eat, move, think, feel


May 2009


When I stepped on the scale this morning, I had to blink several times. I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that I was sick as a dog most of the weekend, but it registered a number I have not seen since… well, I can’t even remember when. A long time ago.

And it put me solidly into the “normal BMI” weight range.  My BMI is now 24.8!!!!!!! I am in the category of “normal weight!”

  • Underweight = <18.5
  • Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
  • Overweight = 25-29.9
  • Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

This has been my goal for many, many years. It has been my Weight Watchers goal every time I joined WW, and I never achieved it before. I’m actually kind of overwhelmed. So this was my mini-goal, and when I set that goal, I truly did not believe it was possible or achievable. Really.

At this point, I am just going to keep doing what I’m doing, and see what happens. I’m not “on a diet” anymore. (which I think is probably the key to all of this!) I’m just living my life.

Speaking of Weight Watchers, I did their online questionnaire for potential leaders, and am going to a recruitment meeting on Wednesday. I’m just… checkin’ it out. The questionnaire had about 200 questions like “Are you an enthusiastic person?” (yes) and “Do you care about other peoples’ success?” (yes) The only one that really stumped me was, “Do people tell you that you dress sharp?” I had to LOL at that one. Um, no….. not really. But recently, more so! Ha! My recent clothing spree went a long way in that direction but I still don’t think I’m any fashion role model. (ha ha ha)

I’m still feeling super shaky and woozy from the weekend. I do not think it is all the 5k’s fault – at all – I actually think I was truly ill, but managed to rally for the race and then crashed, big time. I was awfully sick yesterday. So I’m going to try to work from home and skip my afternoon workout. Later, ‘gators.

PS. OMG. Just realized I might not be “normal” after all — turns out that there is an ASIAN BMI SCALE that is lower than the “regular” scale. Yeah, even with a name like Foodie McBody, I’m Asian American. And the Asian American scale puts me back at… overweight.

Turns out that Asian Americans should aim for a BMI of 23, not 25. The explanation? Asian Americans are “fatter” at a lower BMI than Caucasian Americans. This translates to an increased risk of diabetes and other health problems at lower weights.

Sigh. Well, I’m still happy for the weight loss, and I’ll just keep doin’ what I’m doin’.

PPS. A friend just pointed out, I am only half Asian. So maybe that means I can take an average between the two. Yes! 24!!!!! 🙂

MORE THOUGHTS: (I just can’t stop writing this post!) I am also well aware that many women would find my “normal” weight horrifying. I see women starting OUT at WW meetings who are probably at 20 BMI and they want to be 18. That’s a little scary to me. When I mentioned on my FB page a few months ago that I needed to lose weight, one person confided in me that she was up to XXX weight (OH NOOOO!!!) which was, at the time, about 15 lbs less than I weighed. For her, it was a total nightmare that she weighed what was actually my goal weight. So, it’s different for everybody.

I’ve pretty much reached my goal. If I keep doing what I’m doing and I end up continuing to lose, then so be it. (to a certain extent) If I don’t, fine. But I’m not TRYING to lose a lot more weight. I’m just going to see what happens.

I Did It! Ran the entire 5k!!!!!!!!!!!

I was unsure yesterday whether I’d actually make it to today’s 5k. Yesterday I was beset with horrible female problems (groann) as well as gastrointestinal distress, aka major constipation. (sorry if TMI) It made running impossible, so I walked the 5k lake, hobbling and groaning the whole way. Not very auspicious. Yesterday afternoon/evening I did not feel very well. I laid low.

I slept a rather fitful sleep, and shot out of bed around 5:50am. I think I was so pumped on adrenaline. I did a self-eval and decided I did not feel so bad. I was not sure what I should eat/drink in terms of having energy and also in terms of my GI situation. Coffee? No? I got a quick consult from EatWithoutGuilt on Twitter and she said OK to whole wheat English muffin with PB, and NO COFFEE. So I drank water.

It was raining on the way out there. I did not mind. In my opinion, hot weather is a lot worse than rain. I got there around 7am, picked up my Tshirt, tried to use Starbucks bathroom (fail), then warmed up with a brisk walk for about 4-5 blocks. My friend K showed up and we went over to the start line. We had decided that we’d each go at our own pace, and I was realllly relying on the music from my iPod to keep me on pace. (actually to keep me going slow enough so I would not burn out)

It was very exciting there at the starting line! My heart was pumping like a jackhammer. I did some stretches and then they counted down. I took off. K rounded one corner with me, and then SHE took off like a bunny. I lost sight of her in seconds! But that was okay.

The second song that came on (my “run list” is on Shuffle, so I don’t know what order they will play) was “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” It was perfect. I was sort of crying and laughing the whole time, and the pace was just right.

