So we’re venturing into new territory. I’m not really comfortable being on video, but vlogging seems to be the big thing and we’re looking to share our health journey so we’re probably going to be making more of these. Future vids will be longer and, hopefully, better than this one. We’ll call this one an experiment.
I’ve been thinking for a while that I need to upgrade my diet. Good nutrition is vital to a healthy life. We’re eating more whole foods now, and less carbs and upping our protein. This is having a huge affect on my sugar levels. I test my sugar an hour and two hours after eating and my sugar is amazingly stable. The highest number was 108 and it’s averaging around 90 to 100. As a type 2 diabetic, this is fantastic. Since this is working so well I’m going to continue eating this way. I will be sharing more of my experiences.
April is a huge month for me. First, I will turn 50. And I will be in the best shape and fitness of my life. In fact I have a new hashtag ready to roll out…#FitAt50. Also in April I will have been medication free for 3 years. Big things are ahead and I will be sharing them right here.
Never quit. Whatever you have started, keep pushing forward.
If you stumble, catch your footing and keep going.
If you fall, pick yourself up and keep going.
If you have to crawl, keep going. Any progress, no matter how minimal, is better than just giving up.
You started this because you cared enough about yourself to get on this road. Now care enough about yourself to carry on the journey. No matter how arduous it becomes.
One day you will be so grateful to yourself that you didn’t stop.
Until you reach that day… Keep. Going.
I am living proof of this. I have been off the diabetes drug, Metformin, for almost 3 years now. All because I made simple lifestyle changes through a healthier diet and becoming more active.
So many common illnesses are connected to our modern lifestyle. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes etc. Our bodies are designed to move.
With Big Pharma being so prolific on our televisions these days, it’s easy to think “I’ll just take a pill and everything will be ok.” But most medications are not meant to be taken over a long period of time and can end up doing more harm than good. Also, most medications are designed simply to treat the symptoms, not the cause. I’m not saying Big Pharma is never the answer. Some illnesses that are genetic can only be treated with drugs.
There are so many instances where living a healthier lifestyle can drastically improve and even reverse diseases.
I. Am. Living. Proof. Of. This.
I started my health and weight loss journey three years ago this month. Right around the beginning of March. I was a type 2 diabetic and after a check up with the doctor in December 2014, my A1C was 7.2 The doctor wanted to put me on a second medication for my diabetes. I’d been on Metformin since August 2008. I don’t remember what this second medication was, but when we did our research we found it was strongly linked with causing liver problems, even outright liver failure.
Enough was enough.
I didn’t even want to be on any medication never mind another potentially health threatening drug. That winter was brutally cold, but around the beginning of March 2015 the weather turned milder and I went out every day walking. At first two miles, increasing to three. Then I started running, just very short distances at first using a personalized version of Couch To 5k. I hadn’t even heard of C25K at that time. At the time I started running I also joined a calorie counting app called MyFitnessPal and started tracking my calories. As I started getting serious about running my weight started to fall off. My fasting sugar numbers also started coming down. At the start of all this my fasting averaged 120. By early April it was dropping into the 60’s. I cut my Metformin dosage in half. My FS was still in the 60’s so on April 21st 2015 I stopped taking Metformn all together, but kept monitoring my daily fasting sugar, which stabilized into the low 70’s to low 80’s.
In about 12 months or so I lost 50 lbs, a total of 60 lbs from my heaviest. All through running and counting calories. No special diet. Especially no gimmicky fad diet. And I didn’t have to give up any of the food I enjoyed. It was all about calories and portion control.
These days people seem to be looking for some magic formula, or a magic pill to help them lose weight without putting in any effort. But it doesn’t work like that. Not if you want to maintain your weight loss. I’ve been maintaining for two years now and I am not going back to who I used to be. Not ever.
I created this group to share my story and to encourage and hopefully inspire anyone else who is looking to do the same and who is not afraid to put in some effort. Losing weight is a simple enough process, though I wouldn’t say it’s easy. It starts and ends with the mind. As the old saying goes…
“If you think you can, you’re right.
If you think you can’t, you’re right.”
Your mindset will determine your success. Once you get your mind set right and develop a “no-matter-what” attitude, the sky will be the limit. Let me help you get off to the best possible start.
To join my group The Weight-Loss Mindset on Google+, click here: The Weight-Loss Mindset
To join my group The Weight-Loss Mindset on Facebook, click here: The Weight-Loss Mindset
For more information about our coaching services for groups, 1:1 and 2:2, click here: Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life Program
There is a myth that diets don’t work. The truth is diets do work. But only while you’re on them. It’s what you do when you come off your diet that measures whether you will maintain your weight loss, or see that weight creep back up.
Most people go on a diet after looking in the mirror and seeing they have gained weight, or when their clothes become too tight. Then they decide to lose weight by going on a diet. Which is just another word for Denial. I can’t eat this, it has too much sugar. I can’t eat that because it has too many carbs. I can’t eat that because it has too much fat.
So you become more fixated on what you can’t eat. You eat like a rabbit for as long as you can stand or until you reach your goal. Then you come off your diet and go back to your old eating habits. Which…
…is why you gained weight in the first place. And what do you think is going to happen? This is the very essence of yo-yo dieting. It becomes a self perpetuating vicious circle until something changes.
