I guess I should start from the beginning… Well the beginning for this anyway. July 7, 2012.
My boyfriend Pete and I woke up in my Rockaway apartment as we did for many weekends prior to this date. However, this day I was mad at Pete. The night before him and his good buddy, Barly (AKA Joe) got really drunk and he was more than annoying. So when he rolled over and said, “Good morning my love, let’s go for a hike at the Delaware Water Gap”, I was none to happy. For one, I was a lazy bum who didn’t want to go out this Saturday morning, as they were labeling it the hottest day of the year and it was only 9 am. But he really wanted to go. So I finally caved… half way. I told him I would go, but I didn’t want to hike the mountains, I wanted to walk along the river, so when I got hot I could dip my feet in the water.
We get to the river only to realize there is no where to park. Everyone and their mother’s have come to the river this morning as it is a free spot to swim. It’s amazing how many NY license plates were there. But after circling for what seemed like forever, I finally found a spot. (Did I fail to mention on top of having to go, he asked me to drive as he was still feeling a bit of the bubbly from the night before…) But I digress.
We walked down to the river and I brought my camera so I could take scenic pictures. Pete begins spouting off the I Love You’s and the You’re my Best Friend business while I decide to take pictures of butterflies on rocks and the trees not really paying attention to him as I’m still a little mad from the night before. All of a sudden I start listening to him. He is saying some very sweet things at this moment. I decide to look at him and when I turn around I see him reach into his pocket and pull out a ring. I can’t believe my eyes! What is he doing?!?! He’s going down on one knee! OMG, is he going to ask me – Yup. He asked me to marry him!
Of course I turn into some weirdo girl who says over and over, YES, YES, YES about 100 times! I did however stop halfway through to make sure he asked my father prior to asking me for my hand, to which he said yes, and I began my YES, YES, YES all over again.
Fast forward a few months and it’s the end of September. We are planning on having a large wedding with about 210 guests. It’s going to be wonderful and amazing and everything a girl could want. But then life happens as I like to say.
Pete and I had been house hunting for about a year before this and had finally said to ourselves this is our last weekend of looking. I even made appointments for the following weekend to start looking at apartments that we could move in together. We wanted somewhere that was ours, not something that was mine and he tried to fit in or vice versa. Well wouldn’t you just know it, that weekend, we found a house we both loved! Pete put a bid on the house, along with 5 others. We knew not to get our hopes up as we’ve played this game before and lost the bids.
Color us happily surprised when our Realtor, Tommy called Pete to say the bid was the best and if he still wants it, the house could be ours! Pete calls me to tell me the wonderful news and asks if I’m sure. The savings all goes towards the house so we will have to re-think the wedding plans. I say of course I’m sure, a wedding is one day – but a house is forever. We’d be ahead of the game with a place to raise our family. So we go through with all the hoopla of purchasing a home. We actually had it fairly easy as the woman who was moving was a wonderful person and the home was in beautiful condition.
We closed the day before Thanksgiving, November 21, 2012. We were elated!
Now came the fun part of getting the floors done, buying paint, scrubbing walls, washing appliances and cabinets, painting ceilings, painting walls and the like. I was here 6 days a week after work, weekends, whatever needed to be done, I was going to do it. And I did most of it by myself as Pete works late every night.
We decided to move in the week before Christmas even though we still had 2 bedrooms to paint and the hallway to do, as we knew we could get that done easily… December 18th we had 2 movers come and pack me up and move all of my belongings to the house. Pete packed a bag at his mom’s and he was about ready to move in.
We enjoyed our first Christmas in the new house. Had some family over, Pete went to his sister’s for dinner as well. It was a nice holiday time.
New Years, we decided to have a little soiree at the house. It was a great time for all.
In the first weekend of January we get the guest room painted as we are going to have Barly come stay with us for a week before he moves to Oregon for work. The week he comes, I will be in Wisconsin for work. (also for my birthday) It took us all weekend, but we got another of the rooms painted! 1 more room and the hallway to go.
I decided when I got back from Wisconsin I was going to join a local gym so I could work on losing the 80+ pounds I have wanted to shed for a few years. So on January 14, 2013, I walked into Fit Female with my girlfriend Kristin (who just so happens to be getting married this year as well) and sign up for a year contract. The price is right, and I’m hoping that by signing the contract, it will make me feel obligated to go. The thing I like about Fit Female if you haven’t already guessed, it’s only ladies. So no feeling self conscious around all the big buff men. And honestly, most of the women that go here are older, or are in the same boat as me. And the few skinny’s aren’t judgmental at all. The staff is friendly and very helpful. It’s just a wonderful “Fit for this Female” So I start going about 3-4 days a week to get in some cardio and some strength training.
