Every time I go, my numbers are horrible, unless I had been on at least a month-long good cycle of exercise and eating, in which case, they drop to simply being bad. And in the past 6 months I have gained weight, mostly due to bingeing and scavenging my kids' leftovers. So I put this last lipid panel off till the very last week I could get it before my lab order expired. Ah, good old Avoidance and Denial! I figured I could diet for one week and hope for the best. So last Friday I got ready for the cardiology appointment, where I was to meet with Dr. Perfect, M.D., to find out the results. Yes, he is fit, intelligent, etc. In fact I think he is younger than me. I am not yet old enough to be relieved by this. But since he is a man, I thought perhaps I could distract him from my numbers if I made up my face and wore a nice outfit. So imagine my disappointment when it didn't work.
"Ok, so you know your triglycerides are very high?" He said.
"Really?" I asked. I thought the week of less food would do something, but no.
"Yes, they are over 400. And you know you have gained 20 pounds since you first came in here?"
"Oh." Darn it, this place keeps records.
"Have you ever been this heavy?" Somehow the conversation was veering away from the high numbers into the, excuse the pun, heavy territory of Gut and Butt. Of course, weight and triglycerides are related. But in my head, the doctor started morphing into a nagging version of my Dad in younger years, who also was a doctor and used to bug me about my weight. (Though my Dad used to tease and even name call, or slap my belly and exclaim, "Ample, like your Mother's!" which this doctor does not-- an important distinction.) I entered a mini-fugue state and started snapping at him about all I have to do, and what did he know about my life, etc. Then I realized I was acting fifteen and a bit nuts, so I stopped myself and apologized. Then I talked about how hard it is to eat less, which he conceded to be true. Ok, some points for him on that. Because of my Daddy issues, Dr. Perfect is the only man on the planet with whom I can tolerate such a conversation. He told me what he does for portion control in restaurants: "I eat half, and take the rest home."
"You can stop yourself in the middle of eating it?" He said yes. But to me, like many bingers, stopping in the middle of eating is like stopping mid-coitus. Yes, it can be done, but only due to a tremendous amount of will power or external circumstances, like a bomb going off near you or your hyper-critical Grandmother walking in. (The latter would have scared me off both a binge and coitus. Temporarily.) So that already puts him in a different camp from the Average American Overeater, of which I am a member.
He noted that once I am on a roll, I won't be so hungry. Also he mentioned the protein diet his clinic runs. I proceeded to quote the statistics on weight-loss and asked how that was different.
"Well you don't have to do this program if you don't want to. You can do low-carb on your own. But I have to tell you..." He shook his head, reading my results. "Your numbers SUCK. This is tough love I'm giving. And you want to be around for your family in the years to come." Do you see what a good doctor he is? Now I can't even use his bad behavior as a reason to be angry, because he is totally professional and even slightly empathic.
I hung my head, sighed and said, "You're right, I know you are right." Because I can go around the mulberry bush about all my points, but at the end of the day I do need to get my health and weight under control. I guess I will always have a knee-jerk "screw this" reaction when it is called to my attention. Yet, I would like to fit back into my regular clothes and not feel heel pain when I walk. Not to mention, my triglyceride levels put me at high risk for a heart attack or worse. (What is worse? I don't know, and I don't want to find out.) I can rage at myself and my genetics all I want, but that won't change anything.
Still, I do love food. Cooking it, eating it, reading about it. So how do I retain this aspect of myself, while talking care of my health? Any ideas out there? Please share, if so. Because this is a conundrum.
You know what would really suck? If my doctor gets high triglycerides, or something happens to him, God forbid. Then I am really screwed. Maybe I should focus on HIM staying healthy and fit, so at least the one with the know-how to do it has a chance to save my life. It's worth a shot. I'll mention this at my next appointment, when I remember to wear mascara and eyeshadow too.