The other problem with the standard method of dieting is when you focus on what you can’t eat, you set up cravings. Have you ever noticed how when you go on a diet most of the television commercials seem to focus on food? And usually high calorie foods. They’ve always been there but you didn’t notice because you’ve always been able to freely have them when you want. Then you go on a diet, or a Denial, and suddenly you notice these ads every time they’re shown. Because you are craving those foods and you’re telling yourself you can’t have them because…diet. The worst thing is once you come off your diet suddenly you can satisfy all those cravings so you’re most likely to eat these foods over the next week or two because you can. You could easily regain 5 or 10 pounds in the first week or two just satisfying all those cravings.
Giving up foods because they are high in sugar or carbs is not the ideal way to keep weight off. It does work, but it has to be sustainable long term. Portion control and tracking calories is the best and most effective way to not only lose weight, but keep it off. I’ve been with a calorie tracking app, MyFitnessPal, for three years now. I’ve successfully lost the weight I wanted to lose and I’m maintaining very well. Simply because I know how many calories I should be eating daily and how many calories I am eating daily. I haven’t had to give up a single food item I enjoy. I also exercise almost daily. I run, I walk, I work out at the gym. I’m 100% focused on keeping my healthy lifestyle. Because that’s the secret of maintaining weight loss. By making it a lifestyle. If I go over calorie once in a while it’s ok. I don’t panic. I am not going to derail all my efforts because I eat unhealthy once in a while. And we have to live. You have celebrations, parties, birthdays, the holiday season. You have to be able to enjoy life. And I do. I eat under calorie probably at least 80% of the time. And the funny thing is once you’ve been at this healthy lifestyle for a while your binging habits change. Overeating for me now looks very different to how I used to eat when I was being bad. You find you don’t want to eat crazy after a while. You don’t enjoy it and it’s not worth the uncomfortable bloated feeling you get the next day.
There will be people who will say there has to be more to losing weight than eating less and moving more. They are right, of course. It’s a psychological battle most of all. The most critical ingredient is a healthy mindset. It’s a process and you have to commit to it. Yes, you can have crazy days if you want, as long as the rest of the time you make a serious effort to stay under calorie. But you have to be determined and keep your eyes on the goal. There will be frustration. There will be times it doesn’t seem to be working. The scale doesn’t move. Or worse, the scale ticks up. That’s when you will be sorely tempted to just give up. That’s when you need to have other weapons in your fight to lose weight. Measure yourself once a month. Measure your waist, your hips. Compare the numbers each month. Take photos before you start your journey so you can make comparisons. Pay attention to how your clothes are fitting. Nothing boosts your confidence more than dropping a pant size. All these things will keep you motivated and show you the process is working even when the scale isn’t co-operating.
Be aware there will be temptations along the way. Someone brings donuts in to work almost daily, or a friend keeps inviting you out to eat at high calorie places all too regularly. You have to learn to pick your battles and know it’s okay to give in sometimes. It’s a lifestyle, after all, and you you have to be able to enjoy your life.
Change Your Mindset,
Change Your Life Program
Have you ever felt frustrated with how you look and feel?
Have you ever been on so many diets that you should take stock in the word “diet”?
Have you ever started a diet or program and get excited when you see the results, but afterwards, your weight starts to creep up and up and before you know it, you weigh more than when you started?
Have you ever wanted to join a gym but felt intimidated by the people working out in there and walked right out the door?
Have you ever felt like ‘why should I bother with how I look and feel because I am in my 40’s and married and so what’?
Have you ever been to the doctor’s and they rattle off the rap sheet list of all your medical ailments and you just stare and blindly accept it because you figure, ‘hey I can’t do anything about it, right’?
If you can answer yes to any or all of these questions, you are not alone! We have answered yes to every single one of those questions!
What changed? Something finally clicked and we both said, enough is enough!
For Dave, who is a type 2 diabetic and was on Metformin, the doctor wanted to put him on another medication because his A1c number was 7.2 and was not coming down. This was in December 2014.
This new medication was so strong, it was going to destroy his liver. Dave finally had enough and started to walk and tried to run a bit.
It wasn’t easy! He also joined the free My Fitness Pal and he logged what he ate and exercised. Eventually, he was able to run a mile at a time, then two, then four and now he can run ten miles!
He also lost a total of 60 lbs and his pant size went from size 40 to size 32!
And the best part? The doctor said he didn’t need to take his diabetes medication because his A1c was 5.8 in June 2015!
In July of 2015, Christine saw all the positive changes that was happening to Dave. She had always struggled with her weight since she was a teenager.
She tried everything, from the Medifast diet, to fasting, to Weight Watchers, to joining the gym. She would lose weight but guess what?
Eventually, the weight would come back and then some! It was more like an overstretched yo-yo where the toy goes up and down and then just gets stuck and overextended!
She finally said, ‘enough is enough’ and at age 47, joined her husband and made a pact to do this together. She also joined My Fitness Pal and started to log everything she ate and exercise.
Yes, that dreaded word – exercise! She started to walk here and there and she joined a gym with Dave. She loves the weight strengthening machines and she pushes herself to do more.
She has lost a total of 75 lbs and went down 5 pant sizes!!
So what changed?
