I was cleaning out some cubby holes on my desk when I found an envelope the other day. In that envelope was a picture that Jan (my mother in law) took way back in May of 2008 of my husband and me about 8 months after we were married and about 10 months into my life with Type 2 Diabetes.
I had lost 25 pounds right prior to my diagnosis, so the diagnosis was quite a shock. By the time this pic was taken, I had found it.
I’ve told you how lucky it was that the NP at my Doc’s office intervened and how I didn’t need a stinkin’ diet, so I won’t go through that again, but I can’t help but feel the need to type that out loud to set the stage for today’s post.
There came a time in my journey, about eight months in when I was no longer being prescribed the medications I had been taking for my GERD, Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, and cholesterol. When that time came and I no longer had my “health” to focus on, I realized that while I may be “better” for now, I was still above 200 on the scales and my focus/goals started to shift.
Oft times we hear about how on low carb there is no need for exercise, the fat just melts when you consume fat because our bodies are no longer having to produce it, but knowing that left me the option to do nothing else. While yes, it was true in my own little n=1, I was losing, but I was only becoming the smaller size of fluffy that I did not want. What was the sense in being healthier on the inside when I still looked unhealthy on the outside?
I decided I didn’t want to be a smaller size of fluffy, so I started doing things, little things at first. Using the Wii doesn’t really sound like much, but it got me off the couch. Curls with 14 oz cans of whole kernel corn sounds like a pretty wimpy workout, but it was the best I could do at the time. Baby steps worked for me, and really, they may work for you too, but you’ve got to try it for yourself to see.
When exercise is added to the whole LCHF routine, the best piece of advice I can give you is to either ignore your scale, or view it with an open mind. Exercise did not make my scale go down faster, but it did make me feel good. Imagine a child at their birthday party, getting the gift they’ve been waiting for all year and you will have the image of me the first time I was able to do curls with a five pound dumbbell. For a memaw who often had a hard time lifting her small grandchildren, it was a giant leap in my journey.
Our chickens eat a lot of bugs, wild strawberries, and occasional rodents that make the mistake of trying to get into a pen. They are also supplemented with chicken feed. We get our feed from a feed mill in Adairville, KY. It’s a mix of corn, sunflower seeds, and other things chickens like to peck at. Going to pick up chicken feed is something that I enjoy, it’s a nice drive, beautiful scenery, relaxing. Since I am reverse-aphobic when it comes to backing into the loading dock, the nice people there do it for me. They also load the 500 pounds of feed into bags and then into the Tahoe. After that, I would enjoy my drive home and the feed would sit in the back until Michael got home to unload it.
I’d been working pretty hard at keeping fluffy at bay when a friend on facebook posted something about lifting heavy because they wanted to be a “bad ass” when they turn 65. Somehow that statement matched my feeling of my smaller size of fluffy and I decided I wanted to be stronger too. I started finding bigger things to pick up and my husband dusted off the old weight bench for me.
Back in May I went and got chicken feed. I thought to myself “I got this”, and decided to unload it and tote it back to the garage. I managed to pick up a bag and got it all the way to the wagon I had positioned behind the car. One bag was enough, I couldn’t tote it. There are usually 9 bags totaling the 500 pounds, so about 55 pound each, and I couldn’t lift them more than a couple of feet. It seemed that all the firewood toting and stacking hadn’t really prepared me and maybe I would never be able to tote that feed.
A funny thing happened Monday when I went to get feed. I didn’t think about the last time I got feed, I just pulled into the drive, opened the back and got to work. Turning around I spotted myself in the storm door and it hit me.
Not only had I picked up that 55 pound bag, I held it there while I fumbled in my pocket for my phone, thought about how I really need to clean that glass, and snapped that pic. It didn’t feel like 55 pounds, it felt like a sack of taters, so I went down the driveway, through the gate, and towards the big feed box in the garage.
It took me about 10 minutes to unload the first 6 bags because I have to stop, untie them, and dump the contents into the feed box. After 6 bags, I needed ice water, so I took a break. A lot of times taking a break from something strenuous turns into a “rest of the day” for me, but after the ice water, those last 3 bags called out to me and I moved them too.
When Michael got home that afternoon, I told him I went ahead and got feed. He did what he had always did and walked over to the car. When he realized there was no feed in the car, he asked why I did that and I told him “because I can”.
I lived a long time not doing things because I couldn’t physically do them. I’ve worked hard to be able to do things just for the sake of doing things. It’s not always easy, sometimes I fail, but the thing is, I never give up. Starting out with little things that evolve into big things doesn’t just make one stronger, it gives one the confidence needed to not stop trying.
Whether you are still working to get your health under control or ready to give exercise a whirl, keep at it. Right now it may feel like it’s never going to come together, but it will. With time, patience, and perseverance, you will succeed. Who knows, you may start doing things you were never able to do just because you can.