Goal Setting: Weight Loss and Type 2 Diabetes

John S. Bell Health Guide
  • The last time I wrote I was down for the count with a cold. The last bits of it are still with me, like the rain squalls left over after a storm goes through. Nonetheless, I am feeling better and the weather has even improved a bit. This morning I could see a few spots of bare ground along with the snow when I looked out over our pastures. Here in town where my office is, the sidewalks on my regular walking route are finally clear. The upshot is that I have been slowly moving back into my routine. The result showed up in the morning weigh in: 179 pounds. This is the first time I have been under 180 in years. I actually went into the guest room closet and the bottom drawers of the dresser looking for clothes that got packed away as I packed on the weight. Surprisingly, some of them were even still in fashion. I had broken down this past summer and bought pair of jeans with a forty inch waist when the 38s grew too tight for comfort and was using my belt to disguise the fact that the trouser button on my suit wasn't actually buttoned half the time. One of the items in the dresser was a pair of 36 inch waist jeans. They fit. With a little room to spare.

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    This week will make it four months since my diagnosis with type 2 and it seems a good time to take stock and see where I should go from here. My weight goal is 165, so I am looking at dropping another fourteen pounds in the next two to three months. The day to day diet is still working. I am still eating a light breakfast, generally of steel-cut oats, which carries me through the morning. (I recently discovered that I can buy organic steel-cut oats in bulk for $1.29 a pound at the local health food store. Once I dump them into the nice imported Irish brand can, I can't tell the difference.) I take a walk before my lunch which is typically a bowl of soup or grilled chicken with vegetables on the side. Dinner is roast chicken, lean beef or shrimp, with half the plate taken up by a rotating cast of non-starchy vegetables. I pass on dessert, or if I must have something, I pour some diet ginger ale. I cannot give you an exact calorie or carbohydrate breakdown for all this, but both numbers are substantially reduced compared to what I was eating in October. My blood sugar numbers have dropped by two thirds since being diagnosed, but that tells you as much about my previous highs as my current lows. I still have morning readings of 100 to 106 and occasional post-meal spikes in the 140s. I would like to even out those spikes and get the fasting sugars down but it seems that I am the poster boy for the dawn effect. I can go to bed with an 89 and wake up at 105.


    The missing element in all this is still regular exercise other than a daily walk. Bad weather, illness and sharing a car with a teenager have played havoc with my schedule the last few weeks. (I am finding Jackie to be a kindred soul this week.) Right now I am confident that I can ultimately get the weight off, but I am worried that instead of being obese and very unhealthy, I will end up merely heavy and mildly unhealthy. Thinner is better, but I would like to be fit. I don't particularly need to look like a body builder, but it would be nice to lie on a beach without worrying that Greenpeace will try and hydrate my blowhole while dragging me back into the water. So, tonight I will haul out the stretching worksheet from my diabetes education classes and start to limber up and maybe put in a little time on the stationary bike while watching the Olympics.


Published On: February 25, 2010