It's a new year and I've lost 20 pounds! This post is about losing weight for a healthy new me.
January 4, 2024
I've been diagnosed as having Diabetes Type II. These days they've determined that can mean you're insulin resistant. This happened back in May 2023. I was prescribed insulin, Atorvastatin, and Lisinopril. I took time off from blogging. Frankly I got so depressed I just stopped doing anything. So now I'm writing backwards. I can do that, right?
As of today, I've lost 20 pounds and I'm very proud of that. I'm not going to lie, it's been hard. I decided back in May that I've had enough. I felt so much better after starting the insulin, I couldn't believe it. At the time I said I felt 95% better, not perfect but waaaaay better. I'm telling you, after being so stubborn and not following doctor's orders I am happy to say I follow her suggestions now. It's a new doctor but still.
Back to the beginning. I'm 68, I weigh close to 170 pounds, I'm 5'1". This is back in January 2023. I can't breathe. I used to take a little two mile walk in my neighborhood. Now I can't even get 100 yards in. I have severe chest pain and chest compression. It feels like a gorilla is sitting on my chest. I have pain everywhere. My hips hurt, sharp pain shoots down my leg, my shoulder hurts and I ache all over. I'm thirsty all the time, it feels like I have to pee every ten minutes and my stomach hurts. I'm tired all the time, fatigue and weariness. I'm short of breath. I get confused. I'm stiff, I assume it's arthritis, that's what my doctor said when I was forty. My face is red. I get heart palpitations.
It got to the point where I couldn't stand up for more than ten minutes at a time. I got short of breath just trying to make a salad. I'm in between doctors, mind you, mine left the clinic and they hadn't replaced her yet. So I had to make an appointment with a new doctor and new patients have to wait. I don't get in and get tests and get diagnosed until May. My previous doctor had diagnosed asthma, hay fever and prediabetes. I was given an inhaler, albuterol, nitroglycerin tablets (in case it's heart disease) and metformin. The metformin made me sick; I had all the side effects except vomiting. After two months I said no more. Then she gave me Glipizide and Lipitor. I'm stubborn and I guess arrogant, although I hate to admit that. I wasn't seeing results, so I stopped taking everything. I was following alternative holistic medicine and taking various supplements. I took a multi-vitamin with minerals, echinacea and goldenseal, ashwagandha, B12, D, E, C and probiotics. I stopped all of it. I ate whatever I wanted. I love a good Manhattan, a steak and baked potato with sour cream and butter. I ate ice cream and cookies. I'm a Southern girl so fried chicken and fried catfish with mashed potatoes and white gravy are staples.
Yup. You know what, yes you do. Those symptoms? Maybe arthritis and hay fever/asthma? Diabetic keto acidosis or DKA. I'd never heard of it. I had ALL the symptoms except vomiting. ALL the symptoms. Read about it on the Mayo Clinic website or WebMD. The cardiologist told me I should have been in the hospital (my new GP ordered tests and sent me to a cardiologist). AC1 levels were at 12 (some people go higher, I can't imagine). I did my first glucose test after a meal, and it was 345. My doc wants it down to below 180. Whew. I took my first dose of insulin, Lantus at 20 units and it felt like a million bucks. I couldn't believe how much better I felt. It was a miracle.
That's when I got serious about losing weight. I'm hoping to reverse this diabetes and feel normal, which means better. I told my husband, it's time to be sincere about losing weight. We've been ditzing around about it since we got married. About five years into wedded bliss, we realized we were gaining weight. We went to the gym and got personal trainers. We were at the height of our careers, climbing the ladder and raising our son, soon to be a teenager. We tried fad diets off and on. We'd lose a few pounds and then decide we didn't have to follow any kind of regimen. Of course, we gained weight again. Twenty years' worth of yo-yoing. We've all done it. It's ok. Forgive yourself and start now. Stress makes you eat. It makes you eat comfort food which translates to fattening unhealthy food. Destress.
This time I was determined, and I decided we would do ALL the things for six months. My husband agreed. It helps if your partner is on the same page. That way you can encourage each other and agree not to eat this or that. It's important. It's just too difficult to make two or three different meals for different people. If the whole household is on the same page, then you can shop for healthy foods and keep all the unhealthy items out of the house. No hiding stuff. Get rid of it.
What exactly did we do? First off, no sugar. No sugar of any kind. Not in the food and not on the table. No artificial sweeteners either. Sweet stuff like maple syrup (not much though, think calories), honey, and the herb stevia.
Add exercise. Walk. Now that I take insulin, I'm able to manage at least a short 1 mile walk. I started walking again. I sit down and crash afterwards, if need be, but I do it. My neighbor says I stroll. She takes a determined walk, get that heart pumping and get those steps in. I stroll. Just do what you can. Start. Today.
We follow the plate method of portions. Half the plate is non-starch vegetables, 1/4 protein and 1/4 carbs. Don't cut out all carbs, you need carbs. Just cut back. You don't need bread, potatoes and beans on one plate. Pick one. We also started cutting down the portions and using smaller plates. We got down to a salad plate. And with me making sure every meal is balanced we were full after each meal. We really didn't feel deprived at all. We were both surprised.
Do it gradually and do what works for you. Be kind to yourself. It's going to take time. I realized that I was feeling so much better that I stuck with my doctor's advice and worked on eating properly. More on that in the next blog. Happy New Year!