It only matters what works for you.

Archive for February, 2012

Between fear and expectation

Many women, especially fat women, fear the gym.

When I was young, I was one of them. I think we must spend every minute of our teens and at least 80% of our 20s worried about what other people are thinking about us. I think the most important advice I can ever give to young people from my lofty mid-40s is that the sooner your stop caring what other people think about you, the happier you’ll be.

Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

That is a great truth. But back to the gym. Where I was this morning. Many people avoid it because they are afraid of meat markets. There must be plenty of them, they’re talked about a lot. Maybe I’ve just been very fortunate to never encounter one?

Or maybe because I no longer care, so I don’t notice, its hard to say. I used to work out at a private gym in a swank country club. I was mostly the only fat person. But I was never treated badly. I was there, I was working out, I was a regular, so I was in. That’s all it took.

I’m now in a new facility. Its a local rec center with a great pool. Today I was overwhelmingly welcomed by the ladies in the locker room all dressing after their water aerobics class. “Come join us!” “Its a great class!” “L. is a wonderful teacher!” No shunning there, all welcome.

It makes me wonder how much of the shunning reported by people is expectation rather than experience? I’m sure there must be some. There are ugly people everywhere. But is it really pervasive?

All this has made me think about my upcoming interview with my new doctor. I worry and fret about it a lot. And I’ve definitely had first hand bad experiences. The thing is, if I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t care about random comments, or the possibility of mocking at the gym, or really listening to a lot of people with silly theories, why am I letting this pending appointment bother me so much. It might be great. If its horrible, its about an hour of time for gathering data and I never have to go back. If its horrible, its about the doctor, not me. I’m the same me before and after.

I really need to focus on not letting my expectations upset me before the fact.

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Emergency duct tape.

Having said straight out that I’m not going to focus on losing weight and that I don’t think dieting is the solution, I’d just like to be forthright and announce my hypocrisy.

Yes, I’m on a diet.

About a week ago I developed severe edema in my legs that isn’t going away using any of my normal methods. This is a problem that I used to have before my last major weight loss. I’m not sure what caused it, but I am quite certain that it is a warning sign  that I gained a lot more weight over my move and recovery than I thought. It was very much a slap in the face and requires a drastic solution to fix unless I want to go back to the doctor and get on lasix and other drugs, which I absolutely don’t.

My diet of choice is HCG. I did one round of this based on medical advice from my wonderful integrative physician in Colorado before I moved. It didn’t go very well because my adrenals were still in horrible shape. I originally planned to do 6 weeks but only did 3 since it wasn’t going well, and then we moved again so I threw the follow up portions out the window. I did find that I wasn’t particularly hungry as I am on other strict diets and it works well for me as there are very few choices. I modify it just a bit because I’m allergic to the recommended fruits so instead of apples and strawberries I use oranges and blueberries and rice crackers instead of the breadsticks. I’m hoping it will go well.

I have an online friend who, like me, has been on every known diet over the years and has been unsuccessful in making the kind of progress that her efforts should show. HCG is the first time in a long time that she’s seeing results for her effort. That encourages me.

The advantage of this is that it is very strict for a short period of time, moderately strict for another short period of time, and then it is recommended that you take a break for a few weeks. Really, you can do anything for 3 weeks at a time. If nothing else, it should help me get back into sensible habits. At best it is something I can do in rounds.

I’m still much more interested in what is wrong with my body.  I’m still not interested in watching every mouthful of food I eat for the rest of my life. I still think everything that I’ve already posted here.

But sometimes a leak requires duct tape while you figure out how to truly fix the problem, so I guess that’s where I am this week. Short term emergency fix.

…it seems to me that we can either pay the farmer, or we can pay the hospital.

There was an independently organized TED event specifically for the ‘next generation. The title today was from an excellent presentation by an 11 year old who draws that conclusion when told that organic is too expensive. He’s a passionate kid with a solid message, well worth your 5:22 minutes.

I particularly like this quote:

I also used to think that all of our food came from these happy, little farms where pigs rolled in mud and cows grazed on grass all day. What I discovered was this is not true. I began to look into this stuff on the Internet, in books and in documentary films, in my travels with my family. I discovered the dark side of the industrialized food system.

