I have entered the blogging world! Why? I have no idea. I wanted an avenue to document the journey I am about to take. I am forty-one years old and a juvenile diabetic diagnosed at the age of two in 1974. In good health, as far as I can tell, and recently shed forty-seven pounds off my 5 foot 7 frame. At the age of forty I ballooned to two hundred pounds for the first time in my life. Why? Multiple factors. I was in the process of running for mayor in my local city. I was elected to public office back in 2008 and served as a city councilor. The four years I was in office I put on forty-seven pounds!! Eating out, all the time, stress, diabetes (which was semi-controlled) led to me fluffing up.
On my fortieth birthday I made the decision that I would make a life change. I came to the realization that I would make the necessary adjustments to have better control of my diabetes and shed the pounds. I kept telling myself that I would do it and never started until I hit the ripe old age of forty. Determined, I committed an hour a day of physical movement. I started walking the neighborhood which led to walking the Chief Ladiga Trail. I walked as late as eleven o’clock, at night, and as early as five in morning. Movement, movement, movement!!! That’s what I had to do.
This led to me paying attention to what I was eating which led to less insulin intake and lowered blood sugar. The hardest part were the first three weeks but, once I got through the initial withdrawal of consuming less carbs it became easier. I stepped on the scales daily, which is not a good idea as my weight fluctuated each time. I decided to change my weigh-ins to once a week. Slowly and surely I began shedding the pounds! I averaged losing four pounds a week.
People I interacted with, daily, began noticing the change and people who I had not seen, in a while, really did not notice. I began feeling better about myself and became more confident that I could accomplish my goal of getting to my target weight of one hundred fifty-five pounds which is the high-end of my target weight based on my height. My Hemoglobin A1c, which is a blood test that shows your ninety day blood sugar average, had always been below seven but it was due to low blood sugars which can skew your results. A normal person’s A1c is 4 to 5 with their blood sugars being running around eighty-three. Ideally diabetics should be below seven which is an average blood glucose reading of 140. At my last doctor’s appointment my A1c was 5.9 which is great but I was expecting a 5.5! My doctor said “Derek, you are harder on yourself than I am.” After hearing my doctor make that statement I smiled and said “Yes! I have been at this for thirty-nine years and have gotten by without bearing down on the disease that could lead to an early death. I took control and am thankful for this opportunity to be healthier and fit. I feel better now, at the age of forty-one, than I did in my teens. I will continue to press on. Each day has its own challenges and I look forward to every new beginning.