Tuesday, July 2, 2013

FIT N FAT Part 2

NOTE: I am just a lay person struggling. These things I am writing about are my experiences only and the things my doctor told me. Granted she is a Diabetes, Metabolism & Endocrinology specialist who was extremely hard to get an appointment with. For me she was knowledgeable and I believed the things she told me. Take this blog how you like.

In part one of FIT N FAT I focused on my story to date and exercise and things I have done on my journey.  This post is on things the specialist told me regarding metabolism, weight, and people's battles.  Below are the key points I gleaned from that visit. I am writing this because almost all the things she told me I all ready knew or do. It has sent me in the wrong direction for a period of depression and not eating healthy. I am writing this as therapy to get me back on track and trying to find something positive out of this event in my life.

1. What you eat - You really are what you eat. How you choose your calories really does make a big difference. Two years ago I revamped what I eat. I rarely eat out. Eating out contains a LOT of hidden calories and so much sodium you could kill a cow! If you do eat out I would recommend at a minimum looking for restaurants that post stats on their foods and read those stats before you eat. Plan ahead!  Prepared foods. This one is harder for me as when you work full time and have a family that is hungry IMMEDIATELY upon arrival home, you have to rely somewhat on prepared foods. I try to limit this but for my life it is impossible. Rather I focus on limiting the prepared foods as much as I can. The crock pot is my friend. Using a crock pot you can use unprocessed foods to make wholesome meals that are ready when you get home.  The other thing you can do is prepare the food for your next nights meal the night before. Some people prepare all week's food on Sundays. Whatever works for you to stay away from processed foods. I also do a lot of gardening and canning of my foods so I know where my food came from and what is in it.  If you don't garden, visit the local farmers market. VERY worth it. Just ask my kids, I am a huge vegetable pusher. They groan ALL the time but are learning to eat vegetables!!!  Having said all this about number 1, I have not lost weight with my better eating plan. Keep reading for more on that.  To prove to the doctor I was doing what I said above, I pulled out a calorie count report showing my foods from two months on what I ate. I think she realized I was serious in this appointment as she took a very long time during my appointment and was very patient with my questions.

2. Medical reason - As most doctors will do if you visit them, my doctor wanted to rule out a medical condition for my weight problem.  They will do blood tests based on your symptoms and what your doctor wants to check.  My doctor did these tests and my tests were normal.  On a side note, I have a joke with my husband. I tell him all the time "healthy as a horse".  It drives him crazy as he sees what I go through, how much I eat, and how much I exercise. He is one of two people that strong-armed me into even going to the specialist in the first place.  If you do have a medical problem by all means follow doctor's orders and get on the medicine they prescribe. There are a lot of web sites on various medications, the first medicine may not be the best one for you. Be active in your care! Research and ask your doctor questions. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself. This is hard for a lot of people.  I do not like doctors so this is very hard for me but I am learning. I am thankful that I do not have a medical condition. There is so much to say about being healthy!

3. Metabolism - Refers to all the physical and chemical processes in the body that convert or use energy, such as: breathing, circulating blood, controlling body temperature, contracting muscles, digesting food and nutrients, eliminating waste through urine and feces, and functioning of the brain and nerves. That sure seems very technical. In more my terms, it is how you burn the food you eat. Any extra food you eat and don't burn from living your life turns to F-A-T.  There have been so many studies done on metabolism but it is still not understood completely nor can you alter the metabolism you have been given.  There are basically 2 types of people - the fidgety people and the non fidgety people. You don't have a choice which group you are in. Either you are or you aren't.  Fidgety people unconsciously move more when they eat more where the non people do not. You may notice these people at work or out and about. They jiggle their legs, stand up and walk around when on the phone, or do other tics that naturally burn more calories.  There is no magic pill you can take to speed up your metabolism even though many companies claim to be able to do so.

4. How you process the food you eat.  This ties in with metabolism to some degree. It is the ability to extract calories from food. Some people are naturally experts at extracting every single calorie from the food they eat. Other people are not good at pulling calories out of food and much of the nutrients pass right through the body never being absorbed. The body never gets a chance to turn the food eaten into energy or fat. I happen to think I EXCEL in pulling nutrients and calories out of food. Again, you do not have a say in which bucket you fall into. You have to deal with which ever hand you were dealt.  In the old times some folks referred to these kind of people as food keepers. You were good at keeping the food you ate. I ask myself every day why I have to be so good at this one. I would love to be a food waster!!!!

5. Cortisol. This is a steroid hormone your body produces by the adrenal gland. When you do not get enough sleep or are stressed for a long period of time, the levels in your body raise and cause other problems. I have slept so poorly for so many years, I do not even know what a good nights sleep is.  Doc thinks this could be contributing to my problems. I am scheduled for a sleep study to help determine why in fact I am not getting a good nights rest. I have always attributed my lack of sleep to me being such a light sleeper. I guess if anything comes of the sleep study I will be writing a Part 3. It also talked about stress in my research. Let's just say I have had nothing but stress for many many years which also contributes to this issue.

Notice in this blog any reference to exercising is missing. The doctor did mention that but when I told her what I do she quickly moved on and didn't mention that again!!! :-)  If you don't exercise, please do make exercise a daily part of your life. It will make you feel better mentally and physically! Please refer back to  FIT N FAT part 1 for exercising.

To close, I really do not have any good answers to why I am fat. We (myself and the doctors) have theories and clues as to what contributes to me being larger than other people but that is all it is - clues. Next what can I do to remedy the situation? Do what I am doing and accept the fact I will not look like I want to look. I do not like that answer but then again I need to find a way to make peace with myself.  Making peace with how I look is a journey in and of itself.  America is a horrible place to be fat. Discrimination occurs all the time. You are shunned and made fun of by those more fortunate on the scales.  There are laws to protect you from abuse and discrimination for almost every area of your life except weight. It is the last big hurdle.  I hope this type of discrimination falls in my life time. It would be good to see it go.

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