Or Why I Will Never Ever Give Up!
I love writing stories. It's actually my job. I'm a published author so I write stories for a living. But I'm living proof that never giving up is the greastest thing you can do when trying to make healthy changes in your life.
Almost 5 years ago, I joined SparkPeople. I had just been diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes 2 and was looking for a calorie counter. I literally tripped over SparkPeople.com and back then, it was nothing like it is now. But it was still a great place to come and learn healthier ways and I started following the "plan" without feeling like was on a plan. I couldn't afford to just throw away stuff because it was processed food so my DH and I ate our way, conservatively through our inventory of things that were not considered healthy and replaced them, slowly with things that were healthy, like plenty of fruits and veggies.
Living in Florida might make this a little easier for me than for some of you, because we have so many fresh fruits and veggies all year long, like tomatoes all year long, and other fruits and veggies. At any rate, I think we know where every farm you can pick your own fruit or veggie and every farmer's market there is in a 20 mile circumferance around our home is. Sometimes, the only thing we buy is fruits and veggies. We took a $100.00/week grocery bill to $40.00. We've learned to minimize most things we use and we've learned how to cut waste. But that's a different story.
The main story is that I've learned to Never Ever Give Up! Learning how to live a healthier life is not an overnight thing, it's not even a two week thing. It takes a couple of years to make it all the way through all those articles on the Nutrition Articles List. My original intent for reading them was to see what was in there and I might as well get some points for my work, too. But you learn things and sometimes you don't even realize you just learned something that is going to push you into something else to learn.
I lost 45 pounds with what I learned on SP and what I changed in my life and my doctor was surprised and happy about it. I have been stuck here for 18 months, nearly, but my blood sugar level has dropped to near normal, I've learned to stop eating potatoes everyday, hard for an Irish girl, and I've also learned to cut the fat and sodium and stay away from bread, potatoes, rice, and pasta and nevermind that its brown rice, whole wheat or whole grain pasta and bread. I gain weight and my blood sugar levels skyrocket when I eat them. True, I have a piece of bread as toast, or in a sandwich occasionally, but that's the magic word for me, OCCASIONALLY.
So while I'm not appearing to lose weight, which I am still working on, I have learned that you can reach goals without realizing it or going through the back door. I actually don't care what door I go through as long as I reach goals, set goals or not. My biggest goal is to reach goal weight, another 40-45 pounds down the road, but living healthy is my actual goal. Doing that gets me to the other goals, like losing another 40-45 pounds. I'm also learning to make intermediate goals, like learning how to exercise everyday to beat the pre-diabetes 2 and cholesterol. Having my blood sugar levels down to near proper levels has proven to me that this is the right journey for me and I wouldn't be here without SparkPeople.
My doctor has recently taken me of the double-hit med for diabetes 2 and put me on a single-hit med, which costs me a ton of money less than the double-hit med. But it also confirmed that I was doing the right thing. Another weird milestone is that when I do my exercise, which is what I call pool jogging early in the morning, when the weather permits, which is most days in Florida, and then come back and take the med, I get lightheaded because my blood sugar level is already down where it belongs and the med is no longer really needed, but it's a crutch that I'm afraid to let go of. Eventually, I'll test the theory and talk to the doctor to see if I can really drop the meds.
Then, I will have reached another milestone, a healthy senior citizen (64) and not taking meds for anything. I don't have sinus headaches any more, and I've learned how to use exercise as a near cure-all. If a headache even things about coming to my head, I start doing exercise. It goes away. Now if I could just change my internatl clock to let me sleep at night instead of the day, I'd be SuperWoman!