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Calorie Count Blog

Killing Myself with a Knife & Fork


By Sheila on Aug 30, 2010 10:00 AM in Success Stories

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.



Comments


Your tips are fantastic, especially three and four.  How often I can be good all day to blow it in the evening, I also had to learn to 'budget' those calories for the inevitable nighttime munch!  Also, a 'diet' is a temporary thing, a change in eating habits lasts forever.  Why go back to what obviously didn't work before after all that hard work getting where you got?  

Many congratulations to you, and thanks for sharing your inspiring story!!



What a great story! That's amazing that you are completely off insulin now. And 400 miles in a month? Jeez! I don't think I'd be able to do that!

You look great, congratulations! Laughing



Wow!  Congratulations on your accomplishments!  Your post has really made sense to me.  I have read sooo many "diet" books, but never one on nutrition. And for all that reading, I am still overweight.    I am heading to the library to see what I can find!  Thanks for giving me a new perspective and good luck on  your journey!

Michelle in NCLaughing



I am impressed by your success and stamina.  I, too, have recently discovered that eating really is about nutrition. It took me too many years to figure that one out.   I enjoy the game of fitting everything in to one day and not going over my calorie count.   Vegies are a must and are key to feeling your best every day!  Best of luck to you!

Grace in TX



Congratulations! What a wonderful story. Excellent news that you no longer need to use insulin! That is an amazing achievement. Inspirational!



Congrats on your hard work and the success that comes from that effort.  Can you give me an example of what you eat (including portions and how they are prepared) in a typical day?  Do you have other people at home you have to prepare meals for and if so, how do you deal with the problems that can arise from them?  I am in my early 40's, about 90 lbs overweight with high cholesterol and on my way to diabetes.  Besides my own eating issues and challenges, I have a family that includes 2 teenage boys who want nothing to do with changing to healthier foods and a hubby that isn't ready to make the changes that we all desperately need to make.  Any better eating only lasts about 3 days!  



Great story! I'm am really so happy for you! Completely of insulin! That is something to remember.

You've reached goals that I have'nt even yet like: Riding you bike 400 miles a month, Wowzers! And eating 8 serving of vegetables a day. Your totally inspiring me!

Keep up the good work!



Well done and excellent reasoning!  I'm printing this out and taking it to work for everyone to read.  No magic bullet but the results of your sensible rationale and approach are certainly magical.  

Where I'm at + Where I want to be = What I need to do.  

And you can't buy "What I need to do" from any magazine, weight-loss program, powdered drink, tv show hawker, or a lifetime membership at the gym.

 



I was killing myself with a knife-and-fork

What a great quote! It really puts it in perspective also. Eating is how we should be nourishing our bodies, not destroying them. Great advice all-around!



i wish my mom would be motivated like you have been :( she's suffered one MAJOR heart attack already and been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes that she's supposedly keeping under control through her diet...but she'll go to a buffet and leave with ziploc baggies full of desserts :( (just a sad example)

i love my mom and i don't want to lose her :( but i also don't want to make her feel judged, or like i feel she's ugly or a glutton...

she has to motivate herself, i know, but it's sad waiting for that to happen.



Congratulations!

Managing your diabetes, and insulin dependence through diet is a phenomenal achievement.

Go easy on yourself on those down days when you focus on the weight you still want to lose. When you reach your target weight you will feel on top of the world, but you are already an amazing sucess and inspiration to us all.

Keep it up.

 



CONGRATULATIONS!!!  Keep up the good work!



Congratulations!  You've done an amazing job. 