January 19, 2013 Pete and I go to the venue we want to hold the wedding at, Woodcliff Manor. We had been here several times and even brought our parents in for a food tasting. We loved everything about it. It just felt like us. Comfy, homey, almost like walking into your best friends living room from when you were a kid. It just felt right. So we put down a deposit for October 27, 2013.
Oh. My. God. That means I have 10 months to lose weight. Less than that as I need to have a final dress fitting a month before the wedding and it’s already the end of January! I wasn’t thinking… I hadn’t planned properly. Oh no, I have to start looking for dresses in 2 months! I need to lose at least 20 lbs by then! I go a little nutso at first. I am now going to the gym 5 days a week and cut my calories back to 1450. The first week, I drop 7 lbs! YEAH ME! The second week, I drop 2. Now I’m at 9 lbs lost, I’m on a roll. The next two weeks I lose another 3 pounds along the way. 12 lbs lost! I can do this 20 lbs lost by March, no problem…
Then we have a party at work. Then my dad makes an amazing meal with all my favorites. Then it’s my time of the month and I’m emotional. What do you know – I put back on 5 lbs! 5! In just a few short days! All my hard work and in about 3-4 days it’s half gone and I’m at 7 lbs lost. So I jump back on the wagon and within a week I’m back down another 2 lbs. I’m now at 9 lbs lost.
How is it that it can take weeks, months to lose a few pounds, by cutting back all food and going on the treadmill/elliptical for 45 minutes to an hour everyday, but I can gain 5 in just a couple days? I hate that. And how come my now fiance can lose like a pound a day if he runs for 10 minutes that day? Body chemistry between men and women just is not fair.
But time for feeling sorry for myself is over. I did this and I can change it. So back to the gym and back to the diet. Back to what has become my normal life.
Valentine’s Day comes and goes and we have a nice night at home. On February 16th, our real Valentine’s day comes and Pete makes me this amazing dinner - Stuffed chicken breast with apple, brie and bacon. Heart Shaped Sweet Potatoes. Fresh spinach sauteed with garlic. Fresh bread with homemade sun dried tomato and garlic butter. Hand-made Heart shaped meatballs. Salad with a fresh squeezed orange/grapefruit vinaigrette. Olives and Sun dried Tomatoes. I was good though and only took small portions. I also made sure not to eat much that day prior to dinner.
The next day we meet with the photographer and the dj’s that we are using for the wedding and talk contracts and deposits. Monies are exchanged/contracts signed. Then we have dinner with my dad. But again I did well and kept my portions within range.
February 18, 2013 – President’s Day – The day started off just like any other. I woke up. Alive. What more can you really ask for?
I weighed myself like I do every morning (I’m a bit obsessive, I know – I’m working on it) and I see that even with everything, I’m now down another pound. Back to 10 lbs. It’s taking forever to get back to the 12 lb mark.
I decided to hit the gym early since I had the day off of work. Again, just another normal routine I’ve gotten myself into.
I come home and Pete and I go to Whole Foods – something we have just started doing in February. After Whole Foods shopping, I want to check out the Trader Joe’s. And I fall in love. Both of those stores are now my favorite place to be. We then head over to the local farmer’s market for some fresh produce and meats. I look at the time and I realize I have a doctors appointment to go over the blood work I had the week before for my annual physical, and we won’t be able to get to Shop-Rite before that to get the extras, English muffins, rice and the like.
We head home, drop off the goodies we already bought and get to the doctors at 3:45. My appointment is at 4, so we’re a little early. Pete came with me, so as soon as I’m done here, we can hit the remaining store and go home. They take me to the back, weigh me and get my blood pressure (which is way low for me – thank you gym) and stick me in a room to wait for the doctor. I have to undress and put on this robe that ties in the back – I can leave on my socks and panties… Awesome. About an hour later, the doctor makes it to the room. Well we have good news and bad news. Good news is my triglycerides that have been through the roof for 3 years (doctor was worried about my heart with that one) have come down over from 255 to 140!! They need to be under 200 I believe, so I’m elated! Completely forgetting the doctor mentioned there was bad news, I start ranting about the gym and my diet of fruits and veggies and low carb, high fiber, blah, blah, blah.
