Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Heading to Healthy

I've debated whether or not to write this post for a few weeks. Mostly because I'm scared of failure again and disappointing more than myself, Mark, and my kids. I've started this journey more times than I want to remember, but it only takes once if it's for life, and I'm tired of being on this roller coaster.

I haven't been officially diagnosed with insulin resistance or prediabetes, but I know my risk. Because I had diabetes so early with Daniel, they said I was likely already prediabetic and I know how lucky I am that my numbers returned to normal after giving birth that last time. And that was 2 1/2 years ago, with little thought during that time to what my health was really like. What were my blood sugars doing? I don't have the slightest idea. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted. I ate because I was happy and because I was depressed and because I was stressed. I ate because my blood sugars were low, even though I couldn't understand why I'd get low blood sugar less than 2 hours after eating if I had issues with insulin while pregnant.

And then I watched a Sunday special, an Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. She did it, she lost a lot of weight. And Mark asked me why didn't I just start my low-carb lifestyle again instead of complaining about several problems I had with my weight. I thought, why not? If he can go to school every day, and work, and do homework even though it's all really hard for him, why can't I go back to how I ate when I was pregnant with Daniel and lost weight? (Which was perfectly okay with the doctor, and Daniel was closely monitored via monthly ultrasounds.)

So I started the South Beach phase 1 again. And I got the updated book, in which he talks about prediabetes a little. Do you know what I learned? That my low blood sugars were indeed a symptom of prediabetes. See, what happens is that my body doesn't respond to normal insulin levels. So it shoots out more and more insulin until the cells finally unlock and the sugar gets into the cells for energy. But because of the amount of insulin it takes, it's stored as mostly fat. And because it's a sudden drop, you get low blood sugar sooner after you've eaten than most people who would take several hours to feel faint. And that information scared me, because what he described was just like how I feel and how I eat and why! But it's reversible at this stage... which makes me so determined to succeed where I've failed so many times. I can't afford the medical care necessary for labs and insulin and everything else diabetes entails. I know. I've had it 3 times.

The first 3 days were so difficult that I wondered what I'd gotten into. I wasn't hungry as much as I was addicted to the act of eating. I could literally taste the cookie in my mouth, melted gooey chocolate and warm buttery goodness... I wanted the chew of the pasta alfredo. I wanted honey nut crunchety cereal with ice cold milk. But I knew it wasn't going to be easy when I started this. Because it hasn't been easy the other times I've done it. But it's doable. And it gets better. The cravings have to work their way out of my system and my blood sugars have to have the chance to correct themselves.

10 lbs and 2 weeks later... I can already fit into my "normal" clothes. See, I am back down to what I usually am, and realized how much I had gained in the last year. My stamina has improved and my energy levels are better. If I am craving something, I have a big drink of water. If I'm still craving, then I treat myself to a sugar-free popsicle, or some smoked almonds with sharp cheddar. I'll eat a meal with plenty of fiber in it, lots of veggies, and then I'm good until the next meal. Although I'll sometimes have a snack if I need one, it's a small snack. And I'm not feeling dizzy and hour after eating like I was, which lets me know how serious it was.

Eating right alone isn't going to take this weight off, since a sedentary lifestyle also helped put it on and keep it there. So I gathered my sneakers and a water bottle, my phone with a stop watch, and and MP3 player... and went for a walk. I walked a mile, and I was sore but it felt good and Mark was so proud of me! After 2 weeks I do a 5 minute walk, followed by intervals of jogging 60 seconds and walking 90 seconds until my legs can't push it farther. It's the Couch to 5 K, but I'm stretching it out because I'm fairly out of shape and don't want to injure myself. I'm up to 5 intervals now, nearly 2 miles including my cool down walk. And it feels great! The days I don't walk, I'm inside doing one of my toning videos like yoga/pilates (which does wonders for my back!) or some resistance training for toned arms, abs, and rear half. They're not long workouts, but I feel them afterwards, and I know they'll pay off!

 I didn't think to take a "before" shot when I started, but I had Mark take one this morning. These aren't photo-shopped or edited in any way, and he got me with my eyes clothes. I would have preferred jeans, but he refused to take it unless I was wearing shorts. Stinker. He also caught me with my eyes closed, but they look awful anyway, so who's counting?

This is my 5' 2" frame, at a whopping 217 lbs. That's right. And I started at 227, wearing a size nearly 24. (It's 28 square frame right fit pants at fashion bug. Ouch.) I'm now in my size 20 painting pants, 2x shorts, and small waisted 22 pants that I've never liked because the waist is odd. But it's something to cover my hiney. And I am sucking it in a little, because it's embarrassing how much bigger the stomach would be otherwise. I was at the heaviest I've ever been, wearing humongous pants. And I hated it!

But I'm doing something about it. I'm setting an example for my kids. Mark is trying to eat a little better. And I am feeling better than I have in a long time! Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time for a couple wheat crackers with a little low-fat cream cheese and a big slice of fresh tomato. Heaven!


Anonymous said...

you can do it!!

Stephanie said...

Way to go! I need to eat healthier and be more active too, maybe we can go on walks together in Caldwell! :)