Diary of a Fat Girl

The Leading Cause of Death in America

Day 54

Weight:  256 lbs.
Cholesterol: 240
Triglycerides:  178

When I created Diary of a Fat Girl, it was for the purpose of a healthier me.  I was to be 100% truthful with myself and with the world about my struggles in weight loss and infertility.  After all, if I cannot face the truth about myself, how was I to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

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 for me to dig myself out of this rut that I had created.  I kept picking myself back up, dusted off my mistakes, and tried exercising or incorporate a few more healthy options to my meals.  But, the backslides were deep and treacherous.  I took more steps backwards then forward, and this left me feeling exhausted; ready to give up.

I have written on many occasions about the dangers of poor food choices, and I thought that I was making good decisions.  However, my conscious kept nagging at me to get my blood work checked.  For months I would push her aside as I ate my meals with my family.  I would justify the unhealthy foods we ate by blaming it on our budget.  But, my conscious kept telling me that heart disease was the number one killer among men and women, and I am 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.  He wasn’t the first classmate to die at such a young age, but the shock of his death had left me wondering about my own life and 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 at me to eat healthier.  She was silenced, and in my heart I knew.

Slowly, the sadness crept in.  I began to weep for my classmate and his family.  I wept for his friends and colleagues.  And, I wept for my nephew and the most amazing coach he has ever had.  Then, I wept for myself and the blind decisions that I had made; those very same decisions that could utterly devastate the ones that 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 instantly satisfy cravings, and I would much rather forego a 20 minute walk so that I can finish reading the next chapter in my book.

Photograph courtesy of Ron Dove
Photograph courtesy of Ron Dove

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 and he tested my blood.  And, the results were astonishing.

I am on the road to heart disease.  My doctor was ready, with script in hand, to prescribe whatever cholesterol medication that I requested.  Instead, I asked him for a dietary change.  I considered that he might have better insight as to what I have been doing wrong all of 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 a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables to the mix.

When my sample menu arrived, it contained much more than I had bargained for.  I discovered that 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 each day to help to reduce my cholesterol levels.

Wow!  This is going to be tough.  I’m hoping that in six weeks I will have better numbers to report.  In the meantime, my heart breaks for my classmate’s family, and I am sending out prayers and virtual hugs to them often.