That’s when she dropped the bomb that will change my life. Kim, you’re sugars are very high. You are pre-diabetic. What do you mean I ask? She shows me the report. My glucose levels are 123 mg/dL, they should be between 65-99. Diabetics start at 126. I’m a cookie or two away from being a diabetic.
Now I know that’s not the end of the world. I know many people live with diabetes and live full and happy lives. But all I can think about is my nana and how her diabetes left her with one eye and one leg. The doctor gives me a big list of CAN’T EAT. Some of the things on the CAN’T list are bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, sweets, sugar, cereals, bagels, muffins, chips, etc. You get the idea. Oh wait, did I mention most fruits that I love, banana’s, oranges and things with thick skins. Oh and carrots and sweet potatoes. So what the hell is left to eat you ask? I asked as well and got the little list of things I CAN EAT. I can eat meat, seafood (which I don’t like) eggs, yogurt (preferably Greek for the protein) most veggies and thin skinned fruit such as strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, etc. That’s it. This is my new life.
I thank the doctor and get dressed. I leave in a state of stunned. Pete has been waiting patiently in the waiting room but gives me this look of hatred for having to be out there for so long, when he sees my face, and he instantly goes into protective mode. “Babe, what’s wrong?” As we get in the car, I tell him the news and show him the lists she gave me. Pete says, no problem. We can do this. We WILL do this. So we realize the trip to Shop-Rite will no longer include carbs, and that we should go back to the Farmer’s market for more veggies, and thin skinned fruits.
When we finally get home, I go call my dad. And he tells me my great-grandma on his side had diabetes as well, but if I’m cautious over the next few months and listen to the doctor, I’ll be OK. He even gets online and starts looking up things I can do and eat. He’s so good to me. I want to believe my dad and that it will be OK, because he’s never wrong, but this time I’m not sure. I know my dad and Pete will help me out and accommodate me in any way they can, but this is going to be my battle and mine alone.
I start the silent crying, the kind where the tears just roll down your face. Even if I do this for the next three months like the doctor told me to try, what’s to say it won’t come back? What’s to say if I get blood work back in three months and it’s OK, that my glucose won’t go back up in time? Am I going to have to play this yo-yo game for life? Can I play this yo-yo game for life? And what kind of life is that? And how long will it be if this is how I play?
I get off the phone with my dad and go into the kitchen only to notice somethings are missing. Pete has taken every carb/sugar based item, all the breads, the oranges, and the like and hid them so as not to tempt me. The silent tears are no longer silent. This is another reason why I love this man so very much.
So for the next 2 days I eat meat and eggs and lettuce and low sugar veggies. Then I remember something. A few months ago, Pete’s sister Lauren gave me a book her close friend wrote, “Practical Paleo”, by Diane Sanfillippo. The book was wonderful, I had read through half of it before we moved, and I remember the recipes in there looked wonderful. (For those of you who don’t know what Paleo is, check out this site – http://www.multiplydelicious.com/thefood/what-is-paleo/ - that’s where I sent my dad when he needed some info.)
So I talked to my Personal Trainer who said she was going to recommend Paleo to me once I told her my diet restrictions. (She did say to check with my doctor first)
I called and left a message for my doctor to call me back. I was a little nervous because on Paleo I can eat my banana and my oranges and my sweet potatoes and she told me no. When she finally called me back, I asked her a few questions if I stayed on her diet (how many carbs per day could I actually have?) and then I asked her if she thought going Paleo was a good idea. Well wouldn’t you know it, she about jumped through the phone with her excitement at the idea of Paleo and how wonderful the lifestyle change is. With her blessing, I decided to do it. I decided to jump into a new lifestyle.
Paleo isn’t a diet as some might call it, at least, not the way I look at it. It’s a whole life change. Taking out the bad things and putting in fresh, organic, wholesome, natural foods. How can that be wrong?
I couldn’t wait to get this written out. I woke up at 3:30 am to write this as it’s all I’ve been thinking about. I know there are others out there who are going to have similar stories, or maybe they just want to get healthy for themselves, not for a medical reason. For me, I think Paleo will become a lifelong change. My fiance is wonderful and backs me up 100%. He doesn’t mind not having carbs with dinner. We have found some wonderful recipes I’ll be trying this weekend. If they are as good as I’m hoping, I’ll make sure to post the links.
So that’s my story so far. I’ll keep you posted on how things progress.