Killing Myself with a Knife & Fork
Knowing that her Type 2 diabetes was spiraling out of control, Mollymouser took matters into her own hands by eating a healthy, well-balanced, high-fiber, veggie-filled 1800 calorie diet that focuses on lean proteins and heart-healthy whole grains. She has lost 117lbs and is off her daily insulin injections. Congratulations Mollymouser!
She contacted us through our Share Your Story feature and provided the following answers to our questionnaire.
1. What made you decide to lose weight this time?
Last December, I'd come to the realization that my diabetes was really getting out of control. I was taking larger and larger insulin doses, and my blood sugars were still climbing and climbing, no matter what I was eating. I realized that my body (and my pancreas) just couldn't handle all of the weight I was carrying and still function properly.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I've done Slim-Fast, Medi-Fast, Atkins and the Cabbage Soup Diet. I lost weight with each attempt, decided I missed "real food" and went back to my old eating habits. I regained all my lost weight, and then some.
Next thing I knew, I was in my mid-40s, horribly overweight, and a Type 2 diabetic taking 4 insulin shots per day. It hurt to walk, much less do any other physical activity. I realized that I was killing myself with a knife-and-fork, and that I needed to get my butt off the couch.
3. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude?
For me, there were two very important changes. First, I realized that I really did need to carefully track and measure every calorie and every carb that I ate if I had any hope of getting my diabetes (and my weight) under control. Second, I realized that I really needed to (gasp!) start exercising regularly.
4. How did Calorie Count help you to lose weight?
After trying (and failing) at any number of "diets" over the years, I researched NUTRITION (rather than "dieting") and realized that calorie counting really was the way to go. And on December 1, 2009, I embarked on a healthy eating adventure. With REAL FOOD that I get to choose. I eat 3 meals a day plus an evening snack ... 1,800 well-balanced calories, averaging 65g daily of fiber and 8 veggie servings. I aim for a breakdown of 20% fats, 35% lean proteins, 45% healthy carbs.
The result? I'm completely off insulin. My blood pressure is normal. My oral diabetes med dosage has been halved. My bad cholesterol dropped 40 points and my good cholesterol is up! I've had to get a whole new wardrobe because (so far) I've lost 117 pounds. I realized that I didn't need a "diet" ... I needed a life ... and a lifestyle.
5. What was most challenging about losing weight?
For me, managing my diabetes and blood sugars while dieting has been my biggest challenge. I have to do my exercise in measured spurts throughout the day, usually right after meals, or my blood sugars plummet to dangerously low numbers. And, sometimes, I have to eat more food (carbs) than I've planned for the day because I'm battling blood sugar lows. And I also have to really watch my the nature and type of carbs I eat (making sure there are enough, but not too many), while making sure I don't eat too much protein or fats. Some days, my menu feels like a complex math word problem!
6. How long did it take you to see results?
While the scale started showing results right away, it really took me a good 2-3 months to really appreciate the fact that I was really losing weight and that I really could spend hours a day riding my bike.
7. When did you realize that you were a success?
Frankly, some days I don't really "feel" like a success ~ because I know I still have a lot of weight to lose. But, practically, I started realizing success when I had to start lowering my insulin dosage, and then (finally) eliminating insulin completely. Every day when I test my blood sugars I am reminded again that success (for some of us) isn't always measured just by a scale ... but also by improved health.
8. How do you prevent relapse?
I keep an empty insulin syringe taped to the front of my refrigerator ~ that's an amazing motivator, really. And since I still have to test my blood sugars 4-6 times every day (and see the results on that little monitor), that helps keep me on track.
9. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
I've lost 117 pounds and have a whole new wardrobe. I'm completely off insulin and now take one-fourth of the dose of oral diabetes medication. I bike at least 5 days a week and have biked over 400 miles in a month four times (so far!). It no longer hurts to walk. I am more active and I feel better than I've felt in 30 years.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Fiber is your friend .... that 25g per day recommendation? That's a MINIMUM goal. If you aren't getting a minimum of 25g of fiber every single day, change what you are eating.
- Vegetables Rock! I aim for at least 8 daily servings of veggies and I've really had fun trying and discovering new veggies and veggie combinations. Your mom was right: eat your veggies.
- Plan your daily calorie budget around your lifestyle. If you like to snack in the evening, then save calories for your healthy evening snack.
- If you aren't willing to do "whatever you are doing" for the rest of your life, then your current "diet" (healthy eating plan) isn't long-term sustainable.
- Just take things one meal at a time, one day at a time, and one
pound at a time!
If you would like us to feature your success story, you can submit it here. The most insightful stories will be featured on this blog and in the weekly "Success Stories" newsletter.