It is a life long health journey and more importantly, we are doing it together. We have realized that the most important muscle in all of this is our brain.
That’s right. That little three-pound organ plays an important part and we discovered what it takes to get the three-pound organ to control what the rest of your body does.
This is where we come in. We have the tools to show you how to develop a positive mindset and get great results.
What we love to do is help other people who are just like us: ordinary normal people who understand what you are going through and want to help you be on the path to your best health.
This is not a miracle cure that you will blink and lose weight. (We all wish that can happen!)
But, in the next six weeks, we will guide you with the right tools to help you motivate and inspire you to be the best that we know you are!
We offer 6 weeks of group coaching!
You will be in our private Facebook Group.
Daily mindset and motivational tips to help you start the day with the right mindset to tackle almost anything.
Daily posts of ideas to eat healthy and exercises to do.
Daily Group accountability. Report what you accomplished for the day.
Opportunity to ask questions in the group and receive positive answers.
Two (2) weekly Group calls via Zoom on Monday and Friday.
Receive the PDF of Dave’s booklet: “10 Things To Know About How Having A Positive Mindset Can Help You With Almost Anything In Life!” for FREE.
All for the introductory price of just $77!!
Are you someone who needs a personal coach to motivate and inspire you to be and do your personal best? Then, upgrade to our 1:1 personal coaching!
Receive all the Group details above plus:
Exclusive Facebook messenger or Voxer communication with your coaches.
Daily verbal mindset and motivation tips via Facebook messenger or Voxer.
Have a personal plan for your eating and exercising goals.
Personal daily accountability with your coaches to report what you accomplished for the day.
Two (2) 30 minute private calls weekly. (Besides the two Group calls.)
Your coaches will be available for private support whenever needed, (via Facebook text or voice messaging, Voxer or email, etc.
Receive four PDFs of Dave’s booklets for FREE:
“10 Things To Know About How Having A Positive Mindset Can Help You With Almost Anything In Life!”
“10 Things To Know About Running”
“10 Things To Know About Weight Loss”
“10 Things To Know About Exercising”
Normally the price for this exclusive 1:1 coaching is $1,821, but for the first 4 people to secure the spot, it is just $777!!
That is a savings of $1,044 which is 57% off the price!!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us! Contact Form
Diets only work when you are on them. There’s a reason diet is a four letter word. When you go on a diet you are more focused on the foods you “can’t” have.
You “can’t” have carbs.
You “can’t” have sugar.
You “can’t” have fats.
So you eat salads for as long as you can until you’ve reached your goal weight or, more likely, you just can’t take it any more. Then you go back to your old eating habits.
Which…. Is the reason you gained weight in the first place. This is the essence of yo-yo dieting. Going back and forth between going on a diet and your old eating habits.
Anyone can lose weight. It’s keeping the weight off that’s the real trick. An easier way around the problem is to make a simple lifestyle change. Portion control or counting calories through an app like @MyFitnesspal can make a huge help.
Many people think counting calories is obsessive, unhealthy or too hard. The truth is a repeated cycle of weight gain and dieting is much more unhealthy and harder.
Through MyFitnesspal, I can eat what ever I want. It’s all about portion control and exercise. Because of this I have maintained my weightloss for two years with no sign of going back.
But exercise isn’t just about being able to eat more food. Exercise gives you a healthier, fitter body.
Remember: you lose lbs in the kitchen and you lose inches in the gym or on the road depending on what exercise you choose to do.
What ever your exercise of choice is, make it something you enjoy. Now you’ll never have to “go on a diet” again!
The scale lies! When you step on a scale it throws out a number and says you weigh this much. But that doesn’t tell the full story. If you ate something high in sodium the night before, or if you worked out the day before your body could be retaining extra water weight. There’s nothing more demoralizing than stepping on the scale and seeing you’ve gained anything from a pound to fi’ve pounds. Especially when you know you did everything right.
To avoid burn out look for those non-scales victories. The extra energy you’re feeling. The way your clothes fit better. Dropping a pant size gives you a huge boost. If you’re just starting out take lots of photos. Those “before” pics can give you a clear idea of how far you’re coming. Especially for those times when the scale refuses to budge. And take measurements. Waist. Chest, arm, leg measurements. Check them at the beginning of every month to truly see how far you have come.
If there is one thing that is holding you back from taking action to make your dreams a reality, what is it? Sometimes, it helps to write it down and then turn the negative tone of ‘I can’t do this’, (insert the word what you can’t do), into ‘I can do this and I will do it’, (again insert the word what you will do).
Watch the mind take over and boost your confidence and positive feelings. You will start to believe that you can and will do it. Then, the next step is to turn the word, ‘I will’, into ‘I am’ doing the thing that I thought I couldn’t do.
It is important to acknowledge the struggle by writing it down and talking out loud. It is also equally important to write down and talk outloud the ‘I am’ aspect of it too.
It really is all in the mind. Once you realize the importance and power your mind has, you can start to believe anything is possible and you can take action towards making your dream a reality. ❤
Everything starts with your mind. Anything that has ever been invented was visualized first. The inventor had to think of his creation first, had to believe it was possible before it could be made reality.
In the same way, you create your reality by the way you think, the way you see yourself. If you’re not happy where you are, you have the power to change whatever it is. Whether it’s fitness / weight related, or finance or career.
