Intentional weight loss is such a touchy subject these days, and I’ve shared my thoughts on that. Despite how anyone else feels about it, this is currently the journey that I’m on. And while the journey started out feeling cumbersome and impossible, I’ve been learning a thing or two about myself that leads me to believe that this is the journey with my body that I am supposed to be on.
How did I get here?
I’ve been overweight by a doctor’s standards since I was about 11. An un-diagnosed thyroid issue contributed to that, but also some pretty unhealthy eating habits I developed as a child in response to emotional issues and depression.
Fast forward to adulthood, my weight has become the epicenter of exacerbating current health issues I’m grappling with. I had already been considering weight loss surgery because I need a hip replacement and I’m not allowed to get one until I’ve lost a significant amount of weight.
I’ve started and stopped the process of weight loss surgery a bunch of times now. Whether it’s insurance not covering it or my own hesitation; the surgery has not happened. Even now as I am on this path of intentional weight loss I struggle with the idea of surgery.
A little over a month ago, I decided to check my blood sugar. I don’t know what compelled me that day, perhaps it was an act of God. However, I was shocked to see my number sitting at 200 after 2 hours of having breakfast. I quickly assessed what I ate and realized I had a roll for breakfast along with my eggs.
After the initial panic subsided, I started researching and reading. Now, if you’re new here, I have hypothyroidism and will always have it because of a total thyroidectomy 2 years ago. One of the things my endocrinologist told me is that I would be at a higher risk to develop Type 2 Diabetes because my risk of insulin resistance had now increased because of the hypothyroidism. Sounds fun right?
Over the course of the last 2 years my blood work was always within range so it was not something I worried about until I took my levels that day. And suddenly it was like a light bulb went off.
The Decision to Lose Weight Was Confirmed
All the months of planning to lose weight suddenly went into effect. The idea of adding one more health issue to my list of issues was too much to bear. I don’t want to be taking metformin or even worse require insulin down the road. I had to do something within my control now.
I had already been working out at least 3-4 times a week to help with my arthritis; I decided to change that to 5-6 days out of the week because working out helps to burn glucose which will help lower sugar. I immediately decided to go low carb to help control the amount of sugar in my blood.
Anytime you make a change in your life that requires restriction of some sort is difficult. Humans were designed with free will and many of us like to exercise that free will by doing what we want and how we want. Unfortunately in my case, eating how I want isn’t going to help my health.
The first week was the hardest because I wanted to have toast with my eggs, and gosh do I love a good pasta dish. But I wanted to see a significant difference in my sugar levels so I made some pretty drastic changes for myself. I still put a little flavored creamer in my coffee and a tablespoon of brown sugar in my oatmeal; but I’ve cut the bread and pasta from my diet.
I typically have veggies and eggs or oatmeal for breakfast along with turkey bacon sometimes. For lunch I usually have some sort of salad or whatever is left over from dinner. For dinner I’m eating a lean protein and a side of veggies. I’ve cut out snacking and if I do have a snack, I opt for a sugar free pudding or popcorn.
What it’s Been Like
Going through these changes revealed something to myself that I didn’t realize was an issue still. In the first week of implementing these changes, I got into an argument with my daughter and it upset me. I cried, I was angry and I wanted a snack.
I didn’t care what the snack was I just knew I wanted it to be sweet.
And that’s when it hit me, I wanted to comfort myself with food. I honestly thought I had outgrown this. But in that moment I started thinking hard about all of the times I had snacked in the last 6 months. The realization crept in that it was 9 times out of 10 associated with an unpleasant emotion.
I cried even more, but I didn’t get the snack.
It was an awful feeling at first, to know I had been indulging in an unhealthy way of coping with my health issues and my depression. Now I had essentially taken away my coping mechanism and I recognized that I would be forced to find a new one.
I’m pleased to say that in the month and a half of me implementing these changes; I’ve stayed the course. There have been plenty more moments of my anxiety raging and my initial reaction is to have something sweet but I don’t give in. Instead, I choose to communicate my feelings to my husband. I’m patiently waiting for my appointment with my therapist because I know the work I need to do is much bigger than just my eating habits.
I haven’t weighed myself because I don’t want to become obsessive with the scale. I am however keeping track of how my body feels and also regularly checking my blood sugar which I’m pleased to say has come down significantly and in a good range. I’m most proud of that because I did it without medication which was one of my biggest goals. I can only hope it remains that way.
I have no idea where this journey is going to take me, but I am certainly glad I made the decision to take it. As I see the progress in how my health is affected, I know that I’m doing the right thing. I don’t know what will happen or what my body will look like months from now and to be honest I can’t even care about that right now. The one thing I want to do in this process is honor my body, never shame it for not fitting into the societal standard of beauty, and continue to treat it with love and respect for all the amazing things it’s been able to do in my lifetime including carrying 3 children into this world.
Whatever I do for my body, I will always lead with love.
Until Next Time,