Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Doing what it takes to triump in the battles of the bulges

Autumn colors different around  town.
Partial color changes, early leaf drop, 
I've  had a fairly healthy lifestyle over the years and yet it is not enough, so to step it up, I  enrolled at the YMCA sponsored diabetes prevention program at the advice of my doctor who commented that the past two years my fasting blood glucose levels had risen.  While not yet to a stage considered medically "pre-diabetic" he advised, "don't let this get away and take your good health."  I have some family history of diabetes so I do not want to go there and will avoid it with all my power. Well, I also avoid the scale like the plague but was aware of carting along some excess poundage  because my clothes did not fit as well.  My annual doctor's check up (or any medical visit) involves encountering my enemy, the scale;  I could go in with a broken arm and I would be weighed first.  The pain of reality is diminished slightly  though because the pounds are no longer visible instead a metric version is displayed these days which gives me a content moment, being blissfully unaware of my weight in metrics. That lasts until the nurse translates it to  pounds for me or leaves the chart and I see the conversion.  I am a "nosey" inquisitive person so I always look or ask her.   Well my annual check up this July followed our month long trip in the motor home to New York and Pennsylvania which involved good times, good food, good drinks, good friends. 
Mid morning "snack" of immense cinnamon rolls
at Braeburn Lodge, Alaska

There in is the culprit, the food, always. Why does so much of social life revolve around food, meals, snacks, treats.  Food is all over everywhere.  It is no wonder we have an obesity problem.  Most of us eat way too much. Our trip to Alaska involved more food than I could consume in any given  setting and less physical exercise daily than that which I routinely do, so those pounds joined my body.  But not to fear back home, again it is boot camp, baby, I cannot allow that poundage to become overly attached to me.  BTW, the other half  of this household seldom battles weight and is one of those fortunate people who can eat whatever.  Even he, did some cut back to trim back after the trip because he is very conscious about weight gain and will not go there. 

While I battle poundage, the  last maybe 20years especially, and acknowledge my metabolism is not what it used to be when I could eat half a bucket of KFC chicken and not gain an ounce. 

This is week 5 of the 16 week program; my doctor will retest my fasting blood  glucose in  December when I expect a clean slate, "ya done good girl".  This program developed by the American Diabetes Association after significant research and clinical trials is administered by local YMCA's country wide.  Like anything, results require commitment  Changing habits takes time.This multi faceted approach (food target and physical activity) involves a weekly meeting, a program lecture and participation, recording  every bite and morsel into our food journal  along with  amount of daily exercise, daily weight, any issues or concerns.  We turn these journals in at each meeting to our group leader who returns them the next week with helpful comments.  She has advised me to eat more and use those 33 grams of fat each day to avoid yo yo bounce dieting.  Yeah!  Eat more, slow down the loss which they set at only 15 pounds for me, but I set at 20. We have these dandy graphs to track our weekly weights, officially what her scale shows and yes, we weigh in every week. I still have not made friends with the scale. 

Because we meet at 6:00PM which  would be  right at  or before our dinner time.  I learned after weighing in the first time to not eat my dinner until after class.  There in is another mystery--how can I gain 3  pounds when I don't eat three pounds of food at a meal?  Yet, there's that dreaded scale lying in wait to annoy me.  There are about 20 other participants in the program with all their varying tales and excuses.    

 The sessions are interesting and I am reeducating myself in a lot of healthy food lifestyle choices.  We count total fat grams for which my daily allowance is 33 very easy to reach when eating cheeses (one of my favorite foods) and other non-essential things. My daily lunch or  midday snack was always apple, cheese and  maybe some crackers.  Now it might be a sandwich, apple, yogurt and only an ounce of cheese, that's a 1 inch cube.  I could eat 10 of those no problem.  So it is a process of learning or relearning.  I have indeed become a "fat detective" and carefully consider whether an indulgence is too costly a price to pay, in fat grams. So far I have dropped 12 pounds and the program has me stepped up to increasing my walking to many miles a day instead of just one or two, interspersing some jogging on the track, and finally  adding water aerobics, lap swimming and Zumba classes and toning at the Y where we have a free membership with this program.  Our weather has cooled down a lot so it is good to have the option of indoor classes at the Y.  
Wooly caterpillars abound; legend predicts winter by the
middle red, the head represents remaining time of autumn
and the tail the length of spring. 

So it goes with a step up in physically challenging activities and carefully paying attention to foods.  I doubt I will ever befriend that scale, but keeping healthy is my goal, healthy aging.  I love it when folks think I am much much younger than my 68 years. A healthier lifestyle, that's the choice here.  Doing what it takes.  This endeavor is requiring that we delay snow birding south until January; ironic in that now that we have no responsibilities of caring for elderlies, this old gal gets tied up in  a delay.  Such is life in retirement.    


  1. Like you, I eat and exercise to keep blood sugar glucose in the healthy range. We do eat rather healthy at our house, and tasty too.

  2. Thank you for visiting my blog Patricia! I appreciate your comment. Speaking of bulges, I calculated my BMI on a link that a friend posted. I came up listed as "overweight". I have to lose 8 pounds to fall in the normal range. Oh those 8 pounds are going to give me fits to try and lose : )

  3. Terra, good to know someone else watches that too as I will be doing ever on now.

    Leonora, I know and it is easy to think, well it's just 8. Funny, not humorously but curious way, how easy to gain and how difficult to shed...then to maintain.

  4. I Close My Eyes When Stepping On The Scales!

    1. yes, good idea Tony, but then they have to reveal the "news"

  5. Pat, I so identified with most of the points raised in this post as the battle of the bulge is ongoing for us here. It seems that despite our active walking about when on recent road trips, the weight comes on quickly. Then after 2+ weeks home and daily exercising at the Y is is ever so slow to come off AND continue working toward further reductions. We do follow healthier eating when home, but as you noted, age and metabolism are not allies in this ongoing process...still we prevail as you are doing.