... so when was the last time you got your blood sugar checked? (Ulp, I said) - about 3 years, expecting a lecture. But you know, I said, I've lost 40 lbs, we've been running, we're vegan.
MY BLOOD SUGAR IS IN THE NORMAL RANGE. She said: you are doing fantastic.
You know, when I was a kid I never wanted to be normal. Now, this word means life. And it is his fault.