Wednesday, May 20, 2009


This is a really hard subject for me, but if I'm going to be brave and put myself out there for all the world to see and critique, I might as well talk about the obvious, my weight. It's bad. I am out of breath when I walk up stairs. My knees hurt -- partly from Crohn's-related arthritis, but partly because of my weight. I have no stamina. Part of that is from being sick, but part of that is about my weight.

I'm not very good at moderation. I can not eat at all for extended periods of time without problem, or I can eat whatever I want. I'm not good at the in between. Because of the gastroparesis and accompanying nausea, I never feel hungry -- until I start eating, and then I realize how hungry I am and I scarf down whatever I can get my hands on. In the past year, since I was diagnosed with gastroparesis, I have allowed myself to eat anything that looks or sounds good because there's so much I can't eat any more. The one thing I can digest easily is sweets -- candy, soft cookies and cake, frozen yogurt. So I've gained weight.

Why am I talking about this here? Obesity is a huge health issue. I don't know why I don't have diabetes, but it would be really good if I didn't develop it. I have what's called fatty liver that resulted from a weird drug reaction, but it's exacerbated by obesity. Bottom line? I am not doing all I can to manage my illnesses as long as I don't address my weight.

I'm the sort of person who has to mull things over for awhile before they really take hold. So I think I'm working up to going on a serious diet. Not so much a diet as eating more healthily. It's hard. I can't eat fresh fruits, fresh veggies, meat, milk products, whole grains, nuts, or beans. That sort of leaves . . . not much other than sugar. I can eat eggs, potatoes, pasta, rice, soup without too much solid stuff in it, and pureed stuff like apple sauce and baby food veggies, which I've tried and just can't handle.

I start my day fine -- a chai soy latte gives me protein from soy milk, and although it's sugary, a certain amount of that is okay, and since that's all I eat all day, it's okay. And what I eat for dinner is okay -- soup or lactaid cottage cheese or scrambled eggs or macaroni. It's what I eat after dinner that has to go.

If I'm going to be the poster child for the proposition that patients can and should manage their own illnesses to a large extent, I think I have to bite this bullet. It's sort of how I used to think about my brother when he was way overweight and a doctor whose job entailed telling people with vascular disease that they need to lose weight. It's hard to be taken seriously when you don't follow your own advice.

So I'm working up to this. My current plan is to finish up the "bad" stuff I have in the house and not buy any more. That gives me a chance to ease into it, which is just the way I operate -- it takes me time to embrace new ideas, but once I do, I'm totally committed. If I cut out desert and keep swimming every day, I should be able to drop a good amount of weight pretty quickly.

And writing this here makes it real and sort of forces me to follow through. So you readers get to help be my conscience and hold my feet to the fire. This is something I need to do, I'm going to do. I will. Jennifer

1 comment:

  1. I'm over weight too and each month since Jan. I've gained 10 lbs a month! I'm very puffy and retaining water in my legs and feet and the docs say it's from my inflammatory bowel disease and if I removed my colon it'd help. Don't know if it's true but I'm fat and I hate myself!