Congratulations Ali! We are honored to call Ali our Dane Boyle Fitness Champion of the month. Ali is so much more than that; she is the poster child for being “mad as Hell and not taking it anymore.” There is nothing more powerful than a personal testimonial.
Find a quiet place and give yourself permission to adsorb Ali’s journey. WOW!
Ok folks….I feel more comfortable now to share my before and after pic. I hate, hate, hate full body pics, so this is what ya get. I never really realized how overweight I really was…I still am and will always be in my mind. I guess that is a form of denial. I never wanted to think about it. Never. But the scale and my health are improving daily and I can see and feel it. This really hasn’t happened until recently. I hope my health journey helps someone one day. Not that I am in any way a health care professional or athletic person, but if I can help just one person or give them encouragement in their journey, then that’s what I will do.
Please share if you want.
Ok, so I’m going to brag a little about my doctors appointment yesterday (4/9). This might be a tad long, so bear with me. Here’s my journey. I’ve been diabetic for years. One of my doctors had me think back as far as I could about my symptoms and we kind of pinned it down to when I probably started to become diabetic….that would have been when I was about 13. I was about 25 when I went to a doctor as an adult and obtained this information. So, yes, there was 12 years of being untreated and not knowing. Scary huh? I went through years of being on oral meds and then finally on insulin. That was right about 16-17 years ago. I was soon put on an insulin pump and all was well……increasing insulin and becoming very insulin resistant.
Fast forward to 2010 and taking an average of 75 to 100 units of insulin daily…the weight was piling on. It didn’t help that I wasn’t very active either. 300 lbs….300 folks. That is a 3 there…with those 00’s. That was appalling to me. I was shocked, I don’t know why I was shocked, I never weighed myself (didn’t own a scale for a reason) and hated to take or see pictures of myself. Hey, if there aren’t pictures, then I really wouldn’t know what I looked like to other people. I don’t know exactly when I decided something had to happen. My doctor had talked about having gastric bypass, but it was expensive, insurance wouldn’t cover it, blah, blah, blah…I personally made the excuses. Then, that scale hit 300 and whoa….reality hit. What had to happen to me before something did happen to make me pay attention? I had been so lucky for not having any permanent damage from not being treated for 12 years…and continued to still have labs that said no damage due to diabetes. I was lucky. I revisited the gastric bypass again, this time going to an information session, scheduling an appointment and soon getting approved by insurance to have surgery by one of the top surgeons in San Antonio.
At my appointment a few weeks before my surgery date, my nurse indicated to me that my insurance had just started covering the gastric sleeve. I’m not going to lie; I was terrified of having this surgery. Gastric bypass disconnects and moves your intestines from one part of the stomach to another part..making a very small pouch for your food to go thru. Scary. Gastric sleeve pretty much makes your stomach the shape of a small banana. Staple stitched and removing the rest. Much less for something to go wrong. I changed surgeries quickly. I was told either surgery would drastically change my blood sugars. I was running in the high 200’s to low 300’s. That was with the insulin.
Day of surgery, my blood sugars were 425…that was after fasting for about 18 hours. My surgeon had concerns of doing the surgery and almost cancelled it…but the anesthesiologist said he would be watching me very closely and would make adjustments as necessary….to get me thru the surgery. Got thru the surgery successfully…meaning I didn’t die on that table…and was anxious to get those blood sugar readings. I think my first reading after I would say 3 days of no food was about 200. Talk about being disappointed.
So, I remained on the insulin pump. My sugars did lower to around the 150’s….but I was still taking quite a bit of insulin. I think about 60 units. I lost weight as you would expect…about 60 lbs I would say…and then nothing. I would soon gain about 20 lbs and so surgery and 40 lbs. weight loss, blood sugars rising, increasing the insulin and gaining weight….can you say “not impressed” …and felt like a failure. I had been on insulin for about 17.years. I would go to my doctor and guess what…let’s increase your insulin again. My sugars were hitting low 200’s on average. I was headed back up that road. Something had to change. I would go to my appointments discouraged…I got fed up. That’s when I chose to do something that probably will scare the bejeezus out of anyone that knows anything about diabetes…..I decided I needed to stop taking insulin all together. ….none whatsoever. I took my insulin pump off (what a freedom…no little machine connected to me, nothing stuck in my bra, no more tubes hanging out of my waistband.). Freedom. I think I went about 6 months or so on this freedom.
