Friday, December 12, 2008

That Darn Metabolism


This is a picture of me from my office Christmas party. I rather like it, except for the fact that it shows that darn extra weight I gained back after losing two years ago. Talk about frustrating! And why is it always harder to lose weight when you get older? Your metabolism just isn't the same, I guess.

When I was in high school and college, I ate whatever I wanted - and since my grandmother and my mother were wonderful cooks and made scrumptious baked goods, I indulged my sweet tooth. Probably not a good thing since I still have that sweet tooth, but do not have the metabolism I did back then! I was also pretty darn lazy. I didn't exercise because I didn't like to exercise and making sure I ate my vegetables wasn't a big priority.

I regret not forming those habits earlier in my life. It's a lot harder now that I have a full-time job, a daughter to raise, and other responsibilities I didn't have then. So now I'm trying to make good, healthy habits - exercising at least three times a week (more if I can squeeze it in), choosing healthy meals to cook, and avoiding indulging my sweet tooth. (Thank goodness for Dove Dark Chocolate! It's actually good for me and it satisfies the craving for sweets.)

Two years ago, my doctor diagnosed me with diabetes. It wasn't a big shock since my dad had been diagnosed a few years ago and the disease runs in my family. But I think I developed it earlier because of my extra weight, a result of botched birth control and things going completely out of whack with my body after I had my daughter. Hypothyroidism and PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) are also things I was diagnosed with after her birth.

So yeah, I have a few health challenges to combat. And that's why I dearly wish I had those healthy habits established earlier in life.

Here's the good news - I lost 30 pounds two years ago after my diabetes diagnosis. I got my blood sugars under control and felt great. I was exercising and eating right. I continued to drop the weight and loved going shopping for new clothes!

And then my husband landed in the hospital with a very nasty staph infection (so bad he had to go to the ER) and this whole thing lasted for two months. Hubby was out of work for that time, was in and out of the hospital for surgeries, and I was the only breadwinner in the family. Talk about stress. And when I'm stressed...I eat. And when you're going to the hospital all the time and sitting there and there's not much to do, you get darn tired, have no energy to exercise, don't want to exercise, and eat stuff you're not supposed to eat. The result? Weight gain.

So I know I can do this. I've done it before. I already know what I have to do - exercise and eat right. That's it. No special diet, no following meal plans, no counting calories. It's getting myself in that mode that is the problem. I think I'm almost there. I allow myself a baked good every once in awhile, which is perfectly ok, and I joined my new fitness club which is open 24-7, allowing me to go on the weekends or whenever I feel like it.

Hopefully in a few months, you'll see another picture of me, minus a few pounds!

28 comments:

  1. That's a wonderful photo! It doesn't show any weight that shouldn't be there.

    Hey, just wait till your my age and then see how the metabolism slows down. Yikes. I dread to think what I'll look like after Christmas. :o)

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  2. You look lovely, Melissa! I appreciate your honesty about health issues. I want to set a good example for my daughter, too, but realize how hard that is to do until I change my own ways. : /

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  3. I love that picture - you're so pretty!! Melissa, way to go on making efforts to live healthy!

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  4. You look beautiful and you don't look like you have to lose any weight! And being healthy is the most important thing anyway! Take care of yourself and the diabetes. I know how difficult that can get!

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  5. You look beautiful! Diabetes and thyroid are not easy challenges to manage and stress (which you've had way more than your fair share of) makes it all that much harder. When I got my recent hypothyroidism diagnosis (which strangely I was almost happy to hear, since it meant I had something I could hypothetically fix) I did a lot of online research. I just got a book called, FEELING FAT, FUZZY, OR FRAZZLED? If I find any real revelations or insights I will be sure to share them. I was actually really good about working out and eating right for many years and then in 2004 when my father became terminally ill we moved across the country...and then in January of 2006 we moved back across and then we moved locally again and I've been awful ever since that whole thing started. Now I HAVE to get back on the gerbil wheel (I'm like you -- I actually don't mind the treadmill) and put yoga back into my days, or I'm never going to improve. Thanks for the kick in the sweatpants :)

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  6. Aww, you guys are all so sweet! I do see the extra weight, but that's just because I'm super self-conscious about it. Thanks so much for the compliments. :-)

    Shirley, having met you in person, I don't think you have a thing to worry about! You are lovely. :-)

    RT - Yes, that is the hardest thing - to try and be an example for the kids when you just want to pig out! And I admit, my daughter doesn't eat as healthy as I do - must change that so she won't have to go through what I'm dealing with now.

    Ell - You're right - being healthy is the important thing!

    Lisa - I almost feel like I have a double whammy with the diabetes and hypothyroidism. Hate taking medication for both of them. But I guess that's what I have to do. I'm glad you're feeling better!

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  7. What a beautiful photo. I can't see any extra weight that you need to lose though.

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  8. Wow, you're da bomb in that photo!

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  9. Oh, and duh, I need your snail mail addy. You won the ornament in my Christmas "tree" contest hands down! Congrats!