Ya know,.I wish it were that easy for me.I dont mean that it was easy.I just mean that if all I had to do what change my eating ways,I would be in heaven.I dont over eat,..honestly.I could live on Jello and not lose.Lol! I have a couple of problems that make it seriously had for me to exercise.And yet,even as I type this,I know that I use them as an excuse sometimes. One is my knee.I've had three surgeries on it,but,well,I could overcome that.The biggest problem I have to beat is the heat where I live.I live in the Frying Pan of America,..Phoenix,AZ. To go out for a walk if you are overweight,could be a death sentence.With temps at times up to 17,..it's no cake walk.(excuse the pun there.lol) I wound give anything to once again ride my bicycle,but its just not easy.I know people do it her,I see them,but,..they arent carrying a lot of extra weight.I am so happy for you in that you are now doing things again,and lost so much weight. If I could find a way to lose just 50 lbs,or even 20,..I could then at least goto a Gym.Just getting out into that heat,thats the killer for me.And,I did not jest when I said that walking in the heat here can  be a death sentence.If oyu get overheats,and you arent in shape,..well,I'm sure you all know the consequences. Happens here all the time.People drop dead every summer here.



Great success story! I also like what you said about success not being JUST the scale, but the amount of medicine you were taking. There are a lot of miserable people out there who need to hear your story!

Keep up the good work!

 



WOW 65 grams of FIBER! How do you do it? I can't even seem to get down 30 grams.  High fiber and low fat are my pitfalls.



good job, love your story ! keep going girl !



Congratulations!  I want to be you.  I just have to find my way like you did.  Are you willing to share some of your daily menus.  The protein, fiber and carb breakdown sounds great.



Congratulations on your success!  Your advice is perfect.  Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring myself and so many others!  Keep up the great work:)



CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cool

You've been an INSPIRATION to me for years!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Laughing

SOOOOOOO PROUD of YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cool



I am more inspired by your story than by any celebrity trainer or any quick fix infomercial I've ever seen.

I love that you framed this as embarking on a healthy eating adventure. You are a wise woman, and I consider you a hero!



VERY inspirational! Thank you so much for sharing.  I get low blood sugar and have the same problem, sometimes I have to eat even when I am not hungry to ward off an total crash.  It's great to see that it's possible to do and still lose weight!  And, Congratulations!



Good for you!   You should be proud of yourself, keep up the good work.  Your story is inspiring to a couch potato like me; I hope I do as well as you did  :)



Well done! Like the comment with saving calories for the evening snack! I can be very good all day - counting calories and doing my exercise - and in the evening I do snack here and there and go over board. I will definitely try your approach! I wish you all the best and keep on loosing them pounds!Wink



Another good trick to control diabetes is to eat a teaspoon of cinnamon every day (put it in oatmeal and such). What you have done so far is absolutely incredible. I'm so proud of you. You are an inspiration.



Thanks for your comments, everyone! Laughing

As for supplements, I take cinnamon capsules, a fish oil pill, a gummi multivitamin (yes, I'm a kid!), garlic and CoQ10.

If anyone wants to see my standard daily menu ~ just send me a PM and I'll cut-and-paste a reply for you (so as to not overwhelm everyone here!)



I am printing this right now! Thank you Thank you Thank you!

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR SUCCESSFUL JOURNEY,

 YOUR HEALTHY EATING ADVENTURE!!!! You are an amazing woman!

Your story has given me more inspiration than anything else! Thank you!

Good luck!



Congratulations, Mollymouser!

You look fantastic. You're story is truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing it.



Hello Mollymouser I am diabetic also and I can't get started no matter what I try but have not made it.I read your story and I loved it congratulation.I am praying that I will continue to read your storyand get some encouragement from it I know it takes time.Again congratulation and may God continue to bless you



