In January of this year, I decided it was time to make a change. A big one. As do most women my age, you wake up in the mirror and you realize there is more of you to look at now than there used to be. You think, “When did I start looking like this?” I have tried almost every diet there is, but I can never seem to lose weight. I have found that diabetes plays a huge part in that. So if you couple that with the fact that I have poor eating habits in general – I don’t eat a lot of sweets, but it’s those darn starches/carbs that get me… it’s just not a good combination. Last summer, I joined a boot camp. Me and four other girls met with a trainer at 5:30 AM four days a week (have I mentioned I am NOT a morning person?) and we worked our BOOTIES off (not as literally as I’d have liked to, though!) And I’ll admit I loved it. My mindset going into it was I knew I wasn’t going to realistically change my eating habits overnight, so if I worked out this hard every week, then surely THAT would give me some results. Wrong. After over 2 months of four days a week VERY intense workouts, and also watching my calorie intake (keeping it within a certain recommended range), I still only lost just a few inches, and no pounds. Yes, I know the saying that the number on the scale doesn’t matter. But in some ways it does, because deep down you always want to SEE that number go down. I was so defeated. The pros were I did feel so much stronger, and had much more energy, and the best part was my blood sugars were phenomenal. But I still couldn’t manage to get darn scale to show the fruits of my labor. I talked to my dr and his response was “Yes, it is harder for diabetics to lose weight.” Great, something else to add to the list. I would have probably kept going to the class, but we had issues with the location and we had to put it on hold, and it never got picked back up. Bummer.
So I maintained for a few months.. got through the holidays, and then ran across a book that intrigued me. Chris Powell’s “Choose to Lose”. Chris is a trainer on tv that has a show called “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition”. We’d watched it and liked him, and my hubby had heard about his book, so we thought why not, let’s try it out. We bought the book, I read it, and that next week bought all the groceries to start this thing. Now, going back to my older post of not being a van of veggies. I’m still not. But I will say I am at least willing to TRY them now. I’ll voluntarily eat broccoli, and asparagus, and squash, and zucchini. Which is in and of itself a huge improvement. His method of weight loss is called “Carb Cycling”. Basically you eat “low” and “high” carbs every other day, and you get one “free” day a week. Now, my version of “low” carb might be only one piece of pizza instead of two. Or “high” carb would be two bowls of pasta. But Mr. Powell here does not agree. “Low” carb basically means no carb. And “high” carb means a sprinkle of carbs on your plate, but they are “good” carbs, i.e. 1 cup of brown rice. I had tried Atkins in the past and couldn’t stay on it because my sugars would bottom out. The irony is that carbs are bad for me because they raise my sugars, but at the same time I NEED them to maintain my sugars. Just need to eat “good” vs “bad” carbs.
But I thought you know what, I am not trying to fit into a bikini. I’m not trying to get on the cover of any magazine. I am just trying to be here for as long as I can. I am trying to see our kids grow up. I am trying to grow old and make it to our 20th anniversary so we can finally go on that trip to Europe we’ve always talked about. And if you read the statistics, those are things that are not going to just be handed to me on a silver platter. I’m going to have to work for them. Reality is, that heart disease is the number one killer of diabetics. Diabetes itself will not kill someone. But the complications caused FROM the disease will. I have no excuse whatsoever for not taking care of myself, and being able to do all of those things I mentioned. But I can tell you, that those things won’t happen unless I start to make some changes. Which now that I have started to do, and can only hope it’s not too late. (Not trying to sound morbid.. just speaking the truth.) When I went in for my last A1C (this is a blood test my dr takes every three months that tells him what my average blood sugars have been for the previous three months) I almost cried. My A1C is still in an acceptable range – most doctors like to see it below 9. And mine was a 7.9. BUT it was a 7.1 at the last appointment. So yes, it is still in an ok range.. but it had jumped quite a bit. That was my catalyst to do something.
I started reading an awesome blog recently called SixUntilMe. The author, Kerri, she is also diabetic, and close to my age. You will find me referencing her blog from time to time, as I can relate to so much of her writings. In one particular post of hers, she mentioned how so many of us T1s are judged/identified by what our A1C is. And I’d never thought about that, but it’s true. If I go to any doctor – diabetes related or not, they ask me “How was your last A1C?” No matter what number I give him/her, they immediately make a judgment about how well I am managing my diabetes, solely based on that number. He/She have no idea what led into that number – was I fighting highs or lows for a month? Was I having a particularly stressful month(s) for whatever reason? Was I fighting off a stomach bug? So many things factor into that number. So if you are a doctor, yes, it is helpful for you to know that number. But please don’t judge me. You don’t know how many nights I woke up in cold sweats from low blood sugars. Or how many times I did everything in my power to unsuccessfully get my sugars down, and how tired I was that month because of those highs, even though not one sugary piece of cake or candy passed through my lips.
When I started Chris Powell’s plan, I was SHOCKED to find that I’d dropped 5 lbs the first week. I was so proud of myself. After 3 weeks, I was down ELEVEN pounds. What? You mean I finally found something that WORKED???? I was pumped. And to make it even better, I had to lower my basal rates. By over 50%!!! I was going so low, all the time. Waking up in cold sweats. Watching my computer monitor at work start to have spots and swim around in front of me. And those lows would hit FAST. So I lowered my basals, and it helped. I felt great, I was starting to SEE a difference, my clothes were fitting looser.
And then I got so confident that I thought “Sure I can have this piece of birthday cake at my son’s party.” “Sure, we can order pizza tonight, I’m too tired to cook.” And before I knew it, it had been 3 weeks since I’d prepared one of the meals from the book. As of today, I’ve only gained back 3 of those 11 pounds, which actually isn’t all that bad .. but today I am going back on his plan. I packed up my lunch this morning, and am back on the wagon. Mama’s ready to buy some new clothes!!
And in case anyone is wondering how my weight was affected when I was pregnant – I only gained 17 lbs total. I think it’s mainly due to the fact that I couldn’t gorge myself and have that “I’m eating for two” mentality that most pregnant women have. And we also had a lab puppy at the time that I was walking twice a day. So I’m sure that factored into me flying through those 9 months with no complications. Yay me! 🙂