Losing weight after pregnancy has been a quest beginning with my first pregnancy in 1987, continuing through my last pregnancy in 2003, and ruining my wardrobe today. I embarked on The 4-Hour Body on January 1st. I stuck to it religiously for over five weeks. And lost four pounds. Four. Do the math. That's definitely not winning.
To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I've have, literally, tested out most major diet/exercise regimens put forth in modern times. And the body isn't budging.
I hate it when people blame genetics for their bulging thighs. I think they are just making excuses. I hate it when people claim to have tried to lose weight. I think they are sneaking bags of cookies at night. And most of all, I hate it when people blame some physical irregularity, like, “Oh, my thyroid is just so out of whack!” I just want to smack them around and say, “Put down the bag of chips, get your lard backside off the couch, and go for a run!” If I've been able to lose weight, most people should be able to.
Recently, I was visiting a friend who is trying to lose weight without success. She joined a gym and has been taking multiple classes. But, she admitted, she “can't keep away from the onion rings.” But understand the point. She admitted it! She didn't blame things beyond her control, she took responsibility for her actions. And that's how I've always tried to be with my fitness. I've tried to look objectively at what I'm doing and modify until I get the result I want. But I'm at a dead end.
Last week I finally gave in and called the doctor. For me, that's a huge admission of helplessness. I don't take any medications and I only go to the doctor if I'm on my deathbed. I'm not advocating that approach, necessarily, but I'd rather do the work to change myself than to passively have it chemically altered. But apparently my body doesn't care.
Long story short, I went to the doctor last week, got a bunch of blood work done, and yesterday we met again to go over the results. Strange as it seems, at this point I was hoping beyond hope that they'd find something — anything — that would explain my weight loss problem. And here's what they found:
- Not morbidly obese or even obese, just overweight (3 BMI points)
- Blood pressure, good
- HDL, good
- LDL, good
- Triglycerides, good
- Thyroid, fine and dandy
- All other cryptic medical measures, A-OK
- Every indicator shows I'm fit as a fiddle
- Except one, not-so-reliable, maybe-it-means-something-maybe-it-doesn't number
The hemoglobin A1c was elevated. Not to the point of diabetes or even prediabetes, butÂ at 5.4 was slightly out of the normal range. What does that mean? Maybe, perhaps, it could show signs of insulin resistance. Or not, but it could.
When the doc told me that all my results were good, I almost cried. Dumb, I know, because being healthy as an ox is a good thing. It's just looking like an ox that isn't so great. And I'm at the point where I really wanted to find a solid reason that I've struggled so much all my life. I just want to fix the problem and move on.Â There are so many more interesting things to work on in life!
The final call was that he put me on 500 mg of metformin (brand names: Glucophage, Fotamet, Glumetza). The point of the drug is to decrease the over-production of glucose in the liver, improve the uptake of glucose by the muscles, and improve insulin sensitivity.
He also gave me a general eating/exercise plan that is pretty much what I've always done anyway. The two additions are:
- Fast two times per month
- Eat an apple and drink a large glass of water 30 minutes before each meal
Currently I fast once per month as a religious devotion, so I'll be adding another as a kind of “health devotion.” I actually tried the 3-apple-a-day diet when it was being promoted by the apple growers three or four years ago. It seemed reasonable (and affordable), but didn't really do much for me. I think the doctor was a bit disappointed that it was another been-there-done-that item on the list. (I knew more about it than he did.) But he assures me that the medication — with the combination of things he prescribed — would be the answer for me. He expects a slow rate of weight loss and reaching my target weight within the year.
So, when I started on New Year's Day I was really hoping to drop the weight by the big wedding. I'm very sad that hasn't happened. But if I can finally have the weight off by next year, it will still be a very happy day.