A food addict's travels on the road to recovery.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm Off My Meds!!!

I got my lab results today and it's mostly good news!!

I took myself off of all of my meds earlier this year (except for the thyroid meds, that one is for life). None of my illnesses were terribly dire, so I wanted to see what I could do with diet and exercise alone, with no meds in my body. In 4 1/2 months, this is what I've accomplished with healthier eating and regular exercise:

I was on 2 diabetes meds (thank God it was never bad enough to need insulin). My A1C # should not be above a 6. When I got it checked in January, it was an 8.4. Today it was a 6.7. This is still a little over, but the doctor said that I've made such great strides, and he knows I'm continuing to do so, that I do not need to take any more meds for the diabetes!!

I was on a high blood pressure med. But the last 4x I was at the doctor, it was a normal reading, so I was okay with taking myself off of that one. My visit last Wed gave me another normal reading of 120/80, so he said no more blood pressure med!!

My bad cholesterol (LDL) shouldn't be over 130. Mine is 114! No more bad cholesterol med!!

My good cholesterol (HDL) should be at least a 45. Mine is a 25, so it's too low. They want to put me on a med for this when I go in for a follow-up appt in a month. I'm disappointed about that. I asked what kind of food I should be eating to improve it. My doctor said you don't improve good cholesterol with food...only bad cholesterol is improved with food. He said you improve the good cholesterol with exercise. I explained that I've progressed from walking less than a mile all the way to walking/jogging 4 miles a day/6 days a week! He was shocked and said that I'm doing plenty of exercise then, and that unfortunately it's heredity that's causing it. I emailed Sean and Pam to see if they knew anything about this. Both of them said that their dr's said it CAN be improved with food.....good stuff like fish, walnuts, almonds, etc. So...I'm planning on incorporating more of these into my diet and see what I can do on my own.

My thyroid nearly killed me in 1999. I went to bed one night and woke up in a hospital 4-5 days later. I had been on life support for 4 days and nobody knew what was wrong. It was finally determined that I had hypothyroidism, meaning an overactive thyroid. My doctor told me today that your thyroid should run between a .34 and a 5.6. When I got out of the hospital, mine was at a 67. No wonder I damn near died!

It has been super high for many years and my meds have steadily increased. I don't understand the thyroid at all...I do not know if diet and exercise affect it, or if there's any way to improve it on your own. All I know is that when I went and had labs done in January, all of a sudden I had gone from HYPO to HYPER, meaning now my thyroid was too low. He lowered my dose from 2 pills a day to 1 1/2. My labs today said that my thyroid is still too low, and in fact, lower than it was in January. No idea why. It shouldn't be lower than a .34. It was a .30 in January, and today it's a .22. He told me to drop down to 1 pill a day. So although I'll be on this one for life, at least the dose is decreasing, and that makes me happy. :)

I was so excited to get this news today...I said when I started this blog that I wanted to lose weight, but most importantly, I wanted to get healthy. I didn't want to die an early death and leave my family behind and that's exactly where I was headed. In less than 5 months, I've turned it all around. Almost all of the meds are out of my life, and I hope they're gone forever. This proves what you can do when you make The Decision, set your goal, and go after it. The trick is not to never fall....it's to get up EVERY TIME you fall....never quit. Ever. Life is too important. If I can do it, so can you. Without question. :)

My calories are at 1650 today. I was shooting for 1600 because my exercise is limited, but I just couldn't seem to stop munching on that dang turkey breast I baked today! I took the skin off, covered it in spices, and then sprayed it with some olive oil cooking spray to hold in some of the juices. It came out very moist and flavorful. I'll use it to make some turkey pitas w/ lettuce and tomato for the next couple of days. I made a great breakfast and it was under 200 calories. It was an egg white scramble with fresh mushrooms, onions and 1 oz of Boar's Head 47% lower sodium ham, with some tomato diced on top. It was delicious! This afternoon I made a Greek chicken wrap. It was sauteed chicken tenders with fresh spinach and artichoke hearts. I used a low-carb wheat tortilla, and added some shredded lettuce and 1 tbsp. of reduced fat sour cream. Yum! I took some pics:

On the exercise front...it was 40 degrees this morning with thick, heavy fog. A good day to stay in cuddled up on the sofa with a warm cup of coffee, lol. But I headed to the park anyway, and did an easy 2 mile walk. My knee felt okay...not totally right yet, but not hurting. Again, I didn't want to push it, so I left the trail after 2 miles, ran some errands, and went back home. Josh at "A Personal Journey of Fitness and Fat Loss" was kind enough to give me some links to some more bat wing exercises (triceps), so I tried out a new one today.

