Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I am so darned lucky

I watched Oprah yesterday, because Beth told me to. And I realized as I was watching how very lucky I am that my children are grown and on their own, and I don't have to work outside my home. [Cleaning my floor is a full-time job ... that's for you, H!]

Because if those things weren't true, I'd have a much harder time taking care of my food and exercise needs. The grocery store bombards you with packaged convenience foods; fast-food restaurants abound. Busy working moms don't have time to cook often, and when they do they want it to be something they can whip up quickly, before the family scatters to their various extracurricular activities. The food industry, and particularly the snack-food industry, stand ready to make sure you're never hungry by placing their products at your fingertips, whether you're buying groceries, gasoline or books, among many other things.

[Think about the last time you were hungry. I mean really hungry. I probably haven't been ready-to-gnaw-my-arm-off hungry since I was 10. If ever!]

Dr. Oz is a whole-food proponent, as am I, although I don't really think of myself like that. But it is how I eat. The absolute worst thing in my refrigerator is deli-style turkey breast and ham, pre-packaged with nutrition information at my fingertips. [The reason it's 'bad' – in my opinion – is the high sodium content, but I don't recall him mentioning the dangers of salt.] I haven't switched to organic food, but I also don't recall him suggesting that, either.

The Big Five No-Nos were:
  • Sugar
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Enriched Flour
  • Saturated Fat [Four-Legged Animal Fat]
  • Hydrogenated Oil
I rarely eat foods with these things in them. The interesting thing I learned from watching the show, however, is that eating these foods [I would assume regularly, not occasionally], prevents your body from functioning the way it's supposed to.

My weight-loss struggles have led me to think long and hard about why I've been unsuccessful in the past five years, but have recently experienced some encouraging successes. The only 'plan' I've tried – several times – until this year was Weight Watchers, which allows limitless food choices as long as you stay within your allotted Points total. For many, many people, WW works well. I participated in the message boards there for a long time, and saw that many members were losing weight. But not me. I'd lose some, and then stop, and then start packing it back on again. Over and over.

I was so frustrated I allowed my doctor to prescribe Topamax [a side effect for some people is weight loss] and Xenical. Not at the same time, of course. Neither drug resulted in reduced poundage. We also tried thyroid medication, because I do have some symptoms of thyroid disorder, even though my lab results are normal. [The last one I took caused heart palpitations; that was the end of that. We had hoped the medication would relieve some of my symptoms, thus helping my body metabolise food more efficiently. Didn't work.]

The last time I was successful at losing weight, I stopped eating sugar, white flour and fat. Hel-LO! Read that no-no food list again, and what do you see? Since I've been eating the low-glycemic plan recommended by eDiets, I've stopped eating sugar, white flour and unhealthy fats.

Dr. Oz's five top foods are:
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Leafy Greens
  • Nuts
These are dietary staples around Chez Middle of Nowhere.

The end result is that losing a few pounds has given me more energy to actually move my fat ass, instead of sitting on it most of the day. I'm not breathless when I walk up the stairs or up the last big hill coming back from the post office. If I decide it's time to, say, weed a flower bed, I don't put it off until the spirit moves me. I feel like moving.

Now. [Actually, not rightthisverysecond, because I have to go eat some Shredded Wheat with skim milk and strawberries. But my neighbor will be calling, and I do enjoy walking with her.]

So, soon.


Mar!a said...

I saw part of that show too, and was able to feel very smug about my refrigerator and pantry. Once I got over the smugness, though, I have to admit that I have the time to shop and cook foods like that; it's a lot harder for busier people.

Beth said...

Debbi, and I think I'm lucky since I'm single. Oy, if I had to cook for a hubby or kids who wanted stuff I didn't want to be making, that'd be tough!

Topamax Side Effects said...

My name is Mary Davis and i would like to show you my personal experience with Topamax.

I am 46 years old. Have been on Topamax for 30 days now. I would not take this for migraines. I've tried everything for migraines but this was by far the worst experience I've had with any medication. I'm sticking with my Imitrex injections.

I have experienced some of these side effects -
I had the tingling feeling in my hands and feet. But I also kept having memory issues. Friends kept teasing me and saying I was on Dopamax. I thought it would get better. One day I started having constant seizures and ended up in Neurology ICU for five days. Almost killed me! It wasn't until they had me completely off Topamax that I finally became coherent. I remember nothing while in the hospital ICU. I was totally out of it.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Mary Davis