Weight Management

How I Beat Diabetes in 6 Months!

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!

2 Comments

Why You Should Never Reward Yourself with Food

Never Reward Yourself with Food

It used to be that I would reward my weight loss efforts by indulging in a cheat day. That’s all in that past now because I’ve learned to offer myself much better rewards. You shouldn’t reward yourself with food because it is meant to keep us alive; it doesn’t provide any other value other than to sustain life. This was very difficult for me because I love food. I don’t like cooking, but I certainly love eating. Here’s what I’ve learned by rewarding myself with food.

It Thwarts Your Efforts

If you reward yourself with food, it’s not conducive to your weight loss efforts. What does that mean? It means that you’re undoing all of your hard work because you’re participating in a reward that’s simply not good for you. It may seem like a good idea to reward yourself with a cupcake or some other treat, but, believe me when I tell you, it’s not worth it. Do you know how much exercise you have to do to burn off those calories? Forget that!

It Keeps You in a Vicious Cycle

How is rewarding yourself with food any different than emotional eating? It isn’t! If you’re going to be successful, you need to change your entire outlook on food. This is so freakin’ hard to do! Since I was diagnosed with diabetes, I’ve cut a lot of food out of my diet but I kept a few things despite how unhealthy they are.

You’re More Likely to Binge

If you’re going to reward yourself with food, you must keep in mind that you’re more likely to binge. I know I would if I were to reward myself with pizza or anything else for that matter. You can tell yourself that you’re just going to have one of this or one of that, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to stop there. Sugar and all of that other crap have a way of tricking us into eating more than we need. Before you know it, you’ve binged on pizza, cake, cookies, or whatever. Don’t take the chance!

Better Rewards

You definitely need to reward yourself for a job well done; just don’t do it with food. I have my rewards set up in 10-pound increments because that works for me. You have to find out what works best for you and go from there. Here are some ideas for rewards that don’t include undoing all of your hard work:

  • Mani/Pedi
  • Small shopping spree or you know, a trip to Target alone 😉
  • A day off from housework (this is one of my favorites!)
  • Girls day out (with a healthy lunch)
  • Day trip to somewhere new with the family (get them involved as much as possible)

Like I said, you need to create a reward system based on what works for you. These rewards are things that I absolutely love to do so they work for me. I’ve even started to reward myself with a brisk walk/run these days. It’s amazing how awesome exercise makes me feel and I want to feel that every chance I get!

How do you reward yourself?

0 comment

It’s All About That Cake!

Its all about that cakeYes, I was channeling Meghan Trainor when I thought of this blog post because birthday parties are all about that cake! It’s got to be sweet, decorated perfectly, and moist (I tried to think of different words because I know some people don’t like that word but I couldn’t so deal with it). There’s also ice cream to accompany the cake not to mention all of the other food on hand. Where am I going with this?

My youngest son turns 11 next week and we’re having his birthday party tomorrow afternoon. Tomorrow will be a day full of celebration, food, family, and friends. Oh, and, I can’t forget the gifts (just in case he reads this post one day). The day is all about him. We also have this tradition in our house where the birthday boy (or girl) gets to have whatever they want for dinner (within reason because no one eats junk food for dinner).

I’ve been worried all week about this party because his favorite cake is also my favorite. Chocolate cake with white frosting – I can taste it now. I’m not a big cake person (pun intended) except when it comes to chocolate cake with white frosting. It’s my weakness and I know it’s going to be very difficult for me to avoid.

This is going to be my first true test and I’m not sure how it’s going to go. But, I do know this – I’m not going to deny myself a piece of cake if I really want it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with me having a small piece of cake to celebrate my son’s birthday as long as I limit myself to one small piece. I may even scrape off the frosting to save calories and prevent my blood sugar from spiking. We’ll see about that. 😉

Image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

0 comment

August Results + Changes for September

August ResultsI was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about a month ago and I kicked it into high gear to get the weight off. I started by being much more aware of the food I was eating and making some small changes. I went to whole grain everything and upped my intake of fruits and veggies.

