Taking charge of my health

My employer provides free wellness screenings. I decided to participate again this year in the diabetes screening. As I have mentioned before, I had gestational diabetes with both of my pregnancies. My mom, my two aunts, and my maternal grandmother all have type II diabetes, so I am genetically predisposed. I got the results of my A1c screening, and I was in the pre-diabetes range.  I had been making strides in my cardiovascular endurance, but I was not seeing a lot of results.  I spoke to one of the personal trainers at work, and he reminded me that it was 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.  I gave him the stink eye, but I knew deep down he was right.

After crying on the phone to my mom about my results, I swallowed my pride and signed up for the program through our YMCA: Diabetes Prevention.  I thought I knew everything about nutrition.  Hadn’t I successfully managed two pregnancies with gestational diabetes? I can hear you all laughing.  I realized that I clearly had a lot to learn.  I began tracking everything I ate.  I hate food tracking with the passion of a thousand suns.  I seriously loathe it.  Tracking this was crucial to my success, and it is so much easier to use the My Fitness Pal app on my iPhone.  When I overeat now, it is because I haven’t tracked my food intake as faithfully.

Our group meets weekly with a registered dietician, and we take classes about nutrition, stress management, and exercise right at work.  The program lasts for sixteen weeks, and then we meet monthly on our maintenance plan for a full year.  The goal is to lose 7% of your body weight and to have 150 minutes of physical activity per week.  These two goals are key indicators that have been show to reduce the risk of type II diabetes.  I lost five pounds before the beginning of the program.  My goal was to lose 10.5 pounds, and I was .3 pound away from my goal weight with a month to go in the program. 

I have found work colleagues who are understanding and supportive.  I was able to work through some of my emotional issues regarding my weight and my fitness.   I want my girls to think of me as an athlete, not just a mom.  As a few fitness leaders say, “If you want to look like an athlete, you have to train like an athlete!” I realized that I alone had the power to change my health and nutrition.  I could take charge of my fitness, or I could maintain the status quo and eventually develop type II diabetes.  My pancreas does not function well at higher weights as indicated by my gestational diabetes.  My physical health is critical to my self-care; I am a better mom, wife and employee.


About tranquilamama

Juggling parenthood, housework and working outside the home in the corporate world with my wonderful husband. Mom to 2 beautiful girls. PPD and PPA survivor. The title of my blog is after a phrase that was repeated to me in Spain during my semester abroad in college. It roughly translates to relax and calm down. Trying to tame my inner perfectionist and just be a good enough mom.
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8 Responses to Taking charge of my health

  1. I’m walking the same road. People say things to me like, “You’re skinny, you can eat that,” and tell me I carry my calorie awareness too far but my mother, grandmother were type 2 diabetics and I had gestational diabetes. My A1C barely makes it into normal but because I have to say no, even when people around whispering that “I carry it too far.” We do what we have to do, even with people judging, thinking, not realizing they can’t see what our numbers show. We carry on, don’t we, Jen. GOOD LUCK. You care, and you face the truth– the way I’ve had to do. That makes all the difference in the world. KNOWING. Exercise and diet choices. (also, another reason it makes it easy to hate Pumpkin Spice Latte)

    • YES. I had one of the trainers at the gym at work tell me that I should not lose much more weight. We have pancreas that don’t function like they should, so we need to be more mindful of the food we eat. Knowledge is power. I’m falling in love with the skinny mochas. The Pumpkin Spice Latte is not my cup of tea at all.

  2. jess says:

    Wow! That is a great goal and I’m so proud of you for being aware and taking initiative to learn to eat better. You can do it, Jen. You’ve got all of us behind you. xoxo

    • Thank you so much Jess! I always knew that it was in the background as a risk factor, but I was not being proactive about it at all. The support from everyone is key. That is what helps me stick to it. xoxo

  3. wrapwithveah says:

    I love this blog, you were so open and honest. I hate tracking my food as well. I was diagnosed as Type II Diabetic June 2003 (4 months before my wedding). In the beginning I was a wreck because I just couldn’t believe it because I go to the doctors every 6 weeks for a blood disorder I was born with and they “test” everything so why did I not know I was in the danger zone. But anywho, I almost came off all meds within a year and I did that by tracking everything so I am back to it now. I want to say Goodbye to Diabetes. I am praying that you continue to put you on your own to-do-list because you have to be well before you can take care of anyone else!

    • Veah, I am so glad that you were able to reverse your diagnosis. I am so frustrated that they missed letting you know that you were heading towards type II diabetes as well. Tracking food stinks, but it is so much easier with my smartphone rather than writing it down on pieces of paper. I am continuing to put myself on my to-do list. I cannot take care of my family if I am not taking care of myself.

      • wrapwithveah says:

        Tranquila Mama, I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my comment. Your blog is truly motivational and I am so happy that I came across it. I was irritated at first about the missed diagnosis but then I told myself there is nothing you can do about that but you can get educated on what you have and what it means, so I did. I am currently working out at home and by myself – so my blog is my accountability buddy right now. I just want to thank you for speaking on those areas of our lives that people try to hide because they don’t want to be judged.

  4. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the page layout of
    your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

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