Original Post by: whiskeyriverzx

Ya know,.I wish it were that easy for me.I dont mean that it was easy.I just mean that if all I had to do what change my eating ways,I would be in heaven.I dont over eat,..honestly.I could live on Jello and not lose.Lol! I have a couple of problems that make it seriously had for me to exercise.And yet,even as I type this,I know that I use them as an excuse sometimes. One is my knee.I've had three surgeries on it,but,well,I could overcome that.The biggest problem I have to beat is the heat where I live.I live in the Frying Pan of America,..Phoenix,AZ. To go out for a walk if you are overweight,could be a death sentence.With temps at times up to 17,..it's no cake walk.(excuse the pun there.lol) I wound give anything to once again ride my bicycle,but its just not easy.I know people do it her,I see them,but,..they arent carrying a lot of extra weight.I am so happy for you in that you are now doing things again,and lost so much weight. If I could find a way to lose just 50 lbs,or even 20,..I could then at least goto a Gym.Just getting out into that heat,thats the killer for me.And,I did not jest when I said that walking in the heat here can  be a death sentence.If oyu get overheats,and you arent in shape,..well,I'm sure you all know the consequences. Happens here all the time.People drop dead every summer here.


I don't want to be hard on you, whiskeyriverzx, but you ARE using all those things as excuses.  If you really want to lose weight, you will find a way, YOUR WAY, in any climate or temperature!  This success story was about learning to eat healthy instead of dieting.  If you really want to lose weight read about healthy eating and find healthy recipes.  Change your bad eating habits to good habits.  As for the exercise, find a way to exercise indoors, maybe at a gym.  You don't have to be THIN to go to a gym!  If you can't afford the membership, buy an exercise video or just climb up and down some stairs in your house, do jumping jacks, squats, sit-ups, etc.  There are plenty of alternatives besides biking or walking outdoors!!  So stop thinking about what you CAN'T DO and find things that you CAN DO!  Good luck to you! Laughing



Original Post by: jammy1

Original Post by: whiskeyriverzx

Ya know,.I wish it were that easy for me.I dont mean that it was easy.I just mean that if all I had to do what change my eating ways,I would be in heaven.I dont over eat,..honestly.I could live on Jello and not lose.Lol! I have a couple of problems that make it seriously had for me to exercise.And yet,even as I type this,I know that I use them as an excuse sometimes. One is my knee.I've had three surgeries on it,but,well,I could overcome that.The biggest problem I have to beat is the heat where I live.I live in the Frying Pan of America,..Phoenix,AZ. To go out for a walk if you are overweight,could be a death sentence.With temps at times up to 17,..it's no cake walk.(excuse the pun there.lol) I wound give anything to once again ride my bicycle,but its just not easy.I know people do it her,I see them,but,..they arent carrying a lot of extra weight.I am so happy for you in that you are now doing things again,and lost so much weight. If I could find a way to lose just 50 lbs,or even 20,..I could then at least goto a Gym.Just getting out into that heat,thats the killer for me.And,I did not jest when I said that walking in the heat here can  be a death sentence.If oyu get overheats,and you arent in shape,..well,I'm sure you all know the consequences. Happens here all the time.People drop dead every summer here.


I don't want to be hard on you, whiskeyriverzx, but you ARE using all those things as excuses.  If you really want to lose weight, you will find a way, YOUR WAY, in any climate or temperature!  This success story was about learning to eat healthy instead of dieting.  If you really want to lose weight read about healthy eating and find healthy recipes.  Change your bad eating habits to good habits.  As for the exercise, find a way to exercise indoors, maybe at a gym.  You don't have to be THIN to go to a gym!  If you can't afford the membership, buy an exercise video or just climb up and down some stairs in your house, do jumping jacks, squats, sit-ups, etc.  There are plenty of alternatives besides biking or walking outdoors!!  So stop thinking about what you CAN'T DO and find things that you CAN DO!  Good luck to you! Laughing


So stop thinking about what you CAN'T DO and find things that you CAN DO!

Best advice ever!  It is so easy to focus on what cannot be done and use that as an excuse to do nothing!

By the way, I live in Albuquerque and it isn't quite as hot as Phoenix, but it does get mighty hot here!  We have triple digit heat in the summers.  When I first started working out I could barely make it through ten minutes of a segment on my hour long workout vid.  I would do what I could, and then keep a brisk march until the next segment started, then give it a go again.  Eventually I could do the whole thing. 

