I’m having an identity crisis!

I look at pictures of myself and while I know it’s me, I have trouble recognizing it’s me. Does that make any sense? To help my brain along, I put together the photo above that shows the subtle (and not so subtle) changes that have taken place since I began my weight loss journey. It’s odd, but I believe the greatest visible changes have come in the last 15 pounds as opposed to the first 63! Actually, that’s true on the inside as well.

I go to the doctor every three months — mostly because I’m diabetic, but also to monitor my weight loss journey. I know this sounds like a commercial — but it’s so important to talk with your doctor when losing weight. There are so many things to be aware of that a doctor needs to monitor, especially when the weight loss is significant. (Ok, all weight loss is significant, but you know what I mean.)

For me, the biggest health issue I face is diabetes — well, that and being overweight! I’m fortunate that my cholesterol has never been an issue. That said, diabetes is a scary disease. I’ve had mine completely under control with just one medication (no insulin) since my diagnosis roughly 5 – 6 years ago. My A1C (glucose reading) has been in a good spot for years with very little fluctuation. However, since I started losing weight, it’s been improving — just like the doctor promised. YIPEE!!

In January, my A1C was 6.0 which is considered normal. That alone was cause for celebration. My doctor wanted to watch it another 3 months before considering a change in medication. Last week I went to the doctor. Since that last visit in January, I’d lost another 14 pounds (total of 78 pounds vs. 64 in January). My A1C went from 6.0 to 5.7! I almost jumped up and down right there in the doctor’s office. My doctor is thrilled. He actually said he’s proud of me! And, while I am eager to eliminate the medication, he is not ready to reduce it just yet. After my initial disappointment, I understand that we don’t want to mess with this. As the weight continues to come off, my A1C will continue to go down. Everything comes in good time, and believe me, it’s worth the wait (or weight)!  I’m confident that in the future, I will no longer need medication for diabetes.

Here’s a few other things I’ve noticed lately:

  • Committing to and meeting a step goal every day makes a difference. I’m sleeping better. I have more energy during the day. I have a feeling of accomplishment when my Fitbit vibrates indicating I’ve met my goal. My clothes even fit better.
  • I stand with more confidence. I’m really pleased with how I look. I no longer stand with my arms crossed over my chest trying to hide my body. I’m not draped in long sweaters and jackets trying to cover a myriad of sins. And, while I am the first one to point to the areas on my body where the rest of the weight needs to come from, I’m no longer embarrassed by my appearance. I don’t think that makes me pompous or arrogant either. I have lost 78 pounds. That is no small feat. I have earned the right to bask in my accomplishment — and stand taller with my head held high. I now accept the compliments instead of deflecting them.
  • My daughters are proud of me! This is the best confidence boost and motivation to keep at it! Kids don’t always notice what their parents are doing — unless it’s embarrassing them in front of their friends. However, the unimaginable happens in my house. My 11 year-old cheers when I meet my step goal every day. She is excited by each tenth of a pound I lose. My teenager believes I belong in one of the Weight Watchers commercials. She compliments my outfits and even helps me take my measurements to see how many inches I’ve lost. She, too, cheers for each missing inch!

I could never have predicted any of these accomplishments or revelations 18 months ago when I started this journey. I have 20 months to go before my next BIG birthday. I don’t really want to put a “need to lose by” date on this journey like it might expire if I don’t get there, but it sure will be great if I lose the rest of the weight before then. And, if I don’t, that’s OK too. Progress towards the goal is really all that matters — well, that and not gaining it back!

What differences have you noticed (both inside and outside) in your weight loss journey?