Pavlov’s Dog

Something mysteriously and magically happened to me when I lost my job on May 18th and the six weeks that followed.  My husband and I traveled to Baltimore, MD on May 19th, to move into our short-term apartment in the trendy Federal Hill area located blocks from the Inner Harbor. 

If you have been reading my blog regularly, you know that my husband is a pancreatic cancer survivor and that we chose Johns Hopkins hospital for his follow-up radiation and adjuvant chemotherapy.  In addition to his daily radiation treatment, once a week, my husband needed to meet with his doctor to make sure everything was going well.  This office visit consisted of lab work, physical examination and lengthy discussions about how he was feeling. 

When you visit a doctor’s office, you know that the initial workup usually consists of taking your vital statistics. Height, weight, blood pressure and pulse.  His weight was on the radar because his doctor wanted to see that three digit number go up and not down after all the weight he lost before and after the surgery.  In fact,  he would often wear his Herman Munster sandals just to have that extra pound or two advantage while weighing in. 

At his first appointment, I decided that I wanted to check my weight on the hospital scale because I knew the number would be accurate.  Afterall, I was at Johns Hopkins and I was sure that the scale would be calibrated and accurate.

When the nurse gave me the AOK to hop on the scale, I removed my shoes, handbag and sweater so fast.  After stepping up on this fancy scale with my eyes glued on the digital reading, I thought something was wrong with the scale when the electronic number popped up.  I magically lost 5 pounds! I thought, how could that be?? I think I even asked the nurse if the scale was accurate.

I was shocked! I felt like my husband and I were eating way more than we typically did on a daily basis with all the extra time we had to grocery shop and prepare three square meals a day.

I finally realized that I was not snacking as much as I did when I reported to the office every day.  My co-workers would always make comments to me that all I did was eat.  In addition to my healthy portion breakfast and lunch, it was not uncommon for me to polish off a 1lb. bag of M&M’s in an eight-hour period without even thinking about it.    When it happened, I don’t know. But somewhere along the way,  I conditioned myself to snack as soon as I entered my office and sat down at the desk.  Forty hours of snacking equals I have no idea how many extra calories per week.

Five pounds of weight loss is a lot on 5’4″ frame.  Overall, I was happy with my new weight and noticed that I had  more energy at the end of the day without the sugar crash.  I believe you can condition yourself with small changes consciously or unconsciously that can have a positive impact on your health. 

Note:  that I am not a registered dietician and that I am not writing this blog to encourage weight loss. This is just my story.  Please consult with your doctor before you begin any weight loss or exercise program.