If you're a person who feels the rain, you're lucky. Most people just get wet.....

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Weekend Ramble: Genes vs Self

Genes.... Man, they scare the crap out of me. 

Let's go back in time for a minute. It was around 1998 that I found out I had cholesterol problems. We deemed it to be largely a genetic issue, because when I went on a low cholesterol diet, absolutely nothing happened. In fact my overall number was up 30 points. Months of trial and error finally produced a meds set that along with a proper diet kept my numbers in line. Cool. Just keep taking the meds and you'll be fine.

Not quite.

Last year my glucose and liver numbers started creeping up the scale. You've been there.... I know you have. Results yoyoed for a while but basically got worse with each set of labs until there was no denying I had developed type 2 diabetes. I had already cut the alcohol last Halloween in hopes of bringing my liver levels down. Nope... didn't happen. Ok so maybe it's the statins causing the bad numbers... Nope, not that either. An abdominal ultrasound showed a fatty liver.

Now I knew what I had to do. This was six weeks ago.

Radical diet change. No sugars and no carbs. I can do this. I'm gonna fight like hell! Drink tons of water and do a colon and liver cleanse. Create dishes I can feel good about and that will save my life. Lose weight..... LIVE! I WANT TO LIVE!

Doc took me off my statin to see what would happen in that arena as well. You see, he didn't know me 15 years ago, and I guess I was in denial about my genetics. The major diet change was going to be my panacea... yup I was going to kick some diabetes and cholesterol ass!

The pounds came off with ease... 14 pounds in six weeks. I'm DOING this! YES!..... and then came my latest bloodwork... with rather mixed results. Glucose and liver levels were in normal ranges, but cholesterol numbers were through the roof. I literally crashed emotionally. I had psyched myself up so much with this diet change and the effect it was having on my weight and overall sense of winning that I completely set aside the fact that I had cut my glucose and liver numbers in half!

All I could see was what I deemed failure. Frustration spiraled nearly out of control and I was sinking into a depression until I realized that I had kicked ass on what I COULD control, and simply still needed outside help on what I could not. You see, for us folks with these ongoing health issues, it's important to understand the difference between what genetics do to us and what we do to ourselves.

You can't beat your genetics. So you learn to live with the cards you're dealt and get help to keep things in line. When it comes to Self, though, we have all the power in the world to combat and control our disease. Our number one tool? The brain. Use your brain to make a choice... Fight like hell and live? Or capitulate, toss all hope and die. It's as simple as that.

Start that fight with your food choices. I've chosen to go all the way instead of the moderation angle. I know that moderation is easy to cheat on, and knowing my addict gene is always lurking, I understand full well that rationalization is just around the corner. Do I miss my Jameson, my potatoes and my cake? You bet I do, but I can tell you this... It's getting easier to embrace this dietary change with each passing day.

I've taken control of what I can, and I'm getting help with what I can't. 

This is my fight, and I intend to WIN!

No comments: