Saturday, October 1, 2011

Weighty Problems

Obesity runs in both my maternal and paternal families. Anyone who has my kind of genes knows the battle to always be able to zip stylish, tight-legged jeans is unending—unless you also are blessed with a gene for will power. Unfortunately, I don’t even have a smidge of a chromosome with this blessing.

When I find myself only wearing my husband’s sweatpants—and in South Florida that only works in the dead of our 6-7 weeks of winter—I head back to an “in” diet class. Well, winter is long over, and Hubby’s one lightweight workout pants are wearing thin, so I’m back attending what my husband calls “fat class.” The older I’ve gotten, regardless of how much I exercise—and we walk two miles almost every morning as the sun comes up—the slower the fat melts away. Loosing weight for me now is like cooking a turkey at 100 degrees.

The healthy diet I’m on follows the new food pyramid—lots of whole-wheat grains, fresh fruits, and veggies. The scale has gone down ten pounds, but, alas, my tummy isn’t happy since I started this diet. I’ve gone from looking slightly pregnant after each meal to looking as if I’m ready to give birth. In the beginning, since I was determined to shed the extra bulk, I was willing to put up with the post-meal and snack cramps because the scale was indicating progress. However, a few weeks ago, I woke in the middle of the night with labor pains. Since this is a physical impossibility, the next day I scheduled a doctor’s appointment.

I’ll leave out all the details of all the tests that were ordered because they are kind of gross as well as boring. I did have to be put to sleep for one test, and when the anesthesiologist approached my bed to get my medical history, I freaked out. “Is that tattoo on your arm real?” I asked. To me, there are certain professionals that somehow don’t lend themselves to sporting sexy tattoos and doctors are one of them.

The doctor stepped back a bit—body language signaling he didn’t care for my opinion of the artwork on his arm. “Remember, I’m the one putting you to sleep so you shouldn’t feel pain.” he said in a very icy "who does this old lady think she is" voice.

At that point, I kept jabbering away with inane flattering remarks, hoping to neutralize my insult. When he injected the sleeping potion into the IV, I hoped he no longer disliked me. I hadn’t canceled my Bridge game for that evening because having had the test previously, I knew I should be fine once I awoke. But now I was concerned I'd be asleep for hours.

Less than an hour later, according to the wall clock, I realized I must have appeased him. My doctor uttered the words all post cancer patients want to hear as soon as any test is done, “I don’t think it’s cancer…took culture…divaticulosus …IBS.”

The bottom line is I can stay on the diet, but the yummy store bought prepared foods that have sugar and/or sugar alcohol—the candy and cake that have made this diet so easy to follow—need to vanish from my pantry. I can have cake if I bake it myself and control the ingredients, and I’m determined to look svelte again, so I will. Breakfast will be the big challenge because dairy products and eggs, staples for breakfast on this diet, irritate my innards. I’m not one to make Canadian bacon, also allowed for breakfast protein, because Hubby hates the smell.

For a brief moment the next morning, I thought the problem of selecting a breakfast protein would be avoided. I stepped onto the scale as I usually do. As bad as the prep for the colonoscopy was, it did wonders. Somehow, in the 48-hour time period since I last weighed in, I had shed all excess bulk. The scale indicated there was no longer a need to diet. In lieu of numbers, it said, “low.”

Now even if I ignored the fact being suppressed in my subconscious that the scale needed a battery, minutes later when I attempted to squeeze into my goal-weight jeans, the truth would have been exposed— just like my tummy was bulging out of the two-inch gap between the button and buttonhole.