The first thing you have to do is decide what you want to change. Then commit to making it happen. Then focus all your energy and thoughts on making what you want happen.
I wasn’t happy about my weight. I was also diabetic and on medication. This went on for several years. I wasn’t happy with who I was. But until I became motivated enough to do something about it, nothing changed. Then one day I’d had enough. I started walking daily. Walking led to running. I also joined a site called myfitnesspal.com and started counting calories. I lost 60 lbs and now I’m the fittest I have ever been. Oh, and I’ve been off the diabetes drug, Metformin, for over two years. All this happened because I changed my mindset.
Change your mindset, change your life.
The beautiful thing about fitness is how good you feel about yourself on your journey. It’s not just about the better health you gain along the way. It’s the things you learn about yourself. Like you realize you are stronger than you ever imagined you could be. I just ran five miles. That’s something I could never have imagined doing two years ago. For some it might be just a short run. But for me it’s a reminder of how far I have come and that I can never go back to who I used to be. And nor will I ever want to.
Success is dependent on only one thing. The decision to start. Whatever you have in mind, whether it’s weight loss, fitness, looking for a new job, or starting your own business, you have to make a decision, a commitment that you’re just going to do it. And then you need to cultivate a no-matter-what mindset.
You are going to do this.
No. Matter. What.
It’s all in your mindset. Your mind is your most powerful tool. Any thing that has ever been invented was visualized first. It was created in the mind before it was created in reality.
On the other hand your mind can be your greatest obstacle. Your mind can make you fly, or it can hold you back, keep you on the ground.
As the old saying goes, “if you think you can, you’re right. If you think you can’t, you’re right”.
It’s all in your mind.
Whatever is in your heart, make a decision today to go for it. Just think where you could be a year from now!
We are often our own worst critics. We talk to ourselves sometimes in a way we wouldn’t dream of talking to anyone else. We are often far harsher on ourselves than anyone else would want to be. We beat ourselves mentally when we mess up. When we slip up on our diet we just give up, tell ourselves it’s too hard. Sometimes we let what other people say to and about us become our own personal reality. If someone puts us down we mentally agree.
It’s time to stop that.
Life is hard sometimes. We try our best, but sometimes we fall short. We make mistakes. We miss goals. It’s called being human.
Just know you are worthy. You deserve the best in life. Stop putting yourself down. If you make a mistake one day, you can get it right the next day. Or the day after that. Be kinder to yourself. Start treating yourself as you would treat a friend. If you wouldn’t put your friend down then why put yourself down?
Just over two years ago I was overweight, diabetic and downright unhealthy. I used to put myself down. A lot. I think I kind of hated myself for letting myself get where I was. But little by little I made changes. I joined @MyFitnessPal and started running.
Running taught me a lot about myself. I learned I’m stronger than I ever thought I was. When your legs are burning and your body is screaming at you to stop but you keep going until you are done, that’s some serious mental strength. I’m more determined, more driven than I’ve ever been about anything. I turned my life, and my health, around. The weight is off and my sugar numbers are much better now. I’ve been off diabetes medication for over two years now.
You can change your life, too. Start by changing your inner dialogue. It won’t happen overnight. You’ll still find yourself coming up with the same negative reaction. But when you catch yourself, stop. Say “No! I’m better than this. I DESERVE better than this.”
You deserve respect. You deserve SELF respect . You are capable of far more than you can imagine. You only need the will to try.
I wrote this because I am often my own worst critic. I get down on myself about a lot of things. It’s something I’ve had to work on. I still find myself slipping into old habits. But when I catch myself, I make a note of it and resolve to do better. No harsh self-criticism. Well, not nearly as much. Hey, I’m still not perfect. But I don’t expect to be. I’m human, too. But if I can do this, so can you.
Two years ago I decided to start running for my health. It was one of the most important decisions I have ever made. Because of that decision I lost 40 lbs and got off diabetes medication. I could have just stayed as I was, wishing I was slimmer, wishing I could get my sugar levels under control.
Instead I made a choice. I started small. The first day I ran I couldn’t even run a quarter of a mile. But I was out there every day. Walking and running. At first walking much more than running. Gradually I increased my running time and distance until I was running more than I was walking. Then one day I didn’t need to take a walking break at all. Now I run a few times a week. I run anything from 4 to 6 miles. Sometimes I can run longer distances. It may not seem much compared to some runners but my running has taken me to a totally different place, emotionally.
I no longer wish I was slim.
I am slim.
I no longer wish I was off diabetes medication.
I am off diabetes medication.
All this because I made a simple choice.
One day while I was walking I chose to run.
Whatever you are thinking of doing, whatever you wish you could do, just start.
Start while you’re afraid.
Two years from now you’ll be so thankful you did.
We know that it isn’t easy to start something or if you start something to actually stick with it. Believe us, we know. We have been there, tried it and failed. Yes. Failed. So many times we would say, “oh, one day I will try again.” But, you know what? Don’t just try. Just start. Just do it. Grab a partner or friend and do this together. Stick with it. This isn’t lose 50 lbs in a month quickly. This is a health journey and it is for life. It doesn’t matter when you start, it matters that you do. Remember, the years will be passing by. The question is: will you be healthier in five years or at the same weight and fitness level that you are now, (or worse)? We are continuing on our health journey and would love to take you with us!
