Tag Archives: weight

Lost in Translation

Ok, folks, I am stumped.  I mean really stumped.  If you imagine me as someone that is very rarely at a loss for words…… well, you are spot on.  However, this is one of those rare (and valuable for many that know me) occasions, where words just escape me.  I know many refer to this as writer’s block; but, I am not sure that what I have is a clear cut diagnosis.  You see, I know what I want to write about, I know the thoughts that I want to reveal; however, I seem to be paralyzed beneath the severity of the feelings I want to share and the hope that they don’t get lost in the sensitivity of the topic.  I have missed my almost daily interaction with my readers and I have tried multiple times to write an entry on another topic until I could find the words that are eluding me……. but, apparently I have a one track mind that does not allow for a new subject to be broached until the current topic of my obsession has been cleared (this could be a problem!).  So, here goes it……

I stumbled across a new blog lately, Eat a Cheeseburger.  I like, borderlining on love, this blog.  It is spunky, clever and honestly, it makes a valid, much needed point.  The media’s obsession with thin, specifically the death-knocking-on-your-door-with-a-sledge-hammer kind of thin, is a message females of all ages are bombarded with daily.  This message takes a devastating toll on many girls and has been documented time and again.  I spent the last 18 months of my time in high school subsisting on a diet of jelly beans and rice cakes.  Why, you ask?  Oh come on, you know, it’s that whole sweet ‘n salty thing….. yeah, right!  I was desperate to be skinny.  My desperation was not as much a result of the media as it was from pressure I felt from home.  Either way, from a very young age we learn the “value” placed on being thin.

The “skinny message” must be falling on a few deaf ears though.  This is evidenced by the spiraling obesity figures in this country. Childhood and adult obesity rates are increasing every year and we are now seeing this trend in Europe and Japan.  And, you know what?  This trend has not escaped the media’s attention.  Have you seen FOX’s show More to Love?  This show is marketed as a “The Bachelor”  for girls that literally have more to love…… as in more weight.  I have been disturbed by this concept from the word go.  So, now the media, realizing the growing number of viewers who also have “more to love” are going to profit from a weight message that is just as dangerous as their get-thin-or-die-tryin’ escapades.

My new favorite blog’s most recent post discusses their “hope that women will not feel pressure to change the way they look just because they are given such a limited view of appearance from the media.”  My response – are we really only given a “limited view of appearance from the media”? I am not so sure. The contestants on More to Love present the morbidly obese view of  appearance.  FOX did not choose to use the average-size 12/14-American-girl (also ridiculously referred to as “plus size”) who in comparison to their The Bachelor counterparts definitely have “more to love”  AND offer viewers a realistic, healthy view of appearance.  Romanticizing obesity (I weighed 250 lbs during most of my 20’s), dressing it up and advocating an eat-what-you-want-and-dont-worry-about-your-weight approach is just as dangerous as blasting the dont-you-dare-eat-dont-you-dare-even-think-about-it look. There are crippling side effects of both extremes…… life threatening effects.

26 million people in this country are diabetic (95% are type II and the majority of those are obese) and 54 million are pre-diabetic.  80 million people, ALMOST ONE THIRD of the US population are affected by this disease….. the largest risk factor for diabetes? Obesity.  I couldn’t agree more with Eat A Cheeseburger’s sentiment of “hoping that women will not feel pressure to change the way they look just because they are given such a limited view of appearance from the media”; however, I hope that we can feel pressured to change the way we look because our survival is dependent upon it.  As I sat in a doctor’s office last week listening to the results of a CT scan that revealed a fatty and enlarged liver I was shocked by my physician’s stumbling, stuttering and complete decimation of the word ‘overweight.”  She was trying to explain that my weight could cause these results and she says, “your BMI is 28, so, you, are, um……o-o-o-o-o-overweight.”  This reminded me of when I thanked my OB/gyn for sticking with her yearly plea, “I need you to lose weight” and she told me that she had lost many patients over that plea.  What is going on?  We will listen to a magazine, to a TV show, to a blog, to our parents, or our friends……. but those that are charged with managing our health, well, their words, get lost in translation.  My docs don’t care if my jeans make my butt look big or if my big butt is just, well, BIG.  They only care if my big butt is causing my big blood glucose numbers. That is the only translation that matters.

