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Six months ago, today, I learned I had type 2 diabetes. It wasn’t the best news, by a long shot. I realized that I had 2 choices: live with it or change it. On August 1, 2015, after 3 or 4 days of sulking, I decided I had to change it. I’m very fortunate to have such a strong support system in my family and friends, but, even so, it wasn’t always easy. I had my 6-month check up today – here’s how it went.

My Initial Diagnosis

Back on July 27, 2015, I went in for what I thought was a routine check up. Needless to say, I was shocked when I learned that my A1C was 6.8, which meant I had type 2 diabetes. My doctor immediately started me on Metformin and I was, for once, at a loss for words. It was one of the most difficult days of my life, but it was also a chance for me to make some changes. And, that’s exactly what I did!

What’s Changed For Me?

Every damn thing! Well, almost everything. I haven’t given up my iced coffees from Dunkin’ but you already know that. 😉 I’ve been a member of Lose It! for awhile but I only used it sporadically. Kinda like when the mood struck sort of thing. On August 1, 2015 it became, and still is, a constant in my life. I renewed my premium subscription and entered my stats from my doctor’s office. From that day on, I never missed a day logging my food. I also changed my food and the way I eat. The first thing I did was cut out sugar. Well, most of it anyway. I stopped using sugar in my coffee and I became very aware of the grams of sugar in my food. I stopped eating white carbs and went to whole grain instead. I learned that corn and lima beans turned to sugar when digested, so I haven’t had any since before July 27. My food became a top priority for me and now it’s just a habit. I measure every single thing. Yes, I took some heat for this by some people in my life, but, guess what? It didn’t matter then and sure as hell doesn’t matter now. I still measure certain things even though I’ve been doing this every day for 6 months. I’d rather be safe than sorry.

The Numbers…

Back in July, I weighed in at a whopping 278.6 pounds. My A1C was 6.8 and I was put on Metformin for type 2 diabetes. Well, as of this morning, my weight is 222.8 and my A1C was 5.4! That means I no longer take Metformin because I don’t have diabetes! It also means I’ve lost a total of 55.8 pounds. According to my doctor, my A1C is better now than it’s ever been! How’s that for kicking some ass?! YEAH!

When I first started this journey, I wore a size 26 and they were kinda snug around the middle. I was under the very misguided perception that bigger clothes helped to hide my weight. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking there! Anyway, I now wear a size 18 comfortably and prefer clothes that accentuate my figure; not hide it. I was in a 4X top and now I’m in a large or 1X, depending on the style. Oh, and check this out – my feet have gotten smaller! Yeah, I know you’re think how the hell does that happen?! But, here’s what happened. I used to wear wide width shoes and now I don’t. You’d be surprised at where your body carries weight; places you probably never even thought about, like your feet. July to December 2015

How’d I do it?

Hard work! I never gave up and there were plenty of times I wanted to. I gave up a lot but I refused to give up everything. I started logging everything that went in my mouth and I bought a FitBit Charge HR. From there, I made healthier choices and moved a hell of a lot more than I used to. I had to cut back on my work for a while in order to focus more on myself. That was difficult for me because I love my clients, my work, and I hated dumping the financial burden on my husband. But, I had to look at it like this: If I died, he’d have that burden anyway. So, I figured it was better for him to shoulder this burden alone for a few months than for years. I recruited friends and family to exercise with me: walking, hiking, etc. I didn’t limit my exercise partners to just other people. My fur babies got recruited, too. Digger loved it immensely because he got to sniff and pee on everything every day. I even started running! It wasn’t much and I didn’t do it well, but I still did it. Digger was the one I took on my runs because he could keep up. My poor Mocha is getting old so I don’t take her on runs. July to January

The Physical & Mental Struggle

Weight loss isn’t all physical. In fact, I think it’s more mental than physical because the mind is a powerful thing. Yes, my body was doing things it hasn’t done in years or ever, but my mind was trying to change old habits all at once. I’m a self-sabotager from way back so my mind definitely doesn’t always work to my advantage. This time, however, I couldn’t afford to sabotage myself. So, I informed my therapist of what was going on and we put together a plan. I’m not going to say that I followed it closely or that it worked all the time. What I will tell you is that it was great to have a plan to refer back to when things got hard. Believe it or not, I had the hardest time separating myself from the clothes that were too big. I didn’t want to lose that safety net but, eventually, I let go. I donated a large bag of clothing to Goodwill and it felt amazing! In December, I guess in preparation for the New Year, I decided to go through my closet and see what was there. Ya know, for someone who always said she had nothing to wear, I certainly had a lot of clothes. During my closet clean out, I boxed up a lot of stuff! Clothes to Donate Once I got over my phobia of donating clothes, it felt like a huge weight was lifted off of me. I’ve had to buy clothes here and there but I mainly wear my workout gear. Hey – ya never know when an opportunity is going to present itself and it’s best to always be prepared. I currently only have 2 pair of jeans but that’s more than I had when I started this journey. I’m not in a big hurry to run out and buy clothes because I loathe clothes shopping and I’m still losing weight. No need to spend money on clothes I’m not going to wear long. The people closest to me have started calling me “skinny”. I’m not skinny by anyone’s definition, but, compared to what I used to be, I can see why they call me that. At first, it was difficult to accept the compliment because I’m not used to being complimented on my appearance, but now I love it. Why? Because I earned that shit! For the first time in my life, I’m actually happy with who I am and what I look like. We all have this idea of who we are and we try to live up to our expectations and often fall short. Well, that’s how I am anyway. It’s no wonder I felt like such a disappointment most of the time. But, that’s all changed now. I don’t feel self-conscious about my appearance like I used to, I’m not considered a shut-in anymore, and I’m all about activities that get my heart pumping.

What I’ve Learned

The most interesting part of all of this is what I’ve learned about myself. I’ve always considered myself a strong person but I didn’t realize just how strong I was until I began fighting for my life. And, let’s face it, that’s exactly what I was doing. I’m still doing it. I’ll never stop. I’ve also learned that I can make healthy choices and still indulge every once in a while. Can I still get 2 and 3 large iced coffees a day from Dunkin’? Uh, no way! But, I can get one a day or even a small and medium on the same day. It’s all about compromise – not giving up. Dealing with sagging skin isn’t as difficult as I thought it would be either. I remember, way back when, I used to think that having sagging skin was no better than being fat because I still wouldn’t like how my body looked. I’m happy to report that I was so wrong about that! I have sagging skin now and it doesn’t bother me. Why? Extra skin doesn’t carry the health hazards that extra weight does and because I feel good about myself. Oh, and if you’re like me where you crave chocolate or sweets, give cashews a try. Seriously. I eat them when I feel a sweets craving and it takes care of it without all that nasty sugar. My journey isn’t over by any means but I’ve made great strides in the last 6 months. I still have about 40 pounds left to lose before I hit my goal weight so be sure to stay tuned for more!

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Bobbi