Friday, November 30, 2012
I was a closet eater. In groups I would eat healthy and give the appearance that I was far from gluttony as a marathon runner. On the inside though, I was actually waiting until everyone went to bed, or left the house so I could heat up 20 or so chicken nuggets in the microwave and eat them in one sitting. Some days I would make 2 or 3 baked potatoes and cover them in a tablespoon or so of Country Crock. I called it light eating. At least in my mind. 100% carbohydrates. Did I not remember I was diabetic?
In some ways, without a lot of coach’s input, this diet has taught me HOW food affects my body. I think people forget why we eat food in the first place. Food has become such an easy commodity to get. There is crap on every corner. Warmers in every convenience store that house heart attacks wrapped in aluminum foil. Oh, burritos for 0.99? Why sure I will. Buy one get one free? Well I better do that since I don’t want their inventory to be all skewed. What was not costing me in dollars was costing me in “sense.” I was a nurse for God’s sake. I know physiology. I know where things get digested and how foods are broken down into sugars. I got a 4.0 in nutrition. However, sugar tasted too good to avoid it. Why not eat a juicy steak? That was too much work. Chicken nuggets are breast meat anyway and all I had to do was microwave it for a minute or so and then I could eat ALL I wanted. I was a snake oil salesman. I tricked myself into almost dying.
I had my gallbladder out in 2009 and developed a serious infection post-surgery. I had to have a second surgery to clean out the infection. The fact I killed my gallbladder with fatty foods wasn’t enough of a lesson. I needed the infection to almost kill me, to almost go into kidney failure because of all of the antibiotics I was on in the hospital. I almost needed dialysis because of it. Food did that to me and no one will be able to convince me otherwise. I sat in the hospital for about 6 weeks waiting for my kidney function to normalize. I had nothing other than medication to clear my excess potassium which, if it got too high, would send me into cardiac arrest. A normal person would have learned a great deal from that experience. I had my gallbladder out at 319 pounds. I ballooned up to 345 when my kidney function crashed. When they kicked in I lost 34 pounds in two days. Talk about having to pee. My first follow up appointment after surgery with the infectious disease doctor, I weighed 287 pounds. For another 3 months, I went to the hospital every 12 hours to have IV antibiotics through a PICC line that was inserted following the surgery to clear the infection. I became a frequent flyer of sorts; on a first name basis with the staff. I apparently didn’t learn my lesson, because here I am.
It didn’t take a doctor telling me I was going to die if I didn’t lose weight. I am not sure what really makes this time the last time. About 4 months ago, my wife wrote me a letter giving me an ultimatum. She told me she loves me, that no matter what we would always be friends. I remember that crap in the 8th grade. She had gotten tired of being with a slob. She got tired of me not caring. She didn’t want a divorce, but thought me being away from the house so all I needed to do was go to work and go to the gym was what I needed. She told me I should go live with my brother. I sat there reading it, feeling more disappointment in myself than anything else. She told me she had thought about cheating on me so that she would not have to feel burdened by my inabilities. She told me she had been close to doing it. She felt that she needed to tell me before anything happened. I was crushed and at the same time, somewhat relieved. It was out there. The elephant in the room had been brought out. I knew she wasn’t happy being with me in my current condition. I knew she didn’t want to come home to a dead man either. She was stuck, tortured with my inability to act. I think this is the main reason why I have not strayed from this diet. I don’t want to lose her. She is my best friend and she proved to me how much she loves me. Some people would say if she loved me she wouldn’t have given me an ultimatum. I disagree. I believe her love for me is going to save my life. I still have that letter in my wallet. I haven’t read it, more than just the one time. However, when I pull out my wallet, the yellow boarders of the paper it is written on are right next to my debit card. If forever reason I felt like cheating on this diet, it reminds me that I would be cheating on her. When I reach my goal, I’ll still keep it as a reminder of where I have been, and where I never want to go again.