Assumptions: Why they’re usually never good.

This week, I saw my amazing friend Alan at Sweating Until Happy post this on his Facebook page:

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Do you know Alan? You should! He’s lost over 140 pounds, and is doing a triathalon soon! He’s an awesome athlete. It’s ironic that Alan posted this this week because I’ve also had several innocent assumptions this week come at me in the wrong way. I had a doctor’s appointment with a new practitioner, and after discussing my weight loss goals, he looked at me quizzically and said, “But do you exercise?” It was really hard for me not to pull out the sassy-snarky-sarcastic card that I play so well and be like “Nope. Not at all. In fact, I only move about 12 feet total each day, when I wake up in my bedroom and commute down the hall to my office for work.” However, my face probably showed some irritation as I patiently explained that yes, I hike, I do yoga, I run on the treadmill, I walk, I zumba… I am active. I know that it’s his job as a doctor to make sure I’m getting some physical activity, but I more resent the idea that just because I’m heavy, it’s assumed that I must not move. In the past, I’ve actually whipped out a business card for this blog at doctor’s appointments, just so I don’t have to explain the whole history of my ridiculous weight loss/gain/medical maladies. I may do that next week when I meet with a new endocrinologist… or maybe I’ll just get a t-shirt made that says “YES. I exercise at least three times a week for at least 30 minutes. YES, I am still obese.” (but I’d probably add a smiley face to the end of it, cuz that’s how I roll.) πŸ™‚ (This same doctor told me to lose 100 pounds. I actually did laugh (politely) in his face and said “Yeah, not gonna happen. I’m cool with just 55 more.”
(Underachiever? Nah. Realist? Yah.))

Big girls climb mountains!

Big girls climb mountains!

Then, as if once this week wasn’t enough, I also tried a new fitness class at a new studio. While this comment wasn’t so direct, I got more of the “Oh, have you ever done this before? Is this your first time trying it?” all the while being corrected about the moves. Innocent questions, but perhaps because I’m already sensitive about the whole weight/exercise thing, I felt a tad annoyed as I explained that I’d done this particular type of exercise several times for several years, but that I just like to try different classes. These things come up all the time for all kinds of different people. I know that my single friends hate how people always assume they’re lonely or unhappy. There are a million different assumptions we make about people at any given time, and that’s fine, because it’s human nature. But maybe if you’re going to assume something, pause for a moment before verbalizing. I have to work on this too. As a chronic sufferer of foot in mouth disease, I definitely have said things I shouldn’t have, or made assumptions, or reinforced stereotypes… and I’m workin’ on it. And that’s fine. We will never be perfect at never offending anyone or hurting feelings. But, we can work on an awareness, a type of “sympatico” that you gently roll around in your mind, reminding you that next time you want to blurt out something like “Good for you!” to the heavy person huffing and puffing around the block, they may not need those kudos. AND, those words of encouragement? Might actually be kind of a downer for the person on the receiving end. While the intentions are good, of course, remember what Alan said. You never know where someone is at in their journey.

Where have you experienced an assumption that didn’t quite jive with you? I know it happens with career types (like assuming because I’m a social media manager, I update my Facebook and watch YouTube videos all day), body types, ethnicities, hair color… you name it! I guess any trait could create an unwanted assumption, couldn’t it? πŸ™‚

 

Monthly Weigh In Results

Hi everybody, sorry it’s been kind of quiet around here! September is for some reason ALWAYS nutty for me with work and life stuff and I end up choosing sleep over the DCD. (BLASPHEMY! But you know, there’s all that research that sleep helps with obesity so really, I’m just being proactive about weight loss… riiiight.)

This Friday was a pretty big deal for me, because it was a four week check in after starting the low dose of Synthroid to jumpstart my thyroid, and going back on Metformin, to help with the insulin-resistance from PCOS. I had MAJOR anxiety about stepping on the scale. It was a stressful week at work, and the night before the appointment, I found myself hedging to my husband, rationalizing that I should cancel because my blood pressure would be high from stress. As if that’s a good reason, right? Thankfully, he helped me see the light, as he so often does, and I bit my tongue and told myself I just needed to face the music and wear my big girl panties. It wasn’t even necessarily that I rationally thought I would gain; in fact, I knew my eating and exercise habits were enough to contribute to a loss. However, my body has played me before and I was so afraid all the effort would do what it usually does; backfire and send me into a constant state of “Why bother?”