I promise, I am almost there…… I am almost out of words for this entry and then you can load your cannons and fire away.  The entry that got all this started was again from Eat A Cheeseburger –Kids and Dieting: it’s not just the “media’s” fault. Having been skinny-by-starvation and morbidly obese and now being the mother a flawless 2 1/2 year old daughter……. I am beyond sensitive to how I raise her in regards to her body image.  Because of my own obesity induced health obstacles, I want her to understand the importance of maintaining a healthy weight…… for her health, NOT how her rear end looks in a pair of jeans!  So, when I read this entry and it asked the question, “If Mom is constantly dieting and obsessed with her food portions and her weight and is exercising like a maniac, what type of message does it send to her 4th grade daughter?”  I had a fairly strong reaction.  I am on Weight Watchers.  I exercise 6 days a week.  I test my blood 45 times a day.  I weigh once a week.  I can honestly tell you that I do this FOR MY HEALTH.  I do this so that I can witness as many days of this flawless creature’s life as humanly possible.  Somehow, this could be a harmful message to send her.  But, encouraging her to drink water instead of Woo-Hoo or to eat baked sweet potato fries instead of cheese fries, or to exercise, or teaching her to make healthy choices and that she can eat ANYTHING in MODERATION…… well, this message, too, could be lost in translation.

So, what is the alternative?  To not say a word?  To not teach a thing? To not live by example? I do not think that is right either.  For the first time ever, the current generation of children is not expected to live as long as their parents.  This is unacceptable to me.  I am her mother and for a long time I will be her compass.  I will find a way to teach her to love herself, to love herself inside and out, to love herself enough to make the choices that keep her healthy and yes, to love herself enough to change the way she looks if it will help ensure her survival.

I am not sure I have arrived at any great conclusion.  In fact, I am pretty sure I have no conclusions.  I am also not sure that what I have said hasn’t touched a nerve with someone else.  It is not my intent to pass judgement on anyone, it is only my intent to share my thoughts and ask that you share yours.

The Dishing Diabetic

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Weigh Day Wake Up (and a Wal-Mart Surprise)

Well, well, well….. I might just have one foot dangling off the edge of my 4 week plateau.  So, hold off on heading to Home Depot, I may not need that ladder after all (https://thediabeticdish.wordpress.com/2009/08/07/this-isnt-the-spinach-your-mom-made-you/). The Great Oracle of Weight (the scale) granted a 1.6 lb loss this morning bringing the grand total to -49.4. Yipee-Kie-Aye!! I will consider myself firmly off the vast flatness also know as maintenance when (notice, I did not say IF) I log another loss next week; therefore, losing 2 weeks in a row and hopefully crossing the 50 lb mark!!

So, is a plateau a randomly occurring phenomena OR is it self inflicted?  Does your body really just hit a wall, no matter what you do?  Or has some change taken place that slows, or altogether stops, your progress?  Mr. Man loves to relentlessly taunt me with Ockham’s razor – the principle that “when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better.” How is that for some useless trivia? Hey….. it might just help if you are ever on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? or happen to end up in the Cash Cab in NYC! I do tend to make things more complicated/dramatic/chaotic than they really are, so Mr. Man feels this is a good theory for me to understand.  Anyway, back to my point – what is the most simple answer to the cause of a plateau – (a) that the cause is any one of an infinite # of possibilities or (b) we are simply not burning more calories than we take in and we are eating more carbohydrates that our bodies can tolerate?

I have to go with (b).  Not only because Mr. Ockham would say so, mostly because it is the only option I can evaluate and change. My wake up call came a week ago as I was sweating my “arse” off on my elliptical machine thinking about my plateau.  Do you want to know the truth about me and exercise?  We have a very one-sided relationship.  I like exercise and I enjoy it as long as it is doing something for me.  Sticking my finger multiple times a day falls in the same category – I don’t mind it much as long as I get the results I want.  Counting points (Weight Watchers) and carbs, writing it all down and turning down the foods I want the most (think sweets) works the same way as well – I don’t mind any of it as long as I get what I want out of it. See what I mean about one-sided?

