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My Health Transformation: Baby step by baby step

  • January 8, 2020
  • By Karen
My Health Transformation: Baby step by baby step

Honestly, a year can change so many things.

I struggled through Christmas of 2018. For the first time in my life, I was put on prescription medicine. I had  zero energy, an achy body, and a negative headspace. I was completely drained of all energy. At first I thought I had a bug of some sort but turns out it was due to a large amount of inflamed fat in my liver and a new condition: diabetes.  My blood test results were OVER THE TOP.  

If you want to read more about that, I wrote about it here.

It’s interesting when I look back and read what I wrote (in the above blog). I was feeling brighter yes but lets just say that I was a fraction of the way to where I was headed. Baby steps by baby step my friends and they all count!

My story took a turn for the positive. Life is no longer a brick house sitting on my head, holding me down. I just had to take one step at a time in the right direction. I needed a health transformation.

Imagine being told to make drastic changes to your lifestyle. It’s kinda like being asked to run a marathon without any training.  I thought, “Holy shit, this is gonna be HARD.” I berated myself for letting things slide. How could I have let things slide downhill so hard?

I found myself showing happiness on the outside to all the people around me when inside I was actually frustrated as hell, most likely depressed, and had zero clue how to stop doing things that impacted my health.  For starters, I love Friday night out happy hour drinks with friends, impromptu gatherings with wine. How do you change that? Okay yes, I know the obvious answer, which is “don’t drink” but that wasn’t what the struggle was about.  

I asked myself, “Would I be okay having my club soda and caesar rim with a wedge of lime?” Digging a little deeper, the real question came to me: “Will everyone else be okay? Will people be okay hanging out with me because I am not drinking? Will I be fun anymore? Is life boring without alcohol?”

It took me until late summer 2019 to let myself be okay with this lifestyle change.  It was a battle but in the end my health became the priority. Alcohol took a backseat in my life.  This time for real. It opened my eyes to how big a presence alcohol had in my life. There was a withdrawal period, like when I quit smoking 12 years ago. It was an intense lifestyle change. 

Early in the summer of 2019 I went back to working out three times a week. I was putting in the time but my body was still feeling sluggish.  

No drinking and working out. These were two wins. BIG WINS!!

Now, being classified as a diabetic, I needed to lose weight.  I started to work on my diet and I monitored my food intake by writing in a food journal for a week and going back and reviewing it.  This meant getting real honest with what went into my mouth. I wrote down every time I had a morsel of something, like a pre-dinner-dinner.  You know, those times when you’re ravenous and eat an entire meal while prepping dinner, and then you eat your meal?

What I noticed is this: I was eating extra sugar plus carbohydrates that convert to sugar in the body as “snacks” that I really didn’t need.  Turns out I am an emotional eater. I turn to food for my emotional support.  

I cut out anything with extra sugar. What a lifestyle change! Within one week I felt a difference. My body inflammation started to decrease. My rings weren’t stuck in place on my fingers.

Needing more support, I went to see my naturopath doctor.  We worked together to incorporate natural supplements into my diet for liver and diabetes support.  

I woke up one morning with a stiff neck.  I made an acupuncture appointment. Acupuncture cleared my stiff neck after two treatments and since then it’s been a regular modality I have been using for weight loss and liver and diabetic support.

What I have noticed is decreased food consumption.  I don’t feel the need to finish my plate. I take my time and stop when I am full. I’ve slowed down.

And hey–let’s talk about slowing down. I plan my week around downtime and spread out my meeting and appointments throughout the week instead of rushing all the time.

I also decided I needed a goal. Getting my blood work back to within normal range for my liver and my A1C was the numero uno goal. Plus I made a commitment to myself to get off my blood pressure medicine. I set a timeline for April, 2020.  You all now know: I am committed to this goal.

Then … 

I joined a powerlifting competition.  Ya I did! It was a deadlift competition and I am super happy to report I kicked ass!

I made a new personal record and lifted 90 kgs (198 lbs).  And I was the oldest competitor by 8 years.  This is 52!

In December 2019, I had a liver specialist appointment. My updated blood work says I am no longer considered a diabetic and my ranges are back to normal levels.  The liver enzymes 2 of 3 are back in normal range with the third one is coming in strong to get back into normal range. There is still more fat I must remove from my liver. This is a work in progress.

My weight has dropped and I am finding a new wardrobe in my closet.  Bonus!!

Ultimately, I  took small steps over time to support my best self. I reflected to find the gold nuggets and those reflections helped me recognize each step as a win. I celebrated as I progressed.

And if I can do it, so can you. You are in charge of you and you can make the change. Baby step by baby step. They all add up.

Happy 2020.  After this health transformation, I realize anything is possible!


By Karen, January 8, 2020
Sunchokes, 3 ways!
Red Velvet Brownies
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