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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Devistated

I did something today that scares the life out of me.  I had to withdraw from all my classes today.

I had been doing a lot of the work at home as getting to class right now is near impossible.  But on the advice of the Doctor, my friends and family, today I officially withdrew from classes for the term.

Why does this scare me?  The last time I withdrew, I didn't go back for 20 years!  I really do not want to go through that again.

I am trying to look on the bright side of things, but at the moment it is hard to do even that.  Though the near 20 lb weight loss is a good thing!

More tests are scheduled for Friday, I am beginning to think they are grasping at straws.  i just need them to find the right straw so I can get my life back.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Few things are as rare and precious as a true friend

My wonderful best friend came to see me today.  We talk nightly by phone but due to schedules, we don't see each other as much as we both would like.

Today's conversation took a particularly serious turn.  She has been concerned about me for quite some time and when we started talking today, she aired her thoughts.

We discussed my addiction to food and my sometimes obsession with the scale.  She is probably the only one on the planet who could have that discussion with me and not have me in tears or in a screaming temper.

She knew there was a good chance that I would not react favorably to the topic, but she was prepared to let me know her concerns and fears for me in those areas.  We also discussed my self-esteem.  (Seriously she is the ONLY one who I could calmly discuss these things with.)

I love her all the more because she broached these touchy subjects with me.  She loves me and is concerned.  So concerned that she was willing to risk damaging our relationship.

She need not have worried.  I had been thinking all the things that she was voicing, but until today I was not able to really take them out and examine them.

The conversation was quiet and really productive (at least for me).  I have many more things to think and work through, but I know that if I need someone to talk to about it, she will be right there to help me.

A true and loving friend will sit down and tell you the honest truth about yourself, whether you want to hear it or not.  I am so blessed to have her in my life!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Confirmation

When my weight loss slowed to a crawl and then the weight began to come back on, I had many doubts about the new path that I had chosen to tread.  My mind has been changed.

Friday I had an Upper GI Endoscopy.   The Doctor's are still trying to figure out why I can not keep food down.  (Upside to this is I am down 19 pounds since September 5th!)  So the answer was for them to send a camera down into my stomach and find out.


Even before the test began, the specialist, Dr. Webb talked with me about an autoimmune disease called Celiac Disease.

Celiac (SEE-lee-ak) disease is a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten, which is primarily found in bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye. People with celiac disease who eat foods containing gluten experience an immune reaction in their small intestines, causing damage to the inner surface of the small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients.
Celiac disease can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. Eventually, the decreased absorption of nutrients (malabsorption) that occurs with celiac disease can cause vitamin deficiencies that deprive your brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver and other organs of vital nourishment.
No treatment can cure celiac disease. However, you can effectively manage celiac disease by changing your diet.
~ Mayo Clinic Staff
From the Mayo Clinic site (www.mayoclinic.com)

Of course, as soon as I was coherent, I began to "Bing" and "Google" Celiac Disease  The symptom list contained almost every one of my symptoms.  Which only proved what I have been thinking for quite some time:  My body has declared war on me!  And it is winning!

The complications from this Disease are horrifying:


Left untreated, celiac disease can lead to several complications:
  • Malnutrition. Untreated celiac disease can lead to malabsorption, which in turn can lead to malnutrition. This occurs in spite of what appears to be an adequate diet. Because vital nutrients are lost in the stool rather than absorbed in the bloodstream, malabsorption can cause a deficiency in vitamins and minerals, vitamin D, folate and iron, resulting in anemia and weight loss. Malnutrition can cause stunted growth and delayed development in children.
  • Loss of calcium and bone density. With continued loss of fat in the stool, calcium and vitamin D may be lost in excessive amounts. This may result in osteomalacia, a softening of the bone that in children is also known as rickets, and loss of bone density (osteoporosis), a condition that leaves your bones fragile and prone to fracture.
  • Lactose intolerance. Because of damage to your small intestine from gluten, foods that don't contain gluten also may cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. Some people with celiac disease aren't able to tolerate milk sugar (lactose) found in dairy products, a condition called lactose intolerance. If this is the case, you need to limit food and beverages containing lactose as well as those containing gluten. Once your intestine has healed, you may be able to tolerate dairy products again. However, some people may continue to experience lactose intolerance despite successful management of celiac disease.
  • Cancer. People with celiac disease who don't maintain a gluten-free diet also have a greater chance of getting one of several forms of cancer, including intestinal lymphoma and bowel cancer.
  • Neurological complications. Celiac disease has also been associated with disorders of the nervous system, including seizures and nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy).

Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?  We are now waiting on the results of a biospy and blood tests that were taken.  However, I am into research mode and will be prepared for the follow up appointment.

So far, this whole horrid situation, has served to remind me that I am on the correct new path.  The only real way to treat Celiac Disease is with  . . . you go it, a change in Diet!

It is more important now that  complete my education in my new chosen field of Dietetics!  This thing may have me down at the moment, but I am far from out of the fight.  I'm just getting my second wind!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dichotomy

di·chot·o·my

division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups: a dichotomy between thought and action.

Why am I starting today's post with a definition?   Let me explain . . .

In my ongoing research I was watching the movie Super Size me.  If you haven't seen it, you should.

Here's the thing.  Our society continues to push more, more, more.  More fries in that box.  More soda in the cup, a larger piece of meat on the plate.  We are always pushed for more.  Seriously, do we need a box of fries that is bigger than your face?  

As a matter of fact, that should be a criteria:  Don't eat it if the container it is served in is bigger than your head!

Here is where the dichotomy comes in.  While we are pushing more, more, more food, we are also told, being overweight (or even normal size) is wrong, bad, and we should be shot if we can not fit into a size 0 outfit.

Here eat all this food, but you will be ostracized if you get too big.  No wonder there are so many gyms, we are not only trying to maintain that size 0, but we have to have somewhere to vent all the frustration?

How did this happen?  Who decides all this stuff.  We are a nation of over weight people because the food industry, the media and even the mom and pop places keep telling us we need to eat more.  Really, who needs a pancake that is bigger than a large dinner plate?  Do you really need a half gallon of soda for lunch?  And if you drink that half gallon of soda, does your boss care if you are spending all afternoon in the restroom?

No wonder so many of us are on anxiety and depression meds!  You have to be crazy to exist in our today's society!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Journey

I have been watching this really interesting show called Ruby.  I know I have mentioned this before, but I really identify with this woman.  I see my struggle in her story and it  . . . . reassures me (I guess), to know that i am not the only one on this path.

With Netflix, I have been able to follow her venture from the beginning to where she is now.  (4 seasons to date)  What I am seeing is so familiar to what I have experienced.  It's not about the weight.  The first couple of seasons have been focusing on the 'mechanics' of weight loss, the diet, the doctor's, the trainers.

However, as the season's progress you see a subtle shift in the show.  By season three and four it is less about the mechanics and more about Ruby's struggle to understand the underlying reasons that caused the weight gain in the first place.  For this wonderful woman, it's about what happened to her in her childhood.  She doesn't remember her childhood at all.  Obviously something traumatic happened, but she does not know what.

I have found the same thing.  It is less about the weight and more about what was the cause of the weight gain.  I have discovered that I am my own worst enemy.  I have always had a self-esteem issue.  I am really not sure why.  It didn't come from my parents, or my family.

My parents and my brother loved and adored me. (Okay, big brother did not adore pesky little sister, but you get the idea!)  I was the one who never felt like I lived up to self-imposed expectations.  No one ever called me stupid, but that was the way I have always felt.  The stupid person in a family of very smart people.

As a matter of fact, I remember mom and dad going to great lengths to let me know how smart I really was.  For example, I remember being told that I was far too smart to have done such a stupid thing.  Or, my personal favorite:  "Katie you are an intelligent young lady.  Your actions, however, were less than well thought out!"