I do not care for sticking my fingers 3-5 times a day, exercising 5-6 days a week and journaling my points and carbs everyday only to have high blood glucose readings and maintain the same weight.  I just do not like doing those things that much.  So, I have 2 choices – stop my fruitless efforts altogether or make the changes that will cause my efforts to bare fruit. Seeing as I am painfully aware of the guaranteed complications that will arise from not managing my blood glucose (of which losing weight is a critical component) and that 80% of these complications are preventable…. making changes is my only option.  My plan was to stick to my points (no matter what Mr. Man was eating), stick with the exercise and stick with the routine finger pricks.  Results – 1.6 lb loss this week and my fasting blood glucose readings were the only ones that were high.  Mr. Ockham is right, the simpler theory was the one that made the most since for the plateau question.  I needed to tighten the gears to get my machine running smoothly again.

Here’s the Wal-Mart surprise – stuffed chicken breasts.  Do you have a Wal-Mart nearby?  If you do, get there as fast as you can. Find the Sam’s Choice stuffed chicken breasts (http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=10451529) and brace yourself to fall in love (even Mr. Man fell in love).  The jalapeno & cheese stuffed chicken breasts and the mushroom and swiss stuffed chicken breasts are downright sinful and they have 5 points/7 carbs a piece.  Trust me, you will want to sing from the mountaintops upon your first bite…. pair this delectable main dish with some mashed cauliflower (https://thediabeticdish.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/lets-do-the-mash-the-cauliflower-mash/) and you have an excellent start to finding the edge of your own plateau or just continuing on down the road of progress.  By the way, your blood sugar will love you for it!!

Are you a top your own plateau (weight loss and/or blood glucose)?  Have you just moved past your plateau?  Please share your stories with me……. I want to hear!

Go to Wal-Mart! Oh, and please let me know what you think!!

The Dishing Diabetic

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Keep It Simple, Sugar!

I have been loitering on a few blogs and message boards lately.  It really is fascinating to learn how other BWWD2’s (Busy Women With Diabetes 2) recall receiving their diagnosis and the fallout afterwards.  One of the most common threads woven through most entries and postings is the frustration that accompanies your once routine grocery store visits.  I can tell you, it is as if you have never seen a grocery store before.  For me, the grocery store was like some sort of heaven pre-diagnosis.  It was an escape and I had been known to spend hours perusing my local market.  These days the grocery story is a hostile environment, something like a deadly diabetic video game with Killer Carbohydrates coming from every direction and the only weapons in my arsenal are my will power and my very detailed list.

My 1st visit to the grocery store after my 1st appointment with the nutritionist was a complete train wreck.  I am talking about the kind you have to come to complete stop for in order to stare and gawk.  The weather was getting cooler and I needed something fast and easy to prepare at work.  My answer to this was soup.  How bad can vegetable soup be, right?  Think about your soup aisle…. the entire aisle houses hundreds of cans of soup.  I literally spent an hour in this soup mecca and did not find one that fit within my carb limits (no more that 30g carbs/meal) and did not contain rice, potatoes or noodles.  This visit ended with me leaving the store with no groceries, calling my mother on the phone on the way home and hysterically sobbing between multiple expletives and the constant uttering of “this is not fair!”  A type II diabetes diagnosis and a trip to the grocery store had reduced me to a blubbering, cursing train wreck. I must add that my infinitely wise mom chose, for the 1st time in my life, NOT to say, “well, life is not fair, honey.”

I came across an excellent article on allrecipes.com http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/Diabetes-Shop-Smarter-in-10-Easy-Steps/detail.aspx.  Instead of re-capping and summarizing the article, I hope you will click on the link and read it.  You will find TONS of wonderful diabetic recipes and get tips on reducing your Supermarket Stress.  This article employs what I call the KISS approach (Keep It Simple, Sugar) to grocery shopping as a diabetic (it is also a great article when trying to lose weight).  Busy Women With Diabetes 2 know that the simpler they can make blood glucose management the more likely they are to achieve it.

80% of diabetic complications are preventable.  Preventing diabetic complications is achieved by one thing – blood glucose management.  Blood glucose control is the result of limiting the consumption of 1 product – carbohydrates.  It does not get more simple than that.  We can do this. We can all do this. We have the time, even as BWWD2, to do this.  What we do NOT have time for are the complications we are guaranteed if we don’t do this.  We do not have time for hospital stays, heart attacks, strokes, blindness, amputations…. yada yada yada.

The truth is, not matter how hard it may be to believe, it does get easier.  As you test and see the results that indicate you are having success you will be motivated to continue.  The grocery store will in fact become fun again (unless you are one of those that never liked it to begin with).  It will be more like a difficult sudoku puzzle than a deadly diabetic video game.  You will spend your time discovering the right numbers (ingredients) to plug into your puzzle (belly) and that will assure you the only thing you will have to make time for in your future is exactly what you want to be spending time on!

