Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The heart attack that wasn't... AGAIN!

"I'm not fat, I'm FLUFFY!"  LOL I love Gabriel Iglesias:)

Graduate of Brookdale Community College 2009

So three weeks ago and for the second time in 10 years I was hospitalized for what was thought and felt like a minor heart attack.  Zillions of tests later it turns out my heart is perfectly fine, "Textbook" as my doctor told me.  Of course I was relieved as tests 10 years and 100 lbs ago revealed several murmurs and I'd made it my mission to not only lose all the extra weight but eat, drink and do every heart healthy thing imaginable to fix what I'd started.  At least my efforts were not in vain and I was happy to hear that the murmurs were gone and my heart was perfect.  

What I was not happy to hear however was that my pressure was still up despite being on a medicine that for the last three weeks, while lowering my pressure significantly, had always drained every ounce of energy from me and made me sick and dizzy a majority of the time.  And while my Triglycerides were a far cry from the evil 285, my doctor wanted to see it lower still.  

I was a tall skinny kid growing up.  Weight gain didn't really become an issue until about high school and by the time I'd left college it became a major factor in my life.  Weight Watchers made me realize I was an "emotional eater."  For those of you who may not be aware, this means whenever I was bored, sad, depressed, or upset about something I turned to food.  My favorite method of comfort was usually a combo of General Tso chicken with white rice, a bottle of Snapple Lemon Iced Tea and a carton of Ben and Jerry's Cookie Dough Ice Cream.  Anyway, thanks to Weight Watchers I managed to kick the habit and substituted food with time at the gym or some kind of craft or creative project.  And so I steadily brought my weight down from 398lbs to 287lbs.  My ultimate goal is 200lbs.  Sure modern medicine insists my ideal weight should be 170lbs but with my large 5'11" frame that weight would only shift my battle with weight loss to a battle with Anorexia, something I am not about to do.  With the snow and ice finally melting outside I hope to begin walking again shortly but finances and location dictate my lack of access to any sort of decent gym which means I have to be creative.  Over the next few weeks I hope to finally receive the dance and exercise games that have been collecting dust on my Gamefly list but which Gamefly seems determined not to send me.

Original size (actually 324lbs, the model wouldn't do 398)
Goal Weight

I also decided it was time I got off my butt and tried alternative meals.  Bear in mind I do not eat beef or fried food, rarely get fast food and I don't snack and have limited soda to once a week but I do eat several smaller portioned meals throughout the day of normal food.  I don't believe in eating Fat Free, LowFat etc. foods as they're loaded with chemicals that I don't want to put in my body.  These methods have enabled me to lose the weight that I have.  Unfortunately this past year has found my weight ricocheting between 287 and 310lbs which means something's gotta give.  So my approach is now to increase my fruit, vegetable and water intake, putting the culinary skills I've acquired in school to good use and checking out some new cookbooks for ideas.  

As soon as I left the doctor's office I headed for the Food and Nutrition section of Borders where I found myself staring at several walls packed to the gills with gimmicky books with shiny happy skinny people staring back at me.  Lose 10lbs in Two Weeks!  Eat This Not That!  The Raw Food Diet! The 4 Day Diet!  The 10 Day Diet!  The Idiot's Guide to Weight Loss!  I felt like I was reading a tabloid!  Even the schlubs from Food Network were in on it.  Instead I dropped $5 on a piano lesson kit and headed straight for the library.  I figured rather than wasting thousands I didn't have on books that may or may not work and could injure me in the process I'd try them out first.  So in my attempt at getting fit again, I parked 6 blocks away and walked to the library where I found my old culinary friends staring down at me.  Cookbooks from Julia Child, James Beard, the Chez Panisse restaurant, I even found Larousse Gastronomique, the biggest bastard of a cookbook you ever did see.  I swear the thing weighs 10lbs on its own!  No it's not a dietary cookbook but just seeing it made me tingle the way the sight of a clean stainless steel kitchen does (only true foodies understand that tingle).  I also picked up Cleaving the sequel to Julie Powell's Julie and Julia because I understand it covers her affair with the local butcher.  Yeah ok, I don't watch reality tv or read magazines about celebrities, I prefer my human drama from actual books, sue me:-p

Anyway,  I decided to start with The New Family Cookbook for People with Diabetes by the American Diabetes Association (I understand taking up a Diabetic diet can really help with weight loss and health issues so I figured it was worth a crack), The Best Life Diet Cookbook by Bob Greene which is all green and happy looking so I'm assuming it has something to do with a happy, green, new agey lifestyle.  Then there's The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook.  Now I don't like The Biggest Loser, that Jill chick gets on my last nerve, but I've heard their books have some decent recipes and the "budget friendly meals for the whole family" thing got my attention.  Last but not least I picked up The French Women Don't Get Fat cookbook.  I'd heard about the original book and in my own experience I've noticed no, European women in general aren't nearly as large as American women and I've always been curious about the dietary habits especially those in the Mediterranean.

Of course all these books were on the second floor and I decided to take the elevator as, exercise or not, I could just envision myself careening head first down all those stairs in a shower of large heavy books.  By the time I got from the elevator to the desk I realized the six block walk back to the car would involve a balancing, weight lifting act and ended up investing $10 for a cloth bag that was larger than it looked and with strong rope handles from my local library and alternating the now 30lb+ sack between my hands as I trudged back to the car.  The sun was shining but winter's icy wind (you see Maine didn't get the memo that Spring is due in a few days) kept finding its way down the hood of my coat.  My right calf muscle moaned at me by block #3 "Shut up and walk you cow, this is why you're fat!" I told myself.  "You're not fat, you're beautiful!" I heard my loving husband's admonishment in my head.  See, not only do I talk to myself but I have whole arguments involving other people.

So here I sit surrounded by books and wondering which I'll try first.  I'll be posting and taking pictures of these meals and my experiences with them as well as any exercises I try in lieu of going to an actual gym.  I get the feeling my Wii will become my best friend.  To all my fellow foodies and non-foodies struggling with weight, good luck to you all, feedback, questions and suggestions are welcome:)

1 comment:

  1. I use my wii and have joined weight watchers. I've lost 25.4 lbs total! (but then gained back 1.4....) It's a never ending strugle. I love the game "Just Dance" on the wii. Lots of fun!!!