My pug is overweight. My husband is overweight. I am overweight. We eat well. I am a good cook. I hate denying myself of the pleasures in life, but I would love to live to see 60. I am looking forward to growing old with my husband.
I am a nurse. I have taken advanced nutrition classes. I know about healthy lifestyles and corrective behaviors, but it is all easier said than done.
Last year my doctor did the hgbA1C test. That’s the one where they can see how your blood sugar has spiked over the past three months. Unlike a simple blood sugar test where they see where you are at with your blood sugar at any one moment in time, this test is a long range predictor.
Mine, and my husband’s, showed that we were both pre-diabetic. We had hit that 6.0 mark that indicates some major lifestyle changes or you are heading for oral antidiabetic agents, insulin, and major complications if you can’t keep it under control. One of those complications being death. This sort of adult onset diabetes is almost always preventable. Sure, some are more genetically predisposed to it, but even they can take certain measures to get and keep things in check; like losing weight, eliminating or controlling carbs, avoiding refined sugar, exercising.
So, last year, I put us on a diet that involved the glycemic index. The object is to eat only those foods which have a combined average glycemic index (GI) of 55 or less. Meats and alcoholic beverages have a zero glycemic index, so I was okay there. Green and yellow vegetables have a glycemic index of 25 or less (except sweet potatoes and white potatoes, sweet potatoes are as high as 85 but the nutritional value when combined with other foods is enormous, so not so bad, and white potatoes, except for the little red new ones, are pure carb trash for your system whether you bake it and eat with no butter or not, so those are out), so our veggies were fine. Most fruits are okay at around 60 but not juices as they are concentrated sugars whether sugar is added or not. Carbs have to be watched carefully. I told you about potatoes, but breads, pasta, and rice can vary by both the type of grain and the method of cooking or preparation. For example, that luscious, fragrant Jasmine rice you love so much with stir-fry, has a GI of 87, while brown rice and basmati have a GI of only 57-58. Candy, cake, pie, ice cream, non-diet sodas, all the sweet stuff, a big no, no! It’s a complex diet that requires much research, but once you learn what you can have, it is relatively easy to plan meals and even eat out without too much worry. It is very similar to the Atkins diet, but a bit stricter, because there are so many foods that you must totally eliminate.
In addition to the diet, we got a treadmill and started walking daily. We got an exercise bike and started peddling three times a week. Last summer, I swam every single day, 7 days a week, for an hour to an hour and a half. I stopped skipping breakfast (a practice that tricks your body into storing fat for survival). I was feeling better. Are you ready?
I lost 48 pounds over the course of the year. My husband lost nearly that much.
We were so proud.
Then I plateaued. I stopped losing. I wasn’t gaining, but I wasn’t losing, so I kicked up the exercise a notch.
Then I hurt my shoulder. Seriously, developed adhesive capsulitis and was in physical therapy for the entire 12 weeks of summer. No pool, no swimming. I would have drowned. Limited exercise. I could barely move my arm without severe pain. Sleepless nights. Steroid injections. Terrible pain.
Still, sticking strictly to the diet, I managed not to gain any weight all summer long. My food portions were bird sized, but I was eating six times a day. On rare occasions we would dine out and splurge…very rare. Pizza is actually on the diet plan, so I was okay there. My weight, though still not at goal, was staying constant.
Halloween comes along. We buy five huge bags of candy for trick or treaters. We pass out two. We have three left. With me being home all day, I have managed to nibble down every last bite of leftover candy in the past two weeks. Mama wouldn’t take it for the granddaughter; it’s all her fault, right? And this is just the beginning of the Holiday Season.