Remission: Being Fat Is Getting Expensive

The last time I went to the doctor, I got scolded. He was ready to put me on insulin in spite of the fact he hadn’t checked my A1C yet. (That’s the cumulative measure of blood sugar over 90 days.) I wasn’t ready for that for reasons I won’t get into right now. But one of the drugs I now have to take I have to get by samples. I also have a $50 prescription added.

I am on HSA, which means there is no deductible for drugs. I pay full price. And my little pill box is at capacity.

I talked a couple weeks ago about getting into shape. That post was written in early December, but the goal still holds. Every single problem I have – blood sugar, blood pressure, angry liver, joint pain – all ties back to being a lot fatter than I look.

School has played a big part of this. I had three very writing-intensive courses this past semester. Then the school announced that they were going to a four-credit hour system in the fall. We won’t be spending more time in the classroom, just more time on homework. This is not an option for most working adults. That took up a lot of time.

I had this silly goal of reading 100 books in a year last year. Sometimes, I found myself reading at times I should have been exercising or writing or doing coursework. That went out the window.

But it’s the diet and exercise that are the core of the problem. I ate a lot of carbs and a lot of bar food and a lot of sweets. I drank a lot of alcohol at times when I probably should have laid off of it. So 2013 is bringing changes. This isn’t the new normal. I’ll need to figure out what that is over the course of the year. But I do need to implement a plan to get to that point. How do I get to where my blood sugar is normal without drugs, my blood pressure is low without pills, my liver doesn’t look like a drunk’s, and the scale doesn’t scream in agony when I step on it?

So I’m posting the transition plan here, mainly for accountability. You can play along at home, or you can figure your own out. My wife has different issues and is going to parallel her health efforts with mine.

So here goes. Winter’s health plan for 2013:

  1. Juice fast on New Year’s Day.
  2. No alcohol except for the beer club at work and wine on Valentine’s Day until after April 15
  3. Ramp up the running program
  4. Calorie counting
  5. Virtually no sweets – candy, pie, cake – until my birthday in May. (Then I have to decide if I want cake or pie.) This is actually fairly easy since sweets tend to make me a little ill.
  6. Much more fruit, usually for breakfast.
  7. The vegetarian lunch. In a household where we all have to eat the same thing for dinner, breakfast and lunch are the best opportunities to control caloric intake. Lunch will not be entirely meatless, but it will be meat-light and vegetarian most of the time.
  8. Beginning in May (End of Wilmington College’s spring semester), P90X. I have a choice: Go to school in the summer or devote 90 days to my personal fitness. A bachelors degree is not worth dying for, especially when the school administration stupidly believes that their academic requirements take precedence over a working adult’s day job, family, or health. So, sorry, Wilmington, but I gotta get my health back. Deal with it.
  9. The Little Miami Trail – I didn’t do this last year, and I regret it. So assuming AJ lets me use his car (Our reliable old Santa Fe that can hold my bike in the back), Sunday mornings from May through the end of June will be devoted to riding a leg of this trail. This year, I plan to go all the way to Yellow Springs, a suburb of Dayton. There’s more trail to ride this year, and construction on the final leg begins this year. That’s good. I plan to have Nita take me all the way to Yellow Springs on my fiftieth birthday so I can ride the trail all the way to Newport, Kentucky, across the river from downtown Cincinnati.
  10. After P90X, start training for my first 5K race since 1983. I haven’t run one since my last cross country race in high school.

It’s ambitious and subject to change, but I need to get serious. Otherwise, I’m jabbing myself with a needle every time I eat. Not happening.