I went to the doctor first thing in the morning and requested that I be weighed after I got my blood pressure taken. I warned the nurse that my BP would be high, I was nervous, after all. Blood pressure was fine, but my pulse was definitely all over the place and jumpy, a sure sign that I reaaaally was dreading stepping on that scale. It’s kind of pathetic that a weigh-in makes me feel like I need a cocktail. “Why are you so nervous?” the nurse asked, and I replied, “Because last time I stepped on that thing I left crying.” The nurse took pity on my ridiculous fears and laughed, and with a deep breath, I faced the music and stood on the scale, holding my breath as if that very action would magically suck 10-15 pounds away. As I stepped off, the nurse motioned for me to go into the room, withholding the information. “OHHH NOOOOO,” I thought, I must have gained. Because I’m nosy and I needed to know after enduring such torture, I asked, “What is it?” When she told me the numbers I did a mental recalculation, jumped for joy, and then confirmed that I was DOWN SIX POUNDS!

Six pounds is a lot for me. Six pounds is the size of a small, full-term baby. Six pounds is the size of several delicious spaghetti squash. Six pounds is two three-pound weights, a heck of a lot of hamburger meat, and more than half a sack of russet potatoes. I was so excited that I snapped this pic and immediately posted it on instagram, and as my pal Alyssa A. said, you can tell how happy I am. RESULTS. It is wonderful to see RESULTS from your hard work.

Six pounds success!

Six pounds success!

I think there are several things contributing to this success this month: 1) eating a low carb diet, averaging 100-120 carbohydrate grams per day, 2) the addition of synthroid and metformin 3) not weighing myself for a whole month, thus defeating the “Well, I’ve gained so I might as well eat” cycle, 4) Being crazy busy (not ideal as I’m not eating as often as I should be) and 5) Exercising and being active.

I plan to keep up four out of five of those habits. I’ll happily tone down number four, because self-care is important when you’re busy and stressed, so I need to focus on eating right, sleeping well and exercising. In fact, I think I’ll go take a walk, right now. So there you have it. A month after not stepping on the scale, I faced a fear and found a fantastic, positive, optimistic result. At the very best I was hoping to see two pounds lost, and my expectations were tripled. Thank you body. Thank you self. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (And thank YOU for reading.)

Can you relate to ever having crazy anxiety about something as simple as stepping on a scale? What is or was it?

 

 

Medical Mysteries – A peek into my “What If?” life

Hello Friends:

At this time tomorrow, I will not be enjoying air-popped popcorn as I am now…rather, I will be bitchy and wanting to smack someone savoring the feeling of hunger as I fast in preparation for an early morning blood test. You see, I have a host of small but benign medical issues – environmental allergies, occasional stupid anxiety, weird skin sensitivities that flare up at random times, toe nail issues. I was at the doctor this week for a physical, and when questioning my diet and exercise plans, he started to ask me some small, seemingly non-threatning questions.

“Do you smoke?”

“No.”

“Do you ever get cold hands or feet?”

“Yep, why?”

“Do you get shaky if you don’t eat?”

“Yeah, why?”

“How about tension headaches?”

“Yes, why?”

Pause.

“I don’t want to worry you, but we’re going to order a thryoid, diabetes and lipids test. You never know what’s going on, and sometimes all of these small symptoms can be the cause of something easily treatable,” said Doctor.

LYSSA BRAIN – GO!!!! *Image of me lying on a hospital gurney, gaunt, bags under my eyes, holding hands with my loved ones, saying something hopefully poetic and meaningful in my last moments of life.*

“Either condition wouldn’t be a big deal, and it could be totally treatable. We’re going to check just to be safe and rule out any underlying triggers,” said Doctor.

At this point in my mind I’ve already been diagnosed with diabetes, high cholesterol, hyperthyroidism , and, apparently, some form of cancer that just cropped up from hearing about possibly having an easily treatable, un-fatal ailment. Yup. That’s how my brain works. It aint ideal, but it’s kinda funny. I’m the Queen of “What If” – a position I hope to step down from soon, thanks to clever books with weird titles like “Things might go terribly, horribly wrong”.

So this is all strange, because of course I don’t want either thyroid issues or diabetes, but it brought up an interesting question. WHAT IF all of these (see? there I go) random little ailments were part of one larger issue? Would that be better than having all these medical ankle-biters? Β It’d be cool to be liberated from random headaches and grass-induced hives and the occasional storms of anxiety that sweep through me like electricity – but it wouldn’t be cool to know I had a jacked-up thyroid or an inability to process insulin and sugar. (He’s less concerned about diabetes as I recently had a test for that and was fine – and yes, I spazzed out before that test, too.)

I’m trying not to get all worked up, because as talented as I am at spazzing, I need to learn to let that hobby go. I’ll head in Friday morning and probably have results on Monday, so in the meantime, I’ll cross my fingers that my blood is balanced and happy and red. As Dexter says, “Blood says so much”.

Have you ever been faced with a medical mystery? Are you the type of person who goes immediately to a doctor at the first sign of something wrong, or do you wait it out and see? If facing a potentially alarming diagnosis, do you suffer from “What If”-itis?