I am so happy! I just went for my wellness visit with my nurse practitioner this week, and we went over my statistics from my lab work. I found out I have a disorder! Yes!
You may think this is a strange reaction, but when something has been wrong for a long time, and I finally find out the cause AND it can be easily treated, I get ecstatic. I’m fat. But now there’s a reason.
My fatness is not for lack of trying to lose weight. In February I attended a class, Aging Well: Living Well as Long as Possible, for several weekends at NHERC, our community college in Honoka‘a, hoping to increase my energy and shrink the stubborn belly I have developed. The instructor, a fit man in his 70’s, provided good reminders on what I already knew, and had us write out our health objectives. I took it with my friends, Mitch and Dianne, with the mutual intention of reinforcing good habits with each other. And the teacher also inspired me to purchase a Fitbit, just recently. Now I know how much I am moving…or not.
I try to eat right: lots of salads as main meals, very little fatty meat, good dark chocolate. I get to the Farmer’s Market almost every week, sometimes walking! (Well, okay – once so far, but the intention is there and now I know I can do it.) I stock up on the freshest fruit and veggies around for the following week. I’ve cut out ice cream (don’t tell my Dairy State brethren), reduced my carbs significantly, and make every calorie I eat count towards either a healthy choice or the occasional splurge (thus the good dark chocolate). But obviously this hasn’t been enough. I’m still “prosperous.” (See essay, I’m not fat…)
The real problem is that the weight cascades to a number of other issues, including lab stats that highlight pre-diabetes blood sugars and high cholesterol. My doctors have been after me for years to start statins, but I stubbornly refuse, pointing out that my good cholesterol is exceptionally high. I’ve also been on high blood pressure medications since my thirties, just like my dad. And I have sleep apnea which could be improved by losing weight.
I do exercise, regularly. I love yoga (twice a week) and more important for my motivation, I love Anita. But she usually doesn’t design it to be a cardio workout, though I’m often pooped by the end of the practice.
So I recently started walking the track at Honoka‘a Park with a new friend, an enthusiastic buddy, to ensure I stay committed. Twice a week, first thing in the morning when the air is still cool, we walk about three miles. My buddy is in a wheelchair which means we aren’t running. Embarrassingly, she often asks if we can pick up the pace! Yikes, talk about motivation!
Dianne and I try to get to the beach every Friday for swimming – well, bobbing. We know that bobbing is not cardio, but it’s better than sitting in our beach chairs. And the cool water itself causes our bodies to burn a few more calories than otherwise – at least we tell ourselves that. The important thing is that I’ve been moving in all of these choices, and yet no weight loss.
Even when I am exercising extensively, I can’t seem to lose weight. Oh, my muscles do become toned and I feel better, but the scale doesn’t budge much. When my daughter and I were visiting colleges last month we were walking between five and nine miles every day for three weeks. But when I got home and jumped on the scale, I had dropped only three pounds. So discouraging.
But this week, my health care professional had good news for me. My thyroid is out of whack: a hypothyroid condition. Yes! Now I can get on medication to rebalance my thyroid and rev up my metabolism. I should finally be able to lose weight. And my friends are so supportive. They’ve been bombarding me with information about the thyroid ever since I told them. Today Anita designed a yoga class with a focus on poses to keep the thyroid healthy. I am so grateful for my friends.
Of course, all of this comes with a new challenge: No more excuses.
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