As those close to me know, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in December 2019 which meant a HUGE lifestyle change. No more bagels or pop tarts for breakfast, fast food on the run for lunch, and pasta for dinner. No more sitting around every evening watching TV (I’ve given up television besides some Food Network on the weekends — and binging Schitt’s Creek!). I stopped watching the news about 2 months in to the pandemic. I’ve limited my social media use to mostly business and I’ve ‘unfriended’ or ‘unfollowed’ people who cause me grief. I started journaling every evening and I set realistic goals for myself:
- I’m going to walk 800 miles in 2021.
- I’m going to read 8 books by the end of the year (I’ve finished one.)
- I am the project manager and a contributing author in an anthology of successful female business leaders! Things are moving along and I couldn’t be more excited!
I reset my mindset, and reevaluated my work time AND my downtime. It wasn’t easy to take a hard look into why my health had declined and I was not only overweight, but I was now “a diabetic”; something that was incredibly scary to me after watching my dad suffer for over 20 years, spend many years on kidney dialysis, have multiple heart surgeries, and a kidney transplant — all before he died in 2005 at just 58 years young.
To make matters worse, I was unhappy with my job. Even after moving trying to fix it by transferring to an office much closer to home, I still didn’t like what I was doing. (P.S. — A shorter commute to work does make you happy — but only if you like what you’re doing once you reach your destination!) So I jumped on another job offer, which wasn’t the right fit for me, and I was once again — unhappy.
It’s true — emotional eating is a thing. Stress and unhappiness makes you and your body do crazy things. But when you’re working a 10 hour day and eating lunch on the go or going to restaurants with clients — and your dinner consists of 18 appetizers and wine at a networking event… well, you see where my problems were! After I was diagnosed, I attempted to change everything at once. My diet, my lifestyle, my job. It was A LOT to take in, a lot to accept. I knew I didn’t want to be unhealthy. I didn’t want to feel terrible any longer. I didn’t want to be tired, irritable, and uncomfortable in my skin.
So what do you do when there’s a global pandemic, you’ve just changed jobs, then get laid off? You start your own business, right?
Even with how terrible 2020 was overall, it’s been good to me — as guilty as I feel saying it, it’s true. I’ve worked hard — on myself and on starting my business. I have had the support of my amazing family and friends. I’m walking about 20 miles a week, eating much better, and using portion control. I’m incorporating a protein into nearly every meal and substituting veggies for pasta and rice. But… I still eat pasta! And, I still drink wine! It’s a learning process and it’s self control, which I never had before. I don’t deprive myself of anything — I just have learned to eat less of the “bad stuff” and eat it less often. I drink water all day, every day.
I was able to stop insulin injections in April (about 4 months after diagnosis) and my oral meds were cut in half in July. My A1C was 11.4 when I got my diagnosis and it was 5.8 at last check, also in July (Six months in!) My blood sugar measured 320 when I was diagnosed — and now I’m around 90–130.
And, I’m happy with what I’m doing professionally. You can’t spend 40+ hours of your life doing something that doesn’t satisfy you. I’m helping business owners and nonprofits “Make Their Message Matter.” I’ve been able to bring a few friends on as contractors, which in turn has helped them!
Why have I told you all this? Why am I talking about something so personal on a business blog? First of all, I’m NOT a professional when it comes to diabetes and weight loss. Nothing I’m saying is “medical advice”… but what I *am* saying is YOU DESERVE HAPPINESS. If you’re in a job, a relationship, a friendship, any situation that makes you unhappy, I’m hoping you can find the strength to get out of it. Start slow and don’t do everything at once. Make a few changes and let those marinate, get used to them, then move on to the next change.
I know what you’re thinking. I never would’ve taken this leap if it wasn’t for COVID and all the major changes that came with it. It’s true, I didn’t have the guts to quit working and just start my own business. And I’m surely not telling you to either.
If I wasn’t diagnosed with diabetes, I’d still be overweight and eating 12,394 grams of carbs a day. (Kidding. Sort of.) I’d still be sitting around watching mindless television instead of walking and spending time outdoors. But now that I am doing it, I feel so much better!
But… *IF* you have an opportunity, take it. If you have a sliver of hope to make changes that will impact you personally and professionally, do it.
I did and I wouldn’t change a bit of it!