Sunday, March 31, 2013
On April 1st last year I had a wake-up call. I had just spent a great week with my sister in the US. As I got off the red-eye, I had an urgent call from the doctor's office, come in now, as we want to talk about your blood work. I freaked out. What could that call mean? Both my parents had diabetes, as does my sister. My brother died in his 30s of unknown causes. I had been excising regularly, but the weight had been creeping up. The unknown was really scaring me. All sorts of negative possibilities flashed in front of me. Could I lose 40 or so pounds before I saw the doctor? Magical thinking I guess.
I got home, showered, and tried to get dressed. Not a single pair of jeans would fit! I pulled on a pair of sweatpants (which I will keep forever, thank you very much!) Then I did something that was life-changing. I asked my dear spouse to come with me, as I was scared. He said of course, dropped everything, and walked with me to the doctor's office.
My regular doctor was not in, so I saw a colleague. I asked my husband to join me in the examining room because I was so nervous, a first since I was pregnant 21 years ago! Then the very kind doctor, who I am pretty sure was 12 years old, went through my history and my blood work, checked my BP, said that they wanted to do some more tests, and suggested I think about my nutritional plan. Probably the least intrusive way to state that I should lose weight.
I had lost 50 pounds 4 years ago, and had steadily been inching my way back up. I had switched off thinking about it, stopped daily weigh ins, stopped my food diary, stopped SP. I think I figured if I didn't weigh in, then I would still be at my goal weight! Yes, more magical thinking...
The real magic happened on the walk back home. It is only a 10 minute walk but it changed my life. In the kindest, sweetest, gentlest way ever, my husband turned to me and said, "I am really worried about you. I want you to be around for a long time. And if you don't take care of yourself, I am afraid that something will happen to you."
The moment we had together was something I had never experienced before. He told me he would do anything, including joining me on a weight loss journey and making sure our home was stocked with what I needed. He showed me unconditional love in a way that made me realise that I needed to make that leap with him.
I started that day, with a long walk. I stocked the house with fruit and vegetables. And I got back on SP. My living situation is complicated, as I live in London and was about to start commuting to Central Europe Monday through Friday. The cuisine there is heavy on meat and sauces, fried food and potatoes, chocolate cakes and apple strudel. Could there be a more difficult place to make healthy choices?
I used the time before I started commuting to get used to my new routine. Exercise in the morning, healthy breakfast, then fruit for a snack, salad with fish for lunch, fruit for a snack, fish and salad for dinner. Crazy amounts of water every day. Lots and lots of sleep. (no late night snacking if you are in bed by 9!)
By month 2 I was able to run again. By month 3 I needed new clothes. And now here I am, 1 year later.
I have lost my original goal of 60 pounds, and have set a new goal of 70 pounds. I have 7 more to go. My husband has lost 30 pounds by coming on the journey with me. I have never had this much energy or confidence in my abilities. And even though I travel every week, averaging 3 flights a week, I am able to pre-plan and thereby take control of my life by making healthy choices.
My marriage has never been better. We have always supported each other in our life's journey, but now there is a renewed sense of commitment for our future together. Next month we will celebrate 25 years of marriage by renewing our vows and throwing a party with family and friends in the US.
The moral of the story? I believe in Magic. I just needed to be open to experiencing it.