Last April I walked into my OB’s office 6 months post-partum my daughter. I’m greeted and loved on by the office staff as I sign in and by my doctor’s nurse as I’m called back for my appointment. I feel great about myself because I am back in my normal clothes (and had been since a week after giving birth to my daughter). I am really not one to have issues with self-confidence. Even stepping on the scales seeing a number that is totally unhealthy for me, didn’t phase me. At least I weighed less than before I was pregnant with either child, right?
I step into the room and my doctor, who is the most amazing and practices whole-person approach to health, began discussing my health concerns. I mention that my dad had just received a successful quintuple bypass in February. My younger brother was diagnosed diabetic in his early 20s.
Cholesterol, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes.
Words that as I get older, scare the ever-living snikies out of me. I’ve watched as several in my family battle these health problems. Many of them can be controlled better by diet changes, but much of it is a genetic predisposition.
That very doctor changed the subject. Something like this: Danielle, you are a person who I tell to not gain weight during your pregnancies and you don’t.
I spoke up because I was like look I gained 11 with Dietrich and 6 with Daylan.
He just looked at me, then said, “Do you realize that isn’t any weight? Do you realize after delivery of your babies you weigh much less than before you come in here? You are capable of being healthy. You have the mindset, the determination, the dedication to a healthy lifestyle when pregnant. You exercise the duration of your pregnancies. We need to take your behaviors during those times and make those a habit for every day living.”
This medical professional just told me I was capable. I am able. I have no reason to struggle with obesity and deal with the effects of it, that essentially make for a slow death.
At this point I was 28 years old. The only run in with health issues of that magnitude was gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsya with my first pregnancy.
I took that whole appointment and thought about it often. Mesmerized that I could be complimented and motivated like that. I didn’t let it go. I was still exclusively nursing my daughter. She never took a bottle or a sippy until finally late July early August. I continued to pump through August to ensure she had plenty of milk to get her through the year along with the whole deep freeze full of stored milk.
I made up my mind that in August, I’d start exercising. I decided to not change my diet much until I got into the habit of exercise. After all, I was still pumping and didn’t want my supply to diminish yet. So I started the C25K app on my iPhone. I did it for about 3 weeks until my knee started hurting. Come to find out I needed new shoes.
I got back at it in September. I made it through the whole couch to 5 k and I was drying up at the same time. I did the Body by Vi challenge to get my diet changing.
I was dropping weight. I was eating less. I was making better choices. Better portion control.
December rolls around and I go to my endocrinologist to have him check my thyroid and cholesterol. Things are still going great. He provides me some weight loss help as well because he’s seen how well I was doing on my own. He encouraged me, lifted me up, made me know I am capable. Those test results came back–I was so scared.
I have perfect cholesterol, perfect triglycerides, perfect blood pressure, and perfect glucose.
I still have a chance to beat this family predisposition.
More motivation to keep going!
Today, as I type, I know I still have a long way to go. But the thing is, I saw the need nearly a year ago that encouraging people must be in my pocket. They must be where I put my effort. I’m inspired to continue doing what’s right. I’m inspired to be better.
So, I guess what I’ve done here is make a public profession that I am on this weight loss journey, but I’m doing it differently than I did before. The summer before my junior year in high school I lost 76 pounds in three months. I ran a lot. Did a lot of sit ups. I also really didn’t eat a whole lot. It’s not practical for my life. Because it was a behavior change and not a change of my inner-being, a change within my spirit.
This journey of weight loss and a healthy life style is going to be a life long one. I’ve learned that. It isn’t a quick fix. It will be something I always struggle with just like an alcoholic does with alcoholism even though he may not have had a drop in 40 years. Something I must make a conscious effort to choose every day, every meal, every fast food temptation or every grocery store run.
Again, this year will be different and will look different.
Where are you are your eating? You may be thin, but are you healthy? Do you make healthy choices out of behavior modification or do you see it as a life style? Anyone else struggle with this?