I would love to learn about how you remember those 1st few months after receiving your diagnosis!

Keep It Simple, Sugar!

The Dishing Diabetic

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The Weight Loss Willies

Have you ever had a case of the Weight Loss Willies?  They can take many forms and usually present themselves when you are contemplating the need to shed a few l-b’s. The WLW’s work tirelessly to remind you of every reason the task at hand is insurmountable.  The # is too big, not enough time, past efforts have not been successful, etc., etc., etc.  The Weight Loss Willies only serve to distract you from focusing your energy to accomplish your weight loss goals.

I received a message from a sweet friend today.   She was responding to having read my blog.  Her message and questions are simple and a clear case of the Weight Loss Willies.  I have attached her message below and and my response follows.  As I re-read my response before sending it, I thought I would share them with all of you.  Please share your thoughts, success stories and how you have exterminated the WLW’s in your own weight loss journey!

Dear The Dishing Diabetic,

I love your blog. Diabetes hasn’t struck…yet. But I am more interested in your weight loss through Weight Watchers. I have about 80 pounds to lose (gulp!) and I’m having trouble not thinking “Oh my gosh, there is no way! That is like an entire person” so I just go eat more ice cream. Any advice?

I get to see your sister this week…I’m very excited. Next time you’re here visiting it would be fun to see you too!

Love,

Sweet Friend

Dear my Sweet Friend,

Well, I would be the one to ask about weight loss seeing as I have had to do it twice now! ; ) Before getting pregnant, my doc said I needed to lose 100 lbs. I made it to 93 before I got pregnant. Then, I found myself facing needing to lose 80 lbs last August. I have lost 48 so far.

If you only knew how many times I quit because a 6,7,8 lb loss seemed insignificant when I realized I had, say, 94 more lbs to lose. At the beginning of the 93 lb weight loss I tried something that I really feel made a HUGE difference.
I had 100 lbs to lose….. so, I made a list of 10 “rewards for myself” – 1 for each 10lbs loss. They grew in expense…. went something like this… highlights for my hair, new workout clothes, new sunglasses, ipod, Lucky jeans,….. my last one – which I have not reached yet, but, girl, I WILL – is a Diane Von Furstenburg wrap dress (good thing I still have 36 lbs to go, it gives me some time to start saving!!). Notice, that none of the rewards are food, that was the one and only rule. I knew I had a problem with consolation and rewards always being food, so this is how I broke that habit.

The best part was when I hit that 1st 10lbs, I wasn’t staring down the barrel of another 90 lbs, I was only facing another 10….. which I knew I could do because I had just done it.

It took 18 months, Sweet Friend. Patience – that is the only other thing I changed when I started what was to be my 1st successful attempt at weight loss. I am not a patient person. But the saying “you didn’t gain it over night, you won’t lose it over night” is so true. You are a busy wife and mom, you have a life, be patient….. it will work!!

So, break it down and be patient. You can do this. I know you can do this. Do you know you can do this?

One more thing, Sweet Friend. Add health to the reasons you are doing this. I know this is going to sound weird, but, go get your cholesterol checked. Then get it checked again when you hit a 40lb loss and again at your goal. I know we all love to fit in our skinny jeans, see the # we want to see on the scale, etc….. but, you are the mom of 2 PRECIOUS angels. When you see that cholesterol level come down (mine went from 282 to 150), you will feel like you did this for the only people on earth more important to you than yourself…… your hubby and babies. It makes it something so much more than just being “skinny”.

As for Weight Watchers….. I will live and die by that program. I do it online now, but I went to meetings when I lost the 93 lbs. I needed the weekly support. Do what feels best for you. If you choose online, do NOT hestitate to ask me anything, anytime! Also, I will be your support. I weigh in (on my scale in my bathroom with my hubby) every Thurssday morning. If you want to join me, we can compare progress, challenges,etc.

If you only knew how many times my sister and I have talked about how absolutely DROP DEAD GORGEOUS you are!! You really are, Sweet Friend!! I’ve got your back, sista!! When you are ready, you can do this. You WILL do this. Go Sweet Friend, Go Sweet Friend, Go Sweet Friend!!!

Love you, sweet girl!!

The Dishing Diabetic

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