He looked the ugly side of agribusiness in the face and made some good choices and is very articulate about sharing his findings.

It seems he’s taught his 6 year old cousin that he shouldn’t eat ‘sparkly’ cereal.

An excellent early lesson in nutrition.

Technicians and Artists

A tale of 2 Chiropractors.

I’ve seen chiros on and off for several years. I’m not sure that everything and anything can be solved with chiropractic, but it does an excellent job of keeping your spine and joints properly aligned so you can move as you should.

After moving twice in 5 months you can imagine that I was somewhat out of alignment, to say the least. I hurt everywhere. The first health care professional I sought out after settling in was a new chiropractor. I got a recommendation from someone in my husband’s office. Even covered by my insurance. Jackpot.

He was the jackpot. He is an artist. He has the ‘gift’.

We all know people who have the gift for something. They may not be as technically proficient (although this doctor is) but they get it. They move more beautifully, sing more soulfully, understand the issue without explanation, or fix that weird rattle your car has made for years that no one else could figure out.

My new chiropractor solved my moving related problems over a few short weeks, and then started fixing some issues I had before I even moved. It was wonderful.

Was. Did you see that little word sneak in?

The company changed our insurance. Its still excellent as insurance goes and I’m still grateful to have it, but my amazing chiropractor is no longer covered, and the budget says I really need to get most of my care through the insurance.

Ok. He’s far from the only chiropractor here. There must be someone else who will be fine.

I interviewed someone else yesterday. wince. not good. This guy is a technician. He has a nifty little machine that runs sensors over your spine and tells him where things are messed up. He asked some very basic questions and seemed frustrated at my attempt to explain in detail. (Me, talk too much? How could you say that?) Then he adjusted my neck, hurt my wrists and said my knee issue was soft tissue and he couldn’t help me with it. And sent me on my way. Today things are more sore than when I went in.

A bit of a shock to my system. I feel like I’d gotten used to eating at the local home grown organic family run restaurant and then suddenly stopped at Boston Market. Fine for what it is I guess, but its not all that and its not at all the same thing.

It made me realize how many of the physicians I’ve had bad experiences with in the past have been  technicians rather than artists. Its all check boxes and equations but not enough ‘how are you really feeling’.

The horrible thing is, most of the artists seem to be opting out of the insurance system because the rules just don’t let them do what needs to be done for actual healing.

I wonder how things worked before the bean counters and the technicians made health care a for-profit volume business? Any stories?

Where is the problem?

I’ve been thinking about dieting again. Something I expect I have in common with most of the women in my country. Its a documented national problem.

I think dieting is like fixing a leaky pipe with duct tape. Does it work? Of course it does. For a while, in most cases, and up to a point. Eventually the tape will wear, or the sticky will give out, or the water pressure will be too high, and the leak will come back.

The only reasonable way for a long term fix is to repair or replace the pipe.

Society has told us that our fat is the pipe, and dieting is a fix. If we just spend an hour every day working out and measure every mouthful of food we eat forever, there’s a reasonable chance that you can keep off the weight you take off.

If it has to be tended that carefully, I’m inclined to believe that it’s a patch, not a fix.

What if, instead, we realize that fat is the leak in the pipe. It isn’t the leak that’s broken. It works as a perfectly good leak after all. It’s the pipe that has the problem.

My goal is to figure out where the pipes are broken and why.

It’s much easier with pipes.

When they test your TSH (the current completely idiotic gold standard test for thyroid) what they are actually testing is your pituitary having a response to your thyroid. Only your T4 and T3 levels say anything about what the thyroid is actually doing. When they test only your T4, that only tests how much your thyroid is producing, not if your body is actually doing anything useful with those hormones. When the test your reverse T3, that tells us what my body has been doing with the T4 it produces, but not WHY, or where the system failure.

Its taken me years and research and going outside the medical system to learn that much.

I guess my next blog may need to be a rant about how we’re supposed to have the best medical system in the world, yet I have to do my own research and circumvent the system and fight for more than 20 years to start improving  my health at a basic level.