This year I became pre-diabetic. I had to make some changes that I was not too excited about. It's been weird. Hard is not the right word, because it wasn't hard. Yeah, there have been things that frustrate me: having to be the complicated person when going out to lunch, having to decline certain food items and then feel pressured to explain "why" so that other people don't feel bad, and saying "no" more than I ever have had to.
This year, I have learned a lot of valuable lessons, about myself and about other people. Here are a handful:
1. It's OK to obsess. It's your health
I feel bad for my husband because for the first 5 months, all I talked about was my food. What I ate, what I can't eat, what I want to eat...it was probably a bit maddening. I know he worried about my obsessing because it probably felt unhealthy to listen to someone talk about food all the time. But for me, it was a cleanse. I had to mourn my old eating habits. And because he allowed me to do that, I feel much more secure about my choices. I can not thank him enough for that.
2. Your friends and family will support you, but you have to accept that it doesn't mean they won't get annoyed with your "new lifestyle" bullshit
Unconditional love does not mean that everyone else wants to hear how much I hate the treadmill. Or that they care every time I eat something I shouldn't. A year ago, if I met me, I would annoy myself:
New me: I can't believe I ate that. So many carbs! Looks like it's salmon and broccoli tonight.
Old me: Really? You think you cheated because you ate an english muffin? I hate you. Pussy.
It's a fine line between new me and old me. New me wants to share the new habits I have learned this year, old me wants new me to shut the fuck up. I think sometimes I sound a little snarky even though that's not my intent. It's something I need to continue working on in 2015.
3. Don't get derailed if things don't work out exactly how you wanted them to.
45 pounds later, I am still pre-diabetic. My numbers didn't budge. I was pissed, and sad, and embarrassed. My doctor was amazing. Instead of being negative, he wanted to talk to me about how I can stay on this path, what I can do to ensure I continue to make better choices, and how proud he was of my successes to date. My husband echoed those sentiments that night, as well as my friends and family. I didn't accomplish what I wanted during that time frame, but it doesn't mean I didn't accomplish a great deal. I had to reset my own expectations and not let it stop me from continuing on. Thanks to my friends, family, and my amazing husband, I have decided I should proud of the changes I have made, and use that as motivation to move forward.
4. Your old excuses are just that: OLD excuses
This one is a lesson I have not even come close to mastering. I still have lots of excuses left in me. I still lean on them. I hope to rely less on them this year. That means sometimes I have to say no even though it's a special event, or it means having ONE of something instead of "as much as I want". It also means balancing those one or two cookies with extra good choices during other meals. This will be my first holiday season where I am not in the mindset of "well, it's only once a year, so I can eat whatever I want". Because I can't. Not if I want to stay on this path (not to mention I used that excuse WAY to much in the past as a reason to celebrate and indulge anything I could).
5. Don't waste too much time feeling bad
It's embarrassing. I feel like I set myself up for diabetes. I ate like shit for years, and now this is the price I pay. I'm fat, this stuff runs in my family and yet I STILL just let it happen. I did this to myself. I'll try to pull myself out of it, but if history has taught me anything, it's that I'm pretty much destined to be THIS....
That mindset is easy to wallow in. To me, there's nothing more satisfying than self-pity. it allows me to lay on the couch and be sad. And it's OK to feel bad, but feeling bad WILL hold you back so don't stay in that place. And don't let feeling bad trick you into thinking that you should just give up. Giving up is only an option if you let it become one.
6. Sometimes, people just suck, and that's OK
It's true. not everyone is going to be supportive all the time. Some people will never be supportive. Maybe they don't think what you are doing is healthy. Maybe they want you to stay unhealthy so that they can feel less bad about themselves. Maybe they just don't want to hear about it anymore because it's getting old. While it's nice to be nice, it's not my job to make everyone happy. It's my job to make myself healthy. Anyone who shits on that can go suck a dick. My health is WAY more important than your "issues" with what I am doing.
I still hate water. I still hate the treadmill...it's not about doing everything right. It's about living my life better so that I can live longer.
Happy Holidays to all of my friends,
May peace and plenty be the first to lift the latch on your door, and
happiness be guided to your home by the candle of Christmas. - Irish Christmas Blessing