Monday, July 18, 2011

Weighty Issues...

(that is alternate title to the more pointed- "Big Fat Fatty with Chest Pain")

My health is declining. Fast. It’s ugly. U.G.L.Y. Which reminds me-- my looks are also declining.  My functional range of this body in which I live is greatly limited vs. its previous versions (there have been many previous versions)

About 12 years ago, just after moving back to my “home town”, there was a problem with a BC method and- literally- I’m not kidding here- I gained 50 lbs in about 5-6 weeks. It was shocking. Painful. Suffocating. Literally. I couldn’t lie down without feeling like I was suffocating. I needed to sleep sitting up. Randomly throughout the day or night I’d have sharp searing skin tearing pain- only to look in a mirror and see just that- skin tearing stretch marks appear as I watched.

Although it took 6 months, the imbalance was corrected, but I never completely lost all that extra weight. I was a little on the heavier side before hand but still comfortable in and healthy. I have a degree, two actually, in Health and Fitness and it has been over 10 years and I’ve never completely lost the weight.

During the ‘wait’. Oh. The Wait.  I. Waited. Even though, spiritually I was leaning on God, I knew… I knew… I knew… this was a time of preparation. A time I was supposed to be preparing. God had been whispering to me about my health for a loooonngggg time. It got LOUDER during The Wait.

I waited.

Got rather stationary.

And waited.

Not preparing. Waiting.

Big mistake on many many many many levels. And in so many areas of our lives- not just this one.

In Ethiopia, I lost about 7 pounds in the 13 days we were there. Within the last year, I’ve gained that plus another 10.

When was the last time I’d even BOUGHT a box of pasta before the T Rooney lived here? Now. I buy them in 3 & 4 pound economy packs. Ramen noodles are a staple.  Peanut Butter and Jelly- breakfast food.


After January’s emotional massacre (which I don’t know if I’ve written about here) I ran to my doctor, also a family friend. “Something is wrong with me. Seriously wrong. Check my blood sugar. I’m all over the map and someone is going to get hurt. I’m completely out of control. If it’s not the dog, it’s my son receiving my wrath- and I have a suspicion neither really deserve it. It’s me. Check my blood sugar. I’m a basket case. Perhaps I have diabetes. Or I’m clinically insane.”

Test results: “You are fine. Blood sugar, fine. Thyroid, fine.”

“Crap.”  Than I must just be a crappy shitty person. To treat people (and animals) that I love like this. Do better crazy lady!” I say to myself a 100 times a day.

So I try. And try. And try. I start changing my anxiety meds and taking more of it. It helps some. But… something is still off.

I go back to the doctors.  “Something is wrong with me. Seriously wrong. Check my Hormone Levels this time. I’m all over the map and someone is going to get hurt. I’m completely out of control. If it’s not the dog, it’s my son receiving my wrath- and I have a suspicion neither really deserve it. It’s me. Check my blood sugar. I’m a basket case. Perhaps I'm menopausal. Or I’m clinically insane. In which case you'll need to up my anxiety meds. In fact- we should do that now anyway.”

Three vials of blood.

Results: FINE. YOU ARE FINE. We can schedule you to see the psychiatrist. 

I remember, that I didn’t start getting younger after 39- as I’m often heard saying- that I am, in fact, 41- or 42… no- 41. The women in my family start this crap YOUNG. My mom was Done. DONE at 37. DONE.  But my body is different. Hinky- it has opposite reactions to hormones than most expect. (which is why the complications with earlier stated BC method)

After many years of being trained to listen to my body- I do. I know something is off. And I know what it is.  The rage. The crazy. Out of control. Cravings. Rantings. Weight is climbing again. I listen. I know.

There is no need for further blood. I know the problem. My progesterone is higher than it should be. It is the same exact feeling that I had all those years ago that made me crazy insane. What is the solution? Medically- more hormones. “Not gonna do it.” Too risky.
So- I begin to google cure. What is the answer? Naturally: Reduce sugar and caffeine intake. Keep insulin levels consistent through out the day to help balance all hormones. Reduce weight. (apparently the answer to all prayers- reduce caffeine, sugar & excess weight. of course!)

What? Seriously. Are you Freaking kidding me??!? It’s the only thing getting me through! My giant luscious succulent French Vanilla Iced Coffee with sugar and crème and maybe a little extra sugar just cause it’s sooo good. I can not give that up--- how will I function???.....

Reconsiders medical hormone intervention.

Reconsiders numbers on scale.

Reconsiders energy levels at 3pm.

Reconsiders the random chest pains (don’t freak out pretty sure they are rib muscular.  Although it’s driving me crazy that my brain has lost the word for those muscles in between the ribs- degree- down the tubes.. inter..something… costals? maybe)

Reconsiders the 4 yo who has already lost so much.

Reconsiders that I would like to get married, have a husband, a real partner in this life. (mind you- until my brother can legally marry I can’t imagine doing so either. Love is love is love. – another post another day)

Reconsiders how much I have to take care of “in my own house” before God can bless us more.

Reconsiders the heart disease on both sides of my family.

Reconsiders the belly fat. The breast fat. The images of fatty livers.

