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24 April, 2015

An Interesting New Discovery

     So a neat little fact about me, neat as long as you're NOT me, that neat little fact is that I have felt sick to my stomach nearly every single day for over a decade.  I remember sitting in the seat of my now-husband's truck waiting for him to finish mowing an elderly lady's lawn, and I was doubled over in agony, almost crying as I waited.  The feeling was so intense that I remember biting his leather seats.  I can still taste it.  I said nothing because I didn't want him to feel rushed, I didn't want him to feel bad, and I didn't want the attention.  I didn't know why I felt that way, but it was only the beginning.  I started feeling sick every single day.  I worried that I had TSS or some other totally preventable thing and that it was doing me harm, but too shy to go to the doctor, I lived with it.  I started feeling that way at around 16 years old and have lived with it daily since, though I have learned to tolerate it for the most part.  Some nights I wake several times and writhe in pain and sickness.  Lately, almost every single shopping trip I take, I suffer silently as I scurry through the aisles and sometimes rush the kids out of the store and promise them that next time they can spend their money because next time I won't be so sick.  I'm always sick when I go shopping, the motion as I walk up and down the aisles increases my discomfort.  It always hits as soon as I pass through the store entrance and lingers long after we leave.  I could probably count the number of days on both hands that I have been sickness-free since it started at 16 years old, I'm now almost 29.
     A week or so ago, I had an epiphany, one that I should have had long ago.... it's lactose intolerance.  My mother and brother have it, but it never occurred to me that I would have it because milk and cheese (which bother them) didn't seem to bother me at all.  See, I'm missing that crucial problem solving, connection making pathway in my brain that helps relate cause and affect... it's an issue for me.  Had I had that pathway, it would have let me connect the bad feeling to the foods I was eating just beforehand.  But after this epiphany, I've started purposely watching how I feel with what I eat.  Yogurt is BAD, milk is okay, cheese is okay, M&M's and other milk chocolate treats are doable in moderation if I don't mind feeling "off", everything else that's non-dairy is pretty much okay to eat so far, but I'm still testing.  I'm purposely putting off the sour cream test because I don't want to say goodbye to that one.  But, problem solved, definitely lactose intolerance.  The reason I've been getting sick during every shopping trip lately... the coffee with creamer that I get while in town before hitting the stores.
     So long story made short: I'll be adding some restrictions to my new weight loss plan.  First thing is to cut the amount of coffee.  I love the taste of coffee, but I really only drink it to stay awake.  Tea has caffeine too.  I've downright hated tea for years, but after discovering my intolerance, I decided to try tea in iced form and realized that I actually love it.  Who knew, me... a tea lover!  Second thing is to drink more water.  This is hard because I never drink for thirst, I drink for taste just as I eat for taste.  I love how things taste.  So remembering to drink water will be hard.  Third, I need to cut out mayonnaise and yogurt unless lactose free.  Because why would I want to feel that way if I know I don't have to?  Feeling better will lead to improved mobility.  No more staying in bed all day to avoid the sickness I feel when I move about.  And Fourth, though not diet related, I need to increase my activity level.  I'm gonna try to take the family to a nearby track and see how rollerblading/ walking/ biking as a family goes.  Walking a mile or two a week is a drastic improvement from where I am now and would serve to open the gateway to more activities in the future.  When I was at my thinnest, I walked many miles each and every day.  How I miss living in-town.
     You'll be interested to know that I do have a starting weight.  Sad to say, I'm not 178 like I thought, but 188.  12 pounds away from the 200 mark.  I refuse to cross that milestone, kind of like when I refused to cross the 20 year old mark, only this time I'm serious.  At this point, regardless of how I felt about being classified as obese before, I am now actually becoming unhealthy and I AM in that obese range.  I've gained 30 lbs in the last 5 months.  I wake each morning with tingling hands, even when I haven't been sleeping on my arms.  When I sit up too quickly, my chest aches and tightens.  My hips ache if I lay too long on one side or if I sit cross legged for too long.  My face flushes now when I've always had very low blood pressure before, I haven't gone in for important, life-saving medical tests because of the shame over my weight, which could lead to undetected cancer or heart disease... I just can't bring myself to make an appointment knowing that my body would be exposed to other people, even knowing the risks.  Not to mention the toll on my mental and emotional health.  The disappointment in myself for getting so far off course is a heavy burden to carry.  But I have resolved to do this, this is my mission, my journey.  This year is my year.
     So tomorrow when I wake, I will have a lactose-free yogurt, some toast and some iced tea and I will do better than today.  And the next day I will do better than tomorrow and that is all I will ask of myself.  Some day I will look back at this day and thank God that I pushed through.  I will not look back on this day and wish that I had, because wishing that I had has never gotten me anywhere and regret makes for terrible company.  So, 140, here I come!

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