I abandoned my blog about two weeks ago due to a dreadful realization that my body had thrown a party for every fat cell in the neighborhood and charged it to my butt. At first I thought someone was following me. Then I recognized pockets and a tag on the object. Had I spotted this in a car window it would be emotionally manageable, unfortunately it was revealed in a satellite image of our house. It was like a PowerPoint presentation of Kevin Federline’s two year expansion condensed into a thirty minutes special. It was fast. It was scary. It was someone else.
It was time to attack this problem head-on, treating it like an old family grudge with mountains of time to sit on the porch and reload. My first action was to consult a doctor before this fight began because dead is often worse than fat. I decided to try a new cardiologist since the weight I gained was during the time of experimentation with a heart medication called a beta blocker. At the time it was prescribed I asked about the possibility of weight gain or drowsiness. None existed to the knowledge of my first doctor. My newfound doctor had a vastly different opinion.
Before I could ask, i.e. gripe & whine, why I had gone from shapely to Shamu so quickly, the doctor threw a question curbed with concern at me. “Why did your doctor put you on this medication?” I knew from his worried tone he did not approve. Within seconds I was off on a rampage of complaints. My sole question in the end was, “Is this medication making me gain weight?”
“Yes,” the doctor answered, plain and simple. He didn’t try to cover for another doctor or the pharmaceutical companies by offering other explanations; it was a clear “Yes”. God bless the few honest people in this world. It was a magic word. It was no longer my imagination. I wasn’t crazy or lazy. I wasn’t downing Ho Ho’s and spoonfuls of peanut butter in my sleep. There was a real, solid explanation. His exact words were, “Yes, it’s a Beta Blocker. Beta Blockers slow your metabolism down. We can do better than this.” I’m voting for this guy as President.
It takes three months to come off my medication. After the first month I regained my energy. About two weeks ago I was enjoying this new energy when something awful happened. On my follow-up visit to my doctor I looked down at the scales. It was a number I had never seen before. It was a number that was 30 pounds over my weight before beta blockers. To make matters worse, the nurse told me I had lost weight. Now, before you ask, I did not look at the scales the first time I was weighed. Now I was pissed. Now, I was considering kidnapping my old doctors Porsche and mailing it back to him one piece at a time. One piece for every week my breasts tip me over. That seems fair.
As an alternative to prison I decided to walk six miles a day until the weight comes off. At first I wanted to run it, but my knees folded at the end of the driveway. It was as if they were saying, “Take it easy, Moo Girl! We’re not made of galvanized steel, just bone and cartilage!” I took the hint and settled on a brisk walk.
Early each morning I dawn my earphones to my twenty year old Panasonic Walkman and take off. I could easily use an iPod Nano laying around the house, but the humiliation on the faces of my children make the Walkman more appealing. Besides, radio is free, people. Paying a dollar a song to go into an expensive device that will break in a year is like paying $30.00 a month for a medication to make you fat.
My walk each day is now consumed with thoughts for others, and that’s a good place to be. I will continue to write about my progress on and off in hopes that it will inspire others to conquer the first hurdles in their race for a healthier life. There are a lot of blisters and self-control that needs nursing in the first weeks. It is absolutely not easy, but undeniably worth it. Please feel free to write me and tell me your story. I, in turn, may include your story and send you a little piece of Porsche for your efforts.