I thought that weight gain, steady and creeping, was just a part of getting older, especially for a woman of a certain age, who had weathered the exit from the hormone fueled life of The Fertile Years. It was just life and I had to get used to it. The problem was that since the time that I became pregnant with my firstborn, I was constantly reaching for antiacid tablets, especially at night. It got bad over the past 10 years and I took a acid reducing pill every night and still had flashes of acid reflux that would burn the hell out of my esophogus and cause me chest pain.
I had an episode, a couple of months ago, when after a couple of days of weird heart palpitations which made my heart skip beats, I got Rod to drive me to the local ER, afraid that I was having a heart attack. I was sent home after a battery of tests, assured that I did not have a heart attack but that my blood pressure was high, which was always the case when faced with the doctor or dentist. I did a follow-up visit with my Kaiser doctor and agreed to finally get treated for this high blood pressure and then come in for a fasting blood screening, which revealed high cholesterol, as well.
I did agree to begin taking cholesterol lowering meds, to help bring down the numbers but also, when faced with this news, decided to drop meat and eggs from my diet, eating pasta and bread, along with the heaps of veggies. I thought that I would have begun to lose weight but dropped only one pound, to my dismay, and still had reflux. I could not figure it out.
Enter an email from a friend, who was battling the same issues and who got radical, going on the Atkins diet. I thought it was pretty dangerous but remembering when Rod and I went on a modified Atkins years ago, losing weight, I did not let it go out of my realm of possibilites, especially because she had lowered her BP and cholesterol numbers without medication. Still...no veggies? I was skeptical.
When Rod went away for a train conference, a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon something that caught my attention and spoke to me. I found a dietary PHD who talked about the issues that keep people fat and feeling crappy and I thought that while Rod was gone, I could test out this theory. I would have to give up starchy foods, including corn and potatoes and SUGAR. Holy crap, what would I eat? Well, I would eat eggs, meat, cruciferous veggies and nuts while initially cutting out fruit, dairy and whole grains. I began the diet change and was pacing, staring down that bowl of grapes and lovely bread from the farmers market. It took three days for me to quit feeling deprived and when Rod came home, I told him what I was doing, telling him that I had no intention of keeping him from anything. I realized that what the dietician was saying made sense, that sugar and things in processed foods are addictive and industry knows this, getting us to buy and consume more and more, while telling us that the low fat something or other will help us shed pounds. BS.
My clothes are looser and I am losing weight. I no longer miss sugary cereal or bread or pasta or pizza. One other thing that I discovered was that there was a study which pointed out that the medication that I was taking, to cut the acid that fired up my esophogus at night, could cause...Heart Palpitations. You know what? Since dumping sugar, flour, corn and potatoes from my diet, I no longer have acid reflux. NONE. Coincidence? I don't think so, because Rod, who is dragged along on this journey, is no longer taking the Zantac. Hmmm...
So, the big test will be the blood tests. I asked my doctor to take me off of Lipitor, because since beginning the medication, I have been having terrible muscle tightening back pain. It was so hard to work and I was worried that it was either the meds or that I suddenly was going down hill, for some reason. The telling thing is that I got off of the meds for two days, when Rod was gone, not being able to remember it at dinner time, as well as taking both meds in the morning. When I got back on it, the searing back pain from working over the dye table started to be debilitating again.
My doctor agreed that I should stop the Lipitor and I have had no muscle cramping since removing it from the line-up. Hmmm. He told me to exercise and improve my diet, which I have been doing, and take a blood test in two months. That will be the telling thing, for me. Let's just say that I can once again bend in my garden and lift heavy dye pots without seizing up.
I feel like a science experiment but if these changes help me to get all of these years of sugar toxins out of my system, I will be happy. I feel no knawing hunger and feel so much better, already. Real food seems to be the key and the next test will be on the road for Stitches Midwest. I am sure that I will find lots of good food that I CAN eat...at a grocery. I will keep you posted. One day at a time.