I’d been aiming to be 17st 2lbs by Easter, and so I should have been pleased when the scales flashed back 16st 13lbs – fully three pounds better than my target – this morning, meaning that I have shed 14 pounds in just eight weeks.
Of course, I now know that there is a medical reason for my dramatically successful weight loss, which came with my diagnosis of diabetes earlier this week. Unexpected and significant weight loss is often a symptom shown by people developing the condition. (As the body does not convert glucose effectively, it starts to burn its reserves of glycogen instead, leading to weight loss and fatigue.) So I can’t really take the credit for the noticeable improvement to my waistline – call it a disqualified success, if you will.
In my last post on Tuesday, written a couple of hours after my initial diagnosis, I was quite upbeat. Since then, I had my blood tests done on Thursday, which showed a fasting glucose level of 16.3 – more than double what it should be – and confirmed the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes (type 2 being less serious than type 1).
In truth, my outlook hasn’t changed: I’m still feeling positive. I know I need to manage my diet more carefully, and it’s now even more important that I get my weight down. An appointment with the diabetes clinic next week is my first step in determining my plan for the coming months and getting my glucose level down to something like 7 or 8.
This is the easy bit. I have had the sudden jolt of the bad news, and the wave of determination and even enthusiasm that comes with it. I’m already taking little steps to make my diet healthier, and with the days growing longer and warmer it will be easier for me to ensure I take brisk walks into town or around the estate on a regular basis.
The hard bit will come once that initial wave subsides and I have to face up to the fact that this is not a brief phase or a crash diet to drop a few pounds pre-holiday. This needs to be a permanent lifestyle change to maximise my chances of a full life and minimise the prospect of my children having to deal with their father’s early demise.
I’ve always known I needed to be lighter and fitter, but lacked the willpower to turn good intentions into actual outcomes. Now the choice is a little more stark. In truth, there is no real choice.
So, for now it’s the first baby steps on a long journey. Step one is to get to the end of April, be doing at least three lots of moderately vigorous exercise a week, and aim to get my weight down to 16st 9lbs – that’s a pound a week. We’ll worry about step two and onwards when we get there.
It starts right here, right now: the rest of my life. Off I go.