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Failure, Frustration, Sadness - Not Today

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

I’m in another weird spot today. Just got my test results! I posted a super positive status, then checked my results… and I’m trying to hang on to that positive approach as much as possible right now.

If there is one thing I could knock my doctor for, it would be how they report test results. They don’t call you and explain anything – it comes in a letter. They have a new system that they just implemented that will send the letter to you online – which I just got. It does leave space for notes from the doctor but mine are usually pretty basic.

What does mine say?

“Your cholesterol is high. Increase exercise and fiber consumption, decrease unhealthy fats.”

I really want to cry. I do. I want to scream and do all sorts of unpleasant things. Perhaps I should explain why…

When I started Spark a few years ago, I got this same message from my doctor. Your cholesterol is high. Eat better. Work out more. At the time I was drinking a slurpee or two a day, eating anything and everything, and I didn’t even own a pair of sneakers. I joined Spark, bought tennis shoes, and started drinking water. I remember barely being able to stay on the treadmill for twenty minutes. My knowledge of healthy food consisted of some salads I may have tricked myself into having sometimes. My uncle had passed away in his sleep from a heart problem – and I was scared straight. I wanted to fix myself. I wanted to find myself in all my fatty skin.

I am trying to focus on the fact that I have come SO FAR from those days. I’m still not perfect, but I am not where I used to be. I gained weight last fall and I already feel bad about that, even though there was a combination of the physical therapy/medication that didn’t help me either. And then this message “Eat better. Work out more.” Makes me feel like SUCH A FAILURE. I am back where I started. Those years of effort – what came of those?

I know I should channel this into something positive. But it is hard when you feel like you’re trying and nothing is coming of it. I keep thinking back to last Friday, the day before my test, how I convinced myself not to go out to eat for lunch even though I really wanted to do it, and when BF and I went out for a nice dinner that night, I ate a turkey burger with nothing but lettuce (no bun!)

Maybe I need to see a nutritionist. I feel like I am making great efforts with food. I know I just started this cutting gluten thing but I feel like I’m on the right path and I’m not sure what to do about “eating better”…

Here is what I have as a meal plan today:

Breakfast: 100 Calorie Chobani & Egg whites with cheese
Snack 1: Weight Watchers String Cheese
Lunch: Rice cakes with Jalapeno Cilantro hummus and Chesapeake Pico de Gallo, with a Trader Joe’s fruit leather snack
Snack 2: 100 Calorie pack of dried edamame
Dinner: Spicy shrimp and veggie stir fry over brown rice

Eat better. Work out more.

I suppose I could work out much more. I could push myself and end up hurt again. Half of my brain wants me to do just that – dedicate every waking minute to working out. Get up early, give up every lunch break, stay up late. Half of my brain knows I will burn out, hurt myself, or worse.

I’m constantly battling my brain with things like food choices. I watch my coworkers go out and even my BF tells me how he eats out every day for lunch. At night I push myself to pack healthy lunches, cook better dinners, find new recipes. Maybe I need hypnosis or something. Sometimes this effort feels so tiring and I push through it, but it still hasn’t become as easy as I thought. When someone tells you that you’re not making enough of an effort – well… that’s just grand.

To top it all off – my thyroid results came back “Fine” – yes, “Fine.” I know how I felt yesterday and I just want to cry because I still have days where I really struggle. And I’m FINE?! Why don’t I feel fine? They want me to continue on my current dosage of meds. I suppose I would be okay with knowing my levels haven’t gotten worse if I hadn’t felt SO BAD yesterday.

So maybe the underlying emotion I have right now is FRUSTRATION. I think I might call my doc and lay everything out. I am going to make an effort to increase exercise – what kind and how much needs to be figured out but I have my gym bag with me today and it’s happening. But I am also going to give her my meal planning and be like “Why would this stuff cause increased cholesterol?!” Again – I know I am not perfect, and I tend to eat out once or twice a week, but I try to make good choices when I do and I have most certainly changed my lifestyle from where it was the last time she called out my cholesterol.

And I think I am going to spend some time doing more research. Knowledge is power and I have to arm myself. I want to learn more about good thyroid diets, ways to reduce cholesterol, find even more healthy recipes.

