The First Flight Point*

*As any WoW player knows, the flight master in any city, town, or outpost in the game will, for a few silver pieces, sell you a “taxi” flight (usually on a wyvern or a gryphon) to any other city, town or outpost that you’ve been to. If you’re going a long way, the flight path takes you past the flight points between where you are and your destination, sort of like flying over the cities and towns between your departure city and your destination on a plane. When you’ve never been to the place that you want to go, though, you have to ride or run to the town under your own power and “discover” the flight points. I feel like that’s the way my journey is playing out, and that I’ve reached my first flight point.

 

Well, now. It’s been just over a month since I last posted. If you read that post, you might intuit that this last month plus has been quite a journey in its own right, and you’d be correct. A lot has changed for me, but in a lot of really small ways. Let me share some of it with you.

I left for Anaheim and BlizzCon 2014 on November 3rd. The day before that, in the morning, I weighed myself. I figured that, since I was going to be spending the next 8 days walking almost everywhere, I’d want to check at the end to see if I’d lost weight, gained weight, or stayed about the same. Over the week of BlizzCon, despite all of the drinking and eating I did, I lost 4 pounds. I thought that was pretty good! Two days after returning was when I went to the doctor for my physical, and got the news that I’d been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

I started changing my diet immediately. No more soda (which I can honestly say I don’t miss, except for ginger ale in my Jameson), and a tremendous reduction in alcohol consumption. Not that I over-consume all that often, but most days of the week I was having at least one beer. I think I’ve had about four beers. I’ve had exactly one low-sugar, low-carb mocha latte, made at home, since diagnosis. My life now consists counting carbohydrate servings and calories; everything I eat gets counted and accounted for. Since the massage clinic where I work is literally adjacent to a fitness club, I joined up. It took me two more weeks to actually start *using* the membership (I come by my stubbornness honestly, after all), but I’ve been walking at least 5 days a week since then.

Despite my intellect and my education in the anatomical processes of metabolism, etc., the process of losing weight has thus far been so straightforward (notice I didn’t say “easy”) that I almost don’t trust it. I just eat fewer calories than I spend energy to burn, and I lose weight? Really? That’s all I have to do? I know that the answer to that is “yes”, but I’m still shocked by how quickly my body is changing. I think that, at first, a lot of it had to do with cutting the empty calories in the above-mentioned beverages, but even still, once I started exercising, the weight loss has continued. As of this morning, I have lost 24.5 lbs since November 2nd.

Intellectually, I recognize that this is enormous. I have along way yet to go, but I have lost almost 1/6th of what I need to in order to be at my healthy weight. However, I know myself too well. I am that girl who got derailed by mid-terms after losing 33 pounds. I am that woman who would lose 10 or 15 and gain it right back when life got hectic and taking my lunch to work was just too much trouble in the mornings. I have taken solace in food for so long that I don’t trust myself not to do that…not yet.

Ironically, that which I am optimistic will be my saving grace this time around is the diabetes diagnosis. The reality of diabetes is that even if I lose all the weight and get my hemoglobin A1c percentage back into the normal blood sugar range, I will never not be diabetic again. Once a human body develops type 2 diabetes, even if it is exceedingly well managed, one is still diabetic, and any mis-management of the condition can lead right back to the place I’m in now, in terms of blood sugar. There is no cure for diabetes. That knowledge is what I will have to wrestle with forever (or until they develop a cure, but I’m not holding my breath). So, I can either hope I don’t develop complications from the condition, or I can use that as the motivation bust my ass and do everything within my power not to develop them; to instead do all of the things that I should have been doing all along to be healthy.

I’ve known for a long time that I was the only one who could actually make myself healthier, and I ran into obstacles (some self-created) over and over that derailed my attempts. But now, I don’t really have much of a choice. That’s the silver lining to this cloud. I can sit and dwell over the woulda-coulda-shouldas about how I ended up in this place and actually get sick (thank heaven we caught it before I started having symptoms!), or I can walk forward, toward a healthier, happier me. Even with my mood swings about this, my occasional anger, and my at times very strong desire to give up and go binge on an enormous bowl of popcorn, I think I’ll take the latter. I don’t see any point in complaining; that never got anyone to any place healthy or happy. So, I know that I’m going to mood swing, that I’m still processing the anger at myself for the situation I’m in, and that it’s going to be a while before I reach a place of not being so frustrated. I’m working really hard not to take these things out on friends and family, because it’s nobody else’s fault I’m here. So, I make the choice every day, every time I choose to eat something healthy, and every time I lace up my new shoes and walk around the track. And, yeah, on Christmas, I’m going to have a couple of drinks and eat a little more food than I probably should, but one week from tomorrow, on December 26th, I’m lacing up my shoes and walking forward, just like I will every day from now until I die of old age.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Take care of each other, and of yourselves!

 

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