My latest blood test results were a bit disappointing.
I saw Dr. Bean Thursday, and he was almost giddy about my weight loss thus far. When I told him I’d hoped to have lost more than 30 pounds, he very seriously told me that a half-pound a week should be my goal for long-term weight loss.
I understand where he’s coming from: fast weight loss means fast weight regain. A slow, steady loss gives the body time to adjust and adapt to the changes.
I let him know that might be fine for some folks, but not for me. He cautioned me to be careful, and to not expect the same results in my 40s as I did in my 20s. I understand the metabolism naturally slows. I also understand that no matter your age, the weight-loss formula is the same: burn off more calories than you take in.
First off, my blood pressure was really low. It’s never been a real problem for me, but it was nice to see it hanging out at the low end of normal. Dr. Bean wanted to know how I was doing – code for, “Have you been wigging out, lately?” – and I told him I was chill. Sure, I’m dealing with plenty of stress, emphasis on dealing. This economy is no joke, and there’s an increase in anxiety, depression, suicide and yes, obesity because of it. I can imagine what he’s seeing at the practice.
As for me? No, I didn’t see any little lavender men in the sugar bowl this morning. (Sorry. That’s a fave line from some ancient Looney Tunes clip.)
But about those blood tests . . .
They ran just two tests. First, the HbA1c, which is about hemoglobin and blood sugar. In short, this is the one commonly used to screen for diabetes. My number was 6.2 percent, unchanged from February. I was not happy. Once again, Dr. Bean was recommending meds. Once again, I said no. I don’t need meds, I need to do a better job of cutting back even more on carbs. With summer’s bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, it shouldn’t be too difficult. I believe I have been drifting back to carbs and refined sugar, mostly in the form of breads. Going to have to cut those out, completely. Less bagels, more eggs.
By the way, the American Diabetes Association recommends an A1c goal of less than 7 percent, while groups such as the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommend a goal of less than 6.5 percent. So I’m really not being as hard-headed as usual. Dr. Bean wants me at 5 percent, and that’s what I’ll work toward. There’s just no way on God’s green earth I’ll allow a prescription for something the gym can “cure.”
The second one was a complete misfire because I was on an antibiotic all last week. I’m only mentioning it as a warning, in case you don’t have a doc as caring as mine.
It’s called a C-reactive protein (CRP) test, to assess risk for heart attack and stroke. Normal is 0 to 3. In February, I was at 3.8. My Thursday blood test came back at 9.
News like that will give you a heart attack.
Here’s the thing: I was on a strong, nausea-inducing antibiotic all last week because I had cooties. I’ve mentioned in the past how sensitive I am, and certain areas will get irritated and a bad attitude when my love of scented oils, shower gels and body butters crosses a certain line. Well they did, and irritation leads to infection, which leads to strong anti-cootie meds.
I’ll give you one guess as to what can completely throw off CRP results.
I’ll be back to test in three months. In the interim, I’ll be giving wide berth to carbs, because that should also speed up my weight loss.
Onward and upward.
Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country. ~ George W. Bush
Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.