Change Is Gonna Come


I’ve crossed the line to losing more than 180 pounds — 181 this morning. If you follow the Facebook page for this blog, you may know already that my initial goal was to lose 200 pounds. The closer I get, the more often I get the question — what’s my final weight loss goal?

I suppose it’s a natural question. After all, especially with the advent of shows like The Biggest Loser, where contestants were measured entirely by the number on a scale (and the total proportion of body weight they lost), asking for a number seems like the most obvious question. Even as recently as 40-50 pounds ago, even I had a number in mind, of sorts.

The closer I get, though, the more my perspective changes. It’s the reason I’ve stopped talking quite as much about total weight loss in this blog, although I still give numbers; I know for those who follow my journey, it’s an indicator of how I’m doing. For me, a number on the scale is not the biggest factor, so while I’ll continue to mark certain goals as I pass them, I have a bigger goal in mind. (Not to mention, finding photos that reflect the total amount lost has become a challenge!)

Eh, change has been here for the last nearly 5 years!

One of the main reasons I started this journey in the first place is because I have metabolic syndrome. (Read more here.) It’s not a disease in itself, but rather, a cluster of risk factors, usually triggered by insulin resistance as well as obesity. Now, I am more concerned about solving each of those risk factors, and dropping off prescription medication and being stable without them.

My goal is to be healthy, medically stable, medication free (if possible; I am hypothyroid, so that may be my remaining medication). Whatever weight I happen to be at when I finally cross that threshold of checking all of those boxes, will be the point when I finally decide where I’ll be weight-wise when I decide to move on to maintaining weight instead of actively seeking to lose it.

I have long believed that we have become an over-medicated society. I don’t necessarily blame doctors for this; rather, I think the system is set up to push patients through offices as quickly as possible, which often means treating symptoms rather than solving the actual root of the issue. We end up taking a laundry list of medications that likely do the job and keep us moving forward — and thank God for the souls who invented these lifesaving tools — but I believe most medications are for the purpose of assisting us to survive while we actively work on what caused the issue in the first place. Instead, so many of us simply maintain on a medication because it fixes the problem at its surface, and probably end up eventually taking higher doses or more medications down the road. It’s become normalized behavior instead of actively working to correct the base issue.

With 181 pounds gone, I felt it was high time to visit with my primary care physician and see where some of my metabolic issues stand currently, especially since I’ve lately been exhibiting symptoms of possible over-medication; considering my doses have not changed over the vast majority of my weight loss, it’s high time. I’m fortunate in that I have a doctor who fully listens to me; he has taken baseline labs and we are experimenting with one of my medications over the next few weeks. We’ll test again in three weeks.

My intention is to not only see where those metabolic markers currently are, so I can continue on this course (or correct it, if necessary), but to be as healthy as I can be before knee replacement surgery. I know I will experience some setbacks weight-wise after surgery, but I also suspect that once I get my legs back under me (both literally and figuratively!), my successes may well ramp up a bit.

While I haven’t slain all of my dragons just yet, I suspect that they’re more the size of geckos than a brontosaurus. I don’t want to get ahead of test results I haven’t yet received, but if my suspicions are true and I am ready for further changes to my medical regimen, achieving my health goals are well within my reach.

It’s a long time coming, but change is gonna come — my health is one step closer each day.


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