Yet, somehow through all of that, I thought I was stupid, nasty, and completely without talent.

I'm working on that.  I know school has helped me, but also with with every pound that comes off, I feel more and more empowered.


This journey is about losing the weight.  But ultimately it's about so much more.  It's about discovering why the weight came on in the first place.

That fight is so much more difficult, and so much more important!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Upside of being sick . . .

So, as most of you are aware, I have been sick with some weird stomach thing that no one can seem to find.  I went to a specialist today and am scheduled for more tests.  I hate tests!!  I think I hate medical tests more than Algebra tests!  (I always thought nothing was worse than an Algebra test!)

 I have also been very diligent about keeping my food log.  That has also had an unexpected benefit.  Whenever someone asks me what I have been eating, I just hand over the food log!  I even marked what meals stayed down and which ones didn't!

Here is the upside.  Last week I lost 10 pounds!!!  Yea!  Being so sick is not all bad!  Although there are other ways that I would rather lose the weight.

While I have been laid up, I have been trying to be as productive as I can.  I have been doing some more research on my  favorite topic, diet and nutrition.  I have found some really interesting documentaries.  Two in particular stand out.

Forks over Knives really has me psyched.  It is about the careers of the two men who did the China Study.  That is the book that really got me excited about pursuing Diet and nutrition as a career!  This video is just as fascinating as the the China Study! 

Wonderful hubby watched it with me last night and for lunch today he had a salad!!!  Yea hubby!!!  Hehehe . . . another convert for me!!

The other video is about a gentleman from Australia who goes on a juice fast.  It is called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead .  This one is a little more controversial, but I think it is interesting.  I am going to be doing some more research on this topic.  I found this one totally enjoyable and quite funny!  Mr. Cross has a way of getting a serious point across with wit and laughter.  I like that!


As much as I am enjoying this research and what-not, I am TIRED OF FEELING HORRIBLE ALL THE TIME!!!!  I just want them to fix me!!!

Check out the videos!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

So, here I sit . . .

I have been having some medical issues lately.  Right now, I am pretty much confined to my bed until I can go see a specialist on Monday.  I am in a tremendous amount of pain and when I move around too much I throw up whatever food I have managed to get into my stomach.

I am beginning to think that somewhere along the line I swallowed a trampoline!  Food (or drink) goes down, hits the trampoline and  . . . Up it comes again!!!

I have heard of drastic weight loss plans before, but this is ridiculous!!

Instead of whining about it (there isn't anyone here to listen to it most of the time anyway) I decided to do something constructive.

I am diving back into some of my books that got me so excited about dietetics and nutrition in the first place.  I have been rereading parts of The China Study, online research, and even watching some programs regarding people who have a significant amount of weight to lose.

I found a couple of really good programs on Netflix. (What did we do before netflix??)  One of them is a program called Heavy that A&E sponsors, another is this wonderful new program on Oprah's network Addicted to Food.  Then there is my current favorite, Ruby!

Ruby is a woman who started out at 716 pounds.  Her doctor sat her down and gave her the "Change your lifestyle or die" lecture.  She took it to heart and assembled this team of people to help her.  In the last episode I saw she was down to 332 lbs!  She is amazing!  You get to see her struggles, set backs, triumphs and achievements!  They don't sugar coat her journey at all, it is honest and heartfelt.

I am compiling all this information in my head and letting it sit there an percolate for awhile.  I'm sure some interesting things will come out of this.  I may be down, but I am no where's near out of the game yet.  I'm just getting my second wind.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The 2x4

I tend to be a bit stubborn (shocking, right?).  My dad used to say that I had to be hit upside the head with a 2x4 before someone could get my attention.  (Okay, he never really did it, but you get the general idea).

I am home right now, where I have been for a week, with gallbladder problems.  Apparently it is not working properly, if at all.  There is also some concern regarding my pancreas.

I was sitting here this morning feeling sorry for myself it dawned on me that I am slowly destroying myself.  I am physically destroying myself.  That is just so wrong on so many levels!!


