Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day


I don't "celebrate" Columbus Day--given that people had already been living in the "New World" for thousands of years before he "discovered it"--but I miss the days when I worked for the government and thus had today off.

Today is the first morning in over a week that I woke up feeling normal: not exhausted, not phlegmy (though still a little congested, little cough), no headache. Hallelujah! Seriously, I was disproportionately happy about this; I lay in bed for a few extra minutes simply feeling content and relieved.

My weekend was so-so. We stayed in on Friday night and had KFC because MM didn't want pizza. My BFF came over on Saturday as planned to help me organize our garage. It took far less time than expected and looks great. I bowed out of our plans on Saturday night with MM's friends because I just didn't have the energy to be "on" and go out to some bars after dinner. (He went without me, and it was fine.) MM and I met his parents for dinner on Sunday, and otherwise I basically did nothing: I woke up with a headache which lingered most of the day, despite multiple doses of Excedrin, decongestants and ibuprofen, and I had some gastrointestinal upset as well. (I think the GI upset was a result of days of constipation culminating in eating steel-cut oatmeal with a fiber supplement for breakfast on Sunday.) I felt OK for a few hours--just long enough to make it to the birthday dinner with the in-laws--but spent the rest of the day lying around feeling icky.

I finished reading the book The Eat-Clean Diet this weekend. I've been thinking about eating clean for some time, which is why I ordered the book. I am still seriously considering it. I'm not yet at the point of action--this recent cold has also thrown a wrench in the works--but I'm inching closer.

Much as I love carbs, I am not ignorant of the fact that eating too many of them--especially sugar or starchy carbs--makes me feel ill and saps my energy. Much as I love the convenience of eating most meals out, I know that this practice is not good for me (and also more expensive than cooking at home). Much as I love to wallow in my sloth, I know that I have so much more energy--and actually need less sleep--when I am exercising regularly.

Goodness knows, I have plenty of reasons to adopt healthier lifestyle habits. Wanting to look better doesn't even need to be on the list!

And as of my annual physical this morning, I now have another reason. For the first time ever, my blood pressure was high: 142/92. (The doctor even rechecked it himself.) When I went for my last physical in July 2008, my cholesterol and triglycerides were high. I had blood drawn this morning to recheck them, and I feel pretty sure that they will still be high, given that the only things that would have lowered them--regular exercise five days a week for 30 minutes a session and losing weight--haven't happened. (In fact, I weighed 220.5 at the doctor's office this morning, a gain from last year's physical.)

I really have a hard time understanding myself at times. I get the lack of organization in my life to a degree: I am, at heart, a pretty lazy person, and it seems to take slightly more effort to keep things orderly than to just throw my crap wherever. (I say "seems" because lack of organization can actually mean more effort in the long run, like when I can't find stuff.) I can understand why I don't like to put in the work to keep my house neat and organized.

I don't understand why I persist in eating like crap, though. As I mentioned above, and have no doubt mentioned before here, I actually feel BETTER when I eat healthfully. I know that I have a family history--on both sides--of diabetes and heart disease. As a former nurse, I am well aware of the increased risk of these diseases for me as a result of genetics alone, as well as the fact that the only risk factors I can control are lifestyle choices: whether to smoke, controlling my weight, the foods I eat, and exercise.

And yet, in spite of this knowledge, I continue my slothful ways. I take the path of least resistance and pick up breakfast at Star$ or McD's rather than prepare something healthful at home. I eat out way more often than I should. Even when I do eat at home, my choices are based more on taste and convenience than on health.

I am at least 70 pounds overweight--looking generously at the high end of my weight range--and yet I do nothing about it. Sure, I make a stab occasionally: I decide to start working out more often or cutting out white flour/sugar. But it never lasts.

My take-home message from today's doctor's appointment: I am going to have a heart attack or a stroke. Given my family history and my current state of health, this is basically a foregone conclusion. The only unknown is "When?" And whether it will be sooner or later is entirely up to me and the choices I have made and continue to make.


Mo said...

Looking back at my previous life I can only see one constant that kept me as heavy as I was for as long as I was. It was the person I lived with. No, I cannot solely blame my eating habits on my ex-husband but I can blame him for not truly supporting me in changing our lifestyle and the way we ate. I would work out for an hour after work and I'd come home to a baked dish of fat and carbs. I'd want to eat healthy, he'd want to eat things that he loved. He always won that fight. Again, I'm not totally blaming him but I did not get the kind of support at home that I do now.

As you well know from my FB page I still eat like crap on occasion (um, hello? Fried butter! LOL) but for the most part I don't. Is it a pain in the butt to eat better? God yes it is. But the light flicked on for me one day that if I didn't stop filling my face with crap that I would die young or I would never be happy with myself.

You know what you need to do and maybe this will be a good wake-up call for you to get that diet back in check.

Land family said...

You and me both sister. Same boat, same shoes. I am taking bp medication and I swear to God it messes with my metabolism (of course in a slow it down way, couldn't possibly be the opposite!).


TUWABVB said...

Wow - I have to say that your post really hit home for me. I think my lack of organization permeates everything in my life. I keep putting things off and off and off. Why? Why not just do them NOW?