The really horrible thing about having an unhealthy involvement with food (there are lots of horrible things, but I’m talking about the really most horrible thing here) is the way it takes over. Every. Single. Aspect. Of my life.
There’s the house I am too tired to keep clean, and the garden I struggle to grow. The puppy I am too weak and slow and awkward to train, and the horse I can’t ride. The glaciers and mountain peaks and secret valleys I can’t reach. The shame of catching a glimpse of myself in a mirror or plate glass window or a stranger’s eyes. The uncrossable gulf between Himself and me. The constant pain in every joint and muscle and fiber, and most especially the ache in my heart.
It’s like having a portal to another universe populated by starveling goblins, in my gut. Every time I eat, or don’t eat, or think about eating (which, by the way, is all the time) the portal opens and another goblin pops through, takes up residence, and adds its muttered/wailed/shrieked “FEED ME!” to the cacophony. Sometimes I can be full to the point of nausea and still feel a grumble of hunger – for protein, if I’ve just eaten sugar; for sugar, if I’ve just eaten protein; for a cheese-and-tomato sandwich or cake or ice cream, pretty much any time.
Yesterday I took myself off to my doctor. Now here’s the thing, I don’t have medical insurance. I’m not allowed to get sick. I don’t go to the doctor unless I really, really need to. But a few months ago I decided that, at 50-something (I honestly never remember without doing a sum in my head and really, who cares? “They” say 50 is the new 40, but I feel 70) it was time I had a full physical. So I hied me to my doctor and she was thorough – she listened to my insides, poked here and prodded there, checked out the rude bits, and tested various bodily fluids. And at the end of it all, she officially declared me to be pretty dang healthy. Not diabetic – in fact she took me off the blood sugar meds I had been taking. Heart chugging along happily. BP more-or-less in the normal range. It was amazing! I had been so sure of bad news I just about floated out of her surgery – praising God and making all sorts of promises regarding lifestyle changes that would enable me to enjoy and fully use this unexpected blessing of good health.
Unfortunately I had completely forgotten to mention to her that I’d been experiencing an annoying pain in my leg that I was pretty sure was sciatica. And even more (that is to say, very-to-the-point-of-kicking-my-own-ass) unfortunately, instead of following through on the great lifestyle changes I’d promised myself, Himself, and God, I did what most of us fatties do when we’re happy: I ate. I celebrated with chocolate and ice cream and sandwiches, and chocolate ice cream sandwiches. I opened my mouth in a loud SHOUT of happiness … and a whole shitload (and I use the word intentionally) of food flew down my gullet … and the portal opened … and a great howling arose from my gut as new goblins arrived for the party.
Sciatica is caused by an inflamed sciatic nerve. In my case, the pain starts in my left butt cheek, continues down the back of my thigh, becomes crippling behind my knee, then takes a short leap to do achey-icey-burney-tingly to the tops of my toes and my instep. It is not a lot of fun. It comes and goes – and was in gone mode during my health exam, which is why I forgot to mention it. It’s caused by pressure on the lower spine, which gets worse if you add more weight. Which, of course, is what I’ve spent the past six celebratory weeks doing.
And this is why, yesterday, I hobbled back to my doctor. I got onto the scale and … Oh holy shit! What happened?
Yes, it was bad. She prescribed a few weeks of anti-inflammatories and ice … and really serious action on weight loss.
But who am I trying to kid? I knew it was bad. I waddle. I lumber. Its a big deal for me to sit on the floor, and an even bigger one to get back up. My huge jeans pinch and squeeze. All my buttoned blouses gape. Walking hurts – and not just the sciatica, either. Exercise? Don’t be ridiculous! Just sweeping my house demands at least one sit-down-and-rest, and usually two.
I’ve never bought into fad diets, but I’ve tried pretty much everything else. The Daniel fast (which is a fast, a spiritual exercise, not a diet – but you do lose weight), eating only when hungry while giving myself permission to eat what I wanted (oh boy, did that SO not help!), Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, hCG, counting calories, substituting various expensive concoctions for actual food. And they all work. So really, the only thing I haven’t tried is … sticking to it. Which is to say, I’ve tried, and failed, and tried again, and failed, and despaired, and tried again, and failed.
And here I am. The only Big O in my life is in in the word Obese. I was curious to know the difference between fat, obese, and morbidly obese, so I looked it up in Wikipedia. It turns out there’s a fourth classification – super-obese. With a BMI of 48, that’s where I belong. For now.
Writing this down, putting it out there, is a new effort. I don’t know how public it’ll ever get, since not many people even know about my blog and I don’t plan to tell anyone about this posting. But it’s here, and I’ll follow up with updates as often as I can – maybe even daily. If God, or serendipity, brings you here, I’d be glad to hear from you if you want to share your own Fat-to-Fit story.
And now to action!
- The diet plan is hCG. It works, and I still have two vials left. I started today and am furiously carboloading. Funny how uncomfortable it is to be too full when you have to cram in a lot of calories!
- Exercise … Well, I have five potatoes still waiting to be planted. That’s a good opportunity for some bending and stretching. And the house is a bit of a tip … I can tackle just one chore at a time at intervals between working on the current editing deadline, but I’ll try to do each chore by moving as fast as I can.
- Water … as much as I can hold now, and then a glass every time I pee. That’s not hard to remember!
I’m ready. Set. Go.