October 2015, I celebrated my 39th birthday. Little did I know I was going to receive an unexpected and unwanted birthday surprise at my health check-up. Being more concerned about my kids’ health more than mine, I pushed aside my check-ups for four years! BIG MISTAKE!
I had a comprehensive blood test done to include lipids (cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides) and glucose levels (fasting, A1C). You could imagine my shock when I saw the results. My triglyceride levels were were borderline high! Plus my hemoglobin A1C (average blood glucose levels for the past three months) was nearing prediabetic levels!
How could this happen? As I look back, I realized the demands of motherhood took a toll on me. Don’t get me wrong, being a mom is the most rewarding experience of my life. But let’s face it, a mother’s role is stressful. Stress coupled with exhaustion from lack of sleep translated to snacking for comfort. Sugar was my best friend.
Below is a photo of me taken the summer of 2015, weighing less than 110 pounds. As you can see most of my weight settled around my waist. Apparently this was a sign of insulin resistance. A combination of chronic stress, sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, and a diet high in sugar was the perfect storm towards insulin resistance! And my body physically showed signs of it!
At first I thought this was just the fate of becoming a mom giving natural birth to two children. In a way, I was fortunate I found out about the higher-than-usual results. It made me dig deeper to what was truly happening inside my body.
Fast forward to October 2016 when I celebrated the milestone age of 40!!! So many things can happen in one year. When I found out about my health risk, I decided a CHANGE was non-negotiable. And it had to be a lifestyle change. Otherwise, I would have followed the path of becoming a Type 2 diabetic. The thing about change is it’s difficult and can get complicated at times. I armed myself with the awareness and knowledge to help me get through tough times. Buried in books, podcasts, online articles – as much information I could handle, I researched and applied different approaches to refine the way I eat, move, sleep, and handle stress. It certainly paid off. My blood profile is back to normal, I have more energy and feel stronger than ever. I think I may be in the best shape of my life!
The road continues to wind with peaks and valleys but the journey has been worthwhile. Out of this experience, I realized I wanted to share it with others, in hopes my story will bring awareness to another person’s life. I understand we reach a point in our lives where we tend to focus more on other things besides our health. Unfortunately, when we abandon our health, it can tremendously impact our quality of life. The good news is it’s never too late to change our behavior. The human body has an incredible capacity to bounce back when we take the time to nurture it. I am just one example.
Are you someone who realized a change was necessary in your life to take back your health? Have you taken a journey of transformation?
Or is something holding you back to FOCUS on your HEALTH? What type of outcome will change your mindset?