For a while now I have known I wasn’t taking care of me well. Many of you know the drill. Some small thing happens and it throws you off schedule and then you stay off schedule until life is chaos.
For me this has resulted in a sedentary life. I just don’t move. Then my eating gets out of control.
This time my issues are different than before. I’ve been OK about maintaining some consistent exercise in my life, though it’s gotten harder and harder. It got to a place where I wouldn’t dare wear a Fitbit, because who wants to see how few steps you really take?
I stopped water aerobics two years ago because I was trying to reduce expenses and I knew I could do lower cost activities, like walking and hiking, on my own. I’ve come both at other times in my life very successfully. Did I begin to walk and hike again? No!
A few people have given me the excuse of COVID, but really? How has COVID kept us North Carolina folks from getting out and walking? It’s easy to keep your distance!
My weight issues have also changed. They used to stem from overeating. I never wondered why I gained weight. Now I go long periods without eating and go “Wait, when did I eat last?” We think that’s good, but we’re screwing with our metabolism. Especially not good for menopausal women!
I eat well at home most of the time. I typically shop well. But fruits and vegetables don’t do a lot for you if you’re not eating them! You end up throwing them out, then quit buying them because you don’t want to waste food. You forget if you eat them, they aren’t going to spoil!
Restaurants are hard for me. Where many people eat worse at home, I go nuts in restaurants. That bread basket (with butter) calls my name. I wasn’t raised to eat bread with meals, unless it was a holiday or a sandwich or eggs were involved. If you’re one of those people that says “Just tell them not to bring the bread basket”, I probably wouldn’t eat with you much. I don’t want to give up the pleasure of eating lovely hot bread with butter.
I’ve been having some health issues lately that I believe may not necessarily be caused by my weight (though they could be), but aren’t helped by it. People can justify this, too, and say that I’ve been remarkably healthy for most of my life, and these things happen as you age. I don’t accept that.
I started physical therapy this week for a problem I’m having in the upper thigh of my right leg. My nurse practitioner thinks it’s a back problem – either sciatica or an inflamed disk. We don’t know, though, because my MRI was not approved by insurance. They require six weeks of physical therapy first. Why you treat a problem when you don’t know what it is, I don’t know, but I am OK trying PT first.
The physical therapist did an assessment and is developing a plan for me. The plan is to do most (if not all) in the pool, which was definitely my preference. We begin Tuesday.
My next step was meeting with a nutritionist. I love nutrition and know a lot about it. I gather my knowledge like most of us do – reading on the internet. Still, I know how to eat a healthy diet.
I met with her this week, too. They prefer to test your metabolism and make a diet plan around that. My insurance doesn’t cover everything, but my expenses will be under $200 and they will pay for the rest at 100% under the preventive care benefit.
But nutrition is a science and like most sciences, beliefs are tested and things change. I don’t pretend to know more than those who do it for a living. I need accountability, too. I was pretty sure my insurance would pay for at least some of it. Even if it was just a visit or two, if meeting with a nutritionist could just kickstart things for me, I needed to do it.
They had checked my benefits and I could do a 3-month, six-month, or a 12-month program. My weight won’t be off in 3 months or 6 months, so I signed on for the 12-month plan. I need that accountability.
They made me sign a contract. I take that seriously. But I did it trusting the person who will lead me in this journey. She has a real-world approach to things. She doesn’t want to make me feel guilty about eating a piece of bread with butter when I go out to eat. I suspect she will discourage me losing track of how many I eat. That’s what I need.
Why am I sharing all this stuff some would call too personal? Because I know others understand and may be there, too. I also believe in public accountability. You have to know yourself well, and for some people it doesn’t work well. For me, it isn’t a negative or a positive. I know it can help others, though, so why not be truthful? Though not following through on my commitment would be embarrassing.
Signing the contract and agreeing not to miss meetings with my nutritionist for a whole year (we can do it remotely if I am traveling) is the reason I know it will work. I’m someone who never had a gym membership I didn’t use, or at least didn’t have it for long. If I wasn’t going, I quit, but not until I had not gotten value for my money.
That’s why I also plan to start back with water aerobics after I finish PT. I loved going to the classes and took it seriously. While running is the only exercise that made me lose weight, not exercising has certainly had an impact on me gaining. It will cost money, but it’s an investment I need to make.
I noticed my dietician does not have a scale in her office. She never mentioned a scale. I love that. I’m not a number and too often we believe we are. I have always been the one in my family who struggled with weight. It became part of my identity. That number haunted me, regardless of what it was. I’m happy to leave it behind.
She did mention doing measurements, but only if I want to. She gets it.. This is not one-size-fits-all. Some would be triggered by any measurements. I’m not. I have a very real need to not put extra weight on my legs and feet. While the scale is not a good thing for me, the measurements will be. I like progress.
I want to be healthy more than anything. I love being active and adventurous and extra weight weighs down your mind and your belief in yourself. For good reason – it impedes many activities. A lot of my personal goals will be better experiences if I am more fit. Join me on the journey. I’ll report on my progress.