I guess the way to start is to just jump right in and not sugar coat any of this. I think that is part of the problem with the Internet and social media in general. So, much of life gets white washed or “social media washed.” Our posts on Facebook are usually our best posts. They are the ones when something good has happened – a great meal, a reward of some kind, a birthday, a holiday etc. Rarely, do we post the truth. Even the selfies we post are of our best angle. We don’t post about how we bumped another car in the parking lot and didn’t leave a note. Even our dog photos are the cute ones not the ones where they are tracking mud on the white carpet…unless, they are being cute while doing it. If we post bad things it is an effort to get some kind of reaction. In essence, those types of phishing posts aren’t truthful either because we aren’t asking for what we really want. With that, I am going to start on my new journey with some truths.
The beginning of February, I wasn’t feeling my best. I was tired and felt bloated and awful. We had spent the previous few weeks grieving for our sweet dog, Cassie, who we had said our final goodbye to on January 19. It had been 3 weeks of “Eat–ALL-the–THINGS” especially if they were filled with carbs and were delicious. This was after 5 weeks of the roller coaster of thinking we could save our dog, only to find out on the day before we said goodbye, that it was a futile (and expensive) attempt. The things I ate to smooth the grief were certainly not nutritious. Delicious? Yes. Nutrient dense? Nope.
So, on February 5, 2018, I started a new way of eating. I know some people who know me will think this is crazy. I have spent so many years being The Fat Girl. How in the world can I diet that away? Well, I am certain that no matter how much dieting I do, I will always be some version of fat. And, that’s okay! I just want to feel and be my healthiest best.
When I was on Oprah, I told her “I love my body!” And, I meant it. I know she was shocked that I could love my body. The truth was I did love that body. When I was on Oprah in January 2002, I told the producers I weighed 335. I lied. I weighed 375 at that time. (My highest weight was 385…)
Something else I haven’t discussed publicly is, in 1998, I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Since then, I have not been someone to not be aware of my blood sugar. Even though I do not take insulin, I do test my blood sugar often. I have always felt, even when not eating my best, that knowledge was a good thing. Kind of silly in some ways though “Yup, my blood sugar is high.
Must have been that bowl of white rice I just ate…” Over the years, I have been on different oral medications and have been religious about seeing my physician for preventative care and maintenance. I am happy to say that my last report from the doctor visit in February was amazing with no evidence of any secondary issues from being a diabetic. I will be very curious to see what my blood work looks like after I go for my quarterly check up in June.
In the past, when I have eaten low carb, my doctor has said, it’s a great way to eat but that it’s not sustainable. I think that’s one of the mantras that physicians say. They are either for it or against it but they all say it’s not sustainable and that once you stop you will gain back all the weight you have lost. Well, sure. Isn’t that the case with any diet? If you stop and go back to old bad habits then you gain weight. It’s kind of simple math actually. I don’t need an MD after my name to know that.
Here are the truth bombs, if you haven’t already surmised them:
- I am a Type II diabetic
- My highest weight was 385
- I’m going to be 52 in June (which I didn’t mention but have tried to hide from the world. As if, I’m going to be cast as a 22 year old in the next Avenger film…)
- I am eating a Ketogenic diet – super low carb…
What I can also say is on February 5th, when I started this new way of eating I weighed 313. (I think that’s what I weighed when I got married in 2004…) The last time I weighed myself was last Saturday and I weighed in at 285. Then my husband hid the scale. I had asked him to hide it and have regretted it since. All the years of dieting, even though I am happy in my skin, messed with my head. The number on the scale is an unhealthy way of looking at one’s physical successes. (Don’t get me started on what I think about BMI and how I firmly believe it’s faulty science and quackery and partly to blame for the body issues and body dysmorphia we have in our country…but I digress)
We also joined (or rejoined) the gym in February. We had gone in the past but just didn’t keep it up. It’s so easy to get lazy and complacent about going to the gym. Hell, about anything in life. It’s WAY easier to boil water and cook a bag of pasta and toss it with butter (and eat it out of the pot) than it is to make Zucchini noodles. It’s a hell of a lot easier to sit on my couch and not go to the gym too. But not going to the gym will not fulfill on my desire to live a healthy life.
Another thing, I will never demonize or judge or shame fat people. EVER! When I said to Oprah, “I love my body!” I did mean it. This is the body I have. Bigger or smaller this is the body I have right now. It has been quite a ride so far and this body has taken me to some amazing places – literally and figuratively. I know the hardships of my size and the joys of my size. I know other people are living wonderful fat lives and they should do what brings them joy. I will NOT ever tell someone they NEED to lose weight or eat a certain way or that they shouldn’t eat something. Everyone has their own path and everyone has their own struggles. For some, this is NOT a struggle or an issue for them.
With all of this said, I am going to blog and vlog and photograph this journey I’m on. I’m going to be honest. I’m not going to hide the bumps in the road along the way. I don’t have a goal weight. I think that’s a dangerous and slippery slope. I will weigh again before I see my doctor in June so, I can have an informed conversation with him about my progress towards being my healthiest best self.
And, I don’t know how long I will do this either. It’s a day-by-day adventure. There are no rules. Except for the rules of eating Keto. Yes, there will be some that say I’m “Lazy” because I don’t track everything I put in my mouth or that I’m doing a “dirty” version of Keto because I may use a sugar free sweetener that’s not “approved.” To those people, and anyone else who thinks that, I have choice words for you…really, there is NOTHING lazy about what I am doing right now. Learning new ways of being and breaking old habits and adding new behaviors takes effort. It also has its rewards. It is taking something for me to eat this way and for me to go to the gym 5 days a week. Who am I?!
PS. Look for me on Instagram as @yet_another_fork_in_the_road There will be pictures and updates there that won’t necessarily make it to this blog. And, I will be moving this part of my blog to a new website soon as well…