Hi, I am Marjorie and this is my story about how I successfully lost weight by making a lifestyle change.
Before Weight: 276 lbs.; After Weight loss: 164 lbs.
Total Weight Loss: 112 lbs.
How I Gained It: I’ve always struggled with weight gain since high school and was constantly on roller coaster diets. I have spent thousands of dollars on fad diets and weight loss programs, only to have temporary weight loss success. This was due to not implementing proper eating habits and food selections as a lifestyle change. Not learning the concept of healthy eating, I peaked to 276 pounds in August 2014.
In 2009, I went into a diabetic coma and was put in the hospital in intensive care with a blood sugar level of 1175. I was in the hospital for approximately three (3) days before I became rational again. I had to be strapped to the bed due to the fact that I was raging due to the high blood sugar level. I learned from a nurse two or three years later that was on duty during my stay in the hospital that I actually was fighting her. She told me that I hit her. She recognized my name when it was called while I was at the hospital visiting a patient. I was very embarrassed to hear what I had done and of course apologized for my behavior at that time, even though I was not in my right mind due to the high blood sugar level of 1175.
Research on high blood sugar revealed that “High blood-sugar levels (hyperglycemia) also can lead to mood changes. “Hyperglycemia can affect your ability to concentrate and can make you feel grouchy,” Solowiejczyk said. “Any change in the blood sugar outside of the normal ranges makes you feel weird and uncomfortable.” Retrieved from: https://consumer.healthday.com/mental-health-information-25/anxiety-news-33/diabetes-can-take-a-toll-on-your-emotions-664847.html.
Additionally, “…A person experiencing high blood glucose may: feel irritated, have difficulty concentrating, complain of being tired, and become short tempered. Retrieved from: https://libertymedical.com/diabetes/question/how-does-elevated-blood-sugar-affect-behavior-and-mood/
During the course of my stay in the hospital, the doctors started me on Insulin and medication for my blood pressure and cholesterol. For the next five years, I pacified my body with medication and continued with my poor eating habits. I ate the fried foods, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, cake, lots of candy, lots of chips, cookies, and lots of ice cream. Dined out every day and enjoyed eating Chinese meals at least twice each week (definitely every Sunday). I had very little energy, constant aches and pains in my lower back and legs. Unable to raise my arms for any long periods of time and as a result, decided to cut off all of my hair because I was unable to take care of it as I should. I was unable to walk fast because of all the weight that I was carrying around on my 5”2” body. I was unable to wear pantyhose any longer, cross my legs, tie my shoes or wear high heel shoes anymore. Needless to say, I was quite a measurable individual in a depressive state of mind over how I had allowed my healthy body to be destroyed, both mentally and physically under my own control.
Obesity causes depression. Studies have shown that obese people are about 25 percent more likely to experience a mood disorder like depression compared with those who are not obese. Obesity can cause poor self-image, low self-esteem, and social isolation, all known contributors to depression. Those who are obese can also find themselves ostracized, stereotyped, and discriminated against. The extra weight carried around by obese people can result in chronic joint pain as well as serious diseases like diabetes and hypertension, all of which have been linked to depression. Everyday Health, (Jul 15, 2011). Retrieved from:http://www.everydayhealth.com/depression/depression-and-obesity.aspx
As stated above in the insert, the extra weight carried on your body can result in chronic joint pain, which was what I had experienced. Sleeping at night was a struggle with the leg and back pain. It was extremely difficult to turn over in bed at night as well. Being diagnosed with diabetes, I knew that my life was at risk of being shortened earlier than I wanted it to be by practicing these poor eating habits for the majority of my life. I knew it was up to me to make a change in my lifestyle and to do my part to restore and maintain my own health, both mentally and physically, even at the age of 60. If I kept doing the same things I had been doing, I was going to get the same results (and worse). However, if I made a change, I could slow down the damage or possibly stop any more damage from occurring by engaging my own destructive eating habits.