So after a 5 mile run I came home to great news. I got my bloodwork back before my latest doctor visit tomorrow. My A1C was 5.2. December 2014 my A1C was 7.2 and my doctor wanted to put me on a second medication, one that’s strongly linked with causing liver problems.
No, thank you!
I had already been taking Metformin since August 2008. Well, that was the kick up the butt I needed. I joined @MyFitnesspal and started running and by April 21st (my birthday) I was able to stop taking Metformin altogether. I have been drug free since then. I lost a total of 35 lbs since I started that health journey. I have had no problem maintaining my weight loss.
In June 2015 my A1C was 5.8. Last August it was 5.3 and now it’s down to 5.2. For those that don’t know, the A1C is a blood test that gives a three month snapshot of how your body’s blood glucose level is. There seem to be some slight disagreement on the exact numbers but generally if your A1C is 6.5 or higher you are considered diabetic.
To anyone who is type 2 diabetic: You CAN beat it. You CAN get off medication. You CAN live a healthy life. But it isn’t easy. It requires a serious lifestyle change. It requires hard work. It requires dedication. The only question is…are you willing to do what it takes to turn your health around? I did. I’m living proof that you can do anything you set your mind to.
My first piece of advice:
Breathe. Don’t panic. Don’t freak out. Don’t shut down.
Yes, it’s a scary diagnosis to be given. Yes, it’s a life-changing moment. Gone are the days when you could eat whatever you wanted without giving it a second thought. Now you’re going to begin a system of trial and error. Finding out what sends your sugar into orbit and what doesn’t. The bad news is there’s no one size fits all. A food item that spikes one diabetic’s sugar might not really affect you much. The only way to find out is to keep testing after every meal. You need to know the worst foods to avoid. I can tell you common problem foods are pizza, white bread, potatoes and white rice. And of course cookies, chocolate, cakes, pasta…and the list goes on.
Depending on the severity of your diabetes, there are a range of treatment options your doctor may choose. You may be put on an oral drug, like Metformin. That’s the one I was prescribed. There are a range of other pills your doctor may choose. Or you may be put on insulin.
This is important. Your doctor is going to give you a ton of advice. Listen to it. The absolute worst thing you can do is bury your head in the sand and just ignore your diabetes. It’s a serious problem and it isn’t going to just go away. With the right attitude it can be managed, and in some cases it can even be reversed, I know this because I reversed mine.
There are two main causes of type 2 diabetes. Genetic and lifestyle. If your diabetes is genetic then there are fewer options, but it can still be managed. My diabetes was caused by my lifestyle. This is the one that can most likely be reversed. By changing your lifestyle.
Basically I gained a lot of weight and was very inactive. I didn’t really bother with any kind of exercise. I was diagnosed in August 2008. For several years I battled my disease. At one point it got out of control and my fasting sugar was averaging 170. That’s another thing. The best way to see how you’re doing with your diabetes is to test your sugar in the morning before you eat or drink anything. This is when you’ll have the most consistency. Because your sugar is affected by not only WHAT you eat but also by HOW MUCH you eat. That first thing in the morning test will give you the greatest consistency.
In December 2014 I went for a check up. My A1C was 7.2. The A1C measures your blood glucose over a 2 to 3 month period. Non diabetics should have a number less than 6.0. The higher the number the worse your diabetes is affecting you. If you’re managing your diabetes you need to aim to keep that number as low as you can. Mine was high enough the doctor wanted to put me on a second medication. When we investigated this drug we found it’s strongly linked with causing liver issues.
This was the kick up the butt I needed. I resolved to lose weight and get active. In many cases simply losing weight and getting fit can be all you need to do to reverse your diabetes. I joined an app called MyFitnessPal. It’s a calorie counting app that lets you track the calories you’re burning. It also helps you track the amount of nutrients; carbs, sugar, fiber, protein etc you’re eating. A lot of people dislike the idea of calorie counting but I found it very effective and so simple to do. The great thing about it is it makes it incredibly easy to maintain your weight loss. Much better than the usual method of “going on a diet” by denying yourself certain foods until you lose the weight and then going back to your old eating habits…which is what caused you to gain weight in the first place.
A brief word about carbs. You’re going to hear a lot about carbs. Too many carbs will spike your sugar. But your body needs a certain amount of carbs as they give your body energy. Complex carbs are best. There are plenty of sites out there that go into simple and complex carbs as this blog is going to be long enough already! Switching to wholewheat bread and wholewheat pasta is a better option if you simply can’t give up those foods.
The other thing I did was start walking daily. Walking led to running. I followed a system called Couch To 5K. Google it. It’s a great way to start running if you think that would be a good way to go. It’s a great calorie burner and the weight just seemed to fall off me once I started running. Within a couple of months of this my fasting sugar was dropping into the 60’s! I halved my daily dose of Metformin and my fasting was still in the 60’s. I came off Metformin in April 2015 and I have been off it ever since. I can’t guarantee you will have the same results I have but there is every chance you can get control of your disease and maybe you can also get off medication. Good luck and I’d love to hear how you’re getting on.
I’ve just realized I haven’t blogged in quite a while. Sorry about that! So here’s my latest update on our health journey.
