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!

Joy

You can follow me on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lchfRD
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lchfRD/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lchf_rd

Copyright ©2022 The LCHF Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.)

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the “content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.