Tomorrow I am missing one of my children's sports games...to go workout.
The month of August...in one way this month is one of my most favorite months, sporting 2 awesome boy birthday and the anniversary of the one I love the most. But in another way it is one of my hardest months...the first 2 years after my brother passed away this was the same month both years that I gained 10lbs (each year). I held onto that weight, going down a few pounds here and there then putting them back on, you know, same old, same old. So we come to August 2011...and for some reason I gain 5lbs (this is year 4 of my brother passing), not only that but my hand starts going numb. I mention to my mom that things are weird, I make a doctor appointment and my mom mentions the dreaded phrase..."Have you been checking your blood sugar?". The dreaded blood sugar...I had gestational diabetes twice (with both Micah and Joel) and my mom has been a type 2 Diabetic for 15yrs...it is in the history. I told her no, she mentioned I should look at it based on what's happening and I told her I would. I tested the next morning (a Friday)...130s...that number there ruined my entire weekend. I was in the foulest mood...I kept testing my morning numbers and tested a few during the day to see how they were. I TOLD NO ONE...my poor family took the brunt of the bad mood and had no idea the reason behind it. The conclusion of the testing was the same as my G.D. with Joel...I could control my daytime numbers, but the overnight stumped me. I knew what this meant, with Joel I had to go on a low dose glucose pill to keep it down. I kept checking my numbers and waited for my doctor appointment.
I went with the general this is how things are going, this is what's up with my hand, fearing knowing I would eventually have to tell her about my numbers. She thinks my hand might be carpal tunnel...she does some pressure points and I am sore all the way up my arm and into my back. She prescribes chiropractic and massagae therapy...I can certainly handle both of those. She asks if anything is going on...I suck in my breath, pull out my log book and tell her I have been checking my numbers. And then I say they are bad. I go over my range for the past week. She looks at me and says the thing I dreaded most to hear,
"Those aren't even pre-diabetic levels...those are diabetic."
I was 35yo, this was not the diagnosis I wanted to hear. She asks what I want to do...I said I would prefer no medication. She says she will give me a month...I took it. I left her office with an arsenal of how to attack things. I immediately cut out most breads, pastas, rice, potatoes and upped my proteins. Just with that the numbers started slowly coming down. I was still dealing with my hand...it took me a week or so to find a new Chiropractor and massage therapist that would be covered under my insurance (thank goodness Luke's insurance covered this stuff amazingly well). I got a great referral from an awesome couple at our church...knew each other since childhood.
At the chiropractor's we talked about my hand...and my blood sugar. After the x-rays the chiro felt that my hand was an issue of scar tissue in my neck, which I also had some in my middle back and then some at the base of my spine as well. He prescribed a pretty aggressive schedule of adjustments...after just 3 most of the numbness in my hand was gone and I was feeling so.much.better. As for the blood sugars...he recommended the Paleo Diet. I had already been reading about it and managed to find the book at the library that he recommended I pick up and read. In the back of the book there was a 4-wk eating plan...I did GREAT for 2 weeks, and I felt amazing. I was dropping pounds and my fasting blood sugar was dropping as well. Towards the end of October 2011 I met with my Dr again...she was amazed at my progress. She wanted me to keep doing what I was doing, finally after 2yrs of seeing her we had found something that I was sticking with. I had found and eating plan I liked and was actually starting to exercise again. I kept along with it, although I would find myself "cheating"...not so much with grains, but some dairy here, some popcorn there...artificial creamers in my coffee still. But the results were still coming...the long-term goal was to get my blood sugar to under 100, my A1C (the diabetic count) to under 6...and the weight I knew would continue to come off in the quest for that.
I began to get nervous for the approaching Holidays. We were headed to Medford for Thanksgiving and my track record there has typically not been so good. My numbers had been pretty good...low 100s, 1-teens. I took my exercise videos with me to make sure I could stay on schedule. Thanksgiving Day I got my first under 100 reading...99. I felt like I had just received the biggest blessing...God was definitely rewarding me for my faithfulness. I did great while I was there...watched what went in my mouth, exercised every day. I did have some desserts and such, and we celebrated my MIL's birthday a bit more than we should have, but the damage wasn't too bad. We came home and I felt like I could still conquer this. And then I stalled. I feel like life just got busy with the Holidays. I quit working out, but thankfully for the most part ate okay. But my body would definitely let me know when I was eating what wasn't so good for me. I made it through Christmas and had another follow-up with the Dr. Again she was super happy for my progress. My A1C was now 5.9...and I was down just over 20lbs. I felt good as well.
New Year's hit and I fell into a huge FUNK! Over these last couple of weeks I would eat great, then eat crap. STILL not exercising and the progress I was starting to make is feeling like jelly again. However, my blood sugar has still been improving. I am running about 50/50 just under 100 and low-100s (under 110). The chiro and I have been trying to troubleshoot the whole exercise bit, he was meeting with a new trainer who had a studio that used Kettlebells, he thought it might be a good solution from the time management aspect. Again, I had been reading and hearing a lot about them right before he mentioned it. I had him put me in touch with her. Shannon was super nice over the phone AND she was running a really good special for the month of January. I went ahead and scheduled my initial one-on-one with her. Then we had SNOW...my life halted for 3 days (but we had fun being cooped up at home) and I had to reschedule my session.
I went this past Tuesday and it was AMAZING, I LOVED it! I felt strong and powerful...which doesn't always happen in my world of self-doubt and loathing. I am trying to get back on track eating now...looking at trying the Whole 30 program to help kick-start myself again. I have a month of unlimited classes with Shannon and am aiming for 3x/week.
I am down a bit over 20lbs, am at my lowest weight in 4 years, and even though I still have a ways to go, here are a few pics to show the improvements so far:
July 2011 Dec 2011 Christmas 2011