Earlier in September, I went to a primary care physician for a routine physical. A little tummy mashing, some stethoscope action, and the typical slew of questions about my smoking and drinking habits. I also had some blood work done, despite my extreme aversion to seeing my blood outside of my body. (It simply isn’t natural to watch your blood leave your body.) The doctor had no major concerns during the visit, supported my idea that it was probably time to start seeing a dermatologist since I rarely use sunblock, and sent me on my merry way. Then, the blood work came back.
Long story short: I am pre-diabetic and my fats – particularly the triglycerides – are thru the roof. At 30 (hell, I’m basically 31), the news hit me like a sucker punch from behind. I think it also hit me hard because of my recent girls’ trip. We were all sitting around as everyone talked about upcoming mud runs and expanding families. You take for granted the fact that you can do those things. The prospect of having a child is terrifying enough. And even though we haven’t decided if we will have children or not, my blood work doesn’t make me feel that I am well equipped for the task. (Being a woman is tough. I have guilt over being a bad mother before I have even decided to be a mother. Geesh.)
So, what did I do? Honestly, I had a glass of wine. After feeling sorry for myself and asking how did this happen, I made an appointment to see a nutritionist to figure out how I could rectify the damage I have done. Thankfully, I am able to see the nutritionist that works at Williamsburg Landing without a fee. And she is phenomenal. She reviewed the lab results with me, asked me about my current diet and habits, and helped me to understand how precise I need to be with what I put in my body. With a grandmother that had a heart attack and is now facing diabetes, a father that is working on better controlling his blood pressure, and a mother that may be riddled with complications we will never know about because she stays away from the doctor, I’m not sure I can afford to take this lightly. Besides, I work with older adults on a (near) daily basis. I know firsthand the consequences of the neglect we enforce on our bodies.
I have a deadline of January 16 to get my blood work back within normal range. My nutritionist believes that is plenty of time to make some changes and see some results. The other option is to start taking medications to resolve a problem that I could potentially solve myself. I’m hoping for the former option. The plan is as follows:
- A goal of 10,000 steps a day – which is going to require some conscious effort during the work day to go for short walks.
- Working on my portions that the nutritionist and I discussed in a way that is conscious without being neurotic. Because, to put it frankly, I am always about three steps away from being a full blown mess. The nutritionist started out giving me exact percentages of how many grams should come from each macronutrient. She could tell immediately that my personality would not allow me to guess at this. I would be doing complicated (to me) math during every meal to calculate said percentages. So, she backed up and we talked more about being aware of my food and using this awareness to develop mindfulness and intent during meal times. This allows me to put down the calculator while still accomplishing the goal of better eating.
- Work on stress management. I eat when I’m stressed, and I’m not reaching for the celery. I found a coloring book that Bonnie gifted me a birthday or two ago and I’ve really enjoyed taking and editing pictures. Might be time to really focus on those for the sake of sanity and my waist line.
- Dig deep for the real motivation. I can find a million reasons why I should do it for my husband and any hypothetical children. I’ve even written down reasons why I should do it for the dogs. I’m a decent enough social worker to know that I’ve got to find the reasons why I should do it for myself. I’ve stumbled upon Lara Casey’s Powersheets – I’m tempted to give them a try. If you already have, let me know!
- Did you know that drinking causes our triglycerides to go up?! That being said, I’m going to try out a sober life for a bit. Health issues aside, I think it will be a good experiment for me. If I’m out with you, please respect that I’m making changes for the sake of improvement. If I decline a beer, just shrug it off. And don’t run around behind my back spreading rumors that I am pregnant. Aside from the fact that such behavior is obnoxious, it probably won’t be true.
I think those are enough goals. I am 100% the gal that loads up on new goals and expectations only to find that the regular weight of life is heavy enough without loading up on additional habits. I will blog about these changes (as much as can be expected given my track record with consistently blogging) as they happen. I’m also giving myself an automatic pass until 2018. With puppies and holidays, our lives have enough going on without me signing up for half-marathons (just kidding – I hate running) or dedicating myself to a month long yoga challenge. I can focus on the food and the steps without giving myself a hard time for not tossing around weights in the gym. I’ll go when I can. I’ll practice grace when I can’t.