Four bricks.

Four bricks.

Four typical, standard sized bricks.

That’s how much more weight I was carrying around with me at the start of the year. I weighed 113kg. This morning, I clocked in at 99.8kg. A loss of 13kg, or about the weight of four bricks.

weight 99kg crop

I’ve been lugging around four bricks that I didn’t need to lug around. Because I was fat. Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m still fat. I still have a belly that makes Buddha look trim. I still send sales assistants hiding under tables when I go clothes shopping. I still make beeping noises if I walk backwards.

I’m still fat.

I’m just less fat.

My goal, when I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes was to get under 100kg by June. That seemed reasonable – a bit under a kilogram each week. So, yeah… goal achieved! I’ll have a celebratory ice-cream tonight, and then I’ll start working towards my next goal: 95kg by September. That should be doable, right?

This isn’t a brag post. Well ok it is a brag post, but it’s also a thank you post. Because this wasn’t a solo effort. I wouldn’t have lost those four bricks if it hadn’t been for the incredible support network that have helped along the way. I couldn’t have done it without my parents and family, and their continued encouragement. I couldn’t have done it without the excellent medical professionals who have been keeping an eye on me: my GP, my endocrinologist, my dietitian, my diabetes educator and now my exercise physiologists as well. And I definitely, absolutely could not have done it without the amazing friends who have travelled part of the journey with me. Thank you Nancy, Jo, Raya, Marcos, Peter, Kate, Penelope, Lucas, Dave, Hamish, and anybody else who I’ve somehow forgotten. Thank you all – and even if you haven’t joined me on a walk or a swim thank you still for your support and encouragement!

I hope y’all will join me for the shedding of many more bricks!

I’m Too Damn Sweet

When talking about everyday words that, given context, can also be rude, George Carlin once observed: “You can prick your finger, but don’t finger your prick!” This is a story of how pricking my finger could potentially have saved my life.

And has also become a colossal annoyance.

It begins about a week and a half ago. And somehow I got a small cut on my little finger. A tiny prick, if you will. I don’t know how, I didn’t even notice it when it happened. But over the weekend, I saw that it had become infected. Annoyed, I booked an appointment with my GP and took time off work to see her and get some antibiotics.

So far, so good.

While I’m there, my GP says “Hmm, it’s been a while since you last had some blood tests. And it’s a bit unusual for someone so young to be getting bacterial infections.” Someone so young! Lady, I thought, 36 is NOT young! “I want you to go and get these blood tests tomorrow,” she says. So I take some time off work the next day, and give two beautiful vials of my cherry-red life juice to the pathology nurse.

Later that day, my GP rang and told me to come see her as soon as possible. My blood glucose levels were at 16.6 mmol/L – a healthy person’s should be roughly between 4 and 5.5 mmol/L.

So yes, dear reader, I’m a Type 2 Diabetic.

Many people, upon hearing such news, would be distraught. They might be overcome with emotions – anger, fear, sorrow. But not me. To me, this is all just one giant annoyance. An inconvenience. Terry Pratchett used to describe his Alzheimer’s as an “embuggerance”, and that’s exactly what this diagnosis is for me.

And I can afford to be annoyed by this – I’m fairly lucky (if luck can have anything to do with it). I’m not showing any real symptoms (My GP’s exact words: “How you’re not feeling absolutely awful is beyond me!”). And of course, there are far worse illnesses to have than diabetes. With significant changes to diet and lifestyle, and some medication, I can beat this. I went on a health kick several years ago and dropped nearly 10kg. I’ve seen various specialists already, with appointments to see more in the near future including a diabetes educator and a dietitian. But I also have two key weapons in my arsenal: the ability to turn on the willpower and determination when I set my mind to something, and a freaking amazing support network of friends and family who can encourage and assist me. And a surprising number of them have kicked sugar in the balls. So, keto or near-keto friends, I may be asking for low-GI suggestions in the future!

Like I said, I’m seeing various experts, learning things and making plans on an ongoing basis. But for now I’m taking Metformin (the standard first-line diabetes drug that lowers blood sugar and increases sensitivity to insulin), monitoring my blood glucose levels with a wicked cool little gadget, and significantly reducing my portion sizes while increasing my amount of exercise. See! an embuggerance.

So, I guess the moral of this story is don’t get fat, be active, watch the sugar intake, and have regular checkups with your GP – even if you feel fine. And remember: you can finger your prick, but you should also prick your finger!