Sunday, November 21, 2010

Personal Health: Mirror to Me: "You Are Fat, Olive Juice"

My mirror told me recently that “you are fat”.  A medical mirror would have said,  "you have Insulin Resistance" (Healthy for Life by Ray Strand, MD is my favorite book about this condition, I’ll blog more medically later).  It would never say, "You're Obese", because that isn't medically billable.  It noted the size and contour of my body and compared that to 15 years ago when it first looked at me.  In those days when I looked into the mirror and said, “I love you”, it seemed to say it back to me at the same time.  Now it says, “Olive juice” which looks like, “I love you”, but isn’t.
Losing the love of my mirror, all because of the insulin resistance.  (AKA, “You’re Fat”).  (In case you started to think of Roberta Flack singing “Killing Me Softly with His Song”, I started singing that in my mind as I felt the rhythm of the words “losing the love of my mirror”.)  So what am I doing to get my mirror back? 
My Morning Health Ritual:  Feed cat in kitchen.  Read book while pedaling exercycle for ten minutes (it’s best to start with 5 minutes daily until addicted to exercising, then increase slowly since you’ll do it for the rest of your life.  I disagree with those who would have people start with 30 minutes of anything, including walking briskly, free weights, bicycling, etc.  That tends to get people hurting enough one way or another that they give it up very soon. Folks, get addicted to exercising, then play with slow increases, staying short of injury and pain.). 
The arthritis in my knees causes me to alter the amount of weight bearing exercise I will do.  At a certain body weight, the pain in my right medial meniscus (cartilage) whispers truths similar to my mirror.  Naproxen Sodium 220mg twice daily (with one 81 mg coated aspirin daily) in addition to the fish oil and flax seed plus glucosamine 750mg twice daily helps with inflammation and pain at present, but adds a bit of kidney damage risk (the naproxen) over time.  I’m over my weight limit for the knee and that means I can’t pick up the grandchildren without wincing.  More motivation.  (It’s OK, Natalie and Andrew, Grandpa is unloading some excess body to be able to carry you around your new house at Christmas.)

One “exercycle focused” book I recently finished on the exercycle is Broken by Lisa Jones, a book about the author’s “Journey Toward Redemption on the Wind River Indian Reservation” and featuring Stanford Addison, a Northern Arapaho native American horse trainer with quadriplegia who had unique spiritual and healing insights.  I often pick parts of the Bible for my exercycle reading, speaking of spiritual and healing insights- it’s the best information for me, because it’s always helpful and interesting and I want to read more.  The reading material may be key to some people getting the exercise.

Then I prepare two packets of instant oatmeal mixed with about 1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Grain High Fiber Hot Cereal with Flaxseed, (10 grams of fiber and 1000mg omega-3’s) and ¼ cup frozen berries, cook in microwave for 1:45 minutes.  While that’s cooking, I drink 12-18 ounces of water and take vitamins, minerals and supplements (see my blog of October 5th and/or listen to October 5th Dr Synonymous Show on synonymous for a couple vitamin comments, or for massive amounts of vitamin/nutraceutical information).

Next, I enjoy a lemony tasting  one and one-half tablespoons of Carlson Fish Oil (a very high dose that I got in the habit of taking when I bought a bottle of orange flavored fish oil that didn’t block out a fishy taste- I’m sort of cheap, so wouldn’t just throw away the product but decided to get rid of it fast and healthy.)  Read The Omega 3 Connection by  Andrew Stoll,MD (a psychiatrist) if you want to know some brain health and body health benefits of Omega 3’s and Barry Sears book, The Omega Rx  Zone: The Miracle of the New High-Dose Fish Oil for more Omega 3 information and tips.)

“Carlson Fish Oil, Omega-3’s DHA & EPA, Great Lemon Taste!  Purity and Potency Guaranteed.  Dietary Supplement.  Vitamin A & D Free.  Each teaspoonful (5 ml) contains 1600 mg Omega-3 Fatty Acids, including EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid)  800mg, DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) 500 mg and Other Omega-3 Fatty Acids 300 mg.  Contaminant free, tested by FDA-registered lab to be fresh, fully potent and free of detectable levels of mercury, cadmium, lead, PCB’s and 28 other contaminants.  Manufactured and bottled in Norway for J.R. Carlson Laboratories, Inc. Arlington Hts, Illinois .”

I then feed the birds at two feeders that are suspended from a swing frame on our deck with sunflower seeds.  About ten varieties of birds show up from time to time to partake of the sunflower seeds, including finches, cardinals, blue jays, titmouse, woodpeckers and others.  Hummingbirds hover at their feeder that my wife cares for in summer to late September, but that’s not part of my ritual.

After showering, dressing and teeth/hair care, etc. I gather up wallet, keys, cell phone, lap-top in carry all, go into the garage where I feed Buckeye and Shadow, our outdoor dog and cat and load my “stuff” into my 2005 Chrysler mini-van.  I go back inside, hug and kiss my wife (unlike the mirror, she’s not saying “olive juice” yet), get a 12 ounce glass of water to go and an XS Electric Lemon Blast Energy Drink (OK, some may frown on this, but it’s not the alcoholic one and it’s zero sugar and 2 carbs, with 4900% RDA of B12, 300% B6, 100% B3 & B5 and 83 mg caffeine mostly from green tea, sweetened with sucralose, including an “adaptogenic blend” of various ginsengs, Schisandra- I love the sound of that word, uplifting and magical-Astragalus and Reishi).

Last, but not least,  I put on my yellow- tinted sunglasses (my mother got these on sale-as seen on TV-  for my brother and I - they make everything that has color look brighter, which I love- Thanks, Mom) and drive 12 miles cross country and through the suburbs to my medical office.  OK mirror, I’ve started the road to recovery.  A long, long road, way beyond "olive juice".  More later.

Thanks for inspiration from the gifted family doctor writing, Dr Fatty Finds Fitness


  1. Five minutes is a good amount of time to start out with. Thank you for being realistic. I haven't done any exercise since our vacation, and it shows; time to start over. Good luck with your routine!

  2. WS, Thanks for the feedback and mention on your post.
    Next on HCHH, we'll expand the (inspect and) detect part of the pt-dr engagement. Humans can pull off successful shared problem solving/decision making in clinical situations. Happy Thanksgiving!
    (I may go on the exercycle twice on Thurs and Fri, so my mirror won't be disappointed.)

  3. Thanks for the compliment. Baby steps.

  4. Everyone's beautiful in their own way!