December 28, 2006
The Diet Deception
Sunny Dahlia Descanso Gardens. Its OK for flowers to be fluffy but not people
Message on my phone....Hoku, I don't want you to worry but I am going to ER, the guys at work are making me. I feel a little puny and my chest hurts a bit but I am ok. I don't want you to worry...
I try to call but true to form his phone is turned off...Later He calls and I answer
" Well they are offering me the option of being admitted or signing a waiver and taking pills""
"Woody, why the pills, what are they saying is wrong with you, and don't even think of signing anything!"
"Well, they are thinking I may be having some sort of heart related episode, and they have found some anomaly on the chest X ray they are concerned about."
"You aren't leaving and you aren't signing anything. You let them look you over and I will bring you your stuff after work, or do you want me to come now..."
"No you don't need to come now, they have me in this little room there is no place for a visitor to sit and hey they just brought me lunch, so other than all of the IV's stuck in me and the monitors I am fine...Really"
I started to write a report of Christmas, but a bigger news item hit us broadside yesterday. Woody is in the hospital, with what may be... Who knows? This morning he had a treadmill test and did very well considering how heavy he is. That is the unique thing about him. He's no couch potato. On his feet, in all weather at the car lot, and running around on our days off, he likes to keep moving and do things...Which also includes great food and a lot of it. So this is the issue, and perhaps it has finally come home to roost.
Woody had been seeing a diet doctor in Oklahoma, behind my back for about a month. The drugs this quack prescribed caused the chest pain and shortness of breath. Once they were out of his bloodstream his symptoms wore off. The Cardiologist that saw him admonished him to pitch the pills and try to do this weight loss a tad bit more sensibly. He was in very good over all physical condition other than his excess weight. Blood pressure was great if a bit on the low side is no longer a problem, cholesterol an amazing 169 (bad to good was a bit wonked and he is going on meds and is eating more fish, which he is good about. Blood sugar never got above 100 any time he was tested in the 48 hours he was there. So appearance and mobility are the only motivator for him to try to lose weight... The spot on his lung turned out to be poor imaging, a retake of the scan showed the"spot to be a part of his ribcage. He was discharged declared healthy and ready to go back to work the next day. Praise God for that
I find myself in a similar position, with low blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar readings that are enviable in a family of diabetics. At Woody's Christmas party I managed to dance for several hours nearly continuously which surprised us both. The Sleep Doctor was also astonished that all of this is so, as Sleep Apnea tends to hasten the onset of these conditions and has earned the name "the silent killer" as a result.
So why do two obviously obese people seem to be in such good shape? The answer is simple... We aren't glued to the tube. I walk a minimum of an hour five days a week and continuously move and streach. Woody has never held a job where he wasnt on his feet all day. I gave him a pedometer for Christmas so he could see how much he walked and to satisfy my own curiosity. We get out and go and do, sitting in a movie or spending the whole day watching sports inst our idea of fun.
Woody went to this quack diet freak at the urging of coworkers at the Toyota store. When his boss called me to find out how he was I told him that if I ever found out that Woody was threatened, or cohersed in any way by the dealership to go and do this thing, I would own them. They could have killed him just as surely as if they popped those pills in his mouth themselves. Fat discrimination doesnt fly here and I am not going to put up with it. They endangered themselves and their patrons (imagine Woody having a heart attack on a freeway test drive or a car swap,scary stuff)
The "Obesety Epidemic" is true and false. Americans, in fact the whole world is getting both larger and fatter due to better nutrition and availability of food. More people are getting enough to eat than ever before in man's history. But our food is filled with so much unnatural stuff, and our lives are so compressed that poor eating habits and poor nutrition are the norm rather than the exception. Putting the nation on a diet is a lovely idea but like shipping out 20 million illegal aliens not fesable. There are no quick fixes. Government regulation of fast food, or lap banding for everyone who's BMI is over....how do you judge that anyway? I saw a photo once of 30 women all sizes ages and races in workout gear and the caption said " all of these women are over their BMI by at least 15 percent" I was stunned there wasnt an ounce of fat on these gals. I turned the page and they were all in the uniform of the Yale Rowing Team. It was an ad for women to get help for eating disorders...
I was "encouraged" by a family member while in California to get "help for my weight" "Surgery, Hoku, you can get a lap band and your problems will be over". Since I know about 20 people that have had Bariatic surgery and know that it is no picnic, and you are never the same again, I asked her "Why would I mutilate myself". I have looked into it and while I believe that surgery can fix a lot of things... like my having La-Sek on my eyes. Yes it wasnt easy and I paid a lot of money out of pocket but my vision went from 20-500 to 20-15 better than normal vision. Id do it again in a minute.
But why would I pay to have my stomach stapled, so that I can eat two spoons of food every four hours, and starve myself to death, cutting years off my life and having uncontrolled diareaha, osteoporosis, ruining my skin and hair. Never being able to eat a cookie or a peice of bacon cause fat will cause you to be ill.. in fact most foods will cause you to be sick and you dont know which ones... This is torture reserved for those who have no other options. Like a freind of ours in California who was dying. She had Gastric bypass and lost 100 of her nearly 500 lbs in the hospital. She was severly athsmatic all of her life and was to the place where she couldnt move hardly at all, was eating less than 800 calories a day and still gaining wieght, the steroids she had taken for 20 years for her lungs had caused huge amounts of excess tissue to form in her abdominal cavity (I have had this happen to me some of this crud is my throat and may have to come out.) We watched her lose a total of 325 lbs BUT she suffered horribly, and now exercise and weight management are her whole life 2-3 hours in the gym a day, if not she starts to gain again. 1500 calories is her limit she must measure every mouthful of food. She is off all meds for her breathing but her immune system is still shot and she lives in fear of every cold and flu season...
Im not there and I am not going there and neather is Woody
So here we are. Both of us are making gentle changes. I gave up most sweets, Ice Cream and such due to bad teeth and I know that helped my blood sugar as well as my waist line. It is thought that by raising my oxygen levels (I have very low blood oxygen a sure sign of sleep imparement Im told and why I bruise so easily)that will help my weight loss a great deal. I am more thoughtful about what I put into my mouth...But a rigorous diet is out. I know they dont work, fat comes back like the sun rising. One day we will have more answers to this deilema but until then, I wish those who dont have the problem would quit judging those of us that do, or is it really a problem? After all, it wasnt so long ago that a well fed person was considered healthy and skinny person was considered unhealthy? Its all about what is in fashion, I guess. Perhaps one day my body type will come back in style again, just like it was in the 1890's....
Lillian Russell The image of female beauty for nearly 50 years
Lillian Russell...Vive le Differance!