Saturday, August 16, 2008

Things to Be Grateful For

It says in my profile, “newly thin”, and I keep saying I’m going to say something about that, and I don’t. Twenty-five years ago I was morbidly obese – morbid means you’re gonna die, and obese means fat. I know for sure I weighed 285 pounds, and I didn’t like seeing that on the scale. So I stopped getting ON the scale. (Sigh.) I didn’t stop eating the way I did to get that way, but I only count from 285 because I’m sure of that number.

I’m diabetic too (no surprise, eh?) and I got heart disease as a complication of that. Five years ago, I was on the waiting list for bypass surgery. Then the surgeon said that with my history of post-surgical infection, he wouldn’t DO surgery on me. He failed to mention that there were other options – I thought they only did a bypass if they couldn’t do anything else. I went home that day thinking all I had left to do was die. It was VERY bad coronary artery disease. They found an interventionist cardiologist, who performed a miracle on my behalf. My cardiologists haven’t even felt I warranted a stress test in the past two years.

In December 2006, the month after Mum died and before I’d moved out of the marital home, stress made my diabetes terrifyingly unpredictable. I was waking up at 4 a.m. with life-threatening low blood sugars, and I wanted to lower my insulin dosages, so I wouldn’t be so at risk. I have a friend who manages his eating disorder with a very low-carb food plan. I didn’t want to do his food plan – it’s restrictive and boring and bad for you and onanonanon and I didn’t want to do it. So I’d pray, “God, should I get Bob to teach me how to do that?” And the little voice would say, “Why wouldn’t you do something that would make you better?” Took a month, cuz I really, really didn’t want to do Bob’s food plan.

But I gave up, and asked him to teach it to me. That was January 21st last year. That was the last day I took an insulin shot. I started eating the way Bob told me on January 22nd, and thought, “I won’t inject cuz I don’t know how much I’ll need yet. I’ll just test a lot today, and figure it out.” Well, I NEVER needed an insulin shot that day. I was also on pills for diabetes, and they were enough. I went from four shots a day on January 21st last year, to not one ever since. And in the months since, I’ve lost the last 60 or so pounds I had to lose, and I don’t take the pills daily any more, just when I need them, and they reduced my blood pressure medication too. I got a miracle. And I weigh less than I did at 15. Hot damn!

So I eat very low carb, and it’s NOT boring, and I love my meals. Yesterday because I’d worked hard, I splurged, and bought yogourt from Liberte Dairy in Quebec. All their products are wonderful, but I’d never seen the 10% milk fat yoghourt before, and I bought two containers. One is the amount for two breakfasts. Usually, I buy whole milk yoghourt and drain it in a coffee filter in a sieve overnight to get it thick – this is wonderful. Organic raspberries were cheaper than regular yesterday, and I bought a half-pint of those too. I added vanilla and a little sweetener (I know it’s bad for me, but it’s not as bad as sugar) to the yoghourt.

This picture only has a few berries on top, so you can see the yogourt, but I’m eating them all – while I’m writing this. The pretty blue glass bowl and the yellow placemat are from IKEA, but they’re both discontinued, I think. Blue and yellow together – I love that. They’re sitting on a wooden cutting board my Dad made me one Christmas.

What a life – I woke up happy, and said thank you to God before I got out of bed, and then I get this great breakfast. I’m about to shower with sandalwood soap, and get dressed and go meet friends for the afternoon. We’ll talk about God, and drink coffee, and hug each other a lot, and prolly someone will cry. Then I’ll go out in the sun for a while. Life doesn’t get better than this~


FranIAm said...

I loved reading this Kate. I have missed you a lot.

This inspires me. I (so far anyway) have not had serious health challenges, but I am overweight. I am always seeking to find peace with food.

You inspire me and I thank God for you for this and for many other ways you touch my heart dear sister!

PseudoPiskie said...

I too am looking for the inspiration to lose. Or more likely to put the computer down, get out of the recliner and do something like walk. Or do the dishes. sigh.

Kate Morningstar said...

Fran, I've been so busy it's hard to sit at the computer sometimes. And there have been things this summer -- trips to the beach where it was wild, windy and there was fierce undertow; the daily thunderstorms (and me getting caught out in them); and the wolf -- I feel wilder somehow, and don't want to be inside. I've missed you too.

Piskie -- that is such a hard thing to do. You could talk to +Clumber or +Airedale or +Rowan and find out about getting someone who'd NEED you to take him out for a walk, rain or shine! I walked a lot, before I knew about the cardiac thing -- they made me stop for a while -- and I'd walk the same route every day after work, before home and supper -- leave the day behind, see the neighbourhood, trees, gardens, children, all changing ... I didn't start out that way, but it was mindfulness practice. (I started out because I wanted cookies, and on diabetic medication, if you exercise after, you can have them -- in fact, you have to have something.)

Oystercard said...

thanks Kate - It's a joy to hear your story and "see" the recovery in you shining out:)

I've gone back onto a similar food plan again - now that I have a kitchen once! - and it's amazing how our (my) perception is skewed - I'm truly amazed how wonderful the meals are that I'm making:)

DCup said...

This really is inspiring. I'm so glad that you are doing this for yourself and feeling good.

Pagan Sphinx said...

I love the joy you find and express in simple things.

I too struggle with my weight, though it's a mid-age phenomenon. I've decided to try to do something about it. Maybe eating nothing at all will help, as it seems lately nothing does more than allow me to lose five lbs., which I quickly gain back. No health problems but I don't want to go into my old age with this extra baggage that may cause them or make other things worse.

By the way, I've given you an award. Check my blog sometime tonight. :-)


Jan said...

Kate, this is so good to read. You are a miracle! I truly feel inspired, as I weigh 100 pounds less than you did at your highest, but that's still way too much. I hope I can live healthier as you have done. Thank you so much for writing.

AND thank you for today's email!

Kate Morningstar said...

Derek, it does make such a difference, doesn't it? And it's so much easier when you're home most nights, and have a kitchen.

Thanks, DCup, and welcome!! I've been reading both your blogs recently, thanks to Fran, and following the links you post to others, and I'm really enjoying it. I think about you and Mathman, with some envy about your process.

Gina, I absolutely promise you, eating nothing at all just makes things worse. Thanks for the award -- that's so cool, and you DO kick ass! I'll load it up right after this.

Welcome home, Jan, and thanks! This is all making me remember how it happened, the getting better part. I'll write more about this, but maybe not right away.