Diet Update: It’s all connected

I am about to end my 39th day of dieting with an hour walk (and occasional very slow jog) around the track at the local high school. How am I doing? I guess it depends on the measurement being used to assess my success or lack thereof.

On the 30th day I weighed for the first time. I lost 4.2 pounds (1.90 kg). Yes, I was a bit disappointed because starting at 249.8 pounds (113.30 kg…gee, I like that number better) I was hoping it would have been easier to lose weight faster. It was not an easy 30 days of eating with a big adjustments to the number of carbs I ate each day. The first two weeks, were terrible and I think I had an emotional crisis. I am not exaggerating. I suspected my love affair with food was not mentally healthy, but I never put it to the test like this before.

So good news, I lost some, I guess.

Better news: Before the diet I was taking 5 different drugs for Type II diabetes and the lowest my morning tests were ever at was about 180 mg/dl.  One required a shot in the belly every morning and another one almost made me wet my pants constantly. I always had to plan ahead for a trip to the bathroom. Another one isn’t even considered safe in many countries.  Every night before going to bed, I would take a fistful of pills.  It was depressing and I resented it and usually got angry. I also tricked myself into thinking I could just eat my normal way and the drugs would take care of everything.

I slowly started removing the different drugs while testing my blood sugar four or five times during the day and once when I woke up in the morning. Long story short, I am down to one drug and my morning blood sugar is between 140 mg/dl and 150 mg/dl.  Not great by any means, but before the diet, I sometimes registered over 320 mg/dl with all the drugs. I think I was dying.

Now I am adding daily exercise to my life again with hopes of someday waking up to a blood sugar level lower than 120 mg/dl with four of the five drugs out of my system. For now I am staying with Metformin because the side effects are the mildest.

What I’ve learned so far:

  1. I need to enjoy myself more. I need to do more things that are enjoyable-write music, relax in the sun, laugh with people (that one will be a bit harder), fish, play golf, make silly videos with my grandchildren.
  2. I need to keep working on my mindset about life and life’s events. I need to realize I can’t control everything, well actually I can’t control anything really.
  3. My eating habits are not unconnected to the rest of my life. There are reasons for how I got here, but as I said previously, “Don’t let my reasons become my excuses.”
  4. Carbohydrates are EVERYWHERE in processed foods. I had a small Caesar’s salad yesterday thinking how good I was being. Later I found out that the dressing had over 20 carbs in it.
  5. I can do this. Losing one pound a week over the long run seems reasonable.
  6. I need to add light weight training, long walks, and some short bursts of physical activity (Ok, get your mind out of the gutter) like punching bags, jumping rope etc. to my daily activities.
  7. There is a spiritual component available in this journey, if one decides to explore it.  You certainly don’t have to, but I like to add a little bit of it to my day – but not too much because sometimes it seems like my gurus aren’t having much fun in life.
  8. It is time to stop eating my meals at home in front of the television set.

Oh yeah, one more thing, I was addicted to diet colas, sometimes drinking 8 a day. I have had 1 diet coke in the last 39 days and that was when I was completing the long drive home from Santa Monica. I ought to get some type of an award for that one. Coke probably won’t be giving it to me. Those diet drink things aren’t good for you, regardless of the lack of calories.

Well, that about sums up the past 39 days. Onward, upward, and probably a few trips and falls as I continue this diet. I do have to say, there are very few self-improvement things I have ever stuck with this long!