This blog is a featured "SparkStory", one of the classic posts from our members that provides support, encouragement and inspiration to the SparkPeople Community.
SparkPeople Member: SM0RE007
In 2011, I weighed close to 240 pounds. I was starting to experience an array of health issues. I had all sorts of aches and pains. I often felt like I had the flu because my glands were constantly swollen and I was regularly exhausted. I was depressed, lonely and I hardly left my new house.
In early 2012, I was sitting at my desk at work and glanced over at my co-worker when I realized that her face was blurry. I was pretty alarmed, so I contacted my doctor. My doctor wanted to see me immediately, so I left work and went directly to his office. He confirmed what he suspected: I had Type 2 diabetes.
After being sent to the emergency room for additional testing, I learned that I was also diagnosed with high cholesterol and high blood pressure, all at the young age of 28. I was placed on four different oral medications, plus insulin, which I had to inject in my stomach twice a day. My doctor told me that I would be on insulin injections for the rest of my life. I cried many tears of sadness, anger and frustration for letting myself get to this unhealthy place.
For the next two years, I struggled with diet and exercise. It wasn't until the spring of 2014 when something snapped inside of me after reading stories about people enduring diabetes-related complications, including kidney failure, loss of vision and even losing limbs. I decided that I had enough and signed up with a personal trainer. In addition, we had adopted a very active and wonderful rescue dog, who was counting on me for exercise!
I can't quite explain how it all happened, but it was almost like I woke up and told myself "No more excuses!" In addition to regular strength training sessions, I also made sure to work out five to six days a week. My trainer held me accountable with weekly weigh-ins. I also started preparing all my meals for the week on Sundays. My efforts combined into major weight-loss results. I remember going back to the doctor's office and receiving high fives from my doctor and nurse!
As exercise became a bigger part of my life, I also started running and using a 5K training program. I practiced my running at the park near my home and also at my gym. Though it was difficult at first, over time I really started to improve. In June of 2015, I signed up for Challenge Diabetes, my first 5K run. I was asked to speak in front of everyone before the run, which was intimidating, but also very empowering. I will never forget how exhilarated I felt after my first successful run.
Last spring, I went back to a new doctor after losing about 75 pounds. Prior to my appointment, I messaged them with an update on the positive changes I had been making. I will never forget meeting with this doctor for the first time. She said "I am so excited to meet you! You are the second person that I have ever seen turn around their health so drastically." I instantly started bawling in her office. Happy tears, of course! She ended up taking me off of my insulin and my other pills. It was one of the happiest days of my life.
Since my journey began, I have lost close to 90 pounds, have completed two 5K runs and two 10K runs. I discovered a passion for running and I continue to run on the beautiful path near my home. I can't help but run with a huge smile on my face knowing how far I have come. Life is so good. Remember: Life is short, so make the absolute best of it while you can!
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*Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.
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