Skullcrushers (triceps) - 20 reps on each arm with 5 lb. weight. I tried it with a 10 lb. weight and couldn't even lift it 2 inches, lol.

My normal tricep exericse (dropping 10 lb. weight behind my head with both hands, bending at the elbow, then extending over my head fully). 50 - 2 reps of 25 with a 10 lb weight.

Wall push-ups - 50 - 2 reps of 25

Crunches - 100 - 2 reps of 50

Leg Lifts - 20 - 2 reps of 10 (my stomach is still so big that these are the hardest exercise for me right now).

So all in all, today has been great...especially with the news on the lab results. I'm a little worried about whether or not I'll lose this week, because of my lack of cardio....but I'm not freaking too much. If I don't lose this week, I'll do my best to lose some the next. :)

Also, I want to give Josh a shout out. If you haven't seen his blog yet, it would behoove you to do so. This guy inspires me each and every day. Since he's posted his weight on his own blog, I hope he doesn't mind me mentioning a ballpark figure here. Josh started his journey at over 300 lbs. He's had some consistent, fantastic losses. He is an absolute machine in the gym...always giving it all he's got.....he swims, lift weights, plays basketball and the list goes on and on. He does things now at his weight that I only dream of at my current weight of 230. I'm so glad I found his blog....he's a true inspiration and he inspires me to want to try and do more than I think I can. Josh, this quote is for you tonight. :)

Quote For the Day:

"Unless a man undertakes more than he possibly can do, he will never do all that he can." -Henry Drummond


  1. Oh, that is such awesome news that you're hardly taking any medication anymore! I personally hate pills and think a lot of people could do without (most of) it if they just lived healthfully and you are a great example of that! I'm not sure about upping good cholesterol, but hopefully eating the right foods works out for you.

  2. What GreaT News Tammy My Girl!!!

    I am delighted for you, you must be feeling so proud of yourself and rightly so. These results show what can be done in a comparetivley short space of time.

    I am sure they will spur you on to even more success with your healthy diet and exercise.
    You are heading for the moon girl and I am so proud of you.

    You have given me such a good start to my day:)

    love and hugs


  3. That is just GREAT NEWS Tammy! I am so pleased for you.

    It was some dire test results and long-term health problems that made me finally lose the weight. Getting off the danger list has been the best thing EVER.

    And seeing you look so great, knowing your health is so much better is making me so happy!


  4. WOW!!! What a shocking advert for healthy living! What a amazing turn around Tammy! Well done. I am sure you feel so very proud of yourself! You just inspire me SO much you will never truly know.
    Thank you.

  5. OMG!!! I am SO happy for you! This is the best NSV ever! You have literally changed the course of your life, Tammy! So, so very proud of you!!!

  6. Congratulations Tammy! Those improved numbers are the ones that really count, not the ones on the scale. That gives this journey to weight loss and fitness the deepest and truest motivation of all, and can be very helpful to help us sustain through hungry times.

    I was able to come off Metformin for Type 2 diabetes a few months back, and the last blood test I had my A1C was 5.7. You're almost there. Fantastic! You are such a delightful inspiration and cheerleader for us all. And your food looks great. I'm going to start taking food pictures again, if my camera stops f-ing up! Have a great day!

  7. Congrats on getting off the meds! It's amazing how much losing a little weight can do for you. Keep up the good work!

  8. TAMMY!! Best headline/title in your blog yet!! "I'm off my meds!" I love it. I was waiiiiting for this...figured it was coming! Great job girl, you worked hard for this. [glad you are working w/your Dr. on that.] Oh and that 42 lb loss? SUPER! Time for new photos! You inspire.

