Daily Bread #39
The pics are me in my exercise clothes. I get real hot and sweaty on the bike and these help.
This journey has always been about improving my health, and not simply changing a number on a scale. That said, the weight loss, the drastic change in my diet and regular exercise has yielded some real health results for me. I was diagnosed with diabetes around 10 years ago and have been taking Metformin daily since that time. I have kept my diabetes under relatively good control since I was diagnosed, watching my carbohydrate intake and limiting it to roughly 45 grams per meal. I was not concerned about fats, protein, or calories though and continued to slowly gain weight. My diabetes was stable, but I still needed the medication.
My A1c’s had been fine, always under the 7 recommended for people that have diabetes. They were improving once I started this program, and began hovering between 5.9 and 6, very good numbers for a diabetic, in the “prediabetic range”.
Then, just yesterday, I got a call from my medical provider who told me my A1c (the test for blood sugar) was down to 5.4, which is in the normal range. I was told I could stop taking the Metformin and that I now have a “history of diabetes” but that I am no longer a diabetic! I did not even know this was possible, so I am both stunned and thrilled! And yes, I have been working very hard, but some of it is clearly just luck, as others who work just as hard don’t have the same result. I am very grateful that my body is able to respond to my efforts and that my health is improving in this dramatic way.
Last week, when I wrote in anticipation about our anniversary dinner out, I said that I would have a martini but skip dessert. Well, at the end of the meal, they brought our a piece of s’mores pie with two candles. How could I not eat half? It wasn’t that long ago that restaurant employees would assume we were just friends. I clearly owed it to the GLBT community to eat that dessert with the love of my life! I did skip the crust, but the marshmallow, soft meringue topping and chocolate chunks were simply awesome and I enjoyed every bite.
I am learning that planning is important, but so is living life, adjusting as needed before and/or after. I had exercised and saved up some calories earlier that day, and did the same the day afterward. That one over-the-top meal did not impact my ongoing progress.
Last Sunday, I had the privilege of preaching again (sermon – here). I love leading worship and it gives me energy. It is interesting that I had over 6100 steps that day, more than any other day to date. There are physical demands in preaching, part of why I had to give it up for awhile. My knee was throbbing at the end of that day, but it was so worth it!
We had a substitute facilitator last night and it was a pleasure again to be with the woman who had guided us through the intensive phase of the program. She was able to draw stories and examples from people in the group that she knew well. The checkins were a bit deeper than usual as a result. The issue came up of what to do when you are feeling bad about yourself, because guilt and shame are avenues that lead to failure and despair. So many of us are raised to be such perfectionists, which can create a vicious cycle. We try to be perfect and fail because perfection is impossible, then we simply stop trying and feel even worse. I offered the following poem which a friend had posted online earlier this week and which helped me.
by Rev. Dick Gilbert.
In the midst of the whirling day,
In the hectic rush to be doing,
In the frantic pace of life,
Pause here for a moment.
Catch your breath;
Relax your body;
Loosen your grip on life.
Consider that our lives are always unfinished business;
Imagine that the picture of our being is never complete;
Allow your life to be a work in progress.
Do not hurry to mold the masterpiece;
Do not rush to finish the picture;
Do not be impatient to complete the drawing.
From beckoning birth to dawning death we are in process,
And always there is more to be done.
Do not let the incompleteness weigh on your spirit;
Do not despair that imperfection marks your every day;
Do not fear that we are still in the making.
Let us instead be grateful that the world is still to be created;
Let us give thanks that we can be more than we are;
Let us celebrate the power of the incomplete;
For life is always unfinished business.
The rest of the class was a discussion of artificial sweeteners. It was a good discussion but not very relevant for me. I gave up my diet Coke addiction years ago, switching to water or unsweetened iced tea on hot summer days. I have always tried to avoid overly processed foods and still cook from scratch with simple ingredients and sometimes complex spices. I am now just passing on the orange juice and leaving out most of the butter, cheese, pasta and bread that I used to eat.
The Fitbit is still keeping me moving. I finished the “Valley loop” this week, one of the virtual adventures on the app for the device.
No longer having diabetes will take some time to sink in. What an amazing result and so unexpected!
(My stats for the last week – down 1.4 pounds, drank over 8 gallons of water and exercised for over 510 minutes. My cumulative weight loss so far is 75.6 pounds.)