Thursday, July 29, 2010

Body Image

I realized after writing that last post that I (still) have a terrible body image. But now, instead of just focusing on my physical appearance, I also have difficulty with the ways in which it seems my body has betrayed me. Infertility is just one of those ways, to judge from my last entry.

I think I had a good body image in high school - helped by the fact that I was thin, could pretty much wear anything I wanted, and that my body would do anything I asked of it. That changed when I got to college - I still remember stepping on the scale after my freshman year, and finding out that I had gained the freshman 23, fueled by lack of exercise, big chocolate chip cookies, Snackwells "fat free" cookies (yes, but not calorie free, you dumbass), and ... did I mention the big chocolate chip muffins? That wasn't a very pleasant realization. I have never managed to consistently keep my weight down from that point, although I do think I am in better shape now than I ever was in college. I did start exercising again consistently after that - not always at a high intensity, but I was at least doing *something*. My body and I settled into a kind of detente.

When I worked nights, I didn't gain much weight, despite a not-so-healthy lifestyle (eating out several times a week! an obsession with Diet Coke! eating lunch/dinner at 2 am!). When I worked on the West coast was when I really started exercising in earnest. I started running again. I started hiking. I started biking. Rollerblading. Walking. I never noticed a significant drop in weight, but I felt better. I did finally drop weight when I went to camp for geeks one summer, and exercised twice a day - running in the morning (usually 30 minutes) and then a 1 hour aerobics class in the evening. Insane? Maybe. But it was either that or go crazy from the amount of information I was trying to learn in 8 short weeks.

Since then, I have been a consistent and sometimes obsessive exerciser. It's gotten worse since my diagnosis of diabetes 2 years ago, because now I don't feel like I can even take a day off. I do one day of yoga/pilates a week, and even that is pushing it for me. And I usually make that the day I clean the bathrooms and take the dog for a long walk, so that I get a little bit more movement into my day.

I think I eat more healthily than I ever did 10 years ago. Scratch that - I *know* I eat more healthily. And still - I am the heaviest I have ever been. Easily 10 pounds heavier than I was after freshman year of college. I really could stand to lose 20 pounds - and yet, despite my healthy eating, and my near-daily exercise, I cannot make the scale budge.

I'm sure I'm eating more than I should - working at home has its drawbacks. But if I have to read one more magazine story about someone who lost 90 pounds by cutting out fried food (done that!) and walking 20 minutes a day (um, yeah), I might scream.

Now, with infertility, and diabetes, and asthma, and a possible heart murmur...I feel like my body is failing, slowly.

Infertility, in particular, blindsided me. Infertility, for me, meant that no matter what kind of effort I made in terms of taking care of my body, my body would not respond and do what it is *supposed* to do. What it is *biologically* supposed to do. Infertility meant that my body failed me, even when I gave it my best. I don't think I have failed at anything else that I meant to do in my life. And yet...I cannot have children (without significant intervention). Up until that diagnosis, I could do anything I put my mind to.

So now, my body image suffers. My external, physical body image, and my internal body image, as well. It's like my body is laughing at me - no! I won't lose weight, no matter how far you run. No! I won't get pregnant, no matter how well you take care of me, or how much you want it. And so, most days, even though my body pretty much does what I ask of it, still, most days I hate my body. The inside and the outside.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Seriously, pancreas, what the hell?

This is a non-infertility (well, mostly) related post, primarily because this is driving me stark. raving. mad. and I have to write about it somewhere.

I mentioned before that I have type 2 diabetes, courtesy of some crappy DNA. This is...frustrating, at best, because my lifestyle and even my physical appearance do not fit most peoples' perceptions of individuals with type 2 diabetes. I could stand to lose 20 pounds - but I am not obese. My cholesterol levels are better than most people my age. I don't smoke. I eat more fruits and vegetables than nearly everyone else I know. I exercise seven. days. a. week. I am more active than nearly all of my friends. And still, still! My pancreas pulls this crap on me.

I never know what to expect - which, for me, is like a mild form of torture. I like to plan. I like to know how things are going to turn out. I like to visualize my day, and plan how it will unfold, and then *make it happen*. I can't DO that with my blood sugars. Case in point: Thursday evening we had veggie burgers, onion rings, and salad for dinner. I had no bun with my veggie burger, a small number of (baked!) onion rings, and a huge salad. For dessert? A skinny cow mini fudge bar. Saturday evening, we had friends over for dinner. I had: a hamburger (on a [whole wheat] bun! the horror!), corn on the cob, and a big spoonful of pasta salad. Oh, and strawberry pie for dessert. Friday morning's sugar and Sunday morning's were...1 point apart.

I'm even *more* frustrated now, because we finally decided to apply for life insurance for me. We're dumb, because we should have done this when we got married. But it's not exactly top of the list for most people - and it wasn't for us. I'll be 35 next week. When I did the health interview, I just knew that my quoted premium was going to go up. Ha.

According to them, my diabetes, asthma, and heart murmur are what caused my premiums to increase. Yeah. My well-controlled diabetes (at least my endocrinologist thinks so). My exercise-induced asthma, which requires that I take an inhaler before I run. And my "heart murmur", which was thoroughly worked up this year, over the course of three months and umpty-zillion tests, and was found to be a) completely benign, and b) not even audible, depending on who you asked.

So, my premiums? One for term, one for whole life? Went up 282% and 164%, respectively. I nearly threw up.

In comparison, the best info I could find for a person who smokes? Is that their premiums will go up 100%. I am mortified, and also kind of appalled.

The thing I hate most about this is how unhealthy it makes me feel. I know that I am a healthy person, that I make good choices. Hell, I wear sunscreen every day. I avoid the sun. I make my own bread just so I know what goes into it. I know I can't select what parts of my DNA will express and which will not (seriously, why couldn't I get the flat chest from my dad's side of the family??). But to be punished, every single month, for things that are outside my control, well, that makes me mad. And sad.

I suspect I would pay less if I were a sedentary, obese, smoker vs. an active, healthy person who happens to be diabetic.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


  • I am so brain dead after our weekend away and a couple of crazy days at work, I'm going to try to catch up a little by using bullet points.
  • I got my hair chopped off on Monday. I love it. Even though I said I would never ever do short-short hair again. Apparently 10 years is long enough for me to get over my previous trauma. [n.b.: my previous involved bangs...heavy bangs...and clippers were frequently used on the back]
  • I survived the reunion. There was a general comment / question about any pregnancy announcements. I was pretty obviously drinking a beer at that point, so we did not feel compelled to volunteer that no, I was not pregnant.
  • One of my husband's friends is a bit of a sanctimonious twit. We (husband and I) were responsible for the cookout on Saturday night. You know, burgers, brats, hot dogs, use the grill at the park, etc. Throw in some chips and cookies, and maybe some fruit salad? It's like every bbq out there...except that we have it in a park. So, afterwards, this friend comes up to me, says thank you to me for putting it together, then says "We weren't sure you were going to be able to pull this off, since you don't have kids." Um, what? What on *earth* does hosting a bbq have to do with being a parent? I just turned away. Seriously?
  • Another friend (this one a bit of a blowhard) also insulted my profession. Thanks, blowhard! I will never understand why some people think it's okay to insult the profession - or other choice/characteristic - of someone standing right in front of them. Again, what is up with that???
  • Despite that, I had a good time. I always get along better with the husbands at this gathering. Probably because I wouldn't understand the other I'm not a mother. ;)
Life has been busy since we got renovations on track, husband wrapping up the long-distance job, and me taking on more responsibility even though my new job (and associated new salary) doesn't really start for a month.