Thursday, June 17, 2004

I am cranky. I'm not sure if it's PMS or the prednisone tapering or just that the whole world kind of stinks right now, but I seem to be even less cheerful than usual at the moment. I apologize in advance if this turns out to be an ill-tempered rant.

I was reading the New York Times health section the other day, and there were two oddly contradictory articles. Article number one was about how people who eat breakfast are generally thinner than people who don't. The theory was that if you don't eat breakfast, you end up so hungry by lunch time that you eat loads of unhealthy crap. That's certainly been my experience.

Article two was about healthy fast-food options for long car trips. The article offers several suggestions for healthy meals, each of which clocks in at about 300 calories. For instance:

For pizza lovers, two slices of Pizza Hut's large Fit N' Delicious Pizza made with ham, onion and mushroom add up to only 300 calories and 8 grams of fat. Add a bottle of water or, if you must, a diet soda, and you have got a meal that will fill you up without filling you out.


Now, I am not a big person. I'm short, before I went on prednisone I was reasonably thin, and I have itty-bitty bones. I do not have one of those famed super-fast metabolisms: I've been tested, and my metabolism is normal. In short, I need fewer calories than the average person. And for me, 300 calories is a snack, not a meal. Two hours after a 300-calorie lunch, I would be craving sustenance, and nine times out of ten I would find it in the form of gummi bears or something similarly sugar-laden and nutritionally valueless. It's the same principal as the not-skipping-breakfast thing: if you don't eat enough, you'll be so famished that you'll fill up on crap. More than that, I don't want to be on the same highway as a bunch of irritable, distracted, hungry drivers. And I'm sick of diet advice that suggests that it's healthy to starve yourself.

This is on my mind because I'm trying to come up with a plan to lose the prednisone weight. I've gained about 15 pounds, all of which seems to be concentrated around my middle. None of my pants fit, and I can't afford new clothes right now. The problem is that I don't diet. Last time I went on a diet, I nearly died, spent three months in the hospital, came close to bankrupting my parents, and pretty much lost seven years of my life. So no dieting. I'm thinking about training for a triathlon. I don't think I'd actually do a triathlon, because I don't think my crappy, third-hand, too-big bike is up to the task. In fact, I plan to do my "training" on the stationary bike at the gym. I'm holding out hope, though, that if I adhere to the training schedule for a triathlon, I will lose my prednisone weight without having to resort to the dreaded "d" word.


Comments:
I managed not to gain weight on prednisone just by exercising like a maniac the entire time. It was also good for the hideous mood swings, because I could put my energy into working out rather than being vile to other people. Most people I know who've taken it long-term say that the weight came off pretty easily once all the poison was out of their system - and the good thing about prednisone is that the side effects go away very quickly. I felt like I'd got my personality back within one day of stopping them. Thank heavens.
 
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