Anyone following this blog will know that I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes on the 22nd of January this year. That lightning strike came as a giant, red hot, bolt out of the blue. If you need a good belly laugh, you can read my diagnosis story here. It struck me hard but it also forced me to take a look at my life.
So, I took myself off to the room of mirrors and took a GHLAY (for non-Aussies reading this, that is Aussie slang for ‘good hard look at yourself’)! Something we often suggest to others, to much hilarity, but probably not enough to ourselves. So I took my Aussie medicine with a spoon full of….damn….artificial sweetener…. and spent some time reflecting on my diagnosis and what I was going to choose for it to mean. Wow! What an eye opener.
I have always been a health conscious person who carefully considered food choices, sometimes to the great annoyance of my family members, but now I had two critical pieces of new information –
- I had Type 2 Diabetes, but I hadn’t had it for long….my endo estimated I had had it for about two months when I was diagnosed.
- My metabolism was like a Ground Sloth version of metabolisms…. slooooooooooow, very, very slow, weighing me down like the elephantine size of the now extinct ground sloth.
These two pieces of information may not seem like much….but they were actually ground breaking, because they led to an earth shattering realisation…..no other healthy eating plan had worked before because I had never understood how slow my metabolic rate was!! No wonder I put on weight when most people would be losing it eating the same food as I did! Damn you body of mine…damn you sloth like metabolism….
Once I made that realisation, another one lit me up like a firework display on New Years Eve….After all these years I could FINALLY lose weight. I had the technology…I could build a healthier me! YES! Move over bionic woman….here comes Wonder Me!
Now, don’t get me wrong…I respect all bodies in their myriad of shapes and sizes…I’ve had several of my own :0. I’ve never really worried about the number attached to my weight….I have just always wanted to be a healthier, fitter version of me. So I embarked on a journey….
Now that I knew what my metabolic rate was and what foods to avoid (thank you food intolerances and type 2 diabetes :P) I could really set about making a tailored healthy eating plan for ME. Not a diet. I hate diets! Diets imply that they have a start and a finish. Healthy eating choices are a lifelong lifestyle, not something that has an expiration date.
Armed with my new knowledge I set to work. Within the first week of living a T2 life –
- I created a month long menu plan that was delicious, healthy, met the requirements for carbs and sugars for T2, and had less calories than my natural metabolic rate.
- I talked with my husband and daughter (the only one still left living with us) and made some changes based on their ideas and input.
- I changed my activity plan to include at least, 5000 steps per day (I work from home, so this is important), three swimming sessions per week, and daily 7-minute high frequency, high intensity workouts during the work week.
- I started this blog. I am an educator and the need for diabetes education seemed to scream out at me the more I read. I was also moved by the idea that in some people T2 diabetes can be prevented through positive and effective health and lifestyle education. I want to be a part of that!
In two days time I will have been following this plan for eleven weeks. So far I have lost 20.7kg (45.64 pounds) and reduced my waistline by 18cm. Yesterday’s HbA1c was 5.3% (nailed it!). I’m very proud of what I have achieved so far. In fact, I couldn’t be happier! *stops typing to do happy dance around the office*
I am a third of the way into my journey to the healthiest version of me and I am excited by the road ahead and what I have managed to achieve so far, especially in such a short space of time.
My husband was diagnosed with T2 and high cholesterol about a month after me. His T2 is more headstrong (as in his HbA1c and BG monitoring tests are much higher than mine), unfortunately, and he is estimated to have had it for about two years. However, even though he is active and in a healthy weight range, he has also benefited from our new healthier eating plan. He has lost 6kg, reduced his waist size and moved his cholesterol into a healthy range. His HbA1c is not far behind either. Way to go babe!
In terms of my healthy eating plan I have taken a very strict approach to the first four months to really kick start things, and as you can see that has really worked for me. It may not work for you, and in fact, you may not like or even agree with the initial path I have chosen in conjunction with my endocrinologist. That’s okay. It’s working well for me but it won’t be suitable for everyone and in fact it won’t even be suitable for me long term.
So I have devised a four stage plan to a healthier me.
Stage One – A very low calorie, low carb approach (no more than 1200 kc a day), in line with my sloth-like metabolism, that involves eating two meal replacement shakes per day. (This is where I currently am.)
Stage Two – A very low calorie, low carb approach (1200kc) continued that involves eating one meal replacement shake per day for lunch.
Stage Three – A very low calorie, low carb eating plan (1200kc) that involves eating three meals per day.
Stage Four – A maintenance healthy, low carb, eating plan that is in line with my metabolism, which will be remeasured once I am nearing my healthy weight goal.
If you are interested in the meal plans I am using for Stage One you can find them here, Not Dead, Diabetic – Stage One Menu Plan. The links to all of the recipes used in the plan can be found on my Pintrest boards, amongst lots of others that you might like even more.
When I visited my endo yesterday and my HbA1c came back as 5.3% (I know I wrote that already, but I am just sooooo happy about it I had to work it in again!), he suggested that I would likely be able to be solely diet and lifestyle managed, in terms of my diabetes, within three months. OMG!
That was my goal from the outset of hearing my diagnosis, so I am super stoked that I am making it a reality and look like I will achieve it within 6 months of my initial diagnosis.
Well gosh dang it I do believe that I can now start to refer to my self as Wonder Me…I am pretty darn awesome!!
Now share your awesome with me….tell me your story in the comments below…