I went in to Dr. Bravo’s office this morning for my bimonthly treatment of Remicade for rheumatoid arthritis. Shelia is my favorite infusion nurse–a single mom from Canada, who rides motorcycles, does yoga, and entertains me with stories about how she is getting back into the dating scene, while raising her high school and college-age kids and trying to maintain a civil relationship with her ex-husband, a doctor who sounds self-absorbed and spoiled. She apparently met him when she had just gotten out of nursing school and went to work for an organization similar to Nurses without Borders. She landed in New Orleans, where he was in medical school.
We always talk about our kids and my grandkids, our favorite television shows and books, and politics, a topic on which we generally agree. Shelia complains about the senseless number of protocols and regulations–like having to check insurance cards both at the desk and again in the infusion room–which take time away from “real nursing and attending to the patient.” They are trying to hire a third infusion nurse just to manage all the paperwork and extra procedures.
Anyway, this Shelia held my bag and jacket and cup of coffee, while I stepped on the scale for her to determine my weight so that she could calibrate the amount of medication I would need.
“That’s another thing,” complains Shelia. “We used to be allowed to round up or down with the units. Now, we can only round up and we just end up wasting medication.” (About $4000 per treatment).
I swear I did not mean to look at the number on that scale! I had planned to look away, and was confident I’d hear Shelia say, “Oh, you’ve dropped a few pounds,” and then I’d feel good and say, “Well I’ve been on this program where I only eat…”
But I just couldn’t resist. My eyes went right to the digital window. I blinked once or twice. “Are you kiddin’ me?” That scale was registering 2 pounds more than when I cheated and weighed myself on Day 8. I’d done this enough times to know that when I weigh at the doctor’s office with all my clothes on, it adds 3 pounds. That means I have only lost 1 pound since I weighed last, and that’s two pounds down from my Christmas weight, not my regular weight! I could feel my blood pressure rising.
We entered the infusion room, a pleasant area where 2-3 patients sit in recliners and watch television, read, or chat until their course of medication is complete–anywhere from 30 minutes to 5-6 hours–mine takes about two-and-a-half. Most are there for rheumatoid arthritis; some for psoriatic arthritis or other related conditions. I’m telling Shelia that my joint pain has improved since I went on the Whole30 diet 18 days ago. A woman sitting in the corner of the room, who I’d seen once or twice before, piped up and asked “How much weight have you gained?”I had to laugh.
Before she started the IV, Shelia took my blood pressure. “Wow,” she said–94 over 65. You’re usually about 110. That’s great.”
“Well, at least something is coming down, even if my weight isn’t.” I thought.
Just to verify, the moment I got home I stripped down to my underwear and got on my bathroom scale. Sure enough, the number was 3 pounds less than in the doctor’s office. Eighteen days with no sugar, no cheese, no ice cream, no bread, and all I’ve lost is two measly pounds!
I threw myself a nice little pity party, turning to food for solace as I have always tended to do. You’ll see that reflected in the food diary below. The only difference is that this time I did not eat anything that was not Whole30 compliant. Still, calories are calories, whether they are empty ones or nutritious ones. I guess you could say that I over-nourished myself.
At the end of the day, I found myself confronted with two questions:
(1) Do you want to be healthy? The answer is, of course, “yes.”
(2) Do you want to lose weight? The answer, again, is “yes.”
And, the solution is, was, and will always will be:
If you want to be healthy, eat nourishing food; if you want to be healthy and thin, eat nourishing food and count/burn calories.
Will I heed my own advice–stay on the Whole30 program for the next 12 days and count calories? Will I end the Whole30 program both healthier and thinner? That remains to be seen. I only know that tomorrow is another day and an opportunity for a fresh start. Stay tuned!
- Breakfast--Eggs fried in clarified butter, berries with coconut cream
- Snack–Freeze dried pineapple, kale chips, dates
- Lunch–Meat sauce from last night, homemade applesauce, dates
- Snack–roasted plantain chips, cashews, dates
- Dinner–organic chicken sausage, onion, and potatoes sautéed in clarified butter