Breaking Point: It was August of 2014, at the age of 60 when I visited my physician, who informed me that my A1C was at 13.5 (a normal A1C should be 7.0 or below). I was on the verge of having a stroke or a heart attack. He wanted me to see a nutritionist to give me instructions on proper eating habits and to place me on a meal plan to teach me how to measure portion sizes and make better food selections each day. What??? Do I really need someone to spoon feed me and tell me to stop eating candy, ice cream, fried foods, etc.; or if I do not, I will be at risk of having irreversible health issues? At that time, I said to myself, “No”, “no way! I don’t think so!” I said, “this is my body and I am the one who needs to take control here”. That was a true wake up call for me. It is “I” who needs to take control here and focus on me and my body.
I told my doctor that I was going to lose the weight and that I was determined to get off all of my medications (with Insulin being first and foremost). He said, “Okay!!” Long story short, within five (5) months of making that affirmation, my physician was instructing me to decrease my Insulin intake and my A1C was steadily declining. By the month of April 2015, I was totally off the dependency of Insulin and my other prescribed medication dosages were slashed in half. By February 2016, I was off all medications. My A1C went from 13.5 to 5.0. (The more glucose that enters the bloodstream, the higher the amount of glycated hemoglobin,” Dr. Dodell says. An A1C level below 5.7 percent is considered normal. An A1C between 5.7 and 6.4 percent signals pre-diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when the A1C is over 6.5 percent. (Sep 16, 2014)
Retrieved from: http://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/type-2-diabetes-live-better-guide/lower-your-a1c/
My physician was very impressed, to say the least. He was a great encourager and really listened to me during my visits. I must say, he was really a cornerstone of my weight loss success. I really appreciated his input tremendously. I no longer suffer as a Type 2 Diabetic.
This quote by John Kennedy says it all, “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try”. So, I began my journey. I had absolutely nothing to lose, but I had everything to gain from putting forth that effort to change my life by changing my poor eating habits.
How I Lost It: I went home and started to make healthy living a part of my daily routine. I educated myself on the proper food portion sizes to eat at each meal, the number of meals that I should eat per day, and designed a meal plan specific to my taste in foods. I read medical articles on why healthy eating habits are important, how to get healthy after practicing years of bad eating habits, read weight loss success stories of other people who lost 100 pounds or more and kept off the weight.
More specifically, I read weight loss stories of people who were diabetics who had successfully reached their goal in getting off Insulin and their other medications. This was information that my previous doctors did not tell me. I was told that I would have to be on insulin the remainder of my life, which is obviously not true. These success stories boosted my drive to keep pushing forward.
Additionally, I also read medical articles on the effects of diabetes and the toll it takes on your body if changes weren’t made in learning to eat healthy. I made myself look at pictures of people whose toes, feet, legs had to be amputated because of extreme diabetes and gangrene. People who lost their eyesight due to this disease. I read in detail, medical writings on the process one goes through whilst being on dialysis. To see the result of not practicing better eating habits and not taking control of this disease was a revelation.
My total focus on developing healthy lifestyle changes was on my mind 24 hours a day and seven (7) days per week. I had to take this challenge to change my life with everything that was in me. I was not going to give up on reaching my goal of having total success. I made the short-term weekly goal a small number of pounds to lose in order to reach my larger goal of 100 pounds. I incorporated 30 minutes or more of exercising (walking and aerobics) in my daily activities. Because I learned the importance of healthy caloric intake, I made a decision to eat a total of 1000 to 1200 calories per day (some days even less). I kept a food journal that documented what I put into my mouth to keep me accountable. I also drank eight (8) glasses or more of water each day. I gave up sugary drinks, processed foods and ate a fruit or a few ounces of vegetables every three to four hours. During that period, there were no deviations, I stuck to my daily meal plans. Also, I joined MyFitnessPal online and logged into the website all during the day, every day.
