Thursday, September 17, 2015

Your Labs are Back

Ok, so I guess you know you're getting older when you start telling people, strangers even, about your medical problems.  You remember how your grandmother used to tell the checkout lady about all of her aches and diagnoses and then give you a rundown of all of her doctor appointments she'd been to and the ones coming up in the near future.....all marked in red on her wall calendar from the bank?  You remember how you'd shake your head with a furrowed brow and insert a concerned, "Oh, goodness" at the appropriate times to show your compassion? 

Well, I may be about to cross over into that stage of life called "I know you want to hear about my medical problems".       

I know I mentioned before on my blog that I recently got on statin drugs for a hereditary tendency toward high triglycerides.  It's really a strong family thing we have going.  Some families possess a lot of musical talent.  Others are heavy with athletic ability or impressive intellect.  Some families are known for their vast wealth and prosperity.  Still others are laden with great leaders or impressive political power. 

Us?  Well, we are known for our ability to run up some numbers at the lab. 

It's just what we do. 

It's who we are.   

At a recent visit, they checked my blood for all of that and, a few days ago, I got the call.  I couldn't tell if the nurse was more concerned or impressed.  Maybe it was a mixture of the two, but I got the impression that she was in awe of maybe I was a special case.  I believe I said in an earlier post that my numbers had been equivalent to a mediocre credit score, but now.......oh, now, it seems that, if accepted at the bank, my triglycerides would qualify me for loans with the very lowest interest rates and Platinum Tier treatment.

Needless to say, that is not what I wanted to hear. 

So, tonight, I wanted us to talk about the struggle to eat healthier and what a difficult adjustment it can be.  We all have or will have to diet or cut back or deal with a health issue at some point and there's nothing harder than changing your eating habits.

Can I get an amen?  

Y'all know how we love to eat in the South.  Even if you're not from here, you've heard.  It's just what we do.  You go to a meeting and there's food.  You get together with friends over food.  You meet a work client over food.  You go to church and there's food.  You go to a jewelry party and there's food.  You go to a birthday party, a funeral, a break room, a hunting club, a baptism, a retirement party, a recital, a reception, a tailgate, a Bible study, an art show, a play, a ballgame, or a ribbon cutting and there is food.  Food is everywhere you turn down here.  I would even venture to say that we lead the nation in our commitment to taking in nourishment.  It is quite possibly our top priority as a regional people.    

Whenever we have to alter our dietary intake, whether for weight loss or other health issues, it can present great challenges and struggles to which we can all relate.  So, tonight, I'm keeping it real here on Motherhood and Muffin Tops and discussing my efforts to alter my diet over the last three days. 

Yes, you heard me. 

It's been three whole days.

And I am testy.                

I've cut out most of the sugar from my diet.  I hate that because I'd just bought a new bag of candy corn.  This problem would have to resurface at the height of candy corn season.  It comes but once a year, you know. 

Down here, it's sweet tea country.  In making my initial adjustments, I'd been getting half sweet and half unsweet tea at restaurants.  Now, I'm at 3/4 unsweet and 1/4 sweet and, as long as God gives me breath, I vow that they will never take my 1/4.  They will have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.  I mean, a tree can only bend so far before it snaps and 3/4 is as far as I can go.      

I'm not a big water drinker.  I have to be super thirsty to want water.  Cokes are out of the question and diet drinks give me a headache, so I've been trying these Le Croix naturally flavored sparkling water with no sugar or artificial sweeteners.  My brother and sister-in-law drink those and another friend of mine recommended them, so I decided to give them another try.  "They'll make you feel like you're having a Coke," they said.  "You'll love them," they said. "They're so refreshing," they said.  Well, I believe that the little bottle drinks given to prep for a colonoscopy offer more flavor and enjoyment than those do for me.  I bought a case of them, so I'm forcing one every day in hopes that it's an acquired taste.  I'll let you know.      

Eating out socially can be especially hard when trying to diet as most of us are aware.  We all know that starches turn to sugar and so if you're trying to cut down on those in the southern restaurant, you're in for a real challenge. 

Tonight, I ate out with friends and they brought out freshly baked rolls.  I sat and watched the rest of our party smear butter across the hot, steamy, lightly browned crust and as they bit into its yeasty softness, my lips moved in sync with mouth mimicking theirs except with only spittle inside.  Oh, sweet, precious rolls!  How I longed for my lips to touch one.  Instead, I chewed on my tongue in an attempt to achieve the same satisfaction.         

I listened as they ordered the juicy bacon cheeseburger with twisted homestyle chips as I searched for something with less carbs and less taste.  Oh, the pictures on the menu.  All the fried goodness.  The yummy favorite food group.  I contemplated just going to sit out in the car, while they ate, and suck on my hand and maybe pop an Altoid, but I finally settled on the lesser of all the menu evils, the grilled chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries. 

