In Part 1 of this series, Sure Lady, I'll Hold Your Dog, I discuss why it is so difficult to deal with weight loss on top of good diabetes management. In Part 2 and Part 3, I lay out the reasoning behind my plan to skip breakfast and the results.
If I am going to start making some changes to what I eat, I had better get a handle on what exactly I am eating. So the first step this month was to record everything I ate. I haven’t really done this since the first few months after my diagnosis TWENTY YEARS AGO!!!
Back then I carried around a notebook to record by hand what I ate and how much. Then I would come home and try to figure out how many carbs and calories that was. I hated how much time it took to do all of that. I had better things to do with my time, like surf and hang out with my friends. I had enough homework already, without adding diabetes homework.
Now a days, it’s a whole new ball game. When I sat down to eat, or while I was waiting to cook something, I pulled out my One Drop app, scanned a few bar codes or looked up a few items from a huge database, clicked a few buttons and I was done. All the carbs and calories were calculated for me and recorded in one easy step.
And once I had a meal put together I could save that meal. So the next time I ate that, it only took four clicks and I was done.
The ease with which I could record stuff and the data I now had at hand, made me want to record my next meal. It was no longer homework, but a valuable tool.
I’M DOING BETTER THAN EXPECTED
When I went over the week’s data, I noticed a few things. The first of which is that I am consuming a lot fewer calories than I expected, around 1500 a day. But on some days, those days that I have multiple lows, that number goes as high as 2280.
And that’s one of the reasons it is so hard to lose weight with diabetes. Before type 1, you just make a simple change to your diet and exercise and your body makes all of the necessary changes to your insulin levels.
Now, if you make a change to your diet or exercise, you often get more lows, which means more calories and ends up defeating the whole purpose of working out.
Now this doesn’t make losing weight with diabetes impossible, but it does make it more complicated. It takes consistency in A new diet and exercise habits so that you can make the right changes to your insulin regime to match your body’s new requirements.
I had weight loss goals set out for these next six months. And I think they might have been based on what I see going on around me, instead of what I see going on inside of me. We see commercials on TV about how people lose 2-4 pounds a week. I watch my non-type 1 husband lose 2-3 pounds a week like it’s nothing.
But we aren’t like everyone else. And I think our weight loss goals need to reflect that. They need to take into account that the first few weeks of change are going to cause some more lows than usual, and some more calories than usual. Which means the weight will come off slower.
A DOCTOR’S RECOMMENDATION
The last time I saw my doctor, we discussed my weight. Now this is a doctor whom I absolutely love. I have been seeing him for over fifteen years now and we have built a great relationship. He always treats me like I know what I’m doing and trusts my opinions of what I need and what I think is going on.
He brought up my weight for the first time in fifteen years. He has seen me through my ups and downs of pregnancy and thyroid and never once mentioned it. Over the last year, I put on around 15 pounds because of some asthma related issues from a toxic house. And now that I am healthy (relatively speaking), he finally mentioned it.
I love the way he put it too. “Erin,” he said, “I’d like to see you lose ten pounds this year.” Three things are great about that statement.
One, I had been thinking the same thing for a while so it was no big shock.
Two, he didn’t say I should, or I need to lose weight. But simply that he would be happy if I did. And since we have a good relationship, I would like to do that for him.
And three, he said ten pounds in one year. That’s a reasonable goal. It wouldn’t require anything drastic. It would give me time to get used to a new routine of diet and exercise changes. And if you lose weight slower, you are more likely making the long-term changes needed to maintain that new lifestyle, instead of drastic attempts to lose weight that can’t be sustained in the long run.
So this month, I have readjusted my goals. Instead of five pounds a month (which wasn’t happening anyways) I am shooting for two pounds a month. The smaller goals mean that I am more likely to meet them, which means I am more likely to stick to the new changes instead of getting frustrated with failing to meet the mark and giving up after a few months.
PLANS FOR FEBRUARY
After analyzing my food logs, I noticed something else: I eat a lot of junk carbs. I am not against carbs. Humans need carbs to live. I love my fruits and veggies and rice and oats. but I was consuming a lot of non-foods: Cheeze-its, rolls, and bagels. Things that don’t provide a lot of nutritional value and really are just processed nonsense that I could do without.
So for February I am going to try to reduce the amount of junk carbs and fill up instead with more fruits and veggies. And try to hit that two-pound goal.
STATS FOR JANUARY
Weight -3 pounds
Measurements -? inches (I think it's time to measure)