I stopped going to restaurants every single day for my meals and started preparing my meals at home. I started eating only vegetables (favorite is spinach, green beans, cabbage and okra), fruits and unprocessed meat. At the onset of this lifestyle change, I ate more tuna, salmon, and sardines as my source of protein than any other meats. As I lost the weight and gained more knowledge, I began cooking large quantities of food, prepping my meals for the week. In doing so, I merely had to retrieve a portion-sized container from the refrigerator when it was time to pack my lunch for work the next day or to eat my meals at home. This was not another one of my many diets, this was going to be and still remain, a lifestyle change.
I started my exercise regimen small by walking 20 to 30 minutes each day during my lunch breaks and most afternoons I would try to walk an additional 30 minutes. This activity took place every day that I could fit it in and I tried for seven (7) days per week if I could make that happen. I have also added walking and aerobic DVDs as a tool to keep me focused on keeping my body healthy and moving.
I stepped on the scales once per week on Monday mornings and sometimes twice per week. I needed to know that the meal plans and exercise in which I had implemented was making the numbers on the scale decline each time I jumped up on the scale.
As my pounds came off, I celebrated frequently by rewarding myself with a newly fitted piece of clothing, jewelry, or a new hairdo. I celebrate every day. Eventually, I was able to remove every piece of my old wardrobe (with the exception of one pair of jeans that I keep as a reminder of my weight loss success).
The transformation has been such a welcome accomplishment. There is absolutely nothing better than being in good health; that is, physically and mentally. I now have an enormous amount of energy. Before the weight loss, I was deteriorating both, mentally and physically (body issues and depressive mindset). I made a choice to eat every meal with the intention of having better health in mind and to not do more damage than I had already done by eating poorly during the course of my life. I have regained my self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth and that self-determination I once possessed. Nelson Mandela said, “When people are determined, they can overcome anything”. That quote is so true. Even when I slipped, I had that will and determination to get back in the right state of mind and start all over again the next day to eating healthy.
By changing my way of thinking, I was able to make positive changes in my life.
Research has revealed that “modern life places extraordinary demands on our brains. Not only do we live longer than ever before, but we must constantly adapt to complex and rapidly evolving personal and professional realities. Yet, we often ignore our most precious resource to do so: our brain.
The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: How to Optimize Brain Health and Performance at Any Age 2nd Edition, Kindle Edition Elkhonon Goldberg (Author), Alvaro Fernandez (Author), Pascale Michelon (Author), Misha Pavel (Foreword), Gloria Cavanaugh (Foreword), Sandra Bond Chapman (Foreword)
Because of all the people who shared their weight loss success stories online for others to read, I was able to accomplish my goal in losing weight and getting healthy. For the number of people who have been interested in knowing how I lost my weight, I felt compelled to do the same by writing my weight loss success story. We should always remember that if one person had the will and determination to accomplish their weight loss goal (or any other goal for that matter), then other people can follow similar steps to do the same. One size does not fit all. Each person must create their own individualized plan more specific to meet their need.
It was up to me to make that change and make my life better. If not, I was going to live the remainder of my life as a miserable individual who was not enjoying the life that was given to me and me alone.
“….Positive outlooks on life strengthen the immune system, cardiovascular system and the body’s ability to handle stress.”
“Optimistic, happy people believe that their own actions result in positive things happening and that they are responsible for their own happiness. They never blame themselves when bad things happen.” The Power of Positive Thinking: Changing your thoughts can change your life
NOVEMBER 29, 2012 BY HOFSTRA CHRONICLE By Marisa Spano (Columnist). Retrieved from: http://thehofstrachronicle.com/the-power-of-positive-thinking-changing-your-thoughts-can-change-your-life/
“If you truly want to change your life, you must be willing to change your mind.”–Oprah Winfrey
All information provided on diabeteswellnessandhealth.wordpress.com is based on my own personal experiences. I am not a medical professional and no adjustments to care should be done without consulting your medical team. You must not rely on the information on diabeteswellnessandhealth.wordpress.com as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.