From the Mountains Through the Valleys – 5 year update

Tomorrow is March 5th and it is five years since I began my personal health and weight recovery journey that I’ve dubbed “A Dietitian’s Journey“.  While it began in 2017, in a way it still continues today and that is the point behind this post. 

March 2017

Five years ago, I was obese, had type 2 diabetes for the previous 8 years, and had developed dangerously high blood pressure. 

This picture is what I looked like then.  There is no mistaking that I was a very sick woman.

You can hear it in my voice in the video below. It is very apparent that I could barely walk and talk at the same time.

A year after I had adopted a low carbohydrate lifestyle (March 5, 2018), I had lost:

  • 32 pounds
  • 8 inches off my waist
  • 2 inches off my chest
  • 3 inches off my neck
  • 1 inch off my arms
  • 1/2 inch off my thighs
  • no longer meet the criteria for type 2 diabetes (achieved without the use of medication)
  • had blood pressure that ranges between normal and pre-hypertension without medication
  • had ideal triglycerides and excellent cholesterol levels achieved without any medication.
April 2017 – April 2019

Two years after beginning my journey I had lost a total of;

  • 55 pounds
  • 12- 1/2 inches off my waist
  • 3 -1/2 inches off my chest
  • 6 -1/2 inches off my neck
  • 4 inches off each arm
  • 2- 1/2 inches off each thigh
  • met the criteria for partial remission of type 2 diabetes
  • blood pressure still ranged between normal and pre-hypertension
  • had ideal triglycerides and excellent cholesterol levels
March 2020

On the third anniversary of beginning my journey, March 5, 2020, I remained at a normal body weight, had an optimal waist circumference (slightly less than half my height), and was still in remission of type two diabetes and high blood pressure.

I had gone from taking 12 different medications three years earlier, to being on one prescription for something non-metabolically related. I felt so good — so happy in my own skin that decided to stop straightening my hair, and began wearing it the way it grows out of my head.

March 5 2021 was 4 years from when I began my journey. Here is a short clip from a podcast I was on around that time. Listen to how different I sounded from the clip above.

Then I took up hiking! 

Four years earlier, I could barely walk and talk at the same time and for six months, I was hiking every week, or two.

This photo was taken last year on March 6, 2021 — the 4th anniversary of beginning my journey.

But like most journeys, this one has had ups and downs. There have been “mountain top experiences,” and “valleys,” and currently I am in a bit of a valley.

About two months ago, I was exposed to the Delta variant of Covid and while I didn’t get more than cold-like symptoms, once again my body responded to the exposure with post viral arthritis that I have had a twice since my late 20s.  The first time was after I contracted rubella as a young adult, and the second time was after having what was presumed to be Covid in August 2020 (covered in previous posts). Despite the overall joint pain, I was not going to let it get me down. I kept pushing myself — working on developing recipes for my upcoming book, Low Carb Breads of the World.

The joint pain has eased up quite a bit over the past few weeks, but there remained increasing discomfort at the base of my thumb on my right hand that kept getting worse. Last week it became unbearable.  I assumed that I had developed arthritis in the CMC joint of my thumb, but I found out this week that it is DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis that developed from the repetitive motion of kneading bread several times a week for long periods of time. This was an unfortunate by-product of working on recipe development for the low carb bread book.

Out of necessity, many of the things I was actively doing suddenly came to a halt. For the next 4-6 weeks I have to wear a brace 24-hour per day that splints my thumb and wrist, and enables it to heal.  It is discouraging, but there isn’t much I can do about it. I apply ice, do my physio, wear the brace and focus on looking ahead.

In a way, tomorrow being the 5th anniversary of my journey encourages me.

While not the “mountain top experience” of a year ago, even in this temporary “valley”, things are SO much better than they were 5 years ago.

While I haven’t managed to lose all the 20 pounds I had put on during Covid as I had planned to do, I also haven’t regained my weight, either. My blood sugars are still good, and so is my blood pressure and that is something I am very thankful for, and to celebrate.

Despite the ups and downs, I am still moving forward. I continue to eat low carb and have no desire to eat any other way. I am metabolically healthy and that is a lot to be thankful for.

While we all go through ups and downs, it is what we do day-to-day that really counts towards putting diseases like type 2 diabetes and hypertension into remission.

People ask me why I “still” eat this way and the answer is easy. If I go back to eating the way I did before, I will become “fat and sick” like I was before, too! No, thanks.

For me, there is no looking back — only forward. From the mountains to the valleys, I choose to remain low carb for my ongoing health. 

I hope my story and persistence encourages you.

To your good health!


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