Trying to Lose Weight for What Felt Like a Lifetime. Oh Wait, It Was!

Written by Nancy Sayles Kaneshiro

Have any of my fellow diabetics out there ever tried to lose weight?  Yeah, me neither. Ha!  Let’s see, there was Weight Watchers (at least three times), Jenny Craig (twice, I think), Lindora, Atkins (but I get mean without carbs) and others I can’t even remember. What’s the deal here?  How hard could this be?

I consider myself a pretty smart person. College degree. Professional. Successful. And I have type 2 diabetes. Weight-related for sure. I was hopeful that losing weight would get my glucose level back into the acceptable range. I was aware of the health risks that came along with being overweight – and staying that way – for a prolonged period of time.  OK, I thought, this time it’s going to work.

What the heck?

I started out by reading about all the reasons we overeat.  We eat when we’re happy. We eat when we’re sad. We eat when we’re lonely. We eat when we celebrate. We eat when we’re stressed. We eat when we’re bored. Did I miss any? Personally, I eat for one reason that overrides the rest.  I love good food!  I grew up in a house where the dinner table was a special place with a lot of laughs and great food.  That’s my earliest recollection, that’s my orientation toward food.  A good thing. Tastes good. Makes people happy.  Then as I grew up, eating became a social thing. Want to meet for breakfast? Who wants lunch? Where are we going for dinner?  Social engagements – formal or informal – revolved around food.  All the way up to the diabetes diagnosis.

So, now what am I supposed to do? After Lindora, with its daily shots and recommended protein portions the size of a fifty-cent piece (funny what you remember about certain experiences…), I  moved on to Jenny Craig, which was fairly new at the time and the food pictures on the front of their products looked pretty good. Problem for me was the best food they put out in those days was definitely not diabetic-friendly. So while I did manage to lose some weight (as I did on all the programs), my diabetes was not improving in the least. I did learn some valuable lessons about this and other programs of this sort. First, it’s hard to learn how to make good food choices and exercise proper portion control when you get a supply of meals-in-a-box and are told to “eat this.”  And secondly, and maybe this is just me, but I can’t eat “diet” foods when I’m on a diet that I wouldn’t eat in “real life,” whether for diabetes or weight loss. So, “legal” pizza or macaroni and cheese or anything resembling a candy bar just won’t do it for me.

When I look for a particular way to eat, I always wind up going to back to the Weight Watchers philosophy. (I do, however, remember my early stint with the program, back in the days of five fish meals per week. If I never see a can of tuna again in my life, it will be too soon.) Now, measuring portions and counting points have become second-nature. You still have to watch the sugar and the carbs, but it’s got the most resemblance to real life, at least for my money.

We’ve all lost hundreds of pounds, even if it’s the same twenty pounds over and over.  And while it took a lot of guts and a ton of work, I finally figured out a way to sustain the loss. I’ve managed to slay the dragon. I’ll be sharing some of my secret weapons with you in upcoming blogs – and I hope you’ll return the favor…because I want to hear from you!

See you next time!  Be well.

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