Friday, January 18, 2013

Change is hard.

I'm one who is comfortable in my ways. When I reach a routine that works for me, I have a tendency to leave it that way. If it ain't broke, don't fix it - right?

Of course, there are some things I change up to "make them better". Such as my diabetes management - insulin dosing, basal rates, insulin to carb ratio (ICR - how much insulin to do I take for each gram of carbohydrate), insulin sensitivity factor (ISF - how many mg/dL a unit of insulin will lower my blood sugar), and blood testing. I like consistency, though, and try not to do anything too drastic unless there's an absolute need for it.

One of the reasons I never moved that far from my hometown was because all my medical management had always been done there, and it was much easier to keep with the same doctors (or at least the same practices) than it was to switch. As I make new appointments here in Illinois, I'm quickly reminded just how much of a pain in the ass this really is. While all my new doctors have copies of my chart and medical history, none of them really know me. I'm starting all over again in building relationships. When you see as many doctors and specialists as I do, it's really quite exhausting.

At the same time, this move was sort of an opportunity for me to reinvent myself. While I am largely pleased with the person I have become over the last few years, there are still some things I wouldn't mind changing. It's hard to do that when you have always lived in the same place, been with the same people. Any time I went to my local Target store, it was like a high school reunion. While I enjoyed high school, there are (of course) people and incidents I wouldn't mind forgetting - or at least not be reminded of. Haven't you seen any John Hughes movies (Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Sixteen Candles...)? High school is a time to dread and cherish.

Changing my thinking about weight management has probably been the most profound, and welcome, transformation I have been through over the past few years. I never realized just how much I had subscribed to the Health At Every Size line of thinking until I came to a practice that doesn't recognize HAES. Or Intuitive Eating. Or Competent Eating.At my new place of employment, we are subscribed to a very rigid, very structured healthy eating and meal replacement program for significant weight loss. What I seem to struggle with the most is the science behind the program. It's not that the science is biased or unfounded (because it isn't - all research was completed by non-invested third parties), it's that the science shows the weight loss program actually works. Both short term and long term weight loss past the five year mark has proven to be successful - with more than 20% of body weight loss maintained.Trust me, if you know me, you know I've read all the studies associated with this program. They make fun of me at work because I always have some study on my desk with fresh highlighters, just waiting to be geeked out about.

My brain has a hard time wrapping around this program because I've followed the notion for so long that diets simply don't work. Permanent lifestyle changes and cognitive behavior therapy enforcing healthy decisions is what works. And you don't have to be thin to be healthy. But if there's a "diet" that actually works? How can you not encourage people to follow it? There's an incredible battle going on inside my head. Both sides waging war against the other because neither can live peaceably together. I worked so hard for self love and body acceptance. Now I'm faced with a conundrum of epic proportions - standing my beliefs up against my job.

It's like I have an angel and a devil on each shoulder. The HAES angel encourages me to teach healthy living, without focusing on weight - focus on cherishing and loving the beautiful person you are today with the body you have. The Place of Employment devil wants me to do my job and practice this weight loss program - that science proves works. I can't do both - so how do I choose between my job (one I really, really wanted) and what I truly, honestly believe in?

Change and adjusting to change is hard.

"The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking." ~Albert Einstein


  1. I would definitely struggle with that same issue. I can really relate - both because personally I struggle with sticking to strict dieting habits - I love my favorite foods - and slip into bad habits. I also have met so many patients who just are NOT willing to make drastic changes and I feel that I MUST meet them at the point where they are rather than imposing a set of rules on them.

    So, actually, I am super curious to know more about this diet since you have seen the science and are convinced by it. Which program is it, if you can share. Thanks,

  2. Hmmm. What a conundrum. Change IS hard.

    What I know of you, you'll keep working this over in your head, over and over and over -- maybe a million times, then you'll land on something that makes sense to you and that you're comfortable with.

  3. Change is definitely hard. But sometimes worth it. I hope that however it turns out, you're happy with the end result. Because we all deserve to be happy.

  4. "high school is a time to dread and cherish"...what a great quote!

    change is totes hard. i like scott's response and agree with what he's said.

  5. I love reading your entries! And getting updates on you, hope all is well! We miss you!