I haven’t done much exercise because I’ve been focused on my food. I’m working on one thing at a time so that I can make sure I’m comfortable with that before moving on to something else. But, I have been moving a lot more. I bought the FitBit Charge HR and I’ve set my step goal to 5,000. That may not seem like a lot, and it may not be to you, but, for me, it’s a big improvement.

As a freelancer, I generally sit for hours upon hours a day at my computer working on tasks for my clients. I used to eat lunch at my desk, too, but I don’t do that anymore. Anyway, I’ve started moving a lot more than I did before I was diagnosed. Before, I was lucky to log 1,000 steps a day so, you see, 5,000 is a big difference.

I’ve also gone hiking a few times and I’ve dusted off my recumbent bike, and I’ve stocked my YouTube watch later playlist with some awesome workout videos. But, that’s the extent of my exercise….so far.

August Results

So, now that you know all that I’ve done it’s time to reveal the results for the month. Drum roll please……..

I lost 17 pounds in August! That’s right – 17 whole pounds. My starting weight was 278 (July 27) and my weight, as of August 31, is 261. I’ve gone down one dress size in a month, making all of my clothes too big.

Changes for September

I’m fairly comfortable with my food now so it’s time to incorporate regular exercise. It’s perfect timing, if you think about it, because the weather should be getting cooler as the month goes on. Just because this week is going to feel 200 degrees, doesn’t mean that the whole month is going to feel like that. I’m anxious to grab Digger and head out for a nice walk in the mornings after the kids head off to school. Speaking of Digger, here’s one of my partners in crime.

Digger
My min pin & baby boy, Digger.

Before I can take him out on the town, I need to buy him a new harness because he’s outgrown is old one. This boy is all muscle and there’s no way I’m walking him without a harness. Digger likes to walk really fast and he loves to run, so that’s really good for me. I’m also going to get back into walking the local trails this month.

What are your fitness plans for September?

Image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

0 comment

How I Manage My Raging Sweet Tooth!

I don’t care who you are, we all have a sweet tooth. Sometimes, we try desperately to ignore it thinking it will go away only to learn that it gets worse. Well, at least is does for me because that’s all I think about. Before my diagnosis, my sweet tooth ruled my life and I indulged it every change I got. But, things are different now. I’ve learned a few things about cravings and how to deal with them effectively.

Indulge Slightly!

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with giving in to your sweet tooth, but make sure you indulge wisely. Don’t raid your cupboards for cookies or your freezer for ice cream. Grab a banana or other fruit to nosh on instead. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT sabotage yourself just because you want something sweet. It’s not worth it!

Fresh Fruit
Cantaloupe and honey dew are two of my favorites!

Find Alternatives

I read that nuts are a great source of protein so I started buying cashews. They’re my favorite so I was thrilled to learn I could still eat them! I’ve realized that, when eating cashews for my morning snack, I don’t crave sweets nearly as much. How about that?

I’ve also fallen madly in love with the Fiber One Strawberry Cheesecake bars. Cheesecake has always been my weakness but I’ve never liked it with fruit. These bars are delicious and satisfy my craving for sweets and cheesecake without all the other crap that goes along with it. I have been telling everyone about these and a few of my friends have also fallen in love with them. Yes, they’re that amazing! Go get some – I guarantee you’re going to love them.

Fiber One Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
DELISH!

Change the Subject

Sometimes doing something different will get your mind off of your sweet tooth, especially if you’ve already indulged. I usually get an attack of the sweets between dinner and bedtime. That’s definitely not the time to indulge so I’ll change what I’m doing to get my mind off of it. My husband thinks I’m totally crazy, but what else is new? 😉 Ironically, sometimes playing Candy Crush on my phone works so I usually save my lives for that purpose. I just realized how that sounds, but, hey, whatever works! I don’t want to exercise that late in the evening because it energizes me so I have to find non-active alternatives. It may be different for you so find what works for you and have at it.

