As I’ve said previously I’ve been on a journey to a healthier me since July 4, 2012. I’ve heard the words “driven”, “committed”, “consumed”, “addicted”, “determined”, etc. to describe me during this process and I happily embrace all of them. I’m dedicated to being as healthy as I can be. I have no intention of changing any of my new eating habits or consistent exercise.
Just a quick update. I have lost a total of 115 pounds. No, I am not trying to lose to any particular goal weight. My body has responded to my lifestyle changes by weight loss, increased muscle tone, increased fitness level, and increased overall health (lower blood pressure, less joint pain, increased “good” cholesterol, etc.).
I’ve had people ask me about what I have done to achieve all of this, so I thought I would share some of the changes I’ve made. Mind you, this is what has worked for me and doesn’t necessarily mean it will work the same for every person. I encourage each person to do their own research, incorporate eating and lifestyle changes, exercise, and most important be consistent with the changes they have made in order to see any progress.
When I came home from the hospital on July 4, 2012 I wasn’t physically able to do much in the way of activity other than walk in the house or a short distance to the mailbox. But what I could do was read. So, I read everything I could get my hands on about diabetes, food additives and preservatives, health, fitness, exercise, etc. I wanted to be as informed as I could be about the journey I was undertaking and honestly the news about diabetes and the realization of what I had done to my body and my health all those years had really scared me.
I have basically eliminated white flour and white sugar from my diet. I watch carbs because they impact my blood sugar and am careful about the type of carbs I eat and how quickly they may impact my blood sugar. I have also eliminated processed food and “boxed” food. I also monitor gluten and have eliminated as much as possible as this has turned out to be something that I am very sensitive to. Side note regarding gluten – it is in so many things I never even thought of. I also read labels extensively. I have found that there is so much “added” to food that we don’t need in our bodies.
Since eliminating the processed and most artificial “stuff” from my diet my sense of taste has become so enhanced that all food tastes so much better to me. I love vegetables so I eat lots of salads and fresh vegetables. We steam a lot of our vegetables. Meats include turkey, chicken, fish/seafood. We eat some red meat but infrequently. Pork is eaten rarely. I love veggie burgers and love to try different kinds. I love breakfast foods so we eat eggs regularly in various types of recipes. We eat cheeses of various kinds. I eat probably two Greek yogurt almost every day. I also eat peanut butter. I’ve researched and found a good, healthy protein bar. I make sure the grains I eat are good healthy ones. Quinoa and buckwheat are great. Nuts are great and I try to incorporate them daily, mainly almonds (unsalted). I love spices/seasonings but don’t use salt or ones that have salt added. I really don’t eat rice, pasta, or regular bread or potatoes because of the rapid effect on blood sugar and the high carbs and have found totally awesome healthier substitutions such as quinoa, spaghetti squash, zucchini “noodles”, spinach/cauliflower/egg pizza crust, etc. There are lots of different yummy options out there that I’m open to trying out. Since removing white sugar from my diet I am so much more sensitive to the “sweetness” of food, even if it’s just naturally occurring in the food itself. So, some things actually seem too sweet.
I also drink lots of water, and I mean a lot of water. My goal is a minimum of 80 oz. a day. I don’t drink soda; I actually quit at least 2 years or more ago. I love coffee so I do drink that and enjoy my flavored coffees and creamers. I’m not a big juice person. I love hot tea and am trying to incorporate more of it into my routine.
Once my foot was sufficiently healed and the doctor gave the go ahead, I started exercising. I started walking and I haven’t stopped. Based on everything I read the minimum time frame for walking to be effective, especially for insulin resistance, is 30 minutes. And I walk. A lot. I walk on any given day anywhere from 3 – 5 miles. I prefer to walk outside but I also use the elliptical and treadmill in the gym as well at least 30 minutes when I’m there. My goal is a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio 6 days a week. We also go to the gym 3 days a week for weights which has really helped tone up my muscles. I’ve also focused on adding a good stretching routine each day. I will have completed 7 5K events (I walk them) by the time this is posted.
I am committed to maintaining my good health and hope to inspire others to a healthier lifestyle. I feel so good and have seen such positive effects in my overall health and well-being. I feel better than I have ever felt. I don’t have the joint pain I used to have from carrying all the weight. My whole body moves differently so I have had to adjust to that as well. I don’t have the desire to eat the unhealthy “stuff” I used to. It has no appeal for me.
I am happy to share my story and the changes I have made. To God be the glory for the new me I have!