Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tomato Soup, Walking, and Hair Loss

First off I would like to apologize for not posting at least once in October.  I was not in a proper state of mind.  For the entire month I lost a grand total of 9lbs and held at that weight or a pound variance for probably 3 weeks.  Last week I did have a breakthrough, from sticking to my exercise regimen and my diet, not getting discouraged.  My current weight is 278 and if you haven't been keeping track, that is 99lbs total.  This has been a hard fought 11lbs down and I will continue to endeavor until I reach Onderland.

That leads me to the first topic, my diet.  I know I have friends and family trying to help but you really aren't.  If following advice of everyone led to weight loss I would be a svelt 99lb waif from all the advice I've taken in, listened to, or dismissed over the years.  Please refer to previous posts if you are reading this and somehow know me without being aware, as the Lady Gaga song goes:  I was born this way!  Not to say I don't have love for all my cheerleaders, that will never change.  I only mean to say that this is my journey and the one voice I haven't listened to in all these years is my own inner voice. This is the only voice I am ultimately listening to now.  She knows me best after all ;-)

So what is my diet?  My diet is everything/anything I want to eat.  I can eat literally anything 6 months (-10 days) post op.  That's what makes it challenging.  It is up to me to make those choices on what is best.  What is best for me, is not always what everyone agrees upon.  By this, I mean, the tomato soup (see title).  Prime example:  I have either one of two reactions to seeing my lunch selection at work which is MOST often tomato soup and applesauce.  I get someone wearing an appalled expression that this will be all I am eating for a 13 hour period with a shake of their head.  Or I get the person warning me of how much sodium those canned soups have and they tell me to be careful with eating that all the time.  Well fine friends, here are the facts:  I don't cook, I never have because I don't like to, not because I can't.  I take care of my mother full time.  There is no other local family members that can or is willing to help.  This means I'm not getting in the kitchen to prepare anything.  A healthy alternative or the healthiest for me is to pick up a can of Campbell's Soup.  If they have a Healthy Request brand then I choose that one.  If not I get Classic Tomato or Creamy Tomato soup.  The protein ranges from 3-5gm which is pitiful.  The calorie count varies from 80-180 (Creamy is the highest).  The fat is 5gm (8% of your daily total).  Last the cholesterol is 5mg out of a daily 2000mg allowance and the Sodium a whopping 650mg which is over a quarter of your daily allowance, also 2000mg.  I'm sure there is a Biggest Loser fan out there cringing in fright BUT it works for me.  I have 30 minutes tops for lunch on a good day, in which time I check in with my mother and assure she has usually made it home safely from dialysis.  I don't have time to get too fancy.  If you look at the average heat and eat meal you will see that astounding 650 mg of sodium is actually pretty low compared and I'm not even going to talk about getting food from the cafeteria.  I'll be lucky if I survive the day!  It allows me to drink my lunch quickly and get back to work quicker.  If I try to throw down something more complex it makes me nauseous immediately after until it settles and a case of bubble gut for the rest of the shift.  While this sounds uncomfortable for me (which it is) imagine being the poor patient stuck in bed, trying to learn how to self administer an insulin shot while being distracted by a nurse who is hiccuping  with a case of the BGs.  NOT COOL!  I think it's better for us all if I stick to my 240 calorie lunch for 3 out of 7 days a week.  I hope in the future to find a more health conscious lunch choice along with more time to eat that lunch but in the mean time I think I'm not doing so bad.

The other thing I've always gotten tons of advice on is my exercise regimen (see previous posts).  At the end of September I just decided to go with what I know and enjoy.  That is walking and running.  Now I am not run ready as of yet but I practice and I am getting there.  At least 3 times a week I set aside time and I walk 4 miles.  Some of those times I will walk with 3lb weights (x2) and I have a ball.  I participated in a 2K walk and I am planning to attend more as my schedule changes.  Now when I say I walk, I don't want you to think I am traipsing up my street at a leisurely pace.  I go to Ed Austin Park on Monument Rd and McCormick, I put on my head phones and I haul ass, my wide flat ass.  I walk at too fast a pace to carry a conversation and it is on alternating terrain and incline.  Every week I try to adjust the speed and time I am sprinting to have a switch up on my body.  It seems to have worked so far.   This is my official "hmmph" to everyone that keeps trying to push me into things that are not me.  I don't want to Zumbaa.  It looks fun...for someone else.  I failed miserably at  it and while I may make another attempt someday, I won't be relying on it as an exercise regimen.  I am not doing or promising to do anything I don't feel 100% comfortable with.  I would only be lying to myself which would be the unhealthiest habit of all and lead no where good...for me.  Hey, besides, walking clears my mind and I got a thumbs up from the closest person I can refer to as a walking partner, a man in his mid to late fifties (I am guessing) who in warm weather was always dressed as if he was going on Safari.  I have dubbed him "Safari Man" (refer to 90s show Martin to get this joke).

I have also begun wearing size 22/24 clothes, which was what I was wearing my Senior year in highschool.  This prompted me to pull out clothes I haven't seen in a while/were donated from a friend and it gave me a harsh revelation into my career path.  Apparently, I settled for my current job.  That is not to say I don't love being a nurse but I think I have hidden behind it because it's safe.  I don't have to dress up and I didn't.  Blue scrubs have become my permenant wardrobe outside of my walking clothes.  I never wear make-up (which I can) and earrings/french tips are a common sense no-no.  As I have said since highschool, I dream of also being a novelist.  I dreamed of taking nursing to the next level and eventually being a Cancer Research nurse.  I planned to become an active member in the Black Nurses Society and the local chapter of ONS.  None of that has happened and as much as I want to blame other factors, at the end of the day, I sold myself short.  I can do better and I will endeavor, as I reach the ripe old age of 33, to actually do better.

Finally, my hair loss update.  I have lost a ton of hair in the last couple of months.  At first it seemed that it was due to the surgery (alopecia is a common/expected side effect caused by malabsorption).  The only problem with that logic was I had a Vertical Sleeve which is different in that it does not work by malabsorption and instead only reduces the size of the stomach, much like a gastric band.  Again people were helpful in offering their advice and I did everything from cut my hair in September with bi weekly scalp treatment to suggest to my primary doctor I wanted to be on Biotin/Prenatal vitamins to help it.  In the end, on a hunch, my doctor suggested a Vitamin D deficiency and prescribed me some supplements.  It's been about a month now and while I am still losing a good bit of hair it is no where near the amount I was losing.  I am no longer at risk for being bald and the cut I got earlier in September combined with it's thinning have my hair really looking healthy.

So the bottom line:  I need to stop worrying and I need to keep tuning out other people.  Again, I love the cheerleaders in my life but I also hear alot of negative/critical things as well.  Whether people mean it or not, it's nothing to do with the people around me, it is about building on me.  I deserve more and you only get it from being better with every new day than you were the day before, not by someone else's yardstick, only your own will get the measurement just right.

Until next time,

Fat Girl

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