I am forty-two. Yep, 42. There I said it. I am forty-two and overweight. I was forty-one and overweight last year and this year I am forty-two and ten pounds more overweight. My yearly visit to our family doctor was a wake-up call this year. As I sat in the waiting room I observed the other patients coming in an out and what I saw was a lot of old folks with a LOT of health issues, many preventable. Like diabetes. And that, kiddos, is written in the stars for me. Diabetes is something I find on both sides of my family. Anyway, to stay on track. As I was eventually whisked into the examination room (after the hated weigh-in) the nurse whipped out a full size piece of paper, sat down at the doctors desk and asked me for my list of medication.
'Wow, well, that makes my life easier then.'
We proceeded onto the next step, the blood pressure check.
'One-hundred-eight over sixty-six! That is marvelous'
I took that for granted. After all, I never have high blood pressure.
Eventually (and it was a looong eventually) the doctor came in and we talked. He told me that I had been gaining between eight and ten pounds every year since he started seeing me.
He also told me my cholesterol has been on the high side for the last two years, but since I don't have any other risk factors he didn't put me on statins. But now I am in my forties and that's when researchers believe plaque starts accumulating. You know, the kind of arterial plaque which sends us to the hospital or the morgue when we are in our fifties and sixties.
I don't want to sit every three months in a doctors waiting room when I am in my fifties or sixties. But it was clear that I would, unless I examine my life and change a few things.
'So, what do I do?'
'You are really asking me?'
'Who else should I ask? You are my doctor!'
The good doctor sat down, pulled out a calorie and weight calculator and discussed things with me and gave me some plans. He also cautioned me to go slowly and change things a little at a time rather than crash and burn.
So, here is:
Change #1 - Eat smaller portions.
Change #2 - Prepare snacks in controlled portion ahead of time and eat only those.
I was a skinny kid. My nickname in highschool was 'Ribs' because I was so bony. Now its more akin to 'Beluga' whale. But the problem is that my parents never stopped my snacking. I was always eating, what-ever, when-ever, where-ever. It didn't matter. If it was within reach and fit side-ways in my maw it was gone. Now I seem to gain weight reading anything printed in bold. I love to snack and it has been a life-long habit. So the smart thing here would be for me to cut down on my meal intake and have healthier snack options available rather than eat whatever the kids are eating.
It sucks and I don't like these kind of changes. But these kind of changes are probably a whole lot better than the drastic changes which would accompany a serious and long term health crisis.
I informed my husband about these changes and told him that there are two things I will not compromise on until the bitter end.
My cup of tea and two cups of coffee in the morning
my glass of red wine in the evening.
You can try and pry them out of my cold, stiff, and dead fingers.