If I don't start taking care of myself, my boys are going to be picking out a casket before too long!  That is the very last thing that I want to happen. 

The boy always talks about the day he receives the Nobel Peace Prize.  I have no doubt that he will.  He is a young man who sets a goal, maps out a plan of action, and achieves that goal.  I don't want to miss that, I don't want to miss a single day with this wonderful, beautiful young man.

Then there is my amazing husband.  We are a year away from it being just the two of us.  We have never had that.  We met and married in 6 weeks and The Boy came along a short time after.  When our son leaves for school, hubby and I will finally have 'out time' together.  I don't want to miss that!

I use humor to mask what is really happening to me, I make light of situations that seem too overwhelming for me to handle.  Guess what; I can't joke my way out of this situation anymore.  Will I still use humor?  Of course, I just need to learn to use humor to deal with what is happening, not hide it.

I contacted the recreation center at school today to see if I can get some guidance from a personal trainer and get a exercise routine that I can stick with.  No more screwing around, I NEED to do this.

I have been stuck in quicksand with my weight loss for the last few months.  Today I am grabbing onto the rope and pulling myself out.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

U Bit it, U write it!!

Okay, I have an idea to get my self back on track.  The 'great cookie incident' freaked me out more than I thought it had.

I am going to start a food journal.  I have always hated to keep a food journal, but the cookies taught me that I have no idea what I am putting down my throat!  Not only that, I think I have let my portions get out of hand as well.

I have been watching this program called Ruby.  Yes, I have come late to the party where this program is concerned, but thanks to Netflix, I am up to the fourth season.

This is  a truly inspirational woman.  At her highest weight, she was 716 pounds.  She is now in the lower 300s ( I am hoping she is lower than that by the end of the 4th season!)

Ruby has this wonderful counselor  who gave her some wonderful advice that I think I am going to borrow.  Ruby had gotten stuck, and was on a plateau where her weight was concerned.  The counselor suggested that Ruby find five things, small things, that she could change in her environment to sort of 'shake things up'.

I am going to take that advice and see if I can find 5 things.  Here is what I have so far:
  1. Keep a food/exercise/glucose journal.
  2. Measure everything I eat.
  3. Test blood sugar 3x per day (like I'm supposed to)
  4. Exercise, exercise, exercise (No matter how much I hate it!!!)
  5. Plan and prepare my meals so I'm set for school and band stuff!
Those are the five things that I that I think I can do to help myself out.  I think that the journal is important because it will keep me accountable to myself.  If I notate everything that I eat I have a record with which to hold myself accountable.  My new motto is going to be"U bite it, U write it"!

But, what exactly do you write down in a food journal?  I turned to one of my favorite sites Diabeticliving.com  they always have the best ideas!  Sure enough, they had an entire slide show on journaling:   Why Journaling Can Help.

 According to the article, are six diabetes-related questions a food journal can help to answer:
  • Am I eating healthfully?
  • Am I eating consistently?
  • How does eating affect my blood sugar?
  • Are my medications working?
  • How does exercise affect my blood sugar?
  • Do I eat more when I'm upset, happy, bored, or sad?
The No. 1 rule of keeping a food journal: Be honest. Do it well or not at all. That mantra has merit when it comes to food journals. Remember that when keeping a journal, you're doing it for you -- not to please your dietitian or doctor. Be honest when filling it out. Don't say you ate a burger when you really had a cheeseburger or wheat bread when you had white.

That maybe hard for me, as I have discovered that where food is concerned,  I am not honest with others,  much less myself.  This could be a real test for me.

Right now, though, all this has to take a backseat to what is happening to me physically.  I have been sent to the ER twice in the last week for what apparently, is a gallbladder issue.  We don't quite know what is happening yet, we are waiting on some tests to come back.   But it looks as though, I may have to add a gallbladder diet on top of the diabetic diet.

I'm telling you, if this keeps up, I will not be able to eat anything!!

Off I go . . . to write in my new journal!!