And So We Continue Our Lifestyle Changes

Friday, April 18, 2014

About a year ago, my husband joined the YMCA and in addition to being a labourer by day, playing on 3 hockey teams in the fall and winter, and 1 team in the spring and summer, as well as 1 baseball team in the summer, he started working out for an hour about 4-5 times a week. Several months ago, I too joined the YMCA. I had done Aquafit classes for about a year and a half a couple of years ago and missed it. I wanted more than 45 mins a couple times a week though, so I started doing my own program. I progressed from about 45 mins 3-4 times a week to 60 mins. aquafit exercise plus 30 mins water jogging every Tues., Thurs., Sat., and Sun., I am able. I now have health limitations that get in the way from time-to-time (Congestive Heart Failure Stage 4, Dilated Cardiomyopathy with 24% heart function, Crohn's Disease, Type II Diabetes, Sleep Apnea, and the list goes on.) Before my 2nd marriage, I was a single Mom for 21 years, did my own shovelling, gardening, decorating, cleaning, etc. We both work in my 13 perennial gardens, do our own cleaning and decorating, I have a pedalling machine I like to use, and he shovels tons and tons of snow in the Winter. We both enjoy the Y but I can truthfully say we have never lost weight or appear to have toned up from the exercise either at the Y or at home - we feel better but don't look any better. I have lost hundreds of pounds in my lifetime - and gained it all back plus more - I'm sure a lot of you can relate to that! My DH too has tried "dieting" as well without long term success. We heard from friends the dramatic weight losses they were experiencing - some of them already with a year without gaining it back.

They were on a 42-day diet from a health clinic here in Peterborough. There was a 3 week follow-up period as well. If you wanted to lose more weight, you had to wait for a number of months before starting again. We decided to give it a try. We went for the information session and then went in to be weighed and measured for inches around as well as overall body fat. I was also given a number of other tests because of my health issues. My DH lost 50 lbs and I lost 30 lbs.

I got sick however while on the diet. I got heck from my Nurse Practitioner and my Cardiologist for going on it and they blamed my illness on the diet. I think it was something else entirely. After losing the first 20 lbs., the insulin I can regulate myself had dropped from 100 units a night to 50. I went to the Nurse to ask if any of my other meds should be cut back because I was feeling dizzier than usual, nauseated, thirsty etc. She said no, too soon but took blood work anyways. As it turned out, I was right - my kidneys were failing from too much medication for my Heart and Diabetes. It's taken until about a month ago to finally get my med doses finalized to lower levels. The Nurse and Cardiologist blame the diet - I blame them for not listening to me when I told them my body was telling me I was over medicated.

Another complaint of the Nurse and Cardiologist (and some concerned friends on here) is that I wasn't eating enough calories while on the diet (5-600 a day). My Nurse wanted me to eat 1000 a day saying I couldn't lose with any more with my metabolism and my meds. This is still a lot lower than SP recommends. I told her with all the diets I had tried in my lifetime it was my experience that if I eat more than 5-600 cals a day, I cannot lose weight. This was also true for my Mother and still is for my youngest Sister. I took the Nurse's advice though and guess what? I've gained 20 of my 30 lbs. lost back!! My Nurse is usually sensible but now wants me to get that weight back off, but to eat no fewer than 1000 cals a day, keep my sodium levels to 1200 a day (no problems with 1000 or fewer cals a day) and to drink lots of water but to keep in mind I can't have more than 5-6 glasses a day because of my heart condition. Ya, like that's gonna work. I can't lose at 1000 cals a day and I can't drink lots of water but have only a little at the same time! So, I can't see it happening. By the way, my DH was also overmedicated for his blood pressure and started passing out on me. Again - due to over medication not the diet. He has also gained a fair bit of the 50 lbs. he lost back.

After the 42 days of the diet, we were to slowly add foods back to see what ones caused us to gain weight and to eliminate them. That worked for awhile but after a few weeks we got a bit more careless. In gaining back the 20 lbs., I upped my intake as the Nurse suggested to an average of 1000 cals a day, some days more and some days less. Every time I go over the 1000, I go over my sodium limit too. We ate out about 1x a month unless away from home for medical appointments and had to eat out more. If those appointments involved an overnight stay in a hotel, we often brought our own food. I added a slice of low fat cheese a day, a couple of eggs a week, light dressings on our salads, pasta once a week, and had potatoes and bread products and cereal occasionally. To be honest, my DH and I both bought a treat once a week for some of the evenings (he usually a bag of chips and me a container of Orange Sherbet) but pretty much we stuck to the main part of the clinic diet of lean meat, veg, fruit and a single melba toast each of 2 meals a day. My DH will no longer eat the Melba Toast and I don't think he ever will again, lol.