If I let myself break down now – then I really would be failing and it really would all be for nothing. I still feel like a lost person in a fat body. This isn’t me. Why be someone you’re not?

And at the end of the day, things could honestly be worse. I have a disease, I push through it. I have lost weight before and it is not easy for me but it isn’t entirely unattainable. I know I will never be perfect or tiny, but I can be comfortable in my own skin again. I’m not dying, or super sick. I would like to lose 40 lbs, not 100. I should just lace up my sneaks and get to it. I need to push these feelings of frustration, failure and sadness aside or I will never move beyond it. I am working SO HARD right now to stay positive, because I know it is what is best for my sanity.

So now you know a whole bunch about my life and my emotions and my problems, but I want to thank you for listening (reading?) because I know without Spark I probably would have given up a long long long time ago and I’m not about to do it now.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post

    If you are eating healthy and exercising moderately then it is likely your high cholesterol is genetic.

    I am a thin vegetarian who works out 4 days a week. I have high cholesterol. My good cholesterol is low, my bad cholesterol is high and my truglycerides are really high. I have added the "good" food, subtracted the "bad" foods. I have lost weight, run more, and been tested every year. It is still high.

    Read The China Study. It was a great book about cholesterol.

    Good luck!
    1655 days ago
    Sounds like you might need to try and make your doctor listen, or find a different one. Something to think about, according to several diff. sources I've read, hypo is thought to be a possible side effect of another health problem. I myself also have uterine fibroids- diagnosed after my hypo when the medication was not working. The symptoms for this were very similar to my hypo symptoms, after the blood test showed my thyroid levels were fine, I threw a fit in front of my doctor and she started searching for other things it might be(my never ending periods were kind of a clue) Keep pressing your doctor, or if you have to find a different doctor, to be sure there isn't something being missed. Perhaps ask why your cholesterol is high, what causes a young person to have high cholesterol, especially a person who has been working hard at following a healthy lifestyle. Until then, I would continue to follow a sensible diet, and exercise as you have been. Going overboard isn't going to make you feel better.
    Take care!
    1658 days ago
  • SUMMER2203
    oh, and also -- i love those chobani bites :) i have them every day, too!
    1658 days ago
  • SUMMER2203
    ok, so shady that they just send you a letter!!!i would DEFINITELY call the doctor and suss this out (and then maybe switch doctors?! like...that is so impersonal and horrible!)

    you know you are doing awesome, and you are definitely healthier than you were when you were having slurpees all of the time. my mom recently lost about 40 lbs because of a high cholesterol scare, and then just went to the dr this week and they said it had gone UP! (turns out, it is fine...which is why i extra suggest that you call)

    we all got yo back!
    1658 days ago
  • SLEE103
    I don't really have anything to add, there has been some great advice on here!! I second either calling your doctor or speaking to a nutritionist about ways fulfill your doc's instructions. You HAVE come so far. frustration and uncertainty are pretty unbearable! But you my dear, are stronger than that and will push forward! emoticon
    1658 days ago
    You are NOT in the same place you were some years ago. You are wiser and more informed. Additionally you know what to do and how to do it.

    I have many friends who eat out all the time and live an unhealthy life. They look great. I have to be moderate and think before I eat. I guess we have different metabolism system. But... In a few years (decades?) their body is gonna fire back. Their metabolism is gonna slow down and they won't know how to handle it. We know... Because we learned the hard way; and at that point it's not gonna be a struggle, it's gonna be a way of living; a daily routine.

    So gather your strength and BE WHO YOU WANT TO BE! I'm sure you can, and you should be sure, too! You have done it before! There is no reason to pity yourself. I'm also sure there is no way that you want for people to feel sorry for you. So, why do you do that to yourself?
    No guilt... You learned from your mistakes and you CAN do it.

    I'm talking from experience... I lost the extra weight when I was 19, but I didn't change my lifestyle... I don't know if you have this saying, but in Greece we say "it was a firework" meaning it was spectacular but it didn't last. I got involved into a relationship which consumed me and I gained everything back... This time I lost the weight for myself. And I have never felt stronger.