Reconsiders the 4 yo who has no one else.

Reconsiders how incredibly uncomfortable it is to be this overweight in hot and humid weather. UGH!

So people. This is me. Coming out to the world- so to speak. I’m a big fat fatty with chest pain. And today I’m calling on you all to nag my behind back healthy.

In my typical boundary blurred manner, I may publish more than you want to read in regards to this journey.  Sorry. So be it. Please stick with me. Encourage me and sometimes kick me when I’m down. If people are counting on me- I’m more likely to stand up and follow through. I know that is not ideal- that I should be focused on what God expects of me- what I expect of me--- but I’m not there yet. I’d like to be. But I’m as Effed up as the next person if not more.  Luckily, I have a support system of ‘friends’ that are tackling this together. Accountability.  This time next week- I’d best be reporting good numbers and how the week went. Wish us all luck- but support us too.

Peace out- Big fat fatty on a mission.

ps- I want to Thank and encourage the Courageous Bridget.   Please go and do so to. Her courage is inspiring.



The Lost Planetista said...

You can do it- you can get healthy. I know you can. I'll hold you to it! :)

scooping it up said...

You can do this! You are in charge of everything that goes into your mouth. (I am trying to get out of a phase where I do not feel in control very much.)

Kate Moss got a lot of perhaps well-deserved flack for her comment once that "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." But I think in some ways, she's right, though skinny should be replaced by the word "healthy." When we are in control, when we feel good about ourselves, that is better than any taste. Self medicating with sugar is actually poisoning ourselves. I am guilty all the time of the old adage "I deserve this cookie" or "today's been so hard I need this." And then I put something in my body that is only gonna make me feel worse.

Here is to finding yourself again. I support you. More fruit. More veggies. More protein. Lots more water. Less Ramen and less sugar. (chanting to myself too...)

Anne said...

What a great and brave post!
I too am a fatty fatty but posting it here in your comments is as brave as I'm going to get.
I too am going to try to start making a change starting today! Thank you for the inspiration! We CAN do it!

Liz said...

First of all, it took me most of this post to figure out what BC was short for...

Second, you can do it! We can all do it, together! Looking forward to reading some success stories soon!

Bridget said...

Oh, Shannon! I'm SO proud of you!!! You go GIRL! You rock!! Taking the first step is half the battle. And soon pounds will start peeling away and THAT will be wonderful motivation, too! One week in and I already feel SO much better! :) Proud of you!!

Melissa said...

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I've never been slim or particularly fit (although I do try my best to eat healthily and walk regularly), but the wait (I am nearing 8 months) has started to gnaw at me . . . and I have started to gnaw at the cookies . . . and chips . . . and . . .

I've got to be healthy if I am going to be a single mom. I am jumping on this bandwagon too!

S said...

If you can do single motherhood (which I think is the hardest job in the world) you can lose whatever weight you want to. I firmly believe that. And you should too. Here's to no more chest pains-and a smaller bra!

And that Bridget, she's alright :)

Annie said...

Haha, sorry I laughed out loud at Liz's comment. I too gained lots of weight - in nursing school no less. I have been really really thinking about starting to run. Your post has got me thinking about it some more. You can do it. We can do it. I'm proud of you for writing this post. You said it. It's not only for you. But for T-man too! You go girl!

Barbaloot said...

Dang this is close to home!! I'd be wincing if I weren't so well padded. It's bloody hard when other forms of self comforting are so hard to come by. I can find two minutes to eat a candy bar, but an hour to walk at a reasonable adult pace feels completely impossible, although it is clear which one is going to do me more good. I'm on this road with you, I just wish I knew which way to go!

Anonymous said...

This post is so raw, honest, and friggin inspirational! Yes, we can all totally do this! We can. I'm with you.

Sara said...


What a brave post! You have been so determined in being a great mom, that you can do this too. I see from your next post that you have already started. Way to go! I know it's so easy to slip into certain eating habits with kids (since I'm finding myself doing too). We can teach them to eat healthy while we try to keep to healthy eating habits (at least to some degree. Bereket is becoming picker recently, so I need to get her back on track). Summer is a good time to start. We all need comfort foods for the stressful times... what are some healthy comfort foods?

Sara said...

I just wrote a long comment and it didn't get published, because of course I did something wrong. Anyways, this is such a brave post! You have been so determined in being a great mom that you can do this to. And I see from your next post that you've already started. Way to go! It's so hard keeping to a healthy diet and lifestyle with kids. I haven't gotten any exercise since Bereket came home and I need to start.. We can do these things.. I know we can.

Claudia said...

You can you can you CAN!!!!!

Ted and Lori said...

Hear, hear, you can do it. And three things I have found that help me keep my weight down: 1. a liter of green tea every day (at least). It has l-theanine in it, which helps with anxiety so it helps me sleep.
2. Kefir. It has tons of protein to make you feel full plus is full of good bacteria for your innards.
3. Comfort food tip: popcorn popped on the stove in olive oil. Then add salt and nutritional yeast. NY helps your body absorb vitamins and popcorn in a whole grain.

Shannon- said...

Thanks everyone! You rock. Hope I don't let you down!