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  10. Thanks, Debs. I see it mostly around my face. Argh. My daughter told me last night, though, that I need to "quit thinking that you're fat 'cuz you're not." That made me feel better. :-)

    Ang - Thanks! And I sent you an email. :-)

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  11. Heather - Thanks for the compliment! :-)

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  13. You look great in the picture, very happy too. Any decision to lead a healthier lifestyle is commendable. Kudos to you!

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  14. Melissa,
    I'm new to your blog and am also a type II diabetic for many years. I also fight the weight and have lost 45 #'s in 18 months using the new drug, Byetta. It is expensive but if you have prescription coverage, it really knocks the weight off! I still have a long way to go and worry that Byetta is no longer working. Time will tell.

    I have signed on as a follower and will be checking in regularly.

    Keep your chin up!
    Joy

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  15. Joanne - Thanks! I hope I can stick to the plan. :-)

    Hi Joy! Thanks so much for stopping by! And congrats to you for losing the weight!

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  16. melissa, I want to lose a few pounds too, but you look great in that photo :)

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  17. Toni - Aw, thanks! :-)

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  18. It's a fantastic photo! While it should be about how you feel inside, I want you to know you look great otherwise.

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  19. I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now and really enjoy it. As everyone else has said, you look wonderful: healthy, happy, beautiful. Oh the struggles we all have with weight. Here's what I've learned works for me, and it seems like it fits your philosphy ("No special diet, no following meal plans, no counting calories."). Despite what all the experts say, I find that it's better to eat light in the morning, light at lunch, and save your heavy eating for dinner (and later). I've never been a breakfast eater (or a morning person in general), so I don't eat anything each day until I'm hungry. I carry bananas, apples, other fruit with me. Hungry at 10? Eat a banana. Hungry at noon? Eat an apple. Or yogurt (low-fat varieties can be as little as 100 calories). Hungry at 2 PM? Eat another apple. Dinner can be anything. Fish is always better, in terms of calories, than other sources of protein. Sometimes I can get to dinnertime having eaten only 300 or 400 calories. That means I can have a satisfying and even big dinner. I also eat at night: fruit and yogurt are best, but I down quite a few cookies each night. This also explains somewhat why I'm often not hungry until late in the day...I've been eating so much the night before. And I simply do NOT believe the old thinking that if you eat late at night you won't burn off those calories as fast. Scientific hogwash. It's all about energy in (calories) and energy out (activity). You might not be all that active at night but you ARE still burning calories. And some people are probably more active asleep than they are splayed out on the couch watching TV and eating popcorn. With diabetes, you have to be extra careful of course, but I'm the same weight I was 20 years ago and this is how I managed to do it. (Well, I'm also a restless person who doesn't sit still for long stretches; I believe that makes a big differece too.) Good luck! And thanks for the entertaining blog.

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  20. Janne - Thank you so much for your kind words. I think we tend to be harder on ourselves than we need to be about our appearance. :-) It's something I need to definitely work on.

    Hi Pam! Thanks for stopping by. I usually never eat a big breakfast, either, but I do love a large dinner at night. If I eat a big lunch, I feel tired and lethargic at work, so I usually don't do that, either. The most important part for me is getting in the mindset of eating and living healthier. Once I accomplish that, it makes things much easier. :-)

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  21. Hi gorgeous! It looks like I'm late here! LOL! How exciting for you! I know you'll be able to do it! And I can't wait to see you succeed! You'll be an inspiration to us all!

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  22. I know you can do it. Especially since I can hound you incessantly about it. I'll keep my eye out for more recipes for you.

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  23. I won't give you any extra advice cause it sounds like you know what to do and are doing it!! But honestly, you look great so don't do it for that reason but for your health. I have hypothyroidism too--and it goes up and down!
    Isn't getting older fun??

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  24. Giddy - Thank you! I hope I can inspire others to get healthy! :-)

    Rene - I'm counting on you to hound me incessantly. ;-)

    Terri - I have to agree - getting older is definitely a rollercoaster ride. But I love the wisdom that comes with getting older, too. :-)

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  25. Melissa, I hear you! We women tend to be too self-critical. I know I falter in that category.

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  26. Melissa - I think you look fantastic! But I see your point. And you're right - the older you get, the harder it is to keep the weight off.

    Eating right is definitely a habit - once you've formed it, it's much easier.

    The other thing I've found is that I stick with the all natural. So instead of Dream Whip or stuff with Aspartame, if I want to indulge, I have the whipped cream and real sugar (I realize for you, the latter likely is not a good choice). It's all a matter of moderation.

    And the whole active living thing - apart from regular exercise, doing things like parking as far from the door of a mall/grocery store and walking, using stairs instead of the elevator etc.

    Every little bit helps - but don't forget to have fun too :)

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  27. Tess - I have found a great snack - sugar free jello and sugar free Cool Whip! It satsifies my sweet tooth without giving me all the calories and sugar.

    And you're right - living an active life definitely helps. I'm glad now that I live on the third floor of my apartment building - taking the stairs every day helps.

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  28. I think that's a lovely photo of you!

    Eating healthy and exercising is good for you though. I just don't always have the discipline to keep with it!

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