I know.  I know.  Work with me here.  Rome wasn't built in a day. 

The waitress brought out my sandwich and I reluctantly removed it from its soft, fresh,white bun.  I ate my grilled chicken breast with its melted cheese and chased it with my 3:1 tea.  I looked over at my friend's plate and her twisted chips, fresh from the grease, were calling to me.  It was like Satan in the garden.  "Joni, you know you want some.....who said you couldn't have it?"  They knew my name and everything.  I ate one.  It was just one, but it would've been enough to get me kicked out of the garden for sure. 

The dessert menu sat on the table, taunting me with its ooey gooey pictures and rich and creamy descriptions.  I sucked on my tea hoping to get enough of the sweet fourth to satisfy my cravings.  Rich, creamy chocolate fudge pie with freshly whipped cream dolloped on top with a flaky, buttery crust........and heavily diluted sweet tea.  "Practically the same thing," I told myself.      

At least, until my new meds can kick in, I've been careful not to eat anything between meals or after dinner and I'm so hungry right now that my dog, who's sleeping next to my chair, is starting to look tender and juicy.  I can even envision the marbling with a side of potatoes.  What's wrong with me?

My head is hurting in its attempts to convey the message that it wants white rice and a biscuit. 

I find myself looking forward to brushing my teeth as those are the tastiest parts of my days.    

So.....if you're trying to lose weight or attempting to get healthier by changing your eating habits, I'm feeling your pain tonight.


It's not an easy thing to do.

I'm going to bed now, but not before I brush my teeth. 

I may not even spit.


Night, y'all!  Happy Weekend!  





  1. I feel you! My husband's dad has his first heart attack at 39 and died at 46. My husband's mother has cholesterol readings in the stratosphere; she was the first person I ever knew who was placed on statins when they came out. (Now she and all her siblings are Type 2 diabetics.)

    My husband--despite being on a large number of blood pressure- and cholesterol-lowering meds, had a heart attack in his early 50s--and his younger brother had a heart attack and multiple bypasses in his 40s! Genetics is a thing, no doubt about it.

    But do you know what none of these people has ever tried? Changing their diets over a long period of time: I.e. making it a lifestyle change. There is such a tendency now to just rely on the meds and not do the hard work of changing our lifestyles. And while I'm not convinced cholesterol is all that important, i do believe triglycerides are. Also, statins have a tendency to elevate blood glucose levels and bring on Type 2 diabetes, so your low-carb eating may help prevent that too. (My husband, whose BG was always 75, is now diabetic or very near it.)

    Hang in there! The sugar cravings will subside IF you don't feed them. The low-carb eating is a struggle, no doubt about it. I find eating at home to be easiest for staying the course.

    You can do this!

    1. Wow, Bonnie! Sounds like your husband really got some bad genes! Bless his heart. Thanks for the tips. I'm trying to do good. :)

  2. Bonnie is right. Meds are needed, but the eating is our choice and being active, if you can. Each person is different. My downfall is chocolate, sugar. Again, hang in there, baby steps turns into big steps. Have a wonderful, hopefully Fall weekend, Kathleen in Az

    1. I'm doing pretty well, Kathleen. There's been a loaf of monkey bread in my kitchen for 2 days and I haven't given in. I could eat the entire thing all by myself and chase it down with some ice cold whole milk......but I haven't. Yay, me!

  3. Also check out the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan. I've had success with losing weight but so many women are successfully healing their bodies too! I highly recommend it!

    You are doing the right things with cutting out the sugar. Those Le Croix drinks are okay but they are not coke. I miss that the most!


    1. I signed up for the Trim Healthy Mama newsletter. Thanks for the tip, Deanna! I'd not heard of that.

    2. I second this! I'm a THM girl too.

  4. It does get easier once your taste buds adjust to less sugar in your tea! Someone asked me if I now liked unsweetened coffee and tea, and I immediately said, "No, but I made myself get used to the taste!" Health is more important than taste as you get older.

    1. It's getting easier! Those Le Croix drinks are even tasting a tad bit better. I don't know how you do the completely unsweetened tea, though. You're a better woman than me! :)

  5. A year ago I made myself start drinking my tea and coffee unsweetened. Someone asked me if I preferred them unsweetened now, and I immediately replied, "No, but I made myself adjust to the taste." As you age, you will discover that health is more important than taste - I did!

  6. Ugh, those LeCroix drinks are so disappointing.

    1. Yes, Vicky! The cans make you anticipate something so fruity and flavorful. You think you're really getting something........and then it hits your mouth and it's just dreadful. The lemon one is starting to grow on me.....and when I say starting to grow on me, I mean I don't gag anymore when I drink one. Baby steps. :)