I am a retired department manager from a large manufacturing company: lots of walking time in the factory – but stressful lifestyle and easy access to vending machine food!
Now, as a hospice volunteer, I see many people that have limited time on earth. It reminds me that I want to stay active and adventurous for many more years. But my actions did not support that desire.
With a low frequency of exercise, lousy eating habits and years of this medical advice:
“Your blood sugar is a little high, you should keep an eye on that. Cut out the sweets.”
– I ignored that ‘check engine’ light for decades.
Until one day I got a phone call…
It started last September (2017) with a phone call from my doctor’s office saying those dreaded words:
“Thank you, but I am going to work on reducing that number through diet and exercise. If that doesn’t work, then I will fill the prescription.”
I did not want to use pharmaceuticals to address what many publications call a ‘lifestyle disease.’ And to be honest – I’m just not that good at taking pills on a regimented schedule.
Make no mistake: I support those who follow their doctor’s plan of using drugs – it was just not for me.
So, with my doctor’s approval I hired a local nutritionist to come to my home and talk about the food portion of this challenge.
A quick review of available support groups online and I found DMP. Immediately I was impressed with the qualifications of the team and the easy to understand information.
It was refreshing to find a site that I could trust, so I joined the VIP group to get all the available material that I could. And with that I was launched into my ‘Dia-beat-it’ journey.
What kind of diet were you eating before joining?
I ate basically anything I wanted!
Sweets were my Achilles heel – I would never turn down dessert!
Pasta = comfort.
Baked potatoes (with all the fixins’) were a quick and filling dinner.
A candy bar or slice of cake was my reward for grocery shopping.
And ice cream was just a natural next course after a savory meal.
What things have you changed since being a member?
Being a member has changed how I approach food choices – emphasis on choices.
There is a difference between eating anything I want and eating what my body craves to operate efficiently.
I now see that there are so many healthy and satisfying alternatives to high carb meals that I don’t really feel like I’m missing anything.
Please pin, share or tweet to help inspire others; then keep on reading for Susan's amazing results so far…
The best part is, I'm getting RESULTS!!
In September 2017, my first A1c reading was 8.0 (glucose at 290) and by January 2018, I had reduced to 7.2. Still working on it, I was afraid that I had plateaued.
But, after my May 2018 reading, I was down to 6.8!!
I still have a way to go, but I am confident with my new way of approaching food I will be at my goal of 5.9 by the end of this year. This may be slow progress to some, but I have found that for me this is a marathon not a sprint.
And the results don't stop at A1c and glucose…
Since September 2017, my weight has dropped from 197 pounds to 173 (I’m 5’4”). That's 24 pounds (10.8kg). By the end of the year, I expect to be under 160.
My blood pressure was 149/98 and at my latest check-up, I posted 112/79.
Cholesterol was 233, now 212, but the big winner was triglycerides at 413 (!) now 154.
How different is your life now to before?
I feel younger!
(and you would have to agree, Susan looks younger too, right?!)
I have more energy; my skin has cleared up (from rosacea), and my clothes look better on me.
But best of all I feel empowered!
I took control of my life and with the support of the DMP experts – I have no doubt that I will be diabetes free by 2019.
This is a lifestyle change that has affected many of my health metrics. I won’t go back to my ‘head in the sand’ life.
What would be your best advice to people wanting to make changes in their lives?
For me it worked to make incremental changes. Trying to do everything at once would have been frustrating and probably short lived. So I started with joining a gentle yoga group. I eventually added a weekly fitness class and 30 minute walks every other day.
As far as food – I don’t think about what I don’t eat. I look forward to the challenges of trying new recipes and combining unexpected ingredients in a healthy way. DMP provides great support for that aspect through the weekly meal plans.
And yes, occasionally I will eat a brownie but I seriously don’t enjoy sweets like I used to. So those situations are getting less likely to happen.
If you make a food choice that you regret – don’t obsess or give up. Congratulate yourself on the healthy choices you have made and continue on. This is a lifetime commitment to feeling good. Don’t let one bad day torpedo your efforts.
Use a team approach to help keep you motivated – your family, your medical resources or a community like you would find here at DMP.
Thank you for sharing your story Susan – it's such an absolutely wonderful story!! And we'll be checking back with Susan for an updated report in the future. 🙂
It's your turn to take action!
Take Susan's words of wisdom and put them to work in your own life:
- Start somewhere and take small steps forward each day.
- Focus on what you CAN eat, not what you can't.
- Pat yourself on the back for the healthy choices you make, no matter how big or small.
- Commit to yourself. Commit to feeling good every day, forever!
- Surround yourself with positive support.
Please show your support right now by leaving your comments and congratulations for Susan below!