Seasons don’t fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain..we can be like they are
Come on baby…don’t fear the reaper
Baby take my hand…don’t fear the reaper
We’ll be able to fly…don’t fear the reaper
Baby I’m your man…

Who was my man? The 80 year old guy right in front of me! He was plodding along at a nice slow rate, and his feet were matching mine. I loved him. I was like, you go, guy! Clearly he did not fear the reaper, and neither did I. (for those who don’t know, I started exercising just a few months ago when I was diagnosed with diabetes)

The first half or so was good. I was in the zone. My feet did not hurt at all. (backstory: I have had massively painful flat arches which KILL me when I run. I just got fitted for orthotics which arrived on Thursday, and the sports podiatrist was dubious about me running with them without breaking them in enough). The orthotics were really comfortable and my feet felt great.

It was raining. I did not care. “Amie” (Counting Crows) and “New Year’s Day” (U2) came on. Both pretty fast paced, but they felt good. Yay! “Friend of the Devil” came on and it made me smile, as usual.

Set out runnin’ but I take my time
A friend of the devil is a friend of mine
If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

I peeked at my watch at the 18 minute mark. I was a little concerned because we had not turned around yet (it was a big loop) and I was almost at the point of my longest run ever (20 minutes). I was wondering how much longer than my longest run I would be able to manage. I figured adrenaline could take me to 30, but more..? I wasn’t sure.

It was interesting to see people’s approach to the race. A bunch of people did run-walk-run. Some people kept passing me because they were running fast, then they’d walk and I’d pass them. My 80 year old pace boyfriend vanished into the front somewhere. I also paced for a while behind a woman who looked like she weighed about 250 lbs (my guess) and she also took off, was much faster than me. I passed a bunch of Juicy-Couture slim little mamas who were walking, not running. That made me feel amused.

Finally we passed a sign that said either 3k or 2 miles, I don’t remember. It made me feel discouraged. I was getting tired for sure. I could still breathe OK, and I wasn’t hurting, but I was just fatigued.

When I could see the finish banner up ahead, maybe 1/4 mile, I got REALLY tired feeling. I think my body was like, “OK, you’re done now! Stop!” But I could not stop. So I forced myself to look at the ground. The last song was an amazing song by Ferron. It could not have been more perfect. It’s called “It Won’t Take Long.”

But you who dream of liberty must not yourselves be fooled
Before you get to plea for freedom, you’ve agreed to being ruled
If the body stays a shackle then the mind remains a chain
That’ll link you to a destiny whereby all good souls are slain
And it won’t take long, it won’t take too long at all
It won’t take long, and you may say
“What has that got to do with me” and I say,
“You mean to tell me that’s all?”

At noon on one day coming, human strength will fill the streets
Of every city on our planet, hear the sound of angry feet
With business freezed up in the harbour, the kings will pull upon their
And the banks will shudder to a halt, and the artists will be there
‘Cause it won’t take long, it won’t take too long at all,
It won’t take long, and you may say,
“I don’t think I can be a part of that,” and it makes me want to say,
“Don’t you want to see yourself that strong?”

Hell yeah! I do!!!! By that point, I was only yards away from the finish. I got a huge burst and SPRINTED past my husband with the camera. I saw the timing clock and it said 39 minutes something. I knew I wanted to come in under 40. I was also like, HOLY MOLY I just doubled my longest running time!!

I ran across the finish and was completely drenched, exhausted, ECSTATIC. Kathy was there. She’d come in quite a ways before me, although she said she’d walked some. She came in 10th in her age division! Go girl! I got the online results and saw that I was in the exact middle of the pack for my age division. (and if I moved up to the next division, which I will in August, I would’ve been 13th!) I was very very pleased with this. And I was also in the exact middle of the pack for the race overall.

We got home and I took a hot shower. I then started feeling massively nauseaus and crampy. I spent the rest of the day in bed, sleeping and groaning. I wonder if I was really sick yesterday and then just got adrenalized this morning. I don’t know. I feel like poo, but I am so so so so amazed and proud that I did this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The End of Ambivalence

It’s kind of amazing to go to events where I run into people I haven’t seen since… Before. They’re kind of shocked, and always ask, How did you DO this? I laugh and say, “The short answer is, I got diabetes.” Of course everyone knows that diabetes itself does not cause weight loss, unless you’re really ill. But it’s a long answer. The longer answer is, “read my blog.” It’s so complicated and yet it is so simple. It’s so many things.

I went to Weight Watchers this morning and had a 3.2 lb loss at weigh-in. They had a bunch of flyers about WW leader recruitment. I took one. Still mulling this idea over. I still really really miss teaching, and it could be an interesting opportunity. I might go to one of their info meetings next week and find out more.

