Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Fresh Start, Part 3- When a Control Freak Has No Control

So...getting the food under control.

I am insanely jealous of people who find it so easy to eat to live rather than live to eat. I fall into the live to eat category. Some of the best memories of my whole life involve sitting around a dining room table or in a restaurant with family and/or friends. I don't know what it is like in other places, but in the South, we show how much we love you by feeding you and vice versa.

My nutritionist and I spent the first 30 minutes of my first visit with her just talking. I am confident that her first impressions were:

1. This woman is crazy.
2. This woman is lazy.

Then we talked about water. Not sure why exactly, but I can drink my coffee in the morning and not drink another drop all day. I just don't get thirsty. I can eat an entire meal and not take a sip of any sort of liquid.  I liked juice alright. And Pepsi. And sweet tea. Not a fan of water. Crazy, right?  I agreed that I could drink 40 oz of water a day for a month.  And I almost did.  Just not quite.  BUT, four months later I am still almost doing that. Weekdays are easy but weekends not so much. I'm a work in progress.

And then...THEN...there is sugar. If sugar was alcohol or drugs I would be a falling down out of my mind sugarholic. Again, I am far from perfect but have gotten a whole lot better. The water helps with everything. And a lot of prayer which helped me summon up uncommon willpower. I get sort of sad on the rare occasion that I decide to "treat myself" to a Pepsi.  It doesn't taste good to me anymore. I shouldn't be sad about that, but I am.

A lot has changed about what I enjoy. Things I used to like a lot, salmon for instance, just don't do it for me anymore. Fried food?  Nope. Not to mention that my body will turn on me in an instant when I eat something I shouldn't. Not sick...just lethargic. Hank asks me every morning...what do you want for supper?  I just don't care that much anymore. COULD IT BE?  Could it POSSIBLY be that I'm evolving into a person who Eats to Live??

A few strategies we are employing at home during the work week...and yes, Hank is getting on board with me:

1. Fresh lean meats and fresh vegetables only for dinner during the week. Baked, broiled, pan-seared, sauteed or roasted. Olive oil as needed...sparingly.

2. Wasa crackers are the best things ever.  Put a small smear of Smuckers All Natural Peanut Butter and some all fruit type orange marmalade or other of your choice on top and munch munch munch.

3. Smart Pop 100 calorie bags of microwave popcorn. Eat one kernel at the time while watching TV at night. Wash it down with a bottle of water with Motts Apple Singles To Go added.

4. Breakfast every single day. A Kind bar or a Special K To Go shake. Plain fat free yogurt with a touch of honey, homemade granola and fresh berries was a big hit during berry season.

Next time:  I have to exercise?????  Just kill me now.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Fresh Start Part 2- How to Develop an Action Plan When Your Child Says "Please Take Care of Yourself."

So...back to my story.

STEP 1: I procrastinated until April. Then I put on my big girl britches and made an appointment with our family physician. She referred me to a top notch cardiologist at the Medical University of South Carolina. After a thorough assessment and a number of tests, the news was encouraging. My calcium score scan came back at zero, which is perfect. I was thoroughly amazed by that. Cholesterol still high. Blood pressure under control with meds.

My Friends: Insurance does not generally cover the calcium score scan BUT it is only $125. It is non-invasive and I declare that it took me longer to walk from the parking garage to the hospital that it took for the procedure. Best $125 I ever spent.

STEP 2: Nutrition
Oh my heavenly days how I love food. The greater-Charleston area is a fabulous place to live when you are a foodie. And a great TEMPTATION when you are an overweight foodie with high cholesterol and blood pressure issues. I am a loyal person...how in the world was I going to shut my best friends Ben and Jerry out of my life??? What would they think at Magnolias when we don't show up for Sunday brunch. Kaminsky's....I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU.  River Street Sweets...stop pushing that sample tray of pralines in my face when I walk by...you know I'm weak! Husk! McCradys! The Grocery! GiGi's Brasserie! (OK I'm stop now...there's not enough room to list them all.)
My cardiologist suggested that I utilize the services of her nutritionist. And I am.  I am not proud of the fact that I cannot hold myself accountable for making good food and exercise choices.  I am almost 53 and have good insurance. I will pay the nutritionist to be my accountability partner. My visits are every 4-6 weeks and for the first time in my adult life, I have some measure control in a part of my life where I had none. Since June 1 and as of this morning, I have lost 20 pounds. I'm not taking appetite suppressants or doing any sort of crazy fad diet/food thing.

Stay tuned.  Next post...how I am changing the way I eat and how I am battling my reluctance to exercise.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Fresh Start

About a year ago, I started a post with a remark something like this...When I turned 52 on my recent birthday my brain turned to mush...I blame it on menopause.

SO...my 53rd birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks and it seems that my brain is STILL mush a lot of the time.

One day last winter, I got a call from Legare. The mother-in-law of a friend of his had passed away that evening from a heart attack. She wasn't too much older than me and it came completely out of the blue. No signs, no warning....BOOM.  She woke up that morning in her bed at home and by 6:00 p.m. she'd passed away. His request before he ended the call was that both Hank and I PLEASE do whatever it takes within our control to stay healthy.

I have to tell you, when your CHILD has a conversation like that with you, well, you jump.

I considered my family history...my daddy had his first heart attack at 52 and mother, you know MOTHER, what we used to call "eccentric" turned into full blown dementia and in the last couple of years, she has been diagnosed with diabetes.

I considered my lifestyle...little to no exercise, a serious sugar addiction, a diet that consisted primarily of comfort-type food, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, a high pressure career and the responsibilities that Hank and I bear not only to handle our lives and the business thereof,  but also shouldering the sole responsibility of handling everything for his mother, my mother and my brother Ned. And I am sort of a perfectionist control freak. Just saying...

What was I to do?????????????  Stand by for the answers.

NO...tell me it hasn't been three months since I posted!

Oh Y'ALL!!!!!  There were vacations and moving Lorelai and school starting and mother and Ned and Hank's mother and the granddog...HOW has it been three months since I posted?

I so desperately want to get back into the blogging groove but CLEARLY I don't quite know how to do that.

Is it a "getting older" thing?  I turn around and time has flown by.

Is it a "first world problem" thing? Too many resources and too much to do?

I miss blogging.  I miss reading about what you are doing. I miss all of the great ideas that I get from you.


I'm going to do this.  Life of a Southern Belle 2.0 if you will. A daily post, but not too long.

From the blog reading perspective...If you're still out there PLEASE let me know. I am going to check out my old favorites to see if you are still there. Then I'm going out to find other folks that I might not be familiar with. I'm going to fix this.  Yes I am!!