When I started my health journey in March this year, I set myself two clear goals.
- Get off diabetes medication by getting my sugar under control.
- Get down to wearing size 32 pants.
The first goal I achieved as early as June. The second one I finally accomplished yesterday.
In March I was wearing size 38 / 40 pants. I was at that borderline stage where some pants fit at 38 but some only fit at 40. Clothes can be weird like that.
My wife, Christine, and I went shopping yesterday, as we both badly need new clothes. We’ve undergrown the ones we currently own. I like to say that. It’s definitely better than overgrowing them. In June I had tried on a pair of size 32 jeans but couldn’t get close to doing them up. I was down to size 34 at that time. Yesterday I finally fit into a pair of size 32’s. I didn’t even have to struggle to button them up. No breathing in or squirming. They just fit. So I am now the proud owner of two brand spanking new pairs of size 32 jeans! Christine also found she had dropped a whole pant size. Needless to say we are both very happy.
Now I can’t help looking back at far I have come in a short space of time. To think in December 2014 the doctor wanted to put me on a second diabetes drug and now I’m not on any! I still can’t quite believe that. I monitor my fasting sugar every morning. I average in the upper 70’s to low 80’s. I have noticed when I have a good workout my sugar usually responds by being in the mid to upper 70’s for a couple of days.
At my heaviest I weighed 215 lbs. Admittedly that was a few years ago now. I wore size 40 pants in those dark days. I almost went up to size 42. That was a trigger for me to lose some weight. I managed to get down to 190 and size 38 pants. While I still wasn’t happy with the way I looked, I maintained that weight for several years. Until a medical necessity gave me the push to continue my weight loss journey.
Which brings me to an important factor in getting healthy. Motivation. Losing weight, getting fit, they take time and a lot of effort. As I’m often reminded on the MyFitnessPal site I belong to, I didn’t gain that weight overnight and I won’t lose it overnight either. Especially if I want to sustain that loss. Motivation is key to sustaining any weight loss. It can be long, slow and very frustrating. I went through a phase where I didn’t lose a pound for three or four weeks. That can be enough to derail some people. But I knew I was doing the right activities. I knew I was losing inches even if the pounds didn’t move. And then I lost 3 lbs in the space of a week and, just like that, I was off and losing again.
Many factors have contributed to my weight loss. Counting calories. Running. Lifting weights at the gym. And I’m going to mention the products our Wellness company makes again, because they have also played a part. GC Control helps regulate my sugar. Peak Performance vitamins give me more energy. Our Pro Flex protein shake is always a good way to finish a strong workout. But on their own they’ll only carry you so far. You still have to put the effort and hard work in. Which I have.
Diabetes used to be a slow death sentence. But it doesn’t have to be, these days. I’m only going to talk about type 2 diabetes, because I realize type 1 is a whole different dynamic. I don’t really know much about type 1, though I imagine exercise would probably give some benefit there, too.
Just moving can make a big difference. A daily walk, lifting weights, running. Losing weight is all about burning more calories than you’re consuming. Which with the western diet is not as easy as it sounds. Even as a diabetic I can still have pasta, pizza, bagels and all the other high carb foods. In moderation, of course. I just make sure they fit in my calorie count for the day.
Now that I’ve reached the two goals I originally set myself I have to set new ones. Because it’s all about moving forward. Without goals we just stagnate. So the obvious goal is to maintain what I’ve already achieved. In a way the hard work is just beginning. I’m close to my goal weight now. I’m at my goal size. Now I want to improve my body shape, work on getting my fitness up. I might run a 5K in the Fall. At the moment the temperature is in the low to mid 90’s outside and humid. Not good running weather. When the cooler Fall weather (hopefully) arrives I’ll be ready to get out and run at least every other day.
I know I’m not cured of diabetes. I know if I let myself slip back into old habits my sugar will start to creep back up. But we’re both committed to our new healthy lifestyle. I may have reached my goals but the fun is only just beginning. I’m committed to a life of healthy living.
The photo at the top of my blog was an attempt to show the difference between my old size 40 and my new size 32. I don’t think the photo captured it quite as well as my own eyes did. I’ve lost 50lbs altogether since my heaviest. I’m proud of that achievement. But I’m also sad I let myself get that way. Especially as I was a skinny teenager. In fact I was skinny into my mid 20’s. I guess I slowed down but still ate as if I was still running around a lot.
I make this vow now…never again will I ever wear size 40, or even close to it! I finally like the way I look and I love the way I feel.