Yesterday was my annual doctor’s appointment. A doctor’s appointment that I had been both dreading and looking forward to at the same time. Dreading because I knew I would have to face the scale as well as the doctor and address my weight gain. Hopeful, though, that I would have a “magic answer” and an ensuing “magic pill” given to me to make it all better.
Sunday night I didn’t sleep much. I tossed and turned. I attribute this to the combination of worrying about my appointment as well as having watching the horrifying season finale of The Walking Dead. (Did you guys see it? OMG - don’t even get me started!!)
But I digress.
I worked most of the day and then headed out to the appointment. I paced the waiting room until I was called back and, as usual, the first thing the nurse did was ask me to “hop on” the scale. I asked her if I had to as I reluctantly stepped on.
Doing this blog for several years, I believe I have been brutally honest and totally open about my life - the highs and lows, the struggles and the successes. This honesty has caused people to offer me praise and to thank me for sharing myself. It has also opened me up to an incredible outpouring of criticism and harsh judgement - from both strangers and people I know. And yet I have continued until recently to try to be authentic in case it helps, even a little bit, others.
So in that spirit, I feel like I owe it to anyone reading to tell you the number I saw on that scale. But I feel so humiliated, so guilty, for having let myself regain so much, that I just can’t bring myself to write it down. Let’s just say it’s worse than I thought it would be.
I was brought back into the exam room to have my vitals taken, and my chest felt tight and my stomach churned. Even though I was no fatter than I had been before knowing the number, the cold red digital readout made any remaining level of denial pretty impossible.
My blood pressure was good although a little higher than normal, probably because of my anxiety 125/78. O2 levels and pulse rate were normal. And so the nurse then left as I stewed and felt so sorry for myself.
Finally the doctor walked in and immediately handed me my lab results. The thyroid that I was OH SO SURE was fucked up and was causing my problems? Perfect. Ideal. Every single number was SOLIDLY in the normal category. So that excuse was instantaneously tossed right out the proverbial window.
My cholesterol numbers were again super high - both the overall number as well as my “bad cholesterol” number. BUT my “good cholesterol” number of 71 is just about off the charts excellent and my triglycerides were bottom level low at 55. So when the doc placed my numbers into his “Magical Doctor Calculator” - even with my miserably bad genetics I have a “approximately 1% chance” of having a heart attack. The doc said that he is “pretty aggressive” at treating high cholesterol and that he is not worried in my case.
So immediately we jumped into the weight issue. I was completely forthright with him. About exercising 2 hours per day, about thinking about food “all the time”, about restricting during the week and then binging the entire weekend.
He asked me about my meals and what exactly I eat and how much I exercise. He said that I am right on track there. He asked me about how often we eat out - almost never. He told me - and I agree - that what I was referring to as “binging” is not really binging - there is no feeling of loss of control and I don’t eat until I get sick and it’s generally healthy foods. I’m just eating A LOT.
As we talked more about my lifestyle he said that he believes that I’m actually not eating enough and that my body is holding onto weight. I have heard this before from other people about their struggles and when they increased calories they end up losing. But I probably don’t need to tell you guys that when your weight is so high the thought of INCREASING calories is not just counter-intuitive, it’s terrifying. His suggestion was “don’t go crazy”, but add in 100 calories more at breakfast.
Because I wouldn’t want to leave there without looking like a complete fool my eyes filled with tears. [Which given the doc is young HOT and fit it somehow made it worse!] He said to me that what I am doing is not working so I have to try something different. He said “on paper” it appears that I’m doing everything “right” and yet here I am....
I then asked him about my birth control pill. I have been on birth control - continually and without a break - since age 17. Could those hormones, especially as I near menopause, be effecting me differently? He said that it’s possible and that we can try a lower level birth control pill. We talked about how this might effect me and what issues I might run into.
We ended up with this plan - stay with what I’m eating but at the very least try to limit the “cheating” to one day instead of 2½. Keep up with the exercising. Try the new pill for a month and see what happens. If I don’t lose any weight, try adding in some additional calories at least 3 times per week. And then he’ll see me again in 3 months. From there, there are options, like Contrave, a new weight loss pill, but we’re not there yet. So there’s the plan... Not exactly what I envisioned.
I went home and ran on the treadmill. Marc is nursing a minor knee injury so I was in the basement alone and had some time to think and process. Given my historical modus operandi, this should have thrown me into a sea of depression and self-loathing pity. But it didn’t - at least not yet.
I felt, instead, a sense of relief - I know where I stand and I have a time table. I managed to not snack on anything last night. I woke up this morning and weighed myself. My scale said 5 pounds lower than the doc’s scale - apparently just thinking about a different plan can make you lose 5 pounds - hey, now THAT is a diet plan I can get behind LOL!!
I imagine it’s only a short time before some old habits sneak back in and/or that I start feeling sorry for [insert sniveling whiney voice] how hard this is. But I’m trying to get back to the woman I was in 2012. That woman was pretty proud of what she had accomplished. She was about to have skin removal surgery and she saw a whole new and exciting life laid out before her. If she existed then, can I find her again now??