New Beginnings 1/26/09

The following is a joke that appeared in my email in box on Sunday and I thought it was an appropriate way to talk about what really matters.  I will continue  this thought line after the joke.

Here’s something to think about. I recently picked a new primary care doctor. After two visits and exhaustive lab tests, he said I was doing ‘fairly well’ for my age. A little concerned about that comment, I couldn’t resist asking him, ‘Do you think I’ll live to be 90?’

He asked, ‘Do you smoke tobacco, or drink beer or wine?’ ‘No,’ I replied. ‘I’m not doing drugs, either!’ Then he asked, ‘Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?’ I said, ‘No, my former doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!’ Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?’ ‘No, I don’t,’ I said. He asked, ‘Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?’ ‘No,’ I said.

He looked at me and said,…. ‘Then, why do you even give a shit?’

Me again, good question right?  The bottom line is in making decisions about a new beginning, you have to make decisions you can live with.  The key word in that sentence is ‘live’ and I am the first person to tell you I do modify suggestions.  I have even modified suggestions from physicians in my past.

For example when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer my physician got all up tight about the potential effects of drinking alcohol.  Alcohol can allegedly increase the risk of getting breast cancer again.  I thought about it, read the research and drank my wine probably while reading it.  I did not stress out over it.  I did not stress out over it again when it made headlines last year. 

Enter my insulin resistance problem 4 years ago.  I was told lose 5-10% of my body weight, exercise daily, and eat the right carbs.  I did what I was told.

Everything was fine and dandy.  I trained and walked in the 3-Day.  I lost about 7 pounds and I was wearing a size I like to wear then whammo.  I got hit with an injury and elective surgery.  I was not able to work out, and while my eating did not change, my weight did.  Over a 4 month period of recuperation I gained 10 pounds.  I hated myself.  Since then I have gained another 10 pounds and I can’t stand those 20 pounds.

I talked to a nutritionist and did find out I was not eating enough – surprised me, might surprise you to find that out too. What really surprised me was that I learned my protein and carbs were low too.  If you do not eat enough your metabolism slows down. 

I keep a food journal and try to get most of my needs met by my afternoon snack because I don’t usually eat a lot at dinner.  I also graze, I eat 5 meals a day and I always begin each one with a protein source now.

Fiber – no one really likes it, but I get mine in All Bran and strawberries for breakfast and I add Benecol to my veggie juice.  It is tasteless and doesn’t get thick like those other fiber drinks.  Fiber keeps you feeling fuller longer and controls blood sugar spikes.

There are changes we can live with – and adjustments can be made to almost any suggestion given you to start your new beginning.

Today at the gym I spoke with the manager about these 20 pounds I need to lose.  We sat down in his office and he told me that losing weight is always a combination of muscle and fat.  So in losing 20 pounds I am only going to lose 10 in the fat department.  That was a downer for me because I know that I have that much to lose in my abdomen alone.

I asked him how I could speed that up, and we looked at the routine I had originally thought would work.  Guess what? I have to triple up and spend more time there.  I knew that, I was looking for the easy way out. 

This was a suggestion I have to accept if I want to not only lose the 20 pounds but also gain the strength I need to walk in this years 3 Day event.  I cannot modify this one.  Dammit!

If I worked out 8 hours a day like they do on the TV show The Biggest Loser then I could lose it all in one week and probably be in the ER!

Life style changes are not easy.  If they were people would not break their resolutions every year. 

I was a smoker.  I had to use Zyban to stop.  Not everyone can take Zyban.  It worked for me but I had to take it for a full year.  One of the other benefits I received from taking Zyban was it lifted my mood.  I lived in the cold damp midwest and had never realized I was affected by the lack of sunshine. 

I continued on a low dose anti-depressant until we moved to Florida.  I took one life style change (quitting cigarettes) and found out I needed a pharmaceutical boost to get through winter.  Life style changes can be rewarding or have hidden benefits.

Today I tested my blood sugar two hours after drinking my 8 servings of veggies from my juicer and my protein.  I was so surprised at my results that I ran the test again.  Anyone who is insulin resistant or has a diagnosis of diabetes knows that the desirable blood sugar reading 2 hours after eating should be less than 130.  Mine was 90.

I know that I am getting great benefits from juicing.  It already shows.  I have been at this now for a week and I lost 2 pounds.

I think most people should have a buddy – someone that you can trust to encourage you.  Too many times family members sabotage your efforts and you don’t need that!

 All I know is I want to be here for a while yet and since I am aging, I want to be able to do as much as I can as I age.  I would love to be the 83 year old water skier I saw on TV this weekend, but I think I will stick to being an older 3 Day walker.



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