I was up relatively early today for a walk around the park with a fellow Slimming World’er.
9am is not the time that we’d normally meet (we’re becoming ‘regulars’ now which is really nice) but for various reasons we’ve struggled to set a time that’s convenient for both of us this week. As it turned out the early start was probably a good thing.
The day has been heating up minute by minute – and it’s brilliantly sunny outside for the second day in a row. By the time we left the park after 3 miles I was pretty sweaty and could really feel the quickly heating up temperature of the day on the top of my newly shaven head.
Having really short hair certainly helps to keep a big guy like me cool (and looking devilishly handsome) but there’s little protection when it comes to sun.
It’s the right cut for me though. I have a male patent bald spot developing on my crown. I’ll probably be a total baldy in a few years, so its best to just get used to it now rather than live in denial!!!
We were also walking early today because I had an appointment with my practice nurse at 11am (our normal slot). As usual we discussed this and other health related things as we strolled – particularly some posts that have been in the Facebook SW private group over the last few days.
There have been some lovely things on this feed lately. People have been visualising their weight loss in a variety of ways as well as reporting some huge total figures.
Some have been amazed that they have lost the combined weight of their children, while others have been finding more comical examples via http://www.ilostwhat.com which gives some amusing and relatable examples of what people have gotten rid of.
When I inputted my own total number of pounds lost the output the page gave me was something that had a surprisingly personal resonance. I had lost the equivalent of 44 bottles of wine.
I posted this on Facebook and Instagram at the time, feeling really rather chuffed with myself. Someone then blew my mind even further when he commented that 73 pounds is approximately 255500 calories!
I used to have two McDonalds double sausage and egg mcmuffins for breakfast on the way to work quite a lot.
This means that the weight I’ve lost roughly equates to burning off 452 of these evil (but delicious) heart attacks in a bun.
I’ve duplicated the wine visualisation here because I also use my posts as a journal to look back on how far I’ve come, and in this respect it’s been very useful. Selfishly I’m noting it again predominantly for ME – for just that reason.
But it’s a milestone that has dual significance.
This number is almost 4 boxes of wine. When I sat and thought about it (shamefully and embarrassingly) it also represents less than three weeks (probably closer to two) worth of what I USED to drink before I gave up on the 26th of January.
Things have of definitely moved on.
I now look forward to some things that I absolutely hated in the past. I bizarrely now look forward to exercise for instance – and itch to go out for a walk when I feel I haven’t done enough.
I have also been looking forward to my diabetic review, which went very well.
My diabetic nurse is STILL unable to weigh me on the practice scales (I think they top out at 23 stone) but I can now go in armed with photographic evidence of my current weight thanks to my weekly weigh-ins at Slimming World.
For the first time in a VERY long time my medical records are accurate.
Aside from the crushing embarrassment of my GP always going into the consultation room next door to get a second pair of scales so I could put a foot on each (trust me when I say that firstly it doesn’t give an accurate reading, and secondly makes the patient feel like a piece of crap) this has big health implications, particularly with regard to medicine dosages.
I knew it already – but they now also know now that my BMI has now gone from 67.6 to 59.8 and is under 60 for the first time in the best part of a decade. I’m still in the colossally overweight bracket – but I’m making great progress.
I also now know that my Cholesterol is down to 3.8 from 4.3 (the last time I had it tested a few months ago) and that’s just where I need to be – although despite my excessive salmon and mackerel eating my ‘good’ cholesterol STILL needs to be higher. I’m going to start eating more almonds.
My blood pressure is also ‘excellent’ – although sadly I neglected to note down the exact readings…
My uric acid levels are still irritatingly on the cusp of the danger zone however, meaning that I’m still at risk of gout attacks, but not yet at a level where I need to be medicated. Having had two suspected ones so far I have no wish to have another. They’re incredibly painful.
The REALLY REALLY REALLY GOOD NEWS however is regarding my blood sugar results from my HbA1c blood test last week.
For those of you that aren’t diabetic I took a picture of the chart on the nurse’s noticeboard (with her permission of course) and also noted down my results from my previous practice reviews.
When I was first diagnosed in January 2014 my level was 94 mmol – on the far right of the chart. I couldn’t go more than 45 minutes without the toilet at this incredibly low point and was seriously in denial.
I hadn’t been to the doctor and was almost hiding in the wardrobe with worry about what was wrong. Self diagnosis on the NHS internet pages and elsewhere had suggested either cancer or diabetes.
I buried my head in the sand because I was terrified of both outcomes, and ended up being weirdly ‘thankful’ it was ‘only’ diabetes. Initially I tried (very badly) to alter my diet on my own.
- Jan 14 94 – Initial diagnosis – So bad that I wet the bed twice before I was diagnosed.
- April 14 46 – 4x Metformin and 1x Glimepiride per day (still fuzzy eyesight)
- Jan 15 40 – upped dose to 2x Glimepiride. Diet improved but still drinking alcohol.
- May 15 66 – Diet in the toilet, levels going back up. Drinking like a fish.
- Feb 16 74 – Two weeks after I gave up alcohol, two months before Slimming World.
This morning my results show that my levels are 30 mmol. That’s a three, and a zero. Thirty.
The phrase that the nurse used to describe this was ‘…these are the levels of someone WITHOUT DIABETES. You’ve not even on my chart.’
My medication now needs to be reviewed ASAP as at the amount I’m taking has the ability to cause me to go TOO LOW and be in danger of a hypo (low blood sugar condition). As I type I’m awaiting a callback from the diabetic specialist GP to discuss this.
(while typing the doctor called me. I am now ceasing ALL of my Glimepiride, and its been taken off my repeat medication list. Imagine a man fist pumping the air at his desk!)
How freakin ace is that?! I’m exercising so much, and have made such sweeping changes to my lifestyle that I have been able to reduce medication that previously only seemed to be something that I would be taking more and more of until I inevitably became Type 1 and needed to inject insulin.
Nothing is certain about the future – and this may still happen one day – but I’m now stacking the odds in my favour, rather than against me.
I went shortly after my appointment for a coffee with my friend, and he picked me up in his convertible. As we drove into Leamington we chatted while I enjoyed the sensation of the wind rushing over my balding head.
Prior to me getting in his car for the first time last week I’d NEVER BEEN IN AN OPEN TOP CAR. I haven’t been small enough when the opportunity presented itself, and I wouldn’t previously get into other people’s cars for fear of the seatbelt not fitting or breaking something (it has happened in the past).
Now I have fitted into two other people’s cars in a week, and my confidence is growing.
For one reason or another I’ve had some low moods this week – but regardless of that I’ve kept on with my exercise and tried really hard to eat the right foods in the right quantities.
I really needed today.
I needed it just to put a huge flag in the ground on the way up my sometimes seemingly insurmountable mountain. I’m about 1/4th of the way up it currently – but this represents proof positive (if I ever needed it) that everything I’m doing is THE RIGHT THING.
Internet – no matter how far you have to go, just keep plugging away at it, even if you’re only moving a millimetre at a time. It all adds up and it all helps.