As I wrote at some point over the last two months, I’ve shifted my focus from paying off my student loans (mission accomplished) to becoming healthier. The main method that I’ve employed to become healthier is going back to the gym. My routine to hitting the gym is going on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays – usually before work each morning. Going to the gym before work means that I’m waking up around 5:00am, getting myself together and reading the morning news until about 5:30am, and then starting my workouts at the gym around 5:45am. It’s a pretty regimented and somewhat grueling routine, but it’s generally okay once you make a habit out of it. This week is my eighth week of getting back in the gym.
Oh – and all of those realities that prevented me from going to the gym at 5:45am over the last several years… well, they still exist and they are still a problem. I deal with it by getting a little bit less sleep each night and a lot less high quality sleep throughout the week. Again, no one has invented a workout routine made for the honestly busy person or the long commuter, so I just have to do what I can and deal with the consequences (i.e. general exhaustion).
Along with the vague goal of getting healthier, I’ve opted to focus on my health in an attempt to reduce the number of medications that I take on a daily basis. Those medications include 8 pills each morning, a shot in the stomach each morning, and then another pill each night. The picture above is a quick snapshot of four mornings’ worth of pills (minus the shot in the stomach). I should note that 3 of the 8 morning pills are optional (they are my brown-colored multivitamins and the orange turmeric pill). The majority of the remaining 6 pills that I take each day (and the shot) are all related to controlling my Type 2 Diabetes. Since I was diagnosed back in August 2009, I’ve been on a rather unsteady amount of daily medication – sometimes the number of pills has been higher, sometimes it has been lower. And other times the amount of medication that I’m taking changes based on other factors including my weight and level of physical activity.
And it’s those weight and physical activity factors where I can make a real impact on my daily pill intake. So I’ve been working out consistently for the last eight weeks and trying to drop weight, get mildly stronger again, and reduce the amount of medication that I take each day. I bet you’re wondering what the results of that activity are, right?
The results not good.
In addition to having a poor quality of sleep like I noted above, I’ve only lost about 10 pounds. Now granted, I understand that if someone else were to lose 10 pounds, they may have a massive celebration. I get it. For me and my physical state, though, I should have lost 10 pounds in water weight during the first week that I started working out. That didn’t happen. Instead, it took me about eight weeks to drop those 10 pounds and I truly feel that if I stopped working out for a week or so, then those 10 pounds would come rushing back. But that’s just the weight part of the equation. My bigger aggravation and bigger frustration right now is that in addition to only dropping 10 pounds, my doctor decided to increase my daily pills by 1 each morning starting last week.
After having worked out for so many weeks and feeling better and stronger overall, you can’t imagine what my face looked like when my doctor prescribed the additional pill.
What’s worse is that he prescribed it for high blood pressure. My response to that diagnosis was, “What?! I’ve never had high blood pressure. I’ve always had low blood pressure.” And that’s the truth. I (like so many other overweight people) have marveled each of my doctors over the years because my blood pressure has always been low. And then, randomly, my doctor tells me that my blood pressure is high because it tested at 118 over 94? Really? I was at the gym earlier in the day for goodness’ sake!
Very frustrating. For me, working out hasn’t really worked out. I don’t know what the problem is, but I know that buying into the bullshit in the healthcare and gym industries isn’t going to help – my doctor just managed to prove that outright. So where do I go from here? Well, in addition to not losing a substantial amount of weight, disrupting my sleep schedule, and increasing my daily medication I have to admit that I’ve actually enjoyed going back to the gym and lifting weights. My entire workout regime is based around lifting weights and I enjoy that aspect of working out. So I’m going to keep at it, but not because of any health benefits (clearly, I haven’t realized any yet). Instead, I’m going to keep at working out because it’s fun and waking up at that ridiculous hour is now a habit that I wouldn’t mind keeping for the foreseeable future. Why not?