And calories out > calories in = weight loss.  There's no trick to it, that's basic math.  It is never easy to get started.  You can't just look at yourself and say 'I want to lose weight', you have to look at yourself and say 'I want to make a lifelong commitment to health'.  That means learning new habits and new attitudes about food, nutrition, and health in general. 



Just so you know,  we live in central California and average 40-50 days every summer over 100 degrees (and it was 110 here just a few days ago) ~ so I really do understand and appreciate weather-related issues when it comes to exercising outdoors. This is why I bike at 7am and 10pm during the summer .... sometimes, you just need to be flexible to get it done, ya know? And, obviously, indoor exercise is another viable alternative.... but I'm not a gym person, so my exercise of choice is biking (and my pink punching bag!)



Living in Ireland I can`t relate to your heat issues but we have the rain and gales here, they can make exercising outside impossible!

So I did buy a elliptical trainer and do my stuff indoors when the weather is too nasty. Change it around depending on the weather (elliptical inside-jogging outside).

If you want to exercise - you will find a way! How do all the athletes do it? They can`t stop training when the weather is too hot, cold, windy or it is raining. You get my drift? So get rid off the excuses and start your weight loss now! You are worth it!!!! And after a while you will become addicted to it!



I just have to tell you that reading your story has inspired me to try to get serious.  I am 57 years old 5" tall and weigh 345 lbs.  I have had 3 knee replacements and take 3 blood pressure pills a day as well as cholesterol medication.  I can relate to all the things you said as I am pre-diabetic and diabetes runs in my family on both sides.  To say the lease, I am a walking time bomb.  But after reading you story you have given me hope that I can do this and I have to wipe negativity out of my mind.  Thanks so much for your story and I wish you continued success.  What a great accomplishment. 



Hi- Have you been able to make her some truly healthful cookies that taste great and will help her heart?  These may make beautiful gifts for the holidays and they are easy.  I bake mine in my toaster oven and it takes about 17 min per pan.  Makes about 30 - 40 cookies  (sometimes my eyes are bigger than my tummy)  so it may take a little longer for the correct doneness - golden, but not overly crisp as this is a moist, chewy oatmeal cookie.  In place of the eggs, and oil (margarine or fat) I use smooth unsweetened applesauce.  Each egg is equal to 1/4c. of applesauce.  When it comes to the sugar ingredient, I will only use dark brown sugar (1/2 as much packed as is called for in your recipe, with the other 1/2 smooth unsweetened applesauce).  Warm the applesauce in a pan with 1TBSP lemon juice as you mix the flour, oats, brown sugar, spices and salt in a bowl.  Add 1 tsp baking soda to warm applesauce and mix quickly with spatula, add to the dry mixture and mix until no flour appears - add 1/4c dark raisins, 1/4c chopped walnuts mix in and bake.  Good luck!!  I eat mine at evening snack time with 2 raw thinly sliced carrots:) and a cup of green tea.



Excellent story and tips, and yes, you ARE a success!  What an amazing turnaround to your health, and you've not only added years to your life, but the quality of your life has already improved so much!  Congratulations!



It must be a huge relief that you don't have to take insulin anymore. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for you



Dear Mollymouser! WOW!  YESSS!!!  I am so very proud of you and I know you can maintain because it is becoming a life style not a diet.  It is your friend, your best friend because the reward is getting your life free to do as you please.  I am so excited for you as I was given a pre diabetes 2 diet and one for high cholesterol which was not agreeing in 2007.  I read many books that my parents had, I had, and that I lucked out to find out about when I went to get my prescriptions, as I stood in line at the Wal Mart Pharmacy to buy the new 4 prescriptive drugs, I found out about what you are talking about and I too have lost from 165 Lbs. down to 114 Lbs.  and lowered all my numbers without meds, my Doc got the name of the book and she kept my blood tests for me so she could monitor me.  Now in 2011 I can say, at maintenance level since 2008 - It WAS all worth it.  I am so thankful for CC because it helps in every way and gives me the friends I need to help if it works for them.  I say, lets pass it along - Good news is Good news.  Love you all and thank you again. aea



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