Then I started to see a new doctor. My mom had went to an appointment with this doctor and said she really liked him. So I made an appointment, because I knew I needed to be under some sort of treatment. So my first appointment (Nov 2014) we talked. I had done a few rounds of HCG…and had lost about 30 lbs. He asked me what my health goals were. I told him that I wanted to get my weight down to 160 lbs, get my diabetes under control and NOT be on insulin. We did labs. My A1C was 12.8….I was not shocked. I figured it was going to be high…it had been that high before. For y’all not familiar with that number…let’s just say I was lucky to not be in the hospital in diabetic coma. So my new doctor told me we were going to obtain my health care goals. I was all in. Let’s do this. I started taking 2 meds…not insulin and went back in 2 months. We did another A1C…I’m always scared to get this reading. It was 8.4….whoa. AMAZED. That was a huge drop. I had also lost about 25 lbs in that 2 month span. He asked again my health care goals…still the same…160, no insulin. He added 1 more med to my list to help with appetite. 3 more months and another dr appt. brings us to this week. I weighed in…lost another 9 lbs. I was dreading the A1C check….worried that 8.4 was just a fluke. So my doctor came in…..he asked if I was ready for my A1C number. Ugh…here we go. Disappointment here I come. 6.2…….whaaaaawhaaaatttttt? Say that again!!!! 6.2….get that girl a certificate! He brought a certificate with a gold seal and signed it….celebrating an A1C below 7. I can honestly say I have NEVER had an A1C of 6.2….EVER! So I am encouraged. I will reach my goal. I have 23 lbs to go….(I like my scale better). I just wonder what my a1c will be at my next appt in August. It’s been a super long journey.
So if you read all of this…thank you for listening to me ramble on and on. I am so excited to be able to shop the cute boutiques and actually find something that doesn’t look like a tent. Lol. I’m amazed that my diabetes is controlled. I am still just shocked. ~
Thank you all for the encouragement and compliments. Let me add that I am in no way suggesting taking yourself off of insulin without a doctor’s care. It is very dangerous and extremely risky. I had 2 different doctors tell me I was a Type 1 diabetic and several tell me Type 2. So not sure if the insulin resistance played with that..not sure. But clearly I am a type 2. I can’t say that I will forever be off of insulin, but I am going to try my hardest to remain at a point where I don’t have to take it. Just wanted to add that. This has been my journey and things I have chosen to do with my body.
Ali was getting ready to go workout with Coach Boyle the evening we caught her to congratulate her on being awarded Dane Boyle Fitness Champion of the month.
Goals accomplished with Dane: I have been focusing on building my strength, balance and trying to be healthy.
Why did you start? I needed some change in my life. I had a really stressful job and I was taking care of everyone. It was time to take care of me. I quit my job and started working with Dane.
How long have you been at Dane Boyle Fitness? Since January 2016
What is it like working with Dane? Dane is motivating for sure! He causes me to become dedicated and focused on my strength training.
Why do you keep going; what is your focus and motivation? I enjoy working the groups that we have, the online commitment, the personal commitment face to face with Dane. It’s much more personal than just going to a big box gym, just showing up and having your card scanned and no one cares if you are there or not, Dane cares that I am there and we enjoy working together.
What tips of the trade help you the most? I find that having the commitment online, seeing people check in, the accountability for sure makes a difference.
What are your new goals? Goals are to improve on myself and be stronger and have more endurance, now that school has started it helps to get back into the routine. I know when I can work out, I know when Dane is available and now I can get back into my workout routine.
Favorite inspirational quote? Everyday is a great day! #DANEish
Favorite workout? I like doing the TRX! I like being outside and love jogging and walking outside. My best friend and I love doing the 5Ks, we have done 15K , 10 K, a 10 mile, and 12 5ks. 7 more 5ks to do this year!
Anything else? I’m working closely with my doctor and Dane knows my physical concerns and needs. Dane knows that what I’m doing and is good at taking care of me, so I don’t hurt myself. Dane doesn’t push you on something that you can’t do. He’s smart about his workouts and cares about you.