Has this ever happened to you? You have a friend you see so often you don’t notice subtle changes in her appearance. Then, one day you see her and you think, “Wow, girlfriend’s lost weight!” That happened to me recently. My friend, Martha is making a fantastic health transformation. I asked her to tell you about it.
An ostrich – If someone had asked me several months ago what kind of animal best describes me, I would have to say an ostrich. You might be wondering why I picked this animal. When I think of an ostrich, I think of the big bird that has its head in the sand. I had gestational diabetes while pregnant with my son (now over 18 years ago). I learned that I had an 80% chance of having type 2 diabetes in the future if I did not lose weight. For so many years, I did not have any trouble with sugar issues. I would go to the doctor and the lab work would be fine. Then, a couple of years ago, my readings were just a little bit high. I really needed to do something about my physical health. I had seen my mother deal with diabetes, but she was so much older than I. I carried on with my eating habits and lack of exercise. I rested on the fact that my readings were just a “little high.”
I finally had to go to the doctor in June for lab work. I could no longer put it off. I needed my blood pressure medicine, and there would be no refills without the visit! I was floored when I saw the lab results. My A1-C was a 10.3. For those who are not familiar with this number, it is an average of your blood sugar readings over a three month period. Normal A1-C would probably be below 6.0. I was in a very dangerous place. My doctor is a longtime friend. He did not panic, but let me know that something had to be done. He sent me to a diabetes specialist in his practice. I sat down with the specialist for about an hour. I knew some things about diabetes, but there was so much that I did not know. I knew that diet and exercise were important, but I was ignoring both of these. I had a choice – pull my head out of the sand or suffer dire consequences.
Fast forward 5 months. I have lost about 45 pounds. My weight seemed to fall off quickly by getting my carbohydrates from non-starchy vegetables. I am walking (wearing a pedometer, so I will get my steps in). I eagerly went to have my labs done again. My A1-C is a 5.9. This is a normal reading for someone who does not have diabetes. I am taking oral medication, so I still have a ways to go. The diabetes specialist said that I may need to cut back on my amount of medication. My blood pressure is great (the physician’ assistant talked about lowering my medication if the BP continues to lower). I also saw an eye doctor and found that I have no diabetic damage.
How did I do all of this? God has given me the strength to eat what I need to eat and not feel deprived. He pulled my head out of the sand and opened my eyes! I am grateful to Him for his work in me.
Do I miss certain foods? Of course, I do. I did have some favorite things over Christmas. I intentionally went for walks throughout my days off of work. I have learned to really enjoy foods that don’t pack such a bad carbohydrate wallup! One of my favorite comfort foods now is yellow squash!
I don’t think of myself as an ostrich anymore. I know that I cannot put my head back in the sand. I must keep on this new path of healthy living.
The following Bible verse is so meaningful. It speaks of the strength that I have only because of my relationship with Jesus Christ. He gives me the strength to carry on.
“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 NIV
Yep, Martha is no longer an ostrich. She’s an EAGLE!