We went away on a sort of working vacation in May. Although we managed to eat within calories most of the time, we were eating out every day. We were also too busy to get in any real exercise until the last day or two. After we came back I guess I slacked off on my running a little bit. My weight crept back up around 5 lbs and I noticed my pants were starting to feel a little snug. Having gone from size 40 to size 32 I am in no mood to undo all the hard work I’ve put in!
So we made a recommitment to get back to the grindstone. I tightened up on my calories and got back to running. Our local parks department is hosting a weekly 2 mile fun run. I’ve been on three of them and each time I have been faster. Last night the temperature at the start was 85 degrees. Luckily the run happens at 8pm so the sun is close to the horizon. At least I don’t have to deal with the full heat of the sun during my run. This was still my hottest run ever and somehow it was also my fastest ever 2 mile run. I came in at 17 minutes and 1.9 seconds. My legs were like rubber as I crossed the finish line! Last summer I did all my running on the treadmill. I will still do a lot of my running on the treadmill but I am committed to doing as many of these fun runs as I can no matter how hot it gets. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
Even on the treadmill I am pushing my fitness. I now run 3 miles on the hill function. Which involves a lot of hills!
The net result of this is not only did I lose those extra 5 lbs but I am now .2 lbs away from my goal weight of 155! Now I have to decide if I want to maintain at a range of 150-155lbs or 155-160lbs. I’m not sure about that just yet. I love that losing weight through calorie counting has allowed me complete control over my weight. If I start to gain weight I know exactly what I need to do to get rid of those unwanted extra pounds. I don’t need to panic or freak out and go back to my old ways. I am committed to this for the rest of my life. And my sugar levels are still great. This morning my fasting sugar was 77. I’m hopeful I can stay off medication for the rest of my life.
And Chris is doing great, too. She is a BEAST at the gym! She loves lifting weights and I am seeing a real change in the way she looks. I’m proud of her for sticking with this. She has struggled with her weight for most of her life and knowing I have inspired her to do this makes me feel proud of myself too. I haven’t been an inspiration to many people in my life. I love that we are in this together. We hold each other accountable. She doesn’t let me off with anything and I keep her going too. Our relationship is stronger than ever. We are both in this for life. And I will post more often to share our journey.
So I just turned 48 a few days ago. On the 21st to be exact. The photo on the right was taken that day. I can’t stop looking at it. Not because I’m vain or anything. But because that one photograph sums up everything I have achieved in the past year. The photo on the left was taken in 2009 when I was at my heaviest. Just after I had been diagnosed a diabetic. Looking back at my life then it seems it was almost inevitable that I would become diabetic. Poor diet. Lack of exercise. Serious weight gain. Becoming diabetic was a serious wake up call. It took me a while to hear that call. It was only when the doctor wanted to put me on a second medication that is linked with causing liver problems that I finally woke up and realized I had to do something about it.
So I took up running. And watched my diet. I have lost 35 lbs in the past year. Sometimes when I look in the mirror I can’t see the weight loss. I know I’ve lost weight. I know my stomach is a lot smaller, (I think I just have loose skin issues now which is really annoying because every other part of me is slim.) But the brain seems to take a while to catch up with the eyes. Judging from posts I’ve seen on the MyFitnessPal forums this seems to be a common phenomenon. But in the photo on the right I can SEE how much my face has changed. For me it sums up everything I’ve achieved in the past 12 months. It’s a face I haven’t seen in over 20 years. You see, I wasn’t always overweight. In fact, all my life up to my mid 20’s I’d actually been pretty skinny. I guess I slowed down, but didn’t change my eating habits to match. So the weight gained. Slowly at first. But in the past ten years I had a dramatic weight gain.
But now I see my old face looking back at me. A little older, perhaps. A few wrinkles starting to show. A few crows feet around the eyes. But it’s ME. The real me. Not the bloated puffy face I’ve had to look at for a while. It’s like looking at an old friend. And I like what I see. I like how I feel. I’m so much more confident now when out in public. This healthy lifestyle is amazing. I just wish I’d started twenty years ago when the weight started creeping on. I can’t change the past. But I can make sure the old me stays the new me for the rest of my life.
Sometimes when you look in the mirror it’s hard to see just how far you have come when you’re looking to lose weight. The best way to really judge your progress is take photographs. If you’re starting out on a weight loss journey I’d advise you to take several photos before you start. It’s always good to have something to compare. The photo on the left was taken in 2009 when I was at my heaviest. The photo on the right just a couple of months ago. Here I can really see the difference. I’m almost at the weight I want to be. It’s time to start maintenance. I have made a vow to never again look like I did in the pic on the left. I wasted 20 years of my life looking like that.
The past year has certainly been eventful. Getting off diabetes medication. Losing over 30 lbs. Getting fit. Running. And this is just the beginning. I intend to start lifting weights more now. I’ve lost the weight. Now I want to tone myself up and get myself in better shape. The weight loss journey may be ending. But the healthy lifestyle is just beginning!