The moral of the story is to find out what works for you to manage your sweet tooth healthily. Whatever you do, don’t let your craving for sweets derail all of the good you’ve done. But, if you fall off the weight loss wagon, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on that sucker as soon as possible! Just like you have a bad day at work, you’re not always going to be on point with your weight loss. Life happens, but the faster you get back on track, the better you’re going to feel.

0 comment

Tomato Basil Flatbread Pizza

Tomato Basil Flatbread Pizza

I love pizza but it doesn’t always go along with healthy eating. That is, until now. I found the idea for a flatbread pizza on Pinterest and modified it to suit my tastes. I mix it up with garlic flavored flatbread to add a bit more oomph to it. It’s very filling, super yummy, and really easy and quick to make!

It’s a quick and easy lunch for when you want something not-so-healthy but don’t want to wreck your healthy eating. I don’t even miss regular pizza!

Tomato Basil Flatbread Pizza
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Satisfy your craving for pizza with this delicious, healthy alternative!
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 Flatbread
  • 1 Tbsp Pesto Sauce
  • ¼ c. Mozzarella Cheese, low-fat
  • 1 Tbsp Basil
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • ¼ c. Mushrooms
  • ¼ c. Red Onion
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread pesto sauce on flatbread.
  3. Sprinkle basil on top of pesto sauce. Add veggies and sprinkle with mozzarella.
  4. Bake for 7 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Notes
I used the sun-dried tomato pesto sauce instead of the original. It's more like pizza sauce.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 527 Fat: 17.9 Saturated fat: 5.9 Carbohydrates: 70 Sugar: 10.6 Sodium: 1211 Fiber: 4.7 Protein: 22.1 Cholesterol: 25.6

Tomato Basil Flatbread Pizza

0 comment

Dieting: The Old Fashioned Way

Dieting The Old Fashioned WayDieting is hard but making a lifestyle change is even harder. I post regularly on Instagram and Facebook since I was diagnosed, and I’ve been bombarded with people selling Cize, 21 day fix, and so many other diets. Admittedly, I was interested, at first, with Cize but quickly changed my mind after seeing the $140 price tag. Let me just say this now – there is no quick fix for weight loss. I’m not into drinking my meals (shakeology or spark) or spending a ton of money on stuff that’s here one day and gone the next.

I’m doing this the old fashioned way! That’s never a fad. I’m not knocking those who choose to take that route, I’m just saying it’s not what I want to do. I got thinking about the future, my future, and how a fad diet will impact that. Will I be dependent on one of those diets to maintain my weight loss? I wasn’t willing to risk it. I’ve got enough to deal with now as it is.

It seems as though we all want dieting to work overnight but it doesn’t. I’ve learned that losing weight slowly increases the chances of keeping it off in the long-run. That’s what I want. I don’t want to lose weight and gain it all again.

This isn’t a diet for me; it’s a lifestyle change. The only way I’m going to be successful is to change my eating habits and exercise regularly. I have to learn to change everything in my life if I’m ever going to be successful.

As for workout DVDs, all I can say is that YouTube is a wonderful thing. You see, we have a smart TV (that’s not exactly what I call it, but….) so I can sign into YouTube via an app. That means I have access to a ton of workout videos on the big screen. It also means I can workout wherever I have an internet connection so there’s no excuse for me missing a day.

So, to all those people who have hit me up wanting me to buy something, save it because I’m not buying. There are only 2 things I’ve purchased to help me and that’s the FitBit Charge HR and a premium subscription renewal to LoseIt. I refuse to buy “trainer” food, workout DVDs, or shakes. It’s just not worth it for me.

Losing 20 pounds in 21 days sounds amazing but it’s really not healthy or realistic. Don’t spend all that money on crap if you absolutely don’t have to. Think about this – I lost 14 pounds in 21 days simply by eating healthy and moving more. Trust me when I tell you that eating healthy is far less expensive than those fad diets and it lasts a lot longer.

I’m not here to judge or tell anyone how to reach their goals. This is all about me, my journey, and the choices/decisions I make. If you want to give them a shot, go for it and I wish you the best of luck. For me, it’s just not how I want to reach my goals.

0 comment

1 2 3