Friday, March 28, 2008


One of my doctors was concerned I might be pre-diabetic, so she ordered blood tests. My high triglycerides and difficulty losing weight were two indicators she mentioned. I haven't met with her yet, but I was able to get access to my lab results, and except for C-Peptides which were .1 out of recommended range (apparently that's an indicator of inflammation somewhere in the body -- my guess is my arthritic knees). Everything else was refreshingly normal. Including my cholesterol readings -- that's largely due to Vytorin. Vytorin is working great for me.

Of course, I'm also trying to eat a diet to encourage good cholesterol readings, but I know from experience a large part of my cholesterol problems are not related to diet.

When I get back from three weeks of vacation, I'll make an appointment with the doc to make sure she interprets those readings the same way. The reading the doc was concerned about was in the high normal range. I'll see what she wants to do about it, but I'm relieved I don't have something to worry about right now. I think she's right though -- I need to make some adjustments now to prevent or delay problems later.

In another note, I had a really neat visit to the podiatrist this morning to get fitted for new orthotics. I'm amazed at how much a professional can tell just by touch. The doc was warm and friendly, putting me at ease right away. I explained what I wanted as I was removing my boots and socks. He put me up in the comfy chair right away and put plastic bags on my feet. He got what he needed to make the molds for my new orthotics. As he was molding the stuff to my feet, he commented something about my forefoot. I asked him to explain, and I got a very interesting explanation about the imbalance in my feet that throws my alignment off when I don't use my orthotics. My right foot has a more pronounced "fault" than my left, but both feet do it to some extent. When he took the mold off, he showed me what my feet do -- my feet roll to the outside and fall to the inside, resulting in strain on the medial aspects of my knees (hmmm...I've had medial meniscus tears in both my knees...) He held the mold up like it should be, but when he let go, the front inside of my foot dropped to the table. I should have my new orthotics in six weeks.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The long haul

There's a lot to be said for the immediate gratification of food. I feel bad so I break out the Pringles and let a few chips massage my ego. Frankly, it works and it's cheaper than booze. Or how about the pleasure that a Reeses peanut butter cup can give as soon as I pop it in my mouth? No delay, no work beyond opening the package, just the creamy chocolate melting in my mouth.

There aren't a lot of healthy rewards that offer the pleasure of fattening foods. In fact, I can't think of one. I know there are people who claim that if they jog a few miles, they start experiencing a "runner's high." Not having experienced one, I'll take their word for it. I would like to point out, however, that you don't have to jog a single step to enjoy a peanut butter cup.

We live in an instant gratification world. Patience may be the less used virtue. People ask me what's the hardest thing about writing books. It's the waiting. I want the book done now so that it can be published and I can move on to my next project. With a wave of my hand, I'd like to have it written.

But it doesn't work that way. Instead, I have a goal of 500 words a day. 500 and 500 and 500 and so on, and eventually I have a book. It isn't easy. After a hard day at work, I'd rather sink into my recliner and watch some mindless TV, preferably a show that features half-naked women and lots of explosions. Bond, for instance.

I'm beginning to think losing weight is a lot like writing a book. You exercise 30 minutes or eat healthy or whatever small step you make, and eventually you've lost weight. But it takes time.

As near as I can recall, it took nearly 10 years for me to reach my weight, one peanut butter cup at a time. I didn't go to sleep one night and wake the next morning with 150 extra pounds. Instead, I put the weight one pound at a time. Taking it off may take the same slow progress.

Losing weight is the long haul. It's the commitment to begin anew each day. To just take those few healthy steps daily -- exercise 30 minutes, drink plenty of water instead of soft drinks, eat fruits instead of candy, salads instead of cheese-drowned pizza -- and not look up until I reach the end of my journey.

Whether or not, I have the willpower to do so ... that's the question.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


The fact that I am fat, obese, seriously unhealthy, can't touch my toes without being in pain, unable to bend over without holding on something, can't find clothes that don't fit like tents (because that is what they are) ... all this doesn't motivate me to lose weight. In fact, in many ways, it sends me to the cookies and ice cream.

Odd, isn't it? I am intelligent (fairly so, anyway). I know losing weight will help my health. Exercise will help my attitude toward life. Both will increase my quality of life. I might even have a date again not based on pity or overlooking my size. Yet ... I do not.

I am diabetic. Diabetes kills people. It kills people. It has killed clients, friends and family. It can be controlled by careful diet, exercise, medication. I could control it. I might even be able to force it back.

So why aren't I?

Why am I trying to kill myself? Why am I choosing to be fat? Why is food my master?


I don't have answers.

But I'm going to find some. Or I'm going to shut up and eat myself to an early death. If I don't work on saving myself, I'm going to stop whining about it. If food ends up being my choice of suicide weapon, so be it, but I'm going to stop pretending to care if I really don't.

I'm not done yet. I think I can raise the standard once more.

I'm not done.