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the health journey I’m on. About how far I have come in less than a year. And how much easier it has been than I thought it would be. As a teenager I was a skinny little thing. People used to try to fatten me up and just give up! Then in my mid twenties I started to gain weight. I didn’t notice at first. Then when I did notice, I didn’t find the will to do anything about it. I feel like I wasted two decades, the best two decades in my opinion, being overweight, when apparently I didn’t need to be. Because when I found the willpower to actually change my health it came easily. Okay, I shouldn’t exactly say easily. After all, I’ve put a lot of sweat and effort into my transformation. No tears, though! But as I gained the weight I always thought it would be too hard. I made a few half-hearted attempts to lose the weight. I’d go on a diet. It always ended in failure. I just couldn’t find the motivation to see it through.
Then in December 2014, while sitting in the doctor’s office, I faced a tough choice. My A1C was 7.2. The doctor wanted to put me on a second medication. I’d already been taking Metformin since 2008. When Christine and I researched this second drug and found it’s strongly linked with causing liver damage I knew I had to make a change. I vowed to never take this drug. Up to this point I’d only wanted to lose weight. Now my want had become a need. And it turned out to be pretty simple. Not easy. Not with all the running miles I put in. But it was simple. I started walking, walking led to running. And I counted calories. I’m so glad I joined MyFitnessPal. It’s a great app that lets you track your calories. It even lets you track your exercise. It definitely made my efforts easier to log. Losing weight comes down to one simple equation. Calories out have to be greater than calories in. In other words to lose weight you have to be eating less calories than you’re burning. Exercise is a great way of boosting your calories out. Running especially burns a lot of calories.
I guess the bottom line in all this is need will always trump want. Wanting to lose weight through reasons of simple vanity wasn’t enough to motivate me to succeed. What ever you attempt to do in life will always be much more successful if you NEED it more than you WANT it. Need is a great motivator. And when it’s a health need, that’s the greatest motivator of all. From being on the verge of taking two drugs for diabetes, I’ve been off ALL medication for ten months now. I stopped taking Metformin in April 2015 when I realized my fasting sugar was actually getting too low.
If that visit to the doctor hadn’t taken place, if he hadn’t decided to put me on a drug that could potentially harm my health even more, I might still be overweight. And I might still be on Metformin. Now I’m fitter than I was even in my twenties. Now I’ve dropped from size 40 pants to size 32. My weight is more or less where I want it to be.
I still have a need. My diabetes is under control. But I’m still diabetic. I don’t think that will ever change. We went out to eat Saturday night. I ate more than I have been recently. I also had fries. My sugar two hours later was 168. Which isn’t bad. A year ago it would probably have been 200 or higher. My fasting sugar was 91. Which a year ago I would have been thrilled with. But it’s a sign of how far I’ve come that I wasn’t happy with that number. These days my fasting is always in the 70’s and low to mid 80’s. Now, 91 is still just about at the normal range. But I wasn’t happy. So yesterday I made conscious efforts to eat less, to eat healthier. My fasting this morning was 75. Much better. But it served as a reminder that I have to be vigilant. That I still have to be conscious of not over eating and I still have to be active. It’s easy to imagine that if I spent a week eating like that my sugar would be into the 100’s. It’s all good, though. It just reminds me I still have a need. And as long as that need is there I will have all the motivation to keep on this healthy lifestyle.
Whatever you want to do in life, whatever you want to achieve, make sure your need is as great as your want and you can achieve miracles. Just like I have.
Yes, I know I already posted a blog today but sometimes a topic for a blog comes to you and you just have to get it out there. So I was thinking, it’s the season of the Resolutioners. Those people who pack a gym for anything from 2 weeks to 2 months, determined to get healthy. Then they quickly drop away. But why do people find it so hard to stick to something that they know will do them good?
The first thing is you just can’t put a date on something like this. If you decide, probably some time in December, that on January 1st you’re going to lose weight, quit smoking, work out, get a new job, whatever your resolution is, when that date rolls around you’re going to feel obligated to do it. Because you said you would. So this new thing comes from a sense of “I have to do it because I said I would. It doesn’t really come from a sense of I want to do it, even though you probably DID want to do it when you made the resolution. Basically it quickly becomes a chore. Something you HAVE to do. And nobody enjoys doing chores?
Am I right?
My becoming a runner didn’t come from a new years resolution. I didn’t even plan to become a runner. It just happened. The running evolved slowly. I used to walk laps around a small park just five minutes from home. Then I began to run the last lap. Then the last two laps. Before long I was running more than walking. By the time I called myself a runner I already had the habit of running. Now I can just lace up my shoes and go out the door without really thinking about it. I found I actually like running so keeping it going hasn’t been a chore.
If you’re going to wait for motivation to strike before getting out there and exercising, you’re not going to exercise very often. Motivation is what gets you started. But it’s fleeting and unreliable.
HABIT is what keeps you going. When I started exercising last March it came from necessity. Being diabetic and having the doctor wanting to put you on a second drug – one that’s strongly linked with causing liver problems – is a great motivator! I went out to my local park every day, whatever the weather. No excuses.
Timing is everything! You can start every January 1st and give up by February or March 1st. Until one year it clicks. That one year your desire for change becomes stronger than your force of habit that keeps you doing what you always did. When that spark happens you become unstoppable. The doctor wanting to put me on a medication that could cause other serious health issues was a powerful enough spark to get me out of my comfort zone and make me change my habits drastically. If that hadn’t happened I wonder if I would have lost that weight and started running.
