When I created Diary of a Fat Girl, it was for a healthier me. I was to be 100% truthful with myself and the world about my weight loss and infertility struggles. After all, how was I to maintain a healthy lifestyle if I could not face the truth about myself?
Yes, it is true that I have slipped. When I lost my motivation for diet and exercise, I lost my sense of purpose. It was much harder to dig myself out of this rut I had created. I kept picking myself back up, dusted off my mistakes, and tried exercising or incorporating a few more healthy options into my meals. But, the backslides were deep and treacherous. I took more steps backward than forward, which left me feeling exhausted and ready to give up.
I have written many times about the dangers of poor food choices and thought I was making good decisions. However, my conscience kept nagging me to check my blood work. For months I would push her aside as I ate my meals with my family. I would justify the unhealthy foods we eat by blaming them on our budget. But, my conscious kept telling me that heart disease was the number one killer among men and women, and I was at high risk with my PCOS diagnosis.
Then, I had a wake-up call. A classmate of mine, and my nephew’s coach and mentor, died suddenly. He was well-loved in the community and too young to leave this world. Of course, he wasn’t the first classmate to die at such a young age, but the shock of his death left me wondering about my own life and the poor choices I have made.
When I heard the news, that voice in my head didn’t yell at me or chant the “I told you so” song. I no longer heard her nagging me to eat healthier. Instead, she was silent, and in my heart, I knew.
Slowly, the sadness crept in. I began to weep for my classmate and his family. I cried for his friends and colleagues. And I wept for my nephew and the most fantastic coach he has ever had. Then, I wept for myself and the blind decisions I had made, those very same decisions that could utterly devastate the ones I love.
I wondered how I could allow myself to make poor choices. My answer? I am selfish.
I am in constant pleasure-seeking mode. I look to satisfy cravings instantly, and I would much rather forego a 20-minute walk to finish reading the next chapter in my book.
It was time to stop thinking about me and start thinking about how my decisions were directly affecting those around me. So, on the day of the funeral, I saw my doctor, who tested my blood. The results were astonishing.
I am on the road to heart disease. With a script in hand, my doctor was ready to prescribe whatever cholesterol medication I requested. But instead, I asked him for a dietary change. I considered that he might have better insight into what I have been doing wrong all these years.
While waiting for my sample menu to arrive in the mail, I decided to get a head start. I visited SparkPeople.com and got a few tips. Then, I purchased low-fat cheese and 2% milk. I continued to avoid products that contained trans fat (partially hydrogenated oils). I even picked up oatmeal and a box of Cheerios. I began purchasing only 100% whole grain bread while adding many fresh fruits and vegetables.
My sample menu contained much more than I had bargained for when it arrived. I discovered I was on the right track but needed to make a few more adjustments. I was to add fish to my diet at least twice a week, consume only egg whites, and have a glass of wine with dinner daily to help reduce my cholesterol levels.
Wow! This is going to be tough. I hope to have better numbers to report in six weeks. In the meantime, my heart breaks for my classmate’s family, and I often send out prayers and virtual hugs.