Saturday, August 28, 2010

Couch to 5K - Week 1

Yesterday The Wife, The Kid and I finished up week one of the Couch to 5K running program.

In a word, I suck at running.

Now I'm certainly doing it, but being so old, fat, and out of shape, I probably run more slowly than a fit person could walk. I know it's completely pathetic, but I'm at least doing it, even though I feel incredibly self-conscious.

Every time a car passes me while I'm running down the street, I hold my breath. I'm waiting for the driver to roll down his window and to shout something like "Fatty!" at me.

So far, it hasn't happened, but I'm afraid it will. Last week, before we officially started Couch to 5K, I decided to run down a hill. A couple of young guys were getting into their car. As they did so, they burst out laughing.

"Are they laughing at me?" I wondered. I tried not to feel bad and I tried not to think about it.

I hate having to exercise in public, even though we are doing it in the early morning hours, when there aren't a lot of people around. I feel like everyone is staring at me, the big overweight blob that's lumping down the sidewalk.

At least this is better than exercising at a gym, where everyone except me has a slim and perfect body.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dieting Makes Me Anti-Social

This weekend, The Wife and I are going to be getting together with a former co-worker. He recently got in touch with us after probably six years of no contact, so we invited him up for a visit.

Although I will be glad to see him, there's a part of my that doesn't want to visit.

Part of me doesn't want to see him because I'm embarrassed to let someone I've lost touch with see just how enormously obese I've become. Part of me doesn't want to see him because his visit will include eating, and even though I'm perpetually on a diet, I always feel like I am being judged by what goes into my mouth.

An old high school buddy recently found me online, and I've been reluctant to visit with her for the same reason.

Last night, my father called and wanted to go out for hamburgers. I split a cheeseburger with The Kid, and still felt like a fat pig. Even though I had half a burger, two onion rings and maybe five french fries, I still felt disgusting. I had counted calories, and I was well within my limits for the day, but I felt gross.

The cheeseburger, by the way, was delicious. I just felt like I should go walk on the treadmill for two hours to make up for it.

So every time someone says, "let's go out for coffee" or "let's go out to eat," I just want to run away, find a hole and die.

It's not that I don't like hanging out with people. It's just that being on a diet (again) makes me even more self-conscious about my weight. Being on a diet makes me feel anti-social, even though I like people and I like having friends.

Dreading the Doctor

Right now, I'm not actually seeing a doctor, but instead a nurse practitioner, but I thought "Dreading the Doctor" was a much better title for today's post.

Tomorrow, I'm supposed to call my NP to let her know how I am doing with respect my thyroid medications.

I am really starting to despise these weekly calls because every week the call goes the same way. I say I still feel tired, beg for an increase in dosage, explain why I think it's necessary, listen to the NP's concerns about why she thinks the dose shouldn't be increased, counter her concerns, get another script for a week's worth of medication and go to the pharmacy to pick it up.

I am tired of having these weekly conversations where I have to explain myself. My NP works for me, not the other way around. Instead of coming across like a helping professional, I'm starting to feel like my NP is a gatekeeper.

No, that's not right. She doesn't feel like a gatekeeper. She feels like my drug dealer. Every week, when I'm out of dope, I have to go crawling back to beg for more.

I hate this feeling. I hate it almost as bad as being completely exhausted and not being able to lose weight.

It's not the greatest feeling to know that I've being diagnosed with a chronic metabolic problem for which I will require medication for the rest of my life. It's even worse to have to deal with medical providers who make me feel like I have to beg for medication that I should just be able to go buy. The medical professionals should listen to me, because I have to live in my own body, not make me beg for something that I know I need.

But tomorrow, I'll suck it up and beg anyway.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Where the Hell Have You Been?

Yeah, I've been AWOL since February.


I got really, really, really frustrated. I've been dieting off and on for most of my adult life, and I've been intermittently blogging on this topic since 2007. My weight has been up and down, with a low that still gave me a BMI over 40.

I've lost weight, but only if I practically starved myself. I did Cambridge Diet shakes, I've tried intermittent fasting. None of it was really bringing the weight down like I thought it should, especially considering how little I was eating.

Around January of this year, we got a Wii, and I faithfully started working out every day. I started doing 30 minutes a day, then an hour, then 90 minutes. After three months, some days I was up to doing two hours of step aerobics a day. No, I wasn't doing all two hours at a single sitting -- I broke it up into three 40-minute stretches.

But guess what? Even after all that, my weight really didn't come down all that much. After a month of really making a concerted effort at weight loss, I'd only lost three pounds. My lack of amazing progress continued, despite my good efforts, until the end of March, and then I just gave up.

Fuck it, I thought. If I was going to work that hard and eat that little and see nothing for results, I might as well give up.

And so I did. I felt like crap and I looked like crap, but I just ate what I wanted and really didn't put on that much weight. By that point, my weight was hovering pretty close to the weight I was back when I started in 2007.

I figured I just had a crappy metabolism, and way too much stress on my plate. The Kid had been acting out in some pretty horrible, terrible ways and my stress levels were sky high. I wasn't sleeping well, I'd wake up in the middle of the night feeling as if someone had turned on the adrenaline valves.

So when I went in for my annual physical back in July, I complained to my nurse practitioner that I wasn't feeling well. I was tired, I was cold, I was trying to lose weight and the weight wasn't coming off, and I'd even gained weight during times when I was really limiting calories and increasing exercise.

She looked at my chart and noticed that my thyroid values (which had been taken a year before by another doctor) indicated that I was hypothyroid. She checked my chart, and we discovered that labs taken as early as 2006 were also hypothyroid.

I have been needlessly suffering for at least four years, and probably longer.

The nurse practitioner ordered new lab work, and once we got the results, she started me on thyroid medication.

And I feel better. I don't think my dosage is quite right yet because I still feel tired. Granted, I'm not exhausted to the point of paralysis like I was, and I've got the energy to exercise without feeling completely dead afterward.

This week, I even started the couch to 5k program. The Wife, The Kid and I have gone running twice this week.

So yeah, I'm still old, grossly overweight and out of shape, but I'm giving it a try.

And since I started the thyroid medication a month ago, I've lost a bit more than 20 lbs.

I'm embarrassed to admit how much I weigh right now, though. I'll update my sidebar when I'm less disgusted with myself.

But that's why I haven't blogged.

And now I'm back.