My new normal

By Nick1962 Latest Reply 2018-01-17 18:49:16 -0600
Started 2018-01-09 19:04:23 -0600

Hey all!
I know it’s been a while, but I just got busy living life. Most of us tend to be sort of reflective at the end of the year. Not the kind of reflective where you glow in the headlights – you know what I mean. Just wanted to share what I think is a milestone in my journey.

For those new to me, I was diagnosed T2 back in 2007. Went through all the physical and emotional phases you see posted here pretty regularly. I did finally say enough and committed myself to getting healthy. It wasn’t easy, but as I went along, it got easier. Fast forward to today, I’m 130 lbs. lighter, off many medications, and at least according to my lab results today, textbook normal. Not bad for someone who treated their body like a toxic dump most of their life (I’m 55).

The diet at first was extreme and hard. The exercise too, but still tolerable. Over the years, once I got where I should be though, I have slacked a bit on the exercise, and brought back some foods (in heavy moderation of course) that I had previously cut out. Turns out, many of them aren’t as tasty anymore anyway. I think I retrained my brain. Of course, I wasn’t about to destroy all that hard work, so I always tested, and monitored my bloodwork. My A1c has hovered around 5 now going on 10 years.

I don’t feel like I’m on a diet. Most people say I eat “normal” when I’m around them. Maybe this is my “new normal” because it isn’t anything like what I thought “normal” was ten years ago.

The holidays well….., even though I don’t celebrate Christmas, there is lots of food around to tempt me. I don’t have a taste for sweets, so the kitchen table full of gift cookies, cakes, candy at the office went largely untouched by me (mostly). Many of my friends and coworkers get together this time of year with me to share gifts and meals before they go off to their family gatherings in other states or countries. And of course there are the company parties. The three weeks surrounding Christmas were way off my diet. But then, some of my friends are worth cheating for (I did feel the guilt though).

Thinking I really blew the last 3 months, I figured I’d get my bloodwork done prior to my doctor’s appointment so we could see how I’d need to adjust any meds for my “transgressions of the season”, and of course get his nagging out of the way. Honestly too, I just didn’t feel good either. I get what I’ve termed a “carb hangover” after eating off diet. I’ve had a lot of them lately.

To my shock, my results came back once again, textbook normal, and my A1c is 4.8. I’ve hit 4.7 before, but I was on such an extreme diet at the time, I thought it was an anomaly. We are all different, but at least for me, making changes and redefining what is “normal” according to my body has made a difference. Yes, my resolution will once again be get back on my diet (so good so far, fingers crossed), but the milestone for me this year is understanding it’s not always an uphill battle, nor does it define my life. Normal is relative.

13 replies

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2018-01-11 21:30:44 -0600 Report

Hi Nick! Nice to see you. I just wanted to chime in here and also congratulate you on your hard work and your great results. I am really impressed with your commitment and your self-control. A very interesting story. Thanks a lot for letting us know how you're doing.

Nick1962 2018-01-12 18:50:59 -0600 Report

Thanks Dr. Gary! The commitment and self-control has really been a team effort. From the doctor who showed me how to eat correctly, the support and ideas I get here, and the friends and associates who consider my eating habits when we plan a night out. A lot of people have my back.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2018-01-12 22:12:14 -0600 Report

Hey Nick, thanks for the follow up. Yes, support is power. If you have people behind you, you are that much more likely to be successful. I am glad you have such a strong support network.

Pegsy 2018-01-11 07:33:28 -0600 Report

Thank you for sharing your story, very encouraging! Makes me take a look back on my progress and achievements and give myself a little credit. Though my A1c is not yet where I want it to be, it continues to improve so I still have hope of getting off Metformin some day. Keep up the great work and enjoy celebrations on occasion without guilt. You're doing great! Very inspiring.

Nick1962 2018-01-12 18:50:44 -0600 Report

I think we often obsess on the small failures before we recognize the small steps forward have gotten us this far. Two steps forward and one step back is still a step forward!

Type1Lou 2018-01-10 12:19:08 -0600 Report

Glad you navigated through this holiday season relatively unscathed Nick! We do retrain our palates…things I would scarf down pre-diabetes often make me gag now. Sounds like you've regained "normal". (Is the term "heavy moderation" an oxymoron?) Good to hear from you again and wishing you a wonderful 2018!

Nick1962 2018-01-12 18:50:20 -0600 Report

Don’t know if I “regained” normal, not sure I ever had it in the first place. Heavy moderation an oxymoron? Not sure. I experienced several levels of moderation the last couple months. Unfortunately the Pinot Gris fell in the “light moderation” category.
Good to see you again too Lou

Suzy24 2018-01-10 06:50:29 -0600 Report

Congratulations for a continued great A1C. I totally understand the shock (although a happy one) at completely normal blood work - been on that road too. I'm fairly new to all this but your post described many of my feelings and experiences well. I resisted 95% of the Christmas holiday temptations but did have a piece of my sister's delicious pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. Even though my numbers didn't scream cheater, mentally I felt like the kid caught with a hand in the cookie jar! We all have to pick ourselves up and get on with life with diabetes.

It was a pleasure reading your post about your highs and lows of your diabetic journey. This is what new people like me need to read so we know life is to be lived and not beat ourselves up too bad for the slips.

Keep up the good work!

Nick1962 2018-01-12 18:49:38 -0600 Report

Thanks. Yes, things are a struggle at times. If you just get with the mindset that you have to do it. Period. It comes a little easier. I mean, we learned how to use computers and cell phones right (okay, those are a bit more fun)? How hard can it be to learn what to put, and what not put in your mouth?

GabbyPA 2018-01-09 21:06:19 -0600 Report

That is great news and much congratulations on keeping in range even when astray. You have taught me a lot about diet and introduced me to different ways of eating. I too have been off the wagon for the season, and am struggling to get back on board. Thanks for the reminder that it can be done.

I also like your term " carb hangover". That describes it perfectly.

Nick1962 2018-01-12 18:49:15 -0600 Report

Thanks! Those “late night support” talks help. I think we both know there are times when it’s just time to pull the wagon over a bit and start moving again when the trail seems a bit clearer.