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Posts tagged ‘health’

One year later…

It’s been months since I wrote my last post. It also happens to be past my bedtime – and yet here I am, sitting on the couch, watching Julie & Julia – the movie about Julia Child and some blogger named Julie.

Now, I watched this movie several years ago, when it first came out. I’m pretty sure I liked it, but I don’t recall feeling strongly about it in any way. Today though, it’s like I’m watching a whole different movie.

In one of the first few scenes, Julia asks her husband what she should do; she doesn’t want to go back to government work. Her husband, ever so supportive, asks her, “What is it that you really like to do?” Her response? “Eat.”

“Eat.” That’s all it took. With just that one word, I was instantly flooded with memories of a very similar conversation I’d had with my own husband – not just once, but numerous times since we’d moved to Japan. And it was in that moment that I felt it: Julia (the movie’s version of her at the very least) was my soulmate. She and I were basically the same person.

But, a second later, it hit me… yes, I love to eat (God, do I love to eat!), but thanks to celiac disease and lactose intolerance, I’ve been sentenced to a life of deprivation of all that brings joy to my life.

Ok, so I’m being a tad dramatic, but hear me out. This post isn’t meant to devolve into a woe is me, full-blown pity party. Surprisingly, it’s meant to be a work of self inspiration (if that’s a real term?) because, as I sat there watching the movie, two thoughts jumped out at me:

  1. I can still enjoy food.
  2. I need to refocus on my health.

I really can still enjoy food and I really do need to refocus on my health, but In order to do those things, I need accountability. If you hadn’t already noticed by reading through my previous posts, I have two settings: “all in” and “fuck this.” I need this blog for the times when I’m not exactly “all in,” and I’m dangerously close to “fuck this,” sort of like where I’ve been for the last, oh I don’t know, two or three weeks (maybe months?). I need something to keep me on track, and although I’ve failed at this 15,000 steps challenge over and over again, writing these posts has helped me tough it out way longer than I would have in the past. That’s something.

So, yeah, what I’m trying to say here is that I’m back. I’m going to give it another try – I’m going to walk 15,000 steps a day, every day, for a full year, and I’m going to make some changes. But first, a drink.

Cheers!

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Day 63: Another Bod Pod on the books

Today was another Bod Pod day. Usually, I try to go on a monthly basis, but lately it’s been a bit more sporadic due to scheduling issues. My last appointment was on March 5th, and it wasn’t a good one. After steadily losing weight and fat lbs over the last year, I fell off the wagon and gained a significant chunk of it back.

Date % Fat % Fat Free Mass Fat Mass Fat Free Mass Body Mass
10/25/2018 26.1 73.9 31.518 lbs 89.209 lbs 120.728 lbs
1/25/19 27.8 72.2 34.409 lbs 89.443 lbs 123.852 lbs
3/5/2019 29.8 70.2 37.670 lbs 88.765 lbs 126.431 lbs

Today, six weeks after my last appointment, I went in feeling a tad bit hopeful. I wasn’t expecting any huge changes – the scale hadn’t moved much and I only lost an inch or two off my waist – but I did want to see some improvement. Despite all of the ups and downs these past few weeks, I felt like I did better overall compared to the beginning of the year. No, I didn’t go to the gym as planned, but I did go more often. And although I struggled to get a step goal streak going, I walked more steps on average. I don’t think I necessarily ate any less, but I did make some better food choices. Surely that must have done something, right? 

Well…

Date % Fat % Fat Free Mass Fat Mass Fat Free Mass Body Mass
10/25/2018 26.1 73.9 31.518 lbs 89.209 lbs 120.728 lbs
1/25/19 27.8 72.2 34.409 lbs 89.443 lbs 123.852 lbs
3/5/2019 29.8 70.2 37.670 lbs 88.765 lbs 126.431 lbs
4/15/2019 27.6 72.4 34.316 lbs 89.799 lbs 124.116 lbs

It did! Woo hoo!

Despite not being perfect, I lost 3 lbs of fat and gained 1 lb of fat free mass. I’m tempted to attribute some of those improvements on the Bod Pod’s error margin, but I need this win, so I’m not gonna. Instead, I’m going to feel good about it and use it to get motivated to do more.  I think I’m finally really ready to start reaching my goals.