    You are just a decision away from feeling proud of yourself. Not because you will be thinner, but because you'll know that you made the right choices for you life!

    emoticon emoticon

    1658 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon That's all I got..
    1658 days ago
    Reasons like you mention are reasons why I hardly EVER go to the doctor. I feel like every time I go to the doctor for what ever reason, they always tell me I'm fine. I know my body and I know when something is wrong. Just being told I'm fine makes me feel like I'm crazy. I am not are not crazy! Who better to understand your body, but yourself!!

    I agree with considering asking a nutritionist, doing research, and demanding the doctor give more details. There are SOO many different ways to eat healthy and obviously your body is asking for a certain way that maybe you have not yet discovered. "cutting unhealthy fats and eating more fiber" doesn't begin to cover anything!

    I really hope you get it figured out! Chin up!
    1658 days ago
    what i learned myself with all my health problems is that regular docters dont have answers to your questions . have you ever thought of going to differnt kind of doctors? what about adding green smoothies to your diet?
    1658 days ago
    Oh Stef - I am so sorry to hear about this struggle and frustration. I definitely agree you need to call your doctor and get some more detail around the results. The health care system in this country is sadly broken. Its a little extra effort, but it will be worth it. Don't give up!!!! You can do it - and like you said, you brought your gym bag so all you need to do it just put the shoes on and do can!!!!!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1658 days ago
    emoticon Honey, I am so sorry that your results came back less than stellar. I want you to know that I think it is completely okay to feel frustrated by this situation. Life isn't always great and it's cathartic to get those sad, angry and frustrated emotions out. But I do think you are onto the right idea by saying that you will try to push past them and do what you know is best for your body. A good while back I wrote a blog about New Year's Eve Resolutions. One of my resolutions each year was to get into recovery from bulimia. Each year I'd start off trying my danged hardest to do it and each year, just a few days or weeks into it I would fail. I felt horrible. I felt like life would always be that way for me. But a good friend of mine told something that light a fire under me. He said, "Even if you end up taking bulimia to your grave don't stop fighting. Try to do your best to overcome it each day."
    He was right. Even if I ended up getting old and passing away still dealing with bulimia didn't mean that I had to resign myself to accept it. I owe it to myself to fight each and everyday to get better. So, I never gave up and I fought back. And it didn't work many times but finally it did.
    Now, I know that my mental disease is different from your physical disease. But I just wanted you to know that even though it feels like you are fighting a losing battle please don't give up on yourself. Even if you are not seeing the results you would like to, there is a certain pride and honor in knowing that you really are doing all that you can to get healthy. Anyone can appreciate that. We, here on Spark, see your hard work and I don't think that it is all for not. Maybe the doctor could better explain the results to you . Perhaps they have a scale as to how high your cholesterol is. Maybe at first your levels where at the high end of “Your cholesterol is high. Increase exercise and fiber consumption, decrease unhealthy fats.”
    And maybe now you are just on the cusp of the low end of that. Maybe teetering towards being on normal/healthy levels.
    I will continue to keep you and your health in my prayers!
    1658 days ago
    I think your doctors way of doing things is plain old lazy, and just sucks. Never forget that this is a 'one size fits all' response, they know nothing about you as an individual. If whatever is making you feel unwell is not your thyroid, then it's up to them to find out what IS wrong, not tell you off for something else!

    Are they testing your good/bad cholesterol ratios, or just total? You could have high 'good' and low 'bad' like I do, though it would come out as 'high' in a total test! Also cholesterol doesn't just come from our diet, it's a necessary part of our cell structure, and our bodies manufacture most of it! Maybe you are one of those people that make more than is needed.

    Porridge oats help lower cholesterol, in the UK we have a brand of yoghurt/spreads called Benecol, which also has been proven to lower cholesterol. I don't know if you have that where you are.

    emoticon I feel mad on your behalf!!
    1658 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/8/2013 10:17:49 AM
    I would also suggest that you call and get the actual numbers along with your triglycerides. This is importance. How do you know your numbers haven't dropped and gotten better. Saying you are high is not very helpful. What if your good cholesterol is high? I know this is scary, but you are right knowledge is power. Look into some natural health sites. Cholesterol medicine is nasty stuff. emoticon
    1658 days ago
    Aw man. That kind of sucks. I feel your frustration...something's off, you know it, you feel it, but you don't have any help figuring out what the problem is. So sorry :(

    Your determination to keep a positive outlook is amazing.

    *cheers you on*


    1658 days ago
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    1658 days ago
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