How Do You Like Them Apples?

Okay, so I’ve blogged (countless times) before about weight and health.  I hear people say things about weight being a “constant battle,” and though it sounds like hyperbole, I think it’s maybe more true that I’d like for it to be.

I remember a time, long, long ago, when I didn’t really think about weight.  I was slightly bigger than other girls my age, but I liked the way I looked and I was in the healthy range, so whatevs.  That all changed about 7 or 8 years ago when I gained about 40 pounds (after doing the Atkins diet as a kind of a personal challenge, not so much for weight loss).  Now, there’s a good bit of that (and more) that I feel so frustrated by.  The funny (not funny) thing is that ever since then, I’m way more health conscious.   In my early 20s, I literally survived on Frui.t Loops, baked potatoes, noodles with zucchinni, and cheese sandwiches for WEEKS at a time.  That was my entire diet.  I didn’t drink tea or worry about refined sugar.  I only ate beans that had been covered with cheese and cooked into a mushy paste.  Nuts?  You gotta be kidding.  Only if they were cooked into a pecan pie.  I always loved vegetables…but I used to think that the more butter that I put on them, the better they were.

Now, it’s so different.  I can’t even imagine how much I’d weigh if I still ate like that.  I walk and work out now.  I eat healthy foods 80% of the time, and feel really guilty about that other 20% most of the time.  I’ve lost a little bit of weight since Jan (15-20 pounds, depending on what time of the month it is — I bloat a lot near my period).  I’m down from a size 14 to a comfortable size 12 and a sometimes if I don’t mind it being a little tight 10.  I WANT to be a size 6-8 though.

So, the battle rages on — this month, my new weapon is WHOLE FOODS.  With every meal, I have to eat things that are not processed at all, and I have to eat big portions of them.  So, lots of fresh greens and fresh vegetables and fruits.  I also am drinking tons and tons of water and only tea and coffee (except that one Coke Zero I had yesterday).  I’m also walking or going to the gym every day.  I’m not as good as Belle and her folks on their detox (no caffeine, what!  I did that for IVF and I’m SO OVER IT!)

We’ll see how that fat on my thighs likes these apples (and cherries and cucumbers and sweet potatoes)!

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12 pills and 5 meals

So, here’s what my daily routine consists of now.

First, the vitamins:

  • 1 DHEA, 50 mg pill
  • 1 ASA, 81 mg pill
  • 5 Folic Acid, 600 mcg
  • 1 PNV, with 1 mg Folic Acid and Iron
  • 2 Vitamin D3, 2000 IU total
  • 1 Fish oil
  • 1 Flaxseed oil
  • 1 CLA (conjugated lineolic acid)

I also went to my trainer, who agrees with me that my body is just holding onto fat and not letting it go.  Thanks, body.  He recommended a complete diet change, so now I’m supposed to eat these exact same 5 meals per day:

Meal 1:  Egg whites, sweet potato, fruit  (this should have oatmeal instead of sweet potato, but we modified to keep me gluten free).

Meat 2: Egg whites, brown rice, fruit

Meal 3:  Chicken, black beans, vegetable

Meal 4: Lean red meat, sweet potato, vegetable

Meal 5:  Fish, vegetable

All the meat portions are only 3-4 ounces.  I’m also drinking 2 cups of red raspberry leaf tea a day.

Plus, I’m going to the gym 5-6 times a week.  I’m going to do this, as strictly as possible until the end of March, when the IVF stuff will really be hopping.  By then, I really hope my BMI will be way down, and I’ll be in the “more successful BMI for IVF range.”  During IVF, I may try to keep doing this… but I may also need a brownie.  With a cupcake to wash it down.  And some ice cream.

Drug Companies and Denial

So, I’ve blogged about trying to lose weight multiple times on here because when I’m not obsessing about how much fatter I want my middle to be (pregnant), I’m obsessed with how much fat my middle already holds.  I carry weight in my tummy.  In the front.  Like a pooch.  Like a baby belly.  So much fun for this infertile girl to be asked if I’m pregnant over and over again by strangers.  I now answer, No, I’m just fat.  I’ve done everything I can think of. Modified Atkins diets.  WeightWatchers.  Fasting.  Exercising for >45 minutes every day.  Sleeping more.  And, I can’t seem to lose weight.  It’s really maddening.

When I tell people about it, their reply seems to always be, even if they don’t say it, that I’m not exercising enough or I eat too much.  I started out the week finding out that my extreme, I thought, diet of eating ONLY fruit and vegetables with small bits of nuts, yogurt and cottage cheese had caused me to gain 3 pounds.  My DH stopped eating bread, mostly except for 3 doughnuts, a cheese biscuit and a cheeseburger.  He lost 5 pounds.  He also only went to the gym 3 days when I went 5.  Maybe I am still eating too much and not exercising enough.  But maybe, just maybe, it’s not technically my fault.  So, I did a little research and found out that it might really not be my fault.

I called Abbott today, the maker of the wonderdrug, for me at least, Humira to find out what to do, since I’m not the only one who has gained weight while on these TNF blocker things (I’ll post the titles of 5 different studies that I can find and you can too, using PubMed… which means there are way more than 5).  I was hoping they’d say that maybe my body is storing fat differently, so any kind of fat is bad, or perhaps my metabolism is slower so I need to to something about that.  Perhaps, I react poorly to sugar.  You know, I thought they’d help me fix this issue so I could stay on my medication and still not be as pudgy.

They, Abbott, the maker of Humira, said, Nuh-uh, not us.  We’re not doing it.  I said, I’ve read studies that show TNF blockers are linked to weight gain.  Their response, We haven’t read those.  I said, well, you can google and read about real, live patients who report weight gain with Humira.  Their response, No, way, not us.  We’ve never heard that.  I told the Humira lady that I was surpised a medical company was less astute at doing research than a lady with google and access to PubMed.  She said, Oh, sorry, but our data doesn’t show that.

Whatever, lady.  Denial is not a river in Africa. I know you all don’t want to report that because all those commercials on TV won’t sound as good if you say, your psoriasis may get better… but you also might get fat. 

Anywho, I’m meeting with my trainer/nutrition guru guy tomorrow to come up with a plan, as good as we can, and here are the names of the studies, all of them showing an increase in BMI for patients with psoriasis or ankylosis spondylitis, who gained the weight while on TNF blockers for an extended time period.  Maybe I should email these links to Abbott, since they’re way too busy to research their own medications.

  1. Prospective assessment of body weight and bodycomposition changes in patients with psoriasis receiving anti-TNF-α treatment.
  2. Comparison of body weight and clinical-parameter changes following the treatment of plaque psoriasis with biological therapies
  3. Effect of anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha therapies on body mass index in patients with psoriasis
  4. Anti-tumour necrosis factor-alpha therapy increases body weight in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis: a retrospective cohort study.
  5. Prospective assessment of body weight, body composition, and bone density changes in patients with spondyloarthropathy receiving anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha treatment