Happy Monday!

Day 52: I ate a mountain of french fries

I’ve been feeling pretty proud of myself the last few days. I am on a 5-day step goal streak, I’ve been hitting the gym, and I’ve managed to get more mindfulness and water into my daily life. I’ve also been doing pretty ok with the whole avoiding gluten and dairy thing – it hasn’t felt as hard as I expected it to be.

Until today.

Today sucked. Or rather, this evening sucked.

The day started out all right. I had some bone broth soup for breakfast. I went to the gym. I did some work and a little meal prepping. I even volunteered at my daughter’s school for a couple of hours. It was turning out to be a nice, productive day. Then we went out for dinner after visiting the poop museum (yup, you read that right, a museum dedicated to poop). My daughter wanted a burger and I figured I’d be able to find something I could eat there too, so we went to the burger spot.

Well, it turns out I was wrong – oh so very wrong. This place only serves cheeseburgers, and asking for a burger without the cheese and/or bun just isn’t a thing. That’s just not how it works here. So, while everyone else enjoyed what they excitedly described as “the best burgers they’ve tasted since moving to Japan,” I ate a mountain of fries.

I have never wanted a burger so badly in my life.

It was awful. That meal was a slap-in-the-face reminder that having to avoid gluten and dairy sucks big ones. It legit hurt my feelings.

I know I should focus on the fact that I managed to resist the temptation. I should be proud of myself for staying strong and all that bullshit; but truthfully, I just feel shitty about it.

I keep telling myself that it’s just food and that cravings are just mind games your brain plays with you, but it still feels crappy. It still makes me sad. I mean, I love food. Food is life!

But, all that being said, I’m going to bed tonight without stomach pains and I’m not running to the bathroom every few minutes. I feel good physically, even if I don’t feel so swell emotionally – and that’s a good thing. I can’t expect it to always be easy. I know it’s going to be hard more often than not, but in the end, despite the suck, it will be worth it – even if I can’t take comfort in that fact right now.

Day 49: Am I crazy?

One of the most frustrating things I’ve encountered since being diagnosed with hypothyroidism is how my doctors have chosen to treat it (or not treat it). My care has been limited to just enough medication to get my TSH, T4, and T3 in the “normal range,” without regard to whether or not my symptoms are actually improving.

My current doctor has been a welcome change to that sort of previous care. She believes in ensuring I am taking enough medication to reduce my symptoms, regardless of where on the range I am. Unfortunately, like other doctors, though that’s about the extent of her treatment plan for me.

I don’t want to be that person who goes online, reads a bunch of blogs and articles, and then believes they know more than a medical professional. I don’t want to claim that I’ve earned my MD from Google university, but I also can’t help but wonder if there truly is a knowledge gap in conventional medicine when it comes to basic lifestyle changes and how that influences the body.

We know the foods we eat can make us sick. Overeating can lead to obesity, which can result in all sorts of health conditions. Diabetes can be caused by an improper diet. Clogged arteries can lead to heart attacks – stuff like that. So, why shouldn’t we consider how the foods we eat and the things we do each day affect our health?

And I’m not just referring to exercise or the foods we eat, I’m referring to our mental state as well.  There are studies that have shown that a positive outlook can influence a patient’s recovery from an illness or injury, and I’m pretty sure I’ve read that stress can cause all sorts of illnesses, so isn’t it possible that our mental health could impact our physical health in other ways too?

I don’t intend to stop taking my medication or stop going to my doctor. But I do intend to take ownership of my health. I have full control over all of the lifestyle stuff. I don’t need my doctor in order to eat better and be more active. As long as I’m not going against her guidance (which is to keep taking my medication), there’s no harm in trying to make positive lifestyle changes in hopes of improving my overall health.

That being said, I would like her to run a few additional tests for me, just to see if I have any of the nutrient deficiencies associated with Hashimoto’s. I don’t want to supplement recklessly and make myself worse by taking stuff I don’t need. I want to be able to make educated decisions on what supplements to take, if any – and for that I need her help.

Therein lies the problem though, I don’t know how to ask her, and possibly convince her, to run these additional tests without coming off as a wannabe “Google MD.” It should be as easy as just asking, but for some reason, it feels way harder. I’m not sure where to go from here.

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