Friday, October 5, 2012

My Secret Weapon

Still holding to this challenge, managing my weight, with another pound lost, and a confession.
I have a secret:

I can drop all that food without feeling too bad about it.

I did for a year once before. I'm good at giving up things. Costs me nothing, and it's only food.
So much easier than doing extra things.

But I'm finding the time to run for the moment, as well. And I mean to continue that.

And I just learned something very important to all this:
Yesterday my new doctor revealed a another secret to me:    

High blood pressure and cholesterol. BAM!
Oh YEAH, Baby!
I now have all the motivation I ever needed. I feel like a cheater, actually. You guys are working to improve your lives, and if you fail, you can try again next time. No big, no shame. A good try is an accomplishment.

But I'm working to prevent organ damage and heart disease now. Failure is not an option. Giving up wine, cheese, chocolate*, and large portions is suddenly very, very easy, even if it is for good. Particularly if it means no meds. I'm good with that trade-off, especially if they leave my salt alone.
I don't abuse it.

I'm 20lbs over my absolutely ideal weight, and I get more fibre in my day than most people get in a week, I guarantee it. I almost never eat white flour, or white rice, and barely ever encounter sugar. I drink about four drinks a week, excepting the odd weekend where I might share a bottle of wine over an evening. But I'm more into carbs than I should be, and need more veg. I get extra vitamins from pills every day.

I have been doing all right, although there's just been some weight creep. Except, it seems I haven't been. This is simply age. That's the worst part. It's nothing I screwed up, it's normal. For a fucking senior, I guess. I'm 46.

So here comes our Thanksgiving, and later Halloween and then Xmas. Same time I started dieting in 2006. Bad timing. Vegetarian, tea-totalling, fat-free, sugarless, holidays. Try it, and then try it without judging everyone for diving at the buffet. Good times.

Still, the best part is that I'm not being a party-pooping dick through the holidays--my DOCTOR is.

Ha! Don't argue with him, Mom/in-law what are you, crazy?
Sure, I had enough to eat. Enough said.

I just barely remember my grandfather suffering without salt, and being forced to eat deadly margarine. He took it personally and hated all of it. The man was a 74yr-old overweight, sedentary smoker when he died of his fourth heart-attack, which was at a pretty good age for the time. Nevertheless, my family has been spooked by the idea of heart disease ever since, and it's hard to shake it when the finger finally points at you.

There have been no premature heart attacks on either my father's or mother's side; it's ridiculous. My father weighed 350lbs for as long as I knew him, and ate and drank without looking back. He took 700 blood-pressure pills a day and died of cancer at 73 without a single heart attack. If he were a car, he would have been the pope-mobile, driving through Afghanistan, and towing a yacht without a care. Cholesterol couldn't touch him, it was just planned obsolescence that took him down.

And truly, my figures are not that bad. My triglycerides are great, and my HDL is great, and my LDL is only a bit over what it should be. The ratio is excellent. This is preventative.

Yet here I am, with high blood pressure, too. Bad figures there. Probably partly because of long-term Ibuprofen abuse. Dropping it may correct the high pressure, but I'm battening down ALL the hatches at once. That's how I roll, and it's risky. But it's the quick solution. As long as I don't have to go with fake salt or tasteless food. I am counting everything else already. I am confident that that should be enough.

*     *     *



Just got a lovely weekend email from my doctor. Thanks for your dedication, I am truly impressed. He says I'm restricted to a quarter-teaspoon of salt a day. That's 2,000mg, or one salted peanut. It's the same intake as just being present while bacon is cooking, or describing what jerky tastes like. I go over that just imagining a garlic dill pickle.

Thanksgiving tomorrow night at my MIL's will be like drowning in Satan's toilet. I don't know how I am supposed to relax when I can't eat ANYTHING! If my son picks his nose and eats it he'll be having a better time than me.

OK, time for a nice walk out in the cool sunshine and to stock up on the denial.
I can do this, as long as I don't think about it.

One stinking day at a time.

*Yes, I didn't single-out chocolate on that last list, but you had to know it was in there. I know how people feel about it, but there are decent alternatives to the full-sugar stuff now.


  1. I can completely relate. Giving up naughty but delicious foods is made much easier when the alternative is PAINFUL, HORRIBLE DEATH.

