By: Joy Pape
You may not believe it by looking at me now, but I have weight issues. I’ve had them since I was a child. I’m telling you this because I know it’s hard to relate to someone who tries to help you with your weight problems if that person is not overweight herself.
Let’s get this out of the way. I lost over 40 pounds about 20 years ago, and I have kept it off. Prior to this, I struggled with my weight, too. I was a yo-yo dieter with anorexia, and I would lose too much weight only to binge and gain it all back—and then some. I started this cycle long ago, before most of us had even heard of anorexia, bulimia and eating disorders.
That’s why this column is called “Before & After,” because it’s not all about losing weight. It’s about managing your weight and not letting your weight manage you.
We know how closely related weight is to diabetes, so we at Diabetes Health thought we should publish a column that helps you not just with your blood glucose, but with your weight, also.
For many people, especially those who have type 2, losing just 5 to 10 percent of their body weight can make a big difference in their diabetes management. You might think you need to lose more than 5 or 10 percent, but it’s a good place to start.
For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, losing just 10 to 20 pounds could be enough to lower your blood glucose level. If you weigh 300 pounds, that’s 15 to 30 pounds. It’s doable! Setting realistic goals can help you keep on keeping on, or better yet, keep on keeping it off!
I hope this column helps you. If you want to share your story with Diabetes Health readers and help others, too, please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some Things That Worked for Me
Most people are able to lose weight, but keeping it off is the big challenge for many of us. So here are some tips to help you start taking it off and keeping it off.
- Identify the problem. Why do you think you are overweight? Is it because you eat too much? Is it because you aren’t active enough? I was overweight because I ate too much, especially at night, and I was not very active.
- What’s your reason for wanting to lose the extra weight? Most people don’t change without a reason. Remember that reason when you’re tempted to overeat or skip exercising. I was tired of not feeling well. I often felt bloated and uncomfortable. My blood glucose was all over the place. I was tired of feeling guilty the next day from overeating.
- What are the obstacles? What is preventing you from achieving your goals? Is it lack of time? Unhealthy foods in the house? Unsupportive people in your life? My biggest obstacle was a need for more spirituality in my life. I was an emotional eater. Once I started feeding that hunger with things other than food, I could make better food and exercise choices.
- Ban the word “diet” from your vocabulary. This alone helped me tremendously.
- Eat smaller meals throughout the day. I started doing better when I began to eat smaller portions, but I ate something every three to four hours.
- Increase your activity level—try to get some exercise each and every day. I started walking daily, and it made me feel better. Wearing a pedometer or a step counter keeps me motivated even now