After the first 20 lb. loss on the original clinic diet, I took most of my clothes in and those that I couldn't, I replaced with new ones. They had still fit nicely at the 30 lb. loss. Now, with 20 lbs gained back, my clothes are too tight and I'm uncomfortable. There were things about losing the weight I hated - loose skin and my tummy. For some reason, I didn't lose ANY weight off my tummy. Well, that's not true because I did lose inches but when I look in the mirror, the roll of fat is larger than it ever was and with the 20 lbs. back on (even though I've weighed way more than that), I've never seen it so big! I liked that after the first week on the clinic diet, we were never hungry between meals but I craved a breakfast which has always been the first thing I did in the morning after taking my shot and my meds. While on the clinic diet, we were to do no more than the equivalent of a 30 min. walk per day for exercise. A minus is that if we did more, we would burn off muscle and not fat while on this diet. I modified my aquafit exercises but missed my full routine dreadfully. My DH cut way back on the weight lifting and the treadmill.

With some med changes I managed to lose 18 lbs. in 2012 which I kept off. In 2013 on the clinic diet I lost 30 but gained back 20 so only lost 10. That's a total loss of 28 lbs. Well, here we sit, bigger than last summer and because we became used to the smaller size, we are more uncomfortable than ever. As I said, we decided to take the plunge again and re-take the clinic diet with the hopes that we will continue as they intend in the follow-up and keep the weight off. I hope also, that when I lose weight again, if I tell my Nurse I think I'm over medicated, she will listen. If she does not however, I now have to see a kidney specialist and he keeps track of me through regular blood tests so that should be a help. My DH has once again cut back on the weight lifting and the treadmill and I've cut out the water jogging and modified my aquafit exercises. My DH starts summer hockey in a few weeks so he has decided to do a 21 day diet. I'm hoping I can stick it out for the 42 days but it will be hard watching him add some foods back in. We will have completed our first week on Monday and so far we are losing but feel good.

We are both optimistic and are looking forward to what we hope will be a healthier way of life in going back to our regular exercise and sticking to healthier food choices. There is more to dieting than food. There is exercise and the need for a lifestyle change. One of those changes is mental. It is my hope that in adopting a permanent lifestyle change, we will once again resemble the self-image we each carry. My DH unconsciously thought of himself as he was as a Sergeant in the Army when he was fit and only somewhat overweight (according to insurance companies and diet gurus). I picture myself as I was in my early 20s after a good loss with Counter Weight (the old Canadian version of Weight Watchers) when I too was fit and somewhat overweight (again as thought of by others). I could buy my clothes in regular sizes, not oversized. Every time I pass a plate glass window or a mirror, I mentally do a double take and say to myself, my gawd, is that what I really look like?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CHERIJ16
    I know what you mean about self image. It can be a detriment at times. I still think of myself as I looked when I was 120 pounds. It is always a shock to see myself in pictures or the mirror and to realize that I am 40 pounds heavier! I have to remind myself that I can't eat the amounts that the 120 pound ME ate and still be thin!

    Keep working on it. emoticon
    2126 days ago
    I hope you find and keep that perfect healthy balance hugs
    2128 days ago
    I noticed that when I lost weight my thyroid medicine had to be adjusted because for some reason I no longer needed as high a dosage. Perhaps as you lose weight your body doesn't require the higher amounts of medicine that a bigger body required. Just a guess. Hope you both are able to succeed at sorting your medicines out and finding a healthy nutritiona and physical balance that works for both of you. I know it's hard but please keep believing in the process.
    2130 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12377244
    My hopes are you find what works for you and stay healthy! Blessings and emoticon
    2131 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/19/2014 12:11:53 PM
  • no profile photo CD12095358
    With both of you watching out for each other I am sure you will see weight loss and more than that a better lifestyle......so right when you say there is more to food than dieting....you are on the right track to attain your goals of healthy living.
    2131 days ago
    Glad you and your hubby are watching out for each other. Don't give up, you are on the right track.

    By the way, I do not like the Melba toast either. Since I cannot eat bread, I eat rice cakes and use a little of the no calorie butter spray on them. One of the rice cakes is only 35 calories. I recently discovered that General Mills makes a Buttered Popcorn flavor Rice Cake (still only 35 calories). They are very good by themselves. And with the butter spray on them, wow.

    2131 days ago
  • 4KWALK
    Your blog points out the fact that each one of us is individuals. We need more or less calories, We need more or less medications. or exercise. Sometimes the professionals aren't always right. I hope you find the correct balance for you to be as healthy as you can be. Enjoy each and every day.

    Best wishes as you move forward.
    2132 days ago
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