“Times change, and we change with them”. Time is a precious gift, much like the gift of love, laughter, and happiness. I spent a lot of time being self conscious, hating my body, and feeling like no matter what I did, nothing worked. I rarely smiled, hardly laughed, a woman of my size didn’t deserve self love, much less, the love of others.
Something changed on this date two years ago. I’ve told you before about the intervention from my doc. On April 20, 2011 I took my leap of faith and started doing Atkins. I don’t think that anyone ever really thinks they are lucky when they have Type 2 Diabetes, but in hindsight, I see just how lucky I was to have something other than the weight to focus on.
With my doctor, my glucose monitor, and fear of needles, I learned that I didn’t have to be sick and tired. I learned that while Type 2 Diabetes had been in control of my life or lack thereof, that it didn’t have to be that way. I would like to use today, my two year “Atkinsversary” to share with you what I’ve learned and lost along the way. I struck up a deal with my photographer (you may recall that she is also my beautiful 12 year old daughter). With $5.00 and the promise of Chinese food for dinner, she agreed to do a photo shoot. It became an even better bargain when she said “Can I do your hair and make up?” I think she did an awesome job.
Once I got off the blood sugar roller coaster and had lost a few pounds, I was ready for exercise. I came across “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” on netflix and something changed in me. While it was only a show, it inspired me. Through the wonderful world of the internet, I learned that “Spartacus” portrayed by Andy Whitfield, was going through a journey of his own.
It was at that time I changed my profile pic on the Atkins forums to a pic of “Spartacus” and came up with the motto that has stayed with me since. “When stuck between a rock and a hard place, become that hard place. Don’t let anyone or any food deter your progress”
Having Type 2 Diabetes, I had to look at what I ate in a different light. I had to forget things like “food is love, food is comfort, food is sexy” and realize what food really is, fuel for our bodies. While we are much more complex than an automobile, when all is said and done, food really is just food.
I’ve learned that while preparing meals with whole foods like meats and vegetables takes more time than hitting the drive-thru, it gives me more time.
I’ve lost my self-loathing. I’ve lost the depression that comes from being a morbidly obese Type 2 Diabetic. I’ve lost the ability to let other people’s opinions determine my self-worth.
I’ve got to tell you that yesterday is the first time since my senior prom in 1987 that I have worn anything “sleeveless” with the exception of a swim suit. It is also the first time since 1998 that I’ve worn a dress. In the nearly fifteen years with my darling husband, it was also only the second time he’s seen me in a dress.
Thanks to Atkins, I learned that I was not alone. Thanks to Dr. Jack Kruse, I learned the difference in hunger and habit. Thanks to Tom Naughton, I learned that while well-meaning, the “Standard American Diet” is not right for everyone and yeah, I’d been fed a load of bologna! Dr. William Davis and his Wheat Belly came along at just the right time to show me that just because there was a grain rung on Atkins, it didn’t mean I needed grains. Mark Sisson has my deepest gratitude because his forum not only was where I learned more about Dr. Kruse, but he also showed me that there were many ways to exercise and yeah, lift heavy things!
I lost fear of the unknown. I remember I was mortified in the beginning just thinking about bat-wings. I was under the impression that to lose weight was to become a deflated balloon. I decided that I didn’t want to be a smaller size of fluffy, so I did something about it.
There was a point in my journey when I felt I deserved something for my hard work. Lucky for me, I have a severe intolerance for all things maltitol, and my rewards became the inedible kind.
I learned that while every day of my journey the scale is a fickle old hag, that weighing often taught me that it is completely normal to weigh within a 5 pound range at any given time. I learned about non scale victories.
I learned to love myself. I learned that no matter how much other people loved me or not, loving myself gave me the means to accept myself for who I am. I learned that while I didn’t have to be the “best” at any given thing, I had to put forth effort.
I thank my husband for being my biggest support. He used every day to show me and tell me how much he loves me and has loved me. I think it only fitting to listen to our old song. The song has new meaning at this point in my journey. He has been the “greatest fan of
your my life”.
My journey has taught me not to look out for the bad that may come, but to see the beauty, the meaning, the precious little things that each new day brings. I’ve lost my fear of all things “change” and have learned to embrace the sometimes hectic-ness that is life.
I gained will power. Seriously, I can be at the check out at the grocery store and almost taste the rollos, zeros, and snicker’s bars. They call out to my diabetes and me like a beacon of light on the darkest night. They never stop testing my will power, I have gained the strength to stay in control during moments of weakness. I am that rock, I am that hard place.
I sit here telling you about my journey, posting these pictures like there is no tomorrow, only to be reminded of my hatred of having my picture taken. I have learned to accept myself for who I am. The old me would criticize all these photos and just click delete. The new me remembers where she came from. I post the pictures as my badge of honor.
There were so many times in my journey I let a silly thing like the scale make me want to give up, give in, and just plain quit. I really don’t know where I would be right now had I not found the wonders of a tape measure, but I seriously doubt I would have posed for these pics, much less fit in that dress.
I would like to thank my mom for the dress. Helping her move last year, we packed up bags and boxes for goodwill. The whole time packing the car, I thought about this dress. I wanted this dress, I wanted to wear this dress. My mom is 4’11”, so at the time, I never dreamed I would ever actually wear it. My new found optimism willed my hand to remove the dress from the rest of the donations. I kept it folded in a drawer for nearly a year. I found it ironic that it fit just in time for my 2 year mark. I sent her a pic last night and she told me she has four more dresses for me. That’s gonna be four more non scale victories in case you didn’t notice.
I hope you see that today’s post is not my vain attempt to show off, in any way, shape, or form. I’ve worked my arse off (so to speak), had ups and downs, good days, bad days, just like everyone does. I’ve got back up from falling down and dusted off my big girl britches. I’ve felt “deprived”, “sorry for myself”, and beat myself up for a long time.
You may notice that of all the things I’ve learned and lost, I’ve not yet mentioned my actual weight loss. I have realized that the scale “ain’t nothin’ but a number”. I hope if nothing else that my sharing my “Akinsversary”, what I’ve learned and lost along the way, empowers you the reader to see those non-scale victories. They are always there, jumping around right in front of our faces shouting “I’m right here, can’t you see me?”.
I never would have gotten to this place in my never-ending journey without the help of a lot of different people along the way. My journey has not been a straight path set in stone, rather a journey of splits and crossroads, taking what I needed at the time and leaving the rest. If any of you who have been there with me and for me are reading, please accept my deepest gratitude, I could not have done this alone.