Tuesday, February 23, 2010

diet coke!

I love Diet Coke.  I drink way too much of it.  My nutritionist asked me how much Diet Coke I drink.  I asked her how much there was.  My cardiologist suggested that since the caffeine raises my heart rate, it might be good to cut back.  However, that would make the list of things I "cut back" on untenable.  The things already on the list:
  • Cheese (and its all-important delivery method: pizza)
  • alcohol (and its vectors: beer, wine, and gin)
  • chocolate (in all its glorious forms: cake, brownies, -chip cookies, injected)  
are very nearly enough to risk a heart-attack (note, Cute Doc disagrees with this.  However, she's washing down chocolate-covered pepperoni pizza with a martini as she says that (ok, not really, but she could)).

So at this point, changing my Diet Coke consumption isn't open for discussion. 

Happily, I am not alone in this sentiment.  My artificially-caramel-colored overlords at the Coca-Cola company are on my side.  Diet Coke and The Heart Truth have joined forces because
A healthy, happy heart is essential to staying extraordinary and making the most of every moment.  Diet Coke and The Heart Truth are partnering to raise awareness for women's heath programs.
So every time I drink a Diet Coke (like now!) I am supporting the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, who, I assume, are working very hard on my behalf to figure out how, not only women, but I, too, can eat more pizza, drink more wine, and celebrate every day with a brownie (and/or chocolate cake).

So, Dr. Smarty-Pants Cardiologist, this Diet Coke is for you.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

... just like Bill Clinton.

That's my new line.

When someone asks about it, I can say it's the same thing Bill Clinton had done.  So anyone watching CNN (here or here), reading Newsweek, or the New York Times will know.

I, not being a former President, did not get two stents.  I only got one.

Also, I am not 63, I'm 38.

Nor did I ever have any, much less quadruple, by-pass surgery.  So there's that.

The idea is the same, but I wouldn't have minded waiting a few more years.  Like until I was 63.  That would have been 25 more years of eating cheese.  Dammit.

I wonder if the ex-President got a copy of his imaging so he, too, has a picture of his ribs and heart and the catheter.  I did.  So there.

I now return you to our regularly scheduled rambling.  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Other than a brief run of Prilosec (a freaking miracle drug, as far as I'm concerned) more than a decade ago, I've never taken any medicine regularly.

  • Lipitor, forever.  Keeps the cholesterol down.
  • Baby aspirin, forever.  Yeah, it's not recommended any more- unless your doctor says it is.  Mine does.
  • Metoprolol, for 3 months, or forever, depending on who you talk to.  Blocks the Betas, keeps the heart rate down, and generally mellows me out.  I don't know why exactly this is needed, but in this case, I'm doing what I'm told.  Transient effects include dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, tiredness, and unusual dreams. It may also reduce blood flow to the hands and feet, causing them to feel numb and cold.  Word.
  • Plavix, for a year.  Reduces blood clotting.  Apparently, clotting off that stent is Bad.  This works to prevent that.  Also, adverse effects include hemorrhage.
  • Omega-3 capsules, 2 a day for the "slippery fats" to keep the blood moving.
  • A daily multi-vitamin, mostly for the Vitamin D.  400 IUs. 
The bad part: That's quite a change, going from zero medicine to 7 pills per day.  Most of the change is in my routine - don't forget to take the medicine.  Various doctors, physician assistants, etc. have said (and this is a very, very light paraphrasing) "If you stop taking the Plavix, you will die".  So that's some sort of motivation.

The OK part: As far as I've noticed, I've suffered no side effects.  All that stuff you hear on the TV ads - not for me, at least not in the first month or so.  So, yay.  Except for the lightheadedness from the metoprolol, but even that is getting better.

Thanks for reading.  Next week: food.  Maybe. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

weight loss

I'm 5'7" tall.  When this started, I weighed 167lbs.  That is a BMI of 26.2.  25.0 is overweight.  Bummer.

I was instructed to lose 27 lbs.  That's a BMI of 21.9 - right in the middle of the normal range.

27 pounds!  Dammit.

In the first month, I've lost almost 12 pounds.  That's too much, too fast, but I'm sure it will slow down.

How, you ask, did I do that?  My iPhone saved my life.  (I've always wanted to say that.)  The iPhone app LoseIt is very handy, and is well suited to my slightly data-obsessive mindset.  I met with the very nice nutritionist at the end of January.  She validated LoseIt for me - her pen-and-paper calculations for weight loss matched the phone.  Yay.

I've been obsessively entering everything I eat and all of my exercise into LoseIt.  It is compelling.  And annoying to everyone around me - it's just something else to get me to stare at that tiny screen.  To that I say: don't worry, my iPad will have a bigger screen.  Ha.

I've also started eating at home, and dragging CuteDoc and Tinykins through my cooking and experimenting with recipes.  I've only cooked from Cooking Light (the magazine), Cooking Light: Everyday Favorites (thanks, LawyerInLaw!), and the slow-cooker cookbook Fix It and Forget It Lightly.  But more on that later...

The first  two weeks were terrible.  This blog was almost titled "I want to eat my laptop because I'm so God-damned hungry".  Then I got over it.  Now, it's not so bad.  I know why diets fail though - those two weeks are almost not worth it.  If I wasn't quite so motivated, I probably wouldn't have done it.  And then I think it gets boring, and hard again.  We'll see how long my motivation to not have a heart attack offsets my desire to eat 2-pound burritos and drink beer.  I don't see myself lasting another 40 years that way.  Plus, CuteDoc and Tinykins really do like to eat out.  Hopefully someone will slip a burrito and a mug into my casket for me - I'll owe you.

Anyhow, we still eat out, but less often.  Chipotle has good options, as does Jimmy John's, all of the Japanese restaurants, and even the steakhouses (filet is healthy, go figure).  Eve, with enough exercise earlier in the day, was nice.  It's not as depressing as I first thought it was.  But I always want more than I get.  My plan is that after I get to my target weight, I'll eat more of a maintenance calorie load, which will be quite a bit more food.  My fingers are crossed that that will be as nice as I'm hoping it will be.

And we have found a number of very good recipes.  And you'll see more about those as we go.

Thanks for reading.