It started when I was diagnosed as having an intolerance to Vitamin C when I was 4 years old. This meant I was unable to eat citrus fruits, berries and many vegetables. Basically if it had Vitamic C in it my body reacted negatively.
So I began eating everything else. Pasta, rice, potatoes and bread. I still ate proteins, just not a lot of the healthy ones. In my early teens I began to develop symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes. I wasn’t worried. I was a teenager so I just ignored it. This lead to a very steady and continuous weight gain.
Like many people with weight and health issues I tried every crash diet and miracle supplement available.
Sometimes there were short term successes but ultimately I regained the weight back plus a few extra pounds.
In my early 40’s I was so exhausted and unhealthy that walking to and from my car required a great amount of effort. I was almost 300 lbs.
I went to the doctor feeling ashamed of my body but I knew even back in those days that I needed help. I couldn’t continue this way, so I asked for help. This time my blood work showed I was a Type 2 Diabetic.
So I received a prescription and a two day visit to the diabetes clinic. During these two days I learned I was unable to eat the foods that they recommend due to my food allergies. The only solution they had for me was to eat more grains. So I focused on more grains, only to continue gaining weight with my blood sugars still rising.
So back to the doctor and out with more prescriptions. Which may have worked for awhile but I decided not to refill them. I knew there was a healthier way just not sure what way that was yet.
I was at the point that walking turned into the elder shuffle. I became concerned that I would not be able to navigate the 5 stairs from my car to my home. I was unstable on my feet and developed a great fear of falling. It became difficult for me to carry my own body around.
In August 2019 a dear friend of mine was taking yoga classes with Connie and she felt I may benefit from training with her. It took me a few weeks to develop the courage to email her. When I did, I explained all the things I was not capable of doing. Connie replied with gentle encouragement and said let’s just start. Your body will let you know when it’s ready to go further. We began training at my house as going to a gym was not an option for me. We began a gentle stretching program. At first we wanted just to move my body around and see how it responds. Connie and I both agreed that as the body adapts so will the intensity.
As my flexibility and strength was gradually improving Connie invited me to a small group class at the gym. A gym? Where everyone is watching you? She assured me we have a private studio room and there are 3 other participants of similar fitness levels.
Connie asked me to come and try it. “Encouraging each other will help in all of our successes” she said. So I went and I continued with the class for a few months. We all shared our experiences with each other. It just worked.
As my confidence increased we began training two additional days in the multipurpose room where everyone has access to. At first, I was a little hesitant, then I realized everyone is here for the same reason. To get healthy. Yes there are different levels but the goal is the same for most of us.
I did not hire Connie for her nutritional knowledge although it became part of our conversations. We began discussing in depth, healthy low carb/high fat eating patterns. Never once did Connie tell me what “to do” or what “I needed”. She only provided suggestions which opened up new possibilities. New ways of thinking. Yet sticking with science.
I also spent New Years Eve reading Dr. Jason Fung’s book, The Obesity Code from beginning to end. It explained a lot of what I have been experiencing with pain, inflammation and weight gain for the past 50 years and again the science seemed to be sound.
My strength and flexibility continued to improve and lowering my carbohydrates and increasing my healthy fats played a role in both my blood sugars and blood pressure stabilizing to normal levels.
Then March 2020 COVID-19 came. Early on Connie cancelled all her training to be safe and soon the rest of the World stopped. Connie and I knew I would be ok with continuing my workouts on the treadmill. Then my treadmill broke.
In the past I would have used the treadmill breaking down in a global pandemic as an excuse to go back to my unhealthy lifestyle. It would have been very easy.
Instead I took the week to get my head around this new healthy lifestyle I now have. How do I move forward from here? I still did not have the confidence to walk outdoors on my own. The fear of falling was still on my mind. So I picked up the phone and ordered a new treadmill.
I continued challenging myself during my weekly treadmill workouts. I also used free weights and followed my yogacore training.
With learning proper exercise techniques, such as squatting, I am now able to get up off the floor. Slowly, but with confidence that my body is beginning to work with me, not against me.
With my new body confidence I no longer have to hold onto the handle on my railing to climb up the 5 stairs from my car to my home. I now have a strong core!
My journey does not end here as it has become a lifestyle. I am not perfect and when my lovely neighbor shows up at my door with a salted caramel dark chocolate bar I will eat it. Without guilt. I realize I still love sugary treats so I just don’t keep them in my house.
Each of us are different so our progress varies. For me, goal setting doesn’t work. I just keep moving forward. Enjoying and sharing the small successes. I am pretty confident that I will continue to do the things that are good for my mental and physical health.
A take away in all this for me is my lifestyle is now easy to maintain long term.
In 10 months I have lost 75 lbs. My blood sugars and blood pressure have both come down. My energy has increased and I feel happier in my life in so many ways.
I am 65 years young and that is how I feel.
Thank you for being part of my journey.