    That turkey breast sounds YUMmy! The 'omelet' & wrap sound really nice too! Omw, what a diff 2 meals for you, huh? Compared to this time last year. That is one positive about this out of work time for you. More time for YOU; and T, you are using it SO wisely! This lifechange can feel like a PT job, and you are workin' it. Preparing great meals for yourself & exercising..I'm so proud of you! When you start up w/work again of course you will have to make adjustments, but you will be sportin a whole new lifestyle that is already established.

    Yay for you!!!!! And thanks for sharing your lab levels, I'm sure that will inspire others as well.

  9. Tammy - That is so awesome that you're off your meds! I've found with Synthroid (if that's what you're on) that the dosage changes as my weight changes. I was on a higher dose when I was pregnant. I was taking an extra pill on Sundays (per Dr.'s orders) and now that I'm losing weight, I don't take that anymore. So, maybe since you are losing weight, your dosage is going down? Just a thought. Love your quote today - very inspirational.

  10. Woo! Thanks for the shout-out. :) I love the skullcrushers, when I first did them I could barely use the 10s too, but now I rock out the 50lb dumbbells on it in each hand.

    Congrats on being off all those meds, did the doctor give you some non-medication ideas for raising your good cholesterol?

    Here are some ideas:

    Monounsaturated fats such as canola oil, avocado oil, or olive oil and in the fats found in peanut butter can increase HDL cholesterol levels without increasing the total cholesterol.

    Soluble fibers are found in oats, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, and result in both a reduction in LDL cholesterol and an increase HDL cholesterol. For best results, at least two servings a day should be used.

    Cranberry juice has been shown to increase HDL levels. Fish and other foods containing omega-3 fatty acids can also increase HDL levels. In postmenopausal women (but not, apparently, in men or pre-menopausal women) calcium supplementation can increase HDL levels.

  11. i think you may need a new doc.. or your doc needs some edumacation.. HDL's can totally be affected by diet. The above poster has some great stuff.. all I've heard before too.

    GREAT post, Tammy!! so inspiring!!

    You keep reminding me too, that I need to be doing more than walking,and start incorporating strength exercises too. Especially my core.


  12. Congrats on getting off your meds!!! That is so awesome!

  13. I am so happy for you and getting off your medication! That is amazing!

  14. Way to go on your great numbers. Sounds like you're doing great. Loved your quote of the day!

  15. FAB U LOUS!!!! It is a wonderful feeling to take yourself off of meds because you're doing such good things for your body. Way to go.

  16. Your hard work and smarter healthy choices have totally paid off with your new numbers!! That's the whole reason I started my new healthy lifestyle 3 years ago, to be healthier and as strong as I could be to live a long long life! My BP was almost to the point of needing meds before I started.
    Way to go!!!
    Your meals look great! It's funny how my palette has changed so much in the last 3 years. I have found that I LOVE artichokes. They look awesome in your wrap!
    Off to check out Josh's blog :)

  17. You are amazing, Tammy! You keep up that hard work!

    *does a jig of happiness for the decrease in meds*

    I want to know how to do Skullcrushers! I've never heard of those!!

  18. Congratulations on all the amazing things you have accomplished. Getting off the meds is amazing. I wish my hubby could do the same!

  19. Wow, Tammy! That is probably the best news I've heard in a while!!! What's better than not having to take meds anymore??

  20. Tammy, we're so proud of you! This makes us very happy, knowing you're committed to getting yourself healthy. Such a blessing to us! Relieves so much worry we had because we love you so much! Keep on keeping on!
    Love, Mom O.

  21. Fantastic news Tammy!
    That thyroid seems to give many of us a problem eh?

    I of course love the food pics! You know that :D

    You are doing so well and your enthusiasm shines through.

    Josh is a machine!

  22. Tammy .... I'm so proud of you getting off those meds. You are doing so well ... Keep it up!

  23. Amazing...you should seriously be on Oprah or something!?! Not many people can change their health to that extent...you have every reason to be proud of yourself. How do I see Josh's blog? Can you link it?