Last November, my father had angioplasty. He had a couple of clogged arteries, but rather than put in stents, they thought he’d do better with a change in diet and exercise. He’s been struggling with the diet because my father, like me, hasn’t got a sweet tooth so much as a salt tooth. He’s lost a bit of weight. Exercise is tougher because he’s got arthritis and an artificial knee.
My grandfather (mother’s side) is 97. He’s probably in the best health of anyone in our family. He’s got high blood pressure but controls it extremely well (our standard present for him for all gift-giving occasions was a can of Planter’s cashews when I was little; he’s observed a strict diet since them and we’ve since stopped giving him cashews as a gift). He took a bad spill last month and is currently recuperating in a rehabilitation center, but he’s in excellent health otherwise and it’s because he’s got a good diet, he has a lot of energy, and he otherwise takes great care of himself.
Very much inspired by my father and grandfather, I’ve re-embarked on my mission to drop a hundo. There’s no getting around the fact that I am morbidly obese. Even after losing 40 lbs on Weight Watchers (and keeping it off for over a year), I’ve got a lot more to lose. My blood pressure’s on the high side of normal, and I’m pretty much a sure bet for Type II diabetes at some point because it runs on both sides of the family, pretty much every generation. The last thing that I want is to be diabetic. It’s very manageable, but it’s also very avoidable. Before I creep any more into my 30s and then my 40s, I want to get myself down to a reasonable weight and a more active lifestyle, even if “active” means 45 minutes in the gym 5x/week.
The crux of the problem is that I’ve spent a lifetime being unathletic and really otherwise hating to break a sweat. When I was little, I wanted to stick around indoors and play dolls or read books, though I did like riding bikes. Not much has changed: I still like bikes, but am both bike-less and in a crappy neighborhood for cycling these days. We drive into work and I have a sedentary desk job (that sometimes requires really intense concentration for several hours). I’m also just straight-up lazy. I love nothing more than to lie in bed (we got a Tempur-Pedic mattress as a wedding gift – who wouldn’t want to lie in that bed all day?) and I’ve always really hated running around and playing sports and doing anything other than walking (which I do enjoy, but had to stop doing when I got plantar fasciitis, which I got by putting on weight – a vicious cycle!).
Anyhow, it was time to stop making excuses and to do something about my weight. I’d spent enough time feeling sorry for myself and wishing I could undo it, blah blah blah, and what was even better was that I had $700 to spend from my FSA. It just so happens that if your doctor prescribes exercise for you, a gym membership, a personal trainer, and a weight loss program are all eligible expenses for an FSA. I re-joined the ladies’ gym that I used to go to, signed up for their weight loss program, and since December 30th, I’ve lost 12 lbs (6 weeks!). I’ve been in the weight loss program for four weeks, and six of those pounds came from careful monitoring of my calorie intake.
Blah blah blah, anyhow, one of the things I’ve taken with me to work a bunch this week is a salad consisting of arugula, baby spinach, roasted beets, roasted sweet potatoes, goat cheese, and an orange-balsamic vinaigrette (made with blood orange one day, clementines the others). Despite being a little surprised after I go to the bathroom (“Oh, that’s right, I ate beets!”), this is a really tasty salad – sweet potatoes are super-nutritious, as are beets, as are the salad greens. Goat cheese and beets are like the perfect combination. I still have two enormous sweet potatoes in the fridge (and to be honest, I’m not sure what I’m going to end up doing with them! I think I’ll probably make soup out of them and freeze it).
Since this is a really self-congratulatory post, I will confess right now that after I had my weigh-in on Thursday where my trainer, Kristin, praised me for doing such a good job, I went to get Chinese food with Christian and Doug and chowed down like I was Charlie Sheen going on a coke bender after getting out of rehab. I’ve tried to dial it back since then! It was hard to resist: we went to FuLoon in Malden which is outstanding.