After turning 30 recently, I was very proud of myself for purchasing health insurance and seeing a doctor for the first time in over two years. Being overweight and having a family history of diabetes, I was concerned I could potentially be pre-diabetic, but I had been making positive (though casual) changes in my lifestyle and diet for a few months. I didn’t quite expect that fasting blood sugar to come back at 170 (people without diabetes have blood sugar levels between 60 and 120).
Initially, I was shocked, upset, angry, and disappointed with myself. Though I was grateful to receive the news via email, so I could ugly cry in the fetal position and then call my mom. I’m not one to dwell, so that really only lasted about 15 minutes before I was brainstorming action plans.
I had a follow up with my PCP today, where I was adamant that I treat myself through diet and exercise before we consider prescription drugs. I have three months until follow up blood tests to begin to heal myself.
How do I begin to heal myself from a disease that, for many people, becomes a lifelong affliction? Well, I’m pretty sure it’s going to change as I find out what works for me and what doesn’t. I believe every body is different, and that there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution to eating, weight loss, or healthy living. I’ve tried a lot of methods in the past that have had results for a period and then haven’t.
What I will do:
- Eat whole, organic foods. No packages, preservatives, or GMOs.
- Significantly up the plant-based foods. 80-90% of my total diet.
- Listen to my body: what it wants, when it’s hungry, and when it’s full.
- Limit sugar and alcohol.
- Practice enjoyable, uplifting daily movement (for me, that’s yoga, Zumba, dancing, walking, and swimming).
- Meditate twice a day.
- Repeat healthy living mantras.
- Consume inspiring health-related books, films, and media.
- Surround myself with positive, inspiring, and healthy people.
What I won’t do:
- Go fully vegan. I love to taste and enjoy all that life has to offer, just now it’ll be in moderation.
- Eat “diet” food. I hate cottage cheese and rice cakes more than anything.
- Let one meal derail my progress. Things happen. Fall down seven times and get up eight.
- Have this one part of me become my identity. I am not a victim, and I am in control of my life.
- Let other people make my decisions for me.
- Let my diet keep me from having fun and enjoying life.
Like my Best Life Ever card says, All good is coming from this situation. Now is the time to make positive changes in my life. And that is a great thing.
- Weight: 243
- BMI: 40.4
- Fasting blood glucose: 170
- Blood pressure: 130/70
- Cholesterol (LDL): 118
- Cholesterol (HDL): 30
- Hemoglobin A1c: 9.8