Thursday, February 9, 2012

Don't Take Dieting Advice at the Blood Bank

Dear Readers,

Yesterday, I donated platelets for the first time. It's something I've been meaning to do for a while--several months ago, I got a letter from the Red Cross basically saying that after doing scans of the blood I've donated (I try to donate blood regularly), my platelets were pretty freaking awesome, and it'd be helpful if I donated some.

I put the letter aside, always meaning to get back to them. You know how that goes. A few weeks ago, they called, and that's when I signed up.

Donating platelets is a two-hour process, during which blood gets drawn, the platelets are separated out, and the blood's put back into you, along with some saline. Honestly, part of the appeal of doing it was being forced to sit for two hours and not be on a computer. Yes, I still had screen time because I watched a movie ("Away We Go"), but it was a nice forced break. And, you know, I'm helping people.

However, donating platelets and blood doesn't necessarily do a diet good. I'm still plodding along in my quest to shed pounds, and it doesn't help me mentally to have the technician tell me, "You don't look like you weigh x!" Thanks. I do hide the weight well, but that's part of the problem I have--I feel like I look thinner than the scale says.

Later in the donation process, the technician asked if I wanted any water. "Sure, I'll have some water," I replied.

"We've got water, juice, and ginger ale," she said.

I hesitated. Well, if you're going to offer juice.....I ended up asking for cranberry juice.

She brought me two little cans of juice, along with two cookie bars. Then she brought the basket of salty snacks. "You can have whatever you want!"

I can have whatever I want? Platelet donation lets me? Right on! Being a person with a weight problem who thinks that donating platelets will also instantly suck the fat right out of you, I asked for some pretzels. The technician tried to push bags of popcorn and Cheez-Its on me too, but I had to draw the line somewhere.

After donating, I had a hankering for a bagel with cream cheese, so I wandered around downtown Boston until I found a Bruegger's. Had my bagel. Had my cream cheese. Had some hot chocolate. Hey, I'm thinking, at this point I need to listen to my body and feed it what it's asking for. Besides, no strenuous exercise or heavy lifting after donation!

Unfortunately, after the bagel, I felt the need for some kind of iron replenishment, and I seriously thought I was going to have to get a McDonald's cheeseburger, which would essentially have been a first dinner at that point. Granted, I wouldn't eat a second dinner until after that night's roller derby scrimmage, but the idea of putting so much food in my body didn't thrill me.

Luckily, I found a fruit stand and got a banana, which tided me over until I was able to finish the night with a huge bowl of chili smothered with cheese, or as I like to think, "protein and calcium."

Net weight loss on the day: + 2 pounds.

Oh well. Today's a new day. I can revel in the warm fuzzies that I helped some people with my platelets and get back on track.

Your pal,

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