Weighty Matters

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Good Doctor’s Appointment

on March 28, 2014

I just got home from Miami and my doctor’s appointment, with a little retail fun thrown in for good measure. I’m really pleased with my day in general. I had a scale number in mind for this morning and I met that goal. That was for my “morning naked weight”. I automatically add four pounds to that number to estimate what I’ll weigh on my doctor’s scale in the afternoon. So, I felt pretty good, all things considered. I knew I’d lost seven pounds since he last saw me. That’s not a huge weight loss in three months but I get to factor in that those three months included the holidays and the ongoing plateau. I think that plateau is finally over.

You might remember that the last time I saw the doctor I posted my lowest number of pounds lost between appointments since starting the whole journey. His suggestion at that time was that I cut my calorie intake by 25% — a suggestion I rejected because it meant I would be eating only between 600 and 750 calories a day.

I chose instead to strengthen my commitment to exercise and make sure that I worked out at least six days a week and hit my 10,000 step goal the majority of days. That’s when I began getting up an hour early every day and I’ve maintained that through the weeks. I also got more vigilant about hidden sugars in products, started eating more vegetables, and did my best to be less likely to snag a junk carb.

As of today, I feel like I’m really in the home stretch with fewer than 30 pounds to go before I reach goal weight. That sounds so amazing to me as if I’m “only” 30 pounds overweight. To many people, that number would not be any kind of “only”, but remember, I’ve lost more than 180 pounds! To me, it’s not only an “only”, it’s a freaking miracle. I am just a few pounds away from One-derland — that magical, marvelous state of weighing less than 200 pounds. Folks, I passed 200 pounds when I was 13 or 14. I can scarcely believe that I’m soon to weigh less than I did when I was a teenager.

Doctor and I talked at length today about how much more weight I need to lose. Remember, he’s all about the Body Mass Index (BMI). He wants my number to be lower than a 30. I suggested the number in my head of 176. He said 170, then he did his BMI calculations and said that I needed to be down to 180 pounds to be lower than 30. That would mean I was out of the obese category and into the overweight section. He still thought I should aim for 170. I finally suggested that, instead of picking one number, we agree to evaluate it all when I’m somewhere in the range between 175-180. He was good with that idea. I will say that he gave me one other good nugget of information. He told me that I’d have less discomfort after I have skin removal surgery because people with BMI’s lower than 30 have less occurrence of adhesion during the healing time. Something to think about.

He didn’t urge me to drop my calories again, but he also offered up the suggestion that if I really restricted all carbs for two weeks, I could kick start my weight loss. Since I’m already not eating much in the way of bread, potatoes, rice, pasta or other starchy/flour based carbs, he means fruit, beans or other carby veggies. He feels that if I focus mostly on protein from meats, fish, poultry, eggs, Greek yogurt, nuts and, occasionally cheese, plus non-carby vegetables, for even two to three weeks, I could knock off a good chunk of my remaining weight.

I’m a baby. I immediately wanted to whine, “Nooo fruit? No hummus or or other bean protein for variety? Nooooo!”, but I refrained. I told him I’d evaluate my food plans and do my best.

It takes me about two and a half hours to get home, depending on the traffic, so I had a lot of time to think about it. Here’s what I know. I am not willing to completely give up fruit. I am, however, willing to look for ways to cut down. I will switch out my morning fruit/protein smoothie and go back to the straight protein powder and water drink for breakfast. I’ll choose vegetables or nuts for my mid-morning snack. If I have Greek yogurt for lunch, I’ll either mix up some with vanilla extract or use only strawberries or blueberries in it. (The doctor suggested those as better fruit choices than, say, grapes, watermelon or bananas.) There are plenty of lunches when I don’t do Greek yogurt, so that’s only a “sometimes” fruit anyway.

I’ve become a big fan of a small apple for my mid-afternoon snack. I’m not willing to give that up. If you compare a cup of apple to a cup of banana, you find that it has less than half the calories, less than half the carbs, and half the sugar. So I’m comfortable with keeping it in my food plan.

I won’t pile on the bean intake. Doesn’t that sound like a goofy sentence? I’m just not willing to give them up completely for two weeks because I need the variety in my food choices, particularly since I don’t eat any seafood.

The longer I drove and thought about it, the more I became willing to try the doctor’s suggestion for two weeks and see how it goes. I’m not starting right away, however. For much of next week, I’ll be involved in a business conference which means that I’ll have less control over when I eat and what’s available. My goal whenever I’m involved in these kinds of meetings is to do the best that I can and make good choices whenever possible. Once the meeting days and events are concluded, I have a solid several weeks with nothing to make my efforts more challenging.

It’s been a long journey to wellness. I’m on a roll. I’d love to see my progress go more quickly from now until I get to that goal weight range! In the meantime, I can do anything as long as I tackle it one day at a time.

Have I mentioned before that my doctor’s office is in the same large building as a Whole Foods Market? I always stop at Whole Foods before heading home. I could have bought lots of fresh, organic fruit. Instead I grabbed some roasted, unsalted pistachio nuts in their shells. I finally found celery root which several people have suggested to me is great steamed and mashed. I also bought a container of “cole slaw” mix — shredded cabbages and carrots. I’m going to experiment with some sort of Greek yogurt dressing for it. I think that will be a flavorful, fun way to get in some veggies and protein.

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