If you’re the type who makes resolutions every year but can’t seem to keep them, you need to change your inner dialog. Stop telling yourself I HAVE to do this. Start saying I WANT to do this. I WILL do this. When you feel you WANT to do something you will find it much easier to keep it going. Let’s face it we’ll always prioritize what we want to do over what we have to do. It’s just human nature.
And look for the little victories. When you’re trying to lose weight it’s easy to become obsessed with the scale. If that scale doesn’t budge or, the horror, the scale starts to go up, it’s all too easy to just say “I can’t do this” and quit. But the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. People often go through a slight weight gain when they first start exercising. But it usually comes off pretty quick. It can be from water weight. Pay less attention to what the scale tells you and more attention to how your clothes are fitting, or how you look in the mirror. Clothes start to become loose, you can drop sizes pretty quick. Your collar bone starts to poke through. And your hip bones. Nothing motivates more effectively than seeing success. I was lucky. Once I started running the pounds just seemed to fall away. I went from size 38 jeans to size 32 in about 8 months. If I didn’t have the success I had, then I can’t say for certain I would have stayed the course. I became a runner for specific reasons. To lose weight. To get fit. To get off diabetes medication. The last one I achieved in just two months. The rest fell into place. Now I’m a runner for life because I SAW the results and I KNOW what running has done for me.
What running is continuing to do for me.
Whatever your resolution is try to pick something you can enjoy. Not everyone will enjoy running. Maybe you like to walk, run, dance, play football, play basketball. Basically, just move. Any movement beats sitting on the couch. Maybe this year you will find your spark. When that happens you will be unstoppable!
So 2015 has passed and is one for the record books. It was a mixed year with a lot of stress and I had to go through eye surgery to remove cataracts twice. But from a health point of view, other than the eye surgery, it has been a very good year. We’ve both lost weight and we’ve both gotten much more active. Now it’s time to ramp it up.
In order to make sure I don’t lose my focus I have set myself a goal of running 700 miles this year. As someone on Twitter pointed out, it’s the equivalent of me running to Pittsburgh and back! It’s a daunting number but my runs are starting to get longer now so I know it’s doable. I’ve already run twice this year. I ran 6 miles on January 1st, to start the year off right. And then on the 3rd I ran 8 miles. So I only have 686 miles to go.
Christine loves working out at the gym. When she first started going she could only lift 20 lbs. Now on some of the machines she can lift 90 or even 100 lbs! I’m going to have to work to keep up with her! While I also use the weight machines, I spend more time doing cardio, especially the Dreadmill. For some reason I have a block with that. I ran 4 miles on it last week and that took everything I had. I can run further outside than I can on the treadmill. Maybe it has something to do with boredom. I need to buy something so I can listen to music while on the treadmill.
We both want to wish our followers a Happy New Year and we look forward to sharing our health journeys over the coming year. Do you have goals set for the year ahead? We’d love to hear them!
I would like to wish all my followers a happy new year. Thank you for reading and I’m looking forward to sharing my running adventures in 2016.
It’s funny how this blog has evolved from being a business related blog to something that is basically a journal of health and wellness. I couldn’t be happier that this has happened.
As we prepare to bid adieu to 2015 I can’t help feeling a little sad. This year has been good to us, and to me personally. It has been a while since I could say that. We’ve had a few rough years previously. But I’ve gone from being on the verge of taking two drugs for my type two diabetes to taking no drugs at all. My sugar is under control. Only this morning my fasting sugar was 76. I owe it mainly to two things. MyFitnessPal and running.
Running especially has transformed me. I’ve lost over 30 lbs. I’m much fitter and happier with the way I look and feel. When I first started out in March I couldn’t even run a quarter of a mile. But a few days ago I ran my first 8 mile run. I still can’t believe I actually ran 8 miles. It shows my fitness is coming up.
For Christmas I finally got a proper pair of running shoes. I went with ASICS because I’ve read a lot about them on Twitter and in Runners World magazine and they seem very popular. I had my first run in them tonight. A 4 mile run on the treadmill. They certainly felt much more comfortable than the cheap pair of sneakers I’ve been running in up to now. I will give my new running shoes their inaugural outdoor run tomorrow. I have to run 5 miles to reach a new milestone (pun fully intended.) This will be the first time I hit 50 miles in a single month. That 8 mile run certainly helped.
It’s also a nice feeling to know I’ve inspired my wife, Christine, on her own journey to health. She has lost 22 lbs since July and gone down 3 pant sizes. She is also a demon at the gym. She’s stronger than she used to be and loves to lift weights. She’s giving me a run for my money! Her blood pressure numbers are coming down. When you have someone who’s on the same journey it makes a huge difference. We encourage each other. We push each other when one of us doesn’t feel in the mood to exercise.
So it’s goodbye to 2015 and hello 2016. I have so many running goals to hit next year. To keep increasing my distances. To finally run my first official race. Maybe to answer the question that keeps lurking at the back of my mind: Can I really run a marathon? I have my Twitter followers to thank for that. I’m following so many people who have run marathons and the way they talk about it makes me want to do it! It probably won’t happen next year. Maybe 2017. Who knows?
Whatever I decide I will be sharing on this blog. So, again, thank you for following my journey and I look forward to sharing more.
See you all next year!