The Best of News!
Fair warning, this has nothing to do with writing, my books, or even gardening (my focus during the summers).
Around ten years ago, right around the time I moved from the suburbs to live in my dream home, a lovely old 1899 Victorian in the city, I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. I was overweight, and I had suspected Type 2 diabetes would be in my future because my father has it, and I had developed gestational diabetes while pregnant with my second child.
I'd like to say I did something about it when I first heard the news. But I didn't. And eventually, as such things go, other issues cropped up. My cholesterol began to rise to unhealthy levels. I was diagnosed with NASH, a.k.a. fatty liver disease (the non-alcoholic variety).
In 2016, I had a real "this is your future" moment when I learned my father was gravely ill with uncontrolled diabetes, dementia, and a long list of other ailments. He was in such bad shape, that at the relatively young age of 70 years, he could no longer care for himself. And thanks to years of not controlling his sugar levels properly, this led to trans-ischemic attacks (mini-strokes) which rendered him incapable of ever living independently again.
I'd like to say that any of those issues listed above were enough for me to really DO something. But they weren't. I dithered about, tried a few things, but nothing really stuck. By late 2019, my husband did something rather extreme. He stopped eating almost entirely - eating just once per day. By the time he got home from work, he was, well, a bit of a rage machine. Desperate for food and grumpy as hell.
That said, he lost around 40 pounds in just a few short months. And kept it off.
I had always thought I needed to eat three meals a day. After all, by 9ish in the morning, I was peckish and hangry, and no one wanted to be around me. I was pretty sure if I skipped breakfast I would fall over dead. But the more I read about intermittent fasting, the more appealing it sounded. Somehow, I got past my fears, and gave it a try. At first, I tried a day on and a day off. I drank lots of water too. I bought the biggest metal Contigo I could find (24 ounces) and dedicated myself to drinking at least four, if not six, of them a day. No soda, no tea, just water. Flavored waters, with zero sugar, were added later, and I love them now. I actually use them to count my water for the day.
Lemon lime water
And so on...
After a while, I found that intermittent fasting worked best pretty much EVERY day, and that I was most comfortable eating between 11am and 4pm each day. I practice a pretty relaxed form of intermittent fasting. I have a large coffee every morning, complete with sugar-free creamer. I occasionally snack on foods in the evening. I even eat sugared desserts, but I just try and do it all in reasonable amounts.
The other day, looking forward to splurging at a fancy restaurant for our anniversary dinner, I stuck to water and carrots all day to keep me okay until our 6:30 pm dinner reservations.
Every day, I walk downstairs, use the toilet, strip off my clothes and weigh myself. And slowly, the weight has come off. Since I started this in early 2021, I've lost a total of 35 pounds. I have watched the scale move from 220 pounds, all the way down to 185. Just since my last doctor's appointment in June 2022, my weight has slid down ten pounds.
And yesterday, at my doctor's appointment, I learned the best news of all. My A1C, a test used to measure long-term sugar levels in my blood, has finally slipped to NORMAL. Yes, a 5.6 is the high end of normal, but it's still normal! All of the rest of the tests, the abnormal scores I had registered for my thyroid, my liver, and my cholesterol - all of these are normal now as well.
When she told me, my eyes filled with tears. I hadn't really realized until then how much the diagnoses and poor test scores had both frightened and depressed me. I was so relieved, so happy, and so damned proud of myself!
And because I'm that kind of gal, my mind immediately goes to, "Okay, what's next?"
The other 30 pounds. I think that it would be super cool if I could weigh 155 pounds. I doubt, however, that will happen anytime soon. I'm talking a five year (or more) plan. After all, the last time I weighed 155, I was probably 18 years old!
Right now, I'm 53 years old, and weigh less than I did in my early 30s. And that is HUGE. That has given me YEARS of life, and a good life at that and I don't plan on wasting it. I figure I will probably continue to use intermittent fasting for the rest of my life. It works, I don't feel like I'm losing out, and the effects have been life-changing.
I'm heading out into the yard to get some more weeding done. Stay healthy and happy, I'll return to writing real soon, I promise!