Anyway. I’ve been thinking a lot about: why now? Why, after 30 years of struggle, is this finally working? I have lost weight in the past – but never this much- and never without terrible effort.

This time, it feels almost effortless – and at the same time, I am putting every ounce of focus and attention on it. It’s one of those weird paradoxes. It doesn’t feel at all like a “diet” – and yet it has taken enormous reservoirs of time and mindfulness. But it’s not “hard.” If that makes sense. Does it make sense?

I realized today that one thing that’s very different this time around (and I think may be the KEY difference) is that I am not ambivalent. For a long time, I was ambivalent about losing weight because I was always wanting to lose weight for my LOOKS, and I felt angry about that. I felt like women should be loved and accepted and appreciated and deemed beautiful no matter what their size. (I still do) So it felt on some level like a betrayal of myself and other women to want to lose weight for looks reasons.

And yet..I have to admit that I think I look better now than I did in January. I FEEL better – both “looks” wise and health wise. I have tons more energy, and I just feel strong and happy.

It was not until I got this pre-diabetes wakeup call that I really cared about losing weight for other reasons, ie health. Before, I didn’t believe that I was unhealthy, because I wasn’t overweight enough. Or so I thought. I used to bristle at the notion that being “only” 25 or 30 lbs overweight was enough to endanger my health. I was wrong about that.

So I sort of defiantly stayed overweight and did not attend to my health because I didn’t want it to be about my looks.

Another thing that is different this year has to do with my past, and my life as an adopted person. It has definitely affected me throughout my life, to think of myself as a person whose very existence was a burden to others. I was most definitely a “mistake,” and the cause of much shame for my birth mother. (I’ve known her since I was 20) She likes me as a person, but also has VERY deep ambivalence about my very existence.  I am her worst, biggest and most distressing secret.

This year is the year that I made the pretty big decision to stop wishing that my birth mother would acknowledge me in the ways that I would like. I pretty much gave up. After about 30 years (hmm, is there a connection here?) of desperately hoping to openly be recognized as her relative. I wonder if this “giving up” makes it suddenly possible for me to lose weight, as well.

I was chasing after love where it couldn’t be found. I was pretty much a bottomless pit of need and sadness. Once, many years ago, in therapy, I made a little clay head with a huge open mouth. I called it “little head” and it represented my unending hunger. And why even the most giant pan of macaroni and cheese would never be enough. I understood it, but I couldn’t change it. Until I finally gave up on wanting what couldn’t be had.

Love isn’t inside food. It isn’t inside some people who just aren’t able to give. But I was certainly chasing after it, for years and years and years.

I’m finally getting where the love is. It’s in me, and it’s in people who are open to it. Food is just… something else. It’s wonderful to enjoy, it’s delicious and fun, but it isn’t love.

(lightbulb moment)

When I was diagnosed with diabetes, it was like I was being asked, “Well? Do you want to live? Are YOU ambivalent about your very existence?” and the answer came back a ferocious YES, and NO.

I’m not ambivalent anymore. I want to be here. I deserve to be here.

And that’s the pretty long answer about how I lost the weight.


But who’s counting?


Happy Snoopy Dance Numbers!

and no, it’s not on the scale.  Lab test results!!

Fasting blood glucose was a looooovely 93 but that was not a huge surprise since I’ve been testing my own every morning.

Cholesterols were good, not hugely changed.

But my triglycerides! My triglycerides! You might ask,

What are triglycerides?

Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exists in food as well as in the body. They’re also present in blood plasma and, in association with cholesterol, form the plasma lipids.

Triglycerides in plasma are derived from fats eaten in foods or made in the body from other energy sources like carbohydrates. Calories ingested in a meal and not used immediately by tissues are converted to triglycerides and transported to fat cells to be stored. Hormones regulate the release of triglycerides from fat tissue so they meet the body’s needs for energy between meals.

How is an excess of triglycerides harmful?

Excess triglycerides in plasma is called hypertriglyceridemia. It’s linked to the occurrence of coronary artery disease in some people. Elevated triglycerides may be a consequence of other disease, such as untreated diabetes mellitus. Like cholesterol, increases in triglyceride levels can be detected by plasma measurements. These measurements should be made after an overnight food and alcohol fast.

The National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines for triglycerides are:

Normal Less than 150 mg/dL
Borderline-high 150 to 199 mg/dL
High 200 to 499 mg/dL
Very high 500 mg/dL or higher

So, in January my triglycerides were 215 (ie HIGH). Today they are…… 97!!!!!!!!!! YAY YAY YAY YAY!

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