By Karen Secord
(Note: You can find Karen’s previous ‘Food Fights’ entries in the Article Archive.)

More random insights from Karen’s World of Incredible Weight Loss:

  • Last week, the bariatric nurse delivered some shocking news. I think I stunned her with my mouth agape look. My entire life (as you must know by now, if you have been following this diatribe since its onset), medical professionals have been gasping at my size and telling me to lose weight. I came to expect it. When I cut my hand with a glass while washing dishes, when I broke my left ankle, when I was pregnant, had back surgery and my gall bladder out, the message that came across first and foremost was always “you need to lose weight”. Suddenly and unexpectedly the message had now changed. “I think you are losing weight a bit too quickly and perhaps it would be a good idea to introduce another snack into your diet.” What? Was she telling me to eat more? It took days to digest the message. I do feel hungry at times. My question is, “When will the reduction of Karen end?” The answer says the nurse, “When your body is ready.” I’m eating a bit more protein this week and tell my body to hurry and make up its mind.
  • Varicose veins, while ugly at the best of times, become horrible protruding, misshapen blobs when you lose 100 pounds.
  • A hat lady at the old Ogilvy’s Department Store on Rideau Street once told the teenager-me that my head was too big to ever fit any woman’s hat. I love hats, so for years I would meander past the men’s hats in big box stores and sneak a peek at myself wearing a variety of un-girlie “lids”. Now, at 51, I have taken my hat fetish out of the closet. Why? My head is smaller. Even the one-size-fits-all hats fit. I proclaim this the season of hats!
  • Dehydration makes you dizzy. It can even make a “sturdy girl” wobbly. I use to drink massive amounts of liquid. My drinking knew no limits. Now the rule is to sip only. No gulping, because it will make me unceremoniously puke. But sipping is tedious and I tend not to do it. So the tips of my fingers get shrivelled, like they do when you’ve been lounging in a hot bath. And my insides get shaky. I’ve learned the hard way that 500ml of water a day is not enough t keep me alert and upright.
  • In the same vein (bad pun), chewing food well is vitally important. My 15ml pouch of a stomach will not tolerate chunks of anything. Through shameless self-talk I have learned to put my fork down after every bite while I chew and chew and chew. My dinner companions often get the short end of the stick here, because I am not nearly as entertaining at meal time. But I doubt if they would find sudden, violent bursts of bodily functions all that amusing either!
  • My no-wheat policy really works. The cramps are gone. I don’t feel tired after I eat. My previous eat-and-run-to-the-bathroom routine is no more.
  • Exercise, even for us non-athletic types, can be addictive. I always thought I hated exercise. When I was in school I tried to skip as many gym classes as I could. I was always picked last for team sports. It was beyond embarrassing to be the last person standing on the edge of the field, while the popular kids bickered over who would have to suck it up and invite the fat girl in to the fold.  But, oh, if they could only see me now! I have decided that the trick to exercise is motivation, and the way to stay motivated is to incorporate variety into the routine. Therefore, I have enrolled, and participate in, the following: Curves (circuit training), Yoga (for the beginner), and Aquafit (a City of Ottawa three month pass allows me to attend any class at any of their pools. It’s not a pretty sight but I am doing it.) And in the “no enrolment required” category, I never take the car if I can walk.
  • I have a pair of size 12 black dress pants and I wore them and they fit me! My size 10 shoes don’t fit. Way too big. Actually needing to buy new shoes makes me smile. I am the new Carp Ridge fashionista. Enough said. . . for now.
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