    Good luck bringing those numbers down! It sounds like you're already so good with your diet, it's hard to understand why you'd have issues. But when my endocrinologist first met me, her first words were, "Really? You're not what I'm used to." So sometimes we get blindsided.

  2. I can't believe that comment worked for you. Thanks.

    I almost expected the high blood pressure. I can feel that. But I really don't get the cholesterol part--you have to eat that stuff, right?
    A lot of it, too! You can't just build it up from nothing.


  3. Bummer!! But the good news is that you're willing to give up the stuff you need to in order to get your numbers back to optimal. For some people that's a struggle.

  4. Oh man! How scary! I share your diet except that I drink a lot of wine to replace my drink-a-lot-of-beer habit. I eat almost entirely fruits,vegetables, and otherwise drink only water/herbal tea. It must be LE FROMAGE?

    You can do this. You really can. Let's just come up with total dickhead recipes ok? Like dickhead recipes for salt-free sugar-free fat-free meat-free holiday cuisine. It can be done. The more I investigate vegan stuff, the more weird things I find that actually taste delicious. Ok some taste weird. But some taste really delicious. And I'm with you. You can do this.

  5. True. I watched that go to both extremes in my family. Not about to be
    the guy who ignored all sense and took pills for this for 40yrs. Fixing
    this myself while I can, like I did it before.

    After the initial
    "I'm not just whining about being old any more, I have a middle-aged
    condition" blues I'm coping. I'd rather have it in my hands.

  6.  That's a good idea. Thank you.

    Just finished Thanksgiving dinner, and I nailed it. Then I had a tiny slice of pumpkin pie with a 1/4 cup of whipped cream and crossed my own line for the day. Which is still well below the doctor's suggestion.

    Kept the sodium down below his recommendation, too. My goal is the more extreme version of the DASH diet he recommended, which seems sensible, and much like what I've become used to. Probably pretty close to that goal.

    Lost a couple more pounds this week.

    So that's a win.

  7. It's okay, it's fixable!  And you are on the right track already.  Salt, ugh, I feel for you on that one...I love salt so much that when I was little, I used to sit on the side of the road and eat the road salt they used when it snowed! 

    I hope Thanksgiving was good.  I definitely believe that the actual holiday days should be free of worrying about dieting, so long as your good on most of the other days! 

    Just because you've had some bad numbers doesn't mean those of us who don't shouldn't be working just as hard to eat right.  We are all in this together! 

  8. What? A quarter teaspoon of salt a day?? That's quite the challenge (understatement, I know, I'm sorry), but I know you can do it! I'm with Pish Posh - we'll come up with recipes that work for you. I know that my spaghetti squash bake I posted a few weeks back, if you use no salt added tomato/marinara, could work for you!  And it's yummy, I promise. Chin up, you. You sound like you're riding the fence between hopefully optimistic and fatally doomed. You smacked some sense into me today. I hit back. Just sayin'.

  9.  I really LOVE spaghetti squash, but have never bothered to put tomato sauce on it. I have decent whole-wheat pasta for that, although I'll have to keep my portions reasonable now. I'll look for that bake on your blog.

    And yes, it's all about the Drama, don't you know!
    Hit back as hard as you like. I'll tell you when I've had enough.

    Did not get a chance to run today. Hope to fit it in early tomorrow.
    Need to have a good one like yours to keep morale up for it.

  10.  It is fixable, and I'm on track, yes indeed. That is a hilarious image, you as a little girl, eating road salt. Thanksgiving was very small, and I did not get carried away. Pain relief is a bit of an issue, but only periodically, thankfully.

    I actually have a lot of things to be thankful for.

    Thanks for being in this together.

  11. Oh, shit. I'd have a tough time with the salt thing. However, hubs has been in the ER 3 times in 2 years. I brought my little girls with me and we sat...waited while the doctors put electrodes or whatever on him. They were scared. I was too, but I couldn't let them know. They're 9 and 3.8. I was scared shitless. He made a lot of changes in his diet and lifestyle...for us. I'm thankful. It sounds like you are doing that too. Blah blah blah...ok. Just saying, the people who love you are thankful. Good for YOU  and also, for the people who love you.

  12. That's the bottom line, right there. Avoiding all of that is worth it. I think it is awful to put food before your health.

    There is news, though, that changes some of this. Coming very soon.